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W. Carew Hazlitt

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Title: A Select Collection of Old English Plays (11 of 15)
       Originally published by Robert Dodsley in the year 1744

Author: W. Carew Hazlitt

Release Date: January 27, 2013 [EBook #41930]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Jane Robins and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at






New York



A Woman is a Weather-cocke. A New Comedy, As it was acted before the King in White-Hall. And diuers times Priuately at the White-Friers, by the Children of her Maiesties Reuels. Written by Nat: Field. Si natura negat, faciat indagnatio [sic] versum. Printed at London, for Iohn Budge, and are to be sold at the great South doore of Paules, and at Brittaines Bursse. 1612. 4o.

The old copy is very carelessly printed, and nearly all the corruptions and mistakes were retained in the former edition (1828).


Considering the celebrity that Nathaniel Field has acquired in consequence of his connection with Massinger in writing "The Fatal Dowry," it is singular that the two plays in which he was unaided by any contemporary dramatist should not yet have been reprinted, if only to assist the formation of a judgment as to the probable degree of Massinger's obligation. "A Woman is a Weathercock" and its sequel, "Amends for Ladies," are the productions of no ordinary poet. In comic scenes Field excels Massinger, who was not remarkable for his success in this department of the drama; and in those of a serious character he may be frequently placed on a footing of equality.[1]

Reed was of opinion that Field the actor was not the same person who joined Massinger in "The Fatal Dowry," and who wrote the two plays above mentioned; but the discovery of Henslowe's MSS. shows that they were intimately connected in authorship and[4] misfortune. The joint letter of Nathaniel Field, Rob. Daborne, and Philip Massinger to Henslowe, soliciting a small loan to relieve them from temporary imprisonment, has been so often republished (see Malone's Shakespeare, by Boswell, iii. 337) that it is unnecessary to repeat it here.[2] Field, who penned the whole body of the letter, speaks in it of himself, both as an author and as an actor. It is without date, and Malone conjectured that it was written between 1612 and 1615. But from the Dedication to "A Woman is a Weathercock," we should conclude that in 1612 Field was not distressed for money. He there tells "any woman that hath been no weathercock" that he "cared not for forty shillings," the sum then usually given by the person to whom the play was inscribed. This assertion, perhaps, was only a vain boast, while the fact might be, either that he could not get anybody to patronise "so fameless a pen," or that, although he might not just at that moment be in want of "forty shillings," he might stand in need of it very soon afterwards, according to the customary irregular mode of living of persons of his pursuits and profession.

It might be inferred from a passage in the address "to the Reader," that "A Woman is a Weathercock"[3] [5]was written some time before it was printed; and from the dedication of the same play, we learn that Field's "Amends for Ladies," if not then also finished, was fully contemplated by the author under that title. An allusion to the Gunpowder Treason of 1605 is made in the first act of "A Woman is a Weathercock;" but it could not have been produced so early.

Nathaniel Field was originally one of the Children of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel. Malone tells us that he played in "Cynthia's Revels" in 1601; but we have it on the authority of Ben Jonson himself, in the folio of 1616, that that "comical satire" was acted in 1600. In 1601 Field performed in "The Poetaster," and in 1608 he appeared in "Epicæne," which purports to have been represented by the "Children of her Majesty's Revels," for so those of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel were then called. In 1600 Field was, perhaps, one of the younger children, for in 1609 all the names of the company but his own were changed, many no doubt having outgrown their situations. He was, therefore, evidently a very young man when he published his "Woman is a Weathercock" in 1612. Only one edition of it is known, but "Amends for Ladies" was twice published by the same stationer, viz., in 1618 and 1639. Mr Gifford conjectured very reasonably that Field had assisted Massinger in writing "The Fatal Dowry" before 1623.[4] He belonged to the Blackfriars company, and Fleckno speaks of him as a performer of great distinction.[5] According to the portrait[6] in Dulwich College, he had rather a feminine look, and early in his career undertook female parts, which he afterwards abandoned, and obtained much celebrity as the hero of Chapman's "Bussy d'Ambois," originally brought out in 1607. In a prologue to the edition of 1641, Field is spoken of as the player "whose action first did give it name." It has also been supposed that he was dead in 1641, because in the same prologue, it is asserted "Field is gone," but the expression is equivocal. The probability seems to be that he quitted the profession early, and in the address to "A Woman is a Weathercock," he gives a hint that he will only be heard of in it "for a year or two, and no more."[6]

"Amends for Ladies" will be found, on the whole, a superior performance to "A Woman is a Weathercock," and if the order of merit only had been consulted, it ought to have been first reprinted in this collection.



I did determine not to have dedicated my play to anybody, because forty shillings I care not for![7] and above few or none will bestow on these matters, especially falling from so fameless a pen as mine is yet. And now I look up, and find to whom my dedication is, I fear I am as good as my determination: notwithstanding, I leave a liberty to any lady or woman, that dares say she hath been no weathercock, to assume the title of patroness to this my book. If she have been constant, and be so, all I will expect from her for my pains is that she will continue so but till my next play be printed, wherein she shall see what amends I have made to her and all the sex,[8] and so I end my epistle without a Latin sentence.

N. F.



Reader, the saleman swears you'll take it very ill, if I say not something to you too. In troth, you are a stranger to me: why should I write to you? you never writ to me, nor I think will not answer my epistle. I send a comedy to you here, as good as I could then make; nor slight my presentation, because it is a play; for I tell thee, reader, if thou be'st ignorant, a play is not so idle a thing as thou art, but a mirror of men's lives and actions; nor, be it perfect or imperfect, true or false, is the vice or virtue of the maker. This is yet, as well as I can, qualis ego vel Cluvienus. Thou must needs have some other language than thy mother-tongue, for thou think'st it impossible for me to write a play, that did not use a word of Latin, though he had enough in him. I have been vexed with vile plays myself a great while, hearing many; now I thought to be even with some, and they should hear mine too. Fare thee well: if thou hast anything to say to me, thou know'st where to hear of me for a year or two, and no more, I assure thee.

N. F.



To many forms, as well as many ways,
Thy active muse turns like thy acted woman:
In which disprais'd inconstancy turns praise;
Th' addition being, and grace of Homer's seaman,
In this life's rough seas toss'd, yet still the same:
So turns thy wit, inconstancy to stay,
And stay t' inconstancy. And as swift Fame
Grows as she goes, in Fame so thrive thy play,
And thus to standing turn thy woman's fall:
Wit, turn'd to everything, proves stay in all.
George Chapman.





Enter Scudmore, as in his chamber in a morning, half-ready, reading a letter.

Scud. legit. "Whereas you write, my fortune and my birth,
Made above yours, may be a real cause
That I must leave you, know, thou worthiest man,
Thou hast a soul whose plenteous wealth supplies
All the lean wants blind chance hath dealt to thee.
Yet could I think the gods from all their store,
Who ne'er knew indigence unto their will,
Would out of all their stock of virtue left,
Or out of all new graces they can make,
Make such another piece as Scudmore is,
Then might he justly fear; but otherwise
Sooner the masculine element of fire
Shall flame his pyramids down to the earth;
Sooner her mountains shall swell up to heaven,
Or softest April showers quench fires in hell:
Sooner shall stars from this circumference
Drop like false fiery exhalation,
Than I be false to vows made unto thee,
In whom aught near a fault I ne'er could see,
But that you doubted once my constancy.
Yours through the world, and to the end of time.


Scud. Loqui, ut raptus. If what I feel I could express in words,
Methinks I could speak joy enough to men
To banish sadness from all love for ever!
O thou, that reconcil'st the faults of all
That frothy sex, and in thy single self
Confin'st—nay, hast engross'd, virtue enough
To frame a spacious world of virtuous women,
Hadst thou been the beginning of thy sex,
I think the devil in the serpent's skin
Had wanted cunning to o'ercome thy goodness,
And all had liv'd and died in innocency—
The white original creation!
[Knocking within.
Who's there? Come in.

Enter Nevill.

Nev. What, up already, Scudmore! Ne'er a wench
With thee? Not [e'en] thy laundress?
Scud. Good morrow, my dear Nevill.
Nev. What's this? A letter? Sure, it is not so—
A letter written to Hieronimo.[10]
Scud. By heaven! you must excuse me. Come, I know,
You will not wrong my friendship and your manners
To tempt me so.
Nev. Not for the world, my friend.
Farewell, good morrow.
Scud. Nay, sir, neither must you
Depart in anger from this friendly hand.
[13] I swear I love you better than all men,
Equally with all virtue in the world;
Yet this would be a key to lead you to
A prize of that importance——
Nev. Worthy friend,
I leave you not in anger: what d'ye mean?
Nor am I of that inquisitive nature fram'd
To thirst to know your private businesses.
Why, they concern not me: if they be ill
And dangerous, 'twould grieve me much to know 'em;
If good, they be so, though I know 'em not.
Nor would I do your love so gross a wrong
To covet to participate affairs
Of that near touch, which your assured love
Doth think not fit, or dares not trust me with.
Scud. How sweetly does your friendship play with mine,
And with a simple subtlety steals my heart
Out of my bosom. By the holiest love
That ever made a story, you're a man
With all good so replete, that I durst trust you
Ev'n with this secret, were it singly mine.
Nev. I do believe you. Farewell, worthy friend.
Scud. Nay, look you; this same fashion does not please me:
You were not wont to make your visitation
So short and careless.
Nev. 'Tis your jealousy
That makes you think so; for, by my soul,
You have given me no distaste by keeping from me
All things that might be burthenous, and oppress me.
In troth, I am invited to a wedding,
And the morn faster goes away from me,
Than I go toward it; and so, good morrow.

Scud. Good morrow, sir: think I durst show it you.


Nev. Now, by my life, I not desire it, sir,
Nor ever lov'd these prying, listening men,
That ask of others' states and passages:
Not one among a hundred but proves false,
Envious, and slanderous, and will cut that throat
He twines his arms about. I love that poet,
That gave us reading[11] not to seek ourselves
Beyond ourselves. Farewell.
Scud. You shall not go:
I cannot now redeem the fault I have made
To such a friend, but in disclosing all.
Nev. Now, if you love me, do not wrong me so.
I see you labour with some serious thing,
And think (like fairy's treasure) to reveal it,
Will cause it vanish; and yet to conceal it,
Will burst your breast: 'tis so delicious,
And so much greater than the continent.
Scud. O! you have pierc'd my entrails with your words,
And I must now explain all to your eyes.
Read, and be happy in my happiness.
Nev. Yet think on't: keep thy secret and thy friend
Sure and entire. O, give not me the means
To become false hereafter! or thyself
A probable reason to distrust thy friend,
Though he be ne'er so true. I will not see't.
Scud. I die, by heaven, if you deny again.
I starve for counsel: take it: look upon it.
If you do not, it is an equal plague,
As if it had been known and published.
For God's sake, read! but with this caution—
By this right hand, by this yet unstain'd sword.
Were you my father flowing in these waves,
Or a dear son exhausted out of them,
Should you betray this soul of all my hopes,
[15] Like the two brethren (though love made 'em stars)
We must be never more seen both together.[12]
Nev. I read it fearless of the forfeiture;
Yet warn you, be as cautelous not to wound
My integrity with doubting[13] likelihoods,
From misreport; but first exquire the truth.
[Legit Nevill, Scudmore aliquando respiciens.
Scud. Read, whilst I tell the story of my love,
And sound the truth of her heroic spirit,
Whom eloquence could never flatter yet,
Nor the best tongue of praises reach unto.
The maid there nam'd I met once on a green,
Near to her father's house: methought she show'd—
For I did look on her, indeed no eye
That ow'd a sensible member, but must dwell
A while on such an object:
The passing horses and the feeding kine
Stood still, and left their journeys and their food:
The singing birds were in contention,
Which should 'light nearest her; for her clear eyes
Deceiv'd even men, they were so like bright skies.
Near, in a rivulet, swam two beauteous swans,
Whiter than anything but her neck and hands,
Which they left straight to comfort her: a bull
Being baiting on the green for the swains' sport,
She walking toward it: the vex'd savage beast
Ceas'd bellowing, the snarling dogs were mute,
And had enough to do to look on her,
Whose face brought concord and an end of jars,
Though nature made 'em ever to have wars,
Had there been bears and lions, when she spake,
They had been charm'd too; for Grecian's lute
Was rustic music to her heavenly tongue,
[16] Whose sweetness e'en cast slumbers on mine eyes,
Soft as content, yet would not let me sleep.
Nev. "Yours through the world, and to the end of time

Which Bellafront? rich Sir John Worldly's daughter?

Scud. She is the food, the sleep, the air I live by.

Nev. O heaven! we speak like gods and do like dogs.

Scud. What means my——

Nev. This day this Bellafront, the rich heir,
Is married unto Count Frederick,
And that's the wedding I was going to.
Scud. I prythee, do not mock me. Married!
Nev. It is no matter to be play'd withal,
But even as true, as women all are false.
Scud. O, that this stroke were thunder to my breast;
For, Nevill, thou hast spoke my heart in twain,
And with the sudden whirlwind of thy breath
Hast ravish'd me out of a temperate soil,
And set me under the red burning zone.
Nev. For shame! return thy blood into thy face.
Know'st not how slight a thing a woman is?
Scud. Yes, and how serious too. Come! I'll t' the Temple:
She shall not damn herself for want of counsel.
Nev. O, prythee, run not thus into the streets!
Come, dress you better: so. Ah! yes,[14] thy clothes
Are, like thy mind, too much disordered.
How strangely is this tide turn'd! For a world,
I would not but have call'd here as I went.
Collect thy spirits: we will use all means
To check this black fate flying toward thee. Come!
If thou miscarriest, 'tis my day of doom.
[17] Scud. Yes—now I'm fine. Married! It may be so;
But, women, look to't: if she prove untrue,
The devil take you all, that are his due!

Scene II.

Enter Count Frederick, a tailor trussing him; attended by a page.

C. Fred. Is Sir John Worldly up, boy?

Boy. No, my Lord.

C. Fred. Is my bride up yet?

Boy. No.

C. Fred. No! and the morn so fair?

Enter Pendant.

Pen. Good morrow, my thrice honoured and heroic lord.

Boy. Good morrow, your lord and master, you
might say, for brevity sake.

C. Fred. Thou'st a good tailor, and art very fine.

Pen. I thank your lordship.

Boy. Ay, you may thank his lordship indeed.

Pen. 'Fore God, this doublet sets in print, my lord;
And the hose excellent; the pickadel[15] rare.
Boy. He'll praise himself in trust with my lord's tailor.
For the next St George's suit.
C. Fred. O, good morrow, tailor;
I abhor bills in a morning.
Pen. Your honour says true:
Their knavery will be discern'd by daylight;
But thou may'st watch at night with bill in hand,
And no man dares find fault with it.

Tailor. A good jest, i' faith. Good morrow to your lordship. A very good jest.
[Exit Tailor.

C. Fred. I wonder my invited guests are so tardy. What's o'clock?

Pen. Scarce seven, my lord.

C. Fred. And what news, Pendant?
What think'st thou of my present marriage?
How shows the beauty to thee I shall wed?
Pen. Why, to all women like Diana among her nymphs.
Boy. There's all his reading.
Pen. A beauty of that pureness and delight,
That none is worthy of her but my lord,
My honourable lord.
C. Fred. But then her fortune,
Match'd with her beauty, makes her up a match.
Pen. By heaven, unmatchable!—for none fit but lords,
And yet for no lord fit but my good lord.
C. Fred. And that her sister, then, should love me too,
Is it not strange?
Pen. Strange? no, not strange at all.
By Cupid, there's no woman in the world
But must needs love you, doat, go mad for you.
If you vouchsafe reflection, 'tis a thing
That does it home: thus much reflection
Catches 'em up by dozens like wild fowl.


Boy. Now, ye shall taste the means, by which he eats.
Pen. Nature herself, having made you, fell sick
In love with her own work, and can no more
Make man so lovely, being diseas'd with love.
You are the world's minion, of a little man.
I'll say no more: I would not be a woman
For all has been got by them.
C. Fred. Why, man, why?
Pen. Heart! I should follow you like a young rank whore,
That runs proud of her love; pluck you by the sleeve,
Whoe'er were with you, in the open street,
With the impudency of a drunken oyster-wife;
Put on my fighting waistcoat and the ruff,
That fears no tearing; batter down the windows,
Where I suspected you might lie all night;
Scratch faces, like a wild-cat of Pick'd-hatch.[16]

C. Fred. Pendant, thou'lt make me doat upon myself.

Pen. Narcissus, by this hand, had far less cause.

C. Fred. How know'st thou that?

Boy. They were all one, my lord.

Pen. How do I know? I speak my conscience:
His beauties were but shadows to my lord.
Why, boy, his presence would enkindle sin
And longing thoughts in a devoted nun.
O foot! O leg! O hand! O body! face!
By Jove, it is a little man of wax.
C. Fred. Thou'rt a rare rascal: 'tis not for nothing
That men call thee my Commendations.
Boy. For nothing? no; he would be loth it should.


Enter Captain Pouts.

C. Fred. Good morrow, and good welcome, Captain Pouts.

Capt. Pouts. Good morning to your honour, and all joy
Spring from this match, and the first year a boy!
I commanded[17] these two verses o' purpose to salute your honour.

C. Fred. But how haps it, Captain, that your intended marriage with my father-in-law's third daughter is not solemnised to-day?

Pen. My lord tells you true, Captain; it would have saved meat.

Capt. Pouts. Faith, I know not. Mistress Kate likes me not; she says I speak as if I had pudding in my mouth, and I answered her, if I had, it was a white pudding,[18] and then I was the better armed for a woman; for I had a case about me. So one laughed, and the other cried fie: the third said I was a bawdy captain; and there was all I could get of them.

C. Fred. See, boy, if they be up yet: maids are long liers, I perceive.

Boy. How if they will not admit me, my lord.

C. Fred. Why, should they not admit you, my lord, you cannot commit with 'em, my lord.

Boy. Marry, therefore, my lord.
[Exit Boy.

C. Fred. But what should be the reason of her so sudden alteration? she listened to thee once, ha?

Pen. Have you not heard, my lord, or do ye not know?


C. Fred. Not I, I swear.

Pen. Then you know nothing that is worth the knowing.

Capt. Pouts. That's certain: he knows you.

Pen. There's a young merchant, a late suitor, that deals by wholesale, and heir to land, well-descended, of worthy education, beholding to nature.

C. Fred. O, 'tis young Strange.

Capt. Pouts. Is't he that looks like an Italian tailor out of the lac'd wheel?[19] that wears a bucket on his head?

C. Fred. That is the man: yet believe me, captain, it is a noble sprightly citizen.

Capt. Pouts. Has he money?

C. Fred. Infinitely wealthy.

Capt. Pouts. Then, captain, thou art cast. Would I had gone to Cleveland! Worldly loves money better than I love his daughter. I'll to some company in garrison. Good bye.

C. Fred. Nay, ye shall dedicate this day to me.
We speak but by the way, man: ne'er despair;
I can assure you, she is yet as free as air.
Pen. And you may kill the merchant with a look:
I'd threaten him to death. My honor'd lord
Shall be your friend: go to, I say he shall:
You shall have his good word. Shall he, my lord?


C. Fred. 'Sfoot! he shall have my bond to do him good.

Pen. La! 'tis the worthiest lord in Christendom.
O captain, for some fourscore brave spirits, once
To follow such a lord in some attempt!

Capt. Pouts. A hundred, sir, were better.

Enter Old Sir Innocent Ninny, My Lady Ninny, Sir Abraham, and Mistress Wagtail.

C. Fred. Here's more guests.

Capt. Pouts. Is that man and wife?

Pen. It is Sir Innocent Ninny: that's his lady,
And that Sir Abraham, their only son.

[Count Frederick discoursing with Sir Innocent and Lady: Abraham looking about.

Capt. Pouts. But did that little old dried neat's tongue, that eel-skin, get him?

Pen. So 'tis said, captain.

Capt, Pouts. Methinks he in his lady should show like a needle in a bottle of hay.

Pen. One may see by her nose what pottage she loves.

Capt. Pouts. Is your name Abraham? Pray, who dwells in your mother's backside,[20] at the sign of the aqua-vitæ bottle?

Pen. God's precious! Save you, Mistress Wagtail
[Pulls her by the sleeve.

Wag. Sweet Master Pendant.

Abra. Gentlemen, I desire your better acquaintance. You must pardon my father; he's somewhat rude, and my mother grossly brought up, as you may perceive.


C. Fred. Young Master Abraham! cry ye mercy, sir.

Abra. Your lordship's poor friend, and Sir Abraham Ninny.
The dub-a-dub of honour, piping hot
Doth lie upon my worship's shoulder-blade.

Sir Inn. Indeed, my lord, with much cost and labour we have got him knighted; and being knighted under favour, my lord, let me tell ye he'll prove a sore knight, as e'er run at ring. He is the one and only Ninny of our house.

L. Nin. He has cost us something, ere he came to this.
Hold up your head, Sir Abraham.

Abra. Pish, pish, pish, pish!

C. Fred. D'ye hear how—

Pen. O my lord.

Capt. Pouts. I had well hoped she could not have spoke, she is so fat.

C. Fred. Long may'st thou wear thy knighthood; and thy spurs
Prick thee to honour on, and prick off curs.

Abra. Sir Abraham thanks your honour, and I hope your lordship will consider the simplicity of parents: a couple of old fools, my lord, and I pray so take 'em.

Omnes. Ha! ha! ha!

Abra. I must be fain to excuse you here: you'll be needs coming abroad with me. If I had no more wit than you now, we should be finely laughed at.

Sir Inn. By'r lady, his worship says well: wife, we'll trouble him no longer. With your honour's leave, I'll in and see my old friend Sir John, your father that shall be.

L. Nin. I'll in, too, and see if your bride need no dressing.
[Exeunt Sir Innocent and lady.[21]


C. Fred. 'Sfoot, as much as a tripe, I think:
Haste them, I pray. Captain, what thinkest thou
Of such a woman in a long sea voyage,
Where there were a dearth of victuals?

Capt. Pouts. Venison, my lord, venison.

Pen. I'faith, my lord, such venison as a bear is.

Capt. Pouts. Heart! she looks like a black bombard[22] with a pint pot waiting upon it.
[Exit Mrs Wagtail.

C. Fred. What countrymen were your ancestors, Sir Abraham?

Abra. Countrymen! they were no countrymen: I scorn it. They were gentlemen all: my father is a Ninny, and my mother was a Hammer.

Capt. Pouts. You should be a knocker, then, by the mother's side.

Abra. I pray, my lord, what is yon gentleman? He looks so like a Saracen that, as I am a Christian, I cannot endure him.

C. Fred. Take heed what you say, sir; he's a soldier.

Pen. If you cross him, he'll blow you up with gunpowder.

Abra. In good faith, he looks as if he had had a hand in the treason.[23] I'll take my leave.

C. Fred. Nay, good Sir Abraham, you shall not leave us.

Pen. My lord shall be your warrant.

Abra. My lord shall be my warrant? Troth, I do not see that a lord's warrant is better than any other man's, unless it be to lay one by the heels. I shall stay here, and ha' my head broke,[25] and then I ha' my mends in my own hands; and then my lord's warrant will help me to a plaister, that's all.

C. Fred. Come, come; captain, pray shake the hand of acquaintance with this gentleman: he is in bodily fear of you.

Capt. Pouts. Sir, I use not to bite any man.

Abra. Indeed, sir, that would show you are no gentleman. I would you would bid me be covered. I am a knight. I was knighted o'purpose to come a-wooing to Mistress Lucida, the middle sister, Sir John Worldly's second daughter, and she said she would have me, if I could make her a lady, and I can do't now. O, here she comes.

Enter Sir John Worldly, Master Strange, Kate, and Lucida with a willow garland.

C. Fred. My bride will never be ready, I think. Here are the other sisters.

Pen. Look you, my lord: there's Lucida wears the willow garland for you, and will so go to church, I hear. And look you, captain, that's the merchant.

Abra. Now doth the pot of love boil in my bosom:
Cupid doth blow the fire; and——
I cannot rhyme to bosom; but I'll go reason with her.

Sir J. Wor. You'll make her jointure of that five hundred, you say, that is your inheritance, Master Strange?

Strange. Sir, I will.

Sir J. Wor. Kate, do you love him?

Kate. Yes, faith, father, with all my heart.

Sir J. Wor. Take hands: kiss him. Her portion is four thousand.
Good morrow, my son Count: you stay long for your bride;
[26] But this is the day that sells her, and she
Must come forth like my daughter and your wife.
I pray, salute this gentleman as your brother;
This morn shall make him so, and though, his habit
But speak him citizen, I know his worth
To be gentle in all parts. Captain!

Capt. Pouts. Sir.

Sir J. Wor. Captain, I could have been contented well,
You should have married Kate.
Kate. So could not Kate.
Sir J. Wor. You have an honourable title.
A soldier is a very honourable title:
A captain is a commander of soldiers;
But look you, captain; captains have no money;
Therefore the Worldlys must not match with captains.

Capt. Pouts. So, sir, so.

Sir J. Wor. There are brave wars.

Capt. Pouts. Where?

Sir J. Wor. Find them out, brave captain.
Win honour and get money; by that time
I'll get a daughter for my noble captain.

Capt. Pouts. Good, sir, good.

Sir J. Wor. Honour is honour, but it is no money.
This is the tumbler, then, must catch the coney.
[Aspiciens Strange.

Capt. Pouts. Thou art an old[24] fellow. Are you a merchant, sir?

Strange. I shame not to say yes. Are you a soldier, sir?

Abra. A soldier, sir? O God! Ay, he is a captain.

Strange. He may be so, and yet no soldier, sir;
[27] For as many are soldiers, that are no captains,
So many are captains, that are no soldiers.

Capt. Pouts. Right, sir: and as many are citizens that are no cuckolds——

Strange. So many are cuckolds that are no citizens. What ail you, sir, with your robustious looks?

Capt. Pouts. I would be glad to see for my money: I have paid for my standing.

Strange. You are the nobler captain, sir;
For I know many that usurp that name,
Whose standings pay for them.

Capt. Pouts. You are a peddler.

Strange. You are a pot-gun.

Capt. Pouts. Merchant, I would thou hadst an iron tail,
Like me.

C. Fred. Fie, captain! You are to blame.

Pen. Nay, God's will! You are to blame indeed, if my lord say so.

Capt. Pouts. My lord's an ass, and you are another.

Abra. Sweet Mistress Luce, let you and I withdraw:
This is his humour. Send for the constable!

Capt. Pouts. Sirrah, I'll beat you with a pudding on the 'Change.

Strange. Thou dar'st as well kiss the wide-mouthed cannon
At his discharging, as perform as much
As thou dar'st speak; for, soldier, you shall know,
Some can use swords, that wear 'em not for show.

Kate. Why, captain, though ye be a man of war, you cannot subdue affection. You have no alacrity in your eye, and you speak as if you were in a dream. You are of so melancholy and dull a disposition, that on my conscience you would never get children; nay, nor on my body neither; and[28] what a sin were it in me, and a most pregnant sign of concupiscence, to marry a man that wants the mettle of generation, since that is the blessing ordained for marriage, procreation the only end of it. Besides, if I could love you, I shall be here at home, and you in Cleveland abroad—I among the bold Britons, and you among the hot-shots.

Sir J. Wor. No more puffing, captain;
Leave batteries with your breath: the short is this.
This worthy count this morning makes my son,
And with that happy marriage this proceeds.
Worldly's my name, worldly must be my deeds.
Capt. Pouts. I will pray for civil wars, to cut thy throat
Without danger, merchant. I will turn pirate,
But I'll be reveng'd on thee.
Strange. Do, captain, do:
A halter will take up our quarrel then.
Capt. Pouts. 'Swounds! I'll be reveng'd upon ye all!
The strange adventure thou art now to make
In that small pinnace, is more perilous
Than any hazard thou could'st undergo.
Remember, a scorn'd soldier told thee so.
[Exit Captain Pouts.
Strange. Go, walk the captain, good Sir Abraham.
Abra. Good faith, sir, I had rather walk your horse.
I will not meddle with him. I would not keep
Him company in his drink for a world.
Sir J. Wor. But
What good do you, Sir Abraham, on my daughter?
I could be e'en content, my Lucida
Would skip your wit and look upon your wealth,
And this one day let Hymen crown ye all.
Abra. O no, she laughs at me and scorns my suit:
[29] For she is wilder and more hard withal,
Than beast or bird, or tree, or stony wall.

Kate. Ha! God-a-mercy, old Hieronimo.[25]

Abra. Yet she might love me for my lovely eyes.

C. Fred. Ay, but perhaps your nose she doth despise.

Abra. Yet might she love me for my dimpled chin.

Pen. Ay, but she sees your beard is very thin.

Abra. Yet might she love me for my proper body.

Strange. Ay, but she thinks you are an errant noddy.

Abra. Yet might she love me, 'cause I am an heir.

Sir J. Wor. Ay, but perhaps she doth not like your ware.

Abra. Yet might she love me in despite of all.

Luc. Ay, but indeed I cannot love at all.

Sir J. Wor. Well, Luce, respect Sir Abraham, I charge you.

Luc. Father, my vow is pass'd: whilst the earl lives,
I ne'er will marry, nor will pine for him.
It is not him I love now, but my humour;
But since my sister he hath made his choice,
This wreath of willow, that begirds my brows,
Shall never cease to be my ornament,
'Till he be dead, or I be married to him.

Pen. Life! my lord; you had best marry 'em all three. They'll never be content else.

C. Fred. I think so, too.

Sir J. Wor. These are impossibilities. Come, Sir Abraham.
A little time will wear out this rash vow.


Abra. Shall I but hope?

Luc. O, by no means. I cannot endure these round breeches: I am ready to swoon at them.

Kate. The hose are comely.

Luc. And then his left leg: I never see it, but I think on a plum-tree.

Abra. Indeed, there's reason there should be some difference in my legs, for one cost me twenty pounds more than the other.

Luc. In troth, both are not worth half the money.

C. Fred. I hold my life, one of them was broke, and cost so much the healing.

Abra. Right hath your lordship said; 'twas broke indeed
At foot-ball in the university.

Pen. I know he is in love by his verse-vein.

Strange. He cannot hold out on't: you shall hear.

Abra. Well, since I am disdain'd, off garters blue!
Which signify Sir Abram's love was true;
Off, cypress black! for thou befits not me;
Thou art not cypress of the cypress-tree,
Befitting lovers. Out, green shoe-strings, out!
Wither in pocket, since my Luce doth pout.
Gush, eyes; thump, hand; swell, heart; buttons, fly open!
Thanks, gentle doublet, else my heart had broken.
Now to thy father's country house at Babram
Hide post; there pine and die, poor, poor Sir Abram.
Omnes. O doleful dump!
[Music plays.
Sir J. Wor. Nay, you shall stay the wedding. Hark, the music!
Your bride is ready.
C. Fred. Put spirit in your fingers! louder still,
And the vast air with your enchantments fill.
[Exeunt omnes.



Enter Nevill, like a parson.

Nev. Thus for my friend's sake have I taken orders,
And with my reason and some hire beside
Won the known priest, that was to celebrate
This marriage, to let me assume his place;
And here's the character of his face and beard.
By this means, when my friend confronts the maid
At the church-door (where I appointed him
To meet him like myself; for this strange shape
He altogether is unwitting of),
If she (as one vice in that sex alone
Were a great virtue) to inconstancy past
Join impudency, and slight him to his face,
Showing a resolution to this match,
By this attempt it will be frustrate,
And so we have more time, though but 'till night,
To work, to speak with her, or use violence;
For both my blood and means are at his service.
The reason, too, I do this past his knowledge
Is, that his joy may be the more complete;
When being resolv'd she's married and gone,
I can resolve him otherwise. Thus I know
Good deeds show double that are timely done,
And joy that comes past expectation.

Enter Scudmore in tawny.

Yonder he comes, dead in his melancholy.
I'll question him, and see if I can raise
His spirit from that it restless rests upon:
He cannot know me. Ho! good morrow, sir.
Scud. Good morrow to no living thing but one,
And that is Nevill. O, the vows, the vows,
[32] The protestations and becoming oaths,
Which she has utter'd to me!—so sweet, so many,—
As if she had been covetous not to leave
One word for other lovers, which I pitied:
She said indeed I did deserve 'em all.
Her lips made swearings sound of piety,
So sweet and prettily they came from her;
And yet this morn she's married to a lord.
Lord! lord! how often has she kiss'd this hand,
Lost herself in my eyes, play'd with my hair,
And made me (a sin I am not subject to)
Go away proud, improved by her favours;
And yet this morn she's married to a lord—
The bells were ringing as I came along.
Nev. Yes, sir; 'tis for the great marriage 'twixt——
Scud. Pray, hold there; I know it too-too well.
The tokens and the letters I have still.
The dangers I have pass'd for her dear sake
By day and night, to satisfy her wishes!
That letter I so lately did receive,
And yet this morn she's married to a lord!
O memory, thou blessing to all men,
Thou art my curse and cause of misery,
That tell'st me what I have been in her eyes,
And what I am! As it is impossible
To find one good in the whole world of women—
But how I lose myself and the remembrance
Of my dear friend who said he would meet me here.
What is this priest, that walks before the church?
Why walk you here so early, sir?
Nev. I am appointed
Here to attend the coming of the brides,
Old Sir John Worldly's daughters.

Scud. Are there two?

Nev. Yes, sir: the eldest marries Count Frederick.


Scud. O!

Nev. The middlemost wears willow for his sake;
The youngest marries the rich merchant Strange.
Scud. He is right worthy, and my well-known friend.
But, parson, if you marry Bellafront,
The horror of thy conscience shall exceed
A murderer's. Thou shalt not walk alone,
Nor eat nor sleep, but a sad lover's groans
And curses shall appear and fright thy soul.
I tell thee, priest, they're sights more terrible
Than ghosts or sprites, of which old wives tell tales.
Thou shalt run mad! thou shalt be damn'd indeed!
Nev. Now God forfend! the reason, sir, I pray?
Scud. She is contracted, sir—nay, married
Unto another man, though it want form:
And such strange passages and mutual vows,
'Twould make your short hair start through your black cap
Should you but hear it!
Nev. Sir, I'll take no notice
Of things I do not know: the injur'd gentleman
May bring 'em after into the spiritual court,
And have a fair pull on't—a poor gentleman
(For so I take him by his being deceiv'd)
'Gainst a great count and an old wealthy knight.
Scud. Thou Pancridge parson![26] O, for my friend Nevill!
Some wile or other might remove this priest,
And give us[27] breathing to cross their intent.
Nev. Alas! my dear friend.


Scud. Sir, do but you refuse to join them.

Nev. Upon what acquaintance, sir?
They are great persons, and I mean to rise:
I hope in time to have three livings, man;
And this were not the way, I take it, sir.

Scud. Why, look thee; there is gold.

Nev. O, by no means.

Scud. I seldom knew't refus'd yet by thy coat,
But where it would have been a cause of good.
Nev. But look ye; you shall see, I'm a divine
Of conscience quite opposite to a lawyer:
I'll give you counsel, sir, without a fee.
This way they are to come; if you dare do't,
Challenge her as your own at the church-door:
I will not hinder you.
[Music plays.
Scud. O, hark! they come.
Nevill, my friend! well, I must something do.
O, why should music, which joys every part,
Strike such sharp killing discords to my heart!

Music. Enter Sir John Worldly, who meets the parson, and entertains him; Count Frederick, Bellafront, Strange, Katherine, Lucida with willow; Pendant, Sir Innocent Ninny, Lady Ninny, Mrs Wagtail, Sir Abraham melancholy. W. P.[28] walk gravely afore all softly on. Scudmore stands before, and a boy sings to the tuned music.

The Song.
They that for worldly wealth do wed,
That buy and sell the marriage-bed,
[35] That come not warm'd with the true fire,
Resolv'd to keep this vow entire,
Too soon find discontent:
Too soon shall they repent.
But, Hymen, these are no such lovers,
Which thy burning torch discovers.
Though they live, then, many a year,
Let each day as new appear
As this first; and delights
Make of all bridal nights.
Iö, Hymen! give consent
Bless'd are the marriages that ne'er repent.

C. Fred. How now! who's this?

Pen. Young Scudmore.

Omnes. 'Tis young Scudmore!

Scud. Canst thou this holy church enter a bride, And not a corse, meeting these eyes of mine?

Bel. Yes, by my troth: what are your eyes to me,
But grey ones, as they are to everybody.
[To the rest.] The gentleman I do a little know:
He's frantic, sure! Forward, a' God's name, there!

Luc. Sister, this is not well, and will be worse.

Scud. O, hold thy thunder fast!

C. Fred. What is the matter?

Pen. I'll ask, my lord. What is the matter, sir?

Sir J. Wor. Some idle words, my lord, 't may be, have pass'd
'Twixt Scudmore and my daughter heretofore;
But he has dreamt 'em things of consequence.

Pen. Pish! nothing else? set forward.

Nev. By your leave.

Scud. Can there be such a soul in such a shape?
My love is subject of such misery,
Such strange impossibilities and misfortune,
That men will laugh at me, when I relate
[36] The story of it, and conceive I lie.
Why, madam that shall be—lady in posse—do titles,
Honours, and fortunes make you so forgetful?
Bel. You are insolent—nay, strangely saucy, sir,
To wrong me in this public fashion.
Sir. J. Wor. Sirrah, go to: there's law.
Scud. There is, indeed,
And conscience too: old Worldly, thou hast one;
But for the other, wild Virginia,
Black Afric, or the shaggy Scythia,
Must send it over as a merchandise,
Ere thou show any here.
Pen. My honour'd lord,
Say but the word, I'll force him from the door.

C. Fred. I say the word: do it.

Scud. You, my lord's fine fool!

Abra. Ay, he, sir?

Scud. No! nor you, my lord's fool's fool.

Sir Inn. 'Ware, boy: come back.

L. Nin. Come back, I say, Sir Abraham.

Strange. 'Tis such a forward child.
[Intrant Templum.[29]
Scud. My passion and my cause of griefs so great,
That it hath drown'd all worthy parts in me;
As drink makes virtue useless in a man,
And with too much kills natural heat in him,
Or else I could not stand thus coldly tame,
And see them enter, but with my drawn sword
Should hale her by the hair unto the altar.
And sacrifice her heart to wronged love.


Kath. On my life, it is so.[30]

Strange. Worthy friend,
I am exceeding sorry to see this,
But cannot help it.
Scud. I'll follow, and unfold all in the church.
Alas! to what end, since her mind is chang'd?
Had she been loyal, all the earthly lords
Could not have borne her so! what heinous sin
Hath she committed, God should leave her then?
I never dreamt of lying with my mother,
Nor wish'd my father's death, nor hated brothers;
Nor did betray trust, nor lov'd money better
Than an accepted friend—no such base thought
Nor act unnatural possess'd this breast.
Why am I thus rewarded?—women! women!
He's mad, by heaven, that thinks you anything
But sensual monsters, and is never wise
Nor good, but when he hates you, as I now.
I'll not come near one—none of your base sex
Shall know me from this time; for all your virtues
Are like the buzzes[31] growing in the fields,
So weakly fasten'd t' ye by nature's hand,
That thus much wind blows all away at once.
Ye fillers of the world with bastardy,
Worse than diseases ye are subject to,
Know, I do hate you all: will write against you,
And fight against you: I will eat no meat
Dress'd by a woman, old or young, nor sleep
Upon a bed made by their stallion[32] hands.
Yet once more I will see this feminine devil,
[38] When I will look her dead, speak her to hell!
I'll watch my time this day to do't, and then
I'll be in love with death, and readier still
His mortal stroke to take, than he to kill.
[Cornets. Exit Scudmore.

Loud music. Enter, as from the church, Sir John Worldly, Nevill, like the parson; Count Frederick, Bellafront, Strange, Katherine; Sir Innocent Ninny, Lady Ninny, Sir Abraham; Lucida, Wagtail, Pendant.

C. Fred. Sweet is the love purchas'd with difficulty.

Bel. Then, this cross accident doth relish ours.

Strange. I rather think ours happier, my fair Kate,
Where all is smooth, and no rub checks our course.

Enter Captain Pouts.

Capt. Pouts. Are ye married?

C. Fred. Yes.

Capt. Pouts. The devil dance at your wedding! But for you, I have something else to say. Let me see: here are reasonable good store of people. Know, all my beloved brethren (I speak it in the face of the congregation), this woman I have lain with oftener——

Omnes. How!

L. Nin. Before God, you are a wicked fellow to speak on't in this manner, if you have.

Strange. Lain with her?

Capt. Pouts. Yes. Good morrow. God give ye joy.
Sir J. Wor. I am speechless with my anger. Follow him!
If it be true, let her be prov'd a whore:
If false, he shall abide the slander dearly.
Abra. Follow that list: I will not meddle with him.
Sir J. Wor. Why speak'st not thou to reconcile those looks,
That fight stern battles in thy husband's face?
Kath. Thou art not so unworthy to believe him.
If I did think thou didst, I would not open
My lips to satisfy so base a thought,
Sprung from the slander of so base a slave.
Strange. It cannot be! I'll tell you by to-morrow.
I am no fool, Kate. I will find some time
To talk with this same captain. Pouts d'ye call him?
I'll be wi' ye to-night.
Kath. Sir, you shall not.
What stain my honour hath received by this
Base villain, all the world takes notice of.
Mark what I vow, and if I keep it not,
May I be so given o'er, to let this rogue
Perform his slander. Thou that wert ordained,
And in thy cradle mark'd to call me wife,
And in that title made as my defence,
Yet sufferedst him to go away with life,
Wounding my honour dead before thy face;
Redeem it on his head, and his own way,
Ev'n by the sword, his long profession,
And bring it on thy neck out of the field,
And set it clear amongst the tongues of men,
That all eyes may discern it slandered,
Or thou shalt ne'er enjoy me as a wife.
By this bright sun, thou shalt not! Nay, I'll think
As abjectly of thee as any mongrel
Bred in the city: such a citizen
As the plays flout still, and is made the subject
[40] Of all the stages. Be this true or no,
'Tis thy best course to fight.
Sir J. Wor. Why, Kate, I say——
Kath. Pray, pardon me: none feels the smart but I.
'Tis thy best course to fight: if thou be'st still,
And like an honest tradesmen eat'st this wrong,
O, may thy spirit and thy state so fall,
Thy first-born child may come to the hospital.
Strange. Heaven, I desire thee, hear her last request,
And grant it too, if I do slack the first!
By thy assured innocency I swear,
Thou hast lost me half the honour I shall win
In speaking my intent. Come, let's to dinner.
Kath. I must not eat nor sleep, [but] weep,
Till it be done.
Bel. Sister, this resolution is not good:
Ill thrives that marriage that begins in blood.
Kath. Sister, inform yourself I have no ladyship
To gild my infamy, or keep tongues in awe.
If God love innocency, I am sure
He shall not lose in this action.
Strange. Nor is't the other's life
Can give her to the world my perfect wife,
But what I do conceive. It is not blood, then,
Which she requires, but her good name again;
And I will purchase it; for, by heaven, thou art
The excellent'st new-fashion'd maid in this,
That ever ear shall hear a tale told of.
Omnes. But hear ye.
Strange. Good [people], save your labours, for by heaven
I'll do it: if I do't not, I shall be pointed at,
Proclaim'd the grand rich cuckold of the town;
Nay, wittol, even by them are known for both.


Sir J. Wor. Take your revenge by law.

Strange. It will be thought
Your greatness and our money carries it:
For some say some men on the back of law
May ride and rule it like a patient ass,
And with a golden bridle in the mouth
Direct it unto anything they please.
Others report it is a spider's web,
Made to entangle the poor helpless flies,
Whilst the great spiders that did make it first,
And rule it, sit i' th' midst secure, and laugh.
My law in this shall only be my sword;
But, peradventure, not this month or two.

Kath. This month or two?

C. Fred. I'll be your second, then.

Strange. You proffer too much honour, my good lord.

Pen. And I will be your third.

Abra. I'll not be fourth or fifth,
For the old proverb's good, which long hath been,
Says safest 'tis sleeping in a whole skin.

Luc. God-a-mercy, Nab, I'll ha' thee, and be but for thy manhood.

Sir Inn. Wife, my Lady Ninny, do you hear your son? He speaks seldom, but when he speaks——

Luc. He speaks proverbs, i' faith.

L. Nin. O, 'tis a pestilence knight, Mistress Lucida.

Luc. Ay, and a pocky.

Kath. This month or two! D'ye love me? not before?
It may be I will live so long Fame's whore!
[Exit Katherine.
Sir J. Wor. What lowering star rul'd my nativity!
You'll come to dinner?


Strange. Yes.

C. Fred. Good morrow, brother.
Come, let's be merry in despite of all,
And make this day (as't should be) festival.
Sir J. Wor. This sour thwart beginning may portend
Good, and be crown'd with a delicious end.
[Exeunt all but Strange.
Strange. So; I'll not see you, till my task be done:
So much false time I set to my intent,
Which instantly I mean to execute,
To cut off all means of prevention,
Which if they knew my day, they would essay.
Now for the merchant's honour. Hit all right:
Kate, your young Strange will lie with you to-night.

Enter Wagtail; the Page, stealing after her, conceals himself.

Wag. What a stir is here made about lying with a gentlewoman! I have been lain with a hundred, and a hundred times, and nothing has come on't! but—hawk, hum! hawk, hum! O, O! Thus have I done for this month or two—hawk, hum!
[Coughs and spits.]

Page. Ah! God's will, are you at it? You have acted your name too much, sweet Mistress Wagtail. This was wittily, though somewhat knavishly followed on me.

Wag. Umph! O' my conscience, I am peppered. Well, thou tumblest not for nothing, for he dances as well that got thee, and plays as well on the viol, and yet he must not father thee. I have better men. Let me remember them, and here, in my melancholy, choose out one rich enough to[43] reward this my stale virginity, or fit enough to marry my little honesty. Hawk, hawk!
[Coughs and spits.]

Page. She has a shrewd reach, I see that. What a casting she keeps. Marry, my comfort is, we shall hear by and by who has given her the casting-bottle.

Wag. Hawk, hawk, hawk! bitter, bitter! Pray God, I hurt not the babe. Well, let me see, I'll begin with knights: imprimis, Sir John Do't-well and Sir William Burn-it.

Page. A hot knight, by my faith; Do't-well and Burn-it too.

Wag. For old Sir Innocent Ninny, my master, if I speak my conscience, look ye, I cannot directly accuse him. Much has he been about, but done nothing. Marry, for Sir Abraham, I will not altogether 'quit him. Let me see, there's four knights: now for gentlemen——

Page. And so she'll come down to the footmen.

Wag. Master Love-all, Master Liveby't, and Master Pendant. Hawk, hi'up, hi'up!

Page. By this light, I have heard enough. Shall I hold your belly too, fair maid of the fashion?
[Comes forward.

Wag. What say ye, Jack Sauce?

Page. O fie, ill-mutton! you are too angry. Why, look ye; I am my lord's page, and you are my lady's gentlewoman: we should agree better; and I pray, whither are you riding with this burthen in your dosser.[33]


Wag. Why, sir, out of town. I hope 'tis not the first time you have seen a child carried out of town in a dosser for fear of the plague.

Page. You have answered me, I promise you: but who put it in, I pray?

Wag. Not you, sir, I know, by your asking.

Page. I, alas! I know that by my talent; for I remember thus much philosophy of my school-masters, ex nihilo nihil fit. But come, setting this duello of wit aside, I have overheard your confession and your casting about for a father, and in troth, in mere charity, came in to relieve you. In the scroll of beasts, horses and asses, that have fed upon this common of yours, you named one Pendant: faith, wench, let him be the father. He is a very handsome gentleman, I can tell you, in my lord's favour. I'll be both secret and your friend to my lord. Let it be him; he shall either reward thee bountifully, or marry thee.

Wag. Sir, you speak like an understanding young gentleman, and I acknowledge myself much bound to you for your counsel.

Pen. (Within). Will, Will!

Page. My lord hath sent him to call me. Now I hold a wager on't, if thou be'st not a fool, as most waiting-women are, thou'lt use him in his kind.

Enter Pendant.

Pen. Why, Will, I say! Go; my lord calls extremely.

Page. Did not I say so? Come, this is but a trick to send me off, sir.
[Exit PAGE.

Pen. A notable little rascal.
Pretty Mistress Wagtail, why d'ye walk so melancholy?
I sent him hence o' purpose. Come, shall's do?


Wag. Do! what would you do? You have done too much already.

Pen. What's the matter?

Wag. I am with child by you.

Pen. By me? Why, by me? A good jest, i' faith.

Wag. You'll find it, sir, in earnest.

Pen. Why, do you think I am such an ass to believe nobody has meddled with you but I?

Wag. Do you wrong me so much to think otherwise?
Thus 'tis for a poor damsel like myself
To yield her honour and her youth to any,
Who straight conceives she does so unto many:
And as I have a soul to save, 'tis true.

Pen. Pray, do not swear. I do not urge you to't. 'Swounds, now I am undone! You walk somewhat round. Sweetheart, has nobody been tampering with you else? Think on't, for by this light, I am not worth the estate of an apple-wife. I do live upon commending my lord, the Lord of Hosts knows it, and all the world besides. For me to marry thee will undo thee more,

And that thou may'st keep me, keep thee in fashion,
Sell thee to English, French, to Scot, and all,
Till I have brought thee to an hospital;
And there I leave you. Ha' you not heard nor read
Of some base slave that, wagging his fair head,
Does whistling at one end of his shop-walk,
Whilst some gay man doth vomit bawdy talk
In his wife's ears at the other? Such a rogue

Or worse shall I be; for look ye, Mistress Wagtail, I do live like a chameleon upon the air, and not like a mole upon the earth. Land I have none. I pray God send me a grave, when I am dead.


Wag. It's all one. I'll have you for your qualities.

Pen. For my good ones, they are altogether unknown, because they have not yet been seen, nor ever will be, for they have no being. In plain terms, as God help me, I have none.

Wag. How came you by your good clothes?

Pen. By undoing tailors; and then, my lord (like a snake) casts a suit every quarter, which I slip into: therefore thou art worse than mad if thou wilt cast away thyself upon me.

Wag. Why, what 'mends will you make me? can you give me some sum of money to marry me to some tradesman, as the play says?

Pen. No, by my troth. But tell me this, has not Sir Abraham been familiar with you?

Wag. Faith, not enough to make up a child.

Pen. Couldst be content to marry him?

Wag. Ay, by my troth, and thank ye, too.

Pen. Has he but kissed thee?

Wag. Yes; and something more beside that.

Pen. Nay, and there ha' been any jot of the thing, beside that, I'll warrant thee, lay the child to him—
Stand stifly to it, leave the rest to me;
By that fool thou shalt save thy honesty.


Enter Strange, knocking at a door.

Strange. Lies Captain Pouts here, pray?

Enter a Servingman.

Ser. Sir, he does.

Strange. I prythee, tell him here's a gentleman would speak with him.


Ser. What may I call your name, sir?

Strange. No matter for my name.

Ser. Troth, sir, the Captain is somewhat doubtful of strangers; and being, as most captains are, a little in debt, I know he will not speak with you, unless you send your name.

Strange. Tell him my name is Strange; that I am come
About that business he spake of to-day.
[Exit Servant.
To have sent a formal challenge by a gentleman,
He being to choose his time, might peradventure
Have made him shift himself the sooner over.

Enter Pouts above.

Capt. Pouts. Sir, I know your business. You are come to serve a warrant or a citation: I will not speak with you; and get you gone quickly too, or I may happen send a bullet through your mazzard.

Strange. Strange cross! past expectation! well, I'll try;
My other course may speed more happily.


Music. Enter with table-napkins, Count Frederick, Sir John Worldly, Nevill, Pendant, Sir Innocent Ninny, Lady Ninny, Sir Abraham. Servants with wine, plate, tobacco, and pipes.

Sir J. Wor. Sir, had you borne us company to church,
You had been the better welcome.


C. Fred. Faith, you had; I must needs say so too.

Pen. And I must needs say as my lord says.

Nev. Sir John, I thank you and my honour'd lord:
But I am sorry for this other news
Concerning Mistress Kate and my good friend.
Sir J. Wor. Tis certain true: he keeps his word well too!
He said he would come to dinner.

L. Nin. All we cannot get Mistress Katherine out of her chamber.

Sir J. Wor. O good old woman, she is top-shackled.

L. Nin. 'Tis pestilence sack and cruel claret: knight, stand to me, knight, I say: up, a cold stomach! give me my aqua-vitæ bottle.

Sir Inn. O Guiniver! as I am a justice of peace and quorum, 'twere a good deed to commit thee. Fie, fie, fie!

Abra. Why, alas! I cannot help this, and I should be hanged: she'll be as drunk as a porter. I'll tell you, my lord, I have seen her so be-piss the rushes, as she has danced at a wedding. Her belly and that aqua-vitæ bottle have almost undone my father. Well, I think in conscience she is not my natural-begotten mother.

Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!

Nev. Well said, my wise Sir Abraham.[34]

C. Fred. O, this music
And good wine is the soul of all the world.
Sir J. Wor. Come, will your lordship make one at primero,
Until your bride come forth?

Nev. You can play well, my lord.

C. Fred. Who, I?

Pen. Who? my lord? the only player at primero i' the court.

Abra. I'd rather play at bowls.

Pen. My lord's for you for that, too: the only bowler in London that is not a churchwarden.

Nev. Can he fence well, too, Master Pendant?

Pen. Who? my lord? the only fencer in Christendom. He'll hit you.

Abra. He shall not hit me, I assure you, now.

Nev. Is he good at the exercise of drinking, sir?

Pen. Who? my lord? the only drunkard i' th' world—drinker, I would say.

Abra. God-a-mercy for that.

Nev. I would he heard him.

Abra. I know a better whoremaster than he.

Nev. O fie! no: none so good as my lord.

Pen. Hardly, by'r Lady, hardly.

C. Fred. How now! who's this?

Enter Scudmore, like a servingman, with a letter.

Sir J. Wor. What would you?

Scud. I would speak with the Lady Bellafront from the young Lady Lucy.

Sir J. Wor. You had best send in your letter; she is withdrawn.

Scud. My lady gave me charge of the delivery,
And I must do't myself, or carry it back.

Sir J. Wor. A trusty servant. That way leads you to her.


C. Fred. This trust in servants is a jewel. Come,
Let us to bowls i' th' garden.

SCUD. Blessed fate!

[Scudmore passeth one door, and entereth the other, where Bellafront sits asleep in a chair, under a taffata canopy.

Scud. O thou, whose words and actions seem'd to me
As innocent as this smooth sleep which hath
Lock'd up thy powers! Would thou hadst slept, when first
Thou sent'st and profferedst me beauty and love!
I had been ignorant, then, of such a loss.
Happy's that wretch, in my opinion,
That never own'd scarce jewels or bright sums:
He can lose nothing but his constant wants;
But speakless is his plague, that once had store,
And from superfluous state falls to be poor.
Such is my hell-bred hap! could nature make
So fair a superficies to enclose
So false a heart? This is like gilded tombs,
Compacted of jet pillars, marble stones,
Which hide from 's stinking flesh and rotten bones.
Pallas so sat (methinks) in Hector's tent.
But time, so precious and so dangerous,
Why do I lose thee? Madam, my lady, madam.
Bel. Believe me, my dear friend, I was enforc'd.
Ha! I had a dream as strange as thou art, fellow.
How cam'st thou hither? what's thy business?

Scud. That letter, madam, tells you.

Bel. Letter? ha!
What, dost thou mock me? here is nothing writ.

Scud. Can you read anything, then, in this face?

Bel. O basilisk! remove thee from my sight,
Or thy heart's blood shall pay thy rash attempt!
Ho! who attends us there?
Scud. Stir not a foot,
And stop your clamorous acclamations,
[51] Or, by the bitterness of my fresh wrongs,
I'll send your ladyship to the devil quick!
I know the hazard I do undergo,
And whatsoe'er after becomes of me,
I'll make you sure first. I am come to speak—
And speak I will freely—and to bring back
Your letters and such things you sent; and then
I'll ne'er see those deceiving eyes again.
Bel. O, I am sick of my corruption!
For God's sake, do not speak a word more to me.
Scud. Not speak? yes, woman, I will roar aloud:
Call thee the falsest fair that ever breath'd;
Tell thee, that in this marriage thou hast drown'd
All virtue left to credit thy weak sex,
Which being (as 'twere) committed to thy trust,
Thou traitorously hast betray'd it thus!
Did I entice, or ever send thee gifts,
To allure thee to reflect a beam on me?
Nay, didst not thou thyself send and invent,
Past human wit, our means of intercourse?
Why dost thou then prove base unto thyself,
Perjur'd and impious? know, the good thou hast lost
In my opinion, doth outvalue far
The airy honours thou art married to.
Bel. O, peace! for you speak sharpness to my soul,
More torturous than hell's plagues to the damn'd.
For love's sake, hear me speak!
Scud. For love's sake? no:
Love is my surfeit, and is turn'd in me
To a disease.
Bel. Tyrant! my knees shall beg,
Till they get liberty for my tongue to speak,
Drown'd, almost, in the rivers of mine eyes.

Scud. What canst thou say? art thou not married?


Bel. Alas! I was enforc'd; first by the threats
Of a severe father, that in his hand
Did gripe my fortunes: next to that, the fame
Of your neglect and liberal-talking tongue,
Which bred my honour an eternal wrong.
Scud. Pish! these are painted causes. Till this morn
He liv'd not in this land, that durst accuse
My integrity of such an ignorance.
But take your letters here, your paper vows,
Your picture and your bracelets; and if ever
I build again upon a woman's faith,
May sense forsake me! I will sooner trust
Dice or a reconciled enemy: O God!
What an internal joy my heart has felt,
Sitting at one of these same idle plays,
When I have seen a maid's inconstancy
Presented to the life! how my glad eyes
Have stole about me, fearing lest my looks
Should tell the company convented there
The mistress that I had free of such faults.

Bel. O, still retain her so! dear Scudmore, hear me.

Scud. Retain thee so? it is impossible!
Art thou not married? 'tis impossible!
O no! I do despise thee, and will fly
As far on earth as to the Antipodes,
And by some learn'd magician, whose deep art
Can know thy residence on this hemisphere,
There I'll be plac'd, my feet just against thine,
To express the opposite nature, which our hearts
Must henceforth hold.
Bel. O, rather shoot me, friend,
Than let me hear thee speak such bitterness!
O, pity me! redeem me from the hell,
That in this marriage I am like to feel!
I'll rather fly to barren wildernesses,
And suffer all wants with thee, Scudmore, than
[53] Live with all plenty in this husband's arms.
Thou shalt perceive I am not such a woman,
That is transported with vain dignities.
O, thy dear words have knock'd at my heart's gates,
And enter'd. They have pluck'd the devil's vizard
(That did deform this face, and blind my soul)
Off, and thy Bellafront presents herself,
Lav'd in a bath of contrite virginal tears:
Cloth'd in the original beauty that was thine!
Now, for thy love to God, count this not done:
Let time go back, and be as when before it,
Or from thy memory rase it for ever!
Scud. Ha, ha! heart! was there ever such strange creatures fram'd?
Why dost thou speak such foolish, senseless things?
Can thy forsaking him redeem thy fault?
No, I will never mend an ill with worse.
Why, thy example will make women false,
When they shall hear it, that before were true;
For after ill examples we do fly,
But must be vow'd to deeds of piety.
O woman, woman, woman, woman, woman!
The cause of future and original sin,
How happy (had you not) should we have been!
False, where you kiss, but murdering in your ire;
Love all can woo, know all men you desire:
Ungrateful, yet most impudent to crave,
Torturous as hell, insatiate as the grave:
Lustful as monkeys, grinning in your ease,
Whom if we make not idols, we ne'er please:
More vainly proud than fools, as ignorant;
Baser than parasites: witches that enchant
And make us senseless, to think death or life
Is yours to give, when only our belief
Doth make you able to deceive us so:
Begot by drunkards to breed sin and woe;
As many foul diseases hide your veins,
[54] As there are mischiefs coin'd in your quick brains:
Not quick in wit, fit to perform least good,
But to subvert whole states, shed seas of blood:
Twice as deceitful as are crocodiles,
For you betray both ways, with tears and smiles.
Yet questionless there are as good, as bad.
Hence! let me go.
Bel. Hear me, and thou shalt go.
I do confess I do deserve all this,
Have wounded all the faith my sex doth owe,
But will recover it, or pay my life.
Strive not to go, for you shall hear me first.
I charge thee, Scudmore, thou hard-hearted man,
Upon my knees—
Thou most implacable man, since penitence
And satisfaction too gets not thy pardon,
I charge thee use some means to set me free,
[Rises again.]
Before the revels of this night have end.
Prevent my entering to this marriage-bed;
Or by the memory of Lucretia's knife,
Ere morn I'll die a virgin, though a wife.
Scud. Pish! do: the world will have one mischief less.


Enter Sir Abraham Ninny, throwing down his bowl.

Abra. Bowl they that list, for I will bowl no more.
Cupid, that little bowler, in my breast
Rubs at my heart, and will not let me rest.
[Within: Rub, rub, fly, fly.[35]
[55] Ay, ay, you may cry Rub, fly, to your bowls,
For you are free: love troubles not your jowls,
But from my head to heel, from heel to heart:
Behind, before, and roundabout I smart.
Then in this arbour, sitting all alone,
In doleful ditty let me howl my moan.
O boy![36] leave pricking, for I vail my bonnet:[37]
Give me but breath, while I do write a sonnet.

Enter Pendant.

Pen. I have lost my money, and Sir Abraham too. Yonder he sits at his muse, by heaven, drowned in the ocean of his love. Lord! how he labours, like a hard-bound poet whose brains had a frost in 'em. Now it comes.

Abra. I die, I sigh.

Pen. What, after you are dead? very good.

Abra. I die, I sigh, thou precious stony jewel.

Pen. Good; because she is hard-hearted.

Abra. I die.
Pen. He has died three times, and come again.
Abra. ——I sigh, thou precious stony jewel.
Wearing of silk, why art thou still so cruel.
Pen. O Newington conceit!
And quieting eke.[38]

Abra. Thy servant, Abraham, sends this foolish ditty.

Pen. You say true, in troth, sir.

Abra. Thy servant, Abraham, sends this foolish dit-
Ty unto thee, pity both him and it.


Pen. Ty unto thee: well, if she do not pity both, 'tis pity she should live.

Abra. But if thou still wilt poor Sir Abraham frump,
Come, grim death, come! here give thy mortal thump.

So; now I'll read it together.

I die, I sigh, thou precious stony jewel,
O, wherefore wear'st thou silk, yet art so cruel?
To thee thy Ninny sends this foolish dit-
Ty, and pity both him and it.[39]
If thou deny, and still Sir Abraham frump,
Come, grim death, come! here give thy mortal thump.

Let me see, who shall I get now to set it to a dumpish note.

Pen. In good faith, I do not know; but nobody that is wise, I am sure of that. It will be an excellent matter sung to the knacking of the tongs. But to my business. God save thee, worthy and right worshipful Sir Abraham! what, musing and writing? O, this love will undo us all, and that made me prevent love, and undo myself. But what news of Mistress Lucida? ha! will she not come off, nor cannot you come on, little Abraham?

Abra. Faith, I have courted her, and courted her; and she does, as everybody else does, laughs at all I can do or say.

Pen. Laughs; why that's a sign she is pleased. Do you not know, when a woman laughs, she's pleased?


Abra. Ay, but she laughs most shamefully and most scornfully.

Pen. Scornfully! hang her, she's but a bauble.

Abra. She's the fitter for my turn, sir; for they will not stick to say, I am a fool, for all I am a knight.[40]

Pen. Love has made you witty, little Nab; but what a mad villain art thou, a striker, a fiftieth part of Hercules, to get one wench with child, and go a-wooing to another.

Abra. With child! a good jest, i' faith: whom have I got with child?

Pen. Why, Mistress Wagtail is with child, and will be deposed 'tis yours. She is my kinswoman, and I would be loth our house should suffer any disgrace in her; if there be law in England, which there should be, if we may judge by their consciences, or if I have any friends, the wench shall take no wrong. I cannot tell: I think my lord will stick to me.

Abra. D'ye hear? talk not to me of friends, law, or conscience: if your kinswoman say she is with child by me, your kinswoman is an errant whore. Od's will, have you nobody to put your gulls upon but knights? That Wagtail is a whore, and I'll stand to it.

Pen. Nay, you have stood to it already. But to call my cousin whore! you have not a mind to have your throat cut, ha' you?

Abra. Troth, no great mind, sir.

Pen. Recant your words, or die.
[Draws his sword.

Abra. Recant? O, base! out, sword, mine honour keep:
Love, thou hast made a lion of a sheep.


Pen. But will you fight in this quarrel?

Abra. I am resolved.

Pen. Heart! I have pulled an old house over my head: here's like to be a tall fray. I perceive a fool's valianter than a knave at all times. Would I were well rid of him: I had as lief meet Hector, God knows, if he dare fight at all: they are all one to me; or, to speak more modernly, with one of the roaring boys.

Abra. Have you done your prayers?

Pen. Pray give me leave, sir: put up, an't please you. Are you sure my cousin Wagtail is a whore?

Abra. With sword in hand I do it not recant.

Pen. Well, it shall never be said Jack Pendant would venture his blood in a whore's quarrel. But, whore or no whore, she is most desperately in love with you: praises your head, your face, your nose, your eyes, your mouth: the fire of her commendations makes the pot of your good parts run over; and to conclude, if the whore have you not, I think the pond at Islington will be her bathing-tub, and give an end to mortal misery. But if she belie you——pray, put up, sir; she is an errant whore, and so let her go.

Abra. Does she so love me, say you?

Pen. Yes, yes: out of all question, the whore does love you abominable.

Abra. No more of these foul terms: if she do love me,
That goes by fate, I know it by myself.
I'll not deny but I have dallied with her.

Pen. Ay, but hang her, whore; dallying will get no children.

Abra. Another whore, and draw! Where is the girl?

Pen. Condoling her misfortune in the gallery;
Upon the rushes sitting all alone,
And for Sir Abraham's love venting her moan.
[59] Abra. I know not what to say: fate's above all.
Come, let's go overbear her. Be this true,
Welcome, my Wagtail: scornful Luce, adieu.
Pen. One way it takes yet. 'Tis a fool's condition,
Whom none can love, out of his penury
To catch most greedily at any wench
That gives way to his love, or feigns her own
First unto him: and so Sir Abraham now,
I hope, will buy the pool where I will fish.
Thus a quick knave makes a fat fool his dish.

Enter Captain Pouts.

Capt. Pouts. I have played the melancholy ass, and partly the knave, in this last business, but as the parson said that got the wench with child, "'Tis done now, sir; it cannot be undone, and my purse or I must smart for it."

Enter Servant.

Ser. Your trunks are shipped, and the tide falls out about twelve to-night.

Capt. Pouts. I'll away. This law is like the basilisk, to see it first is the death on't.[41] This night and, noble London, farewell; I will never see thee more, till I be knighted for my virtues. Let me see, when shall I return? and yet I do not think, but there are a great many dubbed for their virtues; otherwise, how could there be so many poor knights?[42]

Enter Strange, like a soldier, amazedly.

What art thou? what's thy news?

Strange. 'Zoons; a man is fain to break open


doors, ere he can get in to you. I would speak with a general sooner.

Capt. Pouts. Sir, you may: he owes less, peradventure; or if more, he is more able to pay't. What art?

Strange. A soldier; one that lives upon this buff jerkin: 'twas made of Fortunatus's pouch; and these are the points I stand upon. I am a soldier.

Capt. Pouts. A counterfeit rogue you are.

Strange. As true a rogue as thyself. Thou wrong'st me. Send your man away: go to, I have strange and welcome business to impart. The merchant is dead for shame: let's walk into the fields: send away your man.

Capt. Pouts. How?

Strange. Here is a letter from the lusty Kate,
That tells you all: I must not give it you,
But upon some conditions. Let us walk,
And send away your man.

Capt. Pouts. Go, sirrah, and bespeak supper at the Bear, and provide oars: I'll see Gravesend to-night.
[Exit Servant.

Strange. The gentlewoman will run mad after you then. I'll tell you more: let's walk.


Enter Scudmore and Nevill.

I see great'st spirits[43] can serve to their own ends.
Were you the seeming servingman that pass'd by?
Scud. By my sad heart, I was; and not a tittle
Of my relation to thee wrong or feign'd.
Nev. In troth you were to blame to venture so.
Mischiefs find us: we need not mischiefs seek.
Scud. I am not tied to that opinion,[44]
They are like women, which do always shun
Their lovers and pursuers, and do follow
With most rank appetites them that do fly:
All mischief that I had is but one woman,
And that one woman all mischance to me:
Who speaks worst of them, there's[45] the best of men.
They are like shadows: mischiefs are like them.
Death fears me, for in troth I seek him out.
The sun is stale to me; to-morrow morn,
As this, 'twill rise: I see no difference.
The night doth visit me but in one robe,
She brings as many thoughts as she wears stars,
When she is pleasant, but no rest at all.
For what new strange thing should I covet life, then?
Is not she false, whom only I thought true?
Shall time to show his strength make Scudmore live,
Till (perish the vicious thought!) I love not thee,
Or thou, dear friend, remove thy heart from me?
Nev. Time is as weak for that, as he is old.
Take comfort, and attend this counsel, friend:
This match is neither sacred nor [is] sure;
Close fate annihilates what opinion makes,
And since she is resolved this night to die,
If you do not redeem her, give the means,
Or her blood (credit me) will spring heavier griefs.
[62] Sorer and stranger, in thy oppressed heart,
Than her false love before. Besides, 'tis you,
My Scudmore, that are false, if you will not
Consent to let her make vows good, which were
But in a possibility to be broke.
This her repentance casts her vice quite off,
And if you leave her now, you take it on.
Nay, you incur a bloody mortal sin:
You do become an actual murderer.
If you neglect her, she will kill herself
This night by poison, knife, or other means.
God gives you power to cross her desperate will,
And if you save not, where you may, you kill.
Scud. Why, can my noble and wise friend think still
That what a woman says her heart doth mean?
Can you believe that she will kill herself?
'Tis a full hour, since she spake the word,
And God forbid, that any woman's mind
Should not be chang'd and chang'd in a long hour.
She is by this time in her lordly arms,
And, like pleas'd Juno clasp'd by Jupiter,
Forgets the plaints of poor mortality:
Such state, such pride, as poets show her in,
Incens'd with Jove's loose 'scapes upon the earth,
She cast on me at our encountering.
As cold and heavy as a rock of ice,
In her love to me, which while I there stay'd,
My bitter and hot words resolv'd[46] a little:
Just as the sun doth ice I soften'd her,
[63] And made her drown her fault in her own tears.
But think you she holds this flexible vein?
No, I'm remov'd, and she's congeal'd again.
Nev. How well does Scudmore speak ill for himself!
Wit's a disease that fit employment wants;
Therefore we see those happiest in best parts,
And fortunes under-born unto their merits,[47]
Grow to a sullen envy, hate, and scorn
Of their superiors; and at last, like winds,
Break forth into rebellious civil wars
Or private treasons: none so apt for these
As melancholy wits, fetter'd with need.
How free's the rustic swain from these assaults!
He never feels a passion all his life,
But when he cannot sleep, or hunger gripes;
And though he want reason, wit, art—nay, sense,
Is not so senseless to capitulate,
And ask God why he made not him as great
As that same foolish lord or that rich knave?
His brain with nothing does negotiate,
But his hard husbandry, which makes him live.
But have we worthy gifts, as judgment, learning,
Ingenious sharpness (which wise God indeed
Doth seldom give out of His equal hand,
But join'd with poverty, to make it even
With riches, which he clogs with ignorance),
We vent our blessing in profane conceits,
Foul bawdry, or strong arguments against
Ourselves,[48] and stark blindly hold it best
Rather to lose a soul than lose a jest.
Scud. Ill terms my friend this wit in any man;
For that, but season'd with discretion,
[64] Holds him in awe of all these blemishes
Frees him of envy, doth philosophise
His spirit, that he makes no difference
'Twixt man and man, 'twixt fortunes high and low,
But as the thicker they with virtues grow.
Freedom and bondage wit can make all one;
So 'twould by being left and being lov'd,
If I had any of it temper'd so.
But you have spoke all this, condemning me
For having wit to speak against myself,
But I'll be rul'd by you in all.
Nev. Then thus.
To-night by promise I do give a masque,
As to congratulate the bridal day,
In which the Count, Pendant, and the wise knight
Will be most worthy dancers: sir, you shall
Learn but my part, which I will teach you too,
As nimbly as the usher did teach me,
And follow my further directions.
Though I, i' th' morn, were [no][49] prodigious wight,
I'll give thee Bellafront in thine arms to-night.
Scud. I am your property, my enginer.[50]
Prosper your purposes! shine, thou eye of heaven.
And make thy lowering morn a smiling even!


Enter Captain Pouts, with a letter, and Strange, like a soldier.

Strange. O, these are Lambeth fields.


Capt. Pouts. Strange murder'd on the wedding-day by you,
At his own bride's appointment, for my sake?

Strange. As dead as charity.

Capt. Pouts. This sounds not well.

Strange. 'Zoons! you may say as well I am the man,
As doubt he lives. A plague of your belief!
D'ye know this bloody ruff, which she has sent,
Lest you should be incredulous, and this ring
Which you have seen her wear.
Capt. Pouts. I know the ring,
And I have seen the ruff about his neck.
This comes of enforc'd marriages. Where was't done?
And how escap'd you?
Strange. Sir, receive it briefly.
I am her kinsman, and being newly come
Over, and not intending to stay long,
Took this day to go see my cousin Worldly
(For so my name is), where I found all of them
So deeply drenched in the bridal cup,
That sleep had ta'en possession of their eyes.
Bacchus had given them such an overthrow,
Their bodies lay like slaughtered carcases;
One here, one there, making such antic faces,
As drunkenness had mock'd at drunkenness.
In troth, their postures and their sleep, like death
(For theirs was liker death than sober sleep),
Remember'd me of body-scatter'd fields,
After the bloody battles I have seen.
'Twas such a season, to make short my tale,
As fate had said, "Now murders may be done
And ne'er reveal'd." Approaching further, I
Lighted upon a chamber, where your love
Sat by this merchant, cast drunk on the bed—
She weeping and lamenting her mishap,
Assur'd both, of my daring and my trust,
[66] Fell flat upon the ground, then rais'd herself,
Hung on my neck, then sunk down to my legs,
Told all things pass'd to-day, and never ceas'd,
Till I had ta'en life from that half-dead man
Before, whom straight I strangled with this rope.
Capt. Pouts. You have show'd some kindness to me:
I must love you, sir. What did you with his body?
Strange. Having first,
By her direction, put on these his clothes,
That like the murder'd man the safelier
I might pass with her, being her husband's shape,
If any of the servants had been wak'd,
She show'd me to a necessary vault,
Within a closet in the chamber too,
And there I threw the body.

Capt. Pouts. Whence this blood?

Strange. That she herself first let out of his veins;
Wherein she dipp'd the ruff about his neck,
And said, "Go, bear this ensign of my love,
To assure him what I dar'd for his dear sake."
Capt. Pouts. Where is the maid?
Strange. Captain, a maid for you!
(But well you know, I hope, she is no maid)
But maid or no maid, she is at my mother's,
Whence I will bring her whither you'll appoint
To-night; and let this tide convey all hence,
For staying will be something perilous.
Capt. Pouts. I will kill two men for you; till then
I owe my life to you, and if ever racks,
Strappadoes, wheel, or any torturous engine,
Even from the Roman yoke to the Scotch boot,[51]
Force me discover you or her to law,
[67] Pray God the merchant may respire again.
But what a villain have I been to wrong her!
Did she not tell you how I injur'd her?
Strange. She said you challeng'd her, and publicly
Told you had lain with her; but truth's no wrong.
Capt. Pouts. Truth! 'twas more false than hell, and you shall see me
(As well as I can repent of any sin)
Ask her forgiveness for wounding of her name,
And 'gainst the world recover her lost fame.
Kind soul! would I could weep to make amends!
Why, I did slander her at the church-door.
Strange. The more base villain thou.
[Strike him.
Capt. Pouts. Ha! what's the news?
Strange. Thou unspeakable rascal! thou, a soldier!
A captain of the suburbs, a poor foist,[52]
That with thy slops and cat-a-mountain face,
Thy bladder-chops and thy robustious words,
Fright'st the poor whore, and terribly dost exact
A weekly subsidy, twelvepence apiece,
Whereon thou liv'st; and on my conscience,
Thou snapp'st besides with cheats and cutpurses.
Capt. Pouts. Heart! this is some railing poet.
Why, you rogue!

Strange. Thou rogue—far worse than rogues—thou slanderer!

Capt. Pouts. Thou worse than slanderous rogues; thou murderer!

Strange. 'Tis well-remember'd: I will cut thy throat,
[68] To appease that merchant's soul, which ne'er will rest
Till some revenge be taken on thy tongue.
Capt. Pouts. I'll kill thee first, and in thy vital flood
Wash my hands clean of that young merchant's blood.
Strange. You fight, as if you had fought afore.
I can still hold my sword: come on, sir.
Capt. Pouts. 'Zoons! can you ward so well? I think you are
One of the noble science of defence.
Strange. True, o' th' science of noble defence I am,
That fight in safeguard of a virtuous name.
[Cadit Captain Pouts.

Capt. Pouts. O, now I understand you, and you stand over me. My hurts are not mortal, but you have the better. If your name be Worldly, be thankful for your fortune.

Strange. Give me thy sword, or I will kill thee.

Capt. Pouts. Some wiser than some! I love my reputation well, yet I am not so valiant an ass but I love my life better. There's my sword.

Strange. Then get upon my back: come, all shall be well.
I'll carry thee unto a surgeon first,
And then unto thy wench. Come, we are friends.

Capt. Pouts. God-a-mercy. 'Zoons! methinks I see myself in Moorfields, upon a wooden leg, begging threepence.[53]

Strange. I thank thee, heaven, for my success in this.
[69] To what perfection, is my business grown!
Seldom or never is right overthrown.

[Exit with Captain Pouts on his back.

Enter Pendant, and Mistress Wagtail with work, sewing a purse.

Pen. They say every woman has a springe to catch a woodcock: remember my instructions, and let me see what a paradise thou canst bring this fool into. Fifteen hundred a year, wench, will make us all merry; but a fool to boot! why, we shall throw the house out at window. Let me see, there are two things in this foolish, transitory world which should be altogether regarded: profit and pleasure, or pleasure and profit—I know not which to place first, for indeed they are twins, and were born together. For profit, this marriage (God speed it!) marries you to it; and for pleasure, if I help you not to that as cheap as any man in England, call me cut.[54] And so remember my instructions, for I'll go fetch Sir Abraham.

Wag. Your instructions! Nay, faith, you shall see I have as fruitful a brain as a belly: you shall hear some additions of my own. My fantasy even kicks like my bastard: well, boy, for I know thou art masculine, neither thy father nor thy mother had any feminine quality but one, and that was to take a good thing when it was proffered. When thou inherit'st land, strange both to thy father and grandfather, and rid'st in a coach, it may be thy father, an old footman, will be running by thy [70] side. But yonder comes the gentle knight and my squire.

Enter Sir Abraham and Pendant stealing.[55]

Wag. Unfortunate damsel! why dost thou love
Where thou hast sworn it never to reveal?
Maybe he would vouchsafe to look on thee.
Because he is a knight, is it thy terror?
Why, peradventure, he is Knighthood's Mirror[56].

Pen. D'ye hear, Sir Abraham?

Abra. Yes, with standing tears.

Wag. Bevis[57] on Arundel, with Morglay in hand,
Near to my knight in prowess doth not stand.
They say Sir Bevis slew both boar and dragon,
My knight for that can drink up a whole flagon,
A thing as famous now amongst our men,
As killing monsters was accounted then.
'Tis not thy leg, no, were it twice as good,
Throws me into this melancholy mood;
Yet let me say and swear, in a cross-garter
Paul's never show'd to eyes a lovelier quarter.

Abra. Ay, but all this while she does not name me: she may mean somebody else.

Pen. Mean somebody else! you shall hear her name you by and by.

Wag. Courteous Sir Abraham.

Pen. La ye there!

Wag. O, thy very name,
Like to a hatchet, cleaves my heart in twain.
When first I saw thee in those little breeches,
[71] I laugh'd for joy, but when I heard thy speeches,
I smil'd downright, for I was almost frantic,
A modern knight should be so like an antic
In words and deeds. Those pinken-eyes[58] of thine,
For I shall ne'er be blest to call them mine——

Abra. Say not so, sweetheart.

Wag. How they did run, not rheumaticly run,
But round about the room, one over one!
That wide mouth? no, small: no, but middle-size,
That nose dominical, that head, like——wise.

Pen. Very good: d'ye mark that head likewise?

Abra. She has an excellent wit.

Pen. I'll now into her, sir: observe what follows. Now, turtle, mourning still for the party? for whom are you working that purse?

Abra. For me, I warrant her.

Wag. What news, good cousin? I hope you have not revealed my love.

Pen. Yes, faith, I have acquainted the knight with all; and thou may'st be ashamed to abuse a gentleman so slanderously. He swears he ne'er lay with you.

Wag. Lie with me? alas! no, I say not so, nor no man living; but there was one night above the rest, that I dreamt he lay with me; and did you ne'er hear of a child begot in a dream.


Abra. By this light, that very night I dreamt she lay with me.

Pen. Ay, but Sir Abraham is no dreaming knight: in short, he contemns you, he scorns you at his heels.

Abra. By God, so he lies. I have the most ado to forbear, but that I would hear a little more.

Pen. And has sent this halter. You may hang yourself, or you may cut your throat: here's a knife, too.

Wag. Well, I will love him in despite of all,
Howe'er he uses me! 'tis not the shame
Of being examin'd or the fear of whipping——
Pen. Make as if thou wouldst kill thyself.
Wag. ——should move me, would but he vouchsafe his love.
Bear him this purse, fill'd with my latest breath.
[Blows in it.
I lov'd thee, Abraham Ninny, even in death.
[Offers to stab.
Abra. Hold! hold! thy knight commands thee for to hold.
I sent no halter. Poor soul, how it pants!
Take courage, look up.

Pen. Look, Sir Abraham in person comes to see you.

Wag. O, let me die, then, in his worship's arms!

Abra. Live long and happy to produce thy baby:
I am thy knight, and thou shalt be my lady.
Frown, dad, fret, mother, so my love look cheerly:
Thou hast my heart, and thou hast bought it dearly;
And for your pains, if Abraham live t' inherit,
He will not be unmindful of your merit.
[73] Wear thou this ring, whilst I thy labours task.
This purse wear in my cap, anon i' th' masque[59].

Wag. O happy woman!

Abra. To supper let's, and merry be as may be.

Pen. Now, God send every wise knight such a lady.


Enter Bellafront.

Bel. Titles and state, d'ye call it? O content!
Thou art both beauty, means, and all in marriage.
Joy dwells not in the princes' palaces:
They that envy 'em do not know their cares.
Were I the queen of gold, it could not buy
An hour's ease for my oppressed heart.
O, were this wedlock knot to tie again,
Not all the state and glory it contains,
Join'd with my father's fury, should enforce
My rash consent! but, Scudmore, thou shalt see
This false heart (in my death) most true to thee.
[Shows a knife hanging by her side.
My lord, my father, all the company,
Did note my sudden sadness now at supper;
Yet came I out, and put on feigned mirth,
And mean to sit out this night's revels, too,
To avoid all suspect may grow in 'em,
Lest my behaviour should my intent reveal:
Our griefs, like love, we hardly can conceal[60].
Yon come my sisters. Are the masquers ready?


Enter Lucida, with her willow garland on, and Katherine.

Luc. They are gone to dress themselves. Master Nevill's come.
I would I had not vow'd to live a maid!
I am a little taken with that gentleman,
And yet if marriage be so full of ill,
Let me be married to my garland still.
Kath. In troth, thy state is happier much than ours.
Were never two like us unfortunate!
Luc. Thy case indeed I needs must pity much,
Because I think thy virtue slandered;
But for my lady sister, if she reap
Sad discontent, 'tis none's but her own fault:
I knew the passages 'twixt her and Scudmore.
Bel. Sister, I wonder you will name a man,
I think not on: he was no match for me.
Why d'ye blame me, that should rather blame
Your wandering eye, to love a man lov'd me?
Luc. Well, 'tis too late now to expostulate.
But, my poor little Kate, where is thy man?
Kath. Lost, lost, in troth: to-morrow I shall hear,
I make account, he's gone some five-years' voyage,
Till this disgrace of ours be overblown;
And for my Captain Pouts, by this time he
Is ten mile on the river toward Gravesend.

Enter Sir John Worldly with Servants, with torches and cudgels.

Sir J. Wor. Stand you two there. Sirrah, go you with me.
[75] Why, how now, girls! here still? what, and your ladyship?
Away! away, I say: go take your places.
Some torches for my lady! You sirrah,
[Exeunt Bellafront, Lucida, Kate.
Is my Lady Ninny awake yet?[61]

Ser. Yes, sir, she is awake, but she is scant sober: the first thing she called for was her aqua-vitæ bottle.

Sir J. Wor. Who is with her?

Ser. The good Sir Innocent and her gentlewoman.

Sir J. Wor. Go, tell 'em I desire their company,
The masque stays on 'em, say; and d'ye hear,
The sides of one o' th' chairs must be let out
For her great ladyship.
Ser. Marry, shall it, sir.
[Exit Servant.

Enter Nevill, Count, Pendant, and Sir Abraham, in their masquing robes; Sir Abraham gnawing on a capon's leg.

Nev. Soul! man, leave eating now: look, look! you have all dropped o' your suit.

Abra. O sir, I was in love to-day, and could not eat; but here's one knows the case is altered. Lend me but a handkerchief to wipe my mouth, and I ha' done.

Nev. Soul! how this rascal stays with the rest of our things.

Sir J. Wor. How now, son Count? what, ready, Master Nevill?


Nev. All ready, ready; only we tarry for our vizards and our caps: I put 'em to a knave to do,[62] because I would have 'em the better done.

Abra. If you put 'em to a knave, you are like to have 'em the worse done.

Nev. Your wit is most active: I called him knave in regard of his long stay, sir, not his work.

Abra. But, d'ye hear, Master Nevill? did you bespeak a vizard with a most terrible countenance for me?

Nev. A very devil's face: I fear nothing, but that it will fright the women.

Abra. I would it would. And a huge moustachio?[63]

Nev. A very Turk's.

Abra. Excellent!

C. Fred. But do you think he will come at all?

Omnes. O, there he is.

Scud. (Within). By your leave! stand back, by your leave!

Enter Scudmore, like a vizard-maker.

Nothing can be done to-night, if I enter not.

2d Ser. Stand back there, or I'll burn you.

Scud. 'Twere but a whorish trick, sir.

3d Ser. O sir, is't you? Heart! you will be kill'd.

Scud. Marry, God forbid, sir.

Nev. Pray, forbear; let me speak to him.
O, you use us very well.

Scud. In good faith, I have been so troubled about this gentleman's scurvy face (I take it), 'tis wonderful.

Abra. Well, are you fitted now?

Nev. Fitted at all points,


C. Fred. Where are the caps?

Scud. Here, sir.

Pen. Let me see mine.

C. Fred. Come, help me on with mine.

Abra. This is a rare face to fright the maids i' th' country! Here now I'll pin my purse. Come, help me on.

Nev. So, so, away! mine being on, I'll follow you.

Omnes. Pray, make haste.
[Exeunt Sir John Worldly, Sir Abraham, Count, Pendant.

Nev. So, that door's fast, and they are busied
About their charge. On with this robe of mine,
This vizard and this cap: help me a little.
[Change habits.
Scud. At first change I must tell her who I am.
Nev. Right; 'tis agreed, I (leading of the masque)
Should dance with Bellafront.
Scud. And at the second,
I come away with her, and leave them dancing,
And shall find you at the back door.
Nev. The rest,
That follows, is digested in my breast.
Ser. What would you do I stand back,
Unless you can eat torches!

Enter Count, Pendant, Sir Abraham, in their masquing robes.

C. Fred. Come, come! away for shame!

Scud. 'Tis such a tedious rascal. So ha' wi' ye.
[Exeunt masquers.

Sir J. Wor. Thou hast well fitted 'em, though thou mad'st 'em stay.

Nev. I forbid any man to mend 'em, sir. Good night unto your worship.

Sir J. Wor. Wilt not stay?


Nev. Alas, sir! I have another to set forth
This very night. By your leave, my masters.
[Exit Nevill through them.

2d Ser. By your leave! by your leave! you'll let a man go out?

Sir J. Wor. Now, go with me, and let all in that will.
[Exit Sir John Worldly with them, and run in three or four.


Enter two or three, setting three or four chairs and four or five stools. Loud music; in which time enter Sir John Worldly, Sir Innocent, Bellafront, Lucida, Kate, my Lady Ninny, Mistress Wagtail. They seat themselves. Lady Ninny offers at two or three chairs; at last finds the great one; they point at her and laugh. As soon as she is set, she drinks of her bottle. The music plays, and they enter. After one strain of the music, Scudmore takes Bellafront, who seems unwilling to dance. Count takes Lucida; Pendant, Kate; Sir Abraham, Mistress Wagtail: Scudmore, as they stand (the other courting too), whispers as follows:—

Scud. I am your Scudmore.
[Soft music.
Bel. Ha!
Scud. By heaven, I am.
Be rul'd by me in all things.

Bel. Even to death.

Abra. 'Sfoot! Did you not know me by my purse?

Wag. I should ne'er have known you by that,[79] for you wear it on your head, and other folks in their pockets.

L. Nin. Which is my lord, I pray?

Sir J. Wor. The second man:
Young Nevill leads.

Sir Inn And where's Sir Abraham?

Sir J. Wor. He with the terrible visage.

L. Nin. Now, out upon him to disfigure himself so:
And 'twere not for my bottle, I should swoon.

[Music, and they dance the second strain, in which Scudmore goes away with Bellafront.

Omnes Spectatores. Good, very good!

[The other four dance another strain, honourand end.

C. Fred. But where's the bride and Nevill?

Omnes. Ha!

Abra. 'Ware tricks!

Sir J. Wor. O, there they come: it was their parts to do so.

Enter Scudmore unvizarded, Bellafront, with pistols and the right Parson.

C. Fred. This Nevill? This is Scudmore.

Omnes. How?

C. Fred. But here's my lady.

Scud. No, my gentlewoman.

Abra. 'Zoons! treason! I smell powder.

Bel. In short, know,
That I am married to this gentleman,
To whom I was contracted long ago.
This priest the inviolable knot hath tied.
What ease I find being unladified!

C. Fred. What riddle's this?

Sir Inn. 'Ware the last statute of two husbands.

Scud. and Bel. Pish!


C. Fred. This is the very priest that married me:
Is it not, sister?

Enter Nevill, like the Parson too.

Nev. No.

Abra. Lord bless us! here is conjuring!
Lend me your aqua-vitæ bottle, good mother.
Sir J. Wor. Heyday!
The world's turn'd upside down. I have heard and seen
Two or three benefices to one priest, or more,
But two priests to one benefice ne'er before.

Pen. Married not you the earl?

Par. Bona fide, no.

Sir J. Wor. You did, then?

Nev. Yes.

C. Fred. I have the privilege, then?

Sir J. Wor. Right, you were married first.

Scud. Sir John, you doat,
This is a devil in a parson's coat.
[Nevill puts off the Priest's weeds, and has a
devil's robe under.

Omnes. A pretty emblem!
Nev. Who married her, or would have caus'd her marry,
To any man but this, no better was;
Let circumstances be examined.
Yet here's one more: and now I hope you all
Perceive my marrying not canonical.
[Slips off his devil's weeds.

Omnes. Nevill, whoop!

C. Fred. Heart! what a deal of knavery a priest's cloak can hide. If it be not one of the honestest, friendliest cozenages that 'ere I saw, I am no lord.

Kath. Life! I am not married, then, in earnest.


Nev. So, Mistress Kate, I kept you for myself.

Sir J. Wor. It boots not to be angry.

Sir Inn. and Lady. No, faith, Sir John.

Enter Strange, with Pouts on his back.

2d. Ser. Whither will you go with your calf on your back, sir?

Sir J. Wor. Now, more knavery yet?

Strange. Prythee, forbear, or I shall do thee mischief.
By your leave, here is some sad to your merriment.
Know you this captain?

Omnes. Yes, very well.

Kath. O sister, here's the villain slander'd me.

Strange. You see he cannot stand to't.

Abra. Is he hurt in the arm, too?

Strange. Yes.

Abra. Why, then, by God's-lid, thou art a base rogue. I knew I should live to tell thee so.

L. Nin. Sir Abraham, I say!

Omnes. Heaven is just.

Capt. Pouts. What a rogue are you!
Is this the surgeon you would carry me to?

Strange. Confess your slander, and I will, I swear.

Capt. Pouts. Nay, 'tis no matter, I'll cry quittance with you.
Forgive me, Mistress Kate, and know, all people,
I lied not with her, but belied her once;
And to my recantation that same soldier
Enforc'd my hand.
Strange. Yes, here 'tis, Mistress Kate.
[They all look on the paper.
Capt. Pouts. I see now how I am cheated. Love him well.
He has redeem'd your honour with his sword.
Sir J. Wor. But where is Strange my son? O, were he here,
He should be married new to make all sure.


Kath. O my divining spirit, he's gone to sea!

Capt. Pouts. This cunning in her is exceeding good.
Your son—your husband Strange is murdered.

Omnes. How?

Strange. Peace, peace! For heaven's sake, peace!
Come, sir, I'll carry you to a surgeon.
Here's gold to stop thy throat. For God's sake, peace!
Capt. Pouts. Sirrah, you have brought me to a surgeon already:
I'll be even with you.
Kath. Of all men living I could marry thee,
Were not my heart given to another man.
Sir, you did speak of Strange?
Capt. Pouts. These women are as crafty as the devil.
Yes, I did speak of him: Sir John, my lord,
Know Strange is murder'd by that villain's hand,
And by his wife's consent.

Omnes. How?

Sir J. Wor. God forbid!

Capt. Pouts. Search presently the closet and the vault,
There you shall find his body: 'tis too true.
The reason all may guess: her husband, wanting
Spirit to do on me what he hath done,
In hope to marry her, he hath murder'd him.
Kath. To marry me! No, villain: I do hate him
On this report worse than I do thyself;
And may the plagues and tortures of a land
Seize me if this be not an innocent hand.
Sir J. Wor. 'Fore God, 'tis most like truth.
Son Scudmore, pray
Look to this fellow: gentlemen, assist.
Torches! some torches! I'll go search myself.


Sir Inn. I will assist you.

C. Fred. But I pray, sir, how came you unto this knowledge?

Capt. Pouts. From his mouth.

Strange. I'll save your labour, and discover all.
Thou perjur'd villain, didst not swear thou wouldst not
Discover me?
Capt. Pouts. I but swore in jest.
Strange. Nay, but remember, thou didst wish Strange living,
If ever thou didst tell.
Capt. Pouts. Sir, all is true,[64]
And would my punishment would ease my conscience.
Sir J. Wor. To Newgate with him! hence! take her along.
Out, murderers! whore, thou art no child of mine!
Fetch constable and officers. Away!

Strange. Sir, do but hear me speak.

Sir J. Wor. Fetch officers!

Capt. Pouts. Go fetch a surgeon.

Strange. Sir, you are then too violent. I will bail her.
[Discovers himself.

Kath. O my dear Strange!

Sir J. Wor. My son!

Scud., Luc., Bel. Brother!

Omnes. Young Strange!

Capt. Pouts. Heart! I was never sick before: help me now to a surgeon, or I shall swoon instantly.
[As two lead him, he speaks.
Thou wert born a woman-citizen; fare thee well.
And farewell, love and women, ye diseases:
My horse and sword shall be my mistresses,
My horse I'll court, my sword shall lie with me.


Strange. The way to cure lust is to bleed, I see.

C. Fred. Tell him all, Scudmore, whilst I go a-wooing again. Sir John, will you go along, and my two worshipful elders, I pray, be your witnesses. Priest, go not you away. Heart! I have so ruminated on a wife, that I must have one this night, or I shall run proud.[65]

[Nevill, Scudmore, Bellafront, Strange, Katherine, whisper in one part. Pendant, Sir Abraham, and Wagtail in another.

Mistress Lucida, you did once love me; if you do still, no more words, but give me your hand. Why are ye doubtful?

Abra. Ne'er look upon me, Mistress Lucida; time was, time is, and time's pass'd. I'll none of you now: I am otherwise provided.

Pen. Well spoken, brazen-head![66] now or never, Sir Abraham.

Abra. Then first, as duty binds, I crave consent
Of my two parents dear: if ay, say so;
If not, I'll ha' her, whether you will or no.

Sir Inn. How? how?

L. Nin. I hope you will not.

Abra. Ma'am, I am resolved: you have a humour of your aqua-vitæ bottle, why should not I have a humour in a wife?

Sir J. Wor. An old man were a fitter match for her:
He would make much of her.

Abra. Much on her? I know not what ye call [85]much making on her, I am sure I have made two on her.

Pen. And that an old man cannot do, I hope.

Nev. O thou beyond Lawrence of Lancashire.[67]

Sir Inn. Come, come, you shall not.

Abra. Speak not in vain; I am too sure to change,
For hand and heart are sure: Ecce signum.
And this have I done, and never lay with her.
Sir J. Wor. Nay, then, 'tis too late;
'Tis sure: 'tis vain to cross the will of fate.
Sir Inn. and LADY. Well, well, God bless you.
[Abraham and Wagtail kneel.
Abra. Thanks, reverend couple, and God bless withal
The little Ninny that herein doth sprawl.
Parson, you shall despatch us presently:
Lord, how soberly you stand!

Par. Now truly I could ne'er stand drunk in my life.

Strange. Strange and most fortunate, we must have a new Tuck then.

C. Fred. Is it a match?

Luc. 'Tis done.

C. Fred. Then Bacchus squeeze grapes with a plenteous hand.
Parson, you'll take some pains with us to-night.
Come, brothers, come: fly, willow, to the woods,
And, like the sea, for healths let's drink whole floods.
Strange. I consecrate my deed unto the city,
[86] And hope to live myself to see the day,
It shall be shown to people in a play.
Scud. And may all true love have like happy end.
Women, forgive me; men, admire my friend.
Sir J. Wor. On, parson, on; and, boy, outvoice the music.[68]
Ne'er was so much (what cannot heavenly powers?)
Done and undone, and done in twelve short hours,



Amends for Ladies. A Comedie. As it was acted at the Blacke-Fryers, both by the Princes Servants, and the Lady Elizabeths. By Nat. Field. London: Printed by G. Eld, for Math. Walbancke, and are to be sold at his Shop at the new Gate of Grayes Inne, or at the old. 1618. 4o.

Amends for Ladies. With the merry prankes of Moll Cutpurse, Or, the humour of roaring: A Comedy full of honest mirth and wit. As it was Acted at the Blacke-Fryers both by the Princes Servants and the Lady Elizabeths. By Nath. Field. London, Printed by Io. Okes, for Math. Walbancke, and are to be sold at his Shop at Grayes-Inne Gate. 1639. 4o.



This excellent old comedy seems to have been deservedly popular on its performance by two different companies at the Black Friars Theatre before 1618, and it was twice printed. It is not easy to decide whether the comic or the serious scenes are the best; although the first are not without some of the coarseness which belonged to the manners of the age. The language is generally well-chosen. Some passages are of the higher order of poetry, and from them we may judge that Field was capable of writing other parts of "The Fatal Dowry" than those which Mr Gifford, in his just admiration of Massinger, was willing to assign to him. The characters are numerous, varied, and well-distinguished.

The object of the play was to vindicate the female sex, attacked in "Woman is a Weathercock;" and it is accomplished amply and happily in the persons of the Maid, Wife, and Widow. The plot is threefold, applying to each of them, but the incidents are interwoven with ingenuity, and concluded without confusion. In several of our old plays, husbands become, or endeavour to become, the instruments of the dishonour of their wives. Middleton was too fond of incidents of this odious kind, which are to be found in his "Chaste Maid in Cheapside," 1630, and in "Anything for a Quiet Life," 1662;[69] but in both cases the purpose of the husband was to profit by his own disgrace. In [90] Field's "Amends for Ladies," the husband only resorts to this expedient to put his wife's fidelity to the test. This portion of the play was borrowed, in several of its preliminary circumstances, from the novel of the "Curioso Impertinente" in "Don Quixote;" but it would not have accorded with Field's design of making amends to the fair sex that Subtle should have met with the same success as Lothario. The attempt of Bold in disguise upon the Widow was taken from an incident apparently well known about the date when the play was written, and referred to in it. The original of that part of the comedy which relates to Ingen and the Lady Honour has not been found, and perhaps it was the invention of the poet.

The two editions of this play in 1618 and 1639 do not materially vary, although the difference between the title-pages might lead to the supposition that "the merry pranks of Moll Cutpurse" and the "humour of roaring" were new in the latter copy. It seldom happens that faith is to be put in attractive changes of title-pages. Middleton and Rowley's "Fair Quarrel" is, indeed, an instance to the contrary; for the edition of 1622 contains a good deal of curious matter connected with the manners of the times, promised in "the fore-front of the book," and not found in the copy of 1617. In "Amends for Ladies," Moll Cutpurse only appears in one scene. The variations between the impressions are errors of the press, some of which are important of their kind, and such as rendered a careful collation absolutely necessary.

It may here, perhaps, be worth while to place in one view the scanty and scattered information regarding Mary Frith (alias Moll Cutpurse), the Roaring Girl. She was a woman who commonly dressed like a man, and challenged several male opponents, bearing, during her life, the character of a bully, a thief, a bawd, a receiver of stolen goods, &c.[70] She appears to have been[91] the daughter of a shoemaker, born in 1584, dead in 1659, and buried in what is now called St Bride's Church. In February 1611-12, she did penance at Paul's Cross, but the letter mentioning this fact, which is in the British Museum, does not state for what offence. Among other daring exploits, she robbed, or assisted in robbing, General Fairfax on Hounslow Heath, for which she was sent to Newgate, but afterwards liberated without trial. The immediate cause of her death was a dropsy, and she seems then to have been possessed of property. She lived in her own house in Fleet Street, next the Globe Tavern, and left £20 that the conduit might run wine on the expected return of Charles II. Besides the comedy by Middleton and Dekker [printed in the works of Middleton], John Day wrote "a book of the mad pranks of Merry Moll of the Bankside." It was entered at Stationers' Hall in 1610, and perhaps the play of which she is the heroine was founded upon it. Another account of her life was printed in 1662, shortly after her decease. She is supposed to be alluded to by Shakespeare in "Twelfth Night," act i. sc. 3, and obtained such "bad eminence," in point of notoriety, that it is not surprising (according to the evidence of the authors of "The Witch of Edmonton," act v. sc. 1), that some of the dogs at Paris Garden, used in baiting bulls and bears, were named after her.


Count, father of Lord Feesimple.
Lord Feesimple.
Lord Proudly.
Sir John Love-all, called Husband.
Subtle, his friend.
Ingen, in love with Lady Honour.
Frank, his younger brother.
Bold, in love with Lady Bright.
Welltried, his friend.
Seldom, a citizen.
Whorebang, }
Bots, }
} Roarers.
Tearchaps, }
} Serjeants.
Page, Drawer, &c.
Lady Honour,} {Maid.
Lady Perfect,} called{Wife.
Lady Bright,} {Widow.
Grace Seldom.
Moll Cutpurse.




Enter the Lady Honour, the Lady Perfect, the Lady Bright.

Maid.[72] A wife the happiest state? It cannot be.

Wife. Yes, such a wife as I, that have a man
As if myself had made him: such a one
As I may justly say, I am the rib
Belonging to his breast. Widow and maid,
Your lives compared to mine are miserable,
Though wealth and beauty meet in each of you.
Poor virgin, all thy sport is thought of love
And meditation of a man; the time
And circumstance, ere thou canst fix thy thoughts
On one thy fancy will approve.
Maid. That trouble
Already may be pass'd.
Wife. Why, if it be,
The doubt he will not hold his brittle faith,
That he is not a competible choice,
And so your noble friends will cross the match,
Doth make your happiness uncertain still;
Or say, you married him? what he would prove.
Can you compare your state, then, to a wife?
Maid. Nay, all the freedom that a virgin hath
Is much to be preferr'd. Who would endure
The humours of so insolent[73] a thing
As is a husband? Which of all the herd
Runs not possess'd with some notorious vice,
Drinking or whoring, fighting, jealousy,
Even of a page at twelve or of a groom
That rubs horse-heels? Is it not daily seen,
Men take wives but to dress their meat, to wash
And starch their linen: for the other matter
Of lying with them, that's but when they please:
And whatsoe'er the joy be of the bed,
The pangs that follow procreation
Are hideous, or you wives have gull'd your husbands
With your loud shriekings and your deathful throes.
A wife or widow to a virgin's life!
Wid. Why should the best of you think ye enjoy
The roost[74] and rule, that a free widow doth?
I am mine own commander, and the bliss
Of wooers and of each variety
Frequents me, as I were a maid. No brother
Have I to dice my patrimony away, as you,
My maiden-madam, may. No husband's death
Stand I in doubt on; for thanks be to heaven,
If mine were good, the grievous loss of him
Is not to come; if he were bad, he's gone,
And I no more embrace my injury.
But be yours ill, you nightly clasp your hate;
Or good—why, he may die or change his virtue.
And thou, though single, hast a bed-fellow
As bad as the worst husband—thought of one;
And what that is men with their wives do do,
[95] And long expectance till the deed be done.
A wife is like a garment us'd and torn:
A maid like one made up, but never worn.
Maid. A widow is a garment worn threadbare,
Selling at second-hand, like broker's ware.
But let us speak of things the present time
Makes happy to us, and see what is best.
I have a servant then, the crown of men,
The fountain of humanity, the prize
Of every virtue, moral and divine;
Young, valiant, learned, well-born, rich, and shap'd,
As if wise Nature, when she fashion'd him,
Had meant to give him nothing but his form;
Yet all additions are conferr'd on him,
That may delight a woman: this same youth
To me hath sacrific'd his heart, yet I
Have check'd his suit, laugh'd at his worthy service,
Made him the exercise of my cruelty,
Whilst constant as the sun, for all these clouds,
His love goes on.

Enter Ingen.

Wid. Peace, here's the man you name.

Wife. Widow, we'll stand aside.

Ingen. Good morrow to the glory of our age,
The Lady Perfect and the Lady Bright,
[Meeting the Wife and Widow.[75]
The virtuous wife and widow; but to you,
The Lady Honour and my mistress,
The happiness of your wishes.
Maid. By this light,
I never heard one speak so scurvily,
[96]Utter such stale wit, and pronounce so ill.
"But to you, my Lady Honour and my mistress,
The happiness of your wishes!"
Ingen. Stop your wit;
You would fain show these ladies, what a hand
You hold over your servant: 't shall not need;
I will express your tyranny well enough,
I have lov'd this lady since I was a child,
Since I could construe Amo: now she says
I do not love her, 'cause I do not weep,
Lay mine arms o'er my heart, and wear no garters,
Walk with mine eyes in my hat, sigh and make faces
For all the poets in the town to laugh at.
Pox o' this howling love! 'tis like a dog
Shut out at midnight. Must love needs be powder'd,
Lie steep'd in brine, or will it not keep sweet?
Is it like beef in summer?
Maid. Did you ever
Hear one talk fustian like a butcher thus?
Ingen. 'Tis foolish, this same telling folks we love:
It needs no words, 'twill show itself in deeds;
And did I take you for an entertainer,
A lady that will wring one by the finger,
Whilst on another's toes she treads, and cries
"By gad, I love but one, and you are he,"
Either of them thinking himself the man,
I'd tell you in your ear, put for the business,
Which granted or denied, "Madam, God be wi' ye."
Maid. Come, these are daily slanders that you raise
On our infirm and unresisting sex:
You never met, I'm sure, with such a lady.
Ingen. O, many, by this light. I've seen a chamber
Frequented like an office of the law:
Clients succeed at midnight one another,
[97] Whilst the poor madam hath been so distress'd
Which of her lovers to show most countenance to,
That her dull husband has perceiv'd her wiles.
Maid. Nay, perhaps taught her: many of those husbands
Are base enough to live upon't.
Ingen. I have seen another of 'em
Cheat, by this light, at cards, and set her women
To talk to the gentlemen that play'd,
That, so distracted, they might oversee.

Maid. O, fie upon ye! I dare swear you lie.

Ingen. Do not, fair mistress; you will be forsworn.

Maid. You men are all foul-mouth'd: I warrant, you
Talk thus of me and other ladies here
Because we keep the city.
Ingen. O, profane!
That thought would damn me. Will you marry yet?
Maid. No, I will never marry.
Ingen. Shall we then
Couple unlawfully? for indeed this marrying
Is but proclaiming what we mean to do;
Which may be done privately in civil sort,
And none the wiser; and by this white hand,
The rack, strappado, or the boiling boot[76]
Should never force me tell to wrong your honour.

Maid. May I believe this?

Ingen. Let it be your creed.


Maid. But if you should prove false? Nay, ne'er unhang
Your sword, except you mean to hang yourself.
Why, where have you been drinking? 'sfoot, you talk
Like one of these same rambling boys that reign
In Turnbull Street.[77]
Ingen. How do you know?
Maid. Indeed, my knowledge is but speculative,
Not practic there; I have it by relation
From such observers as yourself, dear servant.
I must profess I did think well of thee,
But get thee from my sight, I never more
Will hear or see thee, but will hate thee deadly,
As a man-enemy, or a woman turn'd.
Ladies, come forth.

Enter Widow, Wife.

See, sir, what courtesy
You have done to me: a strange praise of you
Had newly left my lips just as you enter'd,
And how you have deserv'd it with your carriage!
Villain! thou hast hurt mine honour to these friends,
For what can they imagine but some ill
Hath pass'd betwixt us by thy broad discourse?
Were my case theirs, by virgin chastity,
I should condemn them. Hence! depart my sight!
Ingen. Madam, but hear me. O, that these were men,
[99] And durst but say or think you ill for this!
I have so good a cause upon my side
That I would cut their hearts out of their breasts,
And the thoughts out of them that injur'd you.
But I obey your hest, and for my penance
Will run a course never to see you more:
And now I lose you, may I lose the light,
Since in that beauty dwelt my day or night.
[Exit Ingen.

Wid. Is this the virtuous youth?

Wife. Your happiness?

Wid. Wherein you thought your seat so far[78] 'bove ours.

Maid. If one man could be good, this had been he.
See, here come all your suitors and your husband;
And, room for laughter! here's the Lord Feesimple.
What gentlewoman does he bring along?

Enter Husband, embracing Subtle; the Lord Feesimple, with young Bold like a waiting gentlewoman, and Welltried. Welltried, Husband, and Subtle, talk with Wife.

Fee. One-and-thirty good morrows to the fairest, wisest, richest widow that ever conversation coped withal.

Wid. Threescore and two unto the wisest lord
That ever was train'd in university.

Fee. O courteous, bounteous widow! she has outbid me thirty-one good morrows at a clap.

Well. But, my Lord Feesimple, you forget the business imposed on you.

Fee. Gentlewoman, I cry thee mercy; but 'tis a fault in all lords, not in me only: we do use to [100] swear by our honours, and as we are noble, to despatch such a business for such a gentleman; and we are bound, even by the same honours we swear by, to forget it in a quarter of an hour, and look as if we had never seen the party when we meet next, especially if none of our gentlemen have been considered.

Well. Ay, but all yours have, for you keep none, my lord: besides, though it stands with your honour to forget men's businesses, yet it stands not with your honour if you do not do a woman's.

Fee. Why then, madam, so it is that I request your ladyship to accept into your service this gentlewoman. For her truth and honesty I will be bound; I have known her too long to be deceived. This is the second time I have seen her.

Maid. Why, how now, my lord! a preferrer of gentlewomen to service, like an old knitting-woman? where hath she dwelt before?

Fee. She dwelt with young Bold's sister, he that is my corrival in your love. She requested me to advance her to you, for you are a dubbed lady; so is not she yet.

Well. But now you talk of young Bold—when did you see him, lady?

Wid. Not this month, Master Welltried.
I did conjure him to forbear my sight;
Indeed, swore if he came, I'd be denied.
But 'tis strange you should ask for him: ye two
Were wont never to be asunder.
Well. Faith, madam, we never were together, but
We differ'd on some argument or other;
And doubting lest our discord might at length
Breed to some quarrel, I forbear him too.

Fee. He quarrel? Bold? hang him, if he durst have quarrelled, the world knows he's within a mile of an oak has put him to't, and soundly. I never[101] cared for him in my life, but to see his sister: he's an ass, pox! an arrant ass; for do you think any but an arrant ass would offer to come a-wooing where a lord attempts? He quarrel!—he dares not quarrel.

Well. But he dares fight, my lord, upon my knowledge:
And rail no more, my lord, behind his back,
For if you do, my lord, blood must ensue.
Fee. O, O, my honour dies! I am dead.

Well. Ud's light, what's the matter? wring him by the nose.

Wid. A pair of riding spurs, now, were worth gold.

Maid. Pins are as good. Prick him, prick him.

Fee. O, O!

Wife. He's come again. Lift him up.

Omnes. How fares your lordship?

Fee. O friends, you have wrong'd my spirit to call it back:
I was ev'n in Elysium at rest.

Well. But why, sir, did you swoon?

Fee. Well, though I die, Mister Welltried, before all these I do forgive you, because you were ignorant of my infirmity. O sir! is't not up yet? I die again! Put up, now, whilst I wink, or I do wink for ever.

Well. 'Tis up, my lord; ope your eyes: but I pray, tell me, is this antipathy 'twixt bright steel and you natural, or how grew it.

Fee. I'll tell you, sir: anything bright and edged works thus strongly with me. Your hilts, now, I can handle as boldly, look you else.

Hus.[79] Nay, never blame my lord, Master Welltried, [102] for I know a great many will swoon at the sight of a shoulder of mutton or a quarter of lamb. My lord may be excused, then, for a naked sword.

Well. This lord and this knight in dog-collars would make a fine brace of beagles.

Maid. But, on my faith, 'twas mightily over-seen of your father, not to bring you up to foils—or if he had bound you 'prentice to a cutler or an ironmonger.

Fee. Ha, pox! hang him, old gouty fool! He never brought me up to any lordly exercise, as fencing, dancing, tumbling, and such like; but, forsooth, I must write and read, and speak languages, and such base qualities, fit for none but gentlemen. Now, sir, would I tell him, "Father, you are a count, I am a lord. A pox o' writing and reading, and languages! Let me be brought up as I was born."

Sub. But how, my lord, came you first not to endure the sight of steel?

Fee. Why, I'll tell you, sir. When I was a child, an infant, an innocent[80]

Maid. 'Twas even now.

Fee. I being in the kitchen, in my lord my father's house, the cook was making minced pies: so, sir, I standing by the dresser, there lay a heap of plums. Here was he mincing: what did me I, sir, being a notable little witty coxcomb, but popped my hand just under his chopping-knife, to snatch some raisins, and so was cut o'er the hand, [103] and never since could I endure the sight of any edge-tool.

Wid. Indeed, they are not fit for you, my lord. And now you are all so well satisfied in this matter, pray, ladies, how like you this my gentlewoman?

Maid. In troth, madam, exceedingly well, I. If you be provided, pray, let me have her.

Wife. It should be my request, but that I am full.

Wid. What can you do? What's her name, my lord?

Fee. Her name? I know not. What's her name, Master Welltried?

Wel. Her name? 'Slid, tell my lady your name.

Bold. Mistress Mary Princox, forsooth.

Wid. Mistress Mary Princox. She has wit, I perceive that already. Methinks she speaks as if she were my lord's brood.

Bold. Brood, madam? 'Tis well known I am a gentlewoman. My father was a man of five hundred per annum, and he held something in capite too.

Wel. So does my lord something.

Fee. Nay, by my troth, what I hold in capite is worth little or nothing.

Bold. I have had apt breeding, however, my misfortune now makes me submit myself to service; but there is no ebb so low, but hath his tide again. When our days are at worst, they will mend in spite of the frowning destinies, for we cannot be lower than earth; and the same blind dame that hath cast her blear eyes hitherto upon my occasions may turn her wheel, and at last wind them up with her white hand to some pinnacle that prosperously may flourish in the sunshine of promotion.


Fee. O mouth, full of agility! I would give twenty marks now to any person that could teach me to convey my tongue (sans stumbling) with such dexterity to such a period. For her truth and her honesty I am bound before, but now I have heard her talk, for her wit I will be bound body and goods.

Wid. Ud's light, I will not leave her for my hood. I never met with one of these eloquent old gentlewomen before. What age are you, Mistress Mary Princox?

Bold. I will not lie, madam. I have numbered fifty-seven summers, and just so many winters have I passed.

Sub. But they have not passed you; they lie frozen in your face.

Bold. Madam, if it shall please you to entertain me, so; if not, I desire you not to misconstrue my goodwill. There's no harm done; the door's as big as it was, and your ladyship's own wishes crown your beauty with content. As for these frumping gallants, let them do their worst. It is not in man's power to hurt me. 'Tis well known I come not to be scoffed. A woman may bear and bear, till her back burst. I am a poor gentlewoman, and since virtue hath nowadays no other companion but poverty, I set the hare's head unto the goose giblets, and what I want one way, I hope I shall be enabled to supply the other.

Fee. An't please God, that thou wert not past children.

Wid. Is't even so, my lord? Nay, good Princox, do not cry. I do entertain you. How do you occupy? What can you use?

Bold. Anything fit to be put into the hands of a gentlewoman.

Wid. What are your qualities?


Bold. I can sleep on a low stool. If your ladyship be talking in the same room with any gentleman, I can read on a book, sing love-songs, look up at the loover light,[81] hear and be deaf, see and be blind, be ever dumb to your secrets, swear and equivocate, and whatsoever I spy, say the best.

Wid. O rare crone, how art thou endued! But why did Master Bold's sister put you away?

Bold. I beseech you, madam, to neglect that desire: though I know your ladyship's understanding to be sufficient to partake, or take in, the greatest secret can be imparted, yet——

Wid. Nay, prythee, tell the cause. Come, here's none but friends.

Bold. Faith, madam, heigho! I was (to confess truly) a little foolish in my last service to believe men's oaths, but I hope my example, though prejudicial to myself, will be beneficial to other young gentlewomen in service. My mistress's brother (the gentleman you named even now—Master Bold), having often attempted my honour, but finding it impregnable, vowed love and marriage to me at the last. I, a young thing and raw, being seduced, set my mind upon him, but friends contradicting the match, I fell into a grievous consumption; and upon my first recovery, lest the intended sacred ceremonies of nuptials should succeed, his sister, knowing this, thought it fit in her judgment we should be farther asunder, and so put me out of her service.

Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!

Wid. God-a-mercy for this discovery, i' faith.
O man, what art thou when thy cock is up?
Come, will your lordship walk in? 'tis dinner-time.


Enter hastily Seldom, with papers on his arm.

Omnes. Who's this? who's this?

Maid. This is our landlord, Master Seldom, an exceeding wise citizen, a very sufficient understanding man, and exceeding rich.

Omnes. Miracles are not ceased.

Wid. Good morrow, landlord. Where have you been sweating?

Sel. Good morrow to your honours: thrift is industrious. Your ladyship knows we will not stick to sweat for our pleasures: how much more ought we to sweat for our profits! I am come from Master Ingen this morning, who is married, or to be married; and though your ladyship did not honour his nuptials with your presence, he hath by me sent each of you a pair of gloves, and Grace Seldom, my wife, is not forgot.

Omnes. God give him joy, God give him joy.

Maid. Let all things most impossible change now!
O perjur'd man! oaths are but words, I see.
But wherefore should not we, that think we love
Upon full merit, that same worth once ceasing,
Surcease our love too, and find new desert?
Alas! we cannot; love's a pit which, when
We fall into, we ne'er get out again:
And this same horrid news which me assaults,
I would forget: love blanches blackest faults.
O, what path shall I tread for remedy
But darkest shades, where love with death doth lie!


Manent Husband, Wife, Subtle.

Wife. Sir, I have often heard my husband speak
Of your acquaintance.
Hus. Nay, my virtuous wife,
Had it been but acquaintance, this his absence
Had not appear'd so uncouth: but we two
Were school-fellows together, born and nurs'd,
Brought up, and liv'd since, like the Gemini:
Had but one suck: the tavern or the ordinary,
Ere I was married, that saw one of us
Without the other, said we walk'd by halves.
Where, dear—dear friend, have you been all this while?
Sub. O most sweet friend, the world's so vicious,
That had I with such familiarity
Frequented you, since you were married,
Possess'd and us'd your fortunes as before,
As in like manner you commanded mine,
The deprav'd thoughts of men would have proclaim'd
Some scandalous rumours from this love of ours,
As saying mine reflected on your lady;
And what a wound had that been to our souls,
When only friendship should have been the ground
To hurt her honour and your confident peace,
Spite of mine own approv'd integrity?
Hus. Wife, kiss him, bid him welcome: pox o' th' world!
Come, come, you shall not part from me in haste.
I do command thee use this gentleman
In all things like myself: if I should die,
I would bequeath him in my will to thee.[83]
[108] Wife. Sir, you are most welcome, and let scandalous tongues
No more deter you: I dare use you, sir,
With all the right belonging to a friend,
And what I dare, I dare let all men see.
My conscience, rather than men's thoughts, be free.
Hus. Will you look in? We'll follow you.
[Exit Wife.
Now, friend,
What think you of this lady?
Sub. Why, sweet friend,
That you are happy in her: she is fair,
Witty, and virtuous, and was rich to you.
Can there be an addition to a wife?
Hus. Yes, constancy; for 'tis not chastity
That lives remote, from all attempters free,
But there 'tis strong and pure, where all that woo
It doth resist,[84] and turns them virtuous too.
Therefore, dear friend, by this, love's masculine kiss,
By all our mutual engagements pass'd,
By all the hopes of amity to come,
Be you the settler of my jealous thoughts,
And make me kill my fond suspect of her
By assurance that she is loyal, otherwise
That she is false; and then, as she's past cure,
My soul shall ever after be past care.
That you are fittest for this enterprise,
You must needs understand; since, prove she true
In this your trial, you (my dearest friend).
Whom only rather than the world besides,
I would have satisfied of her virtue, shall see[85]
And best conceal my folly. Prove she weak,
'Tis better you should know't than any man,
Who can reform her, and do me no wrong.
[109] Chemical metals, and bright gold itself,
By sight are not distinguish'd, but by th' test:
Thought makes good wives, but trial makes the best.
To the unskilful owner's eyes alike
The Bristow sparkles as the diamond,[86]
But by a lapidary the truth is found—
Come, you shall not deny me.
Sub. Do not wrong
So fair a wife, friend, and so virtuous,
Whose good name is a theme unto the world:
Make not a wound with searching, where was none.
Misfortune still such projects doth pursue;
He makes a false wife that suspects a true.
Yet since you so importune, give me leave
To ruminate awhile, and I will straight
Follow, and give you an answer.
Hus. You must do it.
Sub. Assure yourself, dear coxcomb, I will do't,
Or strangely be denied. All's as I wish'd;
This was my aim, although I have seem'd strange.
I know this fellow now to be an ass,
A most unworthy husband, though in view
He bear himself thus fair; she knows this too,
Therefore the stronger are my hopes to gain her;
And, my dear friend, that will have your wife tried,
I'll try her first, then trust her, if I can;
And, as you said most wisely, I hope to be
Both touchstone to your wife and lapidary.



Enter Seldom [and] his wife Grace, working as in their shop.

Grace. Husband, these gloves are not fit for my wearing; I'll put 'em into the shop, and sell 'em: you shall give me a plain pair for them.

Sel. This is wonderful, wonderful! this is thy sweet care and judgment in all things: this goodness is not usual in our wives. Well, Grace Seldom, that thou art fair is nothing, that thou art well-spoken is nothing, that thou art witty is nothing, that thou art a citizen's wife is nothing; but, Grace, that thou art fair, that thou art well-spoken, that thou art witty, that thou art a citizen's wife, and that thou art honest, I say—and let any man deny it that can, it is something, it is something; I say, it is Seldom's something, and for all the sunshine of my joy, mine eyes must rain upon thee.

Enter Moll Cutpurse, with a letter.

Moll. By your leave, Master Seldom, have you done the hangers I bespake for the knight?

Sel. Yes, marry have I, Mistress hic and hæc;[88] I'll fetch 'em to you.

Moll. Zounds! does not your husband know my name? if it had been somebody else, I would have called him cuckoldy slave.

Grace. If it had been somebody else, perhaps you might.

Moll. Well, I may be even with him; all's clear. Pretty rogue, I have longed to know thee [111] this twelve months, and had no other means but this to speak with thee. There's a letter to thee from the party.

Grace. What party?

Moll. The knight, Sir John Love-all.

Grace. Hence, lewd impudent!
I know not what to term thee, man or woman,
For, Nature, shaming to acknowledge thee
For either, hath produc'd thee to the world
Without a sex: some say thou art a woman,
Others a man: and many, thou art both
Woman and man, but I think rather neither,
Or man and horse, as the old centaurs were feign'd.

Moll. Why, how now, Mistress What-lack-ye? are you so fine, with a pox? I have seen a woman look as modestly as you, and speak as sincerely, and follow the friars as zealously,[88] and she has been as sound a jumbler as e'er paid for't: 'tis true, Mistress Fi'penny, I have sworn to leave this letter.

Grace. D'ye hear, you Sword-and-target (to speak in your own key), Mary Ambree, Long Meg.[89]
[112] Thou that in thyself, methinks, alone
Look'st like a rogue and whore under a hedge;
Bawd, take your letter with you, and begone,
When next you come, my husband's constable,
And Bridewell is hard by: you've a good wit,
And can conceive——

Enter Seldom, with hangers.

Sel. Look you, here are the hangers.

Moll. Let's see them.
Fie, fie! you have mistook me quite,

Enter Lord Proudly.

Grace. Here's my Lord Proudly.

Proudly. My horse, lackey! is my sister Honour above?

Sel. I think her ladyship, my lord, is not well, and keeps her chamber.

Proudly. All's one, I must see her: have the other ladies dined?

Grace. I think not, my lord.

Proudly. Then I'll take a pipe of tobacco here in your shop, if it be not offensive. I would be loth to be thought to come just at dinner-time. [To his servant] Garçon! fill, sirrah.


Enter Page, with a pipe of tobacco.

What said the goldsmith for the money?

[Seldom, having fetched a candle, walks off at the other end of the shop. Lord Proudly sits by his wife.

Page. He said, my lord, he would lend no man money that he durst not arrest.

Proudly. How got that wit into Cheapside, trow? He is a cuckold. Saw you my lady to-day? What says she?
[Takes tobacco.

Page. Marry, my lord, she said her old husband had a great payment to make this morning, and had not left her so much as a jewel.

Proudly. A pox of her old cat's chaps! The teeth she had
Have made a transmigration into hair:
She hath a bigger beard than I, by this light.
[Lord whispers to Grace.
Sel. This custom in us citizens is good:
Thus walking off, when men talk with our wives;
It shows us courteous and mannerly.
Some count it baseness; he's a fool that does so.
It is the highest point of policy,
Especially when we have virtuous wives.

Grace. Fie, fie! you talk uncivilly, my lord.

Proudly. Uncivilly, mew! Can a lord talk uncivilly? I think you, a finical taffata pipkin, may be proud I'll sit so near it. Uncivilly, mew!

Grace. Your mother's cat has kittened in your mouth, sure.

Proudly. Prythee, but note yon fellow. Does he not walk and look as if he did desire to be a cuckold?

Grace. But you do not look as if you could make him one. Now they have dined, my lord.


Enter Lord Feesimple and Welltried.

Fee. God save your lordship.

Proudly. How dost thou, coz? Hast thou got any more wit yet?

Fee. No, by my troth, I have
But little money with that little wit I have,
And the more wit ever the less money;
Yet as little as I have of either,
I would give something that I durst but quarrel:
I would not be abus'd thus daily as I am.

Well. Save you, my lord.

Proudly. Good Master Welltried, you can inform me: pray, how ended the quarrel betwixt young Bold and the other gentleman?

Well. Why, very fairly, my lord; on honourable terms. Young Bold was injured and did challenge him, fought in the field, and the other gave him satisfaction under his hand. I was Bold's second, and can show it here.

Proudly. 'Tis strange there was no hurt done, yet I hold
The other gentleman far the better man.

Well. So do not I.

Proudly. Besides, they say the satisfaction that walks in the ordinaries is counterfeit.

Well. He lies that say so, and I'll make it good.
And for I know my friend is out of town,
What man soever wrongs him is my foe.
I say he had full satisfaction,
Nay, that which we may call submission;
That the other sought peace first; and who denies this,
Lord, knight or gentleman: English, French or Scot,
I'll fight and prove it on him with my sword.

Fee. No, sweet Master Welltried, let's have no[115] fighting, till (as you have promised) you have rid me from this foolish fear, and taught me to endure to look upon a naked sword.

Well. Well, and I'll be as good as my word.

Fee. But do you hear, cousin Proudly? They say my old father must marry your sister Honour, and that he will disinherit me, and entail all his lordships on her and the heir he shall beget on her body. Is't true or not?

Proudly. There is such a report.

Fee. Why, then I pray God he may die an old cuckoldy slave.
O world, what art thou? where is parent's love?
Can he deny me for his natural child?
Yet see (O fornicator!) old and stiff,
Not where he should be, that's my comfort yet.
As for you, my lord, I will send to you as soon as
I dare fight, and look upon steel; which, Master
Welltried (I pray) let be with all possible speed.

Proudly. What d'ye this afternoon?

Fee. Faith, I have a great mind to see Long Meg and the Ship at the Fortune.[90]

Proudly. Nay, i' faith, let's up and have a rest at primero.

Well. Agreed, my lord; and toward the evening I'll carry you to the company.


Fee. Well, no more words.
[Exeunt Lord Proudly, Lord Feesimple, and Welltried.[91]

Grace. I wonder, sir, you will walk so, and let anybody sit prating to your wife. Were I a man, I'd thrust 'em out o' th' shop by the head and shoulders.

Sel. There were no policy in that, wife; so should I lose my custom. Let them talk themselves weary, and give thee love-tokens—still I lose not by it.

Thy chastity's impregnable, I know it.
Had I a dame, whose eyes did swallow youth,
Whose unchaste gulf together did take in
Masters and men, the footboys and their lords,
Making a gallimaufry in her blood,
I would not walk thus then: but, virtuous wife,
He that in chaste ears pours his ribald talk
Begets hate to himself, and not consent;
And even as dirt, thrown hard against a wall,
Rebounds and sparkles in the thrower's eyes,
So ill words, utter'd to a virtuous dame,
Turn and defile the speaker with red shame.


Enter Husband and Wife.

Hus. Zounds! you're a whore; though I entreat him fair
Before his face, in compliment or so,
I not esteem him truly as this rush.
There's no such thing as friendship in the world,
[117] And he that cannot swear, dissemble, lie,
Wants knowledge how to live, and let him die.
Wife. Sir, I did think you had esteem'd of him,
As you made show; therefore I us'd him well,
And yet not so, but that the strictest eye
I durst have made a witness of my carriage.
Hus. Plague o' your carriage! why, he kiss'd your hand,
Look'd babies in your eyes, and wink'd and pink'd.
You thought I had esteem'd him! 'Sblood, you whore!
Do not I know that you do know you lie?
When didst thou hear me say and mean one thing?
O, I could kick you now, and tear your face,
And eat thy breasts like udders.
Wife. Sir, you may,
But if I know what hath deserv'd all this,
I am no woman: 'cause he kiss'd my hand
Hus. A little louder, pray.
Wife. You are a base fellow, an unworthy man,
As e'er poor gentlewoman match'd withal.
Why should you make such show of love to any
Without the truth? thy beastly mind is like
Some decay'd tradesman, that doth make his wife
Entertain those for gain he not endures.
Pish! swell and burst: I had rather with thy sword
Be hew'd to pieces, than lead such a life.
Out with it, valiant sir: I hold you for
A drawer upon women, not on men.
I will no more conceal your hollow heart,
But e'en report you as you are in truth.

Hus. This is call'd marriage. Stop your mouth, you whore.

Wife. Thy mother was a whore, if I be one.

Hus. You know there's company in the house.


Enter Subtle.

Sweet friend, what, have you writ your letter?

Sub. Tis done, dear friend: I have made you stay too long;
I fear you'll be benighted.
Hus. Fie! no, no.
Madam and sweetest wife, farewell; God bless us.
Make much of Master Subtle here, my friend, [Kisses her.
Till my return, which may be ev'n as't happens,
According as my business hath success.
Sub. How will you pass the time now, fairest mistress?
Wife. In troth, I know not: wives without their husbands,
Methinks, are low'ring days.
Sub. Indeed, some wives
Are like dead bodies in their husbands' absence.
Wife. If any wife be, I must needs be so,
That have a husband far above all men;
Untainted with the humours others have,
A perfect man, and one that loves you truly:
You see the charge he left of your good usage.
Sub. Pish! he's an ass, I know him; a stark ass,
Of a most barbarous condition,
False-hearted to his friend, rough unto you;
A most dissembling and perfidious fellow.
I care not if he heard me: this I know,
And will make good upon him with my sword,
Or any for him—for he will not fight.
Wife. Fie, servant! you show small civility
And less humanity: d'ye requite
My husband's love thus ill? for what d'ye think
Of me, that you will utter to my face
Such harsh, unfriendly, slanderous injuries
Even of my husband? Sir, forbear, I pray,
[119] My ears or your own tongue: I am no house-wife
To hear my husband's merit thus deprav'd.
Sub. His merit is a halter, by this light.
You think he's out of town now; no such matter:
But gone aside, and hath importun'd me
To try your chastity.
Wife. It cannot be.
Alas! he is as free from jealousy,
And ever was, as confidence itself.
I know he loves me too-too heartily
To be suspicious, or to prove my truth.
Sub. If I do feign in ought, ne'er may I purchase
The grace I hope for! and, fair mistress,
If you have any spirit, or wit, or sense,
You will be even with such a wretched slave.
Heaven knows I love you as the air I draw!
Think but how finely you may cuckold him,
And safely, too, with me, who will report
To him, that you are most invincible,
Your chastity not to be subdu'd by man.

Wife. When you know I'm a whore?

Sub. A whore? fie! no;
That you have been kind, or so: your whore doth live
In Pickt-hatch,[92] Turnbull Street.
Wife. Your whore lives there!
Well, servant, leave me to myself awhile:
Return anon; but bear this hope away,
'T shall be with you, if I at all do stray.
[Exit Subtle.
[120] Why, here's right wordly[93] friendship! ye're well-met.
O men! what are you? why is our poor sex
Still made the disgrac'd subjects in these plays
For vices, folly, and inconstancy:
When, were men look'd into with such critical eyes
Of observation, many would be found
So full of gross and base corruption,
That none (unless the devil himself turn'd writer)
Could feign so badly to express them truly?
Some wives that had a husband now, like mine,
Would yield their honours up to any man:
Far be it from my thoughts! O, let me stand,
Thou God of marriage and chastity,
An honour to my sex! no injury
Compel the virtue of my breast to yield!
It's not revenge for any wife to stain
The nuptial bed, although she be yok'd ill.
Who falls, because her husband so hath done,
Cures not his wound, but in herself makes one.
[Exit Wife.


Enter Ingen, reading a letter; sits down in a chair, and stamps with his foot; to him a Servant.

Ingen. Who brought this letter?

Ser. A little Irish footboy, sir:
He stays without for an answer.
Ingen. Bid him come in. Lord!
What deep dissemblers are these females all.
How far unlike a friend this lady us'd me,
And here how like one mad in love she writes.


Enter Maid, like an Irish footboy, with a dart,[94] gloves in her pocket, and a handkerchief.

So bless me, heaven, but thou art the prettiest boy
That e'er ran by a horse! hast thou dwelt long
With thy fair mistress?
Maid. I came but this morning, sir.
Ingen. How fares thy lady, boy?
Maid. Like to a turtle that hath lost her mate,
Drooping she sits; her grief, sir, cannot speak.
Had it a voice articulate, we should know
How and for what cause she suffers; and perhaps—
But 'tis unlikely—give her comfort, sir.
Weeping she sits, and all the sound comes from her
Is like the murmur of a silver brook,
Which her tears truly would make there about her,
Sat she in any hollow continent.
Ingen. Believe me, boy, thou hast a passionate tongue,
Lively expression, or thy memory
Hath carried thy lesson well away.
But wherefore mourns thy lady?
[122] Maid. Sir, you know,
And would to God I did not know myself!
Ingen. Alas! it cannot be for love to me.
When last I saw her, she revil'd me, boy,
With bitterest words, and wish'd me never more
To approach her sight; and for my marriage now
I do sustain it as a penance due
To the desert that made her banish me.
Maid. Sir, I dare swear, she did presume no words,
Nor dangers had been powerful to restrain
Your coming to her, when she gave the charge—
But are you married truly?
Ingen. Why, my boy,
Dost think I mock myself? I sent her gloves.
Maid. The gloves she has return'd you, sir, by me,
And prays you give them to some other lady,
That you'll deceive next, and be perjured to.
Sure, you have wrong'd her: sir, she bad me tell you,
She ne'er thought goodness dwelt in many men,
But what there was of goodness in the world,
She thought you had it all; but now she sees
The jewel she esteem'd is counterfeit;
That you are but a common man yourself—
A traitor to her and her virtuous love;
That all men are betrayers, and their breasts
As full of dangerous gulfs as is the sea,
Where any woman, thinking to find harbour,
She and her honour are precipitated,
And never to be brought with safety off.
Alas, my hapless lady desolate!
Distress'd, forsaken virgin!
Ingen. Sure, this boy
Is of an excellent nature who, so newly
Ta'en to her service, feels his mistress' grief,
As he and they were old familiar friends.
Why weep'st thou, gentle lad?
Maid. Who hath one tear,
And would not save't from all occasions,
From brothers' slaughters and from mothers' deaths,
To spend it here for my distressed lady?
But, sir, my lady did command me beg
To see your wife, that I may bear to her
The sad report. What creature could make you
Untie the hand fast pledged unto her?
Ingen. Wife, wife, come forth! now, gentle boy, be judge,

Enter Ingen's Brother, like a woman, masked. Ingen kisses her.

If such a face as this, being paid with scorn
By her I did adore, had not full power
To make me marry.
Maid. By the God of love,
She's a fair creature, but faith, should be fairer.
My lady, gentle mistress, one that thought
She had some interest in this gentleman,
(Who now is only yours) commanded me
To kiss your white hand, and to sigh and weep,
And wish you that content she should have had
In the fruition of her love you hold.
She bad me say, God give you joy, to both;
Yet this withal (if ye were married):
No one her footsteps ever more should meet,
Nor see her face but in a winding-sheet.
Bro. Alas, poor lady! faith, I pity her,
And, but to be i' th' same state, could forego
Anything I possess to ease her woe.
Maid. Love's blessing light upon thy gentle soul!
Men rail at women, mistress, but 'tis we
Are false and cruel, ten times more unkind;
You are smoother far and of a softer mind.
Sir, I have one request more.
[124] Ingen. Gentle lad,
It must be one of a strange quality
That I deny thee: both thy form and mind
Inform me that thy nurture hath been better,
Than to betray thee to this present life.
Maid. 'Tis, that you would vouchsafe to entertain me.
My feet do tremble under me to bear
My body back unto my uncouth lady,
To assure her grief. What heart so hard would owe
A tongue to tell so sad a tale to her?
Alas! I dare not look upon her eyes,
Where wronged love sits like the basilisk.
And, sure, would kill me for my dire report:
Or rather should not I appear like death,
[Holding up his dart.
When every word I spake shot through her heart
More mortally than his unsparing dart.
Bro. Let me speak for the boy.
Ingen. To what end, love?
No, I will sue to him to follow me.
In troth, I love thy sweet condition,
And may live to inform thy lady of thee.
Come in; dry, dry thine eyes, respite thy woe;
The effects of causes[95] crown or overthrow.


Enter Lord Proudly, Lord Feesimple, Welltried, Seldom, Widow, Bold pinning in a ruff, Wife.

Proudly. 'Slight, what should be become of her? you swear
[125] She pass'd not forth of doors, and i' th' house she is not?
Wid. Did you not see her, Princox?
Proudly. This same bawd
Has brought her letters from some younger brother,
And she is stolen away.
Bold. Bawd! I defy you.
Indeed, your lordship thinks you may make bawds
Of whom you please. I'll take my oath upon a book,
Since I met her in the necessary house i' th' morning,
I ne'er set eye on her.

Grace. She went not out of doors.

Proudly. Sure, she has an invisible ring.

Fee. Marry, she's the honester woman, for some of their rings are visible enough, the more shame for them, still say I. Let the pond at Islington be searched: go to, there's more have drowned themselves for love this year than you are aware of.

Proudly. Pish! you are a fool.

Well. 'Sheart! call him fool again.

Fee. By this light, and I will, as soon as ever you have showed me the Swaggerers.[96]

Wife. Her clothes are all yonder, my lord.

Grace. And even those same she had on to-day.

Proudly. Madam, where is your husband?

Wife. Rid into the country.

Fee. O' my conscience, rid into France with your sister.

Omnes. Away, away; for shame!

Fee. Why, I hope she is not the first lady that has ran away with other women's husbands.

Well. It may be she's stolen out to see a play.

Proudly. Who should go with her, man?

Wid. Upon my life, you'll hear of her at Master [126] Ingen's house: some love pass'd betwixt them, and we heard that he was married to-day to another.

Proudly. 'Sheart! I'll go see.
[Exit Lord Proudly.

Well. Come to the Swaggerers.

Fee. Mercy upon me! a man or a—Lord now?
[Exeunt Lord Feesimple, Welltried.

Omnes. Here's a coil with a lord and his sister.

Wid. Princox, hast not thou pinned in that ruff yet? ha! how thou fumblest!

Bold. Troth, madam, I was ne'er brought up to it; 'tis chambermaid's work, and I have ever lived gentlewoman, and been used accordingly.


Enter Husband and Subtle.

Sub. She's a rare wife, believe it, sir: were all such,
We never should have false inheritors.
Hus. Pish! friend, there is no woman in the world
Can hold out in the end, if youth, shape, wit,
Met in one subject, do assault her aptly;
For failing once, you must not faint, but try
Another way: the paths of women's minds
Are crooked and diverse; they have byways
To lead you to the palace of their pleasures,
And you must woo discreetly. First, observe
The disposition of her you attempt:
If she be spriteful and heroical,
Possess her that you are valiant, and have spirit:
Talk nothing but of beating every man,
That is your hinderance; though you do not do it,
Or dare not, 'tis no matter. Be she free
And of a liberal soul, give bounteously
[127] To all the servants; let your angels fly
About the room, although you borrow'd 'em.
If she be witty, so must your discourse:
Get wit, what shift soe'er you make for it,
Though't cost you all your land; and then a song
Or two is not amiss, although you buy 'em:
There's many in the town will furnish you.
Sub. But still, I tell you, you must use her roughly.
Beat her face black and blue, take all her clothes,
And give them to some punk: this will be ground
For me to work upon.
Hus. All this I have done.
I have left her now as bare that, should I die,
Her fortune, o' my conscience, would be
To marry some tobacco-man: she has nothing
But an old black-work waistcoat, which would serve
Exceeding well to sit i' th' shop, and light
Pipes for the lousy footmen. And, sweet friend,
First here's a jewel to present her; then,
Here is a sonnet writ against myself,
Which as thine own thou shalt accost her with.
Farewell, and happy success attend thee!
Sub. Ha, ha, ha!
[He reads.
"Fairest, still wilt thou be true
To man so false to thee?
Did he lend a husband's due,
Thou didst owe him loyalty;
But will curses, wanton[97] blows
Breed no change in thy white soul?
Be not a fool to thy first vows,
Since his first breach doth thy faith control.
No beauty else could be so chaste;
Think not thou honour'st woman then,
Since by thy conscience all disgrac'd
Are robb'd of the dear loves of men.
[128] "Then grant me my desire, that vow to prove
A real husband, his adulterate love."
Took ever man more pains to be a cuckold!
O monstrous age, where men themselves, we see,
Study and pay for their own infamy.


Enter Ingen, Maid, Lord Proudly, Brother like a woman: swords drawn.

Proudly. Give me my sister! I'll have her forth thy heart.

Ingen. No earthly lord can pull her out of that,
Till he have pluck'd my heart first out. My lord,
Were't not inhospitable, I could wrong you here
In my own house. I am so full of woe
For your lost sister, that by all my joys
Hoped for in her, my heart weeps tears of blood:
A whiter virgin and a worthier
Had ne'er creation; Leda's swan was black
To her virginity and immaculate thoughts.
Proudly. Where hast thou hid her? give her me again;
For, by the God of vengeance, be she lost,
The female hate shall spring betwixt our names
Shall never die, while one of either house
Survives: our children shall, at seven years old,
Strike knives in one another.
Ingen. Let hell gape
And take me quick, if I know where she is;
But am so charg'd with sorrow for her loss,
Being the cause of it (as no doubt I am),
That I had rather fall upon my sword
[Offering to kill himself.
Than breathe a minute longer.
Bro. O sir! hold.
Proudly. Thou shalt not need; I have a sword to bathe
In thy false blood, inhumane murderer.
Maid. Good sir, be pacified: I'll go, I'll run
Many a mile to find your sister out.
She never was so desperate of grace
By violence to rob herself of life,
And so her soul endanger. Comfort, sir;
She's but retired somewhere, on my life.
Ingen. Prythee, let me alone—
[To his brother.
Do I stand to defend that wretched life,
That is in doubt of hers? here, worthy lord,
Behold a breast fram'd of thy sister's love;
Hew it, for thou shalt strike but on a stock,
Since she is gone that was the cause it liv'd.
Proudly. Out, false dissembler! art not married?
Ingen. No; behold it is my younger brother dress'd;
[Plucks of his head-tire.
A man, no woman, that hath gull'd the world,
Intended for a happier event
Than this that follow'd, that she now is gone.
O fond experiments of simple man!
Fool to thy fate, since all thy project, meant
But mirth, is now converted unto death.
Maid. O, do not burst me, joy! that modesty
Would let me show myself to finish all!
Proudly. Nay, then thou hast my sister somewhere, villain!
'Tis plain now thou wilt steal thy marriage.
She is no match for thee, assure thyself.
If all the law in England or my friends
Can cross it, 't shall not be.
Ingen. Would 'twere so well,
And that I knew the lady to be safe!
Give me no ill-words. Sir, this boy and I
Will wander like two pilgrims till we find her.
If you do love her as you talk, do so:
[130] The love or grief that is express'd in words,
Is slight and easy; 'tis but shallow woe
That makes a noise; deep'st waters stillest go.
I love her better than thy parents did,
Which is beyond a brother.
Proudly. Slave! thou liest.
Ingen. Zounds!
[About to strike.
Bro. Kill him!
Maid. O, hold! Sir, you dishonour much your brother
To counsel him 'gainst hospitality
To strike in his own house.
Ingen. You, lord insolent, I will fight with you:
Take this as a challenge, and set your time.
Proudly. To-morrow morning, Ingen;
'Tis that I covet, and provoke thee for.
Bro. Will you not strike him now?
Ingen. No; my good boy
Is both discreet and just in his advice.
Thy glories are to last but for a day:
Give me thy hand;
To-morrow morning thou shalt be no lord.
Proudly. To-morrow noon thou shalt not be at all.
Ingen. Pish! why should you think so? have not I arms,
A soul as bold as yours, a sword as true?
I do not think your honour in the field,
Without your lordship's liveries, will have odds.
Proudly. Farewell, and let's have no excuses, pray.
[Exit Proudly.
Ingen. I warrant you. Pray, say your prayers to-night,
And bring an[98] inkhorn w' ye, to set your hand to
A satisfactory recantation.
[131] Maid. O wretched maid! whose sword can I pray for?
But by the other's loss I must find death.
O odious brother, if he kill my love!
O bloody love, if he should kill my brother!
Despair on both sides of my discontent
Tells me no safety rests but to prevent.


Enter Widow and Bold like Princox.

Wid. What's o'clock, Princox?

Bold. Bedtime, an't please you, madam.

Wid. Come, undress me. Would God had made me a man!

Bold. Why, madam?

Wid. Because
I would have been in bed as soon as they.
We are so long unpinning and unlacing.

Bold. Yet many of us, madam, are quickly undone sometime: but herein we have the advantage of men, though they can be abed sooner than we, it's a great while, when they are abed, ere they can get up.

Wid. Indeed, if they be well-laid, Princox, one cannot get them up again in haste.

Bold. O God! madam, how mean you that? I hope you know, ill things taken into a gentlewoman's ears are the quick corrupters of maiden modesty. I would be loth to continue in any service unfit for my virgin estate, or where the world should take any notice of light behaviour in the lady I follow; for, madam, the main point of chastity in a lady is to build the rock of a good opinion amongst the people by circumstances, and a fair show she must make. Si non caste, tamen caute, madam; and though wit be a wanton, madam, yet I beseech your ladyship, for your own credit[132] and mine, let the bridle of judgment be always in the chaps of it, to give it head or restrain it, according as time and place shall be convenient.

Wid. Precise and learned Princox, dost not thou go to Blackfriars?

Bold. Most frequently, madam, unworthy vessel that I am to partake or retain any of the delicious dew that is there distilled.

Wid. But why shouldst thou ask me, what I meant e'en now? I tell thee, there's nothing uttered but carries a double sense,[99] one good, one bad; but if the hearer apply it to the worst, the fault lies in his or her corrupt understanding, not in the speaker; for to answer your Latin, pravis omnia prava. Believe me, wench, if ill come into my fancy, I will purge it by speech: the less will remain within. A pox of these nice-mouthed creatures! I have seen a narrow pair of lips utter as broad a tale as can be bought for money. Indeed, an ill tale unuttered is like a maggot in a nut, it spoils the whitest kernel.

Bold. You speak most intelligently, madam.

Wid. Hast not done yet? Thou art an old fumbler, I perceive. Methinks thou dost not do things like a woman.

Bold. Madam, I do my endeavour, and the best can do no more; they that could do better, it may be would not, and then 'twere all one. But rather than be a burthen to your ladyship, I protest sincerely, I would beg my bread; therefore I beseech you, madam, to hold me excused, and let my goodwill stand for the action.

Wid. Let thy goodwill stand for the action? If goodwill would do it, there's many a lady in this land would be content with her old lord; and thou [133] canst not be a burthen to me, without thou lie upon me, and that were preposterous in thy sex. Take no exceptions at what I say. Remember you said stand even now. There was a word for one of your coat, indeed!

Bold. I swear, madam, you are very merry. God send you good luck. Has your ladyship no waters that you use at bedtime?

Wid. No, in troth, Princox.

Bold. No complexion!

Wid. None but mine own, I swear. Didst thou ever use any?

Bold. No, indeed, madam; now and then a piece of scarlet, or so; a little white and red ceruse; but, in troth, madam, I have an excellent receipt for a nightmask as ever you heard.

Wid. What is it?

Bold. Boar's grease one ounce; Jordan almonds, blanched and ground, a quartern; red rosewater, half a pint; mare's urine, newly covered, half a score drops.

Wid. Fogh! no more of thy medicine, if thou lovest me. Few of our knights-errant, when they meet a fair lady-errant in a morning, would think her face had lain so plastered all night. Thou hast had some apothecary to thy sweetheart. But, leaving this face-physic (for, by my troth, it may make others have good ones, but it makes me a scurvy one), which of all the gallants in the town wouldst thou make a husband of, if thou mightst have him for thy choosing?

Bold. In troth, madam, but you'll say I speak blindly, but let my love stand aside——

Wid. I think it not fit, indeed, your love should stand in the middle.

Bold. I say, Master Bold. O, do but mark him, madam; his leg, his hand, his body, and all his members stand in print.


Wid. Out upon thee, Princox! No. Methinks Welltried's a handsome fellow. I like not these starched gallants: masculine faces and masculine gestures please me best.

Bold. How like you Master Pert?

Wid. Fie upon him! when he is in his scarlet clothes, he looks like a man of wax, and I had as lief have a dog o' wax: I do not think but he lies in a case o' nights. He walks as if he were made of gins[100]—as if Nature had wrought him in a frame: I have seen him sit discontented a whole play, because one of the purls of his band was fallen out of his reach to order again.[101]

Bold. Why, Bold, madam, is clean contrary.

Wid. Ay, but that's as ill: each extreme is alike vicious; his careful carelessness is his study. He spends as much time to make himself slovenly, as the other to be spruce. His garters hang over upon the calves of his legs, his doublet unbuttoned, and his points untrussed; his hair in's eyes like a drunkard, and his hat, worn on the[102] hinder-part of his head, as if he cared more for his memory than his wit, makes him look as if he were distracted. Princox, I would have you lie with me: I do not love to lie alone.

Bold. With all my heart, madam.

Wid. Are you clean-skinned?

Bold. Clean-skinned, madam? there's a question! do you think I have the itch? I am an Englishwoman: I protest, I scorn the motion.


Wid. Nay, prythee, Princox, be not angry: it's a sign of honesty, I can tell you.

Bold. Faith, madam, I think 'tis but simple honesty that dwells at the sign of the scab.

Wid. Well, well, come to bed, and we'll talk further of all these matters.

Bold. Fortune, I thank thee; I will owe thee eyes
For this good turn! now is she mine indeed.
Thou hast given me that success my project hop'd.
Off, false disguise, that hast been true to me,
And now be Bold, that thou may'st welcome be.


Enter Whorebang, Bots,[103] Tearchaps, Spillblood, and Drawer: several patches on their faces.

Tear. Damn me, we will have more wine, sirrah, or we'll down into the cellar, and drown thee in a butt of Malmsey, and hew all the hogsheads in pieces.

Whore. Hang him, rogue! shall he die as honourable as the Duke of Clarence? by this flesh, let's have wine, or I will cut thy head off, and have it roasted and eaten in Pie Corner next Bartholomew-tide.

Drawer. Gentlemen, I beseech you consider where you are—Turnbull Street—a civil place: do not disturb a number of poor gentlewomen. Master Whorebang, Master Bots, Master Tearchaps, and Master Spillblood, the watch are abroad.


Spill. The watch! why, you rogue, are not we kings of Turnbull?

Drawer. Yes, marry are ye, sir: for my part, if you'll be quiet, I'll have a sign made of ye, and it shall be called the four kings of Turnbull.

Bots. Will you fetch us wine?

Whore. And a whore, sirrah?

Drawer. Why, what d'ye think of me? am I an infidel, a Turk, a pagan, a Saracen? I have been at Bess Turnup's, and she swears all the gentlewomen went to see a play at the Fortune,[104] and are not come in yet, and she believes they sup with the players.

Tear. Damn me, we must kill all those rogues: we shall never keep a whore honest for them.

Bots. Go your ways, sirrah. We'll have but a gallon apiece, and an ounce of tobacco.

Drawer. I beseech you, let it be but pottles.[105]

Spill. 'Sheart! you rogue.
[Exit Drawer.

Enter Welltried and Lord Feesimple.

Whore. Master Welltried! welcome as my soul.

Enter Drawer, with wine, plate and tobacco.

Bots. Noble lad, how dost thou?

Spill. As welcome as the tobacco and the wine, boy.

Tear. Damn me, thou art.

Fee. Bless me (save you, gentlemen), they have not one face among 'em! I could wish myself well


from them: I would I had put out something upon my return; I had as lief be at Barmuthoes.[106]

Well. Pray, welcome this gentleman.

Spill. Is he valiant?

Well. Faith, he's a little faulty that way; somewhat of a bashful and backward nature, yet I have brought him amongst you, because he hath a great desire to be fleshed.

Fee. Yes, faith, sir, I have a great desire to be fleshed; now Master Welltried said he would bring me to the only fleshmongers in the town.

Well. Sir, he cannot endure the sight of steel.

Whore. Not steel? zounds!
[Claps his sword over the table.

Fee. Now I am going!

Bots. Here's to you, sir. I'll fetch you again with a cup of sack.

Fee. I pledge you, sir, and begin to you in a cup of claret.

Well. Hark you, my lord: what will you say if I make you beat all these out of the room?


Fee. What will I say? why, I say it is impossible; 'tis not in mortal man.

Well. Well, drink apace: if any brave you, outbrave him; I'll second you. They are a company of cowards, believe me.

Fee. By this light, I would they were else: if I thought so, I would be upon the jack[107] of one of 'em instantly, that same little Damn me. But, Master Welltried, if they be not very valiant, or dare not fight, how came they by such cuts and gashes, and such broken faces?

Well. Why, their whores strike 'em with cans and glasses, and quart-pots: if they have nothing by 'em, they strike 'em with the pox, and you know that will lay one's nose as flat as a basket-hilt dagger.

Fee. Well, let me alone.

Tear. This bully dares not drink.

Fee. Dare I not, sir?

Well. Well said; speak to him, man.

Fee. You had best try me, sir.

Spill. We four will drink four healths to four of the seven deadly sins, pride, drunkenness, wrath, and lechery.

Fee. I'll pledge 'em, and I thank you; I know 'em all. Here's one.

Whore. Which of the sins?

Fee. By my troth, even to pride.

Well. Why, well said; and in this do not you only pledge your mistress's health, but all the women's in the world.

Fee. So: now this little cup to wrath, because he and I are strangers.

Tear. Brave boy! damn me, he shall be a roarer.


Fee. Damn me, I will be a roarer, or't shall cost me a fall.

Bots. The next place that falls, pray, let him have it.

Fee. Well, I have two of my healths to drink yet—lechery and drunkenness, which even shall go together.

Well. Why, how now, my lord, a moralist?

Bots. Damn me, art thou a lord? what virtues hast thou?

Fee. Virtues? enough to keep e'er a damn-me company in England: methinks you should think it virtue enough to be a lord.

Whore. Will not you pledge these healths, Master Welltried? we'll have no observers.

Well. Why, Monsieur Whorebang? I am no playmaker[108], and, for pledging your healths, I love none of the four you drank to so well.

Spill. Zounds! you shall pledge me this.

Well. Shall I?

Fee. What's the matter? dost hear, Master Welltried, use thine own discretion; if thou wilt [140]not pledge him, say so, and let me see if e'er a damn-me of 'em all will force thee.

Spill. Puff! will your lordship take any tobacco? you lord with the white face.

Bots. Heart! he cannot put it through his nose.

Fee. Faith, you have ne'er a nose to put it through; d'ye hear I blow your face, sirrah.

Tear. You'll pledge me, sir?

Well. Indeed, I will not.

Fee. Damn me, he shall not then.[109]

Tear. Lord, use your own words, damn me is mine; I am known by it all the town o'er, d'ye hear?

Fee. It is as free for me as you, d'ye hear, Patch?[110]

Tear. I have paid more for't.

Well. Nay, I'll bear him witness in a truth: his soul lies for't,[111] my lord.

Spill. Welltried, you are grown proud since you got good clothes and have followed your lord.
[Strikes, and they scuffle.

Whore. I have known you lousy, Welltried.

Well. Roarer, you lie.
[Draw and fight; throw pots and stools.

Drawer. O Jesu!

All Swaggerers. Zounds! cleave or be cleft: pell-mell: slash arms and legs.

Fee. Heart! let me alone with 'em.
[Break off, and exeunt all the Swaggerers.

Well. Why, now thou art a worthy wight, indeed, a Lord of Lorn.[112]


Fee. I am a madman: look, is not that one of their heads?

Well. Fie! no, my lord.

Fee. Damn me, but 'tis; I would not wish you to cross me a'purpose: if you have anything to say to me, so—I am ready.

Well. O brave lord! many a roarer thus is made by wine. Come, it is one of their heads, my lord.

Fee. Why so, then, I will have my humour. If you love me, let's go break windows somewhere.

Well. Drawer, take your plate. For the reckoning there's some of their cloaks: I will be no shot-log to such.

Drawer. God's blessing o' your heart for thus ridding the house of them.


Enter Widow undressed, a sword in her hand; and Bold in his shirt, as started from bed.

Wid. Uncivil man! if I should take thy life,
It were not to be weigh'd with thy attempt.
Thou hast for ever lost me.
Bold. Madam, why?
Can love beget loss? Do I covet you
Unlawfully? Am I an unfit man
To make a husband of? Send for a priest;
First consummate the match, and then to bed
Without more trouble.
Wid. No, I will not do't.
Bold. Why, you confess'd to me (as your gentlewoman)[113]
I was the man your heart did most affect;
That you did doat upon my mind and body.
Wid. So, by the sacred and inviolate knot
Of marriage, I do; but will not wed thee.
Bold. Why, yet enjoy me now. Consider, lady,
That little but bless'd time I was in bed,
Although I lay as by my sister's side,
The world is apt to censure otherwise:
So, 'tis necessity that we marry now.
Wid. Pish! I regard not at a straw the world.
Fame from the tongues of men doth injury
Oft'ner than justice; and as conscience
Only makes guilty persons, not report,
(For show we clear as springs unto the world,
If our own knowledge do not make us so,
That is no satisfaction to ourselves),
So stand we ne'er so leprous to men's eye,
It cannot hurt heart-known integrity.
You have trusted to that fond opinion,
This is the way to have a widowhood,
By getting to her bed.[114] Alas! young man,
Shouldst thou thyself tell thy companions
Thou hast dishonour'd me (as you men have tongues
Forked and venom'd 'gainst our subject sex);
It should not move me, that know 'tis not so:
Therefore depart. Truth be my virtuous shield.

Bold. Few widows would do thus.

Wid. All modest would.

Bold. To be in bed, and in possession
Even of the mark I aim'd at, and go off
Foil'd and disgrac'd! Come, come, you'll laugh at me
Behind my back; publish I wanted spirit,
And mock me to the ladies; call me child,
Say you denied me but to try the heat
And zeal of my affection toward you,
Then clapp'd up with a rhyme; as for example—
[143] He coldly loves retires for one vain trial,
For we are yielding when we make denial.
Wid. Servant, I make no question, from this time
You'll hold a more reverent opinion
Of some that wear long coats; and 'tis my pride
To assure you that there are amongst us good,
And with this continency. If you go away,
I'll be so far from thinking it defect,
That I will hold you worthiest of men.
Bold. 'Sheart! I am Tantalus: my long'd-for fruit
Bobs at my lips, yet still it shrinks from me.
Have not I that, which men say never fails
To o'ercome any, opportunity?[115]
Come, come; I am too cold in my assault.
By all the virtues that yet ever were
In man or woman, I with reverence
Do love thee, lady, but will be no fool
To let occasion slip her foretop from me.
Wid. You will fail this way too. Upon my knees
I do desire thee to preserve thy virtues,
And with my tears my honour: 'tis as bad
To lose our worths to them, or to deceive
Who have held worthy opinions of us,
As to betray trust. All this I implore
For thine own sake, not mine: as for myself,
If thou be'st violent, by this stupid night
And all the mischiefs her dark womb hath bred,
I'll raise the house; I'll cry a rape.
Bold. I hope
You will not hang me: that were murder, lady,
A greater sin than lying with me, sure.
[144] Wid. Come, flatter not yourself with argument.
I will exclaim: the law hangs you, not I;
Or if I did, I had rather far confound
The dearest body in the world to me,
Than that that body should confound my soul.
Bold. Your soul? alas! mistress, are you so fond
To think her general destruction
Can be procur'd by such a natural act,
Which beasts are born to, and have privilege in?
Fie, fie! if this could be, far happier
Are insensitive[116] souls in their creation
Than man, the prince of creatures. Think you, heaven
Regards such mortal deeds, or punisheth
Those acts for which he hath ordained us?
Wid. You argue like an atheist: man is never
The prince of creatures, as you call him now,
But in his reason; fail that, he is worse
Than horse, or dog, or beast of wilderness;
And 'tis that reason teacheth us to do
Our actions unlike them: then, that which you
Termed in them a privilege beyond us,
The baseness of their being doth express,
Compar'd to ours: horses, bulls and swine
Do leap their dams; because man does not so,
Shall we conclude his making[117] happiless?
Bold. You put me down—yet will not put me down.
I am too gentle: some of you, I have heard,
Love not these words, but force; to have it done,
As they sing prick-song, ev'n at the first sight.

Wid. Go to: keep off; by heaven and earth, I'll call else!

Bold. How, if nobody hear you?

Wid. If they do not,
[145] I'll kill you with mine own hand; never stare:
Or failing that, fall on this sword myself.
Bold. O widow wonderful! if thou be'st not honest,
Now God forgive my mother and my sisters.
Think but how finely, madam, undiscover'd
For ever I[118] might live: all day your gentlewoman
To do you service, but all night your man
To do you service: newness of the trick,
If nothing else, might stir ye.
Wid. 'Tis a stale one,
And was done in the Fleet ten years ago.
Will you begone? the door is open for you.
Bold. Let me but tarry till the morning, madam,
To send for clothes. Shall I go naked home?
Wid. 'Tis best time now; it is but one o'clock,
And you may go unseen: I swear, by heaven,
I would spend all the night to sit and talk w' ye,
If I durst trust you: I do love you so.
My blood forsakes my heart now you depart.
Bold. 'Sheart! will you marry me hereafter, then?
Wid. No, you are too young, and I am much too old;
Ay, and unworthy, and the world will say,
We married not for love. Good morrow, servant.
[Exit Widow.

Bold. Why so: these women are the errantest jugglers in the world: the wry-legged fellow is an ass to 'em. Well, I must have this widow, what-e'er come on't. Faith, she has turned me out of her service very barely. Hark, what's here? music?


Enter Subtle with a paper, and his Boy with a cloak.

Sub. [Reads.] "Rise, lady mistress, rise,
The night hath tedious been;
No sleep hath fallen into my eyes,
Nor slumbers made me sin.
Is not she a saint, then say,
Thought of whom keeps sin away?
"Rise, madam, rise and give me light,
Whom darkness still will cover,
And ignorance, darker than night,
Till thou smile on thy lover.
All want day, till thy beauty rise,
For the grey morn breaks from thine eyes!"[119]
Now sing it, sirrah.
[The song sung by the Boy.
Sub. 'Sfoot, who's this? young Master Bold!
God save you; you are an early stirrer.
Bold. You say true, Master Subtle, I have been early up,
But, as God help me, I was never the near.[120]
Sub. Where have you been, sir?

Bold. What's that to you, sir? at a woman's labour?

Sub. Very good: I ne'er took you for a man-midwife[121] before.

Bold. The truth is, I have been up all night at


dice, and lost my clothes. Good morrow, Master Subtle. Pray God the watch be broke up: I thank you for my music.

Sub. 'Tis palpable, by this air: her husband being abroad, Bold has lain with her, and is now conveyed out of doors. Is this the Lady Perfect, with a pox? The truth is, her virtuous chastity began to make me make a miracle of her still holding out to me, notwithstanding her husband's most barbarous usage of her; but now, indeed, 'tis no marvel, since another possesses her.

Well, madam, I will go find out your cuckold;
I'll be reveng'd on you, and tell a tale
Shall tickle him. This is a cheat in love
Not to be borne: another to beguile
Me of the game I play'd for all this while.


Enter Welltried, and Bold putting on his doublet; Feesimple asleep on a bed, as in Bold's chamber.

Well. You see, we made bold with your lodging: indeed, I did assure myself you were fast for this night.

Bold. But how the devil came this fool in your company?

Well. 'Sfoot, man, I carried him last night among the roarers to flesh him; and, by this light, he got drunk, and beat 'em all.

Bold. Why, then he can endure the sight of a drawn sword now?

Well. O God, sir, I think in my conscience he will eat steel shortly. I know not how his conversion will hold after this sleep; but, in an hour or two last night, he was grown such a little damn-me, that I protest I was afraid of the spirit that I[148] myself had raised in him. But this other matter—of your expulsion thus, mads me to the heart. Were you in bed with her?

Bold. In bed, by heaven.

Well. I'll be hanged, if you were not busy too soon: you should have let her slept first.

Bold. Zounds! man, she put her hand to my breasts, and swore I was no maid: now I, being eager to prove her words true, took that hint, and would violently have thrust her hand lower, when her thought, being swifter than my strength, made her no sooner imagine that she was betrayed, but she leaps out of the bed, whips me down a sword that hung by, and, as if fortitude and justice had met to assist her, spite of all argument, fair or foul, she forced me away.

Well. But is it possible thou shouldst have no more wit? wouldst thou come away upon any terms but sure ones, having night, her chamber, and herself naked in thine arms? By that light, if I had a son of fourteen, whom I had helped thus far, that had served me so, I would breech him.[122]

Bold. 'Sheart! what would you have me done?

Well. Have done? done? done twice at least.

Bold. Have played Tarquin, and ravished her?

Well. Pish! Tarquin was a blockhead: if he had had any wit and could have spoke, Lucrece had never been ravished; she would have yielded, I warrant thee, and so will any woman.

Bold. I was such an erroneous heretic to love and women as thou art, till now.

Well. God's precious! it makes me mad when I think on't. Was there ever such an absurd trick! now will she abuse thee horribly, say thou [149] art a faint-hearted fellow, a milksop, and I know not what, as indeed thou art.

Bold. Zounds! would you had been in my place.

Well. Zounds! I would I had, I would have so jumbled her honesty. Wouldst thou be held out at stave's end with words? dost thou not know a widow's a weak vessel, and is easily cast, if you close.

Bold. Welltried, you deal unfriendly.

Well. By this light, I shall blush to be seen in thy company.

Bold. Pray, leave my chamber.

Well. Pox upon your chamber!
I care not for your chamber nor yourself,
More than you care for me.

Bots. 'Sblood! I as little for you.

Well. Why, fare you well.

Bots. Why, fare well. Yet, Welltried,[123] I prythee, stay:
Thou know'st I love thee.
Well. 'Sheart! I love you as well;
But for my spleen or choler, I think I have
As much as you.
Bots. Well, friend,
This is the business you must do for me.
Repair unto the widow, where give out,
To-morrow morn I shall be married:
Invite her to the wedding. I have a trick
To put upon this lord, too, whom I made
My instrument to prefer me.
Well. What shall follow
I will not ask, because I mean[124] to see't.
The jars 'twixt friends still keeps their friendship sweet.

Fee. [waking.] Why, Welltried, you rogue! what's that? a vision?


Bold. Why, how now, my lord? whom do you call rogue? The gentleman you name is my friend. If you were wise, I should be angry.

Fee. Angry with me? why, damn me, sir, and you be, out with your sword. It is not with me, I tell you, as it was yesterday; I am fleshed, man, I. Have you anything to say to me?

Bold. Nothing but this: how many do you think you have slain last night?

Fee. Why, five; I never kill less.

Bold. There were but four. My lord, you had best provide yourself and begone; three you have slain stark dead.

Fee. You jest!

Bold. It is most true. Welltried is fled.

Fee. Why, let the roarers meddle with me another time: as for flying, I scorn it; I killed 'em like a man. When did you ever see a lord hang for anything? We may kill whom we list. Marry, my conscience pricks me. Ah! plague a' this drink! what things it makes us do! I do no more remember this now than a puppy-dog.

O bloody lord, that art bedaub'd with gore!

Vain world, adieu, for I will roar no more.

Bold. Nay, stay, my lord: I did but try the tenderness of your conscience. All this is nothing so; but, to sweeten the tale I have for you, I foretold you this feigned mischance.

Fee. It is a tale belonging to the widow.

Bold. I think you are a witch.

Fee. My grandmother was suspected.

Bold. The widow has desired you by me to meet her to-morrow morning at church in some unknown disguise, lest any suspect it; for, quoth she,
Long hath he held me fast in his moist hand,
Therefore I will be his in nuptial band.

Fee. Bold, I have ever taken you to be my friend. I am very wise now and valiant; if this[151] be not true, damn me, sir, you are the son of a whore, and you lie, and I will make it good with my sword.

Bold. I am whate'er you please, sir, if it be not true. I will go with you to the church myself. Your disguise I have thought on. The widow is your own. Come, leave your fooling.

Fee. If this be true, thou little boy Bold,
So true, as thou tell'st to me,
To-morrow morn, when I have the widow,
My dear friend shall thou be.[125]


Enter Maid, like the footboy; Seldom with Pitts and Donner, a couple of serjeants.

Maid. Sir, 'tis most true, and in this shall you be
Unlike to other citizens, that arrest
To undo gentlemen: your clemency here,
Perchance, saves two lives: one from the other's sword,
The other from the law's. This morn they fight,
And though your debtor be a lord, yet should he
Miscarry, certainly your debt were lost.

Sel. Dost thou serve the Lord Proudly?

Maid. Sir, I do.

Sel. Well, such a boy as thou is worth more money
Than thy lord owes me. 'Tis not for the debt
I do arrest him, but to end this strife,
Which both may lose my money and his life.


Enter Lord Proudly, with a riding-rod.

Proudly. My horse there! Zounds! I would not for the world
He should alight before me in the field;
My name and honour were for ever lost.
Sel. Good morrow to your honour. I do hear
Your lordship this fair morning is to fight,
And for your honour: did you never see
The play where the fat knight, hight Oldcastle,
Did tell you truly what his honour was?[126]
Proudly. Why, how now, good man flatcap, "what-d'ye-lack?"[127]
Whom do you talk to, sirrah?
1st Ser. We arrest you.
Proudly. Arrest me, rogue? I am a lord, ye curs,
A parliament man.

2d Ser. Sir, we arrest you, though.

Proudly. At whose suit?

Sel. At mine, sir.

Proudly. Why, thou base rogue! did not I set thee up,
Having no stock but thy shop and fair wife?[128]


Sel. Into my house with him!

Maid. Away with him! away with him!

Proudly. A plot, a trick, by heaven! See, Ingen's footboy:
'Tis by his master's means. O coward slave!
I'll put in bail, or pay the debt.
Sel. Ay, ay, ay; we'll talk with you within—thrust him in.

Enter Ingen looking on his sword, and bending it; his brother like a man.[129]

Ingen. If I miscarry, Frank, I prythee see
All my debts paid: about five hundred pounds
Will fully satisfy all men;[130] and my land,
And what I else possess, by Nature's right
And thy descent, Frank, I make freely thine.
Bro. I know you do not think I wish you dead
For all the benefit: besides, your spirit's
So opposite to counsel to avert
Your resolution, that I save my breath,
Which would be lost in vain, to expire and spend
Upon your foe, if you fall under him.
Ingen. Frank, I protest, you shall do injury
Upon my foe, and much disturbance too
Unto my soul departing, die I here
Fairly, and on my single enemy's sword,
If you should not let him go off untouch'd.
Now, by the master of thy life and mine,
I love thee, boy, beyond any example,
As well as thou dost me; but should I go
Thy second to the field, as thou dost mine,
And if thine enemy kill'd thee like a man,
[154] I would desire never to see him more,
But he should bear himself off with those wounds
He had receiv'd from thee, from that time safe
And without persecution by the law;
For what hap is our foe's might be our own,
And no man's judgment sits in justice' place,
But weighing other men's as his own case.
Bro. He has the advantage of you, being a lord;
For should you kill him, you are sure to die,
And by some lawyer with a golden tongue,
That cries for right (ten angels on his side),
Your daring meet him call'd presumption:
But kill he you, he and his noble friends
Have such a golden snaffle for the jaws
Of man-devouring Pythagorean law,
They'll rein her stubborn chaps ev'n to her tail:
And (though she have iron teeth to meaner men),
So master her, that, who displeas'd her most,
She shall lie under like a tired jade;
For small boats on rough seas are quickly lost,
But ships ride safe, and cut the waves that tost.
Ingen. Follow what may, I am resolv'd, dear brother.
This monster valour, that doth feed on men,
Groans in me for my reputation.
This charge I give thee, too—if I do die,
Never to part from the young boy which late
I entertain'd, but love him for my sake.
And for my mistress, the Lady Honour,
Whom to deceive I have deceiv'd myself,
If she be dead, pray God I may give up
My life a sacrifice on her brother's sword;
But if thou liv'st to see her, gentle brother:
If I be slain, tell her I died, because
I had transgressed against her worthy love—
This sword is not well-mounted; let's see thine.


Enter Maid, like a footboy.

Maid. Your staying, sir, is in vain, for my Lord Proudly,
Just at his taking horse to meet you here,
At Seldom's suit (the citizen) was arrested
Upon an action of two hundred pounds.
I saw it, sir; 'tis true.
Ingen. O scurvy lord!
It had been a cleanlier shift than this to have had
It hinder'd by command, he being a lord.
But I will find him.

Enter Lord Proudly.

Proudly. You see, valiant sir, I have got loose
For all your stratagem. O rogue! are you there?
[Proudly stabs his sister.
Ingen. Most ignoble lord!
[Ingen stabs Proudly in the left arm.
Proudly. Coward! thou didst this,
That I might be disabled for the fight,
Or that thou mightst have some excuse to shun me,
But 'tis my left arm thou hast lighted on.
I have no second: here are three of you.
If all do murder me, your consciences
Will more than hang you, damn you. Come, prepare!
Ingen. Brother, walk off, and take the boy away.
Is he hurt much?
Bro. Nothing, or very little.
[Proudly thrusts the boy out.
Ingen. I'll bind your wound up first: your loss of blood
May sooner make you faint.
Proudly. Ingen, thou art
[156] A worthy gentleman: for this courtesy,
Go to, I'll save thy life. Come on, sir!
[A pass or two.
I'll cut your codpiece point, sir, with this thrust,
And then down go your breeches.
Ingen. Your lordship's merry.
I had like to have spoil'd your cutwork band.

Enter Maid, like a footboy, running; Brother after her; Maid kneels betwixt them.

Maid. O master, hold your hand! my lord, hold yours,
Or let your swords meet in this wretched breast!
Yet you are both well; what blood you have lost,
Give it as for the injury you did,
And now be friends.
Proudly. 'Sheart! 'tis a loving rogue.
Ingen. Kind boy, stand up: 'tis for thy wound he bleeds;
My wrong is yet unsatisfied.
Proudly. Hence! away!
It is a sister's loss that whets my sword.
Maid. O, stay, my lord! behold your sister here.
[Discovers herself.
Bleeding by your hand: servant, see your mistress
Turn'd to thy servant, running by thy horse;
Whose meaning 'twas[131] to have prevented this,
But all in vain.

Bro. O noble lady!

Ingen. Most worthy pattern of all womenkind!

Proudly. Ingen, I am satisfied; put up your sword.
Sister, you must with me: I have a husband,
[157] The Lord Feesimple's father, old, but rich.
This gentleman is no match for you: kneel not.
That portion of yours I have consum'd!
Thus marrying, you shall never come to want.
Maid. O sweet my lord, my brother! do not force me
To break my faith, or to a loathed bed.
Ingen. Force you he shall not: brother, bear her hence.
She is my wife, and thou shalt find my cause
Ten times improv'd now.
Proudly. O, have at you, sir.
Maid. Hold, hold, for heaven's sake! was e'er wretched lady
Put to this hazard? Sir, let me speak
But one word with him, and I'll go with you,
And undergo whatever you command.
Proudly. Do't quickly, for I love no whispering,
'Tis strange to see you, madam, with a sword!
You should have come hither in your lady's clothes.
Maid. Well, as you please, my lord: you are witness,
Whatsoe'er before
Hath pass'd betwixt us, thus I do undo.
Were not I mad to think thou couldst love me,
That wouldst have slain my brother.
Proudly. Say'st true, sister?
Ingen. O, thou fair creature! wilt thou be as false
As other ladies?
Maid. Thou art my example.
I'll kiss thee once: farewell for ever. Come, my lord, now
Match me, with whom you please—a tumbler.
I must do this, else had they fought again.
[158] Proudly. Mine own best sister! Farewell, Master Ingen.
[Exeunt Proudly and Maid.
Bro. O ancient truth! to be denied of no man:
An eel by the tail's held surer than a woman.


Enter Subtle, with Husband.

Sub. She is not to be cast.

Hus. It cannot be:
Had you a wife, and I were in your case,
I would be hang'd even at the chamber-door,
Where I attempted, but I'd lay her flat.
Sub. Why, tell me truly, would it please you best,
To have her remain chaste or conquered?
Hus. O friend, it would do me good at the heart
To have her overcome: she does so brag,
And stand upon her chastity, forsooth.
Sub. Why, then, in plain terms, sir, the fort is mine:
Your wife has yielded; up-tails is her song.
The deed is done. Come now, be merry, man.
Hus. Is the deed done indeed? Come, come, you jest.
Has my wife yielded? is up-tails her song?
Faith, come to[132] prose: how got you to the matter first, ha?
Pish! you are so bashful now——

Sub. Why, by my troth, I'll tell you, because you are my friend; otherwise you must note, it is a great hurt to the art of whoremastery to discover;[159] besides, the skill was never mine o' th' price.

Hus. Very good; on, sir.

Sub. At the first she was horrible stiff against me; then, sir, I took her by the hand, which I kissed.

Hus. Good, sir.

Sub. And I called her pretty rogue, and I thrust my finger betwixt her breasts, and I made lips. At last, I pulled her by the chin to me, and I kissed her.

Hus. Hum!—very good.

Sub. So at the first she kissed very strangely, close and untoward. Then said I to her, think but upon the wrongs, the intolerable wrongs, the rogue your husband does you.

Hus. Ay, that was very good: what said she to you then, sir?

Sub. Nay, I went on. First, quoth I, think how he hath used you—left you no means, given all your clothes to his punks; struck you, turned your grey eyes into black ones, but yet——

Hus. A pretty conceit!

Sub. Quoth I, these things are nothing in the rascal: think but what a base whoremaster the rascal is.

Hus. Did you call me rascal so often, are you sure?

Sub. Yes, and oftener; for, said I, none comes amiss to the rogue. I have known him, quoth I, do three lousy beggars under hedges in the riding of ten mile, and I swore this too.

Hus. 'Twas very well; but you did lie. On, pray.

Sub. Pish! one must lie a little. Now, sir, by this time she began to kiss somewhat more openly and familiarly, her resistance began to slacken, and my assault began to stiffen. The more her bulwark decayed, the more my battery fortified. At last,[160] sir, a little fumbling being passed to make the conquest more difficult, she perceiving my artillery[133] mounted, falls me flat upon her back, cries me out aloud—

Alas! I yield. Use me not roughly, friend;
My fort that, like Troy town, ten years hath stood
Besieg'd and shot at, did remain unwon;
But now 'tis conquer'd. So the deed was done.

Hus. Then came the hottest service. Forward with your tale, sir.

Sub. Nay,

Cætera quis nescit? lassi requievimus ambo:
Proveniant medii sic mihi sæpe dies.[134]

Hus. Which is as much as to say I am a cuckold in all languages! But sure, 'tis not so? it is impossible my wife should yield.

Sub. Heyday! ev'n now it was impossible she should hold out, and now it is impossible she should yield. Stay you but here, and be an ear-witness to what follows. I'll fetch your wife. [Aside.] I know he will not stay.

Hus. Good faith, sir, but he will.
I do suspect some knavery in this.
Here will I hide myself; when thought as gone,
If they do ought unfitting, I will call
Witness, and straightway sue [for] a divorce.
[Aside. Exit.

Enter Wife and Subtle.

Sub. I knew he would not stay. Now, noble mistress,
I claim your promise.


Wife. What was that, good servant?

Sub. That you would lie with me.

Wife. If with any man—
But, prythee, first consider with thyself,
If I should yield to thee, what a load thy conscience
Would bear about it; for I wish quick thunder
May strike me, if I yet have lost the truth,
Or whiteness of the hand I gave in church:
And 'twill not be thy happiness (as thou think'st)
That thou alone shouldst make a woman fall,
That did resist all else; but to thy soul
A bitter corrosive, that thou didst stain
Virtue that else had stood immaculate.
Nor speak I this as yielding unto thee,
For 'tis not in thy power, wert thou the sweet'st
Of nature's children and the happiest,
To conquer me, nor in mine own to yield;
And thus it is with every pious wife.
Thy daily railing at my absent husband
Makes me endure thee worse; for let him do
The most preposterous, ill-relishing things.
To me they seem good, since my husband does 'em.
Nor am I to revenge or govern him:
And thus it should be with all virtuous wives.
Sub. Pox o' this virtue and this chastity!
Do you [not] know, fair mistress, a young gentleman
About this town called Bold? Where did he lie
Last night, sweet mistress? O, O! are you catch'd?
I saw him slip out of the house this morn,
As naked as this truth; and for this cause
I have told your husband that you yielded to me,
And he, I warrant you, will blaze it thoroughly.
As good do now, then, as be thought to do.
Wife. No, 'twill not be yet. Thou injurious man!
How wilt thou right me in my husband's thoughts,
That on a false surmise and spite hast told
[162] A tale to breed incurable discontent?
Bold was that old wench that did serve the widow,
And thinking by this way to gain her love,
Miss'd of his purpose, and was thus cashier'd;
Nor cares she to proclaim it to the world.
Sub. Zounds! I have wrong'd you, mistress, on my knees
I ask you pardon, and will nevermore
Attempt your purity, but neglect all things
Till that foul wrong I have bred in your knight
I have expell'd, and set your loves aright.

Enter Husband.

Hus. Which now is done already. Madam, wife,
Upon my knees with weeping eyes, heav'd hands,
I ask thy pardon. O sweet, virtuous creature!
I prythee, break my head.
Wife. Rise, rise, sir, pray.
You have done no wrong to me—at least, I think so:
Heaven hath prevented all my injury.
I do forgive, and marry you anew.
Come, we are all invited to the weddings:
The Lady Honour and the old rich Count,
Young Bold unto another gentlewoman:
We and the widow are invited thither.
Embrace and love henceforth more really,
Not so like worldlings.
Hus. Here then ends all strife.
Thus false friends are made true by a true wife.


SCENE II.[135]

Enter old Count, wrapped in furs; the Lady Honour, dressed like a bride; the Lord Proudly, Welltried, Bold, leading Feesimple like a lady masqued; Husband, Wife, Subtle, Widow; to them Brother, with a letter;[136] Seldom with his wife.

Bro. Health and all joy unto this fair assembly.
My brother, who last tide is gone for France,
A branch of willow feathering his hat,
Bad me salute you, lady, and present you
With this same letter written in his blood.
He prays no man, for his sake, evermore
To credit woman, nor no lady ever
To believe man; so either sex shall rest
Uninjur'd by the other. This is all,
And this I have deliver'd.
Proudly. Ay, and well.
You pronounce rarely, did you never play?

Bro. Yes, that I have—the fool, as some lords do.

Well. Set forward there.

Count. O, O, O! a pox o' this cold!

Well. A cold o' this pox, you might say, I am afraid.

Maid. How full of ghastly wounds this letter shows.
O, O!


Proudly. Look to my sister.

Bold. 'Sheart! the lady swoons.

Wife. Strong water there.

Fee. If strong breath would recover her, I am for her.

Count. Alas, good lady! hum, hum, hum.
[Coughs perpetually.
Sub. He has fetch'd her again with coughing.
Maid. Convey me to my bed; send for a priest
And a physician; your bride, I fear,
Instead of epithalamions shall need
A dirge or epitaph. O, lead me in:
My body dies for my soul's perjur'd sin.
[Exeunt Maid, Grace, Wife, Husband, Subtle.
Bold. Hymen comes towards us in a mourning robe.

Well. I hope, friend, we shall have the better day.

Proudly. I'll fetch the parson and physician.
[Exit Lord Proudly.

Bro. They are both ready for you.
[Exit Brother.
Well. Madam, this is the gentlewoman
Who, something bashful, does desire your pardon,
That she does not unmask.
Wid. Good Master Welltried,
I would not buy her face; and for her manners,
If they were worse, they shall not displease me.

Well. I thank your ladyship.

Fee. Look how the old ass, my father, stands: he looks like the bear in the play; he has killed the lady with his very sight.[137] As God help me, I have the most to do to forbear unmasking me, that I might tell him his own, as can be.


Bold. Fie! by no means. The widow comes towards you.

Count. O, O, O, O!

Wid. Servant, God give you joy; and, gentlewoman
Or lady, as full joy I wish to you:
Nor doubt that I will hinder you your love,
But here am come to do all courtesy
To your fair self, and husband that shall be.

Fee. I thank you heartily.

Well. 'Sheart! speak smaller, man.

Fee. I thank you heartily.

Count. You're going to this gear too, Master Bold?
Um, um, um!
Bold. Not to your coughing[138] gear,
My lord. Though I be not so old or rich
As your lordship, yet I love a young wench as well.
Well. As well as my lord? nay by my faith,
That you do not love a young wench as well as he:
I wonder you will be unmannerly to say so.

Count. Faith, Master Welltried, troth is I love them well, but they love not me, um, um. You see what ill-luck I have with them, um, um. A pox o' this cold, still say I.

Well. Where got you this cold, my lord? it can get in nowhere, that I can see, but at your nostrils or eyes; all the other parts are so barricadoed with fur.

Fee. It got
In at his eyes, and made that birdlime there,
Where Cupid's wings do hang entangled.
Count. Is this your wife, that, um, um, um—shall be?
Master Bold, I'll be so bold as kiss her.
[Widow and Bold whisper aside.

Fee. Sir, forbear: I have one bold enough to[166] kiss my lips. O old coxcomb! kiss thine own natural son: 'tis worse than a Justice's lying with his own daughter. But, Master Welltried, when will the widow break this matter to me?
[Count sits in a chair, and falls asleep.

Well. Not till the very close of all: she dissembles it yet, because my lord, your father, is here, and her other suitor Bold.

Fee. That's all one; he's o' th' plot o' my side.

Wid. 'Tis needless, Master Bold; but I will do
Anything you require to satisfy you.
Why should you doubt I will forbid the banns,
For so your friend here told me? I should rather
Doubt that you will not marry.
Bold. Madam, by heaven,
As fully I am resolv'd to marry now,
And will too, if you do not hinder it,
As ever lover was; only because
The world has taken notice of some passage
'Twixt you and me, and then to satisfy
My sweetheart here, who (poor soul!) is afraid,
To have some public disgrace put upon her,
I do require some small thing at your hands.
Wid. Well, I will do it; and this profess besides;
Married, you shall as welcome be to me
As mine own brother; and yourself, fair lady,
Even as myself, both to my board and bed.
Well. Ah, ah! how like you that?
Fee. Now she begins.
Abundant thanks unto your widowhood.
Zounds! my father's asleep on's wedding-day:
I wonder'd, where his cough was all this while.

Enter Ingen, like a doctor: a Parson, Brother, Lord Proudly, Seldom, Mistress Seldom, Husband, Wife, and Subtle.

Ingen. I pray, forbear the chamber: noise does hurt her;
[167] Her sickness I guess rather of the mind
Than of her body, for her pulse beats well;
Her vital functions not decay'd a whit,
But have their natural life and operation.
My lord, be cheer'd, I have an ingredient
About me shall make her well, I doubt not.
In, master parson: it shall be yours to[139] pray;
The soul's physician should have still the way.
[Exit Ingen; Parson shuts the door.

Wid. How cheers she, pray?

Wife. In troth, exceeding ill.

Mrs Sel. A very weak woman indeed she is, and surely I think cannot 'scape it.

Hus. Did you mark how she eyed the physician?

Wife. O God, ay, she is very loth to die.

Mrs Sel. Ay; that's ne'er the better sign, I can tell you.

Sub. And when the parson came to her, she turned
Away, and still let the physician hold
Her by the hand.
Bold. But see what thought the bridegroom takes.
My conscience knows, now, this is
A most preposterous match; yet for the commodity,
We wink at all inconveniency.
My lord! my lord!

Count. Um, um, um! I beshrew you for waking of me; now shall I have such a fit of coughing, um, um!—

Bold. O hapless wife, that shall have thee, that either must let thee sleep continually, or be kept waking herself by the cough.

Wid. You have a proper gentleman to your son, my lord: he were fitter for this young lady than you.

Well. D'ye mark that again?


Fee. O sweet widow!

Count. He a wife! he a fool's head of his own.

Fee. No, of my father's.

Count. What should he do with a —— um, um!

Wife. What, with a cough? why, he would spit, and that's more than you can do.

Proudly. Your bride, my lord, is dead.

Count. Marry, ev'n God be with her; grief will not help it: um, um, um!

Bro. A most excellent spouse.

Proudly. How fares she, master doctor?
Zounds! what's here?

Bold, Wid., Well., Fee. Heyday!

Hus., Wife, Sel., Mrs Sel., Sub. How now?
[Looking in at the window.

Fee. Look, look! the parson joins the doctor's hand and hers: now the doctor kisses her, by this light! [Omnes whoop.] Now goes his gown off. Heyday! he has red breeches on. Zounds! the physician is got o' th' top of her: belike, it is the mother she has. Hark! the bed creaks.[140]

Proudly. 'Sheart, the door's fast! break 'em open! We are betrayed.

Bro. No breaking open doors: he that stirs first,
[Draws and holds out a pistol.
I'll pop a leaden pill into his guts,
Shall purge him quite away. No haste, good friends:
When they have done what's fit, you shall not need
[169] To break the door; they'll open it themselves.

[A curtain drawn, a bed discovered: Ingen with his sword in his hand and a pistol: the lady in her petticoat: the Parson.

Proudly. Thy blood, base villain, shall answer this.
[The brothers set back to back.
I'll dye thy nuptial bed in thy heart's gore.
Ingen. Come, come, my lord; 'tis not so easily done.
You know it is not. Forgive[141] this my attempt
Upon your sister; before God and man
She was my wife, and ne'er a bedrid gout
Shall have my wench to get diseases on.
Proudly. Well may'st thou term her so, that has consented
Even with her will to be dishonoured.
Ingen. Not so, yet have I lain with her—
Maid. But first,
Witness this priest, we both were married.
Priest. True it is, Domine;
Their contract's run into a marriage,
And that, my lord, into a carriage.
Proudly. I will undo thee, priest.
Priest. It is too late. I am undone
Already [by] wine and tobacco. I defy thee,
Thou temporal lord: perdy, thou never shalt
Keep me in jail, and hence springs my reason:
My act is neither felony nor treason.

Fee. Ay, sir; but you do not know what kindred she may have.

Omnes. Come, come, there is no remedy.

Wife. And weigh't right,
In my opinion, my honour'd lord,
And everybody's else, this is a match,
Fitter ten thousand times than your intent.
Omnes. Most certain 'tis.
[170] Wid. Besides, this gentleman
Your brother-in-law['s] well-parted and fair-mean'd;
And all this come about (you must conceive)
By your own sister's wit, as well as his.

Ingen. Come, come, 'tis but getting of me knighted, my lord, and I shall become your brother well enough.

Proudly. Brother, your hand. Lords may have projects still,
But there's a greater Lord will have his will.
Bold. This is despatch, Now, madam, is the time,
For I long to be at it. Your hand, sweetheart.
Fee. Now, boys.
Wid. My lord and gentlemen, I crave your witness,
To what I now shall utter. 'Twixt this gentleman and myself
There have been some love-passages, from which
Here I do free him, and [he] take this lady——[142]
Well. La ye! and pray him take this lady.
Wid. Which with a mother's love I give to him,
And wish all joy may crown their marriage.
Bold. Nay, madam, yet she is not satisfied.
[Bold gives her a ring, and she puts it on her thumb.
Wid. Further, before ye all I take this ring,
As an assumpsit, by the virtue of which
I bind myself in all my lands and goods,
That in his choice I'll be no hindrance;
Or by forbidding banns, or claiming him
Myself for mine, but let the match go on
[171] Without my check, which he intendeth now:
And once again I say, I bind myself.
Bold. Then, once again I say, widow, thou'rt mine!
Priest, marry us: this match I did intend:
Ye all are witnesses; if thou hinder it,
Widow, your lands and goods are forfeit mine.
Wid. Ha! nay, take me too, since there's no remedy.
Your widow (without goods) sells scurvily.

Omnes. Whoop! God give you joy.

Count. 'Slight! I am cosened of all sides; I had good hope of the widow myself; but now I see everybody leaves me, saving um, um, um!

Bold. Troth, my lord, and that will stick by you, I warrant.

Wid. But how, sir, shall we salve this gentlewoman?

Bold. Hang her, whore.

Well. Fie! you are too uncivil.

Fee. Whore in thy face, I do defy thy taunts.

Bold. Nay, hold, fair lady: now I think upon't,
The old Count has no wife; let's make a match.

Omnes. If he be so contented.

Count. With all my heart.

Bold. Then kiss your spouse.

Count. 'Sfoot! she has a beard. How now! my son?

Omnes. 'Tis the Lord Feesimple!
[Feesimple unmasks.

Fee. Father, lend me your sword. You and I are made a couple of fine fools, are we not? If I were not valiant now, and meant to beat 'em all, here would lie a simple disgrace upon us, a Feesimple one, indeed. Mark now, what I'll say to 'em. D'ye hear me, my masters? Damn me, ye are all the son of a whore, and ye lie, and I will[172] make it good with my sword. This is called roaring, father.

Sub. I'll not meddle with you, sir.

Proudly. You are my blood.

Well. And I flesh'd you, you know.

Bold. And I have a charge coming, I must not fight now.

Fee. Has either of you anything to say to me?

Hus. Not we, sir.

Fee. Then have I something to say to you.
Have you anything to say to me?

Bro. Yes, marry have I, sir.

Fee. Then I have nothing to say to you, for that's the fashion. Father, if you will come away with your cough, do. Let me see, how many challenges I must get writ. You shall hear on me, believe it.

Proudly. Nay, we'll not now part angry: stay the feasts,
That must attend the weddings. You shall stay.

Fee. Why, then, all friends. I thought you would not have had the manners to bid us stay dinner neither.

Hus. Then all are friends: and lady-wife, I crown
Thy virtues with this wreath, that 't may be said,
There's a good wife.
Bold. A widow.
Ingen. And a maid.
[They set garlands on their heads.
Wife. Yet mine is now approv'd the happiest life,
Since each of you hath chang'd to be a wife.







(1.) Greenes Tu quoque, Or, the Cittie Gallant. As it hath beene diuers times acted by the Queenes Maiesties Seruants. Written by Io. Cooke Gent. Printed at London for Iohn Trundle. 1614. 4°. Woodcut on title.

(2.) Greenes Tu quoque, Or the Cittie Gallant ... Printed at London for Thomas Dewe and are to be sold at his Shop in Saint Dunstons Church-yard in Fleetstreet. 1622. 4°.

(3.) Greenes Tu Quoque, Or, the Cittie Gallant. As it hath beene divers times acted by the Queenes Majesties Servants. Written by Jo. Cooke Gent. Printed at London by M. Flesher. 4°.[143]



John Cook, the author of this play, is totally unknown. No contemporary writer has taken the least notice of him, nor has any biographer since given the slightest account of his life. All that we are informed of is, that he wrote the following dramatic performance. Langbaine,[144] and the writers since, ascribe the first title of it to the excellent performance of Thomas Green in the part of Bubble, whose universal repartee to all compliments is Tu quoque. Green was both a writer and actor,[145] and with great probability[146] is supposed to have


been a relation of Shakespeare's, and the person by whom he was introduced to the theatre. He was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, which is ascertained by the following lines,[147] spoken by him in one of the old comedies, in the character of a clown:—

"I prattled poesy in my nurse's arms,
And, born where late our swan of Avon sung,
In Avon's streams we both of us have lav'd,
And both came out together."

This passage is quoted by Chetwood from the "Two Maids of Moreclack," where it is not to be found, though it seems to be a genuine extract; and the writer, by whom it was produced, had perhaps forgotten whence he transcribed it. Heywood, who published this play, says in the preface to it:—"As for Master Greene, all that I will speak of him (and that without flattery) is this: there was not an actor of his nature in his time of better ability in performance of what he undertook, more applauded by the audience, of greater grace at the court, or of more general love in the city." From this preface it appears Green was dead when it was written, and Oldys[148] says there are three epitaphs upon him in Braithwaite's "Remains after Death," 1618, by which it seems that he died after being newly arrived from sea.[149] He was the author of "A Poets Vision and a [177]Princes Glorie. Dedicated to the high and mightie Prince James, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland," 4°, 1603; and some verses prefixed to [the reprint in octavo of] Drayton's poem on the Barons' Wars. I have seen only two editions of this comedy, one without a date, and the other in 1614, which I apprehend was about the time it was originally published. Chetwood, upon whom no dependence is to be had with respect to dates, asserts it was printed in 1599.[150] As it is said to have been acted by the Queen's servants, it probably appeared on the stage in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. [There is an entry in the office-book of the Master of the Revels under date of Twelfth Night, 1624, showing that "the masque being put off,


and the Prince only there, "Tu Quoque," by the Queen of Bohemia's servants, "was acted in its stead."[151]] Langbaine says it was revived after the Restoration at the theatre in Little Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.

"Green's Tu Quoque" is mentioned in "The World's Folly," by I. H., 1615, which contains a general attack on the stage. It would also seem, from the subsequent passage, as if Green the actor had performed the part of a baboon:—

"'Vos quoque' *[or, 'Tu quoque,' opposite the asterisk in the margin] and you also who, with Scylla-barking, Stentor-throated bellowings, flash-choaking squibbles of absurd vanities into the nosthrils of your spectators; barbarously diverting nature and defacing Gods owne image by metamorphosing humane shape *[Greenes Baboon in the margin opposite the asterisk] into bestiall forme."



To gratulate the love and memory of my worthy friend the author, and my entirely beloved fellow the actor, I could not choose, being in the way just when this play was to be published in print, but to prefix some token of my affection to either in the frontispiece of the book. For the gentleman that wrote it, his poem itself can better speak his praise than any oratory from me. Nor can I tell whether this work was divulged with his consent or no; but, howsoever, it hath passed the test of the stage with so general an applause, pity it were but it should likewise have the honour of the press. As for Master Green, all that I will speak of him (and that without flattery) is this (if I were worthy to censure), there was not an actor of his nature, in his time, of better ability in performance of what he undertook, more applauded by the audience, of greater grace at the court, or of more general love in the city: and so with this brief character of his memory I commit him to his rest.

Thomas Heywood.


How fast bleak Autumn changeth Flora's dye!
What yesterday was Green, now's sear and dry.
W. R.[152]



Sir Lionel Rash.
Old Geraldine.
Will Rash.
Master Blank.
Drawers, &c.
Sweatman, a bawd.
Nan Tickleman, a whore.



A mercer's shop discovered, Gertrude working in it; Spendall walking by the shop. Master Balance walking over the stage. After him Longfield and Geraldine.

Spend. What lack you, sir? fair stuffs or velvets?

Bal. Good morrow, Frank.

Spend. Good morrow, Master Balance.

Gera. Save you, Master Longfield.

Long. And you, sir. What business draws you towards this end o' th' town?

Gera. Faith, no great serious affairs; only a stirring humour to walk, and partly to see the beauties of the city: but it may be you can instruct me. Pray, whose shop's this?

Long. Why, 'tis Will Rash's father's: a man you are well acquainted with.

Enter a Wench with a basket of linen.

Gera. As with yourself: and is that his sister?

Long. Marry, is it, sir?

Gera. Pray, let us walk: I would behold her better.

Wench. Buy some coifs, handkerchiefs, or very good bonelace, mistress?

Gert. None.


Wench. Will you buy any handkerchiefs, sir?

Spend. Yes. Have you any fine ones?

Wench. I'll show you choice: please you look, sir?

Spend. How now! what news?

Wench. Mistress Tickleman has sent you a letter, and expects your company at night: and entreats you to send her an angel, whether you can come, or whether you cannot.
[Spendall reads.

Sweet rascal; if your love be as earnest as your protestation, you will meet me this night at supper: you know the rendezvous. There will be good company; a noise of choice fiddlers;[153] a fine boy with an excellent voice; very good songs, and bawdy; and, which is more, I do purpose myself to be exceeding merry; but if you come not, I shall pout myself sick, and not eat one bit to-night,
Your continual close friend,
Nan Tickleman.

I pray send me an angel by the bearer, whether ye can come, or whether ye cannot.

Spend. What's the price of these two?

Wench. Half a crown, in truth.

Spend. Hold thee; there's an angel, and commend me to my delight; tell her I will not fail her, though I lose my freedom by't.

Wench. I thank you, sir. Buy any fine handkerchiefs?
[Exit Wench.

Long. You are taken, sir, extremely: what's the object?

Gera. She's wondrous fair.

Long. Nay, and your thoughts be on wenching, I'll leave you.

Gera. You shall not be so unfriendly; pray, assist me:
We'll to the shop, and cheapen stuffs or satins.


Spend. What lack you, gentlemen? fine stuffs, velvets, or satins? pray, come near.

Gera. Let me see a good satin.

Spend. You shall, sir. What colour?

Gera. Faith, I am indifferent. What colour most affects you, lady?

Gert. Sir!

Gera. Without offence, fair creature, I demand it.

Gert. Sir, I believe it; but I never did
Tie my affection unto any colour.
Gera. But my affection, fairest, is fast tied
Unto the crimson colour of your cheek.

Gert. You relish too much courtier, sir.

Long. What's the price of this?

Spend. Fifteen,[154] indeed, sir.

Long. You set a high rate on't; it had need be good.

Spend. Good! if you find a better i' th' town, I'll give you mine for nothing. If you were my own brother, I'd put it into your hands. Look upon't; 'tis close-wrought, and has an excellent gloss.

Long. Ay, I see't.

Spend. Pray, sir, come into the next room: I'll show you that of a lower price shall perhaps better please you.

Long. This fellow has an excellent tongue: sure, he was brought up in the Exchange.

Spend. Will you come in, sir?

Long. No; 'tis no matter, for I mean to buy none.

Gera. Prythee, walk in; what you bargain for, I'll discharge.

Long. Say so? fall to your work, I'll be your chapman.
[Exeunt Spendall, Longfield.

Gera. Why do you say I flatter?

Gert. Why! you do;
And so do all men when they women woo.


Gera. Who looks on heaven, and not admires the work?
Who views a well-cut diamond does not praise
The beauty of the stone? if these deserve
The name of excellent, I lack a word
For thee, which merit'st more—
More than the tongue of man can attribute.
Gert. This is pretty poetry: good fiction, this.
Sir, I must leave you.

Gera. Leave with me first some comfort.

Gert. What would you crave?

Gera. That which I fear you will not let me have.

Gert. You do not know my bounty. Say what 'tis?

Gera. No more, fair creature, than a modest kiss.

Gert. If I should give you one, would you refrain,
On that condition, ne'er to beg again?
Gera. I dare not grant to that.
Gert. Then't seems you have,
Though you get nothing, a delight to crave.
One will not hurt my lip, which you may take,
Not for your love, but for your absence sake.
So farewell, sir.
[Exit Gertrude.
Gera. O, fare thee well, fair regent of my soul!
Never let ill sit near thee, unless it come
To purge itself. Be, as thou ever seemest,
An angel of thy sex, born to make happy
The man that shall possess thee for his bride.

Enter Spendall and Longfield.

Spend. Will you have it for thirteen shillings and sixpence? I'll fall to as low a price as I can, because I'll buy your custom.


Long. How now, man? what, entranced?

Gera. Good sir, ha' you done?

Long. Yes, faith, I think as much as you, and 'tis just nothing. Where's the wench?

Gera. She's here, sir, here.
[Points to his heart.

Long. Ud's pity! unbutton, man, thou'lt stifle her else.

Gera. Nay, good sir, will you go?

Long. With all my heart; I stay but for you.

Spend. Do you hear, sir?

Long. What say you?

Spend. Will you take it for thirteen?

Long. Not a penny more than I bid.
[Exeunt Geraldine and Longfield.

Spend. Why, then, say you might have had a good bargain. Where's this boy to make up the wares? Here's some ten pieces opened, and all to no purpose.

Enter Boy.

Boy. O Frank! shut up shop, shut up shop!

Spend. Shut up shop, boy? Why?

Boy. My master is come from the court knighted, and bid us; for he says he will have the first year of the reign of his knighthood kept holiday: here he comes.

Enter Sir Lionel Rash.

Spend. God give your worship joy, sir.

Sir L. Rash. O Frank! I have the worship now in the right kind; the sword of my knighthood sticks still upon my shoulders, and I feel the blow in my purse; it has cut two leather bags asunder. But all's one, honour must be purchased. I will give over my city coat, and betake myself to the court jacket. As for trade, I will deal in't no longer; I will seat thee in my shop, and it shall be[186] thy care to ask men what they lack: my stock shall be summed up, and I will call thee to an account for it.

Spend. My service, sir, never deserved so much;
Nor could I ever hope so large a bounty
Could spring out of your love.
Sir L. Rash. That's all one.
I do love to do things beyond men's hopes.
To-morrow I remove into the Strand:
There for this quarter dwell, the next at Fulham.
He that hath choice, may shift; the whilst shalt thou
Be master of this house, and rent it free.
Spend. I thank you, sir.
Sir L. Rash. To-day I'll go dine with my Lord Mayor,
To-morrow with the sheriffs, and next day
With th' aldermen. I will spread the ensign
Of my knighthood over the face of the city,
Which shall strike as great a terror to my enemies
As ever Tamerlane [did] to the Turks.
Come, Frank, come in with me, and see the meat,
Upon the which my knighthood first shall eat.
[Exeunt omnes.

Enter Staines.

Staines. There is a devil has haunted me these three years, in likeness of an usurer: a fellow that in all his life never ate three groat loaves out of his own purse, nor ever warmed him but at other men's fires; never saw a joint of mutton in his own house these four-and-twenty years, but always cosened the poor prisoners, for he always bought his victuals out of the alms-basket; and yet this rogue now feeds upon capons, which my tenants send him out of the country; he is landlord, forsooth, over all my possessions. Well, I am spent;[187] and this rogue has consumed me. I dare not walk abroad to see my friends, for fear the serjeants should take acquaintance of me: my refuge is Ireland or Virginia:[155] necessity cries out, and I will presently to West Chester.

Enter Bubble.

How now, Bubble! hast thou pack'd up all thy things?
Our parting-time is come: nay, prythee, do not weep.

Bub. Affection, sir, will burst out.

Staines. Thou hast been a faithful servant to me. Go to thy uncle, he'll give thee entertainment: tell him, upon the stony rock of his merciless heart my fortunes suffer shipwreck.

Bub. I will tell him he is an usuring rascal, and one that would do the commonwealth good if he were hanged.

Staines. Which thou hast cause to wish for; thou art his heir, my affectionate Bubble.

Bub. But, master, wherefore should we be parted?

Staines. Because my fortunes are desperate, thine are hopeful.

Bub. Why, but whither do you mean to go, master?

Staines. Why, to sea.

Bub. To sea! Lord bless us, methinks I hear of a tempest already. But what will you do at sea?

Staines. Why, as other gallants do that are spent, turn pirate.

Bub. O master, have the grace of Wapping [188] before your eyes, remember a high tide;[156] give not your friends cause to wet their handkerchiefs. Nay, master, I'll tell you a better course than so; you and I will go and rob my uncle; if we 'scape, we'll domineer together; if we be taken, we'll be hanged together at Tyburn; that's the warmer gallows of the two.

Enter Messenger.

Mes. By your leave, sir, whereabouts dwells one Master Bubble?

Bub. Do you hear, my friend? do you know Master Bubble, if you do see him?

Mes. No, in truth, do I not.

Bub. What is your business with Master Bubble?

Mes. Marry, sir, I come with welcome news to him.

Bub. Tell it, my friend: I am the man.

Mes. May I be assured, sir, that your name is Master Bubble?

Bub. I tell thee, honest friend, my name is Master Bubble, Master Bartholomew Bubble.


Mes. Why then, sir, you are heir to a million; for your uncle, the rich usurer, is dead.

Bub. Pray thee, honest friend, go to the next haberdasher's, and bid him send me a new melancholy hat, and take thou that for thy labour.

Mes. I will, sir.

Enter another Messenger hastily, and knocks.

Bub. Umh. umh, umh!

Staines. I would the news were true: see how my little Bubble is blown up with't!

Bub. Do you hear, my friend; for what do you knock there?

2D Mes. Marry, sir, I would speak with the worshipful Master Bubble.

Bub. The worshipful! and what would you do with the worshipful Master Bubble? I am the man.

2D Mes. I cry your worship mercy then: Master Thong, the belt-maker, sent me to your worship, to give you notice that your uncle is dead, and that you are his only heir.

Bub. Thy news is good, and I have look'd for't long;
Thanks unto thee, my friend, and goodman Thong.

Enter Master Blank.

Staines. Certainly this news is true; for see another: by this light, his scrivener! Now, Master Blank, whither away so fast?

Blank. Master Staines, God save you. Where is your man?

Staines. Why, look you, sir; do you not see him?

Blank. God save the right worshipful Master Bubble; I bring you heavy news with a light heart.

Bub. What are you?


Blank. I am your worship's poor scrivener.

Bub. He is an honest man, it seems, for he hath both his ears.

Blank. I am one that your worship's uncle committed some trust in for the putting out of his money, and I hope I shall have the putting out of yours.

Bub. The putting out of mine! Would you have the putting out of my money?

Blank. Yea, sir.

Bub. No, sir, I am old enough to put out my own money.

Blank. I have writings of your worship's.

Staines. As thou lov'st thy profit, hold thy tongue; thou and I will confer.

Bub. Do you hear, my friend? Can you tell me when and how my uncle died?

Blank. Yes, sir; he died this morning, and he was killed by a butcher.

Bub. How! by a butcher?

Blank. Yes indeed, sir; for going this morning into the market to cheapen meat, he fell down stark dead, because a butcher asked him four shillings for a shoulder of mutton.

Bub. How, stark dead! and could not aqua vitæ fetch him again?

Blank. No, sir; nor rosa solis neither; and yet there was trial made of both.

Bub. I shall love aqua vitæ and rosa solis the better while I live.

Staines. Will it please your worship to accept of my poor service? you know my case is desperate; I beseech you that I may feed upon your bread, though it be of the brownest, and drink of your drink, though it may be of the smallest; for I am humble in body and dejected in mind, and will do your worship as good service for forty shillings a year as another shall for three pounds.


Bub. I will not stand with you for such a matter, because you have been my master; but otherwise I will entertain no man without some knight's or lady's letter for their behaviour. Gervase, I take it, is your Christian name?

Staines. Yes, if it please your worship.

Bub. Well, Gervase, be a good servant, and you shall find me a dutiful master; and because you have been a gentleman, I will entertain you for my tutor in behaviour. Conduct me to my palace.
[Exeunt omnes.

Enter Geraldine, as in his study, reading.

Gera. As little children love to play with fire,
And will not leave till they themselves do burn;
So did I fondly dally with desire,
Until love's flame grew hot; I could not turn,
Nor well avoid, but sigh, and sob, and mourn,
As children do, when as they feel the pain,
Till tender mothers kiss them whole again.
Fie! what unsavoury stuff is this! but she,
Whose mature judgment can distinguish things,
Will thus conceit: tales, that are harshest told,
Have smoothest meanings, and to speak are bold.
It is the first-born sonnet of my brain;
Why[157] suck'd a white leaf from my black-lipp'd pen
So sad employment?

Enter Will Rash and Longfield.

Yet the dry paper drinks it up as deep,
As if it flow'd from Petrarch's cunning quill.


W. Rash. How now! what have we here? a sonnet and a satire, coupled together like my lady's dog and her monkey?

As little children, &c.

Gera. Prythee, away: by the deepest oath that can be sworn, thou shalt not read it; by our friendship I conjure thee! prythee, let go.

W. Rash. Now, in the name of Cupid, what want'st thou? a pigeon, a dove, a mate, a turtle? Dost thou love fowl, ha?

O no; she's fairer thrice than is the queen,
Who beauteous Venus called is by name.

Prythee, let me know what she is thou lovest, that I may shun her if I should chance to meet her.

Long. Why, I'll tell you, sir, what she is, if you do not know.

W. Rash. No, not I, I protest.

Long. Why, 'tis your sister.

W. Rash. How! my sister?

Long. Yes, your eldest sister.

W. Rash. Now God bless the man: he had better choose a wench that has been bred and born in an alley: her tongue is a perpetual motion; thought is not so swift as it is; and, for pride, the woman that had her ruff poked by the devil is but a puritan to her.[158] Thou couldst never have fastened[193] thy affection on a worse subject; she'll flout


faster than a court waiting-woman in progress[159]; any man that comes in the way of honesty does she set her mark upon, that is, a villanous jest; for she is a kind of poetess, and will make ballads upon the calves of your legs. I prythee, let her alone, she'll never make a good wife for any man, unless it be a leather-dresser; for perhaps he in time may turn her.

Gera. Thou hast a privilege to utter this:
But, by my life, my own blood could not 'scape
A chastisement for thus profaning her
Whose virtues sit above men's calumnies.
Had mine own brother spoke thus liberally,[160]
My fury should have taught him better manners.

Long. No more words, as you fear a challenge.

W. Rash. I may tell thee in thine ear, I am glad to hear what I do; I pray God send her no worse husband, nor he no worse wife.

Do you hear, love, will you take your cloak and rapier,
And walk abroad into some wholesome air?
I do much fear thy infection: good counsel,
I see, will do no good on thee; but pursue the end,
And to thy thoughts I'll prove a faithful friend.

Enter Spendall, Nan Tickleman, Sweatman, Pursenet, and a Drawer.

Spend. Here's a spacious room to walk in: sirrah, set down the candle, and fetch us a quart of ipocras[161], and so we'll part.


Sweat. Nay, faith, son, we'll have a pottle; let's ne'er be covetous in our young days.

Spend. A pottle, sirrah; do you hear?

Drawer. Yes, sir, you shall.

Spend. How now, wench! how dost?

Tickle. Faith, I am somewhat sick; yet I should be well enough if I had a new gown.

Spend. Why, here's my hand; within these three days thou shalt have one.

Sweat. And will you, son, remember me for a new forepart? by my troth, my old one is worn so bare, I am ashamed anybody should see't.

Spend. Why, did I ever fail of my promise?

Sweat. No, in sincerity, didst thou not.

Enter Drawer.

Drawer. Here's a cup of rich ipocras.

Spend. Here, sister, mother, and Master Pursenet: nay, good sir, be not so dejected; for, by this wine, to-morrow I will send you stuff for a new suit, and as much as shall line you a cloak clean through.

Purse. I thank you, and shall study to deserve——

Spend. Here, boy, fill, and hang that curmudgeon, that's good for nobody but himself.

Purse. Heroicly spoken, by this candle! 'tis pity thou wert not made a lord.

Spend. A lord? by this light, I do not think but to be Lord Mayor of London before I die, and have three pageants carried before me, besides a ship and an unicorn. 'Prentices may pray for that time; for whenever it happens, I will make another Shrove Tuesday[162] for them.


Enter Drawer.

Drawer. Young Master Rash has sent you a quart of Malaga[163].

Spend. Master Rash! zounds! how does he know that I am here?

Drawer. Nay, I know not, sir.

Spend. Know not! it comes through you and your rascally glib-tongued companions. 'Tis my[197] master's son: a fine gentleman he is, and a boon companion: I must go see him.
[Exit Spendall.

Sweat. Boy, fill us a cup of your malaga, we'll drink to Master Spendall in his absence: there's not a finer spirit of a citizen within the walls. Here, Master Pursenet, you shall pledge him.

Purse. I'll not refuse it, were it puddle: by Styx, he is a bountiful gentleman, and I shall report him so. Here, Mistress Tickleman, shall I charge you?

Tickle. Do your worst, serjeant: I'll pledge my young Spendall a whole sea, as they say: fa, la, la, la, la! Would the music were here again; I do begin to be wanton. Ipocras, sirrah, and a dry biscuit! Here, bawd, a carouse!

Sweat. Bawd, i' faith! you begin to grow light i' the head. I pray no more such words; for, if you do, I shall grow into distempers.

Tickle. Distempers! hang your distempers; be angry with me, and thou dar'st. I pray, who feeds you, but I? who keeps thy feather-beds from the brokers, but I? 'tis not your sausage-face, thick, clouted[164] cream-rampallion[165] at home, that snuffles in the nose like a decayed bagpipe.

Purse. Nay, sweet Mistress Tickleman, be concordant; reverence antiquity.

Enter Rash, Longfield, and Spendall.

Rash. Save you, sweet creatures of beauty, save you: how now, old Beelzebub, how dost thou?

Sweat. Beelzebub! Beelzebub in thy face!


Spend. Nay, good words, Mistress Sweatman: he's a young gallant; you must not weigh what he says.

Rash. I would my lamentable complaining lover had been here: here had been a supersedeas for his melancholy; and, i' faith, Frank, I am glad my father has turned over his shop to thee. I hope I, or any friend of mine, shall have so much credit with thee, as to stand in thy books for a suit of satin.

Spend. For a whole piece, if you please; any friend of yours shall command me to the last remnant.

Rash. Why, God-a-mercy, Frank; what, shall's to dice?

Spend. Dice or drink: here's forty crowns: as long as that will last—anything.

Rash. Why, there spoke a gingling boy.

Spend. A pox of money! 'tis but rubbish; and he that hoards it up is but a scavenger. If there be cards i' the house, let's go to primero.

Rash. Primero! why, I thought thou hadst not been so much gamester as to play at it.

Spend. Gamester! to say truth, I am none; but what is it I will not be in good company? I will fit myself to all humours; I will game with a gamester, drink with a drunkard, be civil with a citizen, fight with a swaggerer, and drab with a whoremaster.

Enter a Swaggerer, puffing.

Rash. An excellent humour, i' faith.

Long. Zounds! what have we here?

Spend. A land-porpoise, I think.

Rash. This is no angry, nor no roaring boy, but a blustering boy: now, Æolus defend us! what puffs are these?


Swag. I do smell a whore.

Drawer. O gentlemen, give him good words; he's one of the roaring boys.

Swag. Rogue!

Drawer. Here, sir.

Swag. Take my cloak, I must unbuckle; my pickled oysters work; puff, puff!

Spend. Puff, puff!

Swag. Dost thou retort—in opposition stand?

Spend. Out, you swaggering rogue! zounds, I'll kick him out of the room!
[Beats him away.

Tickle. Out, alas! their naked tools are out.

Spend. Fear not, sweetheart; come along with me.
[Exeunt omnes.

Enter Gertrude sola.

Gert. Thrice-happy days they were, and too soon gone,
When as the heart was coupled with the tongue;
And no deceitful flattery or guile
Hung on the lover's tear-commixed smile.
Could women learn but that imperiousness,
By which men use to stint our happiness,
When they have purchas'd us for to be theirs
By customary sighs and forced tears:
To give us bits of kindness, lest we faint,
But no abundance that we ever want,
And still are begging; which too well they know
Endears affection, and doth make it grow:
Had we these sleights, how happy were we then,
That we might glory over lovesick men!
But arts we know not, nor have any skill
To feign a sour look to a pleasing will;

Enter Joyce.

Nor couch a secret love in show of hate:
[200] But, if we like, must be compassionate.
Yet I will strive to bridle and conceal
The hid affection which my heart doth feel.

Joyce. Now the boy with the bird-bolt[166] be praised! Nay, faith, sister, forward: 'twas an excellent passion.[167] Come, let's hear, what is he? If he be a proper man, and have a black eye, a smooth chin, and a curled pate, take him, wench; if my father will not consent, run away with him, I'll help to convey you.

Gert. You talk strangely, sister.

Joyce. Sister, sister, dissemble not with me, though you do mean to dissemble with your lover. Though you have protested to conceal your affection, by this tongue, you shall not; for I'll discover all, as soon as I know the gentleman.

Gert. Discover! what will you discover?

Joyce. Marry, enough, I'll warrant thee. First and foremost, I'll tell him thou read'st love-passions in print, and speakest every morning without book to thy looking-glass: next, that thou never sleepest till an hour after the bellman: that, as soon as thou art asleep, thou art in a dream, and in a dream thou art the kindest and comfortablest bed-fellow for kissings and embracings: by this hand, I cannot rest for thee: but our father——


Enter Sir Lionel.

Sir Lionel. How now! what are you two consulting on? On husbands? You think you lose time, I am sure; but hold your own a little, girls; it shall not be long ere I'll provide for you: and for you, Gertrude, I have bethought myself already.

Whirlpit, the usurer, is late deceas'd:
A man of unknown wealth, which he has left
Unto a provident kinsman, as I hear,
That was once servant to that unthrift Staines.
A prudent gentleman they say he is,
And, as I take it, called Master Bubble.
Joyce. Bubble!
[She makes a grimace.
Sir Lionel. Yes, nimble-chaps; what say you to that?

Joyce. Nothing; but that I wish his Christian name were Water.[168]

Gert. Sir, I'm at your disposing; but my mind
Stands not as yet towards marriage.
Were you so pleas'd, I would a little longer
Enjoy the quiet of a single bed.
Sir Lionel. Here's the right trick of them all: let a man
Be motion'd to 'em, they could be content
To lead a single life, forsooth: when the harlots
Do pine and run into diseases,
Eat chalk and oatmeal, cry and creep in corners,
Which are manifest tokens of their longings;
And yet they will dissemble. [Aside.] But, Gertude,
As you do owe me reverence, and will pay it,
Prepare yourself to like this gentleman,
Who can maintain thee in thy choice of gowns,
Of tires, of servants, and of costly jewels;
[202] Nay for a need, out of his easy nature,
May'st draw him to the keeping of a coach
For country, and caroch[169] for London:
Indeed, what might'st thou not?

Enter a Servant.

Ser. Sir, here's one come from Master Bubble.
To invite you to the funeral of his uncle.
Sir Lionel. Thank the messenger, and make him drink.
Tell him, I will not fail to wait the corse:
Yet stay, I will go talk with him myself.
Gertrude, think upon what I have told you,
And let me, ere it be long, receive your answer.
[Exeunt Sir Lionel and Servant.

Joyce. Sister, sister!

Gert. What say you, sister?

Joyce. Shall I provide a cord?

Gert. A cord! what to do?

Joyce. Why, to let thee out at the window. Do not I know that thou wilt run away with the gentleman for whom you made the passion, rather than endure this same Bubble that my father talks of? 'Twere good you would let me be of your counsel, lest I break the neck of your plot.

Gert. Sister, [you] know I love thee,
And I'll not think a thought thou shalt not know.
I love a gentleman, that answers me
In all the rights of love as faithfully:
Has woo'd me oft with sonnets and with tears:
Yet I seem still to slight him. Experience tells,
The jewel that's enjoy'd is not esteem'd;
Things hardly got are always highest deem'd.


Joyce. You say well, sister; but it is not good to linger out too long; continuance of time will take away any man's stomach in the world. I hope the next time that he comes to you I shall see him.

Gert. You shall.

Joyce. Why, go to then: you shall have my opinion of him. If he deserve thee, thou shalt delay him no longer; for if you cannot find in your heart to tell him you love him, I'll sigh it out for you. Come, we little creatures must help one another.

Enter Geraldine.

Gera. How cheerfully things look in this place!
'Tis always spring-time here; such is the grace
And potency of her who has the bliss
To make it still Elysium where she is.
Nor doth the king of flames in's golden fires,
After a tempest, answer men's desires,
When as he casts his comfortable beams
Over the flowery fields and silver streams,
As her illustrate beauty strikes in me,
And wraps my soul up to felicity.

Enter Gertrude and Joyce aloft.

Joyce. Do you hear, sir?

Gert. Why, sister, what will you do?

Joyce. By my maidenhead, an oath which I ne'er took in vain, either go down and comfort him, or I'll call him up and disclose all. What, will you have no mercy, but let a proper man, that might spend the spirit of his youth upon yourself, fall into a consumption? for shame, sister!

Gert. You are the strangest creature—what would you have me do?


Joyce. Marry, I would have you go to him, take him by the hand, and gripe him; say, You are welcome, I love you with all my heart, you are the man must do the feat; and take him about the neck, and kiss upon the bargain.

Gert. Fie, how you talk! 'tis mere immodesty;
The common'st strumpet would not do so much.
Joyce. Marry, the better; for such as are honest
Should still do what the common strumpet will not.
Speak, will you do it?

Gert. I'll lose his company for ever first.

Joyce. Do you hear, sir? here is a gentlewoman would speak with you.

Gert. Why, sister! pray, sister——

Joyce. One that loves you with all her heart, yet is ashamed to confess it.

Gert. Good sister, hold your tongue: I will go down to him.

Joyce. Do not jest with me; for, by this hand, I'll either get him up, or go down myself, and read the whole history of your love to him.

Gert. If you forbear to call, I will go down.

Joyce. Let me see your back, then; and hear you, do not use him scurvily: you were best unset all your tyrannical looks, and bid him lovingly welcome, or, as I live, I'll stretch out my voice again. Ud's foot, I must take some pains, I see, or we shall never have this gear cotten;[170] but, to say truth, the fault is in my melancholy monsieur; for if he had but half so much spirit as he has flesh, he might have boarded her by this. But see, yonder she marches; now a passion on his side of half an hour long: his hat is off already, as if he were begging one poor pennyworth of kindness.


Enter Gertrude below.

Gera. Shall I presume, fair mistress, on your hand to lay my unworthy lip?

Joyce. Fie upon him! I am ashamed to hear him; you shall have a country fellow at a maypole go better to his work. He had need to be constant, for he is able to spoil as many maids as he shall fall in love withal.

Gert. Sir, you profess love unto me; let me entreat you it may appear but in some small request.

Gera. Let me know it, lady, and I shall soon effect it.

Gert. But for this present to forbear this place,
Because my father is expected here.

Gera. I am gone, lady.

Joyce. Do you hear, sir?

Gera. Did you call?

Joyce. Look up to the window.

Gera. What say you, gentlewoman?

Gert. Nay, pray sir, go; it is my sister calls to hasten you.

Joyce. I call to speak with you; pray, stay a little.

Gera. The gentlewoman has something to say to me.

Gert. She has nothing. I do conjure you, as you love me, stay not.
[Exit Joyce.

Gera. The power of magic cannot fasten me; I am gone.

Gert. Good sir, look back no more, what voice e'er call you.
Imagine going from me, you were coming,
And use the same speed, as you love my safety.
[Exit Geraldine.
Wild-witted sister, I have prevented you:
I will not have my love yet open'd to him.
[206] By how much longer 'tis, ere it be known,
By so much dearer 'twill be when 'tis purchas'd.
But I must use my strength to stop her journey,
For she will after him: and see, she comes.

Enter Joyce below.

Nay, sister, you are at farthest.
Joyce. Let me go, you were best;
For if you wrestle with me, I shall throw you.
Passion! come back, fool; lover, turn again,
And kiss your bellyful;
For here she is will stand you, do your worst.
Will you let me go?

Gert. Yes, if you'll stay.

Joyce. If I stir a foot, hang me; you shall come together yourselves, and be naught. Do what you will; for if e'er I trouble myself again, let me want help in such a case when I need.

Gert. Nay, but prythee, sister, be not angry.

Joyce. I will be angry. Ud's foot! I cannot endure such foolery, I! Two bashful fools that would couple together, and yet ha' not the faces.

Gert. Nay, prythee, sweet sister!

Joyce. Come, come, let me go. Birds, that want the use of reason and speech, can couple together in one day; and yet you, that have both, cannot conclude in twenty.

Gert. Why, what good would it do you to tell him?

Joyce. Do not talk to me, for I am deaf to anything you say. Go, weep and cry.

Gert. Nay, but sister——

Enter Staines and Drawer with wine.

Staines. Drawer, bid them make haste at home.
Tell them they are coming from church.

Drawer. I will, sir.
[Exit Drawer.


Staines. That I should live to be a servingman! a fellow which scalds his mouth with another man's porridge; brings up meat for other men's bellies, and carries away the bones for his own; changes his clean trencher for a foul one, and is glad of it. And yet did I never live so merry a life when I was my master's master as now I do, being man to my man. And I will stand to't, for all my former speeches, a servingman lives a better life than his master; and thus I prove it: The saying is, the nearer the bone the sweeter the flesh; then must the servingman needs eat the sweeter flesh, for he always picks the bones. And again, the proverb says, the deeper the sweeter. There has the servingman the advantage again, for he drinks still in the bottom of the pot. He fills his belly, and never asks what's to pay; wears broadcloth, and yet dares walk Watling Street,[171] without any fear of his draper. And for his colours, they are according to the season; in the summer, he is apparelled (for the most part) like the heavens, in blue; in winter, like the earth, in frieze.

Enter Bubble, Sir Lionel Longfield, and Sprinkle.

But see, I am prevented in my encomium. I could have maintained this theme this two hours.

Sir Lionel. Well, God rest his soul, he is gone, and we must all follow him.

Bub. Ay, ay, he's gone, Sir Lionel, he's gone,

Sir Lionel. Why, though he be gone, what then? 'Tis not you that can fetch him back again,[208] with all your cunning. It must be your comfort that he died well.

Bub. Truly, and so it is. I would to God I had e'en another uncle that would die no worse; surely I shall weep again, if I should find my handkerchief.

Long. How now! what are these, onions?

Bub. Ay, ay, Sir Lionel, they are my onions; I thought to have had them roasted this morning for my cold. Gervase, you have not wept to-day; pray, take your onions. Gentlemen, the remembrance of death is sharp, therefore there is a banquet within to sweeten your conceits. I pray, walk in, gentlemen, walk you in; you know I must needs be melancholy, and keep my chamber. Gervase, usher them to the banquet.

Staines. I shall, sir. Please you, Sir Lionel?

Sir Lionel. Well, Master Bubble, we'll go in and taste of your bounty.

In the meantime, you must be of good cheer.
[Gentlemen and Gervase go out.

Bub. If grief take not away my stomach,
I will have good cheer, I warrant you. Sprinkle!

Sprin. Sir.

Bub. Had the women puddings to their dole?[172]

Sprin. Yes, sir.


Bub. And how did they take 'em?

Sprin. Why, with their hands. How should they take 'em?

Bub. O thou Hercules of ignorance! I mean, how were they satisfied?

Sprin. By my troth, sir, but so-so; and yet some of them had two.

Bub. O insatiable women, whom two puddings would not satisfy! But vanish, Sprinkle; bid your fellow Gervase come hither.
[Exit Sprinkle.

And off, my mourning-robes: grief, to the grave,
For I have gold, and therefore will be brave:[173]
In silks I'll rattle it of every colour,
And, when I go by water, scorn a sculler.

Enter Staines.

In black carnation velvet I will cloak me,
And when men bid God save me, cry, Tu quoque.

It is needful a gentleman should speak Latin sometimes, is it not, Gervase?

Staines. O, very graceful, sir; your most accomplished gentlemen are known by it.

Bub. Why, then will I make use of that little I have upon times and occasions. Here, Gervase, take this bag, and run presently to the mercer's; buy me seven ells of horse-flesh-coloured taffata, nine yards of yellow satin, and eight yards of[210] orange-tawny velvet. Then run to the tailor's, the haberdasher's, the sempster's, the cutler's, the perfumer's, and to all trades whatsoever, that belong to the making up of a gentleman; and, amongst the rest, let not the barber be forgotten: and look that he be an excellent fellow, and one that can snap his fingers with dexterity.[174]

Staines. I shall fit you, sir.

Bub. Do so, good Gervase: it is time my beard were corrected, for it is grown so saucy, as it begins to play with my nose.

Staines. Your nose, sir, must endure it; for it is in part the fashion.

Bub. Is it in fashion? why, then my nose shall endure it, let it tickle his worst.

Staines. Why, now y' are i' the right, sir; if you will be a true gallant, you must bear things resolute. As thus, sir; if you be at an ordinary, and chance to lose your money at play, you must not fret and fume, tear cards, and fling away dice, as your ignorant gamester or country-gentleman does; but you must put on a calm, temperate action, with a kind of careless smile in contempt of fortune, as not being able with all her engines to batter down one piece of your estate, that your means may be thought invincible. Never tell your money: nor what you have won, nor what you have lost. If a question be made, your answer must be: What I have lost, I have lost; what I have won, I have won. A close heart and free hand make a man admired: a testern or a shilling to a servant that brings you a glass of beer, binds [211] his hands to his lips: you shall have more service of him than his master; he will be more humble to you than a cheater before a magistrate.

Bub. Gervase, give me thy hand: I think thou hast more wit than I, that am thy master; and for this speech only I do here create thee my steward. I do long, methinks, to be at an ordinary: to smile at fortune, and to be bountiful. Gervase, about your business, good Gervase, whilst I go and meditate upon a gentleman-like behaviour. I have an excellent gait already, Gervase, have I not?

Staines. Hercules himself, sir, had never a better gait.

Bub. But despatch, Gervase: the satin and the velvet must be thought upon, and the Tu quoque must not be forgotten; for whensoever I give arms, that shall be my motto.
[Exit Bubble.

Staines. What a fortune had I thrown upon me when I preferred myself into this fellow's service! Indeed, I serve myself, and not him; for this gold here is my own, truly purchased: he has credit, and shall run i' th' books for't. I'll carry things so cunningly, that he shall not be able to look into my actions. My mortgage I have already got into my hands: the rent he shall enjoy awhile, till his riot constrain him to sell it; which I will purchase with his own money. I must cheat a little: I have been cheated upon. Therefore I hope the world will a little the better excuse me. What his uncle craftily got from me, I will knavishly recover of him. To come by it, I must vary shapes, and my first shift shall be in satin.

Proteus, propitious be to my disguise,
And I shall prosper in my enterprise.

Enter Spendall, Pursenet, and a Boy with rackets.

Spend. A rubber, sirrah.

Boy. You shall, sir.


Spend. And bid those two men you said would speak with me come in.

Boy. I will, sir.
[Exit Boy.

Spend. Did I not play this set well?

Enter Blank and another.

Purse. Excellent well: by Phaeton, by Erebus, it went as if it had cut the line.

Blank. God bless you, sir.

Spend. Master Blank, welcome.

Blank. Here's the gentleman's man, sir, has brought the money.

Ser. Will't please you tell it, sir?

Spend. Have you the bond ready, Master Blank?

Blank. Yes, sir.

Spend. 'Tis well. Pursenet, help to tell—10, 11, 12.
What time have you given?

Blank. The thirteenth of the next month.

Spend. 'Tis well: here's light gold.

Ser. 'Twill be the less troublesome to carry.

Spend. You say well, sir; how much hast thou told?

Purse. In gold and silver, here is twenty pounds.

Blank. 'Tis right, Master Spendall, I'll warrant you.

Spend. I'll take your warrant, sir, and tell no farther.
Come, let me see the condition of this obligation.
Purse. A man may win from him that cares not for't.
This royal Cæsar doth regard no cash;
Has thrown away as much in ducks and drakes,
As would have bought some 50,000 capons.
[213] Spend. 'Tis very well; so lend me your pen.
Purse. This is the captain of brave citizens;
The Agamemnon of all merry Greeks.
A Stukeley or a Sherley for his spirit,[175]
Bounty and royalty to men-at-arms.

Blank. You give this as your deed?

Spend. Marry do I, sir.


Blank. Pleaseth this gentleman to be a witness?

Spend. Yes, marry shall he. Pursenet, your hand.

Purse. My hand is at thy service, noble Brutus.

Spend. There's for your kindness, Master Blank.

Blank. I thank you, sir.

Spend. There's for your pains.
[To Servant.]
Ser. I thank you, sir.

Blank. I'll take my leave of you.[176]

Spend. What, must you be gone too, Master Blank?

Blank. Yes, indeed, sir; I must to the Exchange.

Spend. Farewell to both. Pursenet,
Take that twenty pounds, and give it Mistress Sweatman:
Bid her pay her landlord and apothecary,
And let her butcher and her baker stay;
They're honest men, and I'll take order with them.

Purse. The butcher and the baker then shall stay.

Spend. They must, till I am somewhat stronger pursed.

Purse. If this be all, I have my errand perfect.
[Exit Pursenet.

Spend. Here, sirrah, here's for balls; there's for yourself.

Boy. I thank your worship.

Spend. Commend me to your mistress.

Boy. I will, sir. In good faith, 'tis the liberall'st gentleman that comes into our court: why, he cares no more for a shilling than I do for a box o' th' ear, God bless him.


Enter Staines gallant, Longfield, and a Servant.

Staines. Sirrah, what o'clock is't?

Ser. Past ten, sir.

Staines. Here will not be a gallant seen this hour.

Ser. Within this quarter, sir, and less: they meet here as soon as at any ordinary in th' town.

Staines. Hast any tobacco?

Ser. Yes, sir.

Staines. Fill.

Long. Why, thou report'st miracles, things not to be believed: I protest to thee, hadst thou not unripped thyself to me, I should never have known thee.

Staines. I tell you true, sir; I was so far gone, that desperation knocked at my elbow, and whispered news to me out of Barbary.[177]

Long. Well, I am glad so good an occasion stay'd thee at home.
And may'st thou prosper in thy project, and go on
With best success of thy invention.
Staines. False dice say amen; for that's my induction:
I do mean to cheat to-day without respect of persons.
When saw'st thou Will Rash?

Long. This morning at his chamber; he'll be here.


Staines. Why, then, do thou give him my name and character, for my aim is wholly at my worshipful master.

Long. Nay, thou shalt take another into him: one that laughs out his life in this ordinary, thanks any man that wins his money: all the while his money is losing, he swears by the cross of this silver; and, when it is gone, he changeth it to the hilts of his sword.

Enter Scattergood and Ninnihammer.

Staines. He'll be an excellent coach-horse for my captain.

Scat. Save you, gallants, save you.

Long. How think you now? have I not carved him out to you?

Staines. Thou hast lighted me into his heart; I see him thoroughly.

Scat. Ninnihammer!

Nin. Sir.

Scat. Take my cloak and rapier also: I think it be early. Gentlemen, what time do you take it to be?

Staines. Inclining to eleven, sir.

Scat. Inclining! a good word. I would it were inclining to twelve, for by my stomach it should be high noon. But what shall we do, gallants? shall we to cards till our company come?

Long. Please you, sir.

Scat. Harry, fetch some cards; methinks 'tis an unseemly sight to see gentlemen stand idle. Please you to impart your smoke?

Long. Very willingly, sir.

Scat. In good faith, a pipe of excellent vapour.

Long. The best the house yields.

Scat. Had you it in the house? I thought it[217] had been your own: 'tis not so good now as I took it to be.[178] Come, gentlemen, what's your game?

Staines. Why, gleek; that's your only game.

Scat. Gleek let it be, for I am persuaded I shall gleek some of you. Cut, sir.

Long. What play we? twelvepence gleek?

Scat. Twelvepence? a crown: ud's foot! I will not spoil my memory for twelvepence.

Long. With all my heart.

Staines. Honour.

Scat. What is't, hearts?

Staines. The king! what say you?

Long. You must speak, sir.

Scat. Why, I bid thirteen.

Staines. Fourteen.

Scat. Fifteen.

Staines. Sixteen.

Long. Sixteen, seventeen.

Staines. You shall ha't for me.

Scat. Eighteen.

Long. Take it to you, sir.

Scat. Ud's life! I'll not be outbraved.

Staines. I vie it.

Long. I'll none of it.

Scat. Nor I.

Staines. Give me a murnival of aces and a gleek of queens.

Long. And me a gleek of knaves.

Scat. Ud's life! I'm gleeked this time.

Enter Will Rash.

Staines. Play.

W. Rash. Equal fortunes befall you, gallants.


Scat. Will Rash: well, I pray see what a vile game I have.

W. Rash. What's your game—gleek?

Scat. Yes, faith, gleek; and I have not one court card but the knave of clubs.

W. Rash. Thou hast a wild hand, indeed. Thy small cards show like a troop of rebels, and the knave of clubs their chief leader.

Scat. And so they do, as God save me: by the cross of this silver, he says true.

Enter Spendall.

Staines. Pray, play, sir.

Long. Honour.

W. Rash. How go the stocks, gentlemen? what's won or lost?

Staines. This is the first game.

Scat. Yes, this is the first game; but, by the cross of this silver, here's all of five pounds.

Spend. Good day to you, gentlemen.

W. Rash. Frank, welcome, by this hand; how dost, lad?

Spend. And how does thy wench, faith?

W. Rash. Why, fat and plump, like thy geldings; thou giv'st them both good provender, it seems. Go to, thou art one of the madd'st wags of a citizen i' th' town: the whole company talks of thee already.

Spend. Talk! why, let 'em talk; ud's foot! I pay scot and lot, and all manner of duties else, as well as the best of 'em. It may be they understand I keep a whore, a horse, and a kennel of hounds; what's that to them? no man's purse opens for it but mine own; and so long my hounds shall eat flesh, my horse bread, and my whore wear velvet.


W. Rash. Why, there spoke a courageous boy.

Spend. Ud's foot! shall I be confined all the days of my life to walk under a pent-house? No, I'll take my pleasure whilst my youth affords it.

Scat. By the cross of these hilts, I'll never play at gleek again, whilst I have a nose on my face: I smell the knavery of the game.

Spend. Why, what's the matter? who has lost?

Scat. Marry, that have I. By the hilts of my sword, I have lost forty crowns in as small time almost as a man might tell it.

Spend. Change your game for dice: we are a full number for Novem.[179]

Scat. With all my heart. Where's Master Ambush the broker? Ninnihammer.

Nin. Sir.

Scat. Go to Master Ambush, and bid him send me twenty marks upon this diamond.

Enter Bubble.

Nin. I will, sir.

Long. Look ye, to make us merrier, who comes here?

W. Rash. A fresh gamester? Master Bubble, God save you.

Bub. Tu quoque.

Staines. Save you, sir.

Bub. Et tu quoque.

Long. Good Master Bubble.

Bub. Et tu quoque.


Scat. Is your name Master Bubble?

Bub. Master Bubble is my name, sir.

Scat. God save you, sir.

Bub. Et tu quoque.

Scat. I would be better acquainted with you.

Bub. And I with you.

Scat. Pray, let us salute again.

Bub. With all my heart, sir.

Long. Behold yonder the oak and the ivy, how they embrace.

W. Rash. Excellent acquaintance! they shall be the Gemini.

Bub. Shall I desire your name, sir.

Scat. Master Scattergood.

Bub. Of the Scattergoods of London.

Scat. No indeed, sir. Of the Scattergoods of Hampshire.

Bub. Good Master Scattergood.

Staines. Come, gentlemen, here's dice.

Scat. Please you, advance to the table?

Bub. No indeed, sir.

Scat. Pray, will you go?

Bub. I will go, sir, over the world for your sake, but in courtesy I will not budge a foot.

Enter Ninnihammer.

Nin. Here is the cash you sent me for: and, Master Rash, here is a letter from one of your sisters.

Spend. I have the dice; set, gentlemen.

Long. From which sister?

W. Rash. From the madcap, I know by the hand.

Spend. For me, six.

Omnes. And six that.

Staines. Nine; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8: eighteen shillings.


Spend. What's yours, sir?

Scat. Mine's a baker's dozen. Master Bubble, tell your money.

Bub. In good faith, I am but a simple gamester, and do not know what to do.

Scat. Why, you must tell your money, and he'll pay you.

Bub. My money! I do know how much my money is, but he shall not pay me; I have a better conscience than so: what, for throwing the dice twice? i' faith, he should have but a hard bargain of it.

W. Rash. Witty rascal! I must needs away.

Long. Why, what's the matter?

W. Rash. Why, the lovers cannot agree: thou shalt along with me, and know all.

Long. But first let me instruct thee in the condition of this gentleman: whom dost thou take him to be?

W. Rash. Nay, he's a stranger, I know him not.

Long. By this light, but you do, if his beard were off: 'tis Staines.

W. Rash. The devil it is as soon! and what's his purpose in this disguise?

Long. Why, cheating; do you not see how he plays upon his worshipful master and the rest?

W. Rash. By my faith, he draws apace.

Spend. A pox upon these dice! give's a fresh bale.[180]

Bub. Ha, ha! the dice are not to be blamed; a


man may perceive this is no gentlemanly gamester, by his chafing. Do you hear, my friend? fill me a glass of beer, and there's a shilling for your pains.

Drawer. Your worship shall, sir.

W. Rash. Why, how now, Frank! what hast lost?

Spend. Fifteen pounds and upwards: is there never an honest fellow?

Amb. What, do you lack money, sir?

Spend. Yes, canst furnish me?

Amb. Upon a sufficient pawn, sir.

Spend. You know my shop; bid my man deliver you a piece of three-pile velvet, and let me have as much money as you dare adventure upon't.

Amb. You shall, sir.

Spend. A pox of this luck! it will not last [for] ever. Play, sir, I'll set you.

W. Rash. Frank, better fortune befall thee; and, gentlemen, I must take my leave, for I must leave you.

Scat. Must you needs be gone?

W. Rash. Indeed I must.

Bub. Et tu quoque?

Long. Yes, truly.

Scat. At your discretions, gentlemen.

W. Rash. Farewell.
[Exeunt Rash and Longfield.

Staines. Cry you mercy, sir. I am chanced with you all. Gentlemen: here I have 7, here 7, and here 10.

Spend. 'Tis right, sir, and ten that.

Bub. And nine that.

Staines. Two fives at all.
[Draws all.

Bub. One and five that.

Spend. Hum! and can a suit of satin cheat so grossly? By this light, there's nought on one die but fives and sixes. I must not be thus gulled.


Bub. Come, Master Spendall, set.

Spend. No, sir, I have done.

Scat. Why, then let us all leave, for I think dinner's near ready.

Drawer. Your meat's upon the table.

Scat. On the table! come, gentlemen, we do our stomachs wrong. Master Bubble, what have you lost.

Bub. That's no matter: what I have lost, I have lost; nor can I choose but smile at the foolishness of the dice.

Staines. I am but your steward, gentlemen; for after dinner I may restore it again.

Bub. Master Scattergood, will you walk in?

Scat. I'll wait upon you, sir. Come, gentlemen, will you follow?
[Exeunt. Spendall and Staines.

Staines. Yes, sir, I'll follow you.

Spend. Hear you, sir, a word.

Staines. Ten, if you please.

Spend. I have lost fifteen pounds.

Staines. And I have found it.

Spend. You say right; found it you have, indeed,
But never won it. Do you know this die?
Staines. Not I, sir.
Spend. You seem a gentleman, and you may perceive
I have some respect unto your credit
To take you thus aside. Will you restore
What you have drawn from me unlawfully?
Staines. Sirrah, by your outside you seem a citizen,
Whose cock's-comb I were apt enough to break,
But for the law. Go, y' are a prating jack:
Nor is't your hopes of crying out for clubs
[224] Can save you from my chastisement, if once
You shall but dare to utter this again.
Spend. You lie; you dare not.
Staines. Lie! nay, villain, now
Thou tempt'st me to thy death.
Spend. Soft, you must buy it dearer;
The best blood flows within you is the price.

Staines. Dar'st thou resist? thou art no citizen.

Spend. I am a citizen.

Staines. Say thou art a gentleman, and I am satisfied;
For then I know thou'lt answer me in field.
Spend. I'll say directly what I am, a citizen;
And I will meet thee in the field as fairly
As the best gentleman that wears a sword.[181]

Staines. I accept it: the meeting-place?

Spend. Beyond the Maze in Tuttle.[182]

Staines. What weapon?

Spend. Single rapier.

Staines. The time?

Spend. To-morrow.

Staines. The hour?

Spend. 'Twixt nine and ten.

Staines. 'Tis good; I shall expect you. Farewell.

Spend. Farewell, sir.
[Exeunt omnes.

Enter Will Rash, Longfield, and Joyce.

W. Rash. Why, I commend thee, girl; thou speak'st as thou think'st. Thy tongue and thy


heart are relatives; and thou wert not my sister, I should at this time fall in love with thee.

Joyce. You should not need, for, and you were not my brother, I should fall in love with you, for I love a proper man with my heart, and so does all the sex of us, let my sister dissemble never so much. I am out of charity with these nice and squeamish tricks. We were born for men, and men for us; and we must together.

W. Rash. This same plain-dealing is a jewel in thee.

Joyce. And let me enjoy that jewel, for I love plain-dealing with my heart.

W. Rash. Th' art a good wench, i' faith. I should never be ashamed to call thee sister, though thou shouldst marry a broom-man. But your lover, methinks, is over-tedious.

Enter Geraldine.

Joyce. No, look ye, sir; could you wish a man to come better upon his cue?[183] Let us withdraw.

W. Rash. Close, close, for the prosecution of the plot, wench. See, he prepares.

Joyce. Silence.

Gera. The sun is yet wrapp'd in Aurora's arms,
And, lull'd with her delight, forgets us[184] creatures.
Awake, thou god of heat,
I call thee up, and task[185] thee for thy slowness.
Point all thy beams through yonder flaring glass,
[226] And raise a beauty brighter than thyself.
Musicians, give each instrument a tongue,
To breathe sweet music in the ears of her
To whom I send it as a messenger.

Enter Gertrude aloft.

Gert. Sir, your music is so good, that I must say I like it: but the bringer so ill-welcome, that I could be content to lose it. If you played for money, there 'tis; if for love, here's none; if for goodwill, I thank you, and, when you will, you may be gone.

Gera. Leave me not entranc'd; sing not my death;
Thy voice is able to make satyrs tame,
And call rough winds to her obedience.
Gert. Sir, sir, our ears itch not for flattery.
Here you besiege my window, and[186] I dare not
Put forth myself to take the gentle air,
But you are in the fields, and volley out
Your woes, your plaints, your loves, your injuries.
Gera. Since you have heard, and know them, give redress;
True beauty never yet was merciless.

Gert. Sir, rest thus satisfied; my mind was never woman, never altered; nor shall it now begin: so fare you well.
[Exit Gertrude.

W. Rash. 'Sfoot, she plays the terrible tyrannising Tamberlane over him. This it is to turn Turk; from a most absolute, complete gentleman to a most absurd, ridiculous, and fond lover.

Long. O, when a woman knows the power and authority of her eye!——

Joyce. Fie upon her! she's good for nothing then, no more than a jade that knows his own strength. The window is clasped; now, brother, [227] pursue your project, and deliver your friend from the tyranny of my domineering sister.

W. Rash. Do you hear, you drunkard in love? Come into us, and be ruled. You would little think that the wench that talked so scurvily out of the window there is more enamoured on thee than thou on her. Nay, look you now: see if he turn not away, slighting our good counsel. I am no Christian if she do not sigh, whine, and grow sick for thee. Look you, sir: I will bring you in good witness against her.

Joyce. Sir, you are
My brother's friend, and I'll be plain with you.
You do not take the course to win my sister,
But indirectly go about the bush; you come
And fiddle here, and keep a coil in verse;
Hold off your hat, and beg to kiss her hand;
Which makes her proud.
But, to be short; in two lines, thus it is—
Who most doth love, must seem most to neglect it;
For those that show most love, are least respected.

Long. A good observation, by my faith.

W. Rash. Well, this instruction comes too late now.
Stand you close, and let me prosecute my invention.—[187]
Sister, O sister! wake, arise, sister.

Enter Gertrude above.

Gert. How now, brother; why call you with such terror?


W. Rash. How can you sleep so sound, and hear such groans,
So horrid and so tedious to the ear, that I
Was frighted hither by the sound? O sister,
Here lies a gentleman that lov'd you too dearly
And himself too ill, as by his death appears.
I can report no farther without tears.
Assist me now.
[Aside to Longfield.
Long. When he came first, death startled in his eyes;
His hand had not forsook the dagger-hilt,
But still he gave it strength, as if he fear'd
He had not sent it home unto his heart.
Gert. Enough, enough!
If you will have me live, give him no name;
Suspicion tells me 'tis my Geraldine:
But be it whom it will, I'll come to him,
To suffer death as resolute as he.
[Exit Gertrude.
W. Rash. Did not I tell you 'twould take?
Down, sir, down.[188]

Gera. I guess what you'd have me do.

Long. O, for a little blood to besprinkle him!

W. Rash. No matter for blood, I'll not suffer her to come near him till the plot have ta'en his full height.

Gera. A scarf o'er my face, lest I betray myself.

Enter Gertrude below.

W. Rash. Here, here, lie still, she comes.
Now, Mercury, be propitious.
Gert. Where lies this spectacle of blood?
This tragic scene?

W. Rash. Yonder lies Geraldine.


Gert. O, let me see him with his face of death!
Why do you stay me from my Geraldine?
W. Rash. Because, unworthy as thou art, thou shalt not see
The man now dead, whom living thou didst scorn.
The worst part that he had deserv'd thy best;
But yet contemn'd, deluded, mock'd, despis'd by you,
Unfit for aught but for the general work
Which you were made for, man's creation.
Gert. Burst not my heart, before I see my love,
Brother, upon my knees, I beg your leave,
That I may see the wound of Geraldine:
I will embalm his body with my tears,
And carry him unto his sepulchre.
From whence I'll never rise, but be interr'd
In the same dust he shall be buried in.
Long. I do protest she draws sad tears from me.
I prythee, let her see her Geraldine.
Gert. Brother, if e'er you lov'd me as a sister,
Deprive me not the sight of Geraldine.
W. Rash. Well, I am contented you shall touch his lips,
But neither see his face nor yet his wound.
Gert. Not see his face?
W. Rash. Nay, I have sworn it to the contrary:
Nay, hark you, farther yet.

Gert. What now?

W. Rash. But one kiss—no more.

Gert. Why, then, no more.

W. Rash. Marry, this liberty I'll give you:
If you intend to make any speech of repentance
Over him, I am content, so it be short.
Gert. What you command is law, and I obey.
Joyce. Peace, give ear to the passion.
Gert. Before I touch thy body, I implore
Thy discontented ghost to be appeas'd.
[230] Send not unto me, till I come myself;
Then shalt thou know how much I honour'd thee,
O, see the colour of his coral lip
Which, in despite of death, lives full and fresh,
As when he was the beauty of his sex!
'Twere sin worthy the worst of plagues to leave thee;
Not all the strength and policy of man
Shall snatch me from thy bosom.
Long. Look, look; I think she'll ravish him!
W. Rash. Why, how now, sister?
Gert. Shall we have both one grave; here I am chain'd;
Thunder nor earthquakes shall e'er shake me off.

W. Rash. No? I'll try that. [Aside.] Come, dead man, awake! up with your bag and baggage, and let's have no more fooling.

Gert. And lives my Geraldine?

W. Rash. Live! faith, ay;
Why should he not? he was never dead
That I know on.
Gera. It is no wonder Geraldine should live,
Though he had emptied all his vital spirits.
The lute of Orpheus spake not half so sweet,
When he descended to th' infernal vaults,
To fetch again his fair Eurydice,
As did thy sweet voice unto Geraldine.
Gert. I'll exercise that voice, since it doth please
My better self, my constant Geraldine.
Joyce. Why so, la, here's an end of an old song!
Why could not this have been done before,
I pray?
Gert. O, y' are a goodly sister, this is your plot.
Well, I shall live one day to requite you.

Joyce. Spare me not: for wheresoever I set my[231] affection, although it be upon a collier, if I fall back, unless it be in the right kind, bind me to a stake, and let me be burned to death with charcoal.

W. Rash. Well, thou art a mad wench, and there's no more to be done at this time, but, as we brought you together, so to part you: you must not lie at rack and manger; there be those within that will forbid the banns: time must shake good-fortune by the hand before you two must be great; 'specially you, sister. Come, leave swearing.

Gert. Must we then part?

W. Rash. Must you part! why, how think you? ud's foot! I do think we shall have as much to do to get her from him as we had to bring her to him. This love of women is of strange quality, and has more tricks than a juggler.

Gert. But this, and then farewell.

Gera. Thy company[189] is heaven, thy absence hell.

W. Rash. Lord, who'd think it?
Joyce. Come, wench.
[Exeunt omnes.

Enter Spendall and Staines. Tothill Fields.

Spend. This ground is firm and even, I'll go no farther.
Staines. This be the place then; and prepare you, sir;
You shall have fair play for your life of me,
For, look, sir, I'll be open-breasted to you.
Spend. Shame light on him that thinks
His safety lieth in a French doublet.
Nay, I would strip myself, would comeliness
[232] Give sufferance to the deed, and fight with thee
As naked as a Mauritanian Moor.
Staines. Give me thy hand; by my heart, I love thee.
Thou art the highest-spirited citizen
That ever Guildhall took notice of.
Spend. Talk not what I am, until you have tried me.
Staines. Come on, sir.
[They fight.
Spend. Now, sir, your life is mine.
Staines. Why then, take it, for I'll not beg it of thee.
Spend. Nobly resolv'd, I love thee for those words.
Here, take thy arms again, and, if thy malice
Have spent itself like mine, then let us part
More friendly than we met at first encounter.
Staines. Sir, I accept
This gift of you, but not your friendship,
Until I shall recover 't with my honour.
Spend. Will you fight again, then?
Staines. Yes.
Spend. Faith, thou dost well, then,
Justly to whip my folly. But come, sir.
Staines. Hold: y' are hurt, I take it.
Spend. Hurt! where? zounds, I feel it not.
Staines. You bleed, I am sure.
Spend. 'Sblood, I think you wear a cat's-claw upon your rapier's point:
I am scratched indeed: but, small as 'tis,
I must have blood for blood.
Staines. Y' are bent to kill, I see.
Spend. No, by my hopes; if I can 'scape that sin,
And keep my good name, I'll never offer't.
Staines. Well, sir, your worst.
Spend. We both bleed now, I take it;
And, if the motion may be equal thought
To part with clasp'd hands, I shall first subscribe.
Staines. 'Twere unmanliness in me to refuse
The safety of us both; my hand shall never fall
From such a charitable motion.
Spend. Then join we both, and here our malice ends:
Though foes we came to th' field, we'll depart friends.

Enter Sir Lionel and a Servant.

Sir Lionel. Come, come, follow me, knave, follow me; I have the best nose i' the house, I think: either we shall have rainy weather, or the vault's unstopped. Sirrah, go see; I would not have my guests smell out any such inconvenience. Do you hear, sirrah Simon?

Ser. Sir.

Sir Lionel. Bid the kitchen-maid scour the sink, and make clean her backside, for the wind lies just upon't.

Ser. I will, sir.

Sir Lionel. And bid Anthony put on his white fustian doublet, for he must wait to-day.

Servant.] It doth me so much good to stir and talk, to place this and displace that, that I shall need no apothecaries' prescriptions. I have sent my daughter this morning as far as Pimlico,[190] to [234] fetch a draught of Derby ale,[191] that it may fetch a colour in her cheeks: the puling harlotry looks so pale, and it is all for want of a man, for so their mother would say (God rest her soul) before she died.

Enter Bubble, Scattergood, Staines, and Servant.

Ser. Sir, the gentlemen are come already.

Sir Lionel. How, knave? the gentlemen?

Ser. Yes, sir: yonder they are.

Sir Lionel. God's precious! we are too tardy: let one be sent presently to meet the girls, and hasten their coming home quickly. How, dost thou stand dreaming! [Exit Servant.] Gentlemen, I see you love me, you are careful of your hour; you may be deceived in your cheer, but not in your welcome.

Bub. Thanks, and Tu quoque is a word for all.

Scat. A pretty concise room; Sir Lionel, where are your daughters?

Sir Lionel. They are at your service, sir, and forthcoming.

Bub. God's will, Gervase! how shall I behave myself to the gentlewomen?

Staines. Why, advance yourself toward them with a comely step; and in your salute be careful you strike not too high nor too low: and afterward, for your discourse, your Tu quoque will bear you out.


Bub. Nay, and that be all, I care not, for I'll set a good face on't, that's flat: and for my nether parts, let them speak for themselves. Here's a leg; and ever a baker in England show a better, I'll give him mine for nothing.

Staines. O, that's a special thing that I must caution you of.

Bub. What, sweet Gervase?

Staines. Why, for commending yourself: never, whilst you live, commend yourself; and then you shall have the ladies themselves commend you.

Bub. I would they would else.

Staines. Why, they will, I'll assure you, sir; and the more vilely you speak of yourself, the more will they strive to collaud you.

Enter Gertrude and Joyce.

Bub. Let me alone to dispraise myself: I'll make myself the errantest coxcomb within a whole country.

Sir Lionel. Here come the gipsies, the sun-burnt girls,
Whose beauties will not utter them alone;
They must have bags, although my credit crack for't.

Bub. Is this the eldest, sir?

Sir Lionel. Yes, marry is she, sir.

Bub. I'll kiss the youngest first, because she likes me best.[192]

Scat. Marry, sir, and whilst you are there, I'll be here. [Kisses the elder.] O delicious touch! I think in conscience her lips are lined quite through with orange-tawny velvet.


Bub. They kiss exceeding well; I do not think but they have been brought up to't. I will begin to her, like a gentleman, in a set speech. Fair lady, shall I speak a word with you?

Joyce. With me, sir?

Bub. With you, lady;—this way,—a little more,—
So, now 'tis well; umh—
Even as a drummer,—or a pewterer——
Joyce. Which of the two, no matter,
For one beats on a drum, t'other a platter.
Bub. In good faith, sweet lady, you say true;
But pray, mark me farther: I will begin again.
Joyce. I pray, sir, do.
Bub. Even as a drummer, as I said before,
Or as a pewterer——

Joyce. Very good, sir.

Bub. Do—do—do.

Joyce. What do they do?

Bub. By my troth, lady, I do not know; for to say truth, I am a kind of an ass.

Joyce. How, sir? an ass?

Bub. Yes, indeed, lady.

Joyce. Nay, that you are not.

Bub. So God ha' me, I am, lady: you never saw
An erranter ass in your life.

Joyce. Why, here's a gentleman, your friend, will not say so.

Bub. I' faith, but he shall: how say you, sir? Am not I an ass?

Scat. Yes, by my troth, lady, is he. Why, I'll say anything my brother Bubble says.
Gert. Is this the man my father chose for me,
To make a husband of? O God, how blind
Are parents in our loves! so they have wealth,
They care not to what things they marry us.

Bub. Pray, look upon me, lady.


Joyce. So I do, sir.

Bub. Ay, but look upon me well, and tell me if ever you saw any man look so scurvily as I do?

Joyce. The fellow, sure, is frantic.
Bub. You do not mark me.
Joyce. Yes, indeed, sir.
Bub. Ay, but look upon me well:
Did you ever see a worse-timber'd leg?

Joyce. By my faith, 'tis a pretty four-square leg.

Bub. Ay, but your four-square legs are none of the best. O Gervase, Gervase!
Staines. Excellent well, sir.
Bub. What say you now to me, lady? Can you find
E'er a good inch about me?
Joyce. Yes, that I can, sir.
Bub. Find it and take it, sweet lady. There I think I bobbed her, Gervase.
Joyce. Well, sir, disparage not yourself so:
For, if you were the man you'd make yourself,
Yet out of your behaviour and discourse
I could find cause enough to love you.

Bub. Ah! now she comes to me. [Aside.] My behaviour! alas, alas! 'tis clownical; and my discourse is very bald—bald; you shall not hear me break a good jest in a twelvemonth.

Joyce. No, sir? why, now you break a good jest.

Bub. No, I want the bon jour and the Tu quoques which yonder gentleman has. There's a bob for him too. [Aside.] There's a gentleman, an you talk of a gentleman!

Joyce. Who, he? he's a coxcomb, indeed.

Bub. We are sworn brothers, in good faith, lady.


Enter Servant.

Scat. Yes, in truth, we are sworn brothers, and do mean to go both alike, and to have horses alike.

Joyce. And they shall be sworn brothers, too?

Scat. If it please them, lady.

Ser. Master Balance the goldsmith desires to speak with you.

Sir Lionel. Bid him come, knave.

Scat. I wonder, Sir Lionel, your son, Will Rash, is not here.

Sir Lionel. Is he of your acquaintance, sir?

Scat. O, very familiar: he struck me a box o' th' ear once, and from thence grew my love to him.

Enter Balance.

Sir Lionel. It was a sign of virtue in you, sir; but he'll be here at dinner. Master Balance, what makes you so strange? Come, you're welcome; what's the news?

Bal. Why, sir, the old news: your man Francis riots still;
And little hope of thrift there is in him.
Therefore I come to advise your worship
To take some order while there's something left:
The better part of his best ware's consum'd.
Sir Lionel. Speak softly, Master Balance.
But is there no hope of his recovery?

Bal. None at all, sir; for he's already laid to be arrested by some that I know.

Sir Lionel. Well, I do suffer for him, and am loth
Indeed to do what I'm constrain'd to do:
Well, sir, I mean to seize on what is left.
And, hark ye—one word more.
Joyce. What heinous sin has yonder man committed,
To have so great a punishment, as wait
Upon the humours of an idle fool?
A very proper fellow, good leg, good face,
A body well-proportioned; but his mind
Bewrays he never came of generous kind.

Enter Will Rash and Geraldine.

Sir Lionel. Go to; no more of this at this time. What, sir, are you come?

W. Rash. Yes, sir; and have made bold to bring a guest along.

Sir Lionel. Master Geraldine's son of Essex?

Gera. The same, sir.

Sir Lionel. You're welcome, sir; when will your father be in town?

Gera. 'Twill not be long, sir.

Sir Lionel. I shall be glad to see him when he comes.

Gera. I thank you, sir.

Sir Lionel. In the meantime, you're welcome; pray, be not strange.
I'll leave my son amongst you, gentlemen.
I have some business. Hark you, Master Balance—
Dinner will soon be ready. One word more——
[Exeunt Sir Lionel and Balance.

W. Rash. And how does my little Asinus and his Tu quoque, here? O, you pretty sweet-faced rogues! that for your countenances might be Alexander and Lodwick.[193] What says the old [240] man to you! will't be a match? shall we call brothers?

Scat. I' faith, with all my heart: if Mistress Gertrude will, we will be married to-morrow.

Bub. 'Sfoot, if Mistress Joyce will, we'll be married to-night.

W. Rash. Why, you courageous boys, and worthy wenches made out of wax! But what shall's do when we have dined? shall's go see a play?

Scat. Yes, faith, brother, if it please you: let's go see a play at the Globe.

Bub. I care not; any whither, so the clown have a part; for, i' faith, I am nobody without a fool.

Gera. Why, then, we'll go to the Red Bull: they say Green's a good clown.

Bub. Green! Green's an ass.

Scat. Wherefore do you say so?

Bub. Indeed, I ha' no reason; for they say he is as like me as ever he can look.

Scat. Well, then, to the Bull.

W. Rash. A good resolution!—continue it: nay, on.

Bub. Not before the gentlewomen; not I, never.

W. Rash. O, while you live, men before women: custom hath placed it so.

Bub. Why, then, custom is not so mannerly as I would be.
[Exeunt Bubble and Scattergood.

W. Rash. Farewell, Master Scattergood. Come, lover, you're too busy here. I must tutor ye: cast not your eye at the table on each other; my father will spy you without spectacles; he is a shrewd observer. Do you hear me?

Gera. Very well, sir.

W. Rash. Come, then, go we together; let the wenches alone. Do you see yonder fellow?

Gera. Yes; prythee, what is he?


W. Rash. I'll give you him within: he must
Not now be thought on; but you shall know him.
[Exeunt Will Rash and Geraldine.
Gert. I have observ'd my sister, and her eye
Is much inquisitive after yond' fellow;
She has examin'd him from head to foot:
I'll stay and see the issue.
[Withdraws a little.]
Joyce. To wrastle 'gainst the stream of our affection,
Is to strike air, or buffet with the wind
That plays upon us. I have striv'd to cast
This fellow from my thoughts, but still he grows
More comely in my sight: yet [is] a slave,
Unto one worse-condition'd than a slave.
They are all gone; here's none but he and I:
Now I will speak to him—and yet I will not.
O, I [do] wrong myself; I will suppress
That insurrection love hath train'd in me,
And leave him as he is. Once my bold spirit
Had vow'd to utter all my thoughts to him,
On whom I settled my affection,
And why retires it now?
Staines. Fight, love, on both sides; for on me thou strik'st
Strokes that have beat my heart into a flame.
She hath sent amorous glances from her eye,
Which I have back return'd as faithfully.
I would make to her, but these servile robes
Curb that suggestion, till some fitter time
Shall bring me more persuadingly unto her.
Joyce. I wonder why he stays; I fear he notes me,
For I have publicly betray'd myself
By too much gazing on him. I will leave him.
Gert. But you shall not: I'll make you speak to him
Before you go. Do you hear, sir?

Joyce. What mean you, sister?


Gert. To fit you in your kind, sister. Do you remember
How you once tyrannis'd o'er me?

Joyce. Nay, prythee, leave this jesting; I am out of the vein.[194]

Gert. Ay, but I am in. Go and speak to your lover.

Joyce. I'll first be buried quick.

Gert. How! ashamed? 'Sfoot, I trow, "if I had set my affection on a collier, I'd ne'er fall back, unless it were in the right kind: if I did, let me be tied to a stake, and burnt to death with charcoal."[195]

Joyce. Nay, then, we shall have't.

Gert. Yes, marry shall you, sister: will you speak to him?

Joyce. No.

Gert. Do you hear, sir? here's a gentlewoman would speak with you.

Joyce. Why, sister! I pray, sister——

Gert. One that loves you with all her heart, yet is ashamed to confess it.

Staines. Did you call, ladies?

Joyce. No, sir; here's no one called.

Gert. Yes, sir, 'twas I; I called to speak with you.

Joyce. My sister's somewhat frantic; there's no regard to be had unto her clamours. Will you yet leave? I' faith, you'll anger me.

Gert. Passion: "come back, fool; lover, turn again and kiss your bellyful; here's one will stand ye."[196]

Staines. What does this mean, trow?

Joyce. Yet is your humour spent?

Gert. Come, let me go: "birds that want the [243] use of reason and of speech can couple together in one day; and yet you, that have both, cannot conclude in twenty."[197] Now, sister, I am even with you, my venom is spit. As much happiness may you enjoy with your lover as I with mine. And droop not, wench, nor never be ashamed of him; the man will serve the turn, though he be wrapped in a blue coat, I'll warrant him; come.

Joyce. You are merrily disposed, sister.
[Exeunt wenches.

Staines. I needs
Must prosper: fortune and love work for me.
Be moderate, my joys; for, as you grow
To your full height, so Bubble's waxeth low.

Enter Spendall, Sweatman, and Tickleman.

Tickle. Will my sweet Spendall be gone, then?

Spend. I must, upon promise; but I'll be here at supper: therefore, Mistress Sweatman, provide us some good cheer.

Sweat. The best the market will yield.

Spend. Here's twenty shillings; I protest I have left myself but a crown for my spending-money: for indeed I intend to be frugal, and turn good husband.

Tickle. Ay, marry will you; you'll to play again and lose your money, and fall to fighting; my very heart trembles to think on it; how, if you had been killed in the quarrel? of my faith, I had been but a dead woman.

Spend. Come, come, no more of this; thou dost but dissemble.

Tickle. Dissemble! do not you say so; for if you do,
God is my judge, I'll give myself a gash.


Spend. Away, away; prythee, no more. Farewell.

Tickle. Nay, buss first; well,
There's no adversity in the world shall part us.

Spend. Thou art a loving rascal; farewell.

Sweat. You will not fail supper?

Spend. You have my word; farewell.

The street. Enter Serjeants.

1st Ser. Sir, we arrest you.

Spend. Arrest me! at whose suit?

2d Ser. Marry, there's suits enough against you, I'll warrant you.

1st Ser. Come, away with him.

Spend. Stay, hear me a word.

2d Ser. What do you say?

Sweatman's house. Another part of the street.

Tickle. How now, Pursenet? why com'st in such haste?

Purse. Shut up your doors, and bar young Spendall out;
And let him be cashier'd your company.
He's turn'd bankrout; his wares are seiz'd on;
And's shop shut up.

Tickle. How! his ware seized on? Thou dost but jest, I hope.

Purse. What this tongue doth report, these eyes have seen;
It is no Æsop's fable that I tell;
But it is true, as I am faithful pander.
Sweat. Nay, I did ever think the prodigal would prove
A bankrupt: but, hang him, let him rot
In prison; he comes no more within these doors,
I warrant him.
[245] Tickle. Come hither! I would he would but offer it;
We'll fire him out, with a pox to him.
Spend. Will you do it?
To carry me to prison but undoes me.

1st Ser. What say you, fellow Gripe, shall we take his forty shillings?

2d Ser. Yes, faith; we shall have him again within this week.

1st Ser. Well, sir, your forty shillings; and we'll have some compassion on you.

Spend. Will you but walk with me unto that house,
And there you shall receive it.

Ser. What, where the women are?

Spend. Yes, sir.
[They walk together to the house.

Sweat. Look yonder, if the ungracious rascal be not coming hither betwixt two serjeants: he thinks, belike, that we'll relieve him; let us go in and clap the doors against him.

Purse. It is the best course, Mistress Tickleman.

Tickle. But I say no, you shall not stir a foot;
For I will talk with him.
Spend. Nan, I am come,
Even in the minute that thou didst profess
Kindness unto me, to make trial of it.
Adversity, thou seest, lays hands upon me:
But forty shillings will deliver me.
Tickle. Why, you impudent rogue, do you come to me for money?
Or do I know you? what acquaintance, pray,
Hath ever pass'd betwixt yourself and me?

Ser. Zounds, do you mock us, to bring us to these women, that do not know you?

Sweat. Yes, in good sooth (officers, I take't you are)
[246] He's a mere stranger here; only in charity
Sometimes we have reliev'd him with a meal.
Spend. This is not earnest in you? Come, I know,
My gifts and bounty cannot so soon be buried.
Go, prythee, fetch forty shillings.
Tickle. Talk not to me, you slave, of forty shillings;
For by this light that shines, ask it again,
I'll send my knife of an errand in your guts.
A shameless rogue, to come to me for money!

Sweat. Is he your prisoner, gentlemen?

Ser. Yes, marry is he.

Sweat. Pray, carry him then to prison, let him smart for't:
Perhaps 'twill tame the wildness of his youth,
And teach him how to lead a better life.
He had good counsel here, I can assure you,
And if he would have took it.
Purse. I told him still myself what would ensue.
Spend. Furies break loose in me: serjeants, let me go;
I'll give you all I have to purchase freedom
But for a lightning while, to tear yond whore,
Bawd, pander, and in them the devil; for there's
His hell, his local habitation;
Nor has he any other place.[198]
Ser. No, sir, we'll take no bribes.
[Takes Spendall's cloak.
Spend. Honest serjeants, give me leave to unlade
A heart o'ercharg'd with grief; as I have a soul,
[247] I'll not break from you.
[They loose him.]
Thou strumpet, that wert born to ruin me,[199]
My fame and fortune, be subject to my curse,
And hear me speak it. May'st thou in thy youth
Feel the sharp whip, and in thy beldam age
The cart: when thou art grown to be
An old upholster unto venery,
(A bawd, I mean, to live by feather-beds)
May'st thou be driven to sell all thou hast,
Unto thy aqua-vitæ bottle (that's the last
A bawd will part withal) and live so poor
That, being turn'd forth thy house, may'st die at door!
Ser. Come, sir, ha' you done?
Spend. A little farther give me leave, I pray;
I have a charitable prayer to end with.
May the French cannibal[200] eat into thy flesh,
And pick thy bones so clean, that the report
Of thy calamity may draw resort
Of all the common sinners in the town,
To see thy mangl'd carcass; and that then
They may upon't turn honest; bawd, say amen.

Sweat. Out upon him, wicked villain, how he blasphemes!

Purse. He will be damn'd for turning heretic.

Tickle. Hang him, bankrout rascal, let him talk in prison,
The whilst we'll spend his goods; for I did never
Hear that men took example by each other.

Sweat. Well, if men did rightly consider't, they should find that whores and bawds are profitable members in a commonwealth; for indeed, though we somewhat impair their bodies, yet we do good to their souls; for I am sure, we still bring them to repentance.


Purse. By Dis, and so we do.

Sweat. Come, come, will you dis before? thou art one of them that I warrant thee will, be hanged, before thou wilt repent.

Enter Will Rash, Staines, and Geraldine.

W. Rash. Well, this love is a troublesome thing. Jupiter, bless me out of his fingers; there's no estate can rest for him: he runs through all countries, will travel through the Isle of Man in a minute; but never is quiet till he comes into Middlesex, and there keeps his Christmas: 'tis his habitation, his mansion, from whence he'll never out till he be fired.

Gera. Well, do not tyrannise too much, lest one day he make you know his deity, by sending a shaft out of a sparkling eye shall strike so deep into your heart, that it shall make you fetch your breath short again.

W. Rash. And make me cry, O eyes, no eyes, but two celestial stars![201] A pox on't, I'd as lief hear a fellow sing through the nose. How now, wench?


Enter Gertrude.

Gert. Keep your station: you stand as well for the encounter as may be: she is coming on; but as melancholy as a bass-viol in concert.

W. Rash. Which makes thee as sprightly as the treble. Now dost thou play thy prize: here's the honourable science, one against another. Do you hear, lover; the thing is done you wot of; you shall have your wench alone without any disturbance; now if you can do any good, why so; the silver game be yours; we'll stand by and give aim,[202] and halloo, if you hit the clout.

Staines. 'Tis all the assistance I request of you.
Bring me but opportunely to her presence,
And I desire no more; and if I cannot win her,
Let me lose her.
Gert. Well, sir, let me tell you, perhaps you undertake
A harder task than yet you do imagine.

Staines. A task! what, to win a woman, and have opportunity? I would that were a task, i' faith, for any man that wears his wits about him. Give me but half an hour's conference with the coldest creature of them all; and if I bring her not into a fool's paradise, I'll pull out my tongue, and hang it at her door for a draw-latch. Ud's foot! I'd ne'er stand thrumming of caps for the matter; I'll quickly make trial of her. If she love to have her beauty praised, I'll praise it; if her wit, I'll commend it; if her good parts, I'll exalt them. No course shall 'scape me; for to whatsoever I saw her inclined, to that would I fit her.

W. Rash. But you must not do thus to her; for she's a subtle, flouting rogue, that will laugh you out of countenance, if you solicit her seriously. [250] No, talk me to her wantonly, slightly, and carelessly, and perhaps so you may prevail as much with her as wind does with a sail—carry her whither thou wilt, bully.

Enter Joyce.

Staines. Well, sir, I'll follow your instruction.

W. Rash. Do so: and see, she appears. Fall you two off from us; let us two walk together.

Joyce. Why did my inquiring eye take in this fellow,
And let him down so easy to my heart,
Where, like a conqueror, he seizes on it,
And beats all other men out of my bosom?

W. Rash. Sister, you're well met. Here's a gentleman desires to be acquainted with you.

Joyce. See, the servingman is turned a gentleman! That villanous wench, my sister, has no mercy. She and my brother have conspired together to play upon me; but I'll prevent their sport; for, rather than my tongue shall have scope to speak matter to give them mirth, my heart shall break.

W. Rash. You have your desire, sir; I'll leave you;
Grapple with her as you can.
[Aside. Exit.]
Staines. Lady, God save you.—
She turns back upon the motion;
There's no good to be done by praying for her,
I see that; I must plunge into a passion:
Now for a piece of Hero and Leander;
'Twere excellent, and (praise be to my memory),
It has reach'd half a dozen lines for the purpose:
Well, she shall have them—
"One is no number, maids are nothing, then,[203]
[251] Without the sweet society of men.
Wilt thou live single still? one shalt thou be,
Though never singling Hymen couple thee.
Wild savages, that drink of running springs,
Think water far excels all earthly things:
But they that daily taste neat wine, despise it.
Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
Compar'd with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much as wine and water doth."
No? Why then, have at you in another kind.

"By the faith of a soldier, lady, I do reverence the ground that you walk upon. I will fight with him that dares say you are not fair; stab him that will not pledge your health, and with a dagger pierce a vein,[204] to drink a full health to you; but it shall be on this condition, that you shall speak first." Ud's foot! if I could but get her to talk once half my labour were over; but I'll try her in another vein. "What an excellent creature is a woman without a tongue! but what a more excellent creature is a woman that has a tongue, and can hold her peace! but how much more excellent and fortunate a creature is that man that has that woman to his wife!" This cannot choose but mad her; and if anything make a woman talk, 'tis this. It will not do, though, yet. I pray God they have not gulled me. But I'll try once again—


"When will that tongue take liberty to talk?
Speak but one word, and I'm satisfied:
Or do but say but mum, and I am answer'd."
No sound? no accent? Is there no noise in women?
Nay, then without direction I ha' done.
I must go call for help.
[Leaves her.
W. Rash. How! not speak?

Staines. Not a syllable. Night nor sleep is not more silent. She's as dumb as Westminster Hall in the long vacation.

W. Rash. Well, and what would you have me do?

Staines. Why, make her speak.

W. Rash. And what then?

Staines. Why, let me alone with her.

W. Rash. Ay, so you said before; give you but opportunity, and let you alone—you'd desire no more. But come, I'll try my cunning for you; see what I can do. How do you, sister? I am sorry to hear you are not well. This gentleman tells me you have lost your tongue; I pray, let's see. If you can but make signs whereabout you lost it, we'll go and look for't. In good faith, sister, you look very pale; in my conscience, 'tis for grief. Will you have any comfortable drinks sent for? This is not the way [Aside]; come, walk, seem earnest in discourse, cast not an eye towards her, and you shall see weakness work itself.

Joyce. My heart is swoll'n so big that it must vent,
Or it will burst. [Aside.] Are you a brother?
W. Rash. Look to yourself, sir;
The brazen head has spoke,[205] and I must leave you.
[253] Joyce. Has shame that power in him, to make him fly,
And dare you be so impudent to stand
Just in the face of my incensed anger?
What are you? why do you stay? who sent for you?
You were in garments yesterday, befitting
A fellow of your fashion: has a crown
Purchased that shining satin of the brokers?
Or is't a cast suit of your goodly master's?

Staines. A cast suit, lady?

Joyce. You think it does become you? Faith, it does not.
A blue coat[206] with a badge does better with you.
Go, untruss your master's points, and do not dare
To stop your nose when as his worship stinks:
'T has been your breeding.
Staines. Ud's life! this is excellent: now she talks.
Joyce. Nay, were you a gentleman, and (which is more)
Well-landed, I should hardly love you;
For, for your face, I never saw a worse:
It looks as if 'twere drawn with yellow ochre
Upon black buckram; and that hair
That's on your chin looks not like beard,
But as if't had been smear'd with shoemakers' wax.
Staines. Ud's foot! she'll make me out of love with myself.
Joyce. How dares your baseness once aspire unto
So high a fortune, as to reach at me?
Because you have heard that some have run away
With butlers, horsekeepers, and their father's clerks,
[254] You, forsooth, cocker'd with your own suggestion,
Take heart upon't, and think me (that am meet,
And set up for your master) fit for you.
Staines. I would I could get her now to hold her tongue.
Joyce. Or, 'cause sometimes as I have pass'd along,
And have return'd a courtesy for your hat,
You, as the common trick is, straight suppose
'Tis love (sir reverence, which makes the word more beastly).
Staines. Why, this is worse than silence.
Joyce. But we are fools, and in our reputations
We find the smart on't:
Kindness is termed lightness in our sex;
And when we give a favour or a kiss,
We give our good names too.
Staines. Will you be dumb again?
Joyce. Men you are call'd, but you're a viperous brood,
Whom we in charity take into our bosoms,
And cherish with our heart; for which you sting us.
Staines. Ud's foot! I'll fetch him that wak'd your tongue,
To lay it down again.
[Fetches Will Rash.
W. Rash. Why, how now, man?
Staines. O, relieve me, or I shall lose my hearing!
You have rais'd a fury up into her tongue:
A parliament of women could not make
Such a confused noise as that she utters.

W. Rash. Well, what would you have me do?

Staines. Why, make her hold her tongue.

W. Rash. And what then?

Staines. Why, then, let me alone again.

W. Rash. This is very good, i' faith: first give thee but opportunity, and let thee alone; then make her but speak, and let thee alone; now make her hold her tongue, and then let thee alone[255] By my troth, I think I were best to let thee alone indeed: but come, follow me; the wild cat shall not carry it so away. Walk, walk, as we did.

Joyce. What, have you fetched your champion? what can he do?
Not have you nor himself from out the storm
Of my incensed rage: I will thunder into your ears
The wrongs that you have done an innocent maid:
O, you're a couple of sweet——what shall I call you?
Men you are not; for, if you were,
You would not offer this unto a maid.
Wherein have I deserved it at your hands?

Have I not been always a kind sister to you, and in signs and tokens showed it? Did I not send money to you at Cambridge, when you were but a freshman? wrought you purses and bands; and since you came to th' inns-o'-court, a fair pair of hangers? Have you not taken rings from me, which I have been fain to say I have lost when you had pawned them; and yet was never beholden to you for a pair of gloves?

W. Rash. A woman's tongue, I see, is like a bell,
That, once being set agoing, goes itself.

Joyce. And yet you, to join with my sister against me, send one here to play upon me, whilst you laugh and leer, and make a pastime on me. Is this brotherly done? No, it is barbarous; and a Turk would blush to offer it to a Christian. But I will think on't, and have it written in my heart, when it hath slipped your memories.

W. Rash. When will your tongue be weary?

Joyce. Never.

W. Rash. How! never? Come, talk, and I'll talk with you:
I'll try the nimble footmanship of your tongue;
And if you can out-talk me, your's be the victory.

[Here they two talk and rail what they list; and then Will Rash speaks to Staines.

[256] All speak. Ud's foot! dost thou stand by, and do nothing?
Come, talk, and drown her clamours.

[Here they all three, talk, and Joyce gives over, weeping, and Exit.

Enter Gertrude and Geraldine.

Gera. Alas! she's spent, i' faith: now the storm's over.

W. Rash. Ud's foot! I'll follow her, as long as I have any breath.

Gert. Nay, no more now, brother; you have no compassion; you see she cries.

Staines. If I do not wonder she could talk so long, I am a villain. She eats no nuts, I warrant her; 'sfoot, I am almost out of breath with that little I talked: well, gentle brothers, I might say (for she and I must clap hands upon't) a match for all this. Pray, go in; and, sister, salve the matter, collogue with her again, and all shall be well: I have a little business that must be thought upon, and 'tis partly for your mirth, therefore let me not (though absent) be forgotten: farewell.

W. Rash. We will be mindful of you, sir; fare you well.

Gera. How now, man! what, tired, tired?

W. Rash. Zounds, and you had talked as much as I did, you would be tired, I warrant. What, is she gone in? I'll to her again, whilst my tongue is warm: and if I thought I should be used to this exercise, I would eat every morning an ounce of licorish.[207]


Enter Lodge, the master of the prison, and Holdfast, his man.

Lodge. Have you summed up those reckonings?

Hold. Yes, sir.

Lodge. And what is owing me?

Hold. Thirty-seven pound, odd money.

Lodge. How much owes the Frenchman?

Hold. A fortnight's commons.

Lodge. Has Spendall any money?

Hold. Not any, sir; and he has sold all his clothes.

Enter Spendall.

Lodge. That fellow would waste millions if he had 'em:
Whilst he has money, no man spends a penny.
Ask him money, and if he say he has none,
Be plain with him, and turn him out o' th' ward.
[Exit Lodge.

Hold. I will, sir. Master Spendall, my master has sent to you for money.

Spend. Money! why does he send to me? Does he think I have the philosopher's stone, or I can clip, or coin? How does he think I can come by money?

Hold. Faith, sir, his occasions are so great, that he must have money, or else he can buy no victuals.

Spend. Then we must starve, belike. Ud's foot, thou see'st I have nothing left that will yield me two shillings.

Hold. If you have no money, you'd best remove into some cheaper ward.

Spend. What ward should I remove in?

Hold. Why, to the twopenny ward; it's likeliest to hold out with your means; or, if you will, you may go into the hole, and there you may feed, for nothing.


Spend. Ay, out of the alms-basket, where charity appears in likeness of a piece of stinking fish, such as they beat bawds with when they are carted.

Hold. Why, sir, do not scorn it; as good men as yourself have been glad to eat scraps out of the alms-basket.

Spend. And yet, slave, thou in pride wilt stop thy nose,
Screw, and make faces, talk contemptibly of it,
And of the feeders, surly groom.

Enter Fox.

Hold. Well, sir, your malapertness will get you nothing.—Fox!

Fox. Here.

Hold. A prisoner to the hole: take charge of him, and use him as scurvily as thou canst. You shall be taught your duty, sir, I warrant you.

Spend. Hence, slavish tyrants, instruments of torture!
There is more kindness yet in whores than you;
For when a man hath spent all, he may go
And seek his way, they'll kick him out of doors,
Not keep him in as you do, and enforce him
To be the subject of their cruelty.
You have no mercy; but be this your comfort,
The punishment and tortures which you do
Inflict on men, the devils shall on you.

Hold. Well, sir, you may talk, but you shall see the end, and who shall have the worst of it.
[Exit Holdfast.

Spend. Why, villain, I shall have the worst, I know it,
And am prepar'd to suffer like a stoic;
Or else (to speak more properly) like a stock;
For I have no sense left. Dost thou think I have?

Fox. Zounds, I think he's mad.


Spend. Why, thou art in the right; for I am mad, indeed,
And have been mad these two years. Dost thou think
I could have spent so much as I have done
In wares and credit, had I not been mad?
Why, thou must know, I had a fair estate
Which, through my riot, I have torn in pieces,
And scatter'd amongst bawds, buffoons, and whores,
That fawn'd on me, and by their flatteries
Rock'd all my understanding faculties
Into a pleasant slumber; where I dreamt
Of nought but joy and pleasure: never felt
How I was lull'd in sensuality,
Until at last affliction waked me,
And, lighting up the taper of my soul,
Led me unto myself, where I might see
A mind and body rent with misery.
[A prisoner within.
Pris. Harry Fox! Harry Fox!

Fox. Who calls?

Enter Prisoner.

Pris. Here's the bread-and-meat-man come.

Fox. Well, the bread-and-meat-man may stay a little.

Pris. Yes, indeed, Harry, the bread-and-meat-man may stay; but you know our stomachs cannot stay.

Enter Gatherscrap with the basket.

Fox. Indeed your stomach is always first up.

Pris. And therefore by right should be first served: I have a stomach like aqua fortis, it will eat anything; O father Gatherscrap, here are excellent bits in the basket.


Fox. Will you hold your chaps farther? By and by, you'll drivel into the basket.

Pris. Perhaps it may do some good; for there may be a piece of powdered beef that wants watering.

Fox. Here, sir, here's your share.

Pris. Here's a bit indeed: what's this to a Gargantua stomach?

Fox. Thou art ever grumbling.

Pris. Zounds! it would make a dog grumble to want his victuals: I pray, give Spendall none; he came into the hole but yesternight.

Fox. What, do you refuse it?

Spend. I cannot eat, I thank you.

Pris. No, no, give it me, he's not yet seasoned for our company.

Fox. Divide it then amongst you.
[Exit Fox and Prisoner.

Spend. To such a one as these are must I come;
Hunger will draw me into their fellowship,
To fight and scramble for unsavoury scraps,
That come from unknown hands, perhaps unwash'd:
And would that were the worst; for I have noted
That nought goes to the prisoners, but such food
As either by the weather has been tainted,
Or children, nay, sometimes full-paunched dogs
Have overlick'd; as if men had determin'd
That the worst sustenance which is God's creatures'—
However they're abus'd—is[208] good enough
For such vild creatures as abuse themselves.
O, what a slave was I unto my pleasures!
How drown'd in sin, and overwhelm'd in lust!
That I could write my repentance to the world,
And force th' impression of it in the hearts
[261] Of you of[209] my acquaintance: I might teach them
By my example, to look home to thrift,
And not to range abroad to seek out ruin.
Experience shows, his purse shall soon grow light,
Whom dice wastes in the day, drabs in the night.
Let all avoid false strumpets, dice and drink;
For he that leaps i' th' mud, shall quickly sink.

Enter Fox and Longfield.

Fox. Yonder's the man.

Long. I thank you.
How is it with you, sir? What, on the ground?
Look up, there's comfort towards you.
Spend. Belike, some charitable friend has sent a shilling.
What is your business?

Long. Liberty.

Spend. There's virtue in that word; I'll rise up to you.
Pray, let me hear that cheerful word again.
Long. The able and well-minded widow Raysby,
Whose hand is still upon the poor man's box,
Hath in her charity remember'd you;
And, being by your master seconded,
Hath taken order with your creditors
For day and payment; and freely from her purse,
By me her deputy, she hath discharg'd
All duties in the house: besides, to your necessities
This is bequeath'd, to furnish you with clothes.

Spend. Speak you this seriously?

Long. 'Tis not my practice to mock misery.

Spend. Be ever praised that divinity,
That has to my oppressed state rais'd friends,
Still be his blessings pour'd upon their heads.
[262] Your hand, I pray,
That have so faithfully perform'd their wills.
If e'er my industry, join'd with their loves,
Shall raise me to a competent estate,
Your name shall ever be to me a friend.

Long. In your good wishes you requite me amply.

Spend. All fees, you say, are paid? There's for your love.

Fox. I thank you, sir, and am glad you are releas'd.

Enter Bubble, gallanted.

Bub. How apparel makes a man respected! the very children in the street do adore me: for if a boy, that is throwing at his jack-a-lent,[210] chance to hit me on the shins, why, I say nothing but Tu quoque, smile, and forgive the child with a beck of my hand, or some such like token: so by that means I do seldom go without broken shins.

Enter Staines, like an Italian.

Staines. The blessings of your mistress fall upon you;
And may the heat and spirit of her lip
Endue her with matter above her understanding,
That she may only live to admire you, or, as the Italian says:
Que que dell fogo Ginni coxcombie.
Bub. I do wonder what language he speaks.
Do you hear, my friend; are not you a conjuror?


Staines. I am, sir, a perfect traveller, that have trampled over the face of the universe, and can speak Greek and Latin as promptly as my own natural language. I have composed a book, wherein I have set down all the wonders of the world that I have seen, and the whole scope of my journeys, together with the miseries and lousy fortunes I have endured therein.[211]

Bub. O Lord, sir, are you the man? give me your hand: how do ye? in good faith, I think I have heard of you.

Staines. No, sir, you never heard of me; I set this day footing upon the wharf; I came in with the last peal of ordnance, and dined this day in the Exchange amongst the merchants. But this is frivolous, and from the matter: you do seem to be one of our gentile spirits that do affect generosity: pleaseth you to be instituted in the nature, garb, and habit of the most exactest nation in the world, the Italian? whose language is sweetest, clothes neatest, and behaviour most accomplished. I am one that have spent much money, and time, which to me is more dear than money, in the observation of these things: and, now I am come, I will sit me down and rest; and make no doubt but to purchase and build, by professing this art or human science (as I may term it) to such honourable and worshipful personages as mean to be peculiar.

Bub. This fellow has his tongue at his fingers' ends. But, hark ye, sir; is your Italian the finest gentleman?

Staines. In the world, signior; your Spaniard is a mere bumbard to him: he will bounce, indeed, but he will burst. But your Italian is smooth [264] and lofty, and his language is cousin-german to the Latin.

Bub. Why, then he has his Tu quoque in his salute?

Staines. Yes, sir, for it is an Italian word as well as a Latin, and enfolds a double sense; for one way spoken, it includes a fine gentleman, like yourself; and another way it imports an ass, like whom you will.

Bub. I would my man Gervase were here, for he understands these things better than I. [Aside.] You will not serve?

Staines. Serve! no, sir; I have talked with the great Sophy.

Bub. I pray, sir, what's the lowest price of being Italianated?

Staines. Sir, if it please you, I will stand to your bounty: and, mark me, I will set your face like a grand signior's, and you shall march a whole day, until you come opunctly[212] to your mistress, and not disrank one hair of your physiognomy.

Bub. I would you would do it, sir; if you will stand to my bounty, I will pay you, as I am an Italian, Tu quoque.

Staines. Then, sir, I will first disburthen you of your cloak; you will be the nimbler to practise. Now, sir, observe me: go you directly to the lady to whom you devote yourself.

Bub. Yes, sir.

Staines. You shall set a good staid face upon the matter then. Your band is not to your shirt, is it?

Bub. No, sir, 'tis loose.

Staines. It is the fitter for my purpose. I will first remove your hat. It has been the fashion (as I have heard) in England to wear your hat thus, [265] in your eyes; but it is gross, naught, inconvenient, and proclaims with a loud voice that he that brought it up first stood in fear of serjeants. Your Italian is contrary: he doth advance his hat, and sets it thus.

Bub. Excellent well: I would you would set it on my head so.

Staines. Soft; I will first remove your band, and set it out of the reach of your eyes; it must lie altogether backward. So: your band is well.

Bub. Is it as you would have it?

Staines. It is as I would wish; only, sir, this I must caution you of, in your affront[213] or salute, never to move your hat; but here, here is your courtesy.

Bub. Nay, I warrant you; let me alone, if I perceive a thing once, I'll carry it away. Now, pray, sir, reach my cloak.

Staines. Never, whilst you live, sir.

Bub. No! what, do you Italians wear no cloaks!

Staines. Your signiors, never: you see I am unfurnished myself.

Enter Sir Lionel, Will Rash, Geraldine, Widow, Gertrude, and Joyce.

Bub. Say ye so? prythee, keep it, then. See! yonder's the company that I look for; therefore, if you will set my face of any fashion, pray do it quickly.

Staines. You carry your face as well as e'er an Italian in the world; only enrich it with a smile, and 'tis incomparable: and thus much more—at your first appearance, you shall perhaps strike your [266]acquaintance into an ecstasy, or perhaps a laughter; but 'tis ignorance in them, which will soon be overcome, if you persevere.

Bub. I will persevere, I warrant thee: only do thou stand aloof, and be not seen; because I would not have them think but I fetch it out of my own practice.

Staines. Do not you fear; I'll not be seen, I warrant you.

Sir Lionel. Now, widow, you are welcome to my house,
And to your own house too, so you may call it;
For what is mine is yours: you may command here
As at home, and be as soon obey'd.

Wid. May I deserve this kindness of you, sir?

Bub. Save you, gentlemen. I salute you after the Italian fashion.

W. Rash. How! the Italian fashion? Zounds! he has dressed him rarely.

Sir Lionel. My son Bubble, I take it?

W. Rash. The nether part of him I think is he;
But what the upper part is, I know not.
[Ger.] By my troth, he's a rare fellow.
Bub. He said true;
They are all in an ecstasy.
Gert. I think he's mad.

Joyce. Nay, that cannot be; for they say, they that are mad lose their wits, and I am sure he had none to lose.

Enter Scattergood.

Sir Lionel. How now, son Bubble? how come you thus attir'd?
What! do you mean to make yourself a laughing-stock, ha?
Bub. Um! Ignorance, ignorance.
[267] Gera. For the love of laughter, look yonder:
Another herring in the same pickle.

W. Rash. T'other hobby-horse, I perceive, is not forgotten.[214]

Bub. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Scat. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Bub. Who has made him such a coxcomb, trow? An Italian Tu quoque?

Scat. I salute you according to the Italian fashion.

Bub. Puh! the Italian fashion! The tattered-demalian fashion he means.


Scat. Save you, sweet bloods, save you.

Sir Lionel. Why, but what jig is this?

Scat. Nay, if I know, father, would I were hanged. I am e'en as innocent as the child new-born.

Sir Lionel. Ay, but son Bubble, where did you two buy your felts?

Scat. Felts! By this light, mine is a good beaver:
It cost me three pounds this morning upon trust.

Sir Lionel. Nay, I think you had it upon trust, for no man that has any shame in him would take money for it. Behold, sir.

Bub. Ha, ha, ha!

Sir Lionel. Nay, never do you laugh, for you're i' th' same block.

Bub. Is this the Italian fashion?

Scat. No, it is the fool's fashion:
And we two are the first that follow it.

Bub. Et tu quoque. Are we both cosened? Then let's show ourselves brothers in adversity, and embrace.

Sir Lionel. What was he that cheated you?

Bub. Marry, sir, he was a knave that cheated me.

Scat. And I think he was no honest man that cheated me.

Sir Lionel. Do you know him again if you see him?

Enter Staines [in his own costume.]

Bub. Yes, I know him again, if I see him; but
I do not know how I should come to see him. O Gervase, Gervase!
Do you see us two, Gervase?

Staines. Yes, sir, very well.

Bub. No, you do not see us very well, for we have been horribly abused. Never were Englishmen so gulled in Italian as we have been.


Staines. Why, sir, you have not lost your cloak and hat?

Bub. Gervase, you lie; I have lost my cloak and hat; and therefore you must use your credit for another.

Scat. I think my old cloak and hat must be glad to serve me till next quarter-day.

Sir Lionel. Come, take no care for cloaks: I'll furnish you.
To-night you lodge with me; to-morrow morn,
Before the sun be up, prepare for church;
The widow and I have so concluded on't.
The wenches understand not yet so much,
Nor shall not until bedtime: then will they
Not sleep a wink all night for very joy.

Scat. And I'll promise the next night they shall not sleep for joy neither.

Sir Lionel. O Master Geraldine, I saw you not before:
Your father now is come to town, I hear.

Gera. Yes, sir.

Sir Lionel. Were not my business earnest, I would see him:
But pray entreat him break an hour's sleep
To-morrow morn t'accompany me to church;
And come yourself, I pray, along with him.

Enter Spendall.

Gera. Sir, I thank you.

Sir Lionel. But look, here comes one,
That has but lately shook off his shackles.—
How now, sirrah! wherefore come you?
Spend. I come to crave a pardon, sir, of you;
And with hearty and zealous thanks
Unto this worthy lady, that hath given me
More than I e'er could hope for—liberty.
Wid. Be thankful unto heaven and your master:
[270] Nor let your heart grow bigger than your purse,
But live within a limit, lest you burst out
To riot and to misery again:
For then 'twould lose the benefit I mean it.
Sir Lionel. O, you do graciously; 'tis good advice:
Let it take root, sirrah, let it take root.
But come, widow, come and see your chamber:
Nay, your company too, for I must speak with you.

Spend. 'Tis bound unto you, sir.

Bub. And I have to talk with you too, Mistress Joyce. Pray, a word.

Joyce. What would you, sir?

Bub. Pray, let me see your hand. The line of your maidenhead is out. Now for your fingers. Upon which finger will you wear your wedding-ring?

Joyce. Upon no finger.

Bub. Then I perceive you mean to wear it on your thumb.
Well, the time is come, sweet Joyce; the time is come.

Joyce. What to do, sir?

Bub. For me to tickle thy Tu quoque; to do the act
Of our forefathers: therefore prepare, provide,
To-morrow morn to meet me as my bride.

Joyce. I'll meet thee like a ghost first.

Gert. How now, what matter have you fished out of that fool?

Joyce. Matter as poisoning as corruption,
That will without some antidote strike home,
Like blue infection, to the very heart.

W. Rash. As how, for God's sake?

Joyce. To-morrow is the appointed wedding-day.

Gert. The day of doom, it is?


Gera. 'Twould be a dismal day indeed to some of us.

Joyce. Sir, I do know you love me; and the time
Will not be dallied with: be what you seem,
Or not the same; I am your wife, your mistress,
Or your servant—indeed, what you will make me.
Let us no longer wrangle with our wits,
Or dally with our fortunes; lead me hence,
And carry me into a wilderness:
I'll fast with you, rather than feast with him.
Staines. What can be welcomer unto these arms?
Not my estate recover'd is more sweet,
Nor strikes more joy in me than does your love.
W. Rash. Will you both kiss then upon the bargain?
Here's two couple on you, God give you joy;
I wish well to you,
And I see 'tis all the good that I can do you:
And so to your shifts I leave you.

Joyce. Nay, brother, you will not leave us thus, I hope.

W. Rash. Why, what would you have me do? you mean to run away together: would you have me run with you, and so lose my inheritance? no, trudge, trudge with your backs to me, and your bellies to them. Away!

Gera. Nay, I prythee, be not thus unseasonable:
Without thee we are nothing.

W. Rash. By my troth, and I think so too. You love one another in the way of matrimony, do you not?

Gera. What else, man?

W. Rash. What else, man? Why, 'tis a question to be asked; for I can assure you, there is another kind of love. But come, follow me; I[272] must be your good angel still: 'tis in this brain how to prevent my father and his brace of beagles; you shall none of you be bid to-night: follow but my direction, if I bring you not, To have and to hold, for better for worse, let me be held an eunuch in wit, and one that was never father to a good jest.

Gert. We'll be instructed by you.

W. Rash. Well, if you be, it will be your own another day.
Come, follow me.
[Spendall meets them, and they look strangely upon him, and go off.
Spend. How ruthless men are to adversity!
My acquaintance scarce will know me; when we meet,
They cannot stay to talk, they must be gone,
And shake me by the hand as if I burnt them.
A man must trust unto himself, I see;
For if he once but halt in his estate,
Friendship will prove but broken crutches to him.
Well, I will lean to none of them, but stand
Free of myself: and if I had a spirit
Daring to act what I am prompted to,
I might thrust out into the world again,
Full-blossom'd, with a sweet and golden spring.
It was an argument of love in her
To fetch me out of prison; and this night
She clasp'd my hand in hers, as who should say,
Thou art my purchase, and I hold thee thus.
The worst is but repulse, if I attempt it.
I am resolv'd: my genius whispers to me,
Go on, and win her; thou art young and active,
Which she is apt to catch at; for there's nought
That's more unsteadfast than a woman's thought.


Enter Sir Lionel, Will Rash, Scattergood, Bubble, Widow, Gertrude, Joyce, Phillis, and Servant.

Sir Lionel. Here's ill-lodging, widow; but you must know,
If we had better, we'd afford it you.

Wid. The lodging, sir, might serve better guests.

Sir Lionel. Not better, widow, nor yet welcomer:
But we will leave you to it and the rest.
Phillis, pray let your mistress not want anything.
Once more, good night; I'll leave a kiss with you,
As earnest of a better gift to-morrow.
Sirrah, a light.

Wid. Good rest to all.

Bub. Et tu quoque, forsooth.

Scat. God give you good night, forsooth,
And send you an early resurrection.

Wid. Good night to both.

Sir Lionel. Come, come away, each bird unto his nest;
To-morrow night's a time of little rest.
[Exeunt. Manent Widow and Phillis.
Wid. Here, untie: soft, let it alone;
I have no disposition to sleep yet:
Give me a book, and leave me for a while,
Some half-hour hence look in to me.
Phil. I shall, forsooth.
[Exit Phillis.

Enter Spendall.

Wid. How now! what makes this bold intrusion?

Spend. Pardon me, lady, I have business to you.


Wid. Business! from whom? Is it of such importance,
That it craves present hearing?

Spend. It does.

Wid. Then speak it, and be brief.

Spend. Nay, gentle widow, be more pliant to me:
My suit is soft and courteous; full of love.

Wid. Of love?

Spend. Of love.

Wid. Why, sure, the man is mad! bethink thyself;
Thou hast forgot thy errand.
Spend. I have indeed, fair lady; for my errand
Should first have been deliver'd on your lips.
Wid. Why, thou impudent fellow, unthrift of shame,
As well as of thy purse. What has mov'd thee
To prosecute thy ruin? hath my bounty,
For which thy master was an orator,
Importun'd thee to pay me with abuse?
Sirrah, retire, or I will, to your shame,
With clamours raise the house, and make your master
For this attempt return you to the dungeon,
From whence you came.
Spend. Nay, then I must be desperate:
Widow, hold your clapdish,[215] fasten your tongue
Unto your roof, and do not dare to call;
But give me audience with fear and silence.
Come, kiss me—No?
This dagger has a point, do you see it?
And be unto my suit obedient,
Or you shall feel it too:
For I will rather totter, hang in clean linen,
Than live to scrub it out in lousy linings.
Go to, kiss: you will! why, so: again, the third time;
[275] Good; 'tis a sufficient charm: now hear me.
You are rich in money, lands, and lordships,
Manors and fair possessions, and I have not so much
As one poor copyhold to thrust my head in.
Why should you not then have compassion
Upon a reasonable handsome fellow,
That has both youth and liveliness upon him,
And can at midnight quicken and refresh
Pleasures decay'd in you? You want children;
And I am strong, lusty, and have a back
Like Hercules; able to get them
Without the help of muscadine and eggs,
And will you then, that have enough,
Take to your bed a bundle of diseases,
Wrapp'd up in threescore years, to lie a-hawking,
Spitting and coughing backwards and forwards,
That you shall not sleep; but, thrusting forth
Your face out of the bed, be glad to draw
The curtains, such a steam shall reek
Out of this dunghill? Now, what say you?
Shall we, without farther wrangling, clap it up,
And go to bed together?
Wid. Will you hear me?
Spend. Yes, with all my heart,
So the first word may be, untruss your points—
Zounds, one knocks; do not stir, I charge you,
[Knock within.
Nor speak, but what I bid you:
For, by these lips which now in love I kiss,
If you but struggle or but raise your voice,
My arm shall rise with it, and strike you dead.
Go to, come on with me, and ask who's there!

Wid. It is my maid.

Spend. No matter; do as I bid you: say, who's there?

Wid. Who's there?

Phil. (Within.) 'Tis I, forsooth.


Spend. If it be you, forsooth, then pray you stay,
Till I shall call upon you.
Wid. [Repeats.] If it be you, forsooth, then pray you stay,
Till I shall call upon you.
Spend. Very well: why, now I see
Thou'lt prove an obedient wife. Come, let's undress.

Wid. Will you put up your naked weapon, sir?

Spend. You shall pardon me, widow, I must have you grant first.

Wid. You will not put it up?

Spend. Not till I have some token of your love.

Wid. If this may be a testimony, take it.
[Kisses him.
By all my hopes, I love thee: thou art worthy
Of the best widow living: thou tak'st the course:
And those that will win widows must do thus.

Spend. Nay, I knew what I did when I came with my naked weapon in my hand; but come, unlace.

Wid. Nay, my dear love: know that I will not yield
My body unto lust, until the priest
Shall join us in Hymen's sacred nuptial rites.
Spend. Then set your hand to this: nay, 'tis a contract
Strong and sufficient, and will hold in law.
Here, here's pen and ink; you see I come provided.
Wid. Give me the pen.
Spend. Why, here's some comfort.
Yet write your name fair, I pray, and at large.
Why, now 'tis very well. Now, widow,
You may admit your maid,
For i' th' next room I'll go fetch a nap.
Wid. Thou shalt not leave me so: come, prythee, sit,
We'll talk awhile, for thou hast made my heart
Dance in my bosom, I receive such joy.


Spend. Thou art a good wench, i' faith; come, kiss upon't.

Wid. But will you be a loving husband to me?
Avoid all naughty company, and be true
To me and to my bed?
Spend. As true to thee as steel to adamant.
[Binds him to the post.
Wid. I'll bind you to your word: see that you be,
Or I'll conceal my bags. I have kinsfolk,
To whom I'll make't over, you shall not have a penny.
Spend. Pish, prythee, do not doubt me.
How now! what means this?
Wid. It means my vengeance; nay, sir, you are fast,
Nor do not dare to struggle: I have liberty
Both of my tongue and feet; I'll call my maid.

Enter Phillis.

Phillis, come in, and help to triumph
Over this bold intruder. Wonder not, wench,
But go unto him, and ransack all his pockets,
And take from thence a contract which he forc'd
From my unwilling fingers.

Spend. Is this according to your oath?

Phil. Come, sir, I must search you.

Spend. I prythee, do.
And when thou tak'st that from me, take my life too.

Wid. Hast thou it, girl?

Phil. I have a paper here.

Wid. It is the same: give it me. Look you, sir,
Thus your new-fancied hopes I tear asunder.
Poor wretched man! thou'st had a golden dream,
Which gilded over thy calamity;
But, being awake, thou find'st it ill-laid on,
[278] For with one finger I have wip'd it off.
Go, fetch me hither the casket that contains
My choicest jewels, and spread them here before him.
Look you, sir;
Here's gold, pearls, rubies, sapphires, diamonds;
These would be goodly things for you to pawn,
Or revel with amongst your courtesans,
Whilst I and mine did starve. Why dost not curse,
And utter all the mischiefs of thy heart,
Which I know swells within thee? pour it out,
And let me hear thy fury.
Spend. Never, never!
Whene'er my tongue shall speak but well of thee,
It proves no faithful servant to my heart.
Wid. False traitor to thy master and to me,
Thou liest, there's no such thing within thee.
Spend. May I be burn'd to ugliness, to that
Which you and all men hate, but I speak truth.
Wid. May I be turn'd a monster, and the shame
Of all my sex, and if I not believe thee.
Take me unto thee: these and all that's mine.
Were it thrice trebled, thou wert worthy all.
And do not blame this trial, 'cause it shows
I give myself unto thee, am not forc'd,
And with it love, that ne'er shall be divorc'd.
Spend. I am glad 'tis come to this; yet, by this light,
Thou putt'st me into a horrible fear.
But this is my excuse: know that my thoughts
Were not so desperate as my action seem'd;
For, 'fore my dagger should ha' drawn one drop
Of thy chaste blood, it should have sluic'd out mine,
And the cold point stuck deep into my heart.
[279] Nor better be my fate, if I shall move
To any other pleasure but thy love.
Wid. It shall be in my creed: but let's away.
For night with her black steeds draws up the day.

Enter Will Rash, Staines, Geraldine, Gertrude, Joyce, and a boy with a lanthorn.

W. Rash. Softly, boy, softly; you think you are upon firm ground; but it is dangerous. You'll never make a good thief, you rogue, till you learn to creep upon all four. If I do not sweat with going this pace! everything I see, methinks, should be my father in his white beard.

Staines. It is the property of that passion; for fear
Still shapes all things we see to that we fear.

W. Rash. Well said, logic: sister, I pray, lay hold of him; for the man, I see, is able to give the watch an answer if they should come upon him with interrogatories.

Enter Spendall, Widow, and Phillis.

Zounds, we are discovered! boy, come up close, and use the property of your lanthorn. What dumb show should this be?

Gera. They take their way directly, [and] intend nothing against us.

Staines. Can you not discern who they are?

Joyce. One is Spendall.

Gert. The other is the widow, as I take it.

Staines. 'Tis true, and that's her maid before her.

W. Rash. What a night of conspiracy is here! more villany? there's another goodly mutton going: my father is fleeced of all; grief will give[280] him a box, i' faith—but 'tis no great matter; I shall inherit the sooner. Nay, soft, sir; you shall not pass so current with the matter, I'll shake you a little. Who goes there?

Spend. Out with the candle [Aside.]: who's that asks the question?

W. Rash. One that has some reason for't.

Spend. It should be, by the voice, young Rash.
Why, we are honest folks.

W. Rash. Pray, where do you dwell? Not in town, I hope?

Spend. Why, we dwell—zounds! where do we dwell? I know not where.

W. Rash. And you'll be married, you know not when—zounds, it were a Christian deed to stop thee in thy journey: hast thou no more spirit in thee, but to let thy tongue betray thee? Suppose I had been a constable, you had been in a fine taking, had you not?

Spend. But, my still worthy friend,
Is there no worse face of ill bent towards me
Than that thou merrily putt'st on?

W. Rash. Yes, here's four or five faces more, but ne'er an ill one, though never an excellent good one. Boy, up with your lanthorn of light, and show him his associates, all running away with the flesh, as thou art. Go, yoke together, you may be oxen one day, and draw altogether in a plough; go, march together, the parson stays for you; pay him royally. Come, give me the lanthorns, for you have light sufficient, for night has put off his black cap, and salutes the morn. Now farewell, my little children of Cupid, that walk by two and two, as if you went a-feasting: let me hear no more words, but be gone.

Spend. and Staines. Farewell.

Gert. and Joyce. Farewell, brother.
[Exeunt. Manet Will Rash.


W. Rash. Ay, you may cry farewell; but if my father should know of my villany, how should I fare then? But all's one, I ha' done my sisters good, my friends good, and myself good; and a general good is always to be respected before a particular. There's eightscore pounds a year saved by the conveyance of this widow. I hear footsteps: now, darkness, take me into thy arms, and deliver me from discovery.

Enter Sir Lionel.

Sir Lionel. Lord, Lord, what a careless world is this! neither bride nor bridegroom ready; time to go to church, and not a man unroosted: this age has not seen a young gallant rise with a candle; we live drowned in feather-beds, and dream of no other felicity. This was not the life when I was a young man. What makes us so weak as we are now? A feather-bed. What so unapt for exercise? A feather-bed. What breeds such pains and aches in our bones? why, a feather-bed or a wench—or at least a wench in a feather-bed. Is it not a shame that an old man as I am should be up first, and in a wedding-day? I think, in my conscience, there's more mettle in lads of threescore than in boys of one-and-twenty.

Enter Baskethilt.

Why, Baskethilt!

Bas. Here, sir.

Sir Lionel. Shall I not be trussed to-day?

Bas. Yes, sir; but I went for water.

Sir Lionel. Is Will Rash up yet?

Bas. I think not, sir; for I heard nobody stirring in the house.

Sir Lionel. Knock, sirrah, at his chamber.
[Knock within.
[282] The house might be pluck'd down and builded again
Before he'd wake with the noise.
[Will Rash aloft.
W. Rash. Who's that keeps such a knocking; are you mad?
Sir Lionel. Rather thou art drunk, thou lazy slouch,
That mak'st thy bed thy grave, and in it buryest
All thy youth and vigour: up, for shame.

W. Rash. Why, 'tis not two a-clock yet.

Sir Lionel. Out, sluggish knave; 'tis nearer unto five:

The whole house has outslept themselves, as if they had drunk wild poppy. Sirrah, go you and raise the maids, and let them call upon their mistresses.

Bas. Well, sir, I shall.

Enter Scattergood and Bubble.

Scat. Did I eat any lettuce to supper last night, that I am so sleepy? I think it be daylight, brother Bubble.

Bub. What sayest thou, brother? heigh-ho!

Sir Lionel. Fie, fie! not ready yet? what sluggishness
Hath seiz'd upon you? why, thine eyes are close still.

Bub. As fast as a Kentish oyster. Surely I was begotten in a plum-tree, I ha' such a deal of gum about mine eyes.

Sir Lionel. Lord, how you stand! I am asham'd to see
The sun should be a witness of your sloth.

[Enter Baskethilt.]

Now, sir, your haste?


Bas. Marry, sir, there are guests coming to accompany you to church.

Sir Lionel. Why, this is excellent; men, whom it not concerns,
Are more respective than we, that are main actors.

Bub. Father Rash, be not so outrageous: we will go in and buckle ourselves all in good time. How now! what's this about my shins?

Enter Old Geraldine and Longfield.

Scat. Methought our shanks were not fellows: we have metamorphosed our stockings for want of splendour.

Bub. Pray, what's that splendour?

Scat. Why, 'tis the Latin word for a Christmas candle.

Sir Lionel. O gentlemen, you love, you honour me. Welcome, welcome, good Master Geraldine; you have taken pains to accompany an undeserving friend.

Enter Phillis.

Old Gera. You put us to a needless labour, sir,
To run and wind about for circumstance;[216]
When the plain word, "I thank you," would have serv'd.
Sir Lionel. How now, wench; are the females ready yet?
The time comes on upon us, and we run backward:
We are so untoward in our business,
[284] We think not what we have to do, nor what we do.

Phil. I know not, sir, whether they know what to do; but I am sure they have been at church well-nigh an hour. They were afraid you had got the start of them, which made them make such haste.

Sir Lionel. Is't possible? what think you, gentlemen,
Are not these wenches forward? is there not virtue in a man
Can make young virgins leave their beds so soon?
But is the widow gone along with them?

Phil. Yes, sir; why, she was the ringleader.

Sir Lionel. I thought as much, for she knows what belongs to't.
Come, gentlemen; methinks 'tis sport to see
Young wenches run to church before their husbands.

Enter Will Rash.

Faith, we shall make them blush for this ere night.
Ah, sirrah, are you come? why, that's well-said:
I marl'd indeed that all things were so quiet,
Which made me think th' had not unwrapp'd their sheets;

Enter Servant, with a cloak.

And then were they at church, I hold my life:
Maids think it long, till each be made a wife.
Hast thou my cloak, knave? well-said, put it on;
We'll after them: let me go, hasten both,
Both the bridegrooms forward; we'll walk a little
Softly on afore. But see, see, if they be not come
To fetch us now! We come, we come.
Bid them return, and save themselves this labour.


Enter Spendall, Staines, Geraldine, Widow, Gertrude, and Joyce.

W. Rash. Now have I a quartan ague upon me.

Sir Lionel. Why, how now! why come you from church to kneel thus publicly? what's the matter?

Gera. We kneel, sir, for your blessing.

Sir Lionel. How! my blessing? Master Geraldine, is not that your son?

Old Gera. Yes, sir; and that, I take it, is your daughter.

Sir Lionel. I suspect knavery. What are you?
Why do you kneel hand-in-hand with her?

Staines. For a fatherly blessing too, sir.

Sir Lionel. Heyday! 'tis palpable, I am gull'd, and my sons Scattergood and Bubble fooled. You are married.

Spend. Yes, sir, we are married.

Sir Lionel. More villany! everything goes the wrong way.

Spend. We shall go the right way anon, I hope.

Sir Lionel. Yes, marry shall you; you shall e'en to the
Compter again, and that's the right way for you.
Wid. O, you are wrong;
The prison that shall hold him are these arms.
Sir Lionel. I do fear that I shall turn stinkard,
I do smell such a matter. You are married then?

Enter Scattergood and Bubble.

Spend. Ecce signum! here's the wedding-ring t' affirm it.

Sir Lionel. I believe the knave has drunk ipocras,
He is so pleasant.

Scat. Good-morrow, gentlemen.


Bub. Tu quoque to all: what, shall we go to church?
Come, I long to be about this gear.

Sir Lionel. Do you hear me; will you two go sleep again I take out the t'other nap; for you are both made coxcombs, and so am I.

Scat. How! coxcombs?

Sir Lionel. Yes, coxcombs.

Scat. Father, that word coxcomb goes against my stomach.

Bub. And against mine; a man might ha' digested a woodcock better.

Sir Lionel. You two come now to go to church to be married;
And they two come from church, and are married.

Bub. How! married? I would see that man durst marry her.

Gera. Why, sir, what would you do?

Bub. Why, sir, I would forbid the banns.

Scat. And so would I.

Sir Lionel. Do you know that youth in satin? he's the pen that belongs to that inkhorn.

Bub. How! let me see; are not you my man Gervase?

Staines. Yes, sir.

Enter a Serjeant.

Bub. And have you married her?

Staines. Yes, sir.

Bub. And do you think you have us'd me well?

Staines. Yes, sir.

Bub. O intolerable rascal! I will presently be made a justice of peace, and have thee whipped. Go, fetch a constable.

Staines. Come, y' are a flourishing ass: serjeant, take him to thee, he has had a long time of his pageantry.


Sir Lionel. Sirrah, let him go; I'll be his bail for all debts which come against him.

Staines. Reverend sir, to whom I owe the duty of a son,
Which I shall ever pay in my obedience;
Know, that which made him gracious in your eyes,
And gilded over his imperfections,
Is wasted and consumed even like ice,
Which by the vehemence of heat dissolves,
And glides to many rivers: so his wealth,
That felt a prodigal hand, hot in expense,
Melted within his gripe, and from his coffers
Ran like a violent stream to other men's.
What was my own, I catch'd at.

Sir Lionel. Have you your mortgage in?

Staines. Yes, sir.

Sir Lionel. Stand up: the matter is well amended.
Master Geraldine, give you sufferance to this match?
Old Gera. Yes, marry do I, sir; for, since they love,
I'll not have the crime lie on my head,
To divide man and wife.

Sir Lionel. Why, you say well: my blessing fall upon you.

Wid. And upon us that love, Sir Lionel.

Sir Lionel. By my troth, since thou hast ta'en the young knave,
God give thee joy of him, and may he prove
A wiser man than his master.

Staines. Serjeant, why dost not carry him to prison?

Ser. Sir Lionel Rash will bail him.

Sir Lionel. I bail him, knave! wherefore should I bail him?
No, carry him away, I'll relieve no prodigals.


Bub. Good Sir Lionel, I beseech you, sir! gentlemen,
I pray, make a purse for me.

Ser. Come, sir, come, are you begging?

Bub. Why, that does you no harm. Gervase—master,
I should say—some compassion.
Staines. Serjeants, come back with him. Look, sir, here is
Your livery;
If you can put off all your former pride,
And put on this with that humility
That you first wore it, I will pay your debts,
Free you of all encumbrances,
And take you again into my service.

Bub. Tenterhook, let me go. I will take his worship's offer without wages, rather than come into your clutches again: a man in a blue coat may have some colour for his knavery; in the Compter he can have none.

Sir Lionel. But now, Master Scattergood, what say you to this?

Scat. Marry, I say, 'tis scarce honest dealing, for any man to coneycatch another man's wife: I protest we'll not put it up.

Staines. No! which we?

Scat. Why, Gertrude and I.

Staines. Gertrude! why, she'll put it up.

Scat. Will she?

Gera. Ay, that she will, and so must you.

Scat. Must I?

Gera. Yes, that you must.

Scat. Well, if I must, I must; but I protest I would not,
But that I must: so vale, vale: et tu quoque.
Sir Lionel. Why, that's well said:
Then I perceive we shall wind up all wrong.
Come, gentlemen, and all our other guests,
Let our well-temper'd bloods taste Bacchus' feasts;
[289] But let us know first how these sports delight,
And to these gentlemen each bid good night.[217]
W. Rash. Gentles, I hope, that well my labour ends;
All that I did was but to please my friends.
Gera. A kind enamoret I did strive to prove,
But now I leave that and pursue your love.
Gert. My part I have performed with the rest,
And, though I have not, yet I would do best.
Staines. That I have cheated through the play, 'tis true:
But yet I hope I have not cheated you.
Joyce. If with my clamours I have done you wrong,
Ever hereafter I will hold my tongue.
Spend. If through my riot I have offensive been,
Henceforth I'll play the civil citizen.
Wid. Faith, all that I say is, howe'er it hap,
Widows, like maids, sometimes may catch a clap.
Bub. To mirth and laughter henceforth I'll provoke ye,
If you but please to like of Green's Tu quoque.[218]




(1.) Albumazar. A Comedy presented before the Kings Maiestie at Cambridge, the ninth of March, 1614. By the Gentlemen of Trinitie Colledge. London, Printed by Nicholas Okes for Walter Burre, and are to be sold at his Shop, in Pauls Church-yard. 1615. 4o.

(2.) Albumazar. A Comedy presented before the Kings Maiesty at Cambridge. By the Gentlemen of Trinity Colledge. Newly revised and corrected by a speciall Hand. London, Printed by Nicholas Okes. 1634. 4o.

[There is a third 4o printed in 1668, with an epilogue by Dryden.]



[John] Tomkis,[219] [or Tomkins, son of Thomas Tomkins, a celebrated musician of the reign of James I.], the author of this play, was of Trinity College, Cambridge.

[294] In what part of the kingdom he was born, and what became of him after he quitted the University, are all circumstances alike unknown. That no memorials should remain of a person to whom the world is obliged for a performance of so much merit as "Albumazar" is allowed to possess, cannot but create surprise, and at the same time will demonstrate that genius is not always sufficient to excite the attention of contemporaries or the curiosity of posterity. Dryden [whose ignorance of our earlier literature is well known] not only seems to have been unaware to whom the world owed this piece, but also the time in which it was first represented. He has without any authority asserted that Ben Jonson—

"Chose this
As the best model of his masterpiece.
Subtle was got by our Albumazar,
That Alchymist by this Astrologer;
Here he was fashion'd, and, we may suppose,
He lik'd the fashion well who wore the cloaths."

But in this particular he was certainly mistaken. The "Alchemist" was printed in 1612, and "Albumazar" was not performed until the year 1614, as will appear from the following particulars:—

"King James," says a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for May 1756, p. 224, "made a progress to Cambridge" and other parts in the winter of the year 1614, as is particularly taken notice of by Rapin, vol. ii. p. 156, who observes that the play called 'Ignoramus' was then acted before his Majesty at Cambridge, and gave him infinite pleasure. I found in the library of Sir Edward Deering a minute in manuscript of what passed at Cambridge for the five days the king stayed there, which I shall here transcribe, for it accords perfectly with the account given by the historian, both of[295] the king's progress and the play entitled "Ignoramus," and at the same time will afford us the best light to the matter in hand:—

"On Tuesday the 7th of March 1614, was acted before the King, in Trinity College Hall—

"1. Æmilia: A Latin Comedy, made by Mr Cecill Johannis.

"On Wednesday night—

"2. Ignoramus the Lawyer[220]: Latine and part English. Composed by Mr Ruggle Clarensis.

"On Thursday—

"3. Albumazar the Astronomer, in English. By Mr Tomkis, Trinit.

"On Friday—

"4. Melanthe[221]: A Latin Pastoral. Made by Mr [S.] Brookes (mox doctor) Trinitatis.

"On the next Monday—

"5. The Piscatory, an English Comedy, was acted before the University, in King's College, which Master Fletcher[222] of that College had provided, if the King should have tarried another night."


Part of the above account is confirmed in a letter from John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carlton, at Turin, dated 16th March 1614, lately printed in "Miscellaneous State Papers, from 1501 to 1726," i. 395: "The King and Prince lay at Trinity College, where the plays were represented; and the hall so well ordered for room, that above 2000 persons were conveniently placed. The first night's entertainment was a comedy, and acted by St John's men, the chief part consisting of a counterfeit Sir Edward Ratcliffe, a foolish tutor of physic, which proved but a lean argument; and, though it were larded with pretty shows at the beginning and end, and with somewhat too broad speech for such a presence, yet it was still dry. The second night was a comedy of Clare Hall, with the help of two or three good actors from other houses, wherein David Drummond, in a hobby-horse, and Brakin the recorder of the town, under the name of Ignoramus,[223] a common lawyer, bare great parts. The thing was full of mirth and variety, with many excellent actors (among whom the Lord Compton's son, [224] though least, was not worst), but more than half marred with extreme length. The third night was an English comedy called Albumazar, of Trinity College's action and invention; but there was no great matter in it, more than one good clown's part. The last night was a Latin Pastoral, of the same house, excellently written, and as well acted,[297] which gave great contentment, as well to the King as to the rest."

After the Restoration, "Albumazar" was revived, and Mr Dryden wrote a prologue to it, which is printed in every edition of his works.

Although it does not appear to have been upon the list of acting plays, yet the reputation which it had obtained induced Mr Ralph to build upon it a comedy which, after ten years' application, was performed at Drury Lane in 1744, under the title of "The Astrologer." It was acted, however, only one night, when the receipts of the house amounted but to twenty-one pounds. On the second night, the manager was obliged to shut up his doors for want of an audience. (See advertisement prefixed to the play.)

It cannot be denied that "Albumazar" has not been a favourite play with the people in general. About the year 1748, soon after Mr Garrick became manager of Drury Lane Theatre, he caused it to be revived, and gave it every advantage which could be derived from the assistance of the best performers; but though admirably acted, it does not appear to have met with much success. It was again revived at the same theatre in 1773, with some alterations, and was again coldly received, though supported by the best comic performers of the times. The piece, on this revival, received some alterations from the pen of Mr Garrick, and was published in 8o, 1773.



Albumazar,[225] an astrologer.
Harpax, } thieves.
Pandolfo, an old gentleman.
Cricca, his servant.
Trincalo, Pandolfo's farmer.
Armellina, Antonio's Maid.
Lelio, Antonio's son.
Eugenio, Pandolfo's son.
Flavia, Antonio's daughter.
Sulpitia, Pandolfo's daughter.
Bevilona, a courtesan.
Antonio, an old gentleman.



The brightness of so great and fair a presence,
They say, strikes cold amazement. But I feel
Contrary effects. For from the gracious centre
O' the honourable assembly some secret power
Inflames my courage; and methinks I am grown
Taller by th' virtue of this audience.
And yet, thus rais'd, I fear there's no retiring.
Ladies, whose beauties glad the whole assembly,
Upon your favours I impose my business.
If't be a fault to speak this foreign language,
(For Latin is our mother tongue)[226] I must entreat you
To frame excuses for us; for whose sake
We now speak English. All the rest we hope
Come purposely to grace our poor endeavours,
As we to please. In whose fair courtesy
We trust, not in our weak ability.




Enter Albumazar, Harpax, Ronca.

Alb. Come, brave mercurials, sublim'd in cheating;
My dear companions, fellow-soldiers
I' th' watchful exercise of thievery:
Shame not at your so large profession,
No more than I at deep astrology;
For in the days of old, Good morrow, thief,
As welcome was received, as now your worship.
The Spartans held it lawful,[228] and the Arabians;[229]
So grew Arabia felix, Sparta valiant.


Ron. Read on this lecture, wise Albumazar.

Alb. Your patron, Mercury, in his mysterious character
Holds all the marks of the other wanderers,[230]
And with his subtle influence works in all,
Filling their stories full of robberies.
Most trades and callings must participate
Of yours, though smoothly gilt with th' honest title
Of merchant, lawyer, or such like—the learned
Only excepted, and he's therefore poor.
Har. And yet he steals, one author from another.
This poet is that poet's plagiary.
And he a third's, till they end all in Homer.
[303] Alb. And Homer filch'd all from an Egyptian priestess,[231]
The world's a theatre of theft. Great rivers[232]
Rob smaller brooks, and them the ocean;
And in this world of ours, this microcosm,
Guts from the stomach steal, and what they spare,
The meseraics filch, and lay't i' the liver:
Where, lest it should be found, turn'd to red nectar,
'Tis by a thousand thievish veins convey'd,
And hid in flesh, nerves, bones, muscles, and sinews:
In tendons, skin, and hair; so that, the property
Thus alter'd, the theft can never be discover'd.
Now all these pilf'ries, couch'd and compos'd in order,
Frame thee and me. Man's a quick mass of thievery.

Ron. Most philosophical Albumazar!

Har. I thought these parts had lent and borrowed mutual.


Alb. Say, they do so: 'tis done with full intention
Ne'er to restore, and that's flat robbery.
Therefore go on: follow your virtuous laws,
Your cardinal virtue, great necessity;
Wait on her close with all occasions;
Be watchful, have as many eyes as heaven,
And ears as harvest: be resolv'd and impudent:
Believe none, trust none; for in this city
(As in a fought field, crows and carcases)
No dwellers are but cheaters and cheatees.
Ron. If all the houses in the town were prisons,
The chambers cages, all the settles[233] stocks,
The broad-gates, gallowses, and the whole people
Justices, juries, constables, keepers, and hangmen,
I'd practise, spite of all; and leave behind me
A fruitful seminary of our profession,
And call them by the name of Albumazarians.
Har. And I no less, were all the city thieves
As cunning as thyself.
Alb. Why, bravely spoken:
Fitting such generous spirits! I'll make way
To your great virtue with a deep resemblance
Of high astrology. Harpax and Ronca,
List to our project:[234] I have new-lodg'd a prey
Hard by, that (taken) is, so fat and rich,
'Twill make us leave off trading, and fall to purchase.

Har. Who is't? speak quickly.

Ron. Where, good Albumazar?


Alb. 'Tis a rich gentleman, as old as foolish;
The poor remnant of whose brain, that age had left him,
The doting love of a young girl hath dried:
And, which concerns us most, he gives firm credit
To necromancy and astrology.

Enter Furbo.

Sending to me, as one, that promise both.
Pandolfo is the man.
Har. What, old Pandolfo?
Alb. The same: but stay, yon's Furbo, whose smooth[235] brow
Shines with good news, and's visage promises
Triumphs and trophies to's.
[Furbo plays.
Ron. On my life
He has learnt out all; I know it by his music.[236]

Then Furbo sings this song.

Bear up thy learned brow, Albumazar;
Live long, of all the world admir'd,
For art profound and skill retir'd,
To cheating by the height of star:[237]
Hence, gipsies, hence; hence, rogues of baser strain,
That hazard life for little gain:
Stand off and, wonder, gape and gaze afar
At the rare skill of great Albumazar.
Fur. Albumazar,
[306] Spread out thy nets at large, here's fowl abundance:
Pandolfo's ours; I understand his business,
Which I filch'd closely[238] from him, while he reveal'd
T' his man his purposes and projects.
Alb. Excellent!
Fur. Thanks to this instrument: for, in pretence
Of teaching young Sulpitia, th' old man's daughter,
I got access to th' house, and while I waited
Till she was ready, overheard Pandolfo
Open his secrets to his servant. Thus 'tis:
Antonio, Pandolfo's friend and neighbour,
Before he went to Barbary, agreed
To give in marriage——
Alb. Furbo, this is no place
Fit to consider curious points of business:
Come, let's away, I'll hear't at large above.
Ronca, stay you below, and entertain him
With a loud noise, of my deep skill in art;
Thou know'st my rosy[239] modesty cannot do it.
Harpax, up you, and from my bedchamber,
Where all things for our purposes are ready,
Second each beck and nod, and word of ours.
You know my meaning?
[307] Har. Yes, yes.
Fur. Yes, sir.
[Furbo goes out singing, Fa la la, Pandolfo's ours.


Ronca, Pandolfo, Cricca.

Ron. There's old Pandolfo, amorous as youthful May,
And grey as January: I'll attend him here.
Pan. Cricca, I seek thy aid, not thy cross counsel;
I am mad in love with Flavia, and must have her:
Thou spend'st thy reasons to the contrary,
Like arrows 'gainst an anvil: I love Flavia,
And must have Flavia.
Cri. Sir, you have no reason;
She's a young girl of sixteen, you of sixty.
Pan. I have no reason, nor spare room for any.
Love's harbinger hath chalk'd upon my heart,
And with a coal writ on my brain, for Flavia;[240]
This house is wholly taken up for Flavia.
[308] Let reason get a lodging with her wit:
Vex me no more, I must have Flavia.
Cri. But, sir, her brother Lelio, under whose charge
She's now after her father's death, sware boldly,
Pandolfo never shall have Flavia.
Pan. His father, ere he went to Barbary,
Promis'd her me: who, be he live or dead,
Spite of a list[241] of Lelios, Pandolfo
Shall enjoy Flavia.

Cri. Sir, y' are too old.

Pan. I must confess, in years about threescore,
But in tough strength of body four-and-twenty,
Or few[242] months less. Love of Young Flavia,
More powerful than Medea's drugs, renews
All decay'd parts of man: my arteries,
Blown full with youthful spirits, move the blood
To a new business: my wither'd nerves grow plump
And strong, longing for action. Hence, thou poor prop
Of feebleness and age! walk with such sires,
[Throws away his staff.]
As with cold palsies shake away their strength,
And lose their legs with cureless gouts. Pandolfo
New-moulded is for revels, masques and music. Cricca,
String my neglected lute, and from my armoury
Scour my best sword, companion of my youth,
Without which I seem naked.
Cri. Your love, sir, like strong water
To a deplor'd sick man, quicks your feeble limbs
For a poor moment; but, after one night's lodging,
[309] You'll fall so dull and cold, that Flavia
Will shriek, and leap from bed as from a sepulchre.
Shall I speak plainer, sir? she'll cuckold you—
Alas! she'll cuckold you.
Pan. What, me! a man of known discretion;
Of riches, years, and this grey gravity?
I'll satisfy'r with gold, rich clothes, and jewels.
Cri. Were't not far fitter urge your son Eugenio
To woo her for himself?
Pan. Cricca, begone!
Touch no more there: I will and must have Flavia.
Tell Lelio, if he grant m' his sister Flavia,
I'll give my daughter to him in exchange.
Begone, and find me here within this half-hour.


Ronca, Pandolfo.

Ron. 'Tis well that servant's gone: I shall the easier
Wind up his master to my purposes.
Pan. Sure, this some novice of th' artillery,
That winks and shoots: sir, prime your piece anew,
The powder's wet.
[Knocks at the door.
Ron. A good ascendant:[243] bless me, sir, are you frantic?
Pan. Why frantic? are not two knocks the lawful courses
To open doors and ears?


Ron. Of vulgar men and houses.

Pan. Whose lodging's this? is't not the astrologer's?

Ron. His lodging! no: 'tis the learn'd frontisterion[244]
Of most divine Albumazar.
Pan. Good sir,
If the door break, a better shall redeem it.
Ron. How! all your land, sold at a hundred years' purchase,
Cannot repair the damage of one poor rap:
To thunder at the frontisterion
Of great Albumazar!
Pan. Why, man, what harm?
Ron. Sir, you must know my master's heavenly brain,
Pregnant with mysteries of metaphysics,
Grows to an embryo of rare contemplation
Which, at full time brought forth, excels by far
The armed fruit of Vulcan's midwif'ry,
That leap'd from Jupiter's mighty cranium.
Pan. What of all this?
Ron. Thus: one of your bold thunders may abortive,
And cause that birth miscarry, that might have prov'd
An instrument of wonders, greater and rarer
Than Apollonius the magician wrought.[245]


Pan. Are you your master's countryman?

Ron. Yes; why ask you?

Pan. Then must I get an interpreter for your language.

Ron. You need not;
With a wind-instrument my master made,
In five days you may breathe ten languages,
As perfect as the devil or himself.
Pan. When may I speak with him?
Ron. When't please the stars.
He pulls you not a hair, nor pares a nail,
Nor stirs a foot, without due figuring
The horoscope. Sit down awhile, and't please you,
I see the heavens incline to his approach.
Pan. What's this, I pray you?
Ron. An engine to catch stars,
A mace to arrest such planets as have lurk'd
Four thousand years under protection
Of Jupiter and Sol.
Pan. Pray you, speak English.
Ron. Sir, 'tis a perspicil,[246] the best under heaven:
With this I'll read a leaf of that small Iliad
That in a walnut-shell was desk'd, as plainly
Twelve long miles off, as you see Paul's from High-gate.
[312] Pan. Wonderful workman of so rare an instrument!
Ron. 'Twill draw the moon so near, that you would swear
The bush of thorns in't pricks your eyes: the crystal
Of a large arch multiplies millions,
Works more than by point-blank, and by refractions
Optic and strange searcheth, like the eye of truth,
All closets that have windows. Have at Rome!
I see the pope, his cardinals and his mule,
The English college and the Jesuits,
And what they write and do.
Pan. Let me see, too.
Ron. So far you cannot: for this glass is fram'd
For eyes of thirty; you are nigh threescore.
But for some fifty miles 'twill serve you,
With help of a refractive glass that's yonder.
For trial, sir; where are you now?

Pan. In London.

Ron. Ha' you found the glass within that chamber?

Pan. Yes.

Ron. What see you?

Pan. Wonders! wonders! I see, as in a landscape,
An honourable throng of noble persons,
As clear as I were under the same roof:
Seems by their gracious brows and courteous looks
Something they see, which if it be indifferent,
They'll fav'rably accept: if otherwise,
They'll pardon: who or what they be, I know not.
Ron. Why, that's the court at Cambridge, forty miles hence.
What else?
[313] Pan. A hall thrust full of bare heads, some bald, some bush'd,
Some bravely branch'd.[247]
Ron. That's the university,
Larded with townsmen. Look you there, what now?
Pan. Who? I see Dover Pier, a man now landing.
Attended by two porters, that seem to groan
Under the burden of two loads of paper.
Ron. That's Coriatus Persicus[248] and's observations
Of Asia and Afric.

Pan. The price?

Ron. I dare not sell't;
But here's another of a stranger virtue.
The great Albumazar, by wondrous art,
In imitation of this perspicil,
Hath fram'd an instrument that magnifies
Objects of hearing, as this doth of seeing;
That you may know each whisper from Prester John
Against the wind, as fresh as 'twere delivered
Through a trunk or Gloucester's list'ning wall.[249]
Pan. And may I see it, sir? Bless me once more.
Ron. 'Tis something ceremonious; but you shall try't.
Stand thus. What hear you?


Pan. Nothing.

Ron. Set your hands thus,
That the vertex of the organ may perpendicularly
Point at our zenith. What hear you now?
[Laughing within.
Pan. A humming noise of laughter.
Ron. Why, that's the court
And university, that now are merry
With an old gentlemen in a comedy. What now?
Pan. Celestial music; but it seems far off.
List, list! 'tis nearer now.

Ron. Tis music 'twixt the acts. What now?

Pan. Nothing.

Ron. And now?

Pan. Music again, and strangely delicate,
O, most angelical!
Ron. And now?
[They sing[250] within.]
Sing sweetly, that our notes may cause
The heavenly orbs themselves to pause:
And at our music stand as still
As at Jove's amorous will.[251]
So now release them as before,
Th' have waited long enough; no more.

Pan. 'Tis gone, give me't again. O, do not so.

Ron. What hear you now?

Pan. No more than a dead oyster.
O, let me see this wond'rous instrument.

Ron. Sir, this is called an autocousticon.[252]


Pan. Autocousticon![253]
Why, 'tis a pair of ass's ears, and large ones.
Ron. True; for in such a form the great Albumazar
Hath fram'd it purposely, as fitt'st receivers
Of sounds, as spectacles like eyes for sight.
Pan. What gold will buy't?
Ron. I'll sell't you when 'tis finish'd.
As yet the epiglottis[254] is unperfect.
Pan. Soon as you can; and here's ten crowns in earnest.
For when 'tis done, and I have purchas'd it,
I mean t' entail it on my heirs-male for ever,
Spite of the ruptures of the common law.
Ron. Nay, rather giv't to Flavia for her jointure:
For she that marries you deserves it richly.


Cricca, Pandolfo, Ronca.

Cri. Sir, I have spoke with Lelio, and he answers——
Pan. Hang Lelio and his answers. Come hither, Cricca,
Wonder for me, admire, and be astonish'd;
[316] Marvel thyself to marble at these engines,
These strange Gorgonian instruments.
Cri. At what?
Pan. At this rare perspicil and autocousticon:
For with these two I'll hear and see all secrets;
Undo intelligencers. Pray, let my man see
What's done in Rome; his eyes are just as yours are.
Ron. Pandolfo, are you mad? be wise and secret;
See you the steep danger you are tumbling in?
Know you not that these instruments have power
To unlock the hidden'st closets of whole states?
And you reveal such mysteries to a servant?
Sir, be advis'd, or else you learn no more
Of our unknown philosophy.
Pan. Enough.
What news from Lelio? Shall I have his sister?
Cri. He swears and vows he never will consent.
She shall not play with worn antiquities,
Nor lie with snow and statues; and such replies
That I omit for reverence of your worship.
Pan. Not have his sister! Cricca, I will have Flavia,
Maugre his head:[255] by means of this astrologer,
I'll enjoy Flavia. Are the stars yet inclin'd
To his divine approach?

Ron. One minute brings him.

Cri. What 'strologer?

Pan. The learned man I told thee,
The high Almanac of Germany; an Indian
Far beyond Trebisond and Tripoli,
Close by the world's end: a rare conjuror
And great astrologer. His name, pray, sir?

Ron. Albumazarro Meteoroscopico.


Cri. A name of force to hang him without trial.

Pan. As he excels in science, so in title.
He tells of lost plate, horses, and stray'd cattle
Directly, as he had stol'n them all himself.

Cri. Or he or some of his confederates.

Pan. As thou respect'st thy life, look to thy tongue;
Albumazar has an autocousticon.
Be silent, reverent, and admire his skill.
See what a promising countenance appears!
Stand still and wonder—wonder and stand still


Albumazar, Ronca, Pandolfo, Cricca.

Alb. Ronca, the bunch of planets new found out,
Hanging at the end of my best perspicil,
Send them to Galileo at Padua:[256]
[318] Let him bestow them where he please. But the stars,
Lately discover'd 'twixt the horns of Aries,
Are as a present for Pandolfo's marriage,
And hence styl'd Sidera Pandolfaea.
Pan. My marriage, Cricca! he foresees my marriage:
O most celestial Albumazar!

Cri. And sends y' a present from the head of Aries.[257]

Alb. My almanac, made for the meridian
And height of Japan, give't th' East India Company;
There may they smell the price of cloves and pepper,
Monkeys and china dishes, five years ensuing.
And know the success of the voyage of Magores;[258]
For, in the volume of the firmament,
We children of the stars read things to come,
As clearly as poor mortals stories pass'd
In Speed or Holinshed. The perpetual motion[259]
With a true 'larum in't, to run twelve hours
'Fore Mahomet's return,[260] deliver it safe
[319] To a Turkey factor: bid him with care present it
From me to the house of Ottoman.
Ron. I will, sir.
Cri. Pray you, stand here, and wonder now for me;
Be astonish'd at his jargon,[261] for I cannot.
I'll pawn[262] my life he proves a mere impostor.
Pan. Peace, not a word, be silent and admire.
Alb. As for the issue of the next summer's wars.
Reveal't to none, keep it to thyself in secret,
As touchstone of my skill in prophecy. Begone.
Ron. I go, sir.
Alb. Signior Pandolfo, I pray you, pardon me,
Exotical despatches of great consequence
Stay'd me; and casting the nativity
O' th' Cham of Tartary, and a private conference
With a mercurial intelligence.
Y' are welcome in a good hour, better minute,
Best second, happiest third, fourth, fifth, and scruple.
Let the twelve houses of the horoscope
Be lodg'd with fortitudes and fortunates,[263]
To make you bless'd in your designs, Pandolfo.
Pan. Were't not much trouble to your starry employments,
I, a poor mortal, would entreat your furtherance
In a terrestrial business.


Alb. My ephemeris[264] lies,
Or I foresee your errand. Thus, 'tis thus.
You had a neighbour call'd Antonio,
A widower like yourself, whose only daughter,
Flavia, you love, and he as much admir'd
Your child Sulpitia. Is not this right?
Pan. Yes, sir: O strange! Cricca, admire in silence.
Alb. You two decreed a countermatch betwixt you,
And purposed to truck daughters. Is't not so?

Pan. Just as you say't. Cricca, admire and wonder.

Cri. This is no such secret: look to yourself; he'll cheat you.
Alb. Antonio, after this match concluded,
Having great sums of gold in Barbary,
Desires of you, before he consummate
The rites of matrimony, he might go thither
For three months; but as now 'tis three and three,
Since he embark'd, and is not yet return'd;
Now, sir, your business is to me to know
Whether Antonio be dead or living.
I'll tell you instantly.
Pan. Hast thou reveal'd it?
I told it none but thee.

Cri. Not I.

Pan. Why stare you?
Are you not well?
Alb. I wander 'twixt the poles
And heavenly hinges, 'mongst excentricals,
Centres, concentrics, circles, and epicycles,
To hunt out an aspect fit for your business.


Cri. Mean ostentation! For shame, awake yourself.
Alb. And, since the lamp of heaven is newly enter'd
To Cancer, old Antonio is stark dead,
Drown'd in the sea, stone dead; for radius directorius
In the sixth house, and the waning moon by Capricorn;
He's dead, he's dead.
Cri. 'Tis an ill time to marry.
The moon grows fork'd, and walks with Capricorn.
Pan. Peace, fool! these words are full of mysteries.
Alb. What ominous face and dismal countenance,
Mark'd for disasters, hated of all the heavens,
Is this that follows you?
Pan. He is my servant;
A plain and honest speaker, but no harm in him.
Cri. What see you in my face?
Alb. Horror and darkness, death and gallowses:
I'd swear thou'rt hang'd, stood'st thou but two foot higher;
But now thy stars threaten a nearer death.
Sir, send to toll his knell.
Pan. What, is he dead?
Alb. He shall be by the dint of many stabs;
Only I spy a little hope of 'scaping
Thorough the clouds and foul aspects of death.
Cri. Sir, pray give no credit to this cheater;
Or with his words of art he'll make you doat
As much on his feign'd skill, as on fair Flavia.



Enter Harpax and Furbo.

Har. Stay, villain, stay! though safety 'tself defend thee,
Thou diest.

Fur. Come, do thy worst; thrust sure, or die.

Cri. For heaven's sake, gentlemen, stay your hands: help, help!
Help, Albumazar!
Har. Thus to the hinderer
Of my revenge.

Cri. Save me, Albumazar.

Fur. And thus, and thus, and thus.

Cri. Master, I die, I die.

Har. Fliest thou,
Base coward? Tis not thy heels can save thee.


Albumazar, Pandolfo, Cricca.

Cri. O, O!

Pan. What ails thee, Cricca?

Cri. I am dead, I am dead.
Trouble yourself no more.

Pan. What! dead, and speak'st?

Cri. Only there's left a little breath to tell you.

Pan. Why, where art hurt?

Cri. Stabb'd with a thousand daggers;
My heart, my lights, my liver, aud my skin,
Pierc'd like a sieve.
Pan. Here's not a wound: stand up,
'Tis but thy fear.
Cri. 'Tis but one wound all over:
[323] Softly, O, softly! You have lost the truest servant.—
Farewell, I die.
Alb. Live by my courtesy; stand up and breathe.
The dangerous and malignant influence is pass'd:
But thank my charity, that put by the blows,
The least of which threaten'd a dozen graves.
Now learn to scoff [no more] divine astrology,
And slight her servants!

Cri. A surgeon, good sir, a surgeon.

Alb. Stand up, man, th' hast no harm; my life for thine.

Pan. Th' art well, th' art well.

Cri. Now I perceive I am:
I pray you pardon me, divine astrologer.
Alb. I do: but henceforth laugh [not] at astrology,
And call her servants cheaters.

Pan. Now to our business. On, good Albumazar.

Alb. Now, since the moon passeth from Capricorn,
Through Aquarius, to the wat'ry sign of Pisces,
Antonio's drown'd, and is devour'd by fishes.

Pan. Is't certain?

Alb. Certain.

Pan. Then let my earnestness
Entreat your skill a favour.
Alb. It shall; but first
I'll tell you what you mean to ask me.
Pan. Strange!
Alb. Antonio dead, that promis'd you his daughter:
Your business is to entreat me raise his ghost,
And force it stay at home, till it have perform'd
The promise pass'd, and so return to rest.


Pan. That, that; ye have hit it, most divine Albumazar.

Alb. 'Tis a hard thing; for de privatione ad habitum non datur regressus.
O, what a business, what a masterpiece
'Tis to raise up his ghost whose body's eaten
By fish! This work desires a planetary intelligence
Of Jupiter and Sol; and these great spirits
Are proud, fantastical. It asks much charges,
To entice them from the guiding of their spheres
To wait on mortals.
Pan. So I may have my purpose, spare for no cost.
Alb. Sir, spare your purse; I'll do it an easier way;
The work shall cost you nothing.
We have an art is call'd præstigiatory,[265]
That deals with spirits and intelligences
Of meaner office and condition,
Whose service craves small charges: with one of these
I'll change some servant[266] or good friend of yours
To the perfect shape of this Antonio:
So like in face, behaviour, speech, and action,
That all the town shall swear Antonio lives.
Pan. Most necromantical astrologer!
Do this, and take me for your servant ever.
And, for your pains, after the transformation,
This chain is yours:[267] it cost two hundred pound,
Beside the jewel.


Alb. After the work is finish'd, then—how now?
What lines are these, that look sanguineous,
As if the stars conjur'd to do you mischief?
Pan. How! mean you me?
Alb. They're dusky marks of Saturn:
It seems some stone shall fall upon your head,
Threat'ning a fracture of the pericranium.
Pan. Cricca, come hither; fetch me my staff again;
Threescore and ten's return'd: a general palsy
Shakes out the love of Flavia with a fear.
Is there no remedy?
Alb. Nothing but patience.
The planet threatens so, whose prey you are.
The stars and planets daily war together;
For, should they stand at truce but one half-hour,
This wond'rous machine of the world would ruin:
Who can withstand their powerful influence?
Pan. You with your wisdom, good Albumazar.
Alb. Indeed, th' Egyptian, Ptolemy the Wise,
Pronounc'd it as an oracle of truth,
Sapiens dominabitur astris.
Who's above there? Ronca, bring down the cap,
Made in the point of Mercury being ascendant.
Here, put it on; and in your hand this image,
Fram'd on a Tuesday, when the fierce god of war
Mounted th' horizon in the sign of Aries.
With these walk as unwounded as Achilles,
Dipp'd by his mother Thetis.

Pan. You bind me to your service.


Alb. Next get the man you purpose to transform,
And meet me here.
Pan. I will not fail to find you.
Alb. Meanwhile, with sciotherical[268] instrument,
By way of azimuth[269] and almicantarath,[270]
I'll seek some happy point in heaven for you.
Pan. I rest your servant, sir.
Alb. Let all the stars
Guide you with most propitious influence.


Pandolfo, Cricca.

Pan. Here's a strange man indeed, of skill profound!
How right he knew my business, 'fore he saw me!
And how thou scoff'st him, when we talk'd in private!
'Tis a brave instrument, his autocousticon.
Cri. In earnest, sir, I took him for a cheater;
As many, under name of cunning men,
With promise of astrology much abuse
The gaping vulgar, wronging that sacred skill,
That in the stars reads all our actions.

Pan. Are there no arches o'er our heads? Look, Cricca.


Cri. None but the arch of heaven, that cannot fall.

Pan. Is not that made of marble? I have read
A stone dropp'd from the moon;[271] and much I fear
The fit should take her now, and void another.
Cri. Fear nothing, sir; this charm'd mercurial cap
Shields from the fall of mountains: 'tis not a stone
Can check his art: walk boldly.

Pan. I do. Let's in.


Trincalo, Armellina.

Trin. He that saith I am not in love, he lies de cap-a-pie; for I am idle, choicely neat in my clothes, valiant, and extreme witty. My meditations are loaded with metaphors, songs, and sonnets; not a cur shakes his tail but I sigh out a passion:[272] thus do I to my mistress; but, alas! I kiss the dog, and she kicks me. I never see a young wanton filly, but say I, there goes Armellina; nor a lusty strong ass, but I remember myself, and sit down to consider what a goodly race of mules would inherit, if she were willing: only I want utterance—and that's a main mark of love too.

Arm. Trincalo, Trincalo!

Trin. O, 'tis Armellina! Now, if she have the wit to begin, as I mean she should, then will I confound her with compliments drawn from the [328]plays I see at the Fortune and Red Bull,[273] where I learn all the words I speak and understand not.

Arm. Trincalo, what price bears wheat and saffron, that your band's so stiff and yellow?[274][329]not a word? Why, Trincalo, what business in town? how do all at Totnam? grown mute? What do you bring from the country?

Trin. There 'tis. Now are my floodgates drawn, and I'll surround her. [Aside.] What have I brought? sweet bit of beauty, a hundred thousand salutations o' th' elder-house to your most illustrious honour and worship.

Arm. To me these titles! Is your basket full of nothing else?

Trin. Full of the fruits of love, most resplendent lady: a present to your worthiness from your worship's poor vassal Trincalo.

Arm. My life on't, he scrap'd these compliments from his cart the last load he carried for the progress.[275] What ha' you read, that makes you grow so eloquent?


Trin. Sweet madam, I read nothing but the lines of your ladyship's countenance; and desire only to kiss the skirts of your garment, if you vouchsafe me not the happiness of your white hands.

Arm. Come, give's your basket, and take it.

Trin. O, sweet! now will I never wash my mouth after, nor breathe but at my nostrils, lest I lose the taste of her finger. Armellina, I must tell you a secret, if you'll make much on't.

Arm. As it deserves. What is't?

Trin. I love you, dear morsel of modesty, I love; and so truly, that I'll make you mistress of my thoughts, lady of my revenues, and commit all my movables into your hands; that is, I'll give you an earnest kiss in the highway of matrimony.

Arm. Is this the end of all this business?

Trin. This is the end of all business, most beautiful, and most-worthy-to-be-most beautiful, lady.


Arm. Hence, fool, hence!

Trin. Why, now she knows my meaning, let it work. She put up the fruit in her lap, and threw away the basket: 'tis a plain sign she abhors the words, and embraces the meaning.

O lips, no lips,[276] but leaves besmear'd' with mildew!
O dew, no dew, but drops of honey-combs!
O combs, no combs, but fountains full of tears!
O tears, no tears, but——


Pandolfo, Trincalo.

Pan. Cricca denies me: no persuasions,
Proffers, rewards, can work him to transform.
Yonder's my country farmer Trincalo.
Never in fitter time, good Trincalo.

Trin. Like a lean horse t' a fresh and lusty pasture.

Pan. What rent dost pay me for thy farm at Totnam?

Trin. Ten pound, and find it too dear a pennyworth.

Pan. My hand here. Take it rent-free for three lives,
To serve me in a business I'll employ thee.
Trin. Serve you! I'll serve, reserve, conserve, preserve,
Deserve, you for th' one half. O Armellina;
A jointure, ha, a jointure! [Aside.] What's your employment?
[332] Pan. Here's an astrologer has a wondrous secret,
To transform men to other shapes and persons.
Trin. How! transform things to men? I'll bring nine tailors,
Refus'd last muster, shall give five marks apiece
To shape three men of service out of all,
And grant him th' remnant shreds above the bargain.
Pan. Now, if thou'lt let him change thee, take this lease,
Drawn ready; put what lives thou pleasest.
Trin. Stay, sir.
Say I am transform'd—who shall enjoy the lease,
I or the person I must turn to?
Pan. Thou,
Thou. The resemblance lasts but one whole day:
Then home true farmer, as thou wert before.
Trin. Where shall poor Trincalo be? How's this! transform'd!
Transmuted, how? not I. I love myself
Better than so: there's your lease. I'd not venture
For th' whole fee-simple.
Pan. Tell me the difference
Betwixt a fool and a wise man.
Trin. Faith, as much
As 'twixt your worship and myself.
Pan. A wise man
Accepts all fair occasions of advancement;
Flies no commodity for fear of danger,
Ventures and gains, lives easily, drinks good wine,
Fares neatly, is richly cloth'd, in worthiest company;
While your poor fool and clown, for fear of peril,
[333] Sweats hourly for a dry brown crust to bedward,[277]
And wakes all night for want of moisture.
Trin. Well, sir,
I'd rather starve in this my loved image,
Than hazard thus my life for others' looks.
Change is a kind of death; I dare not try it.
Pan. Tis not so dangerous as thou tak'st it; we'll only
Alter thy count'nance for a day. Imagine
Thy face mask'd only; or that thou dream'st all night
Thou wert apparell'd in Antonio's form;
And (waking) find'st thyself true Trincalo.

Trin. T' Antonio's form! Was not Antonio a gentleman?

Pan. Yes, and my neighbour; that's his house.

Trin. O, O!
Now do I smell th' astrologer's trick: he'll steep me
In soldier's blood, or boil me in a caldron
Of barbarous law French; or anoint me over
With supple oil of great men's services;
For these three means raise yeomen to the gentry.
Pardon me, sir: I hate those medicines. Fie!
All my posterity will smell and taste on't,
Long as the house of Trincalo endures.
Pan. There's no such business; thou shalt only seem so,
And thus deceive Antonio's family.
Trin. Are you assur'd? 'Twould grieve me to be bray'd[278]
In a huge mortar, wrought to paste, and moulded
To this Antonio's mould. Grant, I be turn'd; what then?


Pan. Enter his house, be reverenc'd by his servants,
And give his daughter Flavia to me in marriage.
The circumstances I'll instruct thee after.
Trin. Pray, give me leave: this side says do't; this, do not.
Before I leave you, Tom Trincalo, take my counsel:
Thy mistress Armellina is Antonio's maid,
And thou, in his shape, may'st possess her: turn.
But if I be Antonio, then Antonio
Enjoys that happiness, not Trincalo.
A pretty trick, to make myself a cuckold!
No, no; there, take your lease. I'll hang first. Soft,
Be not so choleric, Thomas. If I become Antonio,
Then all his riches follow. This fair occasion
Once vanish'd, hope not the like; of a stark clown,
I shall appear a speck-and-span new gentleman.[279]
A pox of ploughs and carts, and whips and horses.
[335] Then Armellina shall be given to Trincalo,
Three hundred crowns her portion. We'll get a boy,
And call him Transformation Trincalo.
I'll do't, sir.

Pan. Art resolv'd?

Trin. Resolv'd! 'Tis done—
With this condition: after I have given your worship
My daughter Flavia, you shall then move my worship,
And much entreat me, to bestow my maid
Upon myself—I should say Trincalo.
Pan. Content; and for thy sake will make her portion
Two hundred crowns.
Trin. Now are you much deceiv'd:
I never meant it.
Pan. How!
Trin. I did but jest;
And yet, my hand, I'll do't: for I am mutable,
And therefore apt to change. Come, come, sir, quickly,
Let's to the astrologer, and there transform,
Reform, conform, deform me at your pleasure.
I loathe this country countenance. Despatch: my skin
Itches like a snake's in April to be stripp'd off.
Quickly, O, quickly! as you love Flavia, quickly.



Albumazar, Pandolfo, Ronca, Trincalo.

Alb. Signior Pandolfo, y' arrive in happiest hour:
If the seven planets were your nearest kindred,
And all the constellations your allies;
Were the twelve houses and the inns o' th' zodiac
Your own fee-simple, they could ne'er ha' chosen
A fitter place to favour your designs.
For the great luminaries look from Helic[280]
And midst of heaven, in angles, conjunctions,
And fortunate aspects of trine and sextile,
Ready to pour propitious influences.
Pan. Thanks to your pow'r and court'sy, that so plac'd them.
This is the man that's ready for the business.
Alb. Of a most happy count'nance and timber fit
To square to th' gentry: his looks as apt for changing,
As he were cover'd with chameleons' skins.
Trin. Except my hands; and 'twill be troublesome
To fit these fingers to Antonio's gloves:
Pan. Pray let's about the work as soon as may be.
Alb. First, choose a large low room, whose door's full east,
Or near inclining: for the oriental quarter's
Most bountiful of favours.
Pan. I have a parlour
Of a great square, and height as you desire it.


Alb. Southward must look a wide and spacious window:
For howsoever Omar, Alchabitius,
Hali, Abenezra, seem something to dissent;
Yet Zoroastres, son of Oromasus,
Hiarcha, Brachman, Thespion, Gymnosophist,
Gebir, and Budda Babylonicus,[281]
With all the subtle Cabalists and Chaldees,
Swear the best influence for our metamorphosis,
Stoops from the south, or, as some say, southeast.
Pan. This room's as fit as you had made it of purpose.
Trin. Now do I feel the calf of my right leg
Twingle and dwindle to th' smallness of a bed-staff:
Such a speech more turns my high shoes strait boots.[282]
Ron. Ne'er were those authors cited to better purpose,
For through that window all Pandolfo's treasures
Must take their flight, and fall upon my shoulders.
Alb. Now if this light meridional had a large casement,
That overlook'd some unfrequented alley,
'Twere much more proper; for th' Intelligences
Are nice and coy, scorning to mix their essence
With throng'd disturbance of cross multitudes.
Ron. Spoken by art, Albumazar; a provident setter;
For so shall we receive what thou hand'st out,
Free from discovery. But, in my conscience,
All windows point full south for such a business.


Pan. Go to my house, satisfy your curious choice:
But, credit me, this parlour's fit; it neighbours
To a blind alley, that in busiest term-time
Feels not the footing of one passenger.
Alb. Now, then, declining from Theourgia,
Artenosaria[283] Pharmacia rejecting
With other vain and superstitious sciences,
We'll anchor at the art prestigiatory,
That represents one figure for another,
With smooth deceit abusing th' eyes of mortals.
Trin. O my right arm! 'tis alter'd, and, methinks,
Longs for a sword. These words have slain a ploughman.
Alb. And, since the moon's the only planet changing,[285]
For from the Neomenia in seven days
To the Dicotima, in seven more to the Panselinum,[286]
And in as much from Plenilunium
Thorough Dicotima to Neomenia,
'Tis she must help us in this operation.
Trin. What towns are these? The strangeness of these names
Hath scal'd the marks of many a painful harvest,
And made my new-pil'd finger itch for dice.
Pan. Deeply consider'd, wondrous Albumazar!
O, let me kiss those lips that flow with science.
Alb. For by her various looks she intimates
[339] To understanding souls, that only she
Hath power t' effect a true formation.
Cause then your parlour to be swept carefully
Wash'd, rubb'd, perfum'd, hang'd round, from top to bottom,
With pure white lunary tap'stry or needlework;
But if 'twere cloth of silver, 'twere much better.

Ron. Good, good! a rich beginning: good!—what's next?

Alb. Spread all the floor with finest Holland sheets,
And over them, fair damask tablecloths;
Above all these draw me chaste virgins' aprons:
The room, the work, and workman must be pure.
Trin. With virgins' aprons! the whole compass of this city
Cannot afford a dozen.
Ron. So: there's shirts
And bands[287] to furnish all on's for a twelvemonth.
Alb. An altar in the midst, loaded with plate
Of silver basins, ewers, cups, [and] candlesticks,
Flagons and beakers; salts, chargers, casting-bottles.[288]
'Twere not amiss to mix some bowls of gold,
So they be massy, the better to resemble
The lovely brotherhood of Sol and Luna:
Also some diamonds for Jupiter.
For by the whiteness and bright sparkling lustres
We allure the intelligence to descend.
Ron. Furbo and I are those intelligences
That must attend upon the magistery.
Alb. Now, for the ceremonious sacrifice,
Provide such creatures as the moon delights in:
[340] Two sucking lambs, white as the Alpine snow;
Yet if they have a mole or two, 'twill pass;
The moon herself wants not her spots.

Pan. 'Tis true.

Ron. Were they hell-black, we'd make a shift to eat them.
Alb. White capons, pheasants, pigeons; one little blackbird
Would stain and spoil the work. Get several wines
To quench the holy embers: Rhenish, Greek wine,
White muscadel, sherry, and rich canary,
So't be not grown too yellow; for the quicker,
Brisker and older, the better for these ceremonies:
The more abundance, sooner shall we finish.
For 'tis our rule in suchlike businesses,
Who spares most, spends most. Either this day must do't,
Or th' revolution of five hundred years
Cannot: so fit are all the heavens to help us.
Ron. A thousand thanks! thou'lt make a complete cheat.
Thus, loaded with this treasure, cheer'd with wine,
Strengthen'd with meat, we'll carry thee in triumph,
As the great General of our atchievement.
Pan. Sir, for rich plate and jewels I have store;
But know not how to furnish you with hangings.
Alb. Cannot you borrow from the shops? four hours
Shall render all as fair as you receiv'd it.
Pan. That can I easily do.
Alb. And hear you, sir:
If you chance meet with boxes of white comfits,
Marchpane, dry sucket, macaroons, and diet-bread,
'Twill help on well——

Ron. To furnish out our banquet.


Alb. I had clean forgot; we must have ambergris,[289]
The greyest can be found, some dozen ounces:
I'll use but half a drachm; but 'tis our fashion
T' offer a little from a greater lump.

Pan. All shall be done with expedition.

Alb. And when your man's transform'd, the chain you promis'd.

Pan. My hand: my deeds shall wait upon my promise.

Alb. Lead then with happy foot to view the chamber.

Pan. I go, sir. Trincalo, attend us here,
And not a word, on peril of thy life.
Trin. Sir, if they kill me, I'll not stir a foot;
And if my tongue's pull'd out, not speak a word.


Trincalo, Cricca.

Trin. O, what a business 'tis to be transform'd!
My master talks of four-and-twenty hours:
But, if I mew these flags[290] of yeomanry,
Gild in the sear,[291] and shine in bloom of gentry,
'Tis not their 'strology nor sacrifice
Shall force me cast that coat. I'll ne'er part with't,
Till I be sheriff of th' county, and in commission
Of peace and quorum. Then will I get m' a clerk,
A practis'd fellow, wiser than my worship,
[342] And domineer amongst my fearful neighbours.
And feast them bountifully with their own bribes.
Cri. Trincalo!
Trin. Wear a gold chain at every quarter sessions,
Look big and grave, and speak not one wise word.
Cri. Trincalo!
Trin. Examine wenches got with child, and curiously
Search all the circumstances: have blank mitti-muses
Printed in readiness; breathe nought but, Sirrah,
Rogue, ha? ho? hum? Constable, look to your charge;
Then vouch a statute and a Latin sentence,
Wide from the matter.
Cri. Trincalo!
Trin. License all ale-houses;
Match my son Transformation t' a knight's daughter,
And buy a bouncing pedigree of a Welsh herald:
And then——
Cri. What! In such serious meditations?
Trin. Faith, no; but building castles in the air
While th' weather's fit: O Cricca, such a business!
Cri. What is't?
Trin. Nay, soft; they're secrets of my master,
Lock'd in my breast: he has the key at's purse-strings.[292]
Cri. My master's secret! keep it, good farmer, keep it;
I would not lend an ear to't, if thou'dst hire me.
Trin. O, how it boils and swells! if I keep't longer,
[343] 'Twill grow t' impostume in my breast, and choke me. Cricca!
Cri. Adieu, good Trincalo; the secrets of our betters
Are dangerous: I dare not know't.
Trin. But, hear'st thou!
Say, I should tell, can'st keep as close as I do?

Cri. Yes: but I had rather want it. Adieu.

Trin. Albumazar——

Cri. Farewell.

Trin. Albumazar——

Cri. Prythee.

Trin. Albumazar,
Th' astrologer, hath undertook to change me
T' Antonio's shape: this done, must I give Flavia
To my old master, and his maid to Trincalo.
Cri. But where's Pandolfo and Albumazar?
Trin. Gone newly home to choose a chamber fitting
For transmutation. So: now my heart's at ease.
Cri. I fear the skill and cunning of Albumazar
With his black art, by whom Pandolfo seeks
To compass Flavia, spite of her brother Lelio
And his own son Eugenio, that loves her dearly.
I'll lose no time, but find them, and reveal
The plot, and work to cross this accident.
But, Trincalo, art thou so rash and vent'rous
To be transform'd with hazard of thy life?
Trin. What care I for a life, that have a lease
For three: but I am certain there's no danger in't.
Cri. No danger! cut thy finger, and that pains thee;
Then what will't do to shred and mince thy carcase,
Bury't in horse-dung, mould it new, and turn it
T' Antonio? and, when th' art chang'd, if Lelio
Smell out your plot, what worlds of punishment
Thou must endure! Poor Trincalo! the desire
Of gains abuses thee: be not transform'd.
[344] Trin. Cricca, thou understand'st not: for Antonio,
Whom I resemble, suffers all, not I.
Cri. Yonder they come; I'll hence, and haste to Lelio.


Albumazar, Pandolfo, Trincalo.[293]

Alb. The chamber's fit: provide the plate and hangings,
And other necessaries: give strict order
The room be cleans'd, perfum'd, and hang'd; meanwhile,
With astrolabe[294] and meteoroscope,[295]
I'll find the cusp[296] and alfridaria,[297]
And know what planet is in cazimi.[298]
Pan. All shall be ready, sir, as you command it.
Trin. Doctor Albumazar, I have a vein of drinking;
An[299] artery of lechery runs through my body:
Pray, when you turn me, gentlemen, preserve
Those two, if't may be done with reputation.


Alb. Fear not; I'll only call the first good fellowship,[300]
And th' other civil recreation.
Trin. And when you come
To th' heart, spoil not the love of Armellina;
And in my brain leave as much discretion
As may spy falsehood in a tavern reckoning;
And let me alone for bounty to wink and pay't;
And if you change me perfectly,
I'll bring y' a dozen knights for customers.
Alb. I warrant thee. Sir, are you well instructed
In all these necessaries?
Pan. They're in my table-book.
Alb. Forget not clothes for th' new transform'd, and robes
For me to sacrifice—you know the fashion.
I'll rather change five, than apparel one:
For men have living souls—clothes are unanimate.
Pan. Here, take this ring, deliver it to my brother,
An officer in the Wardrobe; he'll furnish you
With robes and clothes of any stuff or fashion.
Alb. Almuten Alchochoden[301] of the stars attend you.
Pan. I kiss your hands, divine astrologer.



Pandolfo, Trincalo.

Pan. Up quickly, Trincalo, to my child Sulpitia;
Bid her lay out my fairest damask tablecloths,
The fairest Holland sheets, all the silver plate,
Two gossip's cups of gold, my greatest diamonds:
Make haste.
Trin. As fast as Alchochoden and Almuten
Can carry me; for (sure) these two are devils.
Pan. This is that blessed day I so much long'd for.
Four hours' attendance, till my man be chang'd,
Fast locks me in the lovely arms of Flavia.
Away, Trincalo! how slow the day
Slides on! when we desire time's haste,
It seems to lose a match with lobsters;
And when we wish him stay, he imps his wings
With feathers plum'd with thought.[302] Why, Trincalo!
Trin. Here, sir.
Pan. Come, let's away for cloth of silver,
Wine, and materials for the sacrifice.



Lelio, Eugenio, Cricca.

Lel. Eugenio, these words are wonders past belief.
Is your old father of so poor a judgment,
To think it in the power of man to turn
One person to another?
Eug. Lelio, his desire
T' enjoy your sister Flavia begets hope,
Which, like a waking dream, makes false appearance
Lively as truth itself.
Lel. But who's the man
That works these miracles?
Eug. An astrologer.
Lel. How deals astrology with transmutation?
Cri. Under the veil and colour of astrology,
He clouds his hellish skill in necromancy.
Believe it, by some art or false imposture,
He'll much disturb your love, and yours, Eugenio.
Lel. Eugenio, 'tis high time for us t' awake;
And, as you love our Flavia, and I
Your sister, fair Sulpitia, let's do something
Worthy their beauties. Who falls into a sea
Swoll'n big with tempest, but he boldly beats
The waves with arms and legs to save his life?
So let us strive 'gainst troublous storms of love
With our best power, lest after we ascribe
The loss to our dull negligence, not fortune.
Eug. Lelio, had I no interest in your sister,
The holy league of friendship should command me,
Besides the seconding Sulpitia's love,
Who to your nobleness commends her life.


Lel. She cannot outlove me,[303] nor you outfriend me;
For th' sacred name whereof I have rejected
Your father's offers, importunities,
Letters, conditions, servants, friends, and, lastly,
His tender of Sulpitia in exchange
For Flavia. But though I love your sister
Like mine own soul, yet did the laws of friendship
Master that strong affection, and deni'd him.
Eug. Thanks ever, and as long shall my best service
Wait on your will. Cricca, our hope's in thee;
Thou must instruct us.
Cri. You must trust in fortune,
That makes or mars the wisest purposes.
Lel. What say'st? what think'st?
Cri. Here's no great need of thinking
Nor speech; the oil of scorpions cures their poison.
The thing itself that's bent to hurt and hinder you,
Offers a remedy: 'tis no sooner known,
But th' worst on't is prevented.
Eug. How, good Cricca?
Cri. Soon as you see this false Antonio
Come near your doors, with speeches made of purpose,
Full of humility and compassion;
With long narrations, how he 'scap'd from shipwreck,
And other feign'd inventions of his dangers,
Bid him begone; and if he press to enter,
Fear not the reverence of your father's looks;
Cudgel him thence.

Lel. But were't not better, Cricca,


Keep him fast lock'd, till his own shape return;
And so by open course of law correct him.
Cri. No. For my master would conceive that counsel
Sprung from my brains, and so should I repent it.
Advise no more, but home, and charge your people
That, if Antonio come, they drive him thence
With threat'ning words—and blows, if need be.
Lel. 'Tis done.
I kiss your hands, Eugenio.
Eug. Your servant, sir.
[Exit Lelio.


Eugenio, Cricca, Flavia.

Eug. Cricca, commend my service to my mistress.
Cri. Commend it to her yourself. Mark'd you not, while
We talk'd, how through the window she attended,
And fed her eyes on you? there she is.
Eug. 'Tis true:
And, as from nights of storms the glorious sun
Breaks from the east, and chaseth thence the clouds
That chok'd the air with horror, so her beauty
Dispels sad darkness from my troubled thoughts,
And clears my heart.

Fla. Life of my soul, well met.

Eug. How is't, my dearest Flavia?

Fla. Eugenio,
As best becomes a woman most unfortunate—That,
having lov'd so long, and been persuaded
Her chaste affection was by yours requited,
Have by delays been famish'd. Had I conceal'd
[350] Those flames your virtue kindled, then y' had sued,
Entreated, sworn, and vow'd, and, long ere this,
Wrought all means possible to effect our marriage.
But now——
Eug. Sweet soul, despair not; weep not thus,
Unless you wish my heart should lifeblood drop,
Fast as your eyes do tears. What is't you fear?
Fla. First, that you love me not.
Eug. Not love my Flavia!
Wrong not your judgment: rip up this amorous breast,
And in that temple see a heart that burns
I' th' vestal sacrifice of chastest love
Before your beauty's deity.
Fla. If so,
Whence grows this coldness in soliciting
My brother to the match?
Eug. Consider, sweetest,
I have a father, rival in my love;
And though no duty, reverence, nor respect,
Have power to change my thoughts; yet 'tis not comely
With open violence to withstand his will;
But by fair courses try to divert his mind[304]
From disproportioned affections.
And if I cannot, then nor fear of anger,
Nor life, nor lands, shall cross our purposes.
Comfort yourself, sweet Flavia; for your brother
Seconds our hopes with his best services.
Fla. But other fears oppress me: methinks I see
Antonio, my old father, new-return'd,
[351] Whom all intelligence gave drown'd this three months,[305]
Enforcing me to marry th' fool Pandolfo,
Thus to obtain Sulpitia for himself;
And so last night I dream'd, and ever since
Have been so scar'd, that, if you haste[n] not,
Expect my death.
Eug. Dreams flow from thoughts of things we most desire
Or fear; and seldom prove true prophets; would they did!
Then were I now in full possession
Of my best Flavia, as I hope I shall be.
Cri. Sir, pray take your leave: this is to no end,
'Twill but increase your grief and hers.
Eug. Farewell,
Sweet Flavia; rest contented with assurance
Of my best love and service.
Fla. Farewell, Eugenio.
[Exeunt Eugenio and Cricca.


Sulpitia, Flavia.

Sul. Flavia, I kiss your hands.
Fla. Sulpitia,
I pray you pardon me; I saw you not.
Sul. I' faith, you have
Some fixed thoughts draw your eyes inward,
When you see not your friends before you.


Fla. True; and, I think, the same that trouble you.

Sul. Then 'tis the love of a young gentleman,
And bitter hatred of an old dotard.

Fla. 'Tis so. Witness your brother Eugenio, and the rotten carcase of Pandolfo. Had I a hundred hearts, I should want room to entertain his love and the other's hate.

Sul. I could say as much, were't not sin to slander the dead. Miserable wenches! How have we offended our fathers, that they should make us the price of their dotage, the medicines of their griefs, that have more need of physic ourselves? I must be frostbitten with the cold of your dad's winter, that mine may thaw his old ice with the spring of your sixteen. I thank my dead mother, that left me a woman's will in her last testament. That's all the weapons we poor girls can use, and with that will I fight 'gainst father, friends, and kindred, and either enjoy Lelio, or die in the field in his quarrel.

Fla. Sulpitia, you are happy that can withstand your fortune with so merry a resolution.

Sul. Why should I twine mine arms to cables,[306] and sigh my soul to air? Sit up all night like a watching-candle,[307] and distil my brains through my [353]eyelids. Your brother loves me, and I love your brother; and where these two consent, I would fain see a third to hinder us.

Fla. Alas! our sex is most wretched, nursed up from infancy in continual slavery. No sooner able to prey for ourselves, but they brail and hud us[308] so with sour awe of parents, that we dare not offer to bate[309] at our own desires. And whereas it becomes men to vent their amorous passions at their pleasure, we (poor souls) must rake up our affections in the ashes of a burnt heart, not daring to sigh without excuse of the spleen or fit of the mother.

Sul. I plainly will profess my love of Lelio. 'Tis honest, chaste, and stains not modesty. Shall I be married to Antonio, that hath been a soused sea-fish these three months? And if he be alive, comes home with as many impairs as a hunting gelding or a fallen pack-horse. No, no; I'll see him freeze to crystal first. In other things, good father, I am your most obedient daughter, but in this a pure woman. 'Tis your part to offer—mine to refuse, if I like not. Lelio's a handsome gentleman, young, fresh, rich, and well-fashioned; and him will Sulpitia have, or die a maid. And, i' faith, the temper of my blood tells me I never was born to so cold a misfortune. Fie, Flavia! fie, wench! [labour] no more with tears and sighs; cheer up. Eugenio, to my knowledge, loves you, and you shall have him; I say, you shall have him.

Fla. I doubt not of his love, but know no[354] means how he dares work against so great a rival. Your father, in a spleen, may disinherit him.

Sul. And give't to whom? H' has none but him and me. What though he doat awhile upon your beauty, he will not prove unnatural to his son. Go to your chamber. My genius whispers in my ear, and swears this night we shall enjoy our loves, and with that hope farewell.

Fla. Farewell, Sulpitia.


Pandolfo, Cricca.

Pan. While the astrologer hews out Trincalo,
Squaring and framing him t' Antonio,
Cricca, I'll make thee partner of a thought,
That something troubles me.
Cri. Say, sir, what is't?
Pan. I have no heart to give Albumazar
The chain I promis'd him.
Cri. Deliver it me,
And I'll present it to him in your name.
Pan. 'T has been an heirloom[310] to our house four hundred years,
And, should I leave it now, I fear good fortune
Would fly from us, and follow it.
Cri. Then give him
The price in gold.
Pan. It comes to a hundred pounds;[311]
[355] And how would that, well-husbanded, grow in time?
I was a fool to promise, I confess it;
I was too hot and forward in the business.
Cri. Indeed I wonder'd that your wary thriftiness,
Not wont to drop one penny in a quarter
Idly, would part with such a sum so easily.
Pan. My covetous thrift aims at no other mark
Than in fit time and place to show my bounty.
Who gives continually may want at length
Wherewith to feed his liberality.
But, for the love of my dear Flavia,
I would not spare my life, much less my treasure.
Yet if with honour I can win her cheaper,
Why should I cast away so great a sum?
Cri. True: I have a trick now hatching in my brain,
How you may handsomely preserve your credit,
And save the chain.
Pan. I would gladly do it,
But fear he understands us what we say.
Cri. What can you lose to try't? If it take,
There's so much sav'd, if otherwise, nothing lost.
Pan. What is't, good Cricca?
Cri. Soon as Albumazar comes, loaded with news
Of th' transmutation of your servant Trincalo,
I'll entertain him here; meanwhile, steal you
Closely into the room, and quickly hide
Some special piece of plate: then run out amaz'd,
Roaring, that all the street may know y' are robb'd.
Next threaten to attach him, and accuse him
Before a justice; and in th' end agree,
If he restore the plate, you'll give the chain,
Otherwise not.
Pan. But if we be discover'd!
[356] For by his instruments and familiars
He can do much.
Cri. Lay all the fault on Trincalo.
But here's the main point. If you can dissemble
Cunningly, and frame your countenance to express
Pity and anger, that so learn'd a man
Should use his friend so basely—if you can call
An outcry well, roar high and terrible.
Pan. I'll fetch a cry from th' bottom of my heels,
But I'll roar loud enough; and thou must second me
With wonder at the sudden accident.
Cri. But yours is the main part; for, as you play't,
You win or lose the chain.
Pan. No more, no more; he comes.


Albumazar, Pandolfo, Cricca.

Alb. Signior Pandolfo, three-quarters of an hour
Renders your servant perfectly transform'd.
[Pandolfo retires.
Cri. Is he not wholly chang'd? What parts are wanting?
Alb. Antonio's shape hath cloth'd his bulk[312] and visage;
Only his hands and feet, so large and callous,
Require more time to supple.
Cri. Pray you, sir,
How long shall he retain this metamorphosis?

Alb. The complete circle of a natural day.

Cri. A natural day! are any days unnatural?


Alb. I mean the revolution of th' first mover,
Just twice twelve hours, in which period the rap'd motion
Rolls all the orbs from east to occident.

Pan. [Returning.] Help, help! thieves, thieves! neighbours, I am robb'd: thieves, thieves!

Cri. What a noise make you, sir.

Pan. Have I not reason,
That thus am robb'd? Thieves, thieves! call constables,
The watch and serjeants, friends and constables;
Neighbours, I am undone.
Cri. This is well begun,
So he hold out still with a higher strain.
What ails you, sir?
Pan. Cricca, my chamber's spoil'd
Of all my hangings, clothes, and silver plate.
[Exit Albumazar.

Cri. Why, this is bravely feign'd; continue, sir.

Pan. Lay all the goldsmiths, keepers, marshals, bailiffs.

Cri. Fie, sir, your passion falls; cry louder—roar,
That all the street may hear.
Pan. Thieves, thieves, thieves!
All that I had is gone, and more than all.
Cri. Ha, ha, ha! hold out; lay out a lion's throat;
A little louder.
Pan. I can cry no longer,
My throat's sore; I am robb'd, I am robb'd, all's gone,
Both my own treasure, and the things I borrow'd.
Make thou an outcry, I have lost my voice:
Cry fire, and then they'll hear thee.
Cri. Good, good: thieves!
What have you lost?
Pan. Wine, jewels, tablecloths,
A cupboard of rich plate.
[358] Cri. Fie! you'll spoil all.
Now you outdo it. Say but a bowl or two.
Pan. Villain, I say all's gone; the room's as clean
As a wip'd looking-glass: O me, O me!

Cri. What, in good earnest?

Pan. Fool, in accursed earnest.

Cri. You gull me, sure.

Pan. The window towards the south stands ope, from whence
Went all my treasure. Where's the astrologer?
Alb. Here, sir;
And hardly can abstain from laughing, to see you vex
Yourself in vain.
Pan. In vain, Albumazar?
I left my plate with you, and 'tis all vanish'd;
And you shall answer it.
Alb. O, were it possible
By power of art to check what art hath done,
Your man should ne'er be chang'd: to wrong me thus
With foul suspicion of flat felony!
Your plate, your cloth of silver, wine and jewels,
Linen, and all the rest, I gave to Trincalo,
And for more safety lock'd them in the lobby.
He'll keep them carefully. But, as you love your mistress,
Disturb him not this half-hour, lest you'll have him
Like to a centaur, half-clown, half-gentleman.
Suffer his foot and hand, that's yet untouch'd,
To be ennobled like his other members.
Pan. Albumazar, I pray you pardon me,
Th' unlooked-for bareness of the room amaz'd me.
Alb. How! think you me so negligent, to commit
So rich a mass of treasure to th' open danger
Of a large casement and suspicious alley?
[359] No, sir; my sacrifice no sooner done,
But I wrapp'd all up safe, and gave it Trincalo.
I could be angry, but that your sudden fear
Excuses you. Fie! such a noise as this,
Half an hour pass'd, had scar'd the intelligences,
And spoil'd the work: but no harm done. Go walk
Westward, directly westward, one half-hour;
Then turn back, and take your servant turn'd t' Antonio,
And, as you like my skill, perform your promise,
I mean the chain.
Pan. Content, let's still go westward——
Westward, good Cricca, still directly westward.
[Exeunt Pandolfo and Cricca.


Albumazar, Ronca, Harpax, Furbo.

Alb. Harpax, Furbo, and Ronca, come out: all's clear.
Why, here's a noble prize, worth vent'ring for.
Is not this braver than sneak all night in danger,
Picking of locks, or hooking clothes at windows?
Here's plate, and gold, and cloth, and meat, and wine,
All rich and eas'ly got. Ronca, stay hereabout.
And wait till Trincalo come forth; then call him
With a low reverence Antonio;
Give him this gold with thanks; tell him he lent it,
Before he went to Barbary.
Ron. How! lose ten pieces?
Alb. There's a necessity in't: devise some course
To get't again; if not, our gain's sufficient
To bear that loss. Furbo, find out Bevilona
The courtesan; let her feign herself a gentlewoman
[360] Enamour'd of Antonio; bid her invite him
To banquet with her, and by all means possible
Force him stay there two hours.
Har. Why two hours?
Alb. That in that time thou mayest convey
Our treasure to the inn, and speak a boat
Ready for Gravesend, and provide a supper,
Where with those precious liquors and good meats
We'll cheer ourselves; and thus, well fed and merry,
Take boat by night.
Fur. And what will you do?
Alb. First in, and usher out our changeling, Trincalo.
Then finish up a business of great profit,
Begun with a rich merchant, that admires
My skill in alchemy. I must not lose it.
Ron. Harpax, bestow the plate: Furbo, our beards,
Black patches for our eyes, and other properties,[313]
And at the time and place meet all at supper.


Albumazar, Trincalo.

Alb. Stand forth, transformed Antonio, fully mued
From brown soar feathers[314] of dull yeomanry,
[361] To th' glorious bloom of gentry: prune yourself sleek;[315]
Swear boldly y' are the man you represent
To all that dare deny it.
Trin. I find my thoughts
Most strangely alter'd; but methinks my face
Feels still like Trincalo.


Alb. You imagine so.
Senses are oft deceiv'd. As an attentive angler,
Fixing his steady eyes on the swift streams
Of a steep tumbling torrent, no sooner turns
His sight to land, but (giddy) thinks the firm banks
And constant trees more like the running water;
So you, that thirty years have liv'd in Trincalo.
Chang'd suddenly, think y' are so still; but instantly
These thoughts will vanish.
Trin. Give me a looking-glass
To read your skill in these new lineaments.
Alb. I'd rather give you poison; for a glass,
By secret power of cross reflections
And optic virtue, spoils the wond'rous work
Of transformation; and in a moment turns you,
Spite of my skill, to Trincalo as before.
We read that Apuleius[316] was[317] by a rose
Chang'd from an ass to man: so by a mirror
You'll lose this noble lustre, and turn ass.
I humbly take my leave; but still remember
T' avoid the devil and a looking-glass.
Newborn Antonio, I kiss your hands.
Trin. Divine Albumazar, I kiss your hands.
[Exit Albumazar.


Trincalo, Ronca.

Trin. Now am I grown a gentleman and a fine one,
I know't by th' kissing of my hands so courtly.
My courteous knees bend in so true a distance,
[363] As if my foot walk'd in a frame on purpose.
Thus I accost you; or thus, sweet sir, your servant:
Nay, more, your servant's servant: that's your grandservant.
I could descend from the top of Paul's to th' bottom,
And on each step strew parting compliments;
Strive for a door, while a good carpenter
Might make a new one. I am your shadow, sir,
And bound to wait upon you; i' faith, I will not:
Pray, sir, &c. O brave Albumazar!
Ron. Just Æsop's crow, trink'd up in borrow'd feathers.
Trin. My veins are fill'd with newness: O, for a chirurgeon
To ope this arm, and view my gentle blood,
To try if't run two thousand pounds a year.
I feel my understanding is enlarg'd
With the rare knowledge of this latter age:
A sacred fury oversways me. Prime!
Deal quickly, play, discard, I set ten shillings and sixpence.
You see't? my rest, five-and-fifty.[318] Boy, more cards!
And, as thou go'st, lay out some roaring oaths
For me; I'll pay thee again with interest.
O brave Albumazar!
[364] Ron. How his imagination
Boils, and works in all things he ever saw or heard!
Trin. At gleek? content.
A murnival of aces, gleek of knaves:
Just nine apiece. Sir, my grey Barbary
'Gainst your dun cow, three train cents and th' course,
For fifty pound. As I am a gentleman,
I'll meet next cocking, and bring a haggard[319] with me,
That stoops as free as lightning,[320] strikes like thunder.
I lie? my reputation, you shall hear on't.
O brave Albumazar!
Ron. He'll grow stark mad, I fear me.
Trin. Now I know
I am perfectly transform'd; my mind incites me
To challenge some brave fellow for my credit;
And, for more safety, get some friend in private
To take the business up in peace and quiet.
Ron. Signior Antonio!
Trin. There's not a crumb of Trincalo
In all this frame but the love of Armellina:
Were't not for thee, I'd travel, and [come] home again,
As wise as I went over.


Ron. Signior Antonio! welcome ten thousand times:
Bless'd be the heavens and seas for your return.
Trin. I thank you, sir: Antonio is your servant,
I am glad to see you well—
Fie! I kiss your hands, and thus accost you.
Ron. This three months all your kindred, friends, and children,
Mourn'd for your death.
Trin. And so they well might do,
For five days I was under water; and, at length,
Got up and spread myself upon a chest,
Rowing with arms, and steering with my feet;
And thus, in five days more, got land. Believe it,
I made a most incredible escape
And safe return from Barbary. At your service.
Ron. Welcome ten thousand times from Barbary;
No friend more glad to see Antonio
Than I: nor am I thus for hope of gain;
But that I find occasion to be grateful
By your return. Do you remember, sir,
Before you went, as I was once arrested,
And could not put in bail, you, passing by,
Lent me ten pound, and so discharg'd the debt?
Trin. Yes, yes, as well as 'twere but yesterday.
Ron. Oft have I waited at your house with money
And many thanks; but you were still beyond seas.
Now am I happy of this fair occasion
To testify my honest care to you;
For you may need it.
Trin. Sir, I do indeed,
Witness my treasure cast away by shipwreck.

Ron. Here, sir.

Trin. Is the gold good? for mine was good I lent you.


Ron. It was, and so is this. Signior Antonio, for this courtesy
Call me your servant.

Trin. Farewell, good servant; ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I know not so much as his name! Ten pound! This change is better than my birth; for, in all the years of my yeomanry, I could never yoke two crowns, and now I have herded ten fair twenty-shilling pieces. Now will I go to this astrologer, and hire him to turn my cart to a caroch, my four jades to two pair of Dutch mares, my Mistress Armellina to a lady, my ploughboy Dick to two garded footmen[321]. Then will I hurry myself to the mercer's books, wear rich clothes, be called Tony by a great man, sell my lands, pay no debts, hate citizens, and beat Serjeants: and when all fails, sneak out of Antonio with a twopenny looking-glass, and turn as true Trincalo as ever.


Harpax, Trincalo.

Har. Signior Antonio, welcome.

Trin. My life, here's ten pound more,
I thank you heartily.
Har. Never in fitter season could I find you.
If you remember, sir, before you went
To Barbary, I lent you ten pound in gold.
Trin. Faith, I remember no such thing, excuse me.
What may I call your name?
[367] Har. My name is Harpax,
Your friend and neighbour, of your old acquaintance.
Trin. What, Harpax! I am your servant; I kiss your hands.
You must excuse me; you never lent me money.

Har. Sir, as I live, ten twenty-shilling pieces.

Trin. Dangers at sea, I find, have hurt my memory.

Har. Why, here's your own handwriting, seal'd and sign'd
In presence of your cousin Julio.
Trin. 'Tis true, 'tis true; but I sustain'd great losses
By reason of the shipwreck. Here's five pieces;
Will that content you? and to-morrow morning
Come to my house and take the rest.
Har. Well, sir,
Though my necessity would importune you
For all, yet, on your worship's word, the rest
I'll call for in the morning. Farewell, Antonio.
Trin. I see we gentlemen can sometimes borrow
As well as lend; and are as loth to pay
As meaner men. I'll home, lest other creditors
Call for the rest.


Ronca, Trincalo.

Ron. Signior Antonio! I saw you as you landed,
And in great haste follow'd, to congratulate
Your safe return with these most wish'd embraces.
Trin. And I accept your joy with like affection.
How do you call yourself?


Ron. Have you forgot
Your dear friend Ronca, whom you lov'd so well?
Trin. O, I remember now, my dear friend Ronca.
Ron. Thanks to the fortune of the seas, that sav'd you.
Trin. I fear I owe him money. How shall I shift him?
How does your body, Ronca?
Ron. My dear Antonio,
Never so well as now I have the power
Thus to embrace my friend, whom all th' Exchange
Gave drown'd for three whole months. My dear Antonio!

Trin. I thank you, sir.

Ron. I thank you.

Trin. While my dear Ronca
Clipp'd me,[322] my purse shook dangerously; yet both his arms
And hands embrac'd my neck. Here's none behind me.
How can this be?
Ron. Most dear Antonio,
Was not your passage dangerous from Barbary?
We had great winds and tempests; and, I fear me,
You felt the force at sea.
Trin. Yes, dearest Ronca.
How's this? I see his hands, and yet my purse is gone!
Ron. Signior Antonio, I see your mind's much troubl'd
About affairs of worth; I take my leave,
And kiss your hands of liberality.
Trin. And kiss my hands of liberality!
I gave him nothing. O, my purse, my purse!
Dear Master Ronca.


Ron. What's your pleasure, sir?

Trin. Show me your hand.

Ron. Here 'tis.

Trin. But where's th' other?

Ron. Why, here.

Trin. But I mean, where's your other hand?

Ron. Think you me the giant with a hundred hands?

Trin. Give me your right.

Ron. My right?

Trin. Your left.

Ron. My left?

Trin. Now both.

Ron. There's both, my dear Antonio.
Keep yourself dark; eat broth. Your fearful passage
And want of natural rest hath made you frantic.
Trin. Villain, rogue, cutpurse, thief!
Dear Ronca, stay.
He's gone—
I' th' devil's name, how could this fellow do it?
I felt his hands fast lock'd about my neck;
And still he spoke. It could not be his mouth:
For that was full of dear Antonio.
My life! he stole't with his feet. Such a trick more
Will work worse with me than a looking-glass:
To lose five pounds in court'sy, and the rest
In salutation!

Re-enter Ronca, disguised.

Ron. Signior Antonio,
What ails you?
Trin. Ronca, a rogue, a cutpurse,
Hath robb'd me of five twenty-shilling pieces.
Ron. What kind of man was he—something like me?


Trin. H' had such a thievish countenance as your own,
But that he wore a black patch o'er his eye.
Ron. Met you with Ronca? 'Tis the cunning'st nimmer
Of the whole company of Cutpurse Hall:
I am sorry I was not here to warn you of him.


Furbo, Bevilona, Trincalo.

Bev. Furbo, no more, unless thy words were charms
Of power to revive him. Antonio's dead;
He's dead, and in his death hath buried
All my delights: my ears are deaf to music
That sounds of pleasure. Sing, then, the dolfull'st notes
That e'er were set by melancholy: O Antonio!

Furbo sings this song.

Flow, streams of liquid salt from my sad eyes,
To celebrate his mournful exequies.
Antonio's dead; he's dead, and I remain
To draw my poor life in continual pain,
Till it have paid to his sad memory
Duty of love: O, then most willingly
Drown'd with my tears, as he with waves, I die.
Bev. Break thy sad strings, sad[323] instrument—O, strange, he's here!
Signior Antonio! my heart's sweet content!
My life and better portion of my soul!
Are you return'd, and safe? for whose sad death
I spent such streams of tears and gusts of sighs?
[371] Or is't my love, that to my longing fancy
Frames your desired shape, and mocks my senses?

Trin. Whom do you talk withal, fair gentlewoman?

Bev. With my best friend, commander of my life,
My most belov'd Antonio.
Trin. With me!
What's your desire with me, sweet lady?
Bev. Sir, to command me, as you have done ever,
To what you please: for all my liberty
Lies in your service.
Trin. Now I smell the business.
This is some gentlewoman enamour'd
With him whose shape I bear. Fie, what an ass
Was I to strange myself, and lose the occasion
Of a good banquet and her company.
I'll mend it as I can. [Aside.] Madam, I did but jest,
To try if absence caus'd you to forget
A friend that lov'd you ever.
Bev. Forget Antonio,
Whose dear remembrance doth inform the soul
Of your poor servant, Bevilona! No,
No; had you died, it had not quench'd one spark
Of th' sweet affection which your love hath kindl'd
In this warm breast.
Trin. Madam, the waves had drown'd me,
But that your love held up my chin.
Bev. Will't please you
Enter, and rest yourself, refresh the weariness
Of your hard travel; I have good wine and fruits:
My husband's out of town; you shall command
My house, and all that's in't.

Trin. Why, are you married?

Bev. Have you forgot my husband, an angry roarer?


Trin. O, I remember him: but if he come?

Bev. Whence grows this fear? how come you so respectful?
You were not wont be numb'd with such a coldness.
Go in, sweet life, go in.
Trin. I remember while I liv'd in Barbary,
A pretty song the Moors sing to a gridiron:
Sweet, madam, by your favour, I'll sing to this.
Alcoch dolash, &c. Thus 'tis in English—
My heart in flames doth fry
Of thy beauty,
While I
And why
Shouldst thou deny
Me thy sweet company?
My brains to tears do flow,
While all below
Doth glow.
If so,
How canst thou go
About to say me no?
This the Moors call two wings[324] upon a gridiron;
But it goes sweeter far o' th' iron instrument.

Ron. There's one within my kitchen, ready-strung: go in.

Trin. Sweet lady, pardon me, I'll follow you.
Happy Antonio in so rare a mistress!
But happier I, that in his place enjoy her:
I say still, there's no pleasure like transforming.



Bevilona and Trincalo; to them Ronca.

Ron. Now is the ass expecting of a banquet,
Ready to court, embrace, and kiss his mistress.
But I'll soon stave him. What ho!
[Knocks at the door.
Bev. Who's that so boldly knocks? I am not within—
Or busy. Why so importunate? who is't?

Ron. 'Tis I.

Bev. Your name?

Ron. Thomas ap William ap Morgan ap Davy ap Roger, &c.

Trin. Spinola's camp's broke loose: a troop of soldiers!

Bev. O me! my husband! O me, wretch! 'tis my husband.

Trin. One man, and wear so many names!

Bev. O sir,
H' has more outrageous devils in his rage
Than names. As you respect your life, avoid him:
Down at that window——
Trin. 'Tis as high as Paul's;
Open the garden door.
Bev. He has the keys.
Down at some window, as you love your life,
Tender my honour, and your safety.
Ron. Bevilona!
Down, or I'll break the doors, and with the splinters
Beat all thy bones to pieces: down, you whore,

Bev. Be patient but a little; I come instantly.

Trin. Ha' you no trunk nor chest to hide me?

Bev. None, sir.
Alas, I am clean undone! it is my husband.


Ron. Doubtless this whore hath some of her companions,
That wrong me thus. But if I catch the villain,
I'll bathe my hungry sword and sharp revenge
In his heart-blood. Come down!
Bev. I cannot. [To Trincalo.] Stay;
There stands an empty hogshead with a false bottom
To ope and shut at pleasure; come hither; in,
In, as you love your life.
Trin. But hear you, madam,
Is there no looking-glass within't? for I hate glasses
As naturally as some do cats or cheese.

Bev. In, in, there's none.

Ron. Who now? is the ass pass'd?

Bev. I tunn'd him up, ha, ha, ha! I fear he'll fall aworking.

Ron. Second me handsomely, we'll entertain him
An hour or two, and laugh, and get his clothes
To make our sport up. [Aside.] Wife, where's the empty hogshead,
That wont to stand under the stairs?

Bev. There still.

Ron. Out with it quickly: I must have it fill'd.

Bev. Not to-day, good sir; to-morrow will serve as well.

Ron. Out with it quickly: I must have it fill'd.

Bev. Not to-day, good sir; to-morrow will serve as well.

Ron. I must ha't now.

Bev. 'Tis more than I can carry.

Ron. I'll help thee: so, so. Foh! this vessel's musty.
Fetch out some water.

Bev. Fetch't out yourself.

Trin. Pox of all transmutation, I am smother'd.
[375] Lady, as you love me, give the hogshead vent,
The beer that's in't will work and break the vessel.
Bev. Signior Antonio, as you love your life,
Lie still and close, for, if you stir, you die.

Ron. So, so; now shake it; so, so.

Trin. O! I am drown'd! I drown!

Ron. When comes this hollow sound?

Trin. I drown! I smother!

Ron. My life, 'tis Trincalo; for I have heard that coxcomb,
That ass, that clown, seeks to corrupt my wife,
Sending her[325] fruit and dainties from the country.
O, that 'twere he! how would I use the villain!
First crop his ears, then slit his nose, and geld him.
And with a red-hot iron sear his raw wounds;
Then barrel him again, and send the eunuch
To the great Turk to keep his concubines.
Tick, tock, who is within here?
[Knocks on the tub.
Bev. One that you dare not touch.
Ron. One that I dare not?
[Trincalo comes out.
Out, villain, out—Signior Antonio!
Had it been any but yourself, he had died,
But, as you sav'd my life, before you went,
So now command mine in your services.
I would have sworn y' had drown'd in Barbary.
Trin. 'Twas a hard pass;[326] but not so dangerous
As was this vessel. Pray you, conceive no ill;
I meant no harm, but call'd of your wife to know
How my son Lelio did, and daughter Flavia.


Ron. Sir, I believe you.

Trin. But I must tell you one thing:
You must not be so jealous; on my honour,
She's very honest.
Ron. For you I make no question;
But there's a rogue called Trincalo, whom if I catch,
I'll teach him.
Trin. Who? you mean Pandolfo's farmer.
Alas, poor fool, he's a stark ass, but harmless.
And though she talk with him, 'tis but to laugh,
As all the world does at him. Come, be friends
At my entreaty.

Ron. Sir, for your sake.

Bev. I thank you.

Trin. Let's have a fire; and, while I dry myself,
Provide good wine and meat. I'll dine with you.
I must not home thus wet. I am something bold with you.
Ron. My house and self are at your service.
Trin. Lead in.
Alas, poor Trincalo, hadst thou been taken,
Thou hadst been tunn'd for Turkey.
Ha, ha, ha, ha! fair fall Antonio's shape.
What a notorious wittol's this! ha, ha, ha!


[Antonio solus.]

Ant. Thus, by great favour of propitious stars,
From fearful storms, shipwreck and raging billows,
[And] merciless jaws of death, am I return'd
To th' safe and quiet bosom of my country
And wish'd embracements of my friends and kindred.
[377] The memory of these misfortunes pass'd
Seasons the welcome, and augments the pleasure
I shall receive of my son Lelio
And daughter Flavia. So doth alloy
Make gold, that else were useless, serviceable;
So the rugg'd forehead of a threat'ning mountain
Heightens[327] the smoothness of a smiling valley.


Enter Cricca.

Cri. What do I see? Is not this Trincalo,
Transform'd t' Antonio? 'tis: and so perfectly
That, did the right Antonio now confront him,
I'd swear they both were true, or both were false.
Ant. This man admires the unexpectedness
Of my return.
Cri. O wondrous power of stars,
And skill of art t' apply't! You that are married
May justly fear, lest this astrologer
Clothe your wives' servants in your shape, and use you
As Jupiter did Amphitryo. You, that are rich,
In your own form may lose your gold.
Ant. 'Tis Cricca.
Cri. He seems so just the man he represents,
That I dare hardly use him as I purpos'd.
Ant. Cricca, well-met; how fares my friend Pandolfo?
Cri. Your friend Pandolfo! how are your means improv'd,
To style familiarly your master friend?

Ant. What say'st thou?

Cri. That I rejoice your worship's safe return
[378] From your late drowning. Th' Exchange hath giv'n you lost,
And all your friends worn mourning three months past.
Ant. The danger of the shipwreck I escap'd
So desperate was, that I may truly say
I am new-born, not sav'd.
Cri. Ha, ha, ha! through what a grace
And goodly countenance the rascal speaks!
What a grave portance! could Antonio
Himself outdo him? O you notorious villain!
Who would have thought thou couldst have thus dissembled?
Ant. How now! a servant thus familiar? Sirrah,
Use your companions so: more reverence
Becomes you better.
Cri. As though I understood not
The end of all this plot and goodly business.
Come, I know all. See! this untill'd clod of earth
Conceits his mind transform'd as well as body.
He wrings and bites his lips for fear of laughing.
Ha, ha, ha!
Ant. Why laugh you, sirrah?
Cri. Sirrah, to see thee chang'd
So strangely, that I cannot spy an inch
Of thy old clownish carcase: ha, ha!
Ant. Laughter proceeds
From absurd actions that are harmless.
Cri. Ha, ha, ha!
Sententious blockhead!
Ant. And y' are ill-advis'd
To jest instead of pity. Alas! my miseries,
Dangers of death, slav'ry of cruel Moors
And tedious journeys, might have easily alter'd
A stronger body, much more this decay'd vessel,
Out-worn with age, and broken by misfortunes.
Cri. Leave your set speeches. Go to Antonio's house,
[379] Effect your business; for, upon my credit,
Th' art so well-turn'd, they dare not but accept thee.
Ant. Where should I hope for welcome, if not there—
From my own house, children, and family?
Cri. Is't possible this coxcomb should conceive
His mind transform'd? How gravely he continues
The countenance he began! ha, ha! Why, blockhead,
Think'st to deceive me too? Why, Trincalo!

Ant. I understand you not. Hands off.

Cri. Art not thou Trincalo,
Pandolfo's man?

Ant. I not so much as know him.

Cri. Dar'st thou deny't to me?

Ant. I dare, and must
To all the world, long as Antonio lives.
Cri. You arrant ass! have I not known thee serve
My master in his farm this thirteen years?
Ant. By all the oaths that bind men's consciences
To truth, I am Antonio, and no other.


Enter Pandolfo.

Pan. What means this noise? O Cricca! what's the matter?

Cri. Sir, here's your farmer Trincalo, transform'd
So just, as he were melted, and new-cast
In the true mould of old Antonio.
Pan. Th' right eye's no liker to the left, than he
To my good neighbour. Divine Albumazar!
How I admire thy skill! Just so he look'd,
[380] And thus he walk'd: this is his face, his hair:
His eyes and countenance. If his voice be like,
Then is th' astrologer a wonder-worker.
Ant. Signior Pandolfo, I thank the heavens as much
To find you well, as for my own return.
How does your daughter and my love Sulpitia?
Pan. Well, well, sir.
Cri. This is a good beginning:
How naturally the rogue dissembles it!
With what a gentle garb and civil grace
He speaks and looks! How cunningly Albumazar
Hath for our purpose suited him in Barbary clothes!
I'll try him further, sir; we heard
You were drown'd; pray you, how 'scap'd you shipwreck?
Ant. No sooner was I shipp'd for Barbary,
But fair wind follow'd, and fair weather led us.
When, enter'd in the straits of Gibraltar,
The heavens, and seas, and earth conspir'd against us;
The tempest tore our helm, and rent our tackles,
Broke the mainmast, while all the sea about us
Stood up in wat'ry mountains to o'erwhelm us,
And struck's against a rock, splitting the vessel
T' a thousand splinters. I, with two mariners,
Swam to the coast, where by the barbarous Moors
We were surpris'd, fetter'd, and sold for slaves.
Cri. This tale th' astrologer penn'd, and he hath conn'd it.
Ant. But by a gentleman of Italy,
Whom I had known before——
Pan. No more; this taste
Proves thou canst play the rest. For this fair story,
My hand; I make thy ten pounds twenty marks,
Thou look'st and speak'st so like Antonio.


Ant. Whom should I look and speak like, but myself?

Cri. Good still!

Pan. But now, my honest Trincalo,
Tell me where's all the plate, the gold, and jewels,
That the astrologer, when he had transform'd thee,
Committed to thy charge? are they safe-lock'd?
Ant. I understand you not.
Pan. The jewels, man;
The plate and gold th' astrologer that chang'd thee
Bad thee lay up.
Ant. What plate? What gold?
What jewels? What transformation? What astrologer?
Cri. Leave off Antonio now, and speak like Trincalo.
Ant. Leave off your jesting. It neither fits your place
Nor age, Pandolfo, to scoff your ancient friend.
I know not what you mean by gold and jewels,
Nor by th' astrologer, nor Trincalo.
Cri. Better and better still. Believe me, sir,
He thinks himself Antonio, and ever shall be,
And so possess your plate. Art thou not Trincalo,
My master's farmer?
Ant. I am Antonio,
Your master's friend, if he teach you more manners.
Pan. Humour of wiving's gone. Farewell, good Flavia.
Three thousand pound must not be lost so slightly.
Come, sir; we'll drag you to th' astrologer,
And turn you to your ragged bark of yeomanry.

Ant. To me these terms?

Pan. Come, I'll not lose my plate.

Cri. Stay, sir, and take my counsel. Let him still
Firmly conceit himself the man he seems:
[382] Thus he, himself deceiv'd, will far more earnestly
Effect your business, and deceive the rest.
There's a main difference 'twixt a self-bred action
And a forc'd carriage. Suffer him, then, to enter
Antonio's house, and wait th' event: for him,
He cannot 'scape: what you intend to do,
Do't, when he has serv'd your turn. I see the maid;
Let's hence, lest they suspect our consultations.
Pan. Thy counsel's good: away.
Cri. Look, Trincalo,
Yonder's your beauteous mistress Armellina,
And, [sir, your] daughter Flavia. Courage, I warrant thee.
[Exeunt Pandolfo and Cricca.
Ant. Bless'd be the heav'ns that rid me of this trouble;
For with their farmer and astrologer,
Plate and gold, they have almost madded me.


Flavia, Armellina, Antonio.

Fla. Armellina.

Arm. Mistress.

Fla. Is the door fast?

Arm. Yes, as an usurer's purse.

Fla. Come hither, wench.
Look here; there's Trincalo, Pandolfo's farmer,
Wrapp'd in my father's shape: prythee, come quickly,
And help me to abuse him.
Arm. Notorious clown!
Ant. These are my gates, and that's the cabinet,
That keeps my jewels, Lelio and his sister.
Fla. Never was villainy so personate
In seemly properties of gravity.
[Antonio knocks.
[383] Fla. Who's he that knocks so boldly?
Arm. What want you, sir?
Ant. O my fair daughter Flavia! let all the stars
Pour down full blessings on thee. Ope the doors.
Fla. Mark! his fair daughter Flavia, ha, ha, ha!
Most shameless villain, how he counterfeits!
Ant. Know'st not thy father, old Antonio?
Is all the world grown frantic?
Fla. What, Antonio?
Ant. Thy loving father, Flavia.
Fla. My father!
Would thou wert in his place. Antonio's dead,
Dead, under water drown'd.
Ant. That dead and drown'd
Am I.
Fla. I love not to converse with dead men.
Ant. Ope the door, sweet Flavia.
Fla. Sir, I am afeard;
Horror incloses me, my hairs stand up,
I sweat to hear a dead man speak: you smell
Of putrefaction; fie! I feel't hither.
Ant. Th' art much abus'd; I live. Come down, and know me.
Arm. Mistress, let me have some sport too.
Who's there?

Ant. Let me come in.

Arm. Soft, soft, sir; y' are too hasty.

Ant. Quickly, or else——

Arm. Good words, good words, I pray, sir,
In strangers' houses! were the doors your own,
You might be bolder.
Ant. I'll beat the doors and windows
About your ears.
Arm. Are you so hot? We'll cool you.
Since your late drowning, your grey and reverend head
[384] Is smear'd with ooze, and stuck with cockle-shells:
This is to wash it.
[Throws water on him.
Ant. Impudent whore!
Arm. Out, carter:
Hence, dirty whipstock,[328] hence,
You foul clown; begone, or all the water
I can make or borrow shall once more drown you.


Lelio, Antonio, Armellina.

Lel. Armellina, whom do you draw your tongue upon so sharply?

Arm. Sir, 'tis your father's ghost, that strives by force
To break the doors, and enter.
Lel. This! his grave looks!
In every lineament himself no liker.
Had I not happily been advertised,
What could have forc'd me think 'twere Trincalo?
Doubtless th' astrologer hath rais'd a ghost,
That walks in th' reverend shape of my dead father.
Ant. These ghosts, these Trincalos, and astrologers,
Strike me beside myself. Who will receive me,
When mine own son refuseth? O Antonio!
Lel. Infinite power of art! who would believe
The planets' influence could transform a man
To several shapes? I could now beat him soundly,
But that he wears the awful countenance
Of my dead father, whose memory I reverence.
Ant. If I be chang'd beyond thy knowledge, son,
[385] Consider that th' excess of heat in Barbary,
The fear of shipwreck, and long tedious journeys,
Have tann'd my skin, and shrunk my eyes and cheeks;
Yet still this face, though alter'd, may be known:
This scar bears witness; 'twas the wound thou cur'dst
With thine own hands.
Lel. He that chang'd Trincalo
T' Antonio's figure omitted not the scar
As a main character.
Ant. I have no other marks
Or reasons to persuade thee: methinks these words,[329]
I am thy father, were argument sufficient
To bend thy knees, and creep to my embracement.
Lel. A sudden coldness strikes me: my tender heart[330]
Beats with compassion of I know not what.
Sirrah, begone; truss up your goodly speeches,
Sad shipwrecks and strange transformations;
Your plot's discover'd, 'twill not take: thy impudence
For once I pardon. The pious reverence
I owe to th' grave resemblance of my father
Holds back my angry hands. Hence! if I catch you
Haunting my doors again, I'll bastinado you
Out of Antonio's skin. Away.
Ant. I go, sir;
And yield to such cross fortune as thus drives me.



Trincalo, and Bevilona dressing him.

Trin. When this transformed substance[331] of my carcase
Did live imprison'd in a wanton hogshead,
My name was Don Antonio, and that title
Preserv'd my life, and chang'd my suit of clothes.
How kindly the good gentlewoman used me!
With what respect and careful tenderness!

[Bev.] Your worship, sir, had ever a sickly constitution, and I fear much more now, since your long travel. As you love me, off with these wet things, and put on the suit you left with me, before you went to Barbary. Good sir, neglect not your health; for, upon my experience, there is nothing worse for the rheum than to be drenched in a musty hogshead.

[Trin.] Pretty soul! such another speech would have drawn off my legs and arms, as easily as hose and doublet. Had I been Trincalo, I'd have sworn th' had cheated: but, fie! 'tis base and clownish to suspect, and ['tis] a gentleman's freeness to part with a cast suit. Now to the business: I'll into my own house, and first bestow Armellina upon Trincalo; then try what can be done for Pandolfo: for 'tis a rule I want t' observe, first do your own affairs, and next your master's. This word master makes me doubt I am not changed as I should be. But all's one: I'll venture, and do something worthy Antonio's name while I have it.



Antonio, Trincalo.

Ant. Wretched Antonio! hast been preserv'd so strangely
From foreign miseries, to be wrong'd at home?
Barr'd from thy house by the scorn of thine own children?
[Trincalo knocks.
But stay, there's one knocks boldly; 't may be some friend.
[Trincalo knocks again.
Dwell you here, gentleman?
Trin. He calls me gentleman:
See th' virtue of good clothes! All men salute,
Honour, respect, and reverence us.
Ant. Young gentleman,
Let me without offence entreat your name,
And why you knock?
Trin. How, sirrah saucebox, my name!
Or thou some stranger art or grossly ignorant,
That know'st not me. Ha! what art thou that ask'st it?
Ant. Be not in choler, sir.
Trin. Befits it me,
A gentleman of public reputation,
To stoop so low as satisfy the questions
Of base and earthly pieces like thyself?
What art thou? ha?

Ant. Th' unfortunate possessor of this house.

Trin. Thou liest, base sycophant, my worship owes[332] it.

Ant. May be, my son hath sold it in my absence,
Thinking me dead. How long has't call'd you master?


Trin. 'Long as Antonio possess'd it

Ant. Which Antonio?

Trin. Antonio Anastasio.

Ant. That Anastasio,
That was drown'd in Barbary?
Trin. That Anastasio,
That selfsame man, am I: I 'scap'd by swimming,
And now return to keep my former promise
Of Flavia to Pandolfo; and, in exchange,
To take Sulpitia to my wife.
Ant. All this
I intended 'fore I went: but, sir, if I
Can be no other than myself, and you
Are that Antonio, you and I are one.
Trin. How? one with thee? speak such another syllable,
And, by the terror of this deadly steel,
That ne'er saw light, but sent to endless darkness
All that durst stand before't, thou diest.
Ant. Alas!
My weakness, grown by age and pains of travel,
Disarms my courage to defend myself;
I have no strength, but patience.
Trin. What art now?
[Threatens him.
Ant. Peter and Thomas, William, what you please.

Trin. What boldness madded thee to steal my name?

Ant. Sir, heat of wine.

Trin. And, sirrah, when y' are drunk,
Is there no person to put on but mine,
To cover your intended villanies?
Ant. But, good sir, if I be not I, who am I?
Trin. An ox, an ass, a dog.
Ant. Strange negligence
To lose myself! methinks I live and move—
Remember. Could the fearful apprehension
[389] Or[333] th' ugly fear of drowning so transform me?
Or did I die, and by Pythagoras' rule,
My soul's provided of another lodging?
Trin. Be what thou wilt, except Antonio:
'Tis death to touch that name.
Ant. Dangers at sea
Are pleasures, weigh'd with these home-injuries.
Was ever man thus scar'd beside himself?
0 most unfortunate Antonio!
At sea thou suffer'dst shipwreck of thy goods,
At land of thine own self. Antonio—
Or what name else they please—fly, fly to Barbary!
And rather there endure the foreign cruelty
Of fetters, whips, and Moors, than here at home
Be wrong'd and baffled by thy friends and children.
Trin. How! prating still? why, Timothy, begone,
Or draw, and lay Antonio down betwixt us?
Let fortune of the fight decide the question.
Here's a brave rogue, that in the king's highway
Offers to rob me of my good name. Draw!
Ant. These wrongs recall my strength, I am resolv'd:
Better die once, than suffer always. Draw!
Trin. Stay: understand'st thou well nice points of duel?
Art born of gentle blood and pure descent?[334]
Was none of all thy lineage hang'd or cuckold,
Bastard or bastinado'd? Is thy pedigree
As long, as wide, as mine? for otherwise
[390] Thou wert most unworthy; and 'twere loss of honour
In me to fight. More, I have drawn five teeth:[335]
If thine stand sound, the terms are much unequal.
And, by strict laws of duel, I am excus'd
To fight on disadvantage.
Ant. This is some ass!
Trin. If we concur in all, write a formal challenge,
And bring thy second: meanwhile, I make provision
Of Calais sand,[336] to fight upon securely. Ha!
[Exit Antonio.


Lelio, Cricca, Trincalo.

Lel. Am I awake? or do deceitful dreams
Present to my wild fancy things I see not?


Cri. Sir, what amazement's this? Why wonder you?

Lel. See'st thou not Trincalo and Antonio?

Cri. O, strange! they're both here.

Lel. Didst not thou inform me
That Trincalo was turn'd to Antonio?
Which I believing, like a cursed son,
With most reproachful threats drove mine old father
From his own doors; and yet rest doubtful whether
This be the true Antonio: maybe, th' astrologer
Hath chang'd some other, and not Trincalo.
Cri. No, fear it not, 'tis plain: Albumazar
Hath cheated my old master of his plate.
For here's the farmer, as like himself as ever;
Only his clothes excepted. Trincalo.

Trin. Cricca, where's Trincalo? Dost see him here?

Cri. Yes, and as rank an ass as e'er he was.

Trin. Thou'rt much deceiv'd: thou neither see'st nor know'st me.
I am transform'd, transform'd.
Cri. Th' art still thyself.
Lelio, this farmer's half a fool, half knave;
And as Pandolfo did with much entreaty
Persuade him to transform, so, as much labour
Will hardly bring the coxcomb to himself,
That ne'er was out on't. Who art, if not he?
Trin. My name is Don Antonio: I am now going
To my own house, to give Pandolfo Flavia,
And Armellina to his farmer Trincalo.
How dar'st thou, Cricca (but a meaner servant),
Resemble me (a man of worth and worship),
To such a clown as Trincalo, a branded fool,
An ass, a laughing-stock to town and country?
Art not asham'd to name him with Antonio?


Lel. Do not thy actions, with thy rude behaviour,
Proclaim thee what thou art?
Cri. Notorious clown!
[Beats him.
Trin. Villain! th' hast broke my shoulders.

Lel. O, didst feel him?

Trin. Ay, with a pox.

Lel. Then th' art still Trincalo,
For, hadst thou been Antonio, he had smarted.

Trin. I feel it, as I am Antonio.

Cri. Fool! who loves Armellina?

Trin. 'Tis I, 'tis I.

Cri. Antonio never lov'd his kitchen-maid.

Trin. Well, I was taken for Antonio,
And in his name receiv'd ten pound in gold,
Was by his mistress entertain'd; but thou
Envy'st my happiness: if thou hast th' ambition
To rise as I have done, go to Albumazar,
And let him change thee to a knight or lord.
Cri. Note the strange power of strong imagination.
Trin. A world of engines cannot wrest my thoughts
From being a gentleman: I am one, and will be:
And, though I be not, yet will think myself so,
And scorn thee, Cricca, as a slave and servant.


Cricca, Lelio, Antonio.

Cri. 'Tis but lost labour to dissuade his dulness.
Believe me, that's your father.
Lel. When I drove him hence,
Spite of my blood, his reverend countenance
Struck me t' a deep compassion. To clear all,
I'll ask one question. Signior Antonio,
[393] What money took you when you went your voyage?
Ant. As I remember, fourscore and fifteen pound
In Barbary gold. Had Lucio kept his word,
I had carried just a hundred.
Lel. Pardon me, father;
'Twas my blind ignorance, not want of duty,
That wrong'd you; all was intended for a farmer,
Whom an astrologer, they said, transform'd.
Ant. How, an astrologer?
Lel. When you parted hence,
It seems you promis'd Flavia to Pandolfo.
News of your death arriving, th' old gentleman
Importunes me to second what you purpos'd.
Consulting therefore with my friends and kindred:
Loth my young sister should be buried quick
I' th' grave of threescore years; by their advice
I fully did deny him. He chafes and storms,
And finds at length a cunning man, that promis'd
To turn his farmer to your shape, and thus
Possess your house, and give him Flavia:
Whereof I, warn'd, wrong'd you instead of Trincalo.
Ant. Then hence it came they call'd me Trincalo,
And talk'd of an astrologer; which names
Almost enrag'd me past myself and senses.
'Tis true I promis'd, but have oft repented it;
And much more since he goes about to cheat me.
He must not have her, sir.
Lel. I am glad y' are so resolv'd.
And since with us you find that match unequal,
Let's all entreat you to bestow your daughter
Upon his son Eugenio.
Ant. Son, at your pleasure,
Dispose of Flavia with my full consent.


Lel. And as you judge him worthy your daughter Flavia,
Think me no less of his Sulpitia.
Ant. I do, and ever had desire to match
Into that family; and now I find myself
Old, weak, unfit for marriage, you shall enjoy her,
If I can work Pandolfo by entreaty.
Cri. To deal with him with reason and entreaties,
Is to persuade a madman: for his love
Makes him no less. All speeches opposite
T' his fix'd desire and love-corrupted judgment
Seem extreme fooleries. Will he consent
To give his daughter to your son, and you
Deny him Flavia? Shall Eugenio
Expect or land or love from old Pandolfo,
Being his open rival? 'Tis impossible.
He sought to cosen you; therefore resolve
To pay him in's own money. Be but advis'd
By my poor counsel, and one stroke shall cut
The root of his designs, and with his arrows
Strike his own plot so dead, that ev'n Albumazar,
With all his stars and instruments, shall never
Give it fresh motion.
Ant. Cricca, to thy direction
We yield ourselves; manage us at thy pleasure.
Lel. Speak quickly, Cricca.
Cri. The ground of all this business
Is to catch Trincalo, and lock him fast,
Till I release him: next, that no man whisper
Th' least word of your return. Then will I home,
And with a cheerful look tell my old master,
That Trincalo—but stay, look where he comes!
Let's in, and there at leisure I'll inform you
From point to point. Lelio, detain him here,
Till I send Armellina down to second you.
[395] Cross him in nothing; call him Antonio,
And good enough.
Lel. Fear not: let me alone.
[Exeunt Cricca and Antonio.


Trincalo, Lelio.

Trin. This rascal Cricca, with his arguments
Of malice, so disturbs my gentle thoughts,
That I half doubt I am not what I seem:
But that will soon be clear'd; if they receive me
In at Antonio's house, I am Antonio.
Lel. Signior Antonio, my most loving father!
Bless'd be the day and hour of your return.
Trin. Son Lelio! a blessing on my child; I pray thee, tell me
How fares my servant Armellina? well?
Lel. Have you forgot my sister Flavia?
Trin. What, my dear daughter Flavia? No: but first
Call Armellina; for this day we'll celebrate
A gleek of marriages:[337] Pandolfo and Flavia,
Sulpitia and myself, and Trincalo
With Armellina. Call her, good Lelio, quickly.
Trin. So: this is well, that Lelio
Confesses me his father. Now I am perfect—
Perfect Antonio.


Armellina, Trincalo.

Arm. Signior Antonio!
My long-expected master!
[396] Trin. O Armellina!
Come, let me kiss thy brow[338] like my own daughter.
Arm. Sir, 'tis too great a favour. I kiss your foot.
What, fall'n? alas! how feeble you are grown
With your long travel!
Trin. True, and being drown'd,
Nothing so griev'd me as to lose thy company:
But, since I am safe return'd, for thy good service
I'll help thee to a husband.
Arm. A husband, sir?
Some young and lusty youth, or else I'll none.
Trin. To one that loves thee dearly, dearly, wench:
A goodly man, like me in limbs and fashion.
Arm. Fie, an old man! how! cast myself away,
And be no nurse but his?
Trin. He's not like me
In years and gravity, but fair proportion;
A handsome, well-set man as I.

Arm. His name?

Trin. 'Tis Tom Trincalo of Totnam.

Arm. Signior Pandolfo's lusty farmer?

Trin. That's he.

Arm. Most unexpected happiness! 'tis the man
I more esteem than my own life: sweet master,
Procure that match, and think me satisfied
For all my former service without wages.
But, ah! I fear you jest. My poor unworthiness
[397] Hopes not so great a fortune as sweet Trincalo.
No, wretched Armellina, in and despair:
Back to thy mournful dresser; there lament
Thy flesh to kitchen-stuff, and bones to ashes,
For love of thy sweet farmer.
Trin. Alas! poor soul,
How prettily she weeps for me! Wilt see him?
Arm. My soul waits in my eyes, and leaves my body
Trin. Then swear to keep my counsel.
Arm. I swear
By th' beauteous eyes of Trincalo.
Trin. Why, I am Trincalo.
Arm. Your worship, sir! why do you flout your servant,
Right worshipful Antonio, my reverend master?
Trin. Pox of Antonio! I am Tom Trincalo.
Why laugh'st thou?
Arm. 'Tis desire and joy
To see my sweetest.

Trin. Look upon me, and see him.

Arm. I say I see Antonio, and none other.

Trin. I am within, thy love; without, thy master.
Th' astrologer transform'd me for a day.
Arm. Mock not your poor maid, pray you, sir.
Trin. I do not.
Now would I break this head against the stones,
To be unchang'd; fie on this gentry! it sticks
Like birdlime or the pox. I cannot part with't:
Within I am still thy farmer Trincalo.
Arm. Then must I wait, till old Antonio
Be brought to bed of a young[339] Trincalo;
Or flay you, and strip you to yourself again.
[398] Trin. Carry me to your chamber. Try me there.
Arm. O, sir, by no means; but with my lovely farmer
I'd stay all night, and thank him.
Trin. Cross misfortune!
Accurs'd Albumazar and mad Pandolfo!
To change me thus, that, when I most desire
To be myself, I cannot. Armellina,
Fetch me a looking-glass.
Arm. To what end?
Trin. Fetch one.
Let my old master's business sink or swim,
This sweet occasion must not be neglected.
Now shall I know th' astrologer's skill.[340] O wonderful!
Admir'd Albumazar in two transmutations!
Here's my old farmer's face. How in an instant
I am unchang'd, that was so long a-changing!
Here's my flat nose again, &c.
Now, Armellina, take thy lov'd Trincalo
To thy desired embracements; use thy pleasure,
Kiss him thy bellyful.
Arm. Not here in public.
T' enjoy too soon what pleaseth, is unpleasant:
The world would envy that my happiness.
Go in, I'll follow you, and in my bedchamber
We'll consummate the match in privacy.
Trin. Was not the face I wore far worse than this?
But for thy comfort, wench, Albumazar
Hath dyed my thoughts so deep i' th' grain of gentry,
[399] 'Tis not a glass can rob me of my good fashions
And gentleman-like garb. Follow, my dear.
Arm. I'll follow you. So, now y' are fast enough.
Trin. Help, Armellina, help! I am fall'n i' th' cellar:
Bring a fresh plantain leaf,[341] I have broke my shin.
Arm. Thus have I caught m' a husband in a trap,
And in good earnest mean to marry him.
'Tis a tough clown, and lusty: he works day and night;
And rich enough for me, that have no portion
But my poor service. Well, he's something foolish;
The better can I domineer, and rule him
At pleasure. That's the mark and utmost height
We women aim at. I am resolv'd I'll have him.


Lelio, Cricca.

Lel. In, Armellina; lock up Trincalo.
Arm. I will, sir.
Lel. Cricca, for this thy counsel, if't succeed,
Fear not thy master's anger: I'll prefer thee,
And count thee as my genius or good fortune.
Cri. It cannot choose but take. I know his humour;
And can at pleasure feather him with hopes,
[400] Making him fly what pitch I wish, and stoop,[342]
When I show fowl.
Lel. But for the suit of clothes?
Cri. I'll throw them o'er your garden-wall.
Haste to Eugenio and Sulpitia,
Acquaint them with the business.
Lel. I go.


Lelio, Sulpitia.

Lel. The hopeful issue of thy counsel, Cricca,
Brightens this ev'ning, and makes it more excel
The clearest day, than a grey morning doth
The blindest midnight, raising my amorous thoughts
To such a pitch of joy, that riches, honour,
And other pleasures, to Sulpitia's love
Appear like mole-hills to the moon.
Sul. Lelio!
Lel. O, there's the voice that in one note contains
All chords of music: how gladly she'll embrace
The news I give her and the messenger!
Sul. Soft, soft, y' are much mistaken; for in earnest,
I am angry, Lelio, and with you.
Lel. Sweetest, those flames
Rise from the fire of love, and soon will quench
I' th' welcome news I bring you.
Sul. Stand still, I charge you
By th' virtue of my lips; speak not a syllable,
As you expect a kiss should close my choler;
For I must chide you.


Lel. O my Sulpitia!
Were every speech a pistol charg'd with death,
I'd stand them all in hope of that condition.
Sul. First, sir, I hear you teach Eugenio
Too grave a wariness in your sister's love,
And kill his honest forwardness of affection
With your far-fet[343] respects, suspicions, fears:
You have your maybes—"This is dangerous:
That course were better; for if so, and yet
Who knows? the event is doubtful; be advis'd,
'Tis a young rashness: your father is your father;
Take leisure to consider." Thus y' have consider'd
Poor Flavia almost to her grave. Fie, Lelio!
Had this my smallness undertook the business,
And done no more in four short winter's days
Than you in four months, I'd have vowed my maidenhead
To th' living tomb of a sad nunnery;
Which for your sake I loathe.
Lel. Sweet, by your favour——
Sul. Peace, peace: now y' are so wise, as if ye had eaten
Nothing but brains and marrow of Machiavel:
You tip your speeches with Italian motti,[344]
Spanish refranes,[345] and English quoth he's. Believe me,
There's not a proverb salts your tongue, but plants
Whole colonies of white hairs. O, what a business
These hands must have when you have married me,
To pick out sentences that over-year you!


Lel. Give me but leave.

Sul. Have I a lip? and you
Made sonnets on't? 'tis your fault, for otherwise
Your sister and Eugenio had been sure
Long time ere this.
Lel. But——
Sul. Stay, your cue's not come yet.
I hate as perfectly this grey-green of yours,
As Old Antonio's green-grey. Fie! wise lovers
Are most absurd. Were I not full resolved,
I should begin to cool mine own affection.
For shame, consider well your sister's temper.
Her melancholy may much hurt her. Respect her,
Or, spite of mine own love, I'll make you stay
Six months before you marry me.
[Lelio whispers.
This your so happy news? return'd, and safe?
Antonio yet alive?
[Lelio whispers.
And what then?
[Lelio whispers.
Well; all your business must be compassed
With winding plots and cunning stratagems.
Look to't; for if we be not married ere next morning,
By the great love that's hid in this small compass,
Flavia and myself will steal you both away,
To your eternal shame and foul discredit.
Lel. How prettily this lovely littleness
In one breath pleads her own cause and my sister's!
Chides me, and loves. This is that pleasing temper
I more admire than a continued sweetness
That over-satisfies: 'tis salt I love, not sugar.



Albumazar, Ronca, Furbo, Harpax.

Alb. How? not a single share of this great prize,
That have deserv'd the whole? was't not my plot
And pains, and you mere instruments and porters?
Shall I have nothing?

Ron. No, not a silver spoon.

Fur. Nor cover of a trencher-salt.[346]

Har. Nor table-napkin.

Alb. Friends, we have kept an honest truth and faith
Long time amongst us: break not the sacred league,
By raising civil theft: turn not your fury
'Gainst your own bowels. Rob your careful master!
Are you not asham'd?
Ron. 'Tis our profession,
As yours astrology. "And in the days of old,
Good morrow, thief, as welcome was receiv'd,
As now Your worship." 'Tis your own instruction.[347]
Fur. "The Spartans held it lawful, and th' Arabians,
So grew Arabia happy, Sparta valiant."
Har. "The world's a theatre of theft: great rivers
Rob smaller brooks; and them the ocean."
Alb. Have not I wean'd you up from petty larceny,
[404] Dangerous and poor, and nurs'd you to full strength
Of safe and gainful theft? by rules of art
And principles of cheating made you as free
From taking as you went invisible;
And do ye thus requite me? this the reward
For all my watchful care?
Ron. We are your scholars,
Made by your help and our own aptness able
To instruct others. 'Tis the trade we live by.
You that are servant to divine astrology,
Do something worth her livery: cast figures,
Make almanacs for all meridians.
Fur. Sell perspicils and instruments of hearing:
Turn clowns to gentlemen; buzzards to falcons,
'ur-dogs to greyhounds; kitchen-maids to ladies.
Har. Discover more new stars and unknown planets:
Vent them by dozens, style them by the names
Of men that buy such ware. Take lawful courses,
Rather than beg.
Alb. Not keep your honest promise?
Ron. "Believe none, credit none: for in this city
No dwellers are but cheaters and cheatees."
Alb. You promis'd me the greatest share.
Ron. Our promise!
If honest men by obligations
And instruments of law are hardly constrain'd
T' observe their word, can we, that make profession
Of lawless courses, do't?
Alb. Amongst ourselves!
Falcons, that tyrannise o'er weaker fowl,
Hold peace with their own feathers.
Har. But when they counter
Upon one quarry,[348] break that league, as we do.


Alb. At least restore the ten pound in gold I lent you.

Ron. "'Twas lent in an ill second, worser third,
And luckless fourth:" 'tis lost, Albumazar.
Fur. Saturn was in ascension, Mercury
Was then combust, when you delivered it.
'Twill never be restor'd.
Ron. "Hali, Abenezra,
Hiarcha, Brachman, Budda Babylonicus,"
And all the Chaldees and the Cabalists,
Affirm that sad aspect threats loss of debts.
Har. Frame by your azimuth Almicantarath,
An engine like a mace, whose quality
Of strange retractive virtue may recall
Desperate debts, and with that undo serjeants.
Alb. Was ever man thus baited by's own whelps?
Give me a slender portion, for a stock
To begin trade again.
Ron. 'Tis an ill course,
And full of fears. This treasure hath enrich'd us,
And given us means to purchase and live quiet
Of th' fruit of dangers past. When I us'd robbing,
All blocks before me look'd like constables,
And posts appear'd in shape of gallowses;
Therefore, good tutor, take your pupil's counsel:
'Tis better beg than steal; live in poor clothes
Than hang in satin.
Alb. Villains, I'll be reveng'd,
And reveal all the business to a justice!

Ron. Do, if thou long'st to see thy own anatomy.

Alb. This treachery persuades me to turn honest.

Fur. Search your nativity; see if the Fortunates
And Luminaries be in a good aspect,
And thank us for thy life. Had we done well,
We had cut thy throat ere this.
[406] Alb. Albumazar,
Trust not these rogues: hence, and revenge.
Ron. Fellows, away; here's company. Let's hence.


Cricca, Pandolfo.

Cri. Now, Cricca, mask thy countenance in joy;
Speak welcome language of good news, and move
Thy master, whose desires are credulous,
To believe what thou giv'st him. If thy design
Land at the haven 'tis bound for, then Lelio,
Eugenio, and their mistresses, are oblig'd
By oath t' assure a state of forty pounds
Upon thee for thy life.
Pan. I long to know
How my good farmer speeds; how Trincalo
Hath been receiv'd by Lelio.
Cri. Where shall I find him?
What we most seek still flies us; what's avoided,
Follows or meets us full. I am emboss'd[349]
With trotting all the streets to find Pandolfo,
And bless him with good news.
Pan. This haste of Cricca
Abodes some good: doubtless my Trincalo,
[407] Receiv'd for Antonio, hath given me Flavia.
Cri. Neither in Paul's,[350] at home, nor in the Exchange,
Nor where he uses to converse! he's lost,
And must be cried.
Pan. Turn hither, Cricca; Cricca,
Seest me not?


Cri. Sir, the news, and haste to tell it,
Had almost blinded me. 'Tis so fortunate,
I dare not pour it all at once upon you,
Lest you should faint, and swoon away with joy:
Your transform'd Trincalo——

Pan. What news of him?

Cri. Enter'd as owner in Antonio's house——

Pan. On.

Cri. Is acknowledg'd by his daughter Flavia
And Lelio for their father.

Pan. Quickly, good Cricca!

Cri. And hath sent me in haste to bid you——

Pan. What?

Cri. Come with your son Eugenio——

Pan. And then?

Cri. That he may be a witness of your marriage.
But, sir, I see no signs of so large gladness
As I expected and this news deserv'd.
Pan. 'Tis here, 'tis here, within: all outward symptoms
And characters of joy are poor expressions
Of my great inward happiness. My heart's full,
And cannot vent the passions. Run, Cricca, run:
Run, as thou lov'st me; call Eugenio,
And work him to my purpose: thou canst do it.
Haste, call him instantly.
Cri. I fly, sir.



How shall I recompense this astrologer,
This great Albumazar, through whose learned hands
[409] Fortune hath prov'd[352] th' effect of my best wishes,
And crown'd my hopes? Give him this chain?
'Tis a poor thanks, short by a thousand links
Of his large merit. No, he must live with me
And my sweet Flavia at his ease and pleasure,
Wanting for nothing: and this very night
I'll get a boy, and he erect a figure
To calculate his fortunes. So, there's Trincalo
Antoniated, or Antonio Intrinculate.


Antonio, Pandolfo, Lelio, Eugenio.

Ant. Signior Pandolfo! welcome.

Lel. Your servant, sir.

Pan. Well-met, Antonio; my prayers and wishes
Have waited on you ever.
Ant. Thanks, dearest friend.
To speak my danger pass'd were to discourse
Of dead men at a feast. Such sad relations
Become not marriages. Sir, I am here
Return'd to do you service. Where's your son?
Pan. He'll wait upon you presently.
Eug. Signior Antonio!
Happily welcome.
Ant. Thanks, Eugenio.
How think you, gentlemen: were it amiss
To call down Flavia and Sulpitia,
That what we do may with a full consent
Be entertain'd of all?
Pan. 'Tis well-remember'd.
Eugenio, call your sister.
Ant. Lelio, call my daughter.
[Exeunt Lelio and Eugenio.



Pandolfo, Antonio.

Pan. Wisely consider'd, Trincalo; 'tis a fair prologue
To the comedy ensuing. Now I confess
Albumazar had equal power to change
And mend thy understanding with thy body.
Let me embrace and hug thee for this service:
'Tis a brave onset: O my sweet Trincalo!
Ant. How like you the beginning?
Pan. 'Tis o' th' further side
All expectation.
Ant. Was't not right, and spoken
Like old Antonio?
Pan.[353] 'Tis most admirable!
Were't he himself that spoke, he could not better't.
And for thy sake I wish Antonio's shape
May ever be thy house, and's wit thy inmate.
But where's my plate and cloth of silver?

Ant. Safe.

Pan. They come. Keep state, keep state, or all's discover'd.


Antonio, Pandolfo, Eugenio, Lelio, Flavia, Sulpitia.

Ant. Eugenio, Flavia, Lelio, and Sulpitia,
Marriages, once confirm'd and consummate,
Admit of no repentance. Therefore 'tis fitting
[411] All parties with full freedom speak their pleasure,
Before it be too late.
Pan. Good! excellent!
Ant. Speak boldly, therefore. Do you willingly
Give full authority, that what I decree
Touching these businesses, you'll all perform?
Eug. I rest as you dispose: what you determine,
With my best power I ratify; and Sulpitia,
I dare be bold to promise, says no less.
Sul. Whate'er my father, brother, and yourself
Shall think convenient, pleaseth me.
Lel. In this,
As in all other service, I commit myself
To your commands; and so, I hope, my sister.
Fla. With all obedience: sir, dispose of me
As of a child that judgeth nothing good,
But what you shall approve.
Ant. And you, Pandolfo?
Pan. I, most of all. And for you know[354] the minds
Of youth are apt to promise, and as prone
To repent after, 'tis my advice they swear
T' observe, without exception, your decree.

Fla. Content.

Sul. Content.

Pan. By all the powers that hear
Oaths, and rain vengeance upon broken faith,
I promise to confirm and ratify
Your sentence.

Lel. Sir, I swear no less.

Eug. Nor I.

Fla. The selfsame oath binds me.

Sul. And me the same.

Pan. Now, dear Antonio, all our expectation
[412] Hangs at your mouth. None of us can appeal
From you to higher courts.
Ant. First, for preparative
Or slight præludium to the greater matches,
I must entreat you, that my Armellina
Be match'd with Trincalo. Two hundred crowns
I give her for her portion.
Pan. 'Tis done. Some relics
Of his old clownery and dregs o' th' country
Dwell in him still. How careful he provides
For himself first. [Aside.] Content: and more, I grant him
A lease for twenty pounds a year.
Ant. I thank you.
Gentlemen, since I feel myself much broken
With age and my late miseries, and too cold
To entertain new heat, I freely yield
Sulpitia, whom I lov'd, to my son Lelio.
Pan. How cunningly hath the farmer provided
T' observe the 'semblance of Antonio's person,
And keep himself still free for Armellina!
Ant. Signior Pandolfo, y' are wise, and understand
How ill hot appetites of unbridled youth
Become grey hairs. How grave and honourable
Were't for your age to be enamour'd
With the fair shape of virtue and the glory
Of our forefathers! Then would you blush to think
How by this dotage and unequal love
You stain their honour and your own. Awake!
Banish those wild affections, and by my example
Turn t' your reposed self.
Pan. To what purpose, pray you,
Serves this long proem? on to th' sentence.
Ant. Sir,
Conformity of years, likeness of manners,
Are Gordian knots that bind up matrimony:
Now, betwixt seventy winters and sixteen
[413] There's no proportion, nor least hope of love.
Fie! that a gentleman of your discretion,
Crown'd with such reputation in your youth,
Should in your western days[355] lose th' good opinion
Of all your friends, and run to th' open danger
Of closing the weak remnant of your days
With discontentment[356] unrecoverable.
Pan. Rack me no more; pray you, let's hear the sentence.
Note how the ass would fright me, and endear
His service: intimating that his pow'r
May overthrow my hopes. [Aside.] Proceed to th' sentence.
Ant. These things consider'd, I bestow my daughter
Upon your son Eugenio, whose constant love,
With his so modest carriage, hath deserv'd her;
And, that you freeze not for a bed-fellow,
I marry you with patience.
Pan. Treacherous villain!
Accursed Trincalo! [Aside.] I'll—— But this no place;
He's too well back'd; but shortly, when the date
Of his Antonioship's expir'd, revenge
Shall sweeten this disgrace.
Ant. Signior Pandolfo,
When you recover yourself, lost desperately
In disproportion'd dotage, then you'll thank me
For this great favour. Be not obstinate:
Disquiet not yourself.
Pan. I thank you, sir.
[Exeunt all but Pandolfo.




And that you freeze not for a bed-fellow,
I marry you with patience! Traitorous villain!
Is't not enough to wrong me and betray me,
But 't must be done with scoffs? accursed Trincalo!
And me most miserable that, when I thought
T' embrace young Flavia, see her before my face
Bestow'd upon my son! my son—my rival!
This is Eugenio's plot and his friend Lelio's;
Who, with my servant Cricca, have conspir'd,
And suborn'd Trincalo to betray his master.
Why do I rage 'gainst any but myself,
That have committed such a serious business
To th' hands of a base clown and ignorant?
I see mine error, but no means to help it.
Only the sweetness of revenge is left me,
Which I must execute: th' hours of's gentry
Are now clean spent. I'll home, and there attend him.


Trincalo drunk, but something recovered.

Trin. Welcome, old trusty Trincalo; good farmer, welcome! Give me thy hand; we must not part hereafter. Fie, what a trouble 'tis to be out of a man's self! If gentlemen have no pleasure but what I felt to-day, a team of horses shall not drag me out of my profession. There's nothing amongst them but borrowing, compounding for half their debts, and have their purse cut for the rest; cozened by whores, frighted with husbands, washed in wet hogsheads, cheated of their clothes, and falling in cellars for conclusion.



Pandolfo at the window, Trincalo.

Pan. O precious piece of villany! are you unchang'd?
How confident the rogue dares walk the streets!
Trin. And then such quarrelling! never a suit
I wore to-day but hath been soundly basted: only
this faithful country-case 'scaped fist-free; and, be
it spoken in a good hour, was never beaten yet,
since it came from fulling.
Pan. Base, treacherous villain!
[Beats him.
Trin. Is this the recompense of my day's work?
Pan. You marry me to patience! there's patience,
And that you freeze not, there's warm patience,
She's a good bed-fellow: have patience.
Trin. You'll beat me out on't, sir. How have I wrong'd you?
Pan. So as deserves th' expression of my fury,
With th' cruel'st tortures I can execute.

Trin. You kill me, sir.

Pan. Have patience.

Trin. Pray you, sir!

Pan. Seek not by humble penitence t' appease me:
Nothing can satisfy.
Trin. Farewell, humility;
Now am I beaten sober.
[Takes away Pandolfo's staff.
Shall age and weakness master my youth and strength?
Now speak your pleasure: what's my fault?
Pan. Dar'st deny
Thy own act, done before so many witnesses,
Suborn'd by others, and betray my confidence
With such a stony impudence?


Trin. I have been faithful
In all you trusted me.
Pan. To them, not me.
O, what a proem, stuff'd with grave advice
And learned counsel, you could show'r upon me
Before the thunder of your deadly sentence!
And give away my mistress with a scoff!
Trin. I give your mistress?
Pan. Didst not thou decree,
Contrary t' our compact, against my marriage?

Trin. Why, when was I your judge?

Pan. Just now here.

Trin. See your error!
Then was I fast lock'd in Antonio's cellar:
Where, making virtue of necessity,
I drank stark drunk, and waking, found myself
Cloth'd in this farmer's suit, as in the morning.
Pan. Didst not thou swear to enter Antonio's house,
And give me Flavia for my wife, and after,
Before my own face, gav'st her to my son?

Trin. Ha, ha, ha!

[Whilst Trincalo laughs and lets fall the staff, Pandolfo recovers it, and beats him.

Pan. Canst thou deny it?

Trin. Ha, ha, ha!
Have you got Mistress Patience? Ha, ha, ha!

Pan. Is not this true?

Trin. Ha, ha, ha!

Pan. Answer me.

Trin. Ha, ha, ha wan!

Pan. Was't not thus?

Trin. I answer: first,
I never was transform'd,
But gull'd, as you were, by th' astrologer,
And those that called me Antonio. To prove
This true, the gentleman you spoke with was Antonio—
[417] The right Antonio, safely return'd from Barbary.

Pan. O me, what's this?

Trin. Truth itself.

Pan. Was't not thou that gav'st the sentence?

Trin. Believe me, no such matter:
I ne'er was gentleman, nor otherwise
Than what I am, unless 'twere when I was drunk.
Pan. How have I been deceiv'd! good Trincalo,
Pardon me, I have wrong'd thee.
Trin. Pardon you?
When you have beaten me to paste, Good Trincalo,
Pardon me!

Pan. I am sorry for't; excuse me.

Trin. I am sorry I can't[357] excuse you. But I pardon you.

Pan. Now tell me, where's the plate and cloth of silver,
The gold and jewels, that the astrologer
Committed to thy keeping?
Trin. What plate, what jewels?
He gave me none. But, when he went to change me,
After a thousand circles and ceremonies,
He binds me fast upon a form, and blinds me
With a thick table-napkin. Not long after
Unbinds my head and feet, and gives me light;
And then I plainly saw that I saw nothing:
The parlour was clean swept of all was in't.

Pan. O me! O me!

Trin. What ails you, sir? what ails you?

Pan. I am undone! I have lost my love, my plate,
My whole estate, and with the rest myself.
Trin. Lose not your patience too. Leave this lamenting,
And lay the town; you may recover it.


Pan. 'Tis to small purpose. In, and hold thy peace.
[Exit Trincalo.


Cricca, Pandolfo.

Cri. Where shall I find my master, to content him
With welcome news? he's here. News, news?
News of good fortune, joy, and happiness!
Pan. Cricca, my sadness is uncapable
Of better tidings: I am undone! most miserable!
Cri. Offend not your good luck, y' are now more fortunate
Than when you rose this morning: be merry, sir,
Cheer up yourself; y' have what you wish'd, fear nothing.
Pan. Maybe, Antonio newly repents himself,
With purpose to restore my Flavia.
Cricca, what is't? where's all this happiness?
Cri. Lock'd in Antonio's closet.
Pan. All alone?
Sure, that's my Flavia. Is not Eugenio
Suffer'd to enter?
Cri. Antonio keeps the key:
No creature enters but himself: all's safe,
And shall be so restor'd.
Pan. O my sweet Cricca!
Cri. And they that wrong'd you most extremely sorry,
Ready to yield you any satisfaction.
Pan. Is't possible they should so soon repent them,
That injur'd me so lately? tell me the manner
That caus'd them see their error.
Cri. I'll tell you, sir:
[419] Being just now at old Antonio's house,
One thunders at the back-door, enters, presses
To speak in private with young Lelio;
Was instantly admitted: and think you, who?
'Twas your astrologer Albumazar.
When he had spoke awhile, Lelio and Antonio
In haste command me fetch a constable.
Pan. How can this story touch my happiness?
Cri. I up and down, through slimy ale-houses,
Cloudy tobacco-shops and vapouring taverns,
My mouth full of inquiry, at last found one.
Pan. What of all this? Is't possible a constable
Concerns my good?
Cri. And, following my directions,
Went to a tippling-house, where we took drinking
Three handsome fellows with a great chest, attach'd them,
And brought all to Antonio.
Pan. Well, what then?
Cri. These were the astrologer's intelligences that
Robb'd you through the south window.
Pan. I thought thou hadst spoke
Of Flavia's restoring.
Cri. I mean your plate
And treasure. Pray you, sir, is't not great happiness
To reobtain three thousand pounds in value,
Desperately lost? and you still doat and dream
Of Flavia who, by your own consent
And oath, is promised to your son Eugenio.
Pan. Forward.
Cri. Within this chest Antonio found your plate,
Gold jewels, cloth of silver, nothing perish'd,
But all safe lock'd, till you acknowledge it.
And since Albumazar of his own accord
Freely confess'd, and safe restor'd your treasure;
[420] Since 'tis a day of jubilee and marriage,
Antonio would entreat you to release
And pardon the astrologer: thanking your fortune,
That hath restor'd you to your wealth and self.
Both which were lost i' th' foolish love of Flavia.
Pan. Reason hath clear'd my sight, and drawn the veil,
Of dotage, that so dark'd my understanding.
I clearly see the slavery of affections;
And how unsuitable my declining years
Are for the dawning youth of Flavia.
Let the best joys of Hymen compass her
And her young husband (my Eugenio),
With full content. And since Albumazar
By accident caus'd all this happiness,
I freely pardon him and his companions;
And haste to assist the marriages and feasts.
Cri. Why, now you show yourself a worthy gentleman.
[Exit Pandolfo.


Trincalo, Cricca.

Tri. Cricca, I overheard your news: all parts are pleas'd
Except myself. Is there no news for Trincalo?
Cri. Know'st it not? in and see: Antonio
Hath given thee Armellina with a portion—
Two hundred crowns; and old Pandolfo bound
By oath t' assure thee twenty pounds a year
For three lives.

Trin. Ha!

Cri. Come in.

Trin. I'll follow.



[Spoken by Trincalo].

Two hundred crowns? and twenty pound a year
For three good lives? Cargo[358] hai, Trincalo!
My wife's extremely busy, dressing the supper
For these great marriages, and I not idle,
So that I cannot entertain you here,
As I would elsewhere. But if you come to Totnam
Some four days hence, and ask for Trincalo,
At th' sign o' th' Hogshead, I'll mortgage all my lives
To bid you welcome. You that love Trincalo,
And mean to meet, clap hands, and make 't a bargain.[359]



The Hogge hath lost his Pearle. A Comedy. Divers times Publicely acted, by certaine London Prentices. By Robert Tailor. London, Printed for Richard Redmer, and are to be solde at the West-dore of Paules at the of the Starre. 1614. 4o.



Robert Tailor, the author of this play, is entirely unknown[360]. The title-page of it says it was divers times publicly acted by certain London Prentices; and Sir Henry Wotton[361], in a letter to Sir Edmund Bacon, dated 1612-13, gives the following account of its first performance: "On Sunday last at night, and no longer, some sixteen Apprentices (of what sort you shall guess by the rest of the Story), having secretly learnt a new play without book, intituled, The Hog hath lost His Pearl; took up the White Fryers for their Theater: and having invited thither (as it should seem) rather their Mistresses than their Masters, who were all to enter per buletini for a note of distinction from ordinary Comedians. Towards the end of the Play, the sheriffs (who by chance had heard of it) came in (as they say) and carried some six or seven of them to perform the last Act at Bridewel; the rest are fled. Now it is strange to hear how sharp-witted the City is, for they will needs have Sir John Swinerton, the Lord Major, be meant by the Hog, and the late Lord Treasurer by the Pearl."[362]



Old Lord Wealthy.
Young Lord, his son.
Maria, his daughter.
Carracus, }
Albert, }
two gentlemen, near friends.
Lightfoot, a country gentleman.
Haddit, a youthful gallant.
Hog, an usurer.
Rebecca, his daughter.
Peter Servitude, his man.
Atlas, a porter.
A Priest.
A Player.
A Servingman.
A Nurse.



Our long-time-rumour'd Hog, so often cross'd
By unexpected accidents, and toss'd
From one house to another: still deceiving
Many men's expectations, and bequeathing
To some lost labour: is at length got loose,
Leaving his servile yoke-stick to the goose;
Hath a knight's license, and may range at pleasure,
Spite of all those that envy our Hog's treasure.
And thus much let me tell you, that our swine
Is not, as divers critics did define,
Grunting at state-affairs, or invecting
Much at our city vices; no, nor detecting
The pride or fraud in it; but, were it now
He had his first birth, wit should teach him how
To tax these times' abuses, and tell some
How ill they did in running oft from home;
For to prevent (O men more hard than flint!)
A matter, that shall laugh at them in print.
Once to proceed in this play we were mindless,
Thinking we liv'd 'mongst Jews, that lov'd no swine's flesh:
But now that trouble's past, if it deserve a hiss
(As questionless it will through our amiss),
Let it be favour'd by your gentle sufferance:
Wise men are still indu'd with patience:
We are not half so skill'd as strolling players,
Who could not please here, as at country fairs:
We may be pelted off, for aught we know,
With apples, eggs, or stones, from thence below;
In which we'll crave your friendship, if we may,
[428] And you shall have a dance worth all the play:
And if it prove so happy as to please,
We'll say 'tis fortunate, like Pericles.[363]


Enter Lightfoot, a country gentleman, passing over the stage, and knocks at the other door.

Light. Ho! who's within here?

Enter Atlas, a porter.

Atlas. Ha' ye any money to pay, you knock with such authority, sir?

Light. What if I have not? may not a man knock without money, sir?

Atlas. Seldom; women and servants will not put it up so, sir.

Light. How say you by that, sir? but, I prythee, is not this one Atlas's house, a porter?

Atlas. I am the rent-payer thereof.

Light. In good time, sir.

Atlas. Not in good time neither, sir, for I am behind with my landlord a year and three-quarters at least.

Light. Now, if a man would give but observance to this fellow's prating, he would weary his ears sooner than a barber. Do y' hear, sir? lies there not one Haddit, a gentleman, at this house?


Atlas. Here lies such a gentleman, sir, whose clothes (were they not greasy) would bespeak him so.

Light. Then I pray, sir, when your leisure shall permit, that you would vouchsafe to help me to the speech of him.

Atlas. We must first crave your oath, sir, that you come not with intent to molest, perturb, or endanger him; for he is a gentleman, whom it hath pleased fortune to make her tennis-ball of, and therefore subject to be struck by every fool into hazard.

Light. In that I commend thy care of him, for which friendship here's a slight reward; tell him a countryman of his, one Lightfoot, is here, and[364] [he] will not any way despair of his safety.

Atlas. With all respect, sir; pray, command my house.
[Exit Atlas.

Light. So now I shall have a sight of my cousin gallant: he that hath consumed £800 a year in as few years as he hath ears on his head: he that was wont never to be found without three or four pair of red breeches running before his horse or coach: he that at a meal hath had more several kinds than, I think, the ark contained: he that was admired by niters[365] for his robes of [431] gallantry, and was indeed all that an elder brother might be—prodigal; yet he, whose unthriftiness kept many a house, is now glad to keep house in a house that keeps him, the poor tenant of a porter. And see his appearance! I'll seem strange to him.

Enter Haddit, in poor array.

Had. Cousin Lightfoot, how dost? welcome to the city.

Light. Who calls me cousin? where's my cousin Haddit? he's surely putting on some rich apparel for me to see him in. I ha' been thinking all the way I came up, how much his company will credit me.

Had. My name is Haddit, sir, and your kinsman, if parents may be trusted; and therefore you may please to know me better when you see me next.

Light. I prythee, fellow, stay: is it possible thou shouldst be he? why, he was the generous spark of men's admiration.

Had. I am that spark, sir, though now raked up in ashes;
Yet when it pleaseth fortune's chaps to blow
Some gentler gale upon me, I may then
From forth of embers rise and shine again.

Light. O, by your versifying I know you now, sir: how dost? I knew thee not at first, thou'rt very much altered.

Had. Faith, and so I am, exceeding much since you saw me last—about £800 a year; but let it pass, for passage[366] carried away the most part of it: a plague of fortune.


Light. Thou'st more need to pray to Fortune than curse her: she may be kind to thee when thou art penitent: but that, I fear, will be never.

Had. O, no, if she be a woman, she'll ever love those that hate her. But, cousin, thou art thy father's first-born; help me but to some means, and I'll redeem my mortgag'd lands, with a wench to boot.

Light. As how, I pray thee?

Had. Marry thus: Hog the usurer hath one only daughter.

Light. Is his name Hog? It fits him exceeding well; for as a hog in his lifetime is always devouring, and never commodious in aught till his death; even so is he, whose goods at that time may be put to many good uses.

Had. And so I hope they shall before his death. This daughter of his did, and I think doth, love me; but I, then thinking myself worthy of an empress, gave but slight respect unto her favour, for that her parentage seemed not to equal my high thoughts, puffed up——

Light. With tobacco, surely.

Had. No; but with as bad a weed—vainglory.

Light. And you could now be content to put your lofty spirits into the lowest pit of her favour. Why, what means will serve, man? 'Sfoot, if all I have will repair thy fortune, it shall fly at thy command.

Had. Thanks, good coz, the means shall not be great, only that I may first be clad in a generous outside, for that is the chief attraction that draws female affection. Good parts, without habiliments of gallantry, are no more set by in these times than a good leg in a woollen stocking. No, 'tis a glistering presence and audacity brings women into fool's felicity.


Light. You've a good confidence, coz; but what do ye think your brave outside shall effect?

Had. That being had, we'll to the usurer, where you shall offer some slight piece of land to mortgage, and if you do it to bring ourselves into cash, it shall be ne'er the farther from you, for here's a project will not be frustrate of this purpose.

Light. That shall be shortly tried. I'll instantly go seek for a habit for thee, and that of the richest too; that which shall not be subject to the scoff of any gallant, though to the accomplishing thereof all my means go. Alas! what's a man unless he wear good clothes?
[Exit Lightfoot.

Had. Good speed attend my suit! Here's a never-seen nephew kind in distress; this gives me more cause of admiration than the loss of thirty-five settings together at passage. Ay, when 'tis performed—but words and deeds are now more different than puritans and players.

Enter Atlas.

Atlas. Here's the player would speak with you.

Had. About the jig I promised him. My pen and ink! I prythee, let him in, there may be some cash rhymed out of him.

Enter Player.

Player. The Muses assist you, sir: what, at your study so early?

Had. O, chiefly now, sir: for Aurora Musis amica.

Player. Indeed, I understand not Latin, sir.

Had. You must then pardon me, good Master Change-coat; for I protest unto you, it is so much my often converse that, if there be none but women in my company, yet cannot I forbear it.


Player. That shows your more learning, sir; but, I pray you, is that small matter done I entreated for?

Had. A small matter! you'll find it worth Meg of Westminster,[367] although it be but a bare jig.

Player. O Lord, sir, I would it had but half the taste of garlic.[368]


Had. Garlic stinks to this; if it prove that you have not more whores than e'er garlic had, say I am a boaster of my own works, disgrace me on the open stage, and bob me off with ne'er a penny.

Player. O Lord, sir, far be it from us to debar any worthy writer of his merit; but I pray you, sir, what is the title you bestow upon it?

Had. Marry, that which is full as forcible as garlic: the name of it is, Who buys my four ropes of hard onions? by which four ropes is meant, four several kind of livers; by the onions, hangers-on—as at some convenient time I will more particularly inform you in so rare a hidden and obscure mystery.

Player. I pray, let me see the beginning of it. I hope you have made no dark sentence in't; for, I'll assure you, our audience commonly are very simple, idle-headed[369] people, and if they should hear what they understand not, they would quite forsake our house.

Had. O, ne'er fear it; for what I have writ is both witty to the wise, and pleasing to the ignorant: for you shall have those laugh at it far more heartily that understand it not, than those that do.

Player. Methinks the end of this stave is a foot too long.

Had. O no, sing it but in tune, and I dare warrant you.

Player. Why, hear ye.
[He sings.
[436] And you that delight in trulls and minions,
Come buy my four ropes of hard St Thomas's onions.[370]
Look ye there, St Thomas might very well have been left out; besides, hard should have come next the onions.

Had. Fie! no; the dismembering of a rhyme to bring in reason shows the more efficacy in the writer.

Player. Well, as you please; I pray you, sir, what will the gratuity be? I would content you as near hand as I could.

Had. So I believe. [Aside.] Why, Master Change-coat, I do not suppose we shall differ many pounds; pray, make your offer: if you give me too much, I will, most doctor-of-physic-like, restore.

Player. You say well; look you, sir, there's a brace of angels, besides much drink of free-cost, if it be liked.

Had. How, Master Change-coat! a brace of angels, besides much drink of free-cost, if it be liked! I fear you have learned it by heart; if you have powdered up my plot in your sconce, you may home, sir, and instruct your poet over a pot of ale the whole method on't. But if you do so juggle, look to't. Shrove-Tuesday[371] is at hand, and I have some acquaintance with bricklayers and plasterers.


Player. Nay, I pray, sir, be not angry; for as I am a true stage-trotter, I mean honestly; and look ye, more for your love than otherwise, I give you a brace more.

Had. Well, good words do much; I cannot now be angry with you, but see henceforward you do like him that would please a new-married wife, show your most at first, lest some other come between you and your desires; for I protest, had you not suddenly shown your good-nature, another should have had it, though it had been for nothing.

Player. Troth, I'm sorry I gave you such cause of impatiency; but you shall see hereafter, if your invention take, I will not stand off for a brace more or less, desiring I may see your works before another.

Had. Nay, before all others; and shortly expect a notable piece of matter, such a jig whose tune, with the natural whistle of a carman, shall be more ravishing to the ears of shopkeepers than a whole consort of barbers at midnight.

Player. I am your man for't; I pray you, command all the kindness belongs to my function, as a box for your friend at a new play, although I procure the hate of all my company.

Had. No, I'll pay for it rather; that may breed a mutiny in your whole house.

Player. I care not, I ha' played a king's part any time these ten years; and if I cannot command such a matter, 'twere poor, faith.


Had. Well, Master Change-coat, you shall now leave me, for I'll to my study; the morning hours are precious, and my Muse meditates most upon an empty stomach.

Player. I pray, sir, when this new invention is produced, let me not be forgotten.

Had. I'll sooner forget to be a jig-maker. [Exit Player.] So, here's four angels I little dreamt of. Nay, and there be money to be gotten by foolery, I hope fortune will not see me want. Atlas, Atlas!

Enter Atlas.

What, was my country coz here since?

Atlas. Why, did he promise to come again, seeing how the case stood wi' ye?

Had. Yea, and to advance my downfallen fortunes, Atlas.

Atlas. But ye are not sure he meant it ye, when he spake it.

Had. No, nor is it in man to conjecture rightly the thought by the tongue.

Atlas. Why, then, I'll believe it when I see it. If you had been in prosperity when he had promised you this kindness——

Had. I had not needed it.

Atlas. But being now you do, I fear you must go without it.

Had. If I do, Atlas, be it so: I'll e'en go write this rhyme over my bed's head—

Undone by folly; fortune, lend me more.
Canst thou, and wilt not? pox on such a whore!

and so I'll set up my rest. But see, Atlas, here's a little of that that damns lawyers; take it in part of a further recompense.

Atlas. No, pray keep it; I am conceited of your[439] better fortunes, and therefore will stay out that expectation.

Had. Why, if you will, you may; but the surmounting of my fortunes is as much to be doubted as he whose estate lies in the lottery—desperate.

Atlas. But ne'er despair. 'Sfoot, why should not you live as well as a thousand others that wear change of taffata, whose means were never anything?

Had. Yes, cheating, theft and panderising, or, maybe, flattery: I have maintained some of them myself. But come, hast aught to breakfast?

Atlas. Yes, there's the fag-end of a leg of mutton.

Had. There cannot be a sweeter dish; it has cost money the dressing.

Atlas. At the barber's, you mean.

Enter Albert solus.

Alb. This is the green, and this the chamber-window:
And see, the appointed light stands in the casement,
The ladder of ropes set orderly; yet he
That should ascend, slow in his haste, is not
As yet come hither.
Were't any friend that lives but Carracus,
I'd try the bliss which this fine time presents.