The Project Gutenberg eBook of A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 09

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Title: A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 09

Compiler: Robert Dodsley

Editor: William Carew Hazlitt

Release date: December 1, 2003 [eBook #10550]
Most recently updated: December 20, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Tapio Riikonen and PG Distributed



Originally published by Robert Dodsley in the Year 1744.

Fourth Edition,

Now first chronologically arranged, revised and enlarged with the Notes of all the Commentators, and new Notes





How a Man May Choose a Good Wife from a Bad
The Return from Parnassus
Wily Beguiled
The Miseries of Enforced Marriage



A Pleasant conceited Comedie, Wherein is shewed how a man may chuse a good Wife from a bad. As it hath bene sundry times Acted by the Earle of Worcesters Seruants. London Printed for Mathew Lawe, and are to be solde at his shop in Paules Church-yard, neare unto S. Augustines gate, at the signe of the Foxe_. 1602. 4to.

[There were editions in 1605, 1608, 1614, 1621, 1630, 1634, all in 4to.

It is not improbable that the author was Joshua Cooke, to whom, in an old hand on the title of edit. 1602 in the Museum, it is attributed.]


This play agrees perfectly with the description given of it in the title; it is certainly a most pleasant conceited comedy, rich in humour, and written altogether in a right merry vein. The humour is broad and strongly marked, and at the same time of the most diverting kind; the characters are excellent, and admirably discriminated; the comic parts of the play are written with most exquisite drollery, and the serious with great truth and feeling. Of the present piece there were seven editions, within a short period, with all of which the present reprint has been carefully collated, and is now, for the first time, divided into acts and scenes.


SIR AMINADAB, a Schoolmaster.
HUGH, Justice Reason's Servant.
PIPKIN, Master Arthur's Servant.
Boys, Officers, &c.

Scene, London.




The Exchange.


Y. ART. I tell you true, sir; but to every man
I would not be so lavish of my speech:
Only to you, my dear and private friend,
Although my wife in every eye be held
Of beauty and of grace sufficient,
Of honest birth and good behaviour,
Able to win the strongest thoughts to her,
Yet, in my mind, I hold her the most hated
And loathed object, that the world can yield.

Y. LUS. O Master Arthur, bear a better thought
Of your chaste wife, whose modesty hath won
The good opinion and report of all:
By heaven! you wrong her beauty; she is fair.

Y. ART. Not in mine eye.

Y. LUS. O, you are cloy'd with dainties, Master Arthur,
And too much sweetness glutted hath your taste,
And makes you loathe them: at the first
You did admire her beauty, prais'd her face,
Were proud to have her follow at your heels
Through the broad streets, when all censuring tongues
Found themselves busied, as she pass'd along,
T'extol her in the hearing of you both.
Tell me, I pray you, and dissemble not,
Have you not, in the time of your first-love,
Hugg'd such new popular and vulgar talk,
And gloried still to see her bravely deck'd?
But now a kind of loathing hath quite chang'd
Your shape of love into a form of hate;
But on what reason ground you this hate?

Y. ART. My reason is my mind, my ground my will;
I will not love her: if you ask me why,
I cannot love her. Let that answer you.

Y. LUS. Be judge, all eyes, her face deserves it not;
Then on what root grows this high branch of hate?
Is she not loyal, constant, loving, chaste:
Obedient, apt to please, loath to displease:
Careful to live, chary of her good name,
And jealous of your reputation?
Is she not virtuous, wise, religious?
How should you wrong her to deny all this?
Good Master Arthur, let me argue with you.

[They walk aside.


FUL. O Master Anselm! grown a lover, fie!
What might she be, on whom your hopes rely?

ANS. What fools they are that seem most wise in love,
How wise they are that are but fools in love!
Before I was a lover, I had reason
To judge of matters, censure of all sorts,
Nay, I had wit to call a lover fool,
And look into his folly with bright eyes.
But now intruding love dwells in my brain,
And franticly hath shoulder'd reason thence:
I am not old, and yet, alas! I doat;
I have not lost my sight, and yet am blind;
No bondman, yet have lost my liberty;
No natural fool, and yet I want my wit.
What am I, then? let me define myself:
A dotard young, a blind man that can see,
A witty fool, a bondman that is free.

FUL. Good aged youth, blind seer, and wise fool,
Loose your free bonds, and set your thoughts to school.


O. ART. 'Tis told me, Master Lusam, that my son
And your chaste daughter, whom we match'd together,
Wrangle and fall at odds, and brawl and chide.

O. LUS. Nay, I think so, I never look'd for better:
This 'tis to marry children when they're young.
I said as much at first, that such young brats
Would 'gree together e'en like dogs and cats.

O. ART. Nay, pray you, Master Lusam, say not so;
There was great hope, though they were match'd but young,
Their virtues would have made them sympathise,
And live together like two quiet saints.

O. LUS. You say true, there was great hope, indeed,
They would have liv'd like saints; but where's the fault?

O. ART. If fame be true, the most fault's in my son.

O. LUS. You say true, Master Arthur, 'tis so indeed.

O. ART. Nay, sir, I do not altogether excuse
Your daughter; many lay the blame on her.

O. LUS. Ah! say you so? by the mass, 'tis like enough,
For from her childhood she hath been a shrew.

O. ART. A shrew? you wrong her; all the town admires her
For mildness, chasteness, and humility.

O. LUS. 'Fore God, you say well, she is so indeed;
The city doth admire her for these virtues.

O. ART. O, sir, you praise your child too palpably;
She's mild and chaste, but not admir'd so much.

O. LUS. Ay, so I say—I did not mean admir'd.

O. ART. Yes, if a man do well consider her,
Your daughter is the wonder of her sex.

O. LUS. Are you advis'd of that? I cannot tell,
What 'tis you call the wonder of her sex,
But she is—is she?—ay, indeed, she is.

O. ART. What is she?

O. LUS. Even what you will—you know best what she is.

ANS. Yon is her husband: let us leave this talk:[3]
How full are bad thoughts of suspicion;
I love, but loathe myself for loving so,
Yet cannot change my disposition.

FUL. Medice, cura teipsum.

ANS. Hei mihi! quod nullis amor est medicabilis herbis.

[Exeunt ANSELM and FULLER.

Y. ART. All your persuasions are to no effect,
Never allege her virtues nor her beauty,
My settled unkindness hath begot
A resolution to be unkind still,
My ranging pleasures love variety.

Y. LUS. O, too unkind unto so kind a wife,
Too virtueless to one so virtuous,
And too unchaste unto so chaste a matron.

Y. ART. But soft, sir, see where my two fathers are
Busily talking; let us shrink aside,
For if they see me, they are bent to chide.

[Exeunt Y. ARTHUR and Y. LUSAM.

O. ART. I think 'tis best to go straight to the house,
And make them friends again; what think ye, sir?

O. LUS. I think so too.

O. ART. Now I remember, too, that's not so good:
For divers reasons, I think best stay here,
And leave them to their wrangling—what think you?

O. LUS. I think so too.

O. ART. Nay, we will go, that's certain.

O. LUS. Ay, 'tis best, 'tis best—
In sooth, there's no way but to go.

O. ART. Yet if our going should breed more unrest,
More discord, more dissension, more debate,
More wrangling where there is enough already?
'Twere better stay than go.

O. LUS. 'Fore God, 'tis true;
Our going may, perhaps, breed more debate,
And then we may too late wish we had stay'd;
And therefore, if you will be rul'd by me,
We will not go, that's flat: nay, if we love
Our credits or our quiets, let's not go.

O. ART. But if we love
Their credits or their quiets, we must go,
And reconcile them to their former love;
Where there is strife betwixt a man and wife 'tis hell,
And mutual love may be compared to heaven,
For then their souls and spirits are at peace.
Come, Master Lusam, now 'tis dinner-time;
When we have dined, the first work we will make,
Is to decide their jars for pity's sake.

O. LUS. Well fare a good heart! yet are you advis'd?
Go, said you, Master Arthur? I will run
To end these broils, that discord hath begun.



Young Arthur's House.


MRS ART. Come hither, Pipkin.
How chance you tread so softly?

PIP. For fear of breaking, mistress.

MRS ART. Art thou afraid of breaking, how so?

PIP. Can you blame me, mistress? I am crack'd already.

MRS ART. Crack'd, Pipkin, how? hath any crack'd your crown?

PIP. No, mistress; I thank God,
My crown is current, but—

MRS ART. But what?

PIP. The maid gave me not my supper yesternight, so that indeed my belly wambled, and standing near the great sea-coal fire in the hall, and not being full, on the sudden I crack'd, and you know, mistress, a pipkin is soon broken.

MRS ART. Sirrah, run to the Exchange, and if you there
Can find my husband, pray him to come home;
Tell him I will not eat a bit of bread
Until I see him; prythee, Pipkin, run.

PIP. By'r Lady, mistress, if I should tell him so, it may be he would not come, were it for no other cause but to save charges; I'll rather tell him, if he come not quickly, you will eat up all the meat in the house, and then, if he be of my stomach, he will run every foot, and make the more haste to dinner.

MRS ART. Ay, thou may'st jest; my heart is not so light
It can digest the least conceit of joy:
Entreat him fairly, though I think he loves
All places worse that he beholds me in.
Wilt thou begone?

PIP. Whither, mistress? to the 'Change?

MRS ART. Ay, to the 'Change.

PIP. I will, mistress: hoping my master will go so oft to the 'Change, that at length he will change his mind, and use you more kindly. O, it were brave if my master could meet with a merchant of ill-ventures, to bargain with him for all his bad conditions, and he sell them outright! you should have a quieter heart, and we all a quieter house. But hoping, mistress, you will pass over all these jars and squabbles in good health, as my master was at the making thereof, I commit you.

MRS ART. Make haste again, I prythee. [Exit PIPKIN.] Till I see him,
My heart will never be at rest within me:
My husband hath of late so much estrang'd
His words, his deeds, his heart from me,
That I can seldom have his company;
And even that seldom with such discontent,
Such frowns, such chidings, such impatience,
That did not truth and virtue arm my thoughts,
They would confound me with despair and hate,
And make me run into extremities.
Had I deserv'd the least bad look from him,
I should account myself too bad to live,
But honouring him in love and chastity,
All judgments censure freely of my wrongs.


Y. ART. Pipkin, what said she when she sent for me?

PIP. 'Faith, master, she said little, but she thought
[The] more, for she was very melancholy.

Y. ART. Did I not tell you she was melancholy,
For nothing else but that she sent for me,
And fearing I would come to dine with her.

Y. LUS. O, you mistake her; even, upon my soul,
I durst affirm you wrong her chastity.
See where she doth attend your coming home.


MRS ART. Come, Master Arthur, shall we in to dinner?
Sirrah, begone, and see it served in.

Y. LUS. Will you not speak unto her?

Y. ART. No, not I; will you go in, sir.

MRS ART. Not speak to me! nor once look towards me!
It is my duty to begin, I know,
And I will break this ice of courtesy.
You are welcome home, sir.

Y. ART. Hark, Master Lusam, if she mock me not! You are welcome home, sir. Am I welcome home? Good faith, I care not if I be or no.

Y. LUS. Thus you misconstrue all things, Master Arthur.
Look, if her true love melt not into tears.

Y. ART. She weeps, but why? that I am come so soon,
To hinder her of some appointed guests,
That in my absence revel in my house:
She weeps to see me in her company,
And, were I absent, she would laugh with joy.
She weeps to make me weary of the house,
Knowing my heart cannot away with grief.

MRS ART. Knew I that mirth would make you love my bed,
I would enforce my heart to be more merry.

Y. ART. Do you not hear? she would enforce her heart!
All mirth is forc'd, that she can make with me.

Y. LUS. O misconceit, how bitter is thy taste!
Sweet Master Arthur, Mistress Arthur too,
Let me entreat you reconcile these jars,
Odious to heaven, and most abhorr'd of men.

MRS ART. You are a stranger, sir; but by your words
You do appear an honest gentleman.
If you profess to be my husband's friend,
Persist in these persuasions, and be judge
With all indifference in these discontents.
Sweet husband, if I be not fair enough
To please your eye, range where you list abroad,
Only, at coming home, speak me but fair:
If you delight to change, change when you please,
So that you will not change your love to me.
If you delight to see me drudge and toil,
I'll be your drudge, because 'tis your delight.
Or if you think me unworthy of the name
Of your chaste wife, I will become your maid,
Your slave, your servant—anything you will,
If for that name of servant and of slave
You will but smile upon me now and then.
Or if, as I well think, you cannot love me,
Love where you list, only but say you love me:
I'll feed on shadows, let the substance go.
Will you deny me such a small request?
What, will you neither love nor flatter me?
O, then I see your hate here doth but wound me,
And with that hate it is your frowns confound me.

Y. LUS. Wonder of women! why, hark you, Master Arthur!
What is your wife, a woman or a saint?
A wife or some bright angel come from heav'n?
Are you not mov'd at this strange spectacle?
This day I have beheld a miracle.
When I attempt this sacred nuptial life,
I beg of heaven to find me such a wife.

Y. ART. Ha, ha! a miracle, a prodigy!
To see a woman weep is as much pity
As to see foxes digg'd out of their holes.
If thou wilt pleasure me, let me see thee less;
Grieve much; they say grief often shortens life:
Come not too near me, till I call thee, wife;
And that will be but seldom. I will tell thee,
How thou shalt win my heart—die suddenly,
And I'll become a lusty widower:
The longer thy life lasts, the more my hate
And loathing still increaseth towards thee.
When I come home and find thee cold as earth,
Then will I love thee: thus thou know'st my mind.
Come, Master Lusam, let us in to dine.

Y. LUS. O, sir, you too much affect this evil;
Poor saint! why wert thou yok'd thus with a devil? [Aside.

[Exeunt Y. ART. and Y. LUS.

MRS ART. If thou wilt win my heart, die suddenly!
But that my soul was bought at such a rate,
At such a high price as my Saviour's blood,
I would not stick to lose it with a stab;
But, virtue, banish all such fantasies.
He is my husband, and I love him well;
Next to my own soul's health I tender him,
And would give all the pleasures of the world
To buy his love, if I might purchase it.
I'll follow him, and like a servant wait,
And strive by all means to prevent his hate.


O. ART. This is my son's house; were it best go in?
How say you, Master Lusam?

O. LUS. How? Go in? How say you, sir?

O. ART. I say 'tis best.

O. LUS. Ay, sir, say you so? so say I too.

O. ART. Nay, nay, it is not best; I'll tell you why.
Haply the fire of hate is quite extinct
From the dead embers; now to rake them up,
Should the least spark of discontent appear,
To make the flame of hatred burn afresh,
The heat of this dissension might scorch us;
Which, in his own cold ashes smother'd up,
May die in silence, and revive no more:
And therefore tell me, is it best or no?

O. LUS. How say you, sir?

O. ART. I say it is not best.

O. LUS. Mass, you say well, sir, and so say I too.

O. ART. But shall we lose our labour to come hither,
And, without sight of our two children,
Go back again? nay, we will in, that's sure.

O. LUS. In, quotha! do you make a doubt of that;
Shall we come thus far, and in such post-haste,
And have our children here, and both within,
And not behold them e'er our back-return?
It were unfriendly and unfatherly.
Come, Master Arthur, pray you follow me.

O. ART. Nay, but hark you, sir, will you not knock?

O. LUS. Is't best to knock?

O. ART. Ay, knock in any case.

O. LUS. 'Twas well you put it in my mind to knock,
I had forgotten it else, I promise you.

O. ART. Tush, is't not my son's and your daughter's door,
And shall we two stand knocking? Lead the way.

O. LUS. Knock at our children's doors! that were a jest.
Are we such fools to make ourselves so strange,
Where we should still be boldest? In, for shame!
We will not stand upon such ceremonies.



The Street.


FUL. Speak: in what cue, sir, do you find your heart,
Now thou hast slept a little on thy love?

ANS. Like one that strives to shun a little plash
Of shallow water, and (avoiding it)
Plunges into a river past his depth:
Like one that from a small spark steps aside,
And falls in headlong to a greater flame.

FUL. But in such fires scorch not thyself, for shame!
If she be fire, thou art so far from burning,
That thou hast scarce yet warm'd thee at her face;
But list to me, I'll turn thy heart from love,
And make thee loathe all of the feminine sex.
They that have known me, knew me once of name
To be a perfect wencher: I have tried
All sorts, all sects, all states, and find them still
Inconstant, fickle, always variable.
Attend me, man! I will prescribe a method,
How thou shalt win her without all peradventure.

ANS. That would I gladly hear.

FUL. I was once like thee,
A sigher, melancholy humorist,
Crosser of arms, a goer without garters,
A hatband-hater, and a busk-point[4] wearer,
One that did use much bracelets made of hair,
Rings on my fingers, jewels in mine ears,
And now and then a wench's carcanet,
Scarfs, garters, bands, wrought waistcoats, gold-stitch'd caps,
A thousand of those female fooleries; but when
I look'd into the glass of reason, straight
I began to loathe that female bravery,
And henceforth studied[5] to cry
Peccavi to the world.

ANS. I pray you, to your former argument:
Prescribe a means to win my best-belov'd.

FUL. First, be not bashful, bar all blushing tricks:
Be not too apish-female; do not come
With foolish sonnets to present her with,
With legs, with curtsies, congees, and such like:
Nor with penn'd speeches, or too far-fetch'd sighs:
I hate such antique, quaint formality.

ANS. O, but I cannot snatch[6] occasion:
She dashes every proffer with a frown.

FUL. A frown, a fool! art thou afraid of frowns?
He that will leave occasion for a frown,
Were I his judge (all you his case bemoan),
His doom should be ever to lie alone.

ANS. I cannot choose but, when a wench says nay,
To take her at her word, and leave my suit.

FUL. Continue that opinion, and be sure
To die a virgin chaste, a maiden pure.
It was my chance once, in my wanton days,
To court a wench; hark, and I'll tell thee how:
I came unto my love, and she look'd coy,
I spake unto my love, she turn'd aside,
I touch'd my love, and 'gan with her to toy,
But she sat mute, for anger or for pride;
I striv'd and kiss'd my love, she cry'd Away!
Thou wouldst have left her thus—I made her stay.
I catch'd my love, and wrung her by the hand:
I took my love, and set her on my knee,
And pull'd her to me; O, you spoil my band,
You hurt me, sir; pray, let me go, quoth she.
I'm glad, quoth I, that you have found your tongue,
And still my love I by the finger wrung.
I ask'd her if she lov'd me; she said, No.
I bad her swear; she straight calls for a book;
Nay then, thought I, 'tis time to let her go,
I eas'd my knee, and from her cast a look.
She leaves me wond'ring at these strange affairs,
And like the wind she trips me up the stairs.
I left the room below, and up I went,
Finding her thrown upon her wanton bed:
I ask'd the cause of her sad discontent;
Further she lies, and, making room, she said,
Now, sweeting, kiss me, having time and place;
So clings me to her with a sweet embrace.

ANS. Is't possible? I had not thought till now,
That women could dissemble. Master Fuller,
Here dwells the sacred mistress of my heart;
Before her door I'll frame a friv'lous walk,
And, spying her, with her devise some talk.


FUL. What stir is this? let's step but out the way,
And hear the utmost what these people say.

O. ART. Thou art a knave, although thou be my son.
Have I with care and trouble brought thee up,
To be a staff and comfort to my age,
A pillar to support me, and a crutch
To lean on in my second infancy,
And dost thou use me thus? Thou art a knave.

O. LUS. A knave, ay, marry, and an arrant knave;
And, sirrah, by old Master Arthur's leave,
Though I be weak and old, I'll prove thee one.

Y. ART. Sir, though it be my father's pleasure thus
To wrong me with the scorned name of knave,
I will not have you so familiar,
Nor so presume upon my patience.

O LUS. Speak, Master Arthur, is he not a knave?

O. ART. I say he is a knave.

O. LUS. Then so say I.

Y. ART. My father may command my patience;
But you, sir, that are but my father-in-law,
Shall not so mock my reputation.
Sir, you shall find I am an honest man.

O. LUS. An honest man!

Y. ART. Ay, sir, so I say.

O. LUS. Nay, if you say so, I'll not be against it:
But, sir, you might have us'd my daughter better,
Than to have beat her, spurn'd her, rail'd at her
Before our faces.

O. ART. Ay, therein, son Arthur,
Thou show'dst thyself no better than a knave.

O. LUS. Ay, marry, did he, I will stand to it:
To use my honest daughter in such sort,
He show'd himself no better than a knave.

Y. ART. I say, again, I am an honest man;
He wrongs me that shall say the contrary.

O. LUS. I grant, sir, that you are an honest man,
Nor will I say unto the contrary:
But wherefore do you use my daughter thus?
Can you accuse her of unchastity, of loose
Demeanour, disobedience, or disloyalty?
Speak, what canst thou object against my daughter?

O. ART. Accuse her! here she stands; spit in her face,
If she be guilty in the least of these.

MRS ART. O father, be more patient; if you wrong
My honest husband, all the blame be mine,
Because you do it only for my sake.
I am his handmaid; since it is his pleasure
To use me thus, I am content therewith,
And bear his checks and crosses patiently.

Y. ART. If in mine own house I can have no peace,
I'll seek it elsewhere, and frequent it less.
Father, I'm now past one and twenty years;
I'm past my father's pamp'ring, I suck not,
Nor am I dandled on my mother's knee:
Then, if you were my father twenty times,
You shall not choose, but let me be myself.
Do I come home so seldom, and that seldom
Am I thus baited? Wife, remember this!
Father, farewell! and, father-in-law, adieu!
Your son had rather fast than feast with you.

O. ART. Well, go to, wild-oats! spendthrift! prodigal!
I'll cross thy name quite from my reck'ning book:
For these accounts, faith, it shall scathe thee somewhat,
I will not say what somewhat it shall be.

O. LUS. And it shall scathe him somewhat of my purse:
And, daughter, I will take thee home again,
Since thus he hates thy fellowship;
Be such an eyesore to his sight no more:
I tell thee, thou no more shalt trouble him.

MRS ART. Will you divorce whom God hath tied together?
Or break that knot the sacred hand of heaven
Made fast betwixt us? Have you never read,
What a great curse was laid upon his head
That breaks the holy band of marriage,
Divorcing husbands from their chosen wives?
Father, I will not leave my Arthur so;
Not all my friends can make me prove his foe.

O. ART. I could say somewhat in my son's reproof.

O. LUS. Faith, so could I.

O. ART. But, till I meet him, I will let it pass.

O. LUS. Faith, so will I.

O. ART. Daughter, farewell! with weeping eyes I part;
Witness these tears, thy grief sits near my heart.

O. LUS. Weeps Master Arthur? nay, then, let me cry;
His cheeks shall not be wet, and mine be dry.

MRS ART. Fathers, farewell! spend not a tear for me,
But, for my husband's sake, let these woes be.
For when I weep, 'tis not for my own care,
But fear, lest folly bring him to despair.

[Exeunt O. ART. and O. LUS.

Y. LUS. Sweet saint! continue still this patience,
For time will bring him to true penitence.
Mirror of virtue! thanks for my good cheer—
A thousand thanks.

MRS ART. It is so much too dear;
But you are welcome for my husband's sake;
His guests shall have best welcome I can make.

Y. LUS. Than marriage nothing in the world more common; Nothing more rare than such a virtuous woman. [Exit.

MRS ART. My husband in this humour, well I know,
Plays but the unthrift; therefore it behoves me
To be the better housewife here at home;
To save and get, whilst he doth laugh and spend:
Though for himself he riots it at large,
My needle shall defray my household's charge.
    [She sits down to work in front of the house.

FUL. Now, Master Anselm, to her, step not back;
Bustle yourself, see where she sits at work;
Be not afraid, man; she's but a woman,
And women the most cowards seldom fear:
Think but upon my former principles,
And twenty pound to a drachm,[7] you speed.

ANS. Ay, say you so?

FUL. Beware of blushing, sirrah,
Of fear and too much eloquence!
Rail on her husband, his misusing her,
And make that serve thee as an argument,
That she may sooner yield to do him wrong.
Were it my case, my love and I to plead,
I have't at fingers' ends: who could miss the clout,
Having so fair a white, such steady aim.
This is the upshot: now bid for the game.

[ANSELM advances.

ANS. Fair mistress, God save you!

FUL. What a circumstance
Doth he begin with; what an ass is he,
To tell her at the first that she is fair;
The only means to make her to be coy!
He should have rather told her she was foul,
And brought her out of love quite with herself;
And, being so, she would the less have car'd,
Upon whose secrets she had laid her love.
He hath almost marr'd all with that word fair. [Aside.[8]]

ANS. Mistress, God save you!

FUL. What a block is that,
To say, God save you! is the fellow mad?
Once to name God in his ungodly suit.

MRS ART. You are welcome, sir. Come you to speak with me
Or with my husband? pray you, what's your will?

FUL. She answers to the purpose; what's your will?
O zounds, that I were there to answer her.

ANS. Mistress, my will is not so soon express'd
Without your special favour, and the promise
Of love and pardon, if I speak amiss.

FUL. O ass! O dunce! O blockhead! that hath left
The plain broad highway and the readiest path,
To travel round about by circumstance:
He might have told his meaning in a word,
And now hath lost his opportunity.
Never was such a truant in love's school;
I am asham'd that e'er I was his tutor.

MRS ART. Sir, you may freely speak, whate'er it be,
So that your speech suiteth with modesty.

FUL. To this now could I answer passing well.

ANS. Mistress, I, pitying that so fair a creature—

FUL. Still fair, and yet I warn'd the contrary.

ANS. Should by a villain be so foully us'd,
As you have been—

FUL. As you have been—ay, that was well put in!

ANS. If time and place were both convenient[9]—
Have made this bold intrusion, to present
My love and service to your sacred self.

FUL. Indifferent, that was not much amiss.

MRS ART. Sir, what you mean by service and by love,
I will not know; but what you mean by villain,
I fain would know.

ANS. That villain is your husband,
Whose wrongs towards you are bruited through the land.
O, can you suffer at a peasant's hands,
Unworthy once to touch this silken skin,
To be so rudely beat and buffeted?
Can you endure from such infectious breath,
Able to blast your beauty, to have names
Of such impoison'd hate flung in your face?

FUL. O, that was good, nothing was good but that;
That was the lesson that I taught him last.

ANS. O, can you hear your never-tainted fame
Wounded with words of shame and infamy?
O, can you see your pleasures dealt away,
And you to be debarr'd all part of them,
And bury it in deep oblivion?
Shall your true right be still contributed
'Mongst hungry bawds, insatiate courtesans?
And can you love that villain, by whose deed
Your soul doth sigh, and your distress'd heart bleed?

FUL. All this as well as I could wish myself.

MRS ART. Sir, I have heard thus long with patience;
If it be me you term a villain's wife,
In sooth you have mistook me all this while,
And neither know my husband nor myself;
Or else you know not man and wife is one.
If he be call'd a villain, what is she,
Whose heart and love, and soul, is one with him?
'Tis pity that so fair a gentleman
Should fall into such villains' company.
O, sir, take heed, if you regard your life,
Meddle not with a villain or his wife. [Exit.

FUL. O, that same word villain hath marr'd all.

ANS. Now where is your instruction? where's the wench?
Where are my hopes? where your directions?

FUL. Why, man, in that word villain you marr'd all.
To come unto an honest wife, and call
Her husband villain! were he[10] ne'er so bad,
Thou might'st well think she would not brook that name
For her own credit, though no love to him.
But leave not thus, but try some other mean;
Let not one way thy hopes make frustrate clean.

ANS. I must persist my love against my will;
He that knows all things, knows I prove this will.



A School.

    Enter AMINADAB, with a rod in his hand, and
    BOYS with their books.

AMIN. Come, boys, come, boys, rehearse your parts,
And then, ad prandium; jam, jam, incipe!

1ST BOY. Forsooth, my lesson's torn out of my book.

AMIN. Quae caceris chartis deseruisse decet.
Torn from your book! I'll tear it from your breech.
How say you, Mistress Virga, will you suffer
Hic puer bonae[11] indolis to tear
His lessons, leaves, and lectures from his book?

1ST BOY. Truly, forsooth, I laid it in my seat, While Robin Glade and I went into campis; And when I came again, my book was torn.

AMIN. O mus, a mouse; was ever heard the like?

1ST BOY. O domus, a house; master, I could not mend it.

2D BOY. O pediculus, a louse; I knew not how it came.

AMIN. All toward boys, good scholars of their times;
The least of these is past his accidence,
Some at qui mihi; here's not a boy
But he can construe all the grammar rules.
Sed ubi sunt sodales? not yet come?
Those tardè venientes shall be whipp'd.
Ubi est Pipkin? where's that lazy knave?
He plays the truant every Saturday;
But Mistress Virga, Lady Willow-by,[12]
Shall teach him that diluculo surgere
Est saluberrimum
: here comes the knave.


1ST BOY. Tardè, tardè, tardè.

2D. BOY. Tardè, tardè, tardè.

AMIN. Huc ades, Pipkin—reach a better rod— Cur tam tardè venis? speak, where have you been? Is this a time of day to come to school? Ubi fuisti? speak, where hast thou been?

PIP. Magister, quomodo vales?

AMIN. Is that responsio fitting my demand?

PIP. Etiam certè, you ask me where I have been, and I say quomodo vales, as much as to say, come out of the alehouse.

AMIN. Untruss, untruss! nay, help him, help him!

PIP. Quaeso, preceptor, quaeso, for God's sake do not whip me: Quid est grammatica?

AMIN. Not whip you, quid est grammatica, what's that?

PIP. Grammatica est, that, if I untruss'd, you must needs whip me upon them, quid est grammatica.

AMIN. Why, then, dic mihi, speak, where hast thou been?

PIP. Forsooth, my mistress sent me of an errand to fetch my master from the Exchange; we had strangers at home at dinner, and, but for them, I had not come tardè; quaeso, preceptor!

AMIN. Construe your lesson, parse it, ad unguem et condemnato to, I'll pardon thee.

PIP. That I will, master, an' if you'll give me leave.

AMIN. Propria quae maribus tribuuntur mascula, dicas; expone, expone.

PIP. Construe it, master, I will; dicas, they say—propria, the proper man—quae maribus, that loves marrow-bones—mascula, miscalled me.

AMIN. A pretty, quaint, and new construction.

PIP. I warrant you, master, if there be marrow-bones in my lesson, I am an old dog at them. How construe you this, master, rostra disertus amat?

AMIN. Disertus, a desert—amat, doth love—rostra, roast-meat.

PIP. A good construction on an empty stomach. Master, now I have construed my lesson, my mistress would pray you to let me come home to go of an errand.

AMIN. Your tres sequuntur, and away.

PIP. Canis a hog, rana a dog, porcus a frog, Abeundum est mihi. [Exit.

AMIN. Yours, sirrah, too, and then ad prandium.

1ST BOY. Apis a bed, genu a knee, Vulcanus, Doctor Dee: Viginti minus usus est mihi.

AMIN. By Juno's lip and Saturn's thumb
It was bonus, bona, bonum.

2D BOY. Vitrum glass, spica grass, tu es asinus, you are an ass. Precor tibi felicem noctem.

AMIN. Claudite jam libros, pueri: sat, prata, bibistis,
Look, when you come again, you tell me ubi fuistis.
He that minds trish-trash, and will not have care of his rodix.
Him I will be-lish-lash, and have a fling at his podix.

[Exeunt BOYS.


Y. ART. A pretty wench, a passing pretty wench.
A sweeter duck all London cannot yield;
She cast a glance on me as I pass'd by,
Not Helen had so ravishing an eye.
Here is the pedant Sir Aminadab;
I will inquire of him if he can tell
By any circumstance, whose wife she is:
Such fellows commonly have intercourse
Without suspicion, where we are debarr'd.
God save you, gentle Sir Aminadab!

AMIN. Salve tu quoque! would you speak with me?
You are, I take it, and let me not lie,
For, as you know, mentiri non est meum,
Young Master Arthur; quid vis—what will you?

Y. ART. You are a man I much rely upon;
There is a pretty wench dwells in this street
That keeps no shop, nor is not public known:
At the two posts, next turning of the lane,
I saw her from a window looking out;
O, could you tell me how to come acquainted
With that sweet lass, you should command me, sir,
Even to the utmost of my life and power.

AMIN. Dii boni, boni! 'tis my love he means;
But I will keep it from this gentleman,
And so, I hope, make trial of my love. [Aside.]

Y. ART. If I obtain her, thou shalt win thereby
More than at this time I will promise thee.

AMIN. Quando venis aput, I shall have two horns on my caput.

Y. ART. What, if her husband come and find one there?

AMIN. Nuncquam time, never fear,
She is unmarried, I swear.
But, if I help you to the deed,
Tu vis narrare how you speed.

Y. ART. Tell how I speed? ay, sir, I will to you:
Then presently about it. Many thanks
For this great kindness, Sir Aminadab. [Exit.

AMIN. If my puella prove a drab,
I'll be reveng'd on both: ambo shall die;
Shall die! by what? for ego I
Have never handled, I thank God,
Other weapon than a rod;
I dare not fight for all my speeches.
Sed cave, if I take him thus,
Ego sum expers at untruss.



A Room in Justice Reason's House.


O. ART. We, Master Justice Reason, come about
A serious matter that concerns us near.

O. LUS. Ay, marry, doth it, sir, concern us near;
Would God, sir, you would take some order for it.

O. ART. Why, look ye, Master Lusam, you are such another,
You will be talking what concerns us near,
And know not why we come to Master Justice.

O. LUS. How? know not I?

O. ART. No, sir, not you.

O. LUS. Well, I know somewhat, though I know not that;
Then on, I pray you.

JUS. Forward, I pray, [and] yet the case is plain.

O. ART. Why, sir, as yet you do not know the case.

O. LUS. Well, he knows somewhat; forward, Master Arthur.

O. ART. And, as I told you, my unruly son,
Once having bid his wife home to my house,
There took occasion to be much aggriev'd
About some household matters of his own,
And, in plain terms, they fell in controversy.

O. LUS. 'Tis true, sir, I was there the selfsame time,
And I remember many of the words.

O. ART. Lord, what a man are you! you were not there
That time; as I remember, you were rid
Down to the North, to see some friends of yours.

O. LUS. Well, I was somewhere; forward, Master Arthur.

JUS. All this is well; no fault is to be found
In either of the parties; pray, say on.

O. ART. Why, sir, I have not nam'd the parties yet,
Nor touch'd the fault that is complain'd upon.

O. LUS. Well, you touch'd somewhat; forward, Master Arthur.

O. ART. And, as I said, they fell in controversy:
My son, not like a husband, gave her words
Of great reproof, despite, and contumely,
Which she, poor soul, digested patiently;
This was the first time of their falling out.
As I remember, at the selfsame time
One Thomas, the Earl of Surrey's gentleman,
Din'd at my table.

O. LUS. I knew him well.

O. ART. You are the strangest man; this gentleman,
That I speak of, I am sure you never saw;
He came but lately from beyond the sea.

O. LUS. I am sure I know one Thomas;—forward, sir.

JUS. And is this all? Make me a mittimus,
And send the offender straightways to the jail.

O. ART. First know the offender—now[13] began the strife
Betwixt this gentlewoman and my son—
Since when, sir, he hath us'd her not like one
That should partake his bed, but like a slave.
My coming was that you, being in office
And in authority, should call before you
My unthrift son, to give him some advice,
Which he will take better from you than me,
That am his father. Here's the gentlewoman,
Wife to my son, and daughter to this man,
Whom I perforce compell'd to live with us.

JUS. All this is well; here is your son, you say,
But she that is his wife you cannot find.

Y. LUS. You do mistake, sir, here's the gentlewoman;
It is her husband that will not be found.

JUS. Well, all is one, for man and wife are one;
But is this all?

Y. LUS. Ay, all that you can say,
And much more than you can well put off.

JUS. Nay, if the case appear thus evident,
Give me a cup of wine. What! man and wife
To disagree! I prythee, fill my cup;
I could say somewhat: tut, tut, by this wine,
I promise you 'tis good canary sack.

MRS ART. Fathers, you do me open violence,
To bring my name in question, and produce
This gentleman and others here to witness
My husband's shame in open audience.
What may my husband think, when he shall know
I went unto the Justice to complain?
But Master Justice here, more wise than you,
Says little to the matter, knowing well
His office is no whit concern'd herein;
Therefore with favour I will take my leave.

JUS. The woman saith but reason, Master Arthur,
And therefore give her licence to depart.

O. LUS. Here is dry justice, not to bid us drink!
Hark thee, my friend, I prythee lend thy cup;
Now, Master Justice, hear me but one word;
You think this woman hath had little wrong,
But, by this wine which I intend to drink—

JUS. Nay, save your oath, I pray you do not swear;
Or if you swear, take not too deep an oath.

O. LUS. Content you, I may take a lawful oath
Before a Justice; therefore, by this wine—

Y. LUS. A profound oath, well-sworn, and deeply took;
'Tis better thus than swearing on a book.

O. LUS. My daughter hath been wronged exceedingly.

JUS. O, sir, I would have credited these words
Without this oath: but bring your daughter hither,
That I may give her counsel, ere you go.

O. LUS. Marry, God's blessing on your heart for that!
Daughter, give ear to Justice Reason's words.

JUS. Good woman, or good wife, or mistress, if you have done amiss, it should seem you have done a fault; and making a fault, there's no question but you have done amiss: but if you walk uprightly, and neither lead to the right hand nor the left, no question but you have neither led to the right hand nor the left; but, as a man should say, walked uprightly; but it should appear by these plaintiffs that you have had some wrong: if you love your spouse entirely, it should seem you affect him fervently; and if he hate you monstrously, it should seem he loathes you most exceedingly, and there's the point at which I will leave, for the time passes away: therefore, to conclude, this is my best counsel: look that thy husband so fall in, that hereafter you never fall out.

O. LUS. Good counsel, passing good instruction;
Follow it, daughter. Now, I promise you,
I have not heard such an oration
This many a day. What remains to do?

Y. LUS. Sir, I was call'd as witness to this matter,
I may be gone for aught that I can see.

JUS. Nay, stay, my friend, we must examine you.
What can you say concerning this debate
Betwixt young Master Arthur and his wife?

Y. LUS. Faith, just as much, I think, as you can say,
And that's just nothing.

JUS. How, nothing? Come, depose him; take his oath;
Swear him, I say; take his confession.

O. ART. What can you say, sir, in this doubtful case?

Y. LUS. Why, nothing, sir.

JUS. We cannot take him in contrary tales,
For he says nothing still, and that same nothing
Is that which we have stood on all this while;
He hath confess'd even all, for all is nothing.
This is your witness, he hath witness'd nothing
Since nothing, then, so plainly is confess'd,
And we by cunning answers and by wit
Have wrought him to confess nothing to us,
Write his confession.

O. ART. Why, what should we write?

JUS. Why, nothing: heard you not as well as I
What he confess'd? I say, write nothing down.
Mistress, we have dismissed you; love your husband,
Which, whilst you do, you shall not hate your husband.
Bring him before me; I will urge him with
This gentleman's express confession
Against you; send him to me; I'll not fail
To keep just nothing in my memory.
And, sir, now that we have examin'd you,
We likewise here discharge you with good leave.
Now, Master Arthur and Master Lusam too,
Come in with me; unless the man were here,
Whom most especially the cause concerns,
We cannot end this quarrel: but come near,
And we will taste a glass of our March beer.



A Room in Mistress Mary's House.


MRS MA. I prythee, tell me, Brabo, what planet, think'st thou, governed at my conception, that I live thus openly to the world?

BRA. Two planets reign'd at once; Venus, that's you,
And Mars, that's I, were in conjunction.

MRS SPLAY. Prythee, prythee, in faith, that conjunction copulative is that part of speech that I live by.

BRA. Ha, ha! to see the world! we swaggerers,
That live by oaths and big-mouth'd menaces,
Are now reputed for the tallest men:
He that hath now a black moustachio,
Reaching from ear to ear, or turning up,
Puncto reverso, bristling towards the eye;
He that can hang two handsome tools at his side,
Go in disguis'd attire, wear iron enough,
Is held a tall man and a soldier.
He that with greatest grace can swear Gog's-zounds,
Or in a tavern make a drunken fray,
Can cheat at dice, swagger in bawdy-houses,
Wear velvet on his face, and with a grace
Can face it out with,—As I am a soldier!
He that can clap his sword upon the board,
He's a brave man—and such a man am I.

MRS MA. She that with kisses can both kill and cure,
That lives by love, that swears by nothing else
But by a kiss, which is no common oath;
That lives by lying, and yet oft tells truth;
That takes most pleasure when she takes most pains;
She's a good wench, my boy, and so am I.

MRS SPLAY. She that is past it, and prays for them that may—

BRA. Is an old bawd, as you are, Mistress Splay.

MRS SPLAY. O, do not name that name; do you not know,
That I could ne'er endure to hear that name?
But, if your man would leave us, I would read
The lesson that last night I promis'd you.

MRS MA. I prythee, leave us, we would be alone.

BRA. And will, and must: if you bid me begone,
I will withdraw, and draw on any he,
That in the world's wide round dare cope with me.
Mistress, farewell! to none I never speak
So kind a word. My salutations are,
Farewell, and be hang'd! or, in the devil's name!
What they have been, my many frays can tell;
You cannot fight; therefore to you, farewell!

MRS MA. O, this same swaggerer is
The bulwark of my reputation; but,
Mistress Splay, now to your lecture that you promised me.

MRS SPLAY. Daughter, attend, for I will tell thee now
What, in my young days, I myself have tried;
Be rul'd by me, and I will make thee rich.
You, God be prais'd, are fair, and, as they say,
Full of good parts; you have been often tried
To be a woman of good carriage,
Which, in my mind, is very commendable.

MRS MA. It is indeed; forward, good Mother Splay.

MRS SPLAY. And, as I told you, being fair, I wish,
Sweet daughter, you were as fortunate.
When any suitor comes to ask thy love,
Look not into his words, but into his sleeve;
If thou canst learn what language his purse speaks,
Be ruled by that; that's golden eloquence.
Money can make a slavering tongue speak plain.
If he that loves thee be deform'd and rich,
Accept his love: gold hides deformity.
Gold can make limping Vulcan walk upright;
Make squint eyes straight, a crabbed face look smooth,
Gilds copper noses, makes them look like gold;
Fills age's wrinkles up, and makes a face,
As old as Nestor's, look as young as Cupid's.
If thou wilt arm thyself against all shifts,
Regard all men according to their gifts.
This if thou practise, thou, when I am dead.
Wilt say: Old Mother Splay, soft lie[14] thy head.


MRS MA. Soft, who comes here? begone, good Mistress Splay;
Of thy rule's practice this is my first day.

MRS SPLAY. God, for thy passion, what a beast am I To scare the bird, that to the net would fly! [Exit.

Y. ART. By your leave, mistress.

MRS MA. What to do, master?

Y. ART. To give me leave to love you.

MRS MA. I had rather afford you some love to leave me.

Y. ART. I would you would as soon love me, as I could leave you.

MRS MA. I pray you, what are you, sir?

Y. ART. A man, I'll assure you.

MRS MA. How should I know that?

Y. ART. Try me, by my word, for I say I am a man;
Or by my deed I'll prove myself a man.

MRS MA. Are you not Master Arthur?

Y. ART. Not Master Arthur, but Arthur, and your servant, sweet Mistress Mary.

MRS MA. Not Mistress Mary, but Mary, and your handmaid, sweet Master Arthur.

Y. ART. That I love you, let my face tell you; that I love you more than ordinarily, let this kiss testify; and that I love you fervently and entirely, ask this gift, and see what it will answer you, myself, my purse, and all, being wholly at your service.

MRS MA. That I take your love in good part, my thanks shall speak for me; that I am pleased with your kiss, this interest of another shall certify you; and that I accept your gift, my prostrate service and myself shall witness with me. My love, my lips, and sweet self, are at your service: wilt please you to come near, sir?

Y. ART. O, that my wife were dead! here would I make
My second choice: would she were buried!
From out her grave this marrigold should grow,
Which, in my nuptials, I would wear with pride.
Die shall she, I have doom'd her destiny. [Aside.]

MRS MA. 'Tis news, Master Arthur, to see you in such a place:
How doth your wife?

Y. ART. Faith, Mistress Mary, at the point of death,
And long she cannot live; she shall not live
To trouble me in this my second choice.

Enter AMINADAB with a bill and headpiece.

MRS MA. I pray forbear, sir, for here comes my love:
Good sir, for this time leave me; by this kiss
You cannot ask the question at my hands
I will deny you: pray you, get you gone.

Y. ART. Farewell, sweet Mistress Mary! [Exit.

MRS MA. Sweet, adieu!

AMIN. Stand to me, bill! and, headpiece, sit thou close!
I hear my love, my wench, my duck, my dear,
Is sought by many suitors; but with this
I'll keep the door, and enter he that dare!
Virga, be gone, thy twigs I'll turn to steel;
These fingers, that were expert in the jerk;
Instead of lashing of the trembling podex,
Must learn pash and knock, and beat and mall,
Cleave pates and caputs; he that enters here,
Comes on to his death! mors mortis he shall taste.
                                 [He hides himself.

MRS MA. Alas! poor fool, the pedant's mad for love!
Thinks me more mad that I would marry him.
He's come to watch me with a rusty bill,
To keep my friends away by force of arms:
I will not see him, but stand still aside,
And here observe him what he means to do. [Retires.

AMIN. O utinam, that he that loves her best,
Durst offer but to touch her in this place!
Per Jovem et Junonem! hoc
Shall pash his coxcomb such a knock,
As that his soul his course shall take
To Limbo and Avernus' lake.
In vain I watch in this dark hole;
Would any living durst my manhood try,
And offer to come up the stairs this way!

MRS MA. O, We should see you make a goodly fray. [Aside.]

AMIN. The wench I here watch with my bill, Amo, amas, amavi still. Qui audet—let him come that dare! Death, hell, and limbo be his share!

Enter BRABO with his sword in his hand.

BRA. Where's Mistress Mary? never a post here,
A bar of iron, 'gainst which to try my sword?
Now, by my beard, a dainty piece of steel.

AMIN. O Jove, what a qualm is this I feel!

BRA. Come hither, Mall, is none here but we two?
When didst thou see the starveling schoolmaster?
That rat, that shrimp, that spindle-shank,
That wren, that sheep-biter, that lean chitty-face,
That famine, that lean envy, that all-bones,
That bare anatomy, that Jack-a-Lent,
That ghost, that shadow, that moon in the wane?

AMIN. I wail in woe, I plunge in pain.[15] [Aside.]

BRA. When next I find him here, I'll hang him up,
Like a dried sausage, in the chimney's top:
That stock-fish, that poor John, that gut of men!

AMIN. O, that I were at home again! [Aside.]

BRA. When he comes next, turn him into the streets.
Now, come, let's dance the shaking of the sheets.


AMIN. Qui, quae, quod!
Hence, boist'rous bill! come, gentle rod!
Had not grimalkin stamp'd and star'd,
Aminadab had little car'd;
Or if, instead of this brown bill,
I had kept my Mistress Virga still,
And he upon another's back,
His points untruss'd, his breeches slack;
My countenance he should not dash,
For I am expert in the lash.
But my sweet lass my love doth fly,
Which shall make me by poison die.
Per fidem, I will rid my life
Either by poison, sword, or knife.



A Room in Young Arthur's House.


MRS ART. Sirrah! when saw you your master?

PIP. Faith, mistress, when I last look'd upon him.

MRS ART. And when was that?

PIP. When I beheld him.

MRS ART. And when was that?

PIP. Marry, when he was in my sight, and that was yesterday; since when I saw not my master, nor looked on my master, nor beheld my master, nor had any sight of my master.

MRS ART. Was he not at my father-in-law's?

PIP. Yes, marry, was he.

MRS ART. Didst thou not entreat him to come home?

PIP. How should I, mistress? he came not there to-day.

MRS ART. Didst thou not say he was there?

PIP. True, mistress, he was there? but I did not tell ye when; he hath been there divers times, but not of late.

MRS ART. About your business! here I'll sit and wait
His coming home, though it be ne'er so late.
Now once again go look him at the 'Change,
Or at the church with Sir Aminadab.
'Tis told me they use often conference;
When that is done, get you to school again.

PIP. I had rather play the truant at home, than go seek my master at school: let me see, what age am I? some four and twenty, and how have I profited? I was five years learning to crish cross[16] from great A, and five years longer coming to F; there I stuck some three years, before I could come to Q; and so, in process of time, I came to e per se e, and com per se, and tittle; then I got to a, e, i, o, u; after, to Our Father; and, in the sixteenth year of my age, and the fifteenth of my going to school, I am in good time gotten to a noun, By the same token there my hose went down; Then I got to a verb, There I began first to have a beard; Then I came to iste, ista, istud, There my master whipped me till he fetched the blood, And so forth: so that now I am become the greatest scholar in the school, for I am bigger than two or three of them. But I am gone; farewell, mistress!



The Street.


FUL. Love none at all! They will forswear themselves,
And when you urge them with it, their replies
Are, that Jove laughs at lovers' perjuries.

ANS. You told me of a jest concerning that;
I prythee, let me hear it.

FUL. That thou shalt.
My mistress in a humour had protested,
That above all the world she lov'd me best;
Saying with suitors she was oft molested,
And she had lodg'd her heart within my breast;
And sware (but me), both by her mask and fan,
She never would so much as name a man.
Not name a man? quoth I; yet be advis'd;
Not love a man but me! let it be so.
You shall not think, quoth she, my thought's disguis'd
In flattering language or dissembling show;
I say again, and I know what I do,
I will not name a man alive but you.
Into her house I came at unaware,
Her back was to me, and I was not seen;
I stole behind her, till I had her fair,
Then with my hands I closed both her een;
She, blinded thus, beginneth to bethink her
Which of her loves it was that did hoodwink her.
First she begins to guess and name a man,
That I well knew, but she had known far better;
The next I never did suspect till then:
Still of my name I could not hear a letter;
Then mad, she did name Robin, and then James,
Till she had reckon'd up some twenty names;
At length, when she had counted up a score,
As one among the rest, she hit on me;
I ask'd her if she could not reckon more,
And pluck'd away my hands to let her see;
But, when she look'd back, and saw me behind her,
She blush'd, and ask'd if it were I did blind her?
And since I sware, both by her mask and fan,
To trust no she-tongue, that can name a man.

ANS. Your great oath hath some exceptions:
But to our former purpose; yon is Mistress Arthur;
We will attempt another kind of wooing,
And make her hate her husband, if we can.

FUL. But not a word of passion or of love;
Have at her now to try her patience.


God save you, mistress!

MRS ART. You are welcome, sir.

FUL. I pray you, where's your husband?

MRS ART. Not within.

ANS. Who, Master Arthur? him I saw even now
At Mistress Mary's, the brave courtesan's.

MRS ART. Wrong not my husband's reputation so;
I neither can nor will believe you, sir.

FUL. Poor gentlewoman! how much I pity you;
Your husband is become her only guest:
He lodges there, and daily diets there,
He riots, revels, and doth all things;
Nay, he is held the Master of Misrule
'Mongst a most loathed and abhorred crew:
And can you, being a woman, suffer this?

MRS ART. Sir, sir! I understand you well enough:
Admit, my husband doth frequent that house
Of such dishonest usage; I suppose
He doth it but in zeal to bring them home
By his good counsel from that course of sin;
And, like a Christian, seeing them astray
In the broad path that to damnation leads,
He useth thither to direct their feet
Into the narrow way that guides to heaven.

ANS. Was ever woman gull'd so palpably! [Aside.]
But, Mistress Arthur, think you as you say?

MRS ART. Sir, what I think, I think, and what I say,
I would I could enjoin you to believe.

ANS. Faith, Mistress Arthur, I am sorry for you:
And, in good sooth, I wish it lay in me
To remedy the least part of these wrongs
Your unkind husband daily proffers you.

MRS ART. You are deceived, he is not unkind:
Although he bear an outward face of hate,
His heart and soul are both assured mine.

ANS. Fie, Mistress Arthur! take a better spirit;
Be not so timorous to rehearse your wrongs:
I say, your husband haunts bad company,
Swaggerers, cheaters, wanton courtesans;
There he defiles his body, stains his soul,
Consumes his wealth, undoes himself and you
In danger of diseases, whose vile names
Are not for any honest mouths to speak,
Nor any chaste ears to receive and hear.
O, he will bring that face, admir'd for beauty,
To be more loathed than a lep'rous skin!
Divorce yourself, now whilst the clouds grow black;
Prepare yourself a shelter for the storm;
Abandon his most loathed fellowship:
You are young, mistress; will you lose your youth?

MRS ART. Tempt no more, devil! thy deformity
Hath chang'd itself into an angel's shape,
But yet I know thee by thy course of speech:
Thou gett'st an apple to betray poor Eve,
Whose outside bears a show of pleasant fruit;
But the vile branch, on which this apple grew,
Was that which drew poor Eve from paradise.
Thy Syren's song could make me drown myself,
But I am tied unto the mast of truth.
Admit, my husband be inclin'd to vice,
My virtues may in time recall him home;
But, if we both should desp'rate run to sin,
We should abide certain destruction.
But he's like one, that over a sweet face
Puts a deformed vizard; for his soul
Is free from any such intents of ill:
Only to try my patience he puts on
An ugly shape of black intemperance;
Therefore, this blot of shame which he now wears,
I with my prayers will purge, wash with my tears.

ANS. Fuller!

FUL. Anselm!

ANS. How lik'st thou this?

FUL. As school-boys jerks, apes whips, as lions cocks,
As Furies do fasting-days, and devils crosses,
As maids to have their marriage-days put off;
I like it as the thing I most do loathe.
What wilt thou do? for shame, persist no more
In this extremity of frivolous love.
I see, my doctrine moves no precise ears,
But such as are profess'd inamoratos.

ANS. O, I shall die!

FUL. Tush! live to laugh a little:
Here's the best subject that thy love affords;
Listen awhile and hear this: ho, boy! speak.


AMIN. As in presenti, thou loath'st the gift I sent thee;
Nolo plus tarry, but die for the beauteous Mary;
Fain would I die by a sword, but what sword shall I die by?
Or by a stone, what stone? nullus lapis jacet ibi.
Knive I have none to sheathe in my breast, or empty my full veins:
Here's no wall or post which I can soil with my bruis'd brains;
First will I therefore say two or three creeds and Ave Marys,
And after go buy a poison at the apothecary's.

FUL. I pry thee, Anselm, but observe this fellow;
Doest not hear him? he would die for love;
That misshap'd love thou wouldst condemn in him,
I see in thee: I prythee, note him well.

ANS. Were I assur'd that I were such a lover
I should be with myself quite out of love:
I prythee, let's persuade him still to live.

FUL. That were a dangerous case, perhaps the fellow
In desperation would, to soothe us up,
Promise repentant recantation,
And after fall into that desperate course,
Both which I will prevent with policy.

AMIN. O death! come with thy dart! come, death, when I bid thee!
Mors, veni: veni, mors! and from this misery rid me;
She whom I lov'd—whom I lov'd, even she—my sweet pretty Mary,
Doth but flout and mock, and jest and dissimulary.

FUL. I'll fit him finely; in this paper is
The juice of mandrake, by a doctor made
To cast a man, whose leg should be cut off,
Into a deep, a cold, and senseless sleep;
Of such approved operation
That whoso takes it, is for twice twelve hours
Breathless, and to all men's judgments past all sense;
This will I give the pedant but in sport;
For when 'tis known to take effect in him,
The world will but esteem it as a jest;
Besides, it may be a means to save his life,
For being [not] perfect poison, as it seems
His meaning is, some covetous slave for coin
Will sell it him,[17] though it be held by law
To be no better than flat felony.

ANS. Uphold the jest—but he hath spied us; peace!

AMIN. Gentles, God save you!
Here is a man I have noted oft, most learn'd in physic,
One man he help'd of the cough, another he heal'd of the pthisic,
And I will board him thus, salve, O salve, magister!

FUL. Gratus mihi advenis! quid mecum vis?

AMIN. Optatus venis; paucis te volo.

FUL. Si quid industria nostra tibi faciet, dic, quaeso.

AMIN. Attend me, sir;—I have a simple house,
But, as the learned Diogenes saith
In his epistle to Tertullian,
It is extremely troubled with great rats;
I have no mus puss, nor grey-ey'd cat,
To hunt them out. O, could your learned art
Show me a means how I might poison them,
Tuus dum suus, Sir Aminadab.

FUL. With all my heart; I am no rat-catcher;
But if you need a poison, here is that
Will pepper both your dogs, and rats, and cats:
Nay, spare your purse: I give this in good will;
And, as it proves, I pray you send to me,
And let me know. Would you aught else with me?

AMIN. Minimè quidem; here's that you say will take them? A thousand thanks, sweet sir; I say to you, As Tully in his Aesop's Fables said Ago tibi gratias; so farewell, vale! [Exit.

FUL. Adieu! Come, let us go; I long to see,
What the event of this new jest will be.


Y. ART. Good morrow, gentleman; saw you not this way,
As you were walking, Sir Aminadab?

ANS. Master Arthur, as I take it?

Y. ART. Sir, the same.

ANS. Sir, I desire your more familiar love:
Would I could bid myself unto your house,
For I have wish'd for your acquaintance long.

Y. ART. Sweet Master Anselm, I desire yours too;
Will you come dine with me at home to-morrow?
You shall be welcome, I assure you, sir.

ANS. I fear, sir, I shall prove too bold a guest.

Y. ART. You shall be welcome, if you bring your friend.

FUL. O Lord, sir, we shall be too troublesome.

Y. ART. Nay, now I will enforce a promise from you:
Shall I expect you?

FUL. Yes, with all my heart.

ANS. A thousand thanks. Yonder's the schoolmaster.
So, till to-morrow, twenty times farewell.

Y. ART. I double all your farewells twenty-fold.

ANS. O, this acquaintance was well scrap'd of me;
By this my love to-morrow I shall see.

[Exeunt ANSELM and FULLER.


AMIN. This poison shall by force expel Amorem, love, infernum, hell. Per hoc venenum, ego, I For my sweet lovely lass will die.

Y. ART. What do I hear of poison; which sweet means
Must make me a brave frolic widower?
It seems the doting fool, being forlorn,
Hath got some compound mixture in despair,
To end his desperate fortunes and his life;
I'll get it from him, and with this make way
To my wife's night and to my love's fair day.

AMIN. In nomine domini, friends, farewell!
I know death comes, here's such a smell!
Pater et mater, father and mother,
Frater et soror, sister and brother,
And my sweet Mary, not these drugs
Do send me to the infernal bugs,
But thy unkindness; so, adieu!
Hob-goblins, now I come to you.

Y. ART. Hold, man, I say! what will the madman do?
                      [Takes away the supposed poison.
Ay, have I got thee? thou shalt go with me. [Aside.
No more of that; fie, Sir Minadab!
Destroy yourself! If I but hear hereafter
You practise such revenge upon yourself,
All your friends shall know that for a wench—
A paltry wench—you would have kill'd yourself.

AMIN. O tace, quaeso; do not name
This frantic deed of mine for shame.
My sweet magister, not a word;
I'll neither drown me in a ford,
Nor give my neck such a scope,
T'embrace it with a hempen rope;
I'll die no way, till nature will me,
And death come with his dart, and kill me,
If what is pass'd you will conceal,
And nothing to the world reveal;
Nay, as Quintillian said of yore,
I'll strive to kill myself no more.

Y. ART. On that condition I'll conceal this deed:
To-morrow, pray, come and dine with me;
For I have many strangers; 'mongst the rest,
Some are desirous of your company.
You will not fail me?

AMIN. No, in sooth;
I'll try the sharpness of my tooth;
Instead of poison, I will eat
Rabbits, capons, and such meat;
And so, as Pythagoras says,
With wholesome fare prolong my days.
But, sir, will Mistress Mall be there?

Y. ART. She shall, she shall; man, never fear.

AMIN. Then my spirit becomes stronger,
And I will live and stretch longer;
For Ovid said, and did not lie,
That poison'd men do often die:
But poison henceforth I'll not eat,
Whilst I can other victuals get.
To-morrow, if you make a feast,
Be sure, sir, I will be your guest.
But keep my counsel, vale tu!
And, till to-morrow, sir, adieu!
At your table I will prove,
If I can eat away my love. [Exit.

Y. ART. O, I am glad I have thee; now devise
A way how to bestow it cunningly;
It shall be thus: to-morrow I'll pretend
A reconcilement 'twixt my wife and me,
And to that end I will invite thus many—
First Justice Reason, as the chief man there;
My father Arthur, old Lusam, young Lusam.
Master Fuller and Master Anselm I have bid already;
Then will I have my lovely Mary too,
Be it but to spite my wife, before she die;
For die she shall before to-morrow night.
The operation of this poison is
Not suddenly to kill; they that take it
Fall in a sleep, and then 'tis past recure,
And this will I put in her cup to-morrow.

Enter PIPKIN, running.

PIP. This 'tis to have such a master! I have sought him at the 'Change, at the school, at every place, but I cannot find him nowhere. [Sees M. ART.] O, cry mercy! my mistress would entreat you to come home.

Y. ART. I cannot come to-night; some urgent business
Will all this night employ me otherwise.

PIP. I believe my mistress would con you as much thank to do that business at home as abroad.

Y. ART. Here, take my purse, and bid my wife provide
Good cheer against to-morrow; there will be
Two or three strangers of my late acquaintance.
Sirrah, go you to Justice Reason's house;
Invite him first with all solemnity;
Go to my father's and my father-in-law's;
Here, take this note—
The rest that come I will invite myself:
About it with what quick despatch thou can'st.

PIP. I warrant you, master, I'll despatch this business with more honesty than you'll despatch yours. But, master, will the gentlewoman be there?

Y. ART. What gentlewoman?

PIP. The gentlewoman of the old house, that is as well known by the colour she lays on her cheeks, as an alehouse by the painting is laid on his lattice; she that is, like homo, common to all men; she that is beholden to no trade, but lives of herself.

Y. ART. Sirrah, begone, or I will send you hence.

PIP. I'll go [aside]; but, by this hand, I'll tell my mistress as soon as I come home that mistress light-heels comes to dinner to-morrow. [Exit.

Y. ART. Sweet Mistress Mary, I'll invite myself:
And there I'll frolic, sup, and spend the night.
My plot is current; here 'tis in my hand
Will make me happy in my second choice:
And I may freely challenge as mine own,
What I am now enforc'd to seek by stealth.
Love is not much unlike ambition;
For in them both all lets must be remov'd
'Twixt every crown and him that would aspire;
And he that will attempt to win the same
Must plunge up to the depth o'er head and ears,
And hazard drowning in that purple sea:
So he that loves must needs through blood and fire,
And do all things to compass his desire.



A Room in Young Arthur's House.


MRS ART. Come, spread the table; is the hall well rubb'd?
The cushions in the windows neatly laid?
The cupboard of plate set out? the casements stuck
With rosemary and flowers? the carpets brush'd?

MAID. Ay, forsooth, mistress.

MRS ART. Look to the kitchen-maid, and bid the cook take down the oven-stone, [lest] the pies be burned: here, take my keys, and give him out more spice.

MAID. Yes, forsooth, mistress.

MRS ART. Where's that knave Pipkin? bid him spread the cloth,
Fetch the clean diaper napkins from my chest,
Set out the gilded salt, and bid the fellow
Make himself handsome, get him a clean band.

MAID. Indeed, forsooth, mistress, he is such a sloven,
That nothing will sit handsome about him;
He had a pound of soap to scour his face,
And yet his brow looks like the chimney-stock.

MRS ART. He'll be a sloven still; maid, take this apron,
And bring me one of linen: quickly, maid.

MAID. I go, forsooth.

MRS ART. There was a curtsy! let me see't again;
Ay, that was well.—[Exit MAID.] I fear my guests will come
Ere we be ready. What a spite is this.

Within. Mistress!

MRS ART. What's the matter?

Within. Mistress, I pray, take Pipkin from the fire; We cannot keep his fingers from the roast.

MRS ART. Bid him come hither; what a knave is that!
Fie, fie, never out of the kitchen!
Still broiling by the fire!


PIP. I hope you will not take Pipkin from the fire,
Till the broth be enough.

Enter MAID, with an apron.

MRS ART. Well, sirrah, get a napkin and a trencher,
And wait to-day. So, let me see: my apron. [Puts it on.]

PIP. Mistress, I can tell ye one thing, my master's wench
Will come home to-day to dinner.

Enter JUSTICE REASON, and his man HUGH.

MRS ART. She shall be welcome, if she be his guest.
But here's some of our guests are come already:
A chair for Justice Reason, sirrah!

JUS. Good morrow, Mistress Arthur! you are like a good housewife:
At your request I am come home. What, a chair!
Thus age seeks ease. Where is your husband, mistress?
What, a cushion, too!

PIP. I pray you, ease your tail, sir.

JUS. Marry, and will, good fellow; twenty thanks.

[HUGH and PIPKIN converse apart.]

PIP. Master Hugh, as welcome as heart can tell, or tongue can think.

HUGH. I thank you, Master Pipkin; I have got many a good dish of broth by your means.

PIP. According to the ancient courtesy, you are welcome; according to the time and place, you are heartily welcome: when they are busied at the board, we will find ourselves busied in the buttery; and so, sweet Hugh, according to our scholars' phrase, gratulor adventum tuum.

HUGH. I will answer you with the like, sweet Pipkin, gratias.

PIP. As much grace as you will, but as little of it as you can, good Hugh. But here comes more guests.


MRS ART. More stools and cushions for these gentlemen.

O. ART. What, Master Justice Reason, are you here?
Who would have thought to have met you in this place?

O. LUS. What say mine eyes, is Justice Reason here?
Mountains may meet, and so, I see, may we.

JUS. Well, when men meet, they meet,
And when they part, they oft leave one another's company;
So we, being met, are met.

O. LUS. Truly, you say true;
And Master Justice Reason speaks but reason:
To hear how wisely men of law will speak!


ANS. Good morrow, gentlemen!

MRS ART. What? are you there?

ANS. Good morrow, mistress, and good morrow, all!

JUS. If I may be so bold in a strange place,
I say, good morrow, and as much to you.
I pray, gentlemen, will you sit down?
We have been young, like you; and, if you live
Unto our age, you will be old like us.

FUL. Be rul'd by reason; but who's here?


AMIN. Salvete, omnes! and good day
To all at once, as I may say;
First, Master Justice; next, Old Arthur,
That gives me pension by the quarter;
To my good mistress and the rest,
That are the founders of this feast;
In brief, I speak to omnes, all,
That to their meat intend to fall.

JUS. Welcome, Sir Aminadab; O, my son
Hath profited exceeding well with you:
Sit down, sit down, by Mistress Arthur's leave.


Y. ART. Gentlemen, welcome all; whilst I deliver
Their private welcomes, wife, be it your charge
To give this gentlewoman entertainment.

MRS ART. Husband, I will. O, this is she usurps
The precious interest of my husband's love;
Though, as I am a woman, I could well
Thrust such a lewd companion out of doors;
Yet, as I am a true, obedient, wife,
I'd kiss her feet to do my husband's will. [Aside.
You are entirely welcome, gentlewoman;
Indeed you are; pray, do not doubt of it.

MRS MA. I thank you, Mistress Arthur; now, by my little honesty,
It much repents me to wrong so chaste a woman. [Aside.

Y. ART. Gentles, put o'er your legs; first, Master Justice,
Here you shall sit.

JUS. And here shall Mistress Mary sit by me.

Y. ART. Pardon me, sir, she shall have my wife's place.

MRS ART. Indeed, you shall, for he will have it so.

MRS MA. If you will needs; but I shall do you wrong
To take your place.

O. LUS. Ay, by my faith, you should.

MRS ART. That is no wrong, which we impute no wrong!
I pray you, sit.

Y. ART. Gentlemen all, I pray you, seat yourselves:
What, Sir Aminadab, I know where your heart is.
AMIN. Mum, not a word, pax vobis, peace:
Come, gentles, I'll be of this mess.

Y. ART. So, who gives thanks?

AMIN. Sir, that will I.

Y. ART. I pray you to it by and by.
Where's Pipkin?
Wait at the board; let Master Season's man
Be had into the buttery; but first give him
A napkin and a trencher. Well-said. Hugh,
Wait at your master's elbow: now say grace.

AMIN. Gloria Deo, sirs, proface;
Attend me now, whilst I say grace.
For bread and salt, for grapes and malt,
For flesh and fish, and every dish;
Mutton and beef, of all meats chief;
For cow-heels, chitterlings, tripes and souse,
And other meat that's in the house;
For racks, for breasts, for legs, for loins,
For pies with raisins and with proins,
For fritters, pancakes, and for fries,
For ven'son pasties and minc'd pies;
Sheeps'-head and garlic, brawn and mustard,
Wafers, spic'd cakes, tart, and custard;
For capons, rabbits, pigs, and geese,
For apples, caraways, and cheese;
For all these and many mo:
Benedicamus Domino!

ALL. Amen.

JUS. I con you thanks; but, Sir Aminadab,
Is that your scholar! now, I promise you,
He is a toward stripling of his age.

PIP. Who? I, forsooth? yes, indeed, forsooth, I am his scholar. I would you should well think I have profited under him too; you shall hear, if he will pose me.

O. ART. I pray you, let's hear him.

AMIN. Huc ades, Pipkin.

PIP. Adsum.

AMIN. Quot casus sunt? how many cases are there?

PIP. Marry, a great many.

AMIN. Well-answer'd, a great many: there are six,
Six, a great many; 'tis well-answer'd;
And which be they?

PIP. A bow-case, a cap-case, a comb-case, a lute-case, a fiddle-case, and a candle-case.

JUS. I know them all; again, well-answer'd:
Pray God, my youngest son profit no worse.

AMIN. How many parsons are there?

PIP. I'll tell you as many as I know, if you'll give me leave to reckon them.

ANS. I prythee, do.

PIP. The parson of Fenchurch, the parson of Pancras, and the parson of———

Y. ART. Well, sir, about your business:—now will I Temper the cup my loathed wife shall drink [Aside, and exit.

O. ART. Daughter, methinks you are exceeding sad.

O. LUS. Faith, daughter, so thou art exceeding sad.

MRS ART. 'Tis but my countenance, for my heart is merry:
Mistress, were you as merry as you are welcome,
You should not sit so sadly as you do.

MRS MA. 'Tis but because I am seated in your place,
Which is frequented seldom with true mirth.

MRS ART. The fault is neither in the place nor me.

AMIN. How say you, lady?
To him you last did lie by!
All this is no more, praebibo tibi.

MRS MA. I thank you, sir. Mistress, this draught shall be
To him that loves both you and me!

MRS ART. I know your meaning.

ANS. Now to me,
If she have either love or charity.

MRS ART. Here, Master Justice, this to your grave years,
A mournful draught, God wot: half-wine, half-tears. [Aside.

JUS. Let come, my wench; here, youngsters, to you all!
You are silent: here's that will make you talk.
Wenches, methink you sit like puritans:
Never a jest abroad to make them laugh?

FUL. Sir, since you move speech of a puritan,
If you will give me audience, I will tell ye
As good a jest as ever you did hear.

O. ART. A jest? that's excellent!

JUS. Beforehand, let's prepare ourselves to laugh;
A jest is nothing, if it be not grac'd.
Now, now, I pray you, when begins this jest?

FUL. I came unto a puritan, to woo her,
And roughly did salute her with a kiss:
Away! quoth she, and rudely push'd me from her;
Brother, by yea and nay, I like not this:
And still with amorous talk she was saluted,
My artless speech with Scripture was confuted.

O. LUS. Good, good, indeed; the best that e'er I heard.

O. ART. I promise you, it was exceeding good.

FUL. Oft I frequented her abode by night,
And courted her, and spake her wond'rous fair;
But ever somewhat did offend her sight,
Either my double ruff or my long hair;
My scarf was vain, my garments hung too low,
My Spanish shoe was cut too broad at toe.

ALL. Ha, ha! the best that ever I heard!

FUL. I parted for that time, and came again,
Seeming to be conform'd in look and speech;
My shoes were sharp-toed, and my band was plain,
Close to my thigh my metamorphos'd breech;
My cloak was narrow-cap'd, my hair cut shorter;
Off went my scarf, thus march'd I to the porter.

ALL. Ha, ha! was ever heard the like?

FUL. The porter, spying me, did lead me in,
Where his fair mistress sat reading of a chapter;
Peace to this house, quoth I, and those within,
Which holy speech with admiration wrapp'd her;
And ever as I spake, and came her nigh,
Seeming divine, turn'd up the white of eye.

JUS. So, so, what then?

O. LUS. Forward, I pray, forward, sir.

FUL. I spake divinely, and I call'd her sister,
And by this means we were acquainted well:
By yea and nay, I will, quoth I, and kiss'd her.
She blush'd, and said, that long-tongu'd men would tell;
I swore[18] to be as secret as the night,
And said, on sooth, I would put out the light.

O. ART. In sooth he would! a passing-passing jest.

FUL. O, do not swear, quoth she, yet put it out,
Because I would not have you break your oath.
I felt a bed there, as I grop'd about;
In troth, quoth I, here will we rest us both.
Swear you, in troth, quoth she? had you not sworn,
I had not done't, but took it in full scorn:
Then you will come, quoth I? though I be loth,
I'll come, quoth she, be't but to keep your oath.

JUS. 'Tis very pretty; but now, when's the jest?

O. ART. O, forward, to the jest in any case.

O. LUS. I would not, for an angel, lose the jest.

FUL. Here's right the dunghill cock that finds a pearl.
To talk of wit to these, is as a man
Should cast out jewels to a herd of swine—[aside.]
Why, in the last words did consist the jest.

O. LUS. Ay, in the last words? ha, ha, ha!
It was an excellent admired jest—
To them that understood it.

Enter YOUNG MASTER ARTHUR, with two cups of wine.

JUS. It was, indeed; I must, for fashion's sake,
Say as they say; but otherwise, O, God! [Aside.
Good Master Arthur, thanks for our good cheer.

Y. ART. Gentlemen, welcome all; now hear me speak—
One special cause that mov'd me lead you hither,
Is for an ancient grudge that hath long since
Continued 'twixt my modest wife and me:
The wrongs that I have done her I recant.
In either hand I hold a sev'ral cup,
This in the right hand, wife, I drink to thee,
This in the left hand, pledge me in this draught,
Burying all former hatred; so, have to thee. [He drinks.

MRS ART. The welcom'st pledge that yet I ever took:
Were this wine poison, or did taste like gall,
The honey-sweet condition of your draught
Would make it drink like nectar: I will pledge you,
Were it the last that I should ever drink.

Y. ART. Make that account: thus, gentlemen, you see
Our late discord brought to a unity.

AMIN. Ecce, quam bonum et quam jucundum
Est habitare fratres in unum

O. ART. My heart doth taste the sweetness of your pledge,
And I am glad to see this sweet accord.

O. LUS. Glad, quotha? there's not one among'st us,
But may be exceeding glad.

JUS. I am, ay, marry, am I, that I am.

Y. LUS. The best accord that could betide their loves.

ANS. The worst accord that could betide my love.

[All about to rise.

AMIN: What, rising, gentles? keep your place,
I will close up your stomachs with a grace;
O Domine et care Pater,
That giv'st us wine instead of water;
And from the pond and river clear
Mak'st nappy ale and good March beer;
That send'st us sundry sorts of meat,
And everything we drink or eat;
To maids, to wives, to boys, to men,
Laus Deo Sancto, Amen.

Y. ART. So, much good do ye all, and, gentlemen,
Accept your welcomes better than your cheer.

O. LUS. Nay, so we do, I'll give you thanks for all.
Come, Master Justice, you do walk our way,
And Master Arthur, and old Hugh your man;
We'll be the first [that] will strain courtesy.

JUS. God be with you all!

[Exeunt O. ART., O. LUS., and JUS. REASON.

AMIN. Proximus ego sum, I'll be the next,
And man you home; how say you, lady?

Y. ART. I pray you do, good Sir Aminadab.

MRS MA. Sir, if it be not too much trouble to you,
Let me entreat that kindness at your hands.

AMIN. Entreat! fie! no, sweet lass, command; Sic, so, nunc, now, take the upper hand.

[Exit MRS MARY escorted by AMINADAB.

Y. ART. Come, wife, this meeting was all for our sakes:
I long to see the force my poison takes. [Aside.

MRS ART. My dear-dear husband, in exchange of hate,
My love and heart shall on your service wait.

[Exeunt Y. ART., MRS ART., and PIPKIN.

ANS. So doth my love on thee; but long no more;
To her rich love thy service is too poor.

FUL. For shame, no more! you had best expostulate
Your love with every stranger; leave these sighs,
And change them to familiar conference.

Y. LUS. Trust me, the virtues of young Arthur's wife,
Her constancy, modest humility,
Her patience, and admired temperance,
Have made me love all womankind the better.

Re-enter PIPKIN.

PIP. O, my mistress! my mistress! she's dead!
She's gone! she's dead! she's gone!

ANS. What's that he says?

PIP. Out of my way! stand back, I say!
All joy from earth has fled!
She is this day as cold as clay;
My mistress she is dead!
O Lord, my mistress! my mistress! [Exit.

ANS. What, Mistress Arthur dead? my soul is vanish'd,
And the world's wonder from the world quite banish'd.
O, I am sick, my pain grows worse and worse;
I am quite struck through with this late discourse.

FUL. What! faint'st thou, man? I'll lead thee hence; for shame!
Swoon at the tidings of a woman's death!
Intolerable, and beyond all thought!
Come, my love's fool, give me thy hand to lead;
This day one body and two hearts are dead.

[Exeunt ANSELM and FULLER.

Y. LUS. But now she was as well as well might be,
And on the sudden dead; joy in excess
Hath overrun her poor disturbed soul.
I'll after, and see how Master Arthur takes it;
His former hate far more suspicious makes it.

Enter HUGH, and after him, PIPKIN.

HUGH. My master hath left his gloves behind where he sat in his chair, and hath sent me to fetch them; it is such an old snudge, he'll not lose the droppings of his nose.

PIP. O mistress! O Hugh! O Hugh! O mistress!
Hugh, I must needs beat thee; I am mad!
I am lunatic! I must fall upon thee: my mistress is dead!
                                           [Beats HUGH.

HUGH. O Master Pipkin, what do you mean? what do you mean,
Master Pipkin?

PIP. O Hugh! O mistress! O mistress! O Hugh!

HUGH. O Pipkin! O God! O God! O Pipkin!

Pip. O Hugh, I am mad! bear with me, I cannot choose: O death!
O mistress! O mistress! O death! [Exit.

HUGH. Death, quotha? he hath almost made me dead with beating.


JUS. I wonder why the knave, my man, stays thus,
And comes not back: see where the villain loiters.

Re-enter PIPKIN.

PIP. O Master Justice! Master Arthur! Master Lusam! wonder not why I thus blow and bluster; my mistress is dead! dead is my mistress! and therefore hang yourselves. O, my mistress, my mistress! [Exit.

O. ART. My son's wife dead!

O. LUS. My daughter!

Enter YOUNG MASTER ARTHUR, mourning.

JUS. Mistress Arthur! Here comes her husband.

Y. ART. O, here the woful'st husband comes alive,
No husband now; the wight, that did uphold
That name of husband, is now quite o'erthrown,
And I am left a hapless widower.

O. ART. Fain would I speak, if grief would suffer me.

O. LUS. As Master Arthur says, so say I;
If grief would let me, I would weeping die.
To be thus hapless in my aged years!
O, I would speak; but my words melt to tears.

Y. ART. Go in, go in, and view the sweetest corpse
That e'er was laid upon a mournful room;
You cannot speak for weeping sorrow's doom:
Bad news are rife, good tidings seldom come.



A Street.


ANS. What frantic humour doth thus haunt my sense,
Striving to breed destruction in my spirit?
When I would sleep, the ghost of my sweet love
Appears unto me in an angel's shape:
When I'm awake, my fantasy presents,
As in a glass, the shadow of my love:
When I would speak, her name intrudes itself
Into the perfect echoes of my speech:
And though my thought beget some other word,
Yet will my tongue speak nothing but her name.
If I do meditate, it is on her;
If dream of her, or if discourse of her,
I think her ghost doth haunt me, as in times
Of former darkness old wives' tales report.


Here comes my better genius, whose advice
Directs me still in all my actions.
How now, from whence come you?

FUL. Faith, from the street, in which, as I pass'd by,
I met the modest Mistress Arthur's corpse,
And after her as mourners, first her husband,
Next Justice Reason, then old Master Arthur,
Old Master Lusam, and young Lusam too,
With many other kinsfolks, neighbours, friends,
And others, that lament her funeral:
Her body is by this laid in the vault.

ANS. And in that vault my body I will lay!
I prythee, leave me: thither is my way.

FUL. I am sure you jest, you mean not as you say.

ANS. No, no, I'll but go to the church, and pray.

FUL. Nay, then we shall be troubled with your humour.

ANS. As ever thou didst love me, or as ever
Thou didst delight in my society,
By all the rights of friendship and of love,
Let me entreat thy absence but one hour,
And at the hour's end I will come to thee.

FUL. Nay, if you will be foolish, and past reason,
I'll wash my hands, like Pilate, from thy folly,
And suffer thee in these extremities. [Exit.

ANS. Now it is night, and the bright lamps of heaven
Are half-burn'd out: now bright Adelbora
Welcomes the cheerful day-star to the east,
And harmless stillness hath possess'd the world:
This is the church,—this hollow is the vault,
Where the dead body of my saint remains,
And this the coffin that enshrines her body,
For her bright soul is now in paradise.
My coming is with no intent of sin,
Or to defile the body of the dead;
But rather take my last farewell of her,
Or languishing and dying by her side,
My airy soul post after hers to heaven.
             [Comes to MRS ARTHUR'S tomb.
First, with this latest kiss I seal my love:
Her lips are warm, and I am much deceiv'd,
If that she stir not. O, this Golgotha,
This place of dead men's bones is terrible,
Presenting fearful apparitions!
It is some spirit that in the coffin lies,
And makes my hair start up on end with fear!
Come to thyself, faint heart—she sits upright!
O, I would hide me, but I know not where.
Tush, if it be a spirit, 'tis a good spirit;
For with her body living ill she knew not;
And with her body dead ill cannot meddle.

MRS ART. Who am I? Or where am I?

ANS. O, she speaks,
And by her language now I know she lives.

MRS ART. O, who can tell me where I am become?
For in this darkness I have lost myself;
I am not dead, for I have sense and life:
How come I then in this coffin buried?

ANS. Anselm, be bold; she lives, and destiny
Hath train'd thee hither to redeem her life.

MRS ART. Lives any 'mongst these dead? none but myself?

ANS. O yes, a man, whose heart till now was dead,
Lives and survives at your return to life:
Nay, start not; I am Anselm, one who long
Hath doted on your fair perfection,
And, loving you more than became me well,
Was hither sent by some strange providence,
To bring you from these hollow vaults below,
To be a liver in the world again.

MRS ART. I understand you, and I thank the heavens,
That sent you to revive me from this fear,
And I embrace my safety with good-will.

Enter AMINADAB with two or three BOYS.

AMIN. Mane citus lectum fuge, mollem discute somnum,
Templa petas supplex, et venerate deum
Shake off thy sleep, get up betimes,
Go to the church and pray,
And, never fear, God will thee hear,
And keep thee all the day.
Good counsel, boys; observe it, mark it well;
This early rising, this diluculo
Is good both for your bodies and your minds:
'Tis not yet day; give me my tinder-box;
Meantime, unloose your satchels and your books:
Draw, draw, and take you to your lessons, boys.

1ST BOY. O Lord, master, what's that in the white sheet?

AMIN. In the white sheet, my boy? Dic ubi, where?

1ST BOY. Vide, master, vide illic, there.

AMIN. O, Domine, Domine, keep us from evil,
A charm from flesh, the world, and the devil!


MRS ART. O, tell me not my husband was ingrate,
Or that he did attempt to poison me,
Or that he laid me here, and I was dead;
These are no means at all to win my love.

ANS. Sweet mistress, he bequeath'd you to the earth;
You promis'd him to be his wife till death,
And you have kept your promise: but now, since
The world, your husband, and your friends suppose
That you are dead, grant me but one request,
And I will swear never to solicit more
Your sacred thoughts to my dishonest love.

MRS ART. So your demand may be no prejudice
To my chaste name, no wrong unto my husband,
No suit that may concern my wedlock's breach,
I yield unto it; but
To pass the bounds of modesty and chastity,
Sooner[19] will I bequeath myself again
Unto this grave, and never part from hence,
Than taint my soul with black impurity.

ANS. Take here my hand and faithful heart to gage.
That I will never tempt you more to sin:
This my request is—since your husband dotes
Upon a lewd, lascivious courtesan—
Since he hath broke the bonds of your chaste bed,
And, like a murd'rer, sent you to your grave,
Do but go with me to my mother's house;
There shall you live in secret for a space,
Only to see the end of such lewd lust,
And know the difference of a chaste wife's bed,
And one whose life is in all looseness led.

MRS ART. Your mother is a virtuous matron held:
Her counsel, conference, and company
May much avail me; there a space I'll stay,
Upon condition, as you said before,
You never will move your unchaste suit more.

ANS. My faith is pawn'd. O, never had chaste wife
A husband of so lewd and unchaste life!



A Room in Mistress Mary's House.


BRA. Mistress, I long have serv'd you, even since
These bristled hairs upon my grave-like chin
Were all unborn; when I first came to you,
These infant feathers of these ravens' wings
Were not once begun.

MRS SPLAY. No, indeed, they were not.

BRA. Now in my two moustachios for a need,
(Wanting a rope) I well could hang myself;
I prythee, mistress, for all my long service,
For all the love that I have borne thee long,
Do me this favour now, to marry me.


MRS MA. Marry, come up, you blockhead! you great ass!
What! wouldst thou have me marry with a devil!
But peace, no more; here comes the silly fool,
That we so long have set our lime-twigs for;
Begone, and leave me to entangle him.


Y. ART. What, Mistress Mary?

MRS MA. O good Master Arthur,
Where have you been this week, this month, this year?
This year, said I? where have you been this age?
Unto a lover ev'ry minute seems
Time out of mind:
How should I think you love me,
That can endure to stay so long from me?

Y. ART. I' faith, sweetheart, I saw thee yesternight.

MRS MA. Ay, true, you did, but since you saw me not;
At twelve o'clock you parted from my house,
And now 'tis morning, and new-strucken seven;
Seven hours thou stay'd'st from me; why didst thou so?
They are my seven years' 'prenticeship of woe.

Y. ART. I prythee, be patient; I had some occasion
That did enforce me from thee yesternight.

MRS MA. Ay, you are soon enforc'd; fool that I am,
To dote on one that nought respecteth me!
'Tis but my fortune, I am born to bear it,
And ev'ry one shall have their destiny.

Y. ART. Nay, weep not, wench; thou wound'st me with thy tears.

MRS MA. I am a fool, and so you make me too;
These tears were better kept than spent in waste
On one that neither tenders them nor me.
What remedy? but if I chance to die,
Or to miscarry with that I go withal,
I'll take my death that thou art cause thereof;
You told me that, when your wife was dead,
You would forsake all others, and take me.

Y. ART. I told thee so, and I will keep my word,
And for that end I came thus early to thee;
I have procur'd a licence, and this night
We will be married in a lawless[20] church.

MRS. MA. These news revive me, and do somewhat ease
The thought that was new-gotten to my heart.
But shall it be to-night?

Y. ART. Ay, wench, to-night.
A se'nnight and odd days, since my wife died,
Is past already, and her timeless death
Is but a nine-days' talk; come, go with me,
And it shall be despatched presently.

MRS. MA. Nay, then, I see thou lov'st me; and I find
By this last motion thou art grown more kind.

Y. ART. My love and kindness, like my age, shall grow,
And with the time increase; and thou shalt see
The older I grow, the kinder I will be.

MRS. MA, Ay, so I hope it will; but, as for mine,
That with my age shall day by day decline. [Aside.
Come, shall we go?

Y. ART. With thee to the world's end,
Whose beauty most admire, and all commend.



The Street near the House of Anselm's Mother.


ANS. 'Tis true, as I relate the circumstance,
And she is with my mother safe at home;
But yet, for all the hate I can allege
Against her husband, nor for all the love
That on my own part I can urge her to,
Will she be won to gratify my love.

FUL. All things are full of ambiguity,
And I admire this wond'rous accident.
But, Anselm, Arthur's about a new wife, a bona roba;
How will she take it when she hears this news?

ANS. I think, even as a virtuous maiden should;
It may be that report may, from thy mouth,
Beget some pity from her flinty heart,
And I will urge her with it presently.

FUL. Unless report be false, they are link'd already;
They are fast as words can tie them: I will tell thee
How I, by chance, did meet him the last night:—
One said to me this Arthur did intend
To have a wife, and presently to marry.
Amidst the street, I met him as my friend,
And to his love a present he did carry;
It was some ring, some stomacher, or toy;
I spake to him, and bad God give him joy.
God give me joy, quoth he; of what, I pray?
Marry, quoth I, your wedding that is toward.
'Tis false, quoth he, and would have gone his way.
Come, come, quoth I, so near it and so froward:
I urg'd him hard by our familiar loves,
Pray'd him withal not to forget my gloves.
Then he began:—Your kindness hath been great,
Your courtesy great, and your love not common;
Yet so much favour pray let me entreat,
To be excus'd from marrying any woman.
I knew the wench that is become his bride,
And smil'd to think how deeply he had lied;
For first he swore he did not court a maid;
A wife he could not, she was elsewhere tied;
And as for such as widows were, he said,
And deeply swore none such should be his bride:
Widow, nor wife, nor maid—I ask'd no more,
Knowing he was betroth'd unto a whore.

ANS. Is it not Mistress Mary that you mean?
She that did dine with us at Arthur's house?


FUL. The same, the same:—here comes the gentlewoman;
O Mistress Arthur, I am of your counsel:
Welcome from death to life!

ANS. Mistress, this gentleman hath news to tell ye,
And as you like of it, so think of me.

FUL. Your husband hath already got a wife;
A huffing wench, i' faith, whose ruffling silks
Make with their motion music unto love,
And you are quite forgotten.

ANS. I have sworn
To move this my unchaste demand no more. [Aside.]

FUL. When doth your colour change? When do your eyes
Sparkle with fire to revenge these wrongs?
When doth your tongue break into rage and wrath,
Against that scum of manhood, your vile husband?'
He first misus'd you.

ANS. And yet can you love him?

FUL. He left your chaste bed, to defile the bed
Of sacred marriage with a courtesan.

ANS. Yet can you love him?

FUL. And, not content with this,
Abus'd your honest name with sland'rous words,
And fill'd your hush'd house with unquietness.

ANS. And can you love him yet?

FUL. Nay, did he not
With his rude fingers dash you on the face,
And double-dye your coral lips with blood?
Hath he not torn those gold wires from your head,
Wherewith Apollo would have strung his harp,
And kept them to play music to the gods?
Hath he not beat you, and with his rude fists
Upon that crimson temperature of your cheeks
Laid a lead colour with his boist'rous blows?

ANS. And can you love him yet?

FUL. Then did he not,
Either by poison or some other plot,
Send you to death where, by his providence,
God hath preserved you by that wond'rous miracle?
Nay, after death, hath he not scandalis'd
Your place with an immodest courtesan?

ANS. And can you love him yet?

MRS ART. And yet, and yet,
And still, and ever whilst I breathe this air:
Nay, after death, my unsubstantial soul,
Like a good angel, shall attend on him,
And keep him from all harm.
But is he married? much good do his heart!
Pray God, she may content him better far
Than I have done; long may they live in peace,
Till I disturb their solace; but because
I fear some mischief doth hang o'er his head,
I'll weep my eyes dry with my present care,
And for their healths make hoarse my tongue with prayer.

FUL. Art sure she is a woman? if she be,
She is create of nature's purity.

ANS. O yes, I too well know she is a woman;
Henceforth my virtue shall my love withstand,
And of my striving thoughts get th'upper hand.

FUL. Then, thus resolv'd, I straight will drink to thee
A health thus deep, to drown thy melancholy.



A Room in Mistress Mary's House.


MRS MA. Not have my will! yes, I will have my will;
Shall I not go abroad but when you please?
Can I not now and then meet with my friends,
But, at my coming home, you will control me?
Marry, come up!

Y. ART. Where art thou, patience?
Nay, rather, where's become my former spleen?
I had a wife would not have us'd me so.

MRS MA. Why, you Jacksauce! you cuckold! you what-not!
What, am I not of age sufficient
To go and come still, when my pleasure serves,
But must I have you, sir, to question me?
Not have my will! yes, I will have my will.

Y. ART. I had a wife would not have us'd me so;
But she is dead.

BRA. Not have her will, sir! she shall have her will:
She says she will, and, sir, I say she shall.
Not have her will! that were a jest indeed;
Who says she shall not? if I be dispos'd
To man her forth, who shall find fault with it?
What's he that dare say black's her eye?[21]
Though you be married, sir, yet you must know,
That she was ever born to have her will.

MRS SPLAY. Not have her will! God's passion! I say still,
A woman's nobody that wants her will.

Y. ART. Where is my spirit? what, shall I maintain
A strumpet with a Brabo and her bawd,
To beard me out of my authority?
What, am I from a master made a slave?

MRS MA. A slave? nay, worse; dost thou maintain my man,
And this my maid? 'tis I maintain them both.
I am thy wife; I will not be dress'd so,
While thy gold lasts; but then most willingly
I will bequeath thee to flat beggary.
I do already hate thee; do thy worst;
                                  [He threatens her.
Nay, touch me, if thou dar'st; what, shall he beat me?

BRA. I'll make him seek his fingers 'mongst the dogs,
That dares to touch my mistress; never fear,
My sword shall smoothe the wrinkles of his brows,
That bends a frown upon my mistress.

Y. ART. I had a wife would not have us'd me so:
But God is just.

MRS MA. Now, Arthur, if I knew
What in this world would most torment thy soul,
That I would do; would all my evil usage
Could make thee straight despair and hang thyself!
Now, I remember:—where is Arthur's man,
Pipkin? that slave! go, turn him out of doors;
None that loves Arthur shall have house-room here.


Yonder he comes; Brabo, discard the fellow.

Y. ART. Shall I be over-master'd in my own?
Be thyself, Arthur:—strumpet! he shall stay.

MRS MA. What! shall he, Brabo? shall he, Mistress Splay?

BRA. Shall he? he shall not: breathes there any living
Dares say he shall, when Brabo says he shall not?

Y. ART. Is there no law for this? she is my wife;
Should I complain, I should be rather mock'd.
I am content; keep by thee whom thou list.
Discharge whom thou think'st good; do what thou wilt,
Rise, go to bed, stay at home, or go abroad
At thy good pleasure, keep all companies;
So that, for all this, I may have but peace.
Be unto me as I was to my wife;
Only give me, what I denied her then,
A little love, and some small quietness—
If he displease thee, turn him out of doors.

PIP. Who, me? Turn me out of doors? Is this all the wages I shall have at the year's end, to be turned out of doors? You, mistress! you are a—

MRS SPLAY. A what? speak, a what? touch her and touch me, taint her and taint me; speak, speak, a what?

PIP. Marry, a woman that is kin to the frost.[22]

MRS SPLAY. How do you mean that?

PIP. And you are akin to the Latin word, to understand.

MRS SPLAY. And what's that?

PIP. Subaudi, subaudi? and, sir, do you not use to pink doublets?

MRS SPLAY. And why?

PIP. I took you for a cutter, you are of a great kindred; you are a common cozener, everybody calls you cousin; besides, they say you are a very good warrener, you have been an old coneycatcher: but, if I be turned a-begging, as I know not what I am born to, and that you ever come to the said trade, as nothing is unpossible, I'll set all the commonwealth of beggars on your back, and all the congregation of vermin shall be put to your keeping; and then if you be not more bitten than all the company of beggars besides, I'll not have my will: zounds! turned out of doors! I'll go and set up my trade; a dish to drink in, that I have within; a wallet, that I'll make of an old shirt; then my speech, For the Lord's sake, I beseech your worship; then I must have a lame leg; I'll go to football and break my shins—and I am provided for that.

BRA. What! stands the villain prating? hence, you slave!


Y. ART. Art thou yet pleas'd?

MRS MA. When I have had my humour.

Y. ART. Good friends, for manners' sake awhile withdraw.

BRA. It is our pleasure, sir, to stand aside.

[MISTRESS SPLAY and BRABO stand aside.

Y. ART. Mary, what cause hast thou to use me thus?
From nothing I have rais'd thee to much wealth;
'Twas more than I did owe thee: many a pound,
Nay, many a hundred pound, I spent on thee
In my wife's time; and once, but by my means,
Thou hadst been in much danger: but in all things
My purse and credit ever bare thee out.
I did not owe thee this. I had a wife,
That would have laid herself beneath my feet
To do me service; her I set at nought
For the entire affection I bare thee.
To show that I have lov'd thee, have I not,
Above all women, made chief choice of thee?
An argument sufficient of my love!
What reason then hast thou to wrong me thus?

MRS MA. It is my humour.

Y. ART. O, but such humours honest wives should purge:
I'll show thee a far greater instance yet
Of the true love that I have borne to thee.
Thou knew'st my wife: was she not fair?

MRS MA. So, so.

Y. ART. But more than fair: was she not virtuous?
Endued with the beauty of the mind?

MRS MA. Faith, so they said.

Y. ART. Hark, in thine ear: I'll trust thee with my life,
Than which what greater instance of my love:
Thou knew'st full well how suddenly she died?
T'enjoy thy love, even then I poison'd her!

MRS MA. How! poison'd her? accursed murderer!
I'll ring this fatal 'larum in all ears,
Than which what greater instance of my hate?

Y. ART. Wilt thou not keep my counsel?

MRS MA. Villain, no!
Thou'lt poison me, as thou hast poison'd her.

Y. ART. Dost thou reward me thus for all my love?
Then, Arthur, fly, and seek to save thy life!
O, difference 'twixt a chaste and unchaste wife!

MRS MA. Pursue the murd'rer, apprehend him straight.

BRA. Why, what's the matter, mistress?

MRS MA. This villain Arthur poison'd his first wife,
Which he in secret hath confess'd to me;
Go and fetch warrants from the justices
T'attach the murd'rer; he once hang'd and dead,
His wealth is mine: pursue the slave that's fled.

BRA. Mistress, I will; he shall not pass this land,
But I will bring him bound with this strong hand.



The Street before the House of Anselm's Mother.

Enter MISTRESS ARTHUR, poorly.

MRS ART. O, what are the vain pleasures of the world,
That in their actions we affect them so?
Had I been born a servant, my low life
Had steady stood from all these miseries.
The waving reeds stand free from every gust,
When the tall oaks are rent up by the roots.
What is vain beauty but an idle breath?
Why are we proud of that which so soon changes?
But rather wish the beauty of the mind,
Which neither time can alter, sickness change,
Violence deface, nor the black hand of envy
Smudge and disgrace, or spoil, or make deform'd.
O, had my riotous husband borne this mind,
He had been happy, I had been more blest,
And peace had brought our quiet souls to rest.


Y. ART. O, whither shall I fly to save my life
When murder and despair dogs at my heels?
O misery! thou never found'st a friend;
All friends forsake men in adversity:
My brother hath denied to succour me,
Upbraiding me with name of murderer;
My uncles double-bar their doors against me;
My father hath denied to shelter me,
And curs'd me worse than Adam did vile Eve.
I that, within these two days, had more friends
Than I could number with arithmetic,
Have now no more than one poor cypher is,
And that poor cypher I supply myself:
All that I durst commit my fortunes to,
I have tried, and find none to relieve my wants.
My sudden flight and fear of future shame
Left me unfurnish'd of all necessaries,
And these three days I have not tasted food.

MRS ART. It is my husband; O, how just is heaven!
Poorly disguis'd, and almost hunger-starv'd!
How comes this change?

Y. ART. Doth no man follow me?
O, how suspicious guilty murder is!
I starve for hunger, and I die for thirst.
Had I a kingdom, I would sell my crown
For a small bit of bread: I shame to beg,
And yet, perforce, I must or beg or starve.
This house, belike, 'longs to some gentlewoman,
And here's a woman: I will beg of her.
Good mistress, look upon a poor man's wants.
Whom do I see? tush! Arthur, she is dead.
But that I saw her dead and buried,
I would have sworn it had been Arthur's wife;
But I will leave her; shame forbids me beg
Of one so much resembles her.

MRS ART. Come hither, fellow! wherefore dost thou turn
Thy guilty looks and blushing face aside?
It seems thou hast not been brought up to this.

Y. ART. You say true, mistress; then for charity,
And for her sake whom you resemble most.
Pity my present want and misery.

MRS ART. It seems thou hast been in some better plight;
Sit down, I prythee: men, though they be poor,
Should not be scorn'd; to ease thy hunger, first
Eat these conserves; and now, I prythee, tell me
What thou hast been—thy fortunes, thy estate,
And what she was that I resemble most?

Y. ART. First, look that no man see or overhear us:
I think that shape was born to do me good. [Aside.]

MRS ART. Hast thou known one that did resemble me?

Y. ART. Ay, mistress; I cannot choose but weep
To call to mind the fortunes of her youth.

MRS ART. Tell me, of what estate or birth was she?

Y. ART, Born of good parents, and as well brought up;
Most fair, but not so fair as virtuous;
Happy in all things but her marriage;
Her riotous husband, which I weep to think,
By his lewd life, made them both miscarry.

MRS ART. Why dost thou grieve at their adversities?

Y. ART. O, blame me not; that man my kinsman was,
Nearer to me a kinsman could not be;
As near allied was that chaste woman too,
Nearer was never husband to his wife;
He whom I term my friend, no friend of mine,
Proving both mine and his own enemy,
Poison'd his wife—O, the time he did so!
Joyed at her death, inhuman slave to do so!
Exchang'd her love for a base strumpet's lust;
Foul wretch! accursed villain! to exchange so.

MRS ART. You are wise and blest, and happy to repent so:
But what became of him and his new wife?

Y. ART. O, hear the justice of the highest heaven:
This strumpet, in reward of all his love,
Pursues him for the death of his first wife;
And now the woful husband languisheth,
And flies abroad,[23] pursu'd by her fierce hate;
And now too late he doth repent his sin,
Ready to perish in his own despair,
Having no means but death to rid his care.

MRS ART. I can endure no more, but I must weep;
My blabbing tears cannot my counsel keep. [Aside.

Y. ART. Why weep you, mistress? if you had the heart
Of her whom you resemble in your face—
But she is dead, and for her death
The sponge of either eye
Shall weep red tears, till every vein is dry.

MRS ART. Why weep you, friend? your rainy drops pray keep;
Repentance wipes away the drops of sin.
Yet tell me, friend—he did exceeding ill,
A wife that lov'd and honour'd him to kill.
Yet say one like her, far more chaste than fair,
Bids him be of good comfort, not despair.
Her soul's appeased with his repentant tears,
Wishing he may survive her many years.
Fain would I give him money to supply
His present wants, but fearing he should fly,
And getting over to some foreign shore,
These rainy eyes should never see him more.
My heart is full, I can no longer stay,
But what I am, my love must needs bewray. [Aside.
Farewell, good fellow, and take this to spend;
Say, one like her commends her to your friend. [Exit.

Y. ART. No friend of mine. I was my own soul's foe,
To murther my chaste wife, that lov'd me so!
In life she lov'd me dearer than her life:
What husband here but would wish such a wife?
I hear the officers with hue and cry;
She saved my life but now, and now I die.
And welcome, death! I will not stir from hence;
Death I deserv'd, I'll die for this offence.


BRA. Here is the murderer; and, Reason's man,
You have the warrant: sirs, lay hands on him;
Attach the slave, and lead him bound to death.

HUGH. No, by my faith, Master Brabo, you have the better heart, at least you should have; I am sure you have more iron and steel than I have; do you lay hands on him; I promise you I dare not.

BRA. Constables, forward; forward, officers;
I will not thrust my finger in the fire.
Lay hands on him, I say: why step you back?
I mean to be the hindmost, lest that any
Should run away, and leave the rest in peril.
Stand forward: are you not asham'd to fear?

Y. ART. Nay, never strive; behold, I yield myself.
I must commend your resolution
That, being so many and so weapon'd,
Dare not adventure on a man unarm'd.
Now, lead me to what prison you think best.
Yet use me well; I am a gentleman.

HUGH. Truly, Master Arthur, we will use you as well as heart can think; the justices sit to-day, and my master is chief: you shall command me.

BRA. What! hath he yielded? if he had withstood us,
This curtle-axe of mine had cleft his head;
Resist he durst not, when he once spied me.
Come, lead him hence: how lik'st thou this, sweet witch?
This fellow's death will make our mistress rich.

MRS SPLAY. I say, I care not who's dead or alive,
So by their lives or deaths we two may thrive.

HUGH. Come, bear him away.



A Room, in Justice Season's House.


JUS. Old Master Arthur and Master Lusam, so
It is that I have heard both your complaints,
But understood neither, for, you know,
Legere et non intelligere negligere est.

O. ART. I come for favour, as a father should,
Pitying the fall and ruin of his son.

O. LUS. I come for justice, as a father should,
That hath by violent murder lost his daughter.

JUS. You come for favour, and you come for justice:
Justice with favour is not partial,
And, using that, I hope to please you both.

O. ART. Good Master Justice, think upon my son.

O. LUS. Good Master Justice, think upon my daughter.

JUS. Why, so I do; I think upon them both;
But can do neither of you good;
For he that lives must die, and she that's dead
Cannot be revived.

O. ART. Lusam, thou seek'st to rob me of my son,
My only son.

O. LUS. He robb'd me of my daughter, my only daughter.

JUS. And robbers are flat felons by the law.

O. ART. Lusam, I say thou art a blood-sucker,
A tyrant, a remorseless cannibal:
Old as I am, I'll prove it on thy bones.

O. LUS. Am I a blood-sucker or cannibal?
Am I a tyrant that do thirst for blood?

O. ART. Ay, if thou seek'st the ruin of my son,
Thou art a tyrant and a blood-sucker.

O. LUS. Ay, if I seek the ruin of thy son,
I am indeed.

O. ART. Nay, more, thou art a dotard;
And, in the right of my accused son,
I challenge thee the field. Meet me, I say,
To-morrow morning beside Islington,
And bring thy sword and buckler, if thou dar'st.

O. LUS. Meet thee with my sword and buckler?
There's my glove.
I'll meet thee, to revenge my daughter's death.
Call'st thou me dotard? Though these threescore years
I never handled weapon but a knife,
To cut my meat, yet will I meet thee there.
God's precious! call me dotard?

O. ART. I have cause,
Just cause, to call thee dotard, have I not?

O. LUS. Nay, that's another matter; have you cause?
Then God forbid that I should take exceptions
To be call'd dotard of one that hath cause.

JUS. My masters, you must leave this quarrelling, for quarrellers are never at peace; and men of peace, while they are at quiet, are never quarrelling: so you, whilst you fall into brawls, you cannot choose but jar. Here comes your son accused, and his wife the accuser; stand forth both. Hugh, be ready with your pen and ink to take their examinations and confessions.


Y. ART. It shall not need; I do confess the deed,
Of which this woman here accuseth me;
I poison'd my first wife, and for that deed
I yield me to the mercy of the law.

O. LUS. Villain! thou mean'st my only daughter,
And in her death depriv'dst me of all joys.

Y. ART. I mean her. I do confess the deed;
And though my body taste the force of law,
Like an offender, on my knee I beg
Your angry soul will pardon me her death.

O. LUS. Nay, if he kneeling do confess the deed,
No reason but I should forgive her death.

JUS. But so the law must not be satisfied;
Blood must have blood, and men must have death;
I think that cannot be dispens'd withal.

MRS MA. If all the world else would forgive the deed,
Yet would I earnestly pursue the law.

Y. ART. I had a wife would not have us'd me so;
The wealth of Europe could not hire her tongue
To be offensive to my patient ears;
But, in exchanging her, I did prefer
A devil before a saint, night before day,
Hell before heaven, and dross before tried gold;
Never was bargain with such damage sold.

BRA. If you want witness to confirm the deed,
I heard him speak it; and that to his face,
Before this presence, I will justify;
I will not part hence, till I see him swing.

MRS SPLAY. I heard him too: pity but he should die,
And like a murderer be sent to hell.
To poison her, and make her belly swell!

MRS MA. Why stay you, then? give judgment on the slave,
Whose shameless life deserves a shameful grave.

Y. ART. Death's bitter pangs are not so full of grief
As this unkindness: every word thou speak'st
Is a sharp dagger thrust quite through my heart.
As little I deserve this at thy hands,
As my kind patient wife deserv'd of me:
I was her torment, God hath made thee mine;
Then wherefore at just plagues should I repine?

JUS. Where did'st thou buy this poison? for such drugs
Are felony for any man to sell.

Y. ART. I had the poison of Aminadab:
But, innocent man, he was not accessory
To my wife's death; I clear him of the deed.

JUS. No matter; fetch him, fetch him, bring him
To answer to this matter at the bar.
Hugh, take these officers and apprehend him.

BRA. I'll aid him too; the schoolmaster, I see,
Perhaps may hang with him for company.


ANS. This is the day of Arthur's examination
And trial for the murder of his wife;
Let's hear how Justice Reason will proceed,
In censuring of his strict punishment.

FUL. Anselm, content; let's thrust in 'mong the throng.

Enter AMINADAB, brought in with OFFICERS.

AMIN. O Domine! what mean these knaves,
To lead me thus with bills and glaves?
O, what example would it be
To all my pupils for to see,
To tread their steps all after me,
If for some fault I hanged be;
Somewhat surely I shall mar,
If you bring me to the bar.
But peace; betake thee to thy wits,
For yonder Justice Reason sits.

JUS. Sir Dab, Sir Dab, here's one accuseth you,
To give him poison, being ill-employ'd:
Speak, how in this case you can clear yourself.

AMIN. Hei mihi! what should I say? the poison given I deny;
He took it perforce from my hands, and, Domine, why not?
I got it of a gentleman; he most freely gave it,
As he knew me; my meaning was only to have it.[24]

Y. ART. 'Tis true, I took it from this man perforce,
And snatch'd it from his hand by rude constraint,
Which proves him in this act not culpable.

JUS. Ay, but who sold the poison unto him?
That must be likewise known; speak, schoolmaster.

AMIN. A man verbosus, that was a fine generosus;
He was a great guller, his name I take to be Fuller;
See where he stands, that unto my hands convey'd a powder;
And, like a knave, sent her to her grave, obscurely to shroud her.

JUS. Lay hands on him; are you a poison-seller?
Bring him before us: sirrah, what say you?
Sold you a poison to this honest man?

FUL. I sold no poison, but I gave him one
To kill his rats?

JUS. Ha, ha! I smell a rat.
You sold him poison then to kill his rats?
The word to kill argues a murd'rous mind;
And you are brought in compass of the murder
So set him by, we will not hear him speak:
That Arthur, Fuller, and the schoolmaster,
Shall by the judges be examined.

ANS. Sir, if my friend may not speak for himself,
Yet let me his proceedings justify.

JUS. What's he that will a murther justify?
Lay hands on him, lay hands on him, I say;
For justifiers are all accessories,
And accessories have deserved to die.
Away with him! we will not hear him speak;
They all shall to the High Commissioners.


MRS ART. Nay, stay them, stay them yet a little while!
I bring a warrant to the contrary;
And I will please all parties presently.

Y. ART. I think my wife's ghost haunts me to my death;
Wretch that I was, to shorten her life's breath!

O. ART. Whom do I see, my son's wife?

O. LUS. What, my daughter?

JUS. Is it not Mistress Arthur that we see,
That long since buried we suppos'd to be?

MRS ART. This man's condemn'd for pois'ning of his wife;
His poison'd wife yet lives, and I am she;
And therefore justly I release his bands:
This man, for suff'ring him these drugs to take,
Is likewise bound, release him for my sake:
This gentleman that first the poison gave,
And this his friend, to be releas'd I crave:
Murther there cannot be where none is kill'd;
Her blood is sav'd, whom you suppos'd was spill'd.
Father-in-law, I give you here your son,
The act's to do which you suppos'd was done.
And, father, now joy in your daughter's life,
Whom heaven hath still kept to be Arthur's wife.

O. ART. O, welcome, welcome, daughter! now I see
God by his power hath preserved thee.

O. LUS. And 'tis my wench, whom I suppos'd was dead;
My joy revives, and my sad woe is fled.

Y. ART. I know not what I am, nor where I am;
My soul's transported to an ecstasy,
For hope and joy confound my memory.

MRS MA. What do I see? lives Arthur's wife again?
Nay then I labour for his death in vain. [Aside.

BRA. What secret force did in her nature lurk,
That in her soul the poison would not work? [Aside.

MRS SPLAY. How can it be the poison took no force?
She lives with that which would have kill'd a horse! [Aside.

MRS ART. Nay, shun me not; be not asham'd at all;
To heaven, not me, for grace and pardon fall.
Look on me, Arthur; blush not at my wrongs.

Y. ART. Still fear and hope my grief and woe prolongs.
But tell me, by what power thou didst survive?
With my own hands I temper'd that vile draught,
That sent thee breathless to thy grandsire's grave,
If that were poison I receiv'd of him.

AMIN. That ego nescio, but this dram
Receiv'd I of this gentleman;
The colour was to kill my rats,
But 'twas my own life to despatch.

FUL. Is it even so? then this ambiguous doubt
No man can better than myself decide;
That compound powder was of poppy made and mandrakes,
Of purpose to cast one into a sleep,
To ease the deadly pain of him whose leg
Should be saw'd off;
That powder gave I to the schoolmaster.

AMIN. And that same powder, even that idem,
You took from me, the same, per fidem!

Y. ART. And that same powder I commix'd with wine,
Our godly knot of wedlock to untwine.

O. ART. But, daughter, who did take thee from thy grave?

O. LUS. Discourse it, daughter.

ANS. Nay, that labour save;
Pardon me, Master Arthur, I will now
Confess the former frailty of my love.
Your modest wife with words I tempted oft;
But neither ill I could report of you,
Nor any good I could forge for myself,
Would win her to attend to my request;
Nay, after death I lov'd her, insomuch
That to the vault where she was buried
My constant love did lead me through the dark,
There ready to have ta'en my last farewell.
The parting kiss I gave her I felt warm;
Briefly, I bare her to my mother's house,
Where she hath since liv'd the most chaste and true,
That since the world's creation eye did view.

Y. ART. My first wife, stand you here: my second, there,
And in the midst, myself; he that will choose
A good wife from a bad, come learn of me,
That have tried both, in wealth and misery.
A good wife will be careful of her fame,
Her husband's credit, and her own good name;
And such art thou. A bad wife will respect
Her pride, her lust, and her good name neglect;
And such art thou. A good wife will be still
Industrious, apt to do her husband's will;
But a bad wife, cross, spiteful and madding,
Never keep home, but always be a-gadding;
And such art thou. A good wife will conceal
Her husband's dangers, and nothing reveal
That may procure him harm; and such art thou.
But a bad wife corrupts chaste wedlock's vow.
On this hand virtue, and on this hand sin;
This who would strive to lose, or this to win?
Here lives perpetual joy, here burning woe;
Now, husbands, choose on which hand you will go.
Seek virtuous wives, all husbands will be blest;
Fair wives are good, but virtuous wives are best.
They that my fortunes will peruse, shall find
No beauty's like the beauty of the mind.





The Retvrne from Pernassvs: Or, The Scourge of Simony. Publiquely acted by the Students in Saint Iohns Colledge in Cambridge. At London Printed by G. Eld, for Iohn Wright, and are to bee sold at his shop at Christchurch Gate_. 1606. 4to.

[See Hazlitt's "Handbook," p. 470. Almost all the extant copies of this drama—and no fewer than ten have been examined—appear to vary in certain literal particulars. Of two copies in the Malone collection, one presents additions which might bespeak it a later impression than the other; and yet, on the other hand, has errors (some of a serious kind) peculiar to itself. The text has now been considerably improved by the collection of the quartos at Oxford.

It was the intention of my kind acquaintance, the Rev. J.W. Ebsworth, Vicar of Moldash, by Ashford, Kent, to have reprinted the "Return from Parnassus" separately; but on learning that I intended to include it in my series, Mr Ebsworth not only gave way, but obligingly placed the annotated copy which he had prepared, at my free disposal.

I have also to thank Dr Ingleby, of Valentines, near Ilford, Essex, for lending me a copy of the play corresponding with one of those in the Bodleian, as regards its occasionally various readings.

A long account, and very favourable estimate, of this drama will be found in Hazlitt's "Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth," 1820.]


We can learn no more of the history of this play than what the title-page gives us, viz., that it was "publickly acted by the students in Saint John's College, Cambridge."[25] The merits and characters of our old poets and actors are censured by the author with great freedom; and the shameful prostitution of Church preferment, by the selling of livings to the ignorant and unworthy, laid the foundation of Dr Wild's "Benefice, a Comedy," 4to, 1689.

[Hawkins himself elsewhere (in his "General Introduction") remarks:—]

As the piece which follows, called "The Return from Parnassus," is, perhaps, the most singular composition in our language, it may be proper to give a succinct analysis of it. This satirical drama seems to have been composed by the wits and scholars of Cambridge, where it was acted at the opening of the last century. The design of it was to expose the vices and follies of the rich in those days, and to show that little attention was paid by that class of men to the learned and ingenious. Several students of various capacities and dispositions leave the university in hopes of advancing their fortunes in the metropolis. One of them attempts to recommend himself by his publications; another, to procure a benefice by paying his court to a young spark named Amoretto, with whom he had been intimate at college; two others endeavour to gain a subsistence by successively appearing as physicians, actors, and musicians: but the Man of Genius is disregarded, and at last prosecuted for his productions; the benefice is sold to an illiterate clown; and in the end three of the scholars are compelled to submit to a voluntary exile; another returns to Cambridge as poor as when he left it; and the other two, finding that neither their medicines nor their music would support them, resolve to turn shepherds, and to spend the rest of their days on the Kentish downs. There is a great variety of characters in this play, which are excellently distinguished and supported; and some of the scenes have as much wit as can be desired in a perfect comedy. The simplicity of its plan must naturally bring to our mind the old species of comedy described by Horace, in which, before it was restrained by a public edict, living characters were exposed by name upon the stage, and the audience made merry at their expense without any intricacy of plot or diversity of action: thus in the piece before us Burbage and Kempe, two famous actors, appear in their proper persons; and a number of acute observations are made on the poets of that age, of whom the editor has given an account in the notes, and has added some chosen specimens of their poetry.

[The late Mr Bolton Corney thought that this play was from the pen of
John Day. We learn from the Prologue that a drama, of which nothing is
now known, preceded it, under the title of "The Pilgrimage to
Parnassus." The loss is perhaps to be regretted.]



Spectators, we will act a comedy: non plus.

STAGEKEEPER. A pox on't, this book hath it not in it: you would be whipped, thou rascal; thou must be sitting up all night at cards, when thou should be conning thy part.

BOY. It's all along on you; I could not get my part a night or two before, that I might sleep on it.

[STAGEKEEPER carrieth the BOY away under his arm.

It's even well done; here is such a stir about a scurvy English show!

DEFENSOR. Scurvy in thy face, thou scurvy Jack: if this company were not,—you paltry critic gentleman, you that know what it is to play at primero or passage—you that have been student at post and pair, saint and loadam —you that have spent all your quarter's revenues in riding post one night in Christmas, bear with the weak memory of a gamester.

MOMUS. Gentlemen, you that can play at noddy, or rather play upon noddies—you that can set up a jest at primero instead of a rest, laugh at the prologue, that was taken away in a voider.

DEFENSOR. What we present, I must needs confess, is but slubber'd invention: if your wisdom obscure the circumstance, your kindness will pardon the substance.

MOMUS. What is presented here is an old musty show, that hath lain this twelvemonth in the bottom of a coal-house amongst brooms and old shoes; an invention that we are ashamed of, and therefore we have promised the copies to the chandler to wrap his candles in.

It's but a Christmas toy; and may it please your courtesies to let it pass.

MOMUS. It's a Christmas toy, indeed! as good a conceit as sloughing[26] hotcockles or blindman-buff.

Some humours you shall see aimed at, if not well-resembled.

MOMUS. Humours, indeed! Is it not a pretty humour to stand hammering upon two individuum vagum, two scholars, some whole year? These same Philomusus and Studioso have been followed with a whip and a verse, like a couple of vagabonds, through England and Italy. The Pilgrimage to Parnassus and the Return from Parnassus have stood the honest stagekeepers in many a crown's expense for links and vizards; purchased a sophister a knock with[27] a club; hindered the butler's box,[28] and emptied the college barrels: and now, unless you know the subject well, you may return home as wise as you came, for this last is the least part of the return from Parnassus: that is both the first and last time that the author's wit will turn upon the toe in this vein, and at this time the scene is not at Parnassus, that is, looks not good invention in the face.

DEFENSOR. If the catastrophe please you not, impute it to the unpleasing fortunes of discontented scholars.

MOMUS. For catastrophe, there's never a tale in Sir John Mandeville or Bevis of Southampton, but hath a better turning.

What, you jeering ass! begone, with a pox!

MOMUS. You may do better to busy yourself in providing beer; for the show will be pitiful dry, pitiful dry. [Exit.

No more of this: I heard the spectators ask for a blank verse.
What we show is but a Christmas jest;
Conceive of this, and guess of all the rest:
Full like a scholar's hapless fortune's penn'd,
Whose former griefs seldom have happy end.
Frame as well we might with easy strain,
With far more praise and with as little pain,
Stories of love, where forne[29] the wond'ring bench
The lisping gallant might enjoy his wench;
Or make some sire acknowledge his lost son:
Found, when the weary act is almost done.[30]
Nor unto this, nor unto that our scene is bent;
We only show a scholar's discontent.
In scholars' fortunes, twice forlorn and dead,
Twice hath our weary pen erst laboured;
Making them pilgrims in Parnassus' Hill,
Then penning their return with ruder quill.
Now we present unto each pitying eye
The scholars' progress in their misery:
Refined wits, your patience is our bliss;
Too weak our scene, too great your judgment is:
To you we seek to show a scholar's state,
His scorned fortunes, his unpity'd fate;
To you: for if you did not scholars bless,
Their case, poor case, were too-too pitiless.
You shade the muses under fostering,
And made[31] them leave to sigh, and learn to sing.


THEODORE, a Physician.
BURGESS, a Patient.
JAQUES, a Studioso.
STERCUTIO, his Father.
Patient's man.



INGENIOSO, with Juvenal in his hand.

Difficile est satyram non scribere. Nam quis iniquae
Tam patiens Urbis, tam ferreus,[32] ut teneat se
Ay, Juvenal, thy jerking hand is good,
Not gently laying on, but fetching blood;
So, surgeon-like, thou dost with cutting heal,
Where nought but lancing[33] can the wound avail:
O, suffer me, among so many men,
To tread aright the traces of thy pen,
And light my link at thy eternal flame,
Till with it I brand everlasting shame
On the world's forehead, and with thine own spirit
Pay home the world according to his merit.
Thy purer soul could not endure to see
Ev'n smallest spots of base impurity,
Nor could small faults escape thy cleaner hands.
Then foul-fac'd vice was in his swaddling-bands,
Now, like Anteus, grown a monster is,
A match for none but mighty Hercules:
Now can the world practise in plainer guise
Both sins of old and new-born villanies:
Stale sins are stole; now doth the world begin
To take sole pleasure in a witty sin:
Unpleasant as[34] the lawless sin has been,
At midnight rest, when darkness covers sin;
It's clownish, unbeseeming a young knight,
Unless it dare outface the glaring light:
Nor can it nought our gallant's praises reap,
Unless it be done in staring Cheap,
In a sin-guilty coach, not closely pent,
Jogging along the harder pavement.
Did not fear check my repining sprite,
Soon should my angry ghost a story write;
In which I would new-foster'd sins combine,
Not known erst by truth-telling Aretine.



JUDICIO. What, Ingenioso, carrying a vinegar bottle about thee, like a great schoolboy giving the world a bloody nose?[35]

INGENIOSO. Faith, Judicio, if I carry the vinegar bottle, it's great reason I should confer it upon the baldpated world: and again, if my kitchen want the utensils[36] of viands, it's great reason other men should have the sauce of vinegar; and for the bloody nose, Judicio, I may chance, indeed, give the world a bloody nose, but it shall hardly give me a crack'd crown, though it gives other poets French crowns.

JUDICIO. I would wish thee, Ingenioso, to sheathe thy pen, for thou canst not be successful in the fray, considering thy enemies have the advantage of the ground.

INGENIOSO. Or rather, Judicio, they have the grounds with advantage, and the French crowns with a pox; and I would they had them with a plague too: but hang them, swads, the basest corner in my thoughts is too gallant a room to lodge them in. But say, Judicio, what news in your press? did you keep any late corrections upon any tardy pamphlets?

JUDICIO. Veterem jubes renovare dolorem, Ingenioso: whate'er befalls thee, keep thee from the trade of the corrector of the press.

INGENIOSO. Marry, so I will, I warrant thee; if poverty press not too much, I'll correct no press but the press of the people.

JUDICIO. Would it not grieve any good spirits to sit a whole month knitting out a lousy, beggarly pamphlet, and, like a needy physician, to stand whole years tossing and tumbling the filth that falleth from so many draughty inventions as daily swarm in our printing-house.

INGENIOSO. Come, I think we shall have you put finger in the eye, and cry, O friends, no friends! Say, man, what new paper hobby-horses, what rattle-babies, are come out in your late May morris-dance?

JUDICIO. Fly[37] my rhymes as thick as flies in the sun; I think there be never an alehouse in England, not any so base a maypole on a country green, but sets forth some poet's petronels or demi-lances to the paper wars in Paul's Churchyard.

INGENIOSO. And well too may the issue of a strong hop learn to hop all over England, when as better wits sit, like lame cobblers, in their studies. Such barmy heads will always be working, when as sad vinegar wits sit souring at the bottom of a barrel; plain meteors, bred of the exhalation of tobacco and the vapours of a moist pot, that soar[38] up into the open air, when as sounder wit keeps below.

JUDICIO. Considering the furies of the times, I could better endure to see those young can-quaffing hucksters shoot off their pellets, so they would keep them from these English Flores poetarum; but now the world is come to that pass, that there starts up every day an old goose that sits hatching up those eggs which have been filched from the nest of crows and kestrels. Here is a book, Ingenioso; why, to condemn it to clear [fire,][39] the usual Tyburn of all misliving papers, were too fair a death for so foul an offender.

What's the name of it, I pray thee, Judicio?

Look, it's here; "Belvidere."[40]

INGENIOSO. What, a bell-wether in Paul's Churchyard! so called because it keeps a bleating, or because it hath the tinkling bell of so many poets about the neck of it? What is the rest of the title?

JUDICIO. "The Garden of the Muses."

INGENIOSO. What have we here, the poet garish, gaily bedecked, like fore-horses of the parish? What follows?

JUDICIO. Quem, referent musae, vivet, dum robora tellus, Dum coelum stellas, dum vehit amnis aquas. Who blurs fair paper with foul bastard rhymes, Shall live full many an age in latter times: Who makes a ballad for an alehouse door, Shall live in future times for evermore: Then ( )[41] thy muse shall live so long, As drafty ballads to thy praise are sung. But what's his device? Parnassus with the sun and the laurel?[42] I wonder this owl dares look on the sun; and I marvel this goose flies not the laurel: his device might have been better, a fool going into the market-place to be seen, with this motto: Scribimus indocti; or, a poor beggar gleaning of ears in the end of harvest, with this word: Sua cuique gloria.

JUDICIO. Turn over the leaf, Ingenioso, and thou shalt see the pains of this worthy gentleman: Sentences, gathered out of all kind of poets, referred to certain methodical heads, profitable for the use of these times, to rhyme upon any occasion at a little warning. Read the names.

So I will, if thou wilt help me to censure them.

    Edmund Spenser. Thomas Watson.
    Henry Constable. Michael Drayton.
    Thomas Lodge. John Davis.
    Samuel Daniel. John Marston.
                 Kit Marlowe.

Good men and true; stand together; hear your censure. What's thy judgment of Spenser?

A sweeter[43] swan than ever sung in Po,
A shriller nightingale than ever bless'd
The prouder groves of self-admiring Rome.
Blithe was each valley, and each shepherd proud,
While he did chant his rural minstrelsy:
Attentive was full many a dainty ear,
Nay, hearers hung upon his melting tongue,
While sweetly of his Fairy Queen he sung;
While to the waters' fall he tun'd for fame,
And in each bark engrav'd Eliza's name:
And yet for all this unregarding soil
Unlac'd the line of his desired life,
Denying maintenance for his dear relief;
Careless care to prevent his exequy,
Scarce deigning to shut up his dying eye.

Pity it is that gentler wits should breed,
Where thickskin chuffs laugh at a scholar's need.
But softly may our honour's ashes rest,
That lie by merry Chaucer's noble chest.
But, I pray thee, proceed briefly in thy censure, that I may be proud
of myself; as in the first, so in the last, my censure may jump with
thine.—Henry Constable, Samuel Daniel,[44] Thomas Lodge, Thomas Watson.

Sweet Constable[45] doth take the wond'ring ear,
And lays it up in willing prisonment:
Sweet honey-dropping Daniel doth wage
War with the proudest big Italian,
That melts his heart in sugar'd sonneting;
Only let him more sparingly make use
Of others' wit, and use his own the more,
That well may scorn base imitation.
For Lodge[46] and Watson,[47] men of some desert,
Yet subject to a critic's marginal;
Lodge for his oar in ev'ry paper boat,
He, that turns over Galen ev'ry day,
To sit and simper Euphues' Legacy.[48]

Michael Drayton?

Drayton's sweet muse is like a sanguine dye,
Able to ravish the rash gazer's eye.

INGENIOSO. However, he wants one true note of a poet of our times, and that is this: he cannot swagger it well in a tavern, nor domineer in a hothouse. John Davis?[49]

Acute John Davis, I affect thy rhymes,
That jerk in hidden charms these looser times;
Thy plainer verse, thy unaffected vein,
Is graced with a fair and sweeping[50] train.

Lock and Hudson?[51]

JUDICIO. Lock and Hudson, sleep, you quiet shavers, among the shavings of the press, and let your books lie in some old nooks amongst old boots and shoes; so you may avoid my censure.

INGENIOSO. Why, then, clap a lock on their feet, and turn them to commons. John Marston?[52]

What, Monsieur Kinsayder, lifting up your leg, and pissing against the
world? put up, man, put up, for shame!
Methinks he is a ruffian in his style,
Withouten bands or garters' ornament:
He quaffs a cup of Frenchman's Helicon;
Then roister doister in his oily terms,
Cuts, thrusts, and foins, at whomsoever he meets,
And strews about Ram-Alley meditations.
Tut, what cares he for modest close-couch'd terms,
Cleanly to gird our looser libertines?
Give him plain naked words, stripp'd from their shirts,
That might beseem plain-dealing Aretine.
Ay, there is one, that backs a paper steed,
And manageth a penknife gallantly,
Strikes his poinardo at a button's breadth,
Brings the great battering-ram of terms to towns;
And, at first volley of his cannon-shot,
Batters the walls of the old fusty world.

Christopher Marlowe?

Marlowe was happy in his buskin'd muse;
Alas! unhappy in his life and end:
Pity it is that wit so ill should dwell
Wit lent from heav'n, but vices sent from hell.[53]

Our theatre hath lost, Pluto hath got,
A tragic penman for a dreary plot.
Benjamin Jonson?

The wittiest fellow of a bricklayer in England.

INGENIOSO. A mere empiric, one that gets what he hath by observation, and makes only nature privy to what he indites; so slow an inventor, that he were better betake himself to his old trade of bricklaying; a bold whoreson, as confident now in making of[54] a book, as he was in times past in laying of a brick. William Shakespeare?

Who loves Adonis' love or Lucrece' rape,
His sweeter verse contains heart-robbing life,
Could but a graver subject him content,
Without love's foolish, lazy[55] languishment.

Hath not Shore's wife, although a light-skirts she,
Giv'n him a chaste, long-lasting memory?

No; all light pamphlets once I finden shall,
A Churchyard and a grave to bury all!
Thomas Nash.[57]

INGENIOSO. Ay, here is a fellow, Judicio, that carried the deadly stock[58] in his pen, whose muse was armed with a gag-tooth,[59] and his pen possessed with Hercules' furies.

Let all his faults sleep with his mournful chest,
And then for ever with his ashes rest:
His style was witty, though he had some gall,
Something he might have mended; so may all:
Yet this I say that, for a mother-wit,
Few men have ever seen the like of it.

INGENIOSO reads the rest of the names.

JUDICIO. As for these, they have some of them been the old hedge-stakes of the press; and some of them are, at this instant, the bots and glanders of the printing-house: fellows that stand only upon terms to serve the term,[60] with their blotted papers, write, as men go to stool, for needs; and when they write, they write as a bear pisses, now and then drop a pamphlet.

INGENIOSO. Durum telum necessitas. Good faith, they do, as I do—exchange words for money. I have some traffic this day with Danter[61] about a little book which I have made; the name of it is, A Catalogue of Cambridge Cuckolds. But this Belvidere, this methodical ass, hath made me almost forget my time; I'll now to Paul's Churchyard; meet me an hour hence at the sign of the Pegasus in Cheapside, and I'll moist thy temples with a cup of claret, as hard as the world goes.



Enter DANTER the Printer.

INGENIOSO. Danter, thou art deceived, wit is dearer than thou takest it to be: I tell thee, this libel of Cambridge has much fat and pepper in the nose; it will sell sheerly underhand, when all these books of exhortations and catechisms lie moulding on thy shopboard.

DANTER. It's true: but, good faith, Master Ingenioso, I lost by your last book; and, you know, there is many a one that pays me largely for the printing of their inventions: but, for all this, you shall have forty shillings and an odd bottle of wine.

INGENIOSO. Forty shillings! a fit reward for one of your rheumatic poets, that beslavers all the paper he comes by, and furnishes all the chandlers with waste-papers to wrap candles in; but as for me, I'll be paid dear even for the dregs of my wit: little knows the world what belongs to the keeping of a good wit in waters, diets, drinks, tobacco, &c. It is a dainty and a costly creature; and therefore I must be paid sweetly. Furnish me with money, that I may put myself in a new suit of clothes, and I'll suit thy shop with a new suit of terms. It's the gallantest child my invention was ever delivered of: the title is, A Chronicle of Cambridge Cuckolds. Here a man may see what day of the month such a man's commons were enclosed, and when thrown open; and when any entailed some odd crowns upon the heirs of their bodies unlawfully begotten. Speak quickly: else I am gone.

DANTER. O, this will sell gallantly; I'll have it, whatsoever it cost: will you walk on, Master Ingenioso? We'll sit over a cup of wine, and agree on it.

A cup of wine is as good a constable as can be to take up the quarrel
betwixt us.


    PHILOMUSUS in a physician's habit: STUDIOSO,
    that is, JAQUES man, and PATIENT.

Tit, tit, tit, non point;[62] non debet fieri phlebotomia in coitu Lunae.
Here is a recipe.

A recipe?

Nos Galliâ non curamus quantitatem syllabarum: let me hear how many
stools you do make. Adieu, monsieur: adieu, good monsieur.—What,
Jaques, il n'y a personne apres ici?


Then let us steal time for this borrowed shape,
Recounting our unequal haps of late:
Late did the ocean grasp us in his arms;
Late did we live within a stranger air,
Late did we see the cinders of great Rome:
We thought that English fugitives there ate
Gold for restorative, if gold were meat.
Yet now we find by bought experience
That, wheresoe'er we wander up and down
On the round shoulders of this massy world,
Or our ill-fortunes or the world's ill-eye
Forespeak our good, procure[63] our misery.

So oft the northern wind with frozen wings
Hath beat the flowers that in our garden grew,
Thrown down the stalks of our aspiring youth;
So oft hath winter nipp'd our trees' fair rind,
That now we seem nought but two bared boughs,
Scorn'd by the basest bird that chirps in grove.
Nor Rome, nor Rhemes, that wonted are to give
A cardinal cap to discontented clerks,
That have forsook the home-bred, thatched[64] roofs,
Yielded us any equal maintenance:
And it's as good to starve 'mongst English swine,
As in a foreign land to beg and pine.

I'll scorn the world, that scorneth me again.

I'll vex the world, that works me so much pain.

Thy[65] lame revenging power the world well weens.

Flies have their spleen, each silly ant his teens.

We have the words, they the possession have.

We all are equal in our latest grave.

Soon then, O, soon may we both graved be.

Who wishes death doth wrong wise destiny.

It's wrong to force life-loathing men to breathe.

It's sin 'fore doomed day to wish thy death.

Too late our souls flit to their resting-place.

Why, man's whole life is but a breathing space.

A painful minute seems a tedious year.

A constant mind eternal woes will bear.

When shall our souls their wearied lodge forego?

When we have tired misery and woe.

PHILOMUSUS. Soon may then fates this gaol[66]-deliver send us: Small woes vex long, [but] great woes quickly end us. But let's leave this capping of rhymes, Studioso, and follow our late device, that we may maintain our heads in caps, our bellies in provender, and our backs in saddle and bridle. Hitherto we have sought all the honest means we could to live, and now let us dare aliqua brevibus gyris[67] et carcere dignum; let us run through all the lewd forms of lime-twig, purloining villanies; let us prove coneycatchers, bawds, or anything, so we may rub out. And first my plot for playing the French doctor—that shall hold; our lodging stands here fitly[68] in Shoe Lane: for, if our comings-in be not the better, London may shortly throw an old shoe after us; and with those shreds of French that we gathered up in our host's house in Paris, we'll gull the world, that hath in estimation foreign physicians: and if any of the hidebound brethren of Cambridge and Oxford, or any of those stigmatic masters of art that abused us in times pass'd, leave their own physicians, and become our patients, we'll alter quite the style of them; for they shall never hereafter write, Your lordship's most bounden, but, Your lordship's most laxative.

STUDIOSO. It shall be so: see what a little vermin poverty altereth a whole milky disposition.

So then myself straight with revenge I'll sate.[69]

Provoked patience grows intemperate.


Enter RICHARDETTO, JAQUES, Scholar learning French.

How now, my little knave? Quelle nouvelle, monsieur?

RICHARDETTO. There's a fellow with a nightcap on his head, an urinal in his hand, would fain speak with Master Theodore.

Parle François, mon petit garçon.

RICHARDETTO.[70] Ici un homme, avec le bonnet de nuit sur la tete, et un urinal en la main, que veut parler avec Maistre Theodore.

Fort bien.

Jaques, a bonne heure.



FUROR POETICUS; and presently after enters PHANTASMA.

FUROR POETICUS, rapt with contemplation.
Why, how now, pedant Phoebus?[71] are you smouching Thaly on her tender
lips? There, hoi! peasant, avaunt! Come, pretty short-nosed nymph. O
sweet Thalia, I do kiss thy foot. What, Clio? O sweet Clio! Nay,
prythee, do not weep, Melpomene. What, Urania, Polyhymnia, and Calliope!
let me do reverence to your deities.
                                   [PHANTASMA pulls him by the sleeve.
I am your holy swain that, night and day,
Sit for your sakes, rubbing my wrinkled brow,
Studying a month for a epithet.
Nay, silver Cynthia, do not trouble me;
Straight will I thy Endymion's story write,
To which thou hastest me on day and night.
You light-skirt stars, this is your wonted guise,
By gloomy light perk out your doubtful heads;
But when Dan[72] Phoebus shows his flashing snout,
You are sky-puppies;[73] straight your light is out.

So ho, Furor!
Nay, prythee, good Furor, in sober sadness—

Odi profanum vulgus, et arceo.

Nay, sweet Furor,—ipsae te, Tityre, pinus—

Ipsi te fontes, ipsa haec arbusta vocarunt.
Who's that runs headlong on my quill's sharp point,
That, wearied of his life and baser breath,
Offers himself to an Iambic verse?

Si, quoties peccant homines, sua fulmina mittat
Jupiter, exiguo tempore inermis erit.

What slimy, bold, presumptuous groom[74] is he,
Dares with his rude, audacious, hardy chat
Thus sever me from sky-bred[75] contemplation?

PHANTASMA. Carmina vel coelo possunt deducere lunam.

O Phantasma! what, my individual[76] mate?

PHANTASMA. O, mihi post nullos, Furor, memorande sodales!

Say, whence comest thou? sent from what deity?
From great Apollo or sly Mercury?

PHANTASMA. I come from the little Mercury Ingenioso: for, Ingenio pollet, cui vim natura negavit.

He is a pretty inventor of slight prose;
But there's no spirit in his grov'lling speech.
Hang him, whose verse cannot outbelch the wind,
That cannot beard and brave Dan Aeolus;
That, when the cloud of his invention breaks,
Cannot outcrack the scarecrow thunderbolt.
Hang him, I say![77]

PHANTASMA. Pendo, pependi; tendo, tetendi; pedo, pepedi. Will it please you, Master Furor, to walk with me? I promise to bring you to a drinking-inn in Cheapside, at the sign of the Nag's Head; for

Tempore lenta pati fraena docentur equi.

Pass thee before, I'll come incontinent.

Nay, faith, Master Furor, let's go together, quoniam convenimus ambo.

Let us march on unto the house of fame;
There, quaffing bowls of Bacchus' blood full nimbly,
Indite a-tiptoe strutting poesy.
              [They offer the way one to the other.

PHANTASMA. Quo me, Bacche, rapis tui plenum? Tu major: tibi me est aequum parere, Menalca.


Enter PHILOMUSUS, THEODORE, his patient, the BURGESS, and his man with his staff.

THEODORE. [Puts on his spectacles.] Monsieur, here are atomi natantes, which do make show your worship to be as lecherous as a bull.

Truly, Master Doctor, we are all men.

THEODORE. This vater is intention of heat: are you not perturbed with an ache in your vace[78] or in your occipit? I mean your headpiece. Let me feel the pulse of your little finger.

BURGESS. I'll assure you, Master Theodore, the pulse of my head beats exceedingly; and I think I have disturbed myself by studying the penal statutes.

THEODORE. Tit, tit, your worship takes care of your speeches. O, Curae leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent: it is an aphorism in Galen.

And what is the exposition of that?

THEODORE. That your worship must take a gland, ut emittatur sanguis: the sign is fort excellent, fort excellent.

BURGESS. Good Master Doctor, use me gently; for, mark you, sir, there is a double consideration to be had of me: first, as I am a public magistrate; secondly, as I am a private butcher; and but for the worshipful credit of the place and office wherein I now stand and live, I would not hazard my worshipful apparel with a suppository or a glister: but for the countenancing of the place, I must go oftener to stool; for, as a great gentleman told me, of good experience, that it was the chief note of a magistrate not to go to the stool without a physician.

THEODORE. Ah, vous êtes un gentilhomme, vraiment.—What, ho, Jaques! Jaques, donnez-vous un fort gentil purgation for Monsieur Burgess.

Votre très-humble serviteur, à votre commandment.

THEODORE. Donnez-vous un gentil purge à Monsieur Burgess.—I have considered of the crasis and syntoma of your disease, and here is un fort gentil purgation per evacuationem excrementorum, as we physicians use to parley.

BURGESS. I hope, Master Doctor, you have a care of the country's officer. I tell you, I durst not have trusted myself with every physician; and yet I am not afraid for myself, but I would not deprive the town of so careful a magistrate.

THEODORE. O Monsieur, I have a singular care of your valetudo. It is requisite that the French physicians be learned and careful; your English velvet-cap is malignant and envious.

Here is, Master Doctor, fourpence—your due, and eightpence—my bounty.
You shall hear from me, good Master Doctor; farewell, farewell, good
Master Doctor.

Adieu, good Monsieur; adieu, good sir Monsieur. Exit BURGESS.
Then burst with tears, unhappy graduate;
Thy fortunes still wayward and backward been;
Nor canst thou thrive by virtue nor by sin.

O, how it grieves my vexed soul to see
Each painted ass in chair of dignity!
And yet we grovel on the ground alone,
Running through every trade, yet thrive by none:
More we must act in this life's tragedy.

Sad is the plot, sad the catastrophe.

Sighs are the chorus in our tragedy.

And rented thoughts continual actors be.[79]

Woe is the subject, Phil.;[80] earth the loath'd stage
Whereon we act this feigned personage;
Most like[81] barbarians the spectators be,
That sit and laugh at our calamity.

Bann'd be those hours when, 'mongst the learned throng,
By Granta's muddy bank we whilome sung!

Bann'd be that hill, which learned wits adore,
Where erst we spent our stock and little store!

Bann'd be those musty mews, where we have spent
Our youthful days in paled languishment!

Bann'd be those cos'ning arts that wrought our woe,
Making us wand'ring pilgrims to and fro.

And pilgrims must we be without relief;
And wheresoe'er we run, there meets us grief.

Where'er we toss upon this crabbed stage,
Griefs our companion; patience be our page.

Ah, but this patience is a page of ruth,
A tired lackey to our wand'ring youth!


ACADEMICO, solus. Fain would I have a living, if I could tell how to come by it. Echo. Buy it. Buy it, fond Echo? why, thou dost greatly mistake it. Echo. Stake it. Stake it? what should I stake at this game of simony? Echo. Money. What, is the world a game? are livings gotten by paying?[82] Echo. Paying. Paying? But say, what's the nearest way to come by a living? Echo. Giving. Must his worship's fists be needs then oiled with angels? Echo. Angels. Ought his gouty fists then first with gold to be greased? Echo. Eased. And is it then such an ease for his ass's back to carry money? Echo. Ay. Will, then, this golden ass bestow a vicarage gilded? Echo. Gelded. What shall I say to good Sir Raderic, that have no[83] gold here? Echo. Cold cheer. I'll make it my lone request, that he would be good to a scholar. Echo. Choler. Yea, will he be choleric to hear of an art or a science? Echo. Hence. Hence with liberal arts? What, then, will he do with his chancel? Echo. Sell. Sell it? and must a simple clerk be fain to compound then? Echo. Pounds then. What, if I have no pounds? must then my suit be prorogued? Echo. Rogued. Yea? given to a rogue? Shall an ass this vicarage compass? Echo. Ass. What is the reason that I should not be as fortunate as he? Echo. Ass he. Yet, for all this, with a penniless purse will I trudge to his worship. Echo. Words cheap. Well, if he give me good words, it's more than I have from an Echo. Echo. Go.



AMORETTO with an Ovid in his hand, IMMERITO.

Take it on the word of a gentleman, thou cannot have it a penny under;
think on it, think on it, while I meditate on my fair mistress—
Nunc sequor imperium, magne Cupido, tuum.
Whate'er become of this dull, threadbare clerk,
I must be costly in my mistress' eye:
Ladies regard not ragged company.
I will with the revenues of my chaffer'd church
First buy an ambling hobby for my fair,
Whose measur'd pace may teach the world to dance,
Proud of his burden, when he 'gins to prance.
Then must I buy a jewel for her ear,
A kirtle of some hundred crowns or more.
With these fair gifts when I accompani'd go,
She'll give Jove's breakfast; Sidney terms it so.
I am her needle, she is my adamant,
She is my fair rose, I her unworthy prick.

Is there nobody here will take the pains to geld his mouth? [Aside.

She's Cleopatra, I Mark Antony.

ACADEMICO. No, thou art a mere mark for good wits to shoot at: and in that suit thou wilt make a fine man to dash poor crows out of countenance. [Aside.

She is my Moon, I her Endymion.

No, she is thy shoulder of mutton, thou her onion: or she may be thy
Luna, and thou her lunatic. [Aside.

I her Aeneas, she my Dido is.

She is thy Io, thou her brazen ass,
Or she Dame Phantasy, and thou her gull;
She thy Pasiphae, and thou her loving bull.[84]


Enter IMMERITO and STERCUTIO, his father.

Son, is this the gentleman that sells us the living?

IMMERITO. Fie, father! thou must not call it selling: thou must say, Is this the gentleman that must have the gratuito?

ACADEMICO. What have we here? old truepenny come to town, to fetch away the living in his old greasy slops? Then, I'll none: the time hath been when such a fellow meddled with nothing but his ploughshare, his spade, and his hobnails; and so to a piece of bread and cheese, and went his way. But now these fellows are grown the only factors for preferment. [Aside.]

O, is this the grating gentleman? And how many pounds must I pay?

IMMERITO. O, thou must not call them pounds, but thanks. And, hark thou, father; thou must tell of nothing that is done, for I must seem to come clear to it.

ACADEMICO. Not pounds, but thanks? See, whether this simple fellow that hath nothing of a scholar, but that the draper hath blacked him over, hath not gotten the style of the time. [Aside.]

By my faith, son, look for no more portion.

IMMERITO. Well, father, I will not—upon this condition, that when thou have gotten me the gratuito of the living, thou wilt likewise disburse a little money to the bishop's poser;[85] for there are certain questions I make scruple to be posed in.

ACADEMICO. He means any question in Latin, which he counts a scruple. O. this honest man could never abide this popish tongue of Latin. O, he is as true an Englishman as lives. [Aside.]

I'll take the gentleman, now he is in a good vein, for he smiles.

Sweet Ovid, I do honour every page.

ACADEMICO. Good Ovid, that in his lifetime lived with the Getes; and now, after his death, converseth with a barbarian. [Aside.]

God be at your work, sir. My son told me you were the grating gentleman;
I am Stercutio his father, sir, simple as I stand here.

Fellow, I had rather given thee an hundred pounds than thou shouldst
have put me out of my excellent meditation: by the faith of a gentleman,
I was wrapp'd in contemplation.

Sir, you must pardon my father: he wants bringing up.

ACADEMICO. Marry, it seems he hath good bringing up, when he brings up so much money. [Aside.]

STERCUTIO. Indeed, sir, you must pardon me; I did not know you were a gentleman of the Temple before.

AMORETTO. Well, I am content in a generous disposition to bear with country education: but, fellow, what's thy name?

My name, sir? Stercutio, sir.

AMORETTO. Why then, Stercutio, I would be very willing to be the instrument to my father, that this living might be conferred upon your son: marry, I would have you know that I have been importuned by two or three several lords, my kind cousins, in the behalf of some Cambridge man, and have almost engaged my word. Marry, if I shall see your disposition to be more thankful than other men, I shall be very ready to respect kind-natured men; for, as the Italian proverb speaketh well, chi ha, havra.

Why, here is a gallant young drover of livings. [Aside.]

STERCUTIO. I beseech you, sir, speak English; for that is natural to me and to my son, and all our kindred, to understand but one language.

Why thus, in plain English, I must be respected with thanks.

This is a subtle tractive, when thanks may be felt and seen. [Aside.]

And I pray you, sir, what is the lowest thanks that you will take?

The very same method that he useth at the buying of an ox. [Aside.]

AMORETTO. I must have some odd sprinkling of an hundred pounds; if so, so—I shall think you thankful, and commend your son as a man of good gifts to my father.

ACADEMICO. A sweet world! give an hundred pounds; and this is but counted thankfulness! [Aside.]

Hark thou, sir; you shall have eighty thanks.

AMORETTO. I tell thee, fellow, I never opened my mouth in this kind so cheap before in my life: I tell thee, few young gentlemen are found that would deal so kindly with thee as I do.

STERCUTIO. Well, sir, because I know my son to be a toward thing, and one that has taken all his learning on his own head, without sending to the university, I am content to give you as many thanks as you ask, so you will promise me to bring it to pass.

AMORETTO. I warrant you for that, if I say it once. Repair you to the place, and stay there. For my father, he is walked abroad to take the benefit of the air: I'll meet him, as he returns, and make way for your suit. Gallant, i'faith.[86]




ACADEMICO. I see, we scholars fish for a living in these shallow fords without a silver hook. Why, would it not gall a man to see a spruce gartered youth of our college, a while ago, be a broker for a living and an old bawd for a benefice? This sweet sir preferred me much kindness when he was of our college, and now I'll try what wind remains in his bladder. God save you, sir.

AMORETTO. By the mass, I fear me, I saw this genus and species in Cambridge before now: I'll take no notice of him now. [Aside.] By the faith of a gentleman, this is pretty elegy. Of what age is the day, fellow? Sirrah boy, hath the groom saddled my hunting hobby? Can Robin hunter tell where a hare sits? [Soliloquising.

See a poor Old friend of yours of S—— College in Cambridge.

Good faith, sir, you must pardon me: I have forgotten you.

My name is Academico, sir; one that made an oration for you once on the
Queen's day, and a show that you got some credit by.

AMORETTO. It may be so, it may be so; but I have forgotten it. Marry, yet I remember that there was such a fellow that I was beneficial unto in my time. But, howsoever, sir, I have the courtesy of the town for you. I am sorry you did not take me at my father's house; but now I am in exceeding great haste, for I have vowed the death of a hare that we found this morning musing on her meaze.

ACADEMICO. Sir, I am emboldened by that great acquaintance that heretofore I had with you, as likewise it hath pleased you heretofore—

Look, sirrah, if you see my hobby come hitherward as yet.

ACADEMICO. —to make me some promises, I am to request your good mediation to the worshipful your father in my behalf: and I will dedicate to yourself, in the way of thanks, those days I have to live.

AMORETTO. O good sir, if I had known your mind before; for my father hath already given the induction to a chaplain of his own—to a proper man—I know not of what university he is.

Signior Immerito, they say, hath bidden fairest for it.

AMORETTO. I know not his name; but he is a grave, discreet man, I warrant him: indeed, he wants utterance in some measure.

ACADEMICO. Nay, methinks he hath very good utterance for his gravity, for he came hither very grave; but, I think, he will return light enough, when he is rid of the heavy element he carries about him. [Aside.

AMORETTO. Faith, sir, you must pardon me: it is my ordinary custom to be too studious; my mistress hath told me of it often, and I find it to hurt my ordinary discourse: but say, sweet sir, do ye affect the most gentlemanlike game of hunting?

ACADEMICO. How say you to the crafty gull? he would fain get me abroad to make sport with me in their hunters' terms, which we scholars are not acquainted with. [Aside.] Sir, I have loved this kind of sport; but now I begin to hate it, for it hath been my luck always to beat the bush, while another killed the hare.

AMORETTO. Hunters' luck, hunters' luck, sir; but there was a fault in your hounds, that did spend well.

Sir, I have had worse luck always at hunting the fox.

AMORETTO. What, sir, do you mean at the unkennelling, untapezing, or earthing of the fox?

ACADEMICO. I mean, earthing, if you term it so;—for I never found yellow earth enough to cover the old fox your father. [Aside.

AMORETTO. Good faith, sir, there is an excellent skill in blowing for the terriers; it is a word that we hunters use. When the fox is earthed, you must blow one long, two short; the second wind, one long, two short. Now, sir, in blowing, every long containeth seven quavers, one short containeth three quavers.

ACADEMICO. Sir, might I find any favour in my suit, I would wind the horn, wherein your boon[87] deserts should be sounded with so many minims, so many quavers.

AMORETTO. Sweet sir, I would I could confer this or any kindness upon you:—I wonder, the boy comes not away with my hobby. Now, sir, as I was proceeding—when you blow the death of your fox in the field or covert, then must you sound three notes with three winds, and recheat, mark you, sir, upon the same with three winds.

I pray you, sir.

AMORETTO. Now, sir, when you come to your stately gate, as you sounded the recheat before, so now you must sound the relief three times.

ACADEMICO. Relief, call you it? it were good, every patron would find the horn. [Aside.

AMORETTO. O sir, but your relief is your sweetest note: that is, sir, when your hounds hunt after a game unknown; and then you must sound one long and six short; the second wind, two short and one long; the third wind, one long and two short.

ACADEMICO. True, sir, it is a very good trade nowadays to be a villain; I am the hound that hunts after a game unknown, and blows the villain. [Aside.]

AMORETTO. Sir, I will bless your ears with a very pretty story: my father, out of his own cost and charges, keeps an open table for all kind of dogs.

And he keeps one more by thee. [Aside.]

AMORETTO. He hath your greyhound, your mongrel, your mastiff, your levrier, your spaniel, your kennets, terriers, butchers' dogs, bloodhounds, dunghill-dogs, trundle-tails, prick-eared curs, small ladies' puppies, raches,[88] and bastards.

ACADEMICO. What a bawdy knave hath he to his father, that keeps his Rachel, hath his bastards, and lets his sons be plain ladies' puppies to bewray a lady's chamber. [Aside.]

AMORETTO. It was my pleasure, two days ago, to take a gallant leash of greyhounds; and into my father's park I went, accompanied with two or three noblemen of my near acquaintance, desiring to show them some of the sport. I caused the keeper to sever the rascal deer from the bucks of the first head. Now, sir, a buck the first year is a fawn, the second year a pricket, the third year a sorel, the fourth year a sore, the fifth a buck of the first head, the sixth year a complete buck; as likewise your hart is the first year a calf, the second year a brocket, the third year a spade, the fourth year a stag, the fifth year a great stag, the sixth year a hart; as likewise the roebuck is the first year a kid, the second year a girl, the third year a hemuse: and these are your special beasts for chase, or, as we huntsmen call it, for venery.

ACADEMICO. If chaste be taken for venery, thou art a more special beast than any in thy father's forest. [Aside.] Sir, I am sorry I have been so troublesome to you.

AMORETTO. I know this was the readiest way to chase away the scholar, by getting him into a subject he cannot talk of for his life. [Aside.] Sir, I will borrow so much time of you as to finish this my begun story. Now, sir, after much travel we singled a buck; I rode that same time upon a roan gelding, and stood to intercept from the thicket; the buck broke gallantly; my great swift being disadvantaged in his slip was at the first behind; marry, presently coted and outstripped them, when as the hart presently descended to the river, and being in the water, proffered and reproffered, and proffered again: and, at last, he upstarted at the other side of the water, which we call soil of the hart, and there other huntsmen met him with an adauntreley;[89] we followed in hard chase for the space of eight hours; thrice our hounds were at default, and then we cried A slain! straight, So ho; through good reclaiming my faulty hounds found their game again, and so went through the wood with gallant noise of music, resembling so many viols de gambo. At last the hart laid him down, and the hounds seized upon him; he groaned, and wept, and died. In good faith, it made me weep too, to think of Actaeon's fortune, which my Ovid speaks of— [He reads Ovid.

Militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido.

Sir, can you put me in any hope of obtaining my suit?

AMORETTO. In good faith, sir, if I did not love you as my soul, I would not make you acquainted with the mysteries of my art.

ACADEMICO. Nay, I will not die of a discourse yet, if I can choose. [Exit unperceived.

AMORETTO. So, sir, when we had rewarded our dogs with the small guts, and the lights, and the blood, the huntsmen hallooed, So ho! Venué, a coupler; and so coupled the dogs, and then returned homeward. Another company of hounds, that lay at advantage, had their couples cast off, and we might hear the huntsmen cry, Horse, decouple, avant; but straight we heard him cry, Le amond, and by that I knew that they had the hare, and on foot; and by and by I might see sore and resore, prick and reprick. What, is he gone! ha, ha, ha, ha! these scholars are the simplest creatures!


Enter Amoretto's PAGE.

PAGE. I wonder what is become of that Ovid de arte amandi.[90] My master, he that for the practice of his discourse is wont to court his hobby abroad and at home, in his chamber makes a set speech to his greyhound, desiring that most fair and amiable dog to grace his company in a stately galliard; and if the dog, seeing him practise his lusty points, as his cross-point back-caper, chance to bewray the room, he presently doft's his cap, most solemnly makes a low leg to his ladyship, taking it for the greatest favour in the world that she would vouchsafe to leave her civet-box or her sweet glove behind her.

[Enter AMORETTO, reading Ovid.]

Not a word more. Sir, an't please you, your hobby will meet you at the lane's end.

AMORETTO. What, Jack? i'faith, I cannot but vent unto thee a most witty jest of mine.

PAGE. I hope my master will not break wind. [Aside.] Will't please you, sir, to bless mine ears with the discourse of it?

AMORETTO. Good faith, the boy begins to have an elegant smack of my style. Why, then, thus it was, Jack, a scurvy mere Cambridge scholar, I know not how to define him—

PAGE. Nay, master, let me define a mere scholar. I heard a courtier once define a mere scholar to be animal scabiosum, that is, a living creature that is troubled with the itch; or, a mere scholar is a creature that can strike fire in the morning at his tinder-box, put on a pair of lined slippers, sit rheuming[91] till dinner, and then go to his meat when the bell rings: one that hath a peculiar gift in a cough, and a licence to spit. Or, if you will have him defined by negatives, he is one that cannot make a good leg; one that cannot eat a mess of broth cleanly; one that cannot ride a horse without spur-galling; one that cannot salute a woman, and look on her directly; one that cannot—

AMORETTO. Enough, Jack; I can stay no longer; I am so great in childbirth with this jest. Sirrah, this predicable, this saucy groom, because, when I was in Cambridge, and lay in a trundlebed under my tutor, I was content, in discreet humility, to give him some place at the table; and because I invited the hungry slave sometimes to my chamber, to the canvassing of a turkey-pie or a piece of venison which my lady grandmother sent me, he thought himself therefore eternally possessed of my love, and came hither to take acquaintance of me; and thought his old familiarity did continue, and would bear him out in a matter of weight. I could not tell how to rid myself better of the troublesome burr than by getting him into the discourse of hunting; and then tormenting him a while with our words of art, the poor scorpion became speechless, and suddenly vanished![92] These clerks are simple fellows, simple fellows. [He reads Ovid.]

PAGE. Simple, indeed, they are; for they want your courtly composition of a fool and of a knave. [Aside.] Good faith, sir, a most absolute jest; but, methinks, it might have been followed a little further.

As how, my little knave?

PAGE. Why thus, sir; had you invited him to dinner at your table, and have put the carving of a capon upon him, you should have seen him handle the knife so foolishly, then run through a jury of faces, then wagging his head and showing his teeth in familiarity, venture upon it with the same method that he was wont to untruss an apple-pie, or tyrannise an egg and butter: then would I have applied him all dinner-time with clean trenchers, clean trenchers; and still when he had a good bit of meat, I would have taken it from him by giving him a clean trencher, and so have served him in kindness.

AMORETTO. Well said, subtle Jack; put me in mind, when I return again, that I may make my lady mother laugh at the scholar. I'll to my game; for you, Jack, I would have you employ your time, till my coming, in watching what hour of the day my hawk mutes. [Exit.

PAGE. Is not this an excellent office, to be apothecary to his worship's hawk, to sit scouting on the wall how the physic works? And is not my master an absolute villain, that loves his hawk, his hobby, and his greyhound, more than any mortal creature? Do but dispraise a feather of his hawk's train, and he writhes his mouth, and swears (for he can do that only with a good grace) that you are the most shallow-brained fellow that lives. Do but say his horse stales with a good presence, and he's your bondslave. When he returns, I'll tell twenty admirable lies of his hawk; and then I shall be his little rogue and his white villain for a whole week after. Well, let others complain; but I think there is no felicity to the serving of a fool.



SIR RADERIC. Signior Immerito, you remember my caution for the tithes, and my promise for farming my tithes at such a rate?

Ay, and please your worship, sir.

SIR RADERIC. You must put in security for the performance of it, in such sort as I and Master Recorder shall like of.

I will, an't please your worship.

SIR RADERIC. And because I will be sure that I have conferred this kindness upon a sufficient man, I have desired Master Recorder to take examination of you.

PAGE. My master, it seems, takes him for a thief; but he hath small reason for it. As for learning, it's plain he never stole any; and for the living, he knows himself how he comes by it; for let him but eat a mess of furmenty this seven year, and yet he shall never be able to recover himself. Alas, poor sheep, that hath fallen into the hands of such a fox! [Aside.

SIR RADERIC. Good Master Recorder, take your place by me, and make trial of his gifts: is the clerk there to record his examination? O, the page shall serve the turn.

PAGE. Trial of his gifts! never had any gifts a better trial: why, Immerito's gifts have appeared in as many colours as the rainbow; first, to Master Amoretto, in colour of the satin suit he wears: to my lady, in the similitude of a loose gown: to my master, in the likeness of a silver basin and ewer: to us pages, in the semblance of new suits and points. So Master Amoretto plays the gull in a piece of a parsonage; my master adorns his cupboard with a piece of a parsonage; my mistress, upon good days, puts on a piece of a parsonage; and we pages play at blowpoint for a piece of a parsonage: I think here's trial enough for one man's gifts. [Aside.

RECORDER. Forasmuch as nature hath done her part in making you a handsome likely man—

PAGE. He is a handsome young man indeed, and hath a proper gelded parsonage.[93] [Aside.

RECORDER. In the next place, some art is requisite for the perfection of nature: for the trial whereof, at the request of my worshipful friend, I will in some sort propound questions fit to be resolved by one of your profession. Say, what is a person that was never at the university?

IMMERITO. A person that was never in the university is a living creature that can eat a tithe-pig.

RECORDER. Very well answered; but you should have added—and must be officious to his patron. Write down that answer to show his learning in logic.

SIR RADERIC. Yea, boy, write that down. Very learnedly, in good faith. I pray now, let me ask you one question that I remember: whether is the masculine gender or the feminine more worthy?

The feminine, sir.

SIR RADERIC. The right answer, the right answer. In good faith, I have been of that mind always. Write, boy, that to show he is a grammarian.

PAGE. No marvel my master be against the grammar; for he hath always made false Latin in the genders. [Aside.

What university are you of?

Of none.

SIR RADERIC. He tells truth; to tell truth is an excellent virtue. Boy, make two heads, one for his learning, another for his virtues; and refer this to the head of his virtues, not of his learning.

PAGE. What, half a mess of good qualities referred to an ass' head? [Aside.

SIR RADERIC. Now, Master Recorder, if it please you, I will examine him in an author that will sound him to the depth—a book of astronomy, otherwise called an almanac.

RECORDER. Very good, Sir Raderic; it were to be wished that there were no other book of humanity, then there would not be such busy, state-frying fellows as are nowadays. Proceed, good sir.

What is the dominical letter?

C, sir, and please your worship.

A very good answer, a very good answer, the very answer of the book.
Write down that, and refer it to his skill in philosophy.

PAGE. C the dominical letter? It is true: Craft and Cunning do so domineer; yet, rather C and D are dominical letters, that is, crafty duncery. [Aside.

How many days hath September?

IMMERITO. April, June, and November, February hath twenty-eight alone; and all the rest hath thirty and one.

Very learnedly, in good faith, he hath also a smack in poetry. Write
down that, boy, to show his learning in poetry. How many miles from
Waltham to London?

Twelve, sir.

How many from Newmarket to Grantham?

Ten, sir.

Without doubt, he hath been some carrier's horse. [Aside.

How call you him that is cunning in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the cypher?

A good arithmetician.

Write down that answer of his, to show his learning in arithmetic.

PAGE. He must needs be a good arithmetician, that counted money so lately. [Aside.

When is the new moon?

IMMERITO. The last quarter the fifth day, at two of the clock and thirty-eight minutes in the morning.

Write that down. How call you him that is weatherwise?

A good astronomer.

Sirrah boy, write him down for a good astronomer.

Ass colit ass-tra. [Aside.

What day of the month lights the Queen's day on?

The seventeenth of November.[94]

Boy, refer this to his virtues, and write him down a good subject.

PAGE. Faith, he were an excellent subject for two or three good wits: he would make a fine ass for an ape to ride upon. [Aside.

SIR RADERIC. And these shall suffice for the parts of his learning. Now it remains to try whether you be a man of good utterance, that is, whether you can ask for the strayed heifer with the white face, as also chide the boys in the belfry, and bid the sexton whip out the dogs. Let me hear your voice.

If any man or woman—

That's too high.

If any man or woman—

That's too low.

IMMERITO. If any man or woman can tell any tidings of a horse with four feet, two ears, that did stray about the seventh hour, three minutes in the forenoon the fifth day—

PAGE. A book of[95] a horse, just as it were the eclipse of the moon. [Aside.

SIR RADERIC. Boy, write him down for a good utterance. Master Recorder, I think he hath been examined sufficiently.

Ay, Sir Raderic, 'tis so; we have tried him very throughly.

PAGE. Ay, we have taken an inventory of his good parts, and prized them accordingly.

SIR RADERIC. Signior Immerito, forasmuch as we have made a double trial of thee—the one of your learning, the other of your erudition—it is expedient also, in the next place, to give you a few exhortations, considering the greatest clerks are not the wisest men. This is therefore, first, to exhort you to abstain from controversies; secondly, not to gird at men of worship, such as myself, but to use yourself discreetly; thirdly, not to speak when any man or woman coughs—do so, and in so doing, I will persevere to be your worshipful friend and loving patron.

I thank your worship, you have been the deficient cause of my preferment.

SIR RADERIC. Lead Immerito into my son, and let him despatch him; and remember—my tithes to be reserved, paying twelvepence a year. I am going to Moorfields to speak with an unthrift I should meet at the Middle-Temple about a purchase; when you have done, follow us.

[Exeunt IMMERITO and the PAGE.



SIR RADERIC. Hark you, Master Recorder: I have fleshed my prodigal boy notably, notably, in letting him deal for this living; that hath done him much good, much good, I assure you.

You do well, Sir Raderic, to bestow your living upon such an one as will
be content to share, and on Sunday to say nothing; whereas your proud
university princox thinks he is a man of such merit the world cannot
sufficiently endow him with preferment. An unthankful viper, an
unthankful viper, that will sting the man that revived him.
Why, is't not strange to see a ragged clerk
Some stamel weaver or some butcher's son,
That scrubb'd a-late within a sleeveless gown,
When the commencement, like a morris-dance,
Hath put a bell or two about his legs,
Created him a sweet clean gentleman;
How then he 'gins to follow fashions:
He, whose thin sire dwells in a smoky roof,
Must take tobacco, and must wear a lock;
His thirsty dad drinks in a wooden bowl,
But his sweet self is serv'd in silver plate.
His hungry sire will scrape you twenty legs
For one good Christmas meal on New-Year's day,
But his maw must be capon-cramm'd each day;
He must ere long be triple-beneficed,
Else with his tongue he'll thunderbolt the world,
And shake each peasant by his deaf man's ear.
But, had the world no wiser men than I,
We'd pen the prating parrots in a cage.
A chair, a candle, and a tinder-box,
A thacked[96] chamber and a ragged gown,
Should be their lands and whole possessions;
Knights, lords, and lawyers should be lodg'd and dwell
Within those over-stately heaps of stone,
Which doating sires in old age did erect.
Well, it were to be wished, that never a scholar in England might have
above forty pound a year.

SIR RADERIC. Faith, Master Recorder, if it went by wishing, there should never an one of them all have above twenty a year—a good stipend, a good stipend, Master Recorder. I in the meantime, howsoever I hate them all deadly, yet I am fain to give them good words. O, they are pestilent fellows, they speak nothing but bodkins, and piss vinegar. Well, do what I can in outward kindness to them, yet they do nothing but bewray my house: as there was one that made a couple of knavish verses on my country chimney, now in the time of my sojourning here at London; and it was thus— Sir Raderic keeps no chimney cavalier, That takes tobacco above once a year. And another made a couple of verses on my daughter, that learns to play on the viol-de-gambo— Her viol-de-gambo is her best content; For 'twixt her legs she holds her instrument. Very knavish, very knavish, if you look into it, Master Recorder. Nay, they have played many a knavish trick beside with me. Well, 'tis a shame, indeed, there should be any such privilege for proud beggars as Cambridge and Oxford are. But let them go; and if ever they light in my hands, if I do not plague them, let me never return home again to see my wife's waiting-maid!

This scorn of knights is too egregious:
But how should these young colts prove amblers,
When the old, heavy, galled jades do trot?
There shall you see a puny boy start up,
And make a theme against common lawyers;
Then the old, unwieldy camels 'gin to dance,
This fiddling boy playing a fit of mirth;
The greybeards scrub, and laugh, and cry, Good, good!
To them again, boy; scourge the barbarians
But we may give the losers leave to talk;
We have the coin, then tell them laugh for me.
Yet knights and lawyers hope to see the day,
When we may share here their possessions,
And make indentures of their chaffer'd skins,
Dice of their bones to throw in merriment.

O, good faith, Master Recorder, if I could see that day once?

RECORDER. Well, remember another day what I say: scholars are pryed into of late, and are found to be busy fellows, disturbers of the peace. I'll say no more; guess at my meaning. I smell a rat.

SIR RADERIC. I hope at length England will be wise enough, I hope so, i'faith; then an old knight may have his wench in a corner without any satires or epigrams. But the day is far spent, Master Recorder; and I fear by this time the unthrift is arrived at the place appointed in Moorfields. Let us hasten to him. [He looks on his watch.

RECORDER. Indeed, this day's subject transported us too late: [but] I think we shall not come much too late.



Enter AMORETTO, and his Page, IMMERITO booted.

Master Immerito, deliver this letter to the poser in my father's name.
Marry, withal some sprinkling, some sprinkling; verbum sapienti sat
. Farewell, Master Immerito.

I thank your worship most heartily.

PAGE. Is it not a shame to see this old dunce learning his induction at these years? But let him go, I lose nothing by him; for I'll be sworn, but for the booty of selling the parsonage, I should have gone in mine old clothes this Christmas. A dunce, I see, is a neighbour-like brute beast: a man may live by him. [Aside.

[AMORETTO seems to make verse.

AMORETTO. A pox on it, my muse is not so witty as she was wont to be: —— Her nose is like —— not yet; plague on these mathematics! they have spoiled my brain in making a verse.

PAGE. Hang me, if he hath any more mathematics than will serve to count the clock, or tell the meridian hour by rumbling of his paunch. [Aside.

AMORETTO. Her nose is like ——

A cobbler's shoeing-horn.

AMORETTO. Her nose is like a beauteous maribone. [Aside.

Marry, a sweet snotty mistress! [Aside.

AMORETTO. Faith, I do not like it yet. Ass as I was, to read a piece of Aristotle in Greek yesternight; it hath put me out of my English vein quite.

PAGE. O monstrous lie! let me be a point-trusser, while I live, if he understands any tongue but English. [Aside.

AMORETTO. Sirrah boy, remember me when I come in Paul's Churchyard to buy a Ronsard and [a] Dubartas in French, and Aretine in Italian; and our hardest writers in Spanish; they will sharpen my wits gallantly. I do relish these tongues in some sort. O, now I do remember, I hear a report of a poet newly come out in Hebrew; it is a pretty harsh tongue, and telleth[97] a gentleman traveller: but come, let's haste after my father; the fields are fitter to heavenly meditations. [Exit.

PAGE. My masters, I could wish your presence at an admirable jest: why presently this great linguist my master will march through Paul's Churchyard, come to a bookbinder's shop, and with a big Italian look and a Spanish face ask for these books in Spanish and Italian; then, turning (through his ignorance) the wrong end of the book upward, use action on this unknown tongue after this sort: First, look on the title, and wrinkle his brow; next make as though he read the first page, and bite 's lip;[98] then with his nail score the margent, as though there were some notable conceit; and, lastly, when he thinks he hath gulled the standers-by sufficiently, throws the book away in a rage, swearing that he could never find books of a true print since he was last in Joadna;[99] inquire after the next mart, and so departs. And so must I; for by this time his contemplation is arrived at his mistress's nose end; he is as glad as if he had taken Ostend.[100] By this time he begins to spit, and cry, Boy, carry my cloak: and now I go to attend on his worship.




INGENIOSO. Come, lads; this wine whets your resolution in our design: it's a needy world with subtle spirits; and there's a gentlemanlike kind of begging, that may beseem poets in this age.

Now by the wing of nimble Mercury,
By my Thalia's silver-sounding harp,
By that celestial fire within my brain,
That gives a living genius to my lines,
Howe'er my dulled intellectual
Capers less nimbly than it did afore;
Yet will I play a hunts-up to my muse,
And make her mount from out her sluggish nest.
As high as is the highest sphere in heaven.
Awake, you paltry trulls of Helicon,
Or, by this light, I'll swagger with you straight:
You grandsire Phoebus, with your lovely eye,
The firmament's eternal vagabond,
The heaven's promoter, that doth peep and pry
Into the acts of mortal tennis-balls,
Inspire me straight with some rare delicies,[101]
Or I'll dismount thee from thy radiant coach,
And make thee poor[102] Cutchy here on earth.

PHANTASMA. Currus auriga paterni.

INGENIOSO. Nay, prythee, good Furor, do not rove in rhymes before thy time; thou hast a very terrible, roaring muse, nothing but squibs and fine jerks: quiet thyself a while, and hear thy charge.

PHANTASMA. Huc ades, haec animo concipe dicta tuo.

INGENIOSO. Let us on to our device, our plot, our project. That old Sir Raderic, that new printed compendium of all iniquity, that hath not aired his country chimney once in three winters; he that loves to live in an old corner here at London, and affect an old wench in a nook; one that loves to live in a narrow room, that he may with more facility in the dark light upon his wife's waiting-maid; one that loves alike a short sermon and a long play; one that goes to a play, to a whore, to his bed, in circle: good for nothing in the world but to sweat nightcaps and foul fair lawn shirts, feed a few foggy servingmen, and prefer dunces to livings—this old Sir Raderic, Furor, it shall be thy task to cudgel with thy thick, thwart terms; marry, at the first, give him some sugarcandy terms,[103] and then, if he will not untie purse-strings of his liberality, sting him with terms laid in aquafortis and gunpowder.

In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas.
The servile current of my sliding verse
Gentle shall run into his thick-skinn'd ears;
Where it shall dwell like a magnifico,
Command his slimy sprite to honour me
For my high, tiptoe, strutting poesy:
But if his stars hath favour'd him so ill,
As to debar him by his dunghill thoughts,
Justly to esteem my verses' lowting pitch,
If his earth-rooting snout shall 'gin to scorn
My verse that giveth immortality;
Then Bella per Emathios

PHANTASMA. Furor arma ministrat.

I'll shake his heart upon my verses' point,
Rip out his guts with riving poniard,
Quarter his credit with a bloody quill.

PHANTASMA. Calami, atramentum, charta, libelli, Sunt semper studiis arma parata tuis.

Enough, Furor, we know thou art a nimble swaggerer with a goose-quill.
Now for you, Phantasma: leave trussing your points, and listen.

PHANTASMA. Omne tulit punctum

INGENIOSO. Mark you, Amoretto, Sir Raderic's son, to him shall thy piping poetry and sugar-ends of verses be directed: he is one that will draw out his pocket-glass thrice in a walk; one that dreams in a night of nothing but musk and civet, and talks of nothing all day long but his hawk, his hound, and his mistress; one that more admires the good wrinkle of a boot, the curious crinkling of a silk-stocking, than all the wit in the world; one that loves no scholar but him whose tired ears can endure half a day together his fly-blown sonnets of his mistress, and her loving, pretty creatures, her monkey and her puppy.[104] It shall be thy task, Phantasma, to cut this gull's throat with fair terms; and, if he hold fast for all thy juggling rhetoric, fall at defiance with him and the poking-stick he wears.

PHANTASMA. Simul extulit ensem.

INGENIOSO. Come, brave imps,[105] gather up your spirits, and let us march on, like adventurous knights, and discharge a hundred poetical spirits upon them.

PHANTASMA. Est deus in nobis: agitante calescimus illo.




STUDIOSO. Well, Philomusus, we never 'scaped so fair a scouring: why, yonder are pursuivants out for the French doctor, and a lodging bespoken for him and his man in Newgate. It was a terrible fear that made us cast our hair.

And canst thou sport at our calamities,
And count'st us happy to 'scape prisonment?
Why, the wide world, that blesseth some with weal,[106]
Is to our chained thoughts a darksome jail.

Nay, prythee, friend, these wonted terms forego;
He doubles grief, that comments on a woe.

Why do fond men term it impiety
To send a wearisome, sad, grudging ghost
Unto his home, his long-long, lasting home?
Or let them make our life less grievous be,
Or suffer us to end our misery.

O no; the sentinel his watch must keep,
Until his lord do licence him to sleep.

It's time to sleep within our hollow graves,
And rest us in the darksome womb of earth:
Dead things are grav'd, our[107] bodies are no less
Pin'd and forlorn, like ghostly carcases.

Not long this tap of loathed life can run;
Soon cometh death, and then our woe is done:
Meantime, good Philomusus, be content;
Let's spend our days in hopeful merriment.

Curs'd be our thoughts, whene'er they dream of hope,
Bann'd be those haps, that henceforth flatter us,
When mischief dogs us still and still for ay,
From our first birth until our burying day:
In our first gamesome age, our doting sires
Carked and cared to have us lettered,
Sent us to Cambridge, where our oil is spent;
Us our kind college from the teat did tear,[108]
And forc'd us walk, before we weaned were.
From that time since wandered have we still
In the wide world, urg'd by our forced will,
Nor ever have we happy fortune tried;
Then why should hope with our rent state abide?
Nay, let us run unto the baseful cave,
Pight in the hollow ribs of craggy cliff,
Where dreary owls do shriek the live-long night,
Chasing away the birds of cheerful light;
Where yawning ghosts do howl in ghastly wise,
Where that dull, hollow-eyed, that staring sire,
Yclep'd Despair, hath his sad mansion:
Him let us find, and by his counsel we
Will end our too much irked misery.

To wail thy haps, argues a dastard mind.

To bear[109] too long, argues an ass's kind.

Long since the worst chance of the die was cast.

But why should that word worst so long time last?

Why dost thou now these sleepy plaints commence?

Why should I e'er be dull'd with patience?

Wise folk do bear with, struggling cannot mend.

Good spirits must with thwarting fates contend.

Some hope is left our fortunes to redress.

No hope but this—e'er to be comfortless.

Our life's remainder gentler hearts may find.

The gentlest hearts to us will prove unkind.


SIR RADERIC and PRODIGO at one corner of the stage; RECORDER and AMORETTO at the other: two PAGES scouring of tobacco-pipes.

SIR RADERIC. Master Prodigo, Master Recorder hath told you law—your land is forfeited; and for me not to take the forfeiture were to break the Queen's law. For mark you, it's law to take the forfeiture; therefore not to take[110] it is to break the Queen's law; and to break the Queen's law is not to be a good subject, and I mean to be a good subject. Besides, I am a justice of the peace; and, being justice of the peace, I must do justice—that is, law—that is, to take the forfeiture, especially having taken notice of it. Marry, Master Prodigo, here are a few shillings over and besides the bargain.

PRODIGO. Pox on your shillings! 'Sblood, a while ago, before he had me in the lurch, who but my cousin Prodigo? You are welcome, my cousin Prodigo. Take my cousin Prodigo's horse. A cup of wine for my cousin Prodigo. Good faith, you shall sit here, good cousin Prodigo. A clean trencher for my cousin Prodigo. Have a special care of my cousin Prodigo's lodging. Now, Master Prodigo with a pox, and a few shillings for a vantage. A plague on your shillings! Pox on your shillings! If it were not for the sergeant, which dogs me at my heels, a plague on your shillings! pox on your shillings! pox on yourself and your shillings! pox on your worship! If I catch thee at Ostend—I dare not stay for the sergeant. [Exit.

Good faith, Master Prodigo is an excellent fellow. He takes the Gulan
Ebullitio so excellently.

AMORETTO'S PAGE. He is a good liberal gentleman: he hath bestowed an ounce of tobacco upon us; and, as long as it lasts, come cut and long tail, we'll spend it as liberally for his sake.

SIR RADERIC'S PAGE. Come, fill the pipe quickly, while my master is in his melancholy humour; it's just the melancholy of a collier's horse.

AMORETTO'S PAGE. If you cough, Jack, after your tobacco, for a punishment you shall kiss the pantofle.

SIR RADERIC. It's a foul oversight, that a man of worship cannot keep a wench in his house, but there must be muttering and surmising. It was the wisest saying that my father ever uttered, that a wife was the name of necessity, not of pleasure; for what do men marry for, but to stock their ground, and to have one to look to the linen, sit at the upper end of the table, and carve up a capon; one that can wear a hood like a hawk, and cover her foul face with a fan. But there's no pleasure always to be tied to a piece of mutton; sometimes a mess of stewed broth will do well, and an unlaced rabbit is best of all. Well, for mine own part, I have no great cause to complain, for I am well-provided of three bouncing wenches, that are mine own fee-simple; one of them I am presently to visit, if I can rid myself cleanly of this company. Let me see how the day goes [he pulls his watch out]. Precious coals! the time is at hand; I must meditate on an excuse to be gone.

RECORDER. The which, I say, is grounded on the statute I spake of before, enacted in the reign of Henry VI.

AMORETTO. It is a plain case, whereon I mooted[111] in our Temple, and that was this: put case, there be three brethren, John a Nokes, John a Nash, and John a Stile. John a Nokes the elder, John a Nash the younger, and John a Stile the youngest of all. John a Nash the younger dieth without issue of his body lawfully begotten. Whether shall his lands ascend to John a Nokes the elder, or descend to John a Stile the youngest of all? The answer is, the lands do collaterally descend, not ascend.

RECORDER. Very true; and for a proof hereof I will show you a place in Littleton which is very pregnant in this point.



INGENIOSO. I'll pawn my wits, that is, my revenues, my land, my money, and whatsoever I have, for I have nothing but my wit, that they are at hand. Why, any sensible snout may wind Master Amoretto and his pomander, Master Recorder and his two neat's feet that wear no socks, Sir Raderic by his rammish complexion; Olet Gorgonius hircum, sicut Lupus in fabula. Furor, fire the touch-box of your wit: Phantasma, let your invention play tricks like an ape: begin thou, Furor, and open like a flap-mouthed hound: follow thou, Phantasma, like a lady's puppy: and as for me, let me alone; I'll come after, like a water-dog, that will shake them off when I have no use of them. My masters, the watchword is given. Furor, discharge.

The great projector of the thunderbolts,
He that is wont to piss whole clouds of rain
Into the earth, vast gaping urinal,
Which that one-ey'd subsizer of the sky,
Dan Phoebus, empties by calidity;
He and his townsmen planets brings to thee
Most fatty lumps of earth's fecundity.[112]

Why, will this fellow's English break the Queen's peace?
I will not seem to regard him.

PHANTASMA to AMORETTO. [Reads from a Horace, addressing himself.] Mecaenas, atavis edite regibus, O, et praesidium et dulce decus meum, Dii faciant votis vela secunda tuis.

God save you, good Master Recorder, and good fortunes follow your
I think I have cursed him sufficiently in few words. [Aside.

What have we here? three begging soldiers?
Come you from Ostend or from Ireland?

PAGE. Cujum pecus? an Melibaei? I have vented all the Latin one man had.

PHANTASMA. Quid dicam amplius? domini similis os.

Let him [not] alone, I pray thee. To him again: tickle him there!

PHANTASMA. Quam dispari domino dominaris?

RECORDER. Nay, that's plain in Littleton; for if that fee-simple and fee-tail be put together, it is called hotch-potch. Now, this word hotch-potch in English is a pudding; for in such a pudding is not commonly one thing only, but one thing with another.

AMORETTO. I think I do remember this also at a mooting in our Temple. So then this hotch-potch seems a term of similitude?

Great Capricornus, of thy head take keep:
Good Virgo, watch, while that thy worship sleep;
And when thy swelling vents amain,
Then Pisces be thy sporting chamberlain.

I think the devil hath sent some of his family to torment me.

AMORETTO. There is tail-general and tail-special, and Littleton is very copious in that theme; for tail-general is when lands are given to a man and his heirs of his body begotten; tail-special is when lands are given to a man and to his wife, and to the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten; and that is called tail-special.

SIR RADERIC. Very well; and for his oath I will give a distinction. There is a material oath and a formal oath; the formal oath may be broken, the material may not be broken: for mark you, sir, the law is to take place before the conscience, and therefore you may, using me your councillor, cast him in the suit. There wants nothing to be full meaning of this place.

PHANTASMA. Nihil hic nisi carmina desunt.

INGENIOSO. An excellent observation, in good faith. See how the old fox teacheth the young cub to worry a sheep; or rather sits himself, like an old goose, hatching the addle brain of Master Amoretto. There is no fool to the satin fool, the velvet fool, the perfumed fool; and therefore the witty tailors of this age put them under colour of kindness into a pair of cloth bags, where a voider will not serve the turn. And there is no knave to the barbarous knave, the moulting knave, the pleading knave.—What, ho! Master Recorder? Master Noverint universi per presentes,—not a word he, unless he feels it in his fist.

PHANTASMA. Mitto tibi merulas, cancros imitare legendo.

Fellow, what art thou, that art so bold?

I am the bastard of great Mercury,
Got on Thalia when she was asleep:
My gaudy grandsire, great Apollo hight,[113]
Born was, I hear, but that my luck was ill,
To all the land upon the forked hill.

PHANTASMA. O crudelis Alexi, nil mea carmina curas? Nil nostri miserere? mori me denique coges?

SIR RADERIC to PAGE. If you use them thus, my master is a justice of peace, and will send you all to the gallows.

PHANTASMA. Hei mihi, quod domino non licet ire tuo?[114]

Good Master Recorder, let me retain you this term—for my cause, good
Master Recorder.

RECORDER. I am retained already on the contrary part. I have taken my fee; begone, begone.

INGENIOSO. It's his meaning I should come off.[115] Why, here is the true style of a villain, the true faith of a lawyer; it is usual with them to be bribed on the one side, and then to take a fee of the other; to plead weakly, and to be bribed and rebribed on the one side, then to be fee'd and refee'd of the other; till at length, per varios casus, by putting the case so often, they make their clients so lank, that they may case them up in a comb-case, and pack them home from the term, as though they had travelled to London to sell their horse only; and, having lost their fleeces, live afterward like poor shorn sheep.

The gods above, that know great Furor's fame,
And do adore grand poet Furor's name,
Granted long since at heaven's high parliament,
That whoso Furor shall immortalise,
No yawning goblins shall frequent his grave;
Nor any bold, presumptuous cur shall dare
To lift his leg against his sacred dust.
Where'er I have my rhymes, thence vermin fly,
All, saving that foul-fac'd vermin poverty.
This sucks the eggs of my invention,
Evacuates my wit's full pigeon-house.
Now may it please thy generous dignity
To take this vermin napping, as he lies
In the true trap of liberality,
I'll cause the Pleiades to give thee thanks;
I'll write thy name within the sixteenth sphere:
I'll make th'Antarctic pole to kiss thy toe.
And Cynthia to do homage to thy tail.

SIR RADERIC. Precious coals! thou a man of worship and justice too? It's even so, he is either a madman or a conjuror. It were well if his words were examined, to see if they be the Queen's or no.

PHANTASMA. Nunc si nos audis, tu qui es divinus Apollo, Dic mihi, qui nummos non habet, unde petat?

I am still haunted with these needy Latinist fellows.—The best counsel
I can give is, to be gone.

PHANTASMA. Quod peto da, Caie; non peto consilium.

Fellow, look to your brains; you are mad, you are mad.

PHANTASMA. Semel insanivimus omnes.

AMORETTO. Master Recorder, is it not a shame that a gallant cannot walk the street quietly for needy fellows, and that, after there is a statute come out against begging? [He strikes his breast.

PHANTASMA. Pectora percussit, pectus quoque robora fiunt.

RECORDER. I warrant you, they are some needy graduates; the university breaks wind twice a year, and let's fly such as these are.

INGENIOSO. So ho, Master Recorder. You that are one of the devil's fellow-commoners; one that sizeth the devil's butteries, sins, and perjuries very lavishly; one that are so dear to Lucifer, that he never puts you out of commons for nonpayment; you that live, like a sumner, upon the sins of the people; you whose vocation serves to enlarge the territories of hell that, but for you, had been no bigger than a pair of stocks or a pillory; you, that hate a scholar because he descries your ass's ears; you that are a plague-stuffed cloak-bag of all iniquity, which the grand serving-man of hell will one day truss up behind him, and carry to his smoky wardrobe.

RECORDER. What frantic fellow art thou, that art possessed with the spirit of malediction?

Vile, muddy clod of base, unhallowed clay,
Thou slimy-sprighted, unkind Saracen,
When thou wert born, Dame Nature cast her calf;
For age and time hath made thee a great ox,
And now thy grinding jaws devour quite
The fodder due to us of heavenly spright.

Nefasto te posuit die,
Quicunque primum, et sacrilegâ manu
Produxit arbos in nepotum
Perniciem obpropriumque pugi

INGENIOSO. I pray you, Monsieur Ploidon, of what university was the first lawyer of? None, forsooth: for your law is ruled by reason, and not by art; great reason, indeed, that a Polydenist should be mounted on a trapped palfry with a round velvet dish on his head, to keep warm the broth of his wit, and a long gown that makes him look like a Cedant arma togae, whilst the poor Aristotelians walk in a short cloak and a close Venetian hose, hard by the oyster-wife; and the silly poet goes muffled in his cloak to escape the counter. And you, Master Amoretto, that art the chief carpenter of sonnets, a privileged vicar for the lawless marriage of ink and paper, you that are good for nothing but to commend in a set speech, to colour the quantity of your mistress's stool, and swear it is most sweet civet; it's fine, when that puppet-player Fortune must put such a Birchen-Lane post in so good a suit, such an ass in so good fortune!

Father, shall I draw?

No, son; keep thy peace, and hold the peace.

Nay, do not draw, lest you chance to bepiss your credit.

Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.
Fearful Megaera, with her snaky twine,
Was cursed dam unto thy damned self;
And Hircan tigers in the desert rocks
Did foster up thy loathed, hateful life;
Base Ignorance the wicked cradle rock'd,
Vile Barbarism was wont to dandle thee;
Some wicked hellhound tutored thy youth.
And all the grisly sprights of griping hell
With mumming look hath dogg'd thee since thy birth:
See how the spirits do hover o'er thy head,
As thick as gnats in summer eveningtide.
Baleful Alecto, prythee, stay awhile,
Till with my verses I have rack'd his soul;
And when thy soul departs, a cock may be
No blank at all in hell's great lottery—
Shame sits and howls upon thy loathed grave,
And howling, vomits up in filthy guise
The hidden stories of thy villanies.

SIR RADERIC. The devil, my masters, the devil in the likeness of a poet! Away, my masters, away!

PHANTASMA. Arma, virumque cano. Quem fugis, ah demens?

AMORETTO. Base dog, it is not the custom in Italy to draw upon every idle cur that barks; and, did it stand with my reputation—O, well, go to; thank my father for your lives.

INGENIOSO. Fond gull, whom I would undertake to bastinado quickly, though there were a musket planted in thy mouth, are not you the young drover of livings Academico told me of, that haunts steeple fairs? Base worm, must thou needs discharge thy carbine[116] to batter down the walls of learning?

AMORETTO. I think I have committed some great sin against my mistress, that I am thus tormented with notable villains, bold peasants. I scorn, I scorn them! [Exit.

Nay, prythee, good sweet devil, do not thou part;
I like an honest devil, that will show
Himself in a true hellish, smoky hue:
How like thy snout is to great Lucifer's?
Such talents[117] had he, such a gleering eye,
And such a cunning sleight in villany.

RECORDER. O, the impudency of this age! And if I take you in my quarters— [Exit.

Base slave, I'll hang thee on a crossed rhyme,
And quarter—

He is gone; Furor, stay thy fury.

I pray you, gentlemen, give three groats for a shilling.

What will you give me for a good old suit of apparel?

PHANTASMA. Habet et musca splenem, et formicae sua bilis inest.

INGENIOSO. Gramercy,[118] good lads. This is our share in happiness, to torment the happy. Let's walk along and laugh at the jest; it's no staying here long, lest Sir Raderic's army of bailiffs and clowns be sent to apprehend us.

Procul hinc, procul ite, profani.
I'll lash Apollo's self with jerking hand,
Unless he pawn his wit to buy me land.



BURBAGE. Now, Will Kemp, if we can entertain these scholars at a low rate, it will be well; they have oftentimes a good conceit in a part.

KEMP. It's true, indeed, honest Dick, but the slaves are somewhat proud; and besides, it's a good sport in a part to see them never speak in their walk, but at the end of the stage; just as though, in walking with a fellow, we should never speak but at a stile, a gate, or a ditch, where a man can go no further. I was once at a comedy in Cambridge, and there I saw a parasite make faces and mouths of all sorts on this fashion.

BURBAGE. A little teaching will mend these faults; and it may be, besides, they will be able to pen a part.

Few of the university pen play well; they smell too much of that writer
Ovid and that writer Metamorphosis, and talk too much of Proserpina and
Jupiter. Why, here's our fellow Shakespeare puts them all down—ay, and
Ben Jonson too. O, that Ben Jonson is a pestilent fellow; he brought up
Horace, giving the poets a pill;[119] but our fellow Shakespeare hath
given him a purge that made him bewray his credit.

BURBAGE. It's a shrewd fellow, indeed. I wonder these scholars stay so long; they appointed to be here presently, that we might try them. O, here they come.

Take heart, these lets our clouded thoughts refine;
The sun shines brightest when it 'gins decline.

Master Philomusus and Master Studioso, God save you.

Master Philomusus and Master Otioso,[120] well-met.

The same to you, good Master Burbage. What, Master Kemp, how doth the
Emperor of Germany?[121]

STUDIOSO. God save you, Master Kemp; welcome, Master Kemp, from dancing the morris over the Alps.

KEMP. Well, you merry knaves, you may come to the honour of it one day. Is it not better to make a fool of the world as I have done, than to be fooled of the world, as you scholars are? But be merry, my lads; you have happened upon the most excellent vocation in the world for money. They come north and south to bring it to our playhouse; and for honours, who of more report than Dick Burbage and Will Kemp? He is not counted a gentleman that knows not Dick Burbage and Will Kemp. There's not a country wench that can dance Sellenger's round,[122] but can talk of Dick Burbage and Will Kemp.

PHILOMUSUS. Indeed, Master Kemp, you are very famous; but that is as well for works in print, as your part in cue.[123]

You are at Cambridge still with size cue, and be lusty humorous poets.
You must untruss; I rode this my last circuit purposely, because I would
be judge of your actions.

BURBAGE. Master Studioso, I pray you, take some part in this book, and act it, that I may see what will fit you best. I think your voice would serve for Hieronimo; observe how I act it, and then imitate me. [He recites.

Who call Hieronimo from his naked bed?
And_, &c.[124]

You will do well—after a while.


Now for you. Methinks you should belong to my tuition; and your face, methinks, would be good for a foolish mayor or a foolish justice of peace. Mark me:—

Forasmuch as there be two states of a commonwealth, the one of peace, the other of tranquillity; two states of war, the one of discord, the other of dissension; two states of an incorporation, the one of the aldermen, the other of the brethren; two states of magistrates, the one of governing, the other of bearing rule. Now, as I said even now—for a good thing[125] cannot be said too often. Virtue is the shoeing-horn of justice; that is, virtue is the shoeing-horn of doing well; that is, virtue is the shoeing-horn of doing justly; it behoveth me, and is my part to commend this shoeing-horn unto you. I hope this word shoeing-horn doth not offend any of you, my worshipful brethren; for you, being the worshipful headsmen of the town, know well what the horn meaneth. Now therefore I am determined not only to teach, but also to instruct, not only the ignorant, but also the simple; not only what is their duty towards their betters, but also what is their duty towards their superiors.

Come, let me see how you can do; sit down in the chair.

Forasmuch as there be, &c.

KEMP. Thou wilt do well in time, if thou wilt be ruled by thy betters, that is, by myself, and such grave aldermen of the playhouse as I am.

I like your face, and the proportion of your body for Richard the Third.
I pray, Master Philomusus, let me see you act a little of it.

PHILOMUSUS. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by the sun of York.

BURBAGE. Very well, I assure you. Well, Master Philomusus and Master Studioso, we see what ability you are of; I pray, walk with us to our fellows, and we'll agree presently.

We will follow you straight, Master Burbage.

It's good manners to follow us, Master Philomusus and Master Otioso.

And must the basest trade yield us relief?
Must we be practis'd to those leaden spouts,
That nought down vent but what they do receive?
Some fatal fire hath scorch'd our fortune's wing,
And still we fall, as we do upward spring?
As we strive upward on the vaulted sky,
We fall, and feel our hateful destiny.

Wonder it is, sweet friend, thy pleading breath,
So like the sweet blast of the south-west wind,
Melts not those rocks of ice, those mounts of snow,[126]
Congeal'd in frozen hearts of men below.

Wonder, as well thou may'st, why 'mongst the waves—
'Mongst the tempestuous waves on raging sea,
The wailing merchant can no pity crave.
What cares the wind and weather for their pains?
One strikes the sail, another turns the same;
He shakes the main, another takes the oar,
Another laboureth and taketh pain
To pump the sea into the sea again:
Still they take pains, still the loud winds do blow,
Till the ship's prouder mast be laid below.

Fond world, that ne'er think'st on that aged man—
That Ariosto's old swift-paced man,
Whose name is Time, who never lins to run,
Loaden with bundles of decayed names,
The which in Lethe's lake he doth entomb,
Save only those which swan-like scholars take,
And do deliver from that greedy lake.
Inglorious may they live, inglorious die,
That suffer learning live in misery.

What caren they what fame their ashes have,
When once they're coop'd up in the silent grave?

If for fair fame they hope not when they die.
Yet let them fear grave's staining infamy.

Their spendthrift heirs will those firebrands quench,
Swaggering full moistly on a tavern's bench.

No shamed sire, for all his glosing heir,
Must long be talk'd of in the empty air.
Believe me, thou that art my second self,
My vexed soul is not disquieted,
For that I miss is gaudy-painted state,
Whereat my fortunes fairly aim'd of late:
For what am I, the mean'st of many mo,
That, earning profit, are repaid with woe.
But this it is that doth my soul torment:
To think so many activable wits,
That might contend with proudest bards[127] of Po,
Sit now immur'd within their private cells,
Drinking a long lank watching candle's smoke,
Spending the marrow of their flow'ring age
In fruitless poring on some worm-eat leaf:
When their deserts shall seem of due to claim
A cheerful crop of fruitful swelling sheaf;
Cockle their harvest is, and weeds their grain,
Contempt their portion, their possession, pain.
Scholars must frame to live at a low sail.

Ill-sailing, where there blows no happy gale!

Our ship is ruin'd, all her tackling rent.

And all her gaudy furniture is spent.

Tears be the waves whereon her ruins bide.

And sighs the winds that waste her broken side.

Mischief the pilot is the ship to steer.

And woe the passenger this ship doth bear.

Come, Philomusus, let us break this chat.

And break, my heart! O, would I could break that!

Let's learn to act that tragic part we have.

Would I were silent actor in my grave!


PHILOMUSUS and STUDIOSO become fiddlers: with their concert.

And tune, fellow-fiddlers; Studioso and I are ready.

[They tune.

STUDIOSO, going aside, sayeth,
Fair fell good Orpheus, that would rather be
King of a molehill than a keisar's slave:
Better it is 'mongst fiddlers to be chief,
Than at [a] player's trencher beg relief.
But is't not strange, this mimic ape should prize
Unhappy scholars at a hireling rate?
Vile world, that lifts them up to high degree,
And treads us down in groveling misery.
England affords those glorious vagabonds,
That carried erst their fardles on their backs,
Coursers to ride on through the gazing streets,
Sweeping[128] it in their glaring satin suits,
And pages to attend their masterships:
With mouthing words that better wits have framed,
They purchase lands, and now esquires are made.[129]

Whate'er they seem, being ev'n at the best,
They are but sporting fortune's scornful jest.

So merry fortune's wont from rags to take
Some ragged groom, and him a[130] gallant make.

The world and fortune hath play'd on us too long.

Now to the world we fiddle must a song.

Our life is a plain-song with cunning penn'd,
Whose highest pitch in lowest base doth end.
But see, our fellows unto play are bent;
If not our minds, let's tune our instrument.

Let's in a private song our cunning try,
Before we sing to stranger company.

[PHILOMUSUS sings. They tune.

How can he sing, whose voice is hoarse with care?
How can he play, whose heart-strings broken are?
How can he keep his rest, that ne'er found rest?
How can he keep his time, whom time ne'er bless'd?
Only he can in sorrow bear a part
With untaught hand and with untuned heart.
Fond hearts, farewell, that swallow'd have my youth;
Adieu, vain muses, that have wrought my ruth;
Repent, fond sire, that train'dst thy hapless son
In learning's lore, since bounteous alms are done.
Cease, cease, harsh tongue: untuned music, rest;
Entomb thy sorrows in thy hollow breast.

Thanks, Philomusus, for thy pleasant song.
O, had this world a touch of juster grief,
Hard rocks would weep for want of our relief.

The cold of woe hath quite untun'd my voice,
And made it too-too hard for list'ning ear:
Time was, in time of my young fortune's spring,
I was a gamesome boy, and learn'd to sing—
But say, fellow-musicians, you know best whither we go: at what door
must we imperiously beg?

JACK FIDDLERS. Here dwells Sir Raderic and his son. It may be now at this good time of new year he will be liberal. Let us stand near, and draw.

PHILOMUSUS. Draw, callest thou it? Indeed, it is the most desperate kind of service that ever I adventured on.


Enter the two PAGES.

SIR RADERIC'S PAGE. My master bids me tell you that he is but newly fallen asleep, and you, base slaves, must come and disquiet them! What, never a basket of capons? mass, and if he comes, he'll commit you all.

AMORETTO'S PAGE. Sirrah Jack, shall you and I play Sir Raderic and Amoretto, and reward these fiddlers? I'll my Master Amoretto, and give them as much as he useth.

And I my old Master Sir Raderic. Fiddlers, play. I'll reward you; faith,
I will.

AMORETTO'S PAGE. Good faith, this pleaseth my sweet mistress admirably. Cannot you play Twitty, twatty, fool? or, To be at her, to be at her?

Have you never a song of Master Dowland's making?

AMORETTO'S PAGE. Or, Hos ego versiculos feci, &c. A pox on it! my Master Amoretto useth it very often: I have forgotten the verse.

SIR RADERIC'S PAGE. Sir Theon,[131] here are a couple of fellows brought before me, and I know not how to decide the cause: look in my Christmas-book, who brought me a present.

AMORETTO'S PAGE. On New-Year's day, goodman Fool brought you a present; but goodman Clown brought you none.

Then the right is on goodman Fool's side.

AMORETTO'S PAGE. My mistress is so sweet, that all the physicians in the town cannot make her stink; she never goes to the stool. O, she is a most sweet little monkey. Please your worship, good father, yonder are some would speak with you.

SIR RADERIC'S PAGE. What, have they brought me anything? If they have not, say I take physic. [SIR RADERIC'S voice within.] Forasmuch, fiddlers, as I am of the peace, I must needs love all weapons and instruments that are for the peace, among which I account your fiddles, because they can neither bite nor scratch. Marry, now, finding your fiddles to jar, and knowing that jarring is a cause of breaking the peace, I am, by the virtue of my office and place, to commit your quarrelling fiddles to close prisonment in their cases. [The fiddlers call within.] Sha ho! Richard! Jack!

AMORETTO'S PAGE. The fool within mars our play without. Fiddlers, set it on my head. I use to size my music, or go on the score for it: I'll pay it at the quarter's end.

SIR RADERIC'S PAGE. Farewell, good Pan! sweet Thamyras,[132] adieu! Dan Orpheus, a thousand times farewell!

You swore you would pay us for our music.

SIR RADERIC'S PAGE. For that I'll give Master Recorder's law, and that is this: there is a double oath—a formal oath and a material oath; a material oath cannot be broken, the formal oath may be broken. I swore formally. Farewell, fiddlers.

Farewell, good wags, whose wits praiseworth I deem,
Though somewhat waggish; so we all have been.

STUDIOSO. Faith, fellow-fiddlers, here's no silver found in this place; no, not so much as the usual Christmas entertainment of musicians, a black jack of beer and a Christmas pie.

[They walk aside from their fellows.

Where'er we in the wide world playing be,
Misfortune bears a part, and mars our melody;
Impossible to please with music's strain,
Our heart-strings broke are, ne'er to be tun'd again.

Then let us leave this baser fiddling trade;
For though our purse should mend, our credits fade.

Full glad am I to see thy mind's free course.
Declining from this trencher-waiting trade.
Well, may I now disclose in plainer guise
What erst I meant to work in secret wise;
My busy conscience check'd my guilty soul,
For seeking maintenance by base vassalage;
And then suggested to my searching thought
A shepherd's poor, secure, contented life,
On which since then I doated every hour,
And meant this same hour in [a] sadder plight,
To have stol'n from thee in secrecy of night.

Dear friend, thou seem'st to wrong my soul too much,
Thinking that Studioso would account
That fortune sour which thou accountest sweet;
Not[133] any life to me can sweeter be,
Than happy swains in plain of Arcady.

Why, then, let's both go spend our little store
In the provision of due furniture,
A shepherd's hook, a tar-box, and a scrip:
And haste unto those sheep-adorned hills,
Where if not bless our fortunes, we may bless our wills.

True mirth we may enjoy in thacked stall,
Nor hoping higher rise, nor fearing lower fall.

PHILOMUSUS. We'll therefore discharge these fiddlers. Fellow-musicians, we are sorry that it hath been your ill-hap to have had us in your company, that are nothing but screech-owls and night-ravens, able to mar the purest melody: and, besides, our company is so ominous that, where we are, thence liberality is packing. Our resolution is therefore to wish you well, and to bid you farewell. Come, Studioso, let us haste away, Returning ne'er to this accursed place.



INGENIOSO. Faith, Academico, it's the fear of that fellow—I mean, the sign of the sergeant's head—that makes me to be so hasty to be gone. To be brief, Academico, writs are out for me to apprehend me for my plays; and now I am bound for the Isle of Dogs. Furor and Phantasma comes after, removing the camp as fast they can. Farewell, mea si quid vota valebunt.

ACADEMICO. Faith, Ingenioso, I think the university is a melancholic life; for there a good fellow cannot sit two hours in his chamber, but he shall be troubled with the bill of a drawer or a vintner. But the point is, I know not how to better myself, and so I am fain to take it.



Who have we there? Ingenioso and Academico?

The very same; who are those? Furor and Phantasma?

[FUROR takes a louse off his sleeve.

And art thou there, six-footed Mercury?

[PHANTASMA, with his hand in his bosom.

Are rhymes become such creepers nowadays?
Presumptuous louse, that doth good manners lack,
Daring to creep upon poet Furor's back!

    Multum refert quibuscum vixeris:
    Non videmus manticae quod in tergo est

PHILOMUSUS. What, Furor and Phantasma too, our old college fellows? Let us encounter them all. Ingenioso, Academico, Furor, Phantasma, God save you all.

What, Ingenioso, Academico, Furor, Phantasma, how do you, brave lads?

What, our dear friends Philomusus and Studioso?

What, our old friends Philomusus and Studioso?

What, my supernatural friends?

What news with you in this quarter of the city?

We've run[134] through many trades, yet thrive by none,
Poor in content, and only rich in moan.
A shepherd's life, thou know'st I wont t'admire,
Turning a Cambridge apple by the fire:
To live in humble dale we now are bent,
Spending our days in fearless merriment.

We'll teach each tree, ev'n of the hardest kind,
To keep our woful name within their rind:
We'll watch our flock, and yet we'll sleep withal:
We'll tune our sorrows to the water's fall.
The woods and rocks with our shrill songs we'll bless;
Let them prove kind, since men prove pitiless.
But say, whither are you and your company jogging? it seems by your
apparel you are about to wander.

Faith we are fully bent to be lords of misrule in the world's wide
heath: our voyage is to the Isle of Dogs, there where the blatant beast
doth rule and reign, renting the credit of whom it please.
Where serpents' tongues the penmen are to write,
Where cats do wawl by day, dogs by night.
There shall engorged venom be my ink,
My pen a sharper quill of porcupine,
My stained paper this sin-loaden earth.
There will I write in lines shall never die,
Our seared lordings' crying villany.

A gentle wit thou hadst, nor is it blame
To turn so tart, for time hath wrong'd the same.

And well thou dost from this fond earth to flit,
Where most men's pens are hired parasites.

Go happily; I wish thee store of gall
Sharply to wound the guilty world withal.

But say, what shall become of Furor and Phantasma?

These my companions still with me must wend.

Fury and Fancy on good wits attend.

When I arrive within the Isle of Dogs,
Dan Phoebus, I will make thee kiss the pump.
Thy one eye pries in every draper's stall,
Yet never thinks on poet Furor's need.
Furor is lousy, great Furor lousy is;
I'll make thee rue[135] this lousy case, i-wis.
And thou, my sluttish[136] laundress, Cynthia,
Ne'er think'st on Furor's linen, Furor's shirt.
Thou and thy squirting boy Endymion
Lies slav'ring still upon a lawless couch.
Furor will have thee carted through the dirt,
That mak'st great poet Furor want his shirt.

Is not here a trusty[137] dog, that dare bark so boldly at the moon?

Exclaiming want, and needy care and cark,
Would make the mildest sprite to bite and bark.

PHANTASMA. Canes timidi vehementius latrant. There are certain burrs in the Isle of Dogs called, in our English tongue, men of worship; certain briars, as the Indians call them; as we say, certain lawyers; certain great lumps of earth, as the Arabians call them; certain grocers, as we term them. Quos ego—sed motos praestat componere fluctus.

We three unto the snarling island haste,
And there our vexed breath in snarling waste.

We will be gone unto the downs of Kent,
Sure footing we shall find in humble dale;
Our fleecy flock we'll learn to watch and ward,
In July's heat, and cold of January.
We'll chant our woes upon an oaten reed,
Whiles bleating flock upon their supper feed.

So shall we shun the company of men,
That grows more hateful, as the world grows old.
We'll teach the murm'ring brooks in tears to flow,
And steepy rock to wail our passed woe.

Adieu, you gentle spirits, long adieu;
Your wits I love, and your ill-fortunes rue.
I'll haste me to my Cambridge cell again;
My fortunes cannot wax, but they may wain.

Adieu, good shepherds; happy may you live.
And if hereafter in some secret shade
You shall recount poor scholars' miseries,
Vouchsafe to mention with tear-swelling eyes
Ingenioso's thwarting destinies.
And thou, still happy Academico,
That still may'st rest upon the muses' bed,
Enjoying there a quiet slumbering,
When thou repair'st[138] unto thy Granta's stream,
Wonder at thine own bliss, pity our case,
That still doth tread ill-fortune's endless maze;
Wish them, that are preferment's almoners,
To cherish gentle wits in their green bud;
For had not Cambridge been to me unkind,
I had not turn'd to gall a milky mind.

I wish thee of good hap a plenteous store;
Thy wit deserves no less, my love can wish no more.
Farewell, farewell, good Academico;
Ne'er may'st thou taste of our fore-passed woe.
We wish thy fortunes may attain their due.—
Furor and you, Phantasma, both adieu,

Farewell, farewell, farewell; O, long farewell!
The rest my tongue conceals, let sorrow tell.

PHANTASMA. Et longum vale, inquit Iola.

Farewell, my masters; Furor's a masty dog,
Nor can with a smooth glosing farewell cog.
Nought can great Furor do but bark and howl,
And snarl, and grin, and carl, and touse the world,
Like a great swine, by his long, lean-ear'd lugs.
Farewell, musty, dusty, rusty, fusty London;
Thou art not worthy of great Furor's wit,
That cheatest virtue of her due desert,
And suffer'st great Apollo's son to want.

Nay, stay awhile, and help me to content
So many gentle wits' attention,
Who ken the laws of every comic stage,
And wonder that our scene ends discontent.
Ye airy wits subtle,
Since that few scholars' fortunes are content,
Wonder not if our scene ends discontent.
When that your fortunes reach their due content,
Then shall our scene end here in merriment.

Perhaps some happy wit with seely[139] hand
Hereafter may record the pastoral
Of the two scholars of Parnassus hill,
And then our scene may end, and have content.

Meantime, if there be any spiteful ghost,
That smiles to see poor scholars' miseries,
Cold is his charity, his wit too dull:
We scorn his censure, he's a jeering gull.
But whatsoe'er refined sprites there be,
That deeply groan at our calamity:
Whose breath is turn'd to sighs, whose eyes are wet,
To see bright arts bent to their latest set;
Whence never they again their heads shall rear,
To bless our art-disgracing hemisphere,
Let them. |
Let them. | all give us a plaudite.
Let them.

And none but them. |
PHILOMUSUS. | give us a plaudite.
And none but them. |
And none but them. |




A Pleasant Comedie, called Wily Begvilde. The Chiefe Actors be these:
A poore scholler, a rich Foole, and a Knaue at a shifte. At London,
Printed by H.L. for Clement Knight, and are to be solde at his Shop,
in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Holy Lambe_. 1606. 4to.

[There were later editions in 1623, 1635, and 1638, all in 4to. That of 1606 is the most correct.

Hawkins, who included this piece in his collection, observes: "Wily Beguiled is a regular and very pleasing Comedy; and if it were judiciously adapted to the manners of the times, would make no contemptible appearance on the modern stage."]


What, ho! where are these paltry players? still poring in their papers, and never perfect? For shame, come forth; your audience stay so long, their eyes wax dim with expectation.

Enter one of the PLAYERS.

How now, my honest rogue? What play shall we have here to-night?

Sir, you may look upon the title.

PROLOGUE. What, Spectrum once again? Why, noble Cerberus, nothing but patch-panel stuff, old gallymawfries, and cotton-candle eloquence? Out, you bawling bandog! fox-furred slave! you dried stock-fish, you, out of my sight!

[Exit the PLAYER.

Well, 'tis no matter! I'll sit me down and see it; and, for fault of a better, I'll supply the place of a scurvy prologue.

        Spectrum is a looking-glass, indeed,
        Wherein a man a history may read
        Of base conceits and damned roguery:
        The very sink of hell-bred villany.

Enter a JUGGLER.

JUGGLER. Why, how now, humorous George? What, as melancholy as a mantle-tree? Will you see any tricks of legerdemain, sleight of hand, cleanly conveyance, or deceptio visus? What will you see, gentleman, to drive you out of these dumps.

PROLOGUE. Out, you soused gurnet, you woolfist! Begone, I say, and bid the players despatch, and come away quickly; and tell their fiery poet that, before I have done with him I'll make him do penance upon a stage in a calf's skin.

JUGGLER. O Lord, sir, ye are deceived in me, I am no tale-carrier; I am a juggler. I have the superficial skill of all the seven liberal sciences at my fingers' end. I'll show you a trick of the twelves, and turn him over the thumbs with a trice; I'll make him fly swifter than meditation. I'll show you as many toys as there be minutes in a month, and as many tricks as there be motes in the sun.

Prythee, what tricks canst thou do?

JUGGLER. Marry, sir, I will show you a trick of cleanly conveyance—Hei, fortuna furim nunquam credo—with a cast of clean conveyance. Come aloft, Jack, for thy master's advantage. He's gone, I warrant ye.

[SPECTRUM is conveyed away, and WILY BEGUILED stands in the place of it.


Mass, and 'tis well done! Now I see thou canst do something. Hold thee; there is twelvepence for thy labour.

Go to that barm-froth poet, and to him say,
He quite hath lost the title of his play;
His calf-skin jests from hence are clean exil'd.
Thus once you see, that Wily is beguil'd.

[Exit the JUGGLER.

Now, kind spectators, I dare boldly say,
You all are welcome to our author's play:
Be still awhile, and, ere we go,
We'll make your eyes with laughter flow.
Let Momus' mates judge how they list.
We fear not what they babble;
Nor any paltry poet's pen
Amongst that rascal rabble.
But time forbids me further speech,
My tongue must stop her race;
My time is come, I must be dumb,
And give the actors place.



GRIPE, an Usurer.
PLOD-ALL, a Farmer.
SOPHOS, a Scholar.
CHURMS, a Lawyer.
FORTUNATUS, Gripe's son.
LELIA, Gripe's daughter.
PETER PLOD-ALL, Plod-all's son.
PEG, Nurse's daughter.
An Old Man.


Enter GRIPE, solus.

A heavy purse makes a light heart. O, the consideration of this pouch, this pouch! Why, he that has money has heart's ease, and the world in a string. O, this rich chink and silver coin! it is the consolation of the world. I can sit at home quietly in my chair, and send out my angels by sea and by land, and bid—Fly, villains, and fetch in ten in the hundred. Ay, and a better penny too. Let me see: I have but two children in all the world to bestow my goods upon—Fortunatus, my son, and Lelia, my daughter. For my son, he follows the wars, and that which he gets with swaggering he spends in swaggering. But I'll curb him; his allowance, whilst I live, shall be small, and so he shall be sure not to spend much: and if I die, I will leave him a portion that, if he will be a good husband, and follow his father's steps, shall maintain him like a gentleman, and if he will not, let him follow his own humour till he be weary of it, and so let him go. Now for my daughter, she is my only joy, and the staff of my age; and I have bestowed good bringing-up upon her, by'r Lady. Why, she is e'en modesty itself; it does me good to look on her. Now, if I can hearken out some wealthy marriage for her, I have my only desire. Mass, and well-remembered: here's my neighbour Plod-all hard by has but one only son; and let me see—I take it, his lands are better than five thousand pounds. Now, if I can make a match between his son and my daughter, and so join his land and my money together—O, 'twill be a blessed union. Well, I'll in, and get a scrivener: I'll write to him about it presently. But stay, here comes Master Churms the lawyer; I'll desire him to do so much.


Good morrow, Master Gripe.

GRIPE. O, good morrow, Master Churms. What say my two debtors, that I lent two hundred pound to? Will they not pay use and charges of suit?

Faith, sir, I doubt they are bankrouts: I would you had your principal.

GRIPE. Nay, I'll have all, or I'll imprison their bodies. But, Master Churms, there is a matter I would fain have you do; but you must be very secret.

O sir, fear not that; I'll warrant you.

GRIPE. Why then, this it is: my neighbour Plod-all here by, you know, is a man of very fair land, and he has but one son, upon whom he means to bestow all that he has. Now I would make a match between my daughter Lelia and him. What think you of it?

CHURMS. Marry, I think 'twould be a good match. But the young man has had very simple bringing-up.

GRIPE. Tush! what care I for that? so he have lands and living enough, my daughter has bringing up will serve them both. Now I would have you to write me a letter to goodman Plod-all concerning this matter, and I'll please you for your pains.

I'll warrant you, sir; I'll do it artificially.

GRIPE. Do, good Master Churms; but be very secret. I have some business this morning, and therefore I'll leave you a while; and if you will come to dinner to me anon, you shall be very heartily welcome.

CHURMS. Thanks, good sir; I'll trouble you. [Exit GRIPE.] Now 'twere a good jest, if I could cosen the old churl of his daughter, and get the wench for myself. Zounds, I am as proper a man as Peter Plod-all: and though his father be as good a man as mine, yet far-fetched and dear-bought is good for ladies; and, I am sure, I have been as far as Cales[141] to fetch that I have. I have been at Cambridge, a scholar; at Cales, a soldier; and now in the country a lawyer; and the next degree shall be a coneycatcher: for I'll go near to cosen old father share-penny[142] of his daughter; I'll cast about, I'll warrant him: I'll go dine with him, and write him his letter; and then I'll go seek out my kind companion Robin Goodfellow: and, betwixt us, we'll make her yield to anything. We'll ha' the common law o' the one hand, and the civil law o' the other: we'll toss Lelia like a tennis-ball. [Exit.

Enter old PLOD-ALL and his son PETER, an OLD MAN, Plod-all's tenant, and WILL CRICKET, his son.

PLOD-ALL. Ah, tenant, an ill-husband, by'r Lady: thrice at thy house, and never at home? You know my mind: will you give ten shillings more rent? I must discharge you else.

OLD MAN. Alas! landlord, will you undo me! I sit of a great rent already, and am very poor.

WILL CRICKET. Very poor? you're a very ass. Lord, how my stomach wambles at the same word very poor! Father, if you love your son William, never name that same word, very poor; for, I'll stand to it, that it's petty larceny to name very poor to a man that's o' the top of his marriage.

Why, son, art o' the top of thy marriage? To whom, I prythee?

WILL CRICKET. Marry, to pretty Peg, Mistress Lelia's nurse's daughter. O, 'tis the dapp'rest wench that ever danced after a tabor and pipe—

            For she will so heel it,
            And toe it, and trip it;—
    O, her buttocks will quake like a custard.

Why, William, when were you with her?

WILL CRICKET. O Peter, does your mouth water at that? Truly, I was never with her; but I know I shall speed: 'for t'other day she looked on me and laughed, and that's a good sign, ye know. And therefore, old Silver-top, never talk of charging or discharging: for I tell you, I am my father's heir; and if you discharge me, I'll discharge my pestilence at you: for to let my house before my lease be out, is cut-throatery; and to scrape for more rent, is poll-dennery;[143] and so fare you well, good grandsire Usury. Come, father, let's be gone.

[Exeunt WILL and his father.

PLOD-ALL. Well, I'll make the beggarly knaves to pack for this: I'll have it every cross, income and rent too.

Enter CHURMS with a letter.

But stay, here comes one. O, 'tis Master Churms: I hope he brings me some good news. Master Churms, you're well-met; I am e'en almost starved for money: you must take some damnable course with my tenants; they'll not pay.

CHURMS. Faith, sir, they are grown to be captious knaves: but I'll move them with a habeas corpus.

PLOD-ALL. Do, good Master Churms, or use any other villanous course shall please you. But what news abroad?

CHURMS. Faith, little news; but here's a letter which Master Gripe desired me to deliver you: and though it stand not with my reputation to be a carrier of letters, yet, not knowing how much it might concern you, I thought it better something to abase myself, than you should be anyways hindered.

Thanks, good sir; and I'll in and read it.

[Exeunt PLOD-ALL and his son. Manet CHURMS.

Thus men of reach must look to live:
I cry content, and murder where I kiss.
Gripe takes me for his faithful friend,
Imparts to me the secrets of his heart;
And Plod-all thinks I am as true a friend
To every enterprise he takes in hand,
As ever breath'd under the cope of heaven:
But damn me if they find it so.
All this makes for my [own] avail;
I'll ha' the wench myself, or else my wits shall fail.

Enter LELIA and NURSE, gathering of flowers.

See how the earth this fragrant spring is clad,
And mantled round in sweet nymph Flora's robes:
Here grows th'alluring rose, sweet marigolds
And the lovely hyacinth. Come, nurse, gather:
A crown of roses shall adorn my head,
I'll prank myself with flowers of the prime;
And thus I'll spend away my primrose-time.

NURSE. Rufty-tufty, are you so frolic? O, that you knew as much as I do; 'twould cool you.

Why, what knowest thou, nurse I prythee, tell me.

NURSE. Heavy news, i' faith, mistress: you must be matched, and married to a husband. Ha, ha, ha, ha! a husband, i' faith.

A husband, nurse? why, that's good news, if he be a good one.

NURSE. A good one, quotha? ha, ha, ha, ha! why, woman, I heard your father say that he would marry you to Peter Plod-all, that puck-fist, that snudge-snout, that coal-carrierly clown. Lord! 'twould be as good as meat and drink to me to see how the fool would woo you.

No, no; my father did but jest: think'st thou,
That I can stoop so low to take a brown-bread crust,
And wed a clown, that's brought up at the cart?

Cart, quotha? Ay, he'll cart you; for he cannot tell how to court you.

Ah, nurse! sweet Sophos is the man,
Whose love is lock'd in Lelia's tender breast:
This heart hath vow'd, if heav'ns do not deny,
My love with his entomb'd in earth shall lie.

Peace, mistress, stand aside; here comes somebody.


Optatis non est spes ulla potiri.
Yet, Phoebus, send down thy tralucent beams,
Behold the earth that mourns in sad attire;
The flowers at Sophos' presence 'gin to droop,
Whose trickling tears for Lelia's loss
Do turn the plains into a standing pool.
Sweet Cynthia, smile, cheer up the drooping flowers;
Let Sophos once more see a sunshine-day:
O, let the sacred centre of my heart—
I mean fair Lelia, nature's fairest work—
Be once again the object to mine eyes.
O, but I wish in vain, whilst her I wish to see:
Her father he obscures her from my sight,
He pleads my want of wealth,
And says it is a bar in Venus' court.
How hath fond fortune by her fatal doom
Predestin'd me to live in hapless hopes,
Still turning false her fickle, wavering wheel!
And love's fair goddess with her Circian cup
Enchanteth so fond Cupid's poison'd darts,
That love, the only loadstar of my life,
Doth draw my thoughts into a labyrinth.
But stay:
What do I see? what do mine eyes behold?
O happy sight! It is fair Lelia's face!
Hail, heav'n's bright nymph, the period of my grief,
Sole guidress of my thoughts, and author of my joy.

Sweet Sophos, welcome to Lelia;
Fair Dido, Carthaginians' beauteous queen,
Not half so joyful was, when as the Trojan prince
Aeneas landed on the sandy shores
Of Carthage' confines, as thy Lelia is
To see her Sophos here arriv'd by chance.

And bless'd be chance, that hath conducted me
Unto the place where I might see my dear,
As dear to me as is the dearest life.

Sir, you may see that fortune is your friend.

Yet fortune favours fools.

By that conclusion you should not be wise. [Aside.

Foul fortune sometimes smiles on virtue fair.

'Tis then to show her mutability:
But since, amidst ten thousand frowning threats
Of fickle fortune's thrice-unconstant wheel,
She deigns to show one little pleasing smile,
Let's do our best false fortune to beguile,
And take advantage of her ever-changing moods.
See, see, how Tellus' spangled mantle smiles,
And birds do chant their rural sugar'd notes,
As ravish'd with our meeting's sweet delights:
Since then, there fits for love both time and place,
Let love and liking hand in hand embrace.

NURSE. Sir, the next way to win her love is to linger her leisure. I measure my mistress by my lovely self: make a promise to a man, and keep it. I have but one fault—I ne'er made promise in my life, but I stick to it tooth and nail. I'll pay it home, i' faith. If I promise my love a kiss, I'll give him two; marry, at first I will make nice, and cry Fie, fie; and that will make him come again and again. I'll make him break his wind with come-agains.

But what says Lelia to her Sophos' love?

Ah, Sophos, that fond blind boy,
That wrings these passions from my Sophos' heart,
Hath likewise wounded Lelia with his dart;
And force perforce, I yield the fortress up:
Here, Sophos, take thy Lelia's hand,
And with this hand receive a loyal heart.
High Jove, that ruleth heaven's bright canopy,
Grant to our love a wish'd felicity!

As joys the weary pilgrim by the way,
When Phoebus wanes[144] unto the western deep,
To summon him to his desired rest;
Or as the poor distressed mariner,
Long toss'd by shipwreck on the foaming waves,
At length beholds the long-wish'd haven,
Although from far his heart doth dance for joy:
So love's consent at length my mind hath eas'd;
My troubled thoughts by sweet content are pleas'd.

My father recks not virtue,
But vows to wed me to a man of wealth:
And swears his gold shall counterpoise his worth.
But Lelia scorns proud Mammon's golden mines,
And better likes of learning's sacred lore,
Than of fond fortune's glistering mockeries.
But, Sophos, try thy wits, and use thy utmost skill
To please my father, and compass his goodwill.

To what fair Lelia wills doth Sophos yield content;
Yet that's the troublous gulf my silly ship must pass:
But, were that venture harder to atchieve
Than that of Jason for the golden fleece,
I would effect it for sweet Lelia's sake,
Or leave myself as witness of my thoughts.

How say you by that, mistress? He'll do anything for your sake.

Thanks, gentle love:
But, lest my father should suspect—
Whose jealous head with more than Argus' eyes
Doth measure ev'ry gesture that I use—
I'll in, and leave you here alone.
Adieu, sweet friend, until we meet again.
Come, nurse, follow me.

[Exeunt LELIA and NURSE.

Farewell, my love, fair fortune be thy guide!
Now, Sophos, now bethink thyself, how thou
May'st win her father's will to knit this happy knot.
Alas! thy state is poor, thy friends are few.
And fear forbids to tell my fate to friends:[145]
Well, I'll try my fortunes;
And find out some convenient time,
When as her father's leisure best shall serve
To confer with him about fair Lelia's love.
                                  [Exit SOPHOS.


GRIPE. Neighbour Plod-all and Master Churms, y'are welcome to my house. What news in the country, neighbour? You are a good husband; you ha' done sowing barley, I am sure?

Yes, sir, an't please you, a fortnight since.

Master Churms, what say my debtors? can you get any money of them yet?

CHURMS. Not yet, sir; I doubt they are scarce able to pay. You must e'en forbear them awhile; they'll exclaim on you else.

Let them exclaim, and hang, and starve, and beg. Let me ha' my money.

PLOD-ALL. Here's this good fellow too, Master Churms, I must e'en put him and his father over into your hands; they'll pay me no rent.

WILL CRICKET. This good fellow, quotha? I scorn that base, broking, brabbling, brawling, bastardly, bottle-nosed, beetle-browed, bean-bellied name. Why, Robin Goodfellow is this same cogging, pettifogging, crackropes, calf-skin companion. Put me and my father over to him? Old Silver-top, and you had not put me before my father, I would ha'—

What wouldst ha' done?

I would have had a snatch at you, that I would.

What, art a dog?

WILL CRICKET. No; if I had been a dog, I would ha' snapped off your nose ere this, and so I should have cosened the devil of a maribone.

GRIPE. Come, come: let me end this controversy. Prythee, go thy ways in, and bid the boy bring in a cup of sack here for my friends.

Would you have a sack, sir?

Away, fool: a cup of sack to drink.

WILL CRICKET. O, I had thought you would have had a sack to have put this law-cracking cogfoist in, instead of a pair of stocks.

Away, fool; get thee in, I say.

Into the buttery, you mean?

I prythee, do.

I'll make your hogshead of sack rue that word. [Aside. Exit.]

GRIPE. Neighbour Plod-all, I sent a letter to you by Master Churms; how like you of the motion?

PLOD-ALL. Marry, I like well of the motion. My son, I tell you, is e'en all the stay I have, and all my care is to have him take one that hath something, for, as the world goes now, if they have nothing, they may beg. But I doubt he's too simple for your daughter; for I have brought him up hardly, with brown bread, fat bacon, puddings, and souse; and, by'r Lady, we think it good fare too.

GRIPE. Tush, man! I care not for that. You ha' no more children; you'll make him your heir, and give him your lands, will you not?

Yes; he's e'en all I have; I have nobody else to bestow it upon.

You say well.

Enter WILL CRICKET and a boy, with wine and a napkin.

Nay, hear you; drink, afore you bargain.

GRIPE. Mass, and 'tis a good motion. Boy, fill some wine, [He fills them wine, and gives them the napkin.] Here, neighbour and Master Churms, I drink to you.

We thank you, sir.

Lawyer, wipe clean. Do you remember?

Remember? why?

Why, since you know when.

Since when?

WILL CRICKET. Why, since you were bumbasted, that your lubberly legs would not carry your lobcock body; when you made an infusion of your stinking excrements in your stalking implements. O, you were plaguy frayed, and foully rayed—

GRIPE. Prythee, peace, Will! Neighbour Plod-all, what say you to this match? shall it go forward?

PLOD-ALL. Sir, that must be as our children like. For my son, I think I can rule him; marry, I doubt your daughter will hardly like of him; for, God wot, he's very simple.

GRIPE. My daughter's mine to command; have I not brought her up to this? She shall have him. I'll rule the roost for that. I'll give her pounds and crowns, gold and silver. I'll weigh her down in pure angel gold. Say, man, is't a match?

Faith, I agree.

CHURMS. But, sir, if you give your daughter so large a dowry, you'll have some part of his land conveyed to her by jointure?

Yes, marry, that I will, and we'll desire your help for conveyance.

PLOD-ALL. Ay, good Master Churms, and you shall be very well contented for your pains.

Ay, marry; that's it he looked for all this while. [Aside.

Sir, I will do the best I can.

WILL CRICKET. But, landlord, I can tell you news, i' faith. There is one Sophos, a brave gentleman; he'll wipe your son Peter's nose of Mistress Lelia. I can tell you, he loves her well.

Nay, I trow.

WILL CRICKET. Yes, I know, for I am sure I saw them close together at poop-noddy in her closet.

But I am sure she loves him not.

WILL CRICKET. Nay, I dare take it on my death she loves him, for he's a scholar, and 'ware scholars! they have tricks for love, i' faith; for with a little logic and Pitome colloquium they'll make a wench do anything. Landlord, pray ye, be not angry with me for speaking my conscience. In good faith, your son Peter's a very clown to him. Why, he's as fine a man as a wench can see in a summer's day.

GRIPE. Well, that shall not serve his turn; I'll cross him, I warrant ye. I am glad I know it. I have suspected it a great while. Sophos! Why, what's Sophos? a base fellow. Indeed he has a good wit, and can speak well. He's a scholar, forsooth—one that hath more wit than money—and I like not that; he may beg, for all that. Scholars! why, what are scholars without money?

Faith, e'en like puddings without suet.

GRIPE. Come, neighbour, send your son to my house, for he shall be welcome to me, and my daughter shall entertain him kindly. What? I can and will rule Lelia. Come, let's in; I'll discharge Sophos from my house presently.



A horn plague of this money, for it causeth many horns to bud; and for money many men are horned; for when maids are forced to love where they like not, it makes them lie where they should not. I'll be hanged, if e'er Mistress Lelia will ha' Peter Plod-all; I swear by this button-cap (do you mark?), and by the round, sound, and profound contents (do you understand?) of this costly codpiece (being a good proper man, as you see), that I could get her as soon as he myself. And if I had not a month's mind in another place, I would have a fling at her, that's flat; but I must set a good holiday-face on't, and go a wooing to pretty Peg: well, I'll to her, i' faith, while 'tis in my mind. But stay; I'll see how I can woo before I go: they say use makes perfectness. Look you now; suppose this were Peg: now I set my cap o' the side on this fashion (do ye see?); then say I, sweet honey, honey, sugar-candy Peg.

Whose face more fair than Brock my father's cow;

        Whose eyes do shine,
        Like bacon-rine;
        Whose lips are blue,
        Of azure hue;

Whose crooked nose down to her chin doth bow. For, you know, I must begin to commend her beauty, and then I will tell her plainly that I am in love with her over my high shoes; and then I will tell her that I do nothing of nights but sleep, and think on her, and specially of mornings: and that does make my stomach so rise, that I'll be sworn I can turn me three or four bowls of porridge over in a morning afore breakfast.


How now, sirrah? what make you here, with all that timber in your neck?

Timber? Zounds, I think he be a witch; how knew he this were timber?
Mass, I'll speak him fair, and get out on's company; for I am afraid on

Speak, man; what, art afraid? what makest here?

WILL CRICKET. A poor fellow, sir: ha' been drinking two or three pots of ale at an alehouse, and ha' lost my way, sir.

O! nay, then I see, thou art a good fellow: seest thou not Master
Churms the lawyer to-day?

No, sir; would you speak with him?

Ay, marry, would I.

If I see him, I'll tell him you would speak with him.

Nay, prithee, stay. Who wilt thou tell him would speak with him?

Marry, you, sir.

I? who am I?

Faith, sir, I know not.

If thou seest him, tell him Robin Goodfellow would speak with him.

O, I will sir. [Exit WILL CRICKET.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Mass, the fellow was afraid. I play the bugbear wheresoe'er I come, and make them all afraid. But here comes Master Churms.


CHURMS. Fellow Robin, God save you: I have been seeking for you in every alehouse in the town.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. What, Master Churms? What's the best news abroad? 'tis long since I see you.

CHURMS. Faith, little news: but yet I am glad I have met with you. I have a matter to impart to you wherein you may stand me in some stead, and make a good benefit to yourself: if we can deal cunningly, 'twill be worth a double fee to you, by the Lord.

A double fee? speak, man; what is't? If it be to betray mine own father,
I'll do it for half a fee; and for cunning let me alone.

CHURMS. Why then, this it is: here is Master Gripe hard by, a client of mine, a man of mighty wealth, who has but one daughter; her dowry is her weight in gold. Now, sir, this old pennyfather would marry her to one Peter Plod-all, rich Plod-all's son and heir; whom though his father means to leave very rich, yet he's a very idiot and brownbread clown, and one I know the wench does deadly hate: and though their friends have given their full consent, and both agreed on this unequal match, yet I know that Lelia will never marry him. But there's another rival in her love—one Sophos; and he's a scholar, one whom I think fair Lelia dearly loves, but her father hates him as he hates a toad; for he's in want, and Gripe gapes after gold, and still relies upon the old-said saw, Si nihil attuleris, &c.

And wherein can I do you any good in this?

CHURMS. Marry, thus, sir: I am of late grown passing familiar with Master Gripe; and for Plod-all, he takes me for his second self. Now, sir, I'll fit myself to the old crummy churls' humours, and make them believe I'll persuade Lelia to marry Peter Plod-all, and so get free access to the wench at my pleasure. Now, o' the other side, I'll fall in with the scholar, and him I'll handle cunningly too; I'll tell him that Lelia has acquainted me with her love to him, and for Because her father much suspects the same, He mews her up as men do mew their hawks; And so restrains her from her Sophos' sight. I'll say, because she doth repose more trust Of secrecy in me than in another man, In courtesy she hath requested me To do her kindest greetings to her love.

An excellent device, i' faith!

CHURMS. Ay, sir, and by this means I'll make a very gull of my fine Diogenes: I shall know his secrets even from the very bottom of his heart. Nay more, sir; you shall see me deal so cunningly, that he shall make me an instrument to compass his desire; when, God knows, I mean nothing less. Qui dissimulare nescit, nescit vivere.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Why, this will be sport alone; but what would you have me do in this action?

CHURMS. Marry, as I play with th'one hand, play you with t'other. Fall you aboard with Peter Plod-all; make him believe you'll work miracles, and that you have a powder will make Lelia love him. Nay, what will he not believe, and take all that comes? you know my mind: and so we'll make a gull of the one and a goose of the other. And if we can invent any device to bring the scholar in disgrace with her, I do not doubt but with your help to creep between the bark and the tree, and get Lelia myself.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Tush! man. I have a device in my head already to do that. But they say her brother Fortunatus loves him dearly.

CHURMS. Tut! he's out of the country; he follows the drum and the flag. He may chance to be killed with a double cannon before he come home again. But what's your device?

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Marry, I'll do this: I'll frame an indictment against Sophos in manner and form of a rape, and the next law-day you shall prefer it, that so Lelia may loath him, her father still deadly hate him, and the young gallant her brother utterly forsake him.

But how shall we prove it?

Zounds, we'll hire some strumpet or other to be sworn against him.

CHURMS. Now, by the substance of my soul, 'tis an excellent device. Well, let's in. I'll first try my cunning otherwise, and if all fail, we'll try this conclusion. [Exeunt.


MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Y'faith, Marget, you must e'en take your daughter Peg home again, for she'll not be ruled by me.

Why, mother, what will she not do?

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Faith, she neither did, nor does, nor will do anything. Send her to the market with eggs, she'll sell them, and spend the money. Send her to make a pudding, she'll put in no suet. She'll run out o' nights a-dancing, and come no more home till day-peep. Bid her come to bed, she'll come when she list. Ah, 'tis a nasty shame to see her bringing-up.

Out, you rogue! you arrant, &c. What, knowest not thy granam?

PEG. I know her to be a testy old fool; She's never well, but grunting in a corner.

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Nay, she'll camp, I warrant ye. O, she has a tongue! But, Marget, e'en take her home to your mistress, and there keep her, for I'll keep her no longer.

Mother, pray ye, take ye some pains with her, and keep her awhile
longer, and if she do not mend, I'll beat her black and blue. I' faith,
I'll not fail you, minion.

Faith, at thy request, I'll take her home, and try her a week longer.

NURSE. Come on, huswife; please your granam, and be a good wench, and you shall ha' my blessing.

Come, follow us, good wench.


PEG. Ay, farewell; fair weather after you. Your blessing, quotha? I'll not give a single halfpenny for't. Who would live under a mother's nose and a granam's tongue? A maid cannot love, or catch a lip-clip or a lap-clap, but here's such tittle-tattle, and Do not so, and Be not so light, and Be not so fond, and Do not kiss, and Do not love, and I cannot tell what; and I must love, an I hang for't.

[She sings.

    A sweet thing is love,
      That rules both heart and mind:
    There is no comfort in the world
      To women that are kind

Well. I'll not stay with her; stay, quotha? To be yawled and jawled at, and tumbled and thumbled, and tossed and turned, as I am by an old hag, I will not: no, I will not, i' faith.


But stay, I must put on my smirking looks and smiling countenance, for here comes one makes 'bomination suit to be my sprused husband.

WILL CRICKET. Lord, that my heart would serve me to speak to her, now she talks of her sprused husband! Well, I'll set a good face on't. Now I'll clap me as close to her as Jone's buttocks of a close-stool, and come over her with my rolling, rattling, rumbling eloquence. Sweet Peg, honey Peg, fine Peg, dainty Peg, brave Peg, kind Peg, comely Peg; my nutting, my sweeting, my love, my dove, my honey, my bunny, my duck, my dear, and my darling:

    Grace me with thy pleasant eyes,
      And love without delay;
    And cast not with thy crabbed looks
      A proper man away.

Why, William, what's the matter?

WILL CRICKET. What's the matter, quotha? Faith, I ha' been in a fair taking for you, a bots on you! for t'other day, after I had seen you, presently my belly began to rumble. What's the matter, thought I. With that I bethought myself, and the sweet comportance of that same sweet round face of thine came into my mind. Out went I, and, I'll be sworn, I was so near taken, that I was fain to cut all my points. And dost hear, Peg? if thou dost not grant me thy goodwill in the way of marriage, first and foremost I'll run out of my clothes, and then out of my wits for thee.

Nay, William, I would be loth you should do so for me.

Will you look merrily on me, and love me then?

Faith, I care not greatly if I do.

Care not greatly if I do? What an answer's that? If thou wilt say, I,
Peg, take thee, William, to my spruse husband—

Why, so I will. But we must have more company for witnesses first.

[Enter Dancers and Piper.]

That needs not. Here's good store of young men and maids here.

Why, then, here's my hand.

WILL CRICKET. Faith, that's honestly spoken. Say after me: I, Peg Pudding, promise thee, William Cricket, that I'll hold thee for my own sweet lily, while I have a head in mine eye and a face on my nose, a mouth in my tongue and all that a woman should have from the crown of my foot to the sole of my head. I'll clasp thee and clip thee, coll thee and kiss thee, till I be better than nought and worse than nothing. When thou art ready to sleep, I'll be ready to snort; when thou art in health, I'll be in gladness; when thou art sick, I'll be ready to die; when thou art mad, I'll run out of my wits, and thereupon I strike thee good luck. Well said, i' faith. O, I could find in my hose to pocket thee in my heart! Come, my heart of gold, let's have a dance at the making up of this match. Strike up, Tom Piper. [They dance. Come, Peg, I'll take the pains to bring thee homeward; and at twilight look for me again. [Exeunt.


ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Come hither, my honest friend. Master Churms told me you had a suit to me; what's the matter?

Pray ye, sir, is your name Robin Goodfellow?

My name is Robin Goodfellow.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Marry, sir, I hear you're a very cunning man, sir, and sir reverence of your worship, sir, I am going a-wooing to one Mistress Lelia, a gentlewoman here hard by. Pray ye, sir, tell me how I should behave myself, to get her to my wife, for, sir, there is a scholar about her; now, if you can tell me how I should wipe his nose of her, I would bestow a fee of you.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Let me see't, and thou shalt see what I'll say to thee. [He gives him money.] Well, follow my counsel, and, I'll warrant thee, I'll give thee a love-powder for thy wench, and a kind of nux vomica in a potion shall make her come off, i' faith.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Shall I trouble you so far as to take some pains with me? I am loth to have the dodge.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Tush! fear not the dodge. I'll rather put on my flashing red nose and my flaming face, and come wrapped in a calf's skin, and cry Bo bo. I'll fray the scholar, I warrant thee. But first go to her, try what thou canst do; perhaps she'll love thee without any further ado. But thou must tell her thou hast a good stock, some hundred or two a year, and that will set her hard, I warrant thee; for, by the mass, I was once in good comfort to have cosened a wench, and wott'st thou what I told her? I told her I had a hundred pound land a year in a place, where I have not the breadth of my little finger. I promised her to enfeoff her in forty pounds a year of it, and I think of my conscience, if I had had but as good a face as thine, I should have made her have cursed the time that ever she see it. And thus thou must do: crack and lie, and face, and thou shalt triumph mightily.

PETER PLOD-ALL. I need not do so, for I may say, and say true, I have lands and living enough for a country fellow.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. By'r Lady, so had not I. I was fain to overreach, as many times I do; but now experience hath taught me so much craft that I excel in cunning.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Well, sir, then I'll be bold to trust to your cunning, and so I'll bid you farewell, and go forward. I'll to her, that's flat.

Do so, and let me hear how you speed.

That I will, sir. [Exit PETER.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Well, a good beginning makes a good end. Here's ten groats for doing nothing. I con Master Churms thanks for this, for this was his device; and therefore I'll go seek him out, and give him a quart of wine, and know of him how he deals with the scholar. [Exit.


CHURMS. Why, look ye, sir; by the Lord, I can but wonder at her father; he knows you to be a gentleman of good bringing up, and though your wealth be not answerable to his, yet, by heavens, I think you are worthy to do far better than Lelia—yet I know she loves you dearly.

The great Tartarian emperor, Tamar Cham,
Joy'd not so much in his imperial crown,
As Sophos joys in Lelia's hoped-for love,
Whose looks would pierce an adamantine heart,
And makes the proud beholders stand at gaze,
To draw love's picture from her glancing eye.

And I will stretch my wits unto the highest strain,
To further Sophos in his wish'd desires.

Thanks, gentle sir.
But truce awhile; here comes her father.

Enter GRIPE.

I must speak a word or two with him.

Ay, he'll give you your answer, I warrant ye. [Aside.

God save you, sir.

GRIPE. O Master Sophos, I have longed to speak with you a great while. I hear you seek my daughter Lelia's love. I hope you will not seek to dishonest me, nor disgrace my daughter.

SOPHOS. No, sir; a man may ask a yea; a woman may say nay. She is in choice to take her choice, yet I must confess I love Lelia.

GRIPE. Sir, I must be plain with you. I like not of your love. Lelia's mine. I'll choose for Lelia, and therefore I would wish you not to frequent my house any more. It's better for you to ply your book, and seek for some preferment that way, than to seek for a wife before you know how to maintain her.

I am not rich, I am not very poor;
I neither want, nor ever shall exceed:
The mean is my content; I live 'twixt two extremes.

GRIPE. Well, well; I tell ye I like not you should come to my house, and presume so proudly to match your poor pedigree with my daughter Lelia, and therefore I charge you to get off my ground, come no more at my house. I like not this learning without living, I.

SOPHOS. He needs must go that the devil drives: Sic virtus sine censu languet. [Exit SOPHOS.

GRIPE. O Master Churms, cry you mercy, sir; I saw not you. I think I have sent the scholar away with a flea in his ear. I trow, he'll come no more at my house.

No; for if he do, you may indict him for coming of your ground.

GRIPE. Well, now I'll home, and keep in my daughter. She shall neither go to him nor send to him; I'll watch her, I'll warrant her. Before God, Master Churms, it is the peevishest girl that ever I knew in my life; she will not be ruled, I doubt. Pray ye, sir, do you endeavour to persuade her to take Peter Plod-all.

I warrant ye, I'll persuade her; fear not.


Enter LELIA and NURSE.

What sorrow seizeth on my heavy heart!
Consuming care possesseth ev'ry part:
Heart-sad Erinnis keeps his mansion here
Within the closure of my woful breast;
And black Despair with iron sceptre stands,
And guides my thoughts down to his hateful cell.
The wanton winds with whistling murmur bear
My piercing plaints along the desert plains;
And woods and groves do echo forth my woes:
The earth below relents in crystal tears,
When heav'ns above, by some malignant course
Of fatal stars, are authors of my grief.
Fond love, go hide thy shafts in folly's den,
And let the world forget thy childish force;
Or else fly, fly, pierce Sophos' tender breast,
That he may help to sympathise these plaints,
That wring these tears from Lelia's weeping eyes.

NURSE. Why, how now, mistress? what, is it love that makes you weep, and toss, and turn so a-nights, when you are in bed? Saint Leonard grant you fall not love-sick.

Ay, that's the point that pierceth to the quick.
Would Atropos would cut my vital thread,
And so make lavish of my loathed life:
Or gentle heav'ns would smile with fair aspect,
And so give better fortunes to my love!
Why, is't not a plague to be a prisoner to mine own father?

Yes, and 't's a shame for him to use you so too:
But be of good cheer, mistress; I'll go
To Sophos ev'ry day; I'll bring you tidings
And tokens too from him, I'll warrant ye;
And if he'll send you a kiss or two, I'll bring it.
Let me alone; I am good at a dead lift:
Marry, I cannot blame you for loving of Sophos;
Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax.
But, mistress—out upon's! wipe your eyes,
For here comes another wooer.


Mistress Lelia, God speed you.

That's more than we
Need at this time, for we are doing nothing.

'Twere as good say a good word as a bad.

But it's more wisdom to say nothing at all,
Than speak to no purpose.

My purpose is to wive you.

And mine is never to wed you.

Belike, you are in love with somebody else.

NURSE. No, but she's lustily promised. Hear you—you with [the] long rifle by your side—do you lack a wife?

Call ye this [a] rifle? it's a good backsword.

Why, then, you with [the] backsword, let's see your back.

Nay, I must speak with Mistress Lelia Before I go.

What would you with me?

PETER PLOD-ALL. Marry, I have heard very well of you, and so has my father too; and he has sent me to you a-wooing; and if you have any mind of marriage, I hope I shall maintain you as well as any husbandman's wife in the country.

Maintain her? with what?

Marry, with my lands and livings my father has promised me.

I have heard much of your wealth, but
I never knew you manners before now.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Faith, I have no manors, but a pretty home-stall; and we have great store of oxen and horses, and carts and ploughs and household-stuff 'bomination, and great flocks of sheep, and flocks of geese and capons, and hens and ducks. O, we have a fine yard of pullen! And, thank God, here's a fine weather for my father's lambs.

I cannot live content in discontent:
For as no music can delight the ears,
Where all the parts of discords are composed.
So wedlock-bands will still consist in jars,
Where in condition there's no sympathy;
Then rest yourself contented with this answer—
I cannot love.

PETER PLOD-ALL. It's no matter what you say: for my father told me thus much before I came, that you would be something nice at first; but he bad me like you ne'er the worse for that, for I were the liker to speed.

Then you were best leave off your suit till
Some other time: and when my leisure serves me
To love you, I'll send you word.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Will you? well then I'll take my leave of you; and if I may hear from you, I'll pay the messenger well for his pains. But stay—God's death! I had almost forgot myself! pray ye, let me kiss your hand, ere I go.

NURSE. Faith, mistress, his mouth runs a-water for a kiss; a little would serve his turn, belike: let him kiss your hand.

I'll not stick for that. [He kisseth her hand.

Mistress Lelia, God be with you.

Farewell, Peter. [Exit PETER.
Thus lucre's set in golden chair of state,
When learning's bid stand by, and keeps aloof:
This greedy humour fits my father's vein,
Who gapes for nothing but for golden gain.


NURSE. Mistress, take heed you speak nothing that will bear action, for here comes Master Churms the pettifogger.

CHURMS. Mistress Lelia, rest you merry: what's the reason you and your nurse walk here alone?

Because, sir, we desire no other company but our own.

Would I were then your own, that I might keep you company.

O sir, you and he that is her own are far asunder.

But if she please, we may be nearer.

That cannot be; mine own is nearer than myself:
And yet myself, alas! am not mine own.
Thoughts, fears, despairs, ten thousand dreadful dreams,
Those are mine own, and those do keep me company.

Before God,
I must confess, your father is too cruel,
To keep you thus sequester'd from the world,
To spend your prime of youth thus in obscurity,
And seek to wed you to an idiot fool,
That knows not how to use himself:
Could my deserts but answer my desires,
I swear by Sol, fair Phoebus' silver eye,
My heart would wish no higher to aspire,
Than to be grac'd with Lelia's love.
By Jesus, I cannot play the dissembler,
And woo my love with courting ambages,
Like one whose love hangs on his smooth tongue's end;
But, in a word, I tell the sum of my desires,
I love fair Lelia:
By her my passions daily are increas'd;
And I must die, unless by Lelia's love they be releas'd.

LELIA. Why, Master Churms, I had thought that you had been my father's great councillor in all these actions.

Nay, damn me, if I be: by heav'ns, sweet nymph, I am not!

NURSE. Master Churms, you are one can do much with her father: and if you love as you say, persuade him to use her more kindly, and give her liberty to take her choice; for these made marriages prove not well.

I protest I will.

So Lelia shall accept thee as her friend:—
Meanwhile, nurse, let's in:
My long absence, I know, will make my father muse.

[Exeunt LELIA and NURSE.

CHURMS. So Lelia shall accept thee as her friend:—who can but ruminate upon these words? Would she had said, her love: but 'tis no matter; first creep, and then go; now her friend: the next degree is Lelia's love. Well, I'll persuade her father to let her have a little more liberty. But soft; I'll none of that neither: so the scholar may chance cosen me. Persuade him to keep her in still: and before she'll have Peter Plod-all, she'll have anybody; and so I shall be sure that Sophos shall never come at her. Why, I'll warrant ye, she'll be glad to run away with me at length. Hang him that has no shifts. I promised Sophos to further him in his suit; but if I do, I'll be pecked to death with hens. I swore to Gripe I would persuade Lelia to love Peter Plod-all; but, God forgive me, 'twas the furthest end of my thought. Tut! what's an oath? every man for himself: I'll shift for one, I warrant ye. [Exit.

Enter FORTUNATUS solus.

Thus have I pass'd the beating billows of the sea,
By Ithac's rocks and wat'ry Neptune's bounds:
And wafted safe from Mars his bloody fields,
Where trumpets sound tantara to the fight,
And here arriv'd for to repose myself
Upon the borders of my native soil.
Now, Fortunatus, bend thy happy course
Unto thy father's house, to greet thy dearest friends;
And if that still thy aged sire survive,
Thy presence will revive his drooping spirits,
And cause his wither'd cheeks be sprent with youthful blood,
Where death of late was portray'd to the quick.
But, soft; who comes here? [Stand aside.


ROBIN GOODFELLOW. I wonder I hear not of Master Churms; I would fain know how he speeds, and what success he has in Lelia's love. Well, if he cosen the scholar of her, 'twould make my worship laugh; and if he have her, he may say,—Godamercy, Robin Goodfellow: O, ware a good head as long as you live. Why, Master Gripe, he casts beyond the moon, and Churms is the only man he puts in trust with his daughter; and, I'll warrant, the old churl would take it upon his salvation that he will persuade her to marry Peter Plod-all. But I will make a fool of Peter Plod-all; I'll look him in the face, and pick his purse, whilst Churms cosen him of his wench, and my old grandsire Holdfast of his daughter: and if he can do so, I'll teach him a trick to cosen him of his gold too. Now, for Sophos, let him wear the willow garland, and play the melancholy malcontent, and pluck his hat down in his sullen eyes, and think on Lelia in these desert groves: 'tis enough for him to have her in his thoughts, although he ne'er embrace her in his arms. But now there's a fine device comes into my head to scare the scholar: you shall see, I'll make fine sport with him. They say that every day he keeps his walk amongst these woods and melancholy shades, and on the bark of every senseless tree engraves the tenor of his hapless hope. Now when he's at Venus' altar at his orisons, I'll put me on my great carnation-nose, and wrap me in a rowsing calf-skin suit, and come like some hobgoblin, or some devil ascended from the grisly pit of hell, and like a scarbabe make him take his legs: I'll play the devil, I warrant ye.


And if you do, by this hand, I'll play the conjuror.
Blush, Fortunatus, at the base conceit!
To stand aloof, like one that's in a trance,
And with thine eyes behold that miscreant imp,
Whose tongue['s] more venom['s] than the serpent's sting,
Before thy face thus taunt thy dearest friends—
Ay, thine own father—with reproachful terms!
Thy sister Lelia, she is bought and sold,
And learned Sophos, thy thrice-vowed friend,
Is made a stale by this base cursed crew
And damned den of vagrant runagates:
But here, in sight of sacred heav'ns, I swear
By all the sorrows of the Stygian souls,
By Mars his bloody blade, and fair Bellona's bowers,
I vow, these eyes shall ne'er behold my father's face,
These feet shall never pass these desert plains;
But pilgrim-like, I'll wander in these woods,
Until I find out Sopho's secret walks.
And sound the depth of all their plotted drifts.
Nor will I cease, until these hands revenge
Th'injurious wrong, that's offer'd to my friend,
Upon the workers of this stratagem.

Enter PEG sola.

I' faith, i' faith, I cannot tell what to do;
I love, and I love, and I cannot tell who:
Out upon this love! for, wot you what?
I have suitors come huddle, twos upon twos,
And threes upon threes: and what think you
Troubles me? I must chat and kiss with all comers,
Or else no bargain.

Enter WILL CRICKET, and kisses her.

A bargain, i' faith: ha, my sweet honey-sops! how dost thou?

Well, I thank you, William; now I see y'are a man of your word.

A man o' my word, quotha? why, I ne'er broke promise in my life that
I kept.

No, William, I know you did not; but I had forgotten me.

WILL CRICKET. Dost hear, Peg? if e'er I forget thee, I pray God, I may never remember thee.

Peace! here comes my granam Midnight.


MOTHER MIDNIGHT. What, Peg! what, ho! what, Peg, I say! what, Peg, my wench? where art thou, trow?

Here, granam, at your elbow.

What mak'st thou here this twatter light? I think thou'rt in a dream;
I think the fool haunts thee.

WILL CRICKET. Zounds, fool in your face! Fool? O monstrous intitulation. Fool? O, disgrace to my person. Zounds, fool not me, for I cannot brook such a cold rasher, I can tell you. Give me but such another word, and I'll be thy tooth-drawer—even of thy butter-tooth, thou toothless trot, thou!

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Nay, William, pray ye, be not angry; you must bear with old folks, they be old and testy, hot and hasty. Set not your wit against mine, William; for I thought you no harm, by my troth.

Well, your good words have something laid my choler. But, granam, shall
I be so bold to come to your house now and then to keep Peg company?

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Ay, and beshrew thy good heart, and thou dost not. Come, and we'll have a piece of a barley bag-pudding or something, and thou shalt be very heartily welcome, that thou shalt, and Peg shall bid thee welcome too. Pray ye, maid, bid him welcome, and make much of him, for, by my vay, he's a good proper springal.[146]

PEG. Granam, if you did but see him dance, 'twould do your heart good. Lord! 'twould make anybody love him, to see how finely he'll foot it.

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. William, prythee, go home to my house with us, and take a cup of our beer, and learn to know the way again another time.

Come on, granam. I'll man you home, i' faith.
Come, Peg.

    Enter GRIPE, old PLOD-ALL and his son PETER, and
    CHURMS the lawyer.

Come hither, Peter; hold up your head.
Where's your cap and leg, sir boy, ha?

By your leave, Master Gripe.

GRIPE. Welcome, Peter; give me thy hand: thou'rt welcome. By'r Lady, this is a good, proper, tall fellow, neighbour; call you him a boy?

A good, pretty, square springal,[147] sir.

Peter, you have seen my daughter, I am sure.
How do you like her? What says she to you?

PETER PLOD-ALL. Faith, I like her well, and I have broken my mind to her, and she would say neither ay nor no. But, thank God, sir, we parted good friends, for she let me kiss her hand, and bad, Farewell, Peter, and therefore I think I am like enough to speed. How think you, Master Churms?

CHURMS. Marry, I think so too, for she did show no token of any dislike of your motion, did she?

No, not a whit, sir.

CHURMS. Why then, I warrant ye, for we hold in our law that, idem est non apparere et non esse.

GRIPE. Master Churms, I pray you, do so much as call my daughter hither. I will make her sure here to Peter Plod-all, and I'll desire you to be a witness.

With all my heart, sir. [Exit CHURMS.

GRIPE. Before God, neighbour, this same Master Churms is a very good lawyer, for, I warrant, you cannot speak anything, but he has law for it ad unguem.

PLOD-ALL. Marry, even the more joy on him, and he's one that I am very much beholding to: but here comes your daughter.


Father, did you send for me?

Ay, wench, I did. Come hither, Lelia; give me thy hand. Master Churms,
I pray you, bear witness, I here give Lelia to Peter Plod-all. [She
plucks away her hand
.] How now?

She'll none, she thanks you, sir.

GRIPE. Will she none? Why, how now, I say? What, you puling, peevish thing, you untoward baggage, will you not be ruled by your father? Have I taken care to bring you up to this, and will you do as you list? Away, I say; hang, starve, beg; begone, pack, I say; out of my sight! Thou never gettest pennyworth of my goods for this. Think on't, I do not use to jest. Begone, I say; I will not hear thee speak.

[Exeunt LELIA and NURSE.

I pray you, sir, patient yourself; she's young.

GRIPE. I hold my life, this beggarly scholar hankers about her still, makes her so untoward. But I'll home; I'll set her a harder task. I'll keep her in, and look to her a little better than I ha' done. I'll make her have little mind of gadding, I warrant her. Come, neighbour, send your son to my house, for he's welcome thither, and shall be welcome; and I'll make Lelia bid him welcome too, ere I ha' done with her. Come, Peter, follow us. [Exeunt all but CHURMS.

CHURNS. Why, this is excellent: better and better still. This is beyond expectation; why, now this gear begins to work. But, beshrew my heart, I was afraid that Lelia would have yielded. When I saw her father take her by the hand and call me for a witness, my heart began to quake; but, to say the truth, she had little reason to take a cullian lug-loaf, milksop slave, when she may have a lawyer, a gentleman that stands upon his reputation in the country, one whose diminutive defect of law may compare with his little learning. Well, I see that Churms must be the man must carry Lelia, when all's done.


ROBIN GOODFELLOW. How now, Master Churms? What news abroad? Methinks you look very spruce; y'are very frolic now a-late.

CHURMS. What, fellow Robin? How goes the squares with you? Y'are waxen very proud a-late; you will not know your own friends.

Faith, I even came to seek you, to bestow a quart of wine of you.

That's strange; you were never wont to be so liberal.

Tush, man; one good turn asks another; clear gains, man, clear gains!
Peter Plod-all shall pay for all. I have gulled him once, and I'll come
over him again and again, I warrant ye.

CHURMS. Faith, Lelia has e'en given him the doff[148] here, and has made her father almost stark-mad.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. O, all the better; then I shall be sure of more of his custom. But what success have you in your suit with her?

CHURMS. Faith, all hitherto goes well. I have made the motion to her, but as yet we are grown to no conclusion. But I am in very good hope.

But do you think you shall get her father's goodwill?

CHURMS. Tut, if I get the wench, I care not for that; that will come afterward; and I'll be sure of something in the meantime, for I have outlawed a great number of his debtors, and I'll gather up what money I can amongst them, and Gripe shall never know of it neither.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Ay, and of those that are scarce able to pay, take the one half, and forgive them the other, rather than sit out at all.

Tush! let me alone for that; but, sirrah, I have brought the scholar
into a fool's paradise. Why, he has made me his spokesman to Mistress
Lelia, and, God's my judge, I never so much as name him to her.

O, by the mass, well-remembered.
I'll tell you what I mean to do:
I'll attire myself fit for the same purpose,
Like to some hellish hag or damned fiend,
And meet with Sophos wandering in the woods.
O, I shall fray him terribly.

CHURMS. I would thou couldst scare him out of his wits, then should I ha' the wench, cocksure. I doubt nobody but him.

Well, let's go drink together,
And then I'll go put on my devilish robes—
I mean, my Christmas calf-skin suit,
And then walk to the woods.
O, I'll terrify him, I warrant ye.


A Wood.

Enter SOPHOS solus.

Will heavens still smile at Sophos' miseries,
And give no end to my incessant moans?
These cypress shades are witness of my woes;
The senseless trees do grieve at my laments;
The leafy branches drop sweet Myrrha's tears:
For love did scorn me in my mother's womb,
And sullen Saturn, pregnant at my birth,
With all the fatal stars conspir'd in one
To frame a hapless constellation,
Presaging Sophos' luckless destiny.
Here, here doth Sophos turn Ixion's restless wheel,
And here lies wrapp'd in labyrinths of love—
Of his sweet Lelia's love, whose sole idea still
Prolongs the hapless date of Sophos' hopeless life.
Ah! said I life? a life far worse than death—
Than death? ay, than ten thousand deaths.
I daily die, in that I live love's thrall;
They die thrice happy that once die for all.
Here will I stay my weary wand'ring steps,
And lay me down upon this solid earth, [He lies down.
The mother of despair and baleful thoughts.
Ay, this befits my melancholy moods.
Now, now, methinks I hear the pretty birds
With warbling tunes record Fair Lelia's name,
Whose absence makes warm blood drop from my heart,
And forceth wat'ry tears from these my weeping eyes.
Methinks I hear the silver-sounding stream
With gentle murmur summon me to sleep,
Singing a sweet, melodious lullaby.
Here will I take a nap, and drown my hapless hopes
In the ocean seas of Never like to speed.
        [He falls in a slumber, and music sounds.


Thus hath Sylvanus left his leafy bowers,
Drawn by the sound of Echo's sad reports,
That with shrill notes and high resounding voice
Doth pierce the very caverns of the earth,
And rings through hills and dales the sad laments
Of virtue's loss and Sophos' mournful plaints.
Now, Morpheus, rouse thee from thy sable den,
Charm all his senses with a slumb'ring trance;
Whilst old Sylvanus send[s] a lovely train
Of satyrs, dryades, and water[149] nymphs
Out of their bowers to tune their silver strings,
And with sweet-sounding music sing
Some pleasing madrigals and roundelays,
To comfort Sophos in his deep distress.
                                [Exit SYLVANUS.

Enter the Nymphs and Satyrs singing.



      Satyrs, sing, let sorrow keep her cell,
        Let warbling Echoes ring,
      And sounding music yell[150]
    Through hills, through dales, sad grief and care to kill
    In him long since, alas! hath griev'd his fill


      Sleep no more, but wake and live content,
        Thy grief the Nymphs deplore:
      The Sylvan gods lament
    To hear, to see thy moan, thy loss, thy love,
    Thy plaints to tears the flinty rocks do move


      Grieve not, then; the queen of love is mild,
        She sweetly smiles on men,
      When reason's most beguil'd;
    Her looks, her smiles are kind, are sweet, are fair:
    Awake therefore, and sleep not still in care


      Love intends to free thee from annoy,
        His nymphs Sylvanus sends
      To bid thee live in joy,
    In hope, in joy, sweet love, delight's embrace:
    Fair love herself will yield thee so much grace

[Exeunt the Nymphs and Satyrs.

What do I hear? what harmony is this,
With silver sound that glutteth Sophos' ears.
And drives sad passions from his heavy heart,
Presaging some good future hap shall fall,
After these blust'ring blasts of discontent?
Thanks, gentle Nymphs, and Satyrs too, adieu;
That thus compassionate a loyal lover's woe,
When heav'n sits smiling at his dire mishaps.


With weary steps I trace these desert groves,
And search to find out Sophos' secret walks,
My truest vowed friend and Lelia's dearest love.

What voice is this sounds Lelia's sacred name? [He riseth.
Is it some satyr that hath view'd her late,
And's grown enamour'd of her gorgeous hue?

No satyr, Sophos; but thy ancient friend,
Whose dearest blood doth rest at thy command:
Hath sorrow lately blear'd thy wat'ry eyes,
That thou forgett'st the lasting league of love,
Long since was vowed betwixt thyself and me?
Look on me, man; I am thy friend.

O, now I know thee, now thou nam'st my friend;
I have no friend, to whom I dare
Unload the burden of my grief,
But only Fortunatus, he's my second self:
Mi Fortunate, ter fortunaté venis.[151]

How fares my friend? methinks you look not well;
Your eyes are sunk, your cheeks look pale and wan:
What means this alteration?

My mind, sweet friend, is like a mastless ship,
That's hurl'd and toss'd upon the surging seas
By Boreas' bitter blast and Ae'lus' whistling winds,
On rocks and sands far from the wished port,
Whereon my silly ship desires to land:
Fair Lelia's love, that is the wished haven,
Wherein my wand'ring mind would take repose;
For want of which my restless thoughts are toss'd,
For want of which all Sophos' joys are lost.

Doth Sophos love my sister Lelia?

She, she it is, whose love I wish to gain,
Nor need I wish, nor do I love in vain:
My love she doth repay with equal meed—
'Tis strange, you'll say, that Sophos should not speed.

Your love repaid with equal meed,
And yet you languish still in love? 'tis strange.
From whence proceeds your grief,
Unfold unto your friend: a friend may yield relief.

My want of wealth is author of my grief;
Your father says, my state is too-too low:
I am no hobby bred; I may not soar so high
As Lelia's love,
The lofty eagle will not catch at flies.
When I with Icarus would soar against the sun,
He is the only fiery Phaeton
Denies my course, and sears my waxen wings,
When as I soar aloft.
He mews fair Lelia up from Sophos' sight,
That not so much as paper pleads remorse.
Thrice three times Sol hath slept in Thetis' lap,
Since these mine eyes beheld sweet Lelia's face:
What greater grief, what other hell than this,
To be denied to come where my beloved is?

Do you alone love Lelia?
Have you no rivals with you in your love?

Yes, only one; and him your father backs:
'Tis Peter Plod-all, rich Plod-all's son and heir,
One whose base, rustic, rude desert
Unworthy far to win so fair a prize;
Yet means your father for to make a match
For golden lucre with this Coridon,
And scorns at virtue's lore: hence grows my grief.

If it be true I hear, there is one Churms beside
Makes suit to win my sister to his bride.

That cannot be; Churms is my vowed friend,
Whose tongue relates the tenor of my love
To Lelia's ears: I have no other means.

Well, trust him not: the tiger hides his claws,
When oft he doth pretend[152] the greatest guiles.
But stay: here comes Lelia's nurse.

Enter NURSE.

Nurse, what news? How fares my love?

NURSE. How fares she, quotha? marry, she may fare how she will for you. Neither come to her nor send to her of a whole fortnight! Now I swear to you by my maidenhead, if my husband should have served me so when he came a wooing me, I would never have looked on him with a good face, as long as I had lived. But he was as kind a wretch as ever laid lips of a woman: he would a'come through the windows, or doors, or walls, or anything, but he would have come to me. Marry, after we had been married a while, his kindness began to slack, for I'll tell you what he did: he made me believe he would go to Green-goose fair; and I'll be sworn he took his legs, and ran clean away. And I am afraid you'll prove e'en such another kind piece to my mistress; for she sits at home in a corner weeping for you: and, I'll be sworn, she's ready to die upward for you. And her father o' the other side, he yawls at her, and jawls at her; and she leads such a life for you, it passes: and you'll neither come to her, nor send to her. Why, she thinks you have forgotten her.

Nay, then let heav'ns in sorrow end my days,
And fatal fortune never cease to frown:
And heav'n and earth, and all conspire to pull me down,
If black oblivion seize upon my heart,
Once to estrange my thoughts from Lelia's love.

Why, nurse, I am sure that Lelia hears
From Sophos once a day at least by Churms
The lawyer, who is his only friend.

NURSE. What, young master! God bless mine eyesight. Now, by my maidenhead, y'are welcome home: I am sure my mistress will be glad to see you. But what said you of Master Churms?

Marry, I say he's a well-wisher to my sister Lelia,
And a secret friend to Sophos.

NURSE. Marry, the devil he is! trust him, and hang him. Why, he cannot speak a good word on him to my old master; and he does so ruffle before my mistress with his barbarian eloquence,[153] and strut before her in a pair of Polonian legs, as if he were a gentleman-usher to the great Turk or to the devil of Dowgate. And if my mistress would be ruled by him, Sophos might go snick-up: but he has such a butter-milk face, that she'll never have him.

Can falsehood lurk in those enticing looks!
And deep dissemblance lie, where truth appears?

Injurious villain, to betray his friend!

Sir, do you know the gentleman?

Faith, not well.

Why, sir, he looks like a red herring at a nobleman's table on
Easter-day, and he speaks nothing but almond-butter and sugarcandy.

That's excellent.

This world's the chaos of confusion;
No world at all, but mass of open wrongs,
Wherein a man, as in a map, may see
The highroad way from woe to misery.

Content yourself, and leave these passions:
Now do I sound the depth of all their drifts,
The devil's[154] device and Churms his knavery;
On whom this heart hath vow'd to be reveng'd.
I'll scatter them: the plot's already in my head.
Nurse, hie thee home, commend me to my sister;
Bid her this night send for Master Churms:
To him she must recount her many griefs,
Exclaim against her father's hard constraint, and so
Cunningly temporise with this cunning Catso,
That he may think she loves him as her life;
Bid her tell him that, if by any means
He can convey her forth her father's gate
Unto a secret friend of hers,
The way to whom lies by this forest-side;
That none but he shall have her to his bride.
For her departure let her 'ppoint the time
To-morrow night, when Vesper 'gins to shine;
Here will I be when Lelia comes this way,
Accompani'd with her gentleman-usher,
Whose am'rous thoughts do dream on nought but love:
And if this bastinado hold, I'll make
Him leave his wench with Sophos for a pawn.
Let me alone to use him in his kind;
This is the trap which for him I have laid,
Thus craft by cunning once shall be betray'd:
And, for the devil,[155] I will conjure him.
Good nurse, begone; bid her not fail:
And for a token bear to her this ring,
Which well she knows; for, when I saw her last,
It was her favour, and she gave it me.

And bear her this from me,
And with this ring bid her receive my heart—
My heart! alas, my heart I cannot give;
How should I give her that which is her own?

And your heart be hers, her heart is yours, and so change is no robbery.
Well, I'll give her your tokens, and tell her what ye say.

FORTUNATUS. Do, good nurse; but in any case let not my father know that I am here, until we have effected all our purposes.

I'll warrant you, I will not play with you, as Master Churms does with
Sophos; I would ha' my ears cut from my head first.
                                                        [Exit NURSE.

Come, Sophos, cheer up yourself, man;
Let hope expel these melancholy dumps.
Meanwhile, let's in, expecting
How the events of this device will fall,
Until to-morrow at th'appointed time,
When we'll expect the coming of your love.
What, man, I'll work it through the fire,
But you shall have her.

And I will study to deserve this love.



Look on me, and look of Master Churms, a good, proper man. Marry, Master
Churms has something a better pair of legs indeed, but for a sweet face,
a fine beard, comely corpse, and a carousing codpiece.

    All England, if it can,
    Show me such a man,
    To win a wench, by Gis,
    To clip, to coll, to kiss,
    As William Cricket is.

Why, look you now: if I had been such a great, long, large, lobcocked, loselled lurden, as Master Churms is, I'll warrant you, I should never have got Peg as long as I had lived, for, do you mark, a wench will never love a man that has all his substance in his legs. But stay: here comes my landlord; I must go salute him.

Enter old PLOD-ALL and his son PETER.

PLOD-ALL. Come hither, Peter. When didst thou see Robin Goodfellow? He's the man must do the fact.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Faith, father, I see him not this two days, but I'll seek him out, for I know he'll do the deed, and she were twenty Leilas. For, father, he's a very cunning man for give him but ten groats, and he'll give me a powder that will make Lelia come to bed to me, and when I have her there, I'll use her well enough.

Will he so? Marry, I will give him vorty shillings, if he can do it.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Nay, he'll do more than that too, for he'll make himself like a devil, and fray the scholar that hankers about her out on's wits.

PLOD-ALL. Marry, Jesus bless us! will he so? Marry, thou shalt have vorty shillings to give him, and thy mother shall bestow a hard cheese on him beside.

Landlord, a pox on you, this good morn!

How now, fool? what, dost curse me?

WILL CRICKET. How now, fool! How now, caterpillar? It's a sign of death, when such vermin creep hedges so early in the morning.

Sirrah foul manners, do you know to whom you speak?

WILL CRICKET. Indeed, Peter, I must confess I want some of your wooing manners, or else I might have turned my fair bushtail to you instead of your father, and have given you the ill salutation this morning.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Let him alone, Peter; I'll temper him well enough. Sirrah, I hear say, you must be married shortly. I'll make you pay a sweet fine for your house for this. Ha, sirrah! am not I your landlord?

WILL CRICKET. Yes, for fault of a better; but you get neither sweet fine nor sour fine of me.

My masters, I pray you bear witness I do discharge him then.

WILL CRICKET. My masters, I pray you bear witness my landlord has given me a general discharge. I'll be married presently. My fine's paid; I have a discharge for it. [He offers to go away.

Nay, prythee, stay.

WILL CRICKET. No, I'll not stay. I'll go call the clerk. I'll be cried out upon i' the church presently. What, ho! what, clerk, I say? where are you?

Enter CLERK.

Who calls me? what would you with me?

WILL CRICKET. Marry, sir, I would have you to make proclamation that, if any manner of man, o' the town or the country, can lay any claim to Peg Pudding, let him bring word to the crier, or else William Cricket will wipe his nose of her.

You mean, you would be asked i' the church?

WILL CRICKET. Ay, that's it. A bots on't, I cannot hit of these marrying terms yet. And I'll desire my landlord here and his son to be at the celebration of my marriage too. I' faith, Peter, you shall cram your guts full of cheesecakes and custards there; and, sirrah clerk, if thou wilt say amen stoutly, i' faith, my powder-beef-slave, I'll have a rump of beef for thee, shall make thy mouth stand o' the tother side.

When would you have it done?

WILL CRICKET. Marry, e'en as soon as may be. Let me see; I will be asked i' the church of Sunday morning prayer, and again at evening prayer, and the next holyday that comes, I will be asked i' the forenoon and married i' the afternoon, for, do you mark, I am none of these sneaking fellows that will stand thrumming of caps and studying upon a matter, as long as Hunks with the great head has been about to show his little wit in the second part of his paltry poetry,[156] but if I begin with wooing, I'll end with wedding, and therefore, good clerk, let me have it done with all speed; for, I promise you, I am very sharp-set.

CLERK. Faith, you may be asked i' the church on Sunday at morning prayer, but Sir John cannot 'tend[157] to do it at evening prayer, for there comes a company of players to the town on Sunday i' the afternoon, and Sir John is so good a fellow that I know he'll scarce leave their company to say evening prayer; for, though I say it, he's a very painful man, and takes so great delight in that faculty, that he'll take as great pain about building of a stage or so, as the basest fellow among them.

WILL CRICKET. Nay, if he have so lawful an excuse, I am content to defer it one day the longer; and, landlord, I hope you and your son Peter will make bold with us, and trouble us.

PLOD-ALL. Nay, William, we would be loth to trouble you; but you shall have our company there.

WILL CRICKET. Faith, you shall be very heartily welcome, and we will have good merry rogues there, that will make you laugh till you burst.

Why, William, what company do you mean to have?

WILL CRICKET. Marry, first and foremost, there will be an honest Dutch cobbler, that will sing I will noe meare to Burgaine[158] go, the best that ever you heard.

What, must a cobbler be your chief guest? Why, he's a base fellow.

WILL CRICKET. A base fellow! You may be ashamed to say so, for he's an honest fellow and a good fellow; and he begins to carry the very badge of good-fellowship upon his nose, that I do not doubt but in time he will prove as good a cup-companion as Robin Goodfellow himself. Ay, and he's a tall fellow, and a man of his hands too, for, I'll tell you what—tie him to the bull-ring, and for a bag-pudding, a custard, a cheesecake, a hog's cheek, or a calf's head, turn any man i' the town to him, and if he do not prove himself as tall a man as he, let blind Hugh bewitch him, and turn his body into a barrel of strong ale, and let his nose be the spigot, his mouth the faucet, and his tongue a plug for the bunghole. And then there will be Robin Goodfellow, as good a drunken rogue as lives, and Tom Shoemaker; and I hope you will not deny that he's an honest man, for he was constable o' the town; and a number of other honest rascals which, though they are grown bankrouts, and live at the reversion of other men's tables, yet, thanks be to God, they have a penny amongst them at all times at their need.

PETER PLOD-ALL. Nay, if Robin Goodfellow be there, you shall be sure to have our company; for he's one that we hear very well of, and my son here has some occasion to use him, and therefore, if we may know when 'tis, we'll make bold to trouble you.

Yes, I'll send you word.

Why then farewell, till we hear from you.

[Exeunt PLOD-ALL and his son.

WILL CRICKET. Well, clerk, you'll see this matter bravely performed; let it be done as it should be.

I'll warrant ye; fear it not.

WILL CRICKET. Why, then, go you to Sir John, and I'll to my wench, and bid her give her maidenhead warning to prepare itself; for the destruction of it is at hand. [Exeunt.

Enter LELIA sola.

How love and fortune both with eager mood,
Like greedy hounds, do hunt my tired heart,
Rous'd forth the thickets of my wonted joys!
And Cupid winds his shrill-note buglehorn,
For joy my silly heart so near is spent:
Desire, that eager cur, pursues the chase,
And fortune rides amain unto the fall;
Now sorrow sings, and mourning bears a part,
Playing harsh descant on my yielding heart.

Enter NURSE.

Nurse, what news?

NURSE. Faith, a whole sackful of news. You love Sophos, and Sophos loves you, and Peter Plod-all loves you, and you love not him, and you love not Master Churms, and he loves you; and so, here's love and no love, and I love and I love not, and I cannot tell what; but of all and of all Master Churms must be the man you must love.

Nay, first I'll mount me on the winged wind,
And fly for succour to the furthest Ind.
Must I love Master Churms?

Faith, you must, and you must not.

As how, I pray thee?

Marry, I have commendations to you.

From whom?

From your brother Fortunatus.

My brother Fortunatus!

No, from Sophos.

From my love?

No, from neither.

From neither?

Yes, from both.

Prythee, leave thy foolery, and let me know thy news.

NURSE. Your brother Fortunatus and your love to-morrow night will meet you by the forest-side, there to confer about I know not what: but it is like that Sophos will make you of his privy council, before you come again.

Is Fortunatus then returned from the wars?

NURSE. He is with Sophos every day: but in any case you must not let your father know; for he hath sworn he will not be descried, until he have effected your desires; for he swaggers and swears out of all cry, that he will venture all,

    Both fame and blood, and limb and life,
    But Lelia shall be Sophos' wedded wife.

Alas! nurse, my father's jealous brain
Doth scarce allow me once a month to go
Beyond the compass of his watchful eyes,
Nor once afford me any conference
With any man, except with Master Churms,
Whose crafty brain beguiles my father so,
That he reposeth trust in none but him:
And though he seeks for favour at my hands,
He takes his mark amiss, and shoots awry;
For I had rather see the devil himself
Than Churms the lawyer. Therefore
How I should meet them by the forest-side
I cannot possibly devise.

NURSE. And Master Churms must be the man must work the means: you must this night send for him; make him believe you love him mightily; tell him you have a secret friend dwells far away beyond the forest, to whom, if he can secretly convey you from your father, tell him, you will love him better than ever God loved him: and when you come to the place appointed, let them alone to discharge the knave of clubs: and that you must not fail, here receive this ring, which Fortunatus sent you for a token, that this is the plot that you must prosecute; and this from Sophos, as his true love's pledge.

This ring my brother sent, I know right well:
But this my true love's pledge I more esteem
Than all the golden mines the solid earth contains—
And see, in happy time, here comes Master Churms.


Now love and fortune both conspire,
And sort their drifts to compass my desire.
Master Churms, y'are well met; I am glad to see you.

And I as glad to see fair Lelia,
As ever Paris was to see his dear;
For whom so many Trojans' blood was spilt:
Nor think I would do less than spend my dearest blood
To gain fair Lelia's love, although by loss of life.

NURSE. 'Faith, mistress, he speaks like a gentleman. Let me persuade you; be not hard-hearted. Sophos? Why, what's he? If he had loved you but half so well, he would ha' come through stone walls, but he would have come to you ere this.

I must confess, I once lov'd Sophos well;
But now I cannot love him, whom
All the world knows to be a dissembler.

Ere I would wrong my love with one day's absence,
I would pass the boiling Hellespont,
As once Leander did for Hero's love,
Or undertake a greater task than that,
Ere I would be disloyal to my love.
And if that Lelia give her free consent,
That both our loves may sympathise in one,
My hand, my heart, my love, my life, and all,
Shall ever tend on Lelia's fair command.

Master Churms,
Methinks 'tis strange you should make such a motion:
Say, I should yield and grant you love,
When most you did expect a sunshine day,
My father's will would mar your hop'd-for hay;
And when you thought to reap the fruits of love,
His hard constraint would blast it in the bloom:
For he so doats on Peter Plod-all's pelf,
That none but he forsooth must be the man:
And I will rather match myself
Unto a groom of Pluto's grisly den,
Than unto such a silly golden ass.

Bravely resolved, i' faith!

But, to be short—
I have a secret friend, that dwells from hence
Some two days' journey, that's the most;
And if you can, as well I know you may,
Convey me thither secretly—
For company I desire no other than your own—
Here take my hand:
That once perform'd, my heart is next.

If on th'adventure all the dangers lay,
That Europe or the western world affords;
Were it to combat Cerberus himself,
Or scale the brazen walls of Pluto's court,
When as there is so fair a prize propos'd;
If I shrink back, or leave it unperform'd,
Let the world canonise me for a coward:
Appoint the time, and leave the rest to me.

When night's black mantle overspreads the sky,
And day's bright lamp is drenched in the west—
To-morrow night I think the fittest time,
That silent shade[s] may give us[159] safe convoy
Unto our wished hopes, unseen of living eye.

And at that time I will not fail
In that, or ought may make for our avail.

NURSE. But what if Sophos should meet you by the forest-side, and encounter you with his single rapier?

Sophos? a hop of my thumb!
A wretch, a wretch! Should Sophos meet
Us there accompani'd with some champion
With whom 'twere any credit to encounter,
Were he as stout as Hercules himself,
Then would I buckle with them hand to hand,
And bandy blows, as thick as hailstones fall,
And carry Lelia away in spite of all their force.
What? love will make cowards fight—
Much more a man of my resolution.

And on your resolution I'll depend.
Until to-morrow at th'appointed time,
When I look for you: till when I leave you,
And go make preparation for our journey.

CHURMS. Farewell, fair love, until we meet again. Why so: did I not tell you she would be glad to run away with me at length? Why, this falls out, e'en as a man would say, thus I would have it. But now I must go cast about for some money too. Let me see, I have outlawed three or four of Gripe's debtors; and I have the bonds in mine own hands. The sum that is due to him is some two or three hundred pounds. Well, I'll to them; if I can get but one half, I'll deliver them their bonds, and leave the other half to their own consciences: and so I shall be sure to get money to bear charges. When all fails, well fare a good wit! But soft; no more of that. Here comes Master Gripe.

Enter GRIPE.

What, Master Churms? what, all alone? How fares your body?

CHURMS. Faith, sir, reasonable well: I am e'en walking here to take the fresh air.

GRIPE. 'Tis very wholesome, this fair weather. But, Master Churms, how like you my daughter? Can you do any good on her? Will she be ruled yet? How stands she affected to Peter Plod-all?

CHURMS. O, very well, sir; I have made her very conformable. O, let me alone to persuade a woman. I hope you shall see her married within this week at most,—(Aside) I mean to myself.

GRIPE. Master Churms, I am so exceedingly beholding to you, I cannot tell how I shall requite your kindness. But, i' the meantime, here's a brace of angels for you to drink for your pains. This news hath e'en lightened my heart. O sir, my neighbour Plod-all is very wealthy. Come, Master Churms, you shall go home with me: we'll have good cheer, and be merry for this to-night, i' faith.

Well, let them laugh that win. [Aside. Exeunt.

Enter PEG and her GRANAM.

PEG. Granam, give me but two crowns of red gold, and I'll give you twopence of white silver, if Robin the devil be not a water-witch.

Marry, Jesus bless us! why, prythee?

PEG. Marry, I'll tell you why. Upon the morrow after the blessed new year, I came trip, trip, trip, over the market hill, holding up my petticoat to the calves of my legs, to show my fine coloured stockings, and how finely I could foot it in a pair of new corked shoes I had bought; and there I spied this Monsieur Muffe lie gaping up into the skies, to know how many maids would be with child in the town all the year after. O, 'tis a base vexation slave! How the country talks of the large-ribbed varlet!

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Marry, out upon him. What a Friday-faced slave it is: I think in my conscience, his face never keeps holiday.

PEG. Why, his face can never be at quiet. He has such a choleric nose, I durst ha' sworn by my maidenhead (God forgive me, that I should take such an oath), that if William had had such a nose, I would never ha' loved him.


WILL CRICKET. What a talking is here of noses? Come, Peg, we are toward marriage; let us talk of that may do us good. Granam, what will you give us toward housekeeping?

Why, William, we are talking of Robin Goodfellow. What think you of him?

WILL CRICKET. Marry, I say, he looks like a tankard-bearer that dwells in Petticoat Lane at the sign of the Mermaid; and I swear by the blood of my codpiece, and I were a woman, I would lug off his lave[160] ears, or run him to death with a spit. And, for his face, I think 'tis pity there is not a law made, that it should be felony to name it in any other places than in bawdy-houses. But, Granam, what will you give us?

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Marry, I will give Peg a pot and a pan, two platters, a dish and a spoon, a dog and a cat. I trow, she'll prove a good huswife, and love her husband well too.

WILL CRICKET. If she love me, I'll love her. I' faith, my sweet honeycomb, I'll love thee A per se A. We must be asked in church next Sunday; and we'll be married presently.

I' faith, William, we'll have a merry day on't.

That we will, i' faith, Peg; we'll have a whole noise of fiddlers there.
Come, Peg, let's hie us home; we'll make a bag-pudding to supper, and
William shall go and sup with us.

WILL CRICKET. Come on, i' faith. [Exeunt.


Why, how now, Sophos? all amort? still languishing in love?
Will not the presence of thy friend prevail,
Nor hope expel these sullen fits?
Cannot mirth wring if but a forged smile
From those sad drooping looks of thine?
Rely on hope, whose hap will lead thee right
To her, whom thou dost call thy heart's delight:
Look cheerly, man; the time is near at hand,
That Hymen, mounted on a snow-white coach,
Shall tend on Sophos and his lovely bride.

'Tis impossible: her father, man, her father—
He's all for Peter Plod-all.

Should I but see that Plod-all offer love,
This sword should pierce the peasant's breast,
And chase his soul from his accursed corpse
By an unwonted way unto the grisly lake.
But now th'appointed time is near,
That Churms should come with his supposed love:
Then sit we down under these leafy shades,
And wait the time of Lelia's wish'd approach.

[They sit down.

Ay, here I'll wait for Lelia's wish'd approach;
More wish'd to me than is a calm at sea[161]
To shipwreck'd souls, when great god Neptune frowns.
Though sad despair hath almost drown'd my hopes,
Yet would I pass the burning vaults of Ork[162],
As erst did Hercules to fetch his love,
If I might meet my love upon the strond,
And but enjoy her love one minute of an hour.


But stay; what man or devil, or hellish fiend comes here,
Transformed in this ugly, uncouth shape?

O, peace a while; you shall see good sport anon.

Now I am clothed in this hellish shape,
If I could meet with Sophos in these woods,
O, he would take me for the devil himself:
I should ha' good laughing, beside the forty
Shillings Peter Plod-all has given me; and if
I get no more, I'm sure of that. But soft;
Now I must try my cunning, for here he sits.—
The high commander of the damned souls,
Great Dis, the duke of devils, and prince of Limbo lake,
High regent of Acheron, Styx, and Phlegeton,
By strict command from Pluto, hell's great monarch,
And fair Proserpina, the queen of hell,
By full consent of all the damned hags,
And all the fiends that keep the Stygian plains,
Hath sent me here from depth of underground
To summon thee to appear at Pluto's court.

A man or devil, or whatsoe'er thou art,
I'll try if blows will drive thee down to hell:
Belike, thou art the devil's parator,
The basest officer that lives in hell;
For such thy words import thee for to be.
'Tis pity you should come so far without a fee;
And because I know money goes low with Sophos,
I'll pay you your fees: [He beats him.
Take that and that, and that, upon thee.

O good sir, I beseech you; I'll do anything.

Then down to hell; for sure thou art a devil.

O, hold your hands; I am not a devil, by my troth.

FORTUNATUS. Zounds, dost thou cross me? I say thou art a devil. [Beats him again.

O Lord! sir, save my life, and I'll say as you say,
Or anything else you'll ha' me do.

Then stand up,
And make a preachment of thy pedigree,
And how at first thou learn'dst this devilish trade:
Up, I say. [Beats him.

O, I will, sir: although in some places [Stands upon a stool.
I bear the title of a scurvy gentleman,
By birth I am a boat-wright's son of Hull,
My father got me of a refus'd hag,
Under the old ruins of Booby's barn;
Who, as she liv'd, at length she likewise died,
And for her good deeds went unto the devil:
But, hell not wont to harbour such a guest,
Her fellow-fiends do daily make complaint
Unto grim Pluto and his lady queen
Of her unruly misbehaviour;
Entreating that a passport might be drawn
For her to wander till the day of doom
On earth again, to vex the minds of men,
And swore she was the fittest fiend in hell
To drive men to desperation.
To this intent her passport straight was drawn,
And in a whirlwind forth of hell she came:
O'er hills she hurls, and scours along the plains;
The trees flew up by th'roots, the earth did quake for fear;
The houses tumble down; she plays the devil and all:
At length, not finding any one so fit
To effect her devilish charge as I,
She comes to me, as to her only child,
And me her instrument on earth she made:
And by her means I learn'd that devilish trade.

O monstrous villain!

But tell me, what's thy course of life,
And how thou shift'st for maintenance in the world?

Faith, sir, I am in a manner a promoter,
Or (more fitly term'd) a promoting knave;
I creep into the presence of great men,
And, under colour of their friendships,
Effect such wonders in the world,
That babes will curse me that are yet unborn.
Of the best men I raise a common fame,
And honest women rob of their good name:
Thus daily tumbling in comes all my thrift;
That I get best, is got but by a shift:
But the chief course of all my life
Is to set discord betwixt man and wife.

Out upon thee, cannibal! [He beats him.
Dost thou think thou shalt ever come to heaven?

I little hope for heav'n or heavenly bliss:
But if in hell doth any place remain
Of more esteem than is another room,
I hope, as guerdon for my just desert,
To have it for my detestable acts.

Were't not thy tongue condemns thy guilty soul,
I could not think that on this living earth
Did breathe a villain more audacious.
Go, get thee gone, and come not in my walk; [Beats him.
For, if thou dost, thou com'st unto thy woe.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. The devil himself was never conjur'd so. [Exit ROBIN.

Sure, he's no man, but an incarnate devil,
Whose ugly shape bewrays his monstrous mind.

And if he be a devil, I am sure he's gone:
But Churms the lawyer will be here anon,
And with him comes my sister Lelia;
'Tis he I am sure you look for.

Nay, she it is that I expect so long.

Then sit we down, until we hear more news,
This but a prologue to our play ensues.

[They sit down.


But see where Churms and Lelia comes along:
He walks as stately as the great baboon.
Zounds, he looks as though his mother were a midwife.

Now, gentle Jove, great monarch of the world,
Grant good success unto my wand'ring hopes.

Now Phoebus' silver eye is drench'd in western deep,
And Luna 'gins to show her splendent rays,
And all the harmless quiristers of woods
Do take repose, save only Philomel;
Whose heavy tunes do evermore record
With mournful lays the losses of her love.
Thus far, fair love, we pass in secret sort
Beyond the compass of thy father's bounds,
Whilst he on down-soft bed securely sleeps,
And not so much as dreams of our depart
The dangers pass'd, now think on nought but love;
I'll be thy dear, be thou my heart's delight.

Nay, first I'll send thy soul to coal-black night. [Aside.]

Thou promis'dst love, now seal it with a kiss.

Nay, soft, sir; your mark is at the fairest.
Forswear her love, and seal it with a kiss
Upon the burnish'd splendour of this blade,
Or it shall rip the entrails of thy peasant heart.

Nay, let me do it, that's my part.

You wrong me much, to rob me of my love.

Avaunt, base braggard! Lelia's mine.

She lately promis'd love to me.

Peace, night-raven, peace! I'll end this controversy.
Come, Lelia, stand between them both,
As equal judge to end this strife:
Say which of these shall have thee to his wife.
I can devise no better way than this.
Now choose thy love, and greet him with a kiss.

LELIA. My choice is made, and here it is. [She kisses Sophos.

See here the mirror of true constancy,
Whose steadfast love deserves a prince's worth.

Master Churms, are you not well?
I must confess I would have chosen you,
But that I ne'er beheld your legs till now;
Trust me, I never look'd so low before.

I know, you use to look aloft.

Yet not so high as your crown.

What, if you had?

Faith, I should ha' spied but a calf's head.

Zounds, cosen'd of the wench, and scoff'd at too!
'Tis intolerable; and shall I lose her thus?
How it mads me, that I brought not my sword
And buckler with me.

What, are you in your sword-and-buckler terms?
I'll put you out of that humour.
There, Lelia sends you that by me,
And that, to recompense your love's desires;
And that, as payment for your well-earn'd hire. [Beats him.
Go, get thee gone, and boast of Lelia's love.

Where'er I go, I'll leave with her my curse,
And rail on you with speeches vild.

A crafty knave was never so beguil'd.
Now Sophos' hopes have had their lucky haps,
And he enjoys the presence of his love:
My vow's perform'd, and I am full reveng'd
Upon this hell-bred race of cursed imps.
Now rests nought but my father's free consent,
To knit the knot that time can ne'er untwist,
And that, as this, I likewise will perform.
No sooner shall Aurora's pearled dew
O'erspread the mantled earth with silver drops,
And Phoebus bless the orient with a blush,
To chase black night to her deformed cell,
But I'll repair unto my father's house,
And never cease with my enticing words,
To work his will to knit this Gordian knot:
Till when I'll leave you to your am'rous chat.
Dear friend, adieu; fair sister, too, farewell:
Betake yourselves unto some secret place,
Until you hear from me how things fall out.
                            [Exit FORTUNATUS.

We both do wish a fortunate good-night.

And pray the gods to guide thy steps aright.

Now come, fair Lelia, let's betake ourselves
Unto a little hermitage hereby,
And there to live obscured from the world,
Till fates and fortune call us thence away,
To see the sunshine of our nuptial day.
See how the twinkling stars do hide their borrow'd shine,
As half-asham'd their lustre is so stain'd
By Lelia's beauteous eyes, that shine more bright
Than twinkling stars do in a winter's night—
In such a night did Paris win his love.

In such a night Aeneas prov'd unkind.

In such a night did Troilus court his dear.

In such a night fair Phillis was betray'd.

I'll prove as true as ever Troilus was.

And I as constant as Penelope.

Then let us solace, and in love's delight
And sweet embracings spend the livelong night;
And whilst love mounts her on her wanton wings,
Let descant run on music's silver strings.



1. Old Triton must forsake his dear, The lark doth chant her cheerful lay; Aurora smiles with merry cheer, To welcome in a happy day.

          The beasts do skip,
          The sweet birds sing;
          The wood-nymphs dance,
          The echoes ring

3. The hollow caves with joy resounds, And pleasure ev'rywhere abounds; The Graces, linking hand in hand, In love have knit a glorious band.

Enter ROBIN GOODFELLOW, old PLOD-ALL, and his son PETER.

Hear you, Master Goodfellow, how have you sped?

Ha' you played the devil bravely, and feared the scholar out on's wits?

A pox of the scholar!

Nay, hark you: I sent you vorty shillings, and you shall have the cheese
I promised you too.

A plague of the vorty shillings, and the cheese too!

Hear you, will you give me the powder you told me of?

How you vex me! Powder, quotha? zounds, I have been powdered.

Son, I doubt he will prove a crafty knave, and cosen us of our money.
We'll go to Master Justice, and complain on him, and get him whipped out
o' the country for a coneycatcher.

Ay, or have his ears nailed to the pillory. Come, let's go.

[Exeunt PLOD-ALL and his son.


Fellow Robin, what news? how goes the world?

Faith, the world goes, I cannot tell how. How sped you with your wench?

CHURMS. I would the wench were at the devil! A plague upon't, I never say my prayers; and that makes me have such ill-luck.

I think the scholar be hunted with some demi-devil.

Why, didst thou fray him?

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Fray him? a vengeance on't! all our shifting knavery's known; we are counted very vagrants. Zounds, I am afraid of every officer for whipping.

CHURMS. We are horribly haunted: our behaviour is so beastly, that we are grown loathsome; our craft gets us nought but knocks.

What course shall we take now?

CHURMS. Faith, I cannot tell: let's e'en run our country; for here's no staying for us.

ROBIN GOODFELLOW. Faith, agreed: let's go into some place where we are not known, and there set up the art of knavery with the second edition.


Enter GRIPE solus.

GRIPE. Every one tells me I look better than I was wont: my heart's lightened, and my spirits are revived. Why, methinks I am e'en young again. It joys my heart that this same peevish girl, my daughter, will be ruled at the last yet; but I shall never be able to make Master Churms amends for the great pains he hath taken.

Enter NURSE.

Master, now out upon's. Well-a-day! we are all undone.

Undone! what sudden accident hath chanced? Speak! what's the matter?

NURSE. Alas! that ever I was born! My mistress and Master Churms are run away together.

GRIPE. 'Tis not possible; ne'er tell me: I dare trust Master Churms with a greater matter than that.

Faith, you must trust him, whether you will or no; for he's gone.


WILL CRICKET. Master Gripe, I was coming to desire that I might have your absence at my wedding; for I hear say you are very liberal grown o' late. For I spake with three or four of your debtors this morning, that ought you hundred pounds a piece; and they told me that you sent Master Churms to them, and took of some ten pounds, and of some twenty, and delivered them their bonds, and bad them pay the rest when they were able.

GRIPE. I am undone, I am robbed! My daughter! my money! Which way are they gone?

WILL CRICKET. Faith, sir, it's all to nothing, but your daughter and Master Churms are gone both one way. Marry, your money flies, some one way, and some another; and therefore 'tis but a folly to make hue and cry after it.

GRIPE. Follow them, make hue and cry after them. My daughter! my money! all's gone! what shall I do?

WILL CRICKET. Faith, if you will be ruled by me, I'll tell you what you shall do. Mark what I say; for I'll teach you the way to come to heaven, if you stumble not—give all you have to the poor but one single penny, and with that penny buy you a good strong halter; and when you ha' done so, come to me, and I'll tell you what you shall do with it. [Aside.

GRIPE. Bring me my daughter: that Churms, that villain! I'll tear him with my teeth.

Master, nay, pray you, do not run mad: I'll tell you good news; my young
Master Fortunatus is come home: and see where he comes.


If thou hadst said Lelia, it had been something.

Thus Fortunatus greets his father,
And craves his blessing on his bended knee.

Ay, here's my son; but Lelia she'll not come.
Good Fortunatus, rise: wilt thou shed tears,
And help thy father moan?
If so, say ay; if not, good son, begone.

What moves my father to these uncouth fits?

WILL CRICKET. Faith, sir, he's almost mad; I think he cannot tell you: and therefore I—presuming, sir, that my wit is something better than his at this time—do you mark, sir?—out of the profound circumambulation of my supernatural wit, sir—do you understand?—will tell you the whole superfluity of the matter, sir. Your sister Lelia, sir, you know, is a woman, as another woman is, sir.

Well, and what of that?

WILL CRICKET. Nay, nothing, sir; but she fell in love with one Sophos, a very proper, wise young man, sir. Now, sir, your father would not let her have him, sir; but would have married her to one, sir, that would have fed her with nothing but barley bag-puddings and fat bacon. Now, sir, to tell you the truth, the fool, ye know, has fortune to land; but Mistress Lelia's mouth doth not hang for that kind of diet.

And how then?

WILL CRICKET. Marry then, there was a certain cracking, cogging, pettifogging, butter-milk slave, sir, one Churms, sir, that is the very quintessence of all the knaves in the bunch: and if the best man of all his kin had been but so good as a yeoman's son, he should have been a marked knave by letters patents. And he, sir, comes me sneaking, and cosens them both of their wench, and is run away with her. And, sir, belike, he has cosened your father here of a great deal of his money too.

NURSE. Sir, your father did trust him but too much; but I always thought he would prove a crafty knave.

My trust's betray'd, my joy's exil'd:
Grief kills the heart, my hope's beguil'd.

Where golden gain doth blear a father's eyes,
That precious pearl, fetch'd from Parnassus' mount,
Is counted refuse, worse than bull'on brass;
Both joys and hopes hang of a silly twine,
That still is subject unto flitting time,
That turns joy into grief, and hope to sad despair,
And ends his days in wretched worldly care.
Were I the richest monarch under heaven,
And had one daughter thrice as fair
As was the Grecian Menelaus' wife,
Ere I would match her to an untaught swain,
Though one whose wealth exceeded Croesus' store,
Herself should choose, and I applaud her choice
Of one more poor than ever Sophos was,
Were his deserts but equal unto his.
If I might speak without offence,
You were to blame to hinder Lelia's choice;
As she in nature's graces doth excel,
So doth Minerva grace him full as well.

NURSE. Now, by cock and pie, you never spake a truer word in your life. He's a very kind gentleman, for, last time he was at our house, he gave me three-pence.

WILL CRICKET. O, nobly spoken: God send Peg to prove as wise a woman as her mother, and then we shall be sure to have wise children. Nay, if he be so liberal, old grandsire, you shall give him the goodwill of your daughter.

She is not mine, I have no daughter now:
That I should say—I had, thence comes my grief.
My care of Lelia pass'd a father's love;
My love of Lelia makes my loss the more;
My loss of Lelia drowns my heart in woe;
My heart's woe makes this life a living death:
Care, love, loss, heart's woe, living death,
Join all in one to stop this vital breath.
Curs'd be the time I gap'd for golden gain,
I curse the time I cross'd her in her choice;
Her choice was virtuous, but my will was base:
I sought to grace her from the Indian mines,
But she sought honour from the starry mount.
What frantic fit possess'd my foolish brain?
What furious fancy fired so my heart,
To hate fair virtue, and to scorn desert?

Then, father, give desert his due;
Let nature's graces and fair virtue's gifts
One sympathy and happy consort make
'Twixt Sophos' and my sister Lelia's love:
Conjoin their hands, whose hearts have long been one.
And so conclude a happy union.

Now 'tis too late:
What fates decree can never be recall'd;
Her luckless love is fall'n to Churms his lot,
And he usurps fair Lelia's nuptial bed.

That cannot be; fear of pursuit
Must needs prolong his nuptial rights:
But if you give your full consent,
That Sophos may enjoy his long-wish'd love,
And have fair Lelia to his lovely bride,
I'll follow Churms whate'er betide;
I'll be as swift as is the light-foot roe,
And overtake him ere his journey's end,
And bring fair Lelia back unto my friend.

Ay, here's my hand; I do consent,
And think her happy in her happy choice;
Yet half forejudge my hopes will be deceiv'd.
But, Fortunatus, I must needs commend
Thy constant mind thou bear'st unto thy friend:
The after-ages, wond'ring at the same,
Shall say 't's a deed deserveth lasting fame.

Then rest you here, till I return again;
I'll go to Sophos, ere I go along,
And bring him here to keep you company.
Perhaps he hath some skill in hidden arts,
Of planets' course, or secret magic spells,
To know where Lelia and that fox lies hid,
Whose craft so cunningly convey'd her hence.
                           [Exit FORTUNATUS.

Ay, here I'll rest an hour or twain,
Till Fortunatus do return again.

WILL CRICKET. Faith, sir, this same Churms is a very scurvy lawyer; for once I put a case to him, and methought his law was not worth a pudding.

Why, what was your case?

WILL CRICKET. Marry, sir, my case was a goose's case; for my dog wearied[163] my neighbour's sow, and the sow died.

And he sued you upon wilful murder?

WILL CRICKET. No; but he went to law with me, and would make me either pay for his sow, or hang my dog. Now, sir, to the same returna[164] I went.

To beg a pardon for your dog?

WILL CRICKET. No; but to have some of his wit for my money. I gave him his fee, and promised him a goose beside for his counsel. Now, sir, his counsel was to deny all was asked me, and to crave a longer time to answer, though I knew the case was plain. So, sir, I take his counsel; and always when he sends to me for his goose, I deny it, and crave a longer time to answer.

NURSE. And so the case was yours, and the goose was his: and so it came to be a goose's case.

True: but now we are talking of geese, see where Peg and my granam
Midnight comes.


MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Come, Peg, bestir your stumps, make thyself smug, wench; thou must be married to-morrow: let's go seek out thy sweetheart, to prepare all things in readiness.

Why, granam, look where he is.

WILL CRICKET. Ha, my sweet tralilly: I thought thou couldst spy me amongst a hundred honest men. A man may see that love will creep where it cannot go. Ha, my sweet and too sweet: shall I say the tother sweet?

Ay, say it and spare not.

Nay, I will not say it: I will sing it.

    Thou art mine own sweetheart,
    From thee I'll never depart;
    Thou art my Ciperlillie,
    And I thy Trangdidowne-dilly:
    And sing, Hey ding a ding ding,
    And do the tother thing:
    And when 'tis done, not miss
    To give my wench a kiss:
    And then dance
, Canst thou not hit it?
    Ho, brave William Cricket!

How like you this, granam?

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Marry, God's benison light o' thy good heart for't. Ha, that I were young again! i' faith, I was an old doer at these love-songs when I was a girl.

NURSE. Now, by the Mary matins, Peg, thou hast got the merriest wooer in all womanshire.

PEG. Faith, I am none of those that love nothing but tum, dum, diddle. If he had not been a merry shaver, I would never have had him.


    But come, my nimble lass,
    Let all these matters pass,
    And in a bouncing bravation,
    Let's talk of our copulation.

What good cheer shall we have to-morrow? Old grandsire Thickskin, you that sit there as melancholy as a mantle-tree, what will you give us toward this merry meeting?

GRIPE. Marry, because you told me a merry goose case, I'll bestow a fat goose on ye, and God give you good luck.

MOTHER MIDNIGHT. Marry, well-said, old master: e'en God give them joy indeed; for, by my vay, they are a good, sweet young couple.

WILL CRICKET. Granam, stand out o' the way; for here come gentlefolk will run o'er you else.


Master, here comes your son again.

Is Fortunatus there? Welcome, Fortunatus: Where's Sophos?

Here Sophos is, as much o'erworn with love,
As you with grief for loss of Lelia.

And ten times more, if it be possible:
The love of Lelia is to me more dear,
Than is a kingdom or the richest crown
That e'er adorn'd the temples of a king.

Thou welcome, Sophos—thrice more welcome now,
Than any man on earth—to me or mine:
It is not now with me as late it was;
I low'r'd at learning, and at virtue spurn'd:
But now my heart and mind, and all, is turn'd.
Were Lelia here, I soon would knit the knot
'Twixt her and thee, that time could ne'er untie,
Till fatal sisters victory had won,
And that your glass of life were quite outrun.

Zounds, I think he be spurblind; why, Lelia stands hard by him.

And Lelia here falls prostrate on her knee,
And craves a pardon for her late offence.

What, Lelia my daughter? Stand up, wench:
Why, now my joy is full;
My heart is lighten'd of all sad annoy:
Now fare well, grief, and welcome home, my joy.—
Here, Sophos, take thy Lelia's hand:
Great God of heav'n your hearts combine,
In virtue's lore to raise a happy line.

Now Phaeton hath check'd his fiery steeds,
And quench'd his burning beams that late were wont
To melt my waxen wings, when as I soar'd aloft;
And lovely Venus smiles with fair aspect
Upon the spring-time of our sacred love.
Thou great commander of the circled orbs,
Grant that this league of lasting amity
May lie recorded by eternity.

Then wish'd content knit up our nuptial right;
And future joys our former griefs requite.

WILL CRICKET. Nay, and you be good at that, I'll tell you what we'll do: Peg and I must be married to-morrow; and if you will, we'll go all to the church together, and so save Sir John a labour.


Then march along, and let's be gone,
To solemnise two marriages in one.

[Exeunt omnes.




(1.) Lingva: Or, The Combat of the Tongue, And the fiue Senses for Superiority. A pleasant Comoedie, At London Printed by G. Eld, for Simon Waterson, 1607, 4to[165].

(2.) Lingua: or, The Combat of the Tongue, and the five Senses, for Superiority. A pleasant Comoedie. London, Printed by N. Okes, for Simon Waterson, [circâ 1610], 4to.

(3.) Lingua; or, The Combat of the Tongue, and the five Senses, for Superiority. A pleasant Comoedie. London, Printed by Nicholas Okes, for Simon Waterson, 1617, 4to.

(4.) Lingua: or, The Combat of the Tongue, and the five Sences, for Superiority. A pleasant Comedy. London, Printed by Nicholas Okes, for Simon Waterson, 1622, 4to.

(5.) Lingua: or, The Combat of the Tongue, and the five Sences, for Superioritie. A pleasant Comoedie. London, Printed by Augustine Matthewes, for Simon Waterson, 1632, 4to.

(6.) Lingua: or, The Combat of the Tongue, and the five Senses, for Superiority. A pleasant Comoedy. London, Printed for Simon Miller, at the Starre in St Paul's Churchyard, 1657, 8vo.


[Of the author of "Lingua" nothing is known. By some of our earlier bibliographers the play was ascribed, without the slightest authority, to Anthony Brewer.

In the former edition it was pointed out that Winstanley gave to the same writer (among other pieces which he probably did not write) "Pathomachia; or, Love's Loadstone," published in 1630, upon which point Reed observes:—"Whoever was the real author of 'Lingua,' there is some plausibility in assigning to him also 'Pathomachia; or, Love's Lodestone,' for they are certainly written upon the same plan, and very much in the same stile, although the former is considerably superior to the latter, both in design and execution. The first scene of 'Pathomachia' contains an allusion by Pride, one of the characters, to 'Lingua,' where it is said, 'Methinks it were fit now to renew the claim to our old title of Affections, which we have lost, as sometimes Madame Lingua did to the title of a Sense, for it is good fishing in troubled waters.'

"'Pathomachia' was not printed until 1630, and most likely was not written until some years after 'Lingua,' from the allusion it contains in act ii. to the stile of the stage, and the mention in act i. of Coriat, the traveller, who did not become notorious until after the publication of his 'Crudities' in 1611….

"The first edition of 'Lingua' is dated 1607, but from a passage in act iv. sc. 7, it is evident that it was produced before the death of Elizabeth. The last edition, in 1657, is rendered curious by the circumstance that the bookseller, Simon Miller, asserts that it was acted by Oliver Cromwell, the late usurper. This fact is not stated on the title-page to the play, but in a list of works printed for the same stationer, placed at the end of Heath's 'New Book of Loyal Martyrs' [12mo, 1663][166]…. Winstanley adds that the late usurper Cromwell [when a young man] had therein the part of Tactus; and this mock ambition for the Crown is said to have swollen his ambition so high, that afterwards he contended for it in earnest…."

The present text is taken from the 4to of 1607.]


Our Muse describes no lover's passion,
No wretched father, no unthrifty son!
No craving, subtle whore or shameless bawd,
Nor stubborn clown or daring parasite,
No lying servant or bold sycophant.
We are not wanton or satirical.
These have their time and places fit, but we
Sad hours and serious studies to reprieve,
Have taught severe Philosophy to smile,
The Senses' rash contentions we compose,
And give displeas'd ambitious Tongue her due:
Here's all; judicious friends, accept what is not ill.
Who are not such, let them do what they will.


LINGUA, Comoedus. Tragoedus. AUDITUS, Comoedus. Tragoedus. MENDACIO, Lingua's page. TACTUS, | Odor. OLFACTUS, | Tobacco. VISUS, | Lumen, | Coelum, | Terra, | Heraldry, | Colour. GUSTUS; Bacchus, Ceres, Beer. APPETITUS, a parasite. PHANTASTES. HEURESIS, Phantastes's page. CRAPULA, Gustus's follower. COMMUNIS SENSUS. MEMORIA. ANAMNESTES, Memoria's page. SOMNUS. Personae quarum mentio tantum fit. | Psyche, | Acrasia, | Veritas, | Oblivio.

The scene is Microcosmus[167] in a grove. The time from morning till night.



LINGUA apparelled in a crimson satin gown, a dressing of white roses, a little skene[168] tied in a purple scarf, a pair of white buskins[169] drawn with white ribbon, silk garters, gloves, &c. AUDITUS in a garland of bays intermingled with red and white roses upon a false hair, a cloth of silver mantle upon a pair of satin bases, wrought sleeves, buskins, gloves, &c.


LIN. Nay, good Auditus, do but hear me speak.

AUD. Lingua, thou strik'st too much upon one string,
Thy tedious plain-song[170] grates my tender ears.

LIN. 'Tis plain indeed, for truth no descant needs;
Una's her name, she cannot be divided.

AUD. O, but the ground[171] itself is naught, from whence
Thou canst not relish out a good division:
Therefore at length surcease, prove not stark-mad,
Hopeless to prosecute a hapless suit:
For though (perchance) thy first strains pleasing are,
I dare engage mine ear the close[172] will jar.

LIN. If then your confidence esteem my cause
To be so frivolous and weakly wrought,
Why do you daily subtle plots devise,
To stop me from the ears of common sense?
Whom since our great queen Psyche hath ordain'd,
For his sound wisdom, our vice-governor,
To him and to his two so wise assistants,
Nimble Phantastes and firm Memory,
Myself and cause I humbly do commit.
Let them but hear and judge; I wish no more.

AUD. Should they but know thy rash presumption,
They would correct it in the sharpest sort:
Good Jove! what sense hast thou to be a sense!
Since from the first foundation of the world,
We never were accounted more than five.
Yet you, forsooth, an idle prating dame,
Would fain increase the number, and upstart
To our high seats, decking your babbling self
With usurp'd titles of our dignity.

LIN. An idle prating dame! know, fond Auditus,
Records affirm my title full as good,
As his amongst the five is counted best.

AUD. Lingua, confess the truth: thou'rt wont to lie.

LIN. I say so too, therefore I do not lie.
But now, spite of you all, I speak the truth.
You five among us subjects tyrannise;
Making the sacred name of Common Sense
A cloak to cover your enormities:
He bears the rule; he's judge, but judgeth still,
As he's inform'd by your false evidence:
So that a plaintiff cannot have access,
But through your gates. He hears, but what? nought else,
But what thy crafty ears to him conveys:
And all he sees is by proud Visus show'd him:
And what he touches is by Tactus' hand;
And smells, I know, but through Olfactus' nose;
Gustus begins to him whate'er he tastes:
By these quaint tricks free passage hath been barr'd,
That I could never equally be heard.
But well, 'tis well.

AUD. Lingua, thy feeble sex
Hath hitherto withheld my ready hands,
That long'd to pluck that nimble instrument.

LIN. O horrible ingratitude! that thou—
That thou of all the rest should'st threaten me:
Who by my means conceiv'st as many tongues,
As Neptune closeth lands betwixt his arms:
The ancient Hebrew clad with mysteries:
The learned Greek rich in fit epithets,
Bless'd in the lovely marriage of pure words:
The Chaldee wise, th'Arabian physical,
The Roman eloquent and Tuscan grave,
The braving Spanish and the smooth-tongu'd French:
These precious jewels that adorn thine ears,
All from my mouth's rich cabinet are stolen.
How oft hast thou been chain'd unto my tongue,
Hang'd at my lips, and ravish'd with my words;
So that a speech fair-feather'd could not fly,
But thy ear's pitfall caught it instantly?
But now, O heavens!

AUD. O heavens! thou wrong'st me much,
Thou wrong'st me much thus falsely to upbraid me:
Had not I granted thee the use of hearing,
That sharp-edged tongue whetted against her master,
Those puffing lungs, those teeth, those drowsy lips,
That scalding throat, those nostrils full of ire,
Thy palate, proper instrument of speech,
Like to the winged chanters of the wood,
Uttering nought else but idle sifflements,[173]
Tunes without sense, words inarticulate,
Had ne'er been able t' have abus'd me thus.
Words are thy children, but of my begetting.

LIN. Perfidious liar, how can I endure thee!
Call'st my unspotted chastity in question?
O, could I use the breath mine anger spends,
I'd make thee know—

AUD. Heav'ns look on my distress,
Defend me from this railing viperess!
For if I stay, her words' sharp vinegar
Will fret me through. Lingua, I must be gone:
I hear one call me more than earnestly.
                                [Exit AUDITUS.

LIN. May the loud cannoning of thunderbolts,
Screeking of wolves, howling of tortur'd ghosts,
Pursue thee still, and fill thy amaz'd ears
With cold astonishment and horrid fears!
O, how these senses muffle Common Sense!
And more and more with pleasing objects strive
To dull his judgment and pervert his will
To their behests: who, were he not so wrapp'd
I'the dusky clouds of their dark policies,
Would never suffer right to suffer wrong.
Fie, Lingua, wilt thou now degenerate?
Art not a woman? dost not love revenge?
Delightful speeches, sweet persuasions,
I have this long time us'd to get my right.
My right—that is, to make the senses six;
And have both name and power with the rest.
Oft have I season'd savoury periods
With sugar'd words, to delude Gustus' taste,
And oft embellish'd my entreative phrase
With smelling flow'rs of vernant rhetoric,
Limning and flashing it with various dyes,
To draw proud Visus to me by the eyes;
And oft perfum'd my petitory[174] style
With civet-speech, t'entrap Olfactus' nose;
And clad myself in silken eloquence,
To allure the nicer touch of Tactus' hand.
But all's become lost labour, and my cause
Is still procrastinated: therefore now,
Hence, ye base offspring of a broken mind,
Supple entreaties and smooth flatteries:
Go kiss the love-sick lips of puling gulls,[175]
That 'still their brain to quench their love's disdain:
Go gild the tongues of bawds and parasites;
Come not within my thoughts. But thou, deceit,
Break up the pleasure of my brimful breast,
Enrich my mind with subtle policies.
Well then, I'll go; whither? nay, what know I?
And do, in faith I will, the devil knows what.
What, if I set them all at variance,
And so obtain to speak? it must be so.
It must be so, but how? there lies the point:
How? thus: tut, this device will never prove,
Augment it so: 'twill be too soon descried;
Or so, nor so; 'tis too-too dangerous.
Pish, none of these! what, if I take this course? ha!
Why, there it goes; good, good; most excellent!
He that will catch eels must disturb the flood;
The chicken's hatch'd, i' faith; for they are proud,
And soon will take a cause of disagreement.


MENDACIO, attired in a taffeta suit of a light colour changeable, like an ordinary page.[176]


LIN. I see the heavens nurse my new-born device;
For lo, my page Mendacio comes already,
To file and burnish that I hammer'd out.
Never in better time, Mendacio,
What! hast thou done?

MEN. Done? yes, long ago.

LIN. Is't possible thou shouldst despatch so soon?

MEN. Madam, I had no sooner told
Tactus that Gustus would fain speak with him,
But I spied Visus, Gustus, and the rest,
And serv'd them all with sauce of several lies.
Now the last sense I spake with was Olfactus
Who, having smelt the meaning of my message,
Straight blew his nose, and quickly puff'd me hither;
But in the whirlwind of his furious blast,
Had not by chance a cobweb held me fast,
Mendacio had been with you long ere this.

LIN. Witness this lie, Mendacio's with me now;
But, sirrah, out of jesting will they come?

MEN. Yes, and it like your ladyship, presently;
Here may you have me prest[177] to flatter them.

LIN. I'll flatter no such proud companions,
'Twill do no good, therefore I am determin'd
To leave such baseness.

MEN. Then shall I turn and bid them stay at home?

LIN. No; for their coming hither to this grove
Shall be a means to further my device.
Therefore I pray thee, Mendacio, go presently;
Run, you vile ape.

MEN. Whither?

LIN. What, dost thou stand?

MEN. Till I know what to do.

LIN. 'Sprecious, 'tis true,
So might'st thou finely overrun thine errand.
Haste to my chest.

MEN. Ay, ay.

LIN. There shalt thou find
A gorgeous robe and golden coronet;
Convey them hither nimbly, let none see them.

MEN. Madam, I fly, I fly. [Exit MENDACIO.

LIN. But hear you, sirrah?
Lock up your fellow-servant Veritas.

MEN. I warrant you,
You need not fear so long as I am with you.
    [He goes out, and comes in presently.
What colour is the robe?

LIN. There is but one.

[MENDACIO, going, turns in haste.

MEN. The key, madam, the key.

LIN. By Juno, how forgetful
Is sudden speed! Here, take it, run.

MEN. I'll be here instantly.



LINGUA sola.

LIN. Whilome this crown and gorgeous ornament
Were the great prize for which five orators
With the sharp weapons of their tongues contended:
But all their speeches were so equal wrought
And alike gracious,[178] that, if his were witty,
His was as wise; the third's fair eloquence
Did parallel the fourth's firm gravity;
The last's good gesture kept the balance even
With all the rest; so that the sharpest eye
And most judicious censor could not judge,
To whom the hanging victory should fall.
Therefore with one consent they all agreed
To offer up both crown and robe to me,
As the chief patroness of their profession,
Which heretofore I holily have kept,
Like to a miser's gold, to look on only.
But now I'll put them to a better use,
And venture both, in hope to—



MEN. Have I not hied me, madam? look you here,
What shall be done with these temptations?

LIN. They say a golden Ball
Bred enmity betwixt three goddesses;
So shall this crown be author of debate
Betwixt five senses.

MEN. Where shall it be laid!

LIN. There, there, there; 'tis well; so, so, so.

MEN. A crown's a pleasing bait to look upon;
The craftiest fox will hardly 'scape this trap.

LIN. Come, let us away, and leave it to the chance.

MEN. Nay, rather let me stand close hereabouts,
And see the event.

LIN. Do so, and if they doubt,
How it came there, feign them some pretty fable,
How that some god—

MEN. Tut, tut, tut, let me alone:
I that have feign'd so many hundred gods,
Can easily forge some fable for the turn:
Whist, madam; away, away: you fright the fowl;
Tactus comes hard by, look you.

LIN. Is't he for certain?

MEN. Yes, yes, yes, 'tis he.

LIN. 'Tis he indeed.



TACTUS, in a dark-coloured satin mantle over a pair of silk bases, a garland of bays, mixed with white and red roses, upon a black grogram, a falchion, wrought sleeves, buskins, &c.


MEN. Now, chaste Diana, grant my nets to hold.

TAC. The blushing[179] childhood of the cheerful morn
Is almost grown a youth, and overclimbs[180]
Yonder gilt eastern hills; about which time
Gustus most earnestly importun'd me
To meet him hereabouts, what cause I know not.

MEN. You shall do shortly, to your cost, I hope. [Aside.]

TAC. Sure by the sun it should be nine o'clock.

MEN. What, a star-gazer! will you ne'er look down? [Aside.]

TAC. Clear is the sun and blue the firmament;
Methinks the heavens do smile— [TACTUS sneezeth.

MEN. At thy mishap! To look so high, and stumble in a trap. [Aside. TACTUS stumbleth at the robe and crown.

TAC. High thoughts have slipp'ry feet, I had well-nigh fallen.

MEN. Well doth he fall that riseth with a fall. [Aside.]

TAC. What's this?

MEN. O, are you taken? 'tis in vain to strive. [Aside.]

TAC. How now?

MEN. You'll be so entangled straight— [Aside.]

TAC. A crown!

MEN. That it will be hard— [Aside.]

TAC. And a robe.

MEN. To loose yourself. [Aside.]

TAC. A crown and a robe.

MEN. It had been fitter for you to have found a fool's coat and a bauble[181], eh, eh? [Aside.]

TAC. Jupiter, Jupiter, how came this here?

MEN. O sir, Jupiter is making thunder, he hears you not: here's one knows better. [Aside.]

TAC. 'Tis wondrous rich, ha! but sure it is not so, ho!
Do I not sleep and dream of this good luck, ha?
No, I am awake and feel it now;
Whose should it be? [He takes it up.

MEN. Set up a si quis for it. [Aside.]

TAC. Mercury! all's mine own; here's none to cry half's mine.

MEN. When I am gone.



TACTUS solus.

TAC. Tactus, thy sneezing somewhat did portend.
Was ever man so fortunate as I?
To break his shins at such a stumbling-block!
Roses and bays, pack hence[182]: this crown and robe
My brows and body circles and invests;
How gallantly it fits me! sure the slave
Measur'd my head that wrought this coronet.
They lie that say complexions cannot change:
My blood's ennobled, and I am transform'd
Unto the sacred temper of a king.
Methinks I hear my noble parasites
Styling me Caesar or great Alexander;
Licking my feet, and wondering where I got
This precious ointment. How my pace is mended!
How princely do I speak! how sharp I threaten!
Peasants, I'll curb your headstrong impudence,
And make you tremble when the lion roars,
Ye earth-bred worms. O, for a looking-glass!
Poets will write whole volumes of this scorce[183];
Where's my attendants? Come hither, sirrah, quickly;
Or by the wings of Hermes—


OLFACTUS, in a garland of bays intermingled with white and red roses upon a false hair, his sleeves wrought with flowers under a damask mantle, over a pair of silk bases; a pair of buskins drawn with ribbon, a flower in his hand.


TAC. Ay me! Olfactus comes; I call'd too soon,
He'll have half part, I fear; what shall I do!
Where shall I run? how shall I shift him off?
    [TACTUS wraps up the robe and crown, and sits upon them.

OLF. This is the time, and this the place appointed,
Where Visus promis'd to confer with me.
I think he's there—no, no, 'tis Tactus sure.
How now? what makes you sit so nicely?

TAC. 'Tis past imagination, 'tis so indeed.

OLF. How fast his hands[184] are fixed, and how melancholy he looks!
Tactus! Tactus!

TAC. For this is true, man's life is wondrous brittle.

OLF. He's mad, I think, he talks so idly. So ho, Tactus!

TAC. And many have been metamorphosed
To stranger matters and more uncouth forms.

OLF. I must go nearer him; he doth not hear.

TAC. And yet methinks, I speak as I was wont;

OLF. Tactus, Tactus!

TAC. Olfactus, as thou lov'st me, come not near me.

OLF. Why, art thou hatching eggs? th'art afeard[185] to break them?

TAC. Touch me not, lest thou chance to break my life.

OLF. What's this under thee?

TAC. If thou meddle with me, I am utterly undone.

OLF. Why, man, what ails thee?

TAC. Let me alone, and I'll tell thee;
Lately I came from fine Phantastes' house.

OLF. So I believe, for thou art very foolish.

TAC. No sooner had I parted out of doors[186],
But up I held my hands before my face,
To shield mine eyes from th'light's piercing beams;
When I protest I saw the sun as clear
Through these my palms, as through a perspective.
No marvel; for when I beheld my fingers,
I saw my fingers were transform'd to glass;
Opening my breast, my breast was like a window,
Through which I plainly did perceive my heart:
In whose two concaves[187] I discern'd my thoughts
Confus'dly lodged in great multitudes.

OLF. Ha, ha, ha, ha! why, this is excellent,
Momus himself can find no fault with thee,
Thou'dst make a passing live anatomy;
And decide the question much disputed
Betwixt the Galenists and Aristotle.

TAC. But when I had arriv'd, and set me down
Viewing myself—myself, ay me! was changed,
As thou now seest, to a perfect urinal.

OLF. T'a perfect urinal? O monstrous, monstrous!
Art not mad to think so?

TAC. I do not think so, but I say I am so,
Therefore, Olfactus, come not near, I advise you.

OLF. See the strange working of dull melancholy!
Whose drossy thoughts, drying the feeble brain,
Corrupts the sense, deludes the intellect,
And in the soul's fair table falsely graves
Whole squadrons of fantastical chimeras
And thousand vain imaginations,
Making some think their heads as big as horses,
Some that th'are dead[188], some that th'are turn'd to wolves[189],
As now it makes him think himself all glass.
Tactus, dissuade thyself; thou dost but think so.

TAC. Olfactus, if thou lov'st me, get thee gone;
I am an urinal, I dare not stir
For fear of cracking in the bottom.

OLF. Wilt thou sit thus all day?

TAC. Unless thou help me.

OLF. Bedlam must help thee. What wouldst have me do?

TAC. Go to the city, make a case for me;
Stuff it with wool, then come again and fetch me.

OLF. Ha, ha, ha!
Thou'lt be laughed out of case and countenance.

TAC. I care not. So it must be, or I cannot stir.

OLF. I had best leave troubling him; he's obstinate. Urinal, I leave you, but above all things take heed Jupiter sees you not; for, if he do, he'll ne'er make water in a sieve again; thou'lt serve his turn so fit, to carry his water unto Esculapius. Farewell, Urinal, farewell. [Exit OLFACTUS.

TAC. Speak not so loud; the sound's enough to crack me. What, is he
gone? I an urinal! ha, ha, ha! I protest I might have had my face washed
finely if he had meant to abuse me. I an urinal! ha, ha, ha! Go to,
Urinal; you have 'scaped a fair scouring. Well, I'll away, and get me to
mine own house; there I'll lock up myself fast, playing the chemic,
Augmenting this one crown to troops of angels,
With which gold-winged messengers I mean
To work great wonders, as to build and purchase;
Fare daintily; tie up men's tongues and loose them;
Command their lives, their goods, their liberties,
And captive all the world with chains of gold.
Hey, hey, tery, linkum tinkum.
              [He offers to go out, but comes in suddenly amazed.
O Hercules!
Fortune, the queen, delights to play with me,
Stopping my passage with the sight of Visus:
But as he makes hither, I'll make hence,
There's more ways to the wood than one[190].
What, more devils to affright me?
O Diabolo! Gustus comes here to vex me.
So that I, poor wretch, am like
A shuttlecock betwixt two battledoors.
If I run there, Visus beats me to Scylla;
If here, then Gustus blows me to Charybdis.
Neptune hath sworn my hope shall suffer shipwreck.
What shall I say? mine Urinal's too thin
To bide the fury of such storms as these.


VISUS in a garland of bays, mixed with white and red roses, a light-coloured taffeta mantle striped with silver, and fringed upon green silk bases, buskins, &c. GUSTUS in the same fashion, differing only in colour. TACTUS in a corner of the stage.


VIS. Gustus, good day.

GUS. I cannot have a bad,
Meeting so fair an omen as yourself.

TAC. Shall I? will't prove? ha! well, 'tis best to venture.
                                [TACTUS puts on the robes.

GUS. Saw you not Tactus? I should speak with him.

TAC. Perchance so; a sudden lie hath best luck.

VIS. That face is his, or else mine eye's deceiv'd.
Why, how now, Tactus! what, so gorgeous?

GUS. Where didst thou get these fair habiliments?

TAC. Stand back, I charge you, as you love your lives;
By Styx, the first that toucheth me shall die.

VIS. I can discern no weapons. Will he kill us?

TAC. Kill you? not I, but come not near me,
You had best.

VIS. Why, art thou mad?

TAC. Friends, as you love your lives,
Venture not once to come within my reach.

GUS. Why dost threaten so?

TAG. I do not threaten,
But in pure love advise you for the best:
Dare not to touch me, but hence fly apace;
Add wings unto your feet, and save your lives.

VIS. Why, what's the matter, Tactus? prythee, tell me?

TAC. If you will needs jeopard your lives so long,
As hear the ground of my amazedness,
Then for your better safety stand aside.

GUS. How full of ceremonies! sure he'll conjure;
For such like robes magicians use to wear.

VIS. I'll see the end, though he should unlock hell,
And set th'infernal hags at liberty.

TAC. How rash is man on hidden harms[191] to rush!
It was my chance—O chance most miserable!—
To walk that way that to Crumena leads.

GUS. You mean Cremona, a little town hard-by.

TAC. I say Crumena, called Vacua,
A town which doth, and always hath belong'd,
Chiefly to scholars. From Crumena walls
I saw a man come stealing craftily,
Apparell'd in this vesture which I wear;
But, seeing me, eftsoons[192] he took his heels,
And threw his garment from him all in haste,
Which I perceiving to be richly wrought,
Took it me up; but, good, now get you gone,
Warn'd by my harms, and 'scape my misery.

VIS. I know no danger: leave these circumstances.

TAC. No sooner had I put it on my back,
But suddenly mine eyes began to dim,
My joints wex[193] sore, and all my body burn['d]
With most intestine torture, and at length
It was too evident, I had caught the plague.

VIS. The plague! away, good Gustus, let's be gone;
I doubt 'tis true, now I remember me,
Crumena Vacua never wants the plague.

GUS. Tactus, I'll put myself in jeopardy
To pleasure thee.

TAC. No, gentle Gustus,
Your absence is the only thing I wish,
Lest I infect you with my company.

GUS. Farewell. [Exit GUSTUS.

VIS. I willingly would stay to do thee good.

TAC. A thousand thanks; but since I needs must die,
Let it suffice, death only murders me.
O, 'twould augment the dolour of my death,
To know myself the most unhappy bow,
Through which pale death should aim his shafts at you.

VIS. Tactus, farewell; yet die with this good hope, Thy corpse shall be interred as it ought. [Exit VISUS.

TAC. Go, make my tomb, provide my funerals; ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Excellent asses thus to be deluded,
Bewail his death and cruel destinies,
That lives, and laughs your fooleries to scorn.
But where's my crown! O, here: I well deserve
Thus to be crown'd for two great victories!
Ha, ha, ha!
Visus, take care my corpse be well interr'd:
Go make my tomb, and write upon the stone,

    Here lies the Sense that living[194] gull'd them all
    With a false plague and feigned urinal



AUD. Tactus, Tactus!

TAC. O Jupiter, 'tis Auditus, all's marred, I doubt: the sly knave hears so far; but yet I'll grope him. How now, Ears[195], what make you here, ha?

AUD. Nay, what make you here, I pray? What were you talking even now of an ass, and a crown, and an urinal, and a plague?

TAC. A plague on you! what, I?

AUD. O, what you!

TAC. O, I had well-nigh forgot; nothing; but I say—

AUD. What?

TAC. That if a man (do you mark, sir?), being sick of the plague (do you see, sir?), had a, a, a—hem, hem (this cold troubles me; it makes me cough sometimes extremely)—had a French crown, sir, (you understand me?) lying by him, and (come hither, come hither), and would not bestow twopence (do you hear?) to buy an urinal (do you mark me?) to carry his water to the physician, hem!

AUD. What of all this?

TAC. I say such a one was a very ass. This was all. I use to speak to myself, when I am alone; but, Auditus, when shall we hear a new set of singing-books? Or the viols? Or the concert of instruments?

AUD. This was not all, for I heard mention of a tomb and an epitaph.

TAC. True, true, I made myself merry with this epitaph upon such a fool's tomb thus a—thus, thus: plague brought this man—foh, I have forgotten—O, thus, plague brought this man (so, so, so), unto his burial, because, because, because (hem, hem)—because he would not buy an urinal. Come, come, Auditus, shall we hear thee play the lyreway or the luteway, shall we? Or the cornet, or any music? I am greatly revived, when I hear.

AUD. Tactus, Tactus, this will not serve; I heard all. You have not found a crown, you? no, you have not!



TAC. Peace, peace, faith, peace; come hither, hark thee,
Good [Auditus], now.

AUD. I cannot hold, I must needs tell.

TAC. O, do not, do not, do not; come hither.
Will you be a fool?

VIS. Had he not wings upon his feet and shoulders?

MEN. Yes, yes, and a fine wand in his hand,
Curiously wrapped with a pair of snakes.

TAC. Will half content you? pish, 'twill ne'er be known.

GUS. My life, 'twas Mercury.

MEN. I do not know his name;
But this I'm sure, his hat had wings upon't.

VIS. Doubtless 'twas he; but say, my boy, what did he?

MEN. First I beheld him hovering in the air,
And then down stooping with an hundred gyres:[196]
His feet he fixed on Mount Cephalon;[197]
From whence he flew and lighted on that plain,
And with disdainful steps soon glided thither:
Whither arrived, he suddenly unfolds
A gorgeous robe and glittering ornament,
And lays them all upon that hillock:
This done, he wafts his wand, took wing again,
And in a moment vanish'd out of sight.
With that mine eyes 'gan stare, and heart grew cold,
And all my quiv'ring joints with sweat bedew'd:
My heels (methought) had wings as well as his,
And so away I ran; but by the way
I met a man, as I thought, coming thither.

GUS. What marks had he?

MEN. He had a great—what! this is he, this is he.

VIS. What, Tactus?

GUS. This was the plague vex'd him so:
Tactus, your grave gapes for you; are you ready?

VIS. Since you must needs die, do as others do,
Leave all your goods behind you; bequeath
The crown and robe to your executors.

TAC. No such matter; I, like the Egyptian kings,[198]
For the more state will be buried in them.

VIS. Come, come, deliver.
    [VISUS snatcheth the crown, and sees letters graven in it.

TAC. What, will you take my purse from me?

VIS. No, but a crown, that's just more than your own.
Ha, what's this? 'tis a very small hand,
What inscription is this?

    He of the five that proves himself the best,
    Shall have his temples with this coronet blest

This crown is mine, and mine this garment is;
For I have always been accounted best—

TAC. Next after me—high[199] as yourself at any time:
Besides, I found it first, therefore 'tis mine.

GUS. Neither of yours, but mine as much as both.

AUD. And mine the most of any of you all.

VIS. Give me it, or else—

TAC. I'll make you late repent it—

GUS. Presumptuous as you are—

AUD. Spite of your teeth—

MEN. Never till now. Ha, ha! it works apace. [Aside.
Visus, I know 'tis yours; and yet methinks,
Auditus, you should have some challenge to it;
But that your title, Tactus, is so good,
Gustus, I would swear the coronet were yours:
What, will you all go brawl about a trifle?
View but the pleasant coast of Microcosm,
Is't not great pity to be rent with wars?
Is't not a shame to stain with brinish tears
The smiling cheeks of ever-cheerful peace?
Is't not far better to live quietly,
Than broil in fury of dissension?
Give me the crown, ye shall not disagree,
If I can please you. I'll play Paris' part,
And, most impartial, judge the controversy.

VIS. Sauce-box! go meddle with your lady's fan,
And prate not here.

MEN. I speak not for myself,
But for my country's sole[200] commodity.

VIS. Sirrah, be still.

MEN. Nay, and you be so hot, the devil part you!
I'll to Olfactus, and send him amongst you.
O, that I were Alecto for your sakes!
How liberally would I bestow my snakes!
                               [Exit MENDACIO.

VIS. Tactus, upon thine honour,
I challenge thee to meet me here,
Strong as thou canst provide, in th'afternoon.

TAC. I undertake the challenge, and here's my hand,
In sign thou shalt be answered.

GUS. Tactus, I'll join with thee, on this condition
That, if we win, he that fought best of us
Shall have the crown, the other wear the robe.

TAC. Give me your hand: I like the motion.

VIS. Auditus, shall we make our forces double
Upon the same terms?

AUD. Very willingly.

VIS. Come, let's away: fear not the victory;
Right's more advantage than an host of soldiers.

[Exeunt omnes.


APPETITUS, a long, lean, raw-boned fellow, in a soldier's coat, a sword, &c.


MEN. I long to see those hotspur Senses at it: they say they have gallant preparations, and not unlikely, for most of the soldiers are ready in arms, since the last field fought against their yearly enemy Meleager[201] and his wife Acrasia; that conquest hath so fleshed them, that no peace can hold them. But had not Meleager been sick, and Acrasia drunk, the Senses might have whistled for the victory.

APP. Foh, what a stink of gunpowder is yonder!

MEN. Who's this? O, O, 'tis Appetitus, Gustus's hungry parasite. [Aside.]

APP. I cannot endure the smoking of guns, the thundering of drums: I had rather hear the merry hacking of pot-herbs, and see the reeking of a hot capon. If they would use no other bucklers in war but shields of brawn, brandish no swords but sweards of bacon,[202] trail no spears but spare-ribs of pork, and instead of arquebuss pieces discharge artichoke-pies: toss no pikes but boiled pickrels, then Appetitus would rouse up his crest, and bear up himself with the proudest.

MEN. Ah! here's a youth stark naught at a trench, but an old dog at a trencher, a tall squire at a square table. [Aside.]

APP. But now my good masters must pardon me; I am not one for their service, for their service is without service, and indeed their service is too hot for my diet. But what, if I be not myself, but only this be my spirit that wanders up and down, and Appetitus be killed in the camp? the devil he is as soon. How's that possible? tut, tut, I know I am. I am Appetitus, and alive, too—by this infallible token, that I feel myself hungry.

MEN. Thou mightest have taken a better token of thyself, by knowing thou art a fool. [Aside.]

APP. Well, then, though I made my fellow-soldiers admire the beauty of my back, and wonder at the nimbleness of my heels, yet now will I, at safety at home, tell in what dangers they are in abroad. I'll speak nothing but guns and glaves,[203] and staves and phalanges,[204] and squadrons and barricadoes, ambuscadoes, palmedoes, blank-point, demi-point,[205] counterpoint, counterscarp, sallies and lies, saladoes, tarantantaras, ranta, tara, tara, hey.

MEN. I must take the fife out of his mouth, or he'll ne'er ha' done. [Aside.]

APP. But, above all, I'll be sure on my knees to thank the great—

[MENDACIO blinds him.

MEN. Who am I, who am I, who I?

APP. By the blood-stained falchion of Mavors,[206] I am on your side.

MEN. Why, who am I?

APP. Are you a soldier?

MEN. No.

APP. Then you are Master Helluo the bearward.

MEN. No, no; he's dead.

APP. Or Gulono the gutty serjeant, or Delphino the vintner, or else I know you not; for these are all my acquaintance.

MEN. Would I were hanged, if I be any of these!

APP. What, Mendacio! By the faith of a knight, thou art welcome; I must borrow thy whetstone, to sharpen the edges of my martial compliments.

MEN. By the faith of a knight! What a pox, where are thy spurs?[207]

APP. I need no spurs; I ride, like Pegasus, on a winged horse—on a swift jennet, my boy, called Fear.

MEN. What shouldst thou fear in the wars? He's not a good soldier that hath not a good stomach.

APP. O, but the stink of powder spoils Appetitus's stomach, and then thou knowest, when 'tis gone, Appetitus is dead; therefore I very manfully drew my sword, and flourished it bravely about mine ears, hist![208] and finding myself hurt, most manfully ran away.

MEN. All heart indeed, for thou rann'st like a hart out of the field. It seems, then, the Senses mean to fight it out.

APP. Ay, and outfight themselves, I think; and all about a trifle, a paltry bauble found, I know not where.

MEN. Thou art deceived: they fight for more than that; a thing called superiority, of which the crown is but an emblem.

APP. Mendacio, hang this superiority; crown me no crown, but Bacchus's crown of roses; give me no sceptre but a fat capon's leg, to show that I am the great king of Hungary! Therefore, I prythee, talk no more of state-matters: but in brief, tell me, my little rascal, how thou hast spent thy time this many a day.

MEN. Faith, in some credit, since thou sawest me last.

APP. How so? where?

MEN. Everywhere. In the court your gentlewomen hang me at their apron-strings, and that makes them answer so readily. In the city I am honoured like a god; none so well acquainted with your tradesmen. Your lawyers, all the termtime, hire me of my lady; your gallants, if they hear my name abused, they stab for my sake; your travellers so doat upon me as passes.[209] O, they have good reason; for I have carried them to many a good meal under the countenance of my familiarity. Nay, your statesmen have oftentimes closely conveyed me under their tongues, to make their policies more current. As for old men, they challenge my company by authority.

APP. I am exceeding glad of your great promotion.

MEN. Now, when I am disposed, I can philosophy it in the university with the subtlest of them all.

APP. I cannot be persuaded that thou art acquainted with scholars, ever since thou wert pressed to death in a printing-house.

MEN. No? why, I was the first founder of the three sects of philosophy, except one of the Peripatetics, who acknowledge Aristotle, I confess, their great grandfather.

APP. Thou boy! how is this possible? Thou art but a child, and there were sects of philosophy, before thou wert born.

MEN. Appetitus, thou mistakest me. I tell thee, three thousand years ago was Mendacio born in Greece,[210] nursed in Crete, and ever since honoured everywhere. I'll be sworn I held old Homer's pen, when he writ his Iliads and his Odysseys.

APP. Thou hadst need, for I hear say he was blind.

MEN. I helped Herodotus to pen some part of his "Muses";[211] lent Pliny ink to write his history; rounded Rabelais in the ear,[212] when he historified Pantagruel: as for Lucian, I was his genius. O, those two books "De Vera Historia," howsoever they go under his name, I'll be sworn I writ them every tittle.

APP. Sure as I am hungry, thou'st have it for lying. But hast thou rusted this latter time for want of exercise?

MEN. Nothing less. I must confess I would fain have jogged Stow and great Hollingshed on their elbows, when they were about their chronicles; and, as I remember, Sir John Mandeville's "Travels" and a great part of the "Decads"[213] were of my doing. But for the "Mirror of Knighthood," "Bevis of Southampton," "Palmerin of England," "Amadis of Gaul," "Huon de Bordeaux," "Sir Guy of Warwick," "Martin Marprelate," "Robin Hood," "Garragantua," "Gerileon," and a thousand such exquisite monuments as these, no doubt but they breathe in my breath up and down.

APP. Downwards, I'll swear, for there's stinking lies in them.

MEN. But what, should I light a candle to the bright sunshine of my glorious renown? The whole world is full of Mendacio's fame.

APP. And so it will be so long as the world is full of fame.

MEN. But, sirrah, how hast thou done this long time?

APP. In as much request as thyself. To begin with the court, as thou didst: I lie with the ladies all night, and that's the reason they call for cullies and gruellies so early before their prayers. Your gallants never sup, breakfast, or bever[214] without me.

MEN. That's false, for I have seen them eat with a full stomach.

APP. True, but because they know a little thing drives me from them, therefore in midst of meat they present me with some sharp sauce or a dish of delicate anchovies, or a caviare,[215] to entice me back again. Nay, more: your old sires, that hardly go without a prop, will walk a mile or two every day to renew their acquaintance with me. As for the academy, it is beholding to me for adding the eighth province unto the noble Heptarchy of the liberal sciences.[216]

MEN. What's that, I prythee?

APP. The most desired and honourable art of cookery. Now, sirrah, in the city I am———'st, 'st! O, the body of a louse!

MEN. What, art a louse in the city?

APP. Not a word more; for yonder comes Phantastes and somebody else.

MEN. What a pox can Phantastes do?

APP. Work a miracle, if he would prove wise.

MEN. 'Tis he indeed, the vilest nup.[217] Yet the fool loves me exceedingly; but I care not for his company, for if he once catch me, I shall never be rid of him.



PHANTASTES, a swart-complexioned fellow, but quick-eyed, in a white satin doublet of one fashion, green velvet hose of another, a fantastical hat with a plume of feathers of several colours, a little short taffeta cloak, a pair of buskins cut, drawn out with sundry-coloured ribbands, with scarfs hung about him after all fashions and of all colours, rings, jewels, a fan, and in every place other odd complements.[218] HEURESIS, a nimble-sprited page in the newest fashion, with a garland of bays, &c.


PHA. Sirrah boy! Heuresis! boy! how now, biting your nails?

HEU. Three things have troubled my brain this many a day, and just now, when I was laying hold on the invention of them, your sudden call made them, like Tantalus's apples, fly from my fingers.

PHA. Some great matters, questionless; what were they?

HEU. The quadrature of a circle, the philosopher's stone, and the next way to the Indies.

PHA. Thou dost well to meditate on these three things at once, for they'll be found out altogether—ad Graecas Calendas; but let them pass, and carry the conceit I told you this morning to the party you wot of. In my imagination 'tis capricious; 'twill take, I warrant thee.

HEU. I will, sir. But what say you to the gentleman that was with you yesterday?

PHA. O, I think thou meanest him that made nineteen sonnets of his mistress's busk-point.[219]

HEU. The same, the same, sir. You promised to help him out with the twentieth.

PHA. By Jupiter's cloven pate, 'tis true. But we witty fellows are so forgetful; but stay, Heu, Heu,[220] carry him this.

    The Gordian knot, which Alexander great
      Did whilom, cut with his all-conquering sword,
    Was nothing like thy busk-point, pretty peat,[221]
      Nor could so fair an augury afford

Then to conclude, let him pervert Catullas's Zonam solvit diu ligatum thus, thus—

    Which if I chance to cut, or else untie,
    Thy little world I'll conquer presently

'Tis pretty, pretty, tell him 'twas extemporal.

HEU. Well, sir, but now for Master Inamorato's love-letter.

PHA. Some nettling stuff, i'faith; let him write thus: Most heart-commanding-faced gentlewoman, even as the stone in India, called Basaliscus, hurts all that looks on it, and as the serpent in Arabia, called Smaragdus, delighteth the sight, so does thy celestial orb-assimilating eyes both please, and in pleasing wound my love-darted heart.

HEU. But what trick shall I invent for the conclusion?

PHA. Pish, anything, love will minister ink for the rest. He that [hath] once begun well, hath half done; let him begin again, and there's all.

HEU. Master Gullio spoke for a new fashion; what for him?

PHA. A fashion for his suit! Let him button it down the sleeve with four elbows, and so make it the pure hieroglyphic of a fool.

HEU. Nay, then let me request one thing of you.

PHA. What's that, boy? By this fair hand, thou shalt have it.

HEU. Mistress Superbia, a gentlewoman of my acquaintance, wished me to devise her a new set for her ruff and an odd tire. I pray, sir, help me out with it.

PHA. Ah, boy, in my conceit 'tis a hard matter to perform. These women have well-nigh tired me with devising tires for them, and set me at a nonplus for new sets. Their heads are so light, and their eyes so coy, that I know not how to please them.

HEU. I pray, sir, she hath a bad face, and fain would have suitors. Fantastical and odd apparel would perchance draw somebody to look on her.

PHA. If her face be nought, in my opinion, the more view it the worse. Bid her wear the multitude of her deformities under a mask, till my leisure will serve to devise some durable and unstained blush of painting.

HEU. Very good, sir.

PHA. Away, then, hie thee again; meet me at the court within this hour at the farthest. [Exit HEURESIS.] O heavens! how have I been troubled these latter times with women, fools, babes, tailors, poets, swaggerers, gulls, ballad-makers! They have almost disrobed me of all the toys and trifles I can devise. Were it not that I pity the multitude of printers, these sonnet-mongers should starve for conceits for all Phantastes. But these puling lovers—I cannot but laugh at them, and their encomiums of their mistresses. They make, forsooth, her hair of gold, her eyes of diamond, her cheeks of roses, her lips of rubies, her teeth of pearl, and her whole body of ivory; and when they have thus idoled her like Pygmalion, they fall down and worship her.[222] Psyche, thou hast laid a hard task upon my shoulders to invent at every one's ask. Were it not that I refresh my dulness once a day with thy most angelical presence, 'twere impossible for me to undergo it.


COMMUNIS SENSUS, a grave man, in a black velvet cassock like a councillor, speaks coming out of the door.


COM. SEN. I cannot stay, I tell you. 'Tis more than time I were at court. I know my sovereign Psyche hath expected me this hour.

PHA. In good time; yonder comes Common Sense. I imagine it should be he by his voice.

COM. SEN. Crave my counsel! Tell me what manner of man he is? Can he entertain a man in his house? Can he hold his velvet cap in one hand, and vail[223] his bonnet with the other? Knows he how to become a scarlet gown? Hath he a pair of fresh posts at his door?[224]

PHA. He's about some hasty state matters. He talks of posts, methinks.

COM. SEN. Can he part a couple of dogs brawling in the street? Why, then, choose him mayor. Upon my credit, he'll prove a wise officer.

PHA. Save you, my lord; I have attended your leisure this hour.

COM. SEN. Fie upon't! What a toil have I had to choose them a mayor yonder? There's a fusty currier will have this man; there's a chandler wipes his nose on his sleeve, and swears it shall not be so; there's a mustard-maker looks as keen as vinegar will have another. O, this many-headed multitude, 'tis a hard matter to please them!

PHA. Especially where the multitude is so well-headed. But I pray you, where's Master Memory? Hath he forgotten himself, that he is not here?

COM. SEN. 'Tis high time he were at court. I would he would come.


MEMORY, an old decrepit man, in a black velvet cassock,[225] a taffeta gown furred with white grogram, a white beard, velvet slippers, a watch, staff, &c. ANAMNESTES, his page, in a grave satin suit, purple buskins, a garland of bays and rosemary, a gimmal ring[226] with one link hanging, ribbons and threads tied to some of his fingers; in his hand a pair of table-books, &c.


MEM. How soon a wise man shall have his wish!

COM. SEN. Memory, the season of your coming is very ripe.

PHA. Had you stayed a little longer, 'twould have been stark rotten.

MEM. I am glad I saved it from the swine. 'Sprecious, I have forgot something. O, my purse, my purse! Why, Anamnestes, Remembrance? that wild boy is always gadding. I remember he was at my heels even now, and now the vile rascal is vanished.

PHA. Is he not here? Why, then in my imagination he's left behind.
Hollo! Anamnestes, Remembrance!

ANA. [Running in haste.] Anon, anon, sir; anon, anon, sir; anon, anon, sir; anon, anon, sir.

MEM. Ha, sirrah, what a brawling's here?

ANA. I do but give you an answer with, anon, sir.

MEM. You answer sweetly; I have called you three or four times one after another.

ANA. Sir, I hope I answered you three or four times, one in the neck of another. But if your good worship have lent me any more calls, tell me, and I'll repay them, as I'm a gentleman.

MEM. Leave your tattle. Had you come at first, I had not spent so much breath in vain.

ANA. The truth is, sir, the first time you called I heard you not: the second, I understood you not: the third, I knew not whether it were you or no: the fourth, I could not tell where you were, and that's the reason I answered so suddenly.

MEM. Go, sirrah: run: seek everywhere. I have lost my purse somewhere.

ANA. I go, sir. Go, sirrah, seek, run; I have lost; bring! here's a dog's life, with a pox! Shall I be always used like a water-spaniel? [Exit ANAMNESTES.

COM. SEN. Come, good Master Register, I wonder you be so late now-a-days.

MEM. My good lord, I remember that I knew your grandfather in this your place, and I remember your grandfather's great grandfather's grandfather's father's father; yet in those days I never remember that any of them could say that Register Memory ever broke one minute of his appointment.

COM. SEN. Why, good father, why are you so late now-a-days?

MEM. Thus 'tis; the most customers I remember myself to have, are, as your lordship knows, scholars; and now-a-days the most of them are become critics, bringing me home such paltry things to lay up for them, that I can hardly find them again.

PHA. Jupiter, Jupiter, I had thought these flies had bit none but myself: do critics tickle you, i'faith?

MEM. Very familiarly: for they must know of me, forsooth, how every idle word is written in all the musty moth-eaten manuscripts, kept in all the old libraries in every city betwixt England and Peru.

COM. SEN. Indeed, I have noted these times to affect antiquities more than is requisite.

MEM. I remember, in the age of Assaracus and Ninus, and about the wars of Thebes and the siege of Troy, there were few things committed to my charge, but those that were well worthy the preserving; but now every trifle must be wrapped up in the volume of eternity. A rich pudding-wife or a cobbler cannot die but I must immortalise his name with an epitaph; a dog cannot piss in a nobleman's shoe, but it must be sprinkled into the chronicles; so that I never could remember my treasure more full, and never emptier of honourable and true heroical actions.

PHA. By your leave, Memory, you are not alone troubled; chronologers many of them are so fantastic, as when they bring a captain to the combat, lifting up his revengeful arm to dispart the head of his enemy, they'll hold up his arms so long, till they have bestowed three or four pages in describing the gold hilts of his threatening falchion: so that in my fancy the reader may well wonder his adversary stabs him not, before he strikes. Moreover, they are become most palpable flatterers, always begging at my gates for invention.

COM. SEN. This is a great fault in a chronologer to turn parasite: an absolute historian should be in fear of none;[227] neither should he write anything more than truth for friendship, or less for hate; but keep himself equal and constant in all his discourses. But, for us, we must be contented; for, as our honours increase, so must the burthen of the cares of our offices urge us to wax heavy.

PHA. But not till our backs break; 'slud, there was never any so haunted as I am: this day there comes a sophister to my house, knocks at my door; his errand being asked, forsooth his answer was to borrow a fair suit of conceits out of my wardrobe, to apparel a show he had in hand: and what think you is the plot?

COM. SEN. Nay, I know not, for I am little acquainted with such toys.

PHA. Meanwhile, he's somewhat acquainted with you, for he's bold to bring your person upon the stage.

COM. SEN. What, me? I can't remember that I was ever brought upon the stage before.

PHA. Yes, you, and you, and myself with all my fantastical tricks and humours: but I trow I have fitted him with fooleries: I trust he'll never trouble me again.

COM. SEN. O times! O manners! when boys dare to traduce men in authority; was ever such an attempt heard?

MEM. I remember there was: for, to say the truth, at my last being at Athens—it is now, let me see, about one thousand eight hundred years ago—I was at a comedy of Aristophanes' making.[228] I shall never forget it; the arch-governor of Athens took me by the hand, and placed me; and there, I say, I saw Socrates abused most grossly, himself being then a present spectator: I remember he sat full against me, and did not so much as show the least countenance of discontent.

COM. SEN. In those days it was lawful; but now the abuse of such liberty is insufferable.

PHA. Think what you will of it, I think 'tis done, and I think it is acting by this time: hark, hark; what drumming's yonder! I'll lay my life they are come to present the show I spake of.

COM. SEN. It may be so; stay, we'll see what 'tis.



LIN. Feign thyself in great haste.

MEN. I warrant you, madam: I doubt 'tis in vain to run, by this they are all past overtaking.

COM. SEN. Is not this Lingua, that is in such haste?

PHA. Yes, yes, stand still.

MEN. I must speak with him.

COM. SEN. With whom?

MEN. Assure yourself they are all at court ere this.

LIN. Run after them, for, unless he know it—

COM. SEN. Lingua!

LIN. O, is't your lordship? I beseech you, pardon me. Haste and fear, I protest, put out mine eyes: I looked so long for you, that I knew not, when I had found you.

PHA. In my conceit that's like the man that inquired who saw his ass, when himself rid on him.

LIN. O, my heart beats so! fie, fie, fie, fie!

MEN. I am so weary; so, so, so, so.

COM. SEN. I prythee, Lingua, make an end.

LIN. Let me begin first, I beseech you; but if you will needs have the end first—thus 'tis: the commonwealth of Microcosm at this instant suffers the pangs of death, 'tis gasping for breath. Will you have all? 'tis poisoned.

PHA. What apothecary durst be so bold as make such a confection? ha, what poison is't?

LIN. A golden crown.

MEN. I mistake; or else Galen, in his book "De Sanitate Tuenda," commends gold as restorative.

COM. SEN. Lingua, express yourself.

MEN. Madam, if you want breath, let me help you out.

LIN. I prythee do, do.

MEN. My lord, the report is that Mercury, coming late into this country, in this very place left a coronet with this inscription, that the best of the five should have it, which the Senses thinking to belong unto them—

LIN. Challenge each other, and are now in arms, and't like your lordship.

COM. SEN. I protest it likes not me.

LIN. Their battles are not far hence; ready ranged.

COM. SEN. O monstrous presumption! what shall we do?

MEM. My lord, in your great grandfather's time there was, I remember, such a breach amongst them; therefore my counsel is that, after his example, by the strength of your authority you convene them before you.

COM. SEN. Lingua, go presently; command the Senses, upon their allegiance to our dread sovereign Queen Psyche, to dismiss their companies, and personally to appear before me without any pretence of excuse.

LIN. I go, my lord.

PHA. But hear you, madam? I pray you, let your Tongue's page[229] walk with us a little, till you return again.

LIN. With all my heart. [Exit LINGUA.

PHA.[230] Hot youths, I protest: saw you those warlike preparations?

MEN, Lately, my lords, I sped into the army;
But O, 'tis far beyond my reach of wit
Or strength of utterance to describe their forces.

COM. SEN. Go to; speak what thou canst.

MEN. Upon the right hand of a spacious hill
Proud Visus marshalleth a puissant army,
Three thousand eagles strong, whose valiant captain
Is Jove's swift thunder-bearer, that same bird,
That hoist up Ganymede from the Trojan plains.
The vanguard strengthened with a wondrous flight
Of falcons, haggards, hobbies, terselets,[231]
Lanards and goshawks, sparhawks, and ravenous birds.
The rearward granted to Auditus' charge,
Is stoutly follow'd with an impetuous herd
Of stiff-neck'd bulls and many horn-mad stags,
Of the best head the forest can afford.

PHA. I promise you, a fearful troop of soldiers.

MEN. Right opposite stands Tactus, strongly mann'd
With three thousand bristled urchens[232] for his pikemen,
Four hundred tortoises for elephants;
Besides a monstrous troop of ugly spiders,
Within an ambushment he hath commanded
Of their own guts to spin a cordage fine,
Whereof t'have fram'd a net (O wondrous work!)
That, fastened by the concave of the moon,
Spreads down itself to th'earth's circumference.

MEM. 'Tis very strange; I cannot remember the like engine at any time.

MEN. Nay more, my lord, the masks[233] are made so strong,
That I myself upon them scal'd the heavens,
And boldly walk'd about the middle region,
Where, in the province of the meteors,
I saw the cloudy shops of hail and rain,
Garners of snow, and crystals full of dew;
Rivers of burning arrows, dens of dragons,
Huge beams of flames, and spears like firebrands.
Where I beheld hot Mars and Mercury,
With rackets made of spheres and balls of stars,
Playing at tennis for a tun of Nectar.
And that vast gaping of the firmament
Under the southern pole is nothing else
But the great hazard[234] of their tennis-court;
The Zodiac is the line; the shooting stars,
Which in an eye-bright evening seem to fall,
Are nothing but the balls they lose at bandy.
Thus, having took my pleasure with those sights,
By the same net I went up I descended.

COM. SEN. Well, sirrah, to what purpose tends this stratagem?

MEN. None know directly; but I think it is
T'entrap the eagles, when the battles join.

PHA. Who takes Tactus his part?

MEN. Under the standard of thrice-hardy Tactus,
Thrice-valiant Gustus leads his warlike forces;
An endless multitude of desperate apes;
Five hundred marmosets and long-tail'd monkeys,
All trained to the field, and nimble gunners.

PHA. I imagine there's old moving[235] amongst them: methinks a handful of nuts would turn them all out of their soldiers' coats.

MEN. Ramparts of pasty-crust and forts of pies,
Entrench'd with dishes full of custard stuff,
Hath Gustus made, and planted ordinance—
Strange ordinance, cannons of hollow canes,
Whose powder's rape-seed, charg'd with turnip-shot.

MEM. I remember, in the country of Utopia[236] they use no other kind of artillery.

COM. SEN. But what's become of Olfactus?

MEN. He politicly leans to neither part,
But stands betwixt the camps as at receipt,
Having great swine[237] his pioneers to entrench them.

PHA. In my foolish imagination Olfactus is very like the Goddess of
Victory, that never takes any part but the conqueror's.

MEN. And in the woods be[238] placed secretly
Two hundred couple of hounds and hungry mastiffs;
And o'er his head hover at his command
A cloud of vultures, which o'erspread the light,
Making a night before the day be done:
But to what end not known, but fear'd of all.

PHA. I conjecture he intends to see them fight, and after the battle to feed his dogs, hogs, and vultures upon the murdered carcases.

MEN. My lord, I think the fury of their anger will not be obedient to the message of Lingua; for otherwise, in my conceit, they should have been here ere this. With your lordship's good liking, we'll attend upon you to see the field for more certainty.

COM. SEN. It shall be so; come, Master Register, let's walk.

[Exeunt omnes.


ANAMNESTES, with a purse in his hand.

ANA. Forsooth, Oblivio, shut the door upon me; I could come no sooner: ha! is he not here? O excellent! would I were hanged, but I looked for a sound rap on the pate, and that made me beforehand to lift up this excuse for a buckler. I know he's not at court, for here is his purse, without which warrant there's no coming thither; wherefore now, Anamnestes, sport thyself a little, while thou art out of the prison of his company. What shall I do? by my troth, anatomise his purse in his absence. Plutus send there be jewels in it, that I may finely geld it of the stones—the best, sure, lies in the bottom; pox on't, here's nothing but a company of worm-eaten papers: what's this? Memorandum that Master Prodigo owes me four thousand pounds, and that his lands are in pawn for it. Memorandum that I owe. That he owes? 'Tis well the old slave hath some care of his credit; to whom owes he, trow I? that I owe Anamnestes; what, me? I never lent him anything; ha, this is good, there's something coming to me more than I looked for. Come on; what is't? Memorandum that I owe Anamnestes———a breeching;[239] i'faith, sir, I will ease you of that payment. [He rends the bill.] Memorandum that, when I was a child, Robusto tripped up my heels at football: what a revengeful dizard[240] is this?


MENDACIO, with cushions under his arms, trips up ANAMNESTES' heels.


ANA. How now?

MEN. Nothing, but lay you upon the cushion, sir, or so.

ANA. Nothing, but lay the cushion upon you, sir.

MEN, What, my little Nam? By this foot, I am sorry I mistook thee.

ANA. What, my little Men? By this hand, it grieves me I took thee so right. But, sirrah, whither with these cushions?

MEN. To lay them here, that the judges may sit softly, lest my Lady
Lingua's cause go hard with her.

ANA. They should have been wrought with gold; these will do nothing. But what makes my lady with the judges?

MEN. Pish! know'st not? She sueth for the title of a Sense, as well as the rest that bear the name of the Pentarchy.

ANA. Will Common Sense and my master leave their affairs to determine that controversy?

MEN. Then thou hear'st nothing.

ANA. What should I hear?

MEN. All the Senses fell out about a crown fallen from heaven, and pitched a field for it; but Vicegerent Common Sense, hearing of it, took upon him to umpire the contention, in which regard he hath appointed them (their arms dismissed) to appear before him, charging every one to bring, as it were in a show, their proper objects, that by them he may determine of their several excellencies.

ANA. When is all this?

MEN. As soon as they can possibly provide.

ANA. But can he tell which deserves best by their objects?

MEN. No, not only; for every Sense must describe his instrument, that is, his house, where he performs his daily duty, so that by the object and the instrument my lord can with great ease discern their place and dignities.

ANA. His lordship's very wise.

MEN. Thou shalt hear all anon. Fine Master Phantastes and thy master will be here shortly. But how is't, my little rogue? methinks thou look'st lean upon't!

ANA. Alas! how should I do otherwise, that lie all night with such a raw-boned skeleton as Memory, and run all day on his errands? The churl's grown so old and forgetful, that every hour he's calling, Anamnestes, Remembrance; where art, Anamnestes? Then presently something's lost. Poor I must run for it, and these words, Run, boy; come, sirrah, quick, quick, quick! are as familiar with him as the cough, never out on's mouth.

MEN. Alack, alack! poor rogue, I see my fortunes are better. My lady loves me exceedingly; she's always kissing me, so that I tell thee, Nam, Mendacio's never from betwixt her lips.

ANA. Nor I out of Memory's mouth,[241] but in a worse sort, always exercising my stumps, and, which is more, when he favours best, then I am in the worst taking.

MEN. How so?

ANA. Thus: when we are friends, then must I come and be dandled upon his palsy-quaking knees, and he'll tell me a long story of his acquaintance with King Priamus and his familiarity with Nestor, and how he played at blowpoint[242] with Jupiter, when he was in his sidecoats, and how he went to look bird-nests with Athous,[243] and where he was at Deucalion's flood, and twenty such old wives' tales.

MEN. I wonder he, being so old, can talk so much.

ANA. Nature, thou know'st, knowing what an unruly engine the tongue is, hath set teeth round about for watchmen. Now, sir, my master's old age hath coughed out all his teeth, and that's the cause it runs so much at liberty.

MEN. Philosophical!

ANA. O, but there's one thing stings me to the very heart—to see an ugly, foul, idle, fat, dusty cloghead, called Oblivio, preferred before me. Dost know him?

MEN. Who, I? Ay, but care not for his acquaintance. Hang him, blockhead! I could never abide him. Thou, Remembrance, are the only friend that the arms of my friendship shall embrace. Thou hast heard Oportet mendacem esse memorem. But what of Oblivio?

ANA. The very naming of him hath made me forget myself. O, O, O, O, that rascal is so made of everywhere!

MEN. Who, Oblivio?

ANA. Ay, for our courtiers hug him continually in their ungrateful bosoms, and your smooth-bellied,[244] fat-backed, barrel-paunched, tun-gutted drones are never without him. As for Memory, he's a false-hearted fellow; he always deceives them; they respect not him, except it be to play a game at chests,[245] primero,[246] saunt,[247] maw,[248] or such like.

MEN. I cannot think such fellows have to do with Oblivio, since they never got anything to forget.

ANA. Again, these prodigal swaggerers that are so much bound to their creditors, if they have but one cross about them, they'll spend it in wine upon Oblivio.

MEN. To what purpose, I prythee?

ANA. Only in hope he'll wash them in the Lethe of their cares.

MEN. Why, then, no man cares for thee.

ANA. Yes, a company of studious paperworms and lean scholars, and niggarly scraping usurers, and a troop of heart-eating, envious persons, and those canker-stomached, spiteful creatures that furnish up commonplace books with other men's faults. The time hath been, in those golden days when Saturn reigned, that, if a man received a benefit of another, I was presently sent for to put him in mind of it; but now, in these iron afternoons, save your friend's life, and Oblivio will be more familiar with him than you.



HEU. Phantastes not at court? Is't possible? 'Tis the strangest accident that ever was heard of. I had thought the ladies and gallants would never lie without him.

ANA. Hist, hist, Mendacio; I prythee observe Heuresis. It seems he cannot find his master, that's able to find out all things. And art thou now at a fault? Canst not find out thine own master?

HEU. I'll try one more way. O yes![249]

MEN. What a proclamation for him?

ANA. Ay, ay, his nimble head is always full of proclamations.

HEU. O yes!

MEN. But doth he cry him in the wood?

ANA. O good sir, and good reason, for every beast hath Phantasy at his pleasure.

HEU. O yes! If any man can tell any tidings of a spruce, neat, apish, nimble, fine, foolish, absurd, humorous, conceited, fantastic gallant, with hollow eyes, sharp look, swart complexion, meagre face, wearing as many toys in his apparel as fooleries in his looks and gesture, let him come forth and certify me thereof, and he shall have for his reward—

ANA. I can tell you where he is. What shall he have?

HEU. A box o' the ear, sirrah. [Snap.]

ANA. How now, Invention, are you so quick-fingered? I'faith, there's your principal, sirrah, [snap], and here's the interest ready in my hand [snap. They fall together by the ears.] Yea, have you found out scratching? Now I remember me—

HEU. Do you bite me, rascal?

MEN. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Here's the lively picture of this axiom, A quick invention and a good memory can never agree. Fie, fie, fie: Heuresis! beat him, when he's down?

ANA. Prythee, let's alone: proud jackanapes, I'll—

HEU. What will you do?

ANA. Untruss thy points, and whip thee, thou paltry ——. Let me go,
Mendacio, if thou lov'st me. Shall I put up the—

MEN. Come, come, come, you shall fight no more, in good faith. Heuresis, your master will catch you anon.

HEU. My master! where is he?

MEN. I'll bring you to him; come away.

HEU. Anamnestes, I scorn that thou shouldst think I go away for fear of anything thou canst do unto me. Here's my hand, as soon as thou canst pick the least occasion, put up thy finger, I am for thee.

ANA. When thou dar'st, Heuresis, when thou dar'st, I'll be as ready as thyself at any time. [Exeunt MENDACIO and HEURESIS.] This Heuresis, this Invention, is the proudest jackanapes, the pertest, self-conceited boy that ever breathed. Because, forsooth, some odd poet or some such fantastic fellows make much on him, there's no ho with him.[250] The vile dandi-prat will overlook the proudest of his acquaintance; but well I remember me, I learned a trick t'other day to bring a boy o'er the thigh finely. If he come, i'faith, I'll tickle him with it.

[MENDACIO comes running back in great haste.

MEN. As I am a rascal, Nam, they are all coming. I see Master Register trudging hither as fast as his three feet will carry up his four ages.




MEM. Ah, you leaden-heeled rascal!

ANA. Here 'tis, sir; I have it, I have it.

MEM. Is this all the haste you make?

ANA. An't like your worship, your cloghead Oblivio went before me, and foiled the trail of your footsteps, that I could hardly undertake the quest of your purse, forsooth.

MEM. You might have been here long ere this. Come hither, sirrah, come hither: what, must you go round about? Goodly, goodly, you are full of circumstances.

ANA. In truth, sir, I was here before, and missing you, went back into the city, sought you in every alehouse, inn, tavern, dicing-house, tennis-court, stews, and such like places, likely to find your worship in.

MEM. Ha, villain! am I a man likely to be found in such places, ha?

ANA. No, no, sir; but I was told by my Lady Lingua's page that your worship was seeking me; therefore I inquired for you in those places, where I knew you would ask for me, an it please your worship.

MEM. I remember another quarrel, sirrah; but—well, well, I have no leisure.



COM. SEN. Lingua, the Senses, by our appointment, anon are to present their objects before us. Seeing, therefore, they be not in readiness, we license you in the meanwhile, either in your own person or by your advocate, to speak what you can for yourself.

LIN. My lord, if I should bring before your honour all my friends, ready to importune you in my behalf, I should have so many rhetoricians, logicians, lawyers, and (which is more) so many women, to attend me, that this grove would hardly contain the company; wherefore, to avoid the tediousness, I will lay the whole cause upon the tip of mine own tongue.

COM. SEN. Be as brief as the necessity of our short time requires.

LIN. My lord, though the imbecillitas of my feeble sex might draw me back from this tribunal, with the habenis, to wit timoris and the Catenis pudoris, notwithstanding being so fairly led on with the gracious [Greek: epiecheia] of your justissime [Greek: dikaiosynaes]. Especially so aspremente spurd' con gli sproni di necessita mia pugente, I will without the help of orators commit the totam salutem of my action to the volutabilitati [Greek: ton gynaicheion logon], which avec vostre bonne plaisir, I will finish with more than Laconicâ brevitate.

COM. SEN. What's this? here's a gallimaufry of speech indeed.

MEM. I remember about the year 1602 many used this skew kind of language which, in my opinion, is not much unlike the man Platony,[251] the son of Lagus, king of Egypt, brought for a spectacle, half-white, half-black.

COM. SEN. I am persuaded these same language-makers have the very quality of cold in their wit, that freezeth all heterogeneal languages together, congealing English tin, Grecian gold, Roman latten[252] all in a lump.

PHA. Or rather, in my imagination, like your fantastical gull's apparel, wearing a Spanish felt, a French doublet, a Granado stocking, a Dutch slop, an Italian cloak, with a Welsh freeze jerkin.

COM. SEN. Well, leave your toying: we cannot pluck the least feather from the soft wing of time. Therefore, Lingua, go on, but in a less formal manner. You know an ingenious oration must neither swell above the banks with insolent words, nor creep too shallow in the ford with vulgar terms; but run equally, smooth and cheerful, through the clean current of a pure style.

LIN. My lord, this one thing is sufficient to confirm my worth to be equal or better than the Senses, whose best operations are nothing till I polish them with perfection; for their knowledge is only of things present, quickly sublimed with the deft[253] file of time: whereas the tongue is able to recount things past, and often pronounce things to come, by this means re-edifying such excellences as time and age do easily depopulate.

COM. SEN. But what profitable service do you undertake for our dread queen Psyche?

LIN. O, how I am ravished to think how infinitely she hath graced me with her most acceptable service! But above all (which you, Master Register, well remember), when her highness, taking my mouth for her instrument, with the bow of my tongue struck so heavenly a touch upon my teeth, that she charmed the very tigers asleep, the listening bears and lions to couch at her feet, while the hills leaped, and the woods danced to the sweet harmony of her most angelical accents.

MEM. I remember it very well. Orpheus played upon the harp, while she sung, about some four years after the contention betwixt Apollo and Pan, and a little before the excoriation of Marsyas.

ANA. By the same token the river Alpheus, at that time pursuing his beloved Arethusa, dischannelled himself of his former course, to be partaker of their admirable consort[254], and the music being ended, thrust himself headlong into earth, the next way to follow his amorous chace. If you go to Arcadia, you shall see his coming up again.

COM. SEN. Forward, Lingua, with your reason.

LIN. How oft hath her excellency employed me as ambassador in her most urgent affairs to foreign kings and emperors—I may say to the gods themselves? How many bloodless battles have my persuasions attained, when the Senses' forces have been vanquished? how many rebels have I reclaimed, when her sacred authority was little regarded? Her laws (without exprobation be it spoken) had been altogether unpublished, her will unperformed, her illustrious deeds unrenowned, had not the silver sound of my trumpet filled the whole circuit of the universe with her deserved fame. Her cities would dissolve, traffic would decay, friendships be broken, were not my speech the knot, mercury, and mastic, to bind, defend, and glue them together. What should I say more? I can never speak enough of the unspeakable praise of speech, wherein I can find no other imperfection at all, but that the most exquisite power and excellency of speech cannot sufficiently express the exquisite power and excellency of speaking.

COM. SEN. Lingua, your service and dignity we confess to be great; nevertheless these reasons prove you not to have the nature of a Sense.

LIN. By your ladyship's favour, I can soon prove that a Sense is a faculty, by which our queen sitting in her privy chamber hath intelligence of exterior occurrences. That I am of this nature, I prove thus. The object which I challenge is—

Enter APPETITUS in haste.

APP. Stay, stay, my lord; defer, I beseech you, defer the judgment.

COM. SEN. Who's this that boldly interrupts us thus?

APP. My name is Appetitus, common servant to the pentarchy of the Senses who, understanding that your honour was handling this action of Lingua's, sent me hither thus hastily, most humbly requesting the Bench to consider these articles they allege against her, before you proceed to judgment.

COM. SEN. Hum, here's good stuff; Master Register, read them. Appetitus, you may depart, and bid your mistress make convenient speed.

APP. At your lordship's pleasure. [Exit APPETITUS.

MEM. I remember that I forgot my spectacles; I left them in the 349th page of Hall's "Chronicles," where he tells a great wonder of a multitude of mice, which had almost destroyed the country, but that there resorted a great mighty flight of owls, that destroyed them. Anamnestes, read these articles distinctly.

ANA. Art. 1. Imprimis, We accuse Lingua of high treason and sacrilege against the most honourable commonwealth of letters; for, under pretence of profiting the people with translations, she hath most vilely prostituted the hard mysteries of unknown languages to the profane ears of the vulgar.

PHA. This is as much as to make a new hell in the upper world; for in hell they say Alexander is no better than a cobbler, and now by these translations every cobbler is as familiar with Alexander as he that wrote his life.

ANA. Art. 2. Item, that she hath wrongfully imprisoned a lady called

Art. 3. Item, That she's a witch, and exerciseth her tongue in exorcisms.

Art. 4. Item, That she's a common whore, and lets every one lie with her.

Art. 5. Item, that she rails on men in authority, depraving their honours with bitter jests and taunts; and that she's a backbiter, setting strife betwixt bosom friends.

Art. 6. Item, that she lends wives weapons to fight against their husbands.

Art. 7. Item, that she maintains a train of prating pettifoggers, prowling sumners[255], smooth-tongued bawds, artless[256] empirics, hungry parasites, newscarriers, janglers[257], and such like idle companions, that delude the commonalty.

Art. 8. Item, that she made rhetoric wanton, logic to babble, astronomy to lie.

Art. 9. Item that she's an incontinent tell-tale.

Art. 10. Item (which is the last and worst), that she's a woman in every respect, and for these causes not to be admitted to the dignity of a Sense. That these articles be true, we pawn our honours, and subscribe our names.


COM. SEN. Lingua, these be shrewd allegations, and, as I think, unanswerable. I will defer the judgment of your cause, till I have finished the contention of the Senses.

LIN. Your lordship must be obeyed. But as for them, most ungrateful and perfidious wretches—

COM. SEN. Good words become you better; you may depart, if you will, till we send for you. Anamnestes, run, remember Visus; 'tis time he were ready.

ANA. I go. [Exit ANAMNESTES et redit.] He stays here, expecting your lordship's pleasure.


A page carrying a scutcheon argent, charged with an eagle displayed proper: then VISUS, with a fan of peacock's feathers: next LUMEN, with a crown of bays and a shield with a bright sun in it, apparelled in tissue: then a page bearing a shield before COELUM, clad in azure taffeta, dimpled with stars, a crown of stars on his head, and a scarf resembling the zodiac overthwart the shoulders: next a page clad in green, with a terrestrial globe before TERRA, in a green velvet gown stuck with branches and flowers, a crown of turrets upon her head, in her hand a key: then a herald, leading in his hand COLOUR, clad in changeable silk, with a rainbow out of a cloud on her head: last, a boy. VISUS marshalleth his show about the stage, and presents it before the Bench.


VIS. Lo, here the objects that delight the sight!
The goodliest objects that man's heart can wish!
For all things, that the orb first movable
Wraps in the circuit of his large-stretch'd arms,
Are subject to the power of Visus' eyes.
That you may know what profit light doth bring,
Note Lumen's words, that speaks next following.

LUM. Light, the fair grandchild to the glorious sun,
Opening the casements of the rosy morn,
Makes the abashed heavens soon to shun
The ugly darkness it embrac'd beforn;[258]
And, at his first appearance, puts to flight
The utmost relics of the hell-born night.
This heavenly shield, soon as it is display'd,
Dismays the vices that abhor the light;
To wanderers by sea and land gives aid;
Conquers dismay, recomforteth affright;
Rouseth dull idleness, and starts soft sleep,
And all the world to daily labour keep.
This a true looking-glass impartial,
Where beauty's self herself doth beautify
With native hue, not artificial,
Discovering falsehood, opening verity:
The day's bright eye colours distinction,
Just judge of measure and proportion.
The only means by which each mortal eye
Sends messengers to the wide firmament,
That to the longing soul brings presently
High contemplation and deep wonderment;
By which aspirement she her wings displays,
And herself thither, whence she came, upraise.

PHA. What blue thing's that, that's dappled so with stars.

VIS. He represents the heaven.

PHA. In my conceit
'Twere pretty, if he thundered when he speaks.

VIS. Then none could understand him.

COEL. Tropic, colures, the equinoctial,
The zodiac, poles, and line ecliptical,
The nadir, zenith, and anomalies,
The azimuth and ephimerides,
Stars, orbs, and planets, with their motions,
The oriental regradations,
Eccentrics, epicyctes, and—and—and—

PHA. How now, Visus, is your heaven at a stay,
Or is it his motus trepidationis that makes him stammer?
I pray you, Memory, set him a-gate[259] again.

MEM. I remember, when Jupiter made Amphitryo cuckold, and lay with his wife Alcmena, Coelum was in this taking for three days space, and stood still just like him at a nonplus.

COM. SEN. Leave jesting; you'll put the fresh actor out of countenance.

COEL. Eccentrics, epicyctes, and aspects
In sextile, trine and quadrate, which effects
Wonders on earth: also the oblique part
Of signs, that make the day both long and short,
The constellations, rising cosmical,
Setting of stars, chronic, and heliacal,
In the horizon or meridional,
And all the skill in deep astronomy,
Is to the soul derived by the eye.

PHA. Visus, you have made Coelum a heavenly speech, past earthly capacity; it had been as good for him he had thundered. But I pray you, who taught him to speak and use no action? methinks it had been excellent to have turned round about in his speech.

VIS. He hath so many motions, he knows not which to begin withal.

PHA. Nay, rather it seems he's of Copernicus' opinion, and that makes him stand still.

    [TERRA comes to the midst of the stage, stands still
    a while, saith nothing, and steps back

COM. SEN. Let's hear what Terra can say—just nothing?

VIS. And't like your lordship, 'twere an indecorum Terra should speak.

MEM. You are deceived; for I remember, when Phaeton ruled the sun (I shall never forget him, he was a very pretty youth), the Earth opened her mouth wide, and spoke a very good speech to Jupiter.

ANA. By the same token Nilus hid his head then, he could never find it since.

PHA. You know, Memory, that was an extreme hot day, and 'tis likely Terra sweat much, and so took cold presently after, that ever since she hath lost her voice.

HER. A canton ermine added to the field
Is a sure sign the man that bore these arms
Was to his prince as a defensive shield,
Saving him from the force of present harms[260].

PHA. I know this fellow of old, 'tis a herald: many a centaur, chimaera[261], barnacle[262], crocodile, hippopotame, and such like toys hath he stolen out of the shop of my Invention, to shape new coats for his upstart gentlemen. Either Africa must breed more monsters,[263] or you make fewer gentlemen, Master Herald, for you have spent all my devices already. But since you are here, let me ask you a question in your own profession: how comes it to pass that the victorious arms of England, quartered with the conquered coat of France, are not placed on the dexter side, but give the flower-de-luce the better hand?

HER. Because that the three lions are one coat made of two French dukedoms, Normandy and Aquitain.

[PHA.][264] But I pray you, Visus, what joy is that, that follows him?

VIS. 'Tis Colour, an object of mine, subject to his commandment.

PHA. Why speaks he not?

VIS. He is so bashful, he dares not speak for blushing:
What thing is that? tell me without delay.

BOY. That's nothing of itself, yet every way
As like a man as a thing like may be:
And yet so unlike as clean contrary,
For in one point it every way doth miss,
The right side of it a man's left side is;
'Tis lighter than a feather, and withal
It fills no place nor room, it is so small.

COM. SEN. How now, Visus, have you brought a boy with a riddle to pose us all?

PHA. Pose us all, and I here? That were a jest indeed. My lord, if he have a Sphinx, I have an Oedipus, assure yourself; let's hear it once again.

BOY. What thing is that, sir, &c.

PHA. This such a knotty enigma? Why, my lord, I think 'tis a woman, for first a woman is nothing of herself, and, again, she is likest a man of anything.

COM. SEN. But wherein is she unlike?

PHA. In everything: in peevishness, in folly. 'St, boy?

HEU. In pride, deceit, prating, lying, cogging, coyness, spite, hate, sir.

PHA. And in many more such vices. Now, he may well say, the left side a man's right side is, for a cross wife is always contrary to her husband, ever contradicting what he wisheth for, like to the verse in Martial, Velle tuum.

MEM. Velle tuum nolo, Dindyme, nolle volo.

PHA. Lighter than a feather—doth any man make question of that?

MEM. They need not, for I remember I saw a cardinal weigh them once, and the woman was found three grains lighter.

COM. SEN. 'Tis strange, for I have seen gentlewomen wear feathers oftentimes. Can they carry heavier things than themselves?

MEM. O, sir, I remember, 'tis their only delight to do so.

COM. SEN. But how apply you the last verse? it fills no place, sir.

PHA. By my faith, that spoils all the former, for these farthingales take up all the room now-a-days; 'tis not a woman, questionless. Shall I be put down with a riddle? Sirrah Heuresis, search the corners of your conceit, and find it me quickly.

HEU. Eh, [Greek: heureka, heureka] I have it: 'tis a man's face in a looking-glass.

PHA. My lord, 'tis so indeed. Sirrah let's see it, for do you see my right eye here?

COM. SEN. What of your eye?

PHA. O lord, sir, this kind of frown is excellent, especially when 'tis sweetened with such a pleasing smile.

COM. SEN. Phantastes!

PHA. O sir, my left eye is my right in the glass, do you see? By these lips, my garters hang so neatly, my gloves and shoes become my hands and feet so well. Heuresis, tie my shoe-strings with a new knot—this point was scarce well-trussed, so, 'tis excellent. Looking-glasses were a passing invention. I protest the fittest books for ladies to study on—

MEM. Take heed you fall not in love with yourself. Phantastes, as I remember—Anamnestes, who was't that died of the looking disease?

ANA. Forsooth, Narcissus: by the same token he was turned to a daffodil, and as he died for love of himself, so, if you remember, there was an old ill-favoured, precious-nosed, babber-lipped, beetle-browed, blear-eyed, slouch-eared slave that, looking himself by chance in a glass, died for pure hate.

PHA. By the lip of my —— I could live and die with this face.

COM. SEN. Fie, fie, Phantastes, so effeminate! for shame, leave off. Visus, your objects I must needs say, are admirable, if the house and instrument be answerable. Let's hear therefore in brief your description.

VIS. Under the forehead of Mount Cephalou,[265]
That overpeers the coast of Microcosm,
All in the shadow of two pleasant groves,
Stand by two mansion-houses, both as round
As the clear heavens: both twins, as like each other
As star to star, which by the vulgar sort,
For their resplendent composition,
Are named the bright eyes of Mount Cephalon:
With four fair rooms those lodgings are contrived,
Four goodly rooms in form most spherical,
Closing each other like the heavenly orbs:
The first whereof, of nature's substance wrought,
As a strange moat the other to defend,
Is trained movable by art divine,
Stirring the whole compacture of the rest:
The second chamber is most curiously
Compos'd of burnish'd and transparent horn.

PHA. That's a matter of nothing. I have known many have such bed-chambers.

MEM. It may be so, for I remember, being once in the town's library, I read such a thing in their great book of monuments, called "Cornucopia," or rather their "Copiacornu."

VIS. The third's a lesser room of purest glass;
The fourth's smallest, but passeth all the former
In worth of matter: built most sumptuously,
With walls transparent of pure crystalline.
This the soul's mirror and the body's guide,
Love's cabinet, bright beacons of the realm,
Casements of light, quiver of Cupid's shafts,
Wherein I sit, and immediately receive
The species of things corporeal,
Keeping continual watch and sentinel;
Lest foreign hurt invade our Microcosm,
And warning give (if pleasant things approach),
To entertain them. From this costly room
Leadeth, my lord, an entry to your house,
Through which I hourly to yourself convey
Matters of wisdom by experience bred:
Art's first invention, pleasant vision,
Deep contemplation, that attires the soul
In gorgeous robes of flowing literature:
Then, if that Visus have deserved best,
Let his victorious brow with crown be blest.

COM. SEN. Anamnestes, see who's to come next.

ANA. Presently, my lord.

PHA. Visus, I wonder that amongst all your objects, you presented us not with Plato's idea, or the sight of Nineveh,[266] Babylon, London, or some Stourbridge-fair monsters; they would have done passing well. Those motions, in my imagination, are very delightful.

VIS. I was loth to trouble your honours with such toys, neither could I provide them in so short a time.

COM. SEN. We will consider your worth; meanwhile, we dismiss you.

[VISUS leads his show about the stage, and so goeth out with it.



AUD. Hark, hark, hark, hark! peace, peace, O, peace! O sweet, admirable, swanlike, heavenly! hark, O most mellifluous strain! O, what a pleasant close was there! O fall[267] most delicate!

COM. SEN. How now, Phantastes! is Auditus mad?

PHA. Let him alone, his musical head is always full of old crotchets.

AUD. Did you mark the dainty driving of the last point, an excellent maintaining of the song; by the choice timpan of mine ear, I never heard a better! hist, 'st, 'st, hark! why, there's a cadence able to ravish the dullest stoic.

COM. SEN. I know not what to think on him.

AUD. There how sweetly the plain-song was dissolved into descant, and how easily they came off with the last rest. Hark, hark, the bitter'st[268] sweetest achromatic.

COM. SEN. Auditus!

AUD. Thanks, good Apollo, for this timely grace,
Never couldst thou in fitter hour indulge it:
O more than most musical harmony!
O most admirable concert! have you no ears?
Do you not hear this music?

PHA. It may be good; but, in my opinion, they rest too long in the beginning.

AUD. Are you then deaf? do you not yet perceive
The wondrous sound the heavenly orbs do make
With their continual motion? hark, hark,
O honey-sweet!

COM. SEN. What tune do they play?

AUD. Why such a tune as never was, nor ever shall be heard.
Mark now, now mark: now, now!

PHA. List, list, list.

AUD. Hark! O sweet, sweet, sweet.

PHA. List! how my heart envies my happy ears.
Hist, by the gold-strung harp of Apollo,
I hear the celestial music of the spheres,
As plainly as ever Pythagoras did.
O most excellent diapason! good, good.
It plays Fortune my foe,[269] as distinctly as may be.

COM. SEN. As the fool thinketh, so the bell clinketh. I protest I hear no more than a post.

PHA. What, the Lavolta![270] eh? nay, if the heavens fiddle, Fancy must needs dance.

COM. SEN. Prythee, sit still, thou must dance nothing but the passing measures[271]. Memory, do you hear this harmony of the spheres?

MEM. Not now, my lord; but I remember about some four thousand years ago, when the sky was first made, we heard very perfectly.

ANA. By the same token, the first tune the planets played, I remember Venus the treble ran sweet division upon Saturn the bass. The first tune they played was Sellenger's round[272], in memory whereof ever since it hath been called "the beginning of the world."

COM. SEN. How comes it we cannot hear it now?

MEM. Our ears are so well acquainted with the sound, that we never mark it. As I remember, the Egyptian Catadupes[273] never heard the roaring of the fall of Nilus, because the noise was so familiar unto them.

COM. SEN. Have you no other objects to judge by than these, Auditus?

AUD. This is the rarest and most exquisite:
Most spherical, divine, angelical;
But since your duller ears cannot perceive it,
May it please your lordship to withdraw yourself
Unto this neighbouring grove: there shall you see
How the sweet treble of the chirping birds,
And the soft stirring of the moved leaves,
Running delightful descant to the sound
Of the base murmuring of the bubbling brook[274],
Becomes a concert of good instruments;
While twenty babbling echoes round about,
Out of the stony concave of their mouths,
Restore the vanished music of each close,
And fill your ears full with redoubled pleasure.

COM. SEN. I will walk with you very willingly, for I grow weary of sitting. Come, Master Register and Master Phantastes.

[Exeunt OMNES.



MEN. Prythee, Nam, be persuaded: is't not better to go to a feast, than stay here for a fray?

ANA. A feast? dost think Auditus will make the judges a feast?

MEN. Faith, ay. Why should he carry them to his house else?

ANA. Why, sirrah, to hear a set or two of songs: 'slid, his banquets are nothing but fish, all sol, sol, sol.[275] I'll teach thee wit, boy; never go thee to a musician's house for junkets, unless thy stomach lies in thine ears; for there is nothing but commending this song's delicate air, that ode's dainty air, this sonnet's sweet air, that madrigal's melting air, this dirge's mournful air: this church air, that chamber air: French air, English air, Italian air. Why, lad, they be pure camelions; they feed only upon air.

MEN. Camelions? I'll be sworn some of your fiddlers be rather camels, for by their good wills they will never leave eating.

ANA. True, and good reason, for they do nothing all the day but stretch and grate their small guts. But, O, yonder's the ape Heuresis; let me go, I prythee.

MEN. Nay, good-now, stay a little, let's see his humour.

HEU. I see no reason to the contrary, for we see the quintessence of wine will convert water into wine; why therefore should not the elixir of gold turn lead into pure gold? [Soliloquises.]

MEN. Ha, ha, ha, ha! He is turned chemic, sirrah; it seems so by his talk.

HEU. But how shall I devise to blow the fire of beechcoals with a continual and equal blast? ha? I will have my bellows driven with a wheel, which wheel shall be a self-mover.

ANA. Here's old turning[276]; these chemics, seeking to turn lead into gold, turn away all their own silver.

HEU. And my wheel shall be geometrically proportioned into seven or nine concave encircled arms, wherein I will put equal poises: ay, ay; [Greek: heureka, heureka] I have it, I have it, I have it.

MEN. Heuresis!

HEU. But what's best to contain the quicksilver, ha?

ANA. Do you remember your promise, Heuresis?

HEU. It must not be iron; for quicksilver is the tyrant of metals, and will soon fret it.

ANA. Heuresis? Heuresis?

HEU. Nor brass, nor copper, nor mastlin[277], nor mineral: [Greek: heureka, heureka] I have it, I have it, it must be—

ANA. You have, indeed, sirrah, and thus much more than you looked for.

    [HEURESIS and ANAMNESTES about to fight,
MENDACIO parts them.

MEN. You shall not fight; but if you will always disagree, let us have words and no blows. Heuresis, what reason have you to fall out with him?

HEU. Because he is always abusing me, and takes the upper hand of me everywhere.

ANA. And why not, sirrah? I am thy better in any place.

HEU. Have I been the author of the seven liberal sciences, and consequently of all learning, have I been the patron of all mechanical devices, to be thy inferior? I tell thee, Anamnestes, thou hast not so much as a point, but thou art beholding to me for it.

ANA. Good, good; but what had your invention been, but for my remembrance? I can prove that thou, belly-sprung invention, art the most improfitable member in the world; for ever since thou wert born, thou hast been a bloody murderer; and thus I prove it: In the quiet years of Saturn (I remember Jupiter was then but in his swathe-bands), thou rentest the bowels of the earth, and broughtest gold to light, whose beauty, like Helen, set all the world by the ears. Then, upon that, thou foundest out iron, and puttest weapons in their hands, and now in the last populous age thou taughtest a scabshin friar the hellish invention of powder and guns.

HEU. Call'st it hellish? thou liest! It is the admirablest invention of all others, for whereas others imitate nature, this excels nature herself.

MEM. True; for a cannon will kill as many at one shot as thunder doth commonly at twenty.

ANA. Therefore more murdering art thou than the light-bolt[278].

HEU. But to show the strength of my conceit, I have found out a means to withstand the stroke of the most violent culverin. Mendacio, thou saw'st it, when I demonstrated the invention.

ANA. What, some woolpacks or mud walls, or such like?

HEU. Mendacio, I prythee tell it him, for I love not to be a trumpeter of mine own praises.

MEN. I must needs confess this device to pass all that ever I heard or saw, and thus it was—first he takes a falcon, and charges it (without all deceits) with dry powder well-camphired[279], then did he put in a single bullet, and a great quantity of drop-shot both round and lachrymal. This done, he sets me a boy sixty paces off, just point blank over against the mouth of the piece. Now in the very midst of the direct line he fastens a post, upon which he hangs me in a cord a siderite of Herculean stone[280].

ANA. Well, well, I know it well, it was found out in Ida, in the year of the world —— by one Magnes, whose name it retains, though vulgarly they call it the Adamant.

MEN. When he had hanged this adamant in a cord, he comes back, and gives fire to the touchhole: now the powder consumed to a void vacuum—

HEU. Which is intolerable in nature, for first shall the whole machine of the world, heaven, earth, sea, and air, return to the misshapen house of Chaos, than the least vacuum be found in the universe.

MEN. The bullet and drop-shot flew most impetuously from the fiery throat of the culverin; but, O, strange, no sooner came they near the adamant in the cord, but they were all arrested by the serjeant of nature, and hovered in the air round about it, till they had lost the force of their motion, clasping themselves close to the stone in most lovely manner, and not any one flew to endanger the mark; so much did they remember their duty to nature, that they forgot the errand they were sent of.

ANA. This is a very artificial lie.

MEN. Nam, believe it, for I saw it, and which is more, I have practised this device often. Once when I had a quarrel with one of my lady Veritas' naked knaves, and had 'ppointed him the field, I conveyed into the heart of my buckler an adamant, and when we met, I drew all the foins of his rapier, whithersoever he intended them, or howsoever I guided mine arm, pointed still to the midst of my buckler, so that by this means I hurt the knave mortally, and myself came away untouched, to the wonder of all the beholders.

ANA. Sirrah, you speak metaphorically, because thy wit, Mendacio, always draws men's objections to thy forethought excuses.

HEU. Anamnestes, 'tis true, and I have an addition to this, which is to make the bullet shot from the enemy to return immediately upon the gunner. But let all these pass, and say the worst thou canst against me.

ANA. I say, guns were found out for the quick despatch of mortality; and when thou sawest men grow wise, and beget so fair a child as Peace of so foul and deformed a mother as War, lest there should be no murder, thou devisedst poison.

MEN. Nay, fie, Nam, urge him not too far.

ANA. And last and worst, thou foundest out cookery, that kills more than weapons, guns, wars, or poisons, and would destroy all, but that thou invented'st physic, that helps to make away some.

HEU. But, sirrah, besides all this, I devised pillories for such forging villains as thyself.

ANA. Call'st me villain?

[They fight, and are parted by MENDACIO.

MEN. You shall not fight as long as I am here. Give over, I say.

HEU. Mendacio, you offer me great wrong to hold me: in good faith,
I shall fall out with you.

MEN. Away, away, away; you are Invention, are you not?

HEU. Yes, sir; what then?

MEN. And you Remembrance?

ANA. Well, sir, well?

MEN. Then I will be Judicium, the moderator betwixt you, and make you both friends; come, come, shake hands, shake hands.

HEU. Well, well, if you will needs have it so.

ANA. I am in some sort content.

[MENDACIO walks with them, holding them by the hands.

MEN. Why, this is as it should be; when Mendacio hath Invention on the one hand, and Remembrance on the other, as he'll be sure never to be found with truth in his mouth, so he scorns to be taken in a lie. Eh, eh, eh, my fine wags? Whist!

[COMMUNIS SENSUS and the rest are seen to approach.]

ANA. Whist!

HEU. Whist!


COMMUNIS SENSUS, MEMORY, PHANTASTES, HEURESIS, ANAMNESTES, take their places on the bench as before, AUDITUS on the stage, a page before him, bearing his target, the field Sable, a heart Or; next him TRAGEDUS apparelled in black velvet, fair buskins, a falchion, &c.; then COMEDUS, in a light-coloured green taffeta robe, silk stockings, pumps, gloves, &c.


COM. SEN. They had some reason that held the soul a harmony, for it is greatly delighted with music; how fast we were tied by the ears to the consort of Voice's power! but all is but a little pleasure; what profitable objects hath he?

PHA. Your ears will teach you presently, for now he is coming. That fellow in the bays, methinks I should have known him; O, 'tis Comedus, 'tis so; but he has become nowadays something humorous, and too-too satirical up and down, like his great grandfather Aristophanes.

ANA. These two, my lord, Comedus and Tragedus,
My fellows both, both twins, but so unlike,
As birth to death, wedding to funeral.
For this, that rears himself in buskins quaint,
Is pleasant at the first, proud in the midst,
Stately in all, and bitter death at end.
That in the pumps doth frown at first acquaintance,
Trouble in the midst, but in the end concludes,
Closing up all with a sweet catastrophe.
This grave and sad, distain'd with brinish tears;
That light and quick with wrinkled laughter[281] painted;
This deals with nobles, kings, and emperors,
Full of great fears, great hopes, great enterprises.
This other trades with men of mean condition:
His projects small, small hopes, and dangers little.
This gorgeous-broider'd with rich sentences:
That fair and purfled round with merriments.
Both vice detect and virtue beautify,
By being death's mirror, and life's looking-glass.

COM[282]. Salutem primum jam a principio propitiam.
Mihi atque vobis, spectatores, nuntio

PHA. Pish, pish, this is a speech with no action; let's hear Terence, Quid igitur faciam, &c.

COM. _Quid igitur faciam? non eam? ne nunc quidem,
Cum arcessor ultro?[284]

PHA. Fie, fie, fie, no more action! lend me your bays, do it thus—Quid igitur, &c. [He acts it after the old kind of pantomimic action.

COM. SEN. I should judge this action, Phantastes, most absurd, unless we should come to a comedy, as gentlewomen to the Commencement[285], only to see men speak.

PHA. In my imagination, 'tis excellent; for in this kind the hand, you know, is harbinger to the tongue, and provides the words a lodging in the ears of the auditors.

COM. SEN. Auditus, it is now time you make us acquainted with the quality of the house you keep in, for our better help in judgment.

AUD. Upon the sides of fair mount Cephalon
Have I two houses passing human skill:
Of finest matter by Dame Nature wrought,
Whose learned fingers have adorn'd the same
With gorgeous porches of so strange a form,
That they command the passengers to stay.
The doors whereof in hospitality
Nor day nor night are shut, but, open wide,
Gently invite all comers; whereupon
They are named the open ears of Cephalon.
But lest some bolder sound should boldly rush,
And break the nice composure of the work,
The skilful builder wisely hath enrang'd
An entry from each port with curious twines
And crook'd meanders, like the labyrinth
That Daedalus fram'd t'enclose the Minotaur;
At th'end whereof is plac'd a costly portal,
Resembling much the figure of a drum,
Granting slow entrance to a private closet.
Where daily, with a mallet in my hand,
I set and frame all words and sounds that come
Upon an anvil, and so make them fit
For the periwinkling porch[286], that winding leads
From my close chamber to your lordship's cell.
Thither do I, chief justice of all accents,
Psyche's next porter, Microcosm's front,
Learning's rich treasure, bring discipline,
Reason's discourse, knowledge of foreign states,
Loud fame of great heroes' virtuous deeds;
The marrow of grave speeches, and the flowers
Of quickest wits, neat jests, and pure conceits;
And oftentimes, to ease the heavy burthen
Of government your lordship's shoulders bear,
I thither do conduce the pleasing nuptials
Of sweetest instruments with heavenly noise.
If then Auditus have deserv'd the best,
Let him be dignified before the rest.

COM. SEN. Auditus, I am almost a sceptic in this matter, scarce knowing which way the balance of the cause will decline. When I have heard the rest, I will despatch judgment; meanwhile, you may depart.

[AUDITUS leads his show about the stage, and then goes out.


COMMUNIS SENSUS, MEMORIA, PHANTASTES, ANAMNESTES, HEURESIS, as before; OLFACTUS in a garment of several flowers, a page before him, bearing his target, his field Vert, a hound Argent, two boys with casting-bottles[287], and two censers with incense[288], another with a velvet cushion stuck with flowers, another with a basket of herbs, another with a box of ointment. OLFACTUS leads them about, and, making obeisance, presents them before the Bench.

1ST BOY. Your only way to make a good pomander[289] is this:—Take an ounce of the purest garden mould, cleansed and steeped seven days in change of motherless rosewater; then take the best ladanum, benzoine, both storaxes, ambergris, civet, and musk: incorporate them together, and work them into what form you please. This, if your breath be not too valiant, will make you smell as sweet as my lady's dog.

PHA. This boy, it should seem, represents Odour, he is so perfect a perfumer.

ODOUR. I do, my lord, and have at my command
The smell of flowers and odoriferous drugs,
Of ointments sweet and excellent perfumes,
And courtlike waters, which if once you smell,
You in your heart would wish, as I suppose,
That all your body were transform'd to nose.

PHA. Olfactus, of all the Senses, your objects have the worst luck; they are always jarring with their contraries; for none can wear civet, but they are suspected of a proper bad scent[290]; whence the proverb springs, He smelleth best, that doth of nothing smell.


The Bench and OLFACTUS, as before. TOBACCO, apparelled in a taffeta mantle, his arms brown and naked, buskins made of the peeling of osiers, his neck bare, hung with Indian leaves, his face brown, painted with blue stripes, in his nose swines' teeth, on his head a painted wicker crown with tobacco-pipes set in it, plumes of tobacco leaves, led by two Indian boys naked, with tapers in their hands, tobacco-boxes, and pipes lighted.

PHA. Foh, foh, what a smell is here! Is this one of your delightful objects?

OLF. It is your only scent in request, sir.

COM. SEN. What fiery fellow is that, which smokes so much in the mouth?

OLF. It is the great and puissant God of Tobacco.

TOB. Ladoch guevarroh pufuer shelvaro baggon,
Olfia di quanon, Indi cortilo vraggon

PHA. Ha, ha, ha, ha! this, in my opinion, is the tongue of the

MEM. No, I remember it very well, it was the language the Arcadians spake that lived long before the moon.

COM. SEN. What signifies it, Olfactus?

OLF. This is the mighty Emperor Tobacco, king of Trinidado, that, in being conquered, conquered all Europe, in making them pay tribute for their smoke.

TOB. Erfronge inglues conde hesingo,
Develin floscoth ma pu cocthingo

OLF. Expeller of catarrhs, banisher of all agues, your guts' only salve for the green wounds of a non-plus.

TOB. All vulcam vercu, I parda pora si de gratam, ka famala mora, che
Bauho respartera, quirara

OLF. Son to the god Vulcan and Tellus, kin to the father of mirth, called Bacchus.

TOB. Viscardonok, pillostuphe, pascano tinaromagas,
Pagi dagon stollisinfe, carocibato scribas

OLF. Genius of all swaggerers, professed enemy to physicians, sweet ointment for sour teeth, firm knot of good fellowship, adamant of company, swift wind to spread the wings of time, hated of none but those that know him not, and of so great deserts that, whoso is acquainted with him can hardly forsake him.

PHA. It seems these last words were very significant. I promise you, a god of great denomination; he may be my Lord Tappes for his large titles[291].

COM. SEN. But forward, Olfactus, as they have done before you, with your description?

OLF. Just in the midst of Cephalon's round face,
As 'twere a frontispiece unto the hill,
Olfactus' lodging built in figure long,
Doubly disparted with two precious vaults,
The roofs whereof most richly are enclos'd
With orient pearls and sparkling diamonds
Beset at th'end with emerauds and turchis[292],
And rubies red and flaming chrysolites,
At upper end whereof, in costly manner,
I lay my head between two spongeous pillows,
Like fair Adonis 'twixt the paps of Venus,
Where I, conducting in and out the wind,
Daily examine all the air inspir'd
By my pure searching, if that it be pure,
And fit to serve the lungs with lively breath:
Hence do I likewise minister perfume[s]
Unto the neighbour brain—perfumes of force
To cleanse your head, and make your fancy bright,
To refine wit and sharp[293] invention,
And strengthen memory: from whence it came,
That old devotion incense did ordain
To make man's spirit more apt for things divine.
Besides a thousand more commodities,
In lieu whereof your lordships I request,
Give me the crown, if I deserve it best.

[OLFACTUS leads his company about the stage, and goes out.


The Bench as before. A page with a shield Argent, an ape proper with an apple; then GUSTUS with a cornucopia in his hand. BACCHUS in a garland of leaves and grapes, a white suit, and over it a thin sarcenet to his foot, in his hand a spear wreathed with vine leaves, on his arm a target with a tiger. CERES with a crown of ears of corn, in a yellow silk robe, a bunch of poppy in her hand, a scutcheon charged with a dragon.

COM. SEN. In good time, Gustus. Have you brought your objects?

GUS. My servant Appetitus followeth with them.

APP. Come, come, Bacchus, you are so fat; enter, enter.

PHA. Fie, fie, Gustus! this is a great indecorum to bring Bacchus alone; you should have made Thirst lead him by the hand.

GUS. Right, sir; but men nowadays drink often when they be not dry; besides, I could not get red herrings and dried neats' tongues enough to apparel him in.

COM. SEN. What, never a speech of him?

GUS. I put an octave of iambics in his mouth, and he hath drunk it down.

APP. Well done, muscadine and eggs stand hot. What, buttered claret? go thy way, thou hadst best; for blind men that cannot see how wickedly thou look'st—How now, what small, thin fellow are you here? ha?

BOY. Beer, forsooth: Beer, forsooth.

APP. Beer forsooth, get you gone to the buttery, till I call for you; you are none of Bacchus's attendants, I am sure; he cannot endure the smell of malt. Where's Ceres? O, well, well, is the march-pane broken? Ill luck, ill luck! Come hang't, never stand to set it together again. Serve out fruit there.

[Enter boys with a banquet, marmalade, sweets, &c.; deliver it round among the gentlewomen, and go out.]

What, do you come with roast-meat after apples? Away with it. Digestion, serve out cheese. What, but a pennyworth! It is just the measure of his nose that sold it! Lamb's wool, the meekest meat in the world; 'twill let any man fleece it. Snapdragon there!

MEM. O, I remember this dish well: it was first invented by Pluto, to entertain Proserpina withal.

PHA. I think not so, Memory; for when Hercules had killed the flaming dragon of Hesperia with the apples of that orchard, he made this fiery meat; in memory whereof he named it Snapdragon.

COM. SEN. Gustus, let's hear your description?

GUS. Near to the lowly base of Cephalon,
My house is plac'd not much unlike a cave:
Yet arch'd above by wondrous workmanship,
With hewen stones wrought smoother and more fine
Than jet or marble fair from Iceland brought.
Over the door directly doth incline
A fair percullis of compacture strong,
To shut out all that may annoy the state
Or health of Microcosm; and within
Is spread a long board like a pliant tongue,
At which I hourly sit, and trial take
Of meats and drinks needful and delectable:
Twice every day do I provision make
For the sumptuous kitchen of the commonwealth;
Which, once well-boil'd, is soon distributed
To all the members, well refreshing them
With good supply of strength-renewing food.
Should I neglect this nursing[294] diligence,
The body of the realm would ruinate;
Yourself, my lord, with all your policies
And wondrous wit, could not preserve yourself:
Nor you, Phantastes; nor you, Memory.
Psyche herself, were't not that I repair
Her crazy house with props of nourishment,
Would soon forsake us: for whose dearest sake
Many a grievous pain have I sustain'd
By bitter pills and sour purgations;
Which if I had not valiantly abiden,
She had been long ere this departed.
Since the whole Microcosm I maintain,
Let me, as Prince, above the Senses reign.

COM. SEN. The reasons you urge, Gustus, breed a new doubt, whether it be commodious or necessary, the resolution whereof I refer to your judgment, licensing you meanwhile to depart.

[GUSTUS leads his show about the stage, and goes out.


    The Bench as before; TACTUS, a page before him
    bearing his scutcheon, a tortoise Sable

TAC. Ready anon, forsooth! the devil she will!
Who would be toil'd with wenches in a show?

COM. SEN. Why in such anger, Tactus? what's the matter?

TAC. My lord, I had thought, as other Senses did,
By sight of objects to have prov'd my worth;
Wherefore considering that, of all the things
That please me most, women are counted chief,
I had thought to have represented in my show
The queen of pleasure, Venus and her son,
Leading a gentleman enamoured
With his sweet touching of his mistress' lips,
And gentle griping of her tender hands,
And divers pleasant relishes of touch,
Yet all contained in the bounds of chastity.

PHA. Tactus, of all I long to see your objects;
How comes it we have lost those pretty sports?

TAC. Thus 'tis: five hours ago I set a dozen maids to attire a boy like a nice gentlewoman; but there is such doing with their looking-glasses, pinning, unpinning, setting, unsetting, formings and conformings; painting blue veins and cheeks; such stir with sticks and combs, cascanets, dressings, purls, falls, squares, busks, bodies, scarfs, necklaces, carcanets, rebatoes, borders, tires, fans, palisadoes, puffs, ruffs, cuffs, muffs, pusles, fusles, partlets, frislets, bandlets, fillets, crosslets, pendulets, amulets, annulets, bracelets, and so many lets, that yet she's scarce dressed to the girdle; and now there is such calling for fardingales, kirtles, busk-points, shoe-ties, &c., that seven pedlars' shops—nay, all Stourbridge fair, will scarce furnish her. A ship is sooner rigged by far, than a gentlewoman made ready.

PHA. 'Tis strange that women, being so mutable,
Will never change in changing their apparel.

COM. SEN. Well, let them pass; Tactus, we are content
To know your dignity by relation.

TAC. The instrument of instruments, the hand,
Courtesy's index, chamberlain to nature,
The body's soldier, and mouth's caterer,
Psyche's great secretary, the dumb's eloquence,
The blind man's candle, and his forehead's buckler,
The minister of wrath, and friendship's sign,
This is my instrument: nevertheless my power
Extends itself far as our queen commands,
Through all the parts and climes of Microcosm.
I am the root of life, spreading my virtue
By sinews, that extend from head to foot
To every living part.
For as a subtle spider, closely sitting
In centre of her web that spreadeth round,
If the least fly but touch the smallest thread,
She feels it instantly; so doth myself,
Casting my slender nerves and sundry nets
O'er every particle of all the body,
By proper skill perceive the difference
Of several qualities, hot, cold, moist, and dry;
Hard, soft, rough, smooth, clammy, and slippery:
Sweet pleasure and sharp pain profitable,
That makes us (wounded) seek for remedy.
By these means do I teach the body fly
From such bad things as may endanger it.
A wall of brass can be no more defence
Unto a town than I to Microcosm.
Tell me what Sense is not beholden to me?
The nose is hot or cold, the eyes do weep,
The ears do feel, the taste's a kind of touching:
Thus, when I please, I can command them all,
And make them tremble, when I threaten them.
I am the eldest and biggest of all the rest,
The chiefest note and first distinction
Betwixt a living tree and living beast;
For though one hear and see, and smell and taste,
If he wants touch, he is counted but a block.
Therefore, my lord, grant me the royalty;
Of whom there is such great necessity.

COM. SEN. Tactus, stand aside. You, sirrah Anamnestes, tell the Senses we expect their appearance.

ANA. At your lordship's pleasure.



COMMUNIS SENSUS, PHANTASTES, MEMORIA, HEURESIS, ANAMNESTES, _upon the Bench consulting among themselves. _VISUS, AUDITUS, TACTUS, GUSTUS, and OLFACTUS, every one with his shield upon his arm. LINGUA, and MENDACIO with them.

COM. SEN. Though you deserve no small punishment for these uproars, yet at the request of these my assistants I remit it; and by the power of judgment our gracious sovereign Psyche hath given me, thus I determine of your controversies: hum! By your former objects, instruments and reasons, I conceive the state of sense to be divided into two parts; one of commodity, the other of necessity; both which are either for our queen or for our country; but as the soul is more excellent than the body, so are the Senses that profit the soul to be estimated before those that are needful for the body. Visus and Auditus, serve yourselves. Master Register, give me the crown; because it is better to be well, than simply to be, therefore I judge the crown by right to belong to you of the commodity's part, and the robe to you of the necessity's side: and since you, Visus, are the author of invention, and you, Auditus, of increase and addition to the same, seeing it is more excellent to invent than to augment, I establish you, Visus, the better of the two, and chief of all the rest: in token whereof I bestow upon you this crown, to wear at your liberty.

VIS. I most humbly thank your lordships.

COM. SEN. But lest I should seem to neglect you, Auditus, I here choose you to be the lord intelligencer to Psyche her majesty: and you, Olfactus, we bestow upon you the chief priesthood of Microcosm, perpetually to offer incense in her majesty's temple. As for you, Tactus, upon your reasons alleged I bestow upon you the robe.

TAC. I accept it most gratefully at your just hands, and will wear it in the dear remembrance of your good lordship.

COM. SEN. And lastly, Gustus, we elect you Psyche's only taster, and great purveyor for all her dominions both by sea and land, in her realm of Microcosm.

GUS. We thank your lordship, and rest well content with equal arbitrament.

COM. SEN. Now for you, Lingua.

LIN. I beseech your honour, let me speak; I will neither trouble the company, nor offend your patience.

COM. SEN. I cannot stay so long; we have consulted about you, and find your cause to stand upon these terms and conditions. The number of the Senses in this world is answerable to the first[295] bodies in the great world: now, since there be but fire in the universe, the four elements and the pure substance of the heavens, therefore there can be but five Senses in our Microcosm, correspondent to those; as the sight to the heavens, hearing to the air, touching to the earth, smelling to the fire, tasting to the water, by which five means only the understanding is able to apprehend the knowledge of all corporeal substances: wherefore we judge you to be no sense simply: only thus much we from henceforth pronounce, that all women for your sake shall have six senses—that is, seeing hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and the last and feminine sense, the sense of speaking.

GUS. I beseech your lordship and your assistants (the only cause of our friendship) to grace my table with your most welcome presence this night at supper.

COM. SEN. I am sorry I cannot stay with you: you know we may by no means omit our daily attendance at the court, therefore I pray you pardon us.

GUS. I hope I shall not have the denial at your hands, my masters, and you, my Lady Lingua. Come, let us drown all our anger in a bowl of hippocras[296].

[Exeunt SENSUS omnes exteriores.

COM. SEN. Come, Master Register, shall we walk?

MEM. I pray you, stay a little. Let me see! ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

PHA. How now, Memory, so merry? what, do you trouble yourself with two palsies at once, shaking and laughing?

MEM. 'Tis a strange thing that men will so confidently oppose themselves against Plato's great year.

PHA. Why not?

MEM. 'Tis as true an opinion as need be; for I remember it very readily now, that this time 49,000 years ago all we were in this very place, and your lordship judged the very same controversy, after the very same manner, in all respects and circumstances alike.

COM. SEN. 'Tis wondrous strange.

ANA. By the same token you held your staff in your right hand, just as you do now; and Master Phantastes stood wondering at you, gaping as wide as you see him.

PHA. Ay, but I did not give you a box on the ear, sirrah, 49,000 years ago, did I? [Snap.]

ANA. I do not remember that, sir.

PHA. This time Plato's twelvemonth to come, look you save your cheeks better.

COM. SEN. But what entertainment had we at court for our long staying?

MEM. Let's go, I'll tell you as we walk.

PHA. If I do not seem pranker[297] now than I did in those days, I'll be hanged.

[Exeunt omnes interiores Sensus: manet LINGUA.



LIN. Why, this is good. By Common Sense's means,
Lingua, thou hast fram'd a perfect comedy.
They are all good friends, whom thou mad'st enemies;
And I am half a Sense: a sweet piece of service,
I promise you, a fair step to preferment!
Was this the care and labour thou hast taken
To bring thy foes together to a banquet,
To lose thy crown, and be deluded thus!
Well, now I see my cause is desperate,
The judgment's pass'd, sentence irrevocable,
Therefore I'll be content and clap my hands,
And give a plaudite to their proceedings.
What, shall I leave my hate begun unperfect?
So foully vanquish'd by the spiteful Senses!
Shall I, the embassadress of gods and men,
That pull'd proud Phoebe from her brightsome sphere,
And dark'd Apollo's countenance with a word,
Raising at pleasure storms, and winds, and earthquakes,
Be overcrow'd, and breathe without revenge?
Yet they forsooth, base slaves, must be preferred,
And deck themselves with my right ornaments.
Doth the all-knowing Phoebus see this shame
Without redress? will not the heavens help me?
Then shall hell do it; my enchanting tongue
Can mount the skies, and in a moment fall
From the pole arctic to dark Acheron.
I'll make them know mine anger is not spent;
Lingua hath power to hurt, and will to do it.
Mendacio, come hither quickly, sirrah.

MEN. Madam.

LIN. Hark, hither in thine ear.

MEN. Why do you whisht[298] thus? here's none to hear you.

LIN. I dare not trust these secrets to the earth,
E'er since she brought forth reeds, whose babbling noise
Told all the world of Midas' ass's ears.
[She whispers him in the ear.] Dost understand me?

MEN. Ay, ay, ay—never fear that—there's a jest indeed—
Pish, pish—madam—do you think me so foolish?—Tut, tut, doubt not.

LIN. Tell her, if she do not—

MEN. Why do you make any question of it?—what a stir is here—I warrant you—presently! [Exit MENDACIO.

LIN. Well, I'll to supper, and so closely cover
The rusty canker of mine iron spite
With golden foil of goodly semblances.
But if I do not trounce them—



MENDACIO, with a bottle in his hand.

MEN. My Lady Lingua is just like one of these lean-witted comedians who, disturbing all to the fifth act, bring down some Mercury or Jupiter in an engine to make all friends: so she, but in a contrary manner, seeing her former plots dispurposed, sends me to an old witch called Acrasia to help to wreak her spite upon the Senses. The old hag, after many an encircled circumstance, and often naming of the direful Hecate and Demogorgon. gives me this bottle of wine, mingled with such hellish drugs and forcible words that, whosoever drinks of it shall be presently possessed with an enraged and mad kind of anger.



MEN. What's this, Crapula beating Appetitus out of doors? ha?

CRA. You filthy long crane, you mean slave, will you kill your guests with blowing continual hunger in them? The Senses have overcharged their stomachs already, and you, sirrah, serve them up a fresh appetite with every new dish. They had burst their guts if thou hadst stayed but a thought longer. Begone, or I'll set thee away; begone, ye gnaw-bone, raw-bone rascal![299] [Beats him.

MEN. Then my device is clean spoiled. Appetitus should have been as the bowl to present this medicine to the Senses, and now Crapula hath beaten him out of doors; what shall I do? [Aside.]

CRA. Away, sirrah. [Beats him.

APP. Well, Crapula, well; I have deserved better at your hands than so. I was the man, you know, first brought you into Gustus's service. I lined your guts there, and you use me thus? but grease a fat sow, &c.

CRA. Dost thou talk? Hence, hence; avaunt, cur; avaunt, you dog! [Exit CRAPULA.

APP. The belching gorbelly[300] hath well-nigh killed me; I am shut out of doors finely. Well, this is my comfort, I may walk now in liberty at my own pleasure.

MEN. Appetitus, Appetitus!

APP. Ah, Mendacio, Mendacio!

MEN. Why, how now, man, how now? how is't? canst not speak?

APP. Faith, I am like a bagpipe, that never sounds but when the belly is full.

MEN. Thou empty, and com'st from a feast?

APP. From a fray. I tell thee, Mendacio, I am now just like the ewe that gave suck to a wolf's whelp; I have nursed up my fellow Crapula so long, that he's grown strong enough to beat me.

MEN. And whither wilt thou go, now thou art banished out of service?

APP. Faith, I'll travel to some college or other in an university.

MEN. Why so?

APP. Because Appetitus is well-beloved amongst scholars, for there I can dine and sup with them, and rise again as good friends as we sat down. I'll thither, questionless.

MEN. Hear'st thou? give me thy hand. By this, I love thee: go to, then.
Thou shalt not forsake thy masters thus, I say thou shalt not.

APP. Alas! I am very loth; but how should I help it?

MEN. Why, take this bottle of wine, come on; go thy ways to them again.

APP. Ha, ha, ha! what good will this do?

MEN. This is the Nepenthe that reconciles the gods. Do but let the Senses taste of it, and fear not, they'll love thee as well as ever they did.

APP. I pray thee, where hadst it?

MEN. My lady gave it me to bring her. Mercury stole it from Hebe for her. Thou knowest there were some jars betwixt her and thy masters, and with this drink she would gladly wash out all the relics of their disagreement. Now, because I love thee, thou shalt have the grace of presenting it to them, and so come in favour again.

APP. It smells well. I would fain begin to them.

MEN. Nay, stay no longer, lest they have supped before thou come.

APP. Mendacio, how shall I requite thy infinite courtesy?

MEN. Nay, pray thee leave, go catch occasion by the foretop. But hear'st thou? As soon as it is presented, round[301] my Lady Lingua in the ear, and tell her of it.

APP. I will, I will: adieu, adieu, adieu.




MEN. Why. this is better than I could have wish'd it;
Fortune, I think, is fallen in love with me,
Answering so right my expectation.
By this time Appetite is at the table,
And with a lowly cringe presents the wine
To his old master Gustus; now he takes it,
And drinks, perchance, to Lingua; she craftily
Kisses the cup, but lets not down a drop,
And gives it to the rest: 'tis sweet, they'll swallow it:
But when 'tis once descended to the stomach,
And sends up noisome vapours to the brain,
'Twill make them swagger gallantly; they'll rage
Most strangely, or Acrasia's art deceives her;
When if my lady stir her nimble tongue,
And closely sow contentious words amongst them,
O, what a stabbing there will be! what bleeding!



LIN. What, art thou there, Mendacio? pretty rascal!
Come let me kiss thee for thy good deserts.

MEN. Madam, does't take? Have they all tasted it?

LIN. All, all, and all are well-nigh mad already.
O, how they stare and swear, and fume, and brawl!
Wrath gives them weapons; pots and candlesticks,
Joint stools and trenchers, fly about the room,
Like to the bloody banquet of the centaurs.
But all the sport's to see what several thoughts
The potion works in their imaginations.
For Visus thinks himself a ——, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!



APP. So ho, Mendacio! so ho, so ho!

MEN. Madam, I doubt they come; yonder is Appetitus. You had best be gone, lest in their outrage they should injure you. [Exit LINGUA.] How now, Hunger? How dost thou, my fine maypole, ha?

APP. I may well be called a maypole, for the Senses do nothing but dance a morrice about me.

MEN. Why, what ails them? Are they not (as I promised thee) friends with thee?

APP. Friends with me! nay, rather frenzy. I never knew them in such a case in all my life.

MEN. Sure, they drank too much, and are mad for love of thee.

APP. They want Common Sense amongst them. There's such a hurlyburly. Auditus is stark deaf, and wonders why men speak so softly that he cannot hear them. Visus hath drunk himself stark blind, and therefore imagineth himself to be Polyphemus. Tactus is raging mad, and cannot be otherwise persuaded but he is Hercules furens. There's such conceits amongst them.



VIS. O, that I could but find the villain Outis[302],
Outis the villain, that thus blinded me!

MEN. Who is this? Visus?

APP. Ay, ay, ay; otherwise called Polyphemus.

VIS. By heaven's bright sun, the day's most glorious eye,
That lighteneth all the world but Polypheme.
And by mine eye, that once was answerable
Unto that sun, but now's extinguished—

MEN. He can see to swear, methinks.

VIS. If I but once lay hands upon the slave,
That thus hath robb'd me of my dearest jewel,
I'll rend the miscreant to a thousand pieces,
And gnash his trembling members 'twixt my teeth,
Drinking his live-warm blood to satisfy
The boiling thirst of pain and furiousness,
That thus exasperates great Polypheme.

MEN. Pray thee, Appetitus, see how he grasps for that he would be loth to find.

APP. What's that? a stumblingblock?

VIS. These hands, that whilom tore up sturdy oaks,
And rent the rock that dash'd out Acis' brains,
Bath'd[303] in the stole bliss of my Galatea,
Serve now (O misery!) to no better use,
But for bad guides to my unskilful feet,
Never accustom'd thus to be directed.

MEN. As I am a rogue, he wants nothing but a wheel to make him the true picture of fortune; how say'st? what, shall we play at blind-man's-buff with him?

APP. Ay, if thou wilt; but first I'll try whether he can see?

VIS. Find me out Outis, search the rocks and woods,
The hills and dales, and all the coasts adjoining,
That I may have him, and revenge my wrong.

APP. Visus, methinks your eyes are well enough.

VIS. What's he that calls me Visus? dost not know—

[They run about him, playing with him, and abusing him.

APP. To him, Mendacio, to him, to him.

MEN. There, there, Appetitus, he comes, he comes; ware, ware, he comes; ha, ha, ha, ha!

[VISUS stumbles, falls down, and sits still.


MENDACIO, APPETITUS, TACTUS, with a great blackjack in his hand.

MEN. Is this he that thinks himself Hercules?

APP. Ay, wilt see me outswagger him?

MEN. Ay, do, do; I love not to sport with such mad playfellows: tickle him, Appetitus; tickle him, tickle him. [Exit MENDACIO.

TAC. Have I not here the great and puissant club,
Wherewith I conquer'd three-chapp'd Cerberus?

APP. Have I not here the sharp and warlike teeth,
That at one breakfast quail'd thrice-three hogs' faces?

TAC. And are not these Alcides' brawny arms,
That rent the lion's jaws, and kill'd the boar?

APP. And is not this the stomach that defeated
Nine yards of pudding and a rank[304] of pies?

TAC. Did not I crop the sevenfold hydra's crest,
And with a river cleans'd Augaea's stable?

APP. Did not I crush a sevenfold custard's crust,
And with my tongue swept a well-furnish'd table?

TAC. Did not these feet and hands o'ertake and slay
The nimble stag and fierce impetuous bull?

APP. Did not this throat at one good meal devour
That stag's sweet venison and that strong bull's beef?

TAC. Shall Hercules be thus disparaged?
Juno! you pouting quean, you louring trull,
Take heed I take you not; for by Jove's thunder
I'll be reveng'd.

[APPETITUS draws VISUS backward from TACTUS.

APP. Why, Visus, Visus, will you be kill'd? away, away.

[Exit VISUS.

TAC. Who have we here? see, see, the giant Cacus
Draws an ox backward to his thievish den.
Hath this device so long deluded me?
Monster of men, Cacus, restore my cattle,
Or instantly I'll crush thy idle coxcomb,
And dash thy doltish brains against thy cave.

APP. Cacus! I Cacus? ha, ha, ha! Tactus, you mistake me;
I am yours to command, Appetitus.

TAC. Art Appetitus? Th'art so; run quickly, villain;
Fetch a whole ox to satisfy my stomach.

APP. Fetch an ass to keep you company.

TAC. Then down to hell: tell Pluto, prince of devils,
That great Alcides wants a kitchen wench
To turn his spit. Command him from myself
To send up Proserpine; she'll serve the turn.

APP. I must find you meat, and the devil find you cooks!
Which is the next[305] way?

TAC. Follow the beaten path, thou canst not miss it.
'Tis a wide causeway that conducteth thither,
An easy track, and down-hill all the way.
But if the black prince will not send her quickly,
But still detain her for his bedfellow,
Tell him I'll drag him from his iron chair
By the steel tresses, and then sew him fast
With the three furies in a leathern bag,
And thus will drown them in the ocean.
                           He pours the jack of beer upon APPETITUS.

APP. You had better keep him alive to light tobacco-pipes, or to sweep chimneys.

TAC. Art thou not gone? nay, then I'll send thy soul
Before thee; 'twill do thy message sooner. [Beats him.

APP. Hercules, Hercules, Hercules! do not you hear Omphale? hark how she calls you, hark!

TAC. 'Tis she indeed, I know her sugar'd voice:
Omphale, dear commandress of my life,
My thoughts' repose, sweet centre of my cares,
Where all my hopes and best desires take rest.
Lo! where the mighty son of Jupiter
Throws himself captive at your conquering feet!
Do not disdain my voluntary humbleness:
Accept my service, bless me with commanding.
I will perform the hardest imposition,
And run through twelve new labours for thy sake.
Omphale, dear commandress of my life.

APP. Do you not see how she beckons to you to follow her? Look how she holds her distaff, look ye?

TAC. Where is she gone, that I may follow her?
Omphale, stay, stay, take thy Hercules!

APP. There, there, man, you are right.




APP. What a strange temper are the Senses in!
How come their wits thus topsy-turvy turn'd?
Hercules Tactus, Visus Polypheme!
Two goodly surnames have they purchased.
By the rare ambrosia[306] of an oyster-pie,
They have got such proud imaginations,
That I could wish I were mad for company:
But since my fortunes cannot stretch so high,
I'll rest contented with this wise estate.


APPETITUS: [to him enter] AUDITUS with a candlestick.

APP. What, more anger? Auditus got abroad too?

AUD. Take this abuse at base Olfactus' hands?
What, did he challenge me to meet me here,
And is not come? well, I'll proclaim the slave
The vilest dastard that e'er broke his word.
But stay, yonder's Appetitus.

APP. I pray you, Auditus, what ails you?

AUD. Ha, ha!

APP. What ails you?

AUD. Ha! what say'st thou?

APP. Who hath abused you thus?

AUD. Why dost thou whisper thus? Canst not speak out?

APP. Save me, I had clean forgotten. Why are you so angry, Auditus?

AUD. Bite us! who dare bite us?

APP. I talk of no biting; I say, what's the matter between Olfactus and you?

AUD. Will Olfactus bite me? do, if he dares; would he would meet me here according to his promise! Mine ears are somewhat thick of late; I pray thee, speak out louder.

APP. Ha, ha, ha, ha! this is fine, i'faith: ha, ha, ha! Hear you, have you lost your ears at supper?

AUD. Excellent cheer at supper, I confess it;
But when 'tis sauc'd with sour contentions,
And breeds such quarrels, 'tis intolerable.

APP. Pish, pish, this is my question: hath your supper spoiled your hearing?

AUD. Hearing at supper? tell not me of hearing?
But if thou saw'st Olfactus, bring me to him.

APP. I ask you, whether you have lost your hearing?

AUD. O, dost thou hear them ring? what a grief is this
Thus to be deaf, and lose such harmony.
Wretched Auditus, now shalt thou never hear
The pleasing changes that a well-tun'd chord
Of trolling bells will make, when they are rung.

APP. Here's ado indeed! I think he's mad, as well as drunk or deaf.

AUD. Ha, what's that?

APP. I say you have made me hoarse with speaking so loud.

AUD. Ha, what say'st thou of a creaking crowd?[307]

APP. I am hoarse, I tell you, and my head aches.

AUD. O, I understand thee! the first crowd was made of a horse-head.
'Tis true, the finding of a dead horse-head
Was the first invention of string instruments,
Whence rose the gittern, viol, and the lute:
Though others think the lute was first devis'd
In imitation of a tortoise-back,
Whose sinews, parched by Apollo's beams,
Echo'd about the concave of the shell:
And seeing the shortest and smallest gave shrill'st sound,
They found out frets, whose sweet diversity
(Well-touched by the skilful learned fingers)
Raiseth so strange a multitude of chords.
Which their opinion many do confirm,
Because Testado signifies a lute.
But if I by no means—

APP. Nay, if you begin to critic once, we shall never have done.

[Exit APPETITUS, and carries away AUDITUS perforce.


CRAPULA, a fat-bellied slave, clothed in a light veil of sarsanet, a garland of vine-leaves on his head, &c. SOMNUS in a mantle of black cobweb lawn down to the foot, over a dusky-coloured taffeta coat, and a crown of poppy-tops on his head, a company of dark-coloured silk scarfs in one hand, a mace of poppy in the other, leaving his head upon a pillow on CRAPULA'S shoulders.

CRA. Somnus, good Somnus, sweet Somnus, come apace!

SOM. Eh, O, O; are you sure they be so? oho, oho, oho; eh, waw?
What good can I do? ou, hoh, haw.

CRA. Why, I tell you, unless you help—
                   [SOMNUS falls down and sleeps.
Soft son of night, right heir to quietness,
Labour's repose, life's best restorative,
Digestion's careful nurse, blood's comforter,
Wit's help, thought's charm, the stay of Microcosm,
Sweet Somnus, chiefest enemy to care:
My dearest friend, lift up thy lumpish head,
Ope thy dull eyes, shake off this drowsiness,
Rouse up thyself.

SOM. O Crapula, how now, how now! O, O, how; who's there?
Crapula, speak quickly, what's the matter?

CRA. As I told you, the noble Senses, peers of Microcosm,
Will eftsoon fall to ruin perpetual.
Unless your ready helping-hand recure them.
Lately they banqueted at Gustus' table,
And there fell mad or drunk, I know not whether;
So that it's doubtful in these outrageous fits,
That they'll murder one another.

SOM. Fear it not.
If they have 'scap'd already, bring me to them
Or them to me; I'll quickly make them know
The power of my large-stretched authority.
These cords of sleep, wherewith I wont to bind
The strongest arm that e'er resisted me,
Shall be the means whereby I will correct
The Senses' outrage and distemperature.

CRA. Thanks, gentle Somnus, I'll go seek them out,
And bring them to you soon as possible.

SOM. Despatch it quickly, lest I fall asleep for want of work.

CRA. Stand still, stand still! Visus, I think, comes yonder.
If you think good, begin and bind him first;
For, he made fast, the rest will soon be quiet.




VIS. Sage Telemus, I now too late admire
Thy deep foresight and skill in prophecy,
Who whilom told'st me, that in time to come
Ulysses should deprive me of my sight.
And now the slave, that march'd in Outis' name,
Is prov'd Ulysses; and by this device
Hath 'scap'd my hands, and fled away by sea,
Leaving me desolate in eternal night.
Ah, wretched Polypheme! where's all thy hope,
And longing for thy beauteous Galatea?
She scorn'd thee once, but now she will detest
And loathe to look upon thy dark'ned face;
Ah me, most miserable Polyphemus!
But as for Ulysses, heaven and earth
Send vengeance ever on thy damned head,
In just revenge of my great injury!
                            [SOMNUS binds him.
Who is he that dares to touch me? Cyclops, come,
Come, all ye Cyclops, help to rescue me.
                [SOMNUS charms him; he sleeps.

SOM. There rest thyself, and let thy quiet sleep
Restore thy weak imaginations.



LIN. Ha, ha, ha! O, how my spleen is tickled with this sport
The madding Senses make about the woods!
It cheers my soul, and makes my body fat,
To laugh at their mischances: ha, ha, ha, ha!
Heigho, the stitch hath caught me: O, my heart!
Would I had one to hold my sides awhile,
That I might laugh afresh: O, how they run,
And chafe, and swear, and threaten one another!
                                          [SOMNUS binds her.
Ay me, out, alas! ay me, help, help, who's this that binds me?
Help, Mendacio! Mendacio, help! Here's one will ravish me.

SOM. Lingua, content yourself, you must be bound.

LIN. What a spite's this? Are my nails pared so near? Can I not scratch his eyes out? What have I done? What, do you mean to kill me? Murder, murder, murder!

[She falls asleep.


    GUSTUS, with a voiding knife[308] in his hand.

GUS. Who cries out murder? What, a woman slain!
My Lady Lingua dead? O heavens unjust!
Can you behold this fact, this bloody fact,
And shower not fire upon the murderer?
Ah, peerless Lingua! mistress of heavenly words,
Sweet tongue of eloquence, the life of fame,
Heart's dear enchantress! What disaster, fates,
Hath reft this jewel from our commonwealth?
Gustus, the ruby that adorns the ring,
Lo, here defect, how shalt thou lead thy days,
Wanting the sweet companion of thy life,
But in dark sorrow and dull melancholy?
But stay, who's this? inhuman wretch!
Bloodthirsty miscreant! is this thy handiwork?
To kill a woman, a harmless lady?
Villain, prepare thyself;
Draw, or I'll sheathe my falchion in thy sides.
There, take the guerdon[309] fit for murderers.

    [GUSTUS offers to run at SOMNUS, but being
    suddenly charmed, falls asleep

SOM. Here's such a stir, I never knew the Senses in such disorder.

LIN. Ha, ha, ha! Mendacio, Mendacio! See how Visus hath broke his forehead against the oak yonder, ha, ha, ha!

SOM. How now? is not Lingua bound sufficiently? I have more trouble to make one woman sleep than all the world besides; they are so full of tattle.


SOMNUS, CRAPULA, LINGUA, VISUS, GUSTUS, AUDITUS pulling OLFACTUS by the nose, and OLFACTUS wringing AUDITUS by the ears.

AUD. O, mine ears, mine ears, mine ears!

OLF. O, my nose, my nose, my nose!

CRA. Leave, leave, at length, these base contentions:
Olfactus, let him go.

OLF. Let him first loose my nose.

CRA. Good Auditus, give over.

AUD. I'll have his life that sought to kill me.

SOM. Come, come, I'll end this quarrel; bind them[310], Crapula.

[They bind them both.


    TACTUS, with the robe in his hand, SOMNUS,

TAC. Thanks, Dejanira, for thy kind remembrance,
'Tis a fair shirt: I'll wear it for thy sake.

CRA. Somnus, here's Tactus, worse than all his fellows:
Stay but awhile, and you shall see him rage!

SOM. What will he do? see that he escapes us not.

TAC. 'Tis a good shirt: it fits me passing well:
'Tis very warm indeed: but what's the matter?
Methinks I am somewhat hotter than I was,
My heart beats faster than 'twas wont to do,
My brain's inflam'd, my temples ache extremely; O, O!
O, what a wildfire creeps among my bowels!
Aetna's within my breast, my marrow fries,
And runs about my bones; O my sides! O my sides!
My sides, my reins: my head, my reins, my head!
My heart, my heart: my liver, my liver, O!
I burn, I burn, I burn; O, how I burn
With scorching heat of implacable fire!
I burn extreme with flames insufferable.

SOM. Sure he doth but try how to act Hercules.

TAC. Is it this shirt that boils me thus? O heavens!
It fires me worse, and heats more furiously
Than Jove's dire thunderbolts! O miserable!
They bide less pain that bathe in Phlegeton!
Could not the triple kingdom of the world,
Heaven, earth, and hell, destroy great Hercules?
Could not the damned spite[311] of hateful Juno,
Nor the great dangers of my labours kill me?
Am I the mighty son of Jupiter,
And shall this poison'd linen thus consume me?
Shall I be burnt? Villains, fly up to heaven,
Bid Iris muster up a troop of clouds,
And shower down cataracts of rain to cool me;
Or else I'll break her speckled bow in pieces.
Will she not? no, she hates me like her mistress.
Why then descend, you rogues, to the vile deep.
Fetch Neptune hither: charge him bring the sea
To quench these flames, or else the world's fair frame
Will be in greater danger to be burnt,
Than when proud Phaeton rul'd the sun's rich chariot.

SOM. I'll take that care the world shall not be burnt,
If Somnus' cords can hold you. [SOMNUS binds him.

TAC. What Vulcan's this that offers to enchain
A greater soldier than the god of war?[312]

SOM. He that each night with bloodless battle conquers
The proudest conqueror that triumphs by wars.

CRA. Now, Somnus, there's but only one remaining,
That was the author of these outrages.

SOM. Who's that? is he under my command?

CRA. Yes, yes, 'tis Appetitus; if you go that way and look about those thickets, I'll go hither, and search this grove. I doubt not but to find him.

SOM. Content.



    APPETITUS IRASCIBILIS with a willow in his hand, pulled up
    by the roots
, SOMNUS, CRAPULA. The Senses all asleep.

APP. So now's the time that I would gladly meet
These madding Senses that abus'd me thus;
What, haunt me like an owl? make an ass of me?
No, they shall know I scorn to serve such masters,
As cannot master their affections.
Their injuries have chang'd my nature now;
I'll be no more call'd hungry parasite,
But henceforth answer to the wrathful name
Of Angry Appetite. My choler's up.
Zephyrus, cool me quickly with thy fan,
Or else I'll cut thy cheeks. Why this is brave,
Far better than to fawn at Gustus' table
For a few scraps; no, no such words as these—
By Pluto, stab the villain, kill the slave:
By the infernal hags I'll hough[313] the rogue,
And paunch the rascal that abus'd me thus.
Such words as these fit angry Appetite.


CRA. Somnus, Somnus, come hither, come hither quickly, he's here, he's here!

APP. Ay, marry is he, sirrah, what of that base miscreant Crapula?

CRA. O gentle Appetitus!

APP. You muddy gulch[314], dar'st look me in the face,
While mine eyes sparkle with revengeful fire? [Beats him.

CRA. Good Appetitus!

APP. Peace, you fat bawson[315], peace,
Seest not this fatal engine of my wrath?
Villain, I'll maul thee for thine old offences,
And grind thy bones to powder with this pestle!
You, when I had no weapons to defend me,
Could beat me out of doors; but now prepare:
Make thyself ready, for thou shalt not 'scape.
Thus doth the great revengeful Appetite
Upon his fat foe wreak his wrathful spite.

    [APPETITUS heaveth up his club to brain CRAPULA; but
    SOMNUS in the meantime catcheth him behind, and binds him.

SOM. Why, how now, Crapula?

CRA. Am I not dead? is not my soul departed?

SOM. No, no, see where he lies,
That would have hurt thee: fear nothing.

   [SOMNUS lays the Senses all in a circle, feet to feet,
   and wafts his wand over them

So rest you all in silent quietness;
Let nothing wake you, till the power of sleep,
With his sweet dew cooling your brains enflam'd,
Hath rectified the vain and idle thoughts,
Bred by your surfeit and distemperature;
Lo, here the Senses, late outrageous,
All in a round together sleep like friends;
For there's no difference 'twixt the king and clown,
The poor and rich, the beauteous and deform'd,
Wrapp'd in the veil of night and bonds of sleep;
Without whose power and sweet dominion
Our life were hell, and pleasure painfulness.
The sting of envy and the dart of love,
Avarice' talons, and the fire of hate,
Would poison, wound, distract, and soon consume
The heart, the liver, life, and mind of man.
The sturdy mower, that with brawny arms
Wieldeth the crooked scythe, in many a swath
Cutting the flowery pride on velvet plain,
Lies down at night, and in the weird[316] folds
Of his wife's arms forgets his labour past.
The painful mariner and careful smith,
The toiling ploughman, all artificers,
Most humbly yield to my dominion:
Without due rest nothing is durable.
Lo, thus doth Somnus conquer all the world
With his most awful wand, and half the year
Reigns o'er the best and proudest emperors.
Only the nurslings of the Sisters nine
Rebel against me, scorn my great command;
And when dark night from her bedewed[317] wings
Drops sleepy silence to the eyes of all,
They only wake, and with unwearied toil
Labour to find the Via Lactea,
That leads to the heaven of immortality;
And by the lofty towering of their minds,
Fledg'd with the feathers of a learned muse,
They raise themselves unto the highest pitch,
Marrying base earth and heaven in a thought.
But thus I punish their rebellion:
Their industry was never yet rewarded:
Better to sleep, than wake and toil for nothing.



The five Senses, LINGUA, APPETITUS, all asleep and dreaming; PHANTASTES, HEURESIS.

AUD. So ho, Rockwood;[318] so ho, Rockwood; Rockwood, your organ: eh, Chanter, Chanter; by Acteon's head-tire, it's a very deep-mouthed dog, a most admirable cry of hounds. Look here, again, again: there, there, there! ah, ware counter![319]

VIS. Do you see the full moon yonder, and not the man in it? why, methinks 'tis too-too evident: I see his dog very plain, and look you, just under his tail is a thorn-bush of furze.

GUS. 'Twill make a fine toothpick, that lark's heel there: O, do not burn it.

PHA. Boy Heuresis, what think'st thou I think, when I think nothing?

HEU. And it please you, sir, I think you are devising how to answer a man that asks you nothing.

PHA. Well-guessed, boy; but yet thou mistook'st it, for I was thinking of the constancy of women[320]. [APPETITUS snores aloud.] Beware, sirrah, take heed; I doubt me there's some wild boar lodged hereabout. How now? methinks these be the Senses; ha? in my conceit the elder brother of death has kissed them.

TAC. O, O, O, I am stabbed, I am stabbed; hold your hand, O, O, O.

PHA. How now? do they talk in their sleep? are they not awake, Heuresis?

HEU. No, questionless, they be all fast asleep.

GUS. Eat not too many of those apples, they be very flative[321].

OLF. Foh, beat out this dog here; foh, was it you, Appetitus?

AUD. In faith, it was most sweetly-winded, whosoever it was; the warble is very good, and the horn is excellent.

TAC. Put on, man, put on; keep your head warm, 'tis cold.

PHA. Ha, ha, ha, ha? 'st: Heuresis, stir not, sirrah.

APP. Shut the door, the pot runs over, sirrah. Cook, that will be a sweet pasty, if you nibble the venison so.

GUS. Say you so? is a marrow-pie the Helena of meats? give me't; if I play not Paris, hang me. Boy, a clean trencher.

APP. Serve up, serve up; this is a fat rabbit, would I might have the maidenhead of it: come, give me the fish there; who hath meddled with these maids, ha?

OLF. Fie, shut your snuffers closer for shame; 'tis the worst smell that can be.

TAC. O, the cramp, the cramp, the cramp: my leg, my leg!

LIN. I must abroad presently: reach me my best necklace presently.

PHA. Ah, Lingua, are you there?

AUD. Here take this rope, and I'll help the leader close with the second bell. Fie, fie, there's a goodly peal clean-spoiled.

VIS. I'll lay my life that gentlewoman is painted: well, well, I know it; mark but her nose: do you not see the complexion crack out? I must confess 'tis a good picture.

TAC. Ha, ha, ha! fie, I pray you leave, you tickle me so: oh, ha, ha, ha! take away your hands, I cannot endure; ah, you tickle me, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

VIS. Hai, Rett, Rett, Rett, now, bird, now,—look about that bush, she trussed her thereabout.—Here she is, ware wing, Cater,[322] ware wing, avaunt.

LIN. Mum, mum, mum, mum.

PHA. Hist, sirrah, take heed you wake her not.

HEU. I know, sir, she is fast asleep, for her mouth is shut.

LIN. This 'tis to venture upon such uncertainties; to lose so rich a crown to no end, well, well.

PHA. Ha, ha, ha! we shall hear anon where she lost her maidenhead: 'st, boy, my Lord Vicegerent and Master Register are hard by: run quickly; tell them of this accident, wish them come softly.


LIN. Mendacio, never talk farther, I doubt 'tis past recovery, and my robe likewise: I shall never have them again. Well, well.

PHA. How? her crown and her robe, never recover them? hum, was it not said to be left by Mercury, ha? I conjecture here's some knavery,—fast locked with sleep, in good faith. Was that crown and garment yours, Lingua?

LIN. Ay, marry were they, and that somebody hath felt, and shall feel more, if I live.

PHA. O, strange, she answers in her sleep to my question: but how come the Senses to strive for it?

LIN. Why, I laid it on purpose in their way, that they might fall together by the ears.

PHA. What a strange thing is this!



PHA. Hist, my lord: softly, softly! here's the notablest piece of treason discovered; how say you? Lingua set all the Senses at odds, she hath confessed it to me in her sleep.

COM. SEN. Is't possible, Master Register? did you ever know any talk in their sleep.

MEM. I remember, my lord, many have done so very oft; but women are troubled especially with this talking disease; many of them have I heard answer in their dreams, and tell what they did all day awake.

ANA. By the same token, there was a wanton maid, that being asked by her mother what such a one did with her so late one night in such a room, she presently said that—

MEM. Peace, you vile rake-hell, is such a jest fit for this company? no more, I say, sirrah.

PHA. My lord, will you believe your own ears? you shall hear her answer me as directly and truly as may be. Lingua, what did you with the crown and garments?

LIN. I'll tell thee, Mendacio.

PHA. She thinks Mendacio speaks to her; mark now, mark how truly she will answer. What say you, madam?

LIN. I say Phantastes is a foolish, transparent gull; a mere fanatic napson[323], in my imagination not worthy to sit as a judge's assistant.

COM. SEN. Ha, ha, ha! how truly and directly she answers.

PHA. Faw, faw, she dreams now; she knows not what she says. I'll try her once again. Madam, what remedy can you have for your great losses?

LIN. O, are you come, Acrasia? welcome, welcome! boy, reach a cushion, sit down, good Acrasia: I am so beholding to you, your potion wrought exceedingly; the Senses were so mad: did not you see how they raged about the woods?

COM. SEN. Hum, Acrasia? is Acrasia her confederate? my life, that witch hath wrought some villainy. [LINGUA riseth in her sleep, and walketh.] How is this? is she asleep? have you seen one walk thus before?

MEM. It is a very common thing; I have seen many sick of the peripatetic disease.

ANA. By the same token, my lord, I knew one that went abroad in his sleep, bent his bow, shot at a magpie, killed her, fetched his arrow, came home, locked the doors, and went to bed again.

COM. SEN. What should be the reason of it?

MEM. I remember Scaliger told me the reason once, as I think thus: the nerves that carry the moving faculty from the brains to the thighs, legs, feet, and arms, are wider far than the other nerves; wherefore they are not so easily stopped with the vapours of sleep, but are night and day ready to perform what fancy shall command them.

COM. SEN. It may be so. But, Phantastes, inquire more of Acrasia.

PHA. What did you with the potion Acrasia made you?

LIN. Gave it to the Senses, and made them as mad as—well, if I cannot recover it—let it go. I'll not leave them thus. [She lies down again.

COM. SEN. Boy, awake the Senses there.

ANA. Ho, ho, Auditus, up, up; so ho, Olfactus, have at your nose; up, Visus, Gustus, Tactus, up: what, can you not feel a pinch? have at you with a pin.

TAC. O, you stab me, O!

COM. SEN. Tactus, know you how you came hither?

TAC. No, my lord, not I; this I remember,
We supp'd with Gustus, and had wine good store,
Whereof I think I tasted liberally.
Amongst the rest, we drunk a composition
Of a most delicate and pleasant relish,
That made our brains somewhat irregular.


    The Senses awake, LINGUA asleep, COMMUNIS SENSUS, MEMORY,

HEU. My lord, here's a fat rascal was lurking in a bush very suspiciously: his name, he says, is Crapula.

COM. SEN. Sirrah, speak quickly what you know of these troubles.

CRA. Nothing, my lord, but that the Senses were mad, and that Somnus, at my request, laid them asleep, in hope to recover them.

COM. SEN. Why then, 'tis too evident Acrasia, at Lingua's request, bewitched the Senses: wake her quickly, Heuresis.

LIN. Heigho, out alas, ah me, where am I? how came I here? where am I? ah!

COM. SEN. Lingua, look not so strangely upon the matter; you have confessed in your sleep, that with a crown and a robe you have disturbed the Senses, using a crafty help to enrage them: can you deny it?

LIN. Ah me, most miserable wretch! I beseech your lordship forgive me.

COM. SEN. No, no, 'tis a fault unpardonable.
                                           [He consults with MEMORY.

PHA. In my conceit, Lingua, you should seal up your lips when you go to bed, these feminine tongues be so glib.

COM. SEN. Visus, Tactus, and the rest, our former sentence concerning you we confirm as irrevocable, and establish the crown to you, Visus, and the robe to you, Tactus; but as for you, Lingua—

LIN. Let me have mine own, howsoever you determine, I beseech you.

COM. SEN. That may not be: your goods are fallen into our hands; my sentence cannot be recalled: you may see, those that seek what is not theirs, oftentimes lose what's their own: therefore, Lingua, granting you your life, I commit you to close prison in Gustus's house, and charge you, Gustus, to keep her under the custody of two strong doors, and every day, till she come to eighty years of age, see she be well-guarded with thirty tall watchmen, without whose licence she shall by no means wag abroad. Nevertheless, use her ladylike, according to her estate.

PHA. I pray you, my lord, add this to the judgment—that, whensoever she obtaineth licence to walk abroad, in token the tongue was the cause of her offence, let her wear a velvet hood, made just in the fashion of a great tongue. In my conceit, 'tis a very pretty emblem of a woman.

TAC. My lord, she hath a wild boy to her page, a chief agent in this treason: his name's Mendacio.

COM. SEN. Ha! well, I will inflict this punishment on him for this time: let him be soundly whipped, and ever after, though he shall strengthen his speeches with the sinews of truth, yet none shall believe him.

PHA. In my imagination, my lord, the day is dead to the great toe, and in my conceit it grows dark, by which I conjecture it will be cold; and therefore, in my fancy and opinion, 'tis best to repair to our lodgings.

[Exeunt omnes, praeter ANAMNESTES et APPETITUS.


ANAMNESTES, APPETITUS, asleep in a corner.

ANA. What's this? a fellow whispering so closely with the earth? so ho, so ho, Appetitus? faith, now I think Morpheus himself hath been here. Up, with a pox to you; up, you lusk[324]? I have such news to tell thee, sirrah: all the Senses are well, and Lingua is proved guilty: up, up, up; I never knew him so fast asleep in my life. [APPETITUS snorts.] Nay, then, have at you afresh. [Jogs him.

APP. Jog me once again, and I'll throw this whole mess of pottage into your face; cannot one stand quiet at the dresser for you.

ANA. Ha, ha, ha! I think 'tis impossible for him to sleep longer than he dreams of his victuals. What, Appetitus, up quickly: quickly up, Appetitus, quickly, sirrah. [Jogs him.

APP. I'll come presently; but I hope you'll stay till they be roasted: will you eat them raw?

ANA. Roasted? ha, ha, ha, ha! up, up, up, away!

APP. Reach the sauce quickly; here's no sugar: whaw, whaw, O, O, O!

ANA. What, never wake? [Jogs him.] Wilt never be? Then I must try another way, I see.


Judicious friends, it is so late at night,
I cannot waken hungry Appetite:
Then since the close upon his rising stands,
Let me obtain this at your courteous hands;
Try, if this friendly opportunity
Of your good-will and gracious plaudite,
With the thrice-welcome murmur it shall keep,
Can beg this prisoner from the bands of sleep.

[Upon the plaudite APPETITUS awakes, and runs in after ANAMNESTES.



(1.) The Miseries of Inforst Mariage. As it is now playd by his Maiesties Servants. Qui alios (seipsum) docet. By George Wilkins. London. Printed for George Vincent, and are to be sold at his shop in Woodstreete. 1607, 4to.

(2.) The Miseries of Inforst Marriage. Playd by his Maiesties
Seruantes. Qui Alios, (seipsum) docet. By George Wilkins. London
Printed for George Vincent, and are to be sold at his Shoppe in
. 1611. 4to.

(3.) The Miseries of Inforst Marriage. Playd by his Maiesties Servants. Qui alios (seipsum) docet. By George Wilkins. London, Printed by Aug. Mathewes for Richard Thrale, and are to bee sold at his Shop at Pauls gate, next to Cheape-side. 1629. 4to.

(4.) The Miseries of Inforst Marriage. Playd by his Majesties Servants. Qui alios (seipsum) docet. By George Wilkins. London, Printed by I.N. for Richard Thrale, and are to be sold at his Shop at Pauls gate; next to Cheape-side. M.DC.XXXVII. 4to.


George Wilkins, like many other minor poets of his time, has had no memorials concerning him transmitted to us. He wrote no play alone, except that which is here reprinted; but he joined with John Day and William Rowley in "The Travels of the Three English Brothers, Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, and Sir Robert Shirley," an historical play, printed in 4to, 1607[325]. He was also the author of "Three Miseries of Barbary: Plague, Famine, Civill warre." [1603.] 4to. B.L.[326]

[There was a second writer of both these names, probably a son, who published in 1608 a prose novel, founded on the play of "Pericles."[327]]


THOMAS SCARBOROW, | his brothers
GRIPE, the usurer.
CLARE, daughter to Sir John Harcop.
KATHERINE, wife to William Scarborow.
Sister to William Scarborow.



BAR. But Frank, Frank, now we are come to the house, what shall we make to be our business?

ILF. Tut, let us be impudent enough, and good enough.

WEN. We have no acquaintance here, but young Scarborow.

ILF. How no acquaintance? Angels guard me from thy company. I tell thee, Wentloe, thou art not worthy to wear gilt spurs[330], clean linen, nor good clothes.

WEN. Why, for God's sake?

ILF. By this hand, thou art not a man fit to table at an ordinary, keep knights company to bawdy-houses, nor beggar thy tailor.

WEN. Why, then, I am free from cheaters, clear from the pox, and escape curses.

ILF. Why, dost thou think there is any Christians in the world?

WEN. Ay, and Jews too, brokers, puritans, and sergeants.

ILF. Or dost thou mean to beg after charity, that goes in a cold suit already, that thou talkest thou hast no acquaintance here? I tell thee, Wentloe, thou canst not live on this side of the world, feed well, drink tobacco[331], and be honoured into the presence, but thou must be acquainted with all sorts of men; ay, and so far in too, till they desire to be more acquainted with thee.

BAR. True, and then you shall be accounted a gallant of good credit.

Enter CLOWN.

ILF. But stay, here is a scrape-trencher arrived:
How now, blue-bottle,[332] are you of the house?

CLOWN. I have heard of many black-jacks, sir, but never of a blue-bottle.

ILF. Well, sir, are you of the house?

CLOWN. No, sir, I am twenty yards without, and the house stands without me.

BAR. Prythee, tell's who owes[333] this building?

CLOWN. He that dwells in it, sir.

ILF. Who dwells in it, then?

CLOWN. He that owes it.

ILF. What's his name?

CLOWN. I was none of his god-father.

ILF. Does Master Scarborow lie here?

CLOWN. I'll give you a rhyme for that, sir—
Sick men may lie, and dead men in their graves.
Few else do lie abed at noon, but drunkards, punks, and knaves.

ILF. What am I the better for thy answer?

CLOWN. What am I the better for thy question?

ILF. Why, nothing.

CLOWN. Why, then, of nothing comes nothing.


WEN. 'Sblood, this is a philosophical fool.

CLOWN. Then I, that am a fool by art, am better than you, that are fools by nature. [Exit.

SCAR. Gentlemen, welcome to Yorkshire.

ILF. And well-encountered, my little villain of fifteen hundred a year. 'Sfoot, what makest thou here in this barren soil of the North, when thy honest friends miss thee at London?

SCAR. Faith, gallants, 'tis the country where my father lived, where first I saw the light, and where I am loved.

ILF. Loved! ay, as courtiers love usurers, and that is just as long as they lend them money. Now, dare I lay—

WEN. None of your land, good knight, for that is laid to mortgage already.

ILF. I dare lay with any man, that will take me up.

WEN. Who list to have a lubberly load. [Sings this.[334]

ILF. Sirrah wag, this rogue was son and heir to Antony Now-now[335] and Blind Moon. And he must needs be a scurvy musician, that hath two fiddlers to his fathers: but tell me, in faith, art thou not—nay, I know thou art, called down into the country here by some hoary knight or other who, knowing thee a young gentleman of good parts and a great living, hath desired thee to see some pitiful piece of his workmanship —a daughter, I mean. Is't not so?

SCAR. About some such preferment I came down.

ILF. Preferment's a good word. And when do you commence into the cuckold's order—the preferment you speak of? when shall we have gloves;[336] when, when?

SCAR. Faith, gallants, I have been guest here but since last night.

ILF. Why, and that is time enough to make up a dozen marriages, as marriages are made up nowadays. For look you, sir; the father, according to the fashion, being sure you have a good living, and without encumbrance, comes to you thus:—takes you by the hand thus:—wipes his long beard thus:—or turns up his moustachio thus:—walks some turn or two thus:—to show his comely gravity thus:—and having washed his foul mouth thus: at last breaks out thus.——

WEN. O God! let us hear no more of this?

ILF.——Master Scarborow, you are a young gentleman; I knew your father well, he was my worshipful good neighbour, for our demesnes lay near together. Then, sir, you and I must be of more near acquaintance, at which you must make an eruption thus:—O God (sweet sir)—

BAR. 'Sfoot, the knight would have made an excellent Zany in an Italian comedy.

ILF. When he goes forward thus: Sir, myself am lord of some thousand a year, a widower (Master Scarborow). I have a couple of young gentlewomen to my daughters: a thousand a year will do well divided among them; ha, will't not, Master Scarborow? At which you out of your education must reply thus: The portion will deserve them worthy husbands: on which tinder he soon takes fire, and swears you are the man his hopes shot at, and one of them shall be yours.

WEN. If I did not like her, should he swear himself[337] to the devil, I would make him foresworn.

ILF. Then putting you and the young pug[338] too in a close room together——

WEN. If he should lie with her there, is not the father partly the bawd?

ILF.——Where the young puppet, having the lesson before from the old fox, gives the son half a dozen warm kisses which, after her father's oaths, takes such impression in thee, thou straight call'st, By Jesu, mistress, I love you!—when she has the wit to ask, But, sir, will you marry me? and thou, in thy cock-sparrow humour, repliest, Ay, before God, as I am a gentleman, will I; which the father overhearing, leaps in, takes you at your word, swears he is glad to see this; nay, he will have you contracted straight, and for a need makes the priest of himself. Thus in one hour, from a quiet life, Thou art sworn in debt, and troubled with a wife.

BAR. But can they love one another so soon?

ILF. O, it is no matter nowadays for love; 'tis well, and they can but make shift to lie together.

WEN. But will your father do this too, if he know the gallant breathes himself at some two or three bawdy-houses in a morning?

ILF. O, the sooner; for that and the land together tell the old lad, he will know the better how to deal with his daughter. The wise and ancient fathers know this rule, Should both wed maids, the child would be a fool. Come, wag, if thou hast gone no further than into the ordinary fashion— meet, see, and kiss—give over; marry not a wife, to have a hundred plagues for one pleasure: let's to London, there's variety: and change of pasture makes fat calves.

SCAR. But change of women bald knaves, sir knight.

ILF. Wag, and thou beest a lover but three days, thou wilt be heartless, sleepless, witless, mad, wretched, miserable, and indeed a stark fool; and by that thou hast been married but three weeks, though thou shouldst wed a Cynthia rara avis, thou wouldst be a man monstrous—a cuckold, a cuckold.

BAR. And why is a cuckold monstrous, knight?

ILF. Why, because a man is made a beast by being married. Take but example thyself from the moon: as soon as she is delivered of her great belly, doth she not point at the world with a pair of horns, as who would say: Married men, ye are cuckolds.

SCAR. I construe more divinely of their sex:
Being maids, methinks they are angels; and being wives,
They are sovereign cordials that preserve our lives,[339]
They are like our hands that feed us; this is clear,
They renew man, as spring renews the year.

ILF. There's ne'er a wanton wench that hears thee, but thinks thee a coxcomb for saying so: marry none of them; if thou wilt have their true characters, I'll give it thee. Women are the purgatory of men's purses, the paradise of their bodies, and the hell of their minds; marry none of them. Women[340] are in churches saints, abroad angels, at home devils. Here are married men enough know this: marry none of them.

SCAR. Men that traduce by custom, show sharp wit
Only in speaking ill; and practice it
Against the best creatures, divine women,
Who are God's agents' here, and the heavenly eye,
By which this orb hath her maturity:
Beauty in women gets the world with child,
Without whom she were barren, faint and wild.
They are the stems on which do angels grow,
From whence virtue is still'd, and arts do flow.

Enter SIR JOHN HARCOP and his daughter CLARE.

ILF. Let them be what flowers they will; and they were roses, I will pluck none of them for pricking my fingers. But soft, here comes a voider for us: and I see, do what I can, as long as the world lasts, there will be cuckolds in it. Do you hear, child, here's one come to blend you together: he has brought you a kneading-tub, if thou dost take her at his hands. Though thou hadst Argus' eyes, be sure of this, Women have sworn with more than one to kiss.

HAR. Nay, no parting, gentlemen. Hem!

WEN. 'Sfoot, does he make punks of us, that he hems already?

HAR. Gallants,
Know old John Harcop keeps a wine-cellar,
Has travell'd, been at court, known fashions,
And unto all bear habit like yourselves—
The shapes of gentlemen and men of sort,
I have a health to give them, ere they part.

WEN. Health, knight! not as drunkards give their healths, I hope: to go together by the ears when they have done?

HAR. My healths are Welcome: Welcome, gentlemen.

ILF. Are we welcome, knight, in faith?

HAR. Welcome, in faith, sir.

ILF. Prythee, tell me, hast not thou been a whoremaster?

HAR. In youth I swill'd my fill at Venus' cup,
Instead of full draughts now I am fain to sup.

ILF. Why then thou art a man fit for my company:
Dost thou hear? (to WEN. and BAR.) he is a good fellow of our stamp.
Make much of this[341] father.



SCAR. The father and the gallants have left me here with a gentlewoman, and if I know what to say to her, I am a villain. Heaven grant her life hath borrowed so much impudence of her sex but to speak to me first: for, by this hand, I have not so much steel of immodesty in my face to parley to a wench without blushing. I'll walk by her, in hope she can open her teeth. Not a word? Is it not strange a man should be in a woman's company all this while and not hear her tongue. I'll go further. God of his goodness! not a syllable. I think if I should take up her clothes too, she would say nothing to me. With what words, trow, does a man begin to woo. Gentlewoman, pray you, what is't a clock?

CLARE. Troth, sir, carrying no watch about me but mine eyes, I answer you: I cannot tell.

SCAR. And if you cannot tell, beauty, I take the adage for my reply: you are naught to keep sheep.

CLARE. Yet I am big enough to keep myself.

SCAR. Prythee tell me: are you not a woman?

CLARE. I know not that neither, till I am better acquainted with a man.

SCAR. And how would you be acquainted with a man?

CLARE. To distinguish betwixt himself and myself.

SCAR. Why, I am a man?

CLARE. That's more than I know, sir.

SCAR. To approve I am no less, thus I kiss thee.

CLARE. And by that proof I am a man too; for I have kissed you.

SCAR. Prythee, tell me, can you love?

CLARE. O Lord, sir, three or four things: I love my meat, choice of suitors, clothes in the fashion, and, like a right woman, I love to have my will.

SCAR. What think you of me for a husband?

CLARE. Let me first know what you think of me for a wife?

SCAR. Troth, I think you are a proper gentlewoman.

CLARE. Do you but think so?

SCAR. Nay, I see you are a very perfect proper gentlewoman.

CLARE. It is great pity then I should be alone without a proper man.

SCAR. Your father says I shall marry you.

CLARE. And I say, God forbid, sir! alas, I am a great deal too young.

SCAR. I love thee, by my troth.

CLARE. O, pray you do not so; for then you stray from the steps of gentility; the fashion among them is to marry first, and love after by leisure.

SCAR. That I do love thee, here by heaven I swear, And call it as a witness to this kiss.

CLARE. You will not enforce me, I hope, sir?

SCAR. Make me this woman's husband! thou art my Clare:
Accept my heart, and prove as chaste as fair.

CLARE. O God! you are too hot in your gifts; should I accept them, we should have you plead nonage some half a year hence, sue for reversement, and say the deed was done under age.

SCAR. Prythee, do not jest.

CLARE. No (God is my record), I speak in earnest: and desire to know
Whether ye mean to marry me, yea or no?

SCAR. This hand thus takes thee as my loving wife.

CLARE. For better, for worse.

SCAR. Ay, till death us depart,[342] love.

CLARE. Why, then, I thank you, sir, and now I am like to have
That I long look'd for—a husband.
How soon from our own tongues is the word said
Captives our maiden-freedom to a head!

SCAR. Clare, you are now mine, and I must let you know,
What every wife doth to her husband owe:
To be a wife, is to be dedicate,
Not to a youthful course, wild and unsteady,
But to the soul of virtue, obedience,
Studying to please, and never to offend.
Wives have two eyes created, not like birds
To roam about at pleasure, but for[343] sentinels,
To watch their husbands' safety as their own.
Two hands; one's to feed him, the other herself:
Two feet, and one of them is their husbands'.
They have two of everything, only of one,
Their chastity, that should be his alone.
Their very thoughts they cannot term their own.[344]
Maids, being once made wives, can nothing call
Rightly their own; they are their husbands' all:
If such a wife you can prepare to be,
Clare, I am yours: and you are fit for me.

CLARE. We being thus subdued, pray you know then,
As women owe a duty, so do men.
Men must be like the branch and bark to trees,
Which doth defend them from tempestuous rage,
Clothe them in winter, tender them in age:
Or as ewes love unto their eanlings gives,[345]
Such should be husbands' custom to their wives.
If it appear to them they've stray'd amiss,
They only must rebuke them with a kiss;
Or clock them, as hens chickens, with kind call,
Cover them under wing, and pardon all:
No jars must make two beds, no strife divide them,
Those betwixt whom a faith and troth is given,
Death only parts, since they are knit by heaven:
If such a husband you intend to be,
I am your Clare, and you are fit for me.

SCAR. By heaven—

CLARE. Advise, before you swear, let me remember you,[346]
Men never give their faith and promise marriage,
But heaven records their oath: if they prove true,
Heaven smiles for joy; if not, it weeps for you:
Unless your heart, then, with your words agree,
Yet let us part, and let us both be free.

SCAR. If ever man, in swearing love, swore true,
My words are like to his. Here comes your father.


HAR. Now, Master Scarborrow.

SCAR. Prepar'd to ask, how you like that we have done:
Your daughter's made my wife, and I your son.

HAR. And both agreed so?

BOTH. We are, sir.

HAR. Then long may you live together, have store of sons!

ILF. 'Tis no matter who is the father. [Aside.]

HAR. But, son, here is a man of yours is come from London.

BUT. And brought you letters, sir.

SCAR. What news from London, butler?

BUT. The old news, sir. The ordinaries are full of cheaters, some citizens are bankrupts, and many gentlemen beggars.

SCAR. Clare, here is an unwelcome pursuivant;
My lord and guardian writes to me, with speed
I must return to London.

HAR. And you being ward to him, son Scarborow,
And no ingrate,[347] it fits that you obey him.

SCAR.[348] It does, it does; for by an ancient law
We are born free heirs, but kept like slaves in awe.
Who are for London, gallants?

ILF. Switch and Spur, we will bear you company.

SCAR. Clare, I must leave thee—with what unwillingness,
Witness this dwelling kiss upon thy lip;
And though I must be absent from thine eye,
Be sure my heart doth in thy bosom lie.
Three years I am yet a ward, which time I'll pass,
Making thy faith my constant looking-glass,
Till when—

CLARE. Till when you please, where'er you live or lie,
Your love's here worn: you're present[349] in my eye.


LORD. Sir William,
How old, say you, is your kinsman Scarborow?

WIL. Eighteen, my lord, next Pentecost.

LORD. Bethink you, good Sir William,
I reckon thereabout myself; so by that account
There's full three winters yet he must attend
Under our awe, before he sue his livery:
Is it not so?

WIL. Not a day less, my lord.

LORD. Sir William, you are his uncle, and I must speak,
That am his guardian; would I had a son
Might merit commendations equal[350] with him.
I'll tell you what he is: he is a youth,
A noble branch, increasing blessed fruit,
Where caterpillar vice dare not to touch:
He bears[351] himself with so much gravity,
Praise cannot praise him with hyperbole:
He is one, whom older look upon as on a book:
Wherein are printed noble sentences
For them to rule their lives by. Indeed he is one,
All emulate his virtues, hate him none.

WIL. His friends are proud to hear this good of him.

LORD. And yet, Sir William, being as he is,
Young and unsettled, though of virtuous thoughts
By genuine disposition, yet our eyes
See daily precedents, [how] hopeful gentlemen,
Being trusted in the world with their own will,
Divert the good is look'd from them to ill;
Make their old names forgot, or not worth note:
With company they keep such revelling,
With panders, parasites, prodigies of knaves,
That they sell all, even their old fathers' graves.
Which to prevent we'll match him to a wife:
Marriage restrains the scope of single life.

WIL. My lord speaks like a father for my kinsman.

LORD. And I have found him one of noble parentage,
A niece of mine; nay, I have broke with her,
Know thus much of her mind, that[352] for my pleasure,
As also for the good appears in him,
She is pleased of all that's hers to make him king.

WIL. Our name is bless'd in such an honoured marriage.


LORD. Also I have appointed Doctor Baxter,
Chancellor of Oxford, to attend me here:
And see, he is come. Good Master Doctor.

BAX. My honourable lord.

WIL. I have possess'd you[353] with this business, Master Doctor.

BAX. To see the contract 'twixt your honoured niece
And Master Scarborow?

LORD. 'Tis so, and I did look for him by this.

BAX. I saw him leave his horse, as I came up.

LORD. So, so.
Then he will be here forthwith: you, Master Baxter,
Go usher hither straight young Katherine,
Sir William here and I will keep this room,
Till you return.
                    [Exit DOCTOR.


SCAR. My honourable[354] lord.

LORD. 'Tis well-done, Scarborow.

SCAR. Kind uncle.

WIL. Thanks, my good coz.

LORD. You have been welcome in your country Yorkshire?

SCAR. The time that I spent there, my lord, was merry.

LORD. 'Twas well, 'twas very well! and in your absence
Your uncle here and I have been bethinking,
What gift 'twixt us we might bestow on you,
That to your house large dignity might bring,
With fair increase, as from a crystal spring.


SCAR. My name is bound to your benificence,
Your hands have been to me like bounty's purse,
Never shut up, yourself my foster nurse:
Nothing can from your honour come, prove me so rude,
But I'll accept, to shun ingratitude.

LORD. We accept thy promise, now return thee this,
A virtuous wife: accept her with a kiss.

SCAR. My honourable lord!

LORD. Fear not to take her, man: she will fear neither,
Do what thou canst, being both abed together.

SCAR. O, but my lord—

LORD. But me? dog of wax! come kiss, and agree,
Your friends have thought it fit, and it must be.

SCAR. I have no hands to take her to my wife.

LORD. How, sauce-box?

SCAR. O, pardon me, my lord; the unripeness of my years,
Too green for government, is old in fears
To undertake that charge.

LORD. Sir, sir, and sir knave, then here is a mellowed experience knows how to teach you.

SCAR. O God.

LORD. O Jack,
Have[355] both our cares, your uncle and myself,
Sought, studied, found out, and for your good,
A maid, a niece of mine, both fair and chaste;
And must we stand at your discretion?

SCAR. O good my lord,
Had I two souls, then might I have two wives:
Had I two faiths, then had I one for her;
Having of both but one, that one is given
To Sir John Harcop's daughter.

LORD. Ha, ha! what's that? let me hear that again.

SCAR. To Sir John Harcop's Clare I have made an oath:
Part me in twain, yet she's one-half of both.
This hand the which I wear, it is half hers:
Such power hath faith and troth 'twixt couples young,
Death only cuts that knot tied with the tongue.

LORD. And have you knit that knot, sir?

SCAR. I have done so much that, if I wed not her,
My marriage makes me an adulterer:
In which black sheets I wallow all my life,
My babes being bastards, and a whore my wife.


LORD. Ha, is't even so? my secretary there,
Write me a letter straight to Sir John Harcop,
I'll see, sir Jack, and if that Harcop dare,
Being my ward, contract you to his daughter.



My steward too, post you to Yorkshire,
Where lies my youngster's land; and, sirrah,
Fell me his wood, make havoc, spoil and waste. [Exit STEWARD.
Sir, you shall know that you are ward to me,
I'll make you poor enough: then mend yourself.

WIL. O cousin!

SCAR. O uncle!

LORD. Contract yourself, and where you list?
I'll make you know me, sir, to be your guard.

SCAR. World, now thou seest what 'tis to be a ward.

LORD. And where I meant myself to have disburs'd
Four thousand pounds, upon this marriage
Surrendered up your land to your own use,
And compass'd other portions to your hands,
Sir, I'll now yoke you still.

SCAR. A yoke indeed.

LORD. And, spite of them[356] dare contradict my will, I'll make thee marry to my chambermaid. Come, coz. [Exit.

BAX. Faith, sir, it fits you to be more advis'd.

SCAR, Do not you flatter for preferment, sir?

WIL. O, but, good coz!

SCAR. O, but, good uncle, could I command my love,
Or cancel oaths out of heaven's brazen book,
Engross'd by God's own finger, then you might speak.
Had men that law to love, as most have tongues
To love a thousand women with, then you might speak.
Were love like dust, lawful for every wind
To bear from place to place; were oaths but puffs,
Men might forswear themselves; but I do know,
Though, sin being pass'd with us, the act's forgot,
The poor soul groans, and she forgets it not.

WIL. Yet hear your own case.

SCAR. O, 'tis too miserable!
That I, a gentleman, should be thus torn
From mine own right, and forc'd to be forsworn.

WIL. Yet, being as it is, it must be your care,
To salve it with advice, not with despair;
You are his ward: being so, the law intends
He is to have your duty, and in his rule
Is both your marriage and your heritage.
If you rebel 'gainst these injunctions,
The penalty takes hold on you; which for himself
He straight thus prosecutes; he wastes your land,
Weds you where he thinks fit:[357] but if yourself
Have of some violent humour match'd yourself
Without his knowledge, then hath he power
To merce[358] your purse, and in a sum so great,
That shall for ever keep your fortunes weak,
Where otherwise, if you be rul'd by him,
Your house is rais'd by matching to his kin.


LORD. Now, death of me, shall I be cross'd
By such a jack? he wed himself, and where he list:
Sirrah malapert, I'll hamper you,
You that will have your will, come, get you in:
I'll make thee shape thy thoughts to marry her,
Or wish thy birth had been thy murderer.

SCAR. Fate, pity me, because I am enforc'd:
For I have heard those matches have cost blood,
Where love is once begun, and then withstood.



Enter ILFORD, and a PAGE with him.

ILF. Boy, hast thou delivered my letter?

BOY. Ay, sir, I saw him open the lips on't.

ILF. He had not a new suit on, had he?

BOY. I am not so well acquainted with his wardrobe, sir; but I saw a lean fellow, with sunk eyes and shamble legs, sigh pitifully at his chamber door, and entreat his man to put his master in mind of him.

ILF. O, that was his tailor. I see now he will be blessed, he profits by my counsel: he will pay no debts, before he be arrested—nor then neither, if he can find e'er a beast that dare but be bail for him; but he will seal[359] i' th' afternoon?

BOY. Yes, sir, he will imprint for you as deep as he can.

ILF. Good, good, now have I a parson's nose, and smell tithe coming in then. Now let me number how many rooks I have half-undone already this term by the first return: four by dice, six by being bound with me, and ten by queans: of which some be courtiers, some country gentlemen, and some citizens' sons. Thou art a good Frank; if thou purgest[360] thus, thou art still a companion for gallants, may'st keep a catamite, take physic at the spring and the fall.


WEN. Frank, news that will make thee fat, Frank.

ILF. Prythee, rather give me somewhat will keep me lean; I have no mind yet to take physic.

WEN. Master Scarborow is married, man.

ILF. Then heaven grant he may (as few married men do) make much of his wife.

WEN. Why? wouldst have him love her, let her command all, and make her his master?

ILF. No, no; they that do so, make not much of their wives, but give them their will, and its the marring of them.


BAR. Honest Frank, valorous Frank, a portion of thy wit, but to help us in this enterprise, and we may walk London streets, and cry pish at the serjeants.

ILF. You may shift out one term, and yet die in the Counter. These are the scabs now that hang upon honest Job. I am Job, and these are the scurvy scabs [aside]; but what's this your pot seethes over withal?

BAR. Master Scarborough is married, man.

WEN. He has all his land in his own hand.

BAR. His brother's and sister's portions.

WEN. Besides four thousand pounds in ready money with his wife.

ILF. A good talent,[361] by my faith; it might help many gentlemen to pay their tailors, and I might be one of them.

WEN. Nay, honest Frank, hast thou found a trick for him? if thou hast not, look, here's a line to direct thee. First draw him into bands[362] for money, then to dice for it; then take up stuff at the mercer's; straight to a punk with it; then mortgage his land, and be drunk with that; so with them and the rest, from an ancient gentleman make him a young beggar.

ILF. What a rogue this is, to read a lecture to me—and mine own lesson too, which he knows I have made perfect to nine hundred fourscore and nineteen! A cheating rascal! will teach me!—I, that have made them, that have worn a spacious park, lodge, and all on their backs[363] this morning, been fain to pawn it afore night! And they that have stalked like a huge elephant, with a castle on their necks, and removed that to their own shoulders in one day, which their fathers built up in seven years—been glad by my means, in so much time as a child sucks, to drink bottle-ale, though a punk pay for't. And shall this parrot instruct me?

WEN. Nay, but, Frank—

ILF. A rogue that hath fed upon me and the fruit of my wit, like pullen[364] from a pantler's chippings, and now I have put him into good clothes to shift two suits in a day, that could scarce shift a patched shirt once in a year, and say his prayers when he had it—hark, how he prates!

WEN. Besides, Frank, since his marriage, he stalks me like a cashiered captain discontent; in, which melancholy the least drop of mirth, of which thou hast an ocean, will make him and all his ours for ever.

ILF. Says mine own rogue so? Give me thy hand then; we'll do't, and there's earnest. [Strikes him.] 'Sfoot, you chittiface, that looks worse than a collier through a wooden window, an ape afraid of a whip, or a knave's head, shook seven years in the weather upon London Bridge[365]—do you catechise me?

WEN. Nay, but valorous Frank, he that knows the secrets of all hearts knows I did it in kindness.

ILF. Know your seasons: besides, I am not of that species for you to instruct. Then know your seasons.

BAR. 'Sfoot, friends, friends, all friends; here comes young Scarborow.
Should he know of this, all our designs were prevented.


ILF. What! melancholy, my young master, my young married man? God give your worship joy.

SCAR. Joy of what, Frank?

ILF. Of thy wealth, for I hear of few that have joy of their wives.

SCAR. Who weds as I have to enforced sheets,
His care increaseth, but his comfort fleets.

ILF. Thou having so much wit, what a devil meant'st thou to marry?

SCAR. O, speak not of it,
Marriage sounds in mine ear like a bell,
Not rung for pleasure, but a doleful knell.

ILF. A common course: those men that are married in the morning to wish themselves buried ere night.

SCAR. I cannot love her.

ILF. No news neither. Wives know that's a general fault amongst their husbands.

SCAR. I will not lie with her.

ILF. Caeteri volunt, she'll say still;
If you will not, another will.

SCAR. Why did she marry me, knowing I did not love her?

ILF. As other women do, either to be maintained by you, or to make you a cuckold. Now, sir, what come you for?

Enter CLOWN.

CLOWN. As men do in haste, to make an end of their business.

ILF. What's your business?

CLOWN. My business is this, sir—this, sir—and this, sir.

ILF. The meaning of all this, sir?

CLOWN. By this is as much as to say, sir, my master has sent unto you; by this is as much as to say, sir, my master has him humbly commended unto you; and by this is as much as to say, my master craves your answer.

ILF. Give me your letter, and you shall have this, sir, this, sir, and this, sir. [Offers to strike him.

CLOWN. No, sir.

ILF. Why, sir?

CLOWN. Because, as the learned have very well instructed me, Qui supra nos, nihil ad nos, and though many gentlemen will have to do with other men's business, yet from me know the most part of them prove knaves for their labour.

WEN. You ha' the knave, i'faith, Frank.

CLOWN. Long may he live to enjoy it. From Sir John Harcop, of Harcop, in the county of York, Knight, by me his man, to yourself my young master, by these presents greeting.

ILF. How cam'st thou by these good words?

CLOWN. As you by your good clothes, took them upon trust, and swore I would never pay for them.

SCAR. Thy master, Sir John Harcop, writes to me,
That I should entertain thee for my man.
His wish is acceptable; thou art welcome, fellow.
O, but thy master's daughter sends an article,
Which makes me think upon my present sin;
Here she remembers me to keep in mind
My promis'd faith to her, which I ha' broke.
Here she remembers me I am a man,
Black'd o'er with perjury, whose sinful breast
Is charactered like those curst of the blest.

ILF. How now, my young bully, like a young wench, forty weeks after the loss of her maidenhead, crying out.

SCAR. Trouble me not. Give me pen, ink, and paper;
I will write to her. O! but what shall I write
In mine excuse?[366] why, no excuse can serve
For him that swears, and from his oath doth swerve.
Or shall I say my marriage was enforc'd?
'Twas bad in them; not well in me to yield:
Wretched they two, whose marriage was compell'd.
I'll only write that which my grief hath bred:
Forgive me, Clare, for I am married:
'Tis soon set down, but not so soon forgot
Or worn from hence—
Deliver it unto her, there's for thy pains.
Would I as soon could cleanse these perjur'd stains!

CLOWN. Well, I could alter mine eyes from filthy mud into fair water: you have paid for my tears, and mine eyes shall prove bankrouts, and break out for you. Let no man persuade me: I will cry, and every town betwixt Shoreditch Church and York Bridge shall bear me witness. [Exit.

SCAR. Gentlemen, I'll take my leave of you,
She that I am married to, but not my wife,
Will London leave, in Yorkshire lead our life. [Exit.

ILF. We must not leave you so, my young gallant; we three are sick in
state, and your wealth must help to make us whole again. For this saying
is as true as old—
Strife nurs'd 'twixt man and wife makes such a flaw,
How great soe'er their wealth, 'twill have a thaw.


Enter SIR JOHN HARCOP with his daughter CLARE, and two younger brothers, THOMAS and JOHN SCARBOROW.

HAR. Brothers to him ere long shall be my son
By wedding this young girl: you are welcome both.
Nay, kiss her, kiss her; though that she shall be
Your brother's wife, to kiss the cheek is free.

THOM. Kiss, 'sfoot, what else? thou art a good plump wench, I like you well; prythee, make haste and bring store of boys; but be sure they have good faces, that they may call me uncle.

JOHN. Glad of so fair a sister, I salute you.

HAR. Good, good, i' faith, this kissing's good, i' faith,
I lov'd to smack it too when I was young,
But mum: they have felt thy cheek, Clare, let them hear thy tongue.

CLARE. Such welcome as befits my Scarborow's brothers,
From me his trothplight wife be sure to have,
And though my tongue prove scant in any part,
The bounds be sure are full large[367] in my heart.

THOM. Tut, that's not that we doubt on, wench; but do you hear, Sir John? what do you think drew me from London and the Inns of Court thus far into Yorkshire?

HAR. I guess, to see this girl shall be your sister.

THOM. Faith, and I guess partly so too, but the main was—and I will not lie to you—that, your coming now in this wise into our kindred, I might be acquainted with you aforehand, that after my brother had married your daughter, I his brother might borrow some money of you.

HAR. What, do you borrow of your kindred, sir?

THOM. 'Sfoot, what else? they, having interest in my blood, why should I not have interest in their coin? Besides, sir, I, being a younger brother, would be ashamed of my generation if I would not borrow of any man that would lend, especially of my affinity, of whom I keep a calendar. And look you, sir, thus I go over them. First o'er my uncles: after, o'er mine aunts: then up to my nephews: straight down to my nieces: to this cousin Thomas and that cousin Jeffrey, leaving the courteous claw given to none of their elbows, even unto the third and fourth remove of any that hath interest in our blood. All which do, upon their summons made by me, duly and faithfully provide for appearance. And so, as they are, I hope we shall be, more entirely endeared, better and more feelingly acquainted.[368]

HAR. You are a merry gentleman.

THOM. 'Tis the hope of money makes me so; and I know none but fools use to be sad with it.

JOHN. From Oxford am I drawn from serious studies,
Expecting that my brother still hath sojourn'd
With you, his best of choice, and this good knight.

HAR. His absence shall not make our hearts less merry,
Than if we had his presence. A day ere long
Will bring him back, when one the other meets,
At noon i'th' church, at night between the sheets.
We'll wash this chat with wine. Some wine! fill up;
The sharp'ner of the wit is a full cup.
And so to you, sir.

THOM. Do, and I'll drink to my new sister; but upon this condition, that she may have quiet days, little rest o' nights, have pleasant afternoons, be pliant to my brother, and lend me money, whensoe'er I'll borrow it.

HAR. Nay, nay, nay.
Women are weak, and we must bear with them:
Your frolic healths are only fit for men.

THOM. Well, I am contented; women must to the wall, though it be to a feather-bed. Fill up, then. [They drink.

Enter CLOWN.

CLOWN. From London am I come,
Though not with pipe and drum,
Yet I bring matter
In this poor paper
Will make my young mistress,
Delighting in kisses,
Do as all maidens will,
Hearing of such an ill,
As to have lost
The thing they wish'd most,
A husband, a husband,
A pretty sweet husband,
Cry O, O, O,
And alas, and at last
Ho, ho, ho,
As I do.

CLARE. Return'd so soon from London? what's the news?

CLOWN. O mistress, if ever you have seen Demoniseacleer, look into mine eyes: mine eyes are Severn, plain Severn; the Thames nor the river of Tweed are nothing to them: nay, all the rain that fell at Noah's flood had not the discretion that my eyes have: that drunk but up the whole world, and I have drowned all the way betwixt this and London.

CLARE. Thy news, good Robin.

CLOWN. My news, mistress? I'll tell you strange news. The dust upon London way being so great, that not a lord, gentleman, knight, or knave could travel, lest his eyes should be blown out: at last they all agreed to hire me to go before them, when I, looking but upon this letter, did with this water, this very water, lay the dust, as well as if it had rained from the beginning of April till the last of May.

CLARE. A letter from my Scarborow I give it thy mistress.

CLOWN. But, mistress—

CLARE. Prythee, begone,
I would not have my father nor these gentlemen
Be witness of the comfort it doth bring.

CLOWN. O, but mistress—

CLARE. Prythee, begone,
With this and the glad news leave me alone.

[Exit CLOWN.

THOM. 'Tis your turn, knight; take your liquor, know I am bountiful;
I'll forgive any man anything that he owes me but his drink, and that
I'll be paid for.

CLARE. Nay, gentlemen, the honesty of mirth
Consists not in carousing with excess;
My father hath more welcomes than in wine.
Pray you, no more.

THOM. Says my sister so? I'll be ruled by thee then. But do you hear? I hope hereafter you'll lend me some money. Now we are half-drunk, let's go to dinner. Come, knight. [Exeunt.

Manet CLARE.

CLARE. I am glad you're gone.
Shall I now open't? no, I'll kiss it first,
Because this outside last did kiss his hand.
Within this fold (I'll call't a sacred sheet)
Are writ black lines, where our white hearts shall meet.
Before I ope this door of my delight,
Methinks I guess how kindly he doth write
Of his true love to me; as chuck, sweetheart,
I prythee do not think the time too long
That keeps us from the sweets of marriage rites:
And then he sets my name, and kisses it,
Wishing my lips his sheet to write upon;
With like desire (methinks) as mine own thoughts
Ask him now here for me to look upon;
Yet at the last thinking his love too slack,
Ere it arrive at my desired eyes,
He hastens up his message with like speed,
Even as I break this ope, wishing to read.
O, what is here? mine eyes are not mine own;
Sure, sure, they are not. [O eyes,]
Though you have been my lamps this sixteen years,
                          [Lets fall the letter.
You do belie my Scarborow reading so;
Forgive him, he is married, that were ill:
What lying lights are these? look, I have no such letter,
No wedded syllable of the least wrong
Done to a trothplight virgin like myself.
Beshrew you for your blindness: Forgive him, he is married!
I know my Scarborow's constancy to me
Is as firm knit as faith to charity,
That I shall kiss him often, hug him thus,
Be made a happy and a fruitful mother
Of many prosperous children like to him;
And read I, he was married! ask'd forgiveness?
What a blind fool was I; yet here's a letter,
To whom, directed too? To my beloved Clare.
Why, la!
Women will read, and read not that they saw.
'Twas but my fervent love misled mine eyes,
I'll once again to the inside, Forgive me, I am married;
William Scarborow
. He has set his name to't too.
O perjury! within the hearts of men
Thy feasts are kept, their tongue proclaimeth them.


THOM. Sister, God's precious, the cloth's laid, the meat cools, we all stay, and your father calls for you.

CLARE. Kind sir, excuse me, I pray you, a little;
I'll but peruse this letter, and come straight.

THOM. Pray you, make haste, the meat stays for us, and our stomach's
ready for the meat; for believe this—
Drink makes men hungry, or it makes them lie,[369]
And he that's drunk o'er night, i'th'morning's dry:
Seen and approved. [Exit.

CLARE. He was contracted mine, yet he unjust
Hath married to another: what's my estate, then?
A wretched maid, not fit for any man;
For being united his with plighted faiths,
Whoever sues to me commits a sin,
Besiegeth me; and who shall marry me,
Is like myself, lives in adultery. O God,
That such hard fortune should betide my youth!
I am young, fair, rich, honest, virtuous,
Yet for all this, whoe'er shall marry me,
I'm but his whore, live in adultery.
I cannot step into the path of pleasure
For which I was created, born unto:
Let me live ne'er so honest, rich or poor,
If I once wed, yet I must live a whore.
I must be made a strumpet 'gainst my will,
A name I have abhorr'd; a shameful ill
I have eschewed; and now cannot withstand it
In myself. I am my father's only child:
In me he hath a hope, though not his name
Can be increas'd, yet by my issue
His land shall be possess'd, his age delighted.
And though that I should vow a single life
To keep my soul unspotted, yet will he
Enforce me to a marriage:
So that my grief doth of that weight consist,
It helps me not to yield nor to resist;
And was I then created for a whore? a whore!
Bad name, bad act, bad man, makes me a scorn:
Than live a strumpet, better be unborn.[370]


JOHN. Sister, pray you, will you come? Your father and the whole meeting stays for you.

CLARE. I come, I come; I pray, return; I come.

JOHN. I must not go without you.

CLARE. Be thou my usher, sooth, I'll follow you. [Exit.
He writes here to forgive him, he is married:
False gentleman, I do forgive thee with my heart;
Yet will I send an answer to thy letter,
And in so short words thou shalt weep to read them,
And here's my agent ready: Forgive me, I am dead.
'Tis writ, and I will act it. Be judge, you maids
Have trusted the false promises of men:
Be judge, you wives, the which have been enforc'd
From the white sheets you lov'd to them ye loathed:
Whether this axiom may not be assured,—
Better one sin than many be endured:
My arms embracing, kisses, chastity,
Were his possessions; and whilst I live,
He doth but steal those pleasures he enjoys,
Is an adulterer in his married arms,
And never goes to his defiled bed,
But God writes sin upon the tester's head.
I'll be a wife now, help to save his soul
Though I have lost his body: give a slake
To his iniquities, and with one sin,
Done by this hand, and many done by him.
Farewell the world then, farewell the wedded joys
Till this I have hop'd for from that gentleman!
Scarborow, forgive me; thus thou hast lost thy wife,
Yet record, world,[371] though by an act too foul,
A wife thus died to cleanse her husband's soul.


HAR. God's precious for his mercy, where's this wench?
Must all my friends and guests attend on you?
Where are you, minion?

CLARE. Scarborow, come, close mine eyes; for I am dead.

HAR. That sad voice was not hers, I hope:
Who's this?
My daughter?

CLARE. Your daughter,
That begs of you to see her buried,
Prays Scarborow to forgive her: she is dead. [Dies.

HAR. Patience, good tears, and let my words have way!
Clare, my daughter! help, my servants, there!
Lift up thine eyes, and look upon thy father,
They were not born to lose their light so soon:
I did beget thee for my comforter,
And not to be the author of my care.
Why speakest thou not? some help, my servants, there!
What hand hath made thee pale? or if thine own,
What cause hadst thou, that wert thy father's joy,
The treasure of his age, the cradle of his sleep,
His all in all? I prythee, speak to me:
Thou art not ripe for death; come back again.
Clare, my Clare, if death must needs have one,
I am the fittest: prythee, let me go.
Thou dying whilst I live, I am dead with woe.


THOM. What means this outcry?

JOHN. O ruthful spectacle!

HAR. Thou wert not wont to be so sullen, child,
But kind and loving to thy aged father:
Awake, awake! if't be thy lasting sleep,
Would I had not sense for grief, nor eyes to weep.

JOHN. What paper's this? the sad contents do tell me,
My brother writ he hath broke his faith to her,
And she replies for him she hath kill'd herself.

HAR. Was that the cause that thou hast soil'd thyself
With these red spots, these blemishes of beauty?
My child, my child! was't perjury in him
Made thee so fair act now so foul a sin?
Hath[372] he deceived thee in a mother's hopes,
Posterity, the bliss of marriage?
Thou hast no tongue to answer no or ay,
But in red letters write,[373] For him I die.
Curse on his traitorous tongue, his youth, his blood,
His pleasures, children, and possessions!
Be all his days, like winter, comfortless!
Restless his nights, his wants remorseless![374]
And may his corpse be the physician's stage,
Which play'd upon stands not to honour'd age!
Or with diseases may he lie and pine,
Till grief wax blind his eyes, as grief doth mine!

JOHN. O good old man, made wretched by this deed,
The more thy age, more to be pitied.


ILF. What, ride by the gate, and not call? that were a shame, i'faith.

WEN. We'll but taste of his beer, kiss his daughter, and to horse again.
Where's the good knight here?

SCAR. You bring me to my shame unwillingly.

ILF. Shamed of what? for deceiving of a wench! I have not blushed,
that have done't to a hundred of 'em?
In women's love he's wise that follow this,
Love one so long, till he[375] another kiss.
Where's the good knight here?

JOHN. O brother, you are come to make your eye
Sad mourner at a fatal tragedy.
Peruse this letter first, and then this corpse.

SCAR. O wronged Clare! accursed Scarborow!
I writ to her, that I was married,
She writes to me, Forgive her, she is dead.
I'll balm thy body with my faithful tears,
And be perpetual mourner at thy tomb;
I'll sacrifice this comet into sighs,[376]
Make a consumption of this pile of man,
And all the benefits my parents gave,
Shall turn distemper'd to appease the wrath
For this bloodshed, that[377] I am guilty of.

KATH. Dear husband!

SCAR. False woman, not my wife, though married to me:
Look what thy friends and thou art guilty of,
The murder of a creature equall'd heaven
In her creation, whose thoughts (like fire)
Never look'd base, but ever did aspire
To blessed benefits, till you and yours undid her:
Eye her, view her; though dead, yet she does look
Like a fresh frame or a new-printed book
Of the best paper, never look'd into
But with one sullied finger, which did spot her,
Which was her own too; but who was cause of it?
Thou and thy friends, and I will loathe thee for't.


HAR. They do belie her that do say she's dead;
She is but stray'd to some by-gallery,
And I must have her again. Clare; where art thou, Clare?

SCAR. Here laid to take her everlasting sleep.

HAR. He lies that says so;
Yet now I know thee, I do lie that say it,
For if she be a villain like thyself,
A perjur'd traitor, recreant, miscreant,
Dog—a dog, a dog, has done't.

SCAR. O Sir John Harcop!

HAR. O Sir John villain! to betroth thyself
To this good creature, harmless, harmless child:
This kernel, hope, and comfort of my house:
Without enforcement—of thine own accord:
Draw all her soul in th'compass of an oath:
Take that oath from her, make her for none but thee—
And then betray her!

SCAR. Shame on them were the cause of it.

HAR. But hark, what thou hast got by it:
Thy wife is but a strumpet, thy children bastards,
Thyself a murderer, thy wife accessory,
Thy bed a stews, thy house a brothel.

SCAR. O, 'tis too true!

HAR. I made a wretched father, childless.

SCAR. I made a married man, yet wifeless.

HAR. Thou the cause of it?

SCAR. Thou the cause of it? [To his wife.

HAR. Curse on the day that e'er it was begun,
For I, an old man, am undone, undone. [Exit.

SCAR. For charity, have care upon that father,
Lest that his grief bring on a more mishap.
      [Exeunt THOMAS and JOHN SCARBOROW.[378]
This to my arms my sorrow shall bequeath,
Though I have lost her, to the grave I'll bring;
Thou wert my wife, and I'll thy requiem sing.
Go you to the country, I'll to London back:
All riot now, since that my soul's so black.
                              [Exit, with CLARE.

KATH. Thus am I left like sea-toss'd mariners.
My fortunes being no more than my distress;
Upon what shore soever I am driven,
Be it good or bad, I must account it heaven:[379]
Though married, I am reputed no wife,
Neglected of my husband, scorn'd, despis'd:
And though my love and true obedience
Lies prostrate to his beck, his heedless eye
Receives my services unworthily.
I know no cause, nor will be cause of none,
But hope for better days, when bad be gone.
You are my guide. Whither must I, butler?

BUT. Toward Wakefield, where my master's living lies.

KATH. Toward Wakefield, where thy master we'll attend;
When things are at the worst, 'tis hop'd they'll mend.


THOM. How now, sister? no further forward on your journey yet?

KATH. When grief's before one, who'd go on to grief?
I'd rather turn me back to find some comfort.

JOHN. And that way sorrow's hurtfuller than this,
My brother having brought unto a grave
That murder'd body whom he call'd his wife,
And spent so many tears upon her hearse,
As would have made a tyrant to relent;
Then, kneeling at her coffin, this he vow'd
From thence he never would embrace your bed.

THOM. The more fool he.

JOHN. Never from hence acknowledge you his wife:
Where others strive t'enrich their father's name,
It should be his only aim to beggar ours,
To spend their means should be his only pride:
Which, with a sigh confirm'd, he's rid to London,
Vowing a course,[380] that by his life so foul
Men ne'er should join the hands without the soul.

KATH. All is but grief, and I am arm'd for it.

JOHN. We'll bring you on your way in hope thus strong:
Time may at length make straight what yet is wrong.



An Inn.


WEN. He's our own, he's our own! Come, let's make use of his wealth, as the sun of ice: melt it, melt it.

ILF. But art sure he will hold his meeting?

WEN. As sure as I am now, and was dead drunk last night.

ILF. Why then so sure will I be arrested by a couple of serjeants, and fall into one of the unlucky cranks about Cheapside, called Counters.

BAR. Withal, I have provided Master Gripe the usurer, who upon the instant will be ready to step in, charge the serjeants to keep thee fast, and that now he will have his five hundred pounds, or thou shalt rot for it.

WEN. When it follows, young Scarborow shall be bound for the one; then take up as much more. We share the one-half, and help him to be drunk with the other.

ILF. Ha, ha, ha!


BAR. Why dost laugh, Frank?

ILF. To see that we and usurers live by the fall of young heirs, as swine by the dropping of acorns. But he's come. Where be these rogues: shall we have no 'tendance here?

SCAR. Good day, gentlemen.

ILF. A thousand good days, my noble bully, and as many good fortunes as there were grasshoppers in Egypt, and that's covered over with good luck. But nouns, pronouns and participles! where be these rogues here? what, shall we have no wine here?


DRAW. Anon, anon, sir.

ILF. Anon, goodman rascal, must we stay your leisure? give't us by and by, with a pox to you.

SCAR. O, do not hurt the fellow.


ILF. Hurt him! hang him, scrapetrencher, stair-wearer,[381] wine-spiller, metal-clanker, rogue by generation. Why, dost hear, Will? If thou dost not use these grape-spillers as you do their pottle-pots, quoit them down-stairs three or four times at a supper, they'll grow as saucy with you as serjeants, and make bills more unconscionable than tailors.


DRAW. Here's the pure and neat grape, gentlemen, I assure you.[382]

ILF. Fill up: what have you brought here, goodman rogue?

DRAW. The pure element of claret, sir.

ILF. Have you so, and did not I call for Rhenish, you mongrel?

[Throws the wine in the DRAWER'S face.

SCAR. Thou need'st no wine; I prythee, be more mild.

ILF. Be mild in a tavern? 'tis treason to the red lattice,[383] enemy to their sign-post, and slave to humour: prythee, let's be mad.

_Sings this.

    Then fill our heads with wine
    Till every pate be drunk, then piss i'the street,
    Jostle all you meet,
    And swagger with a punk_—

As thou wilt do now and then: thank me, thy good master, that brought thee to it.

WEN. Nay, he profits well; but the worst is, he will not swear yet.

SCAR. Do not belie me: if there be any good in me, that's the best. Oaths are necessary for nothing; they pass out of a man's mouth, like smoke through a chimney, that files[384] all the way it goes.

WEN. Why then I think tobacco to be a kind of swearing; for it furs our nose pockily.

SCAR. But, come, let's drink ourselves into a stomach afore supper.

ILF. Agreed. I'll begin with a new health. Fill up.

        _To them that make land fly,
        By wines, whores, and a die:
        To them that only thrives
        By kissing others' wives:
        To them that pay for clothes
        With nothing but with oaths:
        Care not from whom they get,
        So they may be in debt.
        This health, my hearts! [Drinks.
        But who their tailors pay,
        Borrow, and keep their day,
        We'll hold him like this glass,
        A brainless, empty ass,
        And not a mate for us_.
        Drink round, my hearts!

WEN. An excellent health.


DRAW. Master Ilford, there's a couple of strangers beneath desires to speak with you.

ILF. What beards have they? gentlemenlike-beards, or brokerlike-beards?

DRAW. I am not so well acquainted with the art of face-mending, sir: but they would speak with you.

ILF. I'll go down to them.

WEN. Do; and we'll stay here and drink tobacco.[385]

SCAR. Thus like a fever that doth shake a man
From strength to weakness, I consume myself.
I know this company, their custom vile,
Hated, abhorr'd of good men, yet like a child
By reason's rule, instructed how to know
Evil from good, I to the worser go.
Why do you suffer this, you upper powers,
That I should surfeit in the sin of taste,
Have sense to feel my mischiefs, yet make waste
Of heaven and earth?
Myself will answer, what myself doth ask.
Who once doth cherish sin, begets his shame,
For vice being foster'd once, comes impudence,
Which makes men count sin custom, not offence:
When all like me their reputation blot,
Pursuing evil, while the good's forgot.

Enter ILFORD, led in by a couple of SERJEANTS, and GRIPE the usurer.

SER. Nay, never strive, we can hold you.

ILF. Ay, me, and the devil too,[386] and he fall into your clutches.
Let go your tugging; as I am a gentleman, I'll be your true prisoner.

WEN. How now: what's the matter, Frank?

ILF. I am fallen into the hands of Serjeants: I am arrested.

BAR. How, arrested? a gentleman in our company?

ILF. Put up, put up; for sin's sake put up; let's not all sup in the
Counter to night; let me speak with Master Gripe the creditor.

GRIPE. Well, what say you to me, sir?

ILF. You have arrested me here, Master Gripe.

GRIPE. Not I, sir; the serjeants have.

ILF. But at your suit, Master Gripe: yet hear me, as I am a gentleman.

GRIPE. I rather you could say as you were an honest man, and then I might believe you.

ILF. Yet hear me.

GRIPE. Hear me no hearing; I lent you my money for goodwill.

ILF. And I spent it for mere necessity. I confess I owe you five hundred pound, and I confess I owe not a penny to any man, but he would be glad to ha't [on my word]: my bond you have already, Master Gripe; if you will, now take my word.

GRIPE. Word me no words! officers, look to your prisoner. If you cannot either make me present payment, or put me in security—such as I shall like, too—

ILF. Such as you shall like, too: what say you to this young gentleman? he is the widgeon that we must feed upon. [Aside.]

GRIPE. Who, young Master Scarborow? he's an honest gentleman for aught I know; I ne'er lost a penny by him.

ILF. I would be ashamed any man should say so by me, that I have had dealings withal [Aside]: but, my enforced friends, will't please you but to retire into some small distance, whilst I descend with a few words to these gentlemen, and I'll commit myself into your merciless hands immediately.

SER. Well, sir, we'll wait upon you. [They retire.

ILF. Gentlemen, I am to prefer some conference and especially to you, Master Scarborow: our meeting here for your mirth hath proved to me thus adverse, that in your companies I am arrested. How ill it will stand with the flourish of your reputations, when men of rank and note communicate that I, Frank Ilford, gentleman, whose fortunes may transcend to make ample gratuities future, and heap satisfaction for any present extension of his friends' kindness, was enforced from the Mitre in Bread Street to the Counter in the Poultry. For mine own part, if you shall think it meet, and that it shall accord with the state of gentry to submit myself from the feather-bed in the master's side[387] or the flock-bed in the knight's ward, to the straw-bed in the hole, I shall buckle to my heels, instead of gilt spurs, the armour of patience, and do't.

WEN. Come, come, what a pox need all this! this is mellis flora, the sweetest of the honey: he that was not made to fat cattle, but to feed gentlemen.

BAR. You wear good clothes.

WEN. Are well-descended.

BAR. Keep the best company.

WEN. Should regard your credit.

BAR. Stand not upon't, be bound, be bound.

WEN. Ye are richly married.

BAR. Love not your wife.

WEN. Have store of friends.

BAR. Who shall be your heir?

WEN. The son of some slave.

BAR. Some groom.

WEN. Some horse-keeper.

BAR. Stand not upon't; be bound, be bound.

SCAR. Well, at your importunance,[388] for once I'll stretch my purse;
Who's born to sink, as good this way as worse.

WEN. Now speaks my bully like a gentleman of worth.

BAR. Of merit.

WEN. Fit to be regarded.

BAR. That shall command our souls.

WEN. Our swords.

BAR. Ourselves.

ILF. To feed upon you, as Pharaoh's lean kine did upon the fat. [Aside.]

SCAR. Master Gripe, is my bond current for this gentleman?

ILF. Good security, you Egyptian grasshopper, good security.

GRIPE. And for as much more, kind Master Scarborow,
Provided that men, mortal as we are,
May have—

SCAR. May have security.

GRIPE. Your bond with land conveyed, which may assure me of mine own again.

SCAR. You shall be satisfied, and I'll become your debtor
For full five hundred more than he doth owe you.
This night we sup here; bear us company,
And bring your counsel, scrivener, and the money
With you, where I will make as full assurance
As in the law you'd wish.

GRIPE. I take your word, sir,
And so discharge you of your prisoner.

ILF. Why then let's come
And take up a new room, the infected hath spit in this.
He that hath store of coin wants not a friend;
Thou shalt receive, sweet rogue, and we will spend.

[Aside. Exeunt.


JOHN. Brother, you see the extremity of want
Enforceth us to question for our own,
The rather that we see, not like a brother,
Our brother keeps from us to spend on other.

THOM. True, he has in his hands our portions—the patrimony which our father gave us, with which he lies fatting himself with sack and sugar[389] in the house, and we are fain to walk with lean purses abroad. Credit must be maintained, which will not be without money; good clothes must be had, which will not be without money; company must be kept, which will not be without money; all which we must have, and from him we will have money.

JOHN. Besides, we have brought our sister to this town,
That she herself, having her own from him,
Might bring herself in court to be preferr'd
Under some noble personage; or else that he,
Whose friends are great in court by his late match,
As he is in nature bound, provide for her.

THOM. And he shall do it, brother, though we have waited at his lodging longer than a tailor's bill on a young knight for an old reckoning, without speaking with him. Here we know he is, and we will call him to parley.

JOHN. Yet let us do't in mild and gentle terms;
Fair words perhaps may sooner draw our own
Than rougher course,[390] by which is mischief grown.


DRAW. Anon, anon. Look down into the Dolphin[391] there.

THOM. Here comes a drawer, we will question him. Do you hear, my friend? is not Master Scarborow here?

DRAW. Here, sir! what a jest is that! where should he be else? I would have you well know my master hopes to grow rich,[392] before he leave him.

JOHN. How long hath he continued here, since he came hither?

DRAW. Faith, sir, not so long as Noah's flood, yet long enough to have drowned up the livings of three knights, as knights go nowadays—some month, or thereabouts.

JOHN. Time ill-consum'd to ruinate our house;
But what are they that keep him company?

DRAW. Pitch, pitch; but I must not say so; but, for your further satisfaction, did you ever see a young whelp and a lion play together?

JOHN. Yes.

DRAW. Such is Master Scarborow's company.[393] [Within, Oliver! Anon, anon, look down to the Pomegranate[394] there.

THOM. I prythee, say here's them would speak with him.

DRAW. I'll do your message. Anon, anon, there.

JOHN. This fool speaks wiser than he is aware.
Young heirs left in this town, where sin's so rank,
And prodigals gape to grow fat by them,
Are like young whelps thrown in the lions' den,
Who play with them awhile, at length devour them.


SCAR. Who's there would speak with me?

JOHN. Your brothers, who are glad to see you well.

SCAR. Well.

JOHN. 'Tis not your riot, that we hear you use
With such as waste their goods, as tire[395] the world
With a continual spending, nor that you keep
The company of a most leprous rout,
Consumes your body's wealth, infects your name
With such plague sores that, had you reason's eye,
'Twould make you sick to see you visit them—
Hath drawn us, but our wants to crave the due
Our father gave, and yet remains with you.

THOM. Our birthright, good brother; this town craves maintenance; silk stockings must be had, and we would be loth our heritage should be arraigned at the vintner's bar, and so condemned to the vintner's box. Though, while you did keep house, we had some belly timber at your table or so; yet we would have you think we are your brothers, yet no Esaus, to sell our patrimony for porridge.

SCAR. So, so; what hath your coming else?

JOHN. With us our sister joins in our request,
Whom we have brought along with us to London,
To have her portion, wherewith to provide
An honour'd service or an honest bride.

SCAR. So then you two my brothers, and she my sister, come not, as in duty you are bound, to an elder brother out of Yorkshire to see us, but like leeches to suck from us.

JOHN. We come compelled by want to crave our own.

SCAR. Sir, for your own? then thus be satisfied,
Both hers and yours were left in trust with me,
And I will keep it for ye: must you appoint us,
Or what we please to like mix with reproof?
You have been too saucy both, and you shall know
I'll curb you for it: ask why? I'll have it so.

JOHN. We do but crave our own.

SCAR. Your own, sir? what's your own?

THOM. Our portions given us by our father's will.

JOHN. Which here you spend.

THOM. Consume.

JOHN. Ways worse than ill.

SCAR. Ha, ha, ha!


ILF. Nay, nay, nay, Will: prythee, come away, we have a full gallon of sack stays in the fire for thee. Thou must pledge it to the health of a friend of thine.

SCAR. What dost think these are, Frank?

ILF. Who? They are fiddlers, I think. If they be, I prythee send them into the next room, and let them scrape there, and we'll send to them presently.

SCAR. They are my brothers, Frank, come out of Yorkshire
To the tavern here, to ask their portions:
They call my pleasures riots, my company leprous;
And like a schoolboy they would tutor me.

ILF. O, thou shouldst have done well to have bound them 'prentices when they were young; they would have made a couple of good saucy tailors.

THOM. Tailors?

ILF. Ay, birdlime tailors. Tailors are good men, and in the term-time they wear good clothes. Come, you must learn more manners: as to stand at your brother's back, to shift a trencher neatly, and take a cup of sack and a capon's leg contentedly.

THOM. You are a slave,
That feeds upon my brother like a fly,
Poisoning where thou dost suck.

SCAR. You lie.

JOHN. O (to my grief I speak it), you shall find
There's no more difference in a tavern-haunter
Than is between a spital and a beggar.

THOM. Thou work'st on him like tempests on a ship.

JOHN. And he the worthy traffic that doth sink.

THOM. Thou mak'st his name more loathesome than a grave.

JOHN. Livest like a dog by vomit.

THOM. Die a slave!

[Here they draw, WENTLOE and BARTLEY come in, and the two vintner's boys with clubs. All set upon the two brothers. BUTLER, Scarborow's man, comes in, stands by, sees them fight, takes part with neither.

BUT. Do, fight. I love you all well, because you were my old master's sons, but I'll neither part you, nor be partaker with you. I come to bring my master news; he hath two sons born at a birth in Yorkshire, and I find him together by the ears with his brothers in a tavern in London. Brother and brother at odds, 'tis naught: sure it was not thus in the days of charity. What's this world like to? Faith, just like an innkeeper's chamber-pot, receives all waters, good and bad. It had need of much scouring. My old master kept a good house, and twenty or thirty tall sword-and-buckler men about him, and i'faith his son differs not much, he will have metal too; though he hath not store of cutler's blades, he will have plenty of vintner's pots. His father kept a good house for honest men his tenants, that brought him in part; and his son keeps a bad house with knaves that help to consume all. 'Tis but the change of time; why should any man repine at it? Crickets, good, loving, and lucky worms, were wont to feed, sing, and rejoice in the father's chimney, and now carrion crows build in the son's kitchen. I could be sorry for it, but I am too old to weep. Well then, I will go tell him news of his offspring. [_Exit.

Enter the two brothers, THOMAS and JOHN SCARBOROW, hurt, and SISTER.

SIS. Alas! good brothers, how came this mischance?

THOM. Our portions, our brother hath given us our portions, sister, hath he not?

SIS. He would not be so monstrous, I am sure.

JOHN. Excuse him not; he is more degenerate,
Than greedy vipers that devour their mother,
They eat on her but to preserve themselves,
And he consumes himself, and beggars us.
A tavern is his inn, where amongst slaves
He kills his substance, making pots the graves
To bury that which our forefather's gave.
I ask'd him for our portions, told him that you
Were brought to London, and we were in want;
Humbly we crav'd our own; when his reply
Was, he knew none we had: beg, starve, or die.

SIS. Alas!
What course is left us to live by, then?

THOM. In troth, sister, we two to beg in the fields,
And you to betake yourself to the old trade,
Filling of small cans in the suburbs.

SIS. Shall I be left then like a common road,
That every beast that can but pay his toll
May travel over, and, like to camomile,[396]
Flourish the better being trodden on.

Enter BUTLER, bleeding.

BUT. Well, I will not curse him: he feeds now upon sack and anchovies, with a pox to him: but if he be not fain, before he dies, to eat acorns, let me live with nothing but pollard, and my mouth be made a cucking-stool for every scold to set her tail on.

THOM. How now, butler, what's the meaning of this?

BUT. Your brother means to lame as many as he can, that when he is a beggar himself, he may live with them in the hospital. His wife sent me out of Yorkshire to tell him that God had blessed him with two sons; he bids a plague of them, a vengeance of her, crosses me o'er the pate, and sends me to the surgeon's to seek salve: I looked, at least he should have given me a brace of angels for my pains.

THOM. Thou hast not lost all thy longing; I am sure he hath given thee a cracked crown!

BUT. A plague on his fingers! I cannot tell, he is your brother and my master; I would be loth to prophesy of him; but whosoe'er doth curse his children being infants, ban his wife lying in childbed, and beats his man brings him news of it, they may be born rich, but they shall live slaves, be knaves, and die beggars.

SIS. Did he do so?

BUT. Guess you? he bid a plague of them, a vengeance on her, and sent me to the surgeon's.

SIS. Why then I see there is no hope of him;
Some husbands are respectless of their wives,
During the time that they are issueless;
But none with infants bless'd can nourish hate,
But love the mother for the children's sake.

JOHN. But he that is given over unto sin,
Leproused therewith without, and so within—
O butler, we were issue to one father!

BUT. And he was an honest gentleman.

JOHN. Whose hopes were better than the son he left
Should set so soon unto his house's shame.
He lives in taverns, spending of his wealth,
And here his brothers and distressed sister,
Not having any means to help us with.

THOM. Not a Scots baubee (by this hand) to bless us with.

JOHN. And not content to riot out his own,
But he detains our portions, suffers us
In this strange air, open to every wrack,
Whilst he in riot swims to be in lack.

BUT. The more's the pity.

SIS. I know not what in course to take me to;
Honestly I fain would live, what shall I do?

BUT. Sooth, I'll tell you; your brother hath hurt us; we three will hurt you, and then go all to a 'spital together.

SIS. Jest not at her whose burden is too grievous,
But rather lend a means how to relieve us.

BUT. Well, I do pity you, and the rather because you say you would fain live honest, and want means for it; for I can tell you 'tis as strange here to see a maid fair, poor, and honest, as to see a collier with a clean face. Maids here do live (especially without maintenance) Like mice going to a trap, They nibble long, at last they get a clap. Your father was my good benefactor, and gave me a house whilst I live to put my head in: I would be loth then to see his only daughter, for want of means, turn punk. I have a drift to keep you honest, have you a care to keep yourself so: yet you shall not know of it, for women's tongues are like sieves, they will hold nothing they have power to vent. You two will further me?

JOHN. In anything, good honest Butler.

THOM. If't be to take a purse, I'll be one.

BUT. Perhaps thou speakest righter than thou art aware of. Well, as chance is, I have received my wages; there is forty shillings for you, I'll set you in a lodging, and till you hear from us, let that provide for you: we'll first to the surgeon's.

    To keep you honest, and to keep you brave,
    For once an honest man will turn a knave.


Enter SCARBOROW, having a boy carrying a torch with him: ILFORD, WENTLOE, and BARTLEY.

SCAR. Boy, bear the torch fair: now am I armed to fight with a windmill, and to take the wall of an emperor; much drink, no money: a heavy head and a light pair of heels.

WEN. O, stand, man.

SCAR. I were an excellent creature to make a punk of; I should down with the least touch of a knave's finger. Thou hast made a good night of this: what hast won, Frank?

ILF. A matter of nothing, some hundred pounds.

SCAR. This is the hell of all gamesters. I think, when they are at play, the board eats up the money; for if there be five hundred pound lost, there's never but a hundred pounds won. Boy, take the wall of any man: and yet by light such deeds of darkness may not be.

[Put out the torch.

WEN. What dost mean by that, Will?

SCAR. To save charge, and walk like a fury with a firebrand in my hand: every one goes by the light, and we'll go by the smoke.


SCAR. Boy, keep the wall: I will not budge[397] for any man, by these thumbs; and the paring of the nails shall stick in thy teeth. Not for a world.

LORD. Who's this? young Scarborow?

SCAR. The man that the mare rid on.

LORD. Is this the reverence that you owe to me.

SCAR. You should have brought me up better.

LORD. That vice should thus transform man to a beast!

SCAR. Go to, your name's lord; I'll talk with you, when you're out of debt and have better clothes.

LORD. I pity thee even with my very soul.

SCAR. Pity i' thy throat! I can drink muscadine and eggs, and mulled sack; do you hear? you put a piece of turned stuff upon me, but I will—

LORD. What will you do, sir?

SCAR. Piss in thy way, and that's no slander.

LORD. Your sober blood will teach you otherwise.


SIR WIL. My honoured lord, you're happily well-met.

LORD. Ill met to see your nephew in this case,
More like a brute beast than a gentleman.

SIR WIL. Fie, nephew! shame you not thus to transform yourself?

SCAR. Can your nose smell a torch?

ILF. Be not so wild; it is thine uncle Scarborow.

SCAR. Why then 'tis the more likely 'tis my father's brother.

SIR WIL. Shame to our name to make thyself a beast,
Thy body worthy born, and thy youth's breast
Till'd in due time for better discipline.

LORD. Thyself new-married to a noble house,
Rich in possessions and posterity,
Which should call home thy unstay'd affections.

SIR WIL. Where thou mak'st havoc.

LORD. Riot, spoil, and waste.

SIR WIL. Of what thy father left.

LORD. And livest disgraced.

SCAR. I'll send you shorter to heaven than you came to the earth. Do you catechise? do you catechise? [He draws, and strikes at them.

ILF. Hold, hold! do you draw upon your uncle?

SCAR. Pox of that lord!
We'll meet at th'Mitre, where we'll sup down sorrow,
We are drunk to-night, and so we'll be to-morrow.


LORD. Why, now I see: what I heard of, I believed not,
Your kinsman lives—

SIR WIL. Like to a swine.

LORD. A perfect Epythite,[398] he feeds on draff,
And wallows in the mire, to make men laugh:
I pity him.

SIR WIL. No pity's fit for him.

LORD. Yet we'll advise him.

SIR WIL. He is my kinsman.

LORD. Being in the pit, where many do fall in,
We will both comfort him and counsel him.



A noise within, crying Follow, follow, follow! then enter BUTLER, THOMAS and JOHN SCARBOROW, with money-bags.

THOM. What shall we do now, butler?

BUT. A man had better line a good handsome pair of gallows before his time, than be born to do these sucklings good, their mother's milk not wrung out of their nose yet; they know no more how to behave themselves in this honest and needful calling of pursetaking, than I do to piece stockings.

WITHIN. This way, this way, this way!

BOTH. 'Sfoot, what shall we do now?

BUT. See if they do not quake like a trembling asp-leaf, and look more miserable than one of the wicked elders pictured in the painted cloth.[399] Should they but come to the credit to be arraigned for their valour before a worshipful bench, their very looks would hang 'em, and they were indicted but for stealing of eggs.

WITHIN. Follow, follow! This way! Follow!

THOM. Butler.

JOHN. Honest butler.

BUT. Squat, heart, squat, creep me into these bushes, and lie me as close to the ground as you would do to a wench.

THOM. How, good butler? show us how.

BUT. By the moon, patroness of all pursetakers, who would be troubled with such changelings? squat, heart, squat.

THOM. Thus, butler?

BUT. Ay so, suckling, so; stir not now: if the peering rogues chance to go over you, yet stir not: younger brothers call you them, and have no more forecast, I am ashamed of you. These are such whose fathers had need leave them money, even to make them ready withal; for, by these hilts, they have not wit to button their sleeves without teaching: close, squat, close. Now if the lot of hanging do fall to my share, so; then the old father's[400] man drops for his young masters. If it chance, it chances; and when it chances, heaven and the sheriff send me a good rope! I would not go up the ladder twice for anything: in the meantime preventions, honest preventions do well, off with my skin; so; you on the ground, and I to this tree, to escape the gallows. [Ascends a tree.]

WITHIN. Follow, follow, follow!

BUT. Do: follow. If I do not deceive you, I'll bid a pox of this wit, and hang with a good grace.

Enter SIR JOHN HARCOP, with two or three others with him.

HAR. Up to this wood they took: search near, my friends, I am this morn robbed of three hundred pound.

BUT. I am sorry there was not four to make even money. Now, by the devil's horns, 'tis Sir John Harcop.

HAR. Leave not a bush unbeat nor tree unsearch'd;
As sure as I was robb'd, the thieves went this way.

BUT. There's nobody, I perceive, but may lie at some time, for one of them climbed this way.

1ST MAN. Stand, I hear a voice; and here's an owl in an ivy-bush.

BUT. You lie, 'tis an old servingman in a nut-tree.

2D MAN. Sirrah, sir, what make you in that tree?

BUT. Gathering of nuts, that such fools as you are may crack the shells, and I eat the kernels.

HAR. What fellow's that?

BUT. Sir John Harcop, my noble knight; I am glad of your good health; you bear your age fair, you keep a good house, I have fed at your board, and been drunk in your buttery.

HAR. But sirrah, sirrah, what made you in that tree?
My man and I, at foot of yonder hill,
Were by three knaves robb'd of three hundred pound.

BUT. A shrewd loss, by'r Lady, sir; but your good worship may now see the fruit of being miserable: you will ride but with one man to save horse-meat and man's meat at your inn at night, and lose three hundred pound in a morning.

HAR. Sirrah, I say I have lost three hundred pound.

BUT. And I say, sir, I wish all miserable knights might be served so; for had you kept half a dozen tall fellows, as a man of your coat should do, they would have helped now to keep your money.

HAR. But tell me, sir, why lurked you in that tree?

BUT. Marry, I will tell you, sir. Coming to the top of the hill where you (right worshipful) were robbed at the bottom, and seeing some a-scuffling together, my mind straight gave me there were knaves abroad: now, sir, I knowing myself to be old, tough, and unwieldy, not being able to do as I would, as much as to say rescue you (right worshipful)—I, like an honest man, one of the king's liege people, and a good subject—

SER. But he says well, sir.

BUT. Got me up to the top of that tree: the tree (if it could speak) would bear me witness, that there I might see which way the knaves took, then to tell you of it, and you right worshipfully to send hue and[401] cry after them.

HAR. Was it so?

BUT. Nay, 'twas so, sir.

HAR. Nay, then, I tell thee they took into this wood.

BUT. And I tell thee (setting thy worship's knighthood aside) he lies in his throat that says so: had not one of them a white frock? did they not bind your worship's knighthood by the thumbs? then faggoted you and the fool your man back to back.

MAN. He says true.

BUT. Why, then, so truly came not they into this wood, but took over the lawns, and left Winnowe steeple on the left hand.

HAR. It may be so. By this they are out of reach;
Well, farewell it.

BUT. Ride with more men, good knight.

HAR. It shall teach me wit.

[Exit. HARCOP with followers.

BUT. So, if this be not played a weapon beyond a scholar's prize, let me be hissed at. Now to the next. Come out, you hedgehogs!

THOM. O butler! thou deserv'st to be chronicled for this.

BUT. Do not belie me, if I had any right, I deserve to be hanged for't.
But come, down with your dust, our morning's purchase.[402]

THOM. Here 'tis; thou hast played well; thou deserv'st two shares in it.

BUT. Three hundred pound! a pretty breakfast: many a man works hard all his days, and never sees half the money. But come, though it be badly got, it shall be better bestowed. But do ye hear, gallants? I have not taught you this trade to get your livings by. Use it not; for if you do, though I 'scaped by the nut-tree, be sure you'll speed by the rope. But for your pains at this time, there's a hundred pounds for you; how you shall bestow it, I'll give you instructions. But do you hear? look ye, go not to your gills, your punks, and your cock-tricks with it. If I hear you do, as I am an honest thief, though I helped you now out of the briars, I'll be a means yet to help you to the gallows. How the rest shall be employed, I have determined, and by the way I'll make you acquainted with it. To steal is bad, but taken, where is store; The fault's the less, being done to help the poor.


Enter WENTLOE, BARTLEY, and ILFORD with a letter in his hand.

ILF. Sure, I have said my prayers, and lived virtuously o' late, that this good fortune's befallen me. Look, gallants, I am sent for to come down to my father's burial.

WEN. But dost mean to go?

ILF. Troth, no; I'll go down to take possession of his land: let the country bury him, and they will. I'll stay here a while, to save charge at his funeral.

BAR. And how dost feel thyself, Frank, now thy father is dead?

ILF. As I did before, with my hands; how should I feel myself else? but
I'll tell you news, gallants.

WEN. What's that? dost mean now to serve God?

ILF. Faith, partly; for I intend shortly to go to church, and from thence do faithful service to one woman.


BUT. Good! I have met my flesh-hooks together. [Aside.]

BAR. What, dost mean to be married?

ILF. Ay, mongrel, married.

BUT. That's a bait for me. [Aside.]

ILF. I will now be honestly married.

WEN. It's impossible, for thou hast been a whoremaster this seven year.

ILF. 'Tis no matter; I will now marry, and to some honest woman too; and so from hence her virtues shall be a countenance to my vices.

BAR. What shall she be, prythee?

ILF. No lady, no widow, nor no waiting gentlewoman, for under protection
Ladies may lard their husbands' heads,
Widows will woodcocks make,
And chambermaids of servingmen
Learn that they'll never forsake.

WEN. Who wilt thou wed then, prythee?

ILF. To any maid, so she be fair:
To any maid, so she be rich:
To any maid, so she be young:
And to any maid—

BAR. So she be honest.

ILF. Faith, it's no great matter for her honesty, for in these days that's a dowry out of request.

BUT. From these crabs will I gather sweetness: wherein I'll imitate the bee, that sucks her honey, not from the sweetest flowers, but [from] thyme, the bitterest: so these having been the means to beggar my master, shall be the helps to relieve his brothers and sister. [Aside.]

ILF. To whom shall I now be a suitor?

BUT. Fair fall ye, gallants.

ILF. Nay, and she be fair, she shall fall sure enough. Butler, how is't, good butler?

BUT. Will you be made gallants?

WEN. Ay, but not willingly cuckolds, though we are now talking about wives.

BUT. Let your wives agree of that after: will you first be richly married?

ALL. How, butler? richly married?

BUT. Rich in beauty, rich in purse, rich in virtue, rich in all things. But mum, I'll say nothing, I know of two or three rich heirs. But cargo![403] my fiddlestick cannot play without rosin: avaunt.

WEN. Butler.

ILF. Dost not know me, butler?

BUT. For kex,[404] dried kex, that in summer has been so liberal to fodder other men's cattle, and scarce have enough to keep your own in winter. Mine are precious cabinets, and must have precious jewels put into them, and I know you to be merchants of stock-fish, dry-meat,[405] and not men for my market: then vanish.

ILF. Come, ye old madcap, you: what need all this? cannot a man have been a little whoremaster in his youth, but you must upbraid him with it, and tell him of his defects which, when he is married, his wife shall find in him? Why, my father's dead, man, now; who by his death has left me the better part of a thousand a year.

BUT. Tut, she of Lancashire has fifteen hundred.

ILF. Let me have her then, good butler.

BUT. And then she, the bright beauty of Leicestershire, has a thousand, nay, thirteen hundred a year, at least.

ILF. O, let me have her, honest butler.

BUT. Besides, she the most delicate, sweet countenanced, black-browed gentlewoman in Northamptonshire, in substance equals the best of them.

ILF. Let me have her then.

BAR. Or I.

WEN. Or I, good butler.

BUT. You were best play the parts of right fools and most desperate whoremasters, and go together by the ears for them, ere ye see them. But they are the most rare-featured, well-faced, excellent-spoke, rare-qualitied, virtuous, and worthy-to-be-admired gentlewomen.

ALL. And rich, butler?

BUT. Ay, that must be one, though they want all the rest [Aside]; —and rich, gallants, as are from the utmost parts of Asia to the present confines of Europe.

ALL. And wilt thou help us to them, butler?

BUT. Faith, 'tis to be doubted; for precious pearl will hardly be bought without precious stones, and I think there's scarce one indifferent one to be found betwixt you three: yet since there is some hope ye may prove honest, as by the death of your fathers you are proved rich, walk severally; for I, knowing you all three to be covetous tug-muttons, will not trust you with the sight of each other's beauty, but will severally talk with you: and since you have deigned in this needful portion of wedlock to be ruled by me, Butler will most bountifully provide wives for you generally.

ALL. Why, that's honestly said. [He walks with each apart.

BUT. Why so: and now first to you, sir knight.

ILF. Godamercy.

BUT. You see this couple of abominable woodcocks here.

ILF. A pox on them! absolute coxcombs.

BUT. You heard me tell them I had intelligence to give of three gentlewomen.

ILF. True.

BUT. Now indeed, sir, I have but the performance of one.

ILF. Good.

BUT. And her I do intend for you, only for you.

ILF. Honest butler.

BUT. Now, sir, she being but lately come to this town, and so nearly watched by the jealous eyes of her friends, she being a rich heir,[406] lest she should be stolen away by some dissolute prodigal or desperate-estated spendthrift, as you have been, sir—

ILF. O, but that's passed, butler.

BUT. True, I know't, and intend now but to make use of them, flatter them with hopeful promises, and make them needful instruments.

ILF. To help me to the wench?

BUT. You have hit it—which thus must be effected: first by keeping close your purpose.

ILF. Good.

BUT. Also concealing from them the lodging, beauty, and riches of your new, but admirable mistress.

ILF. Excellent.

BUT. Of which your following happiness if they should know, either in envy of your good or hope of their own advancement, they'd make our labours known to the gentlewoman's uncles, and so our benefit be frustrate.

ILF. Admirable, butler.

BUT. Which done, all's but this: being, as you shall be, brought into her company, and by my praising your virtues, you get possession of her love, one morning step to the Tower, or to make all sure, hire some stipendiary priest for money—for money in these days what will not be done, and what will not a man do for a rich wife?—and with him make no more ado but marry her in her lodging, and being married, lie with her, and spare not.

ILF. Do they not see us, do they not see us? let me kiss thee, let me kiss thee, butler! let but this be done, and all the benefit, requital and happiness I can promise thee for't, shall be this—I'll be thy rich master, and thou shalt carry my purse.

BUT. Enough, meet me at her lodging some half an hour hence: hark, she lies—[407]

ILF. I ha't.

BUT. Fail not.

ILF. Will I live?

BUT. I will, but shift off these two rhinoceros.

ILF. Widgeons, widgeons: a couple of gulls!

BUT. With some discourse of hope to wive them too, and be with you straight.

ILF. Blessed day! my love shall be thy cushion, honest butler.

BUT. So now to my t'other gallants.

WEN. O butler, we have been in passion at thy tediousness.

BUT. Why, look you, I had all this talk for your good!

BAR. Hadst?

BUT. For you know the knight is but a scurvy-proud-prating prodigal, licentious, unnecessary—

WEN. An ass, an ass, an ass.

BUT. Now you heard me tell him I had three wenches in store.

BAR. And he would have had them all, would he?

BUT. Hear me. Though he may live to be an ox, he had not now so much of the goat in him, but only hopes for one of the three, when indeed I have but two; and knowing you to be men of more virtue, and dearer in my respect, intend them to be yours.

WEN. We shall honour thee.

BAR. But how, butler?

BUT. I am now going to their place of residence, situate in the choicest place of the city, and at the sign of the Wolf, just against Goldsmith's Row, where you shall meet me; but ask not for me, only walk to and fro, and to avoid suspicion you may spend some conference with the shopkeeper's wives[408]; they have seats built a purpose for such familiar entertainment—where, from a bay-window[409] which is opposite, I will make you known to your desired beauties, commend the good parts you have—

WEN. By the mass, mine are very few. [Aside.]

BUT. And win a kind of desire, as women are soon won, to make you be beloved; where you shall first kiss, then woo, at length wed, and at last bed, my noble hearts.

BOTH. O butler!

BUT. Wenches, bona robas[410], blessed beauties, without colour or counterfeit. Away, put on your best clothes, get you to the barber's, curl up your hair, walk with the best struts you can: you shall see more at the window, and I have vowed to make you—

BAR. Wilt thou?

BUT. Both fools [Aside]; and I'll want of my wit, but I'll do't.

BAR. We will live together as fellows.

WEN. As brothers.

BUT. As arrant knaves, if I keep you company.
O, the most wretched season of this time!
These men, like fish, do swim within one stream,
Yet they'd eat one another, making no conscience
To drink with them they'd poison; no offence
Betwixt their thoughts and actions has control,
But headlong run, like an unbiass'd bowl.
Yet I will draw[411] them on; but like to him,
At play knows how to lose, and when to win.


THOM. Butler.

BUT. O, are you come,
And fit as I appointed? so, 'tis well,
You know your cues, and have instructions
How to bear yourselves: all, all is fit,
Play but your part, your states from hence are firm.

JOHN. What shall I term this creature? not a man,

[Betwixt this BUTLER leads ILFORD in.

He's not of mortal's temper, but he's one
Made all of goodness, though of flesh and bone:
O brother, brother, but for that honest man,
As near to misery had been our breath,
As where the thundering pellet strikes, is death.

THOM. Ay, my shift of shirts and change of clothes know't.

JOHN. We'll tell of him, like bells whose music rings
On coronation-day for joy of kings,
That hath preserv'd their steeples, not like tolls,
That summons living tears for the dead souls.

Enter BUTLER and ILFORD above[412].

BUT. God's precious, see the hell, sir: even as you had new-kissed, and were about to court her, if her uncles be not come.

ILF. A plague on the spite on't.

BUT. But 'tis no matter, sir; stay you here in this upper chamber, and I'll stay beneath with her: 'tis ten to one you shall hear them talk now of the greatness of her possessions, the care they have to see her well-bestowed, the admirableness of her virtues, all which for all their coming shall be but happiness ordained for you, and by my means be your inheritance.

ILF. Then thou'lt shift them away, and keep me from the sight of them?

BUT. Have I not promised to make you?

ILF. Thou hast.

BUT. Go to, then, rest here with patience, and be confident in my trust; only in my absence you may praise God for the blessedness you have to come, and say your prayers, if you will. I'll but prepare her heart for entertainment of your love, dismiss them for your free access, and return straight.

ILF. Honest-blessed-natural-friend, thou dealest with me like a brother, butler. [Exit BUTLER.] Sure, heaven hath reserved this man to wear grey hairs to do me good. Now will I listen—listen close to suck in her uncles' words with a rejoicing ear.

THOM. As we were saying, brother[413],
Where shall we find a husband for my niece?

ILF. Marry, she shall find one here, though you little know't. Thanks, thanks, honest butler.

JOHN. She is rich in money, plate, and jewels.

ILF. Comfort, comfort to my soul.

THOM. Hath all her manor-houses richly furnished.

ILF. Good, good; I'll find employment for them.

BUT. within. Speak loud enough, that he may hear you.

JOHN. I take her estate to be about a thousand pound a year.

ILF. And that which my father hath left me will make it about fifteen hundred. Admirable!

JOHN. In debt to no man: then must our natural care be,
As she is wealthy, to see her married well.

ILF. And that she shall be as well as the priest can; he shall not leave a word out.

THOM. I think she has—

ILF. What, a God's name?

THOM. About four thousand pound in her great chest.

ILF. And I'll find a vent for't, I hope.

JOHN. She is virtuous, and she is fair.

ILF. And she were foul, being rich, I would be glad of her.

BUT. Pish, pish!

JOHN. Come, we'll go visit her, but with this care,
That to no spendthrift we do marry her.


ILF. You may chance be deceived, old greybeards; here's he will spend some of it; thanks, thanks, honest butler! Now do I see the happiness of my future estate. I walk me as to-morrow, being the day after my marriage, with my fourteen men in livery-cloaks after me, and step to the wall in some chief streets of the city, though I have no occasion to use it, that the shopkeepers may take notice how many followers stand bare to me. And yet in this latter age, the keeping of men being not in request, I will turn my aforesaid fourteen into two pages and two coaches. I will get myself into grace at court, run headlong into debt, and then look scurvily upon the city. I will walk you into the presence in the afternoon, having put on a richer suit than I wore in the morning, and call, boy or sirrah. I will have the grace of some great lady, though I pay for't, and at the next triumphs run a-tilt, that when I run my course, though I break not my lance, she may whisper to herself, looking upon my jewel: well-run, my knight. I will now keep great horses, scorning to have a queen to keep me; indeed I will practise all the gallantry in use; for by a wife comes all my happiness.


BUT. Now, sir, you have heard her uncles, and how do you like them?

ILF. O butler, they have made good thy words, and I am ravished with them.

BUT. And having seen and kissed the gentlewoman, how do you like her?

ILF. O butler, beyond discourse, beyond any element; she's a paragon for a prince, rather than a fit implement for a gentleman.[414]

BUT. Well then, since you like her, and by my means, she shall like you, nothing rests now, but to have you married.

ILF. True, butler, but withal to have her portion!

BUT. Tut, that's sure yours, when you are married once, for 'tis hers by inheritance; but do you love her?

ILF. O, with my soul.

BUT. Have you sworn as much?

ILF. To thee, to her; and have called heaven to witness.

BUT. How shall I know that?

ILF. Butler, here I protest, make vows irrevocable.

BUT. Upon your knees?

ILF. Upon my knees, with my heart and soul I love her.

BUT. Will live with her?

ILF. Will live with her.

BUT. Marry her and maintain her?

ILF. Marry her and maintain her.

BUT. For her forsake all other women?

ILF. Nay, for her forswear all other women.

BUT. In all degrees of love?

ILF. In all degrees of love, either to court, kiss, give private favours, or use private means. I'll do nothing that married men, being close whoremasters, do, so I may have her.

BUT. And yet you, having been an open whoremaster, I will not believe you till I hear you swear as much in the way of contract to herself, and call me to be a witness.

ILF. By heaven, by earth, by hell, by all that man can swear, I will, so
I may have her.

BUT. Enough.
Thus at first sight rash men to women swear,
When, such oaths broke, heaven grieves and sheds a tear.
But she's come; ply her, ply her.


ILF. Kind mistress, as I protested, so again I vow,
I'faith, I love you.

SIS. And I am not, sir, so uncharitable,
To hate the man that loves me.

ILF. Love me then,
The which loves you as angels love good men;
Who wisheth them to live with them for ever,
In that high bliss, whom hell cannot dissever.

BUT. I'll steal away and leave them, as wise men do; Whom they would match, let them have leave to woo. [Exit BUTLER.

ILF. Mistress, I know your worth is beyond my desert; yet by my praising of your virtues, I would not have you, as women use to do, become proud.

SIS. None of my affections are pride's children, nor akin to them.

ILF. Can you love me then?

SIS. I can; for I love all the world, but am in love with none.

ILF. Yet be in love with me; let your affections
Combine with mine, and let our souls
Like turtles have a mutual sympathy,
Who love so well, that they die together.
Such is my life, who covets to expire,
If it should lose your love.

SIS. May I believe you?

ILF. In troth you may:
Your life's my life, your death my dying-day.

SIS. Sir, the commendations I have received from Butler of your birth and worth, together with the judgment of mine own eye, bids me believe and love you.

ILF. O, seal it with a kiss. Bless'd hour! my life had never joy till this.

Enter WENTLOE and BARTLEY beneath.

BAR. Hereabout is the house, sure.

WEN. We cannot mistake it; for here's the sign of the Wolf, and the bay-window.

Enter BUTLER above.

BUT. What, so close? 'Tis well I have shifted away your uncles, mistress. But see the spite of Sir Francis! if yon same couple of smell-smocks, Wentloe and Bartley, have not scented after us.

ILF. A pox on them! what shall we do then, butler?

BUT. What, but be married straight, man?

ILF. Ay, but how, butler?

BUT. Tut, I never fail at a dead lift; for, to perfect your bliss, I have provided you a priest.

ILF. Where? prythee, butler, where?

BUT. Where but beneath in her chamber? I have filled his hands with coin, and he shall tie you fast with words; he shall close your hands in one, and then do clap yourself into her sheets, and spare not.

ILF. O sweet!


BUT. Down, down, 'tis the only way for you to get up.
Thus in this task for others' good I toil,
And she, kind gentlewoman, weds herself,
Having been scarcely woo'd, and ere her thoughts
Have learn'd to love him that, being her husband,
She may relieve her brothers in their wants;
She marries him to help her nearest kin:
I make the match, and hope it is no sin.

WEN. 'Sfoot, it is scurvy walking for us so near the two Counters; would he would come once!

BAR. Mass, he's yonder: now, Butler.

BUT. O gallants, are you here? I have done wonders for you, commended you to the gentlewomen who, having taken note of your good legs and good faces, have a liking to you; meet me beneath.

BOTH. Happy butler.

BUT. They are yours, and you are theirs; meet me beneath, I say.


By this they are wed; ay, and perhaps have bedded.
Now follows whether, knowing she is poor,
He'll swear he lov'd her, as he swore before.




ILF. Ho, sirrah, who would have thought it? I perceive now a woman may be a maid, be married, and lose her maidenhead, and all in half an hour. And how dost like me now, wench?

SIS. As doth befit your servant and your wife,
That owe you love and duty all my life.

ILF. And there shall be no love lost, nor service neither; I'll do thee service at board, and thou shalt do me service a-bed: now must I, as young married men use to do, kiss my portion out of my young wife. Thou art my sweet rogue, my lamb, my pigsny, my playfellow, my pretty-pretty anything. Come, a buss, prythee, so 'tis my kind heart; and wots thou what now?

SIS. Not till you tell me, sir.

ILF. I have got thee with child in my conscience, and, like a kind husband, methinks I breed it for thee. For I am already sick at my stomach, and long extremely. Now must thou be my helpful physician, and provide for me.

SIS. Even to my blood,
What's mine is yours, to gain your peace or good.

ILF. What a kind soul is this! Could a man have found a greater content in a wife, if he should have sought through the world for her? Prythee, heart, as I said, I long, and in good troth I do, and methinks thy first child will be born without a nose, if I lose my longing: 'tis but for a trifle too; yet methinks it will do me no good, unless thou effect it for me. I could take thy keys myself, go into thy closet, and read over the deeds and evidences of thy land, and in reading over them, rejoice I had such blessed fortune to have so fair a wife with so much endowment, and then open thy chests, and survey thy plate, jewels, treasure; but a pox on't, all will do me no good, unless thou effect it for me.

SIS. Sir, I will show you all the wealth I have
Of coin, of jewels, and possessions.

ILF. Good gentle heart, I'll give thee another buss for that: for that, give thee a new gown to-morrow morning by this hand; do thou but dream what stuff and what fashion thou wilt have it on to-night.

SIS. The land I can endow you with's my Love:
The riches I possess for you is Love,
A treasure greater than is land or gold,
It cannot be forfeit, and it shall ne'er be sold.

ILF. Love, I know that; and I'll answer thee love for love in abundance: but come, prythee, come, let's see these deeds and evidences—this money, plate, and jewels. Wilt have thy child born without a nose? if thou be'st so careless, spare not: why, my little frappet, you, I heard thy uncles talk of thy riches, that thou hadst hundreds a year, several lordships, manors, houses, thousands of pounds in your great chest; jewels, plate, and rings in your little box.

SIS. And for that riches you did marry me?

ILF. Troth, I did, as nowadays bachelors do: swear I lov'd thee, but indeed married thee for thy wealth.

SIS. Sir, I beseech you say not your oaths were such,
So like false coin being put unto the touch;
Who bear a flourish in the outward show
Of a true stamp, but truly[416] are not so.
You swore me love, I gave the like to you:
Then as a ship, being wedded to the sea,
Does either sail or sink, even so must I,
You being the haven, to which my hopes must fly.

ILF. True, chuck, I am thy haven, and harbour too,
And like a ship I took thee, who brings home treasure
As thou to me the merchant-venturer.

SIS. What riches I am ballast with are yours.

ILF. That's kindly said now.

SIS. If but with sand, as I am but with earth,
Being your right, of right you must receive me:
I have no other lading but my love,
Which in abundance I will render you.
If other freight you do expect my store,
I'll pay you tears: my riches are no more.

ILF. How's this? how's this? I hope you do but jest.

SIS. I am sister to decayed Scarborow.

ILF. Ha!

SIS. Whose substance your enticements did consume.

ILF. Worse than an ague.

SIS. Which as you did believe, so they supposed.
'Twas fitter for yourself than for another
To keep the sister, had undone the brother.

ILF. I am gulled, by this hand. An old coneycatcher, and beguiled! where the pox now are my two coaches, choice of houses, several suits, a plague on them, and I know not what! Do you hear, puppet, do you think you shall not be damned for this, to cosen a gentleman of his hopes, and compel yourself into matrimony with a man, whether he will or no with you? I have made a fair match, i'faith: will any man buy my commodity out of my hand? As God save me, he shall have her for half the money she cost me.


WEN. O, have we met you, sir?

BAR. What, turned micher, steal a wife, and not make your old friends acquainted with it?

ILF. A pox on her, I would you had her!

WEN. Well, God give you joy! we can hear of your good fortune, now 'tis done, though we could not be acquainted with it aforehand.

BAR. As that you have two thousand pounds a year.

WEN. Two or three manor-houses.

BAR. A wife, fair, rich, and virtuous.

ILF. Pretty, i'faith, very pretty.

WEN. Store of gold.

BAR. Plate in abundance.

ILF. Better, better, better.

WEN. And so many oxen, that their horns are able to store all the cuckolds in your country.

ILF. Do not make me mad, good gentlemen, do not make me mad: I could be made a cuckold with more patience, than endure this.

WEN. Foh! we shall have you turn proud now, grow respectless of your ancient acquaintance. Why, Butler told us of it, who was the maker of the match for you.

ILF. A pox of his furtherance! gentlemen, as you are Christians, vex me no more. That I am married, I confess; a plague of the fates, that wedding and hanging comes by destiny; but for the riches she has brought, bear witness how I'll reward her. [Kicks her.

SIS. Sir!

ILF. Whore, ay, and jade. Witch! Ill-faced, stinking-breath, crooked-nose, worse than the devil—and a plague on thee that ever I saw thee!

BAR. A comedy, a comedy!

WEN. What's the meaning of all this? is this the masque after thy marriage!

ILF. O gentlemen, I am undone, I am undone, for I am married! I, that could not abide a woman, but to make her a whore, hated all she-creatures, fair and poor; swore I would never marry but to one that was rich, and to be thus coney-catched! Who do you think this is, gentlemen?

WEN. Why, your wife; who should it be else?

ILF. That's my misfortune; that marrying her in hope she was rich, she proves to be the beggarly sister to the more beggarly Scarborow.

BAR. How?

WEN. Ha, ha, ha!

ILF. Ay, you may laugh, but she shall cry as well as I for't.

BAR. Nay, do not weep.

WEN. He does but counterfeit now to delude us. He has all her portion of land, coin, plate, jewels, and now dissembles thus, lest we should borrow some money of him.

ILF. And you be kind, gentlemen, lend me some; for, having paid the priest, I have not so much left in the world as will hire me a horse to carry me away from her.

BAR. But art thou thus gulled, i'faith?

ILF. Are you sure you have eyes in your head?

WEN. Why, then, [it is] by her brother's setting on, in my conscience; who knowing thee now to have somewhat to take to by the death of thy father, and that he hath spent her portion and his own possessions, hath laid this plot for thee to marry her, and so he to be rid of her himself.

ILF. Nay, that's without question; but I'll be revenged of 'em both.
For you, minx:—nay, 'sfoot, give 'em me, or I'll kick else.

SIS. Good, sweet.

ILF. Sweet with a pox! you stink in my nose, give me your jewels: nay, bracelets too.

SIS. O me most miserable!

ILF. Out of my sight, ay, and out of my doors: for now what's within
this house is mine; and for your brother,
He made this match in hope to do you good,
And I wear this, the[417] which shall draw his blood.

WEN. A brave resolution.

BAR. In which we'll second thee.
                                [Exit with WENTLOE.

ILF. Away, whore! out of my doors, whore!

SIS. O grief, that poverty should have that power to tear
Men from themselves, though they wed, bed, and swear.


THOM. How now, sister?

SIS. Undone, undone!

BUT. Why, mistress, how is't? how is't?

SIS. My husband has forsook me.

BUT. O perjury!

SIS. Has ta'en my jewels and my bracelets from me.

THOM. Vengeance, I played the thief for the money that bought 'em.

SIS. Left me distressed, and thrust me forth o' doors.

THOM. Damnation on him! I will hear no more.
But for his wrong revenge me on my brother,
Degenerate, and was the curse of all,
He spent our portion, and I'll see his fall.

JOHN. O, but, brother—

THOM. Persuade me not.
All hopes are shipwreck'd, misery comes on,
The comfort we did look from him is frustrate,
All means, all maintenance, but grief is gone;
And all shall end by his destruction. [Exit.

JOHN. I'll follow, and prevent what in this heat may happen:
His want makes sharp his sword; too great's the ill,
If that one brother should another kill. [Exit.

BUT. And what will you do, mistress?

SIS. I'll sit me down, sigh loud instead of words,
And wound myself with grief as they with swords.
And for the sustenance that I should eat,
I'll feed on grief, 'tis woe's best-relish'd meat.

BUT. Good heart, I pity you,
You shall not be so cruel to yourself,
I have the poor serving-man's allowance:
Twelve pence a day, to buy me sustenance;
One meal a day I'll eat, the t'other fast,
To give your wants relief. And, mistress,
Be this some comfort to your miseries,
I'll have thin cheeks, ere you shall have wet eyes.



SCAR. What is a prodigal? Faith, like a brush,
That wears himself to furbish[418] others' clothes,
And, having worn his heart even to the stump,
He's thrown away like a deformed lump.
O, such am I: I have spent all the wealth
My ancestors did purchase, made others brave
In shape and riches, and myself a knave.
For though my wealth rais'd some to paint their door,
'Tis shut against me saying I am but poor:
Nay, even the greatest arm, whose hand hath grac'd
My presence to the eye of majesty, shrinks back,
His fingers clutch, and like to lead,
They are heavy to raise up my state, being dead.
By which I find spendthrifts (and such am I)
Like strumpets flourish, but are foul within,
And they (like snakes) know when to cast their skin.


THOM. Turn, draw, and die; I come to kill thee.

SCAR. What's he that speaks like sickness? O, is't you?
Sleep still, you cannot move me: fare you well.

THOM. Think not my fury slakes so, or my blood
Can cool itself to temper by refusal:
Turn, or thou diest.

SCAR. Away.

THOM. I do not wish to kill thee like a slave,
That taps men in their cups, and broach[es] their hearts,
Ere with a warning-piece they have wak'd their ears;
I would not like to powder shoot thee down
To a flat grave, ere thou hast thought to frown:
I am no coward, but in manly terms
And fairest oppositions vow to kill thee.

SCAR. From whence proceeds this heat?

THOM. From sparkles bred
By thee, that like a villain—


THOM. I'll hollow it
In thine ears, till thy soul quake to hear it,
That like a villain hast undone thy brothers.

SCAR. Would thou wert not so near me! yet, farewell.

THOM. By Nature and her laws make[419] us akin—
As near as are these hands, or sin to sin—
Draw and defend thyself, or I'll forget
Thou art a man.

SCAR. Would thou wert not my brother!

THOM. I disclaim thee[420].

SCAR. Are we not offspring of one parent, wretch?

THOM. I do forget it; pardon me the dead,
I should deny the pains you bid for me.
My blood grows hot for vengeance, thou hast spent
My life's revenues, that our parents purchas'd.

SCAR. O, do not rack me with remembrance on't.

THOM. Thou hast made my life a beggar in this world,
And I will make thee bankrupt of thy breath:
Thou hast been so bad, the best that I can give[421].
Thou art a devil: not with men to live.

SCAR. Then take a devil's payment

Here they make a pass one upon another, when at Scarborow's back come in ILFORD, WENTLOE, and BARTLEY.

ILF. He's here; draw, gentlemen.

WEN., BART. Die, Scarborow.

SCAR. Girt round with death!

THOM. How, set upon by three! 'Sfoot, fear not, brother; you cowards, three to one! slaves, worse than fencers that wear long weapons. You shall be fought withal, you shall be fought withal.

[Here the brothers join, drive the rest out, and return.

SCAR. Brother, I thank you, for you now have been
A patron of my life. Forget the sin,
I pray you, which my loose and wasteful hours
Hath made against your fortunes; I repent 'em,
And wish I could new-joint and strength your hopes,
Though with indifferent ruin of mine own.
I have a many sins, the thought of which
Like finest[422] needles prick me to the soul,
But find your wrongs to have the sharpest point.
If penitence your losses might repair,
You should be rich in wealth, and I in care.

THOM. I do believe you, sir: but I must tell you,
Evils the which are 'gainst another done,
Repentance makes no satisfaction
To him that feels the smart. Our father, sir,
Left in your trust my portion: you have spent it,
And suffered me (whilst you in riot's house—
A drunken tavern—spill'd my maintenance,
Perhaps upon the ground with o'erflown cups;)
Like birds in hardest winter half-starv'd, to fly
And pick up any food, lest I should die.

SCAR. I pr'ythee, let us be at peace together.

THOM. At peace for what? For spending my inheritance?
By yonder sun that every soul has life by,
As sure as thou hast life, I'll fight with thee.

SCAR. I'll not be mov'd unto't.

THOM. I'll kill thee then, wert thou now clasp'd
Within thy mother, wife, or children's arms.

SCAR. Would'st, homicide? art so degenerate?
Then let my blood grow hot.

THOM. For it shall cool.

SCAR. To kill rather than be kill'd is manhood's rule.


JOHN. Stay, let not your wraths meet.

THOM. Heart! what mak'st thou here?

JOHN. Say, who are you, or you? are you not one,
That scarce can make a fit distinction
Betwixt each other? Are you not brothers?

THOM. I renounce him.

SCAR. Shalt not need.

THOM. Give way.

SCAR. Have at thee!

JOHN. Who stirs? which of you both hath strength within his arm
To wound his own breast? who's so desperate
To damn himself by killing of himself?
Are you not both one flesh?

THOM. Heart! give me way.

SCAR. Be not a bar betwixt us, or by my sword
I'll[423] mete thy grave out.

JOHN. O, do: for God's sake, do;
'Tis happy death, if I may die, and you
Not murder one another. O, do but hearken:
When do the sun and moon, born in one frame,
Contend, but they breed earthquakes in men's hearts?
When any star prodigiously appears,
Tells it not fall of kings or fatal years?
And then, if brothers fight, what may men think?
Sin grows so high, 'tis time the world should sink.

SCAR. My heart grows cool again; I wish it not.

THOM. Stop not my fury, or by my life I swear.
I will reveal the robbery we have done,
And take revenge on thee,
That hinders me to take revenge on him.

JOHN. I yield to that; but ne'er consent to this,
I shall then die, as mine own sin affords,
Fall by the law, not by my brothers' swords.

THOM. Then, by that light that guides me here, I vow,
I'll straight to Sir John Harcop, and make known
We were the two that robb'd him.

JOHN. Prythee, do.

THOM. Sin has his shame, and thou shalt have thy due.

JOHN. Thus have I shown the nature of a brother,
Though you have proved unnatural to me.
He's gone in heat to publish out the theft,
Which want and your unkindness forc'd us to:
If now I die, that death and public shame
Is a corsive to your soul, blot to your name.

SCAR. O, 'tis too true, there's not a thought I think,
But must partake thy grief, and drink
A relish of thy sorrow and misfortune.
With weight of others' tears I am o'erborne,
That scarce am Atlas to hold up mine own,
And all too good for me. A happy creature
In my cradle, and I have made myself
The common curse of mankind by my life;
Undone my brothers, made them thieves for bread,
And begot pretty children to live beggars.
O conscience, how thou art stung to think upon't!
My brothers unto shame must yield their blood:
My babes at others' stirrups beg their food,
Or else turn thieves too, and be chok'd for it,
Die a dog's death, be perch'd upon a tree;
Hang'd betwixt heaven and earth, as fit for neither.
The curse of heaven that's due to reprobates
Descends upon my brothers and my children,
And I am parent to it—ay, I am parent to it.


BUT. Where are you, sir?

SCAR. Why star'st thou, what's thy haste?

BUT. Here's fellows swarm like flies to speak with you.

SCAR. What are they?

BUT. Snakes, I think, sir; for they come with stings in their mouths, and their tongues are turn'd to teeth too: they claw villainously, they have ate up your honest name and honourable reputation by railing against you: and now they come to devour your possessions.

SCAR. In plainer evargy,[424] what are they? speak.

BUT. Mantichoras,[425] monstrous beasts, enemies to mankind, that have double rows of teeth in their mouths. They are usurers, they come yawning for money, and the sheriff with them is come to serve an extent upon your land, and then seize on your body by force of execution: they have begirt the house round.

SCAR. So that the roof our ancestors did build
For their sons' comfort, and their wives for charity,
I dare not to look out at.

BUT. Besides, sir, here's your poor children—

SCAR. Poor children they are indeed.

BUT. Come with fire and water, tears in their eyes and burning grief in their hearts, and desire to speak with you.

SCAR. Heap sorrow upon sorrow! tell me, are
My brothers gone to execution
For what I did? for every heinous sin
Sits on his soul, by whom it did begin.
And so did theirs by me. Tell me withal,
My children carry moisture in their eyes,
Whose speaking drops say, father, thus must we
Ask our relief, or die with infamy,
For you have made us beggars. Yet when thy tale has kill'd me,
To give my passage comfort from this stage,
Say all was done by enforc'd marriage:
My grave will then be welcome.

BUT. What shall we do, sir?

SCAR. Do as the devil does, hate (panther-like) mankind![426]
And yet I lie; for devils sinners love,
When men hate men, though good like some above.

Enter SCARBOROW'S wife KATHERINE, with two Children.

BUT. Your wife's come in, sir.

SCAR. Thou li'st, I have not a wife. None can be call'd
True man and wife, but those whom heaven install'd,

KATH. O my dear husband!

SCAR. You are very welcome. Peace: we'll have compliment.
Who are you, gentlewoman?

KATH. Sir, your distressed wife, and these your children,

SCAR. Mine! Where, how, begot?
Prove me by certain instance that's divine,
That I should call them lawful, or thee mine.

KATH. Were we not married, sir?

SCAR. No; though we heard the words of ceremony,
But had hands knit, as felons that wear fetters
Forc'd upon them. For tell me, woman,
Did e'er my love with sighs entreat thee mine?
Did ever I in willing conference
Speak words, made half with tears, that I did love thee?
Or was I ever but glad to see thee, as all lovers are?
No, no, thou know'st I was not.

KATH. O me!

BUT. The more's the pity.

SCAR. But when I came to church, I did there stand,
As water, whose forc'd breach[427] had drown'd my land.
Are you my wife, or these my children?
Why, 'tis impossible; for like the skies
Without the sun's light, so look all your eyes;
Dark, cloudy, thick, and full of heaviness;
Within my country there was hope to see
Me and my issue to be like our fathers,
Upholders of our country all our life,
Which should have been if I had wed a wife:
Where now,
As dropping leaves in autumn you look all,
And I, that should uphold you, like to fall.

KATH. 'Twas nor shall be my fault, heaven bear me witness.

SCAR. Thou liest, strumpet, thou liest!

BUT. O sir!

SCAR. Peace, saucy Jack! strumpet, I say thou liest,
For wife of mine thou art not, and these thy bastards
Whom I begot of thee with this unrest,
That bastards born are born not to be blest.

KATH. On me pour all your wrath, but not on them.

SCAR. On thee and them, for 'tis the end of lust
To scourge itself, heaven lingering to be just:

KATH. Husband!

SCAR. Bastards!

CHIL. Father!

BUT. What heart not pities this?

SCAR. Even in your cradle, you were accurs'd of heaven,
Thou an adultress in my married arms.
And they that made the match, bawds to thy lust:
Ay, now you hang the head; shouldst have done so before,
Then these had not been bastards, thou a whore.

BUT. I can brook't no longer: sir, you do not well in this.

SCAR. Ha, slave!

BUT. 'Tis not the aim of gentry to bring forth
Such harsh unrelish'd fruit unto their wines[428],
And to their pretty—pretty children by my troth.

SCAR. How, rascal!

BUT. Sir, I must tell you, your progenitors,
Two of the which these years were servant to,
Had not such mists before their understanding,
Thus to behave themselves.

SCAR. And you'll control me, sir!

BUT. Ay, I will.

SCAR. You rogue!

BUT. Ay, 'tis I will tell 'tis ungently done
Thus to defame your wife, abuse your children:
Wrong them, you wrong yourself; are they not yours?

SCAR. Pretty—pretty impudence, in faith.

BUT. Her whom you are bound to love, to rail against!
Those whom you are bound to keep, to spurn like dogs!
And you were not my master, I would tell you—

SCAR. What, slave? [Draws.

BUT. Put up your bird-spit, tut, I fear it not;
In doing deeds so base, so vile as these,
'Tis but a kna, kna, kna—

SCAR. Rogue!

BUT. Tut, howsoever, 'tis a dishonest part,
And in defence of these I throw off duty.

KATH. Good butler.

BUT. Peace, honest mistress, I will say you are wrong'd,
Prove it upon him, even in his blood, his bones,
His guts, his maw, his throat, his entrails.

SCAR. You runagate of threescore!

BUT. 'Tis better than a knave of three-and-twenty.

SCAR. Patience be my buckler!
As not to file[429] my hands in villain's blood;
You knave, slave, trencher-groom!
Who is your master?

BUT. You, if you were a master.

SCAR. Off with your coat then, get you forth a-doors.

BUT. My coat, sir?

SCAR. Ay, your coat, slave.

BUT. 'Sfoot, when you ha't, 'tis but a threadbare coat,
And there 'tis for you: know that I scorn
To wear his livery is so worthy born,
And live[s] so base a life; old as I am,
I'll rather be a beggar than your man,
And there's your service for you. [Exit.

SCAR. Away, out of my door: away!
So, now your champion's gone, minx, thou hadst better
Have gone quick unto thy grave—

KATH. O me! that am no cause of it.

SCAR. Than have suborn'd that slave to lift his hand against me.

KATH. O me! what shall become of me?

SCAR. I'll teach you tricks for this: have you a companion?


BUT. My heart not suffers me to leave my honest mistress and her pretty children.

SCAR. I'll mark thee for a strumpet, and thy bastards—

BUT. What will you do to them, sir?

SCAR. The devil in thy shape come back again?

BUT. No, but an honest servant, sir, will take this coat,
And wear it with this sword to safeguard these,
And pity them, and I am woe for you[430], too;
But will not suffer
The husband, viper-like, to prey on them
That love him and have cherish'd him, as these
And they have you.

SCAR. Slave!

BUT. I will outhumour you, [I will]
Fight with you and lose my life, ere[431] these
Shall taste your wrong, whom you are bound to love.

SCAR. Out of my doors, slave!

BUT. I will not, but will stay and wear this coat,
And do you service whether you will or no.
I'll wear this sword, too, and be champion
To fight for her, in spite of any man.

SCAR. You shall: you shall be my master, sir.

BUT. No, I desire it not,
I'll pay you duty, even upon my knee,
But lose my life, ere these oppress'd I'll see.

SCAR. Yes, goodman slave, you shall be master,
Lie with my wife, and get more bastards; do, do, do.

KATH. O me!

SCAR. Turns the world upside down,
That men o'erbear their masters? it does, it does.
For even as Judas sold his master Christ,
Men buy and sell their wives at highest price,
What will you give me? what will you give me?
What will you give me? [Exit.

BUT. O mistress, my soul weeps, though mine eyes be dry,
To see his fall and your adversity;
Some means I have left, which I'll relieve you with.
Into your chamber, and if comfort be akin
To such great grief, comfort your children.

KATH. I thank thee, butler; heaven, when he please,
Send death unto the troubled—a blest ease.

[Exit with children.

BUT. In troth I know not, if it be good or ill,
That with this endless toil I labour thus:
'Tis but the old time's ancient conscience
That would do no man hurt, that makes me do't:
If it be sin, that I do pity these,
If it be sin, I have relieved his brothers,
Have played the thief with them to get their food,
And made a luckless marriage for his sister,
Intended for her good, heaven pardon me.
But if so, I am sure they are great sinners,
That made this match, and were unhappy[432] men;
For they caus'd all, and may heaven pardon them.


SIR WIL. Who's within here?

BUT. Sir William, kindly welcome.

SIR WIL. Where is my kinsman Scarborow?

BUT. Sooth, he's within, sir, but not very well.

SIR WIL. His sickness?

BUT. The hell of sickness; troubled in his mind.

SIR WIL. I guess the cause of it,
But cannot now intend to visit him.
Great business for my sovereign hastes me hence;
Only this letter from his lord and guardian to him,
Whose inside, I do guess, tends to his good;
At my return I'll see him: so farewell. [Exit.

BUT. Whose inside, I do guess, turns to his good.
He shall not see it now, then; for men's minds,
Perplex'd like his, are like land-troubling-winds,
Who have no gracious temper.


JOHN. O butler!

BUT. What's the fright now?

JOHN. Help, straight, or on the tree of shame
We both shall perish for the robbery.

BUT. What, is't reveal'd, man?

JOHN. Not yet, good butler: only my brother Thomas,
In spleen to me that would not suffer him
To kill our elder brother had undone us,
Is riding now to Sir John Harcop straight,
To disclose it.

BUT. Heart! who would rob with sucklings?
Where did you leave him?

JOHN. Now taking horse to ride to Yorkshire.

BUT. I'll stay his journey, lest I meet a hanging.



SCAR. I'll parley with the devil: ay, I will,
He gives his counsel freely, and the cause
He for his clients pleads goes always with them:
He in my cause shall deal then; and I'll ask him
Whether a cormorant may have stuff'd chests,
And see his brother starve? why, he'll say, ay[433],
The less they give, the more I gain thereby;


Their souls, their souls, their souls.
How now, master? nay, you are my master;
Is my wife's sheets warm? does she kiss well?

BUT. Good sir.

SCAR. Foh! make't not strange, for in these days,
There's many men lie in their masters' sheets,
And so may you in mine, and yet—your business, sir?

BUT. There's one in civil habit, sir, would speak with you.

SCAR. In civil habit?

BUT. He is of seemly rank, sir, and calls himself
By the name of Doctor Baxter of Oxford.

SCAR. That man undid me; he did blossoms blow,
Whose fruit proved poison, though 'twas good in show:
With him I'll parley, and disrobe my thoughts
Of this wild frenzy that becomes me not.
A table, candles, stools, and all things fit,
I know he comes to chide me, and I'll hear him:
With our sad conference we will call up tears,
Teach doctors rules, instruct succeeding years:
Usher him in:
Heaven spare a drop from thence, where's bounteous throng:
Give patience to my soul, inflame my tongue.


DOC. Good Master Scarborow.

SCAR. You are most kindly welcome, sooth, ye are.

DOC. I have important business to deliver you.

SCAR. And I have leisure to attend your hearing.

DOC. Sir, you know I married you.

SCAR. I know you did, sir.

DOC. At which you promis'd both to God and men,
Your life unto your spouse should be like snow,
That falls to comfort, not to overthrow:
And love unto your issue should be like
The dew of heaven, that hurts not, though it strike:
When heaven and men did witness and record
'Twas an eternal oath, no idle word:
Heaven, being pleased therewith, bless'd you with children,
And at heaven's blessings all good men rejoice.
So that God's chair and footstool, heaven and earth,
Made offering at your nuptials as a knot
To mind you of your vow; O, break it not.

SCAR. 'Tis very true[434].

DOC. Now, sir, from this your oath and band[435],
Faith's pledge and seal of conscience you have run,
Broken all contracts, and the forfeiture
Justice hath now in suit against your soul:
Angels are made the jurors, who are witnesses
Unto the oath you took, and God himself,
Maker of marriage, he that seal'd the deed,
As a firm lease unto you during life,
Sits now as judge of your transgression:
The world informs against you with this voice:
If such sins reign, what mortals can rejoice?

SCAR. What then ensues to me?

DOC. A heavy doom, whose execution's
Now serv'd upon your conscience, that ever
You shall feel plagues, whom time shall not dissever;
As in a map your eyes see all your life,
Bad words, worse deeds, false oaths, and all the injuries,
You have done unto your soul: then comes your wife,
Full of woe's drops, and yet as full of pity,
Who though she speaks not, yet her eyes are swords[436],
That cut your heart-strings: and then your children—

SCAR. O, O, O!

DOC. Who, what they cannot say, talk in their looks;
You have made us up, but as misfortune's books,
Whom other men may read in, when presently,
Task'd by yourself, you are not, like a thief,
Astonied, being accus'd, but scorch'd with grief.

SCAR. I, I, I.

DOC. Here stand your wife's tears.

SCAR. Where?

DOC. And you fry for them: here lie your children's wants.

SCAR. Here?

DOC. For which you pine, in conscience burn,
And wish you had been better, or ne'er born.

SCAR. Does all this happen to a wretch like me?

DOC. Both this and worse; your soul eternally
Shall live in torment, though the body die.

SCAR. I shall have need of drink then: Butler!

DOC. Nay, all your sins are on your children laid,
For the offences that the father made.

SCAR. Are they, sir?

DOC. Be sure they are.


SCAR. Butler!

BUT. Sir.

SCAR. Go fetch my wife and children hither.

BUT. I will, sir.

SCAR. I'll read a lecture[437] to the doctor too,
He's a divine? ay, he's a divine. [Aside.]

BUT. I see his mind is troubled, and have made bold with duty to read a letter tending to his good; have made his brothers friends: both which I will conceal till better temper. He sends me for his wife and children; shall I fetch them? [Aside.

SCAR. He's a divine, and this divine did marry me:
That's good, that's good. [Aside.

DOC. Master Scarborow.

SCAR. I'll be with you straight, sir.

BUT. I will obey him,
If anything doth happen that is ill,
Heaven bear me record, 'tis 'gainst my will. [Exit.

SCAR. And this divine did marry me,
Whose tongue should be the key to open truth,
As God's ambassador. Deliver, deliver, deliver. [Aside.

DOC. Master Scarborow.

SCAR. I'll be with you straight, sir:
Salvation to afflicted consciences,
And not give torment to contented minds,
Who should be lamps to comfort out our way,
And not like firedrakes[438] to lead men astray,
Ay, I'll be with you straight, sir.

Enter BUTLER, [with Wife and Children].

BUT. Here's your wife and children, sir.

SCAR. Give way, then,
I have my lesson perfect; leave us here.

BUT. Yes, I will go, but I will be so near, To hinder the mishap, the which I fear. [Exit BUTLER.

SCAR. Now, sir, you know this gentlewoman?

DOC. Kind Mistress Scarborow.

SCAR. Nay, pray you keep your seat, for you shall hear
The same affliction you have taught me fear,
Due to yourself.

DOC. To me, sir?

SCAR. To you, sir.
You match'd me to this gentlewoman?

DOC. I know I did, sir.

SCAR. And you will say she is my wife then.

DOC. I have reason, sir, because I married you.

SCAR. O, that such tongues should have the time to lie,
Who teach men how to live, and how to die;
Did not you know my soul had given my faith,
In contract to another? and yet you
Would join this loom unto unlawful twists.

DOC. Sir?

SCAR. But, sir,
You that can see a mote within my eye,
And with a cassock blind your own defects,
I'll teach you this: 'tis better to do ill,
That's never known to us, than of self-will.
Stand these[439], all these, in thy seducing eye,
As scorning life, make them be glad to die.

DOC. Master Scarborow—

SCAR. Here will I write that they, which marry wives,
Unlawful live with strumpets all their lives.
Here will I seal the children that are born,
From wombs unconsecrate, even when their soul
Has her infusion, it registers they are foul,
And shrinks to dwell with them, and in my close
I'll show the world, that such abortive men
Knit hands without free tongues, look red like them
Stand you and you to acts most tragical:
Heaven has dry eyes, when sin makes sinners fall.

DOC. Help, Master Scarborow.

CHIL. Father.

KATH. Husband.

SCAR. These for thy act should die, she for my Clare,
Whose wounds stare thus upon me for revenge.
These to be rid from misery, this from sin,
And thou thyself shalt have a push amongst them,
That made heaven's word a pack-horse to thy tongue,
Quot'st Scripture to make evil shine like good!
And as I send you thus with worms to dwell,
Angels applaud it as a deed done well.


DOC. Stay him, stay him.

BUT. What will you do, sir?

SCAR. Make fat worms of stinking carcases.
What hast thou to do with it?

    Enter ILFORD and his Wife, the two Brothers,

BUT. Look, who are here, sir?

SCAR. Injurious villain! that prevent'st me still.

BUT. They are your brothers and alliance, sir.

SCAR. They are like full ordnance then who, once discharg'd,
Afar off give a warning to my soul,
That I have done them wrong.

SIR WIL. Kinsman.

BRO. AND SIS. Brother.

KATH. Husband.

CHIL. Father.

SCAR. Hark, how their words like bullets shoot me thorough,
And tell me I have undone them: this side might say,
We are in want, and you are the cause of it;
This points at me, y'are shame unto your house:
This tongue says nothing, but her looks do tell
She's married, but as those that live in hell:
Whereby all eyes are but misfortune's pipe,
Fill'd full of woe by me: this feels the stripe.

BUT. Yet look, sir,
Here's your brothers hand in hand, whom I have knit so.

SIS. And look, sir, here's my husband's hand in mine,
And I rejoice in him, and he in me.

SIR WIL. I say, cos, what is pass'd is the way to bliss,
For they know best to mend, that know amiss.

KATH. We kneel: forget, and say if you but love us,
You gave us grief for future happiness.

SCAR. What's all this to my conscience?

BUT. Ease, promise of succeeding joy to you;
Read but this letter.

SIR WIL. Which tells you that your lord and guardian's dead.

BUT. Which tells you that he knew he did you wrong,
Was griev'd for't, and for satisfaction
Hath given you double of the wealth you had.

BRO. Increas'd our portions.

WIFE. Given me a dowry too.

BUT. And that he knew,
Your sin was his, the punishment his due.

SCAR. All this is here:
Is heaven so gracious to sinners then?

BUT. Heaven is, and has his gracious eyes,
To give men life, not life-entrapping spies.

SCAR. Your hand—yours—yours—to my soul: to you a kiss;
In troth I am sorry I have stray'd amiss;
To whom shall I be thankful? all silent?
None speak? whist! why then to God,
That gives men comfort as he gives his rod;
Your portions I'll see paid, and I will love you,
You three I'll live withal, my soul shall love you!
You are an honest servant, sooth you are;
To whom? I, these, and all must pay amends;
But you I will admonish in cool terms,
Let not promotion's hope be as a string,
To tie your tongue, or let it loose to sting.

DOC. From hence it shall not, sir.

SCAR. Then husbands thus shall nourish with their wives. [Kiss.

ILF. As thou and I will, wench.

SCAR. Brothers in brotherly love thus link together [Embrace. Children and servants pay their duty thus. [Bow and kneel. And are all pleas'd?

ALL. We are.

SCAR. Then, if all these be so,
I am new-wed, so ends all marriage woe;
And, in your eyes so lovingly being wed,
We hope your hands will bring us to our bed.



[1] Baldwin's "Old English Drama," 2 vols. 12mo.

[2] From the similarity of the names, it seems the author originally intended to make Young Lusam the son of Old Lusam and brother of Mistress Arthur, but afterwards changed his intention: in page 13 the latter calls him a stranger to her, although he is the intimate friend of her husband.

[3] [Old copy, walk.]

[4] Busk-point, the lace with its tag which secured the end of the busk, a piece of wood or whalebone worn by women in front of the stays to keep them straight.

[5] [Old copies, Study.]

[6] [Old copy, watch.]

[7] [Old copies, dream.]

[8] [All Fuller's speeches must be supposed to be Asides.]

[9] [Old copies give this line to Fuller.]

[10] Old copies, she.

[11] Old copies, bene; but the schoolmaster is made to blunder, so that bene may, after all, be what the author wrote.

[12] The rod, made of a willow-wand.

[13] Old copy, how.

[14] [Old copies, laid.]

[15] [A quotation.]

[16] Christ-cross, the alphabet.

[17] [The sense appears to be, for this not being perfect poison, as his (the pedant's) meaning is to poison himself, some covetous slave will sell him real poison.]

[18] [Old copies, seem'd.]

[19] [Old copies, First.]

[20] [Massinger, in his "City Madam," 1658, uses this word in the sense of above the law. Perhaps Young Arthur may intend to distinguish between a civil and religious contract.]

[21] [See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 90.]

[22] [i.e., The hoar-frost.]

[23] [Old copy, flies upon.]

[24] [This line has been seriously corrupted, and it might be impossible to restore the true reading. The old copies have: Ask, he knew me, a means, &c.]

[25] [Having, however, been written and acted some years before it was printed in 1606.]

[26] Sloughing hotcockles is a sport still retained among children. The diversion is of long standing, having been in use with the ancients. See Pollux, lib. ix. In the copy it is spelt slauging.

[27] Old copy, which.

[28] [So in Wybarne's "New Age of Old Names," 1609, p. 12: "But stay, my friend: Let it be first manifest that my Father left Land, and then we will rather agree at home, then suffer the Butler's Boxe to winne all." The phrase occurs again in "Ram Alley," 1611.]

[29] [So the old copy, and rightly. Forne is a contracted form of beforne, a good old English word. Hawkins printed fore.]

[30] Query, if this be not a fling at Shakespeare? See "Cymbeline." —Hawkins. [Scarcely, for there are two sons recovered in that play, and the incident of finding a long-lost child is not an uncommon one in the drama. We have a daughter thus found in Pericles.—Ebsworth.]

[31] [Some of the old copies read make.]

[32] Old copy, furens.

[33] Old copy, lanching.

[34] [Old copies, is.]

[35] [It is probably well known that on the early stage vinegar was used where there was a necessity for representing bloodshed. Compare the passage in Preston's "Cambyses," iv. 217.]

[36] Old copy, utensilies.

[37] Old copy, sly.

[38] Old copy, soure.

[39] [Old copy, clear the vsuall, &c.]

[40] "Belvidere; or, The Garden of the Muses," 8vo, 1600, in which are quoted sentences out of Spenser, Constable, and the rest, digested under a commonplace. [Another edition in 1610. It is a book of no value or interest.]

[41] [Left blank in the old copy. The ostensible editor of "Belvidere" was John Bodenham, but he is evidently not the person referred to here.]

[42] [Alluding to the device on the title of the volume.]

[43] [Two of the old copies read swifter.]

[44] [Some copies read S.D.]

[45] As the works of some of the poets here cited are become obscure, it may not be unacceptable to the reader to see a few specimens of their several abilities. Constable was esteemed the first sonneteer of his time, and the following sonnet, prefixed to King James I.'s "Poetical Exercises" was the most admired—


     "When others hooded with blind love do fly
    Low on the ground with buzzard Cupid's wings,
    A heavenly love from love of love thee brings,
    And makes thy Muse to mount above the sky:
      Young Muses be not wont to fly so high,
    Age school'd by time such sober ditties sings,
    But thy love flies from love of youthful things,
    And so the wings of time doth overfly.
      Thus thou disdain'st all worldly wings as slow,
    Because thy Muse with angels' wings doth leave
    Time's wings behind, and Cupid's wings below;
    But take thou heed, lest Fame's wings thee deceive,
      With all thy speed from fame thou canst not flee,—
      But more thou flees, the more it follows thee."

[46] Lodge was a physician as well as a poet; he was the author of two plays, and eminent, in his day, for writing elegant odes, pastoral songs, sonnets, and madrigals. His "Euphues' Golden Legacy" was printed 4to, 1590, from which some suppose Shakespeare took his "As You Like It." Description of spring by Lodge—

    "The earth late choak'd with showers,
      Is now array'd in green,
    Her bosom springs with flowers,
      The air dissolves her teen;
    The woods are deck'd with leaves,
      And trees are clothed gay,
    And Flora, crown'd with sheaves,
      With oaken boughs doth play;
    The birds upon the trees
      Do sing with pleasant voices,
    And chant, in their degrees,
      Their loves and lucky choices."

[47] Watson was contemporary with, and imitator of, Sir Philip Sydney, with Daniel, Lodge, Constable, and others, in the pastoral strain of sonnets, &c. Watson thus describes a beautiful woman—

    "Her yellow locks exceed the beaten gold,
    Her sparkling eyes in heav'n a place deserve.
    Her forehead high and fair, of comely mould;
      Her words are music all, of silver sound.
      Her wit so sharp, as like can scarce be found:
    Each eyebrow hangs, like Iris in the skies,
    Her eagle's nose is straight, of stately frame,
    On either cheek a rose and lily lies,
    Her breath is sweet perfume or holy flame;
      Her lips more red than any coral stone,
      Her neck more white than aged swans that moan:
    Her breast transparent is, like crystal rock,
    Her fingers long, fit for Apollo's lute,
    Her slipper such, as Momus dare not mock;
    Her virtues are so great as make me mute:
      What other parts she hath I need not say,
      Whose face alone is cause of my decay."

[48] [This passage is a rather important piece of evidence in favour of the identity of the poet with the physician.]

[49] [Sir] John Davis [author of "Nosce Teipsum," &c.]

[50] Old copy, sooping.

[51] Lock and Hudson were the Bavius and Maevius of that time. The latter gives us this description of fear—

    "Fear lendeth wings to aged folk to fly,
    And made them mount to places that were high;
    Fear made the woful child to wail and weep,
    For want of speed on foot and hands to creep."

[Hudson, however, enjoyed some repute in his time, and is known as the translator from Du Bartas of the "History of Judith," 8vo, 1584. Lock published in 1597 a volume containing an English version of "Ecclesiastes" and a series of sonnets.]

[52] John Marston, a bold and nervous writer in Elizabeth's reign: the work here censured was, no doubt, his "Scourge of Villanie, 3 Books of Satyrs," 1598.

[53] Marlowe's character is well marked in these lines: he was an excellent poet, but of abandoned morals, and of the most impious principles; a complete libertine and an avowed atheist. He lost his life in a riotous fray; for, detecting his servant with his mistress, he rushed into the room with a dagger in order to stab him, but the man warded off the blow by seizing Marlowe's wrist, and turned the dagger into his own head: he languished some time of the wound he received, and then died, [in] the year 1593.—A. Wood.

[54] [Omitted in some copies.]

[55] [Omitted in some copies.]

[56] Churchyard wrote Jane Shore's Elegy in "Mirror for Magistrates," 4to, [1574. It is reprinted, with additions, in his "Challenge," 1593.]

[57] Isaac Walton, in his "Life of Hooker," calls Nash a man of a sharp wit, and the master of a scoffing, satirical, merry pen. His satirical vein was chiefly exerted in prose; and he is said to have more effectually discouraged and nonplussed Penry, the most notorious anti-prelate, Richard Harvey the astrologer, and their adherents, than all serious writers who attacked them. That he was no mean poet will appear from the following description of a beautiful woman—

    "Stars fall to fetch fresh light from her rich eyes,
    Her bright brow drives the sun to clouds beneath,
    Her hairs' reflex with red streaks paint the skies,
    Sweet morn and evening dew falls from her breath."

[58] Ital. stocco, or long rapier.

[59] A tusk.

[60] [Some copies read turne.]

[61] [John Danter, the printer. Nash, it will be remembered, was called by Harvey Danter's man, because some of his books came from that press. See the next scene.]

[62] [A few corrections have been ventured upon in the French and Latin scraps, as the speaker does not appear to have been intended to blunder.]

[63] [Old copies, procures.]

[64] [Old copies, thanked.]

[65] [Old copies, Fly—revengings.]

[66] [Old copy, gale.]

[67] [Old copy, gracis.]

[68] [Old copy, filthy.]

[69] [Old copies, seat.]

[70] [In the old copy the dialogue is as usual given so as to make utter nonsense, which was apparently not intended.]

[71] [Furor Poeticus apostrophises Apollo, the Muses, &c., who are not present.]

[72] [Old copy, Den.]

[73] [Alluding to the blindness of puppies.]

[74] [Man.]

[75] [Old copy, skibbered.]

[76] [i.e., my very mate.]

[77] [In old copy this line is given to Phantasma.]

[78] [i.e., face. Old copy, race.]

[79] [Rent or distracted. A play is intended on the double meaning of the word.]

[80] [So in the old copy, being an abbreviation, rhythmi causâ, of Philomusus.]

[81] [Old copy, Mossy; but in the margin is printed Most like, as if it was an afterthought, and the correction had been stamped in.]

[82] [Old copy, playing.]

[83] No omitted.

[84] [This is the old mythological tradition inverted.]

[85] The bishop's examining chaplain, so called from apposer. In a will of James I.'s reign, the curate of a parish is to appose the children of a charity-school. The term poser is still retained in the schools at [St Paul's,] Winchester and Eton. Two Fellows are annually deputed by the Society of New College in Oxford and King's College in Cambridge to appose or try the abilities of the boys who are to be sped to the fellowships that shall become vacant in the ensuing year.

[86] [The old copy gives this to the next act and scene; but Amoretto seems to offer the remark in immediate allusion to what has just passed. After all, the alteration is not very vital, as, although a new act and scene are marked, Academico and Amoretto probably remain on the stage.]

[87] Good.

[88] [Old copy, caches. A rache is a dog that hunts by scent wild beasts, birds, and even fishes; the female is called a brache.]

[89] [See Halliwell's "Dictionary," i. 115.]

[90] [He refers to Amoretto himself.]

[91] [Halliwell, in his "Dictionary," v. rheum (s.), defines it to mean spleen, caprice. He does not cite it as a verb. I suppose the sense here to be ruminating.]

[92] Old copy, ravished.

[93] [A play on personage and parsonage, which were formerly interchangeable terms, as both had originally one signification.]

[94] [Queen Elizabeth was born September 7, 1533; not her birthday, therefore, but her accession (17th November 1558), at the death of her sister Mary, is referred to by Immerito and Sir Raderic. Elizabeth died March 24, 1602-3. Inasmuch as there is this special reference in "The Return from Parnassus" to the Queen's day, and not to King James's day, we have a certain evidence that the play was written by or before the end of 1602-3. See also what may be drawn from the reference to the siege of Ostend, 1601-4, at the close of act iii. sc. 3 post —additional evidence for 1602.—Ebsworth.]

[95] [Old copy, I tooke of, which seems nonsense.]

[96] [So old copy. Hawkins altered the word unnecessarily to thatched.]

[97] [Bespeaketh. Old copies, rellish.]

[98] Old copy, bites a lip.

[99] [So in old copy, but should we not read London?—Ebsworth.]

[100] [There are three references to Ostend in this play. The town bore a siege from 1601 to 1604, when it surrendered by capitulation. The besieged lost 50,000 men, and the Spaniards still more. The expression, "He is as glad as if he had taken Ostend," surely proves that this play was written after the beginning of 1601 and the commencement of the siege. It does not prove it to have been written after 1604, but, I think, strongly indicates the contrary.—Ebsworth. Is it not possible that the passage was introduced into the play when printed, and was not in the original MS.?]

[101] [So the old copies. Hawkins altered it to delicacies.]

[102] [Poor must be pronounced as a dissyllable.]

[103] [From marry to terms is omitted in one of the Oxford copies and in Dr Ingleby's.]

[104] [Old copy, puppet.]

[105] [One of the copies at Oxford, and Dr Ingleby's, read nimphs. Two others misprint mips.]

[106] [Old copy, wail.]

[107] Old copy, and.

[108] [Both the Oxford copies read teate.]

[109] [Both the Oxford copies have beare.]

[110] [Some of the copies, break.]

[111] To moot is to plead a mock cause; to state a point of law by way of exercise, a common practice in the inns of court.

[112] Old copy, facility.

[113] [Old copy, high.]

[114] [A slight departure from Ovid.]

[115] To come off is equivalent to the modern expression to come down, to pay sauce, to pay dearly, &c. In this sense Shakespeare uses the phrase in "Merry Wives of Windsor," act iv. sc. 6. The host says, "They [the Germans] shall have my horses, but I'll make them pay, I'll sauce them. They have had my house a week at command; I have turned away my other guests. They must come off; I'll sauce them." An eminent critic says to come off is to go scot-free; and this not suiting the context, he bids us read, they must compt off, i.e., clear their reckoning.

[116] Old copy, Craboun.

[117] [Talons.]

[118] Gramercy: great thanks, grand merci; or I thank ye, Je vous remercie. In this sense it is constantly used by our first writers. A very great critic pronounces it an obsolete expression of surprise, contracted from grant me mercy; and cites a passage in "Titus Andronicus" to illustrate his sense of it; but, it is presumed, that passage, when properly pointed, confirms the original acceptation—

    CHIRON. Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius,
    He hath some message to deliver us.

AARON. Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.

    BOY. My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
    I greet your honours from Andronicus—
    And pray the Roman gods confound you both. [Aside.

DEMETRIUS. Gramercy, lovely Lucius; what's the news?

    BOY. That you are both decipher'd (that's the news)
    For villains mark'd with rape. [Aside] May it please you,
    My grandsire, well advis'd, hath sent by me
    The goodliest weapon of his armoury,
    To gratify your honourable youth,
    The hope of Rome: for so he bid me say;
    And so I do, and with his gifts present
    Your lordships, that whenever you have need,
    You may be armed and appointed well.
    And so I leave you both—like bloody villains. [Aside.

—Hanmer's 2d edit., act iv. sc. 2. [The text is the same in Dyce's 2d edit., vi. 326-7.]

[119] "Poetaster," act v. sc. 3. [Gifford's edit. ii. 524-5, and the note.]

[120] [So in the old copy Kemp is made, perhaps intentionally, to call Studioso. See also infrá, p. 198.]

[121] [See Kemp's "Nine Daies Wonder," edit. Dyce, ix.]

[122] Sellenger's round, corrupted from St Leger, a favourite dance with the common people.

[123] Old copy reads—

"As you part in kne

KEMP. You are at Cambridge still with sice kne," &c.

The genuine reading, it is presumed, is restored to the text—

"As your part in cue.

KEMP. You are at Cambridge still with size cue," &c.

A pun upon the word cue, which is a hint to the actor to proceed in his part, and has the same sound with the letter q, the mark of a farthing in college buttery-books. To size means to battle, or to be charged in the college accounts for provisions. [A q is so called because it is the initial letter of quadrans, the fourth part of a penny.]

[124] This seems to be quoted from the first imperfect edition of "The Spanish Tragedy;" in the later (corrected) impression it runs thus—

    "What outcries pluck me from my naked bed,
    And chill," &c.

—[v. 54.]

[125] [Old copy points this sentence falsely, and repeats thing.]

[126] Old copy, woe.

[127] [Old copy, birds. Perhaps, however, the poet may have meant swans.]

[128] Old copy, sooping.

[129] [I think this is much more likely to be an allusion to Shakespeare, than the passage in the prologue to which Hawkins refers.—Ebsworth.]

[130] [Old copy, some.]

[131] [There were several Greek literati of this name. Amoretto's page, personating his master, is so nicknamed by the other, who personates Sir Raderic—unless the passage is corrupt.]

[132] [Old copy, Irenias.]

[133] [Old copy, Nor.]

[134] [Old copy, we have.]

[135] [Old copy, run. Mr Ebsworth's correction.]

[136] Old copy, cluttish.

[137] Old copy, trus.

[138] One of the old copies reads repay'st.

[139] Old copy, seeling.

[140] This play is not divided into acts.

[141] [Cadiz.]

[142] [Shear-penny.]

[143] [Extortion.]

[144] [Old copies, waves.]

[145] [Old copy, fates to friend.]

[146] [Old copy, springold.]

[147] [Old copy, as before, springold.]

[148] [Old copy, doff off.]

[149] [Old copy, wat'ry.]

[150] [Resound.]

[151] Edit. 1606 has: Mi Fortunate, ter fortunate Venus. The 4to of 1623 reads: Mi Fortunatus, Fortunate Venter.

[152] [Intend.]

[153] She means to say eloquence, and so it stands in the edition of 1623.

[154] [Robin Goodfellow.]

[155] [See p. 286.]

[156] [This must allude to some real circumstance and person.]

[157] [Attend.]

[158] [Bergen-op-Zoom.]

[159] [Old copy, our.]

[160] [Lap, long. See Nares, edit. 1859, v. Lave-eared.]

[161] [Old copy, seas.]

[162] [Orcus.]

[163] [Worried.]

[164] [An answer to a summons or writ. Old copy, retourner.]

[165] [This most rare edition was very kindly lent to me by the Rev. J.W. Ebsworth, Moldash Vicarage, near Ashford.]

[166] [Cromwell did not die till September 3, 1658, a sufficient reason for the absence of the allusion which Reed thought singular.]

[167] [i.e., The human body and mind. Microcosmus had been used by Davies of Hereford in the same sense in the title of a tract printed in 1603, as it was afterwards by Heylin in his "Microcosmus," 1621, and by Earle in his "Microcosmography," 1628.]

[168] Skene or skane: gladius, Ensis brevior.—Skinner. Dekker's "Belman's Night Walk," sig. F 2: "The bloody Tragedies of all these are onely acted by the women, who, carrying long knives or skeanes under their mantles, doe thus play their parts." Again in Warner's "Albion's England," 1602, p. 129—

    "And Ganimaedes we are," quoth one, "and thou a prophet trew:
    And hidden skeines from underneath their forged garments drew,
    Wherewith the tyrant and his bawds with safe escape they slew."

—See the notes of Mr Steevens and Mr Nichols on "Romeo and Juliet," act ii. sc. 4.

[169] The edition of 1657 reads, red buskins drawn with white ribband. —Collier.

[170] Musical terms. See notes on "Midsummer's Night's Dream," vol. iii. p. 63, and "King Richard III." vol. vii. p. 6, edit. 1778.—Steevens.

[171] A metaphor drawn from music, more particularly that kind of composition called a Ground, with its Divisions. Instead of relish, I would propose to read flourish.—S.P.

[172] Mr Steevens supposes this to be a musical term. See note on "Richard II." act ii. sc. 1—

"The setting sun and music at the close."

[173] Fr. for whistlings.—Steevens.

[174] i.e., Petitionary.—Steevens.

[175] [Altered by Mr Collier to girls; but gulls is the reading of 1607.]

[176] Like an ordinary page, gloves, hamper—so the first edition; but as the two last words seem only the prompter's memoranda, they are omitted. They are also found in the last edition.—Collier.

[177] Ready.

[178] Graceful. See Mr Malone's note on "Coriolanus," act ii. sc. 1.

[179] [Edits., blasting.] I would propose to read the blushing childhood, alluding to the ruddiness of Aurora, the rosy morn, as in act iii. sc. 6—

    "Light, the fair grandchild to the glorious sun,
    Opening the casements of the rosy morn," &c.

S. Pegge.

[180] So in "Hamlet," act i. sc. 1—

"But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill."

[181] A fool's bauble, in its literal meaning, is the carved truncheon which the licensed fools or jesters anciently carried in their hands. See notes on "All's Well that Ends Well," act iv. sc. 5. —Steevens.

[182] Winstanley has asserted that Oliver Cromwell performed the part of Tactus at Cambridge: and some who have written the life of that great man have fixed upon this speech as what first gave him ideas of sovereignty. The notion is too vague to be depended upon, and too ridiculous either to establish or refute. It may, however, not be unnecessary to mention that Cromwell was born in 1599, and the first edition of this play [was printed in 1607, and the play itself written much earlier]. If, therefore, the Protector ever did represent this character, it is more probable to have been at Huntingdon School.

[183] [Old copies, scarve, and so the edit. of 1780. Mr Collier substituted change as the reading of the old copies, which it is not. See Mr Brae's paper read before the Royal Society of Literature, Jan. 1871, 8vo edit. 1873, p. 23, et seq.]

[184] Edits., deeds. Pegge thought that by deeds was intended Tactus himself; but it is hard to say how this could be made out, as Tactus cannot be translated deeds, though Auditus might be rendered by metonymy ears.

[185] [Edit., fear'd.]

[186] In Surphlet's "Discourses on the Diseases of Melancholy," 4to, 1599, p. 102, the case alluded to is set down: "There was also of late a great lord, which thought himselfe to be a glasse, and had not his imagination troubled, otherwise then in this onely thing, for he could speake mervailouslie well of any other thing: he used commonly to sit, and tooke great delight that his friends should come and see him, but so as that he would desire them, that they would not come neere unto him."

[187] Hitherto misprinted conclaves.—Collier. [First 4to, correctly, concaves.]

[188] See Surphlet, p. 102.

[189] [An allusion to the myth of the werewolf.]

[190] [This proverb is cited by Heywood. See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 392.]

[191] [All the editions except 1657, bidden, and all have arms for harms.]

[192] Presently, forthwith.

[193] [Edits., wax.]

[194] Some of the old copies [including that of 1607] read—

"Here lies the sense that lying gull'd them all."


[195] Auditus is here called Ears, as Tactus is before called Deed.—Pegge. [But see note at p. 349.]

[196] Circles. So in Milton—

"Throws his steep flight in many an airy wheel."


[197] [It is Mendacio who speaks.]

[198] Old copies, Egyptian knights. Dr Pegge's correction.

[199] [Edits., I.]

[200] [Edits., safe.]

[201] A pun; for he means Male aeger.—Pegge.

[202] The [first edit.] gives the passage thus: brandish no swords but sweards of bacon, which is intended for a pun, and though bad enough, need not be lost.—Collier.

[203] Glaves are swords, and sometimes partisans.—Steevens.

[204] Lat. for phalanxes.—Steevens.

[205] [Edits., dept.]

[206] Mars.

[207] See Note 2 to the "First Part of Jeronimo," [v. 349].

[208] [Edits., kist. The word hist may be supposed to represent the whistling sound produced by a sword passing rapidly through the air.]

[209] i.e., Exceeds bounds or belief. See a note on "The Merry Wives of Windsor," act iv. sc. 2.—Steevens.

[210] "Graecia mendax
      Audet in historia."—Steevens.

[211] [His "History," which is divided into nine books, under the names of the nine Muses.]

[212] i.e., Whispered him. See note to "The Spanish Tragedy," [vi. 10.]

[213] [Peter Martyr's "Decades."]

[214] A luncheon before dinner. The farmers in Essex still use the word.—Steevens.

So in the "Woman-hater," by Beaumont and Fletcher, act i. sc. 3, Count
Valore, describing Lazarillo, says—

    "He is none of these
    Same Ordinary Eaters, that'll devour
    Three breakfasts, as many dinners, and without any
    Prejudice to their Beavers, drinkings, suppers;
    But he hath a more courtly kind of hunger.
    And doth hunt more after novelty than plenty."

Baret, in his "Alvearic," 1580, explains a boever, a drinking betweene dinner and supper; and a boïer, meate eaten after noone, a collation, a noone meale.

[215] See Note 19 to "The Ordinary."

[216] [In 1576 Ulpian Fulwell published "The First Part of the Eighth Liberal Science, Entituled Ars Adulandi."]

[217] This word, which occurs in Ben Jonson and some other writers, seems to have the same meaning as our numps. I am ignorant of its etymology.—Steevens. [Compare Nares, 1859, in v.]

[218] i.e., Other requisites towards the fitting out of a character. See a note on "Love's Labour Lost," vol. ii. p. 385, edit. 1778. —Steevens.

[219] A busk-point was, I believe, the lace of a lady's stays. Minsheu explains a buske to be a part of dress "made of wood or whalebone, a plated or quilted thing to keepe the body straight." The word, I am informed, is still in common use, particularly in the country among the farmers' daughters and servants, for a piece of wood to preserve the stays from being bent. Points or laces were worn by both sexes, and are frequently mentioned in our ancient dramatic writers.

[220] [Edits., hu, hu.]

[221] [i.e., Our modern pet, darling, a term of endearment.] Dr Johnson says that it is a word of endearment from petit, little. See notes on "The Taming of the Shrew," act i. sc. 1.

Again, in "The City Madam," by Massinger, act ii. sc. 2—

    "You are pretty peats, and your great portions
    Add much unto your handsomeness."

[222] Shirley, in his "Sisters," ridicules these hyperbolical compliments in a similar but a better strain—

    "Were it not fine
    If you should see your mistress without hair,
    Drest only with those glittering beams you talk of?
    Two suns instead of eyes, and they not melt
    The forehead made of snow! No cheeks, but two
    Roses inoculated on a lily,
    Between a pendant alabaster nose:
    Her lips cut out of coral, and no teeth
    But strings of pearl: her tongue a nightingale's!
    Would not this strange chimera fright yourself?"


[223] [i.e., Doff it in salutation.]

[224] Alluding to the office of sheriff.

[225] "Cassock," says Mr Steevens, "signifies a horseman's loose coat, and is used in that sense by the writers of the age of Shakespeare. It likewise appears to have been part of the dress of rusticks." See note to "All's Well that Ends Well," act iv. sc. 3.

[226] "A gimmal or gimbal ring, Fr. gemeau, utr. a Lat. Gemellus, q.d. Annulus Gemellus, quoniam, sc. duobus aut pluribus orbibus constat."—Skinner.

Gimmal rings are often mentioned in ancient writers.

[227] "Quis nescit primam esse Historiae legem, ne quid falsi dicere audeat; deinde, ne quid veri non audeat."—Cicero "De Orat." lib. ii. 15.

[228] This was called "The Clouds," in which piece Socrates was represented hanging up in a basket in the air, uttering numberless chimerical absurdities, and blaspheming, as it was then reputed, the gods of his country. At the performance of this piece Socrates was present himself; and "notwithstanding," says his biographer, "the gross abuse that was offered to his character, he did not show the least signs of resentment or anger; nay, such was the unparalleled good nature of this godlike man, that some strangers there, being desirous to see the original of this scenic picture, he rose up in the middle of the performance, stood all the rest of the time, and showed himself to the people; by which well-placed confidence in his own merit and innocence, reminding them of those virtues and wisdom so opposite to the sophist in the play, his pretended likeness, he detected the false circumstances, which were obtruded into his character, and obviated the malicious designs of the poet who, having brought his play a second time upon the stage, met with the contempt he justly merited for such a composition." —Cooper's "Life of Socrates," p. 55.

[229] [Old copies, page's tongue; but Mendacio, Lingua's page, is intended. Perhaps we should read Tongueship's page.]

[230] [This is marked in the editions as the opening of a new scene, but wrongly, as it should seem, as the same persons remain on the stage, and the conversation is a sequel to what has gone before.]

[231] These were the names of several species of hawks. See an account of them in the "Treatises on Falconry," particularly those of Turbervile and Latham.

[232] i.e., Hedgehogs. See a note on Shakespeare's "Tempest," i. 28, edit. 1778.—Steevens.

Again, in Erasmus's "Praise of Folie," 1549, sig. Q 2: "That the soule of Duns woulde a litle leve Sorbone College, and enter into my breast, be he never so thornie, and fuller of pricles than is any urcheon."

[233] Perhaps, instead of the masks are made so strong, we ought to read, the mesh is made so strong. It clearly means the mesh of the net, from what is said afterwards.—Collier. [But mask, in Halliwell's "Dictionary," is said to be used for mesh. What is intended above is not a net, but a network ladder.]

[234] [Hazard, the plot of a tennis-court.—Halliwell's "Dictionary."]

[235] This is one of the many phrases in these volumes which, being not understood, was altered without any authority from the ancient copies. The former editions read odd mouthing; the text, however, is right; for old, as Mr Steevens observes, was formerly a common augmentative in colloquial language, and as such is often used by Shakespeare and others. See notes on the "Second Part of Henry IV." act ii. sc. 4, and "The Taming of the Shrew," act iii. sc. 2.

Again, in Tarlton's "Newes out of Purgatory," 1630, p. 34: "On Sunday at Masse there was old ringing of bells, and old and yong came to church to see the new roode."

[236] A sneer at the Utopian Treatises on Government.—Steevens.

[237] The latest of the old copies, [and the first edition, have] wine instead of swine, which is clearly a misprint, as the hogs of Olfactus are subsequently again mentioned.—Collier.

[238] [Old copies, he.]

[239] [A flogging.]

[240] [i.e., A blockhead, a fool.—Steevens.]

[241] Nor I out of Memory's mouth is the correct reading, although the pronoun has been always omitted. Anamnestes is comparing his situation with that of Mendacio.—Collier.

[242] [See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," ii. 296.]

[243] [Another name of Jupiter.]

[244] [Edits., belly.]

[245] Chess.

[246] A favourite game formerly, and apparently one of the oldest in use. The manner in which it was played will appear from the following epigram of Sir John Harington, the translator of Ariosto—

The Story of Marcus's Life at Primero.

    "Fond Marcus ever at Primero playes,
    Long winter nights, and as long summer dayes:
    And I heard once to idle talke attending
    The story of his times and coins mis-spending
    At first, he thought himselfe halfe way to heaven,
    If in his hand he had but got a sev'n.
    His father's death set him so high on flote,
    All rests went up upon a sev'n and coate.
    But while he drawes from these grey coats and gownes,
    The gamesters from his purse drew all his crownes.
    And he ne'er ceast to venter all in prime,
    Till of his age, quite was consum'd the prime.
    Then he more warily his rest regards,
    And sets with certainties upon the cards,
    On sixe and thirtie, or on sev'n and nine,
    If any set his rest, and saith, and mine:
    But seed with this, he either gaines or saves,
    For either Faustus prime is with three knaves,
    Or Marcus never can encounter right,
    Yet drew two Ases, and for further spight
    Had colour for it with a hopeful draught
    But not encountred, it avail'd him naught.
    Well, sith encountring, he so faire doth misse,
    He sets not, till he nine and fortie is.
    And thinking now his rest would sure be doubled,
    He lost it by the hand, with which sore troubled,
    He joynes now all his stocke unto his stake,
    That of his fortune he full proofe may make.
    At last both eldest hand and five and fifty,
    He thinketh now or never (thrive unthrifty.)
    Now for the greatest rest he hath the push:
    But Crassus stopt a club, and so was flush:
    And thus what with the stop, and with the packe,
    Poore Marcus and his rest goes still to wracke.
    Now must he seek new spoile to rest his rest,
    For here his seeds turne weeds, his rest, unrest.
    His land, his plate he pawnes, he sels his leases,
    To patch, to borrow, and shift he never ceases.
    Till at the last two catch-poles him encounter,
    And by arrest, they beare him to the Counter.
    Now Marcus may set up all rests securely:
    For now he's sure to be encountred surely."

Minsheu thus explains Primero:—"Primero and Primavista, two games at cards. Primum et primum visum, that is, first and first seene, because he that can show such an order of cards first, winnes the game." [See Dyce's "Shakespeare Glossary," in v.]

[247] See Note 30 to "The Dumb Knight."

[248] [See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," ii. 318-19.] So in Dekker's "Belman's Nights-walke," it is alluded to:—"The set at Maw being plaid out."

Henslowe in his Diary mentions a play under the title of "The Maw," which probably had reference to the game at cards so called. It was acted on the 14th December 1594. He also names a play entitled "The Macke," under date of Feb. 21, 1594-5; but it is doubtful if they were not the same.—Collier.

[249] In the old editions this is given as a part of what is said by Anamnestes.—Collier.

[250] [See Dyce's "Middleton," iii. 106. There's no ho, there are no bounds or restraints with them.—Reed. They are not to be restrained by a call or ho. The expression is common.—Dyce.]

[251] Rather Ptolemy.—Pegge.

[252] Latten, as explained by Dr Johnson, is "Brass; a mixture of Copper and Caliminaris stone." Mr Theobald, from Monsieur Dacier, says, "C'est une espece de cuivre de montagne, comme son nom mesme le temoigne; c'est ce que nous appellons au jourd'huy du leton. It is a sort of mountain copper, as its very name imports, and which we at this time of day call latten." See Mr Theobald's note on "The Merry Wives of Windsor," act i. sc. 1.

Among the Harleian MSS. is a tract, No. 6395, entitled "Merry Passages and Jeasts," written in the seventeenth century, [printed by Thoms in "Anecdotes and Traditions," 1839,] in which is the following story of Shakespeare, which seems entitled to as much credit as any of the anecdotes which now pass current about him: "Shake-speare was god-father to one of Ben Jonson's children, and after the christning, being in a deepe study, Jonson came to cheere him up, and ask't him why he was so melancholy? No, faith, Ben (sayes he) not I, but I have been considering a great while, what should be the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my god-child, and I have resolv'd at last; I pr'y thee what, says he? I faith, Ben, Ile e'en give him a douzen good Lattin spoones, and thou shall translate them."

[253] Deft is handy, dexterous. So in "Macbeth," act iv. sc. 1—

"Thyself and office deftly show."

See note on "Macbeth," edit. 1778.—Steevens.

[254] [Concert.]

[255] [Summoners, officers of the old ecclesiastical court.]

[256] [Ignorant of arts.]

[257] A jangler, says Baret, is "a jangling fellowe, a babbling attornie. Rabula, ae, mas. gen. [Greek: Dikologos] Vn pledoieur criard, une plaidereau."

[258] This speech is in six-line stanzas, and beforn should rhyme to morn, as it does in the old copies, which were here abandoned. —Collier.

[259] i.e., "Going. Gate, in the Northern Dialect, signifies a way; so that agate is at or upon the way."—Hay's "Collection of Local Words," p. 13, edit. 1740.

[260] Here again, as in the passage at p. 354, we have arms for harms. In the old copies this speech of the Herald is printed as prose.—Collier.

[261] A monster feigned to have the head of a lion, the belly of a goat, and the tail of a dragon.

[262] "If at any time in Rolls and Alphabets of Arms you meet with this term, you must not apprehend it to be that fowl which in barbarous Latine they call Bernicla, and more properly (from the Greek) Chenalopex—a creature well known in Scotland, yet rarely used in arms; but an instrument used by farriers to curb and command an unruly horse, and termed Pastomides."—Gibbons's "Introductio ad Latinam Blasoniam," 1682, p. 1.

[The allusion here is to the barnacle of popular folk-lore and superstition, which, from a shell-fish, was transformed into a goose.—See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," iii. 309.]

[263] [A reference to the belief in prodigies reported from Africa. "Africa semper aliquid oportet novi."—S. Gosson's "School of Abuse," 1579. See also Rich's "My Ladies Looking-glass," 1616, sig. B 3.]

[264] [Edits. give this speech to the Herald.]

[265] [The head.]

[266] A celebrated puppet-show often mentioned by writers of the times by the name of the Motion of Nineveh. See Ben Jonson's "Bartholomew Fair," act v. sc. 1; "Wit at Several Weapons," act i.; "Every Woman in her Humour," 1609, sig. H, and "The Cutter of Coleman Street," act v. sc. 9.

[267] So in "Twelfth Night," act i. sc. 1.

"That strain again; it had a dying fall."—Steevens.

[268] [Edits., bitter.]

[269] [See Dyce's "Beaumont and Fletcher," ii. 225, note.] Theobald observes in his edition of "Beaumont and Fletcher," that this ballad is mentioned again in "The Knight of the Burning Pestle," and likewise in a comedy by John Tatham, 1660, called "The Rump, or Mirrour of the Times," wherein a Frenchman is introduced at the bonfires made for the burning of the Rump, and catching hold of Priscilla, will oblige her to dance, and orders the music to play Fortune my foe. Again, in "Tom Essence," 1677, p. 37.

[270] A dance. Sir John Davies, in his poem called "Orchestra," 1596, stanza 70, thus describes it—

    "Yet is there one, the most delightfull kind,
      A loftie jumping, or a leaping round,
    Where arme and arme two dauncers are entwind,
      And whirle themselues with strict embracements bound,
    And still their feet an anapest do sound:
      An anapest is all their musicks song,
      Whose first two feet are short, and third is long."


    "As the victorious twinnes of Laeda and Ioue,
      That taught the Spartans dauncing on the sands,
    Of swift Eurotas, daunce in heauen aboue,
      Knit and vnited with eternall hands,
    Among the starres their double image stands,
      Where both are carried with an equall pace,
      Together iumping in their turning race."

[271] "Or, as it is oftener called, passa mezzo, from passer to walk, and mezzo the middle or half; a slow dance, little differing from the action of walking. As a Galliard consists of five paces or bars in the first strain, and is therefore called a Cinque pace; the passa mezzo, which is a diminutive of the Galliard, is just half that number, and from that peculiarity takes its name."—Sir John Hawkins's "History of Music," iv. 386. [Compare Dyce's second edition of Shakespeare, iii. 412.]

[272] i.e., St Leger's round. "Sellinger's round was an old country dance, and was not quite out of knowledge in the last century. Morley mentions it in his Introduction, p. 118, and Taylor the Water Poet, in his tract, entitled, 'The World runs on Wheels;' and it is printed in a 'Collection of Country Dances,' published by John Playford in 1679."—Sir John Hawkins's "History of Music," iii. 288, where the notes are engraved.

[273] See Plinii "Nat. Hist.," lib. v. c. 9.

[274] The author certainly in writing this beautiful passage had Spenser ("Faerie Queene," b. ii. c. 12) in his mind.

"The joyous birds shrouded in cheerful shade," &c.


[275] Alluding to the fish called the Sole, and the musical note Sol.—Pegge.

[276] See note [235].

[277] Mixed metal, from the French word mesler, to mingle, mix.

[278] [Lightning-bolt.]

[279] [Camphored.]

[280] Plin. "Nat. Hist." lib. xxxvi. c. 16. "Sideritin ob hoc alio nomine appellant quidam Heracleon: Magnes appellatus est ab inventore (ut auctor est Nicander) in Ida repertus."—Pegge.

[281] So in "The Merchant of Venice," act i. sc. 1—

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come."

See also the notes of Bishop Warburton and Dr Farmer on "Love's Labour's
Lost," act v. sc. 4.—Steevens.

[282] This quotation from Plautus, and that which follows from Terence, were assigned by Mr Reed to Communis Sensus, when, in fact, they belong to Comedus. The initials Com. in the old copies led to the error.—Collier.

[283] The first lines of the prologue to Plautus's "Menechmi."

[284] See Terence's "Eunuch," act i. sc. 1.

[285] At the universities, where degrees are conferred.

[286] i.e., A porch which has as many spiral windings in it as the shell of the periwinkle, or sea-snail.—Steevens.

[287] i.e., Bottles to cast or scatter liquid odours.—Steevens.

[288] The custom of censing or dispersing fragrant scents seems formerly to have been not uncommon. See Ben Jonson's "Every Man out of his Humour," act ii. sc. 4.

[289] Pomanders were balls of perfume formerly worn by the higher ranks of people. Dr Gray, in his "Notes on Shakespeare," vol. i. p. 269, says "that a pomander was a little ball made of perfumes, and worn in the pocket, or about the neck, to prevent infection in times of plague." From the above receipt, it appears they were moulded in different shapes, and not wholly confined to that of balls; and the like direction is given in another receipt for making pomanders printed in Markham's "English Housewife," p. 151, edit. 1631.

[290] Non bene olet, qui semper bene olet.

[291] Probably some character notorious in the University of Cambridge at the time when this play was written or represented.—Steevens.

[292] Turquois.

[293] [Sharpen.]

[294] [Edits., musing.]

[295] [Primary.]

[296] [The wine so called.]

[297] Finer, more gaudily dressed. So in "Wily Beguiled"—

          "Come, nurse, gather:
    A crown of roses shall adorn my head,
    I'll prank myself with flowers of the prime;
    And thus I'll spend away my primrose time."

And in Middleton's "Chast Mayd in Cheapside," 1630 [Dyces "Middleton," iv. 59]—

    "I hope to see thee, wench, within these few yeeres
    Circled with children, pranking up a girl,
    And putting jewels in their little eares,
    Fine sport, i'faith."

[298] i.e., Whisper, or become silent. As in Nash's "Pierce Penilesse, his Supplication to the Divell," 1592, p. 15: "But whist, these are the workes of darknesse, and may not be talkt of in the daytime." [The word is perfectly common.]

[299] While he is speaking, Crapula, from the effects of over-eating, is continually coughing, which is expressed in the old copies by the words tiff toff, tiff toff, within brackets. Though it might not be necessary to insert them, their omission ought to be mentioned. —Collier.

[300] i.e., Glutton; one whose paunch is distended by food. See a note on "King Henry IV., Part I," v. 304, edit. 1778.—Steevens.

[301] i.e., Whisper.

[302] [Visus fancies himself Polyphemus searching for Outis—i.e., Ulysses, who had blinded him.]

[303] [Edits., Both.]

[304] [Row.]

[305] [Nearest.]

[306] [Edits., ambrosian.]

[307 [Fiddle.]

[308] A voiding knife was a long one used by our indelicate ancestors to sweep bones, &c., from the table into the voider or basket, in which broken meat was carried from the table.—Steevens.

[309] Reward.

[310] [Edits., him.]

[311] [Edits., sprites.]

[312] The edition of 1657 reads—

"A greater soldier than the god of Mars."

Collier. [The edition of 1607 also has Mars.]

[313] i.e., Hamstring him.—Steevens.

[314] "Gulchin, q.d. a Gulckin, i.e., parvus Gulo; kin enim minuit. Alludit It. Guccio, Stultus, hoc autem procul dubio a Teut. Geck, Stultus, ortum ducit."—Skinner. Florio explains Guccio, a gull, a sot, a ninnie, a meacock. Ben Jonson uses the word in "The Poetaster," act iii. sc. 4: "Come, we must have you turn fiddler again, slave; get a base violin at your back, and march in a tawny coat, with one sleeve, to Goose-fair; then you'll know us, you'll see us then, you will gulch, you will."

[315] Bawsin, in some counties, signifies a badger. I think I have heard the vulgar Irish use it to express bulkiness. Mr Chatterton, in the "Poems of the Pseudo-Rowley," has it more than once in this sense. As, bawsyn olyphantes, i.e., bulky elephants.—Steevens.

[316] [Edits., weary. I wish that I could be more confident that weird is the true word. Weary appears to be wrong, at any rate.]

[317] [Edits., bedewy.]

[318] [This and Chanter are the names of dogs. Auditus fancies himself a huntsman.]

[319] Counter is a term belonging to the chase. [Gascoigne,] in his "Book of Hunting," 1575, p. 243, says, "When a hounde hunteth backwardes the same way that the chase is come, then we say he hunteth counter. And if he hunt any other chase than that which he first undertooke, we say he hunteth change." So in "Hamlet," act iv. sc. 5—

    "How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
    O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs."

See Dr Johnson's note on this passage.

[320] [The author may have had in his mind an anecdote related of Queen Elizabeth and Sir Edward Dyer. See the "New London Jest Book," p. 346.]

[321] [Flatulent.]

[322] [Rett and Cater appear to be the names of dogs. Edits. print ware wing cater.]

[323] [See note at p. 367.]

[324] Idle, lazy, slothful. Minsheu derives it from the French lasche, desidiosus.

[325] [See a review of, and extracts from, this very curious play in Fry's "Bibliographical Memoranda," 1816, pp. 345-50.]

[326] Catalogue of the library of John Hutton. Sold at Essex House, 1764, p. 121. The whole title of the tract, which Mr Reed does not appear to have seen, as he quotes it only from a sale catalogue, is as follows:—"Three Miseries of Barbary: Plague, Famine, Ciuill warre. With a relation of the death of Mahamet the late Emperour: and a briefe report of the now present Wars betweene the three Brothers. Printed by W.I. for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold in Pater noster rowe, at the signe of the Sunne." It is without date, and the name of the author, George Wilkins, is subscribed to a dedication, "To the right worshipfull the whole Company of Barbary Merchants." The tract is written in an ambitious style, and the descriptions are often striking; but there is nothing but the similarity of name to connect it with "The Miseries of Enforced Marriage."—Collier.

[327] [Hazlitt's "Handbook," 1867, p. 656.]

[328] [Not in the old copies.]

[329] "This comedy (as Langbaine improperly calls it) has been a great part of it revived by Mrs Behn, under the title of 'The Town Fop, or Sir Timothy Tawdry.'"

[330] These were among the articles of extravagance in which the youth of the times used to indulge themselves. They are mentioned by Fennor, in "The Compters Commonwealth," 1617, p. 32: "Thinkes himselfe much graced (as to be much beholding to them) as to be entertained among gallants, that were wrapt up in sattin suites, cloakes lined with velvet, that scorned to weare any other then beaver hats and gold bands, rich swords and scarfes, silke stockings and gold fringed garters, or russett bootes and gilt spurres; and so compleate cape ape, that he almost dares take his corporal oath the worst of them is worth (at least) a thousand a yeare, when heaven knows the best of them all for a month, nay, sometimes a yeare together, have their pockets worse furnished then Chandelors boxes, that have nothing but twopences, pence, halfe pence, and leaden tokens in them."

[331] The following quotation from the "Perfuming of Tobacco, and the great abuse committed in it," 1611, shows, in opposition to Mr Gilchrist's conjecture, that drinking tobacco did not mean extracting the juice by chewing it, but refers to drawing and drinking the smoke of it. "The smoke of tobacco (the which Dodoneus called rightly Henbane of Peru) drunke and drawen, by a pipe, filleth the membranes (meninges) of the braine, and astonisheth and filleth many persons with such joy and pleasure, and sweet losse of senses, that they can by no means be without it." In fact, to drink tobacco was only another term for smoking it.—Collier.

[332] Alluding to the colour of the habits of servants.

[333] i.e., Owns. See note to "Cornelia" [v. 232].

[334] The omission of this stage direction, which is found in the old copies, rendered what follows it unintelligible. Perhaps Who list to have a lubberly load is a line in some old ballad.—Collier.

[335] [Anthony Munday.]

[336] A custom still observed at weddings.

[337] Himself, omitted by Mr Reed, and restored now from the old copy of 1611.—Collier.

[338] [Edits., pugges.]

[339] [Edits, read—

"They are sovereigns, cordials that preserve our lives."

[340] See Mr Steevens's note on "Othello," act ii. sc. 1. [But compare Middleton's "Blurt, Master Constable," 1602 ("Works," by Dyce, i. 280).]

[341] [Edits., his. Even the passage is now obscure and unsatisfactory.]

[342] [Separate.] This is obviously quoted from the marriage ceremony: as Mr Todd has shown, the Dissenters in 1661 did not understand depart in the sense of separate, which led to the alteration of the Liturgy, "till death us do part." In the "Salisbury Manual" of 1555 it stands thus: "I, N, take thee, M, to my wedded wyf, to have and to holde fro this day forwarde, for better for wors, for richer for poorer, in sicknesse and in hele, tyl deth us departe."—Collier.

So in "Every Woman in her Humour," 1609: "And the little God of love, he shall be her captain: sheele sewe under him 'till death us depart, and thereto I plight thee my troth." And Heywood, in his "Wise Woman of Hogsdon," iii., makes Chastley also quote from the marriage ceremony: "If every new moone a man might have a new wife, that's every year a dozen; but this 'till death us depart is tedious."

[343] [Edits., two sentinels.]

[344] Edits., them one.

[345] [Edits., lives.]

[346] [Remind.]

[347] [Edits., know him great, which could only be made sense by supposing it to mean, knowing him rich, and not a person to be offended. Scarborow afterwards repudiates the idea of being ungrateful.]

[348] By a misprint the three following lines have been till now given to Harcop.—Collier.

[349] [Edits., your presence.]

[350] First edit., even.

[351] [Edits., is.]

[352] [Edits., what.]

[353] That is, acquainted, or informed him. So in "Every Man in his Humour," act i. sc. 5, Bobadil says, "Possess no gentleman of our acquaintance with notice of my lodging." And again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's "Honest Man's Fortune," act ii. sc. 1—

"Sir, I am very well possess'd of it."

[354] Edits. 1629 [and 1637], honoured.

[355] First edit., how.

[356] [Edits., they.]

[357] The word sir was inserted here as if only to spoil the measure. —Collier.

[358] i.e., Amerce.—Steevens.

[359] [i.e., the bond.]

[360] [Edits., pergest, which Steevens in a note explained goeth on, from Lat. pergo; and Nares cites the present passage for the word. I do not believe that it was ever employed in English, though Shakespeare uses the original Latin once. Purgest is surely preferable, since Ilford has been just giving a list of those he has undone.]

[361] [Apparently a play on the double meaning of talent is intended.]

[362] [Bonds.]

[363] In a similar vein of humour, but much more exquisite, Addison, speaking of Sir Roger de Coverley, says, "He told me some time since that, upon his courting the perverse widow, he had disposed of an hundred acres in a diamond ring, which he would have presented her with, had she thought fit to accept it; and that upon her wedding-day she should have carried on her head fifty of the tallest oaks upon his estate. He further informed me that he would have given her a coalpit to keep her in clean linen; that he would have allowed her the profits of a windmill for her fans, and have presented her once in three years with the shearing of his sheep for her under-petticoats."—Spectator, No. 295.

In Wilson's "Discourse uppon Usurye," 1572, the subsequent passage occurs:—"Thus master merchant, when he hath robbed the poore gentleman and furnisht him in this manner to get a little apparel upon his back, girdeth him with this pompe in the tail: Lo, sayethe hee, yonder goeth a very strong stowt gentleman, for he cariethe upon his backe a faire manour, land and all, and may therefore well be standard-bearer to any prince Christian or heathen."

[364] [Chicken.]

[365] The place most commonly used for exposing the heads of traitors.

[366] [Edits.—

          "O! but what shall I write?
    Mine own excuse."

[367] [Edits., large, full.]

[368] [Edits., appearance, and so as they are, I hope we shall be, more indeer'd, intirely, better, and more feelingly acquainted.]

[369] [Either whets their appetite, or prostrates them. The speaker alludes probably to the early forenoon meal then in vogue.]

[370] The line was formerly mispointed, and misprinted thus—

"Then live a strumpet. Better be unborn."

Clare means, that it were better never to have been born than to live a strumpet.—Collier.

[371] Edit. 1611, would; and in the next line, did.

[372] [Edits., That.]

[373] [Edits., writes.]

[374] Pitiless, without pity.

[375] [Edits., her.]

[376] [This line is assuredly corrupt, but the true reading is a matter of question.]

[377] [Edits., and.]

[378] Their exit is not marked, but as their re-entrance is noticed afterwards, it is to be presumed that they followed, the old man out.

[379] Perhaps misprinted for haven.—Collier.

[380] Example by, &c.—second and third edits.

[381] [Edits.], stare-wearer, which means no doubt stair-wearer, or wearer of the stairs by going up and down them so frequently at call. —Collier.

[382] [Edit. 1607, ha't for you.]

[383] "Red lattice at the doors and windows were formerly the external denotements of an alehouse; hence the present chequers." Mr Steevens observes (note to "Merry Wives of Windsor," act ii. sc. 2) that "perhaps the reader will express some surprise when he is told that shops with the sign of the chequers, were common among the Romans. See a view of the left-hand street of Pompeii (No. 9) presented by Sir William Hamilton (together with several others equally curious) to the Antiquary Society." [Compare "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," ii. 277-8.] Marston, in the "First Part of Antonio and Mellida," act v., makes Balurdo say: "No, I am not Sir Jeffrey Balurdo: I am not as well known by my wit as an alehouse by a red lattice."

[384] i.e., Defiles. See note on "Macbeth," edit. 1778, iv. 524. —Steevens.

[385] [See note at p. 470.]

[386] The first edit, reads, and any man else and he.

[387] Three different departments of a prison, in which debtors were confined according to their ability or incapacity to pay for their accommodations: all three are pretty accurately described by Fennor in "The Compter's Commonwealth," 1617.

[388] [Edits., importance.]

[389] Sack with sugar was formerly a favourite liquor. Although it is mentioned very often in contemporary writers, it is difficult to collect from any circumstances what the kind of wine then called sack was understood to be. In the Second Part of "Henry IV.," act iv. sc. 3, Falstaff speaks of sherris sack; and Dr Johnson supposes the fat knight's admired potation was what we now call sherry, which he says is drunk with sugar. This last assertion is contradicted by Mr Steevens, who with more truth asserts that sherry is at this time never drunk with sugar, whereas Rhenish frequently is. Dr Warburton seems to be of opinion that the sweet wine still denominated sack was that so often mentioned by Falstaff, and the great fondness of the English nation for sugar rather countenances that idea. Hentzner, p. 88, edit. 1757, speaking of the manners of the English, says, In potu copiosae immittunt saccarum—they put a great deal of sugar in their drink; and Moryson, in his "Itinerary," 1617, p. 155, mentioning the Scots, observes, "They drinke pure wines, not with sugar, as the English;" again, p. 152, "But gentlemen garrawse onely in wine, with which many mixe sugar, which I never observed in any other place or kingdome to be used for that purpose: and because the taste of the English is thus delighted with sweetnesse, the wines in tavernes (for I speak not of merchants or gentlemen's cellars) are commonly mixed at the filling thereof, to make them pleasant." Sack and sugar are mentioned in "Jack Drum's Entertainment," sig. G 3; "The Shoemaker's Holiday," sig. E; "Everie Woman in Her Humour," sig. D 4; and "The Wonderful Yeare," 1603. It appears, however, from the following passage in "The English Housewife," by Gervase Markham, 1631, p. 162, that there were various species of sack: "Your best sacke are of Seres in Spaine, your smaller of Galicia and Portugall: your strong sackes are of the islands of the Canaries and of Malligo, and your Muscadine and Malmseys are of many parts of Italy, Greece, and some speciall islands." [But see an elaborate note on sack (vin sec) in Dyce's "Shakespeare Glossary," in v.]

[390] [Edit., courses.]

[391] [A room in the inn so called.]

[392] The second edition has it, my master hopes to ride a cockhorse by him before he leaves him.—Collier.

[393] Such is Master Scarborow; such are his company—edit. 1611. —Collier.

[394] [A room so called.]

[395] [Old copies, time.]

[396] See note to "The City Nightcap," act iii.

[397] Move, or stir. Bouger, Fr.

[398] I believe an Epythite signifies a beggar—[Greek: epithetaes].— Steevens.

[399] [Alluding to a tapestry representing the story of Susanna.]

[400] [Edits., father's old man.]

[401] [Edits., to.]

[402] [Booty, earnings.]

[403] This is a corruption of the Italian corragio! courage! a hortatory exclamation. So, in the Epilogue to "Albumazer," 1615—

    Two hundred crowns? and twenty pound a year
    For three good lives? cargo! hai, Trincalo!"


[404] A Fr. G. Cigue, utr. a Lat. Cucuta.—Skinner.

Cigue f. Hemlocke, Homlocke, hearbe Bennet, Kex.—Cotgrave.

[405] Dry-meat is inserted from the copy of 1611.—Collier.

[406] Heir and heiress were formerly confounded in the same way as prince was applied to both male and female. So in Cyril Tourneur's "Atheist's Tragedy," 1612, we have—

This Castabella is a wealthy heire."


[407] We must here suppose that butler whispers to Ilford the place where the lady lies or lodges.—Collier.

[408] The following extracts from Stubbes's "Anatomie of Abuses," 4to, 1595, p. 57, will show the manners of the English in some particulars which are alluded to in the course of these volumes: "Other some (i.e., of the women of England) spend the greatest part of the day in sitting at the dore, to show their braveries, and to make knowne their beauties, to beholde the passengers by, to view the coast, to see fashions, and to acquaint themselves with the bravest fellows; for if not for these causes, I see no other causes why they should sit at their dores, from morning till noon (as many do), from noon to night, thus vainly spending their golden dayes in filthy idleness and sin. Againe, other some being weary of that exercise, take occasion (about urgent affaires you must suppose) to walke into the towne, and least anything might be gathered, but that they goe about serious matters indeed, they take their baskets in their hands, or under their arms, under which pretence pretie conceits are practized, and yet may no man say black is their eye.

"In the field's and suburbes of the cities they have gardens either paled or walled round about very high, with their harbers and bowers fit for the purpose. And least they might be espied in these open places, they have their banquetting-houses with galleries, turrets, and what not, therein sumptuously erected: wherein they may (and doubtless do) many of them play the filthy persons. And for that their gardens are locked, some of them have three or four keys a piece, whereof one they keep for themselves, the other their paramours have to goe in before them, least happily they might be perceived, for then were all the sport dasht. Then to these gardens they repair, when they list, with a basket and a boy, where they meeting their sweet harts, receive their wished desires."

[409] See note to "The Parson's Wedding," iii. 3.

[410] [A woman of loose character. Such was its ordinary acceptation, yet not its invariable one. See Lovelace's Poems, by Hazlitt, 1864, pp. xl., xli., and 133, notes.] See note to "King Henry IV., Part II.," edit. 1778, v. 522.—Steevens.

[411] [Edits., throw.]

[412] "Towards the rear of the stage there appears to have been a balcony or upper stage, the platform of which was probably eight or nine feet from the ground. I suppose it to have been supported by pillars. From hence, in many of our old plays, part of the dialogue was spoken; and in front of it curtains likewise were hung, so as occasionally to conceal the persons in it from the view of the audience."—Malone's "History of the Stage." See his edition of "Shakespeare" by Boswell, iii. 79.

[413] [The two brothers, disguised for the purpose, pretend to be their sister's uncles, and engage in a conversation about her marriage, intended to be overheard by Ilford and the others below.]

[414] [Edits., beyond discourse, she's a paragon for a prince, than a fit implement for a gentleman; beyond my element.]

[415] [Edit. 1607] says, Exit Ilford with his Sister, but this is obviously an error: it means with Scarborow's sister.—Collier.

[416] Indeed, second and third editions.

[417] [Edits., for.]

[418] [Edits., flourish.]

[419] [i.e., Which make.]

[420] Them is the reading of the quarto, 1611, and perhaps Thomas refers to "nature and her laws," mentioned not very intelligibly, in his preceding speech.—Collier. [The first edit. of 1607 reads rightly thee.]

[421] The grammar and language of this line are alike obscure and incorrect; but the sense is tolerably clear—"Thou hast been so bad, the best thing I can say is, &c."

[422] [Edits., finisht.]

[423] i.e. Measure it out. Hesperiam metire jacens.—Virgil. —Steevens.

[424] i.e., Facility; [Greek: euergos], facilis.—Steevens.

[425] "Apud eosdem nasci Ctesias scribit, quam mantichoram appellat, triplici dentium ordine pectinatim coeuntium, facie et auriculis hominis, oculis glaucis, colore sanguineo, corpore leonis, cauda scorpionis modo spicula infigentem: vocis ut si misceatur fistulae et tubae concentus: velocitatis magnae, humani corporis vel praecipue appetentem."—C. Plinii "Nat. Hist." lib. viii. c. 21.

[426] The edit. 1611, reads—

"Do as the devil does, hate panther-mankind."—Collier.

[427] All—breath, edits. 1611 and 1629.

[428] The old copy of 1611 reads, unto their wives, and it has been supposed a misprint for wines; but this seems doubtful taking the whole passage together, and the subsequent reference to the children. —Collier.

[429] i.e., To defile. So in Churchyard's "Challenge," 1593, p. 251—

"Away foule workes, that fil'd my face with blurs!"

Again, "Macbeth," act iii. sc. 1—

                    "If it be so,
    For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind."

See also Mr Steevens's note on the last passage.

[430] Sorry for you.

[431] [Edits., or, which is merely the old form of ere.]

[432] Mischievous, unlucky. So in "All's Well that Ends Well," act i. sc. 5—

"A shrewd knave and an unhappy."

See also Mr Steevens's note on "Henry VIII.," act i. sc. 4.

[433] I formerly was the mode of writing, as well as pronouncing, this word.

[434] ["The fine effect which is produced through the foregoing scenes by the idea of the 'Enforced Marriage' hanging on them like the German notion of Fate, is destroyed by this happy ending."—MS. note in one of the former edits.]

[435] [Bond.]

[436] [So in the ballad of "Auld Robin Gray"—

    "My mother did na speak,
    But she look'd me in the face," &c.

MS. note in one of the former edits.]

[437] '51 edit. 1607, letter.

[438] Ignes fatui, Wills o' th' Wisp. See Mr Steevens's Note on "King Henry VIII.," act v. sc. 3.

[439] [Edits., And these. The emendation is conjectured.]