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Title: The Fatal Dowry

Author: Philip Massinger
        Nathaniel Field

Editor: Charles Lacy Lockert

Release Date: October 23, 2013 [EBook #44015]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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presented to the Faculty of Princeton University in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Accepted by the Department of English, June, 1916


This critical edition of The Fatal Dowry was undertaken as a Thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D. at Princeton University. It was compiled under the guidance and direction of Professor T. M. Parrott of that institution, and every page of it is indebted to him for suggestion, advice, and criticism. I can but inadequately indicate the scope of his painstaking and scholarly supervision, and can even less adequately express my appreciation of his ever-patient aid, which alone made this work possible.

I desire also to acknowledge my debt to Professor J. Duncan Spaeth of Princeton University, for his valuable suggestions in regard to the presentation of my material, notably in the Introduction; also to Professor T. W. Baldwin of Muskingum College and Mr. Henry Bowman, both of them then fellow graduate students of mine at Princeton, for assistance on several occasions in matters of special inquiry; and to Dr. M. W. Tyler of the Princeton Department of History for directing me in clearing up a lego-historical point; and finally to the libraries of Yale and Columbia Universities for their kind loan of needed books.


In the Stationer’s Register the following entry is recorded under the date of “30º Martij 1632:”

CONSTABLE Entred for his copy vnder the hands of Sir HENRY HERBERT and master SMITHWICKE warden a Tragedy called the ffatall Dowry. Vj d.

In the year 1632 was published a quarto volume whose title-page was inscribed: The Fatall Dowry: a Tragedy: As it hath been often Acted at the Private House in Blackfriars, by his Majesties Servants. Written by P. M. and N. F. London, Printed by John Norton, for Francis Constable, and are to be sold at his shop at the Crane, in Pauls Churchyard. 1632.

That the initials by which the authors are designated stand for Philip Massinger and Nathaniel Field is undoubted.

Later Texts

There is no other seventeenth century edition of The Fatal Dowry. It was included in various subsequent collections, as follows:

In addition to the above, The Fatal Dowry appeared in The Plays of Philip Massinger, adapted for family reading and the use of young persons, by the omission of objectionable passages,—edited by Harness, 1830–1; and another expurgated version was printed in the Mirror of Taste and Dramatic Censor, 1810. Both of these are based on the text of Gifford.

The edition of Coxeter is closest of all to the Quarto, following even many of its most palpable mistakes, and adding some blunders on its own account. Mason accepts practically all of Coxeter’s corrections, and supplies a great many more variants himself, not all of which are very happy. Both these eighteenth century editors continually contract for the sake of securing a perfectly regular metre (e. g.: You’re for You are, I, i, 139; th’ honours for the honours, I, ii, 35; etc.), while Gifford’s tendency is to give the full form for even the contractions of the Quarto, changing its ’em’s to them’s, etc. Gifford can scarce find words sharp enough to express his scorn for his predecessors in their lack of observance of the text of the Quarto, yet he himself frequently repeats their gratuitous emendations when the original was a perfectly sure guide, and he has almost a mania for tampering with the Quarto on his own account. Symons’ Mermaid text, while based essentially on that of Gifford, in a number of instances departs from it, sometimes to make further emendations, but more often to go back from those of Gifford to the version of the original, so that on the whole this is the best text yet published.

There has been a German translation by the Graf von Baudisson, under the title of Die Unselige Mitgift, in his Ben Jonson und seine Schule, Leipsig, 1836; and a French translation, in prose, under the title of La dot fatale by E. Lafond in Contemporains de Shakespeare, Paris, 1864.


The date of the composition or original production of The Fatal Dowry is not known. The Quarto speaks of it as having been “often acted,” so there is nothing to prevent our supposing that it came into existence many years before its publication. It does not seem to have been entered in Sir Henry Herbert’s Office Book.1 This would indicate its appearance to have been prior to Herbert’s assumption of the duties of his office in August, 1623. In seeking a more precise date we can deal only in probabilities.2

The play having been produced by the King’s Men, a company in which Field acted, it was most probably written during his association therewith. This was formed in 1616; the precise date of his retirement from the stage is not known. His name appears in the patent of March 27, 1619, just after the death of Burbage, and again and for the last time in a livery list for his Majesty’s Servants, dated May 19, 1619. It is absent from the next grant for livery (1621) and from the actors’ lists for various plays which are assigned to 1619 or 1620. We may therefore assume safely that his connection with the stage ended before the close of 1619. On the basis of probability, then, the field is narrowed to 1616–19.3

More or less presumptive evidence may be adduced for a yet more specific dating. During these years that Field acted with the King’s Men, two plays appeared which bear strong internal evidence of being products of his collaboration with Massinger and Fletcher: The Knight of Malta and The Queen of Corinth. While several parallels of phraseology are afforded for The Fatal Dowry by these (as, indeed, by every one of the works of Massinger) they are not nearly so numerous or so striking as similarities discoverable between it and certain other dramas of the Massinger corpus. With none does the connection seem so intimate as with The Unnatural Combat. Both plays open with a scene in which a young suppliant for a father’s cause is counseled, in passages irresistibly reminiscent of each other, to lay aside pride and modesty for the parent’s sake, because not otherwise can justice be gained, and it is the custom of the age to sue for it shamelessly. Moreover, the offer by Beaufort and his associates to Malefort of any boon he may desire as a recompense for his service, and his acceptance of it, correspond strikingly in both conduct and language with the conferring of a like favor upon Rochfort by the Court (I, ii, 258 ff.); while the request which Malefort prefers, that his daughter be married to Beaufort Junior, and the language with which that young man acknowledges this meets his own dearest wish, bear a no less patent resemblance to the bestowal of Beaumelle upon Charalois (II, ii, 284–297). Now this last parallel is significant, because The Unnatural Combat is an unaided production of Massinger, while the analogue in The Fatal Dowry occurs in a scene that is by the hand of Field. The similarity may, of course, be only an accident, but presumably it is not. Then did Field borrow from Massinger, or did Massinger from Field? The most plausible theory is that The Unnatural Combat was written immediately after The Fatal Dowry, when Massinger’s mind was so saturated with the contents of the tragedy just laid aside that he was liable to echo in the new drama the expressions and import of lines in the old, whether by himself or his collaborator. That at any rate the chronological relationship of the two plays is one of juxtaposition is further attested by the fact that in minor parallelisms,4 too, to The Fatal Dowry, The Unnatural Combat is richer than any other work of Massinger.

Unfortunately The Unnatural Combat is itself another play of whose date no more can be said with assurance than that it preceeds the entry of Sir Henry Herbert into office in 1623, though its crude horrors, its ghost, etc., suggest moreover that it is its author’s initial independent venture in the field of tragedy, his Titus Andronicus, an ill-advised attempt to produce something after the “grand manner” of half a generation back. Next in closeness to The Fatal Dowry among the works of Massinger as regards the number of its reminiscences of phraseology stands his share of The Virgin Martyr; next in closeness as regards the strikingness of these parallels stands his share of The Little French Lawyer. These two plays can be dated circa 1620.

To sum up:

The Fatal Dowry appears to antedate the installation of Sir Henry Herbert in 1623.

It was probably written while Field was with the King’s Men; with whom he became associated in 1616, and whom he probably quitted in 1619.

The indications point to its composition during the latter part of this three-year period (1616–19), for it yields more and closer parallels to The Virgin Martyr and The Little French Lawyer, dated about 1620, than to The Knight of Malta and The Queen of Corinth, dated 1617–8,—closer, indeed, than to any work of Massinger save one, The Unnatural Combat, itself an undated but evidently early play, with which its relationship is clearly of the most intimate variety.

The following (at best hazardously conjectural) scheme of sequence may be advanced:

Fletcher and Massinger and Field together wrote The Knight of Malta and The Queen of Corinth—according to received theory, in 1617 or 1618. Thereafter, the last two collaborators (desirous, perhaps, of trying what they could do unaided and unshackled by the dominating association of the chief dramatist of the day) joined hands in the production of the tragedy which is the subject of our study. Then, upon Field’s retirement, Massinger struck off, with The Unnatural Combat, into unassisted composition; but we next find him, whether because he recognized the short-comings of this turgid play or for other reasons, again in double harness, at work upon The Virgin Martyr and The Little French Lawyer. On this hypothesis, The Fatal Dowry would be dated 1618–9.


No source is known for the main plot of The Fatal Dowry. A Spanish original has been suspected, but it has never come to light. The stress laid throughout the action on that peculiarly Spanish conception of “the point of honor” (see under Critical Estimate, in consideration of the character of Charalois) is unquestionably suggestive of the land south of the Pyrenees, and we have an echo of Don Quixote in the exclamation of Charalois (III, i, 441): “Away, thou curious impertinent.” The identification, however, of the situation at Aymer’s house in IV, ii with a scene in Cervantes’ El viejo celoso (Obras Completas De Cervantes, Tomo XII, p. 277) is extremely fanciful. The only similarity consists in the circumstance that in both, while the husband is on the stage, the wife, who, unknown to him, entertains a lover in the next room, is heard speaking within. But this is a spontaneous outcry on the part of Beaumelle, who does not suspect the proximity of her husband, and her discovery follows, and from this the denouement of the play; whereas in Cervantes’ entremes the wife deliberately calls in bravado to her niece, who is also on-stage, and boasts of her lover,—and the husband thinks this is in jest, and nothing comes of it but comedy.

The theme of the son’s redemption of his father’s corpse by his own captivity is from the classical story of Cimon and Miltiades, as narrated by Valerius Maximus, De dictis factisque memorabilibus, etc. Lib. V, cap. III. De ingratis externorum: Bene egissent Athenienses cum Miltiade, si eum post trecenta millia Persarum Marathone devicta, in exilium protinus misissent, ac non in carcere et vinculis mori coegissent; sed, ut puto, hactenus saevire adversus optime meritum abunde duxerunt: immo ne corpus quidem eius, sic expirare coacti sepulturae primus mandari passi sunt, quam filius eius Cimon eisdem vinculis se constrigendum traderet. Hanc hereditatem paternam maximi ducis filius, et futurus ipse aetatis suae dux maximus, solam se crevisse, catenas et carcerem, gloriari potuit.

In the version of Cornelius Nepos (Vitae, Cimon I) Cimon is incarcerated against his will.

The action of the play is given the historical setting of the later fifteenth century wars of Louis XI of France and Charles the Bold of Burgundy, although this background is extremely hazy. The hero’s name is the title which Charles bore while heir-apparent to the Duchy of Burgundy; mention is made of Charles himself (“The warlike Charloyes,” I, ii, 171), to Louis (“the subtill Fox of France, The politique Lewis,” I, ii, 123–4), and to “the more desperate Swisse” (I, ii, 124), against whom Charles lost his life and the power of Burgundy was broken; while the three great defeats he suffered at their hands, Granson, Morat, Nancy, are named in I, ii, 170. Shortly after these disasters the events which the play sets forth must be supposed to occur; the parliament by which in our drama Dijon is governed was established by Louis XI when he annexed Burgundy in 1477 and thereby abolished her ducal independence.


It is doubtful if Massinger ever collaborated with any author whose manner harmonized as well with his own as did Field’s. In his partnership with Decker in The Virgin Martyr, the alternate hands of the two dramatists afford a weird contrast.5 His union with Fletcher was less incongruous, but Fletcher was too much inclined to take the bit between his teeth to be a comfortable companion in double harness,6 and at all times his volatile, prodigal genius paired ill with the earnest, painstaking, not over-poetic moralist. But in Field Massinger found an associate whose connection with himself was not only congenial, but even beneficial, to the end that together they could achieve certain results of which either was individually incapable; just as it has been established was the case in the Middleton-Rowley collaboration. To a formal element of verse different, indeed, from Massinger’s, but not obtrusively so, a certain moral fibre of his own (perhaps derived from his clerical antecedents), and a like familiarity with stage technique, Field added qualities which Massinger notably lacked, and thereby complemented him: a light and vigorous (if sometimes coarse) comic touch as opposed to Massinger’s cumbrous humor; a freshness and first-hand acquaintance with life as opposed to Massinger’s bookishness; a capacity to visualize and individualize character as opposed to Massinger’s weakness for drawing types rather than people. The fruit of their joint endeavors testifies to a harmonious, conscientious, and mutually respecting partnership.

In consideration of the above, it is surprising how substantially in accord are most of the opinions that have been expressed concerning the share of the play written by each author.

“A critical reader,” says Monck Mason, “will perceive that Rochfort and Charalois speak a different language in the Second and Third Acts, from that which they speak in the first and last, which are undoubtedly Massinger’s; as is also Part of the Fourth Act, but not the whole of it.”

Dr. Ireland, in a postscript to the text of The Fatal Dowry in Gifford’s edition, agrees with Mason in assigning the Second Act to Field and also the First Scene of the Fourth Act; the Third Act, however, he claims for Massinger, as well as that share of the play with which Mason credits him. Fleay and Boyle, the chief modern commentators who have taken up the question of the division of authorship with the aid of metrical tests and other criteria, agree fairly well with the speculations of their less scientific predecessors, and adopt an intermediate, reconciling position on the disputed Third Act, dividing it between the two dramatists.7

Boyle (Englische Studien, V, 94) assigns to Massinger Act I; Act III as far as line 316; Act IV, Scenes ii, iii, and iv; and the whole of Act V, with the exception of Scene ii, lines 80–120, which he considers an interpolation of Field, whom he also believes to have revised the latter part of I, ii (from Exeunt Officers with Romont to end).

Fleay (Chron. Eng. Dra., I, 208) exactly agrees with this division save that the latter part of I, ii, which Boyle believes emended by Field, he assigns to that author outright; and that he places the division in Act III twenty-seven lines later (Field after Manent Char. Rom.).

In my own investigation I have used for each Scene the following tests to distinguish the hands of the two authors:

(a) Broad aesthetic considerations: the comparison of style and method of treatment with the known work of either dramatist.

(b) The test of parallel phrases. Massinger’s habit of repeating himself is notorious. I have gone through the entire body of his work, both that which appears under his name, and that which has been assigned to him by modern research in the Beaumont & Fletcher plays, and noted all expressions I found analogous to any which occur in The Fatal Dowry. I have done the same for Field’s work, examining his two comedies, Woman is a Weathercock and Amends for Ladies, and Acts I and V of The Knight of Malta and III and IV of The Queen of Corinth, which the consensus of critical opinion recognizes (in my judgment, correctly) as his. He is generally believed to have collaborated also in The Honest Man’s Fortune, but the exact extent of his work therein is so uncertain that I have not deemed it a proper field from which to adduce evidence. His hand has been asserted by one authority or another to appear in various other plays of the period, he having served, as it were, the role of a literary scapegoat on whom it was convenient to father any Scene not identified as belonging to Beaumont, Fletcher, or Massinger; but there is no convincing evidence for his participation in the composition of any extant dramas save the above named.

(c) Metrical tests. I have computed the figures for The Fatal Dowry in regard to double or feminine endings and run-on lines. Massinger’s verse displays high percentages (normally 30 per cent, to 45 per cent.) in the case of either. Field’s verse varies considerably in the matter of run-on lines at various periods of his life, but the proportion of them is always smaller than Massinger’s. His double endings average about 18 per cent. I have also counted in each Scene the number of speeches that end within the line, and that end with the line, respectively. (Speeches ending with fragmentary lines are considered to have mid-line endings.) This is declared by Oliphant (Eng. Studien, XIV, 72) the surest test for the work of Massinger. “His percentage of speeches,” he says, “that end where the verses end is ordinarily as low as 15.” This is a tremendous exaggeration, but it is true that the ratio of mid-line endings is much higher in Massinger than in any of his contemporaries—commonly 2:1, or higher.

We find the First Scene of Act I one of those skillful introductions to the action which the “stage-poet” knew so well how to handle, for which reason, probably, he was generally intrusted with the initial Scene of the plays in which he collaborated. Thoroughly Massingerian are its satire upon the degenerate age and its grave, measured style, rhetorical where it strives to be passionate, and replete with characteristic expressions. Especially striking examples of the dramatist’s well-known and never-failing penchant for the recurrent use of certain ideas and phrases are: As I could run the hazard of a check for’t. (l. 10)—cf. 8C-G. 87 b, 156 b, 327 b; D. V, 328; XI, 28;—You shall o’ercome. (l. 101)—cf. C-G. 230 b, 248 b, 392 a;—and ll. 183–7—cf. C-G. 206 a, 63 a, 91 a, 134 b. The correspondence between ll. 81–99 and the opening of The Unnatural Combat has already been remarked on, while further reminiscences of the same passage are to be found elsewhere in Massinger (C-G. 104 a, 195 b). Metrical tests show for the Scene 33 per cent. double endings and 29 per cent. run-on lines, figures which substantiate the conclusions derivable from a scrutiny of its style and content.9

In I, ii Massinger appears in his element, an episode permitting opportunities for the forensic fervor which was his especial forte. Such Scenes occur again and again in his plays: the conversion of the daughters of Theophilus by the Virgin Martyr, the plea of the Duke of Milan to the Emperor, of old Malefort to his judges in The Unnatural Combat, of Antiochus to the Carthagenian senate in Believe as You List. From the speech with which Du Croy opens court (I, ii, 1–3)—cf. the inauguration of the senate-house scene in The Roman Actor, C-G. 197 b,

Fathers conscript, may this our meeting be
Happy to Caesar and the commonwealth!

—to the very end, it abounds with Massingerisms: Knowing judgment; Speak to the cause; I foresaw this (an especial favorite of the poet’s); Strange boldness!; the construction, If that curses, etc;—also cf. l. 117 ff. with

To undervalue him whose least fam’d service
Scornes to be put in ballance with the best
Of all your Counsailes.
(Sir John van Olden B., Bullen’s Old Plays, II, 232.)

We have seen that the hand of Field has been asserted to appear in the last half of this Scene. This is probably due to the presence here of several rhymed couplets, which are uncommon in Massinger save as tags at the end of Scenes or of impressive speeches, but not absolutely unknown in his work; whereas Field employs them frequently—in particular to set off a gnomic utterance. If Field’s indeed, they can scarcely represent more than his revising touch here and there; everything else in this part of the Scene bespeaks Massinger no less clearly than does the portion which preceeds it. There continues the same stately declamation, punctuated at intervals by brief comments or replies, the same periodic sentence-structure, the same or even greater frequency of characteristic diction. Massinger again and again refers in his plays to the successive hardships of the summer’s heat and winter’s frost (l. 184—cf. C-G. 168 b, 205 a, 392 b, 488 b); stand bound occurs literally scores of times upon his pages (three times on C-G. 77 a alone);—typical also are in their dreadful ruins buried quick (l. 178—cf. C-G. 603 a, 625 a, Sir John van Olden B., Bullin’s Old Plays, II, 209), Be constant in it (l. 196—cf. C-G. 2 a, 137 a, 237 a, 329 a), Strange rashness!, It is my wonder (l. 293—cf. C-G. 26 b, 195 b; D. VIII, 438; XI, 34). Cf. also l. 156,

To quit the burthen of a hopeless life,

with C-G. 615 b,

To ease the burthen of a wretched life.

And ll. 284–6,

But would you had
Made trial of my love in anything
But this,

with C-G. 286 a,

I could wish you had
Made trial of my love some other way.

And again, ll. 301–3,

and his goodness
Rising above his fortune, seems to me,
Princelike, to will, not ask, a courtesy.

with D. XI. 37,

in his face appears
A kind of majesty which should command,
Not sue for favour.

and the general likeness of l. 258 ff. with C-G. 44 b-45 a, as above noted. Nor do the verse tests reveal any break in the continuity of the Scene; the figures for the first part are: double endings, 45 per cent.; run-on lines, 33 per cent.—for the second part: double endings, 36 per cent.; run-on lines, 36 per cent.

Passing to the Second Act, we discover at once a new manner of expression, in which the sentence has a looser structure, the verse a quicker tempo, the poetry a striving now and again for a note of lyric beauty which, although satisfactorily achieved in but few lines, is by Massinger’s verse not even attempted. A liberal sprinkling of rhymes appears. The Scene is a trifle more vividly conceived; the emotions have a somewhat more genuine ring. Simultaneously, resemblances to the phraseology of Massinger’s other plays become infrequent; and, to increase the wonder, is almost the only reminder of him in the whole of Scene i. On the other hand we must not expect to find in the work of Field the same large number of recognizable expressions as mark that of Massinger; for he was not nearly so given to repeating himself, nor are there many of his plays extant from which to garner parallels. The figure of speech with which Charalois opens his funeral address [Field shows a great predilection for “aqueous” similes and metaphors], the liberal use of oaths (’Slid, ’Slight), a reference (l. 137) to the Bermudas (also mentioned in Amends for Ladies: M. 427), and the comparison to the oak and pine (ll. 119–121—cf. a Field Scene of The Queen of Corinth: D. V, 436–7) are the only specific minutia to which a finger can be pointed. The verse analysis testifies similarly to a different author from that of Act I, double endings being 20 per cent., run-on lines 15 per cent.—figures which are quite normal to Field.

To the actor-dramatist may be set down the prose of II, ii without question. Massinger practically never uses prose, which is liberally employed by Field, as is the almost indistinguishable prose-or-verse by which a transition is made from one medium to the other. The dialogue between Beaumelle and her maids is strikingly like that between two “gentlewomen” in The Knight of Malta, I, ii—a Scene generally recognized as by his hand; the visit of Novall Junior which follows is like a page out of his earlier comedies. Notable resemblances are ll. 177–8, Uds-light! my lord, one of the purls of your band is, without all discipline, fallen out of his rank, with 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. (Amends for Ladies, M. 455); and l. 104, they skip into my lord’s cast skins some twice a year, with and then my lord (like a snake) casts a suite every quarter, which I slip into: (Woman is a Weathercock, M. 374). The song, after l. 131, recalls that in Amends for Ladies, M. 465.

Of the verse which follows, most of the observations made in regard to the preceeding Scene are applicable. The comic touch in the midst of Romont’s tirade (ll. 174–206) against old Novall, when the vehemence of his indignation leads him to seek at every breath the epithet of a different beast for his foe, is surely Field’s, not Massinger’s. A Field scene of The Queen of Corinth, D. V, 438, parallels with its Thou a gentleman! thou an ass, the construction of l. 276, while there too is duplicated the true-love knots of l. 314, though in a rather grotesque connection. The verse tests are confirmative of Field: 21 per cent. double endings; 19 per cent, run-on lines. While a few resemblances to phrases occurring somewhere in the works of Massinger can be marked here and there in the 355 lines of the Scene, they are not such as would demand consideration, nor are more numerous than sheer chance would yield in the case of a writer so prolific as the “stage-poet.” The parallel between ll. 284–297 and a passage from The Unnatural Combat is pointed out under the head of Date, and one of several possible explanations for this coincidence is there offered. These lines in The Fatal Dowry are as unmistakably Field’s as any verse in the entire play; their short, abruptly broken periods and their rapid flow are as characteristic of him as the style of their analogue in The Unnatural Combat is patently Massingerian.

Act III presents a more difficult problem. It will be noted that Fleay and Boyle alike declare that its single long Scene is divided between the two authors, but are unable to agree as to the point of division. The first 316 lines are beyond question the work of Massinger. The tilt between Romont and Beaumelle is conducted with that flood of rhetorical vituperation by which he customarily attempts to delineate passion; in no portion of the play is his diction and sentence-structure more marked; and the parallels to passages elsewhere in his works reappear with redoubled profusion. Indeed, they become too numerous for complete citation; let it suffice to refer ll. 43–4 to D. III, 477; ll. 53–4 to C-G. 173 a; ll. 80–3 to D. III, 481; l. 104 to C-G. 532 a; l. 116 to C-G. 146 b; ll. 117–8 to D. VI, 294 and D. VI, 410; ll. 232–5 to C-G. 307 a, also to 475 b, and to D. VIII, 406; while the phrase, Meet with an ill construction (l. 238) is a common one with Massinger (cf. C-G. 76 a, 141 b, 193 b, 225 b, 339 b), as are such ironic observations as the Why, ’tis exceeding well of l. 293 (cf., e. g., 175 b). This part of the Scene contains 45 per cent. double endings and 36 per cent. run-on lines.

The last 161 lines of the Act with scarcely less certainty can be established as Field’s, though on a first reading one might imagine, from the wordiness of the vehement dialogue and the rather high ratio (19:11) of speeches ending in mid-line, that the hand of Massinger continues throughout. But the closest examination no longer will reveal traces of that playwright’s distinctive handiwork, while a ratio of 17 per cent. for double endings and 28 per cent. for run-on lines, the introduction of rhyme, the oaths, and the change from the previous full-flowing declamation to shorter, more abrupt periods are vouchers that this part of the Scene is from the pen of the actor-dramatist. We can scarcely imagine the ponderous-styled Massinger writing anything so easy and rapid as

I’ll die first.
Farewell; continue merry, and high heaven
Keep your wife chaste.

Such phrases as So I not heard them (l. 352) and Like George a-horseback (l. 433) in the loose structure of the one and the slangy scurrility of the other, exhibit no kinship to his manner; l. 373, They are fools that judge me by my outward seeming recalls a Field passage in The Queen of Corinth (D. V, 444) They are fools that hold them dignified by blood. There is here and there, moreover, a certain violence of expression, a compressed over-trenchancy of phrase, that brings to mind the rant of the early Elizabethans, and is found among the Jacobeans only in the work of Rowley, Beaumont, and Field. For the last named, this is notably exemplified in the opening soliloquy of The Knight of Malta; we cannot but recognize the same touch here in ll. 386–8:

Thou dost strike
A deathful coldness to my heart’s high heat,
And shrink’st my liver like the calenture.

The Something I must do, which concludes the Act, is repeatedly paralleled in Massinger’s plays, but a similar indefinite resolve is expressed in Woman is a Weathercock (M. 363), and it consequently cannot be adduced as evidence of his hand. Immediately above, however (ll. 494–6), we encounter, in the allusion to the Italian and Dutch temperaments, a thought twice echoed by the “stage-poet” in plays of not greatly later date, The Duke of Milan and The Little French Lawyer (C-G. 90 a; D. III, 505). It may represent an interpolation by Massinger; it may be merely that this rather striking conclusion to the climatic speech of his collaborator’s scene so fixed itself on his mind as to crop out afterwards in his own productions.

In the short disputed passage (ll. 317–343) which separates what is undoubtedly Massinger’s from what is undoubtedly Field’s, it would appear that both playwrights had a hand. The ’Sdeath and Gads me!, the play upon the word currier, and the phrase, I shall be with you suddenly (cf. Q. of Cor. D. V, 467) speak for Field; while Massinger, on the other hand, parallels

His back
Appears to me as it would tire a beadle;


A man of resolution, whose shoulders
Are of themselves armour of proof, against
A bastinado, and will tire ten beadles.—C-G. 186 b;

and the phrase “to sit down with a disgrace” occurs something like a dozen times on his pages, especially frequently in the collaborated plays—that is to say, in the earlier period of his work, to which The Fatal Dowry belongs. It is probable, and not unnatural, that the labors of the partners in composition overlapped on this bit of the Scene, but metrical analysis claims with as much certainty as can attach to this test in the case of so short a passage that it is substantially Massinger’s, and should go rather with what preceeds than with what comes after it, the verse being all one piece with that of the former section. It has 37 per cent. double endings and 41 per cent. run-on lines.

IV, i, opens with a prose passage for all the world like that of Woman is a Weathercock, I, ii, with its picture of the dandy, his parasites, and the pert page who forms a sort of chorus with his caustic asides; and writes itself down indisputably as by the same author. Novall Junior and his coterie appear here as in their former presentation in II, ii. We have again the same racy comedy, the same faltering of the vehicle between verse and prose (see ll. 61–8; 137–153). After the clearing of the stage of all save Romont and young Novall, uninterrupted verse ensues, which, despite a rather notable parallel in The Beggars’ Bush, D. IX, 9 to l. 174, is evidently Field’s also. An analogue of ll. 180–1 is discoverable in Amends for Ladies (M. 421), as is of the reference ( l. 197) to “fairies’ treasure” in Woman is a Weathercock (M. 344). Novall’s exclamation ( l. 182), Pox of this gun! and his retort ( l. 201), Good devil to your rogueship! are Fieldian, and the entire passage possesses a vigor and an easy naturalness which declare his authorship. It is not improbable, however, that his contribution ends with the fragmentary l. 207, and that the remaining four lines of the Scene are a Massinger tag. The Maid of Honour (C-G. 28 a) furnishes a striking parallel for ll. 208–9, while for 210–1 cf. C-G. 192 a. The metrical tests for IV, i, confirm Field: 22 per cent. double endings; 22 per cent. run-on lines.

With the next Scene the hand of Massinger is once more in evidence with all its accustomed manifestations. One interested in his duplication of characteristic phrasing may refer for comparison ll. 13–4 to C-G. 299 b; l. 17 to C-G. 241 a; ll. 24–6 to C-G. 547 b; ll. 29–30 to C-G. 425 b; l. 57 to C-G. 41 b, 70 b; l. 94 to C-G. 182 b. The Scene contains 32 per cent. double endings and 37 per cent. run-on lines. The authorship of its two songs is less certain. Field was more given to song-writing than was Massinger, and the second of this pair is reminiscent in its conception of the Grace Seldom episode in Amends for Ladies (II, i).

The short IV, iii is by Massinger. In evidence of him are its 36 per cent. of double endings and 55 per cent. of run-on lines, its involved sentence structure, and the familiar phrasing which makes itself manifest even in so brief a passage (e. g.: To play the parasite, l. 7—cf. V, iii, 78 and C-G. 334 b. Cf. also ll. 9–10 with D. III, 476; and l. 22 with C-G. 40 b, 153 a, 262 b.).

The same dramatist’s work continues through the last Scene of the Act. This, the emotional climax of the play, representing a quasi-judicial procedure, affords him abundant opportunity for fervid moralizing and speech-making, of which he takes advantage most typically. Massinger commonplaces are l. 29, Made shipwreck of your faith (cf. C-G. 55 b, 235 a, 414 b); l. 56, In the forbidden labyrinth of lust (cf. C-G. 298 b); l. 89, Angels guard me! (cf. C-G. 59 b, 475 b); l. 118–9, and yield myself Most miserably guilty (cf. C-G. 61 b, 66 b, 130 a; D. VI, 354); etc.; while within a year or so of the time when he wrote referring to “those famed matrons” (l. 70), he expatiated upon them in detail (see The Virgin Martyr, C-G. 33 a). Yet more specific parallels may be found: for l. 63 cf. C-G. 179 a; ll. 76–7, cf. C-G. 28 a; l. 78, cf. C-G. 32 b; ll. 162–3, cf. C-G. 3 b, in a passage wherein there is a certain similarity of situation; l. 177, cf. D. IX, 7. Were any further confirmation needed for Massinger’s authorship, the metrical tests would supply it, with their 36 per cent. double endings and 34 per cent. run-on lines.

The most cursory reading of V, i is sufficient to establish the conviction that its author is not identical with that of the earlier comic passages—is not Field, but Massinger. The humor, such as it is, is of a graver, more restrained sort—satiric rather than burlesque; it has lost lightness and verve, and approaches to high-comedy and even to moralizing. One feels that the confession of the tailor-gallant is no mere fun-making devise, but a caustic attack upon social conditions against which the writer nurtured a grudge. Massingerian are such expressions as And now I think on’t better (l. 77—cf. C-G. 57 b, 468 a, 615 a; D. XI, 28), and use a conscience (l. 90—cf. C-G. 444 a, 453 a), while the metrical evidence of 36 per cent. double endings and 29 per cent. run-on lines fortifies a case concerning which all commentators are in agreement. But despite the unanimity of critical opinion hitherto, I am not sure that Field did not contribute a minor touch here and there to the Scene. Such contribution, if a fact, must have been small, for the Massinger flavor is unmistakable throughout; yet in the Plague on’t! and the ’Slid!, in the play upon words (ll. 13–4, 20–1, 44), which is rare with Massinger and common with Field, in the line, I only know [thee] now to hate thee deadly: (cf. Amends for Ladies, M. 421: I never more Will hear or see thee, but will hate thee deadly.), we may, perhaps, detect a hint of his hand.

Scene ii (which in the Quarto ends with the reconciliation of Charalois and Romont, the entry of Du Croy, Charmi, etc. being marked as the beginning of a third Scene, though the place is unchanged and the action continuous, wherefore modern editors disregard the Quarto’s division and count Scene ii as including all the remainder of the Act) presents the usual distinctive earmarks of a Massinger passage. The last third of it, however (ll. 80–121), has, on account of the presence of several rhymes, been commonly assigned to Field. No doubt his hand is here discernable; l. 118, mark’d me out the way how to defend it, is scarcely a Massinger construction either; but I cannot think Field’s presence here more than that of a reviser, just as in the latter half of I, ii. The language remains more Massinger’s than Field’s; and while the passage is over-short for metrical tests to be decisive, the 39 per cent. of double endings and 35 per cent. of run-on lines which it yields (for the earlier part of the Scene the figures are respectively 28 per cent. and 35 per cent.) are corroborative of Massinger’s authorship. Cf. also ll. 96–8 with this from The Renegado (C-G. 157 a):

This applause
Confirm’d in your allowance, joys me more
Than if a thousand full-cramm’d theatres
Should clap their eager hands.

Of the final Scene, V, iii, little need be said. It brings before us again a court-room, with another trial, and continues the manner of its predecessor, I, ii, as only Massinger can. His customary formulae, stand bound, play the parasite, etc., are here; characteristic too are his opposition of wanton heat and lawful fires (ll. 141–2—cf. C-G. 37 b; D. V. 476), while further material for comparison may be found in ll. 95–6 with Respect, wealth, favour, the whole world for a dower of The Virgin Martyr (C-G. 6 b), and in ll. 165–7:

Char. You must find other proofs to strengthen these
But mere presumptions.
Du Croy Or we shall hardly
Allow your innocence.

with C-G. 39 a and b:

You must produce
Reasons of more validity and weight
To plead in your defence, or we shall hardly
Conclude you innocent.

The last passage cited for comparison also exhibits another feature normal to the work of this dramatist: the splitting of an observation, frequently a single sentence, between two speakers; so ll. 38–9, and again, l. 59. The Scene and play are rounded off with the pointing of a moral, so indispensable to Massinger’s satisfaction.

To sum up, therefore, disregarding for practical purposes the slight touches of Field in I, ii, ll. 146–end; III, i, ll. 317–343; V, ii, ll. 80–end; and perhaps in V, i;—and the apparent Massinger touches in IV, i, and possibly at one or two other points in the Field Scenes, we may divide the play as follows:

A metrical analysis of the play is appended in tabular form, in which I have computed separately the figures for each portion of any Scene on which there has been a question. It will be noted that the single simple test of the mid-line speech-ending would, with but two exceptions—one (III, i, c) doubtful, and the other (V, ii, b) too short a passage to afford a fair test—have made a clean-cut and correct determination of authorship in every case.

Scene Prose Lines Verse Lines Double Endings Per Cent. Run-on Lines Per Cent. Fragmentary Lines Rhymed Lines Speeches Ending in Mid-line Speeches Ending with Line Author
I, i 196 64 33 56 29 1 2 42 22 Massinger
I, ii (a) 145 64 45 48 33 1 2 25 14 Massinger
I, ii (b) 158 57 36 57 36 0 12 30 16 Massinger (Field revision)
II, i 145 29 20 22 15 4 16 19 17 Field
II, ii 82 273 57 21 52 19 9 12 47 50 Field
III, i (a) 316 142 45 114 36 1 2 67 29 Massinger
III, i (b) 27 10 37 11 41 3 0 13 6 Massinger (with Field?)
III, i (c) 161 28 17 45 28 0 10 19 11 Field
IV, i 88 124 27 22 27 22 4 6 26 24 Field
IV, ii 104 33 32 38 37 2 2 24 10 Massinger
IV, iii 22 8 36 12 55 0 0 3 1 Massinger
IV, iv 195 71 36 67 34 0 6 32 8 Massinger
V, i 107 38 36 31 29 1 2 16 5 Massinger
V, ii (a) 80 22 28 27 34 0 2 17 2 Massinger
V, ii (b) 41 15 37 14 35 0 8 3 3 Massinger (Field revision)
V, iii 229 98 43 50 22 0 4 34 19 Massinger

Critical Estimate

No less an authority than Swinburne has pronounced The Fatal Dowry the finest tragedy in the Massinger corpus. Certainly it would be the most formidable rival of The Duke of Milan for that distinction. It occupies an anomalous position among the works of the “stage poet.” His dramas are, as a rule, strongest in construction; he went at play-making like a skillful architect, and put together and moulded his material with steady hand. They are likely to be weakest in characterization. Massinger could not get inside his figures and endow them with the breath of life; they remain stony shapes chiseled in severely angular and conventional lines, like some old Egyptian bas-relief. But The Fatal Dowry is strong in characterization and defective in construction.

The structural fault is less surprising when it is ascertained to be fundamental—inevitable in the theme. The play breaks in the middle: it is really composed of two stories; the first two Acts present and resolve one action, while another, hitherto barely presaged, occupies the last three, and is the proper story of the Fatal Dowry. Charalois’ self-immolation for the corpse of his heroic father, and his rescue and reward by the great-hearted Rochfort, form a little play in themselves—a brief but stately tragi-comedy, which is followed by a tense drama of intrigue and retribution, of adultery and avenged honor—itself complete in itself, for which we are prepared in the first two Acts only by one figure, whose potentialities for disaster are ominous if not obvious:—Beaumelle, of whom more later. This plot-building by enjambment precludes the slow, steady mounting of suspense from the initial moment and inexorable gathering of doom which are manifested in a well-conceived tragedy; yet crude, amorphous, inorganic as it may seem—defying, as it does, unity of action—like as it is to the earliest Elizabethan plays, which were concerned with a single career rather than a single theme, it would appear inevitably necessary, if a maximum effect is to be gained from the given plot-material. Just as Wagner found it impossible to do justice to the story of Siegfried without first presenting that of Siegmund and Sieglinde, so the experiment of Rowe (who in re-working the story for The Fair Penitent relegated to expository dialogue the narration of what corresponds to the first two Acts of The Fatal Dowry) sadly demonstrated that unless the reader or audience actually sees, and not merely hears about, Charalois’ previous devotion, Rochfort’s generosity, and Romont’s loyalty, these characters do not attract to themselves a full measure of sympathy, and the story of their later vicissitudes is somehow unconvincing and falls flat.

Massinger and Field accepted frankly the structural awkwardness of their plot as they had fashioned or found it. Making, apparently, no attempt to obviate its essential duality, they went to work in the most straightforward manner, and achieved, thanks in no small measure to that same resolute directness of approach, a drama of so naturalistic a tone as half to redeem its want of unity. The Fatal Dowry is not an Aristotelian tragedy with a definite beginning, middle, and end—it is rather a cross-section of life. The unconventionality and vitality of such a production are startling, and obtain a high degree of verisimilitude.

Both authors seem to have been themselves inspired by their virile theme to give to it their best work. The stately, somewhat monotonous verse of Massinger, which never loses dignity and is so incapable of expressing climaxes of passion, is once or twice almost forgotten, or else rises to a majesty which transfigures it. Though forensic declamation was always the especial forte of this dramatist, he literally out-did himself in his management of the suit for the dead Marshal’s body. The elaborate rhetoric of Charmi, checked by the stern harshness of Novall Senior, the indignant outburst of Romont, and the sad, yet noble calmness of Charalois’ speech in which he presses the forlorn alternative, succeed one another with striking contrast; the very flow of the verse changes with the speaker in a manner which recalls the wonderful employment of this device by Shakespeare, as, for example, in the First Act of Othello. In the final Scene of Act IV, Massinger achieves a climax worthy of Fletcher himself;—save, perhaps, the denouement of A New Way to Pay Old Debts, and the great scene in The Duke of Milan in which Sforza’s faith in his Duchess is broken down by aspersion after aspersion, until he slays her, only to learn the terrible truth one instant later, it is the most dramatic situation he ever worked up. Field, too, seems to have been on his mettle: his verse is more trenchant, his care greater than in his two earlier comedies; the lines (II, i, 126–7)

My root is earthed, and I a desolate branch
Left scattered in the highway of the world,

touch the high-water mark of his poetic endeavor.

Blemishes, indeed, are not unapparent. The episodic first Scene of Act V is a rather stupid piece of pseudo-comedy by Massinger, which serves no function adequate to justify its existence, while it interrupts the thread of the main story at a point where its culminating intensity does not, of right, permit such a diversion. Gifford in commenting upon this Scene makes the amazing pronouncement that it serves “to prove how differently the comic part of this drama would have appeared, if the whole had fortunately fallen into the hands of Massinger.” Surely never was criticism more fatuous.

But the most serious—indeed, the outstanding—defect of the play is the easy readiness of Charalois to break with Romont. The calm, unregretful placidity with which he untwists the long web of friendship with a man who has stood by him through weal and woe, who has courted a prison’s chains for his sake, shocks us, and repels us with its flinty self-sufficiency. It is not that we know him to be wrong and Romont to be right; suppose the high faith of Charalois in Beaumelle to be entirely justified and the charge of Romont to be as groundless as it is wildly delivered and unconvincing, yet there is no excuse for the immediacy with which, on the first revelation of what he himself has demanded to know, the hero rejects, along with the report of his friend, the friend himself, whose aim could have been only his best interest. For the fault lies not in the situation, which is sound, but in its over-hasty development. A little more length to the scene, a few more speeches to either participant in the dialogue, a little longer and more vituperative insistence on the part of Romont in the face of Charalois’ warnings that he has gone far enough, and the quarrel would have been thoroughly realized and developed. As it is, it comes on insufficient provocation; the hero, at the moment when he should excite regret and sympathy because of his blind, mistaken trust in his unworthy wife, excites rather indignation; the later words of Romont with which he justifies his unshaken loyalty to his comrade turn back the mind perforce to that comrade’s lack of loyalty to him, and unwittingly ring out as a judgment upon Charalois:

That friendship’s raised on sand,
Which every sudden gust of discontent,
Or flowing of our passions can change,
As if it ne’er had been:—

The faulty passage, it will be noted upon reference to the analysis of shares in collaboration, is by the hand of Field. Unconvincing precipitancy in the conduct of situations marks his work elsewhere, notably in the Amends for Ladies.

As it has already been said, the strongest feature of the play is its characterization. Almost every figure is, if not an individual, at least a type so vitalized as to appear to take on life. One or two touches, to be sure, of conventional Massingerian habits of thought still cling about them; even the noblest cannot entirely forget to consider how their conduct will pose them before the eyes of the world and posterity. But apart from such slight occasional lapses, they may truthfully be said to speak and move quite in the manner of real men and women.

The hero, Charalois, is drawn as of a gentle, meditative, temperate, and self-possessed disposition, in strong and effective contrast to his friend. Though his military exploits are spoken of with admiration, and Romont testifies that he can “pursue a foe like lightning,” he betrays a certain readiness to yield to discouragement scarce to be expected in the son of the great general. In consequence of these facts, he has been described by some (notably Cunningham, in his Edition of Gifford, Introduction, p. xiii;—cf. also Phelan, p. 61; and Beck, pp. 22–3) as “a Hamlet whose mind has not yet been sicklied o’er by the pale cast of thought,” and his long silence at the opening of Act I is compared to that of the Danish Prince on his first appearance. But, in reality, excess of pride is the chief reason of Charalois’ backwardness on this occasion, and thereafter he acts promptly and efficiently always. The same over-sensitive pride continues to manifest itself throughout the play—when he is confronted with Rochfort’s generosity; when he finds (III, i, 365 ff.) that it is he who is the object of the jests of Novall Junior and his satellites (though scarce a breath earlier he has chided Romont for noticing the yapping of such petty curs); and in the viscissitudes of the catastrophe and its consequences. A harmonious twin-birth with his pride, at once proceeding from it, bound up with it, and on occasion over-weighing its scruples, is an extreme punctiliousness at every turn to the dictates of that peculiarly Spanish imperative, “the point of honor,”—a consideration so prominent throughout the play as to have convinced many critics that the source of the story, although still undiscovered, must have been Spanish. These two traits—pride and an adherence to “the point of honor,” are almost invariably the mainsprings of Charalois’ conduct. His pride holds him back from supplicating in behalf of his father the clemency of the unworthy ministers of the law, till he is persuaded by Romont that honor not only permits but requires that he do so; he feels that honor demands that he sacrifice himself to secure his father’s burial, and he does it; that honor demands that he put away his friend in loyalty to his wife, and he does it; that honor demands that he slay the adulteress—and he does it; he even consents to lay bare the details of his ignominious wrong before the eyes of men, because he is brought to believe that “the point of honor” calls for a justification of his course and the holding of it up as an example to the world. It is a striking and consistent portrait—how unlike the usual conventionally noble hero of romantic drama!

Romont, however, is the finest figure of the play. He draws to himself rather more than his share of interest and sympathy, to the detriment of the protagonist. Of a type common enough on the stage of that day—the bluff, loyal soldier-friend of the hero—he is yet so thoroughly individualized that we can discuss him and calculate what he will do in given situations, even as with a character of Shakespeare’s. The portrait suffers from no jarring inconsistencies; almost his every utterance is absolutely in part, and adds its touch to round out our conception of him. His negligence of his personal appearance, his quick temper, his impulsiveness, his violence, his lack of restraint, his fierce, uncompromising honesty, his devotion to the “grave General dead” and his unshaken fidelity to the living son, his flashes of unexpected tenderness, his homage for the reverend virtue of Rochfort—a sort of child-like awe for what he knows is finer if not of truer metal than his own rough spirit, his ill-disguised scorn for Novall Junior and his creatures, “those dogs in doublets,” his lack of tact which unfits him for effective service in the delicate task of preserving Beaumelle’s honor, and dooms his story to Charalois to disbelief and resentment, his prompt, fearless decisiveness of action, the tumultuous flood of nervous and at times eloquent speech which pours from his lips when he is aroused, yet dies in his throat when he is lashed by a woman’s tongue—a flood of speech which is most torrential when the situation is most doubtful or hopeless of good issue, but which gives place to a self-possessed terseness when he is quite sure of his ground:—all go to give detail and reality to a character at once amazingly alive and irresistibly attractive. “Romont is one of the noblest of all Massinger’s men,” says Swinburne, “and Shakespeare has hardly drawn noble men more nobly than Massinger.” To find a parallel creation who can over-match him in vigor of presentation and theatrical efficiency, we must go back to the Melantius of Beaumont and Fletcher. These two characters represent the ultimate elaborations of the stock figure of the faithful friend and blunt soldier; Melantius is the supreme romantic, Romont the supreme realistic, development of the type.

Yet though Romont is the most compelling of the dramatis personae, into none does Massinger enter more thoroughly than the noble figure of Rochfort. Utter devotion to virtue, to which he had paid a life-long fidelity, is the key-note of the nature of the aged Premier President, and accordingly in him the deep-seated ethical seriousness of the “stage-poet” found a congenial expression. A statelier dignity is wont to echo in his lines than in the utterance of any other character; they breathe an exalted calm, a graciousness, a grave courtesy, as though the very spirit of their speaker had entered them.

An inability to judge the character of others was his great weakness—a weakness which he himself realized, for he called upon Beaumont to confirm the one strikingly sure, true appraisement which he exhibited, his admiration for Charalois. Characteristically, this weakness seems to have taken the form of a too-generous estimate of his fellows. This caused him to bestow his vacated office upon the harsh and unjust Novall, and to be blind to the disposition of his daughter, and the danger that lay in her intimacy with Novall Junior. But if his kindly nature saw the better side of even that contemptible young man, he at least understood him well enough not to take him at all seriously as a suitor for Beaumelle’s hand.

Of the Novalls, father and son, there is a much briefer presentation. Yet even so, in the case of old Novall we have as masterly a sketch as in Romont a detailed study. His every word is eloquent of his stern, not to say mean, nature—curt and severe towards others, all prejudice where he himself is concerned, inexorably malevolent against those who incur his animosity. Yet it never enters his head to seek the satisfaction of his hate in any way save through the law; for example, he does not seize upon, or even think seriously of, Pontalier’s proffer of private vengeance; the law is his sphere—he will abuse it to his advantage, if he can, but he will not go outside of it. He is, in other words, the Official Bureaucrat par excellence, and his enmity against the martial house of the Charaloises and the rigor with which he is said to “cross every deserved soldier and scholar,” and, on the other hand, the detestation in which Romont holds him, are manifestations of the feud of type against type. It has been suggested that the especial fervor with which he is devoted to execration argues a prototype in actual life, and that in him is to be recognized Sir Edward Coke, notorious for the savage vindictiveness of his conduct towards Sir Walter Raleigh.

Novall Junior, the cowardly, foppish, and unscrupulous gallant, though a flimsy personality, affords once or twice, in the Fieldian prose, rather good humor: e. g.—

Nay, o’ my soul, ’tis so; what fouler object in the world, than to see a young, fair, handsome beauty unhandsomely dighted, and incongruently accoutred? or a hopeful chevalier unmethodically appointed in the external ornaments of nature? For, even as the index tells us the contents of stories, and directs to the particular chapters, even so does the outward habit and superficial order of garments (in man or woman) give us a taste of the spirit, and demonstratively point (as it were a manual note from the margin) all the internal quality and habiliment of the soul; and there cannot be a more evident, palpable, gross manifestation of poor, degenerate, dunghilly blood and breeding, than a rude, unpolished, disordered, and slovenly outside. (IV, i, 48–60.)

Of the remaining characters, only two call for especial notice. The three Creditors are a blemish upon the otherwise striking verisimilitude of the play; they are impossible, inhuman monsters of greed and relentlessness, who serve as vehicles for a kind of grotesque comedy. A personal rancour on the part of the authors may have been responsible for this presentation, as it is probable that they themselves had had none-too-pleasant experiences with money-lenders. Pontalier, however, is very well conceived and skillfully executed. Occupying a relation to Novall Junior quite similar to that of Romont to Charalois, he is yet differentiated from his parallel, while at the same time he is kept free from any taint of the despicableness and fawning servility which are chiefly prominent in the parasites of the vicious and feather-brained young lord. There is something really pathetic about this brave, honorable soldier, committed to the defense of an unworthy benefactor, ranged on the side of wrong against right, by his very best qualities: his noble sense of gratitude, his loyalty, his devotion to what he conceives to be his duty. It will be observed that he never joins with the rest of the group about Novall Junior in their jibes against Charalois and Romont.

The last figure for consideration, and not the least important, is Beaumelle. So general has been the misconception of her character that it calls for a more detailed analysis than has been accorded to the other personages of the drama, or than the place she occupies might appear to warrant. That place, indeed, is not a striking one; she is scarce more than a character of second rank, appearing in but few scenes and speaking not many lines. Yet her part in the story is one of such potentialities that in Rowe’s version of the same theme her analogue becomes the central figure, and even in The Fatal Dowry a failure to understand her has probably been at the bottom of most of the less favorable judgments that have been passed upon the play, while those critics who appraise it higher yet acknowledge her to be its one outstanding defect. “The Fatal Dowry,” says Saintsbury (Hist. Eng. Lit., vol. ii, p. 400) “... is ... injured by the unattractive character of the light-of-love Beaumelle before her repentance (Massinger never could draw a woman).” She is declared by Swinburne to be “too thinly and feebly drawn to attract even the conventional and theatrical sympathy which Fletcher might have excited for a frail and penitent heroine: and the almost farcical insignificance and baseness of her paramour would suffice to degrade his not involuntary victim beneath the level of any serious interest or pity.” If these and similar pronouncements were well founded, the play as a cross-section of life would have the great weakness of being unconvincing at a very vital point. A study of the text, however, will discover Beaumelle to be portrayed, in the brief compass of her appearance, in no wise inadequately, but rather, if anything, somewhat beyond the requirements of her dramatic function—will reveal her, not, indeed, a personage of heroic proportions and qualities, but a young woman of considerable naturalness, plausibility, and realistic convincingness.

The trouble has probably been that the critics of Beaumelle have passed hastily over the very scurrilous prose scene in which she first appears. They have looked on this passage as merely a piece of Fieldian low-comedy, a coarse bit of buffoonery which pretends to no function save that of humor, and can sustain not even this pretense. Nothing can be further from the truth. The passage is a piece of coarse comedy such as Field had an over-fondness for writing; but it is something more; in reality, a proper understanding of the heroine is conditioned upon it.

Beaumelle is a young girl whose mother, we may infer, has long been dead. The cares of the bench have been too great to allow her father time for much personal supervision of her; she has had for associates her two maids, and of these she not unnaturally finds the gay and witty, but thoroughly depraved, Bellapert the more congenial, and adopts her as her mentor and confidant. She is in love, after a fashion—caught, like the impressionable, uncritical girl she is, by the fair exterior of a young magnificent, whose elegant dress and courtly show of devotion quite blind her to his real worthlessness—and there is scant likelihood of her getting the man who has charmed her fancy. Her disposition is high-spirited and wayward, but not deliberately vicious; she has certain hazily defined ideals, mingled with the same romantic mist through which the superfine dandy, Novall, appears in her eyes a very Prince Charming: she “would meet love and marriage both at once”; she desires to preserve her honor. She has ideals, but she doubts their tangibility; she is in an unsettled state of mind, questioning the fundamentals of conduct and social relationships, in much need of good counsel. In that perilous mood she talks with Bellapert—Bellapert, the dearest cabinet of her secrets—Bellapert, the bribed instrument of Novall—and is told by that worldly-wise wench that marriage almost never unites with love, but must be used as a cloak for it; that honor is a foolish fancy; that a husband is a master to be outwitted and despised. The shaft sinks home all too surely; a visit at that very moment by Beaumelle’s lover completes the conquest, when her father interrupts their tete-a-tete—her father, who comes with the anouncement that she must marry a man whom she does not even know! In the scene where the destined bride and groom are brought face to face, she stands throughout in stony silence quite as eloquent as the more famous speechlessness of Charalois at the beginning of the play. She has ever been “handmaid” to her father’s will; she realizes all her hopes and fortunes “have reference to his liking;” and now she obeys, with the bitter thought in her heart that Fate, in denying her her will, has wronged Love itself (II, ii, 154); only when Charalois turns to her with a direct question, “Fair Beaumelle, can you love me?” does she utter a word—then from her lips a brief, desperate, “Yes, my lord”—and a moment later (II, ii, 315) she is weeping silently. (Her answer was honest in as far as she really did mean to give to the man chosen for her husband her duty with her hand.) Then the voice of the tempter whispers in her ear, she feels its tug at her heart, and with a cry, “Oh, servant!—Virtue strengthen me!” she hurries from the room. That is the situation at the end of the Second Act and first part of the play; an appreciation of its significance makes the connection with what follows less arbitrary and inorganic.

When Beaumelle next appears, in the Third Act, there has been a change. We may imagine that she has had time to ponder those cynical maxims of Bellapert on the natural course of romance. Her union has been unwilling; she does not care for her husband; Novall appeals to her as much as ever: with her eyes open, she deliberately chooses the path of sin—because the enforced marriage which shattered her hopes must needs appear to her the final demonstration of the correctness of her maid’s contention (towards which she was already inclining) that she has been foolishly impractical to dream of the satisfaction of her heart’s wish through wedlock, but that it is by secret amour that love must be, and is wont to be, enjoyed.

It may not be unreasonable to regard the resourcefulness and effrontery which characterize her throughout the Third Act as the result of a sort of mental intoxication, into which she has been lifted by her reckless resolve and the consciousness of danger; at any rate she now shows herself altogether too much for Romont; she finds a shrewdness and an eloquence that carry her triumphant to the consummation of her desire. When discovery ensues, her paramour is slain, and she herself is haled to die, she is overcome—abruptly and, one might say, strangely—with remorse and penitence. But it is not at all by one of those theatrically convenient but psychologically absurd changes of heart so frequent in the drama of that period; nothing, indeed, could be more true to life. Novall Junior, coward and fop that he was, has hitherto always borne himself in lordly fashion before her, even when they were surprised by Romont; but now at last she beholds him stripped to the shivering abjectness of his contemptible soul, that she may observe his baseness. She sees him cowed and beaten and slain, while Charalois (whom she never knew before their marriage nor has tried to understand in the brief period of their wedlock) with his outraged honor and irresistible prowess assumes to her eyes the proportions of a hero; and with her girl’s romanticism10 of nature, she bows down and worships him. It is somewhat the same note that is struck by Thackeray in the similar situation where Rawdon Crawley, returning home unexpectedly, finds his wife with Lord Steyne and knocks the man down.

It was all done before Rebecca could interpose. She stood there trembling before him. She admired her husband, strong, brave, victorious.

So it was with Beaumelle. Except for one brief cry of “Undone for ever!” she utters no word from the moment of the surprise to the end of the Scene. She hangs back, shrinking, for a moment, when ordered into the coach with the dead body of her partner in guilt. “Come,” says Charalois, in terrible jest, “you have taught me to say, you must and shall.... You are but to keep him company you love—” and she obeys mutely.

Thus, all contriteness, Beaumelle goes to her fate. It should be observed how, even at the last, her tendency to romantic idealization vehemently asserts itself; she looks fondly back (IV, iv, 53) to an imagined time, which never really existed, when she was “good” and “a part of” Charalois, made one with him through the virtuous harmony of their minds!—no voice is more unfaltering than her own to pronounce her doom as both righteous and necessary, and she conceives herself to climb, by her ecstatic welcoming of death, into the company of the ancient heroines and martyrs. In its realism of the commonplace and its slightly ironic conception, it is the outline drawing of a character that might have received elaborate portraiture at the hands of Flaubert.

Whether we are to regard this consistent “study in little” as a deliberate piece of work on the part of the authors, must remain a matter of opinion. There is no similar figure elsewhere in the dramatic output of Massinger, nor any quite so minutely conceived within the same number of speech-lines in that of Field, and one could scarce be blamed for believing that a number of hap-hazard, sketchy strokes with which the collaborators dashed off a character whom they deemed of no great importance, all so fell upon the canvas that, by a miracle of chance, they went to form the lineaments of a real woman. The discussion of the probability or possibility of such a hypothesis would carry us very far afield, and would involve the question of the extent to which all genius is unconscious and intuitive. But however that may be, the result of their labors remains the same, there to behold in black and white, and Beaumelle, so far from being a poorly conceived and unsatisfactory wanton who is the chief defect of the play, is a figure of no mean verisimilitude who succeeds after a fashion in linking together the loose-knit dual structure of the drama; to whose main catastrophe she adds her own tragedy, a tragedy neither impressive nor deeply stirring, it is true, for she is a petty spirit from whom great tragedy does not proceed—but tragedy still—the eternal, inevitable tragedy of false romanticism, that has found its culmination in the person of Emma Bovary.

In this study of Beaumelle, The Fatal Dowry has been subjected to a much more intensive examination than it is the custom to bestow upon the dramas of the successors of Shakespeare. The truth is that the plays of the Jacobean period do not, as a rule, admit of such analysis. In most of them, and especially in the plays of Massinger, he who searches and probes them comes presently to a point beyond which critical inquiry is stopped short with a desperate finality; be they ever so strikingly splendid and glittering fair in their poetry and their characterization, these dazzling qualities lie upon the surface, and a few careful perusals exhaust their possibilities and tell us all there is to know of them. But The Fatal Dowry, though less imposing than a number of others, stands almost alone among its contemporaries in sharing with the great creations of Shakespeare the power to open new vistas, to present new aspects, to offer new suggestions, the longer it is studied. Perhaps this is due to the fact that, as has already been said, it is not so much a tragedy of the accepted type as a cross-section of life.

How does it come about, we may well ask, that this play possesses qualities so rare and so strangely at variance with those which are normal to the work of Massinger—its masterly portrait-gallery of dramatis personae and its inexhaustible field for interpretation. We can suspect an answer only in the complementary nature of the two minds that went to fashion it—in the union in this one production of the talents of Massinger and of Field.

A reference to the analysis of collaboration discloses that, so far as the actual writing of the play goes, the figure of Novall Senior is altogether the work of Massinger. His son, on the other hand, is almost entirely the work of Field; in Massinger’s share he appears only in the first part of III, i, and in the scene of his surprisal and death. Indeed, both the young gallant himself and all his satellites can safely be put down as creations of the actor-dramatist. They have their parallels in his comedy of Woman is a Weathercock, down to the page whose pert asides of satiric comment are anticipated in the earlier work by those of a youngster of identical kidney. The long scene in which we are introduced to Beaumelle and given insight into her character and mental attitude is Field’s throughout; thereafter she has only to act out her already-revealed nature—first as the impudent adulteress and later as the repentant sinner, in both of which roles she affords Massinger excellent opportunities to display his favorite powers of speech-making. Charalois, Romont, and Rochfort are treated at length by both dramatists.

But in a harmonious collaboration, such as The Fatal Dowry plainly was, the contributions of the two authors cannot be identified with the passages from their respective pens. Each must inevitably have planned, suggested, criticised. The question remains whether we can in any measure determine what part of the conception was due to each. Beyond the Novall Junior group we cannot establish distinct lines of cleavage. What we can do is to suggest the features of the finished product which Field and Massinger brought severally to its making—to point out the qualities of the two men which were joined to produce the play they have given us.

The outstanding excellences of Massinger were a thorough grasp of the architectonics of play-making in the building both of separate Act and entire drama; an adherence to an essential unity of design and treatment; a conscientious regard to the details of stage-craft; a vehicle of dignified and at times noble verse, without violent conceits or lapses into triviality, sustained, lucid, regular; and a genuine eloquence in forensic passages. His chief weaknesses were a certain stiffness of execution which made his plays appear always as structures rather than organisms, a ponderous monotony of fancy, and an inability to create or reproduce or understand human nature. His characters are normally types, their qualities—honor, virtue, bravery, etc.—mere properties which they can assume or lay aside at pleasure like garments, their conduct governed more by the exigencies of plot than by any conceivable psychology.

The weaknesses of Field—as revealed in his two independent comedies—were of a nature more evasive, less capable of definition. A tendency to weave too many threads into the action, an occasional hasty and skimping treatment of his scenes which leaves them unconvincing for lack of sufficient elaboration, and a general thinness of design and workmanship are discoverable. Defects such as these could be readily corrected by association with the single-minded, painstaking, thorough Massinger. On the other hand he possessed a lightness of touch, a blithe vigor, and a racy, though often obscene, humor foreign to his colleague. What is more important, he possessed a considerable first-hand knowledge of men and women, and an ability to put them in his plays and endow them with something of life—not to conceive great figures, such as dominate the imagination, but to reproduce with vitality and freshness the sort of people he saw about him—in other words, not to create but to depict; and furthermore Field seems to have had a special gift for sketching them rather clearly in a very brief compass.11 Mr. Saintsbury was right in declaring that Massinger never could draw a woman. But Field could, and the critic was rather unfortunate in applying his broadly correct observation to the one woman of Massinger’s in the delineation of whom he had Field to help him!

With these facts in mind, the distinctive virtues of The Fatal Dowry can be accounted for. Massinger here possessed a colleague who had just those talents of insight and verve and grasp of life that were denied his own plodding, bookishly learned mind. Not only young Novall and his satellites, but Beaumelle certainly, and probably Pontalier (whom Massinger would have been more likely to degrade to the baseness of Novall’s other dependents) may be put down as essentially Field’s creations, while in the case of the others he was ever at Massinger’s elbow to guard him against blunders, if, indeed, their preliminary mapping out of the rather obvious lines along which the action and characters must develop were not of itself a sufficiently sure guide. To Massinger, on the other hand, may safely be ascribed the basic conception of such stately figures as Charalois and Rochfort, however much Field may have been responsible for preserving them as fresh and living portraits.

As to share in plot structure, in the absence of any known source, we may conjecture that the germ from which the play evolved was the conception of that situation by which Charalois, burdened as he is with an immense debt of thankfulness to Rochfort, finds himself suddenly called by the imperative demands of honor to do that which will strike his benefactor to the heart. The grounding of the hero’s debt of gratitude in the story of Miltiades and Cimon was probably the work of Massinger, of whose veneration for things classic we have abundant evidence, while to him also, we may believe, was due the shaping of the story in such fashion that he had opportunity to exploit his greatest gift in no less than two formal trials, one informal trial, and a long Act besides given over almost exclusively to verbose disputes and exhortations. The circumstances of the discovery of the amour of Beaumelle and Novall, while penned by Massinger, are more likely an invention of Field’s, not only as faintly reminiscent of his Amends for Ladies, but as according better with the general spirit of his work.

Several plays of the Massinger corpus are more striking on first acquaintance than The Fatal Dowry, and yet others surpass it in regard to this feature or that. It has not the gigantic protagonist of A New Way to Pay Old Debts, or the admirable structure of that fine play, which works with ever-cumulating intensity to one final, tremendous climax. It has not the impressiveness of The Duke of Milan, or its sheer sweep of tragic passion and breathless intensity, or anything so compelling as its great scene of gathering jealousy that breaks forth at last in murder. Its verse is less poetic than that of The Maid of Honor; it lacks the charm of The Great Duke of Florence, and the ethical fervor of The Roman Actor. But in utter reality, in convincing simulation of life, which holds good under the most exhaustive study and makes that study forever continue to yield new suggestions and new appreciations, and in abundance and inherent truthfulness of detailed characterization, it stands alone, and these sterling qualities must so outweigh its defects as to insure for it a high place, not only among the productions of its authors, but among the plays of the Jacobean Period as a whole.

Stage History—Adaptations—Derivatives

Beyond the statement on the title-page of the 1632 Quarto, that The Fatal Dowry had been “often acted at the Private House in Blackfriars by his Majesties Servants,” nothing is known of its early stage history. It was not revived after the Restoration, and until the publication of the Coxeter edition of Massinger seems to have been almost unknown. At last, in 1825, an emended version was placed upon the boards by no less an actor than the great Macready. January 5 of that year was the date, and Drury Lane the place, of its initial performance, Macready himself taking the part of Romont, Wallack—Charalois, Terry—Rochfort, and Mrs. W. West—Beaumelle. “The play was well acted and enthusiastically applauded,” says Macready in his Reminiscences (p. 228); “its repetition for the following Tuesday was hailed most rapturously; but Friday12 came, and with it a crowded house, to find me laboring under such indisposition that it was with difficulty I could keep erect without support.” Macready’s serious illness cut short the run of the play, and when he was at length (April 11) able to take it up again, the interest of the public had abated, and it in consequence was repeated only a few times—seven being the total number of its performances.

The variant of The Fatal Dowry in which Macready acted was the work of Sheil, and involved substantial divergences. Romont’s release from prison follows immediately upon Novall Senior’s consent to his pardon, and in consequence, together with his conversation with Rochfort, is transferred from Act II to the close of Act I, while the redemption of Charalois takes place at the funeral of his father, which concludes Act II. For the scene between Beaumelle and her maids is substituted another coloquy of similar import but chastened tone. A brief scene of no especial significance is inserted at the beginning of Act III, in the interval between which and the preceding Act three weeks are supposed to have elapsed; the rest of Act III follows much the same course as the original, save that the application of Romont to Rochfort and his foiling by the stratagem of Beaumelle and Bellapert are omitted. A really notable departure is found in the discovery of the amour by Charalois. According to Sheil, Novall Junior and his mistress attempt to elope, but the note which appoints their rendezvous falls into Charalois’ hands, and he waits for the lovers and surprises them, killing Novall off-stage. The Fifth Act opens with a scene of a few lines only, in which Beaumont bears to Rochfort a request from Charalois to meet him in the church yard. Then follows a lugubrious scene in the dead of night beside the tomb of the hero’s father, to which place are transferred the reconciliation between Charalois and Romont, and the judgment of Rochfort! Beaumelle, however, does not appear during the trial, and upon the paternal sentence of doom, Charalois reveals her body, slain already by his hand. To the father he vindicates his action in much the same words as in Massinger’s last court-room scene, and then, on the appearance of Novall Senior clamoring for vengeance and accompanied by the minions of the law, stabs himself.

The version of Sheil follows with but occasional exceptions the language of the original wherever possible. It makes some slight changes in the minor characters.

Sheil’s redaction was also presented at Bath on February 18 and 21, Romont being acted by Hamblin, Charalois by Warde, Beaumelle by Miss E. Tree. “Hamblin never appeared to so much advantage—in the scene with Novall he reminded one strongly of John Kemble,” says Genest (Hist. Dra. and Stage in Eng., IX, 322).

At Sadler’s Wells, Samuel Phelps, who at that time was reviving a number of the old dramas, took the stage in The Fatal Dowry on August 27, 1845. This, however, was Sheil’s version, and not the original play of Massinger and Field, as has been sometimes supposed. It ranked as one of his four chief productions of that year. He, too, chose for himself the part of Romont, which was considered by many his greatest quasi-tragic role. Marston appeared as Charalois, G. Bennett as Rochfort, and Miss Cooper as Beaumelle.

The Fatal Dowry in substantially its own proper form does not appear ever to have been acted after Jacobean times.

If the stage career of The Fatal Dowry has been meagre, not so the extent of its influence. Its literary parenthood begins before “the closing of the theatres” and continues even to our own day. As early as 1638 it was echoed in The Lady’s Trial of Ford. Here the figures of Auria, Adurni, Aurelio, and Spinella correspond roughly with Charalois, young Novall, Romont, and Beaumelle respectively. Auria has gone to the wars, and in his absence his wife is pursued by Adurni, who sits at table with her in private, when Aurelio breaks in upon them, bursting open the doors. Spinella bitterly resents the intrusion and the aspersions of the intruder, and when, on the return home of Auria, Aurelio accuses her to him, it is without shaking his faith in her loyalty. Here the analogy ends: spite of Auria’s incredulousness there is no rupture between the friends; Spinella establishes her innocence; and Adurni, while guilty enough in his intent against her, shows himself thereafter to be an essentially noble youth, who will defend to any length the lady’s honor which has become subject to question through fault of his, and for this gallant reparation, is not only forgiven, but even cherished ever after by the husband he had sought to wrong.

The more steadily one regards the man John Ford and his work, the more probable does it appear that the relationship between The Fatal Dowry and The Lady’s Trial is not one of mere reminiscence or influence, but of direct parentage. That strange and baleful figure, who seems almost a modern Decadent born out of his time, had a profound interest in moral problems, to the study of which he brought morbid ethical sensibilities scarce matched before the latter nineteenth century. (Witness his conception, in The Broken Heart, of a loveless marriage as tantamount to adultery.) Ford’s talent for invention was deficient to the extent that he was hard put to it for plots. It is not at all unlikely that he surveyed the Massingerian tragedy, and, repelled by the conduct of its figures, exclaimed to himself: “I will write a play to centre around a situation as incriminating as that of Act III of The Fatal Dowry; but my personages will be worthier characters; I will show a lady who, spite of appearances, is of stainless innocence and vindicates her husband’s trust in the face of evidence; I will show a friendship strong enough to endure an honestly mistaken aspersion put upon the chastity of a wife, though the charge is not for one moment credited; I will show that even the would-be seducer may be a fine fellow at bottom, and set forth a generous emulation in magnanimity between him and the husband. See how finely everything would work out with the right sort of people!” It is at least a plausible hypothesis.

Nicholas Rowe, who was the first modern editor of Shakespeare, contemplated also an edition of Massinger, but gave up the project that he might more safely plunder one of his plays. Rowe’s famous tragedy, The Fair Penitent, was deliberately stolen from The Fatal Dowry. It appeared in 1703, and spite of a ludicrous accident13 which cut short its first run, took rank as one of the most celebrated dramas of the English stage. Rowe lived during the vogue of the “She-tragedy,” while the canons of literary criticism of his day demanded a “regular,” pseudo-classical form and a sententious tone. Accordingly, in his hands the chief figure in the play, as is evidenced by the change in title, becomes the guilty wife, here called Calista, who is “now the evil queen of the heroic plays; now the lachrymose moralizer;” the theme is indeed her story, not Altamont’s (Charalois)—her seduction (prior to the nuptuals and before the opening of the play), her grief, her plight, her exposure, her death;—she holds the centre of the stage to the very end. The number of the dramatis personae is cut down to eight; all touches of comedy are excised; and the double plot of the original is unified by the bold stroke of throwing back to a time before the opening of the play the entire episode of the unburied corpse and the origin of the hero’s friendship with the father of the heroine.

Discussions of the relative merits of The Fair Penitent and its source have been almost invariably acrimonious. Nor is this to be wondered at, for after reading the old tragedy with its severe dignity and noble restraint, one can scarce peruse without irritation the cloyingly melifluous, emasculated verse of Rowe—by turns grandiloquent and sentimental. The characterization of The Fair Penitent is, in the main, insipid, and while Rowe’s heroine holds a commanding place in her drama to which Beaumelle does not pretend, the latter is a great deal more natural, and indeed, for that matter, far more truly a “penitent.” An exception to the general insipidity is Lothario, who is the analogue of the insignificant Novall Junior—“the gay Lothario”—whose very name has been ever since a synonym for the graceful, graceless, devil-may-care libertine—whose figure has been the prototype of a long line of similar characters in English literature, beginning with Richardson’s Lovelace and not yet closed with Anthony Hope’s Rupert of Hentzau. Beside this striking creation, the seducer of Beaumelle shows poorly indeed; but it is doubtful if the old dramatists would have consented to paint such an attractive rogue, had they been able; they wanted their Novall to be just the cowardly, dandyfied thing they made him. Beyond the portrait of Lothario, small ground for praise can be found in The Fair Penitent. That part of the action of The Fatal Dowry which under Rowe’s treatment antedates the rise of the curtain is narrated in the most stiffly mechanical sort of exposition; the action is developed by such threadbare theatrical devices as a lost letter and an overheard conversation; the voluble speeches of the several characters are, throughout, declamatory effusions almost unbelievably divorced from the apposite utterance of any rational human being under the circumstances. An Altamont who has been assured and reassured from his bride’s own lips of her aversion for him can fling himself from a quarrel with his life-long friend in hysterical defence of her, to seek solace in her arms—

There if in any pause of love I rest
Breathless with bliss upon her panting breast,
In broken, melting accents I will swear,
Henceforth to trust my heart with none save her;

a Sciolto who has given his daughter a dagger with which to end her shame, and then has arrested her willing arm with the prayer that she will not dispatch herself until he is gone from the sight of her, can thereupon take leave of her with the statement:

There is I know not what of sad presage
That tells me I shall never see thee more.

The play, which enjoyed an immense fame, high contemporary appreciation, and a long career on the stage, remains a curious memorial of the taste of a bygone day.

It is noteworthy that in The Fair Penitent Horatio, as Romont in all modern reproductions of The Fatal Dowry, is the great acting part—not the husband.

In 1758 was produced at the Hay market a drama entitled The Insolvent or Filial Piety, from the pen of Aaron Hill. In the preface it is said—according to Genest (IV, 538)—“Wilks about 30 years before gave an old manuscript play, called the Guiltless Adulteress, to Theo. Cibber who was manager of what then was the Summer Company—after an interval of several years this play was judged to want a revisal to fit it for representation—Aaron Hill at the request of Theo. Cibber almost new wrote the whole, and the last act was entirely his in conduct, sentiment and diction.” In reality, The Insolvent is The Fatal Dowry over again, altered to tragicomedy, and with the names of the characters changed. The first two Acts of Hill’s play proceed much after the manner of its prototype, with close parallels in language. From thenceforward, however, the action diverges. The bride, Amelia, resists the further attentions of her former sweetheart. They are none the less observed and suspected by her husband’s friend, who speaks of the matter to both her father and her lord. The former promises to observe her with watchful eye; Chalons, the husband, is at first resentful of the imputation, but presently yields to his friend’s advice, that he pretend a two-days’ journey, from which he will return unexpectedly. During his absence, his wife’s maid introduces the lover into her mistress’ chamber while Amelia sleeps. There Chalons surprises him kneeling beside the bed, and kills him. Amelia stabs herself, but the confession of her maid reveals her innocence, and her wound is pronounced not mortal.

It has been suggested (Biographia Dramatica, II, 228—quoted by Phelan, p. 59, and Schwarz, p. 74) that in Hill’s Zara (adaptation of the Zaire of Voltaire), also, Nerestan’s voluntary return to captivity in order to end that of his friends, whom he lacked the means to ransom with gold, was suggested by the behavior of Charalois; but this can be no more than a coincidence, as it here but reproduces what is in the French original.

A long interval, and finally, in the dawn of the twentieth century, there appeared the next and latest recrudescence of The Fatal Dowry. This was Der Graf von Charolais, ein Trauerspiel, by Richard Beer-Hofmann, disciple of the Neo-Romantic School or Vienna Decadents, a coterie built about the leadership of Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Beer-Hofmann’s play—a five-Act tragedy in blank verse—was produced for the first time at the Neue Theatre, Berlin, on December 24, 1904, and was received with considerable acclaim. Unlike Rowe, he gives full credit to his source, from which he has drawn no less extensively than the author of The Fair Penitent. Unlike Rowe, he goes back to the old dramatists in the matter of construction, placing upon the stage once more the episode of the unburied corpse and the noble son; he even outdoes The Fatal Dowry in this respect, by allowing the first half of his plot three Acts instead of two, with only two Acts for the amour and its tragic consequences. In his hands the hero again becomes the central figure; in fact, the three principal versions of this donnee suggest by their titles their respective viewpoints: The Fatal Dowry; The Fair Penitent; Der Graf von Charolais. DER GRAF VON CHAROLAIS, be it observed;—this new redaction is no longer the tale of a “fatal dowry;” no longer is the first part of the dual theme merely introductory and accessory—it is coördinate with the second. Beer-Hofmann has sought to achieve a kind of unity from his double plot by making his fundamental theme not the adulterous intrigue, but the destiny of Charolais, thus converting the play into a Tragedy of Fate, which pursues the hero inexorably through all his life. This strictly classical motif animating the donnee of a Jacobean play reproduced in the twentieth century presents, as might be expected, the aspect of an exotic growth, which is not lessened by the extreme sensuousness of treatment throughout, such as has always been one of the cardinal and distinctive qualities of the Decadent School the world over. But as a contrast in the dramatic technique and verse of Jacobean and modern times, Der Graf von Charolais is extremely interesting. The difference is striking between the severe simplicity of three centuries ago, and the elaborate stagecraft of to-day, its insistence on detail, and studied care in the portraiture of minor characters. Yet minutia do not make tragedy, and while their superficial realism and the congeniality of the contemporary point of view undeniably lend to Beer-Hofmann’s redaction a palatability and a power to interest and appeal which its original does not possess to the modern reader, yet a discriminating critic will turn back to the old play with a feeling that, for all its stiffness and conventions, he breathes there a more vital air. To the enrichment of his theme Beer-Hofmann contributes every ingenious effect possible to symbolism, delicate suggestion, and scenic device; this exterior decoration is gorgeous in its color and seductive warmth, but no amount of such stuff can compensate for the fundamental flaw in the crucial episode of his tragedy. In spite of the care which he has lavished on the scene between his heroine and her seducer, the surrender of the wife—three years married, a mother, and loving both husband and child—remains insufficiently motivated and sheerly inexplicable, and by this vital, inherent defect the play must fall. Moreover, it lacks a hero. Romont can no longer play the main part he did in former versions; he is reduced to a mere shadow. In a tragedy of Fate, which blights a man’s career, phase by phase, with persistent, relentless hand, that man must necessarily be the central figure, and, of right, should be an imposing figure—a protagonist at once gigantic and appealing, who will draw all hearts to him in pity and terror at the helpless, hopeless struggle of over-matched greatness and worth; whereas Charolais—

The case of Charolais is peculiar. A priori we should expect him to be just such a personage, yet his conduct throughout is best explainable as that of a man dominated, not by noble impulses, but by an extreme egoism—a man acutely responsive alike to his sense-impressions and his feverish imagination, and possessed of an exaggerated squeamishness towards the ugly and the unpleasant. When, in the First Act, he bursts into tears, he confesses it is not for his father that he weeps, but for his own hard lot; he suffers from his repugnance to the idea of his father’s corpse rotting above ground—a repugnance so intolerable to him that he will yield his liberty to escape it. He purposes to cashier the innkeeper because the sight of the lecherous patrons of his hostelry has disgusted him, and he alters his resolve and forgives the fellow, not from any considerations of mercy, but because the mental picture of the man’s distress tortures him. And by similar personal repugnances reacting on egoism is his behavior in the denouement to be accounted for, and in this light becomes logically credible and clearly understood. Few practices are more hazardous or unjust than judging an artist by his objective creations; but an ignoble protagonist, as Charolais is represented, is in such ill accord with any conceivable purpose on the part of Beer-Hofmann, and so unlikely to have been intended by him, that one cannot help strongly suspecting that the author unconsciously projected himself into the character and thus revealed his own nature and point of view. In any case he has presented for his hero a whimperer who can command neither our sympathy nor our respect when he cries above the bodies of his benefactor and her who is that benefactor’s daughter, his own wife, and the mother of his child:

Ist dies Stück denn aus,
Weil jene starb? Und ich? An mich denkt keiner?

We have come a long way from Massinger and Field and the early seventeenth century. The shadow of the old dramatists reaches far, even to our own time; we have seen their play redeveloped, but never improved upon, by pseudo-classicist, and popularizer, and Decadent hyper-aesthete. That which was the vulnerable point in the original production—its two-fold plot—has been still for every imitator a stone of stumbling. Rowe tried to escape it by the suppression of the antecedent half, and the fraction which remained in his hand was an artificial thing without the breath of life, that had to be attenuated and padded out with speechifying to fill the compass of its five Acts. Beer-Hofmann tried to escape it by superimposing an idea not proper to the story, and beneath the weight of this his tragedy collapsed in the middle, for its addition over-packed the drama, and left him not room enough to make convincing the conduct of his characters. The first essayers, who attacked in straightforward fashion their unwieldy theme, succeeded best; all attempts to obviate its essential defect have marred rather than mended. Perhaps the theme is by its nature unsuited to dramatic treatment, and yet there is much that is dramatic about that theme, as is evinced by the fact that playwrights have been unable to let it lie.


The present text aims to reproduce exactly the Quarto edition of 1632, retaining its punctuation, spelling, capitals, italics, and stage directions—amending only the metrical alignment.14 Mere mistakes of printing—inverted and broken letters—are restored, but are duly catalogued in the foot notes. The division into scenes, as made by Gifford, and his affixment of the locus of each, are inserted into the text, inclosed in brackets. In the foot notes are recorded all variants of all subsequent editions. Differences of punctuation are given, if they could possibly alter the meaning, but not otherwise—nor mere differences in wording of stage directions, nor differences in spelling, nor elision for metre. In the Quarto the elder Novall is sometimes designated before his lines as Novall Senior, sometimes merely as Novall—no confusion is possible, since he and his son are never on the stage at the same time. Gifford and Symons always write Novall Senior, while Coxeter and Mason write Novall alone in I, i, and Novall Senior thereafter. I have not thought it worth while to note the variants of the several texts on this point.


As it hath beene often Acted at the Priuate House in Blackefryers, by his Maiesties Seruants.

Written by P. M. and N. F.

Printed by Iohn Norton, for Francis Constable, and are to be iold at his shop at the Crane, in Pauls Churchyard. 1632.


The Fatall Dowry:
A Tragedy:

Act. primus.

Scaena prima:

[A Street before the Court of Justice]
Enter Charaloyes with a paper, Romont, Charmi.

Charmi Sir, I may moue the Court to serue your will,
But therein shall both wrong you and my selfe.

Rom. Why thinke you so sir?

Charmi. ’Cause I am familiar
With what will be their answere: they will say,
’Tis against law, and argue me of Ignorance [5]
For offering them the motion.

Rom. You know not, Sir,
How in this cause they may dispence with Law,
And therefore frame not you their answere for them,
But doe your parts.

Charmi. I loue the cause so well,
As I could runne, the hazard of a checke for ’t. [10]

Rom. From whom?

Charmi. Some of the bench, that watch to give it,
More then to doe the office that they fit for:
But giue me (sir) my fee.

Rom. Now you are Noble.

Charmi. I shall deserue this better yet, in giuing
My Lord some counsell, (if he please to heare it) [15]
Then I shall doe with pleading.

Rom. What may it be, sir?

Charmi. That it would please his Lordship, as the presidents,
And Counsaylors of Court come by, to stand
Heere, and but shew your selfe, and to some one
Or two, make his request: there is a minute [20]
When a mans presence speakes in his owne cause,
More then the tongues of twenty aduocates.

Rom. I haue vrg’d that.

Enter Rochfort: DuCroye.

Charmi. Their Lordships here are coming,
I must goe get me a place, you’l finde me in Court,
And at your seruice

Exit Charmi.

Rom. Now put on your Spirits. [25]

Du Croy. The ease that you prepare your selfe, my Lord,
In giuing vp the place you hold in Court,
Will proue (I feare) a trouble in the State,
And that no slight one.

Roch. Pray you sir, no more.

Rom. Now sir, lose not this offerd means: their lookes [30]
Fixt on you, with a pittying earnestnesse,
Inuite you to demand their furtherance
To your good purpose.—This such a dulnesse
So foolish and vntimely as—

Du Croy. You know him.

Roch. I doe, and much lament the sudden fall [35]
Of his braue house. It is young Charloyes.
Sonne to the Marshall, from whom he inherits
His fame and vertues onely.

Rom. Ha, they name you.

Du Croye. His father died in prison two daies since.

Roch. Yes, to the shame of this vngrateful State; [40]
That such a Master in the art of warre,
So noble, and so highly meriting,
From this forgetfull Country, should, for want
Of meanes to satisfie his creditors,
The summes he tooke vp for the generall good, [45]
Meet with an end so infamous.

Rom. Dare you euer
Hope for like opportunity?

Du Croye. My good Lord!

Roch. My wish bring comfort to you.

Du Croye. The time calls vs.

Roch. Good morrow Colonell.

Exeunt Roch. Du Croye.

Rom. This obstinate spleene,
You thinke becomes your sorrow, and sorts wel [50]
With your blacke suits: but grant me wit, or iudgement,
And by the freedome of an honest man,
And a true friend to boote, I sweare ’tis shamefull.
And therefore flatter not your selfe with hope,
Your sable habit, with the hat and cloake, [55]
No though the ribons helpe, haue power to worke ’em
To what you would: for those that had no eyes,
To see the great acts of your father, will not,
From any fashion sorrow can put on,
Bee taught to know their duties.

Char. If they will not, [60]
They are too old to learne, and I too young
To giue them counsell, since if they partake
The vnderstanding, and the hearts of men,
They will preuent my words and teares: if not,
What can perswasion, though made eloquent [65]
With griefe, worke vpon such as haue chang’d natures
With the most sauage beast? Blest, blest be euer
The memory of that happy age, when iustice
Had no gards to keepe off wrongd innocence,
From flying to her succours, and in that [70]
Assurance of redresse: where now (Romont)
The damnd, with more ease may ascend from Hell,
Then we ariue at her. One Cerberus there
Forbids the passage, in our Courts a thousand,
As lowd, and fertyle headed, and the Client [75]
That wants the sops, to fill their rauenous throats,
Must hope for no accesse: why should I then
Attempt impossibilities: you friend, being
Too well acquainted with my dearth of meanes,
To make my entrance that way?

Rom. Would I were not. [80]
But Sir, you haue a cause, a cause so iust,
Of such necessitie, not to be deferd,
As would compell a mayde, whose foot was neuer
Set ore her fathers threshold, nor within
The house where she was borne, euer spake word, [85]
Which was not vshered with pure virgin blushes,
To drowne the tempest of a pleaders tongue,
And force corruption to giue backe the hire
It tooke against her: let examples moue you.
You see great men in birth, esteeme and fortune, [90]
Rather then lose a scruple of their right,
Fawne basely vpon such, whose gownes put off,
They would disdaine for Seruants.

Char. And to these
Can I become a suytor?

Rom. Without losse,
Would you consider, that to game their fauors, [95]
Our chastest dames put off their modesties,
Soldiers forget their honors, vsurers
Make sacrifice of Gold, poets of wit,
And men religious, part with fame, and goodnesse?
Be therefore wonne to vse the meanes, that may [100]
Aduance your pious ends.

Char. You shall orecome.

Rom. And you receiue the glory, pray you now practise.
’Tis well.

Enter Old Nouall, Liladam, & 3 Creditors.

Char. Not looke on me!

Rom. You must haue patience——
Offer’t againe.

Char. And be againe contemn’d?

Nou. I know whats to be done.

1 Cred. And that your Lordship [105]
Will please to do your knowledge, we offer, first
Our thankefull hearts heere, as a bounteous earnest
To what we will adde.

Nou. One word more of this
I am your enemie. Am I a man
Your bribes can worke on? ha?

Lilad. Friends, you mistake [110]
The way to winne my Lord, he must not heare this,
But I, as one in fauour, in his sight,
May harken to you for my profit. Sir,
I pray heare em.

Nou. Tis well.

Lilad. Obserue him now.

Nou. Your cause being good, and your proceedings so, [115]
Without corruption; I am your friend,
Speake your desires.

2 Cred. Oh, they are charitable,
The Marshall stood ingag’d vnto vs three,
Two hundred thousand crownes, which by his death
We are defeated of. For which great losse [120]
We ayme at nothing but his rotten flesh,
Nor is that cruelty.

1 Cred. I haue a sonne,
That talkes of nothing but of Gunnes and Armors,
And sweares hee’ll be a soldier, tis an humor
I would diuert him from, and I am told [125]
That if I minister to him in his drinke
Powder, made of this banquerout Marshalls bones,
Provided that the carcase rot aboue ground
’Twill cure his foolish frensie.

Nou. You shew in it
A fathers care. I haue a sonne my selfe, [130]
A fashionable Gentleman and a peacefull:
And but I am assur’d he’s not so giuen,
He should take of it too, Sir what are you?

Char. A Gentleman.

Nou. So are many that rake dunghills.
If you haue any suit, moue it in Court. [135]
I take no papers in corners.

Rom. Yes
As the matter may be carried, and hereby
To mannage the conuayance——Follow him.

Lil. You are rude. I say, he shall not passe.

Exit Nouall, Char: and Aduocates

Rom. You say so.
On what assurance? [140]
For the well cutting of his Lordships cornes,
Picking his toes, or any office else
Neerer to basenesse!

Lil. Looke vpon mee better,
Are these the ensignes of so coorse a fellow?
Be well aduis’d.

Rom. Out, rogue, do not I know, (Kicks him) [145]
These glorious weedes spring from the sordid dunghill
Of thy officious basenesse? wert thou worthy
Of anything from me, but my contempt,
I would do more then this, more, you Court-spider.

Lil. But that this man is lawlesse; he should find that I am valiant. [150]

1 Cred. If your eares are fast,
Tis nothing. Whats a blow or two? As much—

2 Cred. These chastisements, as vsefull are as frequent
To such as would grow rich.

Rom. Are they so Rascals?
I will be-friend you then.

1 Cred. Beare witnesse, Sirs. [155]

Lil. Trueth, I haue borne my part already, friends.
In the Court you shall haue more.


Rom. I know you for
The worst of spirits, that striue to rob the tombes
Of what is their inheritance, from the dead.
For vsurers, bred by a riotous peace: [160]
That hold the Charter of your wealth & freedome,
By being Knaues and Cuckolds that ne’re prayd,
But when you feare the rich heires will grow wise,
To keepe their Lands out of your parchment toyles:
And then, the Diuell your father’s cald vpon, [165]
To inuent some ways of Luxury ne’re thought on.
Be gone, and quickly, or Ile leaue no roome
Vpon your forhead for your hornes to sprowt on,
Without a murmure, or I will vndoe you;
For I will beate you honest.

1 Cred. Thrift forbid. [170]
We will beare this, rather then hazard that.

Ex: Creditor.
Enter Charloyes.

Rom. I am some-what eas’d in this yet.

Char. (Onely friend)
To what vaine purpose do I make my sorrow,
Wayte on the triumph of their cruelty?
Or teach their pride from my humilitie, [175]
To thinke it has orecome? They are determin’d
What they will do: and it may well become me,
To robbe them of the glory they expect
From my submisse intreaties.

Rom. Thinke not so, Sir,
The difficulties that you incounter with, [180]
Will crowne the vndertaking—Heaven! you weepe:
And I could do so too, but that I know,
Theres more expected from the sonne and friend
Of him, whose fatall losse now shakes our natures,
Then sighs, or teares, (in which a village nurse [185]
Or cunning strumpet, when her knaue is hangd,
May ouercome vs.) We are men (young Lord)
Let vs not do like women. To the Court,
And there speake like your birth: wake sleeping justice,
Or dare the Axe. This is a way will sort [190]
With what you are. I call you not to that
I will shrinke from my selfe, I will deserue
Your thankes, or suffer with you—O how bravely
That sudden fire of anger shewes in you!
Give fuell to it, since you are on a shelfe, [195]
Of extreme danger suffer like your selfe.



[The Court of Justice]
Enter Rochfort, Nouall Se. Charmi, Du Croye, Aduocates, Baumont, and Officers, and 3. Presidents.

Du Croye. Your Lordship’s seated. May this meeting proue prosperous to vs, and to the generall good
Of Burgundy.

Nou. Se. Speake to the poynt.

Du Croy. Which is,
With honour to dispose the place and power
Of primier President, which this reuerent man [5]
Graue Rochfort, (whom for honours sake I name)
Is purpos’d to resigne a place, my Lords,
In which he hath with such integrity,
Perform’d the first and best parts of a Iudge,
That as his life transcends all faire examples [10]
Of such as were before him in Dijon,
So it remaines to those that shall succeed him,
A President they may imitate, but not equall.

Roch. I may not sit to heare this.

Du Croy. Let the loue
And thankfulnes we are bound to pay to goodnesse, [15]
In this o’recome your modestie.

Roch. My thankes
For this great fauour shall preuent your trouble.
The honourable trust that was impos’d
Vpon my weaknesse since you witnesse for me,
It was not ill discharg’d, I will not mention, [20]
Nor now, if age had not depriu’d me of
The little strength I had to gouerne well,
The Prouince that I vndertooke, forsake it.

Nou. That we could lend you of our yeeres.

Du Croy. Or strength.

Nou. Or as you are, perswade you to continue [25]
The noble exercise of your knowing iudgement.

Roch. That may not be, nor can your Lordships goodnes,
Since your imployments haue confer’d vpon me
Sufficient wealth, deny the vse of it,
And though old age, when one foot’s in the graue, [30]
In many, when all humors else are spent
Feeds no affection in them, but desire
To adde height to the mountaine of their riches:
In me it is not so, I rest content
With the honours, and estate I now possesse, [35]
And that I may haue liberty to vse,
What Heauen still blessing my poore industry,
Hath made me Master of: I pray the Court
To ease me of my burthen, that I may
Employ the small remainder of my life, [40]
In liuing well, and learning how to dye so.

Enter Romont, and Charalois.

Rom. See sir, our Aduocate.

Du Croy. The Court intreats,
Your Lordship will be pleasd to name the man,
Which you would haue your successor, and in me,
All promise to confirme it.

Roch. I embrace it, [45]
As an assurance of their fauour to me,
And name my Lord Nouall.

Du Croy. The Court allows it.

Roch. But there are suters waite heere, and their causes
May be of more necessity to be heard,
And therefore wish that mine may be defer’d, [50]
And theirs haue hearing.

Du Croy. If your Lordship please
To take the place, we will proceed.

Charm. The cause
We come to offer to your Lordships censure,
Is in it selfe so noble, that it needs not
Or Rhetorique in me that plead, or fauour [55]
From your graue Lordships, to determine of it.
Since to the prayse of your impartiall iustice
(Which guilty, nay condemn’d men, dare not scandall)
It will erect a trophy of your mercy
With married to that Iustice.

Nou. Se. Speaks to the cause. [60]

Charm. I will, my Lord: to say, the late dead Marshall
The father of this young Lord heer, my Clyent,
Hath done his Country great and faithfull seruice,
Might taske me of impertinence to repeate,
What your graue Lordships cannot but remember, [65]
He in his life, become indebted to
These thriftie men, I will not wrong their credits,
By giuing them the attributes they now merit,
And fayling by the fortune of the warres,
Of meanes to free himselfe, from his ingagements, [70]
He was arrested, and for want of bayle
Imprisond at their suite: and not long after
With losse of liberty ended his life.
And though it be a Maxime in our Lawes,
All suites dye with the person, these mens malice [75]
In death find matter for their hate to worke on,
Denying him the decent Rytes of buriall,
Which the sworne enemies of the Christian faith
Grant freely to their slaues; may it therefore please
Your Lordships, so to fashion your decree, [80]
That what their crueltie doth forbid, your pittie
May giue allowance to.

Nou. Se. How long haue you Sir
Practis’d in Court?

Charmi. Some twenty yeeres, my Lord.

Nou. Se. By your grosse ignorance it should appeare,
Not twentie dayes.

Charmi. I hope I haue giuen no cause [85]
In this, my Lord—

Nou. Se. How dare you moue the Court,
To the dispensing with an Act confirmd
By Parlament, to the terror of all banquerouts?
Go home, and with more care peruse the Statutes:
Or the next motion fauoring of this boldnesse, [90]
May force you to leape (against your will)
Ouer the place you plead at.

Charmi. I foresaw this.

Rom. Why does your Lordship thinke, the mouing of
A cause more honest then this Court had euer
The honor to determine, can deserue [95]
A checke like this?

Nou. Se. Strange boldnes!

Rom. Tis fit freedome:
Or do you conclude, an aduocate cannot hold
His credit with the Iudge, vnlesse he study
His face more then the cause for which he pleades?

Charmi. Forbeare.

Rom. Or cannot you, that haue the power [100]
To qualifie the rigour of the Lawes,
When you are pleased, take a little from
The strictnesse of your fowre decrees, enacted
In fauor of the greedy creditors
Against the orethrowne debter?

Nou. Se. Sirra, you that prate [105]
Thus sawcily, what are you?

Rom. Why Ile tell you,
Thou purple-colour’d man, I am one to whom
Thou owest the meanes thou hast of sitting there
A corrupt Elder.

Charmi. Forbeare.

Rom. The nose thou wearst, is my gift, and those eyes [110]
That meete no obiect so base as their Master,
Had bin, long since, torne from that guiltie head,
And thou thy selfe slaue to some needy Swisse,
Had I not worne a sword, and vs’d it better
Then in thy prayers thou ere didst thy tongue. [115]

Nou. Se. Shall such an Insolence passe vnpunisht?

Charmi. Heere mee.

Rom. Yet I, that in my seruice done my Country,
Disdaine to bee put in the scale with thee,
Confesse my selfe vnworthy to bee valued
With the least part, nay haire of the dead Marshall, [120]
Of whose so many glorious vndertakings,
Make choice of any one, and that the meanest
Performd against the subtill Fox of France,
The politique Lewis, or the more desperate Swisse,
And ’twyll outwaygh all the good purpose, [125]
Though put in act, that euer Gowneman practizd.

Nou. Se. Away with him to prison.

Rom. If that curses,
Vrg’d iustly, and breath’d forth so, euer fell
On those that did deserue them; let not mine
Be spent in vaine now, that thou from this instant [130]
Mayest in thy feare that they will fall vpon thee,
Be sensible of the plagues they shall bring with them.
And for denying of a little earth,
To couer what remaynes of our great soldyer:
May all your wiues proue whores, your factors theeues, [135]
And while you liue, your riotous heires vndoe you,
And thou, the patron of their cruelty.
Of all thy Lordships liue not to be owner
Of so much dung as will conceale a Dog,
Or what is worse, thy selfe in. And thy yeeres, [140]
To th’ end thou mayst be wretched, I wish many,
And as thou hast denied the dead a graue,
May misery in thy life make thee desire one,
Which men and all the Elements keepe from thee:
I haue begun well, imitate, exceed. [145]

Roch. Good counsayle were it, a prayse worthy deed.

Ex. Officers with Rom.

Du Croye. Remember what we are.

Chara. Thus low my duty
Answeres your Lordships counsaile. I will vse
In the few words (with which I am to trouble
Your Lordships eares) the temper that you wish mee. [150]
Not that I feare to speake my thoughts as lowd,
And with a liberty beyond Romont:
But that I know, for me that am made vp
Of all that’s wretched, so to haste my end,
Would seeme to most, rather a willingnesse [155]
To quit the burthen of a hopelesse life,
Then scorne of death, or duty to the dead.
I therefore bring the tribute of my prayse
To your seueritie, and commend the Iustice,
That will not for the many seruices [160]
That any man hath done the Common wealth
Winke at his least of ills: what though my father
Writ man before he was so, and confirmd it,
By numbring that day, no part of his life,
In which he did not seruice to his Country; [165]
Was he to be free therefore from the Lawes,
And ceremonious forme in your decrees?
Or else because he did as much as man
In those three memorable ouerthrowes
At Granson, Morat, Nancy, where his Master, [170]
The warlike Charloyes (with whose misfortunes
I beare his name) lost treasure, men and life,
To be excus’d, from payment of those summes
Which (his owne patri mony spent) his zeale,
To serue his Countrey, forc’d him to take vp? [175]

Nou. Se. The president were ill.

Chara. And yet, my Lord, this much
I know youll grant; After those great defeatures,
Which in their dreadfull ruines buried quick, (Enter officers.
Courage and hope, in all men but himselfe,
He forst the proud foe, in his height of conquest, [180]
To yield vnto an honourable peace.
And in it saued an hundred thousand liues,
To end his owne, that was sure proofe against
The scalding Summers heate, and Winters frost,
Illayres, the Cannon, and the enemies sword, [185]
In a most loathsome prison.

Du Croy. Twas his fault
To be so prodigall.

Nou. Se. He had frô the state
Sufficent entertainment for the Army.

Char. Sufficient? My Lord, you sit at home,
And though your fees are boundlesse at the barre: [190]
Are thriftie in the charges of the warre,
But your wills be obeyd. To these I turne,
To these soft-hearted men, that wisely know
They are onely good men, that pay what they owe.

2 Cred. And so they are.

1 Cred. ’Tis the City Doctrine, [195]
We stand bound to maintaine it.

Char. Be constant in it,
And since you are as mercilesse in your natures,
As base, and mercenary in your meanes
By which you get your wealth, I will not vrge
The Court to take away one scruple from [200]
The right of their lawes, or one good thought
In you to mend your disposition with.
I know there is no musique in your eares
So pleasing as the groanes of men in prison,
And that the teares of widows, and the cries [205]
Of famish’d Orphants, are the feasts that take you.
That to be in your danger, with more care
Should be auoyded, then infectious ayre,
The loath’d embraces of diseased women,
A flatterers poyson, or the losse of honour. [210]
Yet rather then my fathers reuerent dust
Shall want a place in that faire monument,
In which our noble Ancestors lye intomb’d,
Before the Court I offer vp my selfe
A prisoner for it: loade me with those yrons [215]
That haue worne out his life, in my best strength
Ile run to th’ incounter of cold hunger,
And choose my dwelling where no Sun dares enter,
So he may be releas’d.

1 Cred. What meane you sir?

2 Aduo. Onely your fee againe: ther’s so much sayd [220]
Already in this cause, and sayd so well,
That should I onely offer to speake in it,
I should not bee heard, or laught at for it.

1 Cred. ’Tis the first mony aduocate ere gaue backe,
Though hee sayd nothing.

Roch. Be aduis’d, young Lord, [225]
And well considerate, you throw away
Your liberty, and ioyes of life together:
Your bounty is imployd vpon a subiect
That is not sensible of it, with which, wise man
Neuer abus’d his goodnesse; the great vertues [230]
Of your dead father vindicate themselues,
From these mens malice, and breake ope the prison,
Though it containe his body.

Nou. Se. Let him alone,
If he loue Lords, a Gods name let him weare ’em,
Prouided these consent.

Char. I hope they are not [235]
So ignorant in any way of profit,
As to neglect a possibility
To get their owne, by seeking it from that
Which can returne them nothing, but ill fame,
And curses for their barbarous cruelties. [240]

3 Cred. What thinke you of the offer?

2 Cred. Very well.

1 Cred. Accept it by all meanes: let’s shut him vp,
He is well-shaped and has a villanous tongue,
And should he study that way of reuenge,
As I dare almost sweare he loues a wench, [245]
We haue no wiues, nor neuer shall get daughters
That will hold out against him.

Du Croy. What’s your answer?

2 Cred. Speake you for all.

1 Cred. Why let our executions
That lye vpon the father, bee return’d
Vpon the sonne, and we release the body. [250]

Nou. Se. The Court must grant you that.

Char. I thanke your Lordships,
They haue in it confirm’d on me such glory,
As no time can take from me: I am ready,
Come lead me where you please: captiuity
That comes with honour, is true liberty. [255]

Exit Charmi, Cred. & Officers.

Nou. Se. Strange rashnesse.

Roch. A braue resolution rather,
Worthy a better fortune, but howeuer
It is not now to be disputed, therefore
To my owne cause. Already I haue found
Your Lordships bountifull in your fauours to me; [260]
And that should teach my modesty to end heere
And presse your loues no further.

Du Croy. There is nothing
The Court can grant, but with assurance you
May aske it and obtaine it.

Roch. You incourage
A bold Petitioner, and ’tis not fit [265]
Your fauours should be lost. Besides, ’tas beene
A custome many yeeres, at the surrendring
The place I now giue vp, to grant the President
One boone, that parted with it. And to confirme
Your grace towards me, against all such as may [270]
Detract my actions, and life hereafter,
I now preferre it to you.

Du Croy. Speake it freely.

Roch. I then desire the liberty of Romont,
And that my Lord Nouall, whose priuate wrong
Was equall to the iniurie that was done [275]
To the dignity of the Court, will pardon it,
And now signe his enlargement.

Nou. Se. Pray you demand
The moyety of my estate, or any thing
Within my power, but this.

Roch. Am I denyed then—
My first and last request?

Du Croy. It must not be. [280]

2 Pre. I haue a voyce to giue in it.

3 Pre. And I.
And if perswasion will not worke him to it,
We will make knowne our power.

Nou. Se. You are too violent,
You shall haue my consent—But would you had
Made tryall of my loue in any thing [285]
But this, you should haue found then—But it skills not.
You haue what you desire.

Roch. I thanke your Lordships.

Du Croy. The court is vp, make way.

Ex. omnes, praeter Roch. & Beaumont.

Roch. I follow you—Baumont.

Baum. My Lord.

Roch. You are a scholler, Baumont,
And can search deeper into th’ intents of men, [290]
Then those that are lesse knowing—How appear’d
The piety and braue behauior of
Young Charloyes to you?

Baum. It is my wonder,
Since I want language to expresse it fully;
And sure the Collonell—

Roch. Fie! he was faulty— [295]
What present mony haue I?

Baum. There is no want
Of any summe a priuate man has use for.

Roch. ’Tis well:
I am strangely taken with this Charaloyes;
Me thinkes, from his example, the whole age
Should learne to be good, and continue so. [300]
Vertue workes strangely with vs: and his goodnesse
Rising aboue his fortune, seemes to me
Princelike, to will, not aske a courtesie.


Act. secundus.

Scæna prima:

[A Street before the Prison]
Enter Pontalier, Malotin, Baumont.

Mal. Tis strange.

Baum. Me thinkes so.

Pont. In a man, but young,
Yet old in iudgement, theorique, and practicke
In all humanity (and to increase the wonder)
Religious, yet a Souldier, that he should
Yeeld his free liuing youth a captiue, for [5]
The freedome of his aged fathers Corpes,
And rather choose to want lifes necessaries,
Liberty, hope of fortune, then it should
In death be kept from Christian ceremony.

Malo. Come, ’Tis a golden president in a Sonne, [10]
To let strong nature haue the better hand,
(In such a case) of all affected reason.
What yeeres sits on this Charolois?

Baum. Twenty eight,
For since the clocke did strike him 17 old
Vnder his fathers wing, this Sonne hath fought, [15]
Seru’d and commanded, and so aptly both,
That sometimes he appear’d his fathers father,
And neuer lesse then’s sonne; the old man’s vertues
So recent in him, as the world may sweare,
Nought but a faire tree, could such fayre fruit beare. [20]

Pont. But wherefore lets he such a barbarous law,
And men more barbarous to execute it,
Preuaile on his soft disposition,
That he had rather dye aliue for debt
Of the old man in prison, then he should [25]
Rob him of Sepulture, considering
These monies borrow’d bought the lenders peace,
And all their meanes they inioy, nor was diffus’d
In any impious or licencious path?

Bau. True: for my part, were it my fathers trunke, [30]
The tyrannous Ram-heads, with their hornes should gore it,
Or, cast it to their curres (than they) lesse currish,
Ere prey on me so, with their Lion-law,
Being in my free will (as in his) to shun it.

Pont. Alasse! he knowes him selfe (in pouerty) lost: [35]
For in this parciall auaricious age
What price beares Honor? Vertue? Long agoe
It was but prays’d, and freez’d, but now a dayes
’Tis colder far, and has, nor loue, nor praise,
Very prayse now freezeth too: for nature [40]
Did make the heathen, far more Christian then,
Then knowledge vs (lesse heathenish) Christian.

Malo. This morning is the funerall.

Pont. Certainely!
And from this prison ’twas the sonnes request
That his deare father might interment haue. (Recorders Musique, [45]
See, the young sonne interd a liuely graue.

Baum. They come, obserue their order.

Enter Funerall. Body borne by 4. Captaines and Souldiers, Mourners, Scutchions, and very good order. Charolois, and Romont meet it. Char. speaks. Rom. weeping, solemne Musique, 3 Creditors.

Char. How like a silent streame shaded with night,
And gliding softly with our windy sighes;
Moues the whole frame of this solemnity! [50]
Teares, sighs, and blackes, filling the simily,
Whilst I the onely murmur in this groue
Of death, thus hollowly break forth! Vouchsafe
To stay a while, rest, rest in peace, deare earth,
Thou that brought’st rest to their vnthankfull lyues, [55]
Whose cruelty deny’d thee rest in death:
Heere stands thy poore Executor thy sonne,
That makes his life prisoner, to bale thy death;
Who gladlier puts on this captiuity,
Then Virgins long in loue, their wedding weeds: [60]
Of all that euer thou hast done good to,
These onely haue good memories, for they
Remember best, forget not gratitude.
I thanke you for this last and friendly loue.
And tho this Country, like a viperous mother, [65]
Not onely hath eate vp vngratefully
All meanes of thee her sonne, but last thy selfe,
Leauing thy heire so bare and indigent,
He cannot rayse thee a poore Monument,
Such as a flatterer, or a vsurer hath. [70]
Thy worth, in euery honest brest buyldes one,
Making their friendly hearts thy funerall stone.

Pont. Sir.

Char. Peace, O peace, this sceane is wholy mine.
What weepe ye, souldiers? Blanch not, Romont weepes. [75]
Ha, let me see, my miracle is eas’d,
The iaylors and the creditors do weepe;
Euen they that make vs weepe, do weepe themselues.
Be these thy bodies balme: these and thy vertue
Keepe thy fame euer odoriferous, [80]
Whilst the great, proud, rich, vndeseruing man,
Aliue stinkes in his vices, and being vanish’d,
The golden calfe that was an Idoll dect
With marble pillars Iet, and Porphyrie,
Shall quickly both in bone and name consume, [85]
Though wrapt in lead, spice, Searecloth and perfume

1 Cred. Sir.

Char. What! Away for shame: you prophane rogues
Must not be mingled with these holy reliques:
This is a Sacrifice, our showre shall crowne [90]
His sepulcher with Oliue, Myrrh and Bayes
The plants of peace, of sorrow, victorie,
Your teares would spring but weedes.

1 Cred. Would they not so?
Wee’ll keepe them to stop bottles then:

Rom. No; keepe ’em
For your owne sins, you Rogues, till you repent: [95]
You’ll dye else and be damn’d.

2 Cred. Damn’d, ha! ha, ha.

Rom. Laugh yee?

3 Cred. Yes faith, Sir, weel’d be very glad
To please you eyther way.

1 Cred. Y’are ne’re content,
Crying nor laughing.

Rom. Both with a birth shee rogues.

2 Cred. Our wiues, Sir, taught vs. [100]

Rom. Looke, looke, you slaues, your thanklesse cruelty
And sauage manners, of vnkind Dijon,
Exhaust these flouds, and not his fathers death.

1 Cred. Slid, Sir, what would yee, ye’are so cholericke?

2 Cred. Most soldiers are so yfaith, let him alone: [105]
They haue little else to liue on, we haue not had
A penny of him, haue we?

3 Cred. ’Slight, wo’d you haue our hearts?

1 Cred. We haue nothing but his body heere in durance
For all our mony.

Priest. On.

Char. One moment more,
But to bestow a few poore legacyes, [110]
All I haue left in my dead fathers rights,
And I haue done. Captaine, weare thou these spurs
That yet ne’re made his horse runne from a foe.
Lieutenant, thou, this Scarfe, and may it tye
Thy valor, and thy honestie together: [115]
For so it did in him. Ensigne, this Curace
Your Generalls necklace once. You gentle Bearers,
Deuide this purse of gold, this other, strow
Among the poore: tis all I haue. Romont,
(Weare thou this medall of himselfe) that like [120]
A hearty Oake, grew’st close to this tall Pine,
Euen in the wildest wildernese of war,
Whereon foes broke their swords, and tyr’d themselues;
Wounded and hack’d yee were, but neuer fell’d.
For me my portion prouide in Heauen: [125]
My roote is earth’d, and I a desolate branch
Left scattered in the high way of the world,
Trod vnder foot, that might haue bin a Columne,
Mainly supporting our demolish’d house,
This would I weare as my inheritance. [130]
And what hope can arise to me from it,
When I and it are both heere prisoners?
Onely may this, if euer we be free,
Keepe, or redeeme me from all infamie.

Song. Musicke.

1 Cred. No farther, looke to ’em at your owne perill. [135]

2 Cred. No, as they please: their Master’s a good man.
I would they were the Burmudas.

Saylor. You must no further.
The prison limits you, and the Creditors
Exact the strictnesse.

Rom. Out you wooluish mungrells!
Whose braynes should be knockt out, like dogs in Iuly, [140]
Leste your infection poyson a whole towne.

Char. They grudge our sorrow: your ill wills perforce
Turnes now to Charity: they would not haue vs
Walke too farre mourning, vsurers reliefe
Grieues, if the Debtors haue too much of griefe. [145]



[A Room in Rochfort’s House.]
Enter Beaumelle: Florimell: Bellapert.

Beau. I prithee tell me, Florimell, why do women marry?

Flor. Why truly Madam, I thinke, to lye with their husbands.

Bella. You are a foole: She lyes, Madam, women marry husbands,
To lye with other men. [5]

Flor. Faith eene such a woman wilt thou make. By this light, Madam, this wagtaile will spoyle you, if you take delight in her licence.

Beau. Tis true, Florimell: and thou wilt make me too good for a yong Lady. What an electuary found my father out for [10] his daughter, when hee compounded you two my women? for thou, Florimell, art eene a graine to heauy, simply for a wayting Gentlewoman.

Flor. And thou Bellapert, a graine too light.

Bella. Well, go thy wayes goodly wisdom, whom no body [15] regards. I wonder, whether be elder thou or thy hood: you thinke, because you serue my Laydes mother, are 32 yeeres old which is a peepe out, you know.

Flor. Well sayd, wherligig.

Bella. You are deceyu’d: I want a peg ith’ middle. [20] Out of these Prerogatiues! you thinke to be mother of the maydes heere, & mortifie em with prouerbs: goe, goe, gouern the sweet meates, and waigh the Suger, that the wenches steale none: say your prayers twice a day, and as I take it, you haue performd your function. [25]

Flor. I may bee euen with you.

Bell. Harke, the Court’s broke vp. Goe helpe my old Lord out of his Caroch, and scratch his head till dinner time.

Flor. Well.


Bell. Fy Madam, how you walke! By my mayden-head [30] you looke 7 yeeres older then you did this morning: why, there can be nothing vnder the Sunne vanuable, to make you thus a minute.

Beau. Ah my sweete Bellapert thou Cabinet
To all my counsels, thou dost know the cause [35]
That makes thy Lady wither thus in youth.

Bel. Vd’d-light, enioy your wishes: whilst I liue,
One way or other you shall crowne your will.
Would you haue him your husband that you loue,
And can’t not bee? he is your seruant though, [40]
And may performe the office of a husband.

Beau. But there is honor, wench.

Bell. Such a disease
There is in deed, for which ere I would dy.—

Beau. Prethee, distinguish me a mayd & wife.

Bell. Faith, Madam, one may beare any mans children, [45]
Tother must beare no mans.

Beau. What is a husband?

Bell. Physicke, that tumbling in your belly, will make you sicke ith’ stomacke: the onely distinction betwixt a husband and a seruant is: the first will lye with you, when he please; the last shall lye with you when you please. Pray tell me, [50] Lady, do you loue, to marry after, or would you marry, to loue after.

Beau. I would meete loue and marriage both at once.

Bell. Why then you are out of the fashion, and wilbe contemn’d; for (Ile assure you) there are few women i’th world, [55] but either they haue married first, and loue after, or loue first, and marryed after: you must do as you may, not as you would: your fathers will is the Goale you must fly to: if a husband approach you, you would haue further off, is he your loue? the lesse neere you. A husband in these days is but a [60] cloake to bee oftner layde vpon your bed, then in your bed.

Baum. Humpe.

Bell. Sometimes you may weare him on your shoulder, now and then vnder your arme: but seldome or neuer let him [65] couer you: for ’tis not the fashion.

Enter y. Nouall, Pontalier, Malotin, Lilladam, Aymer.

Nou. Best day to natures curiosity,
Starre of Dijum, the lustre of all France,
Perpetuall spring dwell on thy rosy cheekes,
Whose breath is perfume to our Continent, [70]
See Flora turn’d in her varieties.

Bell. Oh diuine Lord!

Nou. No autumne, nor no age euer approach
This heauenly piece, which nature hauing wrought,
She lost her needle and did then despaire, [75]
Euer to work so liuely and so faire.

Lilad. Vds light, my Lord one of the purles of your band is (without all discipline falne) out of his ranke.

Nou. How? I would not for a 1000 crownes she had seen’t. Deare Liladam, reforme it. [80]

Bell. O Lord: Per se, Lord, quintessence of honour, shee walkes not vnder a weede that could deny thee any thing.

Baum. Prethy peace, wench, thou dost but blow the fire, that flames too much already. [85]

Lilad. Aym. trim Nouall, whilst Bell her Lady.

Aym. By gad, my Lord, you haue the diuinest Taylor of Christendome; he hath made you looke like an Angell in your cloth of Tissue doublet.

Pont. This is a three-leg’d Lord, ther’s a fresh assault, oh that men should spend time thus! [90] See see, how her blood driues to her heart, and straight vaults to her cheekes againe.

Malo. What are these?

Pont. One of ’em there the lower is a good, foolish, knauish sociable gallimaufry of a man, and has much taught [95] my Lord with singing, hee is master of a musicke house: the other is his dressing blocke, vpon whom my Lord layes all his cloathes, and fashions, ere he vouchsafes ’em his owne person; you shall see him i’th morning in the Gally-foyst, at noone in the Bullion, i’th euening in Quirpo, and all night [100] in—

Malo. A Bawdy house.

Pont. If my Lord deny, they deny, if hee affirme, they affirme: they skip into my Lords cast skins some twice a yeere, and thus they liue to eate, eate to liue, and liue to prayfe my [105] Lord.

Malo. Good sir, tell me one thing.

Pont. What’s that?

Malo. Dare these men euer fight, on any cause?

Pont. Oh no, ’t would spoyle their cloathes, and put their [110] bands out of order.

Nou. Mrs, you heare the news: your father has resign’d his Presidentship to my Lord my father.

Malo. And Lord Charolois vndone foreuer.

Pont. Troth, ’tis pity, sir.
A brauer hope of so assur’d a father [115]
Did neuer comfort France.

Lilad. A good dumbe mourner.

Aym. A silent blacke.
As if he had come this Christmas from St. Omers.

Nou. Oh fie vpon him, how he weares his cloathes!
To see his friends, and return’d after Twelfetyde. [120]

Lilad. His Colonell lookes fienely like a drouer.

Nou. That had a winter ly’n perdieu i’th rayne.

Aym. What, he that weares a clout about his necke,
His cuffes in’s pocket, and his heart in’s mouth?

Nou. Now out vpon him!

Beau. Seruant, tye my hand. [125]
How your lips blush, in scorne that they should pay
Tribute to hands, when lips are in the way!

Nou. I thus recant, yet now your hand looks white
Because your lips robd it of such a right.
Mounsieur Aymour, I prethy sing the song [130]
Deuoted to my Mrs.

Cant. Musicke.
After the Song, Enter Rochfort, & Baumont.

Baum. Romont will come, sir, straight.

Roch. ’Tis well.

Beau. My Father.

Nouall. My honorable Lord.

Roch. My Lord Nouall this is a vertue in you.
So early vp and ready before noone, [135]
That are the map of dressing through all France.

Nou. I rise to say my prayers, sir, heere’s my Saint.

Roch. Tis well and courtly; you must giue me leaue,
I haue some priuate conference with my daughter,
Pray vse my garden, you shall dine with me. [140]

Lilad. Wee’l waite on you.

Nou. Good morne vnto your Lordship,
Remember what you haue vow’d——to his Mrs.

Exeunt omnes praeter Roch. Daug.

Beau. Performe I must.

Roch. Why how now Beaumelle, thou look’st not well.
Th’ art sad of late, come cheere thee, I haue found
A wholesome remedy for these mayden fits, [145]
A goodly Oake whereon to twist my vine,
Till her faire branches grow vp to the starres.
Be neere at hand, successe crowne my intent,
My businesse fills my little time so full,
I cannot stand to talke: I know, thy duty [150]
Is handmayd to my will, especially
When it presents nothing but good and fit.

Beau. Sir, I am yours. Oh if my teares proue true, (Exit Daug
Fate hath wrong’d loue, and will destroy me too.

Enter Romont keeper

Rom. Sent you for me, sir?

Roch. Yes.

Rom. Your Lordships pleasure? [155]

Roch. Keeper, this prisoner I will see forth comming
Vpon my word—Sit downe good Colonell. (Exit keeper.
Why I did wish you hither, noble sir,
Is to aduise you from this yron carriage,
Which, so affected, Romont, you weare, [160]
To pity and to counsell yee submit
With expedition to the great Nouall:
Recant your sterne contempt, and slight neglect
Of the whole Court, and him, and opportunity,
Or you will vndergoe a heauy censure [165]
In publique very shortly.

Rom. Hum hum: reuerend sir,
I haue obseru’d you, and doe know you well,
And am now more affraid you know not me,
By wishing my submission to Nouall,
Then I can be of all the bellowing mouthes [170]
That waite vpon him to pronounce the censure,
Could it determine me torments, and shame.
Submit, and craue forgiuenesse of a beast?
Tis true, this bile of state weares purple Tissue.
Is high fed, proud: so is his Lordships horse, [175]
And beares as rich Caparisons. I know,
This Elephant carries on his back not onely
Towres, Castles, but the ponderous republique,
And neuer stoops for’t, with his strong breath trunk
Snuffes others titles, Lordships, Offices, [180]
Wealth, bribes, and lyues, vnder his rauenous iawes.
Whats this vnto my freedome? I dare dye;
And therefore aske this Cammell, if these blessings
(For so they would be vnderstood by a man)
But mollifie one rudenesse in his nature, [185]
Sweeten the eager relish of the law,
At whose great helme he sits: helps he the poore
In a iust businesse? nay, does he not crosse
Euery deserued souldier and scholler,
As if when nature made him, she had made [190]
The generall Antipathy of all vertue?
How sauagely, and blasphemously hee spake
Touching the Generall, the graue Generall dead,
I must weepe when I thinke on’t.

Roch. Sir

Rom. My Lord,
I am not stubborne, I can melt, you see, [195]
And prize a vertue better then my life:
For though I be not learnd, I euer lou’d
That holy Mother of all issues, good,
Whose white hand (for a Scepter) holds a File
To pollish roughest customes, and in you [200]
She has her right: see, I am calme as sleepe,
But when I thinke of the grosse iniuries
The godlesse wrong done, to my Generall dead,
I raue indeed, and could eate this Nouall
A lsoule-esse Dromodary.

Roch. Oh bee temperate, [205]
Sir, though I would perswade, I’le not constraine:
Each mans opinion freely is his owne,
Concerning any thing or any body,
Be it right or wrong, tis at the Iudges perill.

Enter Baumond,

Bau. These men, Sir, waite without, my Lord is come too. [210]

Roch. Pay ’em those summes vpon the table, take
Their full releases: stay, I want a witnesse:
Let mee intreat you Colonell, to walke in,
And stand but by, to see this money pay’d,
It does concerne you and your friends, it was [215]
The better cause you were sent for, though sayd otherwise.
The deed shall make this my request more plaine.

Rom. I shall obey your pleasure Sir, though ignorant
To what is tends?

Exit Seruant: Romont. Enter Charolois

Roch. Worthiest Sir, [220]
You are most welcome: fye, no more of this:
You haue out-wept a woman, noble Charolois.
No man but has, or must bury a father.

Char. Graue Sir, I buried sorrow, for his death,
In the graue with him. I did neuer thinke [225]
Hee was immortall, though I vow I grieue,
And see no reason why the vicious,
Vertuous, valiant and vnworthy man
Should dye alike.

Roch. They do not.

Char. In the manner
Of dying, Sir, they do not, but all dye, [230]
And therein differ not: but I haue done.
I spy’d the liuely picture of my father,
Passing your gallery, and that cast this water
Into mine eyes: see, foolish that I am,
To let it doe so.

Roch. Sweete and gentle nature, [235]
How silken is this well comparatiuely
To other men! I haue a suite to you Sir.

Char. Take it, tis granted.

Roch. What?

Char. Nothing, my Lord.

Roch. Nothing is quickly granted.

Char. Faith, my Lord,
That nothing granted, is euen all I haue, [240]
For (all know) I haue nothing left to grant.

Roch. Sir, ha’ you any suite to me? Ill grant
You something, any thing.

Char. Nay surely, I that can
Giue nothing, will but sue for that againe. [245]
No man will grant mee any thing I sue for.
But begging nothing, euery man will giue’t.

Roch. Sir, the loue I bore your father, and the worth
I see in you, so much resembling his.
Made me thus send for you. And tender heere (Drawes a Curtayne. [250]
What euer you will take, gold, Iewels, both,
All, to supply your wants, and free your selfe.
Where heauenly vertue in high blouded veines
Is lodg’d, and can agree, men should kneele downe,
Adore, and sacrifice all that they haue; [255]
And well they may, it is so seldome seene.
Put off your wonder, and heere freely take
Or send your seruants. Nor, Sir, shall you vse
In ought of this, a poore mans fee, or bribe,
Vniustly taken of the rich, but what’s [260]
Directly gotten, and yet by the Law.

Char. How ill, Sir, it becomes those haires to mocke?

Roch. Mocke? thunder strike mee then.

Char. You doe amaze mee:
But you shall wonder too, I will not take
One single piece of this great heape: why should I [265]
Borrow, that haue not meanes to pay, nay am
A very bankerupt, euen in flattering hope
Of euer raysing any. All my begging,
Is Romonts libertie.

Enter Romont. Creditors loaden with mony. Baumont.

Roch. Heere is your friend,
Enfranchist ere you spake. I giue him you, [270]
And Charolois. I giue you to your friend
As free a man as hee; your fathers debts
Are taken off.

Char. How?

Rom. Sir, it is most true.
I am the witnes.

1 Cred. Yes faith, wee are pay’d.

2 Cred. Heauen blesse his Lordship, I did thinke him wiser. [275]

3 Cred. He a states-man, he an asse Pay other mens debts?

1 Cred. That he was neuer bound for.

Rom. One more such
Would saue the rest of pleaders.

Char. Honord Rochfort.
Lye still my toung and bushes, cal’d my cheekes,
That offter thankes in words, for such great deeds. [280]

Roch. Call in my daughter: still I haue a suit to you. (Baum. Exit.
Would you requite mee.

Rom. With his life, assure you.

Roch. Nay, would you make me now your debter, Sir.
This is my onely child: what shee appeares, (Enter Baum. Beau.
Your Lordship well may see her education [285]
Followes not any: for her mind, I know it
To be far fayrer then her shape, and hope
It will continue so: if now her birth
Be not too meane for Charolois, take her
This virgin by the hand, and call her wife, [290]
Indowd with all my fortunes: blesse me so,
Requite mee thus, and make mee happier,
In ioyning my poore empty name to yours,
Then if my state were multiplied ten fold.

Char. Is this the payment, Sir, that you expect? [295]
Why, you participate me more in debt,
That nothing but my life can euer pay,
This beautie being your daughter, in which yours
I must conceiue necessitie of her vertue
Without all dowry is a Princes ayme, [300]
Then, as shee is, for poore and worthlesse I,
How much too worthy! Waken me, Romont,
That I may know I dream’t and find this vanisht

Rom. Sure, I sleepe not.

Roch. Your sentence life or death.

Char. Faire Beaumelle, can you loue me?

Beau. Yes, my Lord. [305]

Enter Nouall, Ponta. Malotine, Lilad. Aymer. All salute

Char. You need not question me, if I can you.
You are the fayrest virgin in Digum,
And Rochfort is your father.

Nou. What’s this change?

Roch. You met my wishes, Gentlemen.

Rom. What make
These dogs in doublets heere?

Beau. A Visitation, Sir. [310]

Char. Then thus, Faire Beaumelle, I write my faith
Thus seale it in the sight of Heauen and men.
Your fingers tye my heart-strings with this touch
In true-loue knots, which nought but death shall loose.
And yet these eares (an Embleme of our loues) [315]
Like Cristall riuers indiuidually
Flow into one another, make one source,
Which neuer man distinguish, lesse deuide:
Breath, marry, breath, and kisses, mingle soules
Two hearts, and bodies, heere incorporate: [320]
And though with little wooing I haue wonne
My future life shall be a wooing tyme.
And euery day, new as the bridall one.
Oh Sir I groane vnder your courtesies,
More then my fathers bones vnder his wrongs, [325]
You Curtius-like, haue throwne into the gulfe,
Of this his Countries foule ingratitude,
Your life and fortunes, to redeeme their shames.

Roch. No more, my glory, come, let’s in and hasten
This celebration.

Rom. Mal. Pont. Bau. All faire blisse vpon it. [330]

Exeunt Roch. Char. Rom. Bau. Mal.

Nou. Mistresse.

Beau. Oh seruant, vertue strengthen me.
Thy presence blowes round my affections vane:
You will vndoe me, if you speake againe.

Exit Beaum.

Lilad. Aym. Heere will be sport for you. This workes.

Exeunt Lilad. Aym.

Nou. Peace, peace,

Pont. One word, my Lord Nouall.

Nou. What, thou wouldst mony; there. [335]

Pont. No, Ile none, Ile not be bought a slaue,
A Pander, or a Parasite, for all
Your fathers worth, though you haue sau’d my life,
Rescued me often from my wants, I must not
Winke at your follyes: that will ruine you. [340]
You know my blunt way, and my loue to truth:
Forsake the pursuit of this Ladies honour,
Now you doe see her made another mans,
And such a mans, so good, so popular,
Or you will plucke a thousand mischiefes on you. [345]
The benefits you haue done me, are not lost,
Nor cast away, they are purs’d heere in my heart,
But let me pay you, sir, a fayrer way
Then to defend your vices, or to sooth ’em.

Nou. Ha, ha, ha, what are my courses vnto thee? [350]
Good Cousin Pontalier, meddle with that
That shall concerne thyselfe.

Exit Nouall.

Pont. No more but scorne?
Moue on then, starres, worke your pernicious will.
Onely the wise rule, and preuent your ill.

Exit. Hoboyes.
Here a passage ouer the Stage, while the Act is playing for the Marriage of Charalois with Beaumelle, &c.

Actus tertius.

Scaena prima.

[A Room in Charalois’ House]
Enter Nouall Iunior, Bellapert.

Nou. Iu. Flie not to these excuses: thou hast bin
False in thy promise, and when I haue said
Vngratefull, all is spoke.

Bell. Good my Lord,
But heare me onely.

Nou. To what purpose, trifler?
Can anything that thou canst say, make voyd [5]
The marriage? or those pleasures but a dreame,
Which Charaloyes (oh Venus) hath enioyd?

Bell. I yet could say that you receiue aduantage,
In what you thinke a losse, would you vouchsafe me
That you were neuer in the way till now [10]
With safety to arriue at your desires,
That pleasure makes loue to you vnattended
By danger or repentance?

Nou. That I could.
But apprehend one reason how this might be,
Hope would not then forsake me.

Bell. The enioying [15]
Of what you most desire, I say th’ enioying
Shall, in the full possession of your wishes,
Confirme that I am faithfull.

Nou. Giue some rellish
How this may appeare possible.

Bell. I will
Rellish, and taste, and make the banquet easie: [20]
You say my Ladie’s married. I confesse it,
That Charalois hath inioyed her, ’tis most true
That with her, hee’s already Master of
The best part of my old Lords state. Still better,
But that the first, or last, should be your hindrance, [25]
I vtterly deny: for but obserue me:
While she went for, and was, I sweare, a Virgin,
What courtesie could she with her honour giue
Or you receiue with safety—take me with you,
When I say courtesie, doe not think I meane [30]
A kisse, the tying of her shoo or garter,
An houre of priuate conference: those are trifles.
In this word courtesy, we that are gamesters point at
The sport direct, where not alone the louer
Brings his Artillery, but vses it. [35]
Which word expounded to you, such a courtesie
Doe you expect, and sudden.

Nou. But he tasted
The first sweetes, Bellapert.

Bell. He wrong’d you shrewdly,
He toyl’d to climbe vp to the Phoenix nest,
And in his prints leaues your ascent more easie. [40]
I doe not know, you that are perfect Crittiques
In womens bookes, may talke of maydenheads.

Nou. But for her marriage.

Bell. ’Tis a faire protection
’Gainst all arrests of feare, or shame for euer.
Such as are faire, and yet not foolish, study [45]
To haue one at thirteene; but they are mad
That stay till twenty. Then sir, for the pleasure,
To say Adulterie’s sweeter, that is stale.
This onely is not the contentment more,
To say, This is my Cuckold, then my Riuall. [50]
More I could say—but briefly, she doates on you,
If it proue otherwise, spare not, poyson me
With the next gold you giue me.

Enter Beaumely

Beau. Hows this seruant,
Courting my woman?

Bell. As an entrance to
The fauour of the mistris: you are together [55]
And I am perfect in my qu.

Beau. Stay Bellapert.

Bell. In this I must not with your leaue obey you.
Your Taylor and your Tire-woman waite without
And stay my counsayle, and direction for
Your next dayes dressing. I haue much to doe, [60]
Nor will your Ladiship know, time is precious,
Continue idle: this choise Lord will finde
So fit imployment for you.

Exit Bellap.

Beau. I shall grow angry.

Nou. Not so, you haue a iewell in her, Madam.

Enter againe.

Bell. I had forgot to tell your Ladiship [65]
The closet is priuate and your couch ready:
And if you please that I shall loose the key,
But say so, and tis done.

Exit Bellap.

Baum. You come to chide me, seruant, and bring with you
Sufficient warrant, you will say and truely, [70]
My father found too much obedience in me,
By being won too soone: yet if you please
But to remember, all my hopes and fortunes
Had reuerence to this likening: you will grant
That though I did not well towards you, I yet [75]
Did wisely for my selfe.

Nou. With too much feruor
I haue so long lou’d and still loue you, Mistresse,
To esteeme that an iniury to me
Which was to you conuenient: that is past
My helpe, is past my cure. You yet may, Lady, [80]
In recompence of all my dutious seruice,
(Prouided that your will answere your power)
Become my Creditresse.

Beau. I vnderstand you,
And for assurance, the request you make
Shall not be long vnanswered. Pray you sit, [85]
And by what you shall heare, you’l easily finde,
My passions are much fitter to desire,
Then to be sued to.

Enter Romont and Florimell.

Flor. Sir, tis not enuy
At the start my fellow has got of me in
My Ladies good opinion, thats the motiue [90]
Of this discouery; but due payment
Of what I owe her Honour.

Rom. So I conceiue it.

Flo. I haue obserued too much, nor shall my silence
Preuent the remedy—yonder they are,
I dare not bee seene with you. You may doe [95]
What you thinke fit, which wil be, I presume,
The office of a faithfull and tryed friend
To my young Lord.

Exit Flori.

Rom. This is no vision: ha!

Nou. With the next opportunity.

Beau. By this kisse,
And this, and this.

Nou. That you would euer sweare thus. [100]

Rom. If I seeme rude, your pardon, Lady; yours
I do not aske: come, do not dare to shew mee
A face of anger, or the least dislike.
Put on, and suddaily a milder looke,
I shall grow rough else.

Nou. What haue I done, Sir, [105]
To draw this harsh vnsauory language from you?

Rom. Done, Popinjay? why, dost thou thinke that if
I ere had dreamt that thou hadst done me wrong,
Thou shouldest outliue it?

Beau. This is something more
Then my Lords friendship giues commission for. [110]

Nou. Your presence and the place, makes him presume
Vpon my patience.

Rom. As if thou ere wer’t angry
But with thy Taylor, and yet that poore shred
Can bring more to the making vp of a man,
Then can be hop’d from thee: thou art his creature, [115]
And did hee not each morning new create [thee]
Thou wouldst stinke and be forgotten. Ile not change
On syllable more with thee, vntill thou bring
Some testimony vnder good mens hands,
Thou art a Christian. I suspect thee strongly, [120]
And wilbe satisfied: till which time, keepe from me.
The entertaiment of your visitation
Has made what I intended on a businesse.

Nou. So wee shall meete—Madam.

Rom. Vse that legge again,
And Ile cut off the other.

Nou. Very good. [125]

Exit Nouall.

Rom. What a perfume the Muske-cat leaues behind him!
Do you admit him for a property,
To saue you charges, Lady.

Beau. Tis not vselesse,
Now you are to succeed him.

Rom. So I respect you,
Not for your selfe, but in remembrance of, [130]
Who is your father, and whose wife you now are,
That I choose rather not to vnderstand
Your nasty scoffe then,—

Beau. What, you will not beate mee,
If I expound it to you. Heer’s a Tyrant
Spares neyther man nor woman.

Rom. My intents [135]
Madam, deserue not this; nor do I stay
To be the whetstone of your wit: preserue it
To spend on such, as know how to admire
Such coloured stuffe. In me there is now speaks to you
As true a friend and seruant to your Honour, [140]
And one that will with as much hazzard guard it,
As euer man did goodnesse.—But then Lady,
You must endeauour not alone to bee,
But to appeare worthy such loue and seruice.

Beau. To what tends this?

Rom. Why, to this purpose, Lady, [145]
I do desire you should proue such a wife
To Charaloys (and such a one hee merits)
As Caesar, did hee liue, could not except at,
Not onely innocent from crime, but free
From all taynt and suspition.

Beau. They are base [150]
That iudge me otherwise.

Rom. But yet bee carefull.
Detraction’s a bold monster, and feares not
To wound the fame of Princes, if it find
But any blemish in their liues to worke on.
But Ile bee plainer with you: had the people [155]
Bin learnd to speake, but what euen now I saw,
Their malice out of that would raise an engine
To ouerthrow your honor. In my fight
(With yonder pointed foole I frighted from you)
You vs’d familiarity beyond [160]
A modest entertaynment: you embrac’d him
With too much ardor for a stranger, and
Met him with kisses neyther chaste nor comely:
But learne you to forget him, as I will
Your bounties to him, you will find it safer [165]
Rather to be vncourtly, then immodest.

Beau. This prety rag about your necke shews well,
And being coorse and little worth, it speakes you,
As terrible as thrifty.

Rom. Madam.

Beau. Yes.
And this strong belt in which you hang your honor [170]
Will out-last twenty scarfs.

Rom. What meane you, Lady?

Beau. And all else about you Cap a pe
So vniforme in spite of handsomnesse,
Shews such a bold contempt of comelinesse,
That tis not strange your Laundresse in the League, [175]
Grew mad with loue of you.

Rom. Is my free counsayle
Answerd with this ridiculous scorne?

Beau. These obiects
Stole very much of my attention from me,
Yet something I remember, to speake truth,
Deceyued grauely, but to little purpose, [180]
That almost would haue made me sweare, some Curate
Had stolne into the person of Romont,
And in the praise of goodwife honesty,
Had read an homely.

Rom. By thy hand.

Beau. And sword,
I will make vp your oath, twill want weight else. [185]
You are angry with me, and poore I laugh at it.
Do you come from the Campe, which affords onely
The conuersation of cast suburbe whores,
To set downe to a Lady of my ranke,
Lymits of entertainment? [190]

Rom. Sure a Legion has possest this woman.

Beau. One stampe more would do well: yet I desire not
You should grow horne-mad, till you haue a wife.
You are come to warme meate, and perhaps cleane linnen:
Feed, weare it, and bee thankefull. For me, know, [195]
That though a thousand watches were set on mee,
And you the Master-spy, I yet would vse,
The liberty that best likes mee. I will reuell,
Feast, kisse, imbreace, perhaps grant larger fauours:
Yet such as liue vpon my meanes, shall know [200]
They must not murmur at it. If my Lord
Bee now growne yellow, and has chose out you
To serue his Iealouzy that way, tell him this,
You haue something to informe him:

Exit Beau.

Rom. And I will.
Beleeue it wicked one I will. Heare, Heauen, [205]
But hearing pardon mee: if these fruts grow
Vpon the tree of marriage, let me shun it,
As a forbidden sweete. An heyre and rich,
Young, beautifull, yet adde to this a wife,
And I will rather choose a Spittle sinner [210]
Carted an age before, though three parts rotten,
And take it for a blessing, rather then
Be fettered to the hellish slauery
Of such an impudence.

Enter Baumont with writings.

Bau. Collonell, good fortune
To meet you thus: you looke sad, but Ile tell you [215]
Something that shall remoue it. Oh how happy
Is my Lord Charaloys in his faire bride!

Rom. A happy man indeede!—pray you in what?

Bau. I dare sweare, you would thinke so good a Lady,
A dower sufficient.

Rom. No doubt. But on. [220]

Bau. So faire, so chaste, so vertuous: so indeed
All that is excellent.

Rom. Women haue no cunning
To gull the world.

Bau. Yet to all these, my Lord
Her father giues the full addition of
All he does now possesse in Burgundy: [225]
These writings to confirme it, are new seal’d
And I most fortunate to present him with them,
I must goe seeke him out, can you direct mee?

Rom. You’l finde him breaking a young horse.

Bau. I thanke you.

Exit Baumont.

Rom. I must do something worthy Charaloys friendship. [230]
If she were well inclin’d to keepe her so,
Deseru’d not thankes: and yet to stay a woman
Spur’d headlong by hot lust, to her owne ruine,
Is harder then to prop a falling towre
With a deceiuing reed.

Enter Rochfort.

Roch. Some one seeke for me, [235]
As soone as he returnes.

Rom. Her father! ha?
How if I breake this to him? sure it cannot
Meete with an ill construction. His wisedome
Made powerfull by the authority of a father,
Will warrant and giue priuiledge to his counsailes. [240]
It shall be so—my Lord.

Roch. Your friend Romont:
Would you ought with me?

Rom. I stand so engag’d
To your so many fauours, that I hold it
A breach in thankfulnesse, should I not discouer,
Though with some imputation to my selfe, [245]
All doubts that may concerne you.

Roch. The performance
Will make this protestation worth my thanks.

Rom. Then with your patience lend me your attention
For what I must deliuer, whispered onely
You will with too much griefe receiue.

Enter Beaumelle, Bellapert.

Beau. See wench! [250]
Vpon my life as I forespake, hee’s now
Preferring his complaint: but be thou perfect,
And we will fit him.

Bell. Feare not mee, pox on him:
A Captaine turne Informer against kissing?
Would he were hang’d vp in his rusty Armour: [255]
But if our fresh wits cannot turne the plots
Of such a mouldy murrion on it selfe;
Rich cloathes, choyse faire, and a true friend at a call,
With all the pleasures the night yeelds, forsake vs.

Roch. This in my daughter? doe not wrong her.

Bell. Now. [260]
Begin. The games afoot, and wee in distance.

Beau. Tis thy fault, foolish girle, pinne on my vaile,
I will not weare those iewels. Am I not
Already matcht beyond my hopes? yet still
You prune and set me forth, as if I were [265]
Againe to please a suyter.

Bell. Tis the course
That our great Ladies take.

Rom. A weake excuse.

Beau. Those that are better seene, in what concernes
A Ladies honour and faire same, condemne it.
You waite well, in your absence, my Lords friend [270]
The vnderstanding, graue and wise Romont.

Rom. Must I be still her sport?

Beau. Reproue me for it.
And he has traueld to bring home a iudgement
Not to be contradicted. You will say
My father, that owes more to yeeres then he, [275]
Has brought me vp to musique, language, Courtship,
And I must vse them. True, but not t’offend,
Or render me suspected.

Roch. Does your fine story
Begin from this?

Beau. I thought a parting kisse
From young Nouall, would haue displeasd no more [280]
Then heretofore it hath done; but I finde
I must restrayne such fauours now; looke therefore
As you are carefull to continue mine,
That I no more be visited. Ile endure
The strictest course of life that iealousie [285]
Can thinke secure enough, ere my behauiour
Shall call my fame in question.

Rom. Ten dissemblers
Are in this subtile deuill. You beleeue this?

Roch. So farre that if you trouble me againe
With a report like this, I shall not onely [290]
Iudge you malicious in your disposition,
But study to repent what I haue done
To such a nature.

Rom. Why, ’tis exceeding well.

Roch. And for you, daughter, off with this, off with it:
I haue that confidence in your goodnesse, I, [295]
That I will not consent to haue you liue
Like to a Recluse in a cloyster: goe
Call in the gallants, let them make you merry,
Vse all fit liberty.

Bell. Blessing on you.
If this new preacher with the sword and feather [300]
Could proue his doctrine for Canonicall,
We should haue a fine world.

Exit Bellapert.

Roch. Sir, if you please
To beare your selfe as fits a Gentleman,
The house is at your seruice: but if not,
Though you seeke company else where, your absence [305]
Will not be much lamented—

Exit Rochfort.

Rom. If this be
The recompence of striuing to preserue
A wanton gigglet honest, very shortly
’Twill make all mankinde Panders—Do you smile,
Good Lady Loosenes? your whole sex is like you, [310]
And that man’s mad that seekes to better any:
What new change haue you next?

Beau. Oh, feare not you, sir,
Ile shift into a thousand, but I will
Conuert your heresie.

Rom. What heresie? Speake.

Beau. Of keeping a Lady that is married, [315]
From entertayning seruants.—

Enter Nouall Iu. Malatine, Liladam, Aymer, Pontalier.

O, you are welcome,
Vae any meanes to vexe him,
And then with welcome follow me.

Exit Beau

Nou. You are tyr’d
With your graue exhortations, Collonell.

Lilad. How is it? Fayth, your Lordship may doe well, [320]
To helpe him to some Church-preferment: ’tis
Now the fashion, for men of all conditions,
How euer they haue liu’d; to end that way.

Aym. That face would doe well in a surplesse.

Rom. Rogues,
Be silent—or—

Pont. S’death will you suffer this? [325]

Rom. And you, the master Rogue, the coward rascall,
I shall be with you suddenly.

Nou. Pontallier,
If I should strike him, I know I shall kill him:
And therefore I would haue thee beate him, for
Hee’s good for nothing else.

Lilad. His backe [330]
Appeares to me, as it would tire a Beadle,
And then he has a knotted brow, would bruise
A courtlike hand to touch it.

Aym. Hee lookes like
A Curryer when his hides grown deare.

Pont. Take heede
He curry not some of you.

Nou. Gods me, hee’s angry. [335]

Rom. I breake no Iests, but I can breake my sword
About your pates.

Enter Charaloyes and Baumont.

Lilad. Heeres more.

Aym. Come let’s bee gone,
Wee are beleaguerd.

Nou. Looke they bring vp their troups.

Pont. Will you sit downe
With this disgrace? You are abus’d most grosely. [340]

Lilad. I grant you, Sir, we are, and you would haue vs
Stay and be more abus’d.

Nou. My Lord, I am sorry,
Your house is so inhospitable, we must quit it.

Exeunt. Manent. Char. Rom.

Cha. Prethee Romont, what caus’d this vprore?

Rom. Nothing.
They laugh’d and vs’d their scuruy wits vpon mee. [345]

Char. Come, tis thy Iealous nature: but I wonder
That you which are an honest man and worthy,
Should softer this suspition: no man laughes;
No one can whisper, but thou apprehend’st
His conference and his scorne reflects on thee: [350]
For my part they should scoffe their thin wits out,
So I not heard ’em, beate me, not being there.
Leaue, leaue these fits, to conscious men, to such
As are obnoxious, to those foolish things
As they can gibe at.

Rom. Well, Sir.

Char. Thou art know’n [355]
Valiant without detect, right defin’d
Which is (as fearing to doe iniury,
As tender to endure it) not a brabbler,
A swearer.

Rom. Pish, pish, what needs this my Lord?
If I be knowne none such, how vainly, you [360]
Do cast away good counsaile? I haue lou’d you,
And yet must freely speake; so young a tutor,
Fits not so old a Souldier as I am.
And I must tell you, t’was in your behalfe
I grew inraged thus, yet had rather dye, [365]
Then open the great cause a syllable further.

Cha. In my behalfe? wherein hath Charalois
Vnfitly so demean’d himselfe, to giue
The least occasion to the loosest tongue,
To throw aspersions on him, or so weakely [370]
Protected his owne honor, as it should
Need a defence from any but himselfe?
They are fools that iudge me by my outward seeming,
Why should my gentlenesse beget abuse?
The Lion is not angry that does sleepe [375]
Nor euery man a Coward that can weepe.
For Gods sake speake the cause.

Rom. Not for the world.
Oh it will strike disease into your bones
Beyond the cure of physicke, drinke your blood,
Rob you of all your rest, contract your sight, [380]
Leaue you no eyes but to see misery,
And of your owne, nor speach but to wish thus
Would I had perish’d in the prisons iawes:
From whence I was redeem’d! twill weare you old,
Before you haue experience in that Art, [385]
That causes your affliction.

Cha. Thou dost strike
A deathfull coldnesse to my hearts high heate,
And shrinkst my liuer like the Calenture.
Declare this foe of mine, and lifes, that like
A man I may encounter and subdue it [390]
It shall not haue one such effect in mee,
As thou denouncest: with a Souldiers arme,
If it be strength, Ile meet it: if a fault
Belonging to my mind, Ile cut it off
With mine owne reason, as a Scholler should [395]
Speake, though it make mee monstrous.

Rom. Ile dye first.
Farewell, continue merry, and high Heauen
Keepe your wife chaste.

Char. Hump, stay and take this wolfe
Out of my brest, that thou hast lodg’d there, or
For euer lose mee.

Rom. Lose not, Sir, your selfe. [400]
And I will venture—So the dore is fast. (Locke the dore.
Now noble Charaloys, collect your selfe,
Summon your spirits, muster all your strength
That can belong to man, sift passion,
From euery veine, and whatsoeuer ensues, [405]
Vpbraid not me heereafter, as the cause of
Iealousy, discontent, slaughter and ruine:
Make me not parent to sinne: you will know
This secret that I burne with.

Char. Diuell on’t,
What should it be? Romont, I heare you wish [410]
My wifes continuance of Chastity.

Rom. There was no hurt in that.

Char. Why? do you know
A likelyhood or possibility vnto the contrarie?

Rom. I know it not, but doubt it, these the grounds
The seruant of your wife now young Nouall, [415]
The sonne vnto your fathers Enemy
(Which aggrauates my presumption the more)
I haue been warnd of, touching her, nay, seene them
Tye heart to heart, one in anothers armes,
Multiplying kisses, as if they meant [420]
To pose Arithmeticke, or whose eyes would
Bee first burnt out, with gazing on the others.
I saw their mouthes engender, and their palmes
Glew’d, as if Loue had lockt them, their words flow
And melt each others, like two circling flames, [425]
Where chastity, like a Phoenix (me thought) burn’d,
But left the world nor ashes, nor an heire.
Why stand you silent thus? what cold dull flegme,
As if you had no drop of choller mixt
In your whole constitution, thus preuailes, [430]
To fix you now, thus stupid hearing this?

Cha. You did not see ’em on my Couch within,
Like George a horse-backe on her, nor a bed?

Rom. Noe.

Cha. Ha, ha.

Rom. Laugh yee? eene so did your wife,
And her indulgent father.

Cha. They were wife. [435]
Wouldst ha me be a foole?

Rom. No, but a man.

Cha. There is no dramme of manhood to suspect,
On such thin ayrie circumstance as this
Meere complement and courtship. Was this tale
The hydeous monster which you so conceal’d? [440]
Away, thou curious impertinent
And idle searcher of such leane nice toyes.
Goe, thou sedicious sower of debate:
Fly to such matches, where the bridegroome doubts:
He holds not worth enough to counteruaile [445]
The vertue and the beauty of his wife.
Thou buzzing drone that ’bout my eares dost hum,
To strike thy rankling sting into my heart,
Whose vemon, time, nor medicine could asswage.
Thus doe I put thee off, and confident [450]
In mine owne innocency, and desert,
Dare not conceiue her so vnreasonable,
To put Nouall in ballance against me,
An vpstart cran’d vp to the height he has.
Hence busiebody, thou’rt no friend to me, [455]
That must be kept to a wiues iniury,

Rom. Ist possible? farewell, fine, honest man,
Sweet temper’d Lord adieu: what Apoplexy
Hath knit fence vp? Is this Romonts reward?
Beare witnes the great spirit of my father, [460]
With what a healthfull hope I administer
This potion that hath wrought so virulently,
I not accuse thy wife of act, but would
Preuent her Praecipuce, to thy dishonour,
Which now thy tardy sluggishnesse will admit. [465]
Would I had seene thee grau’d with thy great Sire,
Ere liue to haue mens marginall fingers point
At Charaloys, as a lamented story.
An Emperour put away his wife for touching
Another man, but thou wouldst haue thine tasted [470]
And keepe her (I thinke.) Puffe. I am a fire
To warme a dead man, that waste out myselfe.
Bleed—what a plague, a vengeance i’st to mee,
If you will be a Cuckold? Heere I shew
A swords point to thee, this side you may shun, [475]
Or that: the perrill, if you will runne on,
I cannot helpe it.

Cha. Didst thou neuer see me
Angry, Romont?

Rom. Yes, and pursue a foe
Like lightening

Char. Prethee see me so no more.
I can be so againe. Put vp thy sword, [480]
And take thy selfe away, lest I draw mine.

Rom. Come fright your foes with this: sir, I am your friend,
And dare stand by you thus.

Char. Thou art not my friend,
Or being so, thou art mad, I must not buy
Thy friendship at this rate; had I iust cause, [485]
Thou knowst I durst pursue such iniury
Through fire, ayre, water, earth, nay, were they all
Shuffled againe to Chaos, but ther’s none.
Thy skill, Romont, consists in camps, not courts.
Farewell, vnciuill man, let’s meet no more. [490]
Heere our long web of friendship I vntwist.
Shall I goe whine, walke pale, and locke my wife
For nothing, from her births free liberty,
That open’d mine to me? yes; if I doe
The name of cuckold then, dog me with scorne. [495]
I am a Frenchman, no Italian borne.


Rom. A dull Dutch rather: fall and coole (my blood)
Boyle not in zeal of thy friends hurt, so high,
That is so low, and cold himselfe in’t. Woman,
How strong art thou, how easily beguild? [500]
How thou dost racke vs by the very hornes?
Now wealth I see change manners and the man:
Something I must doe mine owne wrath to asswage,
And note my friendship to an after-age.


Actus quartus.

Scaena prima.

[A Room in Nouall’s House]
Enter Nouall Iunior, as newly dressed, a Taylor, Barber, Perfumer, Liladam, Aymour, Page.

Nou. Mend this a little: pox! thou hast burnt me. oh fie vpon’t, O Lard, hee has made me smell (for all the world) like a flaxe, or a red headed womans chamber: powder, powder, powder.

Perf. Oh sweet Lord! [5]

Nouall sits in a chaire,

Page. That’s his Perfumer.

Barber orders his haire,

Tayl. Oh deare Lord,

Perfumer giues powder,

Page. That’s his Taylor.

Taylor sets his clothese.

Nou. Monsieur Liladam, Aymour, how allow you the modell of these clothes? [10]

Aym. Admirably, admirably, oh sweet Lord! assuredly it’s pity the wormes should eate thee.

Page. Here’s a fine Cell; a Lord, a Taylor, a Perfumer, a Barber, and a paire of Mounsieurs: 3 to 3, as little will in the one, as honesty in the other. S’foote ile into the country againe, [15] learne to speake truth, drinke Ale, and conuerse with my fathers Tenants; here I heare nothing all day, but vpon my soule as I am a Gentleman, and an honest man.

Aym. I vow and affirme, your Taylor must needs be an expert [20] Geometrician, he has the Longitude, Latitude, Altitude, Profundity, euery Demension of your body, so exquisitely, here’s a lace layd as directly, as if truth were a Taylor.

Page. That were a miracle. [25]

Lila. With a haire breadth’s errour, ther’s a shoulder piece cut, and the base of a pickadille in puncto.

Aym. You are right, Mounsieur his vestaments fit: as if they grew vpon him, or art had wrought ’em on the same loome, as nature fram’d his Lordship as if your Taylor were [30] deepely read in Astrology, and had taken measure of your honourable body, with a Iacobs staffe, an Ephimerides.

Tayl. I am bound t’ee Gentlemen.

Page. You are deceiu’d, they’ll be bound to you, you must [35] remember to trust ’em none.

Nou. Nay, fayth, thou art a reasonable neat Artificer, giue the diuell his due.

Page. I, if hee would but cut the coate according to the cloth still. [40]

Nou. I now want onely my misters approbation, who is indeed, the most polite punctuall Queene of dressing in all Burgundy. Pah, and makes all other young Ladies appeare, as if they came from boord last weeke out of the country, Is’t not true, Liladam? [45]

Lila. True my Lord, as if any thing your Lordship could say, could be othewrise then true.

Nou. Nay, a my soule, ’tis so, what fouler obiect in the world, then to see a young faire, handsome beauty, vnhandsomely dighted and incongruently accoutred; or a hopefull [50] Cheualier, vnmethodically appointed, in the externall ornaments of nature? For euen as the Index tels vs the contents of stories, and directs to the particular Chapters, euen so does the outward habit and superficiall order of garments (in man or woman) giue vs a tast of the spirit, and demonstratiuely [55] poynt (as it were a manuall note from the margin) all the internall quality, and habiliment of the soule, and there cannot be a more euident, palpable, grosse manifestation of poore degenerate dunghilly blood, and breeding, then rude, vnpolish’d, disordered and slouenly outside. [60]

Page. An admirable! lecture. Oh all you gallants, that hope to be saued by your cloathes, edify, edify.

Aym. By the Lard, sweet Lard, thou deseru’st a pension o’ the State.

Page. O th’ Taylors, two such Lords were able to spread [65] Taylors ore the face of a whole kingdome.

Nou. Pox a this glasse! it flatters, I could find in my heart to breake it.

Page. O saue the glasse my Lord, and breake their heads, they are the greater flatterers I assure you. [70]

Aym. Flatters, detracts, impayres, yet put it by,
Lest thou deare Lord (Narcissus-like) should doate
Vpon thyselfe, and dye; and rob the world
Of natures copy, that she workes forme by.

Lila. Oh that I were the Infanta Queene of Europe, [75]
Who (but thy selfe sweete Lord) shouldst marry me.

Nou. I marry? were there a Queene oth’ world, not I.
Wedlocke? no padlocke, horselocke, I weare spurrs (He capers.
To keepe it off my heeles; yet my Aymour,
Like a free wanton iennet i’th meddows, [80]
I looke aboute, and neigh, take hedge and ditch,
Feede in my neighbours pastures, picke my choyce
Of all their faire-maind-mares: but married once,
A man is stak’d, or pown’d, and cannot graze
Beyond his owne hedge.

Enter Pontalier, and Malotin.

Pont. I haue waited, sir, [85]
Three hours to speake w’ee, and not take it well,
Such magpies are admitted, whilst I daunce

Lila. Magpies? what d’ee take me for?

Pont. A long thing with a most vnpromising face.

Aym. I’ll ne’re aske him what he takes me for?

Mal. Doe not, sir, [90]
For hee’l goe neere to tell you.

Pont. Art not thou
A Barber Surgeon?

Barb. Yes sira why.

Pont. My Lord is sorely troubled with two scabs.

Lila. Aym.

Pont. I prethee cure him of ’em.

Nou. Pish: no more, [95]
Thy gall sure’s ouer throwne; these are my Councell,
And we were now in serious discourse.

Pont. Of perfume and apparell, can you rise
And spend 5 houres in dressing talke, with these?

Nou. Thou ’idst haue me be a dog: vp, stretch and shake, [100]
And ready for all day.

Pont. Sir, would you be
More curious in preseruing of your honour.
Trim, ’twere more manly. I am come to wake
Your reputation, from this lethargy
You let it sleep in, to perswade, importune, [105]
Nay, to prouoke you, sir, to call to account
This Collonell Romont, for the foule wrong
Which like a burthen, he hath layd on you,
And like a drunken porter, you sleepe vnder.
’Tis all the towne talkes, and beleeue, sir, [110]
If your tough sense persist thus, you are vndone,
Vtterly lost, you will be scornd and baffled
By euery Lacquay; season now your youth,
With one braue thing, and it shall keep the odour
Euen to your death, beyond, and on your Tombe, [115]
Sent like sweet oyles and Frankincense; sir, this life
Which once you sau’d, I ne’re since counted mine,
I borrow’d it of you; and now will pay it;
I tender you the seruice of my sword
To beare your challenge, if you’ll write, your fate: [120]
Ile make mine owne: what ere betide you, I
That haue liu’d by you, by your side will dye.

Nou. Ha, ha, would’st ha’ me challenge poore Romont?
Fight with close breeches, thou mayst think I dare not.
Doe not mistake me (cooze) I am very valiant, [125]
But valour shall not make me such an Asse.
What vse is there of valour (now a dayes?)
’Tis sure, or to be kill’d, or to be hang’d.
Fight thou as thy minde moues thee, ’tis thy trade,
Thou hast nothing else to doe; fight with Romont? [130]
No i’le not fight vnder a Lord.

Pont. Farewell, sir,
I pitty you.
Such louing Lords walke their dead honours graues,
For no companions fit, but fooles and knaues.
Come Malotin.

Exeunt Pont. Mal.
Enter Romont.

Lila. ’Sfoot, Colbran, the low gyant. [135]

Aym. He has brought a battaile in his face, let’s goe.

Page. Colbran d’ee call him? hee’l make some of you smoake,
I beleeue.

Rom. By your leaue, sirs.

Aym. Are you a Consort?

Rom. D’ee take mee
For a fidler? ya’re deceiu’d: Looke. Ile pay you.

Kickes ’em.

Page. It seemes he knows you one, he bumfiddles you so. [140]

Lila. Was there euer so base a fellow?

Aym. A rascall?

Lila. A most vnciuill Groome?

Aym. Offer to kicke a Gentleman, in a Noblemans chamber? A pox of your manners. [145]

Lila. Let him alone, let him alone, thou shalt lose thy arme, fellow: if we stirre against thee, hang vs.

Page. S’foote, I thinke they haue the better on him, though they be kickd, they talke so.

Lila. Let’s leaue the mad Ape. [150]

Nou. Gentlemen.

Lilad. Nay, my Lord, we will not offer to dishonour you so much as to stay by you, since hee’s alone.

Nou. Harke you.

Aym. We doubt the cause, and will not disparage you, so [155] much as to take your Lordships quarrel in hand. Plague on him, how he has crumpled our bands.

Page. Ile eene away with ’em, for this souldier beates man, woman, and child.

Exeunt. Manent Nou. Rom.

Nou. What meane you, sir? My people.

Rom. Your boye’s gone. (Lockes the doore. [160]
And doore’s lockt, yet for no hurt to you,
But priuacy: call vp your blood againe, sir,
Be not affraid, I do beseach you, sir,
(And therefore come) without, more circumstance
Tell me how farre the passages haue gone [165]
’Twixt you and your faire Mistresse Beaumelle,
Tell me the truth, and by my hope of Heauen
It neuer shall goe further.

Nou. Tell you why sir?
Are you my confessor?

Rom. I will be your confounder, if you doe not. (Drawes a pocket dag. [170]
Stirre not, nor spend your voyce.

Nou. What will you doe?

Rom. Nothing but lyne your brayne-pan, sir, with lead,
If you not satisfie me suddenly,
I am desperate of my life, and command yours.

Nou. Hold, hold, ile speake. I vow to heauen and you, [175]
Shee’s yet vntouch’t, more then her face and hands:
I cannot call her innocent; for I yeeld
On my sollicitous wrongs she consented
Where time and place met oportunity
To grant me all requests.

Rom. But may I build [180]
On this assurance?

Nou. As vpon your fayth.

Rom. Write this, sir, nay you must.

Drawes Inkehorne and paper.

Nou. Pox of this Gunne.

Rom. Withall, sir, you must sweare, and put your oath
Vnder your hand, (shake not) ne’re to frequent
This Ladies company, nor euer send [185]
Token, or message, or letter, to incline
This (too much prone already) yeelding Lady.

Nou. ’Tis done, sir.

Rom. Let me see, this first is right,
And heere you wish a sudden death may light
Vpon your body, and hell take your soule, [190]
If euer more you see her, but by chance,
Much lesse allure. Now, my Lord, your hand.

Nou. My hand to this?

Rom. Your heart else I assure you.

Nou. Nay, there ’tis.

Rom. So keepe this last article
Of your fayth giuen, and stead of threatnings, sir, [195]
The seruice of my sword and life is yours:
But not a word of it, ’tis Fairies treasure;
Which but reueal’d, brings on the blabbers, ruine.
Vse your youth better, and this excellent forme
Heauen hath bestowed vpon you. So good morrow to your Lordship. [200]

Nou. Good diuell to your rogueship. No man’s safe:
Ile haue a Cannon planted in my chamber, (Exit.
Against such roaring roagues.

Enter Bellapert.

Bell. My Lord away
The Coach stayes: now haue your wish, and iudge,
If I haue been forgetfull.

Nou. Ha?

Bell. D’ee stand [205]
Humming and hawing now?


Nou. Sweet wench, I come.
Hence feare,
I swore, that’s all one, my next oath ’ile keepe
That I did meane to breake, and then ’tis quit.
No paine is due to louers periury. [210]
If loue himselfe laugh at it, so will I.

Exit Nouall.

Scaena 2.

Enter Charaloys, Baumont.
[An outer Room in Aymer’s House]

Bau. I grieue for the distaste, though I haue manners,
Not to inquire the cause, falne out betweene
Your Lordship and Romont.

Cha. I loue a friend,
So long as he continues in the bounds
Prescrib’d by friendship, but when he vsurpes [5]
Too farre on what is proper to my selfe,
And puts the habit of a Gouernor on,
I must and will preserue my liberty.
But speake of something, else this is a theame
I take no pleasure in: what’s this Aymeire, [10]
Whose voyce for Song, and excellent knowledge in
The chiefest parts of Musique, you bestow
Such prayses on?

Bau. He is a Gentleman,
(For so his quality speakes him) well receiu’d
Among our greatest Gallants; but yet holds [15]
His maine dependance from the young Lord Nouall:
Some tricks and crotchets he has in his head,
As all Musicians haue, and more of him
I dare not author: but when you haue heard him,
I may presume, your Lordship so will like him, [20]
That you’l hereafter be a friend to Musique.

Cha. I neuer was an enemy to’t, Baumont,
Nor yet doe I subscribe to the opinion
Of those old Captaines, that thought nothing musicall,
But cries of yeelding enemies, neighing of horses, [25]
Clashing of armour, lowd shouts, drums, and trumpets:
Nor on the other side in fauour of it,
Affirme the world was made by musicall discord,
Or that the happinesse of our life consists
In a well varied note vpon the Lute: [30]
I loue it to the worth of it, and no further.
But let vs see this wonder.

Bau. He preuents
My calling of him.

Aym. Let the Coach be brought (Enter Aymiere.
To the backe gate, and serue the banquet vp:
My good Lord Charalois, I thinke my house [35]
Much honor’d in your presence.

Cha. To haue meanes
To know you better, sir, has brought me hither
A willing visitant, and you’l crowne my welcome
In making me a witnesse to your skill,
Which crediting from others I admire. [40]

Aym. Had I beene one houre sooner made acquainted
With your intent my Lord, you should haue found me
Better prouided: now such as it is,
Pray you grace with your acceptance.

Bau. You are modest.
Begin the last new ayre.

Cha. Shall we not see them? [45]

Aym. This little distance from the instruments
Will to your eares conuey the harmony
With more delight.

Cha. Ile not consent.

Aym. Y’are tedious,
By this meanes shall I with one banquet please
Two companies, those within and these Guls heere. [50]

Song aboue.
Musique and a Song, Beaumelle within—ha, ha, ha.

Cha. How’s this? It is my Ladies laugh! most certaine
When I first pleas’d her, in this merry language,
She gaue me thanks.

Bau. How like you this?

Cha. ’Tis rare,
Yet I may be deceiu’d, and should be sorry [55]
Vpon vncertaine suppositions, rashly
To write my selfe in the blacke list of those
I haue declaym’d against, and to Romont.

Aym. I would he were well of—perhaps your Lordship
Likes not these sad tunes, I haue a new Song [60]
Set to a lighter note, may please you better;
Tis cal’d The happy husband.

Cha. Pray sing it.

Song below. At the end of the Song, Beaumelle within.

Beau. Ha, ha, ’tis such a groome.

Cha. Doe I heare this,
And yet stand doubtfull?

Exit Chara.

Aym. Stay him I am vndone,
And they discouered.

Bau. Whats the matter?

Aym. Ah! [65]
That women, when they are well pleas’d, cannot hold,
But must laugh out.

Enter Nouall Iu. Charaloys, Beaumley, Bellapert.

Nou. Helpe, saue me, murrher, murther.

Beau. Vndone foreuer.

Cha. Oh, my heart!
Hold yet a little—doe not hope to scape
By flight, it is impossible: though I might [70]
On all aduantage take thy life, and iustly;
This sword, my fathers sword, that nere was drawne,
But to a noble purpose, shall not now
Doe th’ office of a hangman, I reserue it
To right mine honour, not for a reuenge [75]
So poore, that though with thee, it should cut off
Thy family, with all that are allyed
To thee in lust, or basenesse, ’twere still short of
All termes of satisfaction. Draw.

Nou. I dare not,
I haue already done you too much wrong, [80]
To fight in such a cause.

Cha. Why, darest thou neyther
Be honest, coward, nor yet valiant, knaue?
In such a cause come doe not shame thy selfe:
Such whose bloods wrongs, or wrong done to themselues
Could neuer heate, are yet in the defence [85]
Of their whores, daring looke on her againe.
You thought her worth the hazard of your soule,
And yet stand doubtfull in her quarrell, to
Venture your body.

Bau. No, he feares his cloaths,
More then his flesh

Cha. Keepe from me, garde thy life, [90]
Or as thou hast liu’d like a goate, thou shalt
Dye like a sheepe.

Nou. Since ther’s no remedy (They fight, Nouall is slaine.
Despaire of safety now in me proue courage.

Cha. How soone weak wrong’s or’throwne! lend me your hand,
Beare this to the Caroach—come, you haue taught me [95]
To say you must and shall: I wrong you not,
Y’are but to keepe him company you loue.
Is’t done? ’tis well. Raise officers, and take care,
All you can apprehend within the house
May be forth comming. Do I appeare much mou’d? [100]

Bau. No, sir.

Cha. My griefes are now, Thus to be borne.
Hereafter ile finde time and place to mourne.


Scaena 3.

Enter Romont, Pontalier.
[A Street]

Pont. I was bound to seeke you, sir.

Rom. And had you found me
In any place, but in the streete, I should
Haue done,—not talk’d to you. Are you the Captaine?
The hopefull Pontalier? whom I haue seene
Doe in the field such seruice, as then made you [5]
Their enuy that commanded, here at home
To play the parasite to a gilded knaue,
And it may be the Pander.

Pont. Without this
I come to call you to account, for what
Is past already. I by your example [10]
Of thankfulnesse to the dead Generall
By whom you were rais’d, haue practis’d to be so
To my good Lord Nouall, by whom I liue;
Whose least disgrace that is, or may be offred,
With all the hazzard of my life and fortunes, [15]
I will make good on you, or any man,
That has a hand in’t; and since you allowe me
A Gentleman and a souldier, there’s no doubt
You will except against me. You shall meete
With a faire enemy, you vnderstand [20]
The right I looke for, and must haue.

Rom. I doe,
And with the next dayes sunne you shall heare from me.


Scaena 4.

Enter Charalois with a casket, Beaumelle, Baumont.
[A Room in Charalois’ House]

Cha. Pray beare this to my father, at his leasure
He may peruse it: but with your best language
Intreat his instant presence: you haue sworne
Not to reueale what I haue done.

Bau. Nor will I—

Cha. Doubt me not, by Heauen, I will doe nothing [5]
But what may stand with honour: Pray you leaue me
To my owne thoughts. If this be to me, rise;
I am not worthy the looking on, but onely
To feed contempt and scorne, and that from you
Who with the losse of your faire name haue caus’d it, [10]
Were too much cruelty.

Beau. I dare not moue you
To heare me speake. I know my fault is farre
Beyond qualification, or excuse,
That ’tis not fit for me to hope, or you
To thinke of mercy; onely I presume [15]
To intreate, you would be pleas’d to looke vpon
My sorrow for it, and beleeue, these teares
Are the true children of my griefe and not
A womans cunning.

Cha. Can you Beaumelle,
Hauing deceiued so great a trust as mine, [20]
Though I were all credulity, hope againe
To get beleefe? no, no, if you looke on me
With pity or dare practise any meanes
To make my sufferings lesse, or giue iust cause
To all the world, to thinke what I must doe [25]
Was cal’d vpon by you, vse other waies,
Deny what I haue seene, or iustifie
What you haue done, and as you desperately
Made shipwracke of your fayth to be a whore,
Vse th’ armes of such a one, and such defence, [30]
And multiply the sinne, with impudence,
Stand boldly vp, and tell me to my teeth,
You haue done but what’s warranted,
By great examples, in all places, where
Women inhabit, vrge your owne deserts, [35]
Or want of me in merit; tell me how,
Your dowre from the lowe gulfe of pouerty,
Weighed vp my fortunes, to what now they are:
That I was purchas’d by your choyse and practise
To shelter you from shame: that you might sinne [40]
As boldly as securely, that poore men
Are married to those wiues that bring them wealth,
One day their husbands, but obseruers euer:
That when by this prou’d vsage you haue blowne
The fire of my iust vengeance to the height, [45]
I then may kill you: and yet say ’twas done
In heate of blood, and after die my selfe,
To witnesse my repentance.

Beau. O my fate,
That neuer would consent that I should see,
How worthy thou wert both of loue and duty [50]
Before I lost you; and my misery made
The glasse, in which I now behold your vertue:
While I was good, I was a part of you,
And of two, by the vertuous harmony
Of our faire minds, made one; but since I wandred [55]
In the forbidden Labyrinth of lust,
What was inseparable, is by me diuided.
With iustice therefore you may cut me off,
And from your memory, wash the remembrance
That ere I was like to some vicious purpose [60]
Within your better iudgement, you repent of
And study to forget.

Cha. O Beaumelle,
That you can speake so well, and doe so ill!
But you had been too great a blessing, if
You had continued chast: see how you force me [65]
To this, because my honour will not yeeld
That I againe should loue you.

Beau. In this life
It is not fit you should: yet you shall finde,
Though I was bold enough to be a strumpet,
I dare not yet liue one: let those fam’d matrones [70]
That are canoniz’d worthy of our sex,
Transcend me in their sanctity of life,
I yet will equall them in dying nobly,
Ambitious of no honour after life,
But that when I am dead, you will forgiue me. [75]

Cha. How pity steales vpon me! should I heare her
But ten words more, I were lost—one knocks, go in.

Knock within. Exit Beaumelle. Enter Rochfort.

That to be mercifull should be a sinne.
O, sir, most welcome. Let me take your cloake,
I must not be denyed—here are your robes, [80]
As you loue iustice once more put them on:
There is a cause to be determind of
That doe’s require such an integrity,
As you haue euer vs’d—ile put you to
The tryall of your constancy, and goodnesse: [85]
And looke that you that haue beene Eagle-eyd
In other mens affaires, proue not a Mole
In what concernes your selfe. Take you your seate:
I will be for you presently.


Roch. Angels guard me,
To what strange Tragedy does this destruction [90]
Serue for a Prologue?

Enter Charaloys with Nouals body. Beaumelle, Baumont.

Cha. So, set it downe before
The Iudgement seate, and stand you at the bar:
For me? I am the accuser.

Roch. Nouall slayne,
And Beaumelle my daughter in the place
Of one to be arraign’d.

Cha. O, are you touch’d? [95]
I finde that I must take another course,
Feare nothing. I will onely blind your eyes,
For Iustice should do so, when ’tis to meete
An obiect that may sway her equall doome
From what it should be aim’d at.—Good my Lord, [100]
A day of hearing.

Roch. It is granted, speake—
You shall haue iustice.

Cha. I then here accuse,
Most equall Iudge, the prisoner your faire Daughter,
For whom I owed so much to you: your daughter,
So worthy in her owne parts: and that worth [105]
Set forth by yours, to whose so rare perfections,
Truth witnesse with me, in the place of seruice
I almost pay’d Idolatrous sacrifice
To be a false advltresse.

Roch. With whom?

Cha. With this Nouall here dead.

Roch. Be wel aduis’d [110]
And ere you say adultresse againe,
Her fame depending on it, be most sure
That she is one.

Cha. I tooke them in the act.
I know no proofe beyond it.

Roch. O my heart.

Cha. A Iudge should feele no passions.

Roch. Yet remember [115]
He is a man, and cannot put off nature.
What answere makes the prisoner?

Beau. I confesse
The fact I am charg’d with, and yeeld my selfe
Most miserably guilty.

Roch. Heauen take mercy
Vpon your soule then: it must leaue your body. [120]
Now free mine eyes, I dare vnmou’d looke on her,
And fortifie my sentence, with strong reasons.
Since that the politique law prouides that seruants,
To whose care we commit our goods shall die,
If they abuse our trust: what can you looke for, [125]
To whose charge this most hopefull Lord gaue vp
All he receiu’d from his braue Ancestors,
Or he could leaue to his posterity?
His Honour, wicked woman, in whose safety
All his lifes ioyes, and comforts were locked vp, [130]
With thy lust, a theefe hath now stolne from him,
And therefore—

Cha. Stay, iust Iudge, may not what’s lost
By her owne fault, (for I am charitable,
And charge her not with many) be forgotten
In her faire life hereafter?

Roch. Neuer, Sir. [135]
The wrong that’s done to the chaste married bed,
Repentant teares can neuer expiate,
And be assured, to pardon such a sinne,
Is an offence as great as to commit it.

Cha. I may not then forgiue her.

Roch. Nor she hope it. [140]
Nor can she wish to liue no sunne shall rise,
But ere it set, shall shew her vgly lust
In a new shape, and euery on more horrid:
Nay, euen those prayers, which with such humble feruor
She seemes to send vp yonder, are beate backe, [145]
And all suites, which her penitance can proffer,
As soone as made, are with contempt throwne
Off all the courts of mercy.

He kills her.

Cha. Let her die then.
Better prepar’d I am. Sure I could not take her,
Nor she accuse her father, as a Iudge [150]
Partiall against her.

Beau. I approue his sentence,
And kisse the executioner; my lust
Is now run from me in that blood; in which
It was begot and nourished.

Roch. Is she dead then?

Cha. Yes, sir, this is her heart blood, is it not? [155]
I thinke it be.

Roch. And you haue kild here?

Cha. True,
And did it by your doome

Roch. But I pronounc’d it
As a Iudge onely, and friend to iustice,
And zealous in defence of your wrong’d honour,
Broke all the tyes of nature: and cast off [160]
The loue and soft affection of a father.
I in your cause, put on a Scarlet robe
Of red died cruelty, but in returne,
You haue aduanc’d for me no flag of mercy:
I look’d on you, as a wrong’d husband, but [165]
You clos’d your eyes against me, as a father.
O Beaumelle, my daughter.

Cha. This is madnesse.

Roch. Keepe from me—could not one good thought rise vp,
To tell you that she was my ages comfort,
Begot by a weake man, and borne a woman, [170]
And could not therefore, but partake of frailety?
Or wherefore did not thankfulnesse step forth,
To vrge my many merits, which I may
Obiect vnto you, since you proue vngratefull,
Flinty-hearted Charaloys?

Cha. Nature does preuaile [175]
Aboue your vertue.

Roch. No! it giues me eyes,
To pierce the heart of designe against me.
I finde it now, it was my state was aym’d at,
A nobler match was fought for, and the houres
I liu’d, grew teadious to you: my compassion [180]
Towards you hath rendred me most miserable,
And foolish charity vndone my selfe:
But ther’s a Heauen aboue, from whose iust wreake
No mists of policy can hide offendors.

Enter Nouall se. with Officers.

Nou. se. Force ope the doors—O monster, caniball, [185]
Lay hold on him, my sonne, my sonne.—O Rochfort,
’Twas you gaue liberty to this bloody wolfe
To worry all our comforts,—But this is
No time to quarrell; now giue your assistance
For the reuenge.

Roch. Call it a fitter name— [190]
Iustice for innocent blood.

Cha. Though all conspire
Against that life which I am weary of,
A little longer yet ile striue to keepe it,
To shew in spite of malice, and their lawes,
His plea must speed that hath an honest cause. [195]


Actus quintus.

Scaena prima.

[A Street]
Enter Liladam, Taylor, Officers.

Lila Why ’tis both most vnconscionable, and vntimely
T’arrest a gallant for his cloaths, before
He has worne them out: besides you sayd you ask’d
My name in my Lords bond but for me onely,
And now you’l lay me vp for’t. Do not thinke [5]
The taking measure of a customer
By a brace of varlets, though I rather wait
Neuer so patiently, will proue a fashion
Which any Courtier or Innes of court man
Would follow willingly.

Tayl. There I beleeue you. [10]
But sir, I must haue present moneys, or
Assurance to secure me, when I shall.—
Or I will see to your comming forth.

Lila. Plague on’t,
You haue prouided for my enterance in:
That comming forth you talke of, concernes me. [15]
What shall I doe? you haue done me a disgrace
In the arrest, but more in giuing cause
To all the street, to thinke I cannot stand
Without these two supporters for my armes:
Pray you let them loose me: for their satisfaction [20]
I will not run away.

Tayl. For theirs you will not,
But for your owne you would; looke to them fellows.

Lila. Why doe you call them fellows? doe not wrong
Your reputation so, as you are meerely
A Taylor, faythfull, apt to beleeue in Gallants [25]
You are a companion at a ten crowne supper
For cloth of bodkin, and may with one Larke
Eate vp three manchets, and no man obserue you,
Or call your trade in question for’t. But when
You study your debt-booke, and hold correspondence [30]
With officers of the hanger, and leaue swordmen,
The learned conclude, the Taylor and Sergeant
In the expression of a knaue are these
To be Synonima. Looke therefore to it,
And let vs part in peace, I would be loth [35]
You should vndoe your selfe.

Tayl. To let you goe (Enter old Nouall, and Pontalier.
Were the next way.
But see! heeres your old Lord,
Let him but giue his worde I shall be paide,
And you are free.

Lila. S’lid, I will put him to’t:
I can be but denied: or what say you? [40]
His Lordship owing me three times your debt,
If you arrest him at my suite, and let me
Goe run before to see the action entred.
’Twould be a witty iest.

Tayl. I must haue ernest:
I cannot pay my debts so.

Pont. Can your Lordship [45]
Imagine, while I liue and weare a sword,
Your sonnes death shall be reueng’d?

Nou. se. I know not
One reason why you should not doe like others:
I am sure, of all the herd that fed vpon him,
I cannot see in any, now hee’s gone, [50]
In pitty or in thankfulnesse one true signe
Of sorrow for him.

Pont. All his bounties yet
Fell not in such vnthankfull ground: ’tis true
He had weakenesses, but such as few are free from,
And though none sooth’d them lesse then I: for now [55]
To say that I foresaw the dangers that
Would rise from cherishing them, were but vntimely.
I yet could wish the iustice that you seeke for
In the reuenge, had been trusted to me,
And not the vncertaine issue of the lawes: [60]
’Tas rob’d me of a noble testimony
Of what I durst doe for him: but howeuer,
My forfait life redeem’d by him though dead,
Shall doe him seruice.

Nou. se. As farre as my griefe
Will giue me leaue, I thanke you.

Lila. Oh my Lord, [65]
Oh my good Lord, deliuer me from these furies.

Pont. Arrested? This is one of them whose base
And obiect flattery helpt to digge his graue:
He is not worth your pitty, nor my anger.
Goe to the basket and repent.

Nou. se. Away [70]
I onely know now to hate thee deadly:
I will doe nothing for thee.

Lila. Nor you, Captaine.

Pont. No, to your trade againe, put off this case,
It may be the discouering what you were,
When your vnfortunate master tooke you vp, [75]
May moue compassion in your creditor.
Confesse the truth.

Exit Nouall se. Pont.

Lila. And now I thinke on’t better,
I will, brother, your hand, your hand, sweet brother.
I am of your sect, and my gallantry but a dreame,
Out of which these two fearefull apparitions [80]
Against my will haue wak’d me. This rich sword
Grew suddenly out of a taylors bodkin;
These hangers from my vailes and fees in Hell:
And where as now this beauer sits, full often
A thrifty cape compos’d of broad cloth lifts, [85]
Nere kin vnto the cushion where I sate.
Crosse-leg’d, and yet vngartred, hath beene seene,
Our breakefasts famous for the buttred loaues,
I haue with ioy bin oft acquainted with,
And therefore vse a conscience, though it be [90]
Forbidden in our hall towards other men,
To me that as I haue beene, will againe
Be of the brotherhood.

Offi. I know him now:
He was a prentice to Le Robe at Orleance.

Lila. And from thence brought by my young Lord, now dead, [95]
Vnto Dijon, and with him till this houre
Hath bin receiu’d here for a compleate Mounsieur.
Nor wonder at it: for but tythe our gallants,
Euen those of the first ranke, and you will finde
In euery ten, one: peraduenture two, [100]
That smell ranke of the dancing schoole, or fiddle,
The pantofle or pressing yron: but hereafter
Weele talke of this. I will surrender vp
My suites againe: there cannot be much losse,
’Tis but the turning of the lace, with ones [105]
Additions more you know of, and what wants
I will worke out.

Tayl. Then here our quarrell ends.
The gallant is turn’d Taylor, and all friends.


Scaena 2.

Enter Romont, Baumont.
[The Court of Justice]

Rom. You haue them ready.

Bau. Yes, and they will speake
Their knowledg in this cause, when thou thinkst fit
To haue them cal’d vpon.

Rom. ’Tis well, and something
I can adde to their euidence, to proue
This braue reuenge, which they would haue cal’d murther, [5]
A noble Iustice.

Bau. In this you expresse
(The breach by my Lords want of you, new made vp)
A faythfull friend.

Rom. That friendship’s rays’d on sand,
Which euery sudden gust of discontent,
Or flowing of our passions can change, [10]
As if it nere had bin: but doe you know
Who are to sit on him?

Bau. Mounsieur Du Croy
Assisted by Charmi.

Rom. The Aduocate
That pleaded for the Marshalls funerall,
And was checkt for it by Nouall.

Bau. The same [15]

Rom. How fortunes that?

Bau. Why, sir, my Lord Nouall
Being the accuser, cannot be the Iudge,
Nor would grieue Rochfort, but Lord Charaloys
(Howeuer he might wrong him by his power,)
Should haue an equall hearing.

Rom. By my hopes [20]
Of Charaloys acquitall, I lament
That reuerent old mans fortune.

Bau. Had you seene him,
As to my griefe I haue now promis’d patience,
And ere it was beleeu’d, though spake by him
That neuer brake his word, inrag’d againe [25]
So far as to make warre vpon those heires
Which not a barbarous Sythian durst presume
To touch, but with a superstitious feare,
As something sacred, and then curse his daughter,
But with more frequent violence himselfe, [30]
As if he had bin guilty of her fault,
By being incredulous of your report,
You would not onely iudge him worrhy pitty,
But suffer with him.

Enter Charalois, with Officers.

But heere comes the prisoner,
I dare not stay to doe my duty to him, [35]
Yet rest assur’d, all possible meanes in me
To doe him seruice, keepes you company.

Exit Bau.

Rom. It is not doubted.

Cha. Why, yet as I came hither,
The people apt to mocke calamity,
And tread on the oppress’d, made no hornes at me, [40]
Though they are too familiar: I deserue them.
And knowing what blood my sword hath drunke
In wreake of that disgrace, they yet forbare
To shake their heads, or to reuile me for
A murtherer, they rather all put on [45]
(As for great losses the old Romans vs’d)
A generall face of sorrow, waighted on
By a sad murmur breaking through their silence,
And no eye but was readier with a teare
To witnesse ’twas shed for me, then I could [50]
Discerne a face made vp with scorne against me.
Why should I then, though for vnusuall wrongs,
I chose vnusuall meanes to right those wrongs,
Condemne my selfe, as over-partiall
In my owne cause Romont?

Rom. Best friend, well met, [55]
By my heart’s loue to you, and ioyne to that,
My thankfulness that still liues to the dead,
I looke upon you now with more true ioy,
Than when I saw you married.

Cha. You have reason
To give you warrant for’t; my falling off [60]
From such a friendship with the scorne that answered
Your too propheticke counsell, may well moue you
To thinke your meeting me going to my death,
A fit encounter for that hate which iustly
I have deseru’d from you.

Rom. Shall I still then [65]
Speake truth, and be ill vnderstood?

Cha. You are not.
I am conscious, I haue wrong’d you, and allow me
Only a morall man to looke on you,
Whom foolishly I haue abus’d and iniur’d,
Must of necessity be more terrible to me, [70]
Than any death the Iudges can pronounce
From the tribunall which I am to plead at.

Rom. Passion transports you.

Cha. For what I haue done
To my false Lady, or Nouall, I can
Giue some apparent cause: but touching you, [75]
In my defence, childlike, I can say nothing,
But I am sorry for’t, a poore satisfaction:
And yet mistake me not: for it is more
Then I will speake, to haue my pardon sign’d
For all I stand accus’d of.

Rom. You much weaken [80]
The strength of your good cause. Should you but thinke
A man for doing well could entertaine
A pardon, were it offred, you haue giuen
To blinde and slow-pac’d iustice, wings, and eyes
To see and ouertake impieties, [85]
Which from a cold proceeding had receiu’d
Indulgence or protection.

Cha. Thinke you so?

Rom. Vpon my soule nor should the blood you chalenge
And took to cure your honour, breed more scruple
In your soft conscience, then if your sword [90]
Had bin sheath’d in a Tygre, or she Beare,
That in their bowels would haue made your tombe
To iniure innocence is more then murther:
But when inhumane lusts transforme vs, then
Like beasts we are to suffer, not like men [95]
To be lamented. Nor did Charalois euer
Performe an act so worthy the applause
Of a full theater of perfect men,
As he hath done in this: the glory got
By ouerthrowing outward enemies, [100]
Since strength and fortune are maine sharers in it,
We cannot but by pieces call our owne:
But when we conquer our intestine foes,
Our passions breed within vs, and of those
The most rebellious tyrant powerfull loue, [105]
Our reason suffering vs to like no longer
Then the faire obiect being good deserues it,
That’s a true victory, which, were great men
Ambitious to atchieue, by your example
Setting no price vpon the breach of fayth, [110]
But losse of life, ’twould fright adultery
Out of their families, and make lust appeare
As lothsome to vs in the first consent,
As when ’tis wayted on by punishment.

Cha. You haue confirm’d me. Who would loue a woman [115]
That might inioy in such a man, a friend?
You haue made me know the iustice of my cause,
And mark’t me out the way, how to defend it.

Rom. Continue to that resolution constant,
And you shall, in contempt of their worst malice, [120]
Come off with honour. Heere they come.

Cha. I am ready.

Scaena 3.

Enter Du Croy, Charmi, Rochfort, Nouall se. Pontalier, Baumont.

Nou. se. See, equall Iudges, with what confidence
The cruel murtherer stands, as if he would
Outface the Court and Iustice!

Roch. But looke on him.
And you shall find, for still methinks I doe,
Though guilt hath dide him black, something good in him, [5]
That may perhaps worke with a wiser man
Then I haue beene, againe to set him free
And giue him all he has.

Charmi. This is not well.
I would you had liu’d so, my Lord that I,
Might rather haue continu’d your poore seruant, [10]
Then sit here as your Iudge.

Du Croy I am sorry for you.

Roch. In no act of my life I haue deseru’d
This iniury from the court, that any heere
Should thus vnciuilly vsurpe on what
Is proper to me only.

Du Cr. What distaste [15]
Receiues my Lord?

Roch. You say you are sorry for him:
A griefe in which I must not haue a partner:
’Tis I alone am sorry, that I rays’d
The building of my life for seuenty yeeres
Vpon so sure a ground, that all the vices [20]
Practis’d to ruine man, though brought against me,
Could neuer vndermine, and no way left
To send these gray haires to the graue with sorrow.
Vertue that was my patronesse betrayd me:
For entring, nay, possessing this young man, [25]
It lent him such a powerfull Maiesty
To grace what ere he vndertooke, that freely
I gaue myselfe vp with my liberty,
To be at his disposing; had his person
Louely I must confesse, or far fain’d valour, [30]
Or any other seeming good, that yet
Holds a neere neyghbour-hood, with ill wrought on me,
I might haue borne it better: but when goodnesse
And piety it selfe in her best figure
Were brib’d to by destruction, can you blame me, [35]
Though I forget to suffer like a man,
Or rather act a woman?

Bau. Good my Lord.

Nou. se. You hinder our proceeding.

Charmi. And forget
The parts of an accuser.

Bau. Pray you remember
To vse the temper which to me you promis’d. [40]

Roch. Angels themselues must breake Baumont, that promise
Beyond the strength and patience of Angels.
But I haue done, my good Lord, pardon me
A weake old man, and pray adde to that
A miserable father, yet be carefull [45]
That your compassion of my age, nor his,
Moue you to anything, that may dis-become
The place on which you sit.

Charmi. Read the Inditement.

Cha. It shall be needelesse, I my selfe, my Lords,
Will be my owne accuser, and confesse [50]
All they can charge me with, or will I spare
To aggrauate that guilt with circumstance
They seeke to loade me with: onely I pray,
That as for them you will vouchsafe me hearing:
I may not be, denide it for my selfe, [55]
When I shall vrge by what vnanswerable reasons
I was compel’d to what I did, which yet
Till you haue taught me better, I repent not.

Roch. The motion honest.

Charmi. And ’tis freely granted.

Cha. Then I confesse my Lords, that I stood bound, [60]
When with my friends, euen hope it selfe had left me
To this mans charity for my liberty,
Nor did his bounty end there, but began:
For after my enlargement, cherishing
The good he did, he made me master of [65]
His onely daughter, and his whole estate:
Great ties of thankfulnesse I must acknowledge,
Could any one freed by you, presse this further
But yet consider, my most honourd Lords,
If to receiue a fauour, make a seruant, [70]
And benefits are bonds to tie the taker
To the imperious will of him that giues,
Ther’s none but slaues will receiue courtesie,
Since they must fetter vs to our dishonours.
Can it be cal’d magnificence in a Prince, [75]
To powre downe riches, with a liberall hand,
Vpon a poore mans wants, if that must bind him
To play the soothing parasite to his vices?
Or any man, because he sau’d my hand,
Presume my head and heart are at his seruice? [80]
Or did I stand ingag’d to buy my freedome
(When my captiuity was honourable)
By making my selfe here and fame hereafter,
Bondslaues to mens scorne and calumnious tongues?
Had his faire daughters mind bin like her feature, [85]
Or for some little blemish I had sought
For my content elsewhere, wasting on others
My body and her dowry; my forhead then
Deseru’d the brand of base ingratitude:
But if obsequious vsage, and faire warning [90]
To keepe her worth my loue, could preserue her
From being a whore, and yet no cunning one,
So to offend, and yet the fault kept from me?
What should I doe? let any freeborne spirit
Determine truly, if that thankfulnesse, [95]
Choise forme with the whole world giuen for a dowry,
Could strengthen so an honest man with patience,
As with a willing necke to vndergoe
The insupportable yoake of slaue or wittoll.

Charmi. What proofe haue you she did play false, besides [100]
your oath?

Cha. Her owne confession to her father.
I aske him for a witnesse.

Roch. ’Tis most true.
I would not willingly blend my last words
With an vntruth.

Cha. And then to cleere my selfe,
That his great wealth was not the marke I shot at, [105]
But that I held it, when faire Beaumelle
Fell from her vertue, like the fatall gold
Which Brennus tooke from Delphos, whose possession
Brought with it ruine to himselfe and Army.
Heer’s one in Court, Baumont, by whom I sent [110]
All graunts and writings backe, which made it mine,
Before his daughter dy’d by his owne sentence,
As freely as vnask’d he gaue it to me.

Bau. They are here to be seene.

Charmi. Open the casket.
Peruse that deed of gift.

Rom. Halfe of the danger [115]
Already is discharg’d: the other part
As brauely, and you are not onely free,
But crownd with praise for euer.

Du Croy. ’Tis apparent.

Charmi. Your state, my Lord, againe is yours.

Roch. Not mine,
I am not of the world, if it can prosper, [120]
(And being iustly got, Ile not examine
Why it should be so fatall) doe you bestow it
On pious vses. Ile goe seeke a graue.
And yet for proofe, I die in peace, your pardon
I aske, and as you grant it me, may Heauen [125]
Your conscience, and these Iudges free you from
What you are charg’d with. So farewell for euer.—

Exit Roch.

Nouall se. Ile be mine owne guide. Passion, nor example
Shall be my leaders. I haue lost a sonne,
A sonne, graue Iudges, I require his blood [130]
From his accursed homicide.

Charmi. What reply you
In your defence for this?

Cha. I but attended
Your Lordships pleasure. For the fact, as of
The former, I confesse it, but with what
Base wrongs I was vnwillingly drawne to it, [135]
To my few wordes there are some other proofes
To witnesse this for truth, when I was married:
For there I must begin. The slayne Nouall
Was to my wife, in way of our French courtship,
A most deuoted seruant, but yet aym’d at [140]
Nothing but meanes to quench his wanton heate,
His heart being neuer warm’d by lawfull fires
As mine was (Lords:) and though on these presumptions,
Ioyn’d to the hate betweene his house and mine,
I might with opportunity and ease [145]
Haue found a way for my reuenge, I did not;
But still he had the freedome as before
When all was mine, and told that he abus’d it
With some vnseemely licence, by my friend
My appou’d friend Romont, I gaue no credit [150]
To the reporter, but reprou’d him for it
As one vncourtly and malicious to him.
What could I more, my Lords? yet after this
He did continue in his first pursute
Hoter then euer, and at length obtaind it; [155]
But how it came to my most certaine knowledge,
For the dignity of the court and my owne honour
I dare not say.

Nou. se. If all may be beleeu’d
A passionate prisoner speakes, who is so foolish
That durst be wicked, that will appeare guilty? [160]
No, my graue Lords: in his impunity
But giue example vnto iealous men
To cut the throats they hate, and they will neuer
Want matter or pretence for their bad ends.

Charmi. You must find other proofes to strengthen these [165]
But more presumptions.

Du Croy. Or we shall hardly
Allow your innocence.

Cha. All your attempts
Shall fall on me, like brittle shafts on armour,
That breake themselues; or like waues against a rocke,
That leaue no signe of their ridiculous fury [170]
But foame and splinters, my innocence like these
Shall stand triumphant, and your malice serue
But for a trumpet; to proclaime my conquest
Nor shall you, though you doe the worst fate can,
How ere condemne, affright an honest man. [175]

Rom. May it please the Court, I may be heard.

Nou. se. You come not
To raile againe? but doe, you shall not finde,
Another Rochfort.

Rom. In Nouall I cannot.
But I come furnished with what will stop
The mouth of his conspiracy against the life [180]
Of innocent Charaloys. Doe you know this Character?

Nou. se. Yes, ’tis my sonnes.

Rom. May it please your Lordships, reade it,
And you shall finde there, with what vehemency
He did sollicite Beaumelle, how he had got
A promise from her to inioy his wishes, [185]
How after he abiur’d her company,
And yet, but that ’tis fit I spare the dead,
Like a damnd villaine, assoone as recorded,
He brake that oath, to make this manifest
Produce his bands and hers.

Enter Aymer, Florimell, Bellapert.

Charmi. Haue they tooke their oathes? [190]

Rom. They haue; and rather then indure the racke,
Confesse the time, the meeting, nay the act;
What would you more? onely this matron made
A free discouery to a good end;
And therefore I sue to the Court, she may not [195]
Be plac’d in the blacke list of the delinquents.

Pont. I see by this, Nouals reuenge needs me,
And I shall doe.

Charmi. ’Tis euident.

Nou. se. That I
Till now was neuer wretched, here’s no place
To curse him or my stars.

Exit Nouall senior.

Charmi. Lord Charalois, [200]
The iniurie: you haue sustain’d, appeare
So worthy of the mercy of the Court,
That notwithstanding you haue gone beyond
The letter of the Law, they yet acquit you.

Pont. But in Nouall, I doe condemne him thus. [205]

Cha. I am slayne.

Rom. Can I looke on? Oh murderous wretch,
Thy challenge now I answere. So die with him.

Charmi. A guard: disarme him.

Rom. I yeeld vp my sword
Vnforc’d. Oh Charaloys.

Cha. For shame, Romont,
Mourne not for him that dies as he hath liu’d, [210]
Still constant and vnmou’d: what’s falne vpon me,
Is by Heauens will, because I made my selfe
A Iudge in my owne cause without their warrant:
But he that lets me know thus much in death,
With all good men forgiue mee.

Pont. I receiue [215]
The vengeance, which my loue not built on vertue,
Has made me worthy, worthy of.

Charmi. We are taught
By this sad president, how iust foeuer
Our reasons are to remedy our wrongs,
We are yet to leaue them to their will and power, [220]
That to that purpose haue authority.
For you, Romont, although in your excuse
You may plead, what you did, was in reuenge
Of the dishonour done vnto the Court:
Yet since from vs you had not warrant for it, [225]
We banish you the State: for these, they shall,
As they are found guilty or innocent,
Be set free, or suffer punishment.

Exeunt omnes.

First Song.

Fie, cease to wonder,
Though you are heare Orpheus with his Iuory Lute,
Moue Trees and Rockes.
Charme Buls, Beares, and men more sauage to be mute,
Weake foolish singer, here is one, [5]
Would haue transform’d thy selfe, to stone.

Second Song.

A Dialogue betweene Nouall, and Beaumelle.

Set Phoebus, set, a fayrer sunne doth rise,
From the bright Radience of my Mrs. eyes
Then euer thou begat’st. I dare not looke,
Each haire a golden line, each word a hooke,
The more I striue, the more I still am tooke. [5]
Fayre seruant, come, the day these eyes doe lend
To warme thy blood, thou doest so vainely spend.
Come strangled breath.
What noate so sweet as this,
That calles the spirits to a further blisse?
Yet this out-sauours wine, and this Perfume. [10]
Let’s die, I languish, I consume.


Courtier, if thou needs wilt wiue,
From this lesson learne to thriue.
If thou match a Lady, that
Passes thee in birth and state,
Let her curious garments be [5]
Twice aboue thine owne degree;
This will draw great eyes vpon her,
Get her seruants and thee honour.


Poore Citizen, if thou wilt be
A happy husband, learne of me;
To set thy wife first in thy shop,
A faire wife, a kinde wife, a sweet wife, sets a poore man vp.
What though thy shelues be ne’re so bare: [5]
A woman still is currant ware:
Each man will cheapen, foe, and friend,
But whilst thou art at tother end,
What ere thou seest, or what dost heare,
Foole, haue no eye to, nor an eare; [10]
And after supper for her sake,
When thou hast fed, snort, though thou wake:
What though the Gallants call thee mome?
Yet with thy lanthorne light her home:
Then looke into the town and tell, [15]
If no such Tradesmen there doe dwell.


[Dramatis personae.] Charalois—the name Charalois is a corruption of Charolais, the Count of Charolais being the hereditary title of the heir-apparent of the Duchy of Burgundy, for whom the county of Charolais, an arrière-fief of Burgundy, was reserved as an appanage. This domain had been purchased by Philip the Bold for his son, John the Fearless.

I, i, 4. argue me of—obsolete construction: “accuse me of.” Cf. Ray, Disc. II, v, 213: “Erroneously argues Hubert Thomas ... of a mistake.”

I, i, 7. dispence with—give special exemption from. Cf. I, ii, 87.

I, i, 33. This suchThis for this is is a common Elizabethan construction. Cf. “O this the poison of deep grief”—Hamlet, IV, v, 76; “This a good block”—Lear, IV, vi, 187.

I, i, 45. tooke vp—borrowed. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, I, ii, 46: “if a man is through with them in honest taking up, they stand upon security.”

I, i, 55–6. Your sable habit, with the hat and cloak ... haue power—the details of hat, cloak, and ribbons, interposed between subject and verb, have attracted the latter into the plural, to the violation of its agreement with its substantive.

I, i, 70. in that—i. e., in the fact that justice had no such guards.

I, i, 73–7. For the allusion to Cerberus and the sops, cf. Virgil’s picture of Aeneas’ journey to Hades (Aeneid, VI, 417–425): “Huge Cerberus makes these realms to resound with barking from his tripple jaws, stretched at his enormous length in a den that fronts the gate. To whom the prophetess, seeing his neck now bristle with horrid snakes, flings a soporific cake of honey and medicated grain. He, in the mad rage of hunger, opening his three mouths, snatches the offered morsel, and, spread on the ground, relaxes his monstrous limbs, and is extended at vast length over all the cave. Aeneas, now that the keeper [of Hell] is buried [in sleep], seizes the passage and swift overpasses the bank of that flood whence there is no return.”—Davidson’s trans.

I, i, 75. fertyle headed—many headed, fertyle is used in the now obsolete sense of abundant.

I, i, 92. such, whose—for the construction, cf. Shakespeare: “Such I will have, whom I am sure he knows not from the enemy.”—All’s Well, III, iv, 24.

I, i, 99. men religious—the adjective is regularly placed after its noun in Eliz. Eng. when the substantive is unemphatic and the modifier not a mere epithet, but essential to the sense. See Abbott, S. G. § 419.

I, i, 137–8.—The thought of these lines is undeveloped, the phrasing being broken and disconnected. It is a scornful observation on the part of Romont that whether or not Novall takes papers depends on how the matter is brought before him—and he is about to add that there is a way in which Charalois can manage to gain his point, when he breaks off with the cry, “Follow him!” Conuayance = contrivance.

I, i, 164. parchment toils—snares in the shape of documents upon parchment, such as bonds, mortgages, etc.

I, i, 166. Luxury—used here in the modern sense,—not, as more commonly in Elizabethan times, with the meaning, laciviousness, lust. The thought of the somewhat involved period which ends with this line is, that the creditors prayed only on an occasion when they feared to lose their clutch on some rich spendthrift—on which occasion they would pray to the devil to invent some new and fantastic pleasure which would lure their victim back into the toils.

I, ii, 11. Dijon—the scene of the drama,—situated on the western border of the fertile plain of Burgundy, and at the confluence of the Ouche and the Suzon. It was formerly the capital of the province of Burgundy, the dukes of which acquired it early in the eleventh century, and took up their residence there in the thirteenth century. For the decoration of the palace and other monuments built by them, eminent artists were gathered from northern France and Flanders, and during this period the town became one of the great intellectual centers of France. The union of the duchy with the crown in 1477 deprived Dijon of the splendor of the ducal court, but to counterbalance this loss it was made the capital of the province and the seat of a parlement. To-day it possesses a population of some 65,000, and is a place of considerable importance.

I, ii, 21–3. Nor now ... that I vndertooke, forsake it.—The expression is elliptical, the verb of the preceding period being in the future indicative—whereas here the incomplete verb is in the conditional mood. In full: Nor now ... that I undertook, would I forsake it.

I, ii, 56. determine of—of is the preposition in obs. usage which follows determine used, as here, in the sense of decide, come to a judicial decision, come to a decision on (upon). Cf. IV, iv, 82.

I, ii, 57. to—in addition to.

I, ii, 66. become—modern editors, beginning with Mason, read became; but become may be taken as a variant form of the past tense (or even as participle for having become, with nom. absolute construction, though this is less likely).

I, ii, 91–2. May force you ... plead at—i. e. “may cause your dismissal from the bar.”

I, ii, 107. purple-colour’d—Novall wears the official red robe of judge.

I, ii, 123–4. the subtill Fox of France, The politique Lewis—Louis XI of France, an old enemy of Burgundy.

I, ii, 127. If that, etc.—Gradually, as the interrogatives were recognized as relatives, the force of that, so, as, in “when that”, “when so”, “when as”, seems to have tended to make the relative more general and indefinite; “who so” being now nearly (and once quite) as indefinite as “whosoever.”... In this sense, by analogy, that was attached to other words, such as “if”, “though”, “why”, etc.—Abbott, S. G. § 287.


“If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs.”
Henry IV, Part II, IV, i, 32.

The same construction appears in V, iii, 95.

I, ii, 163. Writ man—i. e., wrote himself down as a man.

I, ii, 170. Granson, Morat, Nancy—the “three memorable overthrows” which Charles the Bold suffered at the hands of the Swiss cantons and Duke René of Loraine. The battle of Granson took place March 3, 1476; that of Morat, June 22, 1476; that of Nancy, January 5, 1477. On each occasion the army of Charles was annihilated; and finally at Nancy he was himself slain. These defeats ended the power of Burgundy.

I, ii, 171. The warlike Charloyes—Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy.

I, ii, 185. Ill ayres—noxious exhalations, miasma.

I, ii, 194–5. They are onely good men, that pay what they owe.

2 Cred. And so they are.
1 Cred. ’Tis the City Doctrine.

Cf. Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice, I, iii, 12 ff.:

Shy. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?
Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no! My meaning in saying he is a good man is to have you understand me that he is sufficient.”

I, ii, 201. right—so in all texts. With this word the meaning is perfectly plain, but the substitution, in its place, of weight would better sustain the figure used in the preceding line. Weight is a word which it is not unlikely the printer would mis-read from the Ms. as right.

I, ii, 207. in your danger—regularly, “in your power”, “at your mercy”; so here, “in your debt”.

I, ii, 245. As—used here in its demonstrative meaning, to introduce a parenthetical clause. Cf. Abbott, S. G. § 110.

II, i, 13. sits—the common Elizabethan 3rd. person plural in s, generally and without warrant altered by modern editors. See Abbott, S. G. § 333. Cf. keepes, V, ii, 37.

II, i, 28. was—monies is taken in the collective sense.

II, i, 46. interd a liuely graue—i. e., enter’d a lively [living] grave. G., who first prints it so, considers he has made a change in the first word, taking it in the Q. for interr’d, as does M., who suggests in a footnote the reading: enters alive the grave. But interd may be, and is best, taken as merely an old spelling for enter’d, naturally attracted to the i-form by the presence of the word interment in the preceding line.

II, i, 63. Remember best, forget not gratitude—ellipsis for: Remember best who forget not gratitude. Modern usage confines the omission of the relative mostly to the objective. In Eliz. Eng., however, the nominative relative was even more frequently omitted, especially when the antecedent clause was emphatic and evidently incomplete, and where the antecedent immediately preceded the verb to which the relative would be subject. See Abbott, S. G., § 244.

Cf. III, i, 134–5; i, 139; i, 332; IV, ii, 61.

II, i, 65. viperous—according to various classical authorities [e. g., Pliny, X, 82], the young of vipers eat their way forth to light through the bowels of their dam. The figure here seems to be somewhat confused, as the dead hero is the son of the country, his mother, who devours him. The thought, perhaps, in the mind of the dramatist, albeit ill-expressed, was that the mother-country owed her existence to her son, and, viper-like had devoured the author of her life.

II, i, 66. eate—owing to the tendency to drop the inflectional ending -en, the Elizabethans frequently used the curtailed forms of past participles, which are common in Early English: “I have spoke, forgot, writ, chid,” etc.—Abbott, S. G., § 343. Cf. broke, II, ii, 27; spoke, III, i, 3; begot, IV, iv, 154; 170.

II, i, 83. golden calf—the figure, from its immediate application to a dolt of great wealth, is transferred to the false god whom the children of Israel worshipped at the foot of Mount Sinaï.

II, i, 93–4. Would they not so, etc.—the Q. reading is to be preferred to either of the modern emendations. It is probably in the sense of “Would they no more but so?”, with the ensuing declaration that in that case they would keep their tears to stop (fill?) bottles (probably meaning lachrimatories or phials used in ancient times for the preservation of tears of mourning).

II, i, 98–9. Y’are ne’re content, Crying nor laughing—The meaning is, of course: “You are never content with us, whether we are crying or laughing.”

II, i, 100. Both with a birth—i. e., both together, at the same time.

II, i, 137. Burmudas—The Bermuda islands, known only through the tales of early navigators who suffered shipwreck there, enjoyed a most unsavory reputation in Elizabethan times, as being the seat of continual tempests, and the surrounding waters “a hellish sea for thunder, lightning, and storms.” Cf. Shakespeare, The Tempest, I, ii, 269: “the still-vexed Bermoothes.” They were said to be enchanted, and inhabited by witches and devils. They were made famous by the shipwreck there in 1609 of Sir George Somers; the following year one of his party, Sil. Jordan, published A Discovery of the Bermudas, otherwise called the Isle of Devils.

Field has another reference to “the Barmuthoes” in Amends for Ladies, III, iv; but there it is not clear whether he means the islands or certain narrow passages north of Covent Garden, which went by the slang name of “the Bermudas” or “the Streights.” It is in this latter sense that the word is used in Jonson’s The Devil is an Ass, II, i.

II, i, 139. Exact the strictnesse—i. e., require a strict enforcement of the sentence which limits Charalois to the confines of the prison.

II, i, 144. vsurers relief, etc.—a rather awkward expression, so phrased for the sake of the end-scene rhyme. The thought seems to be: “The relief which usurers have to offer mourns, if the debtors have (exhibit) too much grief.” Charalois’ remark is, of course, ironical.

II, ii, 10. electuary—a medicinal conserve or paste, consisting of a powder or some other ingredient mixed with honey, preserve, or syrup of some other kind. Beaumelle means that Florimal is the medicine and Bellapert the sweet which makes it palatable.

II, ii, 17. serue—G. and S. read served, which is certainly correct. Not only is there nothing throughout the play to suggest that Beaumelle’s mother is still alive, but she herself has just spoken of “you two my women” (l. 11).

II, ii, 18. a peepe out—a “pip” [old spelling peepe] is one of the spots on playing cards, dice, or dominoes. The allusion is to a game of cards called “one-and-thirty”; thirty-two is a pip too many.

II, ii, 21–2. the mother of the maydes—a title properly applied to the head of the maids of honour in a Royal household.

II, ii, 22. mortifie—there is a significant ambiguity to the word Bellapert uses. It means “bring into subjection,” “render dead to the world and the flesh;” it formerly had also a baleful meaning: “to kill;” “to destroy the vitality, vigor, or activity of.”

II, ii, 32. vanuable, to make you thus—valuable is used in its generic sense of value-able, of sufficient value.

II, ii, 71. turn’d in her varieties—G., S. read: trimm’d in her varieties—i. e., “decked in her varieties [varied aspects].” But adherence to the Q. is possible, with the meaning, “fashioned in her varieties.”

II, ii, 82. walkes not vnder a weede—i. e., “wears not a garment,” “is not in existence.”

II, ii, 88. Tissue—a rich kind of cloth, often interwoven with gold or silver. So again in II, ii, 175.

II, ii, 89. a three-leg’d lord—the meaning is that Young Novall cannot independently “stand upon his own legs,” but requires the triple support of himself, Liladam, and Aymer.

II, ii, 96. musicke house—a public hall or saloon for musical performances.

II, ii, 99–100. in the Galley foyst, etc.—a Galley-foist was a state barge, especially that of the Lord Mayor of London. This, however, can hardly be the meaning of the word here, used as it is in connection with Bullion, which were trunk-hose, puffed out at the upper part, in several folds; and with Quirpo, a variant of cuerpo—i. e., in undress. “Galley-foist” may be the name of some dress of the period, so-called for its resemblance to the gaily bedecked Mayor’s-barge. But it is not unlikely, as Mason suggests, that The Galley-foist and The Bullion were the names of taverns of that day; or else of houses of public resort for some kind of amusement.

II, ii, 104. skip—so in all texts. But Field has elsewhere (Woman is a Weathercock, II, i.): “and then my lord ... casts a suit every quarter, which I slip into.” It is probable that the word was the same in both passages,—though whether skip or slip I have no means of determining.

II, ii, 119. St Omers—more properly, St. Omer, a town of northern France. A College of Jesuits was located there, and the point of Novall’s comparison is perhaps an allusion to the mean appearance of Jesuit spies who would come from thence to England on some pretext, such as to see their friends during the Christmas season.

II, ii, 122. ly’n perdieu—“to lie perdu” is properly a military term for, “to be placed as a sentinel or outpost,” especially in an exposed position. Ly’n is one of the many obsolete forms of the past participle of the verb “to lie.”

II, ii, 125. tye my hand—i. e., tie the ribbon-strings which depended from the sleeve over the hand.

II, ii, 163. slight neglect—contemptuous disrespect.

II, ii, 174. bile—all editors after the Q. read boil. Bile was an old spelling for boil; but in the other sense, one of the “four humours” of medieval physiology, the passage is perfectly clear, and the figure perhaps even more effective.

II, ii, 186. eager relish—acrid taste. The figure is that the law in itself is often like a sharp and bitter flavor, but that a good judge will sweeten this.

II, ii, 250 s. d. Drawes a Curtayne—the curtain of the alcove or back-stage, within which was placed the “treasure,” thus to be revealed.

II, ii, 298. in which yours—i. e., “because of the fact of her being yours.”

II, ii, 301. for poore and worthlesse I—I for me, like other irregularities in pronominal inflection, was not infrequent in Elizabethan times. Cf. Abbott, S. G., § 205.

II, ii, 326. Curtius-like—like Marcus Curtius, legendary hero of ancient Rome. See Livy, vii, 6.

II, ii, final s. d. while the Act is playing—i. e., while the interlude music is played, at the close of the Act.

III, i, 18. relish—a trace or tinge of some quality, a suggestion.—In III, i, 20: a flavor; or, if read with the Q.’s punctuation, a verb: give a relish. It appears preferable, however, to take the passage as punctuated by G., S., which makes relish a noun.

III, i, 29. take me with you—understand me.

III, i, 37. sudden—adv. for suddenly. The -ly suffix was frequently omitted in Elizabethan times.

III, i, 45. Such as are faire, etc.—the connection goes back to l. 42, Bellapert taking up again the thread of her remark which Novall’s objection and her summary answer thereto had broken in upon.

III, i, 120. Christian—probably used here in the colloq. sense of: a human being, as distinguished from a brute; a “decent” or “respectable” person. Cf. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, I, iii, 89: “Methinks ... I have no more wit than a Christian, or an ordinary man has.”

III, i, 122. The entertaiment of your visitation—i. e., the entertainment which your visit received.

III, i, 123. on [old spelling for one]—i. e., a visitation.

III, i, 126. Muske-cat—the civet-cat; applied as a term of contempt to a fop, as being a person perfumed with musk.

III, i, 139. there is now speaks to you—G., S. omit is, at the same time clearing the construction and securing a more regular metre. The Q. reading, however, is perfectly possible, as an ellipsis, by omission of the subject relative, for, there is that now speaks to you [i. e., there is now speaking to you], or even, by a change of punctuation, there is—now speaks to you—, etc.

III, i, 148. As Caesar, did he liue, could not except at—see Plutarch’s Life of Julius Caesar, Chapters 9 & 10, wherein it is narrated how Caesar divorced his wife, Pompeia, when scandal assailed her name, although he denied any knowledge as to her guilt; “‘Because’ said he, ‘I would have the chastity of my wife clear even of suspicion.’”

III, i, 148. except at—take exception at.

III, i, 159. pointed—all editors after the Q. read painted, an absolutely unnecessary and unwarranted emendation. Pointed means “fitted or furnished with tagged points or laces;” “wearing points;” “laced.” Cf. Maurice Hewlett’s novel, The Queen’s Quair, p. 83: “saucy young men, trunked, puffed, pointed, trussed and doubleted.” Huloet in his Dictionary (1552) has: “Poynted, or tyed with poynts, ligulatus.”

III, i, 167. This pretty rag—i. e., the “clout” mentioned in II, ii, 123.

III, i, 173. in spite of—in scorn of, in defiance of.

III, i, 184. thy—so the Q. All later editors read this. It is not impossible, of course, that Romont should begin an oath “By thy hand,” and Beaumelle flash back at him “And sword,” transferring the thy from herself to him. But Romont would be more likely to swear by his own hand than by Beaumelle’s.

III, i, 188. cast suburb whores—prostitutes who had been cashiered from service. Houses of ill-fame were customarily located in the suburbs.

III, i, 191. legion—i. e., of evil spirits. Cf. Mark, v, 9.

III, i, 193. horne-mad—the word was originally applied to horned beasts, in the sense: “enraged so as to horn any one;” hence of persons: “stark mad,” “mad with rage,” “furious.” By word-play it acquires its sense in the present passage. “mad with rage at having been made a cuckold.”

III, i, 202. yellow—this color was regarded as a token or symbol of jealousy.

III, i, 211. Carted—carried in a cart through the streets, by way of punishment or public exposure (especially as the punishment of a bawd).

III, i, 261. in distance—within reach, in striking distance.

III, i, 331. as it would tire—as appears to be used for as if; in reality the if is implied in the (conditional) subjunctive.—Abbott, S. G., § 107.

III, i, 331. a beadle—it was one of the duties of a beadle to whip petty offenders.

III, i, 352. So I not heard them—Abbott explains this construction, not uncommon in the Elizabethan period, as an omission of the auxiliary verb “do” (S. G. § 305). But here the main verb is heard, whereas, according to his explanation, grammar would require hear. May not the construction be better taken as a simple, though to our ears cumbrous, inversion of, So I heard them not?

III, i, 366. cause—affair, business—so also in III, i, 377.

III, i, 388. Calenture—a disease incident to sailors within the tropics; a burning fever.

III, i, 428–9. flegme ... choller—in the old physiologies the predominance of the “humour, phlegm,” was held to cause constitutional indolence or apathy,—the predominance of “choler” to cause irascibility.

III, i, 432. ’em—grammatical precision would require him, as is substituted in M., f. In Field’s rapid, loose style, however, a change of construction in mid-sentence is not improbable, and the Q. reading may very well reproduce accurately what he wrote.

III, i, 441. thou curious impertinent—the epithet is from The Curious Impertinent of Cervantes, a story imbedded in Don Quixote, Part I.

III, i, 463. I not accuse—cf. note on l. 354.

III, i, 467. Ere liue—Ere I should live is required in full by strict grammar, but Field’s verse is frequently elliptical. Gifford’s emendation to lived for the sake of grammatical regularity, which is followed by all later editors, is unwarranted.

III, i, 467. mens marginall fingers—the figure is an allusion to the ancient custom of placing an index hand in the margin of books, to direct the reader’s attention to a striking passage. So does Romont picture men’s fingers pointing to the story of Charalois as a noteworthy and lamentable thing. Cf. IV, i, 56.

III, i, 469–470. An Emperour put away his wife for touching Another man.—The source of this allusion is not apparent. Can it be a perversion in the mind of Field of the story of Caesar’s divorce of his wife, to which Massinger has already referred above (l. 148)?

IV, i, 3. a flaxe—the flax wick of a lamp or candle.

IV, i, 3. a red headed womans chamber—Since early times red-haired individuals have been supposed to emit an emanation having a powerful sexually exciting influence. In the Romance countries, France and Italy, this belief is universally diffused.—Iwan Block: The Sexual Life of our Time—transl. by Eden Paul—p. 622.

Cf. also Gabrielle D’Annunzio: Il Piacere, p. 90:

“‘Have you noticed the armpits of Madame Chrysoloras? Look!’”

“The Duke di Beffi indicated a dancer, who had upon her brow, white as a marble of Luni, a firebrand of red tresses, like a priestess of Alma Tadema. Her bodice was fastened on the shoulders by mere ribbons, and there were revealed beneath the armpits two luxuriant tufts of red hair.

“Bomminaco began to discourse upon the peculiar odour which red-haired women have.”

IV, i, 13. Cell—so in the Q. and all later texts. Yet the word is utterly unsatisfactory to the sense of the passage; it should almost certainly be coil—i. e., tumult, confusion, fuss, ado. Cf. Field in Amends for Ladies, II, iv: “Here’s a coil with a lord and his sister.”

IV, i, 23. a lace—a trimming of lace.

IV, i, 27. pickadille—the expansive collar fashionable in the early part of the seventeenth century.

IV, i, 27. in puncto—in point; i. e., in proper condition, in order.

IV, i, 32. Iacobs staffe—an instrument formerly used for measuring the altitude of the sun; a cross-staff.

IV, i, 32. Ephimerides—a table showing the positions of a heavenly body for a series of successive days.

IV, i, 39–40. if he would but cut the coate according to the cloth still—“to cut one’s coat after one’s cloth” was: “to adapt one’s self to circumstances;” “to measure expense by income.” The point of its employment here is not plain; it is doubtful if anything were very clear in Field’s own mind, who was merely trying to hit off an epigrammatical phrase. Perhaps, “make the coat match the man.”

IV, i, 72. Narcissus-like—like Narcissus, in classic myth. See Ovid, Meta., iii, 341–510.

IV, i, 72. should—G., f. read shouldst, but the breach of agreement between subject and verb is to be explained by the attraction of the verb to the third person by the interposed Narcissus-like; just as four lines further on we find shouldst for should, because of the similar intrusion between subject and verb of (but thy selfe sweete Lord).

IV, i, 92. a Barber Surgeon—formerly the barber was also a regular practitioner in surgery and dentistry. Cf. Beaumont & Fletcher, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, III, iv.

IV, i, 96. ouerthrowne—M., f. read overflown, i. e., become excessive or inordinate; so full that the contents run over the brim. The reading of the Q., however, is quite intelligible,—taking overthrown in the sense of thrown too strongly.

IV, i, 135. Colbran—more properly Colbrand or Collebrand, a wicked giant in the medieval romance of Guy of Warwick. He is the champion of the invading King of Denmark, who challenges the English King, Athelstan, to produce a knight who can vanquish Colbrand, or to yield as his vassal. In this hour of need Guy appears, fights with the giant, and kills him.

IV, i, 137. hee’l make some of you smoake,—i. e., “make some of you suffer.” Cf. Beaumont & Fletcher, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, I, ii, 136: “I’ll make some of ’em smoke for’t;” and Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, IV, iii, 111: “Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.”

IV, i, 138. a Consort—“In the author’s age, the taverns were infested with itinerant bands of musicians, each of which (jointly and individually) was called a noise or consort: these were sometimes invited to play for the company, but seem more frequently to have thrust themselves, unasked, into it, with an offer of their services: their intrusion was usually prefaced with, ‘By your leave, gentlemen, will you hear any music?’”—Gifford.

IV, i, 145. of—formerly sometimes substituted, as here, for on in colloquial usage. So also on for of, as in l. 148. Cf. also l. 182.

IV, i, 197–8. ’tis Fairies treasure Which but reueal’d brings on the blabbers ruine.—To confide in any one about a fairy’s gift rendered it void, according to popular tradition, and drew down the fairy giver’s anger. In instance, see John Aubrey’s Remains (Reprinted in Publications of the Folk-Lore Society, vol. IV, p. 102): “Not far from Sir Bennet Hoskyns, there was a labouring man, that rose up early every day to go to worke; who for a good while many dayes together found a nine-pence in the way that he went. His wife wondering how he came by so much money, was afraid he gott it not honestlye; at last he told her, and afterwards he never found any more.”

There are numerous literary allusions to this superstition: e. g., Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, III, iii, 127, ff.: “This is fairy gold, boy; and ’twill prove so. Up with’t, keep it close.... We are lucky, boy; and to be so still requires nothing but secrecy.”

And Field himself in Woman is a Weathercock, I, i:

“I see you labour with some serious thing,
And think (like fairy’s treasure) to reveal it,
Will cause it vanish.”

IV, i, 210–1. louers periury, etc.—that Jove laughed at and overlooked lovers’ perjuries was a familiar proverb. Cf. Massinger, The Parliament of Love, C-G. 192 a: “Jupiter and Venus smile At lovers’ perjuries;” and Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, II, ii, 92: “at lovers’ perjuries, They say, Jove laughs.” The saying goes back to Ovid’s Art of Love, book I;—as Marlowe has translated it:

“For Jove himself sits in the azure skies,
And laughs below at lovers’ perjuries.”

IV, ii, 71. On all aduantage take thy life—i. e., “Taking every advantage of you, kill you.”

IV, ii, 84. Such whose bloods wrongs, or wrong done to themselues—the Q.’s regular omission of the possessive apostrophe has in this instance confused later editors in their understanding of the passage. We would write blood’s,—with the meaning: “Those whom wrongs to kindred or to themselves,” etc.

IV, iii, 12. so—there is no direct antecedent, but one is easily understandable from the general sense of what precedes; to be so—i. e., “as you were in thankfulness to the General.”

IV, iv, 10. it—another case of a pronoun with antecedent merely implied in the general sense of what precedes; it = “the fact that I am not worthy the looking on, but only,” etc.

IV, iv, 30. such defence—i. e., “the defence of such a one.” Such = qualis.

IV, iv, 66. To this—i. e., to tears.

IV, iv, 70. those fam’d matrones—cf. Massinger in The Virgin Martyr, C-G. 33 a:

“You will rise up with reverence, and no more,
As things unworthy of your thoughts, remember
What the canonized Spartan ladies were,
Which lying Greece so boasts of. Your own matrons,
Your Roman dames, whose figures you yet keep
As holy relics, in her history
Will find a second urn: Gracchus’ Cornelia,
Paulina, that in death desired to follow
Her husband Seneca, nor Brutus’ Portia,
That swallowed burning coals to overtake him,
Though all their several worths were given to one,
With this is to be mention’d.”

IV, iv, 112. on it—i. e., “on what you say.”

IV, iv, 156. be—“be” expresses more doubt than “is” after a verb of thinking. Cf. Abbott, S. G., § 299.

V, i, 5. lay me vp—imprison me.

V, i, 7. varlets—the name given to city bailiffs or sergeants. Perhaps here, however, it is applied merely as a term of abuse.

V, i, 9. Innes of court man—a member of one of the four Inns of Court (The Inner Temple, The Middle Temple, Lincoln’s Inn, and Gray’s Inn), legal societies which served for the Elizabethan the function which our law-schools perform to-day. Overbury says of the Inns of Court Man, in his Characters: “Hee is distinguished from a scholler by a pair of silk-stockings, and a beaver hat, which make him contemn a scholler as much as a scholler doth a school-master.... He is as far behind a courtier in his fashion, as a scholler is behind him.... He laughs at every man whose band sits not well, or that hath not a faire shoo-tie, and he is ashamed to be seen in any mans company that weares not his clothes well. His very essence he placeth in his outside.... You shall never see him melancholy, but when he wants a new suit, or feares a sergeant....”

V, i, 13. coming forth—appearance in court, or from prison.

V, i, 28. manchets—small loaves or rolls of the finest wheaten bread. There seems to have been a commonplace concerning the huge quantities of bread devoured by tailors. Cf. l. 88 below, and Note.

V, i, 31. leaue swordmen—i. e., swordmen (swaggering ruffians who claim the profession of arms) on leave. It is possible, however, that leaue is a misprint (by inversion of a letter) for leane = hungry.

V, i, 83. hangers—not “short-swords”, as in l. 31, but here “pendants”, perhaps a part of the hat-band hanging loose, or else loops or straps on the swordbelt, often richly ornamented, from which the sword was hung. Cf. Shakespeare, Hamlet, V, ii, 157–167.

V, i, 83. Hell—a place under a tailor’s shop-board, in which shreds or pieces of cloth, cut off in the process of cutting clothes, are thrown, and looked upon as perquisites. Cf. Overbury’s Characters, A Taylor: “Hee differeth altogether from God; for with him the best pieces are still marked out for damnation, and without hope of recovery shall be cast down into hell.”

V, i, 88. Our breakefasts famous for the buttred loaues—Cf. above l. 28, and Note; also Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable, V, i:

“as easily as a Taylor
Would do six hot loaves in a morning fasting,
And yet dine after.”

V, i, 90. vse a conscience—show or feel compunction; be tender-hearted.

V, i, 91. hall—a house or building belonging to a guild or fraternity of merchants or tradesmen. At such places the business of the respective guilds was transacted; and in some instances they served as the market-houses for the sale of the goods of the associated members.

V, i, 97. compleate Mounsieur—perfect gentleman.

V, i, 102. pantofle—slipper; here used figuratively for: the shoe-maker’s profession.

V, ii, 27. a barbarous Sythian—Cf. Purchas’ Pilgrimage (ed. 1613, p. 333): “They [The Scythians] cut off the noses of men, and imprinted pictures in the flesh of women, whom they overcame: and generally their customes of warre were bloudie: what man soever the Scythian first taketh, he drinketh his bloud: he offereth to the King all the heads of the men he hath slaine in battell: otherwise he may not share in the spoile: the skinnes of their crownes flaid off, they hang at their horse bridles: their skinnes they use to flay for napkins and other uses, and some for cloathing.... These customes were generall to the Scythians of Europe and Asia (for which cause Scytharum facinora patrare, grew into a proverbe of immane crueltie, and their Land was justly called Barbarous).”

V, ii, 40. made no hornes at me—to “make horns” at any one was the common method of taunting one with having horns,—i. e., with being a cuckold.

V, ii, 51. made vp with—set with the expression of.

V, ii, 102. by pieces—in part.

V, iii, 8.—Charmi’s speech is addressed to Charalois, as is that of Du Croy which follows it.

V, iii, 18 ff.—M., f. insert when after that of l. 18. This is probably the correct reading. It would be possible, however, to let the line stand without alteration, if the that of l. 20 be taken as coordinate with the that of l. 18, introducing a second clause depending on am sorry (instead of correlative with so to introduce a result-clause). With this reading, left (l. 22) would be taken as an ellipsis for being left; with the emended reading, for was left. Though the construction is in doubt, the sense is easy.

V, iii, 22. vndermine—an object, it, is understood,—i. e., the building of my life.

V, iii, 34. her—its was rare in Elizabethan usage. Cf. Abbott, S. G., §§ 228, 229.

V, iii, 46. compassion of—former obsolete construction for “compassion for.” Cf. Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, IV, i, 56; “Mov’d with compassion of my country’s wreck.”

V, iii, 59. motion—C., f. read motion’s,—an uncalled-for emendation, since ellipsis of is was not infrequent. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry V, IV, i, 197: “’Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill [is] upon his own head.”

V, iii, 93. and yet the fault kept from me—loose construction, not easily parsed, though the sense is clear.

V, iii, 98. As ... to vndergoe—again a loose construction. It should be, properly: That ... he would undergo, etc.

V, iii, 107–9. like the fatall gold, etc.—In this passage the two leaders of the Gauls known to history by the same name appear to be confounded—(1): Brennus, who sacked Rome in 390 B. C., and consented to withdraw after receiving a large ransom of gold;—and (2): Brennus, who led the irruption of the Gauls into Greece in the second century B. C., and attempted to despoil Delphi of its treasure, but did not succeed in doing so. The fact that their respective expeditions are said to have borne an immediate sequel of disaster and death for both alike, may be responsible for the dramatist’s mistake.

V, iii, 131. homicide—formerly, as here, = murderer.

V, iii, 139. in way of—in the manner of.

V, iii, 144. the hate betweene his house and mine—cf. III, i, 416.

V, iii, 166. more presumptions—C., f. read mere presumptions, which is probably correct. An alternative possibility should be noted, however: that presumptions by mis-reading from the Ms. (or by the mere inversion of a u) may be a mis-print for presumptious (presumptuous) = presumptive, in which case more would be retained, with the passage to mean: “You must find other proofs to strengthen these, and they must, moreover, be of a nature to give more reasonable grounds for presumption.”

V, iii, 174–5.—The last two lines of Charalois’ speech are addressed to his judges; what preceded them to Novall.

V, iii, 190. bands—the emendation bawds, proposed by Coxeter and followed by all subsequent editors, seems almost surely correct. “Bawd” prior to 1700 was a term applied to men as well as—and, indeed, more frequently than—to women. Cf. Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, iii, 130.

V, iii, 190. tooke—where the common Elizabethan custom of dropping the -en inflectional ending of the past participle rendered a confusion with the infinitive liable, the past tense of the verb was used for the participle. Cf. Abbott, S. G., § 343.

V, iii, 193. this matron—i. e., Florimel.

V, iii, 205. in Nouall—i. e., “in the person of Novall.”

V, iii, 207. Thy challenge now I answere—this phrase would indicate that Romont crosses swords with Pontalier, and after a moment of fencing runs him through; instead of striking him unawares, as the modern stage direction, “Stabs Pontalier,” would imply.

V, iii, 226. these—i. e., Aymer, Florimel, and Bellapert.

Court. Song, l. 3. first—i. e., “in the front part of,” to meet the customers and be herself an attraction and an object of display, while the husband remains “at tother end” (l. 8) of the store.

Court. Song, l. 4.—This is a most unduly long line. It seems probable that, in the Ms. from which the play was printed, the three phrases, “A faire wife,” “a kinde wife,” and “a sweet wife,” were three variant readings, which, by mistake, were all incorporated in the text. Any one of them used alone would give a perfectly normal line.



The Quarto, and the various modern editions and translations of The Fatal Dowry have already been recorded in the opening pages of the Introduction. In the editions there noted of the collected works of Massinger will be found all the plays which bear his name. (Believe As You List appears only in Cunningham’s edition of Gifford and in the Mermaid Series’ Massinger.) Field’s two independent plays, Woman is a Weathercock (Q. 1612) and Amends for Ladies (Q’s. 1618, 1639), were reprinted by J. P. Collier, London, 1829. They are included in Thomas White’s Old English Dramas, London, 1830; in W. C. Hazlitt’s edition of Dodsley’s Old English Plays, London, Reeves and Turner, 1875; and in the Mermaid Series volume, Nero and Other Plays, with an Introduction by A. W. Verity, London and New York, 1888. All other extant dramas in which either Massinger or Field had a share may be found in any edition of the collected works of Beaumont & Fletcher, with the exception of Sir John van Olden Barnavelt, which appears in vol. II of Bullen’s Old Plays, London, Weyman and Sons, 1883.

The stage version of The Fatal Dowry by Sheil is printed in French’s Acting Edition, vol. 9. Of the related plays, The Lady’s Trial and The Fair Penitent may be found in all editions of the collected works respectively of John Ford and Nicholas Rowe; The Fair Penitent is also published along with Rowe’s Jane Shore in the Belles Lettres Series, 1907. For The Insolvent, see The Dramatic Works of Aaron Hill, Esq., 2 vols., 1760. DER GRAF VON CHAROLAIS ein Trauerspiel von Richard Beer-Hofmann is printed by S. Fischer, Berlin, 1906.

The following works have bearing upon the play or its authors:

Footnotes: Preface and Introduction

1 Fleay (Chron. Eng. Dra., I, 208) thinks that the otherwise lost Massinger play, The Judge, licensed by Herbert in 1627, and included in the list of Warburton’s collection, may have been The Fatal Dowry. He declares, moreover, that “the decree in favor of creditors in I, ii a was a statute made in 1623,” and suggests that Massinger after this date made over an independent play of Field’s, now lost. But I think that any one who surveys in The Fatal Dowry the respective hands of its authors will incline strongly to the conviction that this drama is the offspring of joint effort rather than the re-handling of one man’s work by another. The decree to which Fleay has reference appears to be that to be found in Statutes of the Realm, IV, ii, 1227–9, recorded as 21º Jac I, 19. This is an act passed by the parliament of 1623–4; it somewhat increases the stringency of the already-existing severe laws in regard to bankrupts, but contains nothing which even faintly suggests the decree in our play, by which the creditors are empowered to withhold the corpse of their debtor from burial; and, indeed, it is obviously impossible that a statute permitting any such practice could have been passed in Christian England of the seventeenth century. The fact is that this feature of the plot is taken direct from a classical author (see under Sources), and it would be gratuitous to assume in it a reference to contemporaneous legislation. As for the hypothesis that The Fatal Dowry and The Judge are the same play, in the utter absence of any supporting evidence it must be thrown out of court. This sort of identification is a confirmed vice with Fleay. The Judge is, moreover, listed as a comedy (see reprint of Warburton’s list in Fleay’s The Life and Work of Shakespeare, p. 358). [↩]

2 Two other arguments—both fallacious—have been advanced for a more assured dating.

Formal prologues and epilogues came into fashion about 1620, and the absence of such appendages in the case of The Fatal Dowry has been generally taken as evidence for its appearance before that year; but for a Massinger production no such inference can be drawn—there is no formal prologue or epilogue in any of his extant plays before The Emperor of the East and Believe as You List, which were licensed for acting in 1631.

The suggestion (Fleay: Chron. Eng. Dra., I, p. 208) that Field took the part of Florimel, and that the mention of her age as thirty-two years (II, ii, 17) has reference to his own age at the time the play was produced (thus fixing the date: 1619), is an idea so far-fetched and fantastic that it is amazing to find it quoted with perfect gravity by Ward (Hist. Eng. Dra. Lit., III, 39). That Field, second only to Burbage among the actors of his time, should have played the petty role of Florimel is a ridiculous supposition. It is strange that anyone who considered references of this sort a legitimate clue did not build rather upon the statement (II, i, 13) that Charalois was twenty-eight. But such grounds for theorizing are utterly unsubstantial; there is no earthly warrant for identifying the age of an author’s creation with the age of the author himself. [↩]

3 I would not, however, think it very improbable that Field might have engaged in the composition of The Fatal Dowry immediately after his retirement, when the ties with his old profession were, perhaps, not yet altogether broken. [↩]

4 On a careful inspection of the entire dramatic output of Massinger, both unaided work and plays done in collaboration, I have found worthy of record parallels to passages in The Fatal Dowry to the number of: 24, in The Unnatural Combat, 14 in the Massinger share (about ⅗) of The Virgin Martyr, 18 in The Renegado, 11 in The Duke of Milan, 10 in The Guardian, and in none of the rest as many as 8.—But Massinger’s undoubted share (⅓) of The Little French Lawyer yields 6; ⅖ of The Double Marriage, 6; ⅖ of The Spanish Curate, 6; ⅖ of Sir John van Olden Barnavelt, 4. [↩]

5 E. g., I, i (Massinger) with its grave rhetoric uniformly sustained, and, in immediate succession, II, i (Decker), a medley of coarse buffoonery and tender and beautiful verse. [↩]

6 As witness The False One. Here Massinger seems to have projected a stately historical drama of war and factional intrigue, with a conception of Cleopatra as the Great Queen, more a Semiramis or a Zenobia than “the serpent of old Nile,” and so treats his subject in the first and last Acts; while Fletcher “assists” him by filling the middle section of the play with scenes theatrically effective but leading nowhere, and in them makes the heroine the traditional “gipsy” Cleopatra. [↩]

7 The only other modern attempt to apportion the play is that of C. Beck (The Fatal Dowry, Friedrich-Alexander Univ. thesis, 1906, pp. 89–94). He assigns Massinger everything except the prose passages of II, ii and IV, i, and perhaps II, i, 93–109. His a priori theory of distribution seems to be that all portions of the play which he deems of worth must be Massinger’s. It is difficult to speak of Beck’s monograph with sufficiently scant respect. [↩]

8 References to the plays of Massinger are either by page and column of the Cunningham-Gifford edition of his works (designated C-G.), or, in the case of plays in the Beaumont & Fletcher corpus in which he or Field collaborated, by volume and page of the Dyce edition (designated D.). Field’s two independent comedies are referred to by page of the Mermaid Series volume which contains them: Nero and Other Plays (designated M.). [↩]

9 The figures for the speech-ending test for each scene will be found in the table at the end of this section, and are not given in the course of the detailed examination of the play, save in the case of one passage, where the ambiguity of their testimony is noted. In all other Scenes they merely corroborate the evidence of the other tests. [↩]

10 This is all the more rampant in that it is suddenly called back into activity after its period of obscuration while she yielded herself to a cynical, immoral opportunism, and is now brought, by a fearful shock, to confront higher ethical values and real manhood. For this time she is given not a Novall but a Charalois to idealize. [↩]

11 See the figure of Captain Pouts in Woman is a Weathercock. He might easily have been made a mere miles gloriosus; instead he is a real man,—coarse, revengeful, dissolute, quarrelsome, hectoring—no doubt at heart a coward, but not more absurdly so in the face of his pretensions than many of his type in actual life. For characters clearly visualized in a few simple strokes, may be noted in the same play Lady Ninny, Lucida, and, apart from one speech (M. 356–7) out of character obviously for comic effect, Kate; in Amends for Ladies, Ingen. Examples of Field’s power in more idealistic work may be found in The Knight of Malta in the delineation of Montferrat’s passion (I, i) and in the scene between Miranda and Oriana (V, i). [↩]

12 Apparently The Fatal Dowry was not performed every day. [↩]

13 During the run of this play one Warren, who was Powell’s dresser, claimed a right of lying for his master and performing the dead part of Lothario—about the middle of the scene Powell called for Warren; who as loudly replied from the stage, “Here Sir”—Powell (who was ignorant of the part his man was doing) repeated without loss of time, “Come here this moment you Son of a Whore or I’ll break all the bones in your skin”—Warren knew his hasty temper, and therefore without any reply jumped up with all his sables about him, which unfortunately were tied to the handles of the bier and dragged after him—but this was not all—the laugh and roar began in the audience and frightened poor Warren so much that with the bier at his tail he threw down Calista and overwhelmed her, with the table, lamp, books, bones, &c.—he tugged till he broke off his trammels and made his escape, and the play at once ended with immoderate fits of laughter—Betterton would not suffer The Fair Penitent to be played again, till poor Warren’s misconduct was somewhat forgotten—this story was told to Chetwood by Bowman [Sciolto]—(Genest, II, 281–2). [↩]

14 This, of course, may require the substitution of a capital for a small letter, as when a mid-line word of the Quarto becomes in the re-alignment the first word of the verse. [↩]

Footnotes: the Play

[Dramatis Personae]

G. and S. omit Officers, and add those roles which are enclosed in brackets.

They add explanations of each character, also changing the order. For Gaoler, S. reads Gaolers.

Baumont—M., f spell Beaumont.

C. & M. add after the list of Dramatis Personae: The Scene, Dijon in Burgundy.

[Act I, Scene i]

10 As—That (C., M.

12, 16, etc. then—modernized to than throughout by all later eds.

13, end s. d. Gives him his purse (G., S.

19 your—him (G., S.

33 This such—This is such (S.

34 .—? (C., f.

45 summes—sum (C., M.

46 and 47 Dare ... oportunity?—printed as one line in Q.

47, end s. d.: They salute him as they pass by (G., S.

56, after No—, (C., f.

56 ’em—them (G., S.

70 and in that—and, in that, (C., f.

71 where—whereas (C, M.

90 great men—men great (C., f.

92 and 93 And ... suytor?—printed as one line in Q.


103 ’Tis well.—G. & S. assign to Char. and follow with s. d.: Tenders his petition. The change is uncalled for.

103 s. d., after Nouall—G. & S. insert Advocates.

103 and 104 You ... againe.—printed as one line in Q.

104 Offer’t—Offer it (M., f.

110 end s. d. Aside to Cred. (G., S.

114 I pray heare em.—Pray hear them. (G.—I pray hear them. (S.

114 Tis—It is (G.

116 ;—M., f. omit.

123 Armors—Armour (C., M., G.

127 banquerout—here and elsewhere by later eds. always bankrupt.

133 Sir—assigned to Char. by G., who adds s. d.: Tenders his petition.

136 and 137 Yes ... hereby—printed as one line in Q.

137 hereby—whereby (M., G.

139 You are—You’re (C., M.

139, after so.—? (C., M.—! (G., S.

139 s. d.—The exit of Novall is placed earlier, at l. 136, by G. & S.

145 G. & S. omit s. d.

149, after this,—s. d.; Beats him (G.—Kicks him (S.

154 and 155 Are ... then—printed as one line in Q.

155, after then.—s. d.: Kicks them (C., f.

157 haue—hear (M.

159 from—omitted by C., f.

162, after Cuckolds—, (C., M—; (G., S.

162 ne’er—never (M.

162 prayd—pray (G.

166 To—T’ (M.

168 forhead—foreheads (G.

171 then—this form retained in C.

171 s. d. Creditor—Creditors (G., S.

195 you are—you’re (C., M.

[Act I, Scene ii]

first s. d., 3 Presidents—Presidents,... three Creditors (G., S.

1 Lordship’s seated. May—lordships seated, may (G., S.

2 and 3 prosperous ... Burgundy.—printed as a line in Q.

7, after resigne—; (M., f.

13 President—precedent (C., f.

13 President they—precedent that they (C., M.

15 we are—we’re (C., M.

35 the—th’ (C., M.

50 And—I (G., S.

51, end —s. d.: To Nov. sen. (G., S.

60 With—Which (C., M., G.

64 taske—tax (M.

66 become—became (M., f.

76 find—finds (G., S.

82 and 83 How ... Court?—printed as one line in Q.

85 and 86 I hope ... Lord——printed as one line in Q.

91, after you —G. & S. insert, sir,

93, after Why —, (C., f.


106 tell you—tell thee (G.

107 I am—I’m (C., M.

115 ere—ever (C., M., G.

125 purpose—purposes (G., S.

145, end —s. d.: Aside to Charalois (G., S.

146 C., f. insert , after counsayle and omit , after it.

180 proud—S. omits.

185 enemies—enemy’s (C., f.

186–’8 Lines in Q. are: In ... prison. | Twas ... prodigall. | He ... Army.

187 frô—from (C., f.

189 Sufficent? My Lord,—Sufficient, my Lord? (C., f. G. & S. have lords.

194 They are—They’re (M., f.

195 ’Tis—It is (G., S.


201 right—See Notes; after or —G. inserts wish in brackets, which S. accepts in text.

217 th’ incounter—the incounter (C., f.

217, after cold—, (G., S.—a plausible but unnecessary emendation.

223 not be—be or not (G.—or not be (S.

234 Lords—cords (C., f.

234 a—in (G., S.

234 ’em—them (G., S.

243 n in tongue inverted in Q.

244 u in reuenge inverted in Q.

246 never—ever (C., M.

247 n in answer inverted in Q.

After 255, s. d.: C. & M. substitute Charalois for Charmi; G. & S. insert Charalois before Charmi.

264 and 265 You ... fit—printed as one line in Q.

266 ’tas—’t has (C., M., S.; ’t’as (G.

279 and 280 Am ... request?—printed as one line in Q.

288 and 289 I follow you—Baumont—printed as one line in Q.

290 th’—the (G., S.

295 and 296 Fie ... I?—printed as one line in Q.

296 There is—There’s (G., S.

[Act II, Scene i]

2 m in iudgement inverted in Q.

13 sits—sit (C., f.

13 and 14 Twenty eight ... old—printed as one line in Q.

18 then’s—than his (M.

25 he—they (C., M., G.

28 their—the (G., S.

28 was—were (G., S.

40 G. & S. insert The at beginning of line.

43, after funerall.—? (G., S.

44 and 45 G. & S. punctuate with . at end of 44 and , at end of 45. The emendation is plausible, even probable, but not warranted by necessity.

45 and 46 G. & S. omit s. d., Recorders Musique,

46 interd—interr’d (M.—enter’d (G., S. See Notes.

After 47, s. d.—G. & S. render: Solemn music. Enter the Funeral Procession. The Coffin borne by four, preceeded by a Priest. Captains, Lieutenants, Ensigns, and Soldiers; Mourners, Scutcheons &c., and very good order. Romont and Charalois, followed by the Gaolers and Officers, with Creditors, meet it.

After 53 G. & S. insert s. d.: To the Bearers, who set down the Coffin.

After 64 G. & S. insert s. d.: To the Soldiers.

75, after What —! (C., f.

93 Would they not so?—Would they so? (C., M., G.—Would they? Not so. (S. See Notes.

94, 95, and 96 Lines in Q.: Wee’ll ... then: | No ... Rogues. | Till ... damn’d. | Damn’d ... ha.

94 ’em—them (G., S.

95 Rogues—rogue (S.

97 weel’d—we would (M., f.

98 Y’are—Ye’re (C., M.—You are (G., S.


100 shee—ye (M., f. The emendation is probably correct.

100, after rogues.—? (G., S.

104 yee, ye’are—you, you’re (C., M., G.

105 2 Cred.—1 Cred. (M., probably misprint.

106 They have—They’ve (C., M.

106 We have—We’ve (C., f.

108 We haue—we’ve (M.

111 rights—right (M.

132 both heere—here both (M.

134 s. d.: Song. Musicke.—i. e. the First Song, on page 145.—introduced here in text by all editors save Gifford and Coleridge.

135 ’em—them (G., S.

137, after were —at inserted by C., f.

137 Saylor—misprint for Iaylor,—emended by C., f.

143 Turnes—Turn (M., f.

[Act II, Scene ii]

6 eene—even (G., S.

12 eene—even (G., S.

17 serue—served (G., S. See Notes.

18 Peepe—pip (M., f.

20 ith’—in the (G., S.

22 em—them G., S.

37 Vd’d—Uds—(M., f.

40 can’t—can it (M., f.

48 ith’—in the (G., S.

49 please—pleases (C., M., G.

55 Ile—I will (G., S.

55 i’th—in the (M., f.

59 your—you (M. (in corrigenda at end of vol. 4), f. A correct emendation.

60 loue? the lesse neare you.—love the less near you? (M., f.

63 Humpe—Hum (C., M.; Humph (G., S.

64, after shoulder, —C. & M. insert and.

67 Nou.—C., f. affix Junior throughout.

71 turn’d—trimm’d (G., S. Emend. sug. by M.

78 discipline falne) out—discipline, fallen out (C., f.

81 Lord: Per se, Lord—lord per se, lord! (G., S.

94 ’em—them (G., S.

95 taught—caught (M., f.

98 ’em—them (G., S.

99 i’th—in the (G., S.


100 Quirpo—thus C. & G.; M. & S. read Querpo.

104 skip—See Notes.

105 liue to eate—for liue, G. reads flatters; S reads lie, which is probably right.

112 Mrs.—Must (C., M.

122 i’th—in the (G., S.

125 end—s. d.: Nov. jun. kisses her hand. (G., S.

128 after recant,—s. d.: Kisses her (G,. S.

131 Cant.—i. e. the Second Song, on page 145.—introduced here in text by all editors save Gifford and Coleridge.

144 Th’ art—Thou art (G., S.

153 teares—thus C. & M.;—G. & S. read fears, which seems a fitter word here.

153 s. d.—G. & S. read, Aside and exit.

159 affected—affectedly (S.

159, after you—C., M., & G. insert will.

161 yee—you (C., f.

164 opportunity—opportunely (M., f. The emendation is probably correct.

165 Hum hum—omitted by C., M., & G.

172, after me —C. & M. insert to.

174 bile—boil (C., f. See Notes.

179 breath—breath’d (M., f.

193 graue—brave (M., f.

194 and 195 My Lord ... see,—printed as one line in Q.

198, after issues—M., f. omit ,. A correct emendation.


205 lsoule-esse—misprint for soul-less—corrected by C., f.

211 ’em—them (G., S.

215 friends—friend (M., f.

219 is—it (C., f.

219 s. d., Seruant—Beaumont (G., S.

228 man—Men (C., M.

242 ha’—have (C., f.

250 s. d.: Drawes a Curtayne.—G. & S. add, and discovers a table with money and jewels upon it.

266 not—no (G.

269 s. d.—G. & S. omit loaden with mony.

270 Enfranchist—Enfranchise (C.

270, after him—G. & S. insert to.

277 and 278 Lines in Q.: That ... for. | One ... pleaders. | Honord Rochfort.

279 bushes, cal’d—blushes, scald (C., G., S.—blushes scald (M.

281, end . —, (G., S.

282, before assure—C., M., & G. insert I.

284 s. d. placed by G. & S. before instead of after line.

285, after see—: (M., f.

285 her education,—her education. Beaumelle (C.; & for education Beaumelle (M., these editors taking Beau. in Q. s. d. to be in text!

286 First l in Followes almost invisible in Q.

289 take her—take her, take (G.

296 participate—precipitate (C., f.


301 I—me (C., f.

303 know—its n is broken in the Q.

308, end—G. & S. s. d.: Aside.

309 met—meet (G., S.

310. Beau. This might be either Beaumelle or Beaumont. The Q. generally spells the latter Baumont, but the present speech, none the less, probably belongs to him, and is so assigned by C., f.

315 yet these eares—yet these tears (C.—let these tears (M., f. The latter emendation is correct.

319 —M., f. punctuate: Breath marry breath, and kisses mingle souls.

330 Mistresse—G. & S. insert s. d.: As Beaumelle is going out.

336 1st. Ile—I will (G., S.

346 you haue—you’ve (C., M.

349 ’em—them (G., S.

350 G. & S. omit the third ha.

After 354 G. omits s. d., Hoboyes.

[Act III, Scene i]

3 spoke—spoken (G., S.

3 and 4 Good ... onely.—printed as one line in Q.

9, end —; (C., f.

13, end . —omitted by M., f.

19, end —. (C., M.—, (G., S. The latter emendation seems preferable.

22, end —: (C., f.

24 old—M. omits.

37 and 38 But ... Bellapert.—printed as one line in Q.

49, after onely——(C., f.

53 and 54 Hows ... woman?—printed as one line in Q.

56, after qu—C., f. insert s. d.: Going.

61 know—now (C., f. A correct emendation.

66, after couch —G. suggests to insert there in brackets,—accepted by S.

74 reuerence to this likening—reference to his liking (M., f. The emendation appears necessary.

88, after to—G. inserts s. d.: They court.

88 Enter Romont and Florimell—Enter Romont and Florimell behind (G., S

88 tis—it is (G., S.

91 but due—but the due (G., S.

99, after opportunity .—? (G., S.

99 and 100 The three speeches composing these two lines are printed in Q. severally in three lines.


101, after Rom.—G. & S. insert s. d.: Comes forward.

111 makes—make (G., S.

116 [thee]—so all later editors. The word in the Q. is illegible,—possibly yee.

117 Thou wouldst—Thou’dst (C., f.

123 on—i. e., one; c. f. line 118. But C. keeps on.

124 and 125 Vse ... other.—printed as one line in Q.

127 for—as (M. in Corrigenda, vol. 4, p. 379, where are supplied ll. 126–130, which are omitted in his text.

139 is—G. & S. omit. See Notes.

150 and 151 They ... otherwise.—printed as one line in Q.

159 pointed—painted (C., f. See Notes.

172, after And—G. suggests to insert then in brackets; accepted by S.

175 League—Leaguer (M., f.

180 Deceyued—Delivered (C., f.

184 thy—this (C., f. See Notes.

185 twill—it will (G., S.

186 You are—You’re (C., M.


203 that—this (G., S.

204 You haue—You’ve (C., M.

221 so indeed—C. & M. omit so; so—indeed, (G., S.—The Q. reading is preferable.

222 and 223 Women ... world.—printed as one line in Q.

223, after world.—G. & S. s. d.: Aside.

231, after inclin’d—, (C., f.

235 s. d.—in G. & S.: Enter Rochfort, speaking to a servant within.

241 and 242 Your ... me?—printed as one line in Q.

250 s. d.—in G. & S.: Enter Beaumelle and Bellapert, behind.

254 turne—turn’d (M.

259, end .—? (S., probably misprint for !

260 This in my daughter?—S. reads: This is my daughter!

260 and 261. Lines in Q.: This ... her. | Now begin. | The ... distance.

262 Before Beaumelle’s speech G. & S. insert s. d.: Comes forward.

267 Rom. A weak excuse.—G. & S. assign to Beau. with the lines which follow. The change is without warrant and makes no improvement on Q reading.

272, after sport—C. & M. insert s. d.: Aside.

272 Reproue—Reproved (M., f.

278 and 279 Does ... this?—printed as one line in Q.


300 the—his (S.

316 you are—you’re (C., M.

318 s. d.—G. & S. read: Aside to them, and exit.

322 Now the fashion—The fashion now (G., S.

324 Rogues in Q. begins the succeeding line.

328 shall—should (G., S.

334 grown—grow (G., S.

334 and 335 Take ... you.—printed as one line in Q.

335 Gods—Gads (C., M., G.

339 and 340 Will ... disgrace?—printed as one line in Q.

342 I am—I’m (C., f.

350 reflects—reflect (G., S.

352 ’em—them (C., f.

352 beate—bait (M.

354 ,—omitted by C., f.,—a probably correct emendation.

356 detect—defect (C., f.,—a correct emendation.

356 right—rightly (M., f.,—an unnecessary emendation for the sense, but probably correct, as it improves the metre.

357 and 358 —the ( )’s are omitted by M., f.

372 a—C. & M. omit.

373 They are—They’re (C., M.

395, end—. (C., f.

396 Ile—I will (G.

398 Hump—Hum (C., f.


403 you—C., f. make obvious correction to your.

405 whatsoeuer—whatsoe’er (M., f.

409, after with . —? (G., S.

410 heare—G. & S. read heard. The final e is blurred in Q., but certainly e, not d.

412 and 413 Why ... possibility—printed as one line in Q.

416 u in your inverted in Q.

417 my—G. & S. omit.

419 Tye—tied (G.

432 ’em—him (M., f. See Notes.

434 yee—you (C., f.

434 eene—even (G., S.

436 ha—have (M., f.

460 my—thy (C., f.—The emendation is probably correct.

461 I administer—I did administer (M., f. The Ms. reading may have been: administer’d.

464 Praecipuce—precipice (C., f.

467 liue—lived (G., S. See Notes.

471 Puffe—Phoh (C., M., G.

473 Bleed—Blood (C., M.

482 this: sir,—this, sir! (C., G., S.—this, sir? (M.

483 Thou art—Thou’rt (C., M.

484 thou art—thou’rt (C., M.

[Act IV, Scene i]

Enter Nouall, etc.—G. & S. introduce the scene with the following variant s. d., also omitting s. d. of lines 5–8 of Q.: Noval junior discovered seated before a looking-glass, with a Barber and Perfumer dressing his hair, while a Tailor adjusts a new suit which he wears. Liladam, Aymer, and a Page attending.

13 Cell—See Notes.

14 will—wit (C., f. The emendation is probably correct.

19, end—G. & S. insert s. d.: Aside, as also after the speeches of Page ending lines, 25, 36, 40, 62, 66, and 70.

26 haire breadth’s—hair’s breadth’s (C., M., G.—hair’s breadth (S.

29 ’em—them (G., S.

30, after Lordship; (C., f.

34 t’ee—t’ye (C., f.

36 ’em—them (G., S.

39 I—Ay (G., S.

41 misters—mistress’s (C., M.—mistress’ (G., S.

48 a—O (C., M.—o’ (G., S.

59 after then—a inserted by C., f.

66 a—the (G.

67 a—o (G., S.

71, after Flatters,—! (G., S.

72 should—shouldst (G., S.

74 forme—form (C., f.

76 shouldst—should (C., f. See Note on l. 72.

77 oth’—o’ the (G., S.

80 i’th—in the (G., S.

84 pown’d—pounded (M.

86 w’ee—with you (C., M.—wi’ ye (G., S.

86 not take it well—take it not well (C., M.

88 d’ee—d’ye (C., f.

90 ne’re—never (M., f.

91 and 92 Art ... Surgeon?—printed as one line in Q.

94 Humph—Hum (G., S.

95 ’em—them (G., S.

96 ouer throwne—overflown (M., f. See Notes.


100 Thou’ idst—Thou’ldst (C., f.

102, end .—omitted by C., f.

103 G. makes Trim last word of line 102, and lengthens ’twere to It were.

110 towne talkes—Town-Talk (C., M.

110, after beleeue—G. & S. insert it.

111 you are—you’re C., M.

116 Sent—i. e. Scent; so all later editors.

123 ha’—have (G., S.

125 I am—I’m (C., M.

131 and 132 Farewell ... you.—printed as one line in Q.

133 louing—living (G., S.

137 d’ee—d’ye (C., f.

138 D’ee—D’ye (C., M.—Do you (G., S.

139 In Q., For is last word of line 138.

139 ya’re—you’re (G., S.

145 of—o’ (C., f.

147 arme—aim (M., f.

150, end—G. & S. insert s. d.: Going.

158 ’em—them (G., S.

161 And doore’s—And your door’s (G., S.

162–164 —printed as two lines in Q.: But ... do | Beseach ... circumstance.

163 —this line is omitted in M.

168 Tell you why sir—Tell you? why sir? (C., M.—Tell you! why, sir. G., S.

171. s. d. dag.—dagger (C., M.

174 I am—I’m (C., M.

178 wrongs—wooing (M., f. Perhaps the Ms. reading was wooings.

180 and 181 But ... assurance?—printed as one line in Q.

188, after see ,—omitted by G. & S.

189, end G. & S. insert s. d.: Reading.

194, after So—, (C., M.—! (G., S.

198 blabbers, ruine—blabber’s ruin (M., f. The emendation is plausible, but not absolutely required.


202, s. d. Exit—C., f. place at end of line 200, its obviously correct position, as would undoubtedly Q., but for insufficient margin in the page at this point.

203 G. & S. give s. d.: Enter Bellapert, hastily.

204 Coach—caroch (G., S.

205 D’ee—D’ye (C., M.—Do you (G., S.

211 loue—Jove (C., f.

[Act IV, Scene ii]

6 on—omitted by C., M.

9 , following something transferred to follow else by C., f.

31 of it—of’t (G., S.

32 and 33 He ... him.—printed as one line in Q.

33, s. d.—G. & S. read: Enter Aymer, speaking to one within.

45, after ayre.—G. & S. insert s. d.: To the Musicians within.

48 consent—content (C., f—a correct emendation.

48 Y’are—You are (G., S.

48, end—G. & S. insert s. d.: To the Musicians.

Before 49 —S. inserts s. d.: Aside.

After 50, s. d.: Song—i. e. the Cittizens Song of the Courtier, on page 146.—introduced here in text by Cunningham and S.

52, end—C. & M. punctuate with—; G. & S. with ..

54, after thanks—G. & S. insert s. d.: Aside.

58, end—G. & S. insert s. d.: Aside.

62 Pray sing—Pray you sing (G.

s. d. after 62, Song below—Song by Aymer (G., S.; it is the Courtiers Song of the Citizen, page 146.—introduced here in text by Cunningham and S.

63 and 64 Doe ... doubtfull?—printed as one line in Q.

66 they are—they’re (C., f.

67, s. d.—Enter Nouall Iu. Charaloys,—Enter Charalois, with his sword drawn, pursuing Novall junior, etc. (G., S.

68 Vndone foreuer—Undone, undone, forever! (G.—C. & M. give this speech to Bellapert.

74 th’—the (G., S.

82 M., f. omit ,’s after honest and valiant.

86 daring looke—daring. Look (C., f.

89 and 90 No ... flesh—printed as one line in Q.

93 of—its f is almost invisible in Q.

95 haue—its e is almost invisible in Q.

96 :? (G.

96, after shall G. & S. insert s. d.: Exeunt Beaumont and Bellapert, with the body of Nouall; followed by Beaumelle.

97 Y’are—you are (G., S.

97, end G. & S. insert s. d.: Re-enter Beaumont.

[Act IV, Scene iii]

3 not—nor (C.

8 .—? (C., f.

[Act IV, Scene iv]

4 and 5 Nor ... but— —printed as one line in Q.

6, end—C., f. insert s. d.: Exit Beaumont.

7, end—C., f. insert s. d.: Beaumelle kneels.

8 worthy—worth (G., S.

30 th’—the (G., S.

33 variously emended for defective metre: That you have done but what’s warranted, (C., M.; That you have done but what is warranted, (G.; You have done merely but what’s warranted, (S.

36 of me in—in me of (C., M., S. The emendation is unnecessary.

38 now they—they now (G.

50 thou wert—you were (G., S.

60, after was—; (C., f.

61 Within—Which in (M., f.

77, post—The three s. d.’s are made by C., f. to follow respectively lines 76, 77, and 78.

89 be for—before (C., M.

90 destruction—induction (G., S., following the suggestion of M.

91, s. d.—G. & S. omit phrase with Nouals body. and affix to s. d. with Servants bearing the Body of Novall junior.

92, after seate,—G. & S. insert s. d.: Exeunt Servants.

93 me—the e is obliterated in Q.

93 ?—,(C., f.

96, end—C. & M. insert s. d.: He hoodwinks Rochfort. G. & S. place a similar s. d. at the end of the following line.


101 and 102 It ... iustice—printed as one line in Q.

121, end—G. & S. insert s. d.: Charalois unbinds his eyes.

131 With—Which (M., f.

131, after thy—G. says a monosyllable has been lost here. S. inserts foul. But an acceptable rhythm is secured by the natural stress of the voice, which emphasizes and dwells upon thy, and again stresses kept.

133 owne—one (M., f.

140, after her .—? (C., f.

141 liue no—liue. No (C., M.—liue: no (G., S.

143 on—one (C., f.

147, end—G. & S. insert out, changing first word of l. 148 to Of. C. & M. make Off of l. 148 conclude 147, and insert From to begin l. 148. It is preferable to let the line stand as it is, letting the voice, in reading, dwell and pause upon are.

148 s. d., He kils her. transferred to end of line by C., f.

149 I am. Sure—I am sure (M.—I’m sure (G., S.

154, after nourished. —C., f. inserts s. d.: Dies.

156 and 157 True ... doome—printed as one line in Q.

158 and friend—and a friend (C., f.

175 Flinty- — Flint- (G., S.

175 and 176 Nature ... vertue.—printed as one line in Q.

177, after of—C., f. insert your. But the change is not required by the sense; nor by the metre, if the voice be allowed to dwell on heart.

184 s. d.: Enter Nouall, etc.—G. & S. place after doors in next line.

185, before Force —G. & S. insert s. d.: Within.

190 and 191 Call ... blood.—printed as one line in Q.

[Act V, Scene i]

Enter, etc. Officers—two Bailiffs. (G., S.

2 T’arrest—To arrest (G., S.

4 for me—for form (M., f.

16 you haue—you’ve (C., M.

22 them—him (C., f. The Q. reading is preferable in every way.

24 so—M. omits.

26 You are—You’re (C., M.

32, after and—G. & S. insert the.

33 are these—or thief (M.—and thief (G., S., which seems slightly the more probable correction.

34 Synonima—synonymous (C., M.

36, end s. d.—C., f. place s. d. after selfe.

39 I will—I’ll (C., m.

47 reueng’d—un-revenged (C., f.,—an obviously correct emendation.

57, end .—, (C., f.

61 ’Tas—It has (M., f.

68 obiect—abject (C., f.

70 and 71 Away ... deadly:—printed as one line in Q.

71, after know—G. & S. insert thee, which secures a smoother metre, but is not warranted.

79 I am—I’m (C., f.

84 sits—M. reads fits, the first letter in Q. not being certainly distinguishable as s or f.

85 cape—cap (C., f.

86 sate.—sat, (C., f.

93 Offi.—1 Bail. (G., S.

97 Hath—Have (M., G.

105 ones—one (C., f.

106 Additions—Addition (C., f.

[Act V, Scene ii]

2 thou thinkst—you think (G., S.

7 new—now (M.

15, after Nouall .—? (G., S.

18 grieue—grieved (M., f., a correct emendation.

23, after haue—C., f. insert , .

23 promis’d—promise (C., f.

26 heires—i. e., of course, hairs;—so modernized by C., f.

33 worrhy—Q. misprint for worthy;—corrected by C., f.

39, after people—C., f. insert ,.

42, after knowing—M., f. insert too.

55, after cause—.—(C., M.—?—(G., S., which is right.

67 I am—I’m (C., M.

68, after man—M. inserts , , and G. & S. ;—.

76, end G. & S. omit , .

77, after But—G. & S. insert , .

80 and 81 You ... cause.—printed as one line in Q.

88 chalenge—challenged (G., S.—a correct emendation.

91 Tygre—tigress (C., M.

104 breed—bread (C., f. The Q. reading is perfectly satisfactory.

117 You haue—You’ve (C., M.

[Act V, Scene iii]

Scaena 3—omitted by G. & S.,—and correctly so, for there is no change in place from the preceding, and the action is uninterrupted.

18, after that—M., f. insert when. See Notes.

30 fain’d— -famed (M., f.

32 —, after neyghbour-hood in Q. is placed after ill by C., f.

35 by—my (C., f.

44, after pray—G. & S. insert you.

47 dis-become—mis-become (C., M.

50 —u in accuser is inverted in Q.

51 or—nor (C., f.

59 motion—motion’s (C., f.

60 —n in confesse is inverted in Q.

68 freed—feed (M., f.

68, end—? (C., f.

73 courtesie—courtesies (C., f. Q. reading is preferable. See Glossary.

77 that—they (S.

88 dowry—dower (G., S.

91 could preserue—could not preserve (C., f. The emendation is clearly required.


137, after truth ,—. (M., f.

138, after begin .—, (G., S.—C. & M. inclose For ... begin in ( )’s.

139 n in French is inverted in Q.

150 appou’d—i. e., approu’d; in Q. the r is wanting as above. Later editors correct.

166 more—mere (C., f. See Notes.

168 fall—fail (M.

169 like—omitted by G. & S.

170 signe—signs (S.

180 against—’gainst (G., S.

184 had—omitted by G.

190 bands—bawds (C., f.

190 s. d. Enter Aymer, etc.—Enter Officers with Aymer, etc. (G., S.

190, tooke—ta’en (G.


201 iniurie:—C., f. read injuries, the colon in the Q. being blurred to appear like a broken s.

205, end. —C., f. insert s. d.: Stabs him.

206 I am—I’m (C., M.

207, end—C., f. insert s. d.: Stabs Pontalier. See Notes.

215 after mee.—C., f. insert s. d.: Dies.

215–217 —lines in Q. are: I ... loue | Not ... of.

217 worthy, worthy of—worthy of (C., M.

217, after of.—C., f. insert s. d.: Dies.

217 We are—We’re (C., M.

220 We are—We’re (C., M.

227 As—A (M., misprint.

228 Be set—Or be set (C., M., G.—Be or set (S.


These songs are printed thus in an Appendix at the end of the play in Q., G., and the edition of Hartley Coleridge. The First Song is inserted at its proper point in the text—II, i, after line 134—by C., M., Cunningham, and S.;—so, too, the Second Song, after line 131 of II, ii. The other two songs were omitted in C., and appear in an appendix of vol. 4 of M.,—there wrongly assigned (by D.) to the “passage over the stage” which closes Act II. Gifford correctly assigns them to follow respectively IV, ii, 50; and IV, ii, 62;—where they are printed in the text of Cunningham and S.

First Song—A DIRGE (G., S.

Second Song—A SONG BY AYMER (G., S.

A ... Nouall, and Beaumelle.—A ... a Man and a Woman. (C., f.

2–4 —lines in Q.: From ... begat’st. | I dare ... line, | Each word ... hooke,.

7 doest—dost (C., f.

8 Come strangled—Come, strangle (M., f.

(Citizens Song) 3 and 4: If ... state,—printed as one line in Q.

7 seruants—its u is inverted in Q.

(Courtiers Song) 16: Tradesmen—tradesman (M.

Transcriber’s Notes

In the play itself all apparent printing errors have been retained; no attempt has been made to standardise formatting.

In the front and end matter, simple typographical errors have been corrected; variant spelling, punctuation, and inconsistent hyphenation have been preserved as printed.

On some reading devices, inline stage directions are set off from the text by parentheses added by the transcriber. Footnote headings and navigational [links] in brackets were also added.

The following shows the changed text below the original text. All changes are also noted in the source code: search <!--TN:

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Fatal Dowry, by 
Philip Massinger and Nathaniel Field


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