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Title: A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 12 (of 15)
Author: Dodsley, Robert
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 12 (of 15)" ***

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                          A SELECT COLLECTION
                                  OF
                          OLD ENGLISH PLAYS.


                           IN THE YEAR 1744.

                           _FOURTH EDITION._

       NOW FIRST CHRONOLOGICALLY ARRANGED, REVISED AND ENLARGED
                WITH THE NOTES OF ALL THE COMMENTATORS,
                             AND NEW NOTES

                                  BY
                           W. CAREW HAZLITT.

                          BENJAMIN BLOM, INC.

                       [Illustration: New York]

                       First published 1874-1876
                 Reissued 1964 by Benjamin Blom, Inc.
                    L.C. Catalog Card No.: 64-14702

                        _Printed in U.S.A. by_
                      NOBLE OFFSET PRINTERS, INC.
                           NEW YORK 3, N.Y.



THE OLD COUPLE



_EDITION._


    _The Old Couple. A Comedy. By Thomas May, Esq.; London,
      Printed by J. Cottrel, for Samuel Speed, at the signe of
      the Printing-press in S. Paul's Churchyard. 1658. 4o._

[A MS. note in one of the former editions says: "This comedy is
pleasingly and fluently written, and though it contains little poetry,
is not without some eloquent and beautiful passages. The first scene is
the best in the play."]



INTRODUCTION


It seems probable that this comedy, as it is called, was never acted,
and on the title-page of the old edition (not printed until 1658, eight
years after the death of the author), it is not mentioned that it was
performed by any private or public company. This fact was usually
stated, though during the period when the theatres were silenced
exceptions were not very uncommon. It is pretty obvious, however, from
the general structure of the piece and the nature of the dialogue,
that "The Old Couple" was not calculated or intended by the author to
please the multitude. No inconsiderable part of the plot, and some of
the characters, may be considered allegorical, and for the sake of
preserving it, some constraint is used in a few of the incidents, and
forced and unnatural conversions take place among the persons.[1]

As to the period when it was written, judging from internal evidence,
it might be thought that May produced "The Old Couple" late in life,
and it was certainly the last printed of any of his works. It will
be observed that two lines in the last scene of this play close "The
Goblins" of Sir John Suckling.

                 "Gently my joys distil,
    Lest you should break the vessel you should fill."

Sir J. Suckling does not introduce them as a quotation, but
nevertheless, from the situation in which they are found in his comedy,
it seems likely that they were so, and that they originally belong to
May. If this supposition be correct, "The Old Couple" must have been
written before 1641, in which year Suckling died, and the latter must
have seen it in MS.[2]



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ


                                  MEN.

  SIR ARGENT SCRAPE, _an old covetous rich knight_.
  EARTHWORM, _an old miserly niggard_.
  MASTER FREEMAN.
  EUGENY, _Sir Argent Scrape's nephew_.
  EUPHUES (_Freeman's nephew_) _Scudmore's friend_.
  THEODORE, _Earthworm's virtuous son_.
  SCUDMORE, _supposed to be slain by Eugeny_.
  FRUITFUL, _the Lady Covet's chaplain_ (_Scudmore disguised_).
  BARNET.
  DOTTEREL, _a gull, married to the Lady Whimsey_.
  TRUSTY, _the Lady Covet's steward_.
  JASPER, _Earthworm's servant_.
  _Three neighbours of Earthworm's._
  _Officers._

                                 WOMEN.

  _The_ LADY COVET, _betrothed to Sir Argent Scrape_.
  MATILDA (_Earthworm's niece_), _Scudmore's love_.
  ARTEMIA (_Freeman's daughter_), _Eugeny's love_.
  _The_ LADY WHIMSEY, _married to Dotterel_.

                             THE OLD COUPLE



ACT I.


                            EUGENY _solus._

    EUG. This is the hour which fair Artemia
    Promis'd to borrow from all company,
    And bless me only with it; to deny
    Her beauteous presence to all else, and shine
    On me, poor me! Within this garden here,
    This happy garden once, while I was happy,[3]
    And wanted not a free access unto it;
    Before my fatal and accursed crime
    Had shut these gates of paradise against me;
    When I, without control alone might spend
    With sweet Artemia in these fragrant walks
    The day's short-seeming hours; and (ravish'd) hear
    Her sweet discourses of the lily's whiteness,
    The blushing rose, blue-mantled violet,
    Pale daffodil, and purple hyacinth:
    With all the various sweets and painted glories
    Of Nature's wardrobe, which were all eclips'd
    By her diviner beauty. But alas!
    What boots the former happiness I had,
    But to increase my sorrow?[4] My sad crime
    Has left me now no entrance but by stealth,
    When death and danger dog my vent'rous steps.
    But welcome danger, since thou find'st so fair
    A recompense as my Artemia's sight!

                            _Enter_ ARTEMIA.

    ART. And art thou come, my dearest Eugeny?
    Has thy true love broke through so many hazards
    To visit me? I prythee, chide my fondness,
    That did command thee such a dangerous task.
    I did repent it since, and was in hope
    Thou wouldst not come.

    EUG. Why hop'd Artemia so?
    Wouldst thou not see me then? Or can the hazard
    Of ten such lives as mine is countervail
    One glance of favour from thy beauteous eyes?

    ART. Why dost thou use that language to a heart,
    Which is thy captive, Eugeny, and lives,
    In nothing happy but in thee?

    EUG. Ah, love!
    There lies my greatest sorrow; that the storms
    Of spiteful fortune, which o'erwhelm my state,
    Should draw thy constant goodness to a suff'ring--
    A goodness worthy of the happiest man.

    ART. Those storms of fortune will be soon o'er-blown,
    When once thy cause shall be but truly known,
    That chance, not malice, wrought it; and thy pardon
    Will be with ease obtain'd.

    EUG. It may be, love,
    If old Sir Argent do deal truly in it.

    ART. But keep thyself conceal'd: do not rashly
    Venture two lives in one: or, when thou com'st,
    Let it be still in silence of the night.
    No visitation then, or other strange
    Unlook'd-for accident, can bar our joys.
    The moon is now in her full orb, and lends
    Securer light to lovers than the sun:
    Then only come. But prythee, tell me, love,
    How dost thou spend thy melancholy time?

    EUG. Within the covert of yon shady wood,
    Which clothes the mountain's rough and craggy top,
    A little hovel built of boughs and reeds
    Is my abode: from whence the spreading trees
    Keep out the sun, and do bestow in lieu
    A greater benefit, a safe concealment.
    In that secure and solitary place
    I give my pleas'd imagination leave
    To feast itself with thy supposed presence,
    Whose only shadow brings more joy to me,
    Than all the substance of the world beside.

    ART. Just so alone am I; nay, want the presence
    Of mine own heart, which strays to find out thee.
    But who comes to thee to supply thy wants?

    EUG. There Artemia names my happiness--
    A happiness which, next thy love, I hold
    To be the greatest that the world can give,
    And I am proud to name it. I do there
    Enjoy a friend, whose sweet society
    Makes that dark wood a palace of delight:
    One stor'd with all that can commend a man;
    In whom refined knowledge and pure art,
    Mixing with true and sound morality,
    Is crown'd with piety.

    ART. What wonder's this,
    Whom thou describ'st?

    EUG. But I in vain, alas!
    Do strive to make with my imperfect skill
    A true dissection of his noble parts:
    He loses, love, by all that I can say;
    For praise can come no nearer to his worth
    Than can a painter with his mimic sun
    Express the beauty of Hyperion.

    ART. What is his name?

    EUG. His name is Theodore,
    Rich Earthworm's son, lately come home from travel.

    ART. O heavens! his son? Can such a caitiff wretch,
    Hated and curs'd by all, have such a son?
    The miser lives alone, abhorr'd by all,
    Like a disease, yet cannot so be 'scap'd;
    But, canker-like, eats through the poor men's hearts,
    That live about him: never has commerce
    With any, but to ruin them; his house
    Inhospitable as the wilderness,
    And never look'd upon but with a curse.
    He hoards, in secret places of the earth,
    Not only bags of treasure, but his corn,
    Whose every grain he prizes 'bove a life,
    And never prays at all but for dear years.

    EUG. For his son's sake, tread gently on his fame.

    ART. O love! his fame cannot be redeemed
    From obloquy; but thee I trust so far,
    As highly to esteem his worthy son.

    EUG. That man is all, and more than I have said:
    His wondrous virtues will hereafter make
    The people all forgive his father's ill:
    I was acquainted with him long ago
    In foreign parts. And, now I think on't, love,
    He'll be the fittest man to be acquainted
    With all our secrecies, and be a means
    To further us; and think I trust his truth,
    That dare so much commend his worth to thee.

    ART. He is my neighbour here: that house is Earthworm's,
    That stands alone beside yon grove of trees;
    And fear not, dearest love, I'll find a means
    To send for him: do you acquaint him first.               [_Exeunt._

                       EUPHUES, DOTTEREL, BARNET.

    EUPH. Then shall I tell my cousin that you are
    A younger brother, Master Dotterel?

    DOT. O yes, by any means, sir.

    EUPH. What's your reason?

    DOT. A crotchet, sir, a crotchet that I have:
    Here's one can tell you I have twenty of 'em.

    BAR. Euphues, dissuade him not; he is resolv'd
    To keep his birth and fortunes both conceal'd;
    Yet win her so, or no way. He would know
    Whether himself be truly lov'd or no;
    And not his fortunes only.

    EUPH. Well, access
    You have already found; pursue it, sir,
    But give me leave to wonder at your way.
    Another wooer, to obtain his love,
    Would put on all his colours; stretch t' appear
    At his full height, or a degree beyond it;
    Belie his fortunes; borrow what he wanted;
    Not make himself less than he truly is.
    What reason is there that a man possess'd
    Of fortunes large enough, that they may come boldly
    A welcome suitor to herself and friends,
    And, ten to one, speed in his suit the fair
    And usual way, should play the fool, and lose
    His precious time in such a hopeless wooing?

    DOT. Alas, sir! what is a gentleman's time?

    BAR. Euphues, he tells you true; there are some brains
    Can never lose their time, whate'er they do:
    Yet I can tell you, he has read some books.

    DOT. Do not disparage me.

    BAR. I warrant thee;
    And in those books he says he finds examples
    Of greatest beauties that have so been won.

    EUPH. O, in "Parismus" and the "Knight o' th' Sun!"[5]
    Are those your authors?

    DOT. Yes, and those are good ones.
    Why should a man of worth, though but a shepherd,
    Despair to get the love of a king's daughter?

    EUPH. I prythee, Barnet, how hast thou screw'd up
    This fool to such a monstrous confidence?

    BAR. He needs no screwing up; but let him have
    His swing a little.

    EUPH. He shall have it freely.
    But you have seen your mistress, Master Dotterel?
    How do you find her? coming?

    DOT. That's all one;
    I know what I know.

    BAR. He has already got
    Some footing in her favour.

    EUPH. But I doubt
    He'll play the tyrant; make her doat too long,
    Wear the green-sickness as his livery,
    And pine a year or two.

    DOT. She's not the first
    That has done so for me.

    EUPH. But if you use
    My cousin so, I shall not take it well.

    DOT. O, I protest I have no such meaning, sir.
    See, here she comes! the Lady Whimsey too.

                 _Enter_ LADY WHIMSEY, _with_ ARTEMIA.

    LADY W. I thought, sweetheart, th' hadst wanted company.

    ART. Why, so I did--yours, madam.

    LADY W. Had I known
    Your house had been so full of gallants now,
    I would have spar'd my visit. But 'tis all one,
    I have met a friend here.

    EUPH. Your poor servant, madam.

    LADY W. I was confessing of your cousin here
    About th' affairs of love.

    EUPH. Your ladyship, I hope, will shrieve her gently.[6]

    LADY W. But I tell her
    She shall not thank me now for seeing her;
    For I have business hard by. I am going
    A suitor to your old rich neighbour here--
    Earthworm.

    EUPH. A suitor! He is very hard
    In granting anything, especially
    If it be money.

    LADY W. Yes, my suit's for money;
    Nay, all his money, and himself to boot.

    BAR. His money would do well without himself.

    LADY W. And with himself.

    BAR. Alas! your ladyship
    Should too much wrong your beauty, to bestow it
    Upon one that cannot use it, and debar
    More able men their wishes.

    EUPH. That's true, Barnet,
    If she should bar all other men: but that
    Would be too great a cruelty.

    ART. Do you hear my cousin, madam?

    LADY W. Yes, he will be heard:
    Rather than fail, he'll give himself the hearing.
    But, prythee, Euphues, tell me plainly now,
    What thou dost think of me? I love thy freeness
    Better than any flattery in the world.

    EUPH. I think you wondrous wise.

    LADY W. In what?

    EUPH. In that
    That makes or mars a woman--I mean love.

    LADY W. Why, prythee?

    EUPH. I think you understand so well
    What the true use of man is, that you'll ne'er
    Trouble your thoughts with care, or spoil your beauty
    With the green-sickness, to obtain a thing
    Which you can purchase a discreeter way.

    ART. How do you like this, madam?

    LADY W. Wondrous well;
    'Tis that I look'd for. But what entertainment
    Would old rich Earthworm give us, do you think?

    BAR. Unless your presence, madam, could infuse
    A nobler soul into him, 'tis much fear'd
    'Twould be but mean.

    LADY W. Because (you'll say) he's covetous?
    Tut! I can work a change in any man.
    If I were married to him, you should see
    What I would make him.

    EUPH. I believe we should,
    If cuckold's horns were visible.

    ART. But could
    Your ladyship be pleas'd with such a husband?

    LADY W. Who could not well be pleas'd with such a fortune?

    ART. Wealth cannot make a man.

    LADY W. But his wealth, lady,
    Can make a woman.

    EUPH. Yet, I doubt, old Earthworm
    Would prove too subtle to be govern'd so.
    You'll find him, madam, an old crabbed piece:
    Some gentle fool were better for a husband.

    ART. Fie, cousin, how thou talk'st!

    LADY W. He's in the right:
    Fools are the only husbands; one may rule 'em.
    Why should not we desire to use men so,
    As they would us? I have heard men protest
    They would have their wives silly, and not studied
    In anything, but how to dress themselves;
    And not so much as able to write letters.
    Just such a husband would I wish to have,
    So qualifi'd, and not a jot beyond it;
    He should not have the skill to write or read.

    ART. What could you get by that?

    LADY W. I should be sure
    He could not read my letters; and for bonds,
    When I should have occasion to use money,
    His mark would serve.

    ART. I am not of your mind:
    I would not have a fool for all the world.

    BAR. No, fairest lady, your perfections
    None but the wisest and the best of men
    Can truly find and value.

    DOT. And I protest, lady,
    I honour you for not loving a fool.

    LADY W. You would love a wife, it seems, that loves not you?

    EUPH. A tart jest, Barnet!

    BAR. But he feels it not.                                  [_Aside._

    EUPH. Fie, Master Dotterel! 'tis not nobly done
    In you to hate a fool: a generous spirit
    Would take the weakest' part; and fools, you know,
    Are weakest still.

    DOT. Faith, Master Euphues,
    I must confess I have a generous spirit,
    And do a little sympathise with fools:
    I learn'd that word from a good honest man.
    But hark you, cousin Barnet, this same lady
    Is a brave woman.

    BAR. Are you taken with her?

    DOT. I love a wit with all my heart.

    BAR. 'Tis well;
    He is already taken off, I see,
    From fair Artemia, or may be soon;
    Upon this t'other I may build a fortune.                   [_Aside._

    EUPH. But, madam, if your ladyship would marry
    Upon those terms, 'twere better that you took
    Old Earthworm's son.

    LADY W. Has he a son, I prythee?

    EUPH. Yes, lately come from travel, as they say,
    We have not seen him yet; he has kept close
    Since his arrival; people give him out
    To be his father's own.

    LADY W. Nay, then I swear
    I'll none of him. If he be covetous,
    And young, I shall be troubled too long with him:
    I had rather have the old one.

    ART. Here's my father.

                        _Enter_ MASTER FREEMAN.

    FREE. Health to this good society: I am sorry
    That my poor house must not to-day enjoy
    The happiness to entertain you all.
    We are invited to th' old Lady Covet's;
    And thither must our company remove.

    LADY W. Sir, I'll be govern'd by you. I was bold
    To come and see Mistress Artemia.

    FREE. She's much beholden to your ladyship
    For doing her that honour.

    EUPH. Tell me, uncle:
    I hear Sir Argent Scrape is at her house.

    FREE. Nephew, 'tis true; and, which thou'lt wonder at,
    That marriage, which we talk'd of as a jest,
    In earnest now's concluded of, and shall
    To-morrow morning be solemnised.

    EUPH. Betwixt Sir Argent and the Lady Covet?
    I do not think it strange; there's but one hedge
    Has a long time divided them--I mean
    Their large estates; and 'tis th' estate that marries.

    FREE. But is't not strange, nay, most unnatural--
    And I may say ridiculous, for those years
    To marry, and abuse the ordinance?
    My Lady Covet is, at least, fourscore,
    And he, this year, is fourscore and fifteen:
    Besides, he has been bed-rid long, and lame
    Of both his feet.

    EUPH. Uncle, he's not too old
    To love--I mean her money; and in that
    The chiefest end of marriage is fulfill'd:
    He will increase and multiply his fortunes:
    Increase, you know, is the true end of marriage!

    FREE. They have already almost the whole country.

    EUPH. But you shall see how now they'll propagate.

    FREE. Is such a marriage lawful?

    EUPH. Ah! good uncle,
    Dispute not that, the church has nought in this;
    Their lawyer is the priest that marries them,
    The banns of matrimony are the indentures,
    The bounds and landmarks are the ring that joins them.

    ART. But there's no love at all.

    EUPH. Yes, pretty cousin,
    If thou art read in amorous books, thou'lt find
    That Cupid's arrow has a golden head;
    And 'twas a golden shaft that wounded them.

    FREE. Well, thither we must go; but, prythee, nephew,
    Forbear thy jesting there.

    EUPH. I warrant you;
    I'll flatter the old lady, and persuade her
    How well she looks: but when they go to bed,
    I'll write their epitaph.

    FREE. How, man! their epitaph?
    Their epithalamium thou mean'st.

    EUPH. No, sirs;
    Over their marriage-bed I'll write their ages,
    And only say, Here lies Sir Argent Scrape,
    Together with his wife, the Lady Covet.
    And whosoever reads it will suppose
    The place to be a tomb, no marriage-bed.

    LADY W. How strangely thou art taken with this wedding,
    Before thou see'st it!

    EUPH. And then, let me see:
    To fit them for an Hymeneal song,
    Instead of those so high and spirited strains,
    Which the old Grecian lovers us'd to sing
    When lusty bridegrooms rifled maidenheads,
    I'll sing a quiet dirge, and bid them sleep
    In peaceful rest, and bid the clothes, instead
    Of earth, lie gently on their aged bones----[7]

    FREE. Thou'lt ne'er have done. Well, gallants, 'tis almost
    The time that calls us: I must needs be gone.

    LADY W. We'll wait upon you, sir.

    FREE. Your servant, madam.

                [_Exeunt_ LADY WHIMSEY, FREEMAN, DOTTEREL, _and_ BARNET.

    ART. Stay, cousin, I have a request to thee.

    EUPH. Thou canst not fear that I'll deny it thee.
    Speak it: 'tis done.

    ART. Why, then, in short, 'tis this--
    Old Earthworm, cousin, has a son (they say)
    Lately come home; his name, as I have heard,
    Is Theodore.

    EUPH. Yes, I have heard of him.

    ART. I would entreat you, by some means or other,
    To draw him hither; I'd fain speak with him:
    Ask not the cause, but do what I request--
    You may hereafter know.

    EUP. Well, I'll not question't,
    But bring him hither, though I know him not.

    ART. Cousin, farewell; I shall be look'd for straight.

                                                        [_Exit_ ARTEMIA.

                            _Manet_ EUPHUES.

    EUPH. Rich Earthworm's son! why, in the name of wonder,
    Should it be her desire to speak with him?
    She knows him not. Well, let it be a riddle;
    I have not so much wit as to expound it;
    Nor yet so little as to lose my thoughts
    Or study to find out what the no reason
    Of a young wench's will is. Should I guess--
    I know not what to think; she may have heard
    That he's a proper man, and so desire
    To satisfy herself? What reason then
    Can she allege to him? Tut, that's not it:
    Her beauty and large dow'r need not to seek
    Out any suitors; and the odious name
    Of his old wretched father would quite choke it.
    Or have some tattling gossips or the maids
    Told her, perchance, that he's a conjuror?
    He goes in black: they say he is a scholar:
    Has been beyond sea, too; there it may lie:
    And he must satisfy her longing thought,
    What or how many husbands she shall have;
    Of what degree; upon what night she shall
    Dream of the man; when she shall fast,[8] and walk
    In the churchyard, to see him passing by,
    Just in those clothes that first he comes a suitor.
    These things may be; but why should she make me
    To be her instrument? Some of the men
    Or maids might do't as well. Well, since you have
    Us'd me, fair cousin, I will sound your drifts,
    Or't shall go hard. The fellow may abuse her;
    Therefore, I'll watch him too, and straight about it.
    But now I think on't, I'll solicit him
    By letter first, and meet him afterward.                    [_Exit._

FOOTNOTES:

[1] [It is difficult to allow that this piece is particularly
allegorical in any of its parts or characters. It has the air of a
drama which had lain by for some time, and been hastily finished, as
some of the incidents and characters are not developed with due regard
to dramatic propriety. The conversion of Earthworm, especially, is
unnaturally abrupt and violent.]

[2] "The Goblins" was publicly performed, whereas the "Old Couple" does
not seem to have been so. Suckling died early in 1641. I confess that
the evidence appears to me to lie strongly against May, who was a great
borrower--even from himself, the most allowable kind of plagiarism.

[3] Former editions--

    "This happy garden, once while I was happy."

--_Pegge._

[4] Dante ("Inferno," c. v.) says--

                  "Nessun maggior dolore
    Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
    Ne la miseria."

--_Collier._

[5] Two romances of the time, very well known, often reprinted, and
frequently mentioned in old authors.--_Collier._

[6] _i.e._, _Shrive_ her, hear her at confession. So in Shakespeare's
"King Richard III."--

    "What, talking with a priest, Lord Chamberlain?
    Your lordship hath no _shriving_-work in hand."

--_Steevens._

[7] These lines seem a parody on the following one in "Bonduca," by
Beaumont and Fletcher, act iv. sc. 3--

    "_Lie lightly on my ashes, gentle earth._"

The time when Prior wrote his beautiful Ode to the Memory of Colonel
George Villiers, drowned in the river Piave, in Friuli, 1703, is so
near the period in which Mr Pope composed his elegy to the memory of an
unfortunate lady, that it is difficult to say which of these great men
borrowed from the other. It appears certain, however, that one of them,
in the following lines, was indebted to his friend, unless it can be
supposed that both of them were obliged to the above line of Beaumont
and Fletcher. Prior says--

    "Lay the dead hero graceful in a grave
    (The only honour he can now receive),
    And fragrant mould upon his body throw.
    And plant the warrior laurel o'er his brow;
    _Light lie the earth_, and flourish green the bough."

Mr Pope writes thus--

    "What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
    Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb;
    Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be drest,
    And thy green turf _lie lightly on thy breast_."

I know not why we should suppose that Pope borrowed from Prior, or that
either of them was indebted to Beaumont and Fletcher on this occasion.
_Sit tibi terra levis!_ is a wish expressed in many of the ancient
Roman inscriptions. So in that on Pylades--

    "Dicite qui legitis, _solito de more_, sepulto,
    Pro meritis, Pylade, _sit tibi terra levis_!"

Again, in the sepulchral dialogue supposed to pass between Atimetus and
Homonoea--

    "_Sit tibi terra levis_, mulier dignissima vita!"

Again, in Propertius, El. xvii. lib. 1--

    "Et mihi _non ullo pondere terra_ foret."

Again, in Ovid--

    "Et sit _humus cineri non onerosa_ tuo!"

Thus also Juvenal, Sat. vii.--

    "Di majorum umbris _tenuem et sine pondere terram_,
    Spirantesque crocos, et in urna perpetuum ver!"


Again, in Persius, Sat. i.--

          "Non _levior cippus nunc imprimit ossa_?
    ... nunc non e manibus illis,
    Nunc non e tumulo fortunataque favilla
    Nascentur violæ?"

On the contrary, _Sit tibi terra gravis_ and _Urgeat ossa lapis_ were
usual maledictions, the ancients supposing that the soul remained
for some time after death with the body, and was partner in its
confinement. The latter of these wishes is ludicrously adopted by Dr
Evans, in his epitaph on Sir J. Vanbrugh--

    "_Lie heavy on him, earth!_ for he
    Laid many a heavy weight on thee."

It may be observed that such ideas, however poetical, have no great
degree of propriety when introduced into Christian elegies, as we have
no belief that the soul is in danger of being oppressed by a monument
or stifled in a grave.--_Steevens._

[8] These customs are still preserved by the inferior ranks of females
in different parts of the kingdom. Among others, they frequently fast
on St Agnes' Eve, and at the same time make use of several singular
rites and ceremonies; all which are described and ridiculed in Gay's
comedy of the "Wife of Bath." See also ["Popular Antiquities of Great
Britain," 1870, i. 20, _et alibi_.]



ACT II.


                          EARTHWORM, THEODORE.

    EARTH. I do not more rejoice in all my stores,
    My wealthy bags, fill'd garners, crowded chests,
    And all the envi'd heaps that I have glean'd
    With so long care and labour, than I do
    In thy most frugal nature, Theodore,
    Concurring just with mine. In thee, my son,
    I see, methinks, a perpetuity
    Of all the projects which my soul has hatch'd,
    And their rich fruits: I see my happiness,
    When I consider what great hoards of wealth,
    With long care rak'd together, I have seen
    Even in a moment scatter'd; when I view
    The gaudy heirs of thriving aldermen
    Fleeting like short-liv'd bubbles into air,
    And all that fire expiring in one blaze,
    That was so long a-kindling. But do thou,
    Do thou, my son, go on, and grow in thrift;
    It is a virtue that rewards itself.
    'Tis matterless in goodness who excels;
    He that hath coins hath all perfections else.

    THEO. Sir, I am wholly yours, and never can
    Degenerate from your frugality;
    Or, if my nature did a little stray,
    Your good example would direct it still,
    Till it were grown in me habitual.

    EARTH. 'Twill be a greater patrimony to thee
    Than all my wealth: strive to be perfect in't;
    Study the rules. One rule is general.
    And that is, give away nothing, son;
    For thrift is like a journey; every gift,
    Though ne'er so small, is a step back again.
    He that would rise to riches or renown
    Must not regard, though he pull millions down.

    THEO. That lesson, sir, is easy to be learn'd.

    EARTH. Laugh at those fools that are ambitious
    Of empty air, to be styl'd liberal!
    That sell their substance for the breath of others,
    And with the flattering thanks of idle drones
    Are swelled, while their solid parts decay.
    What clothes to wear?--the first occasion
    Of wearing clothes will teach a wise man best.

    THEO. True, sir; it teacheth us how vain a thing
    It is for men to take a pride in that,
    Which was at first the emblem of their shame.[9]

    EARTH. Thou hitt'st it right: but canst thou be content
    With my poor diet too?

    THEO. O, wondrous well!
    'Twas such a diet which that happy age,
    That poets style the golden, first did use.

    EARTH. And such a diet to our chests will bring
    The golden age again.

    THEO. Beside the gain
    That flows upon us, health and liberty
    Attend on these bare meals: if we all were bless'd
    With such a temperance, what man would fawn,
    Or to his belly sell his liberty?
    There would be then no slaves, no sycophants
    At great men's tables. If the base Sarmentus
    Or that vile Galba[10] had been thus content,
    They had not borne the scoffs of Cæsar's board.
    He whose cheap thirst the springs and brooks can quench,
    How many cares is he exempted from?
    He's not indebted to the merchant's toil,
    Nor fears that pirates' force or storms should rob him
    Of rich Canaries or sweet Candian wines:
    He smells nor seeks no feasts; but in his own
    True strength contracted lives, and there enjoys
    A greater freedom than the Parthian king.

    EARTH. Thou mak'st me more in love with my bless'd life.

    THEO. Besides, pure cheerful health ever attends it;
    Which made the former ages live so long.
    With riotous banquets sicknesses came in;
    When death 'gan muster all his dismal band
    Of pale diseases, such as poets feign
    Keep sentinel before the gates of hell,
    And bad them wait about the gluttons' tables,
    Whom they, like venom'd pills in sweetest wines,
    Deceiv'd, swallow down, and hasten on
    What most they would eschew--untimely death.
    But from our tables here no painful surfeits,
    No fed diseases grow, to strangle nature
    And suffocate the active brain; no fevers,
    No apoplexies, palsies, or catarrhs
    Are here, where nature, not entic'd at all
    With such a dangerous bait as pleasant cates,
    Takes in no more than she can govern well.

    EARTH. But that which is the greatest comfort, son,
    Is to observe with pleasure our rich hoards
    Daily increase, and stuff the swelling bags.
    Come, thou art mine, I see! Here, take these keys.

                                           [_Gives_ THEODORE _the keys_.

    These keys can show thee such amazing plenty,
    Whose very sight would feed a famish'd country.
    I durst not trust my servants.

    THEO. Me you may,
    Who equal with my life do prize your profit.

    EARTH. Well, I'll go in: I feel myself half sleepy
    After the drink I took.                                     [_Exit._

    THEO. 'Twill do you good, sir.
    Work sweetly, gentle cordial! and restore
    Those spirits again which pining avarice
    Has 'reft him of. Ah me! how wondrous thin,
    How lean and wan he looks! How much, alas!
    Has he defrauded his poor genius
    In raking wealth, while the pale, grisly sighs
    Of famine dwell upon his aged cheeks.
    O avarice! than thee a greater plague
    Did ne'er infest the life of wretched man!
    Heaven aid my work! That rare extraction
    Which he has drunk, beside the nourishment,
    Will cast him in a safe and gentle sleep,
    While I have liberty to work my ends;
    And with his body's cure a means I'll find
    To cure his fame, and (which is more) his mind.
    Jasper!

                            _Enter_ JASPER.

    JAS. Sir!

    THEO. Are those disguises ready,
    Which I bespoke?

    JAS. They are all fitted, sir.

    THEO. Then at the hour, which I appointed thee,
    Invite those people, Jasper; but be true
    And secret to me.

    JAS. As your own heart, sir.

    THEO. Take this: I will reward thy service better,
    As soon as these occasions are dispatch'd.

    JAS. I thank you, sir. I have a letter for you,
    Left here but now, from Master Euphues,
    Old Master Freeman's nephew.

    THEO. Give it me;
    I will anon peruse it. But my haste
    Permits not now: Eugeny waits my coming.           [_Exit_ THEODORE.

    JAS. I like this well; yet, if I should prove false
    To my old master for my young master's sake,
    Who can accuse me? For the reason's plain
    And very palpable; I feel it here.
    This will buy ale; so will not all the hoards,
    Which my old master has: his money serves
    For nothing but to look upon; but this
    Knows what the common use of money is.
    Well, for my own part, I'm resolv'd to do
    Whatever he commands me; he's too honest
    To wrong his father in it: if he should,
    The worst would be his own another day.                     [_Exit._

                            EUGENY _solus_.

    EUG. Just thus, in woods and solitary caves,
    The ancient hermits liv'd; but they liv'd happy!
    And in their quiet contemplations found
    More real comforts than society
    Of men could yield, than cities could afford,
    Or all the lustres of a court could give.
    But I have no such sweet preservatives
    Against the sadness of this desert place.
    I am myself a greater wilderness
    Than are these woods, where horror and dismay
    Make their abodes; while different passions
    By turn do reign in my distracted soul.
    Fortune makes this conclusion general--
    All things shall help th' unfortunate man to fall.
    First sorrow comes, and tells me I have done
    A crime whose foulness must deserve a sea
    Of penitent tears to wash me clean again.
    Then sear[11] steps in, and tells me, if surpris'd,
    My wretched life is forfeit to the law.
    When these have done, enters the tyrant love,
    And sets before me fair Artemia;
    Displays her virtues and perfections;
    Tells me that all those graces, all those beauties,
    Suffer for me, for my unhappiness,
    And wounds me more in her than in myself.
    Ah, Theodore! would I could ever sleep
    But when thou com'st, for in myself I find
    No drop of comfort? Welcome, dearest friend!

                           _Enter_ THEODORE.

    THEO. Pardon the slowness of my visit, friend;
    For such occasions have detain'd me hence,
    As, if thou knew'st, I know thou wouldst excuse.

    EUG. I must confess, I thought the hours too long;
    But the fruition of thy presence now
    Makes me forget it all.

    THEO. Collect thyself,

    Thou droop'st too much, my dearest Eugeny,
    And art too harsh and sour a censurer
    Of that unhappy crime which thou wert forc'd
    Lately to act. I did allow in thee
    That lawful sorrow that was fit; but let
    Well-grounded comforts cure thee: nought extreme
    Is safe in man.

    EUG. 'Tis time must work that cure.

    THEO. But why thy pardon is not yet obtain'd,
    Let me be free in my conjectures to thee.

    EUG. Speak, friend, as to thyself.

    THEO. Sir Argent Scrape,
    Your old rich kinsman, who to-morrow morning
    Is to be married to the Lady Covet----

    EUG. Is that match come about? O avarice!
    What monsters thou begett'st in this vile age!

    THEO. Sir Argent Scrape, I say, is next heir male,
    On whom thy whole estate was long ago
    Entail'd.

    EUG. 'Tis true.

    THEO. He must inherit it,
    Should thy life fail.

    EUG. 'Tis granted.

    THEO. Then, friend, hear
    What not a bare conjecture, but strong grounds
    Move me to utter. Think upon that word
    Thou spok'st so lately: think what avarice
    Can make her bondmen do--that such a price
    As fifteen hundred pounds a year will make
    Him labour, not thy pardon, but thy death.

    EUG. Can there be such a miscreant in nature?

    THEO. I should not think so, if I weigh'd him only,
    As he's thy kinsman. I have been inform'd
    He labours underhand to apprehend thee
    Just at the assizes now, and has laid plots
    To stop all pardons, which in that short time
    Might be procur'd: and then what bribes may do
    In hastening execution, do but consider.
    If this be false, some courtiers have abus'd
    His fame: and pardon me, my dearest friend,
    If I suspect the worst for fear of thee.

    EUG. When I consider what accurs'd effects
    Proceed from wretched avarice, I begin
    To feel a fear.

    THEO. This very age hath given
    Horrid examples lately: brothers have been
    Betray'd by brothers in that very kind.
    When pardons have been got by the next heirs,
    They have arriv'd too late. No tie so near,
    No band so sacred, but the cursed hunger
    Of gold has broke it, and made wretched men
    To fly from nature, mock religion,
    And trample under feet the holiest laws.

    EUG. He has been ever noted for that vice
    Which, with his age, has still grown stronger in him.

    THEO. Ah, Eugeny! how happy were that last
    Age of a man, when long experience
    Has taught him knowledge, taught him temperance,
    And freed him from so many loose desires
    In which rash youth is plung'd, were not this vice--
    But hark, hark, friend! what ravishing sound is that?

    EUG. Ha! wondrous sweet! 'tis from th' adjoining thicket.

                                _Song._

        _This is not the Elysian grove;_
        _Nor can I meet my slaughter'd love_
        _Within these shades. Come, Death, and be_
        _At last as merciful to me,_
        _As in my dearest Scudmore's fall,_
        _Thou show'dst thyself tyrannical._
        _Then did I die when he was slain;_
        _But kill me now, I live again,_
        _And shall go meet him in a grove_
        _Fairer than any here above._

        _O, let this woful breath expire!_
        _Why should I wish Evadne's fire,_
        _Sad Portia's coals, or Lucrece' knife,_
        _To rid me of a loathed life?_
        _'Tis shame enough that grief alone_
        _Kills me not now, when thou art gone!_
        _But, life, since thou art slow to go,_
        _I'll punish thee for lasting so;_
        _And make thee piecemeal every day_
        _Dissolve to tears, and melt away._

    THEO. Ah, Eugeny! some heavenly nymph descends
    To make thee music in these desert woods,
    To quench or feed thy baleful melancholy:
    It is so sweet, I could almost believe,
    But that 'tis sad, it were an angel's voice.

    EUG. What, in the name of miracle, is this?

    THEO. Remove not thou; I'll make discovery
    Within this thicket.

    EUG. Ha! what means thy wonder?
    What dost thou see?

    THEO. I know not how to tell thee:
    Now I could wish myself to be all eyes,
    As erst all ears. I see a shape as fair,
    And as divine, as was the voice it sent;
    But clouded all with sorrow: a fair woman,
    If by a name so mortal I may term her.
    In such a sorrow sat the Queen of Love,
    When in the wood she wail'd Adonis' death,
    And from her crystal-dropping eyes did pay
    A lover's obsequy.

    EUG. Let me come near.

    THEO. Sure, black is Cupid's colour; Death and he
    Have chang'd their liveries now, as in the fable
    They did their quivers once.[12]

    EUG. Ah, woe is me!

    THEO. What means that woe?

    EUG. Ah, Theodore! my guilt
    Pursues me to the woods! No place can keep
    The monuments of my misdeeds away.

    THEO. I understand you not.

    EUG. It is Matilda,
    The slaughter'd Scudmore's love, his virtuous love,
    Whose life by me unhappily was spilt.
    The sad, melodious ditty, which so late
    Did pierce our ravish'd ears, was but the note
    Of this fair turtle for her slaughter'd mate;
    In which perchance, amidst her woes, she sends
    Black curses up against my spotted self.
    But I with prayers and blessings will repay
    Whate'er thou vent'st 'gainst me. O, do not wish
    More wretchedness to my distracted soul
    Than I already feel! Sad sighs and tears
    Are all the satisfaction that is left
    For me to make to thy dead love and thee.

    THEO. Those lips can vent no curses; 'twould take off
    Much from the sweetness of her virtuous sorrow.
    Where lives this lovely maid?

    EUG. In the next village.

    THEO. Has she a father living?

    EUG. No, friend; he died
    When she was in her infancy. Her mother
    Two years ago deceas'd, and left her all
    The substance that she had; which was not great,
    But does maintain her. In that little house,
    E'er since this fatal accident, she lives
    A miracle of truth and constancy,
    Wailing her love; and now, it seems, has[13] come
    To vent her woful passions to the woods.

    THEO. How happy had he been in such a love,
    If fate had spar'd his life! But he is dead,
    And time at last may wear this sorrow off,
    And make her relish the true joys of love.
    But why do I thus wander in my thoughts?
    This passion must be curb'd in the beginning;
    'Twill prove too stubborn for me, if it grow.              [_Aside._

    EUG. Come, let us to my cave, as we intended,
    Ere this sad object stay'd us.

    THEO. Sad indeed!
    Believe me, friend, I suffer with thee in it;
    But we were wounded in two different kinds.                [_Aside._
    Come, let's be gone; though--I could still--dwell here.   [_Exeunt._

                            _Enter_ MATILDA.

    MAT. Methought I heard a noise within the wood;
    As if men talk'd together not far off;
    But could discover none. The time has been,[14]
    In such a solitary place as this,
    I should have trembled at each moving leaf;
    But sorrow and my miserable state
    Have made me bold. If there be savages
    That live by rapine in such woods as these,
    As I have heard in ancient times there were,
    My wretched state would move their pity rather
    Than violence. I'll confidently go,
    Guarded with nothing but my innocence.                      [_Exit._

                       _Enter_ FRUITFUL, TRUSTY.

    FRUIT. Come, master steward, you have had a time
    Of sweating for this wedding.

    TRUSTY. I have ta'en
    A little pains to-day: yours, Master Fruitful,
    Is yet to come; I mean your sermon.

    FRUIT. Yes, but the pains are pass'd; and that's the study.
    But to our business that more concerns us:
    Is the deed ready-written that my lady
    Must seal to-day?

    TRUSTY. Do you believe she'll seal it?

    FRUIT. I warrant you; I have so followed her,
    And laid it to her conscience, that I dare
    Hazard my life 'tis done.

    TRUSTY. Well, here's the deed: 'tis plainly written.

    FRUIT. I'll peruse't anon.
    I know the other feoffees are as true
    And honest men as any are i' th' world.              [_Exit_ TRUSTY.


    FREE. Save you, Master Fruitful!

    FRUIT. Worthy Master Freeman!

    FREE. How does my lady, sir? I have made bold
    To bring her company.

    FRUIT. Please you draw near, sir;
    I will go up and signify unto my lady
    That you are here.                                 [_Exit_ FRUITFUL.

    BAR. What's he? her chaplain, Euphues?

    EUPH. O yes.

    LADY W. She uses praying then, it seems?

    EUPH. Yes, madam, and fasting too, but gives no alms.

    LADY W. Cannot he teach her that?

    EUPH. 'Tis to be doubted:
    But he has other ways, which are far safer--
    To speak against the fashion, against painting,
    Or fornication. If he were your chaplain,
    He would inveigh as much 'gainst covetousness.

    LADY W. He would hurt me little in that.
    But has he learning?

    EUPH. No, surely, madam; he is full of knowledge,
    But has no learning at all: he can expound,
    But understands nothing. One thing in him
    Is excellent: though he do hate the bishops,
    He would not make them guilty of one sin,
    Which was to give him orders; for he hates
    Orders as much as them.

    FREE. Well, I have heard,
    Though he came lately to her, he has got
    A great hand over her, and sways her conscience
    Which way he list.

    EUPH. Uncle, 'tis very easy
    To rule a thing so weak as is her conscience.
    I'll undertake, that a twin'd thread would do it
    As well as a strong cable. If he could
    Rule her estate too, he would have a place on't.

    FREE. Why, that will follow t'other.

    EUPH. I think not;
    Rather her conscience follows her estate,
    Oppression had not else increas'd it so.
    She wrong'd a worthy friend of mine--young Scudmore,
    And by mere fraud and bribery took away
    His whole estate, five hundred pound a year.

    FREE. I must confess, 'twas a foul cause indeed;
    And he, poor man, lack'd means to prosecute
    The cause against her. But he feels it not
    At this time, nephew.

    BAR. Was't that Scudmore, sir,
    Whom Eugeny, Sir Argent Scrape's young kinsman,
    Unfortunately kill'd?

    FREE. The same. Well, let
    All these things pass: we come now to be merry.

    LADY W. Let's eat up her good cheer: a niggard's feast
    Is best, they say.

    DOT. Shall we have wine good store?

    BAR. O, fear not that.

    DOT. Hold, belly, hold, i' faith!

    BAR. Yes, and brain too.

    DOT. Nay, for my brain,
    Let me alone, I fear not that: no wine
    Can hurt my brain.

    LADY W. Say you so, Master Dotterel?
    Why, such a brain I love.

    DOT. Madam, I am glad
    I had it for you.

    LADY W. For me, sir?

    DOT. Yes, lady,
    'Tis at your service; so is the whole body.
    Did I not tickle her there, old lad?

    BAR. Yes, rarely.

    LADY W. Shall I presume to call you servant, then?

    DOT. O Lord, madam! if I were worthy to be.

    LADY W. Nay, I know you have good courtship, servant.
    Wear this for my sake.                         [_Gives him a scarf._

    DOT. 'Tis your livery, madam.

    BAR. Well, th' art a happy man, if thou knew'st all.

    EUPH. Madam, I see your ladyship can tell
    How to make choice in dealing of your favours.

    DOT. It pleases you to say so, good Master Euphues.

    EUPH. Why, sir, I speak of the lady's judgment.

    DOT. 'Twas more of her courtesy than my desert.

                   _Enter_ LADY COVET _on crutches_.

    EUPH. Here comes the lady bride.

    FREE. Joy to your ladyship!

    LADY C. I thank you, sir: y' are very welcome all.

    FREE. I have made bold to bring my friends along,
    As you commanded, lady.

    LADY C. They are most welcome.

    EUPH. Methinks your ladyship looks fresh to-day,
    And like a bride indeed.

    LADY C. Ah, Master Euphues!
    You, I perceive, can flatter.

    EUPH. Does your glass
    Tell you I flatter, madam?

    LADY C. Bestow this
    Upon young maids; but let me tell you, sir,
    Old folks may marry too. It was ordain'd
    At first to be as well a stay to age
    As to please youth. We have our comforts too,
    Though we be old.

    EUPH. Madam, I doubt it not:
    You are not yet so old but you may have
    Your comfort well; and if Sir Argent Scrape
    Were but one threescore years younger than he is----

    BAR. What a strange _but_ thou mak'st!

    EUPH. You would perceive it.

    LADY W. Servant, could you find in your heart to marry
    Such an old bride?

    DOT. No, mistress, I protest
    I had rather have none.

    LADY W. What age would you desire
    To choose your wife of?

    DOT. Just as old as you are.

    LADY W. Well, servant, I believe you can dissemble.

    LADY C. Will't please you to draw near? Sir Argent stays
    Expecting within.

    FREE. We'll wait upon you.                                [_Exeunt._

                       _Manent_ BARNET, DOTTEREL.

    BAR. To what strange fortune, friend, are some men born,
    I mean by thee. Surely, when thou wert young,
    The fairies dandled thee.

    DOT. Why, prythee, Barnet?

    BAR. That ladies thus should doat upon thy person.
    Dost thou not see how soon the Lady Whimsey
    Is caught in love with thee?

    DOT. But is she, think'st thou?

    BAR. Is she! Come, thou perceiv'st it well enough;
    What else should make her court thee, and bestow
    Her favours openly? And such a lady!
    So full of wit as she is, too! Would she
    Betray the secrets of her heart so far,
    But that love plays the tyrant in her breast,
    And forces her?

    DOT. True, and, as thou say'st, Barnet,
    She's a brave, witty lady; and I love
    A wit with all my heart. What would she say
    If she should know me truly, that thus loves,
    And thinks I am but a poor younger brother?

    BAR. Why, still the greater is thy happiness:
    Thou may'st be sure she loves thee truly now,
    And not thy fortunes.

    DOT. Has she found me out,
    For all I sought to hide myself?

    BAR. The more
    Thy worth appears, the more her judgment's seen.
    O, 'tis a gallant lady! Well, she might
    Have cast her eye on me or Euphues;
    But 'twas not our good fortune!

    DOT. Do not despair;
    Some other woman may love thee as well:
    Come, thou hast worth, Barnet, as well as I.

    BAR. Nay, nay, abuse not your poor friends; but tell me,
    What dost thou think of young Artemia now?

    DOT. Of her! a foolish girl, a simple thing!
    She'd make a pretty wife for me! I confess
    I courted her; but she had not the wit
    To find out what I was, for all my talk.

    BAR. And that was strange she should not; but 'tis fate
    That governs marriages.

    DOT. Let her repent,
    And know what she hath lost, when 'tis too late.
    But dost thou think this gallant Lady Whimsey
    Will marry me?

    BAR. Mak'st thou a doubt of that?
    'Tis thy own fault, boy, if thou hast her not.

    DOT. That I protest it shall not be; but, tell me,
    Shall I express my love to her in verse
    Or prose?

    BAR. In which you will.

    DOT. I am alike at both of them indeed.

    BAR. I know thou art.

    DOT. Come, let's go in.

    BAR. Thou long'st to see thy mistress?

    DOT. We'll drink her health in a crown'd cup,[15] my lad.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[9] Richard Braithwaite printed precisely the same thought in 1621, in
his "Times Curtaine Drawne"--

    "For who (remembering the cause why clothes were made,
    Even then when Adam fled unto his shade,
    For covert nakedness) will not blame
    Himself to glory in his parents' shame?"

The coincidence is remarkable.--_Collier._

[10]

    "Quæ nec _Sarmentus_ iniquas
    Cæsaris ad mensas, nec vilis _Galba_ tulisset."

--Juv., Sat. v. 3.

[11] [Conscience.]

[12] Mr Gifford, in a note on Massinger's "Virgin Martyr," points
out an elegy by Secundus as the origin of this pretty fancy, which
is thus employed by Fairfax in his translation of Tasso's "Jerusalem
Delivered"--

    "Death hath again exchanged his darts with Love,
    And Cupid thus lets borrow'd arrows fly."

The allusion is not to be found in the original Italian (bk. ii. s.
34). Davenant, in bk. ii. c. 7, of his "Gondibert," also mentions the
fable, and it would be easy among foreign writers to point out many
instances in which more extensive use has been made of it. The sonnets
by Annibale Nozzolini and by Girolamo Pompei are well known.--_Collier._

[13] [Old copy, _was_.]

[14] So in "Macbeth," act v. sc. 5--

    "I have almost forgot the taste of fears:
    _The time has been_, my senses would have cool'd
    To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair
    Would at a dismal treatise rouse, and stir
    As life were in't. I have supt full with horrors!
    Direness, familiar to my slaught'rous thoughts,
    Cannot once start me."

[And see note to the "Heir," xi. 449.]



ACT III.


                         [EARTHWORM'S _house_.]
                    THEODORE, NEIGHBOURS with sacks.

    THEO. Come, neighbours, pray draw near; my fellow Jasper
    Has told you wherefore you were sent for hither.

    1ST NEIGH. Ay, I thank you, friend.

    2D NEIGH. And my good master too.

    THEO. My master, touch'd with sorrow and remorse
    For that unhappy error of his life--
    That fault (alas!) which by too true a name
    Is termed misery, determines now
    By deeds of tender charity to make
    The wronged poor amends, and to the world
    Declare the fruits of a reformed life.
    And first your pardon, neighbours, he would beg,
    And, next to heaven, be reconcil'd to you.

    1ST NEIGH. Now blessing on his heart!

    2D NEIGH. Good tender soul!

    3D NEIGH. I ever thought him a right honest man.

    THEO. He that before did churlishly engross
    And lock those blessings up, which from the hand
    Of heaven were shower'd upon him, has at last
    Found their true use, and will henceforth redeem
    The former misspent time. His wealthy stores
    Shall be no longer shut against the poor;
    His bags seal'd up no longer, to debar
    The course of fitting bounty. To you all,
    Of corn and money, weekly he'll allow
    In recompense a greater quantity
    By far than men of greater rank shall do:
    Nor will he come himself to take your thanks,
    Till, as he says, he has deserv'd them better.
    Meantime, by me he pours his bounty forth,
    Which he desires with greatest secrecy
    May be perform'd; for all vainglorious shows
    And ostentation does his soul abhor.
    He sounds no trumpet to bestow his alms;
    Nor in the streets proclaims his charity,
    Which makes the virtue vice; nor would he have
    The world take notice of you at his doors.

    1ST NEIGH. See, see, religious man!

    2D NEIGH. Ah, neighbour!
    Some in the world have been mistaken in him.

    THEO. Nor would he have you blaze his bounty forth,
    And praise him openly: forbear it, neighbours;
    Your private prayers only he desires
    And hearty wishes; for true charity,
    Though ne'er so secret, finds a just reward.
    I am his servant, newly entertain'd,
    But one to whom he does commit the trust
    Of his desires in this; and I should wrong
    His goodness strangely, if I should keep
    The least of what his bounty doth intend.
    Come in with me; I'll fill your sacks with corn,
    And let you see what money he bestows.

    OMNES NEIGH. We'll pray to heaven to reward his goodness.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                            EUPHUES, BARNET.

    EUPH. Our Dotterel, then, is caught?

    BAR. He is, and just
    As Dotterels[16] used to be: the lady first
    Advanc'd toward him, stretch'd forth her wing, and he
    Met her with all expressions; and he's caught
    As fast in her lime-twigs as he can be,
    Until the church confirm it.

    EUPH. There will be
    Another brave estate for her to spend.

    BAR. Others will be the better for't; and if
    None but a Dotterel suffer for't, what loss
    Of his can countervail the least good fortune
    That may from thence blow to another man?

    EUPH. She spent her t'other husband a great fortune.

    BAR. Dotterel's estate will find her work again
    For a great while: two thousand pounds a year
    Cannot be melted suddenly; when 'tis,
    Men can but say her prodigality
    Has done an act of justice, and translated
    That wealth, which fortune's blindness had misplac'd
    On such a fellow. What should he do with it?

    EUPH. And thou say'st right: some men[17] were made to be
    The conduit-pipes of an estate, or rather
    The sieves of fortune, through whose leaking holes
    She means to scatter a large flood of wealth,
    Besprinkling many with refreshing showers.
    So usurers, so dying aldermen
    Pour out at once upon their sieve-like heirs
    Whole gusts of envi'd wealth; which they together
    Through many holes let out again in showers,
    And with their ruin water a whole country.
    But will it surely be a match?

    BAR. As sure
    As the two old death's-heads to-morrow morning
    Are to be join'd together.

    EUPH. Who, Sir Argent and his lady?

    BAR. Yes, if she keep touch
    In what she promis'd me, I'll undertake
    Her Dotterel shall be sure, and given to her
    In matrimony.

    EUPH. Given to his wife?
    I see thou mean'st in Dotterel to bring back
    The ancient Spanish custom, where the women
    Inherited the land, rul'd the estates;
    The men were given in marriage to the women
    With portions, and had jointures made to them:
    Just so will be his case; he will be married
    Unto a brave subjection. How the fool
    Is caught in his own noose! What confidence
    Had he, that he would never marry any,
    But such, forsooth, as must first fall in love
    With him, not knowing of his wealth at all?

    BAR. Well, now he's fitted: he begun at first
    With fair Artemia.

    EUPH. He might have told
    Her of his wealth, and miss'd her too, or else
    I am deceiv'd in her: true virtuous love
    Cannot be bought so basely; she besides
    Has been in love, I'm sure; and may be still,
    Though he be fled the land. But, now I think on't,
    I must go see whether old Earthworm's son
    Has yet perform'd what she desir'd: she stays
    At home.

    BAR. I'll in, and see how Dotterel
    Courts his brave mistress: I left him composing
    A sonnet to her. There are the old couple
    Within too.

    EUPH. If a man could get to hear
    Their way of courting, 'twould be full as strange
    As Dotterel's is ridiculous: but stay,

                   SIR ARGENT SCRAPE _and_ LADY COVET
                        _brought in in chairs_.

    Here come the lovely bride and bridegroom forth.
    Prythee, let's venture to stay here a little
    Behind the hangings, man: we shall be sure
    To hear their love; they are both somewhat deaf,
    And must speak loud.

    BAR. Content, I'll stay with thee.

    SIR ARG. Leave us awhile. Now, madam, you have seen,
    So have your learned counsel, that I deal
    Squarely with you: my personal estate
    Is no less worth than I profess'd, when first
    I mov'd my loving suit.

    BAR. Ay, marry, sir, a loving suit indeed!

                                                               [_Aside._

    EUPH. Let 'em go on in their own proper dialect.

                                                               [_Aside._

    LADY C. I find it;
    And should be loth but to requite your truth
    In the same kind: you seem'd at first to question,
    How strong my title was in that estate
    Which was young Scudmore's once: 'tis a fair manor.

    EUPH. 'Tis true, old rottenness--too good for you.

                                                               [_Aside._

    LADY C. My counsel can inform you that I kept it,
    And did enjoy possession while he liv'd;
    And now he's dead, who should recover it?
    The heirs are poor and beggarly.

    SIR ARG. Nay, I think
    We need not fear their suing against us.

    LADY C. If they should stir, a little piece of money
    Would stop their mouths.

    EUPH. A little piece of dirt
    Will stop your mouth ere long, and then the suit
    Will go against thee, mischief!

                                                               [_Aside._

    BAR. Prythee, peace;
    Thou art not merry now, but choleric.                      [_Aside._

    EUPH. I think of my wrong'd friend.                        [_Aside._

    LADY C. But you were saying
    You made no doubt but shortly to enjoy
    Your kinsman Eugeny's estate: that were
    A fair addition to your land; they say
    It goes at fifteen hundred pounds a year.

    SIR ARG. 'Tis true, and 'tis well worth it.

    LADY C. But what hopes have you to gain it shortly?

    SIR ARG. He, you know,
    By Scudmore's death has forfeited his life
    Unto the law; and the estate's entail'd
    On me as the next heir.

    LADY C. But he is fled.

    SIR ARG. No, no; I know he lurks not far from hence,
    And I shall shortly learn the very place
    By some intelligence. I have provided
    My secret scouts; and then you know th' assizes
    Are now at hand: the time will be too short
    To get a pardon, specially as I
    Have laid some friends to stall it underhand.

    EUPH. Here's a new mischief, Barnet!                       [_Aside._

    BAR. And a strange one.                                    [_Aside._

    LADY C. And then you must not spare a little money
    To hasten execution at an hour
    Unusual. Those things may well be done:
    Else what were money good for?

    SIR ARG. You say right.
    If 'twere once come to that, I fear it not.

    LADY C. Well, sir, I see all's right and straight between us.
    You understand how welcome you are hither;
    I need not tell it o'er again.

    SIR ARG. No, lady;
    I will be bold to say, I do not come
    Now as a stranger, but to take possession
    Both of your house and you.

    EUPH. He cannot speak
    Out of that thriving language in his love.                 [_Aside._

    LADY C. Will you go in again? our guests, perhaps,
    Think the time long.

    SIR ARG. With all my heart:
    A cup of sack would not do much amiss.

    LADY C. We'll have it with a toast. Who's near there, ho!

                _Enter_ SERVANTS, _and carry them out_.

    BAR. What a strange kind of pageant have we seen?

    EUPH. Barnet, I cannot tell whether such strange
    Unsatiable desires in these old folks,
    That are half earth already, should be thought
    More impious or more ridiculous.

    BAR. They are both alike.

    EUPH. But such a monstrous
    Unnatural plot as his, to apprehend
    His kinsman, I ne'er heard of! If I knew
    Where Eugeny remain'd, though 'twere his fortune
    To kill a friend of mine, I'd rescue him
    From this unnatural and wolfish man.

    BAR. That would betray his life to satisfy
    His avarice, not justice of the law.

                    _Enter_ DOTTEREL, LADY WHIMSEY.

    Here comes another piece of matrimony,
    That may be shortly.

    EUPH. 'Tis better far than t'other:
    They are the last couple in hell.

    DOT. Save you, gallants!

    BAR. You are the gallant, sir, that on your arm
    Do wear the trophies of a conquer'd lady.

    EUPH. Madam, I had almost mistaken my salutation,
    And bid God give you joy.

    LADY W. Of what, I prythee?

    EUPH. Of this young gallant, call him by what name
    Or title you are pleas'd, husband or servant.

    BAR. He may be both, sir: he is not the first
    Has been a husband and a servant too.

    DOT. I am her servant, sir: and I confess
    Have an ambition, and so forth.

    LADY W. How now, servant!

    EUPH. I tell you truly, madam, 'tis reported
    (And those reports are fatal still, you know)
    That Master Dotterel and you are purpos'd
    To bear the old knight and lady company
    To-morrow to the church.

    LADY W. That I confess, and so will you, I think.

    EUPH. Nay, but to do
    As they do, madam--tie the lasting knot.

    LADY W. Do you hear, servant? This it is to have
    So proper a servant: every one supposes
    I must needs be in love.

    DOT. I would you were
    As deep in Cupid's books as I.

    EUPH. That is
    In Cupid's favour: you are a happy man.

    LADY W. My servant has been searching Cupid's books,
    I think, to find that sonnet that he gave me.
    Are you content that I should show your poetry?

    DOT. Do, mistress, I am not asham'd on't;
    But you shall give me leave to read it to 'em.
    'Tis but a sonnet, gentlemen, that I fitted
    To my fair mistress here.

    EUPH. Let us be happy
    To hear it, sir.

    DOT. Take it as it is--                                 [_He reads._

        _Dear, do not your fair beauty wrong;_
        _In thinking still you are too young._

    EUPH. How! too young?

    BAR. Let him alone; I know the song.

    DOT. _The rose and lilies in your cheek_
        _Flourish, and no more ripeness seek;_
        _Your cherry lip, red, soft and sweet,_
        _Proclaims such fruit for taste most meet:_
        _Then lose no time, for love has wings,_
        _And flies away from aged things._

    How do you like it, gentlemen?

    EUPH. Very well. The song's a good one.

    BAR. O, monstrous!
    Never man stole with so little judgment.

    EUPH. Of all the love-songs that were ever made,
    He could not have chose out one more unfit,
    More palpably unfit, that must betray
    His most ridiculous theft.

    LADY W. Who would have thought
    My servant should suppose I think myself
    Too young to love, that have already had
    One husband!

    EUPH. O, excuse him, gentle madam,
    He found it in the song.

    BAR. And, it should seem,
    He could get no other song but this.

    LADY W. Surely a woman of five-and-thirty year old
    Is not too young to love!

    BAR. O, spare him, madam!

    EUPH. Let's raise him up. I think the sonnet's good:
    There's somewhat in't to th' purpose. Read it again.

                                                   [_He reads it again._

    EUPH. ----_For taste most meet._
    Very good; and there he tickled it?
    Mark'd you that, madam! The two last of all?
    _Then lose no time, for love hath wings--_
    He gives you fitting counsel.

    LADY W. Yes, I like it.

    DOT. I thought, when they understood it, they would like it:
    I am sure, I have heard this song prais'd ere now.

    LADY W. This does deserve a double favour, servant.

    DOT. Let this be the favour, sweet mistress.          [_Kisses her._

    EUPH. How some men's poetry happens to be rewarded!

    LADY W. Shall we go in? But, prythee, Euphues,
    What is the reason sweet Artemia,
    Thy cousin, is not here?

    EUPH. I know not, madam;
    But her pretence was business. I am going
    To visit her. If you go in to keep
    Th' old couple company, I'll fetch her to you.

    LADY W. I prythee, do! Farewell. Come, servant,
    Shall we go in?

    DOT. I'll wait upon you, mistress.                        [_Exeunt._

                           THEODORE, ARTEMIA.

    THEO. I will acquaint him, lady, with the hour,
    And to his longing ear deliver all
    Your sweet salutes; which is the only air
    Of life and comfort Eugeny takes in.
    Your constant love and virtues, sweetest lady,
    Are those preservatives, which from his heart
    Expel the killing fits of melancholy,
    And do, in spite of fortune, quicken him.

    ART. O, would those comforts could arrive at him,
    That from my wishing thoughts are hourly sent!

    THEO. Such virtuous wishes seldom are in vain.

    ART. I should be far more sad in the behalf
    Of my dear Eugeny, but that I know
    He does enjoy your sweet society,
    Which he beyond all value does esteem.

    THEO. His own is recompense enough for mine.
    And I the gainer in it; did not grief
    For his misfortune stain that perfect joy,
    Which I could take in his dear company.

    ART. If I should speak, sir, how he values you,
    I should too much oppress your modesty.

    THEO. Our friendship, fairest lady, is more old,
    And he more true, than that his heart so long
    Should be unknown to me. I'll not be long,
    Before I visit him to let him know,
    What hour shall make him happy in your sight.
    My longer stay, sweet lady, might be more
    Observ'd and pry'd into: let me be bold
    To leave you now, but be your servant ever.

    ART. All happiness attend you, worthy sir.
                                                       [_Exit_ THEODORE.
    Would I myself might go as well as send,
    And see that seeming solitary place,
    That place of woe. Sure, it would be to me
    No desert wood, while Eugeny were there,
    But a delightful palace. Here at home,
    The more that company comes in, the more
    I am alone, methinks. Wanting that object
    On which my heart is fix'd, I cannot be
    Possess'd of anything. Nothing can be
    My comfort but a hope that these sad clouds
    Of our misfortunes will at last blow over.
    But mischief's like a cockatrice's eyes--
    Sees first and kills, or is seen first and dies.

                            _Enter_ EUPHUES.

    EUPH. How dost thou, coz? I wrote a letter for thee
    To Earthworm's son: has the young ten-i'-th'-hundred
    Been here?

    ART. I thank you, cousin; the gentleman
    Was with me, and but newly parted hence.

    EUPH. H' has got a title then by coming hither:
    But he may be a gentleman; his wealth
    Will make it good.

    ART. His virtues make it good:
    Believe it, cousin, there's a wealthy mind
    Within that plain outside.

    EUPH. How's this?
    Have your quick eyes found out his worth already?

    ART. They must be blind that cannot, when they know him.
    Well, cousin, you may laugh at me.

    EUPH. By no means;
    I know your judgment's good.

    ART. As good as 'tis,
    It must content a woman. When you know him,
    You'll find a man that may deserve your friendship,
    And far above all slighting.

    EUPH. I am sorry
    I came not soon enough: but prythee, cousin,
    What are the ways have taken thee so soon?

    ART. What taking do you mean? You promis'd me
    You would not ask the cause I sent for him,
    Though you shall know hereafter. But I hope
    You do not think I am in love with him?

    EUPH. I'll look upon the man, and then resolve you.

    ART. Well, do; perhaps you'll know him better, then:
    He knows you well.

    EUPH. Me! Has he told you how?

    ART. Did you ne'er meet one Theodore at Venice?

    EUPH. Can this be he?

    ART. Yes, very well; although
    He be old Earthworm's son, and make no shew
    At home.

    EUPH. And have you found out so much worth
    In him already?

    ART. How do you esteem him?
    We women well may err.

    EUPH. I smell a rat;
    And, if my brain fail not, have found out all
    Your drifts, though ne'er so politicly carri'd.

    ART. I know your brain, cousin, is very good;
    But it may fail.

    EUPH. It comes into my head
    What old Sir Argent Scrape told to his lady.
    His kinsman Eugeny lurk'd hereabouts:
    He was her sweetheart once, and may be still;
    I think she's constant, though she keep it close.
    This Theodore and he were fam'd for friendship.

                                                              [_Aside._

    I have collected, cousin, and have at you?

    ART. Let's hear it, pray.

    EUPH. You shall. This Theodore
    I do confess a most deserving man;
    And so perchance your lover Eugeny
    Has told you, cousin. Ha! do you begin
    To blush already? I am sure those two
    Were most entirely friends; and I am sorry
    To hear what I have heard to-day, concerning
    Young Eugeny.

    ART. What, prythee, cousin? Tell me.

    EUPH. Now you are mov'd; but I may err, you know.

    ART. Good cousin, tell me what.

    EUPH. Nay, I believe
    I shall worse startle you, though you would make
    Such fools as I believe he is in France.
    Yes, yes, it may be so; and then, you know,
    He's safe enough.

    ART. O cousin, I'll confess
    What you would have me do; but tell me this.

    EUPH. Nay, now I will not thank you; I have found it:
    And though you dealt in riddles so with me,
    I'll plainly tell you all, and teach you how
    You may perchance prevent your lover's danger.

    ART. O, I shall ever love you.

    EUPH. Well, come in;
    I'll tell you all, and by what means I knew it.

FOOTNOTES:

[15] I suppose he means a bumper, a cup filled till the wine rises
above the top of it. Such a character as _Dotterel_ is hardly made to
allude to the _pocula coronata_ of the Romans.--_Steevens._

A _crowned cup_ was not an unusual expression for a bumper: thus, in
"All Fools," Fortunio says--

    "True, and to welcome Dariotto's lateness
    He shall (unpledg'd) carouse one _crowned cup_
    To all these ladies' health."

Dotterel might therefore very properly employ words in ordinary use,
without supposing him acquainted with "the _pocula coronata_ of the
Romans."--_Collier._

[16] [Compare vol. iv. p. 68.]

[17] So Pope--

    "Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store,
    Sees but a backward steward for the poor;
    This year a reservoir to keep and spare;
    The next, a fountain, spouting through his heir,
    In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst,
    And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst."

--"Moral Essays," Ep. iii. l. 170.



ACT IV.


                           EARTHWORM, JASPER.

    EARTH. Out, villain! how could any fire come there
    But by thy negligence? I do not use
    To keep such fires as should at all endanger
    My house, much less my barn.

    JAS. I know not, sir;
    But there I'm sure it was, and still continues,
    Though without danger now; for the poor people,
    Ere this, have quench'd it.

    EARTH. There my wonder lies.
    Why should the people come to quench my fire?
    Had it been a city, where one house
    Might have endanger'd all, it justly then
    Might have engag'd the people's utmost aid,
    And I ne'er bound to give them thanks at all;
    But my house stands alone, and could endanger
    No other building. Why should all the people
    Come running hither so to quench the fire?
    They love not me.

    JAS. Sure, sir, I cannot tell;
    Perhaps the people knew not what to do,
    And might be glad to see a sight.

    EARTH. Methought,
    As I came by, I saw them wondrous busy;
    Nay, more--methought I heard them pray for me,
    As if they lov'd me. Why should they do so?
    I ne'er deserv'd it at the people's hands.
    Go, Jasper, tell me whether it be quench'd,
    And all secure: I long to hear the news.

                           _Enter_ THEODORE.

    THEO. I come to bring you happy tidings, sir.
    The fire is quench'd, and little hurt is done.

    EARTH. That's well, my son.

    THEO. But, sir, if you had seen
    How the poor people labour'd to effect it,
    And (like so many salamanders) rush'd
    Into the fire, scorching their clothes and beards,
    You would have wonder'd justly, and have thought
    That each man toil'd to save his father's house
    Or his own dear estate; but I conceive
    'Twas nothing but an honest charity,
    That wrought it in them.

    EARTH. Ha! a charity!
    Why should that charity be show'd to me?

    THEO. If I mistake not strangely, he begins
    To apprehend it.

    EARTH. As I came along,
    I heard them pray for me; but those good prayers
    Can never pierce the skies in my behalf,
    But will return again, and ever lodge
    Within those honest breasts, that sent them forth.

    THEO. Surely it works.

    EARTH. O! all the world but I are honest men!

                                                            [_He weeps._

    THEO. What is't that troubles you?
    Your goods are safe; there's nothing lost at all.
    You should rejoice, methinks. You might have suffer'd
    A wondrous loss in your estate!

    EARTH. Ah, son!
    'Tis not the thought of what I might have lost,
    That draws these tears from me.

    THEO. Does he not weep,
    Or do my flattering hopes deceive my sight?
    He weeps, and fully too; large show'rs of tears
    Bedew his aged cheeks. O happy sorrow,
    That makes me weep for joy! Never did son
    So justly glory in a father's tears.                       [_Aside._
    Sir, you are sad, methinks.

    EARTH. No sadness, son,
    Can be enough to expiate the crimes
    That my accursed avarice has wrought.
    Where are the poor?

    THEO. Why, sir, what would you do?[18]

    EARTH. Ask me not, Theodore. Alas, I fear
    Thou art too much my son; my bad example
    Has done thee much more harm than all the large
    Increase of treasure I shall leave behind
    Can recompence. But leave those wretched thoughts,
    And let me teach thee a new lesson now:
    But thou art learned, Theodore, and soon
    Wilt find the reasons of it.

    THEO. Do you please
    To speak it, sir, and I will strive to frame
    Myself to follow.

    EARTH. Where are all the poor?
    Jasper, go call them in. Now, prythee, learn
    (For this late accident may truly teach
    A man what value he should set on wealth)
    Fire may consume my houses; thieves may steal
    My plate and jewels; all my merchandise
    Is at the mercy of the winds and seas;
    And nothing can be truly term'd mine own,
    But what I make mine own by using well.
    Those deeds of charity which we have done,
    Shall stay for ever with us; and that wealth
    Which we have so bestowed, we only keep:
    The other is not ours.

    THEO. Sir, you have taught me
    Not to give anything at all away.

    EARTH. When I was blind, my son, and did miscall
    My sordid vice of avarice true thrift:
    But now forget that lesson; I prythee, do.
    That cosening vice, although it seem to keep
    Our wealth, debars us from possessing it,
    And makes us more than poor.

    THEO. How far beyond
    All hope my happy project works upon him!

                          _Enter_ NEIGHBOURS.

    EARTH. Y' are welcome, neighbours; welcome heartily!
    I thank you all, and will hereafter study
    To recompence your undeserved love.
    My house shall stand more open to the poor,
    More hospitable, and my wealth more free
    To feed and clothe the naked hungry souls.
    I will redeem the ill that I have done
    (If heaven be pleas'd to spare my life awhile)
    With true unfeigned deeds of charity.

    1ST NEIGH. We thank your worship.

    2D NEIGH. We know full well
    Your worship has a good heart toward us.

    EARTH. Alas! you do not know it; but have had
    Too sad a cause to know the contrary.
    Pray do not thank me, till you truly find
    How much my heart is chang'd from what it was;
    Till you, by real and substantial deeds,
    Shall see my penitence, and be fully taught
    How to forget or pardon all the errors
    Of that my former miserable life.
    Jasper, go in with them; show them the way
    Into my house.

    JAS. I think I had need to show 'em;
    No poor folks heretofore have us'd this way.

    EARTH. And I'll come to you, neighbours, presently.

    1ST NEIGH. Long may you live.

    2D NEIGH. All happiness betide you.

    3D NEIGH. And a reward fourfold in th' other world.

    EARTH. How dost thou like this music, Theodore?
    I mean, the hearty prayers of the poor,
    Whose curses pierce more than two-edged swords.
    What comfort like to this can riches give?
    What joy can be so great, as to be able
    To feed the hungry, clothe the naked man?

    THEO. Now, sir, you think aright; for to bestow
    Is greater pleasure far than to receive.

    EARTH. No vice, so much as avarice, deprives
    Our life of sweetest comforts, and debars
    So much the fair society of men.
    I taught thee once far otherwise, but now
    Study this last and better lesson, son.

    THEO. With more delight than e'er I did the former.
    You never yet knew scholar covetous.

    EARTH. And now I think on't, Theodore, I have
    A niece, the daughter of my only sister;
    Her mother died a widow two years since.
    How she has left her orphan daughter there,
    I do not know; if she have left her ill,
    I'll be a father to her. Prythee, go
    Inquire her out, and bring her to my house,
    How well soe'er the world may go with her
    Bounty's a spice of virtue. Whoso can,
    And won't, relieve the poor, he is no man.

    THEO. Where lives she, sir?

    EARTH. 'Tis not a mile from hence,
    In the next village. Thou ne'er saw'st her yet;
    But fame has spoke her for a virtuous maid.
    Young Scudmore, while he liv'd, and was possess'd
    Of his estate, thought to have married her,
    Whose death, they say, she takes most heavily,
    And with a wond'rous constant sorrow mourns.

    THEO. Sure, 'tis the same fair maid.                       [_Aside._

    EARTH. Her name's Matilda.

    THEO. The very same! [_Aside._] I can inquire her out;
    And, if you please, will presently about it.

    EARTH. Do, while I my neighbours visit. He doth live
    Mighty that hath the pow'r and will to give.
                                                                [_Exit._

    THEO. This is the same fair nightingale that tun'd
    Her sweet sad accents lately to the woods,
    And did so far enthral my heart: but that
    Fond love is vanish'd. Like a kinsman now
    I'll comfort her, and love her virtuous soul.
    O, what a blessed change this day has wrought
    In my old father's heart! You pow'rs, that gave
    Those thoughts, continue them! This day will I
    Still celebrate as my nativity.                             [_Exit_.

                         LADY COVET, FRUITFUL.

    LADY C. But is that lawful, to convey away
    All my estate, before I marry him?

    FRUIT. 'Tis more than lawful, madam: I must
    Tell you 'tis necessary; and your ladyship
    Is bound in conscience so to do; for else
    'Twill be no longer yours, but all is his,
    When he has married you. You cannot then
    Dispose of anything to pious uses;
    You cannot show your charity at all,
    But must be govern'd by Sir Argent Scrape:
    And can you tell how he'll dispose of it?

    LADY C. 'Tis true: perchance he'll take my money all,
    And purchase for himself, to give away
    To his own name, and put me, while I live,
    To a poor stipend.

    FRUIT. There you think aright.
    You can relieve no friends; you can bequeath
    Nothing at all, if he survive you, madam,
    As 'tis his hope he shall.

    LADY C. That hope may fail him.
    I am not yet so weak, but I may hop
    Over his grave.

    FRUIT. That is not in our knowledge.
    But if you do survive him, as I hope,
    Madam, you will, there is no law at all
    Can bar you of your thirds in all his land,
    And you besides are mistress of your own.
    And all the charitable deeds, which you
    After your death shall do, as building schools
    Or hospitals, shall go in your own name;
    Which otherwise Sir Argent Scrape would have,
    And with your riches build himself a fame.

    LADY C. I grant 'tis true: but will it not seem strange
    That I should serve him so?

    FRUIT. Strange, madam! no;
    Nothing is now more usual: all your widows
    Of aldermen, that marry lords of late,
    Make over their estates, and by that means
    Retain a power to curb their lordly husbands.
    When they, to raise the ruins of their houses,
    Do marry so: instead of purchasing
    What was expected, they do more engage
    Their land in thirds for them.

    LADY C. Well, I must trust
    The feoffees then: but they are honest men.

    FRUIT. You need not fear them; they are zealous men,
    Honest in all their dealings, and well known
    In London, madam. Will you seal it now?

                            _Enter_ TRUSTY.

    LADY C. Yes, have you it?

    FRUIT. 'Tis here: Here's Master Trusty too,
    Your steward, madam; he and I shall be
    Enough for witnesses.

    LADY C. 'Tis true: give me
    The seal. So now dispose of it as I
    Intended, Master Fruitful.                    [_Seals and delivers._

    FRUIT. I will, madam.

    LADY C. Trusty, come you along with me.                   [_Exeunt._

                           _Manet_ FRUITFUL.

    FRUIT. Now all our ends are wrought! this is the thing,
    Which I so long have labour'd to effect.
    Old covetous lady, I will purge your mind
    Of all this wealth, that lay so heavy there,
    And by evacuation make a cure
    Of that your golden dropsy, whose strange thirst
    Could ne'er be satisfied with taking in.
    You once had wealth--But soft, let me consider!
    If she should marry old Sir Argent Scrape,
    We could not keep it; for his money then
    Would make a suit against us, and perchance
    Recover hers again; which to prevent
    I will go spoil the marriage presently.
    The sight of this will soon forbid the banns,
    And stop his love. Then she wants means to sue us.
    Be sure to keep thine adversary poor,
    If thou wouldst thrive in suits. The way to 'scape
    Revenge for one wrong is to do another:
    The second injury secures the former.
    I'll presently to old Sir Argent Scrape,
    And tell him this: he's meditating now,
    What strange additions to his large revenue
    Are coming at one happy clap; what heaps
    Of wealth to-morrow he shall be possess'd of;
    What purchases to make; how to dispose
    Of her and hers. But soft, the cards must turn:
    The man must be deceived, and she much more.
    To cosen the deceitful is no fraud.                         [_Exit._

                       _Enter_ SIR ARGENT SCRAPE.

    SIR ARG. Methinks a youthful figure doth possess
    My late stiff limbs; and (like a snake) I feel
    A second spring succeed my age of winter.
    O gold! how cordial, how restorative
    Art thou! What, though thou canst not give me legs
    Nor active hands, alas! I need them not;
    Possess'd of thee, I can command the legs,
    The hands, the tongues, the brains, of other men
    To move for me. What need he hands or brains,
    That may command the lawyer's subtlety,
    The soldier's valour, the best poet's wit,
    Or any writer's skill? O gold! to thee
    The sciences are servants; the best trades
    Are but thy slaves, indeed thy creatures rather:
    For thee they were invented, and by thee
    Are still maintained. 'Tis thou alone that art
    The nerves of war, the cement of the state,
    And guide of human actions. 'Tis for thee
    Old Argent lives. O, what a golden shower
    Will rain on me to-morrow! Let me see:
    Her personal estate alone will buy
    Upon good rates a thousand pound a year.
    Where must that lie? Not in our country here--
    Not all together; no; then my revenue
    Will have too great a notice taken of it;
    I shall be rais'd in subsidies, and 'sess'd
    More to the poor. No, no, that must not be.
    I'll purchase all in parcels, far from home,
    And closely as I can: a piece in Cornwall;
    In Hampshire some; some in Northumberland.
    I'll have my factors forth in all those parts,
    To know what prodigals there be abroad,
    What pennyworths may be had: so it shall be.

                           _Enter_ FRUITFUL.

    SIR ARG. Ha! Master Fruitful! welcome. How go the squares?
    What do you think of me to make a bridegroom?
    Do I look young enough?

    FRUIT. Sir, I am come
    To tell you news; such news as will, perhaps,
    A little trouble you; but, if your worship
    Should not have known it, 'twould have vex'd you more.

    SIR ARG. Vex'd me! What's that can vex me now? speak, man.

    FRUIT. I thought that I was bound in conscience, sir,
    To tell it you: 'tis conscience, and the love
    I bear to truth, makes me reveal it now.

    SIR ARG. What is the business? speak.

    FRUIT. Do not suppose
    That I am treacherous to my Lady Covet,
    To whom I do belong, in uttering this.
    In such a case I serve not her, but truth,
    And hate dishonest dealing.

    SIR ARG. Come to th' purpose.

    FRUIT. Then thus it is: my Lady Covet, sir,
    Merely to cosen you, has pass'd away
    Her whole estate; you shall not get a penny
    By marrying her.

    SIR ARG. How, man? is't possible?

    FRUIT. 'Tis very certain, sir; I, for a need,
    Could show you the conveyance; for my hand
    Is as a witness there; so is her steward's.

    SIR ARG. O horrible deceit!

    FRUIT. Ask her herself;
    If she deny it, I can justify it;
    So can her steward too.

    SIR ARG. You make me mad.

    FRUIT. I keep you from being so by a mature
    Prevention of your cosening.

    SIR ARG. O, what hopes
    Am I fall'n from; who would believe these false
    Deceitful creatures?

    FRUIT. Sir, I could but wonder,
    That she would cheat so honest a gentleman,
    That came a suitor to her for pure love.

    SIR ARG. Love! Mischief of love!

    FRUIT. Alas, I know
    It was not her estate that you sought after,
    Your love was honester: and then that she
    Should cosen you!

    SIR ARG. She shall not cosen me:
    I'll have my horse-litter made ready straight,
    And leave her house.

    FRUIT. But when you see her, sir,
    It may be your affection will return.
    If you should leave her only upon this,
    The world would think that you were covetous;
    And covetousness is such a sin, you know.

    SIR ARG. You do not mock me, do you?

    FRUIT. Who? I, sir?
    I know your worship does abhor the sin
    Of covetousness; but I confess indeed
    'Twould vex a man to have been cosen'd so.

    SIR ARG. Have I liv'd all this while to be o'er-reach'd
    And cheated by a woman? I'll forsake her
    Immediately.

    FRUIT. Sir, 'tis a happy thing,
    When men can love with such discretion,
    As to forsake when they shall see just cause.
    Some are so fond in their affections
    That, though provok'd by all the injuries
    That can be offer'd, they can never leave
    The mistress of their hearts.

    SIR ARG. I warrant her,
    For any such affection in old Argent.

    FRUIT. I do believe it, sir; you are too wise.           [_Retires._

                          _Enter_ LADY COVET.

    LADY C. How do you, sir?

    SIR ARG. E'en as I may:
    You do not mean I shall be e'er the better
    For you.

    LADY C. How's this? I do not understand
    What you should mean.

    SIR ARG. You may, if you consider:
    But if you do not, I'll explain it to you.
    Have I deserv'd such dealing at your hands?

    LADY C. As what?

    SIR ARG. As that you should speak one thing to me
    And mean another; but I'll make it plainer;
    You seem'd to love me, and for love it seems,
    Thinking to marry me, have made away
    All your estate.

    LADY C. How's this?

    SIR ARG. Nay, 'tis too true,
    Or else your chaplain does you wrong.

    LADY C. O villain!

    SIR ARG. Nay, villain him no villains; is it so,
    Or not?

    FRUIT. If she deny it to you, sir,
    I can produce her hand, and have the deed.

    LADY C. O monstrous villany! O impudence!
    Can'st thou abuse me thus, that first of all
    Did'st counsel me to do it?

    FRUIT. I confess
    I gave you way, and for the time did wink
    At your false dealing; but at last my conscience
    Would not permit me to conceal it longer.
    I have discharg'd it now, and told the truth.

    SIR ARG. Twas well done of you, sir: well, I'll away.
    Madam, seek out some other man to cheat.
    For me you shall not.

    LADY. C. Stay, sir, my estate
    Shall still be good; the feoffees will be honest.

    FRUIT. Ay, that they will, to keep what is their own.

    LADY C. O monstrous wickedness! was e'er the like
    Heard of before?

    FRUIT. I know the feoffees' minds.

              _Enter_ FREEMAN, EUPHUES, BARNET, DOTTEREL,
                             LADY WHIMSEY.

    FREE. How fare you, madam. Wherefore look you sadly
    At such a joyful time?

    LADY C. O Master Freeman,
    I am undone and ruin'd.

    FRUIT. No, good madam,
    We'll see you shall not want.

    FREE. How's this?

    FRUIT. You shall have a fair competence allow'd you.

    EUPH. What riddle have we here?

    LADY C. Out, thou ungracious, dissembling villain.

    FRUIT. An indifferent means
    Will keep your ladyship; for you are past
    Those vanities which younger ladies use:
    You need no gaudy clothes, no change of fashions,
    No paintings nor perfumes.

    EUPH. I would fain know the bottom of this.

    LADY W. Servant, can you discover
    What this should mean?

    DOT. No, mistress, I protest:
    With all the wit I have.

    FRUIT. And for your house,
    You shall have leave to stay here, till we have
    Provided for you.

    LADY C. O, my heart will break!

    EUPH. Here is the finest turn that e'er I saw.

    SIR ARG. I will resolve you, gentlemen. This lady,
    To cosen me in marriage, had (it seems)
    Pass'd her estate away: into what hands
    'Tis fallen, I know not, nor I care not, I.

    FRUIT. 'Tis fallen into the hands of wise men, sir,
    That know how to make use of what is theirs.

    LADY C. This hypocrite persuaded me to do't,
    And then discover'd all, as if on purposes
    He sought my ruin.

    FRUIT. No, not I, good madam:
    'Twas for your soul's health; I have done you good,
    And eas'd you of a burden, and a great one.
    So much estate would have been still a cause
    Of cares unto you, and those cares have hinder'd
    Your quiet passage to a better life.

    EUPH. Excellent devil! how I love him now!
    Never did knavery play a juster part.

    FRUIT. And why should you, at such an age as this,
    Dream of a marriage? A thing so far
    Unfit, nay most unnatural and profane,
    To stain that holy ordinance, and make it
    But a mere bargain! For two clods of earth
    Might have been join'd as well in matrimony.
    Tis for your soul's health, madam, I do this.

    EUPH. How much was I mistaken in this chaplain!
    I see he has brains.

    FREE. Though't be dishonesty
    In him, yet justly was it plac'd on her:
    And I could even applaud it.

    LADY W. I protest I love this chaplain.

    DOT. So do I, sweet mistress, or I am an errant fool.

    LADY C. But yet I hope
    The feoffees may prove honest: I'll try them.

    FRUIT. I'll go and bring them to your ladyship.    [_Exit_ FRUITFUL.

    SIR ARG. I'll stay no longer. Make my litter ready.
    Lady, farewell; and to you all.

    FREE. Nay, sir.
    Then let me interpose; let me entreat you,
    By all the rites of neighbourhood, Sir Argent,
    Make not so sudden a departure now.
    What, though the business has gone so cross,
    You may part fairly yet. Stay till to-morrow;
    Let not the country take too great a notice
    Of these proceedings and strange breach: 'twill be
    Nothing but a dishonour to you both.
    Pray, sir, consent: give me your hand, Sir Argent.

    SIR ARG. At your entreaty, sir, I'll stay till morning.

    FREE. Before that time, you may consider better.          [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[18] [A MS. note in one of the former edits. says: "This sudden and
total change, unnatural as it is, is one of the characteristics of the
old plays."]



ACT V.


                           MATILDA, THEODORE.

    MAT. I'll not refuse my uncle's courtesy,
    But go and see his house. I should before
    Have done that duty to him, but I thought
    My visits were not welcome, since he liv'd
    So close and privately.

    THEO. Sweet cousin, you'll find
    A happy alteration in my father,
    And that there dwells a kind and honest soul
    Within his breast. Though wretched avarice,
    The usual fault of age, has heretofore
    Too much kept back the good expressions
    Of such-like thoughts, he now will make amends
    To all the world; and has begun already
    With his poor neighbours.

    MAT. Cousin, I shall be
    Too bad a guest at this sad time, and bring
    Nothing but sorrow to my uncle's house.

    THEO. You'll be yourself a welcome guest to him;
    And I shall think our roof exceeding happy,
    If it may mitigate that killing grief,
    Which your so solitary life too much
    Has nourish'd in you. Cousin, feed it not:
    'Tis a disease that will in time consume you.
    I have already given the best advice,
    That my poor knowledge will afford, to ease
    Your troubled thoughts. If time, which Heaven allows
    To cure all griefs, should not have power to do it:
    If death of father, mother, husband, wife,
    Should be lamented still, the world would wear
    Nothing but black: sorrow alone would reign
    In every family that lives, and bring
    Upon poor mortals a perpetual night.
    You must forget it, cousin.

    MAT. Never can I
    Forget my love to him.

    THEO. Nor do I strive
    To teach you to forget that love you bear
    To his dear memory; but that grief which lies
    Wrapp'd in amongst it, and turns all to poison,
    Making it mortal to that soul that tastes it--
    'Tis that, sweet cousin, which I hope that time
    May by degrees extinguish. Will you please
    To walk along? My father long ere this
    Expects us, I am sure, and longs to see you.              [_Exeunt._

                   EUGENY _in the_ OFFICERS' _hands_.

    EUG. I blame you not at all, that by the law
    And virtue of your places are requir'd
    To apprehend me.

    OFFICER. We are sorry, sir, we were enforc'd to seize you.

    EUG. But I wonder
    What curious eye it was that search'd so far
    Into my secret walks, that did discover
    This dark abode of mine, and envied me
    My solitary sorrow: such a life,
    As I enjoy'd, a man might well afford
    To his most great and mortal enemy.

    OFFICER. 'Twas a plain fellow, sir, that brought us hither
    In the king's name, and left us when we had you.
    But, sir, we wish you all the good we may.

    EUG. I thank you, friends: I cannot tell at all
    Whom to suspect; nor will I further vex
    My thoughts in search of such a needless thing.
    I call to mind what once my Theodore
    Told me by way of a surmise; but, sure,
    It cannot be so foul. Shall I entreat you
    To carry me to old Sir Argent Scrape,
    My kinsman? I would only speak with him,
    Before I go to prison: and let one,
    If you can spare a man, go run for me
    To Master Earthworm's house, and bid his son
    Meet me with old Sir Argent; he lies now
    At my Lady Covet's house. I have about me
    What will reward your pains, and highly too.

    OFFICER. It shall be done, as you would have it, sir.

    EUG. I dare not send to fair Artemia:
    The sight of her and of so dear a sorrow
    As she would show, would but afflict me more.
    Perchance I may come safely off; till then
    I would conceal this accident from her.
    But fame is swiftest still, when she goes laden
    With news of mischief: she too soon will hear,
    And in her sorrow I shall doubly suffer.
    Thus are we fortune's pastimes: one day live
    Advanc'd to heaven by the people's breath,
    The next, hurl'd down into th' abyss of death.

                       _Enter_ EUPHUES, ARTEMIA.

    EUPH. But are you sure 'tis hereabouts he lives?
    Ha! who is that? 'Tis he, and in the hands
    Of officers! Cousin, the mischief's done
    Before we come.

    ART. O my dear Eugeny!

    EUG. Artemia too! Ah me! she swoons! Help, help!
    Look up, my love! There is no fear at all
    For me; no danger: all is safe, and full
    Of hope and comfort.

    EUPH. She begins to come
    Unto herself again.

    EUG. But pray, sir, tell
    How came you hither, noble Euphues?

    EUPH. I never knew the place; but now, by her
    Instructions, found it out. I came to bear
    Her company, and her intent of coming
    Was to inform you of a danger near--
    Of such a monstrous mischief, as perchance
    You scarce can credit. Old Sir Argent Scrape,
    By me and by another gentleman,
    Was overheard to say that he had scouts,
    And had laid certain plots to apprehend
    His kinsman Eugeny, just before th' assizes.
    Besides, what further means he did intend,
    Closely to work your death, he then declar'd
    To the old covetous lady, whom he came
    A suitor to.

    EUG. Prophetic Theodore, how right thou wert!

    EUPH. This thing, when I had heard,
    I told it her, and we with speed made hither;
    But ere we came, the mischief was fulfill'd.

    EUG. I thank you, sir, for this discovery:
    Howe'er I speed, pray pardon me, if I
    Shall by the hand of justice die your debtor.
    How soon from virtue and an honour'd spirit
    Man may receive what he can never merit!
    Be not thou cruel, my Artemia;
    Do not torment me with thy grief, and make
    Me die before my time: let hope a while
    Suspend thy sorrow; if the worst should fall,
    Thy sorrow would but more enfeeble me,
    And make me suffer faintly for thy sake.

    ART. If worst should fall, my love (which heaven forfend),
    How could I choose but suffer?

    EUPH. I will hope
    Your safety yet may well be wrought; and knowing
    Sir Argent's mind, you know what ways to trust.

    ART. Good cousin, help us with thy counsel now,
    If thou dost love my life.

    EUPH. Fear it not, cousin:
    If I may aid you, sir, in anything,
    You shall command it.

    EUG. Sir, I cannot thank you
    So much as it deserves: this timely favour,
    If not in life, yet shall at least in death
    Endear me to you.

    ART. Do not name that word,
    My dearest love!

    EUPH. You must be speedy, sir,
    In all your courses now.

    EUG. Then let me beg
    That you would meet me at my Lady Covet's.
    I'll ring Sir Argent Scrape so loud a peal,
    As shall, perchance, awake his bed-rid soul,
    And rouse it, though so deeply sunk in dross--
    Drown'd and o'erwhelm'd with muck. Go you together,
    And leave me to my way.

    ART. Farewell, dear love!                       [_Exeunt severally._

                     _Enter_ BARNET, LADY WHIMSEY.

    BAR. Madam, 'tis sure; I know your ladyship
    Is so possess'd.

    LADY W. I think he loves me well,
    And will not now start back from marrying me.

    BAR. That is the happy hour he only longs for;
    But if so strange a thing should come to pass,
    Which yet I think impossible, that this
    Your marriage should break off, I will give back
    Into your hand this bond, which I receiv'd;
    And 'tis worth nothing, madam, as you know
    By the condition.

    LADY W. True, I fear it not;
    But I durst trust you, if 'twere otherwise.

    BAR. He waits the hour, when you will please to tie
    The happy knot with him.

    LADY W. He shall no longer
    Wait for it now: I'll go confirm him.

    BAR. But think not, gentle madam, that I shark[19]
    Or cheat him in it: I have to a sum
    Greater than this from him as good a title
    As right can give, though my unhappy fortunes
    Made me forbear the trial of my title,
    While his old crafty father was alive.
    He held from me a farm of greater value,
    As all the neighbours know: I then forbore it,
    And will do still, since by an easier way
    I may have satisfaction. But here comes
    One that has lost a marriage.

                      _Enter_ TRUSTY, LADY COVET.

    LADY C. Tell me, Trusty, what say the feoffees?

    TRUSTY. They'll say nothing, madam;
    Make me no answer, but that they know how
    To manage their own fortunes.

    LADY C. All the world
    Conspires against me; I am quite undone!

    TRUSTY. I promise you truly, madam, I believe
    They mean little better than plain knavery.

    LADY C. Ay, 'tis too true.

    LADY W. How does your ladyship?
    I was in hope to-day we should have seen you
    A joyful bride.

    LADY C. Ah, madam! 'twas my folly
    To dream of such a thing; 'tis that has brought me
    To all this sorrow, and undone me quite.

    LADY W. I hope not so. But, madam, I confess
    The marriage could have done you little good:
    One of your years, and then a man so old!

    LADY C. O, do not mention it; I am justly punish'd.

    LADY W. Pardon me, madam; I must make so bold
    As leave you for a while. Come, Master Barnet,
    Shall we go see the party?

    BAR. I wait you, madam.                                   [_Exeunt._

    LADY C. My sorrow will not leave me. But, alas!
    'Tis a deserved punishment I suffer
    For my unjust oppressions; I detain'd
    Scudmore's estate injuriously, and had
    No conscience to restore what was not mine,
    And now all's ta'en away! What then I would not,
    I cannot now perform, though I desire.

                       _Enter_ FREEMAN, ARTEMIA.

    FREE. Fear not, Artemia, there shall no means
    Be left untri'd to save the gentleman.
    I did approve thy choice, and still will do,
    If fortune will consent. My Lady Covet,
    Are you sad still?

    LADY C. Never had any woman
    A greater cause of sorrow, Master Freeman;
    For I protest it does not trouble me
    So much, that by this cheat I lose the power
    Of my estate, as that I lose all means
    Of charity or restitution
    To any person whom I wrong'd before.

    FREE. Why, then, you make a true and perfect use
    Of such a cross, and may hereafter take
    True comfort from it.

    LADY C. If my conscience
    Were satisfi'd, I could forsake the rest.

                            _Enter_ EUPHUES.

    EUPH. My cousin, I perceive, has made more haste
    Hither than I; but I have seen a pageant
    That, in the saddest time, would make one laugh.

    FREE. What, prythee?

    EUPH. I have seen your neighbour Earthworm
    In such a mood, as you would wonder at,
    And all that ever knew him heretofore.
    He is inveighing 'gainst Sir Argent Scrape
    For being so basely covetous, as thus
    For hope of lucre to betray his kinsman:
    A thing that he himself would scorn as much,
    He does protest, as can be.

    FREE. I have known
    It otherwise. What may not come to pass,
    When Earthworm is a foe to avarice?

    EUPH. But he, they say, has made it good in deeds.

    FREE. He has been so exceeding bountiful
    Now to our poor, and vows to be so still,
    That we may well believe he is quite chang'd,
    And strives to make amends for what is pass'd.
    He has, they say, a brave and virtuous son,
    Lately come home, that has been cause of all.

    EUPH. It well may be: I know young Theodore.
    Uncle, he is of strange abilities;
    And to convert his father was an act
    Worthy of him.

           _Enter_ SERVANT, _and_ SIR ARGENT _in his chair_.

    SER. Madam, Sir Argent Scrape would take his leave
    Of you.

    LADY C. When it pleases him.

    SIR ARG. Get me my litter
    Ready presently; I will be gone. Madam,
    I now am come to give you loving thanks
    For my good cheer, and so bid you farewell.
    But let me tell you this, before we part:
    Things might have been carried another way
    For your own good; but you may thank yourself
    For what has happened now.

    LADY C. If you suppose
    It had been for my good to marry you,
    You are deceiv'd; for that, in my esteem
    (Though once I was so foolish to give way
    To that ridiculous motion), had brought with it
    As great a misery as that which now
    Is fall'n upon me.

    SIR ARG. How! as great a misery
    As to be beggar'd?

    LADY C. Yes, sir, I'll assure you,
    I am of that opinion, and still shall be.
    But know, Sir Argent, though I now want pow'r
    To give you that which you still gap'd for, wealth,
    I can be charitable, and bestow
    Somewhat upon you that is better far.

    SIR ARG. Better than wealth! what's that?

    LADY C. Honest counsel.
    Let my calamity admonish you
    To make a better use of your large wealth,
    While you may call it yours. Things may be chang'd;
    For know, that hand that has afflicted me,
    Can find out you. You do not stand above it.

    SIR ARG. I hope I shall know how to keep mine own.

    EUPH. I do begin to pity the poor lady.

    FREE. This has wrought goodness in her. Who are these?

                   _Enter_ EARTHWORM _and_ THEODORE.

    My neighbour Earthworm? Lord! how he is chang'd!

    EARTH. 'Twas basely done, and like a covetous wretch,
    I'll tell him to his face: what care I for him?
    I have a purse as well as he.

    EUPH. How's this?

    EARTH. Betray a kinsman's life to purchase wealth!
    O, detestable!

    EUPH. O miraculous change!
    Do you not hear him, uncle?

    EARTH. Master Freeman, happily met.

    FREE. Sir, I am glad to see you.

    EARTH. I have been long your neighbour, sir, but liv'd
    In such a fashion, as I must endeavour
    To make amends hereafter for, and strive
    To recompence with better neighbourhood.

    FREE. It joys me much to see this change in you.

    EARTH. Pardon my boldness, madam, that I make
    This intrusion.

    LADY C. Y'are welcome, Master Earthworm.

    EUPH. Let me be bold, then, noble Theodore,
    To claim our old acquaintance.

    THEO. I shall think it
    My honour, worthy sir, to hold that name.

    EARTH. Is that Sir Argent Scrape in the chair yonder?

    FREE. Yes, sir.

    EARTH. O, fie upon him! But soft,
    He will be told on't now.                      [EUGENY _brought in_.

    SIR ARG. Ha! Eugeny!
    Why have they brought him hither?

    EUG. I am come.
    Methinks these looks of mine, inhumane wretch!
    Though I were silent, should have power to pierce
    That treacherous breast, and wound thy conscience,
    Though it be hard and senseless as the idol
    Which thou ador'st, thy gold.

    SIR ARG. Is this to me, kinsman, you speak?

    EUG. Kinsman! Do not wrong
    That honest name with thy unhallowed lips.
    To find a name for thee and thy foul guilt,
    Has so far pos'd me, as I cannot make
    Choice of a language fit to tell thee of it.
    Treacherous, bloody man! that has betray'd
    And sold my life to thy base avarice!

    SIR ARG. Who? I betray you?

    EUG. Yes; can you deny it?

    LADY C. I'll witness it against him, if he do.
    'Twas his intent, I know.

    EUPH. And so do I:
    I overheard his counsels.

    EARTH. Out upon him,
    Unworthy man!

    EUPH. I could e'en laugh to hear
    Old Earthworm chide.

    EUG. But think upon the deed,
    Think on your own decrepit age, and know
    That day, by nature's possibility,
    Cannot be far from hence, when you must leave
    Those wealthy hoards that you so basely lov'd,
    And carry nothing with thee, but the guilt
    Of impious getting: then, if you would give
    To pious uses what you cannot keep,
    Think what a wretched charity it is;
    And know, this act shall leave a greater stain
    On your detested memory, than all
    Those seeming deeds of charity can have
    A pow'r to wash away: when men shall say
    In the next age: this goodly hospital,
    This house of alms, this school, though seeming fair,
    Was the foul issue of a cursed murder,
    And took foundation in a kinsman's blood.
    The privilege that rich men have in evil,
    Is, that they go unpunish'd to the devil.

    SIR ARG. O! I could wish the deed undone again.
    Ah me! what means are left to help it now?

    FREE. Sure, the old man begins to melt indeed.

    EUG. Now let me turn to you, my truer friends,
    And take my last farewell.

                     _Enter_ FRUITFUL _and_ TRUSTY.

    EUPH. My noble chaplain!
    What pranks comes he to play now? I had thought
    His business had been done.

    FRUIT. Health to you, madam!

    LADY C. How can you wish me health, that have so labour'd
    To ruin me in all things?

    FRUIT. No, good madam;
    'Twas not your ruin, but your good I sought:
    Nor was it to deprive you of your means,
    But only rectify your conscience.

    FREE. How's this?

    EUPH. Another fetch! this may be worth the hearing.

    FRUIT. Madam, you convey'd away
    To three good honest men your whole estate.

    LADY C. They have not prov'd so honest: I had thought
    I might have trusted them.

    FRUIT. Then give me hearing.
    They, by the virtue of that deed possess'd,
    Have back again convey'd it all to you.

    LADY C. Ha!

    FRUIT. Madam, 'twas done before good witnesses,
    Of which your steward here was one.

    TRUSTY. Most true.

    FRUIT. And all the other are well-known to you.
    Here is the deed.

    FREE. Let me peruse it, madam.

    LADY C. Good Master Freeman, do.

                                         [FREEMAN _reads it to himself_.

    EUPH. What plot is this?

    FRUIT. One manor only they except from hence.
    Which they suppose you did unjustly hold
    From the true heir: his name was Scudmore, madam.

    LADY C. I do confess I did unjustly hold it;
    And since have griev'd me much, that while I might,
    I made not restitution.

    FRUIT. He was poor,
    And by the law could not recover it;
    Therefore this means was taken. By this deed
    They have convey'd it hither, where it ought
    Of right to be: are you content with this?
    And all the rest of your estate is yours.

    LADY C. With all my heart.

    FREE. Madam, the deed is good.

    LADY C. For that estate which justly is pass'd over
    To Scudmore's heir, I am so well content,
    As that, before these gentlemen, I promise
    To pay him back all the arrearages
    Of whatsoever profits I have made.

    FRUIT. I thank your ladyship. Now know your chaplain,
    That wanted orders.                            [_Discovers himself._

    LADY C. Master Scudmore living!

    EUPH. My friend, how couldst thou keep conceal'd so long
    From me?

    SCUD. Excuse it, noble Euphues.

    ART. O happiness beyond what could be hop'd!
    My Eugeny is safe, and all his griefs
    At quiet now.

    EUG. Is this a vision,
    A mere fantastic show, or do I see
    Scudmore himself alive? then let me beg
    Pardon from him.

    SCUD. Long ago 'twas granted:
    Thy love I now shall seek. But though awhile
    For these my ends I have conceal'd myself,
    I ever meant to secure thee from danger.

    EUG. What strange unlook'd-for happiness this day
    Has brought forth with it!

    SCUD. To tell you by what means
    I was most strangely cur'd, and found a way
    How to conceal my life, will be too long
    Now to discourse of here; I will anon
    Relate at large. But one thing much has griev'd me,
    That my too long concealment has been cause
    Of so much sorrow to my constant love,
    The fair Matilda. Sir, she is your niece,
    Let me intreat my pardon, next to her,
    From you.

    EARTH. You have it. Go, good Theodore,
    And bring her hither, but prepare her first:
    Too sudden apprehension of a joy
    Is sometimes fatal.

    THEO. I'll about it gladly.                                 [_Exit._

    SIR ARG. Dear cousin Eugeny, if I yet may be
    Thought worthy of that name, pardon my crime,
    And my whole life, how short soe'er it be,
    Shall testify my love to be unfeigned.

    EUG. I do forgive you freely. Now to you,
    Grave sir, in whose rich bounty it must lie,
    To make me happy in conferring on me
    So bright a jewel as Artemia,
    'Tis your consent I beg.

    FREE. You have it freely;
    Her heart I know she gave you long ago,
    And here I give her hand.

    EUG. A richer gift
    Than any monarch of the world can give:
    Bless'd happiness? Gently my joys distil,[20]
    Lest you do break the vessel you should fill.

                _Enter_ BARNET, DOTTEREL, LADY WHIMSEY.

    EUPH. Here comes another couple to make up
    The day's festivity. Joy to you, madam!

    LADY W. Thanks, noble Euphues.

    DOT. We have tied the knot,
    That cannot be undone: this gentleman is witness
    Of it.

    BAR. Yes, I saw it finish'd.

    LADY W. Mistress Artemia, as I suppose,
    I may pronounce as much to you?

    ART. You may as much as I shall wish your ladyship.


    SCUD. Here comes the dearest object of my soul,
    In whom too much I see my cruelty,
    And chide myself. O, pardon me, dear love,
    That I too long a time have tyranniz'd
    Over thy constant sorrow.

    MAT. Dearest Scudmore,
    But that my worthy cousin has prepar'd
    My heart for this, I should not have believ'd
    My flattering eyes.

    SCUD. To know brave Theodore,
    Next to enjoying thee, was my ambition;
    Which now affinity hath bless'd me with.

    EUG. His friendship, worthy Scudmore, is a treasure.

    THEO. I shall endeavour to deserve your loves.

    EARTH. Come, leave your compliments at all hands now,
    And hear an old man speak. I must intreat
    This favour from all this noble company,
    Especially from you, good Master Freeman,
    Although this be your daughter's wedding-day,
    That you would all be pleas'd to be my guests,
    And keep with me your marriage festivals.
    Grant my request.

    FREE. 'Tis granted, sir, from me.

    EUG. And so, I think, from all the company.

    EARTH. Then let's be merry: Earthworm's jovial now,
    And that's as much as he desires from you.            [_To the Pit._

FOOTNOTES:

[19] _i.e._, Collect my prey like the shark-fish. So in "Hamlet"--

    "_Shark'd_ up a troop of landless resolutes."

--_Steevens._

[20] [See Introduction to this play, p. 4.]



A WOMAN NEVER VEXED.



_EDITION._


    _A New Wonder, A Woman never Vext. A Pleasant Conceited
      Comedy: sundry times Acted: never before printed. Written
      by William Rowley, one of his Maiesties Servants. London,
      Imprinted by G. P., for Francis Constable, and are to be
      sold at his shop, at the signe of the Crane in Saint Pauls
      Churchyard._ 1632. 4o.



DILKE'S PREFACE

(WITH ADDITIONS, &C.)[21]


This writer is ranked by the editors of the "Biographia Dramatica" in
the third class of dramatic writers, and Mr Gifford justly observes it
is impossible to place him higher.    [Mr Collier, in a note to Rowley's
"Match at Midnight," 1633, Introd., supposed that Samuel Rowley, the
writer of the historical play on "Henry VIII.," 1605, might be the
"Master Rowley, once a rare scholar of Pembroke Hall," mentioned by
Meres ("Politeuphuia," 1598, "Anc. Crit. Essays," iii. 154), as one of
the best for comedy; but Meres, who was himself a university man, would
scarcely confound either Samuel or William Rowley with the _Ralph_
Rowley of Pembroke Hall, writer of certain occasional poetry now
forgotten (Cooper's "Athenæ," ii. 388); and it is grossly improbable,
surely, that Meres should cite Ralph Rowley as "one of the best for
comedy" on the strength of such pieces as are connected with Samuel
Rowley's name. Mr Collier remarks, that it appears from Henslowe's
memoranda ("Diary," pp. 120, 218) that "in the very year in which
Meres wrote, [Samuel Rowley] was reduced to accept the situation of a
hireling at Henslowe's theatre." There is no trace of anything written
by him earlier than Jan. 7, 1601-2, when he assisted William Haughton
and William Borne in writing a piece called "Judas." As to William,
he could scarcely have acquired any reputation so early, and what,
on the whole, is most likely to have been the truth is, that Ralph
Rowley composed pieces which, like those of the Earl of Oxford and
others, have not survived.[22] Of the time or place of his birth, or
decease, we are altogether ignorant. Of his life it is only known that
he was a player. That he lived on terms of intimacy with the dramatic
writers of his time is sufficiently evident from his having written in
conjunction with many of them; and, if we may believe the title-page,
[which we cannot, we should be able to believe that] in one[23] he
received assistance from Shakespeare himself. He was a comedian, and
one of the Prince's company of players; and Oldys observes, in his MSS.
notes to Langbaine, on the authority of      [transcripts made by Vertue
from] the office books of Lord Harrington, Treasurer of the Chambers
in those years, that "One William Rowley was head of the Prince's
company of comedians from 1613 to 1616:" this, there can be [no] doubt,
was our author; and         [he continued to belong to that company till
the death of James I.[24]] The tragedy of "All's Lost by Lust" (as
it is better known) would perhaps have been selected in preference,
but for the resemblance it bears, in _the general outline_, to the
"Women beware Women" of Middleton, and the "Appius and Virginia" of
Webster,[25] to either of which, in my opinion, it is inferior. On
the present play Langbaine observes that the passage of the widow's
finding her wedding-ring, which she dropped in crossing the Thames, in
the belly of a fish which her maid bought accidently in the market, is
founded either upon the story of Polycrates of Samos, as the author
may read at large in Herodotus, lib. 3, _sive Thalia; or upon the
like story related of one Anderson of Newcastle, by Doctor Fuller,
in his "Worthies of England."_ The story here referred to is this:
"A citizen of Newcastle (whose name I take to be M. Anderson) talking
with a friend of his upon Newcastle bridge, and fingering his ring,
before he was aware let it fall into the river; and was much troubled
with the losse of it, till by a fish caught in the river that losse
was repaired, and his ring restored to him." It is quite impossible,
however, that our author could have had this story from Fuller's
"Worthies," which was not published till many years after this drama
was in print: he might, however, have found it, whence indeed Fuller
himself took it (and the story of Polycrates is likewise quoted there),
in the Preface to a little work called "Vox Piscis, or the Book-Fish,
containing three Treatises, which were found in the belly of a Cod-fish
in Cambridge Market, on Midsummer Eve last, Anno Domini 1626;"
published in London in 1627. It is not noticed either by Langbaine or
the editors of the "Biographia Dramatica" that this play is, in part,
historical. This, however, is the case; and I have collected together,
from various scattered notices in Stow and Strype, the best account I
was enabled of Stephen Foster, his wife, and Alderman Brewen,[26] three
of the principal persons in the drama. Sir Stephen Foster was the son
of Robert Foster of London, stock-fishmonger; he was elected Sheriff of
London in the year 1444, and Lord Mayor in 1454, and served as member
for that city in the parliament held at Westminster in the thirteenth
of Henry VI. Speaking of Ludgate, Strype says, (Append, p. 26), "There
happened to be prisoner there, one Stephen Foster, who (as poor men are
at this day) was a cryer at the grate, to beg the benevolent charities
of pious and commiserate benefactors that passed by. As he was doing
his doleful office, a rich widow of London hearing his complaint,
enquired of him what would release him? To which he answered, Twenty
pound; which she in charity expended; and clearing him out of prison,
entertained him in her service; who, afterward falling into the way of
merchandise, and increasing as well in wealth as courage, wooed his
mistress, Dame Agnes, and married her.

"Her riches and his industry brought him both great wealth and honour,
being afterwards no less than Sir Stephen Foster, Lord Mayor of the
honourable city of London: yet whilst he lived in this great honour
and dignity, he forgot not the place of his captivity; but, mindful of
the sad and irksome place wherein poor men were imprisoned, bethought
himself of enlarging it, to make it a little more delightful and
pleasant for those who in aftertimes should be imprisoned and shut up
therein. And, in order thereunto, acquainted his lady with this his
pious purpose and intention, in whom likewise he found so affable and
willing a mind to do good to the poor, that she promised to expend
as much as he should do for the carrying on of the work; and, having
possessions adjoining thereunto, they caused to be erected and built
the rooms and places following, that is to say, the paper house, the
porch, the watch-hall, the upper and lower lumbries, the cellar, the
long ward, and the chapel for divine service; in which chapel is an
inscription upon the wall, containing these words--

"_This chapel was erected and ordained for the divine worship and
service of God, by the Right Honourable Sir Stephen Foster, Knight,
some time Lord Maior of this honourable city, and by Dame Agnes his
wife, for the use and godly exercise of the prisoners in this prison
of Ludgate, Anno 1454._

" ... He likewise gave maintenance for a preaching minister," ... and
"ordained what he had so built, with that little which was before,
should be free for all free-men, and that they providing their
own bedding should pay nothing at their departure for lodging or
chamber-rent."[27]

There can be little doubt from the inscription in the chapel, that this
worthy man was alive in the year 1454; it is still more certain from
the following extract from Stow, that he was dead in 1463: "In the
year 1463, the third of Edward the Fourth, Mathew Philip being mayor,
in a common counsaile, at the request of the well-disposed, blessed,
and devout woman, Dame Agnes Foster, _widow_, late wife to Stephen
Foster, fishmonger, sometime mayor, for the comfort and reliefe of all
the poore prisoners, certaine articles were established. _In primis_,
that the new works then late edified by the same Dame Agnes, for the
inlarging of the prison of Ludgate, from thenceforth should be had
and taken as a parte and parcell of the saide prison of Ludgate, so
that both the old and new works of Ludgate aforesaid, be one prison,
gaile, keeping, and charge for evermore." To this Stow adds, "The said
quadrant strongly builded of stone, by the fore-named Stephen Foster,
and Agnes his wife, contayneth a large walking-place by ground, ... the
like roome it hath over it for lodgings, and over all a fayre leades to
walke upon, well imbattayled, all for ease of prisoners, to the ende
they shoulde have lodging and water free without charge: as by certaine
verses grauen in copper, and fixed on the said quadrant, I have read in
forme following--

    'Deuout soules that passe this way,
      for Stephen Foster late mayor, hartely pray,
    And Dame Agnes his spouse, to God consecrate,
      that of pitty this house made for L[=o]doners in Ludgate.
    So that for lodging and water prisoners here nought pay,
      as there keepers shall answere at dreadfull domes day.'

"This plate, and one other of his armes, taken downe with the old
gate, I caused to be fixed over the entrie of the said quadrant, but
the verses being unhappily turned inward to the wall, the like in
effect is graven outward in prose, declaring him to be a fishmonger,
because some upon a light occasion (as a maydens heade in a glasse
window) had _fabuled_ him to bee a mercer, and to _have begged there_
at Ludgate." "They were both buried (Stow, p. 163, edit. 1598) at
Butolph's church, Billingsgate." How far the poet has deviated from
the tradition as recorded by Strype, the reader will be now as well
able to decide as myself: when I speak of _the tradition_, I allude
only to the circumstance of his having been confined a prisoner in
Ludgate, and to his release by his wife (by his _nephew_ according to
the drama); and this I do on the authority of Stow, the elder of the
historians who, in his concluding remarks, refers to it as a fable.
Of the charitable acts of these worthy people there can be no doubt.
In relation to the character of Bruin, I find (Strype, ii. 260) that
"In the year 1197, Walter Brune, a citizen of London, and Rosia his
wife, founded the hospital of Our Lady, called Domus Dei, or St Mary
the Spittle, without Bishopsgate in London, an house of such relief
to the needy, that there was found standing at the surrender thereof
nine score beds well furnished for receipt of poor people." The reader
cannot fail to notice the gross anachronisms with which the plot of
this drama abounds; something, however, may be said in excuse of the
bringing together such men as Foster and Bruin; but the introduction of
Henry III. is so wanton and unnecessary, that there can be little doubt
it is an error of the printer's, and that Henry VI. is the character
intended, in whose time Sir Stephen Foster lived. I did not, however,
think it necessary to disturb the text; not out of respect to the
quarto, for a more disgraceful work never issued from the press even
of the printers of that age, but because, the circumstance having been
once noticed, it becomes of little consequence. While on this subject I
may just observe, that in the original this play is, with very trifling
limitations, throughout printed as blank verse: by what possible rule
or ear the division was made it is absolutely impossible to conceive;
some scenes have without hesitation been reduced to prose; and by
changing the construction of whole speeches, innumerable couplets have
been restored: if yet the attentive reader shall discover passages (and
that many have escaped my notice I cannot doubt), on which he would
willingly exercise his skill, I can only observe that he must not make
too free with the pruning knife; that it is difficult to distinguish
between a licentious metre and measured prose; and that very little
good dramatic dialogue of the higher walks can be found, that, with
moderate torturing to the eye and ear, may not pass for such metre.

The following is a list of his dramatic works--

1. "A New Wonder," "A Woman never vext," C. 4o, 1632.

2. A Tragedy called, All's Lost by Lust. Written by William Rowley.
Divers times Acted by the Lady Elizabeths Servants. And now lately
by her Maiesties Servants, with great applause, at the Ph[oe]nix in
Drury-Lane. 4o, 1633.

3. "A Match at Midnight," C. 4o, 1633, printed post.

4. "A Shoemaker's a Gentleman," C. 4o, 1638.

    He wrote also, in conjunction with Day and Wilkins,

5. "The Travels of Three English Brothers," Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony,
and Mr Robert Sherley. 4o, 1607.

    With Middleton,

6. "A Fair Quarrel," C. 4o, 1617.

7. "The World toss'd at Tennis," M. 4o, 1620.

8. "The Spanish Gipsy," C. 4o, 1663.

    And,

9. "The Changeling," T. 4o, 1653.

    With Fletcher,

10. "The Maid of the Mill," fol. 1647.

    With Massinger and Middleton,

11. "The Old Law," T. C. 4o, 1656.

    With Dekker and Ford,

12. "The Witch of Edmonton," T. C. 4o, 1658.

    And (it is, however, _very_ doubtful) with Shakespeare,

13. "The Birth of Merlin." T. C. 4o, 1662.

    With Webster (though Webster's participation is equally
      problematical),

14. "A Cure for a Cuckold," C. 1661.

    And,

15. "The Thracian Wonder," C. H. 4o, 1661.

    And with Heywood,

16. "Fortune by Land and Sea," C. 4o, 1655.

The following are also entered in his name on the Books of the
Stationers' Company--

  "The Fool without Book."
  "A Knave in Print; or, One for Another."
  "The Nonesuch."[28]
  "The Book of the Four Honoured Loves."
    And,
  "The Parliament of Love."

In the Dramatis Personæ, prefixed to his own play of "All's Lost by
Lust," the part of Jaques, a simple clownish gentleman, is said to have
been personated by the poet; and in Middleton's "Inner Temple Masque,"
1619, he performed the part of Plumb-porridge.

It appears from Sir H. Herbert's office book, that _one_ of the Rowleys
wrote "A Match or No Match;" this is most probably our author's
"Match at Midnight." Rowley wrote also a [prose] pamphlet called, "A
Search for Money; or, The Lamentable Complaint for the Loss of the
Wandering Knight, Monsieur L'Argent," &c., 4o, 1609;[29] [an elegy on
a fellow-performer, Hugh Atwell, who died on the 25th September 1621;
printed on a broadside, and two or three other poetical trifles.][30]

FOOTNOTES:

[21] [This play having been printed by Dilke, and the following one (by
the same author) in Dodsley's collection, the two prefaces presented,
of course, many repetitions, as well as certain mistakes. That now
given (from a collation of the two) will, it is hoped, be found to
contain the whole matter of both without these accidental oversights.]

[22] Malone (Sh. by Bosw. II. 172) expresses his conviction that this
"rare scholar of Pembroke Hall" was neither William nor Samuel Rowley,
but _Ralph_ Rowley, who became a student of Pembroke Hall in 1579, and
was elected fellow in 1583.--_Collier._

[23] ["The Birth of Merlin," 1662.]

[24] [Halliwell's "New Illustrations of the Life of Shakespeare," 1875,
pp. 29, 30, where a curious anecdote of him is given.]

[25] The title of "All's Lost by Lust" might, at least with equal
propriety, be given to the others.

[26] [In the old copy and by Dilke the name is given as _Bruin_.]

[27] [See further Stow, edit. 1720, bk. i. p. 21.]

[28] [This and the two following plays were in Warburton's collection
of MSS. dramas, and appear to have perished.]

[29] [Chalmers, and after him Dilke, confounded Samuel with William
Rowley, supposing the latter to be the writer of the historical play on
the reign of Henry VIII. 4o, 1605, 1613, &c.]

[30] [Hazlitt's "Handbook," in _v_.]



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


  KING HENRY III.
  MOUNTFORD.
  PEMBROKE.
  ARUNDEL.
  CARDINAL.
  LORD MAYOR.
  OLD FOSTER.
  ALDERMAN BREWEN.
  STEPHEN, _brother to Old Foster_.
  ROPERT, _son to Old Foster_.
  SIR GODFREY SPEEDWELL, } _suitors to Jane_.
  INNOCENT LAMBSKIN,     }
  RICHARD, _factor to Old Foster_.
  GEORGE, _factor to Brewen_.
  DOCTOR.
  HOST BOXALL.
  JACK, }
  DICK, } _Gamesters_.
  HUGH, }
  ROGER, _the clown, servant to the Widow_.
  KEEPER OF LUDGATE.

  WIDOW, _the woman never vex'd_.
  MISTRESS FOSTER, _wife to Old Foster_.
  JANE, _daughter to Brewen_.
  JOAN, _servant to Widow_.

                             A NEW WONDER:
                        A WOMAN NEVER VEXED.[31]



ACT I., SCENE I.


             _Enter_ OLD FOSTER, ALDERMAN BREWEN, _and two_
                  _factors_,[32] RICHARD _and_ GEORGE.

    O. FOS. This air has a sweet breath, Master Brewen.

    BREW. Your partner, sir.

    O. FOS. Ay, and in good, I hope: this halcyon gale
    Plays the lewd wanton with our dancing sails,
    And makes 'em big[33] with vaporous embryo.[34]

    BREW. 'Tis no more yet; but then our fraught is full,
    When she returns laden with merchandise,
    And safe deliver'd with our customage.

    O. FOS. Such a delivery heaven send us;
    But time must ripen it. Are our accounts made even?

    GEORGE. To the quantity of a penny, if his agree with mine.
    What's yours, Richard?

    RICH. Five hundred sixty pounds. Read the gross sum of your
    broadcloths.

    GEORGE. 68 pieces at B, ss, and l; 57 at l, ss, and o.[35]

    RICH. Just: lead nineteen ton.

    O. FOS. As evenly we will lay our bosoms
    As our bottoms, with love as merchandise,
    And may they both increase t' infinities.

    BREW. Especially at home; that golden traffic, love,
    Is scantier far than gold; and one mine of that
    More worth than twenty argosies[36]
    Of the world's richest treasure.

    O. FOS. Here you shall dig [_Laying his hand on his breast_],
    and find your lading.

    BREW. Here's your exchange: and, as in love,
    So we'll participate in merchandise.

    O. FOS. The merchant's casualty:
    We always venture on uncertain odds,
    Although we bear hope's emblem, the anchor,
    With us. The wind brought it; let the wind blow 't
    Away again; should not the sea sometimes
    Be partner with us, our wealth would swallow us.

    BREW. A good resolve: but now I must be bold
    To touch you with somewhat that concerns you.

    O. FOS. I could prevent[37] you: is't not my unthrifty brother?

    BREW. Nay, leave out th' adjective (unthrifty);
    Your brother, sir--'tis he that I would speak of.

    O. FOS. He cannot be nam'd without _unthrifty_, sir;
    'Tis his proper epithet: would you conceit
    But what my love has done for him:
    So oft, so chargeable, and so expensive,
    You would not urge another addition.

    BREW. Nay, sir, you must not stay at quantity,
    Till he forfeit the name of brother,
    Which is inseparable: he's now in Ludgate, sir.
    And part of your treasure lies buried with him.

    O. FOS. Ay, by vulgar blemish, but not by any good account:
    There let him howl; 'tis the best stay he hath;
    For nothing but a prison can contain him,
    So boundless is his riot: twice have I rais'd
    His decayed fortunes to a fair estate;
    But with as fruitless charity as if I had thrown
    My safe-landed substance back into the sea;
    Or dress in pity some corrupted jade,
    And he should kick me for my courtesy.
    I am sure you cannot but hear what quicksands
    He finds out; as dice, cards, pigeon-holes,[38]

    And which is more, should I not restrain it,
    He'd make my state his prodigality.[39]

    BREW. All this may be, sir; yet examples daily show
    To our eyes that prodigals return at last;
    And the loudest roarer[40] (as our city phrase is)
    Will speak calm and smooth; you must help with hope, sir:
    Had I such a brother, I should think
    That heaven had made him as an instrument
    For my best charity to work upon:
    This is a maxim sure, _Some are made poor,_
    _That rich men by giving may increase their store._
    Nor think, sir,
    That I do tax your labours and mean myself
    For to stand idly by; for I have vow'd,
    If heaven but bless this voyage now abroad,
    To leave some memorable relic after me,
    That shall preserve my name alive till doomsday.

    O. FOS. Ay, sir, that work is good, and therein could I
    Join with your good intents; but to relieve
    A waste-good, a spendthrift----

    BREW. O, no more, no more, good sir!

    O. FOS. [_To_ RICH.] Sirrah, when saw you my son Robert?

    RICH. This morning, sir; he said he would go visit his uncle.

    O. FOS. I pay for their meetings, I am sure: that boy
    Makes prize of all his fingers 'light upon
    To relieve his unthrifty uncle.

    BREW. Does he rob![41] In troth, I commend him. [_Aside._

    O. FOS. [_To_ RICH.] 'Tis partly your fault, sirrah; you see't
            and suffer it.

    RICH. Sir, mine's a servant's duty, his a son's;
    Nor know I better how to express my love
    Unto yourself, than by loving your son.

    O. FOS. By concealing of his pilferings.

    RICH. I dare not call them so; he is my second master,
    And methinks 'tis far above my limits
    Either to check or to complain of him.

    BREW. Gramercy, Dick, thou mak'st a good construction;
    [_To_ O. FOS.] And your son Robert a natural nephew's part
    To relieve his poor uncle.

    O. FOS. 'Tis in neither well, sir: for note but the
    Condition of my estate; I'm lately married
    To a wealthy widow, from whom my substance
    Chiefly does arise: she has observed this in her
    Son-in-law, often complains and grudges at it,
    And what foul broils such civil discords bring,
    Few married men are ignorant of.

                        _Enter_ MISTRESS FOSTER.

    Nay, will you see a present proof of it?

    MRS FOS. Shall I not live to breathe a quiet hour?

    I would I were a beggar with content
    Rather than thus be thwarted for mine own.

    O. FOS. Why, what's the matter, woman?

    MRS FOS. I'll rouse 'em up,
    Though you regard not of my just complaints,
    Neither in love to me, nor [for] preserving me
    From other injuries, both which you're tied to
    By all the rightful laws, heavenly or humane--
    But I'll complain, sir, where I will be heard.

    O. FOS. Nay, thou'lt be heard too far.

    MRS FOS. Nay, sir, I will be heard:
    Some awkward star threw out's unhappy fire
    At my conception, and 'twill never quench,
    While I have heat in me. Would I were cold!
    There would be bonfires made to warm defame:
    My death would be a jubilee to some.

    O. FOS. Why, sir, how should I minister remedy
    And know not the cause?

    BREW. Mother-o'-pearl![42] Woman, shew your husband the cause.

    MRS FOS. Had he been a husband, sir, I had no cause.
    [So] to complain: I threw down at his feet
    The subjection of his whole estate: he did not
    Marry me for love's sake, nor for pity;
    But love to that I had; he now neglects
    The love he had before: a prodigal
    Is suffer'd to lay waste those worldly blessings,
    Which I enclosed long,[43] intending for good uses.

    O. FOS. That's my son.

    MRS FOS. Ay, thou know'st it well enough; He's the conduit-pipe
    That throws it forth into the common shore.

    O. FOS. And th' other's my brother.

    MRS FOS. You may well shame,
    As I do grieve the kindred; but I'd make
    The one a stranger, the other a servant--
    No son nor brother; for they deserve neither
    Of those offices.

    O. FOS. Why, did I ever cherish him! have not I threaten'd him
    With disinheritance for this disorder?

    MRS FOS. Why do you not perform it?

    O. FOS. The other's in Ludgate.

    MRS FOS. No; he's in my house, approving to my face
    The charitable office of his kind nephew
    Who with his pilfering purloin'd from me,
    Has set him at liberty; if this may be suffer'd,
    I'll have no eyes to see.

    O. FOS. Prythee, content thyself, I'll see
    A present remedy. Sirrah, go call 'em in:
    This worthy gentleman shall know the cause,
    And censure for us both with equity.

    BREW. Nay, good sir, let not me be so employ'd,
    For I shall favour one for pity,
    The other for your love's sake.

                  _Enter_ ROBERT _and_ STEPHEN FOSTER.

    O. FOS. Now, sir,
    Are all my words with you so light esteem'd,
    That they can take no hold upon your duty?

    ROB. Misconstrue not, I beseech you.

    MRS FOS. Nay, he'll approve his good deeds, I warrant you.

    O. FOS. And you, sir?

    STEPH. Well, sir.

    O. FOS. I had thought you had been in Ludgate, sir?

    STEPH. Why, you see where I am, sir.

    O. FOS. Why, where are you, sir?

    STEPH. In debt, sir, in debt.

    O. FOS. Indeed, that is a place you hardly can be
    Removed from; but this is not a place fit
    For one in debt. How came you out of prison, sirrah?[44]

    STEPH. As I went into prison, sirrah--by the keepers.

    O. FOS. [_To_ ROB.] This was your work, to let this bandog loose.

    ROB. Sir, it was my duty to let my uncle loose.

    O. FOS. Your duty did belong to me, and I
    Did not command it.

    ROB. You cannot make a separation, sir,
    Betwixt the duty that belongs to me
    And love unto my uncle: as well you may
    Bid me [to] love my maker, and neglect
    The creature which he hath bid me [to] love:[45]
    If man to man join not a love on earth,
    They love not heaven, nor him that dwells above it;
    Such is my duty; a strong correlative
    Unto my uncle--why, he's half yourself.

    BREW. Believe me, sir, he has answer'd you well.

    O. FOS. He has not, worthy sir;
    But to make void that false construction.
    Here I disclaim the title of a brother;
    And by that disclaim hast thou lost thy child's part:
    Be thou engag'd for any debts of his,
    In prison rot with him; my goods shall not
    Purchase such fruitless recompence.

    STEPH. Then thou'rt a scurvy father and a filthy brother.

    MRS FOS. Ay, ay, sir, your tongue cannot defame his reputation.

    STEPH. But yours can; for all the city reports what an
    abominable scold he has got to his wife.

    O. FOS. If e'er I know thou keep'st him company,
    I'll take my blessing from thee whilst I live,
    And that which after me should bless thy 'state.

    STEPH. And I'll proclaim thy baseness to the world;
    Ballads I'll make, and make 'em tavern music,
    To sing thy churlish cruelty.

    O. FOS. Tut, tut, these are babbles.[46]

    STEPH. Each festival day I'll come unto thy house,
    And I will piss upon thy threshold.

    O. FOS. You must be out of prison first, sir.

    STEPH. If e'er I live to see thee sheriff of London,
    I'll gild thy painted posts[47] _cum privilegio_,
    And kick thy sergeants.

    ROB. Nay, good uncle!

    STEPH. Why, I'll beg for thee, boy;
    I'll break this leg, and bind it up again,
    To pull out pity from a stony breast,
    Rather than thou shalt want.

    O. FOS. Ay, do; let him sear up his arm, and scarf it up
    With two yards of rope; counterfeit two villains;
    Beg under a hedge, and share your bounty:[48]
    But come not near my house;
    Nor thou in's company, if thou'lt obey:
    There's punishment for thee; for thee there's worse:
    The loss of all that's mine, with my dear curse.          [_Exeunt._

                     _Manent_ STEPHEN _and_ ROBERT.

    STEPH. Churl! dog! you churlish rascally miser!

    ROB. Nay, good uncle, throw not foul language;
    This is but heat, sir, and I doubt not but
    To cool this rage with my obedience:
    But, uncle, you must not then heap[49] such fuel.

    STEPH. Coz, I grieve for thee, that thou hast undergone
    Thy father's curse for love unto thy uncle.

    ROB. Tut! that bond shall ne'er be cancell'd, sir.

    STEPH. I pity that, i'faith.

    ROB. Let pity then for me turn to yourself:
    Bethink yourself, sir, of some course that might
    Befit your estate, and let me guide it.

    STEPH. Ha, a course? 'Sfoot! I have't![50] Coz, canst lend me
    forty shillings? Could I but repair this old decay'd tenement
    of mine with some new plaister; for, alas, what can a man do in
    such a case as this?

    ROB. Ay, but your course, uncle?

    STEPH. Tush! leave that to me, because thou shalt wonder at it:
    if you should see me in a scarlet gown within the compass of
    a gold chain, then I hope you'll say that I do keep myself in
    good compass: then, sir, if the cap of maintenance[51] do march
    before me, and not a cap be suffer'd to be worn in my presence,
    pray do not upbraid me with my former poverty. I cannot tell,
    state and wealth may make a man forget himself; but, I beseech
    you, do not; there are things in my head that you dream not of;
    dare you try me, coz?

    ROB. Why, forty shillings, uncle, shall not keep back
    Your fortunes.

    STEPH. Why, gramercy, coz. [_Aside._] Now if the dice do run
    right, this forty shillings may set me up again: to lay't on
    my back, and so to pawn it, there's ne'er a damn'd broker in
    the world will give me half the worth on't: no, whilst 'tis
    in ready cash, that's the surest way: seven is better than
    eleven; a pox take the bones![52] an they will not favour a man
    sometimes.

    ROB. Look you, uncle, there's forty shillings for you.

    STEPH. As many good angels guard thee, as thou hast given me
    bad ones to seduce me! for these deputy devils damn worse
    than the old ones. Now, coz, pray listen; listen after
    my transformation: I will henceforth turn an apostate to
    prodigality; I will eat cheese and onions, and buy lordships;
    and will not you think this strange?

    ROB. I am glad you're merry, uncle; but this is fix'd
    Betwixt an uncle and a nephew's love;
    Though my estate be poor, revenues scant,
    Whilst I have any left, you shall not want.

    STEPH. Why, gramercy! by this hand I'll make thee an alderman,
    before I die, do but follow my steps.                     [_Exeunt._

                       _Enter_ WIDOW _and_ CLOWN.

    WID. Sirrah, will the churchman come I sent you for?

    CLOWN. Yes, mistress, he will come; but pray, resolve me one
    thing for my long service. What business have you with the
    churchman? Is it to make your will, or to get you a new husband?

    WID. Suppose to make my will, how then?

    CLOWN. Then I would desire you to remember me, mistress; I
    have serv'd you long, and that's the best service to a woman:
    make a good will, if you mean to die, that it may not be said,
    _Though most women be long-liv'd, yet they all die with an
    ill-will._

    WID. So, sir; suppose it be for marriage?

    CLOWN. Why, then, remember yourself, mistress: take heed how
    you give away the head; it stands yet upon the shoulders of
    your widowhood: the loving, embracing ivy has yet the upper
    place in the house; if you give it to the holly, take heed,
    there's pricks in holly; or if you fear not the pricks, take
    heed of the wands; you cannot have the pricks without the
    wands: you give away the sword, and must defend yourself with
    the scabbard: these are pretty instructions of a friend; I
    would be loth to see you cast down, and not well taken up.

    WID. Well, sir, well, let not all this trouble you; see, he's
    come: will you begone?

                          _Enter_ DOCTOR.[53]

    CLOWN. I will first give him a caveat, to use you as kindly
    as he can. [_To the_ DOCTOR.] If you find my mistress have a
    mind to this coupling at barley-break, let her not be the last
    couple to be left in hell.[54]

    DOC. I would I knew your meaning, sir.

    CLOWN. If she have a mind to a fresh husband or so, use her as
    well as you can; let her enter into as easy bands as may be.

    DOC. Sir, this is none of my traffic; I sell no husbands.

    CLOWN. Then you do wrong, sir; for you take money for 'em: what
    woman can have a husband, but you must have custom for him? and
    often the ware proves naught too--not worth the impost.

    DOC. Your man's pregnant[55] and merry, mistress.

    WID. He's saucy, sir. Sirrah, you'll begone?

    CLOWN. Nay, at the second hand you'll have a fee too; you sell
    in the church; and[56] they bring 'em again to your churchyard,
    you must have tollage: methinks, if a man die whether you will
    or no, he should be buried whether you would or no.

    DOC. Nay, now you wade too far, sir.

    WID. You'll begone, sirrah!

    CLOWN. Mistress, make him your friend; for he knows what rate
    good husbands are at; if there hath been a dearth of women of
    late, you may chance pick out a good prize; but take heed of a
    clerk.

    WID. Will you yet, sir, after your needless trouble?
    Begone, and bid the maids dress dinner!

    CLOWN. Mistress, 'tis fasting day to-day, there's nothing
    But fish.

    WID. Let there be store of that; let bounty
    Furnish the table, and charity
    Shall be the voider. What fish is there, sirrah?

    CLOWN. Marry, there is salmon, pike, and fresh cod, soles,
    maids,[57] and plaice.

    WID. Bid 'em haste to dress 'em then.

    CLOWN. Nay, mistress, I'll help 'em too; the maids shall first
    dress the pike and the cod, and then [_Aside_] I'll dress the
    maids in the place you wot on.                        [_Exit_ CLOWN.

    DOC. You sent for me, gentlewoman?

    WID. Sir, I did: and to this end:
    I have some scruples in my conscience;
    Some doubtful problems which I cannot answer
    Nor reconcile; I'd have you make them plain.

    DOC. This is my duty; pray [you], speak your mind.

    WID. And as I speak, I must remember heaven,
    That gave those blessings which I must relate:
    Sir, you now behold a wond'rous woman;
    You only wonder at the epithet;
    I can approve it good: guess at mine age.

    DOC. At the half-way 'twixt thirty and forty.

    WID. 'Twas not much amiss; yet nearest to the last.
    How think you then, is not this a wonder?
    That a woman lives full seven-and-thirty years
    Maid to a wife, and wife unto a widow,
    Now widow'd, and mine own, yet all this while
    From the extremest verge of my remembrance,
    Even from my weaning-hour unto this minute,
    Did never taste what was calamity?
    I know not yet what grief is, yet have sought
    An hundred ways for its acquaintance: with me
    Prosperity hath kept so close a watch,
    That even those things that I have meant a cross,
    Have that way turn'd a blessing. Is it not strange?

    DOC. Unparallel'd; this gift is singular,
    And to you alone belonging: you are the moon,
    For there's but one: all women else are stars,
    For there are none of like condition.
    Full oft and many have I heard complain
    Of discontents, thwarts, and adversities,
    But a second to yourself I never knew:
    To groan under the superflux of blessings,
    To have ever been alien unto sorrow,
    No trip of fate? Sure, it is wonderful.

    WID. Ay, sir, 'tis wonderful: but is it well?
    For it is now my chief affliction.
    I have heard you say, that the child of heaven
    Shall suffer many tribulations;
    Nay, kings and princes share them with their subjects:
    Then I that know not any chastisement,
    How may I know my part of childhood?[58]

    DOC. 'Tis a good doubt; but make it not extreme.
    'Tis some affliction that you are afflicted
    For want of affliction; cherish that:
    Yet wrest it not to misconstruction;
    For all your blessings are free gifts from heaven--
    Health, wealth, and peace; nor can they turn to curses
    But by abuse. Pray, let me question you:
    You lost a husband--was it no grief to you?

    WID. It was; but very small. No sooner I
    Had given it entertainment as a sorrow,
    But straight it turn'd unto my treble joy:
    A comfortable revelation prompts me then,
    That husband (whom in life I held so dear)
    Had chang'd a frailty to unchanging joys;
    Methought I saw him stellified in heaven,
    And singing hallelujahs 'mongst a quire
    Of white-sainted souls: then again it spake,
    And said it was a sin for me to grieve
    At his best good, that I esteemed best:
    And thus this slender shadow of a grief
    Vanish'd again.

    DOC. All this was happy; nor can you wrest it from
    A heavenly blessing: do not appoint the rod;
    Leave still the stroke unto the magistrate:
    The time is not passed, but you may feel enough.

    WID. One taste more I had, although but little,
    Yet I would aggravate to make the most on't;
    Thus 'twas: the other day it was my hap,
    In crossing of the Thames,
    To drop that wedlock ring from off my finger
    That once conjoin'd me and my dead husband;
    It sank; I priz'd it dear--the dearer, 'cause it kept
    Still in mine eye the memory of my loss;
    Yet I griev'd [less] the loss; and [I] did joy withal,
    That I had found a grief: and this is all
    The sorrow I can boast of.

    DOC. This is but small.

    WID. Nay, sure I am of this opinion,
    That had I suffered a draught to be made for it,
    The bottom would have sent it up again,
    I am so wondrously fortunate.

    DOC. You would not suffer it?

                             _Enter_ CLOWN.

    WID. Not for my whole estate.

    CLOWN. O mistress! where are you? I think you are the
    fortunatest woman that ever breathed on two shoes: the thief is
    found.

    WID. The thief! what thief? I never was so happy to be robbed.

    CLOWN. Bring him away, Jug: nay, you shall see the strangest
    piece of felony discovered that ever you saw, or your great
    grandmother's grandam before, or after; a pirate, a water-thief.

    WID. What's all this?

    CLOWN. Bring him away, Jug: yet the villain would not confess a
    word, till it was found about him.

    WID. I think the fellow's mad.

    CLOWN. Did you not lose your wedding-ring the other day?

    WID. Yes, sir, but I was not robbed of it.

                      _Enter_ JOAN _with a fish_.

    CLOWN. No! well, thank him that brings it home then, and will
    ask nothing for his pains. You see this salmon?

    WID. Yes, what of it?

    CLOWN. It cost but sixpence: but had the fisher known the worth
    of it, 'twould have cost you forty shillings. Is not this your
    ring?

    WID. The very same.

    CLOWN. Your maid Joan, examining this salmon, that she bought
    in the market, found that he had swallowed this gudgeon.

    WID. How am I vex'd with blessings! how think you, sir,
    Is not this above wonder?

    DOC. I am amaz'd at it.

    WID. First, that this fish should snatch it as a bait;
    Then that my servant needs must buy that fish
    'Mongst such infinities of fish and buyers:
    What fate is mine that runs all by itself
    In unhappy happiness? My conscience dreads it.
    Would thou hadst not swallowed it, or thou not bought it.

    CLOWN. Alas! blame not the poor fish, mistress: he, being a
    phlegmatic creature, took gold for restorative.[59] He took it
    fair; and he that gets gold, let him eat gold.

    WID. Nothing can hinder fate.

    DOC. Seek not to cross it, then.

    WID. [_To_ JOAN.] About your business! you have not pleased me
    in this.

    JOAN. By my maidenhead! if I had thought you would have ta'en
    it no kindlier, you should ne'er have been vexed with the sight
    on't; the garbage should have been the cook's fees at this
    time.                                                  [_Exit_ JOAN.

    CLOWN. Now do I see the old proverb come to pass--_Give a woman
    luck, and cast her into the sea_: there's many a man would
    wish his wife good luck on that condition he might throw her
    away so. But, mistress, there's one within would speak with
    you, that vexeth as fast against crosses as you do against good
    luck.

    WID. I know her sure, then; 'tis my gossip Foster.
    Request her in; here's good company, tell her.

    CLOWN. I'll tell her so for my own credit's sake.           [_Exit._

    WID. Yon shall now see an absolute contrary:
    Would I had chang'd bosoms with her for a time!
    'Twould make me better relish happiness.

                  _Enter_ MISTRESS FOSTER _and_ CLOWN.

    MRS FOS. O friend and gossip, where are you? I am
    O'erladen with my griefs, and but in your bosom
    I know not where to ease me.

    CLOWN. I had rather
    Help you to a close-stool, an't please you.                [_Aside._

    MRS FOS. Ne'er had woman more sinister fate;
    All ominous stars were in conjunction
    Even at my birth, and do still attend me.

    DOC. This is a perfect contrary indeed.

    WID. What ails you, woman?

    MRS FOS. Unless seven witches had set spells about me,
    I could not be so cross'd; never at quiet,
    Never a happy hour, not a minute's content.

    DOC. You hurt yourself most with impatience.

    MRS FOS. Ay, ay, physicians 'minister with ease,
    Although the patient do receive in pain:
    Would I could think but of one joyful hour!

    CLOWN. You have had two husbands to my knowledge; and if you
    had not one joyful hour between both, I would you were hanged,
    i' faith.                                                  [_Aside._

    MRS FOS. Full fourteen years I liv'd a weary maid,
    Thinking no joy till I had got a husband.

    CLOWN. That was a tedious time indeed.                     [_Aside._

    MRS FOS. I had one lov'd me well, and then ere long
    I grew into my longing peevishness.

    CLOWN. There was some pleasure ere you came to that.       [_Aside._

    MRS FOS. Then all the kindness that he would apply,
    Nothing could please: soon after it he died.

    CLOWN. That could be but little grief.                     [_Aside._

    MRS FOS. Then worldly care did so o'erload my weakness,
    That I must have a second stay; I chose again,
    And there begins my griefs to multiply.

    WID. It cannot be, friend; your husband's kind.

    DOC. A man of fair condition, well-reputed.

    CLOWN. But it may be he has not that should please her.

    WID. Peace, sirrah! How can your sorrows increase from him?

    MRS FOS. How can they but o'erwhelm me? He keeps a son,
    That makes my state his prodigality;
    To him a brother, one of the city scandals.
    The one the hand, the other is the maw;
    And between both my goods are swallowed up.
    The full quantity that I brought amongst 'em
    Is now consum'd to half.

    WID. The fire of your spleen wastes it:
    Good sooth, gossip, I could laugh at thee, and only grieve
    I have not some cause of sorrow with thee:
    Prythee, be temperate, and suffer.

    DOC. 'Tis good counsel, mistress; receive it so.

    WID. Canst thou devise to lay them half on me?
    And I'll bear 'em willingly.

    MRS FOS. Would I could! that I might laugh another while:
    But you are wise to heed at others' harms;
    You'll keep you happy in your widowhood.

    WID. Not I, in good faith, were I sure marriage
    Would make me unhappy.

    MRS FOS. Try, try, you shall not need to wish;
    You'll sing another song, and bear a part
    In my grief's descant, when you're vex'd at heart:
    Your second choice will differ from the first;
    So oft as widows marry, they are accurs'd.

    CLOWN. Ay, cursed widows are; but if they had all stiff
    husbands to tame 'em, they'd be quiet enough.

    WID. You'll be gone, sir, and see dinner ready.

    CLOWN. I care not if I do, mistress, now my stomach's ready;
    Yet I'll stay a little, an't be but to vex you.

    WID. When go you, sirrah?

    CLOWN. I will not go yet.

    WID. Ha, ha, ha! thou makest me laugh at thee; prythee, stay.

    CLOWN. Nay, then, I'll go to vex you.                 [_Exit_ CLOWN.

    MRS FOS. You have a light heart, gossip.

    WID. So should you, woman, would you be rul'd by me.
    Come, we'll dine together; after walk abroad
    Unto my suburb garden,[60] where, if thou'lt hear,
    I'll read my heart to thee, and thou from thence
    Shall learn to vex thy cares with patience.               [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[31] [This play was first reprinted by Dilke in his "Old English
Plays," 1816.]

[32] The word _factor_ is here used in a more limited sense than at
present, as Richard and George appear to have been the exclusive
servants of the other two.

[33] So Titania, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"--

    "We have laugh'd to see the sails conceive,
    And grow _big-bellied_ with the wanton wind."

[34] [Old copy and Dilke, _envy_.]

[35] These are, I believe, the private marks of the merchants to denote
the value of their goods, a sort of cipher known only to themselves.
They may, however, allude to the marks affixed to the different
packages in which the pieces were contained.

[36] _Argosies_ [were ships chiefly used for commercial purposes,
but also occasionally employed in what was known at Venice as the
mercantile marine. They were of large size. The origin of the word is
doubtful; but it probably comes from _Argo_, the name of the vessel
which sailed, according to tradition, in the Argonautic cruise.]
Gremio, in the "Taming of the Shrew," talks of an _argosy_ which he
would settle on Bianca, and then tauntingly asks--

    "What, have I chok'd you with an _argosy_?"

[37] [Anticipate.]

[38] _Pigeon-holes_ seems to have been the game which is sometimes
called _trow-madame_, or _trol-my-dames_. See Steevens's note on
"The Winter's Tale," act iv. sc. 2; and in Farmer's note on the same
passage, the reader will find a description of the manner of playing
it. [See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," ii. 325.]

[39] [This expression is repeated lower down, or it might have been
supposed that a word was wanting to complete the sense. As it is, the
meaning can be easily guessed at.]

[40] _Roarer_ was the common cant word for the swaggering drunkard of
our poet's age. Its occurrence is sufficiently common. So in Dekker's
play, "If it be not a Good Play, the Devil's in it"--

    "Those bloody thoughts will damn you into hell.

    SOU. Do you think so? What becomes of our _roaring boys_ then,
    _that stab healths one to another_?"

[41] [A play may be intended on _rob_ and _Robert_.]

[42] This seems a cant expression, as Brewen several times uses it.

[43] [Old copy and Dilke, _long enclosed_.]

[44] [In the old copy and Dilke this speech is printed as prose. The
old copy reads _that's--can hardly_.]

[45] Our poet here evidently alludes to a passage in the First Epistle
to St John, chap. iii. ver. 10.

[46] _i.e._, Idle tales.

[47] It appears to have been the custom for the sheriff to have a post
set up at his door as an indication of his office. So in the "Twelfth
Night" of Shakespeare, Malvolio says of Cesario, "He'll stand at your
door like a sheriff's post." See notes on act i. sc. 5, where the
passage in the text has been quoted by Steevens.

[48] Our poet alludes here to the methods which are still frequently
practised amongst beggars, of making artificial sores. The reader
will find many of these mentioned by Prigg in act ii. sc. 1 of the
"Beggar's Bush" of Beaumont and Fletcher. In the quarto this speech is
in horrible metre; and the same may be observed of nearly the whole
remainder of this scene, and until the clown quits the stage in the
next.

[49] [Old copy and Dilke, _heap on_.]

[50] "'Sfoot I hate," [_i.e._, _ha't_] is the reading of the 4o.

[51] Caps of maintenance are said to be carried in state on occasions
of great solemnity before the mayors of several cities in England.
Stephen had before imagined himself arrayed with the gown and chain of
an alderman; he is now describing his consequence as the future Lord
Mayor of London.

[52] The dice.

[53] It is to be remembered that the doctor here introduced is a
_divine_, and not a physician.

[54] [See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," ii., 293-5.]

[55] [Full of wit] So in "Hamlet"--

    "How _pregnant_ sometimes his replies are."

[56] [If.]

[57] [Thornbacks.]

[58] Our poet alludes here to a passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews,
chap. xii. vers. 7 and 8.

[59] Gold was formerly used in medicine, and many imaginary virtues
ascribed to it.

[60] These _suburb gardens_ and _garden-houses_ are constantly
mentioned by the writers of that age. An extract from Stubbs's "Anatomy
of Abuses," 1585 (quoted by Mr Gifford in a note on "The Bondman"),
will afford the reader some information: "In the suberbes of the citie,
they [the women] have _gardens_ either paled or walled round about very
high, with their harbours and bowers fit for the purpose; and lest
they might be espied in these open places, they have their _banqueting
houses_, with galleries, turrets, and what not, therein sumptuously
erected, wherein they may, and doubtless do, many of them, play the
filthy persons."



ACT II., SCENE I.


            _Enter_ HOST BOXALL, STEPHEN, JACK, DICK, _and_
                                 HUGH.

    HOST. Welcome still, my merchants of _bona Speranza_; what's
    your traffic, bullies? What ware deal you in?--cards, dice,
    bowls, or pigeon-holes? Sort 'em yourselves: either passage,
    Novem, or mumchance?[61] Say, my brave bursemen, what's your
    recreation?

    STEPH. Dice, mine host. Is there no other room empty?

    HOST. Not a hole unstopped in my house but this, my thrifts.

    JACK. Miscall us not for our money, good mine host; we are none
    of your thrifts. We have 'scaped that scandal long ago.

    DICK. Yes, his thrifts we are, Jack, though not our own.

    HOST. Tush, you are young men; 'tis too soon to thrive yet. He
    that gathers young, spends when he's old. 'Tis better to begin
    ill and end well, than to begin well and end ill. Miserable
    fathers have, for the most part, unthrifty sons. Leave not too
    much for your heirs, boys.

    JACK. He says well, i' faith: why should a man trust to
    executors?

    STEPH. As good trust to hangmen as to executors. Who's in the
    bowling-alley, mine host?

    HOST. Honest traders, thrifty lads, they are rubbing
    on't; towardly boys, every one strives to lie nearest the
    mistress.[62]

    STEPH. Give's a bale of dice.[63]

    HOST. Here, my brave wags.

    STEPH. We fear no counters now, mine host, so long as we have
    your bale so ready.[64] Come, trip.

    JACK. Up with's heels.

    DICK. Down with them.

    HUGH. Now the dice are mine; set me now a fair board; a fair
    passage, sweet bones! Boreas![65]

                        [_A noise below in the bowling-alley of betting_
                                                        _and wrangling._

    HOST. How now, my fine trundletails;[66] my wooden
    cosmographers; my bowling-alley in an uproar? Is Orlando up in
    arms? I must be stickler; I am constable, justice, and beadle
    in mine own house; I accuse, sentence, and punish: have amongst
    you! look to my box, boys![67] He that breaks the peace, I
    brake his pate for recompense: look to my box, I say!       [_Exit._

    STEPH. A pox o' your box! I shall ne'er be so happy to reward
    it better; set me fair; aloft now.           [_The dice are thrown._

    JACK. Out.

    STEPH. What was't?

    DICK. Two treys and an ace.

    STEPH. Seven still, pox on't! that number of the deadly sins
    haunts me damnably. Come, sir, throw.

    JACK. Prythee, invoke not so: all sinks too fast already.

    HUGH. It will be found again in mine host's box.      [_The dice are
    thrown._

    JACK. In still, two thieves and choose thy fellow.

    STEPH. Take the miller.

    JACK. Have at them, i' faith.                             [_Throws._

    HUGH. For a thief, I'll warrant you; who'll you have next?

    JACK. Two quatres and a trey.

    STEPH. I hope we shall have good cheer, when two caters and a
    tray go to the market.[68]

                             _Enter_ HOST.

    HOST. So all's whist; they play upon the still pipes now; the
    bull-beggar[69] comes when I show my head. Silence is a virtue,
    and I have made 'em virtuous. Let 'em play still till they be
    penniless; pawn till they be naked; so they be quiet, welcome
    and welcome. (_A noise above at cards._) How now! how now! my
    roaring Tamberlain? take heed, the Soldan comes: and 'twere not
    for profit, who would live amongst such bears? Why, Ursa Major,
    I say, what, in Capite Draconis? is there no hope to reclaim
    you? shall I never live in quiet for you?

    DICK. Good mine host, still 'em; civil gamesters cannot play
    for 'em.

    HOST. I come amongst you, you maledictious slaves! I'll utter
    you all; some I'll take ready money for, and lay up the rest in
    the stocks: look to my box, I say!

    STEPH. Your box is like your belly, mine host: it draws all.
    Now for a suit of apparel.                       [_Throws the dice._

    JACK. At whose suit, I pray? You're out again with the threes.

    STEPH. Foot! I think my father threw three when I was begotten:
    pox on't! I know now why I am so haunted with threes.

    JACK. Why, I prythee?

    STEPH. I met the third part of a knave as I came.

    JACK. The third part of a knave? 'sfoot! what thing's that?

    STEPH. Why, a serjeant's yeoman, man; the supervisor himself is
    but a whole one, and he shares but a groat in the shilling with
    him.

    DICK. That's but the third part indeed: but goes he no further?

    STEPH. No, he rests there.

    HUGH. Come, let's give o'er.

    STEPH. I thank you, sir, and so much a loser? there's but the
    waistband of my suit left:[70] now, sweet bones!

    HUGH. Twelve at all.                                      [_Throws._

    STEPH. Soft, this die is false.

    HUGH. False? you do him wrong, sir; he's true to his master.

    STEPH. Fullam!

    DICK. I'll be hanged, then! where's Putney, then, I pray
    you?[71]

    STEPH. 'Tis false, and I'll have my money again.

    HUGH. You shall have cold iron with your silver, then.

    STEPH. Ay, have at you, sir!

                    _Enter_ HOST _and_ YOUNG FOSTER.

    HOST. I think he's here, sir.

                              [_They draw their swords and fight_. YOUNG
                           FOSTER _assists his uncle and the host, and_
                     _the cheats are beaten. Whilst they are fighting,_
                               _the bowlers enter and steal away their_
                                                              _cloaks_.

    ROB. I am sure he's now, sir.

    HUGH. Hold! hold! an' you be gentlemen, hold!

    ROB. Get you gone, varlets, or there's hold to be taken!

    HOST. Nay, sweet sir, no bloodshed in my house; I am lord of
    misrule; pray you, put up, sir.

    OMNES. 'Sfoot! mine host, where are our cloaks?

    HOST. Why, this is quarrelling: make after in time: some of
    your own crew, to try the weight, has lifted them: look out, I
    say.

    JACK. There will ever be thieves in a dicing house till thou
    be'st hanged, I'll warrant thee.                            [_Exit._

    STEPH. Mine host, my cloak was lined through with orange-tawny
    velvet.

    HOST. How, your cloak? I ne'er knew thee worth one.

    STEPH. You're a company of coneycatching rascals: is this a
    suit to walk without a cloak in?

    ROB. Uncle, is this the reformation that you promised me?

    STEPH. Coz, shall I tell thee the truth? I had diminished
    but sixpence of the forty shillings; by chance meeting with
    a friend, I went to a tailor, bargained for a suit: it came
    to full forty: I tendered my thirty-nine and a half, and (do
    you think) the scabby-wristed rascal would [not] trust me for
    sixpence!

    ROB. Your credit is the better, uncle.

    STEPH. Pox on him! if the tailor had been a man, I had had a
    fair suit on my back: so venturing for the other tester----

    ROB. You lost the whole bedstead.[72]

    STEPH. But after this day, I protest, coz, you shall never see
    me handle those bones again; this day I break up school: if
    ever you call me unthrift after this day, you do me wrong.

    ROB. I should be glad to wrong you so, uncle.

    STEPH. And what says your father yet, coz?

    ROB. I'll tell you that in your ear.

              _Enter_ MISTRESS FOSTER, WIDOW, _and_ CLOWN.

    MRS FOS. Nay, I pray you, friend, bear me company a little
    this way; for into this dicing-house I saw my good son-in-law
    enter, and 'tis odds but he meets his uncle here.

    WID. You cannot tire me, gossip, in your company; 'tis the best
    affliction I have to see you impatient.

    MRS FOS. Ay, ay, you may make mirth of my sorrow.

    CLOWN. We have hunted well, mistress; do you not see the hare's
    in sight?

    MRS FOS. Did not I tell you so? ay, ay, there's good counsel
    between you; the one would go afoot to hell, the other the
    horseway.

    ROB. Mother, I am sorry you have trod this path.

    MRS FOS. Mother? hang thee, wretch! I bore thee not;
    But many afflictions I have borne for thee:
    Wert thou mine own, I'd see thee stretch'd (a handful),
    And put thee a coffin into the cart
    Ere thou shouldst vex me thus.

    ROB. Were I your own,
    You could not use me worse than you do.

    MRS FOS. I'll make thy father turn thee out for ever,
    Or else I'll make him wish him in his grave.
    You'll witness with me, gossip, where I've found him.

    CLOWN. Nay, I'll be sworn upon a book of calico for that.

    ROB. It shall not need; I'll not deny that I was with my uncle.

    MRS FOS. And that shall disinherit thee, if thy father
    Be an honest man: thou hadst been better
    To have been born a viper, and eat thy way
    Through thy mother's womb into the world,
    Than to tempt my displeasure.

    STEPH. Thou liest, Xantippe! it had been better
    Thou'dst been press'd to death under two Irish rugs,
    Than to ride honest Socrates, thy husband, thus,
    And abuse his honest child.

    MRS FOS. Out, raggamuffin? dost thou talk? I shall see thee
    In Ludgate again shortly.

    STEPH. Thou liest again: 'twill be at Moorgate, beldam, where I
    shall see thee in the ditch dancing in a cucking-stool.[73]

    MRS FOS. I'll see thee hanged first.

    STEPH. Thou liest again.

    CLOWN. Nay, sir, you do wrong to give a woman so many lies: she
    had rather have had twice so many standings than one lie.

    MRS FOS. I'll lie with him, I'll warrant him.

    STEPH. You'll be a whore, then.

    CLOWN. Little less, I promise you, if you lie with him.

    STEPH. If you complain upon mine honest coz,
    And that his father be offended with him,
    The next time I meet thee, though it be i' the street,
    I'll dance i' th' dirt upon thy velvet cap;
    Nay, worse, I'll stain thy ruff; nay, worse than that,
    I'll do thus.                                   [_Holds a wisp._[74]

    MRS FOS. O my heart; gossip, do you see this? Was ever
    Woman thus abus'd?

    WID. Methinks 'tis good sport, i' faith.

    MRS FOS. Ay, I am well recompens'd to complain to you?
    Had you such a kindred----

    WID. I would rejoice in't, gossip.

    MRS FOS. Do so; choose here then. O my heart! but I'll do
    your errand! O that my nails were not pared! but I'll do your
    errand! Will you go, gossip?

    WID. No, I'll stay awhile, and tell 'em out with patience.

    MRS FOS. I cannot hold a joint still! Dost wisp me, thou
    tatterdemalion? I'll do your errands! if I have a husband. O
    that I could spit wild-fire! My heart! O my heart! if it does
    not go pantle, pantle, pantle in my belly, I am no honest
    woman: but I'll do your errands!

                                                [_Exit_ MISTRESS FOSTER.

    ROB. Kind gentlewoman, you have some patience.

    WID. I have too much, sir.

    ROB. You may do a good office, and make yourself a peaceful
    moderator betwixt me and my angry father, whom his wife hath
    moved to spleen against me.

    WID. Sir, I do not disallow the kindness
    Your consanguinity renders; I would not teach
    You otherwise: I'd speak with your uncle, sir,
    If you'll give me leave.

    CLOWN. [_To_ ROBERT.] You may talk with me, sir, in the
    meantime.                                [_Exit_ ROBERT _and_ CLOWN.

    STEPH. With me would you talk, gentlewoman?

    WID. Yes, sir, with you: you are a brave unthrift.

    STEPH. Not very brave neither, yet I make a shift.

    WID. When you have a clean shirt.

    STEPH. I'll be no pupil to a woman. Leave your discipline.

    WID. Nay, pray you, hear me, sir, I cannot chide; I'll but give
    you good counsel: 'tis not a good Course that you run.

    STEPH. Yet I must run to th' end of it.

    WID. I would teach you a better, if you'd stay where you are.

    STEPH. I would stay where I am, if I had any money.

    WID. In the dicing-house?

    STEPH. I think so too; I have played at passage all this while,
    now I'd go to hazard.

    WID. Dost thou want money? Thou art worthy to be tattered! Hast
    thou no wit, now thy money's gone?

    STEPH. 'Tis all the portion I have. I have nothing to maintain
    me but my wit; my money is too little, I'm sure.

    WID. I cannot believe thy wit's more than thy money--a fellow
    so well-limbed, so able to do good service, and want?

    STEPH. Why, mistress, my shoulders were not made for a frock
    and a basket, nor a coal-sack; no, nor my hands to turn a
    trencher at a table's side.

    WID. I like that resolution well; but how comes it then that
    thy wit leaves thy body unfurnished? Thou art very poor?

    STEPH. The fortune of the dice, you see.

    WID. They are the only wizards, I confess,
    The only fortune-tellers; but he that goes
    To seek his fortune from them must never hope
    To have a good destiny allotted him.
    Yet it is not the course that I dislike in thee,
    But that thou canst not supply that course,
    And outcross them that cross thee; were I as thou art--

    STEPH. You'd be as beggarly as I am.

    WID. I'll be hanged first.

    STEPH. Nay, you must be well hanged ere you can be as I am.

    WID. So, sir: I conceit you. Were I as well hanged, then, as
    you could imagine, I would tell some rich widow such a tale in
    her ear--

    STEPH. Ha! some rich widow? By this penniless pocket, I think
    'twere not the worst way.

    WID. I'd be ashamed to take such a fruitless oath. I say, seek
    me out some rich widow; promise her fair--she's apt to believe
    a young man. Marry her, and let her estate fly. No matter: 'tis
    charity. Twenty to one some rich miser raked it together. This
    is none of Hercules' labours.

    STEPH. Ha? Let me recount these articles: _seek her out;
    promise her fair; marry her; let her estate fly_. But where
    should I find her?

    WID. The easiest of all. Why, man, they are more common than
    tavern-bushes; two fairs might be furnished every week in
    London with 'em, though no foreigners came in, if the charter
    were granted once: nay, 'tis thought, if the horsemarket be
    removed, that Smithfield shall be so employed; and then, I'll
    warrant you, 'twill be as well furnished with widows as 'twas
    with sows, cows, and old trotting jades before.

    STEPH. 'Sfoot! if it were, I would be a chapman; I'd see for
    my pleasure, and buy for my _love_, for _money_ I have none.

    WID. Thou shalt not stay the market, if thou'lt be ruled. I'll
    find thee out a widow, and help in some of the rest too, if
    thou'lt but promise me the last, but to let her estate fly; for
    she's one I love not, and I'd be glad to see that revenge on
    her.

    STEPH. Spend her estate? were't five aldermen's. I'll put you
    in security for that; 'sfoot! all my neighbours shall be bound
    for me; nay, my kind sister-in-law shall pass her word for that.

    WID. Only this I'll enjoin you: to be matrimonially honest to
    her for your own health's sake. All other injuries shall be
    blessings to her.

    STEPH. I'll bless her, then; I ever drank so much, that I was
    never great feeder. Give me drink and my pleasure, and a little
    flesh serves my turn.

    WID. I'll show thee the party. What sayest thou to myself?

    STEPH. Yourself, gentlewoman? I would it were no worse. I have
    heard you reputed a rich widow.

    WID. I have a lease of thousands at least, sir.

    STEPH. I'll let out your leases for you, if you'll allow me the
    power, I'll warrant you.

    WID. That's my hope, sir; but you must be honest withal.

    STEPH. I'll be honest with some; if I can be honest with all, I
    will too.

    WID. Give me thy hand; go home with me, I'll give thee better
    clothes; and, as I like thee then, we'll go further; we may
    chance make a blind bargain of it.

    STEPH. I can make no blind bargain, unless I be in your bed,
    widow.

    WID. No, I bar that, sir; let's begin honestly, howe'er we end:
    marry, for the waste of my estate, spare it not; do thy worst.

    STEPH. I'll do bad enough, fear it not.

    WID. Come, will you walk, sir?

    STEPH. No, widow, I'll stand to no hazard of blind bargains;
    either promise me marriage, and give me earnest in a handfast,
    or I'll not budge a foot.

    WID. No, sir? are you grown so stout already?

    STEPH. I'll grow stouter when I'm married.

    WID. I hope thou'lt vex me.

    STEPH. I'll give you cause, I'll warrant you.

    WID. I shall rail and curse thee, I hope; yet I'd not have thee
    give over neither; for I would be vexed. Here's my hand! I am
    thine, thou art mine: I'll have thee with all faults.

    STEPH. You shall have one with some, an' you have me.

                      _Enter_ ROBERT _and_ CLOWN.

    WID. Here's witness[es]. [_To_ ROBERT.] Come hither,
    sir--cousin I must call you shortly; and you, sirrah, be
    witness to this match; here's man and wife.

    ROB. I joy at mine uncle's happiness, widow.

    CLOWN. I do forbid the banns: alas! poor shag-rag, my mistress
    does but gull him. [_To_ STEPHEN.] You may imagine it to be
    twelfth-day at night, and the bean found in the corner of your
    cake, but 'tis not worth a vetch, I'll assure you[75].

    WID. You'll let me dispose of myself, I hope?

    CLOWN. You love to be merry, mistress: come, come, give him
    four farthings, and let him go. He'll pray for his good dame,
    and be drunk. Why, if your blood does itch that way, we'll
    stand together. [_Places himself by the side of_ STEPHEN.]
    How think you? I think here is the sweeter bit;        [_Pointing to
    himself_] you see this nit[76], and you see this louse! you may
    crack o' your choice, if you choose here.

    WID. You have put me to my choice, then; see, here I choose:
    this is my husband; thus I begin the contract.             [_Kisses_
    STEPHEN.

    STEPH. 'Tis sealed; I am thine. Now, coz, fear no black storms:
    if thy father thunder, come to me for shelter.

    WID. His word is now a deed, sir.

    ROB. I thank you both. Uncle, what my joy conceives, I cannot
    utter yet.

    CLOWN. I will make black Monday of this! ere I suffer this
    disgrace, the kennel shall run with blood and rags.

    ROB. Sir, I am your opposite.

    CLOWN. I have nothing to say to you, sir; I aim at your uncle.

    ROB. He has no weapon.

    CLOWN. That's all one, I'll take him as I find him.

    WID. I have taken him so before you, sir: will you be quiet?

    STEPH. Thou shalt take me so too, Hodge, for I'll be thy
    fellow, though thy mistress's husband. Give me thy hand.

                                 [_Exeunt_ WIDOW, STEPHEN, _and_ ROBERT.

    CLOWN. I'll make you seek your fingers among the dogs, if you
    come to me. _My fellow?_ You lousy companion, I scorn thee.
    'Sfoot! is't come to this? Have I stood all this while to my
    mistress an honest, handsome, plain-dealing serving-creature,
    and she to marry a whoreson _tityre tu tattere_ with never a
    good rag about him?       [_Draws his sword, and puts his cap on the
    point of it._] Stand thou to me, and be my friend; and since my
    mistress has forsaken me----

                            _Enter_ ROBERT.

    ROB. How now? what's the matter?

    CLOWN. 'Twas well you came in good time.

    ROB. Why, man?

    CLOWN. I was going the wrong way.

    ROB. But tell me one thing I apprehend not: why didst lay thy
    cap upon the sword's point?

    CLOWN. Dost not thou know the reason of that? why, 'twas to
    save my belly: dost thou think I am so mad to cast myself away
    for e'er a woman of 'em all? I'll see 'em hanged first!

    ROB. Come, Roger, will you go?

    CLOWN. Well, since there is no remedy. O tears! be you my
    friend.

    ROB. Nay, prythee, Roger, do not cry.

    CLOWN. I cannot choose; nay, I will steep
    Mine eyes in crying tears, and crying weep.               [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[61] _Passage_ and _Novem_ were games at _dice_, and _mumchance_ one at
cards. See Steevens's note on a passage in "Love's Labour Lost," act v.

[62] [The jack.]

[63] By a _bale_ a pair of dice only is meant.

[64] Stephen puns on the words _bale_ and _bail_.

[65] It appears from an after-remark of Stephen's, that the game they
were playing at was _passage_. _Boreas_ may be a punning invocation to
the north wind to assist him in his _passage_, or an allusion to the
noise which arises at the same time in the bowling-alley.

[66] The _trundletail_ was a species of dog in little estimation,
I believe; it is mentioned in the "Lear" of Shakespeare. So Ursula
to Quar. in "Bartholomew Fair:" "Do you sneer, you dog's-head, you
_trundletail_!" But here the host only puns on the rolling or trundling
the bowl at the game.

[67] The host was probably box-keeper or groom-porter; and it appears
by an extract from the _Monthly Mirror_ (quoted by Mr Gifford), that
"if the caster throws three mains, or wins by throwing three times
successively, he pays to the box-keeper, for the use of the house, a
stipulated sum." It was probably these profits that the host directs
them to look to; or that in our poet's time, or at a different game, a
regular percentage might have been paid to the box-keeper on the money
staked; or the host might have been banker, and staked against the
players, as now at Rouge-et-Noir, and some other games, I believe.

[68] It is perhaps unnecessary to notice that Stephen puns between the
_quatre_ and _trey_ on the dice, and the _cater_ or _caterer_ who buys
the provisions, and the _tray_ in which it is brought home.

[69] [_i.e._, bogie. See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," iii.
330.]

[70] Stephen means, perhaps, that but one shilling was left of the
forty his nephew had supplied him with.

[71] _Fullam_ or Fulham was a well-known name for false dice. One of
the cheats therefore sneeringly asks if one of the dice was Fulham,
which of them was Putney, as Putney is on the Thames immediately
opposite to Fulham.

[72] Robert puns on the word _tester_, which signifies the cover of a
bed as well as a sixpence.

[73] There was formerly a prison at Moorgate as well as at Ludgate;
though Stephen means, I conceive, that the next time she would see him
would be when attracted to that spot to see _the operation of ducking
performed on her as a scold_. The ditch, as appears from Stow, was
called _deep ditch_; but whether celebrated for exhibitions of this
nature or not, I cannot say. It is mentioned in the "First Part of
Henry IV."

[74] That a _wisp_ was in some way made use of for the punishment or
exposure of a scold, is evident from the notes on a passage in the
"Third Part of Henry VI.," ii. 2. From the verses quoted by Malone, it
seems probable that the wearing of the wisp was in some way connected
with, or made part of, the ceremony of the skimmington. [See "Popular
Antiquities of Great Britain," ii, 128.]

[75] The clown alludes to the _then_ manner of choosing the king and
queen on Twelfth Day, which was as follows. With the ingredients of
which the cake or cakes, for there was probably one for each sex, were
composed, a _bean_ and _pea_ were mixed up, and the two persons who
were so fortunate as to find these in their respective portions were
declared king and queen for the night. Thus in Herrick's "Hesperides"--

        "Now, now, the mirth comes.
        With the cake fall of plums,
    Where _bean's_ the _king of the sport here;_
        Besides we must know,
        The _pea_ also
      Must revel, _as queen_, in the court here."

This method of election, which we find referred to as early as Edward
III., was common at the beginning of the sixteenth century to both our
universities. The curious reader will collect further information on
the subject from ["Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," 1870, i. 13
_et seq._]

[76] The 4o reads _nap_; and I am not certain of the propriety of the
alteration, as the Clown may allude to Stephen's dress.



ACT III., SCENE I.


            _Enter_ ALDERMAN BREWEN, SIR GODFREY SPEEDWELL,
                   INNOCENT LAMBSKIN, _and_ MISTRESS
                                 JANE.

    BREW. Gentlemen, you're welcome; that once well-pronounced has
    a thousand echoes. Let it suffice, I have spoke it to the full.
    Here's your affairs, here's your merchandise--this is your
    prize.                                          [_Pointing to_ JANE.

    If you can mix your names and gentle bloods
    With the poor daughter of a citizen,
    I make the passage free, to greet and court,
    Traffic the mart of love, clap hands, and strike
    The bargain through; she pleas'd, and I shall like.

    SPEED. 'Tis good ware, believe me, sir: I know that by mine own
    experience, for I have handled the like many times in my first
    wife's days. Ay, by knighthood! sometimes before I was married,
    too; therefore I know't by mine own experience.

    LAMB. Well, sir, I know by observation as much as you do by
    experience; for I have known many gentlemen have taken up such
    ware as this is, but it has lain on their hands as long as they
    lived. This I have seen by observation.

    JANE. [_Aside._] I am like to have a couple of fair chapmen.
    If they were at my own dispose, I would willingly raffle them
    both at twelvepence a share. They would be good food for a new
    plantation. The one might mend his experience, and the other
    his observation very much.[77]

    SPEED. Sir, let me advise you; I see you want experience.
    Meddle no further in this case; 'twill be the more credit for
    your observation, for I find by my experience you are but
    shallow.

    LAMB. But shallow, sir? Your experience is a little wide; you
    shall find I will be as deep in this case as yourself. My
    observation has been where your experience must wait at door;
    yet I will give you the fore-horse place, and I will be in the
    thills[78], because you are the elder tree, and I the young
    plant. Put on your experience, and I will observe.

    SPEED. Sweet virgin, to be prolix and tedious fits not
    experience. Short words and large deeds are best pleasing to
    women.

    JANE. So, sir.

    SPEED. My name is Speedwell by my father's copy.

    JANE. Then you never served for't, it seems[79].

    SPEED. Yes, sweet feminine! I have served for it too; for I
    found my nativity suited to my name. As my name is Speedwell,
    so have I sped well in divers actions.

    JANE. It must needs be a fair and comely suit, then.

    LAMB. You observe very well, sweet virgin; for his nativity is
    his doublet, which is the upper part of his suit; and his name
    is in's breeches, for that part, which is his name, he defiles
    many times.

    SPEED. Your observation is corrupt, sir. Let me show mine own
    tale. I say, sweet beauty, my name is Speedwell. My godfather,
    by his bounty (being an old soldier, and having served in the
    wars as far as Boulogne) therefore called my name Godfrey,
    a title of large renown.[80] My wealth and wit has added to
    those the paraphrase of knighthood, so that my name in the
    full longitude is called Sir Godfrey Speedwell, a name of good
    experience.

    JANE. If every quality you have be as large in relation as your
    name, sir, I should imagine the best of them, rather than hear
    them reported.

    SPEED. You say well, sweet modesty; a good imagination is good,
    and shows your good experience.

    LAMB. Nay, if names can do any good, I beseech you observe
    mine. My name is Lambskin, a thing both hot and harmless.

    JANE. On, sir; I would not interrupt you, because you should be
    brief.

    LAMB. My godfather, seeing in my face some notes of
    disposition, in my cradle did give me the title of
    Innocent,[81] which I have practised all my lifetime; and since
    my father's decease, my wealth has purchased me in the vanguard
    of my name the paraphrase of gentility, so that I am called
    _Master_ Innocent Lambskin.

    JANE. In good time: and what trade was your father, sir?

    LAMB. My father was of an occupation before he was a
    tradesman; for, as I have observed in my father's and mother's
    report, they set up together in their youth. My father was a
    starch-maker, and my mother a laundress; so, being partners,
    they did occupy[82] long together before they were married;
    then was I born.

    JANE. What, before your father was married?

    LAMB. Truly a little after. I was the first-fruits, as they
    say. Then did my father change his copy, and set up a brewhouse.

    JANE. Ay, then came your wealth in, sir.

    LAMB. Your observation's good. I have carried the tallies[83]
    at my girdle seven year together with much delight and
    observation, for I did ever love to deal honestly in the nick.

    JANE. A very innocent resolution.

    SPEED. Your experience may see his coarse education; but to the
    purpose, sweet female. I do love that face of yours.

    JANE. Sir, if you love nothing but my face, I cannot sell it
    from the rest.

    LAMB. You may see his slender observation. Sweet virgin, I do
    love your lower parts better than your face.

    SPEED. Sir, you do interrupt and thwart my love.

    LAMB. Ay, sir, I am your rival, and I will thwart your
    love; for your love licks at the face, and my love shall be
    arsy-versy to yours.

    JANE. I would desire no better wooing of so bad suitors.

    STEPH. Mistake me not, kind-heart.

    LAMB. He calls you tooth-drawer by way of experience.[84]

    SPEED. In loving your face, I love all the rest of your body,
    as you shall find by experience.

    JANE. Well, sir, you love me, then?

    SPEED. Let your experience make a trial.

    JANE. No, sir, I'll believe you rather, and I thank you for't.

    LAMB. I love you too, fair maid, double and treble, if it
    please you.

    JANE. I thank you too, sir; I am so much beholding to you both,
    I am afraid I shall never requite it.

    SPEED. Requite _one_, sweet chastity, and let it be Sir
    Godfrey, with the correspondency of your love to him. I will
    maintain you like a lady; and it is brave, as I know by
    experience.

    LAMB. I will maintain you like a gentlewoman: and that may
    be better maintenance than a lady's, as I have found by
    observation.

    SPEED. How dare you maintain that, sir?

    LAMB. I dare maintain it with my purse, sir.

    SPEED. I dare cross it with my sword, sir.

                                          [_Lays his hand on his sword._

    LAMB. If you dare cross my purse with your sword, sir, I'll lay
    an action of suspicion of felony to you; that's flat, sir.

    JANE. Nay, pray you, gentlemen, do not quarrel till you know
    for what.

    BREW. O, no quarrelling, I beseech you, gentlemen! the
    reputation of my house is soiled if any uncivil noise arise
    in't.

    LAMB. Let him but shake his blade at me, and I'll throw down my
    purse and cry a rape; I scorn to kill him, but I'll hang his
    knighthood, I warrant him, if he offer assault and battery on
    my purse.

    BREW. Nay, good sir, put up your sword.

    SPEED. You have confined him prisoner for ever: I hope your
    experience sees he's a harmless thing.

                            _Enter_ GEORGE.

    GEORGE. Sir, here's young Master Foster requests to speak with
    you.

    BREW. Does he? Prythee, request him [in]. Gentlemen, please you
    taste the sweetness of my garden awhile, and let my daughter
    bear you company.

    SPEED. Where she is leader, there will be followers.

    JANE. [_Aside to her father._] You send me to the galleys, sir;
    pray you, redeem me as soon as you can: these are pretty things
    for mirth, but not for serious uses.

    BREW. Prythee, be merry with them then awhile, if but for
    courtesy; thou hast wit enough: but take heed they quarrel not.

    JANE. Nay, I dare take in hand to part 'em without any danger;
    but I beseech you, let me not be too long a prisoner. Will you
    walk, gentlemen.

    LAMB. If it please you to place one of us for your conduct,
    otherwise this old coxcomb and I shall quarrel.

    JANE. Sir Godfrey, you are the eldest; pray, lead the way.

    SPEED. With all my heart, sweet virgin. [_Aside._] Ah! ah! this
    place promises well in the eyes of experience. Master Innocent,
    come you behind.

    LAMB. Right, sir; but I put the gentlewoman before, and that is
    the thing I desire; and there your experience halts a little.

    SPEED. When I look back, sir, I see your nose behind.

    LAMB. Then when I look back your nose stands here.

    SPEED. Sweet lady, follow experience.

    LAMB. And let observation follow you.                     [_Exeunt._

    BREW. So: now request you Master Foster in, George; but hark!
    does that news hold his own still, that our ships are so near
    return, as laden on the Downs with such a wealthy fraughtage?

    GEORGE. Yes, sir, and the next tide [do] purpose to
    Put into the river. Master Foster, your partner,
    Hath now receiv'd more such intelligence, with
    Most o' the particulars of your merchandise;
    Your venture is return'd with treble blessings.

    BREW. Let him be ever blessed that sent [it]!
    George, now call in the young man; and hark ye,
    George, from him run to my partner, and request
    him to me. This news, I'm sure, makes him a
    joyful merchant; for my own part, I'll not forget
    my vow.                                              [_Exit_ GEORGE.

    This free addition heaven hath lent my state,
    As freely back to heaven I'll dedicate.

                         _Enter_ ROBERT FOSTER.

    Ay, marry, sir, would this were a third suitor to
    My daughter Jane! I should better like him than
    All that's come yet. Now, Master Foster, are
    Your father and yourself yet reconcil'd?

    ROB. Sir, 'twas my business in your courteous tongue
    To put the arbitration. I have again
    (Discover'd by my mother) reliev'd my poor uncle;
    Whose anger now so great is multiplied,
    I dare not venture in the eye of either,
    Till your persuasions [shall] with fair excuse
    Have made my satisfaction.

    BREW. Mother-o'-pearl! sir, 'tis a shrewd task;
    Yet I'll do my best: your father hath so good news,
    That I hope 'twill be a fair motive to't;
    But women's tongues are dangerous stumbling-blocks
    To lie in the way of peace.

                            _Enter_ GEORGE.

    Now, George?

    GEORGE. Master Foster's coming, sir.

    ROB. I beseech you, sir, let not me see him
    Till you have conferr'd with him.

    BREW. Well, well! [_To_ GEORGE.] Ere your return to Master
    Foster, call my daughter forth of the garden.        [_Exit_ GEORGE.

    And how does your uncle, Master Foster?

    ROB. Sir, so well,
    I'd be loth to anticipate the fame
    That shortly will o'erspread the city
    Of his good fortunes.

    BREW. Why, I commend thee still;
    He wants no good from thee--no, not in report:
    'Tis well done, sir, and you show duty in't.

                             _Enter_ JANE.

    Now, daughter, where are your lusty suitors?

    JANE. I was glad of my release, sir. Suitors call you 'em?
    I'd keep dish-water continually boiling, but I'd seethe such
    suitors: I have had much ado to keep 'em from bloodshed. I
    have seen for all the world a couple of cowardly curs quarrel
    in that fashion; as the one turns his head, the other snaps
    behind; and as he turns, his mouth recoils again: but I thank
    my pains for't, I have leagued with 'em for a week without any
    further intercourse.

    BREW. Well, daughter, well; say a third trouble come; say in
    the person of young Master Foster here came a third suitor: how
    then?

    JANE. Three's the woman's total arithmetic: indeed I would
    learn to number no farther, if there was a good account made of
    that.

    ROB. I can instruct you so far, sweet beauty.

    JANE. Take heed, sir; I have had ill-handsel to-day; perhaps
    'tis not the fortunate season; you were best adjourn your
    journey to some happier time.

    ROB. There shall no augurism fright my plain dealing: sweet, I
    fear no hours.

    JANE. You'll not betray me with love-powder?

    ROB. Nor with gunpowder neither, i' faith; yet I'll make you
    yield, if I can.

    BREW. Go, get you together; your father will be coming; leave
    me with your suit to him, ply this yourself: and, Jane, use him
    kindly; he shall be his father's heir, I can tell you.

    JANE. Never the more for that, father; if I use him kindly, it
    shall be for something I like in himself, and not for any good
    he borrows of his father. But come, sir, will you walk into the
    garden? for that's the field I have best fortune to overcome
    my suitors in.

    ROB. I fear not that fate neither; but if I walk into your
    garden, I shall be tasting your sweets.

    JANE. Taste sweetly, and welcome, sir; for there grows honesty,
    I can tell you.

    ROB. I shall be plucking at your honesty.

    JANE. By my honesty, but you shall not, sir: I'll hold you
    a handful of pennyroyal of that; i' faith, if you touch my
    honesty there, I'll make you eat sorrel to your supper, though
    I eat sullenwood[85] myself: no, sir, gather first time and
    sage, and such wholesome herbs, and honesty and heart's-ease
    will ripen the whilst.

    ROB. You have fair roses, have you not.

    JANE. Yes, sir, roses; but no gilliflowers.[86]

    BREW. Go, go, and rest on Venus' violets:
    Show her a dozen of bachelor's buttons, boy.

                                              [_Exit_ ROBERT _and_ JANE.

    Here comes his father.

               _Enter_ OLD MASTER FOSTER _and his_ WIFE.

    Now, my kind partner, have we good news?

    O. FOS. Sir, in a word take it: your full lading
    And venture is return'd at sixtyfold increase.

    BREW. Heaven take the glory! a wondrous blessing;
    O, keep us strong against these flowing tides!
    Man is too weak to bound himself below,
    When such high waves do mount him.

    O. FOS. O, sir, care and ambition seldom meet;
    Let us be thrifty; titles will faster come,
    Than we shall wish to have them.

    BREW. Faith, I desire none.

    O. FOS. Why, sir, if so you please, I'll ease your cares;
    Shall I, like a full adventurer, now bid you
    A certain ready sum for your half traffic.

    BREW. Ay, and I'd make you gainer by it, too;
    For then would I lay by my trouble, and begin
    A work which I have promis'd unto heaven;
    A house, a _Domus Dei_ shall be rais'd,
    Which shall to doomsday be established
    For succour to the poor; for in all ages
    There must be such.

    O. FOS. Shall I bid your venture at a venture?

    BREW. Pray you, do, sir.

    O. FOS. Twenty thousand pounds?

    BREW. Nay, then you underrate your own value much: will you
    make it thirty?

    O. FOS. Shall I meet you half-way?

    BREW. I meet you there, sir: for five-and-twenty thousand
    pounds the full venture's yours.

    O. FOS. If you like my payment, 'tis the one-half in ready
    cash, the other seal'd for six months.

    BREW. 'Tis merchant-like and fair. George, you observe this?
    Let the contents be drawn.

    GEORGE. They shall, sir.

    O. FOS. Your hazard is now all pass'd, sir.

    BREW. I rejoice at it, sir, and shall not grudge your gains,
    Though multiplied to thousands.

    O. FOS. Believe me, sir, I account myself a large gainer by you.

    BREW. Much good may it be to you, sir: but one thing
    At this advantage of my love to you
    Let me entreat.

    O. FOS. What is it, sir?

    BREW. Faith, my old suit--to reconcile those breaches
    'Twixt your kind son and you: let not the love
    He shows unto his uncle be any more a bar
    To sunder your blessings and his duty.

    O. FOS. I would you had enjoin'd me some great labour
    For your own love's sake: but to that my vow
    Stands fix'd against; I'm deaf, obdurate
    To either of them.

    MRS FOS. Nay, sir, if you knew all,
    You would not waste your words in so vain expense:
    Since his last reformation, he has flown
    Out again, and in my sight relieved
    His uncle in the dicing-house; for which
    Either he shall be no father to him,
    Or no husband to me.

    BREW. Well, sir, go call my daughter forth of the garden, and
    bid her bring her friend along with her: troth, sir, I must not
    leave you thus; I must needs make him your son again.

    O. FOS. Sir, I have no such thing akin to me.

             _Enter_ ROBERT; ROBERT _kneels to his father_.

    BREW. Look you, sir, know you this duty?

    O. FOS. Not I, sir; he's a stranger to me.
    Save your knee; I have no blessing for you.

    MRS FOS. Go, go to your uncle, sir; you know where to find him;
    he's at his old haunt; he wants more money by this time; but I
    think the conduit-pipe is stopped from whence it ran.

    O. FOS. Did he not say he'd beg for you? you'd best make use
    of's bounty.

    BREW. Nay, good sir.

    O. FOS. Sir, if your daughter cast any eye of favour upon this
    unthrift, restrain't, he's a beggar. Mistress Jane, take heed
    what you do.

    MRS FOS. Ay, ay, be wise, Mistress Jane; do not you trust
    to spleen in time worn to pity,[87] you'll not find it so;
    therefore, good gentlewoman, take heed.

    BREW. Nay, then, you are too impenetrable.

    O. FOS. Sir, your money shall be ready, and your bills; other
    business I have none.

    [_To_ ROB.] For thee, beg, hang, die like a slave;
    Such blessings ever thou from me shalt have.

                                          [_Exit_ FOSTER _and his_ WIFE.

    BREW. Well, sir, I'll follow you.                      [_To_ ROBERT.
    And, sir, be comforted,
    I will not leave, till I find some remorse;
    Meantime let not want trouble you;
    You shall not know it.

    ROB. Sir, 'tis not want I fear, but want of blessing
    My knee was bent for; for mine uncle's state,
    Which now (I daresay) outweighs my father's far,
    Confirms my hopes as rich as with my father's,
    His love excepted only.

    BREW. Thy uncle's state! how, for heaven's love?

    ROB. By his late marriage to the wealthiest widow
    That London had; who has not only made him
    Lord of herself, but of her whole estate.

    BREW. Mother-o'-pearl! I rejoice in't: this news
    Is yet but young.

    ROB. Fame will soon speak it loud, sir.

    BREW. This may help happily to make all peace:
    But how, have you parley'd with my daughter, sir?

                             _Enter_ JANE.

    JANE. Very well, father; we spake something, but did nothing at
    all: I requested him to pull me a Catherine pear, and had I not
    looked to him, he would have mistook and given me a poperin:
    and to requite his kindness I plucked him a rose, and had
    almost pricked my finger for my pains.

    BREW. Well-said, wag; are there sparks kindled?
    Quench 'em not for me: 'tis not a father's roughness,
    Nor doubtful hazard of an uncle's kindness
    Can me deter. I must to your father;
    Where (as a chief affair) I'll once more move,
    And (if I can) return him back to love.                   [_Exeunt._

                  _Enter_ DOCTOR _and_ STEPHEN'S WIFE.

    WIFE. Sir, you see I have made a speedy choice
    And as swift a marriage: be it as it will,
    I like the man: if his qualities afflict me,
    I shall be happy in't.

    DOC. I must not distaste what I have help'd to make;
    'Tis I that join'd you.

    WIFE. A good bargain, I hope.

                             _Enter_ CLOWN.

    Roger, where's your master?

    CLOWN. The good man of the house is within, forsooth.

    WIFE. Not your master, sir?

    CLOWN. 'Tis hard of digestion. Yes, my master is within. He
    masters you; therefore I must be content. You have longed for
    crosses a good while, and now you are like to be farther off
    them than e'er you were; for I'm afraid your good husband will
    leave you ne'er a cross i' th' house to bless you with.

    WIFE. Well, sir, I shall be bless'd in't. But where is he?

    CLOWN. Where he has mistaken the place a little, being his
    wedding-day; he is in _nomine_, when he should be in _re_.

    WIFE. And where's that?

    CLOWN. In your counting-house: if he were a kind husband, he
    would have been in another counting-house by this time: he's
    tumbling over all his money-bags yonder; you shall hear of him
    in the bowling-alley again.

    WIFE. Why, sir, all is his, and at his dispose; Who shall dare
    to thwart him?

                _Enter_ STEPHEN _with bills and bonds_.

    CLOWN. Look where he comes.

    WIFE. How now, sweetheart? what hast thou there?

    STEPH. I find much debts belonging to you, sweet;
    And my care must be now to fetch them in.

    WIFE. Ha, ha! prythee, do not mistake thyself,
    Nor my true purpose; I did not wed to thrall,
    Or bind thy large expense, but rather to add
    A plenty to that liberty. I thought by this,
    Thou wouldst have stuff'd thy pockets full of gold,
    And thrown it at a hazard; made ducks and drakes,
    And baited fishes with thy silver flies;
    Lost, and fetch'd more: why, this had been my joy!
    Perhaps at length thou wouldst have wasted my store:
    Why, this had been a blessing too good for me.

    STEPH. Content thee, sweet, those days are gone--
    Ay, even from my memory;
    I have forgot that e'er I had such follies,
    And I'll not call 'em back: my cares[88] are bent
    To keep your state, and give you all content.
    Roger, go, call your fellow-servants up to me,
    And to my chamber bring all books of debt;
    I will o'erlook and cast up all accounts,
    That I may know the weight of all my cares,
    And once a year give up my stewardship.

    CLOWN. [_Aside to the_ WIFE.] Now you may see what hasty
    matching is. You had thought to have been vexed, and now you
    cannot; you have married a husband, that (sir reverence of
    the title) now being my master-in-law, I do think he'll prove
    the miserablest covetous rascal that ever beat beggar from
    his gate. But 'tis no matter. Time was when you were fairly
    offered, if you would have took it. You might have had other
    matches, i' faith, if it had pleased you; and those that would
    have crossed you. I would have sold away all that ever you had
    had; have kept two or three whores at livery under your nose;
    have turned you out in your smock, and have used you like a
    woman: whereas now, if you'd hang yourself, you can have none
    of these blessings. But 'tis well enough--now you must take
    what follows.

    WIFE. I'm to new[89] seek for crosses: the hopes I meant
    Turn to despair, and smother in content.

                            _Enter_ ROBERT.

    STEPH. O nephew, are you come! the welcom'st wish
    That my heart has; this is my kinsman, sweet.

    WIFE. Let him be largely texted in your love,
    That all the city may read it fairly;
    You cannot remember me, and him forget:
    We were alike to you in poverty.

    STEPH. I should have begg'd that bounty of your love,
    Though you had scanted me to have given't him;
    For we are one: I an uncle-nephew,
    He a nephew-uncle. But, my sweet self,
    My slow request you have anticipated
    With proffer'd kindness; and I thank you for it.
    But how, kind cousin, does your father use you?
    Is your name found again within his books?
    Can he read son there?

    ROB. 'Tis now blotted quite:
    For by the violent instigation
    Of my cruel stepmother, his vows and oaths
    Are stamp'd against me, ne'er to acknowledge me,
    Never to call or bless me as a child;
    But in his brow, his bounty and behaviour
    I read it all most plainly.

    STEPH. Cousin, grieve
    Not at it; that father, lost at home, you shall
    Find here; and with the loss of his inheritance,
    You meet another amply proffer'd you;
    Be my adopted son, no more my kinsman:
    [_To his_ WIFE.] So that this borrowed bounty do not stray
    From your consent.

    WIFE. Call it not borrow'd, sir; 'tis all your own;
    Here 'fore this reverend man I make it known,
    Thou art our child as free by adoption,
    As deriv'd from us by conception,
    Birth, and propinquity; inheritor
    To our full substance.

    ROB. You were born
    To bless us both; my knee shall practise
    A son's duty even beneath [a] son's;
    Giving you all the comely dues of parents; yet
    Not forgetting my duty to my father:
    Where'er I meet him, he shall have my knee,
    Although his blessing ne'er return to me.

    STEPH. Come then, my dearest son, I'll now give thee
    A taste of my love to thee: be thou my deputy,
    The factor and disposer of my business;
    Keep my accounts, and order my affairs;
    They must be all your own: for you, dear sweet,
    Be merry, take your pleasure at home--abroad;
    Visit your neighbours--aught that may seem good
    To your own will; down to the country ride;
    For cares and troubles, lay them all aside,
    And I will take them up: it's fit that weight
    Should now lie all on me: take thou the height
    Of quiet and content: let nothing grieve thee.
    I brought thee nothing else, and that I'll give thee.

                                           [_Exit_ STEPHEN _and_ ROBERT.

    WIFE. Will the tide never turn? Was ever woman
    Thus burden'd with unhappy happiness?
    Did I from riot take him to waste my goods,
    And he strives to augment it? I did mistake him.

    DOC. Spoil not a good text with a false comment;
    All these are blessings, and from heaven sent;
    It is your husband's good; he's now transform'd
    To a better shade; the prodigal's return'd.
    Come, come, know joy, make not abundance scant;
    You 'plain of that which thousand women want.             [_Exeunt._

             _Enter_ BREWEN _and_ OLD FOSTER; GEORGE _and_
            RICHARD _follow them, carrying several bags of_
                       _money across the stage_.

    BREW. So, so,
    Haste home, good lads, and return for the rest.
    Would they were cover'd, George; 'tis too public
    Blazon of my estate; but 'tis no matter now;
    I'll bring it abroad again, ere it be long.
    Sir, I acknowledge receipt of my full half debt,
    Twelve thousand five hundred pounds; it now remains
    You seal those writings as assurance for the rest,
    And I am satisfied for this time.

    O. FOS. Pray stay, sir, I have bethought me: let me once
    Throw dice at all, and either be a complete
    Merchant, or wrack my estate for ever:
    Hear me, sir; I have of wares, that are now vendible,
    So much as will defray your utmost penny;
    Will you accept of them, and save this charge
    Of wax and parchment?

    BREW. Be they vendible, sir, I am your chapman:
    What are they, Master Foster?

    O. FOS. Broadcloths, kerseys, cochineal, such as will not stay
    two days upon your hands.

    BREW. I find your purpose; you'd have your warehouses empty for
    the receipt of your full fraught: I'll be your furtherer; make
    so your rates that I may be no loser.

                     _Enter_ GEORGE _and_ RICHARD.

    O. FOS. I have no other end, sir; let our factors peruse and
    deal for both.

    BREW. Mine is returned. George, here's a new business; you and
    Richard must deal for some commodities betwixt us; if you find
    'em even gain or but little loss, take carriage presently, and
    carry 'em home.

    GEORGE. I shall.

    O. FOS. Richard, have you any further news yet from our
    shipping?

    RICH Not yet, sir; but by account from the last, when they put
    from Dover, this tide should bring them into Saint Catherine's
    pool; the wind has been friendly.

    O. FOS. Listen their arrival, and bid the gunner speak it
    In his loud thunder all the city over;
    Tingle the merchants' ears at the report
    Of my abundant wealth. Now go with George.

    RICH I shall do both, sir.                        [_Exeunt_ FACTORS.

    O. FOS. I must plainly now confess, master alderman,
    I shall gain much by you. The half of your ship
    Defrays my full cost.

    BREW. Beshrew me, if I grudge it, being myself
    A sufficient gainer by my venture, sir.

                        _Enter_ MISTRESS FOSTER.

    MRS FOS. Still flows the tide of my unhappiness;
    The stars shoot mischief, and every hour
    Is critical to me.

    O. FOS. How now, woman?
    Wrecked in the haven of felicity? What ail'st thou?

    MRS FOS. I think the devil's mine enemy.

    O. FOS. I hope so too; his hate is better than his friendship.

    MRS FOS. Your brother--your good brother, sir----

    O. FOS. What of him? he's in Ludgate again.

    MRS FOS. No, he's in _Highgate_; he struts it bravely--
    An alderman's pace at least.

    O. FOS. Why, these
    Are oracles, doubtful enigmas!

    MRS FOS. Why,
    I'm sure you have heard the news; he's married, forsooth.

    O. FOS. How, married?
    No woman of repute would choose so slightly.

    MRS FOS. A woman, in whose breast I'd thought had liv'd
    The very quintessence of discretion:
    And who is't, think you? nay, you cannot guess,
    Though I should give you a day to [un]riddle it:
    It is my gossip, man, the rich
    Widow of Cornhill.

    O. FOS. Fie, fie! 'tis fabulous.

    MRS FOS. Are you my husband? then is she his wife.
    How will this upstart beggar shoulder up,
    And take the wall of you! his new-found pride
    Will know no eldership.

    O. FOS. But, wife, my wealth will five times double his
    Ere this tide ebb again: I wonder I hear not
    The brazen cannon proclaim the arrival
    Of my infinite substance.

    MRS FOS. But beggars
    Will be proud of little, and shoulder at the best.

    O. FOS. Let him first pay his old score, and then reckon:
    But that she----

    MRS FOS. Ay, that's it mads me too.
    Would any woman, 'less to spite herself,
    So much profane the sacred name of wedlock:
    A dove to couple with a stork, or a lamb a viper?

    O. FOS. Content thee; forgive her; she'll do so no more.
    She was a rich widow: a wife he'll make her poor.

    BREW. So, sir, you have clos'd it well; if so ill it prove,
    Leave it to proof, and wish not misery

                     _Enter_ STEPHEN _and_ ROBERT.

    Unto your enemy. Look, here he comes.

    O. FOS. You say true; 'tis my enemy indeed.

    STEPH. Save you, master alderman, I have some business with you.

    BREW. With me, sir? and most welcome; I rejoice to see you.

    MRS FOS. Do you observe, sir, he will not know you now?
    Jockey's a gentleman now.[90]

    O. FOS. Well fare rich widows, when such beggars flourish;
    But ill shall they fare that flourish o'er such beggars.

    STEPH. Ha! ha! ha!

    MRS FOS. He laughs at you.

    O. FOS. No wonder, woman, he would do that in Ludgate;
    But 'twas when his kind nephew did relieve him:
    I shall hear him cry there again shortly.

    STEPH. _Oysters, new Walfleet oysters!_

    O. FOS. The gentleman is merry.

    MRS FOS. No, no, no; he does this to spite me; as who should say,
    I had been a fishwife in my younger days.

    BREW. Fie, fie, gentlemen! this is not well;
    My ears are guilty to hear such discords.

                                         [ROBERT _kneels to his father_.

    Look, Master Foster; turn your eye that way;
    There's duty unregarded, while envy struts
    In too much state: believe me, gentlemen,
    I know not which to chide first.

    O. FOS. What idol kneels that heretic to?

    STEPH. Rise, boy, thou art now my son, and owest no knee
    To that unnatural: I charge you, rise.

    O. FOS. Do, sir, or turn your adoration that way;
    You were kind to him in his tatter'd state;
    Let him requite it now.

    MRS FOS. Do, do, we have paid for't aforehand.

    ROB. I would I were divided in two halves,
    So that might reconcile your harsh division.

    STEPH. Proud sir, this son, which you have alienated
    For my love's sake, shall by my love's bounty
    Ride side by side in the best equipage
    Your scorns dare pattern him.

    O. FOS. Ay, ay, a beggar's gallop up and down.

    MRS FOS. Ay, 'tis up now, the next step down.

    STEPH. Ha, ha! I laugh at your envy, sir. My business
    Is to you.

    BREW. Good sir, speak of anything but this.

    STEPH. Sir, I am furnishing some shipping forth,
    And want some English traffic, broadcloths, kerseys,
    Or suchlike; my voyage is to the Straits:
    If you can supply me, sir, I'll be your chapman.

    BREW. That I shall soon resolve you, sir.

                            _Enter_ FACTORS.

    Come hither, George.

    O. FOS. This is the rich merchantman;

    MRS FOS. That's neither grave nor wise;

    O. FOS. Who will kill a man at Tyburn shortly.

    MRS FOS. By carts that may arise;[91]
    Or if the hangman die, he may have his office.

    BREW. Then you have bargain'd, George?

    GEORGE. And the ware carried home, sir; you must look
    To be little gainer; but lose you cannot.

    BREW. 'Tis all I desire from thence. Sir, I can furnish you
    With wares I lately from your brother bought:
    Please you go see them, for I would fain divide you,
    Since I can win no nearer friendship.

    STEPH. I'll go with you, sir.

                                [_Exeunt_ BREWEN, STEPHEN, _and_ GEORGE.

    O. FOS. Take your adoption with you, sir.

    ROB. I crave but your blessing with me, sir.

    O. FOS. 'Tis my curse then; get thee out of mine eye:

    Thou art a beam in't, and I'll tear it out,
    Ere it offend to look on thee.[92]

    MRS FOS. Go, go, sir; follow your uncle-father,
    Help him to spend what thrift has got together;
    It will be charity in you to spend,
    Because your charity it was to lend.

    ROB. My charity! you can a virtue name,
    And teach the use, yet never knew the same.                 [_Exit._

                            _Enter_ RICHARD.

    O. FOS. See, wife, here comes Richard; now listen,
    And hear me crown'd the wealthiest London merchant.
    Why dost thou look so sadly?

    MRS FOS. Why dost not speak? hast lost thy tongue?

    RICH. I never could speak worse.

    O. FOS. Why, thy voice is good enough.

    RICH. But the worst accent that ever you heard;
    I speak a screech-owl's note. O, you have made
    The most unhappiest bargain that ever merchant did!

    O. FOS. Ha?
    What can so baleful be, as thou wouldst seem
    To make by this sad prologue? I am no traitor,
    To confiscate my goods: speak, whate'er it be.

    RICH. I would you could conceit it, that I might
    Not speak it.

    O. FOS. Dally not with torments,
    Sink me at once.

    RICH. Now you've spoke it half;
    'Tis sinking I must treat of: your ships are all sunk.

    O. FOS. Ha!

    MRS FOS. O thou fatal raven! let me pull thine eyes out
    For this sad croak.                             [_Flies at_ RICHARD.

    O. FOS. Hold, woman! hold, prythee! 'tis none of his fault.

    MRS FOS. No, no, 'tis thine, thou wretch; and therefore
    Let me turn my vengeance all on thee; thou
    Hast made hot haste to empty all my warehouses,
    And made room for that the sea hath drunk before thee.

    O. FOS. Undone for ever! Where could this mischief fall?
    Were not my ships in their full pride at Dover;
    And what English Charybdis has the devil digg'd
    To swallow nearer home.

    RICH. Even in the mouth
    And entrance of the Thames they were all cast away.

    O. FOS. Dam up thy mouth
    From any further mischievous relation.

    RICH. Some men were sav'd, but not one pennyworth
    Of goods.

    O. FOS. Even now thy baleful utterance
    Was chok'd, and now it runs too fast;
    Thou fatal bird, no more.

    MRS FOS. May serpents breed,
    And fill this fatal stream, and poison her for ever.

    O. FOS. O, curse not; they come too fast!

    MRS FOS. Let me curse somewhere, wretch, or else I'll throw
    Them all on thee; 'tis thou, ungodly slave,
    That art the mark unto the wrath of heaven:
    I thriv'd ere I knew thee.

    O. FOS. I prythee, split me too.

    MRS FOS. I would I could! I would I had ne'er seen thee,
    For I ne'er saw hour of comfort since I knew thee.

    O. FOS. Undone for ever! My credit I have crack'd
    To buy a venture, which the sea has soak'd;
    What worse can woe report?

    MRS FOS. Yes, worse than all,
    Thy enemies will laugh, and scorn thy fall.

    O. FOS. Be it the worst, then: that place I did assign
    My unthrifty brother, Ludgate, must now be mine.
    Break, and take Ludgate.

    MRS FOS. Take Newgate rather.

    O. FOS. I scorn'd my child, now he may scorn his father.

    MRS FOS. Scorn him still!

    O. FOS. I will: would he my wants relieve,
    I'd scorn to take what he would yield to give.
    My heart be still my friend, although no other.
    I'll scorn the help of either son or brother.
    My portion's begging now: seldom before,
    In one sad hour, was man so rich and poor.                [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[77] There were several works published about this time containing the
results of the various writers' _experiences and observations_ in the
new plantations in America.

[78] [Shafts.]

[79] You acquired citizenship in right of your father, and without
personal service.

[80] An allusion to Godfrey of Boulogne or Bulloigne.

[81] _Innocent_, it must be remembered, in the language of our old
dramatic writers, denotes _an idiot_.

[82] [Enjoy, in the sense of a man having knowledge of a woman.] Doll
Tearsheet says of Pistol, in the "Second Part of Henry IV.," "These
villains will make the word captain as odious as the word _occupy_,
which, was an excellent good word before it was ill-sorted," [See
Nares, edit. 1859, in _v._; and Percy Folio MS. ("Loose and Humorous
Songs," p. 29.)]

[83] "_Tallies_," says Johnson, "are sticks cut in conformity to
others, by which accounts were kept." Jack Cade reproaches the Lord
Say, "with having caused printing to be used, whereas before no other
books were made use of by their forefathers but the score and _tally_.
And Cade has the Exchequer Office on his side, where accounts are still
partially kept after this most barbarous fashion."

[84] The name of a tooth-drawer, real or imaginary, who attended
fairs. In 1592 Chettle printed his tract called "Kindhart's Dream."
Dilke observes: "I am inclined to think, however, that _kind-heart_
was the '_travelling name_' of some notorious quack tooth-drawer, or
a cant name given to the whole race of them. So the stage-keeper, in
the induction to 'Bartholomew Fair,' when expressing his fear of the
author's success, says: 'He has ne'er a sword-and-buckler man in his
fair, nor a little Davy, to take toll of the bawds there, as in my
time; nor a _kind-heart, if anybody's teeth should chance to ake in
his play_.' And further, it is part of the 'covenant and agreement,'
in the same induction, that the audience shall not 'look back to the
sword-and-buckler age of Smithfield, but content themselves with the
present. Instead of a little Davy, to take toll of the bawds, the
author doth promise a strutting horse-courser, with a leer drunkard,
two or three to attend him in as good equipage as you would wish. _And
then for kind-heart the tooth-drawer_, a fine oily pig-woman, with,'"
&c., &c.    [Lambskin's reply is obviously allusive to the name by which
Stephen has just addressed the widow.]

[85] The _artemisia_ or _southern_ wood is meant.

[86] Jane has been too successful in her play on the names and
qualities of the flowers to have chosen this at random; and I am
inclined to think the following extract from the "Winter's Tale" will
serve to elucidate her meaning--

              "The fairest flowers o' the season
    Are our carnations and _streak'd gilliflowers._
    _Which some call nature's bastards_: of that kind
    Our rustic garden's barren; _and I care not_
    _To get slips of them_.

    POL. Wherefore, gentle maiden,
    Do you neglect them?

    PER. For I have heard it said,
    There is _an art_, which, _in their piedness_, shares
    _With great creating nature_."

"This art," says Steevens, in a note on that passage, "is pretended to
be taught at the end of some of the old books that treat of cookery."
As I understand the passage then, Jane means to say, _I have such
good qualities and beauty as nature has given, but none that are
produced by art_. If the passage be thus understood, the opposition
of the _rose_ and the _gilliflower_ is complete. If the reader is
not satisfied with this conjecture, I will further suggest that
_gill-flirt_ was then a well-known term for a wanton; and Steevens has
informed us that _gilly'vors_ (the vulgar way of calling gilly-flowers)
is still in use in Sussex to denote a _harlot_. Jane has spoken more
than once of her _honesty_, and here may be the allusion.

[87] [Old copy, _and_.]

[88] [The 4o reads _eares_.]

[89] [Old copy, _new to_.]

[90] [Or, _Jack will be a gentleman_. This is a common proverb. It
occurs in "A Garden of Spiritual Flowers," 1610, edit. 1638, part ii.
p. 303.]

[91] These four lines seem to be a quotation, probably from some old
ballad.

[92] Here is an evident allusion to two passages in the Gospel of St
Matthew.



ACT IV., SCENE I.


            _Enter_ MISTRESS JANE, GODFREY SPEEDWELL, _and_
                            MASTER LAMBSKIN.

    JANE. Gentlemen, my father's not within; please you to walk a
    turn or two in the garden; he'll not be long.

    LAMB. Your father, Mistress Jane? I hope you have observation
    in you, and know our humours; we come not a-wooing to your
    father.

    SPEED. Experience must bear with folly; thou art all innocent,
    and thy name is Lambskin; grave sapience guides me, and I care
    not a pin for thy squibs and thy crackers. My old dry wood
    shall make a lusty bonfire when thy green chips shall lie
    hissing in the chimney-corner. Remember, mistress, I can make
    you a lady by mine own experience.

    LAMB. Prythee, do not stand troubling the gentlewoman with thy
    musty sentences, but let her love be laid down betwixt us like
    a pair of cudgels, and into whose hands she thrusts the weapons
    first, let him take up the bucklers.[93]

    SPEED. A match between us.

    JANE. Must I be stickler, then?

    LAMB. We are both to run at the ring of your setting-up, and
    you must tell us who deserves most favour.

    JANE. But will you stand both at my disposing?

    LAMB. Else let me never stand but in a pillory.

    JANE. You love me both, you say?

    SPEED. By this hand!

    LAMB. Hand? Zounds! by the four-and-twenty elements.

    JANE. Pray spare your oaths; I do believe you do,
    You would not else make all this stir to woo.
    Sir Godfrey, you are a knight both tough and old;
    A rotten building cannot long time hold.

    LAMB. Speedwell, live well, die well, and be hanged well,
    change your copy well, your experience will not carry it else.

    JANE. You're rich too, at least yourself so say;
    What, though you're but a gilded man of clay.

    LAMB. A man of gingerbread; i' faith, I could find in my heart
    to eat him.

    JANE. Should I wed you, the fire with frost must marry,
    January and May! I for a younger tarry.

    LAMB. That's I! In troth, I'll be thy young Lambskin; thou
    shalt find me as innocent as a sucking dove. Speak, sweet
    mistress, am I the youth in a basket?

    JANE. You are the sweet youth, sir, whose pretty eyes
    Would make me love; but you must first be wise.

    SPEED. Ha, ha! Is your coxcomb cut? I see experience must board
    this fair pinnace. A word in private.

    LAMB. I'll have no words in private, unless I hear too.
                                                              [_Retire._

             _Enter_ MASTER BREWEN, STEPHEN, _and_ ROBERT.

    BREW. Come, gentlemen, we'll make few words about it:
    Merchants in bargaining must not, like soldiers
    Lying at a siege, stay moneths, weeks, days,
    But strike at the first parley.
    Broadcloths and wools, and other rich commodities,
    I lately from your brother brought, are all your own.

    STEPH. 'Tis well.

    BREW. Then be not angry, gentle sir,
    If now a string be touch'd, which hath too long
    Sounded so harshly over all the city;
    I now would wind it to a musical height.

    STEPH. Good master alderman, I think that string
    Will still offend mine ear; you mean the jarring
    'Twixt me and my brother?

    BREW. In troth, the same.

    STEPH. I hate no poison like that brother's name.

    BREW. O fie! not so.

    STEPH. Uncivil churl, when all his sails were up,
    And that his proud heart danc'd on golden waves----

    BREW. As, heaven be thanked, it still does!

    STEPH. Yet, sir, then,
    I being sunk, and drown'd in mine own misery,
    He would not cast out a poor line of thread,
    And bring me to the shore; I had been dead,
    And might have starv'd for him.

    BREW. A better fate, sir,
    Stood at your elbow.

    STEPH. True, sir: this was he,
    That lifted me from want and misery;
    Whose cruel father, for that [act of] good,
    Cast him away, scorning his name and blood;
    Lopp'd from his side this branch that held me dear;
    For which he's now my son, my joy, my heir.
    But, for his father, hang him!

    BREW. Fie, fie!

    STEPH. By heaven!

    BREW. Come, come,
    Live in more charity, he is your brother;
    If that name offend, I'll sing that tune no more.
    Yonder's my daughter busy with her suitors;
    We'll visit them. Now, Jane, bid your friends welcome.

    JANE. They must be welcome, sir, that come with you;
    To thee ten thousand welcomes still are due.

    ROB. My sweet mistress!                               [_Kisses her._

    LAMB. Zounds! Sir knight, we have stood beating the bush,
    and the bird's flown away; this city bowler has kissed the
    mistress[94] at first cast.

    BREW. How fare ye, gentlemen? what cheer, sir knight?

    SPEED. An adventurer still, sir, to this new-found land.[95]

    LAMB. He sails about the point, sir; but he cannot put in yet.

    BREW. The wind may turn, sir. [_To_ STEPHEN.] A word, Master
    Foster.                                      [_They converse apart._

    LAMB. You see, Sir Speedwell, what card is turned up for trump;
    I hold my life, this spruce citizen will forestall the market:
    O, these brisk factors are notable firkers.

    SPEED. I doubt, sir, he will play the merchant[96] with us.

    BREW. They both are suitors, sir, yet both shoot wide;
    My daughter, sure, must be your kinsman's bride.

    STEPH. I'll give her a wedding-ring on that condition,
    And put a stone in't worth a thousand pound, sir.

    BREW. You have my hand and heart to't, be she pleased so.

    LAMB. 'Sfoot! let's show ourselves gallants or
    gallymawfries:[97] shall we be outbraved by a cockney? [_To_
    ROBERT.] A word, my fair Zenocrates; do you see, sir, here be
    those that have gone a-fishing, and can give you a gudgeon?

    ROB. You were best go fish for better manners, or I shall bob
    for eels[98] with you. [_Strikes him._

    LAMB. Zounds! are you a striker? Draw, sir knight.

    BREW. Not in my house; I pray, be quiet, gentlemen.

    ROB. He dares not do't abroad, believe me, sir.

    STEPH. Now, by my life, my boy, for this brave spirit
    I'll hug thee in mine arms: lose life and limbs,
    Ere thou forsake thy love.

    LAMB. He is no rival he, sir,[99] has struck me;
    And we are gentlemen.

    SPEED. And hear ye, sir; let him seek out his equals; for some
    of us are in danger to make her a lady shortly: I know what I
    speak; what I speak I'll do; yet I'll do nothing but what comes
    from grave experience.

    STEPH. Speak what you please, sir; he's a gentleman
    As good as either of you both; and shall
    In list of love, for such a bedfellow,
    Brave him that dares; and here lay down more gold
    To win her love than both your states are worth.

    SPEED. Ha! do you know us, sir? you grow too bold; my
    experience now hath found you: you were once a tattered fellow,
    your name is Foster; have you such gold to give?

    LAMB. Yes, yes, 'has won it betting at the bowling-alleys, or
    at the pigeon-holes in the garden-alleys.

    STEPH. You are muddy grooms[100] to upbraid me with that scorn
    Which virtue now gilds over. Pray ye, gentlemen,
    May I request your names?

    LAMB. Our names are in the heralds' books, I warrant you;
    My name is Innocent Lambskin; and this knight,
    Simply though he stands here, is known to be
    Sir Godfrey Speedwell.

    STEPH. Well may he speed, sir. Lambskin and Speedwell. Ha! is't
    so? I think I shall give you a medicine to purge this itch of
    love, sir.

    LAMB. No itch neither, sir; we have no scabs here
    But yourself and your cousin.

    STEPH. Very good, sir! my little Lambskin, I have you
    Here in sheep's-skin [_Produces a parchment_]; look you, 'tis
            so, i' faith.
    See, master alderman, these two crack'd gallants
    Are in several bonds to my predecessor
    For a debt of full two thousand a-piece.
    Cousin, fetch me a sergeant straight.

    ROB. Yes, sir.

    SPEED. O, let him: I have a protection, sir.

    STEPH. I'll try that, sir.

    SPEED. A sergeant? nay, then,
    Experience must work: legs be strong and bold:

    When sergeants wait at feasts, the cheer's but cold.
    I'll shift for one.                                         [_Exit._

    LAMB. Knight, knight! 'Sfoot! if an errand-knight run away, I
    were an errand ass to tarry, and be catched in the lime-bush:
    I love the wench well; but if they have no hole to place me in
    but the hole in the counter, I'll be gone and leave 'em; that's
    flat.                                                       [_Exit._

    BREW. You have scared the suitors from the mark, sir.

    STEPH. I am glad on't, sir; they are but such as seek
    To build their rotten state on you, and with your wealth
    To underprop their weakness:
    Believe me, reverend sir, I had much rather
    You'd venture that my coz might call you father.

    BREW. We'll talk of that anon. See, sir, here comes you wife.

                        _Enter_ STEPHEN'S WIFE.

    The theme of all her time, with goodness mix'd,
    The happy woman that was never vex'd.
    You're welcome, Mistress Foster.

    WIFE. I thank ye, sir.

    STEPH. Wife, your two debtors
    Were here but now, Speedwell and Lambskin.
    A wolf could not have torn poor Lambskin worse
    Than the bare name of sergeant: the very thought
    Made them both take their heels and run away.

    WIFE. 'Las! they are poor and lean, and being so,
    Kill them not till they are fatter.

    STEPH. At thy girdle, sweet, hang the keys
    To lock the prison doors or let them loose:
    'Twas my intent only (in way of mirth)
    To rid them from the presence of Mistress Jane,
    That our adopted son might have no bar
    Unto his love.

    WIFE. The match is fair; and were that knot once tied,
    I'd send some angels to attend the bride.

                            _Enter_ GEORGE.

    STEPH. Sir, here's your factor.

    BREW. Are the wares ready?

    GEORGE. Yes, and delivered, sir, to Master Foster's servants,
    who conveyed them in carts to the Custom House, there to be
    shipped; but going with them, sir, I met ill news.

    BREW. Ill news? what is't?

    GEORGE. Old Master Foster's ships, so richly laden,
    By strange misfortune, sir, are cast away.

    BREW. Now heaven forbid!

    ROB. O me!

    STEPH. How? cast away? where?

    BREW. 'Tis impossible; they rid at Dover safe
    When he outbought my full share in the fraught,
    And paid me down near thirty thousand pounds
    In wares and money.

    GEORGE. Which, had he not done, you had lost your venture.
    By Master Foster's own appointment, sir, they weighed
    Their anchors up, and so to come for London;
    But by a merciless storm they all were swallowed,
    Even in the Thames's mouth: yet the men were sav'd,
    But all the goods were lost.

    ROB. O my poor father! This loss will break his back.

    STEPH. Ha! what is that to you? If in my favour
    You'll sit warm, then bury all love to him,
    Nay, duty; hear you, sir? What! shedd'st thou tears
    For him that had no care to see thy heart
    Drop blood? He was unnatural, and heaven
    Hath justly now rewarded him.

    BREW. 'Tis a most strange fate!
    He needs would buy my part at any rate;
    And now all's lost.

    STEPH. Greedy desire he swallowed,
    And now is swallowed: 'tis but his hire,
    And I'll not pity it no more than he
    In his abundance did my misery.

    WIFE. I grieve for my poor gossip, his good wife;
    She never met good fortune all her life,
    And this will break her heart-strings:
    In good sooth, I'll go and comfort her.

    STEPH. In good sooth, you shall not;
    Nor him, nor her, at this time, gentle wife;
    He scorn'd me in his height: now being poor,
    If that he needs my help, he knows my door.
    Sir, we'll for this time leave you; at fitter leisure
    We'll have this marriage talk'd of.

    BREW. At your own good pleasure.

    STEPH. Come, wife. Go not to see your father, sir,
    I charge you.

    BREW. Jane, bring your friends to th' door.

    ROB. [_Aside._] I'll help my father, though myself grow poor.
                                                              [_Exeunt._

    BREW. Where's my factor?

    GEORGE. Here, sir.

    BREW. What, are the square stones and timber brought, as I appointed?

    GEORGE. Yes, sir, and the workmen that daily ply the work are
    in number fourscore at least.

    BREW. My vows flew up to heaven, that I would make
    Some pious work in the brass book of fame,
    That might till doomsday lengthen out my name.
    Near Norton Folgate, therefore, have I bought
    Ground to erect this house, which I will call
    And dedicate St Mary's Hospital;
    And when 'tis finish'd, o'er the gates shall stand
    In capital letters, these words fairly graven,
    For I have given the work and house to heaven,
    And call'd it _Domus Dei_, God's house;
    For in my zealous faith I know full well,
    Where good deeds are, there heaven itself doth dwell.       [_Exit._

           _Enter_ OLD FOSTER, RICHARD _his factor, and the_
                           KEEPER OF LUDGATE.

    RICH. Good sir, resolve not thus; return again,
    Your debts are not so great that you should yield
    Your body thus to prison unconstrain'd.

    O. FOS. I will not trust the iron hearts of men;
    My credit's lost, my wealth the sea has swallowed,
    Wrack'd at my door, even in the mouth o' th' Thames;
    O my misfortune! never man like me
    Was so thrown down and cast to misery.

    RICH. Dear sir, be patient!

    O. FOS. I prythee, get thee gone,
    And with thy diligence assist thy mistress
    To keep that little left to help herself;
    Whilst here in Ludgate I secure my body
    From writs, arrests, and executions,
    Which, well I know, my cruel creditors
    Will thunder on me. Go, get thee gone!
    If what is left they'll take, do thou agree;
    If not, I am resolv'd here to stay and die.

    RICH. I'll do my best, sir, to procure your peace.          [_Exit._

    O. FOS. Do so. [_To the_ KEEPER.] Come, sir, I yield myself
            your prisoner:
    You are the keeper of this Ludgate?

    KEEPER. Yes, sir;
    Your name is register'd amongst the prisoners.

    O. FOS. So!
    I have seen the fair outside of this tomb before;
    This goodly apple has a rotten core.

    KEEPER. As all prisons have, sir.

    O. FOS. I prythee, bar me of no privilege
    Due to a free citizen: thou knowest me well?

    KEEPER. Yes, Master Foster, and I sorrow for your losses,
    Yet doubt not but your son and brother----

    O. FOS. O, speak not of them! do not kiss and kill me;
    I have no son nor brother that esteems me,
    And I for ever hate their memory.
    Prythee, no more! I am come sick
    Into a bad inn, and look for worse attendance:
    I have taken a surfeit of misfortunes, and here
    Must swallow pills, with poison to recure me:
    I am sea-sick, sir, and heave my hands to heaven;
    Ne'er to so low an ebb was Foster driven.

    KEEPER. There be some fees to pay, sir, at your coming in.

    O. FOS. So, so!
    If this old walnut-tree, after all this cudgelling,
    Have but one cluster left, thou shalt have that too;
    If not, take off these leaves that cover me,
    Pull off these white locks! rend them from my head!
    And let them in my woes be buried.

    KEEPER. 'Las, sir! this house is poor.

    O. FOS. I think no less,
    For rich men seldom meet with such distress:
    Well, well! what book must I read over now?
    What servile oar must I be tied to here,
    Slave-like to tug within this Christian galley?

    KEEPER. Sir, being the youngest prisoner in the house,
    You must beg at the iron grate above,
    As others do, for your relief and theirs.

    O. FOS. For a beggar to beg, sir, is no shame;
    And for the iron grate, it bears an emblem
    Of iron-hearted creditors, that force men lie
    In loathsome prisons thus to starve and die.

                            _Enter_ ROBERT.

    KEEPER. Who would you speak with, sir?
    O, cry you mercy! 'tis his son:
    I'll leave them.                                            [_Exit._

    O. FOS. O torment to my soul! what mak'st thou here?
    Cannot the picture of my misery
    Be drawn, and hung out to the eyes of men,
    But thou must come to scorn and laugh at it?

    ROB. Dear sir,
    I come to thrust my back under your load,
    To make the burden lighter.

    O. FOS. Hence from my sight, dissembling villain! go!
    Thine uncle sends defiance to my woe,
    And thou must bring it. Hence! thou basilisk,
    That kill'st me with thine eyes. Nay, never kneel; [ROBERT _kneels_.
    These scornful mocks more than my woes I feel.

    ROB. Alas! I mock ye not, but come in love
    And natural duty, sir, to beg your blessing;
    And for mine uncle----

    O. FOS. Him and thee I curse;
    I'll starve ere I eat bread [bought] from his purse
    Or from thy hand. Out, villain! tell that cur,
    Thy barking uncle, that I lie not here
    Upon my bed of riot, as he did,
    Cover'd with all the villanies which man
    Had ever woven; tell him I lie not so,
    It was the hand of heaven struck me thus low,
    And I do thank it. Get thee gone, I say,
    Or I shall curse thee, strike thee; prythee, away!
    Or if thou'lt laugh thy fill at my poor state,
    Then stay, and listen to the prison-grate,
    And hear thy father, an old wretched man,
    That yesterday had thousands, beg and cry
    To get a penny: O my misery!

    ROB. Dear sir, for pity hear me.

    O. FOS. Upon my curse I charge no nearer come:
    I'll be no father to so vile a son.                         [_Exit._

    ROB. O my abortive fate!
    Why for my good am I thus paid with hate!
    From this sad place of Ludgate here I freed
    An uncle, and I lost a father for it;
    Now is my father here, whom if I succour,
    I then must lose my uncle's love and favour.
    My father once being rich, and uncle poor,
    I him relieving was thrust forth of door.
    Baffled, revil'd, and disinherited:
    Now mine own father here must beg for bread,
    Mine uncle being rich; and yet, if I
    Feed him, myself must beg. O misery,
    How bitter is thy taste! yet I will drink
    Thy strongest poison: fret what mischief can,
    I'll feed my father; though, like the pelican,
    I peck mine own breast for him.

                         [OLD FOSTER _appears above at the grate, a box_
                                                         _hanging down_.

    O. FOS. Bread, bread! one penny to buy a loaf of bread for the
            tender mercy!

    ROB. O me, my shame! I know that voice full well;
    I'll help thy wants, although thou curse me still.

    O. FOS. Bread, bread! some Christian man send back
    Your charity to a number of poor prisoners.
    One penny for the tender mercy!             [ROBERT _puts in money_.
    The hand of heaven reward you, gentle sir,
    Never may you want, never feel misery;
    Let blessings in unnumber'd measure grow,
    And fall upon your head where'er you go.

    ROB. O happy comfort! curses to the ground
    First struck me: now with blessings I am crown'd.

    O. FOS. Bread, bread, for the tender mercy! one penny for a
            loaf of bread!

    ROB. I'll buy more blessings: take thou all my store,
    I'll keep no coin, and see my father poor.    [_Puts in more money._

    O. FOS. Good angels guard you, sir; my prayers shall be
    That heaven may bless you for this charity!

    ROB. If he knew me, sure he would not say so;
    Yet I have comfort, if by any means
    I get a blessing from my father's hands.
    How cheap are good prayers! a poor penny buys
    That by which man up in a minute flies,
    And mounts to heaven.

                            _Enter_ STEPHEN.

    O me! mine uncle sees me.

    STEPH. Now, sir, what make you here
    So near the prison?

    ROB. I was going, sir,
    To buy meat for a poor bird I have,
    That sits so sadly in the cage of late,
    I think he'll die for sorrow.

    STEPH. So, sir; your pity will not quit your pains:
    I fear me, I shall find that bird to be
    That churlish wretch your father, that has taken
    Shelter here in Ludgate. Go to, sir! urge me not,
    You had best; I have given you warning;
    Fawn not upon him, nor come not near him,
    If you'll have my love.

    ROB. 'Las, sir! that lamb
    Were most unnatural that should hate the dam.

    STEPH. Lamb me no lambs, sir!

    ROB. Good uncle! alas!
    You know, when you lay here, I succour'd you,
    So let me now help him.

    STEPH. Yes, as he did me,
    To laugh and triumph at my misery;
    You freed me with his gold, but 'gainst his will:
    For him I might have rotted, and lain still:
    So shall he now.

    ROB. Alack the day!

    STEPH. If him thou pity, 'tis thine own decay.

    O. FOS. Bread, bread! some charitable man remember the poor
    prisoners: bread for the tender mercy! one penny!

    ROB. O listen, uncle!
    That's my poor father's voice.

    STEPH. There let him howl.
    Get you gone, and come not near him.

    ROB. O my soul,
    What tortures dost thou feel! Earth ne'er shall find
    A son so true, yet forc'd to be unkind.                     [_Exit._

    STEPH. Well, go thy ways, thou pattern of true virtue;
    My heart is full: I could e'en weep,
    (And much ado I had to forbear.)
    To hear a brother begging in a jail,
    That but erewhile spread up a lofty sail
    As proudly as the best. O, 'twere a sin
    Unpardonable in me, should I not succour him!
    Yes, I will do't, yet closely it shall be done,
    And he not know from whence his comforts come.
    What ho! keeper, there! a word, I pray.

                            _Enter_ KEEPER.

    KEEPER. What's your pleasure, sir?

    STEPH. What's he that at the grate there begg'd even now?

    KEEPER. One Master Foster, sir, a decayed citizen new-come in.
    Cry you mercy, sir, you know him better than myself, I think.

    STEPH. I should do, knew he me, as I would know him.
    Prythee, take him from the grate; and that
    No more he stand to beg, there is ten pound
    To pay his score and take off all his wants:
    If he demand who sends it, tell him 'tis
    Thine own free hand to lend him money.

    KEEPER. Well, sir, I shall.

    STEPH. Spend what he will, my purse shall pay it all;
    And at his parting hence the poorest prisoner,
    And all free citizens that live in Ludgate,
    Shall bless his coming in: I'll for his sake
    Do something now that, whilst this city stands,
    Shall keep the Fosters' name engraven so high,
    As no black storm shall cloud their memory.

    KEEPER. Heaven bless your purpose, sir!                   [_Exeunt._

             _Enter_ STEPHEN'S WIFE, _and her Sister_, OLD
                             FOSTER'S WIFE.

    WIFE. Sister, there's no way to make sorrow light
    But in the noble bearing; be content.
    Blows given from heaven are our due punishment:
    All shipwrecks are no drownings: you see buildings
    Made fairer from their ruins: he that I married--
    The brother to your husband--lay, you know,
    On the same bed of misery; yet now
    He's rank'd with the best citizens.

    MRS FOS. O, you were born to wealth and happiness;
    I, to want and scorn!

    WIFE. Come, I will work my husband: stay this grief.
    The longest sorrow finds at last relief.

                             _Enter_ CLOWN.

    Now, sir, your business?

    CLOWN. Marry, mistress, here are two creatures, scarce able to
    make one man, desire to speak with you.

    WIFE. What are they? Know their names.

    CLOWN. Nay, I know that already: the one is a thing that was
    plucked into the world by the head and shoulders to be wondered
    at, and 'tis called a knight; the other is a coach-horse of the
    same overridden race, and that's a foolish gentleman.

    WIFE. O, they are my old debtors, Speedwell and Lambskin:
    Go, call them in: and, my gentle sister,
    Comfort yourself and my imprison'd brother,
    To whom commend me; give to him this gold;
    What good I can I'll do for him, be bold.

    MRS FOS. May heavenly blessings guard you from all ill:
    Never was woman vex'd as I am still.                        [_Exit._

                   _Enter_ SPEEDWELL _and_ LAMBSKIN.

    WIFE. Now, good Sir Godfrey and Master Innocent.

    LAMB. I put my innocent case into your hands, mistress, as a
    simple country client thrusts his money into a lawyer's, who
    stands upon no great terms to take it.

    SPEED. We come about the old business, the sickness of the
    purse, lady.

    CLOWN. And they'd be loth to keep their beds i' th' counter,
    mistress; they are afraid of sergeants; Master Lambskin knows
    that mace[101] is a binder.

    LAMB. No, truly it makes me loose, for I never smell it, though
    it be two streets off, but it gives me a stool presently.

    CLOWN. Ay, you have been a loose liver always: 'tis time to
    look to you.

    SPEED. Fair lady, we are your debtors, and owe you money:
    Experience tells us that our bonds are forfeit,
    For which your husband threaten'd to arrest us;
    My shoulders love no such clappings; I love tobacco,
    But would be loth to drink in Wood Street pipes:[102]
    Some money we will pay ere we go hence:
    I speak, you see, with grave experience.

    WIFE. I know it well, sir.

    LAMB. Had not your husband (when he went about fowling
    For the alderman's daughter) driven away the bird,

    We might have bidden you to a better breakfast; But now you
    must take what we can set before you.

    _Wife._ I am content to do so: you shall find
    Nor me nor my husband carry a griping mind.

                            _Enter_ ROBERT.

    Now, coz, where's your uncle?

    ROB. He's hard at hand, I saw him coming
    With the Lord Mayor and Aldermen.

    LAMB. Zounds! knight, if the mayor come,
    The shoulder-clappers are not far off.

    WIFE. O, fear not, I'll be your surety, sir.

    CLOWN. Do you not smell Poultry ware, Sir
    Godfrey?

    SPEED. Most horribly; I'll not endure the scent on't.

    WIFE. Upon my trust, none here shall do you wrong.
    [_To_ ROBERT.] What is his business with the aldermen?

    ROB. About the entertainment of the king,
    That means to visit London.

    WIFE. Saw you your sad father?

    ROB. I did; would I might never see man more,
    Since he so hates my sight! the prison door,
    Which gapes for comers-in, that mouth of hell,
    Shut me out with a churlish cold farewell:
    After my father's most unnatural part
    Was play'd on misery's stage, mine uncle comes
    In thunder on me, threatening with black storms
    To nail me to the earth, if I relieved
    My poor old father.

                            _Enter_ STEPHEN.

    CLOWN. Here's my master now, gentlemen.

    STEPH. O gentlemen, you're both welcome;
    Have you paid this money on your bonds yet?

    WIFE. Not yet, sir; but here they come like honest gentlemen
    To take some order for it: good sweetheart,
    Shall it be put to me?

    STEPH. Do as you please;
    In all thy deeds thou'rt govern'd with good stars;
    Therefore, if thou cry'st peace, I'll not raise wars.
    E'en order it how thou wilt.

    WIFE. I thank ye, sir: then tell me, gentlemen,
    What present money can you pay?

    SPEED. Two hundred pound we can lay down.

    LAMB. And take up seven times as much if we knew where to get
    it; but there's our lamentable case: mistress, if you strip us
    any nearer, you'll strip the skin and all, I'll assure you.

    WIFE. We'll shear no sheep so close.

    LAMB. No sheep, forsooth, but a poor Innocent Lambskin.

    CLOWN. You should be a calf by your white face.

    WIFE. All your two thousand pound, gentlemen, we quit
    For your two hundred: go, pay the money to my coz,
    And receive your two bonds cancell'd.
    [_To_ STEPHEN.] Say, sir, are ye content?

    STEPH. Wife, I must stand to the arbitrament.
    Go, cousin, receive their money: [_To_ CLOWN] and, sirrah,
    Make them drink.

    CLOWN. I'll make them drink, if they will. Come, gallants,
    empty your bags, and I'll bumbast your bellies: this lean
    gentleman looks as if he had no lining in's guts; I could take
    him by the leg, and hurl him into the dog-house.

                            [_Exeunt_ ROBERT, SPEEDWELL, LAMBSKIN, _and_
                                                                  CLOWN.

    STEPH. How now, sweet wife, what art thou musing on?

    WIFE. I must come a-wooing to you, sir.

    STEPH. A-wooing, sweet, for what?

    WIFE. For your brother: O, 'tis unmeet
    For souls fram'd by one square to grow uneven!
    'Tis like a war 'mongst the great lights of heaven;
    One cannot lose his beauty, but the other
    Suffers eclipse--so brother against brother.

    STEPH. Wouldst have me kiss him that would kill me?

    WIFE. Would you kill a man lying at your feet?
    Do good for ill.

    STEPH. Thy songs are angels' tunes,
    And on thy wings I'll fly with thee to heaven.
    Thou speakest as I would have thee;
    His debts I have justly weighed, and find them light.

    WIFE. The easier then ta'en off.

    STEPH. Thou sayest most right:
    But I of purpose keep aloof to try
    My kinsman, whom I spied most dolefully
    Hovering about the grate, where his father cried
    With piteous voice for bread; yet did I chide,
    And rail'd against the boy, but my heart says
    (Howe'er my tongue) it was drown'd in tears,
    To see such goodness in a son.

    WIFE. Such wheels in children's bosoms seldom run.

    STEPH. I'll lay a wager, wife, that this two hundred pounds,
    Paid by these foolish fellows, will by the boy
    Be given his father.

    WIFE. Troth, would it might!

    STEPH. In doing me such wrong he does me right.
    Ludgate was once my dwelling, and to shew
    That I true feeling of his misery knew,
    Albe't long since blown o'er, so thou'lt consent,
    Within that place I'll raise some monument,
    Shall keep our names alive till doomsday.

    WIFE. I gladly shall agree
    To any act that tends to charity.

                         _Enter_ MASTER BREWEN.

    BREW. Come, where's Master Foster? O, you lose time, sir,
    Not meeting fortune that comes to kiss you!
    The Lord Mayor and Aldermen stay at the Guildhall
    Expecting you, as well to set down order
    Touching the entertainment of the king,
    As to elect you for the following year
    A sheriff of London.

    STEPH. Their loves outstrip my merit:
    Yet, since they lay that load on me, I'll bear it,
    And wait in scarlet on my liege and king.
    But pray resolve me, master alderman,
    Why makes the king this visitation?

    BREW. Troth, sir, to honour me, I thank his highness,
    Who with my lord the Cardinal comes along
    To see the dedication of my house,
    Built for the weary travellers to rest in;
    Where stands three hundred beds for their relief,
    With meat, drink, and some money, when they part;
    Which I'll give freely with a willing heart.

    STEPH. A pious, worthy, and religious act.
    Come, sir, to th' Guildhall. Wife, look to your kinsman;
    Watch him near, but do not hinder him
    If he relieve his father. Come, master alderman:
    With such sweet incense up your offerings fly,
    I'll build one altar more to charity.                     [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[93] _i.e._, Let him be declared victor. The expression is not uncommon
in our old dramatic writers.

[94] This phrase is, I believe, still common among bowlers, with the
exception that the _mistress_ is now called the _jack_.

[95] [An apparent allusion to the then recent settlement of
Newfoundland, an account of which is to be found in Vaughan's "Golden
Fleece," 1626, and "Newlander's Cure," 1630, besides other works.]

[96] [The word began, even before this, to acquire a bad sense, and was
used contemptuously, as we use _chapman_ or _chap_ now.]

[97] This word seems used here with no very definite meaning. Pistol,
in the "Merry Wives of Windsor," ii. 1, applies it to Mrs Ford--

    "He loves thy gally-mawfrey; Ford, perpend."

[98] [A play on _eels_ and _heels_.]

[99] [Old copy and Dilke read--

    "He's no rival here, sir; has struck me."]

[100] [Men, fellows.]

[101] I scarcely need observe that the Clown puns between the
_sergeant's mace_ and _the spice_ of that name. Poor as it is, it is
common enough.

[102] One of the counters was situated in Wood Street, Cheapside.



ACT V., SCENE I.


             _Ludgate. Enter_ OLD FOSTER, _his_ WIFE, _and_
                                KEEPER.

    KEEPER. Come, come, be merry, sir; do as mourners do at
    funerals, wear your hat in your eyes, and laugh in your heart.

    O. FOS. I have no such fat legacy left me,
    To teach me how to play the hypocrite.

    KEEPER. No? Why, look ye, sir, you shall want neither meat,
    drink, money, nor anything that the house affords; or if
    anything abroad like ye, sir, here's money, send for what you
    will, sir. Nay, you shall beg no more at the grate neither.

    O. FOS. Ha! is not this Ludgate?

    KEEPER. Yes, sir.

    O. FOS. A jail, a prison, a tomb of men lock'd up,
    Alive and buried?

    KEEPER. 'Tis what you please to call it.

    O. FOS. O, at what crevice, then, hath comfort,
    Like a sunbeam, crept in? for all the doors
    And windows are of iron, and barr'd to keep
    Her out. I had a limb cut from my body
    Dear to me as [my] life; I had a son
    And brother, too. O grief!
    They both would give me poison first in gold,
    Before their hollow palms ten drops should hold
    Of nature's drink, cold water, but to save
    My life one minute: whence should pity come,
    When my best friends do beat it from this room?

    KEEPER. No matter, sir; since you have good meat set before
    you, never ask who sent it. If heaven provide for you, and
    make the fowls of the air your caters, feed you fat, and be
    thankful; and so I leave you.                               [_Exit._

    MRS FOS. The keeper is your friend, and pours true balm
    Into your smarting wounds; therefore, dear husband,
    Endure the dressing with patience.

    O. FOS. O wife, my losses are as numberless
    As the sea-sands that swallowed them! And shall I,
    In reckoning them, my sad griefs multiply?

    MRS FOS. You may, sir;
    But your dim eyes so thick with tears do run,
    You cannot see from whence your comforts come:
    Besides, your debts being truly counted
    Cannot be great.

    O. FOS. But all my wealth and state lies in the sea's bottom.

    MRS FOS. It again may rise.

    O. FOS. O, never!

    MRS FOS. Good sir, so hope, for I from heaven espy
    An arm to pluck you from this misery.

                            _Enter_ KEEPER.

    KEEPER. Sir, there's one without desires to speak with you.

    O. FOS. Go, send him in. [_Exit_ KEEPER.] None comes to do me good,
    My wealth is lost, now let them take my blood.

                            _Enter_ ROBERT.

    Ha! what art thou? Call for the keeper there,
    And thrust him out of doors, or lock me up.

    MRS FOS. O, 'tis your son, sir!

    O. FOS. I know him not:                            [ROBERT _kneels_.
    I am no king, unless of scorn and woe;
    Why kneel'st thou, then? Why dost thou mock me so?

    ROB. O my dear father, hither am I come,
    Not like a threat'ning storm t' increase your wrack,
    For I would take all sorrows from your back,
    To lay them all on my own.

    O. FOS. Rise, mischief, rise! Away, and get thee gone!

    ROB. O, if I be thus hateful to your eye,
    I will depart, and wish I soon may die;
    Yet let your blessing, sir, but fall on me.

    O. FOS. My heart still hates thee.

    MRS FOS. Sweet husband!

    O. FOS. Get you both gone!
    That misery takes some rest that dwells alone;
    Away, thou villain!

    ROB. Heaven can tell,
    Ache but your finger, I, to make it well,
    Would cut my hand off.

    O. FOS. Hang thee, hang thee!

    MRS FOS. Husband!

    O. FOS. Destruction meet thee! Turn the key there, ho!

    ROB. Good sir, I'm gone; I will not stay to grieve you.
    O, knew you for your woes what pains I feel,
    You would not scorn me so. See, sir, to cool
    Your heat of burning sorrow, I have got
    Two hundred pounds, and glad it is my lot
    To lay it down with reverence at your feet;
    No comfort in the world to me is sweet,
    Whilst thus you live in moan.

    O. FOS. Stay!

    ROB. Good troth, sir, I'll have none on't back,
    Could but one penny of it save my life.

    MRS FOS. Yet stay and hear him. O unnatural strife
    In a hard father's bosom!

    O. FOS. I see mine error now. O, can there grow
    A rose upon a bramble? Did there e'er flow
    Poison and health together in one tide?
    I'm born a man: reason may step aside,
    And lead a father's love out of the way:
    Forgive me, my good boy, I went astray:
    Look, on my knees I beg it--not for joy
    Thou bring'st this golden rubbish, which I spurn;
    But glad in this, the heavens mine eyeballs turn,
    And fix them right to look upon that face,
    Where love remains with pity, duty, grace.
    O my dear wronged boy!

    ROB. Gladness o'erwhelms my heart!
    With joy I cannot speak!

    MRS FOS. Crosses of this foolish world
    Did never grieve my heart with torments more,
    Than it is now grown light
    With joy and comfort of this happy sight.

    O. FOS. Yet, wife, I disinherited this boy.

    ROB. Your blessing's all I crave.

    O. FOS. And that enjoy
    For ever: evermore my blessings fly
    To pay thy virtues, love and charity.

                        _Enter_ STEPHEN'S WIFE.

    MRS FOS. Here comes your brother's wife.
    Welcome, dear sister.

    WIFE. I thank you. How fare you, brother?

    O. FOS. Better than your husband's hate could wish me,
    That laughs to see my back with sorrows bow:
    But I am rid of half my ague now.

    WIFE. Had you an ague, then?

    O. FOS. Yes, and my heart had every hour a fit;
    But now't has left me well, and I left it.

    WIFE. O, 'tis well. Cousin, what make you here, I pray?

    ROB. To support a weak house falling to decay.

    WIFE. 'Tis well if you can do't, and that the timber
    You underprop it with be all your own.
    Hark, coz, where's your uncle's money?

    ROB. Faith, aunt, 'tis gone;
    But not at dice nor drabbing.

    WIFE. Sir, I believe,
    With your uncle's gold your father you relieve.

    ROB. You are sav'd, believing so: your belief's true.

    WIFE. You cut large thongs of that's another's due,
    And you will answer't ill. Now, in good troth,
    I laugh at this jest: much good do them both:
    My wager I had won, had I but laid.                        [_Aside._

    O. FOS. What has my poor boy done, that you have made
    So much blood rise in's cheeks?

    WIFE. Nothing, dear brother;
    Indeed all's well: the course that he has run
    I like and love; let him hold on the same;
    A son's love to a father none can blame:
    I will not leave your brother's iron heart,
    Till I have beat it soft with my entreats.

    O. FOS. 'Twill ne'er be music, 'tis so full of frets.

    WIFE. Frets make best music: strings the higher rack'd
    Sound sweetest.

    O. FOS. And sound nothing when they are crack'd,
    As is his love to me, and mine to him.

    WIFE. I hope you both in smoother streams shall swim.
    He's now the Sheriff of London, and in council
    Set at the Guildhall in his scarlet gown,
    With mayor and aldermen, how to receive the king,
    Who comes to see Master Brewen's hospital
    To-morrow, consecrated by th' Cardinal,
    And old St Mary's Spital, here by Shoreditch.

    MRS FOS. Ay, sister, he and you may set
    'Bout what you will; heav'n, I am sure, prospers it;
    But I am ever cross'd: you have been bound
    For three great voyages, yet ne'er run aground--
    Maid, wife, and widow, and wife again--have spread
    Full and fair sails, no wrecks you e'er did dread,
    Nor e'er felt any; but even close ashore,
    I'm sunk, and 'midst of all my wealth made poor.

    WIFE. You must thank heaven.

    MRS FOS. I do, indeed, for all.

    WIFE. Sister, that hand can raise that gives the fall.

                            _Enter_ KEEPER.

    KEEPER. Master Foster, the new sheriff, your brother,
    Is come to Ludgate, and I am come in haste
    To know your pleasure, if you would see him.

    O. FOS. I'll see a fury first; hence! clap to the door, I pray thee.

    WIFE. Why, 'tis your brother, sir.

    ROB. Father, let's fly the thunder of his rage.

    WIFE. Stand valiantly,
    And let me bear the storm: all hurts that are,
    And ruins in your bosoms I'll repair.

                        _Enter_ STEPHEN FOSTER.

    STEPH. Where's the keeper? Go, sir, take my officers
    And see your prisoners presently convey'd
    From Ludgate unto Newgate and the Counters.

    KEEPER. I shall, sir.

    STEPH. Let the constables of the wards
    Assist you. Go, despatch! and take these with you.
    [_To_ ROBERT.] How now! what mak'st thou here, thou caitiff? Ha!
    Com'st thou to stitch his wounds that seeks to cut
    My throat? Darest thou in despite
    Relieve this dotard?

    O. FOS. Get thee from my sight,
    Thou devil in red: com'st thou in scarlet pride
    To tread on thy poor brother in a jail?
    Is there but one small conduit-pipe that runs
    Cold water to my comfort, and wouldst thou
    Cut off that, thou cruel man?

    STEPH. Yes;
    I'll stop that pipe that thou may'st pining sit;
    When drops but fell on me, thou poison'd it:
    Thou thrust'st a son's name from thy cruel breast
    For clothing of his uncle; now that uncle
    Shall thrust him naked forth for clothing thee;
    Banish'd for ever from my wealth and me.

    O. FOS. Thou canst not be to nature so uneven,
    To punish that which has a pay from heaven:
    Pity, I mean, and duty. [STEPHEN _offers to strike_ ROBERT.]
            Wouldst thou strike?
    Wound me, then, that will kill thee, if I can:

    STEPH. Thou ravest.

    O. FOS. How can I choose? Thou makest me mad:
    For shame thou shouldst not make these white hairs sad:
    Churl, beat not my poor boy; let him not lose
    Thy love for my sake; I had rather bruise
    My soul with torments for a thousand years,
    Could I but live them, rather than salt tears
    Thy malice draw from him: see, here's thy gold;
    Tell it: none's stole. My woes can ne'er be told!

    ROB. O misery! is nature quite forgot?

    O. FOS. Choke with thy dunghill-muck! and vex me not.

    STEPH. No, keep it; he perhaps that money stole
    To give it thee; for which, to vex thy soul,
    I'll turn him forth of doors: make him thy heir,
    Of jails, miseries, curses, and despair,
    For here I disinherit him of all.

    O. FOS. No matter; lands to him in heaven will fall.

    WIFE. Good husband.

    MRS FOS. Gentle brother.

    ROB. Dear uncle.

    STEPH. I am deaf.

    O. FOS. And damn'd; the devil's thumbs stop thine ears!

    STEPH. I'll make thee wash those curses off with tears.
    Keeper, away with him out of my sight;
    And do, sir, as I charg'd you.

    KEEPER. Yes, sir, I will.

    O. FOS. Poor tyranny! when lions weak lambs kill.
                               [_Exeunt all but_ STEPHEN _and his_ WIFE.

    STEPH. How now, wife, art vex'd yet?

    WIFE. Never so well content, believe me, sir;
    Your mildness wears this mask of cruelty well.

    STEPH. I am glad they're gone; mine eyes with rain did swell,
    And much ado they had from pouring down.
    The keeper knows my mind. Wife, I have paid
    My brother's debts; and when he's out of door
    To march to Newgate, he shall be set free.

    WIFE. O let me kiss thee for this charity.
    But for your cousin, sir?

    STEPH. He's my life's best health.
    The boy shall not miscarry for more wealth
    Than London gates lock safe up every night.
    My breath in black clouds flies: my thoughts are white.

    WIFE. Why from Ludgate do you remove [the] prisoners?

    STEPH. This is my meaning, wife:
    I'll take the prison down, and build it new,
    With leads to walk on, [and] rooms large and fair;
    For when myself lay there, the noisome air
    Chok'd up my spirits; and none better know
    What prisoners feel than they that taste the woe.
    The workmen are appointed for the business;
    I will have't despatched, before 'tis thought on.

    WIFE. In good deeds I'll walk hand in hand with you;
    There is a fair tenement adjoining
    Close to the gate, that was my father's,
    I'll give it freely; take it down, and add
    So much ground to the work.

    STEPH.[103] 'Tis fairly given;
    Thy soul on prisoners' prayers shall mount to heaven.
    The plumbers and the workmen have survey'd
    The ground from Paddington; whence I'll have laid
    Pipes [all along] to London, to convey
    Sweet water into Ludgate from fresh springs:
    When charity tunes the pipe, the poor man sings.

                            _Enter_ KEEPER.

    How now, keeper?

    KEEP. The prisoners are remov'd, sir.

    STEPH. What did you with my brother?

    KEEP. As you commanded, sir, I have discharged him.

    STEPH. How did he meet that unexpected kindness?

    KEEP. Troth, sir, as a man o'ercome 'twixt grief and gladness;
    But, turning to his son, he fetch'd a sigh
    So violent as if his heart would break,
    And (silent) wept, having no power to speak.

    WIFE. Alas! good old man, some sweet bird must sing,
    And give his sorrows present comforting.

    STEPH. Not yet, I'll wrack his sorrows to the height,
    And of themselves they'll then sink softly down.
    Keeper, go thou again after my brother,
    Charge in my name him and his son to appear
    Before the king; to whom I will make known
    Their wrongs against me, showing just cause
    To disinherit both by course of law. Begone!

    KEEP. I am gone, sir.                                       [_Exit._

    STEPH. Come, wife.

    WIFE. What's your meaning, sir?

    STEPH. Thou shalt know that anon.
    The heavens oft scowl, clouds thicken, winds blow high,
    Yet the brightest sun clears all, and so will I.          [_Exeunt._

         _Enter_ HENRY III., _attended by_ MONTFORT, PEMBROKE,
                  _and_ ARUNDEL, LORD MAYOR, STEPHEN
              FOSTER _as Sheriff_, ALDERMAN BREWEN, _&c._

    KING. O, welcome is all love; our people's shouts
    In their heart's language makes our bienvenues
    Most high and sovereign: we return all thanks
    Unto our loving citizens; [_To_ BREWEN] chiefly to you, sir,
    Whose pious work invites our majesty
    To royalise this place with our best presence,
    Accompanied with this reverend Cardinal:
    Would [that] me might, after [so] many broils,
    End our days [too] in these religious toils:
    We would work most faithfully. But, bounteous sir,
    How do you call your buildings?

    BREW. Unless it please your majesty to change it,
    I call it _Domus Dei_.

    KING. The house of God;
    It is too good to change: pray you, proceed.

    BREW. These are my ends: to all distressed Christians,
    Whose travels this way bend, the hospital shall
    Free succour be for three days and three nights
    Sojourn: diet[104] and lodging, both sweet and satisfying:

    And (if their need be such) as much in coin
    As shall, for three days more, defray their further travel:
    This unto heaven--be you testator, good my liege,
    And witness with me, noble gentlemen--
    Most free and faithfully I dedicate.

    KING. An honourable work, and deserves large memory.

    MONT. 'Tis a good example, 'tis pity 'tis no better followed.

    ARUN. But say, sir: now in some future age,
    Perhaps some two or three hundred year behind us,
    This place, intended for a use so charitable,
    Should be unhallow'd again by villanous inhabitants,
    Say whores instead of Christians, and
    Your hospital tenements turn'd into stews,
    Would not this grieve you in your grave?[105]

    BREW. If my grave were capable of grief, sure it would, sir.

    KING. Prythee, be a false prophet.

    ARUN. I will, if I can, my lord.

    KING. Let now our heralds in the streets proclaim
    The title and [the] office of this hospital;
    Make known to all distressed travellers,
    That we'll accept his charitable house;
    This _Domus Dei_ shall be their free sojourn,
    As is proposed.

           _Enter on the one side_ STEPHEN'S WIFE; _on the_
              _other_ OLD FOSTER, MISTRESS FOSTER, JANE,
                  ROBERT, _and_ KEEPER. _All kneel._

    KING. What are these petitioners?

    ROB. Each hath a knee for duty, the other for petition.

    KING. Rise, your duty's done; your petitions
    Shall need no knees, so your intents be honest:
    Does none here know them?

    STEPH. Yes, my good lord,
    There's now a wonder in your sight.

    KING. A wonder, Master Sheriff?
    You mean for beauty?

    STEPH. No, my liege, I would not
    So boast mine own wife; but it is a wonder
    That excels beauty.

    KING. A wonder in a woman!
    What is't, I prythee?

    STEPH. Patience, my liege;
    This is a woman that was never vex'd.

    KING. You may boast it largely; 'tis a subject's happiness
    Above a queen's. Have you suits to us?

    ROB. I am the suppliant plaintiff, royal Henry;
    From me their griefs take their original.

    KING. What art thou?

    ROB. Even what your grace shall please to make of me:
    I was the son to this distressed father,
    Until he took his paternity off,
    And threw me from his love; then I became
    Son to mine uncle by adoption;
    Who likewise that hath ta'en away again,
    And thrown me back to poverty: never was son
    So toss'd betwixt two fathers, yet knows not one;
    For still the richest does despise his heir,
    And I am back expuls'd into despair.

    KING. This may your vices cause.

    ROB. For that I come
    To your impartial censure for a doom.

    KING. We hear; speak on: we know the parties;
    Each one relate his grief, and if it lie in us,
    We'll yield relief: it is first requisite
    That we know of you, sir, the cause
    Of this your son his disinheritance.

    O. FOS. Before I understood his virtuous mind,
    Or weighed his disposition to be kind,
    I did that froward work; this now great man
    Was an unthrifty wretch, a prodigal then,
    And I disdain'd to know his brotherhood,
    Denied relief to him; this child, kind and good,
    Against my contradiction, did him relieve,
    As his distressed uncle; at this
    I chid, forbad. Still he holds on his course,
    He grows more kind, and he in wasting worse;
    My rage continued, as it had begun,
    And in that rage I threw away my son.

    STEPH. The like plead I, my lord: for when my state
    Had rais'd itself by an uncertain fate,
    I took this outcast child, made him my own,
    As full and free as I myself had sown
    The seed that brought him forth; for this my love
    His oblig'd duty presently did prove
    A traitor to my trust, against my will
    Succouring that foe which I did love so ill
    Only for hating him. My charity being thus
    Abus'd, and quit with injury, what could I then
    But, as his father erst, so I again
    Might throw him from my love? for worse is love abus'd
    Than new-born hate, and should be so refus'd:
    I did a father's part, if it were bad,
    Blame him for both, there I my pattern had.

    KING. You fall betwixt two pillars, sir; is't not so?

    ROB. Unhappy fate, my lord; yet thus I plead:
    For this my father's hate I might deserve,
    I broke his precepts, and did unchildly swerve
    From his commission; I to my uncle gave
    What was my father's, striving thereby to save
    His fall'n repute; he rag'd; I did it still,
    Yet must confess, as it was well, 'twas ill;
    Well in my love, methought, ill to my fate,
    For I thereby ruin'd my own estate:
    But that mine uncle throws me forth of door,
    For the same cause he took me in before,
    Beats sorest 'gainst my bosom. If 'twere good
    To take from a father for an uncle's food
    In laws of love and nature, how much rather
    Might I abridge an uncle for a father?
    Charity's a virtue generally stands,
    And should dispersed be through all men's hands.
    Then would you keep't alone? For when your heir
    I first adopted was, charity was there:
    How errs your judgment then? seeing, you see,
    What was good in you, makes sin in me.
    You'll say my father did it: O, throw away
    That foul excuse; let not discretion stray
    So far aside; if custom lawful make,
    Then sin were lawful for example sake;
    Nor were those wasted goods only your own,
    Since part was mine having adoption;
    Then do me right, my lord, yet do no wrong,
    For where my duty fail'd, my love was strong.

    KING. With an impartial ear we have heard
    Your loving story; 'tis both fair and honest.

    STEPH. O, let me now anticipate your grace,
    And, casting off the shadow of a face,
    Show my heart's true figure; how have I striv'd
    To make this forced counterfeit long-liv'd,
    And now it bursts. Come (both) into my heart,
    I have two jewels here shall never part
    From my love's eye-watch; too worthy to be fil'd
    On time's best record, a woman and a child.
    (_To_ O. FOS). Now, sir, to you I come; we must be friends,
    Though envy wills not so, yet love contends
    'Gainst envy and her forces; my young years
    Say I must offer first a peace in tears.

    O. FOS. O, let my shame my bosom's centre break!
    Love is so young, it coys, but cannot speak.

    KING. You bless mine eyes with objects that become
    The theatre of kings to look upon.

    STEPH. The keeper is discharg'd, sir; your debts are paid,
    And from the prison you're a free man made:
    There's not a creditor can ask you ought.
    As your son did for me, so have I bought
    Your liberty with mine; and to increase it more,
    Because I know bare liberty is poor
    Without assistance: to raise your state again,
    The thirds of mine are yours, [_To_ WIFE] say you
    amen?

    WIFE. No, not to that, you are kind brothers now,
    Divide by halves that love, and I'll allow.

    STEPH. Thou art only wise in virtue; as thou sett'st down,
    So let it be. Half my estate's your own.

    O. FOS. It whole redounds again, for I am yours;
    Forget this minute my forgetful hours.

    STEPH. O, they are buried all, sir!

    KING. This union's good;
    Such league should ever be in brotherhood.

    STEPH. Yet without boast, my liege, let me relate
    One small thing more--remorse of my own state,
    And my dear brother's worse succession:
    For that we both have prisoners been in one
    Selfsame place of woe, and felt those throes,
    That Ludgate yields: my charity bestows
    Some alms of comfort: keeper, you can speak it.

    KEEP. And many hundred more, sir: you have re-edified
    And built it fair, adding more ground to it,
    And by pipes of lead from Paddington, drawn
    Water thither free for all prisoners: lodgings
    Likewise free, and a hundred pounds yearly, to make
    Them fires for better comfort: all this is almost finish'd.

    KING. A worthy work! the better being done
    In the founder's eye, not left unto succession.

    STEPH. O my good lord, I ever kept in mind
    An English sentence, which my tutor is,
    And teaches me to act my charity
    With mine own hands; so doubtful is performance,
    When the benefactor's dead.

    KING. What is't, I prythee?

    STEPH. This, my good lord:
    _Women are forgetful, children unkind,_
    _Executors covetous, and take what they find;_
    _If any man ask, where the dead's goods became,_
    _The executor swears he died a poor man_.[106]

    KING. You have prevented well, so has this good alderman;
    I wish you many scholars.

    WIFE. [_To_ STEPH.] You make some doubts of me in this, sir:
    Did you not say that women are forgetful?

    KING. You have vex'd her now, sir: how do you answer that?

    STEPH. No, my lord, she's exempt from the proverb.

    WIFE. No, my lord, I'll help it better: I do confess
    That women are forgetful, yet ne'ertheless
    I am exempt: I know my fate, and find
    My dear husband must not leave me behind,
    But I must go before him;[107] and 'tis said,
    The grave's good rest when women go first to bed.

    STEPH. Thanks for thy excuse, good wife, but not thy love
    To fill my grave before me: I would not live to see that day.

    WIFE. Prythee, no more, I had rather be angry than flatter'd.

    KING. You have a wonder, master sheriff; a priceless jewel.

    STEPH. Many jewels, my good lord; a brother, wife, and child,
    For this I would have strove even with a father:
    Howe'er rough storms did in my brows appear,
    Within my bosom it was always clear.

    O. FOS. I give him to you now, sir.

    STEPH. I take him, and to him back do give
    All that myself behind in 'state shall leave.

    O. FOS. And all that you gave me, I do bestow;
    So in one hour become full heir to two.

    BREW. I claim a third by this bond's virtue;    [_Pointing to_ JANE.
    See, as a father thou art heir to those.

    JANE. I will not go to him, father, on any of these conditions.

    ROB. You shall have love to boot too, sweet Jane.

    JANE. Nay, an' you play booty, I dare not trust you.

    ROB. What shall I say? Accept my hand and heart,[108]
    Tied in a true love's knot, never to part.

    JANE. Ay, marry, sir, these are better conditions than the
    inheritance of three fathers. Let me have love in _esse_; let
    lands follow in _posse_. Now I'll have thee as fast as the
    priest can despatch us, let him read as fast as he can.

    KING. The liveliest harmony that e'er I heard!
    All instruments compar'd to these sweet tunes
    Are dull and harsh: I joy to see so good a child,
    A woman wonder; brothers reconciled.
    [_To_ BREWEN.] You, worthy sir, did invite us to a feast,
    We'll not forget it, but will be your guest;
    Because we'll view these wonders o'er again,
    Whose records do deserve a brazen pen;
    But this above the rest in golden text
    Shall be insculp'd, _A woman never vex'd_.

FOOTNOTES:

[103] This speech is not appropriated in the original, although divided
from the wife's: neither are the words between brackets altogether an
insertion of my own. The speech appears thus in the original:--

        'Tis fairely given.
    Thy soule on prisoners prayers shall mount to heaven:
    The Plummers and the Workemen have survey'd the ground
    From _Paddington_; from whence I'l have laid pipes
    Long to London to convey sweet water into _Ludgate_;
    From fresh Springs: when charity tunes the pipe, the
    Poore man sings. _Enter Keeper_.
    How now, Keeper.

As I had occasion to give a note here, I thought one sample of
the original might gratify the reader's curiosity, and he _has a
miniature of the whole work_. The poet, who is here very minute in the
description of Stephen's charity, is justified by the inscription on
the wall quoted by Stow. On this subject, however, Strype observes,
"The water _I find not to be altogether his gift_; for that I perused
lately a book, wherein I found a memorandum, that Sir Robert Knowles
[Lord Mayor in 1400] gave maintenance for the supply of the prisoners
of _Ludgate_ and Newgate for ever" ("Appendix," p. 26). There can
be little doubt, however, that this excellent man did something for
the benefit of the prisoners, in regard to the supplying them with
water.--_Dilke._

[104] [Old copy, _for diet_.]

[105] I suspect Arundel to have been of Cranmer's school, and to have
_prophesied of what had actually happened_. The following extract from
a pamphlet of that time called, "Thieves falling out, true Men come
by their Goods," [1615,] justifies the supposition: "And _Shoreditch_
will complain to Dame Ann a Clear, _if we of the sisterhood, should
not uphold her jollity_." It is not through the _inattention_ of
the editor that this, and the preceding speech of Brewen's, _halt so_
_lamentably_; he has, in fact, exercised his utmost skill; but, as with
many other passages in this drama, his success has not equalled his
exertion.    [The pamphlet cited by Dilke is a re-issue, under a changed
title, of Robert Greene's "Disputation between a He-Coneycatcher and a
She-Coneycatcher," 1592.]

[106] [This is a somewhat corrupt form of a saying to be found in
Stowe. See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 480.]

[107] This lady proved a false prophetess.

[108] The 4o reads, "What shall I say, _except_ my hand and heart;" and
Stephen may mean, What shall I offer except, &c.; but it seems a forced
construction.



THE ORDINARY



_EDITION._


    _The Ordinary, a Comedy, Written by William Cartwright, M.A.
      Ch. Ch. Oxon. London, Printed for Humphrey Moseley, and are
      to be sold at his shop at the Sign of The Princes Armes in
      St Paul's Churchyard. 1651._ 8o.[109]

FOOTNOTES:

[109] [This forms part of a somewhat thick volume, containing the
author's poems and plays, with his portrait by Lombart, and an
extraordinarily long series of introductory verses.] Among them
are verses by a number of men of little note; but this can hardly
be said of the contributions of Jasper Mayne, James Howell, Sir R.
Stapylton, H. Vaughan (Silurist), Alexander Brome, and Izaak Walton.
M. Lluellin has also added an ode to the collection; and another poem
on Cartwright is to be found in his, "Men, Miracles, and other Poems,"
1646.--_Collier._



INTRODUCTION


William Cartwright was, according to Lloyd,[110] born the 16th of
August 1615, though Wood[111] says he was born at Northway, near
Tewksbury, Gloucestershire, in September 1611, and christened on the
26th of the same month. There is as much difference between these two
writers, with respect to his father, as there is concerning the time of
his birth. Lloyd says he was the son of Thomas Cartwright of Burford,
in Oxfordshire. Wood asserts that his father's name was William
Cartwright, one who had dissipated a fair inheritance, and was at last
reduced to keep an inn at Cirencester. These contradictory accounts are
totally irreconcilable. Wood's, however, is probably the true one.[112]
That author says that Cartwright received part of his education under
Mr William Top, master of the Free School at Cirencester; was from
thence sent to Westminster, where he completed his education under Mr
Lambert Osbaldiston; and in the year 1628[113] was chosen a student of
Christ Church in Oxford, and placed under the care of Mr Terrent. He
took his several degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts--the latter in
1635; and afterwards entering into holy orders, became, as Wood[114]
expresses it, "the most florid and seraphical preacher in the
University." In October 1642, Bishop Duppa conferred on him the place
of Succentor in the Church of Salisbury; and on the 12th of April 1643,
he was admitted junior proctor of the University. He died the 29th of
November following of a malignant fever, universally lamented by every
person who knew him, even by his sovereign, who showed him particular
marks of his respect.[115] He was buried at the upper end of the south
aisle, adjoining to the choir of the cathedral of Christ Church. "He
was," says Langbaine, "extremely remarkable both for his outward and
inward endowments, his body being as handsome as his soul. He was an
expert linguist, understanding not only Greek and Latin, but French
and Italian, as perfectly as his mother tongue. He was an excellent
orator, and yet an admirable poet, a quality which Cicero, with all
his pains, could not attain to. Nor was Aristotle less known to him
than Cicero and Virgil; and those who heard his metaphysical lectures
gave him the preference to all his predecessors, the present Bishop of
Lincoln (Dr Barlow) excepted. His sermons were as much admired as his
other composures; and one fitly applied to our author that saying of
Aristotle concerning Æschrion the poet, _that he could not tell what
Æschrion could not do_."

Ben Jonson said of him with some passion, _My son Cartwright writes
all like a man_; and Dr Fell, Bishop of Oxford, gave him this
character: _Cartwright was the utmost man could come to_.

Besides a sermon and some Greek and Latin poems, he was the author
of four plays, one only of which, I believe, was published in his
lifetime, viz.--

1. "The Royal Slave, a Tragi-Comedy, presented to the king and queen
by the students of Christ Church in Oxford, August 30, 1636; presented
since to both their majesties, at Hampton Court, by the king's
servants." 4o, 1639-40; 8vo, 1651.

This play, in which the celebrated Dr Busby performed a part, gave
so much satisfaction to their majesties, that it was by their orders
performed at Hampton Court by their own servants. Langbaine says the
preference was given to the representation by the collegians, as much
superior to that of the players.

2. "The Lady Errant, a Tragi-Comedy."

3. "The Ordinary, a comedy," [probably written in 1634.]

4. "The Siege; or, Love's Convert, a Tragi-Comedy."

FOOTNOTES:

[110] "Memoirs," p. 422.

[111] "Athen. Oxon." p. 34.

[112] _Ibid._

[113] Langbaine, p. 51, says 1631.

[114] "Athen. Oxon." ii. p. 35.

[115] Oldys, in his MSS. notes on Langbaine, says that the king being
asked why he appeared in black the day Cartwright was buried, answered,
that since the Muses had so much mourned for the loss of such a son, it
would be a shame for him not to appear in mourning for the loss of such
a subject.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


  HEARSAY, _an intelligencer_.         }
  SLICER, _a lieutenant_.              } _complices in_
  MEANWELL, (_Littleworth disguised_), } _the Ordinary_
    _a decayed knight's son_.          }
  SHAPE, _a cheater_.
  SIR THOMAS BITEFIG, _a covetous knight_.
  SIMON CREDULOUS, _a citizen_.
  ANDRES, _his son, suitor to Mistress Jane_.
  ROBERT MOTH, _an antiquary_.
  CASTER,      } _gamesters_.
  HAVE-AT-ALL, }
  RIMEWELL, _a poet_.
  BAGSHOT, _a decayed clerk_.   }
  SIR CHRISTOPHER, _a curate_.  } _clubbers at_
  VICAR CATCHMEY, _a cathedral_ } _the Ordinary_.
    _singing-man_.              }
  MISTRESS JANE, _daughter to Sir Thomas_.
  PRISCILLA, _her maid_.
  JOAN POTLUCK, _a vintner's widow_.

        _Shopkeeper, Chirurgeon, Officers, Servants._

                          _The scene, London._



THE PROLOGUE.


    'Twould wrong our author to bespeak your ears;
    Your persons he adores, but judgment fears:
    For where you please but to dislike, he shall
    Be atheist thought, that worships not his fall.
    Next to not marking, 'tis his hope that you,
    Who can so ably judge, can pardon too.
    His conversation will not yet supply
    Follies enough to make a comedy:
    He cannot write by th' poll; nor act we here
    Scenes, which perhaps you should see liv'd elsewhere.
    No guilty line traduceth any; all
    We now present is but conjectural;
    'Tis a mere guess: those then will be to blame
    Who make that person, which he meant but name.
    That web of manners which the stage requires,
    That mass of humours which poetic fires
    Take in, and boil, and purge, and try, and then
    With sublimated follies cheat those men
    That first did vent them, are not yet his art;
    But, as drown'd islands or the world's fifth part,
    Lie undiscover'd; and he only knows
    Enough to make himself ridiculous.
    Think, then, if here you find nought can delight,
    He hath not yet seen vice enough to write.

                             THE ORDINARY.



ACT I., SCENE I.


                   HEARSAY, SLICER, SHAPE, MEANWELL.

    HEAR. We're made, my boys, we're made! methinks I am
    Growing into a thing that will be worshipp'd.

    SLICER. I shall sleep one day in my chain and scarlet
    At Spital-sermon.

    SHAPE. Were not my wit such,
    I'd put out moneys of being Mayor.
    But, O this brain of mine! that's it that will
    Bar me the city honour.

    HEAR. We're cri'd up
    O' th' sudden for the sole tutors of the age.

    SHAPE. Esteem'd discreet, sage trainers up of youth.

    HEAR. Our house becomes a place of visit now.

    SLICER. In my poor judgment, 'tis as good my lady
    Should venture to commit her eldest son
    To us as to the Inns-of-Court: He'll be
    Undone here, only with less ceremony.

    HEAR. Speak for our credit, my brave man of war.
    What, Meanwell, why so lumpish?

    MEAN. Pray you, be quiet.

    HEAR. Thou look'st as if thou plott'st the calling in
    O' th' Declaration, or the abolishing[116]
    O' th' common prayers. Cheer up; say something for us.

    MEAN. Pray, vex me not.

    SLICER. These foolish, puling sighs
    Are good for nothing, but to endanger buttons.
    Take heart of grace, man.[117]

    MEAN. Fie, y' are troublesome!

    HEAR. Nay, fare you well then, sir.
                                       [_Exeunt_ HEARSAY, SLICER, SHAPE.

    MEAN. My father still
    Runs in my mind, meets all my thoughts, and doth
    Mingle himself in all my cogitations.
    Thus to see eager villains drag along
    Him unto whom they crouch'd! to see him hal'd,
    That ne'er knew what compulsion was, but when
    His virtues did incite him to good deeds,
    And keep my sword dry! O unequal nature!
    Why was I made so patient as to view,
    And not so strong as to redeem? Why should I
    Dare to behold, and yet not dare to rescue?
    Had I been destitute of weapons, yet
    Arm'd with the only name of son, I might
    Have outdone wonder. Naked piety
    Dares more than fury well-appointed[118]; blood
    Being never better sacrificed, than when
    It flows to him that gave it. But, alas!
    The envy of my fortune did allow
    That only which she could not take away--
    Compassion, that which was not in those savage
    And knowing beasts, those engines of the law
    That even killed as uncontroll'd as that.
    How do I grieve when I consider from
    What hands he suffer'd! Hands that do excuse
    Th' indulgent prison, shackles being here
    A kind of rescue. Young man, 'tis not well
    To see thy aged father thus confin'd.
    Good, good old man! alas! thou'rt dead to me,
    Dead to the world, and only living to
    That which is more than death, thy misery!
    The grave could be a comfort: and shall I--
    O, would this soul of mine--But death's the wish
    Of him that fears; he's lazy that would die.
    I'll live and see that thing of wealth, that worm
    Bred out of splendid muck, that citizen,
    Like his own sullied wares thrown by into
    Some unregarded corner; and my piety
    Shall be as famous as his avarice.
    His son, whom we have in our tuition,
    Shall be the subject of my good revenge:
    I'll count myself no child, till I have done
    Something that's worth that name. My brain shall be
    Busy in his undoing; and I will
    Plot ruin with religion: his disgrace
    Shall be my zeal's contrivement; and when this
    Shall style me son again, I hope 'twill be
    Counted not wrong, but duty. When that time
    Shall give my actions growth, I will cast off
    This brood of vipers, and will show that I
    Do hate the poison which I meant t' apply.                  [_Exit._


SCENE II.

                           MISTRESS POTLUCK.

    POT. Now help, good heaven! 'tis such an uncouth thing
    To be a widow out of term-time: I
    Do feel such aguish qualms and dumps, and fits,
    And shakings still an end! I lately was
    A wife, I do confess; but yet I had
    No husband; he, alas! was dead to me,
    Even when he lived unto the world: I was
    A widow, whilst he breath'd. His death did only
    Make others know so much; but yet--

                            _Enter_ HEARSAY.

    HEAR. How now?
    So melancholy, sweet?

    POT. How could I choose,
    Being thou wert not here? The time is come:
    Thou'lt be as good unto me as thy word?

    HEAR. Nay, hang me, if I e'er recant. You'll take me
    Both wind and limb at th' venture, will you not?

    POT. Ay, good chuck, every inch of thee; she were no true woman
            that would not.

    HEAR. I must tell you one thing--and yet I'm loth.

    POT. I am thy rib,
    Thou must keep nothing from thy rib, good chuck:
    Thy yoke-fellow must know all thy secrets.

    HEAR. Why then, I'll tell you, sweet.            [_He whispers her._

    POT. Heaven defend!

    HEAR. 'Tis true.

    POT. Now, God forbid! and would you offer
    T' undo a widow-woman so? I had
    As lief the old vintner were alive again.

    HEAR. I was born[119] with it, I confess; but lying
    In Turkey for intelligence, the Great Turk,
    Somewhat suspicious of me, lest I might
    Entice some o' th' seraglio, did command
    I should be forthwith cut.

    POT. A heathen deed
    It was! none but an infidel could have
    The heart to do it.

    HEAR. Now you know the worst
    That you must trust to. Come, let's to the church.

    POT. Good Master Hearsay, nature ne'er intended
    One woman should be joined to another:
    The holy blessing of all wedlock was
    T' increase and multiply, as Master Christopher
    Did well observe last Sabbath. I'll not do
    Anything 'gainst God's word. I do release you
    Of all your promises; and that it may not
    Be said you lost by loving me, take this.
    Perhaps I may get you a contribution
    O' th' women of the parish, as I did
    The broken-bellied man the other day.

    HEAR. Seeing you needs will cast me off, let me
    Entreat this one thing of you: that you would not
    Make me your table-talk at the next gossiping.              [_Exit._

    POT. Indeed I pity thee, poor thing; or rather
    I pity thee, poor nothing!

                            _Enter_ SLICER.

                     Good lieutenant,
    How dost thou? Thou art mindful of thy promise.

    SLICER. What else, my jolly wench?

    POT. Good sweet lieutenant,
    Give me but leave to ask one question of you:
    Art thou entire and sound in all thy limbs?

    SLICER. To tell the very truth, ere now I've had
    A spice o' the pox or so; but now I am sound
    As any bell--hem! was't not shrill, my girl? ha!

    POT. I do not ask thee about these diseases:
    My question is, whether thou'st all thy parts?

    SLICER. Faith, I have lost a joint or two; as none
    Of our profession, come off whole, unless
    The general and some sneaks.

    POT. My meaning is,
    Whether that something is not wanting that
    Should write thee husband?

    SLICER. Ne'er fear that, my wench:
    Dost think the king would send me to the wars
    Without I had my weapons? Eunuchs are not
    Men of employment in these days. His majesty
    Hath newly put me on a piece of service;
    And if I e'er come off (which I do fear
    I sha'n't, the danger is so great) brave widow,
    We'll to't, and get commanders.

    POT. If you can
    Leave me, I can leave you. There are other men
    That won't refuse a fortune when 'tis proffer'd.

    SLICER. Well, I must to his majesty: think on't:
    So fare thee well. Thine, to his very death,
    That is, a month or two, perhaps, D. Slicer.                [_Exit._

                             _Enter_ SHAPE.

    POT. Kind Master Shape, you are exceeding welcome.
    Here hath been Master Hearsay and Lieutenant
    Slicer: you may guess at their business, but
    I hope you think me faithful.

    SHAPE. I believe
    The memory of your husband's ashes, which
    Scarce yet are cold, extinguisheth all flames
    That tend to kindling any love fire. 'Tis
    A virtue in you which I must admire,
    That only you, amongst so many, should
    Be the sole turtle of the age.

    POT. I do
    Bear him in memory, I confess; but when
    I do remember what your promise was
    When he lay sick, it doth take something from
    The bitterness of sorrow. Woman was
    Not made to be alone still.

    SHAPE. Tender things
    At seventeen may use that plea; but you
    Are now arriv'd at matron. These young sparks
    Are rak'd up, I presume, in sager embers.

    POT. Nay, don't abuse her that must be your wife.
    You might have pity, and not come with your nicknames,
    And call me turtle. Have I deserved this?

    SHAPE. If that you once hold merits, I have done.
    I'm glad I know what's your religion.

    POT. What's my religion? 'Tis well known there hath
    Been no religion in my house, e'er since
    My husband died.

                        _Enter_ SLICER, HEARSAY.

    HEAR. How now, sweet Shape'! So close alone
    Wi' your widow!

    SHAPE. Sirs, dare you believe it?
    This thing, whose prayer it hath been these ten
    Years that she may obtain the second tooth
    And the third hair, now doats on me; on me,
    That do refuse all that are past sixteen.

    SLICER. Why, faith, this was her suit to me just now.

    HEAR. I had the first on't, then. A coachman or
    A groom, were fitter far for her.

    SLICER. You do
    Honour her too much to think she deserves
    A thing that can lust moderately: give her
    The sorrel stallion in my lord's long stable.

    SHAPE. Or the same-colour'd brother, which is worse.

    POT. Why, gentlemen----

    HEAR. Foh, foh! She hath let fly.

    POT. D'you think I have no more manners than so?

    SHAPE. Nay, faith, I can excuse her for that; but
    I must confess she spoke, which is all one.

    SLICER. Her breath would rout an army sooner than
    That of a cannon.

    HEAR. It would lay a devil
    Sooner than all Trithemius' charms.[120]

    SHAPE. Hark how
    It blusters in her nostrils, like a wind
    In a foul chimney!

    POT. Out, you base companions,
    You stinking swabbers!

    HEAR. For her gait, that's such
    As if her nose did strive t' outrun her heels.

    SHAPE. She's just six yards behind when that appears.
    It saves an usher, madam.

    POT. You are all
    Most foul-mouth'd knaves to use a woman thus.

    SLICER. Your plaster'd face doth drop against moist weather.

    SHAPE. Fie, how you writhe it! Now it looks just like
    A ruffled boot.

    SLICER. Or an oil'd paper-lantern.

    HEAR. Her nose the candle in the midst of it.

    SHAPE. How bright it flames! Put out your nose, good lady;
    You burn daylight.[121]

    POT. Come up, you lousy rascals.

    HEAR. Not upon you for a kingdom, good Joan.
    The Great Turk, Joan, the Great Turk!

    SLICER. Kiss him, chuck;
    Kiss him, chuck, open-mouth'd, and be reveng'd.

    POT. Hang you, base cheating varlet!

    SLICER. Don't you see
    December in her face?

    SHAPE. Sure, the surveyor
    Of the highways will have to do with her
    For not keeping her countenance passable.

    HEAR. There lies a hoar-frost on her head, and yet
    A constant thaw in her nose.

    SHAPE. She's like a piece
    Of firewood, dropping at one end, and yet
    Burning i' th' midst.

    SLICER. O that endeavouring face!
    When will your costiveness have done, good madam?

    HEAR. Do you not hear her guts already squeak
    Like kit-strings?

    SLICER. They must come to that within

    This two or three years: by that time she'll be
    True perfect cat. They practise beforehand.

    POT. I can endure no longer, though I should
    Throw off my womanhood.

    HEAR. No need, that's done
    Already: nothing left thee that may style thee
    Woman, but lust and tongue: no flesh but what
    The vices of the sex exact, to keep them
    In heart.

    SHAPE. Thou art so lean and out of case,
    That 'twere absurd to call thee devil incarnate.

    SLICER. Th' art a dry devil, troubled with the lust
    Of that thou hast not, flesh.

    POT. Rogue, rascal, villain!
    I'll show your cheating tricks, i' faith: all shall
    Be now laid open. Have I suffer'd you
    Thus long i' my house, and ne'er demanded yet
    One penny rent for this? I'll have it all:
    By this good blessed light, I will!

    HEAR. You may,
    If that you please undo yourself; you may:
    I will not strive to hinder you. There is
    Something contriving for you, which may be
    Perhaps yet brought about: a match or so;
    A proper fellow: 'tis a trifle, that;
    A thing you care not for, I know. Have I
    Plotted to take you off from these, to match you
    In better sort, and am us'd thus? As for
    The rent you ask, here take it; take your money;
    Fill, choke your gaping throat: but if as yet
    You are not deaf to counsel, let me tell you,
    It had been better that you ne'er had took it;
    It may stop some proceedings.

    POT. Master Hearsay,
    You know you may have even my heart out of
    My belly (as they say), if you'll but take
    The pains to reach it out. I am sometimes
    Peevish, I do confess. Here, take your money.

    HEAR. No.

    POT. Good sir.

    HEAR. No, keep it and hoard it up;
    My purse is no safe place for it.

    POT. Let me
    Request you that you would be pleas'd to take it.

    HEAR. Alas! 'twould only trouble me: I can
    As willingly go light as be your treasurer.

    POT. Good Master Slicer, speak to him to take it.
    Sweet Master Shape, join with him.[122]

    SLICER. Nay, be once
    O'errul'd by a woman.

    SHAPE. Come, come; you shall take it.

    POT. Nay, faith you shall. Here, put it up, good sir.

    HEAR. Upon entreaty, I'm content for once;
    But make no custom of't. You do presume
    Upon my easy foolishness: 'tis that
    Makes you so bold. Were it another man,
    He ne'er would have to do with you. But mark me--
    If e'er I find you in this mood again,
    I'll dash your hopes of marriage for ever.

                                              [_Exeunt all but_ HEARSAY.


SCENE III.

                       _To him_ MEANWELL, ANDREW.

    AND. God save you, tutors both!

    MEAN. Fie, Andrew, fie!
    What, kiss your hand! You smell not compliment.

    HEAR. Besides you come too near, when you salute.
    Your breath may be discover'd; and you give
    Advantage unto him you thus accost
    To shake you by the hand: which often doth
    Endanger the whole arm. Your gallant's, like
    The crystal glass, brittle; rude handling cracks him.
    To be saluted so were to be wounded:
    His parts would fall asunder like unto
    Spill'd quicksilver. An ear, an eye, a nose,
    Would drop, like summer fruit from shaken trees.

    MEAN. For the same reason, I'd not have you dance.
    Some courtiers, I confess, do use it; but
    They are the sounder sort; those foolish ones
    That have a care of health, which you shall not,
    If you'll be rul'd by me. The hazard's great:
    'Tis an adventure, an exploit, no[123] piece
    Of service for a gentleman, to caper.

    HEAR. A gallant's like a leg of mutton boil'd
    By a Spanish cook: take him but by the one end,
    And shake him, all the flesh falls from the bones,
    And leaves them bare immediately.

    AND. I would
    Not be a leg of mutton here.

    HEAR. I saw
    In France a monsieur, only in the cutting
    Of one cross caper, rise a man, and come
    Down, to th' amazement of the standers-by,
    A true extemporary skeleton;
    And was straight read on.[124]

    AND. Sure, this man,
    Good tutor, was quite rotten.

    MEAN. See how you
    Betray your breeding now. Quite rotten! 'Tis
    Rottenness, perhaps, in footmen or in yeomen:

    'Tis tenderness in gentlemen; they are
    A little over-boil'd, or so.

    HEAR. He is
    A churl, a hind, that's wholesome; some raw thing
    That never was at London: one in whom
    The clown is too predominant. Refin'd
    People feel Naples in their bodies; and
    An ache i' th' bones at sixteen passeth now
    For high descent: it argues a great birth.
    Low bloods are never worthy such infection.

    AND. Ay, but my father bid me I should live
    Honest, and say my prayers; that he did.

    HEAR. If that you cannot sleep at any time, we do
    Allow you to begin your pray'rs, that so
    A slumber may seize on you.

    MEAN. But as for
    Your living honest, 'twere to take away
    A trade i' th' commonwealth! the surgeons'
    Benefit would go down. You may go on
    In foolish chastity, eat only salads,
    Walk an unskilful thing, and be to learn
    Something the first night of your wife; but that's
    To marry out of fashion.

    AND. Here's no proofs,
    No doctrines, nor no uses. Tutor, I
    Would fain learn some religion.

    HEAR. Religion!
    Yes, to become a martyr, and be pictur'd
    With a long label out o' your mouth, like those
    In Fox's book;[125] just like a juggler drawing
    Riband out of his throat.

    AND. I must be gone.

    MEAN. Obedience is the first step unto science:
    Stay, and be wise.

    AND. Indeed, I dare not stay;
    The clyster works you sent to purge gross humours.          [_Exit._

    MEAN. Being you will not take your lecture out,
    Good-morrow to y', good Andrew. This soft fool
    Must swim in's father's wealth! It is a curse
    That fortune justly makes the city's lot;
    The young fool spends whate'er the old knave got.  [_Exit_ MEANWELL.


SCENE IV.

              _To_ HEARSAY _enter_ SLICER _and_ CREDULOUS.

    HEAR. Sir, let me tell you, this is not the least
    Of things wherein your wisdom shows itself,
    In that you've plac'd your son in this good sort.

    CRE. Nay, nay, let me alone to give him breeding:
    I did not hold the university
    Fit for the training up of such a spirit.

    SLICER. The university! 'T had been the only way
    T' have took him off his courage and his mettle:
    He had return'd, as slaves do from the galleys:
    A naked shorn thing, with a thin-dock'd top,
    Learnedly cut into a logic mode.

    HEAR. A private oath given him at first entrance,
    Had sworn him pilgrim unto conventicles;
    Engag'd him to the hate of all, but what
    Pleaseth the stubborn, froward elect.

    SLICER. But we,
    Following another model, do allow
    Freedom and courage, cherish and maintain
    High noble thoughts----

    HEAR. Set nature free, and are
    Chemists of manners----

    SLICER. Do instruct of states----

    HEAR. And wars. There's one, look on him----

    SLICER. Do but view
    That searching head----

    HEAR. The very soul of battle:
    True steel.

    SLICER. H' hath been an agent some few years
    (A score or so) for princes, and as yet
    Doth not write forty.

    HEAR. I confess I can
    Discover th' entrails of a state perhaps.
    Lay open a kingdom's paunches, show the bowels
    And inwards of a signiory or two;
    But for your deeds of valour, there is one,
    Although I speak it to his face, that can
    Write a geography by his own conquests:
    H' hath fought o'er Strabo,[126] Ptolemy,[127] and Stafford;[128]
    Travell'd as far in arms as Lithgow[129] naked;
    Borne weapons whither Coriat[130] durst not
    Carry a shirt or shoes. Jack Mandevile[131]
    Ne'er sail'd so far as he hath steer'd by land,
    Using his colours both for mast and sail.

    CRE. I'd thought h' had been lieutenant.

    HEAR. That's all one.

    SLICER. I've worn some leather out abroad, let out
    A heathen soul or two, fed this good sword
    With, the black blood of pagan Christians,
    Converted a few infidels with it;
    But let that pass. That man of peace there hath
    Been trusted with kings' breasts--

    HEAR. His name is heard
    Like thunder, and that mere word Slicer hath
    Sufficed unto victory.

    SLICER. He's close,
    Reserv'd, lock'd up. The secrets of the King
    Of Tartary, of China, and some other
    Counsels of moment, have been so long kept
    In's body without vent, that every morning,
    Before he covers them with some warm thing
    Or other, you may smell 'em very strongly;
    Distinguish each of them by several scents--

    HEAR. A grove of pikes are rushes to him: hail
    More frights you than a shower of bullets him--

    SLICER. The Dutch come up like broken beer;[132] the Irish
    Savour of usquebaugh; the Spanish they
    Smell like unto perfume at first, but then
    After a while end in a fatal steam--

    HEAR. One drum's his table, the other is his music:
    His sword's his knife; his colours are his napkins;
    Carves nourishing horse, as he is us'd to do
    The hostile paynim,[133] or we venison; eats
    Gunpowder with his meat instead of pepper,
    Then drinks o'er all his bandoleers, and fights--

    SLICER. Secrets are rank'd and order'd in his belly,
    Just like tobacco-leaves laid in a sweat.
    Here lies a row of Indian secrets, then
    Something of's own on them; on that, another
    Of China counsels, cover'd with a lid
    Of Newfoundland discoveries: next, a bed
    Of Russia policies; on them, a lay
    Of Prester-Johnian whispers--

    HEAR. Slights a tempest;
    Counts lightning but a giving fire, and thunder
    The loud report when heaven hath discharg'd.
    H' hath with his breath[134] suppli'd a breach:
    When he's once fix'd, no engine can remove him.

    SLICER. 'Twould be a policy worth hatching to
    Have him dissected, if 'twere not too cruel.
    All states would lie as open as his bowels:
    Turkey in's bloody liver; Italy
    Be found in's reins; Spain busy in his stomach;
    Venice would float in's bladder; Holland sail
    Up and down all his veins; Bavaria lie
    Close in some little gut, and _ragioni_
    _Di Stato_[135] generally reek in all.

    CRE. I see my son's too happy: he is born
    To be some man of action; some engine
    For th' overthrow of kingdoms.

    HEAR. Troth, he may
    Divert the torrent of the Turkish rule
    Into some other track: dam up the stream
    Of that vast headlong monarchy, if that
    He want not means to compass his intents.

    CRE. The Turkish monarchy's a thing too big
    For him to manage: he may make perhaps
    The governor of some new little island,
    And there plant faith and zeal; but for the present,
    M' ambition's only to contrive a match
    Between Sir Thomas Bitefig's only daughter
    And (if I may so call him now) my son:
    'Twill raise his fortunes somewhat.

    SLICER. We have got
    One that will do more good with's tongue that way
    Than that uxorious show'r that came from heaven:
    But you must oil it first.

    CRE. I understand you:
    Grease him i' th' fist, you mean? There's just ten pieces;
    'Tis but an earnest: if he bring 't about,
    I'll make those ten a hundred.

    HEAR. Think it done.

                              [_Exit_ CREDULOUS, _and enter_ SHAPE _and_
                                                               MEANWELL.


SCENE V.

                   HEARSAY, SLICER, MEANWELL, SHAPE.

    HEAR. Our life, methinks, is but the same with others:
    To cosen and be cosen'd makes the age.
    The prey and feeder are that civil thing
    That sager heads call body politic.
    Here is the only difference: others cheat
    By statute, but we do't upon no grounds.
    The fraud's the same in both; there only wants
    Allowance to our way. The commonwealth
    Hath not declar'd herself as yet for us;
    Wherefore our policy must be our charter.

    MEAN. Well-manag'd knav'ry is but one degree
    Below plain honesty.

    SLICER. Give me villany,
    That's circumspect and well-advis'd, that doth
    Colour at least for goodness. If the cloak
    And mantle were pull'd off from things, 'twould be
    As hard to meet an honest action as
    A liberal alderman or a court-nun.

    HEAR. Knowing, then, how we must direct our steps,
    Let us chalk out our paths: you, Shape, know yours.

    SHAPE. Where'er I light on fortune, my commission
    Will hold to take her up: I'll ease my silken
    Friends of that idle luggage we call money.

    HEAR. For my good toothless countess, let us try
    To win that old eremite thing that, like
    An image in a German clock,[136] doth move,
    Not walk--I mean, that rotten antiquary.

    MEAN. He'll surely love her, 'cause she looks like some
    Old ruin'd piece, that was five ages backward.

    HEAR. To the great vestry-wit, the livery-brain,
    My common-council pate, that doth determine
    A city-business with his gloves on's head,
    We must apply good hope of wealth and means.

    SLICER. That griping knight Sir Thomas must be call'd
    With the same lure: he knows t' a crumb how much
    Loss is in twenty dozen of bread, between
    That which is broke by th' hand and that is cut.
    Which way best keep his candles, bran or straw:
    What tallow's lost in putting of 'em out
    By spittle, what by foot, what by the puff,
    What by the holding downwards, and what by
    The extinguisher; which wick will longest be
    In lighting, which spend fastest. He must hear
    Nothing but moieties, and lives, and farms,
    Copies, and tenures; he is deaf to th' rest.

    MEAN. I'll speak the language of the wealthy to him;
    My mouth shall swill with bags, revenues, fees,
    Estates, reversions, incomes, and assurance[s].
    He's in the gin already; for his daughter,
    She'll be an easy purchase.[137]

    HEAR. I do hope
    We shall grow famous; have all sorts repair
    As duly to us, as the barren wives
    Of aged citizens do to St Antholin's.
    Come, let us take our quarters; we may come
    To be some great officers in time,
    And with a reverend magisterial frown
    Pass sentence on those faults that are our own.     [_Exeunt omnes._

FOOTNOTES:

[116] The Declaration concerning "The Book of Sports," set forth some
time before. This was a matter very disgusting to the Puritans, who had
an equal dislike to the Book of Common Prayer.

[117] This phrase signifies _take courage_, or _summon up resolution_.
It is at present always written in this manner; formerly it used,  [very
erroneously,] to be, _take heart at grass_; as in "Euphues," p. 18:
"Rise, therefore, Euphues, and _take heart at grasse_, younger thou
shalt never bee: plucke up thy stomacke, if love have stong thee, it
shall not stifle thee."

Again, in Tarlton's "Newes out of Purgatory," p. 4: "Therefore _taking
heart at grasse_, drawing more neere him," &c.

And _Ibid._, p. 24: "Seeing she would take no warning: on a day _tooke
heart at grasse_, and belabour'd her well with a cudgel."

[118] _Well-appointed_ is _completely accoutred_. So in "The Miseries
of Queen Margaret," by Drayton--

    "Ten thousand valiant _well-appointed_ men;"

and in the "Second Part of Henry IV." act iv. sc. 1--

    "What _well-appointed_ leader fronts us here?"

--Mr Steevens's note on the last passage.

[119] [Old copy, _not born_.]

[120] See Wolfii "Opera," 1672, ii. 592.

Johannes Trithemius, abbè of the order of St Benedict, and one of the
most learned men of the fifteenth century, was born at Tritenheim, in
the diocese of Treves, the 1st of February 1462. After having studied
for some time, he became a Benedictine friar, and abbot of Spanheim,
in the diocese of Mayence, in 1483. He governed the abbey until the
year 1506, when he joined the abbey of St James, at Wurtzburgh. He
was learned in all sciences, divine and human, and died the 13th of
December 1516.

Thevet calls him a _subtle philosopher, an ingenious mathematician, a
famous poet, an accomplished historian, a very eloquent orator, and
eminent divine_. Naudius says that those who would make him a magician
ground their right on a little book of three or four sheets, printed
in 1612, entitled, "Veterum Sophorum sigilla et imagines magicæ, sive
sculptura lapidum aut gemmarum ex nomine Tetragrammaton cum signatura
planetarum authoribus Zoroastre, Salomone Raphaele, Chaele Hermete
Thelete, ex Joan Kithemii manuscripto erutæ." Secondly, his speaking
so pertinently of magic, and giving himself the title of magician in
some of his epistles. Thirdly, his writing the book of Steganography, a
treatise stuffed with the names of devils, and full of invocations, and
as very pernicious condemned by Boville as worse than Agrippa. To these
Naudius answers that the pamphlet of making images and characters upon
stones, under certain constellations, is a pure imposture and cheat
of booksellers, it being printed above 120 years before by Camillus
Lienard, as the third book of his "Mirror of Precious Stones, De
Unguento Armario." From a letter then to a Carmelite of Gaunt, Arnoldus
Bostius, the suspicion of his being a magician must be collected,
wherein he specified many miraculous and extraordinary effects
performed in his treatise of Steganography. This, however, is defended
by several writers only as the means to decipher.--Naudius's "History
of Magick," translated by Davies, p. 237, &c.

[121] See note on the "Spanish Tragedy," [v. 115]

[122] "Join with _me_," would suit the sense better, as she is asking
Shape to unite his solicitations with hers. The old copy reads as it is
reprinted.--_Collier._

[123] [Old copy, _a_.]

[124] [A lecture, probably, was delivered on the phenomenon.]

[125] [The "Book of the Acts and Monuments," &c., 1563, &c. The
woodcuts have the dying words of the martyrs printed on labels out of
their mouths, in the way mentioned in the text.]

[126] Strabo, a philosopher of Crete and a geographer in the time of
Augustus.

[127] Born at Pelusium, flourished about the year 140, and died 162,
aged 78.

[128] Robert Stafford, born at Dublin, was of Exeter College, Oxford,
and published "A Geographical and Anthological description of all the
Empires and Kingdoms, both of Continent and Islands, in this terrestial
Globe," &c., 1607. Wood says it was reported that John Prideaux, who
was Stafford's tutor, had the chief hand in this work.

[129] [_Naked_, _i.e._, unarmed.] William Lithgow, a Scotsman, whose
sufferings by imprisonment and torture at Malaga, and whose travels on
foot over Europe, Asia, and Africa, seem to raise him almost to the
rank of a martyr and a hero, published an account of his peregrinations
and adventures, 1614; reprinted in 1616, &c., with additions. At
the conclusion of this work he says, "Here is the just relation of
nineteene yeares travells, perfited in three deare bought voyages:
the generall computation of which dimmensions spaces in my goings,
traversings, and returnings through kingdomes, continents, and ilands,
which my payneful feet traced over (besides my passages of seas and
rivers) amounteth to _thirty-six thousand and odde miles; which draweth
neare to twice the circumference of the whole earth_." [A list of his
other works may be found in Hazlitt's "Handbook," 1867, in _v._]

[130] The celebrated Thomas Coriat who, except Lithgow, is supposed
to have travelled more miles on foot than any person of his times, or
indeed in any period since. From his writings, and many parts of his
conduct, he cannot be supposed to have been in his perfect senses. He
was, notwithstanding, a man of considerable learning, and rendered
himself ridiculous, chiefly by dwelling with too much attention on
the trifling accidents which happened to him during his journey. In
the year 1608 he left England and went to Venice and back again; a
journey performed on foot in five months. On his return, he published
an account of it in a large quarto volume, 1611, containing 655 pages,
besides more than 100 filled with commendatory verses by Ben Jonson and
other wits of the age, who both laughed at and flattered him at the
same time. He afterwards travelled into Persia, and from thence into
the East Indies (still on foot), and died at Surat in the year 1617.

[131] Sir John Mandevile, Knight, born at St Albans. He was a traveller
for the space of thirty-four years, visiting in that time Scythia,
Armenia the Greater and Less, Egypt, both Libyas, Arabia, Syria, Media,
Mesopotamia, Persia, Chaldæa, Greece, Illyrium, Tartary, and divers
other kingdoms. He died at Liege, November 17, 1371. An edition of his
travels was printed in 8o, 1725, from a MS. in the Cotton Library.

[132] ["The leavings of what has been drawn for others"--_Gifford_
(edit. of Ben Jonson, vii. 433).] So in Jonson's "Masque of Augurs:"
"The poor cattle yonder are passing away the time with a cheat loaf and
a bumbard of _broken beer_."

Again, in the "Masque of Gypsies:" "He were very carefully carried at
his mother's back, rocked in a cradle of Welsh cheese, like a maggot,
and there fed with _broken beer_ and blown wine of the best daily."

And in Scot's "Belgicke Pismire," 1622, p. 76: "Having before fed
themselves full with the sweat of other mens browes, even to gluttonie,
drunkenesse, and surfetting, may releeve with their scraps, crummes,
bones and _broken beere_, the necessities of such as they or their
predecessors have before undone and made beggers."

[133] [Old copy, _paguim_.]

[134] Qy. breadth, _i.e._, stopped a breach by his person.--_Collier._

[135] [Reasons or policies of state.]

[136] _German clocks_ were about this time much in use. They are
frequently mentioned by Ben Jonson and other writers.--See "Epicæne,"
act iv. sc. 2.



ACT II., SCENE I.


           HAVE-AT-ALL, SLICER, HEARSAY _having rescued him_
                            _in a quarrel._

    HAVE. 'Tis destin'd; I'll be valiant: I am sure
    I shall be beaten with more credit then
    Than now I do escape. Lieutenant, has't
    Bethought thyself as yet? Has't any way
    To make my sword fetch blood?

    SLICER. You never yet
    Did kill your man, then?

    HAVE. No.

    HEAR. Nor get your wench
    With child, I warrant?

    HAVE. O sir!

    SLICER. You're not quite
    Free of the gentry, till y' have marr'd one man
    And made another. When one fury hath
    Cried quit with t'other, and your lust repair'd
    What anger hath destroy'd, the title's yours;
    Till then you do but stand for't.

    HAVE. Pox! who'd be
    That vile, scorn'd name, that stuffs all court-gate bills?
    Lieutenant, thou may'st teach me valour yet.

    SLICER. Teach thee! I will inspire thee; man, I'll make
    Thy name become a terror; and to say
    That Have-at-all is coming shall make room,
    As when the bears are in procession.
    Hark hither, Frank--[_They consult._

    HEAR. That's good, but--

    SLICER. How think'st now?

    HEAR. Nay, he will pay you large--ly.                      [_Aloud._

    HAVE. Pay, what else?

    HEAR. Make him believe the citizen's his guest;
    The citizen, that he is his.

    SLICER. Concluded.
    Would you fight fair, or conquer by a spell?

    HAVE. I do not care for witchcraft; I would have
    My strength rely merely upon itself.

    SLICER. There is a way, though I ne'er show'd it yet
    But to one Spaniard, and 'twas wondrous happy.

    HAVE. Think me a second Spaniard, worthy sir.

    SLICER. Then listen. The design is by a dinner--
    An easy way, you'll say: I'll say, a true.
    Hunger may break stone walls, it ne'er hurts men:
    Your cleanly feeder is your man of valour.
    What makes the peasant grovel in his muck,
    Humbling his crooked soul, but that he eats
    Bread just in colour like it? Courage ne'er
    Vouchsaf'd to dwell a minute where a sullen
    Pair of brown loaves darken'd the dirty table;
    Shadows of bread, not bread. You never knew
    A solemn son of bag-pudding and pottage
    Make a commander, or a tripe-eater
    Become a tyrant. He's the kingdom's arm
    That can feed large and choicely.

    HAVE. If that be
    The way, I'll eat myself into courage,
    And will devour valour enough quickly.

    SLICER. 'Tis not the casual eating of those meats
    That doth procure those spirits, but the order
    And manner of the meal--the ranking of
    The dishes, that does all; else he that hath
    The greatest range, would be the hardiest man.
    Those goodly juments of the guard would fight
    (As they eat beef) after six stone a day;
    The spit would nourish great attempts: my lord
    Would lead a troop, as well as now a masque;
    And force the enemy's sword with as much ease
    As his mistress's bodkin: gallants would
    Owe valour to their ordinaries, and fight
    After a crown meal.

    HAVE. I do conceive
    The art is all in all. If that you'll give
    A bill of your directions, I'll account
    Myself oblig'd unto you for my safety.

    SLICER. Take it then thus. All must be soldier-like;
    No dish but must present artillery;
    Some military instrument in each.
    Imprimis, six or seven yards of tripe
    Display'd instead o' th' ensign.

    HAVE. Why, you said
    Tripe-eaters ne'er made tyrants.

    SLICER. Peace, sir: learners
    Must be attentive, and believe. Do y' think
    We'll eat this? 'Tis but for formality.
    Item, a collar of good large fat brawn
    Serv'd for a drum, waited upon by two
    Fair long black-puddings, lying by for drumsticks.
    Item, a well-grown lamprey for a fife;
    Next some good curious march-panes[138] made into
    The form of trumpets. Then in order shall
    Follow the officers: the captain first
    Shall be presented in a warlike cock,
    Swimming in white broth, as he's wont in blood:
    The serjeant-major he may bustle in
    The shape of some large turkey: for myself,
    Who am lieutenant, I'm content there be
    A buzzard only. Let the corporal
    Come sweating in a breast of mutton, stuff'd[139]
    With pudding, or strut in some aged carp:
    Either doth serve, I think. As for perdues,[140]
    Some choice sous'd fish brought couchant in a dish
    Among some fennel or some other grass,
    Shows how they lie i' th' field. The soldier then
    May be thus rank'd: the common one, chicken,
    Duck, rabbit, pigeon; for the more genteel,
    Snipe, woodcock, partridge, pheasant, quail, will serve.

    HEAR. Bravely contriv'd!

    SLICER. That weapons be not wanting,
    We'll have a dozen of bones well-charg'd with marrow
    For ordnance, muskets, petronels, petards;
    Twelve yards of sausage by, instead of match;
    And caveary[141] then prepar'd for wild-fire.

    HEAR. Rare rogue! how I do love him now, methinks!

    SLICER. Next we'll have true fat eatable old pikes,
    Then a fresh turbot brought in for a buckler,
    With a long spitchcock for the sword adjoin'd.
    We'll bring the ancient weapons into play.

    HAVE. Most rare, by heaven!

    SLICER. Peaches, apricocks,
    And malecotoons,[142] with other choicer plums,
    Will serve for large-sized bullets; then a dish
    Or two of peas for small ones. I could now
    Tell you of pepper in the stead of powder,
    But that 'tis not in fashion 'mongst us gallants.
    If this might all stand upon drum-heads, 'twould
    Work somewhat better.

    HAVE. Will't so? Then we'll have 'em
    From every ward i' th' city.

    SLICER. No, I'm loth
    To put you to such charge. For once a long
    Table shall serve the turn; 'tis no great matter.
    The main thing's still behind. We must have there
    Some fort to scale; a venison-pasty doth it.
    You may have other pies instead of outworks:
    Some sconces would not be amiss, I think.
    When this is all prepar'd, and when we see
    The table look like a pitch'd battle, then
    We'll give the word, fall to, slash, kill and spoil:
    Destruction, rapine, violence! spare none.

    HEAR. Thou hast forgotten wine, lieutenant--wine.

    SLICER. Then to avoid the gross absurdity
    Of a dry battle, 'cause there must some blood
    Be spill'd (on th' enemies' side, I mean) you may
    Have there a rundlet of brisk claret, and
    As much of alicant; the same quantity
    Of tent would not be wanting--'tis a wine
    Most like to blood. Some shall bleed fainter colours,
    As sack and white wine. Some that have the itch
    (As there are tailors still in every army),
    Shall run with Rhenish that hath brimstone in't.
    When this is done, fight boldly: write yourself
    The tenth or 'leventh worthy--which you please:
    Your choice is free.

    HAVE. I'll be the gaming worthy;
    My word shall be twice twelve. I think the dice
    Ne'er mounted any upon horseback yet.

    SLICER. We'll bring your friends and ours to this large dinner:
    It works the better, eaten before witness.
    Beware you say 'tis yours; confession is
    One step to weakness; private conscience is
    A theatre to valour. Let's be close:
    Old Credulous and his son, and Master Caster,
    Shall all be there.

    HAVE. But then they will grow valiant
    All at my charge.

    SLICER. Ne'er fear't: the unknowing man
    Eats only flesh, the understanding, valour:
    His ignorance i' th' mystery keeps him coward.
    To him 'tis but a meal; to you 'tis virtue.
    It shall be kept here.

    HAVE. No fitter place. There is
    An old rich clutch-fist knight, Sir Thomas Bitefig,
    Invite him too; perhaps I may have luck,
    And break his purse yet open for one hundred.
    A usurer is somewhat exorable,
    When he is full; he ne'er lends money empty.

    SLICER. Discreet, and wisely done: I was about
    T' have prompted it.

    HEAR. Stout Master Have-at-all,
    Let's be sworn brothers.

    HAVE. Pox! thou fear'st I'll beat thee,
    After I've eaten. Dost thou think I'll offer't?
    By my next meal, I won't; nay, I do love
    My friends howe'er. I do but think how I
    Shall bastinado o'er the ordinaries.
    Arm'd with my sword, battoon and foot, I'll walk
    To give each rank its due. No one shall 'scape,
    But he I win of.

    HEAR. You shall have at least
    Some twenty warrants sign'd upon you straight:
    The trunk-hose justices will try all means
    To bind you to the peace, but that your strength
    Shall not be bound by any.

    SLICER. Surgeons will
    Pray for your health and happiness: you may
    Bring them to be your tributaries, if
    You but deny to fight awhile.

    HAVE. My teeth
    Are on an edge till I do eat. Now will
    I cosen all men without opposition:
    I feel my strength increase with very thought on't.
    Sword, sword, thou shalt grow fat; and thou, battoon,
    Hold out, I prythee: when my labour's done,
    I'll plant thee in the Tower-yard, and there,
    Water'd with wine, thou shalt revive, and spring
    In spite of nature with fresh succulent boughs,
    Which shall supply the commonwealth with cudgels.
    Thou I first meet after this meal I do
    Pronounce unhappy shadow--happy yet
    In that thou'lt fall by me. Some men I will
    Speak into carcase; some I'll look to death;
    Others I'll breathe to dust: none shall hold back
    This fatal arm. The Templars shall not dare
    T' attempt a rescue; no mild words shall bury
    My splitted, spitchcock'd----

    SLICER. Oliv'd,[143] hash'd----

    HEAR. Dri'd, powder'd----

    HAVE. Roasted fury.                                       [_Exeunt._


SCENE II.

                            MEANWELL, MOTH.

    MEAN. If what I speak prove false, then stigmatise me.

    MOTH.[144] I was not what you mean; depardieu,[145]
    You snyb[146] mine old years, sans fail I wene[147] you bin
    A jangler[148] and a golierdis.[149]

    MEAN. I swear
    By those two Janus' heads you had of us,
    And your own too, as reverend as those,
    There is one loves you that you think not on.

    MOTH. Nad be, none pleasaunce is to me ylaft,[150]
    This white top writeeth much my years, i-wis,
    My fire yreken is in ashen cold.[151]
    I can no whit of dalliance: if I kissen,
    These thick stark bristles of mine beard will pricken
    Ylike the skin of hound-fish. Sikerly[152]
    What wends against the grain is lytherly.[153]

    MEAN. Methinks y' are strong enough and very lusty,
    Fit to get heirs: among your other pieces
    Of age and time let one young face be seen
    May call you father.

    MOTH. Wholesome counsel! But
    The world is now full tickle[154] sykerly;
    'Tis hard to find a damosel unwenned;[155]
    They being all coltish and full of ragery,[156]
    And full of gergon[157] as is a flecken[158] pie.
    Whoso with them maketh that bond anon,
    Which men do clyppen[159] spousail or wedlock,
    Saint Idiot is his lord, i-wis.

    MEAN. This is
    No tender and wanton thing; she is a staid
    And settled widow, one who'll be a nurse
    Unto you in your latter days.

    MOTH. A norice[160]
    Some dele ystept in age! So mote[161] I gone,
    This goeth aright: how highteth[162] she, say you?

    MEAN. Mistress Joan Potluck, vintner Potluck's widow.

    MOTH. Joan Potluck, spinster? Lore me o' thing mere
    Alouten: what time 'gan she brendle thus?

    MEAN. On Thursday morning last.

    MOTH. Y' blessed Thursday,
    Ycleped so from Thor the Saxon's god.

    Ah, benedicite! I might soothly sayn,
    Mine mouth hath itched all this livelong day;
    All night me met[163] eke, that I was at kirk;
    My heart gan quapp[164] full oft. Dan Cupido
    Sure sent thylke sweven[165] to mine head.

    MEAN. You shall
    Know more, if you'll walk in.                      [_Exit_ MEANWELL.

    MOTH. Wend you beforne;
    Kembeth[166] thyself, and pyketh[167] now thyself;
    Sleeketh thyself; make cheer much digne,[168] good Robert:
    I do arret thou shalt acquainted bin
    With nymphs and fauns, and hamadryades:
    And yeke the sisterne nine Pierides
    That were transmued into birds, nemp'd[169] pyes
    Metamorphoseos wot well what I mean:
    I is as jollie now as fish in Seine.                      [_Exeunt._


SCENE III.

                        HEARSAY, CASTER, SHAPE.

    HEAR. Can I lie hid nowhere securely from
    The throng and press of men? Must every place
    Become a theatre, where I seek shelter,
    And solitudes become markets, 'cause I'm there?
    Good sir, I know your tricks; you would entrap:
    This is your snare, not your request.

    SHAPE. Take heed;
    He's nois'd about for a deep-searching head.
    I'll pawn my life 'tis a trick.

    HEAR. Leave off these gins,
    You do not do it handsomely. You think
    Y' have met with fools, I warrant.

    SHAPE. On my life, a spy, a mere informer.

    CAS. As I hope
    For fortunes, my intentions are most fair.

    SHAPE. A gamester's oath! he hath some reservation.

    HEAR. Yet did I think you true----

    CAS. By all that's good,
    You do me wrong, to think that I'd wrong you.

    HEAR. When I lay agent last in New Atlantis,
    I met with, what you now desire, a strange
    New way of winning, but yet very sure.
    Were not the danger great, I'd----

    CAS. Do you think
    I will betray myself or you, whom I
    Esteem above myself? I have as yet
    One hundred left, some part of which----

    SHAPE. Faith, sir,
    These times require advice: if it should come
    Unto the council's ear once, he might be
    Sent into other kingdoms, to win up
    Money for the relief o' th' state, and so
    Be as it were an honest kind of exile.

    CAS. If I do e'er discover, may I want
    Money to pay my ordinary: may I
    At my last stake (when there is nothing else
    To lose the game) throw ames-ace[170] thrice together!
    I'll give you forty pound in hand----

    HEAR. I may
    Show you the virtue of't, though not the thing:
    I love my country very well. Your high
    And low men are but trifles;[171] your pois'd dye,
    That's ballasted with quicksilver or gold,
    Is gross to this----

    SHAPE. Proffer him more, I say.                            [_Aside._

    CAS. Here's fifty----

    HEAR. For the bristle dye, it is
    Not worth that hand that guides it: toys fit only
    For clerks to win poor costermongers' ware with.

    SHAPE. You do not come on well.                            [_Aside._

    CAS. Here's threescore----

    HEAR. Then
    Your hollowed thumb join'd with your wriggled box--
    The slur and suchlike are not to be talk'd of;
    They're open to the eye. For cards, you may
    Without the help of any secret word
    Or a false hand, without the cut or shuffle,
    Or the pack'd trick, have what you will yourself;
    There's none to contradict you.

    CAS. If you please
    But to instruct me, here is fourscore pound.

    HEAR. Do you think 'tis money I esteem? I can
    Command each term by art as much as will
    Furnish a navy. Had you but five pound
    Left you in all the world, I'd undertake
    Within one fortnight you should see five thousand.
    Not that I covet any of your dross,
    But that the power of this art may be
    More demonstrably evident, leave in
    My hands all but some smaller sum to set,
    Something to stake at first.

    SHAPE. He'll tell you all,
    If you but seem to trust him.                              [_Aside._

    CAS. Here I'll lay
    Down in your hands all but this little portion,
    Which I reserve for a foundation.

    HEAR. Being y' are confident of me, and I
    Presume your lips are sealed up to silence,
    Take that, which I did never yet discover:
    So help you fortune, me philosophy.
    (I must intreat your absence, Master Shape.)
                                                          [_Exit_ SHAPE.
    I do presume you know the strength and power
    That lies in fancy.

    CAS. Strange things are done by it.

    HEAR. It works upon that which is not as yet:
    The little Ethiop infant would have been
    Black in his cradle,[172] had he not been first
    White in the mother's strong imagination.
    'Tis thought the hairy child, that's shown about,
    Came by the mother's thinking on the picture
    Of Saint John Baptist in his camel's coat.
    See we not beasts conceive, as they do fancy
    The present colours plac'd before their eyes?
    We owe pied colts unto the varied horse-cloth,
    And the white partridge to the neighbouring snow.
    Fancy can save or kill: it hath clos'd up
    Wounds,[173] when the balsam could not; and without
    The aid of salves, to think hath been a cure.
    For witchcraft then, that's all done by the force
    Of mere imagination. That which can
    Alter the course of nature, I presume,
    You'll grant shall bear more rule in petty hazards.

    CAS. It must, it must, good sir. I pray, go on.

    HEAR. Now the strongest fancies still are found to dwell
    In the most simple; they being easiest won
    To the most firm belief, who understand not
    Why[174] 'tis they do believe. If they think 'twill
    Be so, it will be so: they do command
    And check the course of fortune: they may stop
    Thunder, and make it stand, as if arrested
    In its mid-journey. If that such a one
    Shall think you'll win, you must win: 'tis a due,
    That nature pays those men in recompense
    Of her deficiency that, whate'er they think,
    Shall come to pass. But now the hardest will be
    To find out one that's capable of thinking.

    CAS. I know you can produce an instrument
    To work this your design by: let me owe you
    The whole and entire courtesy.

    HEAR. I've one

    Committed to my custody but lately,
    The powerfull'st that way I e'er found yet:
    He will but think he shall be abus'd in such
    A company, and he's abus'd: he will
    Imagine only that he shall be cheated,
    And he is cheated: all still comes to pass.
    He's but one pin above a natural: but----

    CAS. We'll purchase him; I'll take up for't. Old Simon
    Shall have my farm outright now. What's a piece
    Of dirty earth to me? a clod! a turf!

    HEAR. Because I see your freer nature's such
    As doth deserve supplies, I'll do my best
    To win him o'er awhile into your service.

    CAS. If I should strive to pay you thanks, I should
    But undervalue this great courtesy.
    Sir, give me leave to think and worship. Stay:
    First, will I beggar all the gentlemen
    That do keep terms; then build with what I win.
    Next, I'll undo all gaming citizens,
    And purchase upon that. The foreman shall
    Want of his wonted opportunities;
    Old Thomas shall keep home, I warrant him.
    I will ascend to the groom-porters next,
    Fly higher games, and make my mincing knights
    Walk musing in their knotty freeze abroad;
    For they shall have no home. There shall not be
    That pleasure but I'll balk: I'll run o'er Nature;
    And when I've ransack'd her, I'll weary art:
    My means, I'm sure, will reach it. Let me see,
    'Twill yearly be--by heaven, I know not what----

    HEAR. Ne'er think to sum it, 'tis impossible:
    You shall ne'er know what angels, pieces, pounds,
    Those names of want and beggary, mean: your tongue
    Shall utter nought but millions; you shall measure,
    Not count your moneys; your revenues shall
    Be proud and insolent, and unruly;
    They shall increase above your conquer'd spendings,
    In spite of their excess. Your care shall be
    Only to tame your riches, and to make them
    Grow sober and obedient to your use.

    CAS. I'll send some forty thousand unto Paul's;
    Build a cathedral next in Banbury;[175]
    Give organs to each parish in the kingdom;
    And so root out th' unmusical elect.
    I'll pay all soldiers, whom their captains won't;
    Raise a new hospital for those maim'd people
    That have been hurt in gaming: then build up
    All colleges that ruin hath demolish'd,
    Or interruption left unperfect.

    HEAR. 'Twill
    Never be done, I think, unless you do it.
    Provide the wealthiest gamesters: there's but one
    That can do us wrong--discovery.
    You have no enemy but frailty.

    CAS. Night
    And silence are loud names compar'd with me.

    HEAR. I see the tide of fortune rolling in
    Without resistance. Go, be close and happy.               [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

                           ANDREW, MEANWELL.

    AND. Upon my conscience, now he cheated me;
    I could have never lost it else so strangely.

    MEAN. What is a paltry cloak to a man of worth?

    It barr'd men only o' th' sight of your body;
    Your handsomeness will now appear the better.

    AND. He was as like our Master Shape as could be;
    But that he had a patch upon his cheek
    And a black beard, I should have sworn 'twere he:
    It was somebody in his clothes, I'm sure.

    MEAN. Some cunning cheater, upon my life, won
    His cloak and suit too!

    AND. There it is for certain,
    Pyes take him! doth he play for cloaks still? Surely
    He hath a fly only to win good clothes.

                             _Enter_ SHAPE.

    SHAPE. The pox and plague take all ill-fortune! this
    The second time that he hath cheated me;
    My very best suit that I had!

    AND. How now!
    What, lost your cloak and suit? A jest, I vow;
    I vow, a pretty jest. 'Odsnigs, I guess'd so;
    I saw him have it on: it made him look as like you,
    As like you--'tis a rogue, a mere decoy.                   [_Aside._

    SHAPE. A rogue, a mere decoy! and yet like
    me?

    AND. Nay, hold, I mean he is a rogue, when that
    He hath his own clothes on. D' y' think that I
    Would call him so when he is in your suit?

    SHAPE. No more of that, good Andrew, as you love me;
    Keep in your wit.

    AND. Speak, tutor, do I use
    To quarrel? Speak, good tutor.

    MEAN. That wit, Andrew,
    Of yours will be th' undoing of you, if
    You use't no better.

    AND. Faith, I thought I might
    Have broke a witty jest upon him, being
    I've lost my cloak.

    MEAN. True; but he has lost his too,
    And then you know that is not lawful wit.

                            _Enter_ HEARSAY.

    HEAR. Here's Master Credulous and old Sir Thomas;
    They have some business with you.

    MEAN. Bring 'em in.

    SHAPE. My business lies not here, sirs, fare you well.

                                                          [_Exit_ SHAPE.

    AND. For God's sake, don't you tell old Sim on't, now.


SCENE V.

                _To them_ SIR THOMAS BITEFIG, CREDULOUS.

    MEAN. God save you, good Sir Thomas.

    SIR T. Save you, sir.

    MEAN. Your welcome, Master Credulous.

    CRE. Come hither:
    Whither do you steal now? What! Where's your cloak?

    AND. Going to foils e'en now, I put it off.

    MEAN. To tell you truth, he hath lost it at doublets.

    CRE. With what a lie you'd flap me in the mouth!
    Thou hast the readiest invention
    To put off anything: thou hadst it from
    Thy mother, I'll be sworn: 't ne'er came from me.

    MEAN. Peace, as you love yourself: if that the knight
    Should once perceive that he were given to gaming,
    'Twould make him break the match off presently.

    CRE. Sir Thomas, here's my son; he may be yours,
    If you please to accept him.

    AND. Father, don't
    Give me away for this: try me once more.

    SIR T. I like his person well enough, if that
    You'll make him an estate convenient.

    MEAN. He hath more in him, sir, than he can show.
    He hath one fault: he's something covetous.

    SIR T. Marry, a very commendable fault.

    CRE. He is descended of no great high blood:
    He hath a house, although he came of none.
    His grandfather was a good livery-man,
    Paid scot and lot, old Timothy Credulous
    My father--though I say it, that should not.

    SIR T. I don't regard this thing that you call blood;
    'Tis a mere name, a sound.

    MEAN. Your worship speaks
    Just like yourself: methinks he's noble
    That's truly rich. Men may talk much of lines,
    Of arms, of blood, of race, of pedigree:
    Houses, descents and families; they are
    But empty noise, God knows; the idle breath
    Of that puff nothing, honour; formal words,
    Fit for the tongues of men that ne'er knew yet
    What stem, what gentry, nay, what virtue lies
    In great revenues.

    SIR T. Well and pithy said!
    You may work on my daughter, and prevail
    For that young stripling. 'Tis a foolish wench,
    An unexperienc'd girl; she'd like to have been
    Caught by Sir Robert Littleworth's son, if that
    I had not banish'd him my house; a youth
    Honest enough, I think, but that he's poor;
    Born to more name than fortune.

    CRE. He is safe
    For ever wooing. I have laid his father
    Out of harm's way; there's picking meat for him,
    And God knows where he's gone: he hath not been
    Seen this long while; he's, sure, turn'd vagabond;
    No sight of him since the arrest of his father.
    Andrew, address yourself to good Sir Thomas.

    AND. 'Slid, father, you're the strangest man--I won't.

    CRE. As God shall mend me, thou'rt the proudest thing----
    Thou can'st not compliment, but in caparisons.

    AND. What's that to you? I'd fain say something yet,
    But that I can't, my losses do so vex me.

    CRE. Come, think not on't, my boy; I'll furnish thee.

    AND. Sir, though----

    CRE. Nay, to't, I say: help him, sir, help him.

    AND. Sir, though without my cloak at this time--
    To-morrow I shall have one--give me leave
    Barely to say I am your servant, sir----
    In hose and doublet.

    CRE. I'll do what you told me.

    HEAR. Take heed: if that you do't, he'll guess you're given
    To idle spendings, and so cross the match.
    I will invite him as to myself.

    CRE. Do so.

    HEAR. Sir Thomas, if you'll please so far to grace us,
    As be a guest to-morrow here, we shall
    Study hereafter to deserve the favour.

    SIR T. Although I do not use to eat at ordinaries;
    Yet to accept your courtesy, good friends,
    I'll break my wonted custom.

    HEAR. You shall have it
    With a free heart.

    SIR T. If I thought otherwise,
    I do assure you, I'd not venture hither.                  [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[137] _i.e._, Prize [or acquisition.]--_Collier._

[138] _March-pane_ was a confection made of pistachio nuts, almonds,
sugar, &c., formerly in high esteem, and a constant article in the
deserts of our ancestors. See the notes of Dr Gray, Mr Hawkins, and Mr
Steevens, to "Romeo and Juliet," act i. sc. 5.

[139] This is called a St Stephen's pudding: it used formerly to be
provided at St John's College, Cambridge, uniformly on St Stephen's
day.--_Pegge._

[140] See [Suckling's Works, by Hazlitt, ii. 33.]

[141] Or, caveare. Giles Fletcher, in his "Russe Commonwealth," 1591,
p. 11, says: "In Russia they have divers kinds of fish, very good and
delicate: as the Bellouga or Bellougina, of four or five elnes long;
the Ostrina or Sturgeon, but not so thicke nor long. These four kinds
of fish breed in the Volgha, and are catched in great plenty, and
served thence into the whole realme for a great food. Of the roes of
these foure kinds, they make very great store of _Icary_, or caveary."

The introduction of these foreign delicacies is ridiculed by several
writers of the times; as Ben Jonson's "Cynthia's Revels," act iii.
sc. 1: "Come; let us go and taste some light dinner, a dish of sliced
_caviare_, or so."

And in Marston's "What you Will," act ii. sc. 1--

    "A man can scarce put on a tuckt-up cap,
    A button'd frizado sute; scarce eate good meate,
    Anchovies, _caviare_, but hee's satired,
    And term'd phantasticall."

[142] The malacoton is one of the late _peaches_. So in Ben Jonson's
"Bartholomew Fair"--

    "A soft velvet head like a _mellicotton_."

--_Steevens._

[143] _Olived_ is a term of cookery. In Murrell's "New Book of
Cookery," [1630,] is a receipt to make an _olive_-pie to be eaten hot.
_Olives_ are _collops_ of any meat.--_Steevens._

[144] Cartwright has fetched most of his antiquated terms from Chaucer.
I have therefore given the explanation of them from Mr Tyrwhitt's
excellent glossary on that author.

[145] [For God's sake.]

[146] Snub, reprove.--_T._

[147] Think, suppose.--_T._

[148] A prater.--_T._

[149] Fr. _Goliardus_, or Goliardensis, Lat. "This jovial sect seems
to have been so called from Golias, the [representative] name of a
man of wit, toward the end of the 12th century, [under which pass]
"Apocalypsis Goliæ" and other pieces, in burlesque Latin rhymes, some
of which have been falsely attributed to Walter Mapes. In several
authors of the 13th century, quoted by Du Cange, the Goliardi are
classed with the _joculatores_ or _buffones_."--_T._ [See "Poems of
Walter Mapes," edit. Wright, p. ix. _et seq._]

[150] Left.--_T._

[151] So in Chaucer's "Reve's Prologue," v. 3880--

    "Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken."
--_Steevens._

On this last line Mr Tyrwhitt observes: "There is so great a
resemblance between this line and the following in 'Gray's Elegy,'
[edit. Mitford, i. 106]--

    "Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires,"

that I should certainly have considered the latter as an imitation,
if Mr Gray himself had not referred us to the 169 (170) sonnet of
Petrarch, as his original 'Ch'i veggio nel pensier,' &c.

[152] Surely.--_T._

[153] Very ill.--_T._

[154] Uncertain.--_T._

[155] Unspotted.--_T._

[156] Wantonness.--_T._

[157] Jargon, chattering.--_T._

[158] Spotted.--_T._

[159] Call, name.--_T._

[160] A nurse.--_T._

[161] [Might.]

[162] Is she called.--_T._

[163] Dreamed.--_T._

[164] Tremble or quake.--_T._

[165] Dream.--_T._

[166] Combeth.--_T._

[167] Pick as a hawk does his feathers.--_T._

[168] Worthy.--_T._

[169] Named.--_T._

[170] ["Both aces, the lowest throw upon the dice."--Dyce's
"Shakespeare Glossary," 1868.]

[171] High men and low men are false dice. See Florio's "Dictionary,"
1598, _v._ Pise. These terms so very oft occur in our ancient dramatic
writers, that to quote examples would be endless.

[172] The epithet _black_ does not agree with Sir Kenelm Digby's
"Discourse touching the Cure of Wounds by the Power of Sympathy," 4th
edition, 1664, p. 104: "I told her sundry stories upon this subject;
as that of the Queen of Ethiopia, who was delivered of a white boy;
which was attributed to a picture of the Blessed Virgin, which she had
always near the tester of her bed, whereunto she bore great devotion. I
urged another, of a woman who was brought to bed of a child all hairy,
because of a portrait of St John the Baptist in the wilderness, where
he wore a coat of camel's hair."

Perhaps the original reading is the true one, and the corruption lies
in the former line. I would read--

    "It works upon that which is not as yet:
    The little Ethiop infant _would have_ been
    _Black_ in his cradle, had he not been first
    White in the mother's strong imagination."

The compositor's eye might have caught _had not_ from the following
line--a very common accident. Without this emendation we have too much
of _not_ and _had not_ in the course of three verses.--_Steevens's
note_ (_altered_.)   [Cartwright and Digby probably derived the story of
the Ethiop mother and her white offspring from a common source; but
Digby's work was not published till several years after Cartwright's
death.]

[173] See Sir Kenelm Digby's "Discourse," p. 6.

[174] [Old copy, _who_. Mr Collier's correction.]

[175] From Bishop Corbet's "Iter Boreale," this town appears to have
been inhabited chiefly by Puritans. Mr Dodd, mentioned in act iv. sc.
3, was minister there.



ACT III, SCENE I.


    MOTH. Harrow,[176] alas! I swelt[177] here as I go;
    Brenning[178] in fire of little Cupido.
    I no where hoart yfeel but on mine head.
    Huh, huh, huh, so; ycapred very wele.
    I am thine leek, thou Chaucer eloquent;
    Mine head is white, but, O, mine taile is green.
    This is the palyes, where mine lady wendeth.
        _Saint Francis[179] and Saint Benedight,_
        _Blesse this house from wicked wight;_
        _From the night-mare and the goblin,_
        _That is hight Good-fellow Robin;_
        _Keep it from all evil spirits,_
        _Fairies, weazels, rats, and ferrets:_
          _From curfew-time_
          _To the next prime._
    Come forth, mine duck, mine bride, mine honeycomb;
    Come forth, mine cinnamon.

                       _Enter_ MISTRESS POTLUCK.

    POT. Who is't that calls?

    MOTH. A knight most gent.

    POT. What is your pleasure, sir?

    MOTH. Thou art mine pleasure, by dame Venus brent;
    So fresh thou art, and therewith so lycand.[180]

    POT. Alas! I am not any flickering thing:
    I cannot boast of that slight-fading gift
    You men call beauty; all my handsomeness
    Is my good-breeding and my honesty.
    I could plant red where you now yellow see;
    But painting shows an harlot.

    MOTH. Harlot! so
    Called from one Harlotha, concubine
    To deignous[181] Wilhelm, hight the Conqueror.

    POT. Were he ten Williams and ten conquerors,
    I'd have him know't, I scorn to be his harlot.
    I never yet did take press-money to
    Serve under any one.

    MOTH. Then take it now.
    Werme kiss! Thine lips ytaste like marrow-milk;
    Me-thinketh that fresh butter runneth on them.
    I grant well now, I do enduren woe,
    As sharp as doth the Tityus in hell,
    Whose stomach fowls do tyren[182] ever more,
    That highten vultures, as do tellen clerks.

    POT. You've spoke my meaning, though I do not know
    What 'tis you said. Now see the fortune on't;
    We do know one another's souls already;
    The other must needs follow. Where's your dwelling?

    MOTH. Yclose by Aldersgate there dwelleth one
    Wights clepen Robert Moth; now Aldersgate[183]
    Is hoten so from one that Aldrich hight;
    Or else of elders, that is, ancient men;
    Or else of aldern-trees, which growden there;
    Or else, as heralds say, from Aluredus:
    But whencesoe'er this yate[184] ycalled is,
    There dwelleth Robert Moth, thine paramour.

    POT. Can you be constant unto me, as I
    Can be to you?

    MOTH. By Woden, god of Saxons,
    From whence comes We'nsday, that is, Woden'sday,
    Truth is a thing that ever I will keep,
    Unto thylke day in which I creep into
    My sepulchre; I'll be as faithful to thee,
    As Chaunticleer to Madam Partelot.[185]

    POT. Here then I give away my heart to you;
    As true a heart as ever widow gave.

    MOTH. I Robert Moth, this tenth [year] of our king,[186]
    Give to thee, Joan Potluck, my bigg'st cramp-ring:[187]

    And with it my carcase entire I bequeathen
    Under my foot to hell, above my head to heaven;
    And to witnesse[188] that this is sooth,
    I bite thy red lip with my tooth.

    POT. Though for a while our bodies now must part,
    I hope they will be join'd hereafter.

    MOTH. O!
    And must we part? Alas! and must we so?
    Sin it may be no bet,[189] now gang in peace.

                                                        [_Exit_ POTLUCK.

    Though soft into my bed I gin to sink
    To sleep long as I'm wont to done,[190] yet all
    Will be for nought; I may well lig and wink,
    But sleep shall there none in this heart ysink.             [_Exit._


SCENE II.

                 CREDULOUS, _and_ SHAPE _dogging him_.

    CRE. So now the mortgage is mine own outright;
    I swear by the faith of my body now,
    It is a pretty thing--o' my corporal oath,
    A very pretty thing. Besides the house,
    Orchards, and gardens, some two hundred acres
    Of land, that beareth as good country corn,
    For country corn, as may be.

    SHAPE. As I'd have it.

    CRE. How now, good friend? Where dost thou live?
    Dost thou know Caster's farm?

    SHAPE. Yes, sir; I fear 'tis gone:
    Sure, Caster's farm is cast away!

    CRE. A jest!
    Good troth, a good one of a country one;
    I see there's wit there too. Then thou dost know it?

    SHAPE. I am afraid I shall not know it long;
    I shall lose my acquaintance.

    CRE. 'Snigs, another!
    A very perilous head! a dangerous brain!

    SHAPE. God bless my master, and the devil take
    Somebody else.

    CRE. Um! that's not quite so good
    As th' other two; that somebody else is me:
    Now you shall see how he'll abuse me here
    To mine own face. [_Aside._] Why somebody else, good brother?

    SHAPE. The rich gout rot his bones! An hungry, old,
    Hard-griping citizen, that only feeds
    On heirs' and orphans' goods, they say must have it:
    One that ne'er had the wisdom to be honest,
    And's therefore knave, 'cause 'tis the easier art.
    I know he hath not given half the worth on't:
    'Tis a mere cheat.

    CRE. 'Slid, brother, thou hast paid him
    To th' utmost, though he hath not paid thy master.
    Now is my wit up too. This land, I see,
    Will make men thrive i' th' brain.                         [_Aside._

    SHAPE. Would he were here,
    Whoe'er he be, I'd give him somewhat more
    Into the bargain: a base, thin-jaw'd sneaksbill,
    Thus to work gallants out of all! It grieves me,
    That my poor tenement too goes into th' sale.

    CRE. What have I done? Now, wit, deliver me!
    If he know I am he, he'll cut my throat;
    I never shall enjoy it. [_Aside._] Sure, it was
    Your master's seeking, friend; he would ne'er else
    Have had to do with it: he that bought it is
    A very honest man, and if you please him,
    Will deal with you. I may speak a word
    In your behalf; 'twon't be the worse for you.

    SHAPE. I'm going, sir, unto him; do you know
    Where I may find him?

    CRE. What if I am he?

    SHAPE. I am afraid he is not half so honest
    As you do seem.

    CRE. Faith, I'm the same. I tried
    What metal thou wast made of: I perceive
    Thou wilt not flinch for th' wetting;[191] thou may'st be
    My bailiff there, perhaps.

    SHAPE. An't please your worship!                           [_Aside._

    CRE. So now the case is alter'd.

    SHAPE. I do know
    It was my master's seeking; you would ne'er
    Have had to do with't else. He sent me to you
    For the last hundred pound by the same token
    That you invited him to th' eating-house.

    CRE. O, this simplicity! He does not know
    Yet what an ordinary means. [_Aside._] I was now coming
    To have paid it in.

    SHAPE. I'll save your worship that
    Labour, an't please you. Let me now begin
    My bailiffship.

    CRE. 'Snigs, wiser yet than so.
    Where is thy master?

    SHAPE. Sir, my master's here,
    I thank my stars; but Master Caster is
    At an horse-race some ten miles off.

    CRE. Why, then,
    I'll stay till he returns: 'twill be by dinner.

    SHAPE. Your best way's now to send it: if by chance
    The race go on his side, your worship may
    Fail of your purchase.

    CRE. 'Snigs, and that's considerable.
    Here, here, make haste with it; but, ere thou goest,
    Tell me, is it a pretty thing?

    SHAPE. O' my corporal oath,
    A very pretty thing. Besides the house,
    Orchards, and gardens, some two hundred acres
    Of land that beareth as good country corn--
    God give you luck on't!

    CRE. Right, as I did say,
    Ev'n word by word. But prythee, stay a little;
    What meadow-ground's there? Pasture in proportion?

    SHAPE. As you would wish, sir, I'm in haste.

    CRE. Nay, bailiff,
    But one word more, and I have done: what place
    Is there to dry wet linen in?

    SHAPE. O, twenty,
    To hang up clothes or anything you please;
    Your worship cannot want line-room. God be wi' you!

    CRE. But this once, and--

    SHAPE. I must be gone--The race!                      [_Exit_ SHAPE.

    CRE. Little think'st thee, how diligent thou art
    To little purpose. 'Snigs, I pity him:
    What haste he makes to cheat himself, poor fool!
    Now I am safe, the wretch must pardon me
    For his poor tenement; all's mine. I'll sow
    One ground or other every month with pease;
    And so I will have green ones all the year.
    These yeomen have no policy i' th' world.                   [_Exit._


SCENE III.

                          PRISCILLA, MEANWELL.

    PRIS. Pray y', entertain yourself awhile, until
    I give my mistress notice of your presence.
    I'd leave a book with you, but that I see
    You are a gentleman: perhaps you'll find
    Some pretty stories in the hangings there.

    MEAN. Thank you, sweetheart.

    PRIS. A very proper man!                                   [_Aside._
    If't lie in me to do you any pleasure,
    Pray you, sir, use me; you shall find me ready.

                                                      [_Exit_ PRISCILLA.

    MEAN. I make no doubt of that. These implements,
    These chamber-properties are such ripe things,
    They'll fall with the least touch: from twelve to twenty
    They think that others are to sue to them;
    When once they've pass'd these limits, they make bold--
    I cannot say to woo, that's something modest--
    But ask downright themselves.

                         _Enter_ MISTRESS JANE.

    JANE. Leave us, Priscilla,
    And wait without awhile.

    MEAN. Fair mistress, pardon
    The boldness of a stranger, who uncivilly
    Thus interrupts your better thoughts.

    JANE. May I
    Demand your business?

    MEAN. Under favour thus:
    Not to use farther circumstance, fair virgin
    (And yet less fair, 'cause virgin), you are one
    That are the thought, the care, the aim, the strife--
    I should not err, if I should say the madness--
    Of all young men: all sighs, all folded arms,
    All o'ercast looks, all broken sleeps are ow'd
    Only to you.

    JANE. I'm sorry I should be
    A trouble unto any: if I could
    Afford the remedy as well as now
    I do your grief, assure yourself that cure
    Shall be the birth of my next action.

    MEAN. That cure is my request. If that this were
    Mine own suit, I had us'd no circumstance.
    Young Master Credulous, a proper man--
    For sure he shall be rich--one whom the whole
    List of our city virgins doat on--you
    Conceive the rest, I know.

    JANE. Alas! what ails him?
    I'll not be slack to do him any good.

    MEAN. 'Tis in your power. He is very much,
    If you will know't--but, sure, you will not grant
    If I should tell you.

    JANE. If you thus presume
    That I am hard, you only ask denial;
    Your expectation's cross'd, except you fail.

    MEAN. If you will know it, then, he is in love.

    JANE. I pity him indeed, poor heart. With whom?

    MEAN. Even with your beauteous self.

    JANE. 'Tis not well done
    To scoff one ne'er did injure you.

    MEAN. I vow
    By all that's good, by your fair self, I am
    As tender of you as that bless'd one is,
    Whoe'er he be, that loves you most. If I
    In any case abuse you, let me be
    More miserable than Littleworth.

    JANE. Is he become expression?[192] Is his fate
    The period of ill-wishes? Sure, he never
    Deserv'd so ill from you!

    MEAN. I don't reflect
    Upon his ruin'd fortunes, but your coldness;
    And, sure, I may call him unhappy whom
    You do neglect.

    JANE. That man, where'er he be,

    Is happier than yourself; and were he here,
    You should see him receiv'd, and yourself scorn'd.

    MEAN. I do not think so, lady; sure, you would
    Make more of me than so. I'll bring the man,
    And so confute you.

    JANE. It may be I might
    Love you the better something for that office,
    If he might enter here.

    MEAN. Nay, I could tell
    Y' had cast him off: alas! you need not hide it:
    I have it from himself.

    JANE. Doth he think so? Could I but see him----

    MEAN. If his sight can bring
    But the least joy unto you--as perhaps
    You'll take some pleasure in his misery--
    You shall enjoy it.

    JANE. I do fear you promise
    Only to raise my hopes awhile, and then
    To triumph in their ruin.

    MEAN. That you may
    See how my breast and tongue agree, I'll leave
    This ring with you, till I return again.

    JANE. My Littleworth! Fool that I was, could I
    Not all this while perceive 'twas thee? Why didst thou
    Defer my joy thus long by suffering me
    To stand i' th' cloud?

    MEAN. Alas! I guess'd I'd been
    Infectious to thee now; that thou wouldst look
    On a disease more mildly than on me;
    For poverty is counted a contagion.

    JANE. I call this kiss to witness--which I wish,
    If I prove false, may be the last to me
    Which friends pay dying friends--I ne'er will be
    Other's than thine.

    MEAN. I like the vow so well,
    That the same way I'll seal my promise too.
    If I prove not as thou (that is, most constant),
    May this kiss be--that I may wish it worse,
    Than that which is due to departing souls--
    The last that I shall take from thee. I am
    Sent here, but yet unknown to them that send me,
    To be another's spokesman: the man is
    That foolish son of Master Credulous.
    Thou must pretend some liking. 'Twas thy father
    Granted me this access to win thee for him:
    Be thou no way averse; 't shall be my care
    So to bring things about that thou shalt be
    Mine by consent in spite of misery.

    JANE. Be secret, and love prosper thy design!

                                                           [_Exit_ JANE.

    MEAN. Happy that man that meets such faithfulness!
    I did not think it had been in the sex.
    I know not now what's misery. Peace! my fair               [_Music._
    Is hallowing the lute with her bless'd touch.

                            _A Song within._

        1. _Come, O, come, I brook no stay:_
           _He doth not love that can delay._
             _See how the stealing night_
             _Hath blotted out the light,_
           _And tapers do supply the day._

        2. _To be chaste is to be old;_
           _And that foolish girl that's cold_
             _Is fourscore at fifteen:_
             _Desires do write us green,_
           _And looser flames our youth unfold._

    MEAN. 'T cannot be her, her voice was ne'er profan'd
    With such immodest numbers.

        3. _See, the first taper's almost gone;_
           _Thy flame like that will straight be none,_
             _And I as it expire,_
             _Not able to hold fire:_
           _She loseth time that lies alone._

    MEAN. 'Tis the breath
    Of something troubled with virginity.

        4. _O, let us cherish then these powers,_
           _Whiles we yet may call them ours:_
             _Then we best spend our time,_
             _When no dull zealous chime,_
           _But sprightful kisses strike the hours._

                           _Enter_ PRISCILLA.

    MEAN. What dost thou mean?

    PRIS. Only to please you, sir.

    MEAN. Sweetest of things, was't thou? I' faith, I guess'd
    'T could be no other's melody but yours.
    There have been many of your sex much given
    Unto this kind of music.

    PRIS. Sappho was
    Excellent at it; but Amphion he--
    He was the man that outdid all: 'tis said
    Of him that he could draw stones with the sound
    Of his sweet strings. I'd willingly arrive
    At some perfection in the quality.

    MEAN. I do acknowledge your desires most prone.
    This for your trouble.

    PRIS. I am not mercenary;
    Your acceptation is reward enough.

    MEAN. You have it, then.

    PRIS. Beauty go with you, sir.               [_Exeunt several ways._


SCENE IV.

               CREDULOUS, HEARSAY, SLICER; _to them_ SIR
               THOMAS BITEFIG, HAVE-AT-ALL, CASTER, _as_
                          _to the Ordinary_.

    CRE. You're welcome, friends, as I may say----

    HEAR. You do forget----

    CRE. That am a guest as well as you.

    SLICER. Most noble sons of fortune and of valour,
    You grace us with your presence: you must pardon
    Our small provision.

    HEAR. No variety here,
    But you, most noble guests, whose gracious looks
    Must make a dish or two become a feast.

    HAVE. I'll be as free as 'twere mine own.

    CAS. Who thinks
    On anything that borders upon sadness,
    May he ne'er know what's mirth, but when others
    Laugh at his sullen wrinkles.

    HAVE. We will raise
    A noise enough to wake an alderman,
    Or a cast captain when the reck'ning is
    About to pay.

    CRE. Hang thinking; 'snigs, I'll be
    As merry as a pismire. Come, let's in.

    SLICER. Let's march in order military, sirs.

    HAVE. That's well remember'd, most complete lieutenant.

                                           [_Exeunt as to the Ordinary._


SCENE V.

                RHYMEWELL, BAGSHOT, VICAR CATCHMEY, SIR
                              CHRISTOPHER.

    RHYME. Come, my most noble order of the club,
    'Cause none will else, let's make much of ourselves:
    His letter may procure a dinner yet.

    BAG. Cheer up, Sir Kit, thou look'st too spiritually:
    I see too much of the tithepig in thee.

    CHRIS. I'm not so happy: Kit's as hungry now
    As a besieged city, and as dry
    As a Dutch commentator. This vile world
    Ne'er thinks of qualities: good truth, I think
    'T hath much to answer for. Thy poetry,
    Rhymewell, and thy voice, Vicar Catchmey, and
    Thy law too, Bagshot, is contemn'd: 'tis pity
    Professions should be slighted thus. The day
    Will come perhaps, when that the commonwealth
    May need such men as we. There was a time
    When cobblers were made churchmen; and those black'd
    Smutch'd creatures thrust into white surplices,
    Look'd like so many magpies, and did speak
    Just as they [did], by rote. But now the land
    Surfeits forsooth: poor labourers in divinity
    Can't earn their groat a day, unless it be
    Reading of the Christian burial for the dead;
    When they, ev'n for that reason, truly thank
    God for thus taking this their brother to him.

    CATCH. Something profane, Sir Christopher!

    CHRIS. When I
    Level my larger thoughts unto the basis
    Of thy deep shallowness, am I profane?
    Henceforth I'll speak, or rather not speak, for
    I will speak darkly.

    CATCH. There's one comfort then:
    You will be brief!

    CHRIS. My briefness is prolix.
    Thy mind is bodily, thy soul corporeal,
    And all thy subtle faculties are not subtle:
    Thy subtlety is dulness. I am strong;
    I will not be conceiv'd by such mechanics.

    RHYME. I do conceive you, though, Sir Christopher;
    My muse doth sometimes take the selfsame flight.

    CHRIS. _Pauci, pauci quos æquus amavit._
    But quadragesimal wits[193] and fancies, lean
    As ember weeks (which therefore I call lean,
    Because they're fat), these I do doom unto
    A knowing ignorance: he that's conceiv'd
    By such is not conceiv'd; sense is non-sense,
    If understood by them. I'm strong again.

    RHYME. You err most orthodoxly, sweet Sir Kit.

    CHRIS. I love that, though I hate it; and I have
    A kind of disagreeing consent to't.
    I'm strong, I'm strong again. Let's keep these two
    In desperate hope of understanding us:
    Riddles and clouds are very lights of speech.
    I'll veil my careless anxious thoughts, as 'twere
    In a perspicuous cloud, that I may
    Whisper in a loud voice, and ev'n be silent,
    When I do utter words. Words did I call them?
    My words shall be no words, my voice no voice,
    My noise no noise, my very language silence.
    I'm strong, I'm strong. Good sir, you understand not!

    BAG. Nor do desire: 'tis merely froth and barm,
    The yeast that makes your thin small sermons work.

    CHRIS. Thou hold'st thy peace most vocally. Again!

    CATCH. I hate this bilk.

    CHRIS. Thou lov'st, 'cause thou dost hate:
    Thy injuries are courtesies. Strong again!

    CATCH. Good Samson, use not this your ass's jaw-bone.

    CHRIS. Thou'st got my love by losing it: that earnest
    Jest hath regain'd my soul. Samson was strong;
    He killed a thousand with an ass's jaw-bone,

                  _Enter a_ SERVANT, _as passing by_.

    And so will I. 'St! 'st!--good friend, d' y' hear?
    Here is a letter, friend, to Master Meanwell.

    BAG. Any reversions yet? Nothing transmiss'd?

    RHYME. No gleanings, James? No trencher-analects?[194]

    SER. Parley a little with your stomachs, sirs.

    CATCH. There's nothing so ridiculous as the hungry:
    A fasting man is a good jest at any time.

    SER. There is a gentleman without, that will'd me
    To ask if you'll admit of him among you:
    He can't endure to be in good company.

    CATCH. You're merry, James. Yes, by all means, good James.
    Admit, quoth he! What else? Pray, send him in.      [_Exit_ SERVANT.
    Let's be resolv'd to fall out now; then he
    Shall have the glory to compose the quarrel
    By a good dozen of pacifical beer.

    RHYME. BAG. Agreed, agreed.

    CHRIS. My coat allows no quarrel.

    RHYME. The colour bears't, if you'll venture the stuff.
    The tenderness of it, I do confess,
    Somewhat denies a grappling.

    CHRIS. I will try:
    Perhaps my spirit will suggest some anger.

                            _Enter_ ANDREW.

    AND. Save you, boon sparks! Will't please you to admit me?

    CHRIS. Your worship graceth us in condescending
    To level thus your presence, noble[195] sir.

    AND. What may I call your name, most reverend sir?

    BAG. His name's Sir Kit.

    CHRIS. My name is not so short:
    'Tis a trisyllable, an't please your worship;
    But vulgar tongues have made bold to profane it
    With the short sound of that unhallow'd idol
    They call a kit. Boy, learn more reverence.

    BAG. Yes, to my betters.

    AND. Nay, friends, do not quarrel.

    CHRIS. It is the holy cause, and I must quarrel.
    Thou son of parchment, got between the standish
    And the stiff buckram-bag! thou, that may'st call
    The pen thy father and the ink thy mother,
    The sand thy brother and the wax thy sister,
    And the good pillory thy cousin [once] remov'd--
    I say, learn reverence to thy betters.

    BAG. Set up an hour-glass; he'll go on, until
    The last sand make his period.

    CHRIS. 'Tis my custom;
    I do approve the calumny: the words
    I do acknowledge, but not the disgrace,
    Thou vile ingrosser of unchristian deeds.

    BAG. Good Israel Inspiration, hold your tongue;
    It makes far better music when you nose
    Sternhold's or Wisdom's metre.[196]

    CATCH. By your leave,
    You fall on me now, brother.

    RHYME. 'Tis by cause
    You are too forward, brother Catchmey.

    CATCH. I too forward!

    RHYME. Yes, I say you are too forward--
    By the length of your London-measure beard.

    CATCH. Thou never couldst entreat that respite yet
    Of thy dishonesty as to get one hair
    To testify thy age.

    BAG. I'm beardless too;
    I hope you think not so of me[197].

    CHRIS. Yes, verily;
    Not one hair's difference betwixt you both.

    RHYME. Thou violent cushion-thumper, hold thy tongue;
    The Furies dwell in it!

    CATCH. Peace, good Sir Kit.

    CHRIS. Sir Kit again! thou art a Lopez. When
    One of thy legs rots off (which will be shortly),
    Thou'lt bear about a quire of wicked paper,
    Defiled with [un]sanctified rhymes
    And idols in the frontispiece--that I
    May speak to thy capacity, thou'lt be
    A ballad-monger.

    CATCH. I shall live to see thee
    Stand in a playhouse door with thy long box,
    Thy half-crown library, and cry small books.
    _Buy a good godly sermon, gentlemen--_
    _A judgment shown upon a knot of drunkards:_
    _A pill to purge out popery: The life_
    _And death of Katharine Stubbs._[198]

    CHRIS. Thou wilt visit windows.
    Methinks I hear thee with thy begging tone,
    About the break of day, waking the brethren
    Out of their morning-revelations.

    AND. Brave sport, i' faith!

    RHYME. Pray y', good sir, reconcile them.
    If that same Justice be i' th' ordinary now,
    He'll bind them to the peace for troubling him.

    BAG. Why should he not, good sir? It is his office.

    AND. Now 'tis o' this side: O, for a pair of cudgels!

    RHYME. Peace, inkhorn; there's no music in thy tongue.

    CATCH. Thou and thy rhyme lie both: the tongue of man
    Is born to music naturally.

    RHYME. Thou thing,
    Thy belly looks like to some strutting hill,
    O'ershadow'd with thy rough beard like a wood.

    CHRIS. Or like a larger jug, that some men call
    A Bellarmine, but we a Conscience;
    Whereon the lewder hand of pagan workman
    Over the proud ambitious head hath carv'd
    An idol large with beard episcopal,
    Making the vessel look like tyrant Eglon.

    CATCH. Profane again, Sir Christopher, I take it.

    CHRIS. Must I be strong again? Thou human beast,
    Who'rt only eloquent when thou say'st nothing,
    And appear'st handsome while thou hid'st thyself,
    I'm holy, 'cause profane.

    AND. Courageous rascals!
    Brave spirits! soldiers in their days, I warrant!

    BAG. Born in the field, I do assure your worship.
    This quarrelling is meat and drink to them.

    RHYME. Thou liest.

    BAG. Nay, then I do defy thee thus.

                             [BAGSHOT _draws his inkhorn, and_ RHYMEWELL
                             _catcheth off_ SIR CHRISTOPHER'S _hat and_
                                                          _spectacles_.

    RHYME. And thus I am prepar'd to answer thee.

    CHRIS. For the good saint's sake, part them: I am blind,
    If that my spectacles should once miscarry.

    RHYME. Caitiff, this holy instrument shall quail thee.

    BAG. And this shall send thee to thy cousin furies.

    CHRIS. I feel a film come o'er mine eyes already:
    I must look out an animal conductive--
    I mean a dog.

    AND. Pray y', beat not out his eyes in
    Another's hands.

    CHRIS. Most strongly urg'd!

    CATCH. Your words
    Are merely wind. James, ho! what, James, some beer.
    They're mastiff dogs; they wont be parted, sir,
    Without good store of liquor.

                     _Enter_ SERVANT, _with beer_.

    AND. I will souse them:

    SER. Drink to 'em, sir, if that you'll have 'em quiet.

    AND. Is that the way? Here's to you, my friends, a whole one.

    BAG. Were't not for that good gentleman, thou'dst smoke for't.

    RHYME. Had I not vow'd some reverence to his presence,
    Thou hadst been nothing.

    BAG. 'Fore Mars, I was dry.
    This valour's thirsty: fill to my antagonist.

    RHYME. No, mine own dish will serve; I'm singular.
    Few vessels still do well. I carry this
    To drink my beer, while others drink their sack.
    I am abstemious Rhymewell: I hate wine,
    Since I spake treason last i' th' cellar. Here,
    Give me thy hand, thou child of fervency.
    Didst thou mistrust thy spectacles?
    It was no anger, 'twas a rapture merely.

    CHRIS. Drink, and excuse it after. James, your help!
    Come, man of voice, keep time, while that I drink.
    This moisture shall dry up all injuries,
    Which I'll remember only to forget;
    And so hereafter, which I'm wont to call
    The future now, I love thee stubbornly.
    Your beer is like my words, strong, stinging gear.

    CATCH. Here, little lawyer, let's be friends hereafter;
    I love this reconcilement with my heart.

    AND. 'Tis the best deed that e'er I did. O' my conscience,
    I shall make a good justice of the peace.
    There had been blood shed if I had not stickled.[199]

    SER. More blood been spill'd, I warrant, than beer now.

    AND. That inkhorn is a deadly dangerous weapon:
    It hath undone one quarter of the kingdom.

    CHRIS. Men should forgive; but thou art far, yea far
    From it, O Bagshot: thou'rt in 'love with hate.
    Bless me! I see the fiend still in his looks;
    He is not reconcilable with drink:
    He'll ne'er love truly till he eat with me.
    The nature of his spirit asketh meat;
    He hath a wolf in's breast: food must appease him.

    AND. Cold meat will do it, will't not?

    RHYME. Anything
    That may employ the teeth.

    AND. Go, James, provide.
    You are not merry yet.

    CATCH. To satisfy you
    In that point, we'll sing a song of his.

    AND. Let's ha't; I love these ballads hugeously.

                              _The Song._

                              1. CATCHMEY.

        _Then our music is in prime,_
        _When our teeth keep triple time;_
          _Hungry notes are fit for knells._
            _May lankness be_
            _No guest to me:_
          _The bagpipe sounds when that it swells._

              CHORUS. _May lankness, &c._

                              2. BAGSHOT.

        _A mooting-night[200] brings wholesome smiles,_
        _When John-a-Nokes and John-a-Styles_
          _Do grease the lawyer's satin._

            _A reading-day_
            _Frights French away,_
          _The benchers dare speak Latin._

              CHORUS. _A reading, &c._

                             3. RHYMEWELL.

        _He that's full doth verse compose;_
        _Hunger deals in sullen prose:_
          _Take notice and discard her._
            _The empty spit_
            _Ne'er cherish'd wit;_
          _Minerva loves the larder._

              CHORUS. _The empty spit, &c._

                            4. CHRISTOPHER.

        _First to breakfast, then to dine,_
        _Is to conquer Bellarmine:_
          _Distinctions then are budding._
            _Old Sutcliff's wit_[201]
            _Did never hit,_
          _But after his bag-pudding._

              CHORUS. _Old Sutcliffs wit, &c._

    AND. Most admirable! A good eating song!

    CHRIS. Let's walk in and practise it; my bowels
    Yearn till I'm in charity with all.

    AND. A christian resolution, good Sir Christopher!

                                                              [_Exeunt._


SCENE VI.

            MEANWELL _with a letter in his hand_, HEARSAY,
                                SLICER.
                           MEANWELL _reads_.

    _Sweet sir, I am most passionately yours,_
    _To serve you all the ways I can: Priscilla._
    Very well penn'd of a young chambermaid.
    I do conceive your meaning, sweet Priscilla.
    You see I have the happy fortune on't;
    A night for nothing, and entreated, too.

    SLICER. Thou dost not know how I do love thee. Let me
    Make use of this; thou'lt have the like occasion.

    HEAR. Thou art the fawning'st fellow, Slicer! Meanwell,
    Hark here.

    MEAN. For God's sake, be contented, sirs;
    I'm flesh and blood as well as you. Lieutenant,
    Think on your suburb beauties. Sweet intelligencer,
    I will by no means bar you of your lady:
    Your sin, I assure you, will be honourable.        [_Exit_ MEANWELL.

    SLICER. Pox o' your liquorish lips! If that she don't
    After this sealing forty weeks, deliver
    Something unto thee as thy act and deed,
    Say I can't prophesy.

    HEAR. If I don't serve him
    A trick he thinks not of----

    SLICER. Didst mark how he
    Did apply himself to the knight all dinner!
    I am afraid he plays the cunning factor,
    And in another's name wooes for himself.

    HEAR. Let it go on; let it work something farther:
    'Tis almost ripe enough to crush. He hath not
    Crept high enough as yet to be sensible
    Of any fall.

    SLICER. Now is the time, or never.
    This night, you know, he and his doxy meet;
    Let me alone to give them their good-morrow.
    If that we carry things but one week longer
    Without discovery, farewell London then:
    The world's our own. He ne'er deserves to thrive
    That doth not venture for it: wealth's then sweet,
    When bought with hazard. Fate this law hath set;
    The fool inherits, but the wise must get.

FOOTNOTES:

[176] [See Halliwell's Dictionary, _v._ Haro--the same word, and
Littrè's French Dictionary. A case occurred a few years ago, in which
the ancient _Clameur de Haro_ was raised at Jersey, in the Presbyterian
Church there. But the word is here employed as a mere ejaculation or
exclamation, and, it must be added, without much propriety.]

[177] Faint.--_T._

[178] Burning.--_T._

[179] See notes to "Midsummer Night's Dream," act ii. sc. 1, [and
"Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," 1870, iii. 39 _et seq._]

[180] Agreeable, pleasing.

[181] Disdainful.--_T._

[182] [Tear.]

[183] See Stowe's "Survey of London," Strype's edition, 1720, vol. I.
bk. ii. p. 18.

[184] Gate.

[185] The name of Chaucer's cock and hen.--_Steevens._

[186] So that this play was written in 1634.--_Pegge._

[187] These rings were sometimes made out of the handles of decayed
coffins, and in more ancient times were consecrated at the ceremony of
_creeping [to] the cross_, of which an account is given in a note on
the "Merry Devil of Edmonton," with reference to the observations of Dr
Percy on the "Northumberland Household Book," 1512.--_Steevens._

Cramp-rings were formerly worn as charms for curing of the cramp. See
Brookes's "Natural History," vol. i. p. 206.--_Pegge._

Andrew Borde, in his "Book of the Introduction of Knowledge," 1542,
says: "The kynges of Englande ... doth halowe every yere _crampe
rynges_, the which rynges worne on ones fynger doth helpe them the
whyche hath the crampe." Dr Percy, in his notes on the "Northumberland
Household Book," speaking of these rings observes "that our ancient
kings even in those dark times of superstition, do not seem to have
affected to cure the king's evil; at least in the MSS. above quoted
there is no mention or hint of any power of that sort. This miraculous
gift was left to be claimed by the Stuarts: our ancient Plantagenets
were humbly content to cure the _cramp_." I cite this passage merely
to remark that the learned editor of the above curious volume has been
betrayed into a mistake by the manner in which the _cramp rings_ are
mentioned in Mr Anstis's MSS. The power of curing the king's evil was
certainly claimed by many of the Plantagenets. The above Dr Borde, who
wrote in the time of Henry VIII., says, "The kynges of England, by
the power that God hath given to them, doth make sicke men whole of
a sickness called the _Kynges Evyll_." In Laneham's "Account of the
Entertainment of Kennilworth Castle," it is said, "And also by her
highness accustomed mercy and charitee, nyne cured of the paynful and
dangerous diseaz called the _King's Evil_, for that kings and queens of
this realm withoout oother medsin (save only by handling and prayer)
only doo cure it." Polydore Virgil asserts the same, and William
Tooker, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, [1597,] published a book on
this subject. For the knowledge of this last book I am obliged to Dr
Douglas's excellent treatise, called "The Criterion," p. 191, &c.

[188] Alluding to the old way of biting the wax, usually red, in
sealing deeds.--_Pegge._

The form usually was this--

    "And to witness this is sooth,
    I bite the wax with my wang tooth."

See Cowell's "Interpreter," 1607.

[189] Better.--_T._

[190] Do.--_T._

[191] An allusion to the effects of water on cloth ill-woven.

[192] [A proverb, or bye-word.]

[193] _i.e._, Those who write the customary verses during the Lent
season at Oxford.--_Steevens._

[194] _i.e._, Scraps of anything; ~analegô~,
colligo. Every one has heard of the _collectanea_ and _analecta
poetarum_.--_Steevens._

[195] [The reading of the old copy is _humble_, which does not appear
to agree at all with the context, since the parson addresses Andrew in
a half-satirical strain of respect.]

[196] Robert Wisdom, a translator of the Psalms. Wood ("Athenæ
Oxonienses," vol. i., "Fasti," p. 57) says he was "a good Latin and
English poet of his time, and one that had been in exile in Queen
Mary's reign. He was also rector of Settrington in Yorkshire, and died
in 1568, having been nominated to a bishopric in Ireland in the time of
Edward the 6th." His version of the Psalms is ridiculed in the "Remains
of Samuel Butler," 1759, p. 41--

    "Thence, with short meal and tedious grace,
    In a loud tone and public place,
    Sings _Wisdom's_ Hymns, that trot and pace
    As if Goliah scann'd 'em."

Again, p. 230: "Besides, when Rouse stood forth for his trial, _Robin
Wisdom_ was found the better poet." [Further particulars of Wisdom are
to be found in Warton's Poetry, by Hazlitt, iv. 131.]

[197] [Old copy, _my_.]

[198] [Of these books the two former are not at present known by such
titles. The third, the "Life of Mistress Katherine Stubs," by her
husband, the celebrated Philip Stubs, was originally published in 1591,
and went through many editions.] The Author observes, in the opening of
the tract: "At fifteen years of age, her father being dead, her mother
bestowed her in marriage upon one Master Philip Stubbes, with whom she
lived four years and almost a half, very honestly and godly."

Richard Brome, in his play of "The Antipodes," act iii. sc. 2, mentions
one of them in the following manner--

          "A booke of the godly _life and death_
    _Of Mistress Katherine Stubs_, which I have turn'd
    Into sweet meetre, for the vertuous youth,
    To woe an ancient lady widow with."

Again, Bishop Corbet in his "Iter Boreale," says--

    "And in some barn hear cited many an author,
    _Kate Stubbs_, Anne Ascue, or the Ladies Daughter."

[199] _i.e._, Been the mediator. The stickler now is called the
_sidesman_. So in "Troilus and Cressida," act v. sc. 8--

    "And, _stickler_-like, our armies separates."

--_Steevens._

[200] "_Moot_ is a term used in the Inns-of-Court, and signifies the
handling or arguing a case for exercise."--_Blount._

For the regulations of _Mooting_ and _Reading-Days_, see Dugdale's
"Origines Juridiciales."

[201] This was Dr _Matthew Sutcliff_, Dean of Exeter, in the reign
of King James I.; a person who had been one of the opponents of
Parsons the Jesuit, in defence of the Reformed Religion. In the year
1616 he procured an Act of Parliament for incorporating himself and
other divines to be provost and fellows of a college then founded at
Chelsea, for promoting the study of polemic divinity, and vindicating
the doctrines of the Reformation against all Popish writers. To carry
this design into execution, he settled on the college four farms in
Devonshire, of the value of £300 per annum, and the benefit of an
extent on a statute, acknowledged by Sir Lewis Stukely, for £4000. By
the Act of Parliament, the college was empowered to bring a stream of
water from the river Lee for the use of the city of London a scheme
similar to that then lately executed by Sir Hugh Middleton. This
foundation, although patronised both by King James and his sons,
Prince Henry and Charles I., yet fell to decay. One range of building
only, scarce an eighth of the intended edifice, was erected by Dr
Sutcliff, at the expense of £3000. After lingering some time, suits
were commenced about the title to the very ground on which the college
stood, and by a decree of the Court of Chancery, in the time of Lord
Coventry, three of the four farms were returned to Dr Sutcliff's heir.
See "The Glory of Chelsey Colledge Revived," by John Darly, 4o, 1662.
_Sutcliff's wit_ seems almost to have been proverbial. Beaumont, in his
letter to Ben Jonson, says--

    "'Tis liquor that will find out _Sutcliff's wit_,
    Lie where he will, and make him write worse yet."



ACT IV., SCENE I.


                      CREDULOUS, HEARSAY, SLICER.

    CRE. _My name's not Tribulation,_
           _Nor holy Ananias:_
         _I was baptiz'd in fashion,_
           _Our vicar did hold bias._

    HEAR. What! how now, Master Credulous? so merry?

    CRE. Come, let's be mad: by yea and nay, my son
    Shall have the Turkish monarchy; he shall
    Have it directly. The twelve companies
    Shall be his kickshaws.

    HEAR. Bashaws, sir, you mean.

    CRE. Well, sir, what if I do? Andrew the Great Turk?
    I would I were a pepper-corn,[202] if that
    It sounds not well. Does't not?

    SLICER. Yes, very well.

    CRE. I'll make it else great Andrew Mahomet,
    Imperious Andrew Mahomet Credulous--
    Tell me which name sounds best.

    HEAR. That's as you speak 'em.

    CRE. Oatmealman Andrew! Andrew Oatmealman.

    HEAR. Ottoman, sir, you mean.

    CRE. Yes, Ottoman.
    Then, Mistress Jane, Sir Thomas Bitefig's daughter,
    That may be the She-Great-Turk, if she please me.

    SLICER. The sign o' th' half-moon, that hangs at your door
    Is not for nought.

    CRE. That's the Turk's arms, they say;
    The empire's destin'd to our house directly.
    Hang shop-books; give us some wine! Hey for a noise[203]
    Of fiddlers now!

    HEAR. The Great Turk loves no music.

    CRE. Does he not so? Nor I. I'll light tobacco
    With my sum-totals; my debt-books shall sole[204]
    Pies at young Andrew's wedding; cry you mercy,
    I would say, gentlemen, the Great Turk's wedding.
    My deeds shall be slic'd out in tailors' measures;
    They all employed in making Mistress Mahomet
    New gowns against the time. Hang dirty wealth!

    SLICER. What should the Great Turk's father do with wealth?

    CRE. 'Snigs, I would fain now hear some fighting news.

                            _Enter_ CASTER.

    SLICER. There's one will furnish you, I warrant you.

    CAS. Pox! plague! hell! death! damn'd luck! This 'tis!
    The devil take all fortunes! Never man
    Came off so: quite and clean defunct, by heaven!
    Not a piece left.

    CRE. What, all your ordnance lost?

    CAS. But one to bear and lose it! All the world
    Was, sure, against me.

    CRE. 'Snigs, how many fell?

    CAS. He threw twice twelve.

    CRE. By'r Lady, a shrewd many!

    CAS. The devil, sure, was in his hand, I think.

    CRE. Nay, if the devil was against you, then----

    CAS. But one for to be hit in all the time,
    And that, too, safe enough, to any one's thinking:
    'T stood on eleven.

    CRE. 'Slid, a mighty slaughter;
    But did he stand upon eleven at once?

    CAS. The plague take all impertinences. Peace!

    CRE. These soldiers are so choleric, there is
    No dealing with 'em. Then they've lost the day?

    CAS. 'Twas ten to one, by heaven, all the while.

    CRE. And yet all kill'd at last! Hard fortune, faith!
    What news from Brussels or the Hague? D' y' hear
    Ought of the Turk's designs?

    CAS. I'll make thee news for the Coranti, dotard.

    CRE. Ay, the Coranti; what doth that say?

    CAS. O hell! Thou foolish thing,
    Keep in that tongue of thine; or----

    SLICER. Good now, peace:
    He's very furious when he's mov'd.

    HEAR. This 'twas.
    You must be venturing without your fancy-man.

    CRE. What officer's that fancy-man, lieutenant?
    Some great commander, sure.

    CAS. Pox! let it go;
    I'll win't again: 'twas but the relics of
    An idle hundred.

    CRE. 'Snigs, and well-remember'd.
    You did receive the hundred that I sent you
    To th' race this morning by your man, my bailiff?

    CAS. Take him away, his wine speaks in him now.

    CRE. Godsnigs! the farm is mine, and must be so.

    SLICER. Debate these things another time, good friends.

                          _Enter_ HAVE-AT-ALL.

    Come, come, have patience. Od's my life, away!
    There's Master Have-at-all is mad; he'll spit you
    If he but know you are a usurer.

    CRE. A plot, a plot, to take away my life and farm!

                                                                [_Exit._

    HAVE. Fight, as I live, with any one. Lieutenant,
    Do not come near me now, nor yet thou, Caster:
    It works, 'fore Mars, it works; I'll take my walk,
    And if I do find any one, by Jove----

                                               [_Exit_ HAVE-AT-ALL.[205]

    CAS. What, 's he fox'd too? Some drunken planet reigns,
    And works upon the world. Provide my fancy,
    Good noble patron; I'll win soberly,
    I itch till I have beggar'd all the city.            [_Exit_ CASTER.

    HEAR. Till that you have undone yourself, you mean.

                             _Enter_ MOTH.

    MOTH. Ey save you both; for dern love sayen soothly
    Where is thylk amebly franklin, cleped Meanwell?

    HEAR. He's gone abroad.

    MOTH. Lere me whylk way he wended.

    SLICER. He is gone o'er the fields.

    HEAR. To the knight's house.

    MOTH. Why laugh you every dele? So mote I gone,
    This goeth not aright; I dread some covin.             [_Exit_ MOTH.

    SLICER. Now will he meet with Have-at-all; there'll be
    A combat worthy chronicle. Let's go,
    And see how this grave motion[206] will bestir him.       [_Exeunt_.


SCENE II.

            HAVE-AT-ALL: _after a while_, MOTH; SLICER _and_
                          HEARSAY _watching_.

    HAVE. What, no man yet march by? Whoe'er comes next,
    I'll give him one rap more for making me
    Stay here so long.


    So, so, here he is; how shall
    I do to know whe'r he be a gentleman,
    Or yeoman, or servingman. I think
    I'd best suppose him all, and beat him through
    Every degree; and so I shall not wrong him.
    What? Who goes there?

    MOTH. Waes-heal,[207] thou gentle knight.

    HAVE. Waes-heal, thou gentle knight? Speak, what art thou?
    Speak quickly do. Villain, know'st thou not me?

    MOTH. Now, by my troth, I know not your name;
    Whider I shall call you my Lord Dan John,
    Or Dan Thomas, or Dan Robert, or Dan Albon.
    I vow to God thou hast a full fair chine.
    Upon my faith, art some officer.

    HAVE. Have you the pox, sir? speak.

    MOTH. No.

    HAVE. No, nor yet
    An ache in your bones?

    MOTH. No.

    HAVE. No! why then you are
    No gentleman; Lieutenant Slicer says so.
    This cudgel then serves turn.

    MOTH. You will not foin,[208]

    HAVE. I will not foin, but I will beat you, sir.

    MOTH. Why intermete[209] of what thou hast to done;[210]
    So leteth me alone, 't shall be thy best.

    HAVE. I fanci'd you a beating; you must have it.
    You shall not say but I will show you favour:
    Choose whether you will be hacked with my sword,
    Or bruis'd by my battoon.

    MOTH. Dre not thy true
    And poynant[211] morglay[212] out of shete. Lo, thus
    Eftsoons, sir knight, I greet thee lowting low.

    HAVE. Down lower yet.

    MOTH. Reuth[213] on my grey haires.

    HAVE. Yet lower. So, then, thus I do bestride thee.

    MOTH. Tubal the sonne of Lamech did yfind
    Music by knocking hammers upon anviles.
    Let go thine blows; thylke art is no compleat.[214]

    HAVE. Dost thou make me a smith, thou rogue? a Tubal?

    MOTH. Harrow[215] alas! Flet, Englond, flet, Englond!
    Dead is Edmond.

    HAVE. Take that for history.
    O brave lieutenant, now thy dinner works!

    MOTH. I nis not Edmond Ironside, God wot.

    HAVE. More provocation yet? I'll seal thy lips.

    MOTH. A twenty-devil way! So did the Saxon[216]
    Upon thylke plain of Sarum done to death
    By treachery the lords of merry Englond,
    Nem esur Saxes.

    HAVE. Villain, dost abuse me
    In unbaptized language? Do not answer:    [MOTH _entreats by signs_.
    If that thou dost, by Jove, I'll strangle thee.
    Do you make mouths, you rascal, thus at me?
    You're at dumb-service now. Why, this is more
    Unsufferable than your old patch'd gibberish:
    This silence is abuse. I'll send thee to
    The place of it, where thou shalt meet with Oswald,
    Vortigern, Harold, Hengist, Horsa, Knute,
    Alured, Edgar, and Cunobeline.           [SLICER, HEARSAY _step in_.
    Thus, thus I sheathe my sword.

    SLICER. Redoubted knight
    Enough: it is thy foe doth vanquish'd lie
    Now at thy mercy. Mercy not withstand;
    For he is one the truest knight alive,
    Though conquer'd now he lie on lowly ground.

    HAVE. Thou ow'st thy life to my lieutenant, caitiff:
    Breathe and be thankful.

    MOTH. I rech[217] not thine yeft;[218]
    Maugre[219] thine head; algate[220] I suffer none.
    I am thine lefe, thine deere, mine Potluck Joan.


SCENE III.

                           ANDREW, PRISCILLA.

    AND. Fairest of things, tralucent creature--Hang me,
    If I do know what's next.

    PRIS. This meant to me?

    AND. Fairest of things, tralucent creature, rather,
    Obscured deity--'Tis gone again.
    Lady, will you eat a piece of gingerbread?

    PRIS. You might have better manners, than to scoff
    One of my breeding.

    AND. Hark! Indeed I love you.

    PRIS. Alas!

    AND. I vow, I burn in love, as doth
    A penny fagot.

    PRIS. Heigho!

    AND. And I shall
    Blaze out, sir reverence, if ye do not quench me.

    PRIS. Indeed now?

    AND. Though I say't that should not say't,
    I am affected towards you strangely.

    PRIS. Now,
    Who'd have thought it?

    AND. There's a thing each night
    Comes to my bed's head, and cries, _Matrimony,_
    _Matrimony, Andrew_.

    PRIS. God forbid!

    AND. It is
    Some spirit that would join us.

    PRIS. Goodly, goodly.

    AND. Then do I shake all over.

    PRIS. Doth it so?

    AND. Then shake again.

    PRIS. I pray you now.

    AND. Then cry,
    Fairest of things, tralucent creature, rather,
    Obscured deity, sweet Mistress Jane,
    I come, I come.

    PRIS. Sweet sir, you are deceiv'd;
    I'm but her woman. Here she comes herself.

                         _Enter_ MISTRESS JANE.

    AND. Now, as my father saith, I would I were
    A cucumber, if I know what to do.

    JANE. Why, how now, Pris.? Who's that that useth you
    So lovingly?

    AND. Fairest of things--'tis one
    Tralucent creature--'tis--ay, that it is,
    One----

    PRIS. That would willingly run out of doors,
    If that he had but law enough.

    AND. I say----

    JANE. Nay, ben't afraid; here's none shall do you harm.

    AND. 'Tis one that brought his pigs to the wrong market.
    You keep your woman here so fine, that I
    Had like t' have made a proper business on't,
    Before I was aware. If anything
    Do prove amiss, indeed, la, you shall be
    The father on't. But know, tralucent creature,
    I am come off entire, and now am yours,
    Whole Andrew Credulous, your servant's servant.

    JANE. Methinks you contradict yourself: how can you
    Be wholly mine, and yet my servant's servant?

    AND. I do but compliment in that (I see
    Downright's the best way here); if thou canst love,
    I can love too. La, thee there, now! I'm rich.

    JANE. I use not to look after riches; 'tis
    The person that I aim at.

    AND. That is me:
    I'm proper, handsome, fair, clean-limb'd--I'm rich.

    JANE. I must have one that can direct and guide me:
    A guardian rather than a husband; for
    I'm foolish yet.

    AND. Now see the luck on't, lady;
    So am I too, i' faith.

    JANE. And whoe'er hath me,
    Will find me to be one of those things, which
    His care must first reform.

    AND. Do not doubt that;
    I have a head for reformation:
    This noddle here shall do it. I am rich.

    JANE. Riches create no love: I fear you mean
    To take me for formality only;
    As some staid piece of household stuff, perhaps,
    Fit to be seen 'mongst other ornaments:
    Or, at the best, I shall be counted but
    A name of dignity; not entertain'd
    For love, but state; one of your train; a thing
    Took to wipe off suspicion from some fairer,
    To whom you have vow'd homage.

    AND. Do not think
    I've any plots or projects in my head.
    I will do anything for thee, that thou
    Canst name or think on.

    PRIS. Pray you try him, mistress.
    By my virginity, I think he'll flinch.

    AND. By my virginity (which is as good
    As yours, I'm sure)--by my virginity,
    If that we men have any such thing (as
    We men have such a thing), I do believe
    I will not flinch. Alas! you don't know Andrew.

    JANE. Can you obtain but so much respite from
    Your other sovereign's service, as to keep
    Your eye from gazing on her for awhile?

    AND. If I do look on any woman--nay,
    If I do cast a sheep's eye upon any
    But your sweet self, may I lose one of mine!
    Marry, I'll keep the other howsoe'er.

    JANE. I know not how I may believe you: you'll
    Swear you ne'er cast a glance on any, when
    Your eye hath baited at each face you met.

    AND. Blind me, good, now: being you mistrust, I will
    Be blinded with this handkerchief; you shall
    See that I love you now. So, let me have
    But any reasonable thing to lead me home,
    I do not care, though't be a dog, so that
    He knows the way, or hath the wit t' inquire it.

    JANE. That care, sir, shall be mine. [_Exeunt_ JANE _and_ PRISCILLA.

    AND. I doubt not but
    I shall be in the Chronicle for this,
    Or in a ballad else. This handkerchief
    Shall be hung up i' th' parish church, instead
    Of a great silken flag to fan my grave:
    With my arms in't, portray'd in good blue thread,
    With this word underneath--_This, this was he_
    _That shut his eyes because he would not see._
    Hold, who comes there?

                        _Enter_ MEANWELL, SHAPE.

    MEAN. One, sir, to lead you home.

    AND. Who? tutor Meanwell?

                          [SHAPE _counterfeits_ MISTRESS JANE'S _voice_.

    SHAPE. Yes, I do commit you
    Unto your trusty friend: if you perform
    This vow, we may----

    AND. I'll say your sentence out--
    Be man and wife.

    SHAPE. If you'll do something else
    That I'll propose.

    AND. Pray make your own conditions.

    SHAPE. You'll promise me you'll not be jealous of me?

    AND. Do what you will, I'll trust you.

    SHAPE. Never hire
    Any to tempt me?

    AND. By this light (I would say,
    By this darkness), I never will.

    SHAPE. Nor mark
    On whom I laugh?

    AND. No.

    SHAPE. Nor suspect my smiles,
    My nods, my winks?

    AND. No, no.

    SHAPE. Nor yet keep count
    From any gallant's visit?

    AND. I'll ne'er reckon:
    You shall do what you will.

    SHAPE. You'll never set
    Great chests and forms against my chamber-door;
    Nor pin my smock unto your shirt a-nights,
    For fear I should slip from you ere you wake?

    AND. As I do hope for day, I will not.

    SHAPE. Give me
    Some small pledge from you to assure your love;
    If that you yet prove false, I may have something
    To witness your inconstancy. I'll take
    This little ruby--this small blushing stone
    From your fair finger.

    AND. Take it, sweet. There is
    A diamond in my band-string; if you have
    A mind to that, I pray, make use of't too.

    SHAPE. In troth, a stone of lustre. I assure you,
    It darts a pretty light, a veget spark,[221]
    It seems an eye upon your breast.

    AND. Nay, take it,
    For love's sake, take it then: leave nothing that
    Looks like an eye about me.

    SHAPE. My good Andrew,
    'Cause of thy resolution, I'll perform
    This office for thee. Take my word for't, this
    Shall ne'er betray thee.                              [_Exit_ SHAPE.

    AND. Farewell, honest Jany;
    I cannot see to thank thee, my sweet Jany.
    Tutor, your hand; good tutor, lead me wisely.

    MEAN. Take comfort, man; I have good news for thee:
    Thine eyes shall be thine own before next morning.        [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

                       SHAPE, CHIRURGEON, MERCER.

    SHAPE. He's a good friend of mine, and I presume
    Upon your secrecy.

    CHIR. O sir, the deed
    By which it came was not more close. D' y' think
    I would undo myself by twitting? 'Twere
    To bring the gallants all about mine ears,
    And make me mine own patient. I'm faithful
    And secret, though a barber.

    SHAPE. Nay, but hear me;
    He's very modest: 'twas his first attempt
    Procur'd him this infirmity. He will
    Be bashful, I am sure, and won't be known
    Of any such thing at the first. You must
    Be sure to put him to't.

    CHIR. Let me alone:
    He knows not yet the world, I do perceive.
    It is as common now with gentlemen,
    As 'tis to follow fashion: only here
    Lieth the difference, that they keep in this
    A little longer. I shall have so much
    Upon your word, sir?

    SHAPE. If you do perform
    The cure by that time, twenty pieces, sir:
    You are content?

    MER. Yes, sir.

    CHIR. It shall be done                                [_Exit_ SHAPE.
    According to your own prescription.
    Sit down, I pray you, sir: this gentleman
    Is a good friend of yours.

    MER. Indeed he is a very honest man,
    As any one can wish to deal with, verily.

    CHIR. Believe't, he loves you very well.

    MER. I am most ready
    To do him any service truly. Pray you,
    Good brother, don't delay me: I'm in haste.

    CHIR. _Indeed-and truly-verily-good brother!_
    How could these milksop words e'er get him company
    That could procure the pox? [_Aside_.] Where do you feel
    You[r] grief most trouble you?

    MER. I'm very well: what mean you, brother?

    CHIR. Nay, be not so modest:
    'Tis no such heinous fault, as that you should
    Seek thus to hide it; mere ill-fortune only--

    MER. Surely you do forget yourself.

    CHIR. Come, come,
    He told me you'd be shamefac'd: you must be
    Wary hereafter.

    MER. I do perceive
    He is a little mad indeed: the gentleman
    Told me so much just as I came along.                      [_Aside._
    Yes, yes, I will be wary; I'll take heed.
    Come, pray y', despatch me.

    CHIR. So, I like you now.
    It is the custom of most gentlemen
    Not to confess until they feel their bones
    Begin t' admonish 'em.

    MER. You are i' th' right.
    Good friend, make haste; I've very urgent business.

    CHIR. Not rashly neither. Is your gristle sound?
    Methinks 'tis very firm as yet to the touch.
    You fear no danger there as yet, sir, do you?

    MER. No, I'll assure you. He must have his humour:
    I see he is not to be cross'd.                             [_Aside._

    CHIR. When did you
    Feel the first grudging on't? 'Tis not broke out
    In any place?

    MER. No, no: I pray y', despatch me.

    CHIR. These things desire deliberation;
    Care is requir'd.

    MER. Good brother, go t' your chest.

    CHIR. How can I know what med'cines to apply,
    If that you tell me not where lies your grief?

    MER. Nay, good, now let me go.

    CHIR. I must not, sir,
    Nor will not, truly. Trust me, you will wish
    You had confess'd, and suffer'd me in time,
    When you shall come to dry-burnt racks of mutton,
    The syringe, and the tub.[222]

    MER. So: now enough.
    Pray fetch me what you promis'd.

    CHIR. Are you wild
    Or mad? I do protest, I ne'er did meet
    A gentleman of such perverseness yet.
    I find you just as I was told I should.

    MER. I lose the taking, by my swear, of[223]
    As much, whiles that I am receiving this.

    CHIR. I will not hinder you, if that you do
    Prefer your gain before your health.

    MER. Well then,
    I pray you tell it out: we tradesmen are not
    Masters of our own time.

    CHIR. What would you have?

    MER. What would I have? as if you did not know!
    Come, come, leave jesting now at last, good brother.

    CHIR. I am in earnest, sir.

    MER. Why, I would have
    My money, sir; the twenty pieces that
    The gentleman did give you order now
    To pay me for the velvet that he bought
    This morning of me.

    CHIR. O, the gentleman----

    MER. You should not make a laughingstock, good brother,
    Of one that wrongs you not; I do profess
    I wont be fubb'd, ensure yourself.

    CHIR. The gentleman!
    O, O, the gentleman! Is this the cure
    I should perform? Truly I dare not venture
    Upon such desperate maladies.

    MER. You are but merrily dispos'd?

    CHIR. Indeed, they are
    Too high for my small quality. Verily
    Perhaps, good brother, you might perish under
    Mine hands truly. I do profess, I am not
    Any of your bold mountebanks in this.

    MER. You're still dispos'd----

    CHIR. To laugh at you, good brother.
    Gull'd, by my swear: by my swear, gull'd! he told me
    You had a small infirmity upon you,
    A grief of youth or two: and that I should
    Have twenty pieces for the cure. He ask'd you,
    If that you were content? you answered, yes.
    I was in hope I had gain'd a patient more.
    Your best way is to make haste after him.

    MER. Now could I beat myself for a wise fool
    That I was, thus to trust him.                              [_Exit._

    CHIR. B' w' y', brother.
    'Fore God, a good one. O, the gentleman!           [_Exit laughing._


SCENE V.

            RHYMEWELL, BAGSHOT, CATCHMEY, SIR CHRISTOPHER:
              _a song at a window, congratulating_ (_as_
              _they think_) MASTER MEANWELL'S _marriage_.

        1. _Whiles early light springs from the skies_
           _A fairer from your bride doth rue;_
           _A brighter day doth thence appear,_
           _And makes a second morning there._
             _Her blush doth shed_
             _All o'er the bed_
             _Clean shamefac'd beams,_
             _That spread in streams,_
           _And purple round the modest air._

        2. _I will not tell what shrieks and cries,_
           _What angry pishes, and what fies,_
           _What pretty oaths then newly born,_
           _The list'ning taper heard there sworn:_
             _Whiles froward she_
             _Most peevishly_
             _Did yielding fight_
             _To keep o'er night,_
           _What she'd have proffer'd you ere morn._

        3. _Fair, we know, maids do refuse_
           _To grant what they do come to lose._
           _Intend a conquest, you that wed;_
           _They would be chastely ravished._
             _Not any kiss_
             _From Mistress Pris,_
             _If that you do,_
             _Persuade and woo:_
           _Know pleasure's by extorting fed._

        4. _O, may her arms wax black and blue_
           _Only by hard encircling you:_
           _May she round about you twine,_
           _Like the easy-twisting vine;_
             _And whiles you sip_
             _From her full lip_
             _Pleasures as new_
             _As morning dew,_
           _Let those soft ties your hearts combine._

    SINGER. God give you joy, Master Meanwell!
    God give your worship good morrow!

    RHYME. Come, let's be going.

    CHRIS. Hold, a blow I'll have,
    One jerk at th' times, wrapp'd in a benediction
    O' th' spouse's teeming, and I'll go with you.

                               _A Song._

        _Now thou, our future brother,_
        _That shalt make this spouse a mother,_
          _Spring up, and Dod's blessing on't.[224]_
        _Show thy little sorrel pate,_
        _And prove regenerate,_
          _Before thou be brought to the font._

        _May the parish surplice be_
        _Cut in pieces quite for thee,_
          _To wrap thy soft body about;_
        _So 'twill better service do,_
        _Reformed thus into_
          _The state of an orthodox clout._

        _When thou shalt leave the cradle,_
        _And shalt begin to waddle,_
          _And trudge in thy little apron;_
        _May'st thou conceive a grace_
        _Of half an hour's space,_
          _And rejoice in thy Friday capon._

        _For an error that's the flock's,_
        _Name Master Paul, but urge St Knox;[225]_
          _And at every reform'd dinner,_
        _Let cheese come in, and preaching,_
        _And by that third course teaching_
          _Confirm an unsatisfi'd sinner._

        _Thence grow up to hate a ring,_
        _And defy an offering;_
          _And learn to sing what others say._
        _Let Christ-tide be thy fast,_
        _And Lent thy good repast;_
          _And regard not an holy-day._

                  _Enter_ CONSTABLE _and Assistants_.

    CON. Lay hold on them! lay hold on them, I say!
    I'll hamper them.

    CATCH. Hell take your headlong zeal!
    You must be jerking at the times, forsooth.
    I am afraid the times will 'scape, and we,
    The men of them, shall suffer now the scourge.

    CON. Let none escape.

    CHRIS. 'Twas godliness, verily:
    It was a hymn I warbled.

    CON. Thou dost lie,
    It was no hymn, it was a song. Is this
    Your filthy rendezvous? you shall be taught
    Another tune.

    CHRIS. I do beseech you, show
    Merciful cruelty, and as 'twere a kind
    Of pitiful hard-heartedness. I'm strong.

                                [_They bring in_ ANDREW _and_ PRISCILLA.

    CON. I'm glad you told me so, I will provide
    Your ward accordingly. Drag 'em out both.

    AND. Let me but send to th' ordinary.

    CON. You shall not;
    The ord'nary hath sent to you. No bail:
    I will take none. I'll suffer no such sneaks
    As you to offend this way: it doth belong
    T'your betters, sir.

    AND. Here's a sufficient man,
    I do assure you; take my word for that.

    CON. This staff was made to knock down sin. I'll look
    There shall be no advoutry[226] in my ward,
    But what is honest. I'll see justice done
    As long as I'm in office. Come along.                     [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[202] So Falstaff says ("First Part Henry IV.," act iii. sc. 3): "An
I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, _I am a
pepper-corn_, a brewer's horse."

[203] A _noise_ of fiddlers is _a company or concert of them_; as in
Ben Jonson's "Epicæne," act iii. sc. 3: "The smell of the venison,
going through the street, will invite _one noise of fiddlers_ or
other."

So in "Bartholomew Fair," act iii. sc. 6: "Cry you mercy, sir; will you
buy a _fiddle_ to fill up _your noise_?"

In Marmyon's "Fine Companion," act iv. sc. 1: "He come but with a
troope of wenches, and _a noyse of fidlers_; and play thee backe like
Orpheus."

Again, in Dekker's "Belman of London," 1608, sig. G 2: "To bee up more
earely then _a noyse of shrugging fidlers_."

And in "Miscellaneous State Papers from 1501 to 1726," vol. i. p. 87:
"After the which they had a very notable banquet; the heavenly _noise_
that was there, as well with strange instruments of music as otherwise,
I cannot declare."

See also the examples in Mr Steevens's note on "Henry IV., Part II.,"
act ii. sc. 4.

[204] _i.e._, Be placed at the bottom of them, and act as the sole to
the shoe.--_Steevens._

[205] The old copy has it, _Enter Have-at-all_; but it is an obvious
error of the press.--_Collier._

[206] See note to "The Antiquary" [act i., sc. 1, vol. 13].

[207] A term anciently used in salutation, or rather in drinking.
See Selden's notes on the ninth song of Drayton's "Polyolbion," and
[Steevens's] notes on "Macbeth," act i. sc. 7, for a particular account
of the origin of this phrase.--_Steevens._

[208] [A term in fencing.]

[209] [Cartwright's adoption of the English of a period of which he
was evidently very ignorant, has made his character of "The Antiquary"
a very tedious and troublesome one. By _intermete_ we are here to
understand _intermit_; but there is no such word in early English.
_Intermit_ occurs in Coleridge's "Glossary," 1859.]

[210] To do.

[211] [Old copy, _paynant_.]

[212] _Morglay_ was the sword of Bevis of Southampton. It afterwards
became a cant word for a sword in general. See "Every Man in his
Humour," Act iii. so. 1; also "Every Woman in her Humour," 1609, sig. D
4--

    "Had I been accompanied with my toledo or _morglay_."

[213] Pity.

[214] _Now_ complete. The passage requires this explanation, or poor
Moth's argument seems to want force, his present hopes being founded on
a supposition that all possible discoveries to be made by beating have
been already made.

[215] Moth here seems to allude to the following circumstance in
the English History: "But uppon the morne followynge, both hostes
joyned agayne, and fought egerly: contynuyng whych fyghte, Edrycus
espying Edmunde to be at advauntage of wynnyng of the feld, sodaynly
pyght a dead mannes hed upon a speare head, and cryed to the host of
Englyshmen, _fle, fle, ye Englyshmen, and save youre selfes, lo here
is the heade of Edmunde your kinge_."--Fabyan's "Chronicle."

[216] Verstegan, in his "Restitution of Decayed Intelligence," 1634, p.
130, gives the following account of this transaction:--"King Hingistus
prepared them a feast; and after the Brittains were well whitled with
wine, he fell to taunting and girning at them; whereupon blowes ensued;
and the Brittish nobility there present, being in all three hundreth,
were all of them slaine; as William of Malmesbury reporteth: though
others make the number more, and say that the Saxons had each of them
a _seax_ (a kind of crooked knife) closely in his pocket, and that at
the watch-word, _Nem cowr seaxes_, which is, _take your seaxes_, they
suddainely, and at unwares, slew the Brittaines."

[217] Care not.

[218] Gift.

[219] In spite of.

[220] Always.

[221] A lively spark.

[222] [Old copy, _syren_.] So in "Timon of Athens," act iv. sc. 3--

    "The _tub_-fast and the diet."

See a note on that passage, Shakespeare, viii. 409, edit.
1778.--_Steevens._

[223] [Old copy repeats _taking_ after _of_, as it appears,
erroneously, since it spoils the sense, and is not essential to the
metre, such metre as it is! _By my swear_, by my oath: it is an unusual
phrase, but occurs again just below.]

[224] John Dod, a learned and pious divine, born in Cheshire, educated
at Jesus College, Cambridge, and afterwards successively minister of
Hanwell, Oxfordshire, Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, Canons Ashby
and Fawsley in Northamptonshire, though for a time silenced in
each of them. He is commonly called the _Decalogist_, having with
Robert Cleaver, another Puritan, written "An Exposition on the Ten
Commandments." He died at Fawsley in 1645, aged about ninety years.
[For whatever the preceding account may be worth it is retained; but
_Dod's blessing_ seems to be merely a whimsical corruption of _God's
blessing_.]

[225] This was John Knox, the celebrated reformer in Scotland. See his
character in Robertson's "History of Scotland," i. 130.



ACT V., SCENE I.


                  SIR THOMAS BITEFIG _as sick_, JANE.

    SIR T. Now that I have made even, girl, with heaven,
    Though I am past the worst, and I perceive
    My dinner only griev'd me; yet 'cause life's
    Frail and uncertain, let me counsel thee--
    'Tis good to be beforehand still. First, then,
    I charge thee, lend no money; next, serve God;
    If ever thou hast children, teach them thrift;
    They'll learn religion fast enough themselves.
    Nay, do not weep, but hearken. When heaven shall
    Please to call in this weary soul of mine;
    Ben't idle in expense about my burial:
    Buy me a shroud--any old sheet will serve
    To clothe corruption; I can rot without
    Fine linen; 'tis but to enrich the grave,
    And adorn stench--no reverence to the dead,
    To make them crumble more luxuriously.
    One torch will be sufficient to direct
    The footsteps of my bearers. If there be
    Any so kind as to accompany
    My body to the earth, let them not want
    For entertainment: prythee, see they have
    A sprig of rosemary dipp'd in common water,
    To smell to, as they walk along the streets.
    Eatings and drinkings are no obsequies.
    Raise no oppressing pile to load my ashes;
    But if thou'lt needs b' at charges of a tomb,
    Five or six foot of common stone, engraved
    With a good hopeful word, or else a couple
    Of capital letters filled up with pitch,
    Such as I set upon my sheep, will serve:
    State is not meet for those that dwell in dust.
    Mourn as thou pleasest for me; plainness shows
    True grief. I give thee leave to do it for
    Two or three years, if that thou shalt think fit;
    'Twill save expense in clothes. And so now be
    My blessing on thee, and my means hereafter.

    JANE. I hope heaven will not deal so rigidly
    With me, as to preserve me to th' unwelcome
    Performance of these sad injunctions.


SCENE II.

                          _To them_ MEANWELL.

    MEAN. Good health unto you, sir.

    SIR T. I have the more
    By reason of the care you took in sending
    A confessor unto me.

    MEAN. I? a confessor?
    Sure, there is some design, some trick or other
    Put on you by those men, who never sleep,
    Unless they've cheated on that day.

    SIR T. I hope
    You do mean your partners my good friends?

    MEAN. They ne'er deserve the name of friends; they do
    Covet, not love. If any came from them,
    It was some vulture in a holy habit,
    Who did intend your carcase, not your safety.
    Indeed I know not of't; I've all this while
    Appear'd another to you than I am.            [_Discloseth himself_.
    Perhaps you know me now, I'm he whom you
    Pleas'd to forbid your house--whom Master Credulous
    Takes leave to style lost man and vagabond.

    SIR T. That I forbad you my house, was only
    In care to my daughter, not in hate to you.

    MEAN. That I frequented it without your leave,
    Was both in love to you and to your daughter:
    That I have all this while liv'd thus disguis'd,
    Was only to avert the snare from you,
    Not to entrap you: that you might not be
    Blinded by those who, like to venomous beasts,
    Have only sight to poison; that you might not
    Ruin your daughter in a compliment.

    SIR T. This may b' your plot, and this discovery
    Feign'd only to secure your own designs;
    For't cannot sink into me, that they durst
    Make mirth of my repentance, and abuse
    My last devotion with a scene of laughter.

    MEAN. They dare beyond your thought. When parted this
    Your confessor?

    SIR T. You could not choose but meet him:
    He is scarce yet at home.

    MEAN. If that you dare
    But venture with me home, I'll almost promise
    I'll make it plain they've put a trick upon you.

    SIR T. Though every step were so much toward my grave,
    I'd tread them o'er with comfort, that I might
    Discover this religious villany.                          [_Exeunt._


SCENE III.

           HEARSAY, SLICER, _and_ SHAPE _in his Confessor's_
                                _habit_.

    HEAR. Come, my good vulture, speak; what prey? what mirth?

    SLICER. What income, my dear holiness? what sport?

    SHAPE. Give me the chair: imagine me the knight
    (When I sit down), and (when I stand) the confessor.

                             [_As he is thus acting_, MEANWELL _and_ SIR
                                     THOMAS _discover themselves above_.

    Thus I come in peace to thy soul, good son.
    _'Tis you must give it, father: I am ill,_
    _I'm very ill; fit only now for heaven._
    _My soul would fain be flying, were't not for_
    _A sin or two that clogs her._ But for a sin
    Or two that clogs her? Take heed; don't, so near
    Your last deliverance, play the sophister
    With heaven. A sin or two! why, I've heard say
    You're wont to screw your wretched tenants up
    To th' utmost farthing, and then stand upon
    The third rent-capon. Then he answers me
    In the small doleful tune of a country wench
    Examin'd by th' official for the mischance
    Of a great belly caught at a Whitson-ale:[227]
    _I could not help it._ Then it is your custom,
    When you invite, to think your meat laid out,
    You write your beef disburs'd, are wont to call
    For the return of't just as for a debt;
    _True_. That two chimneys ne'er yet smok'd at once
    In all your buildings. _All most true._ That you
    Are wont to keep an untouch'd capon, till
    Corruption makes it able to walk out
    And visit the barn-door again. I could
    Say much more, but I had rather have you
    Come so much nearer pardon, as t' accuse
    Yourself by your own mouth.

    SLICER. How grave the rogue was!

    SHAPE. _I'll do't as strictly as mine enemy._

    SIR T. I cannot hold: I'll break in as I am,
    And take my vengeance whilst my fury's hot.                [_Above._

    MEAN. Repress it, sir, awhile; h' hath but begun.

                                                               [_Above._

    SHAPE. Then thus he drawls it out, _I do confess_
    _I've been addicted to frugality._
    Son, do not mince: pray, call it covetousness.
    Imprimis, _It hath ever been my custom_
    _To ride beyond an inn to save my horse-meat._
    Item, _When once I had done so, and found_
    _No entertainment, I beguil'd the children_
    _Of their parch'd peas: my man being left to that_
    _We make the emblem of mortality._
    What? Grass, you mean? _Or sweet hay, which you please._

    HEAR. Methinks this is truly coming to a reckoning.
    He doth account for's sins with _Item_ so.

    SHAPE. Item, _I've often bought a Cheapside custard,_
    _And so refresh'd my soul under my cloak,_
    _As I did walk the streets._ Cloaking of sins,
    Although they be but eating sins, I do
    Pronounce most dangerous. _I find this so,_
    _I'd almost lost mine eyes by't, being justled._

    SLICER. O thou rich soul of roguery!

    SHAPE. _Moreover,_
    _I once sung Psalms with servants, where I lodg'd,_
    _And took part with 'em in their lovely reliques;_
    _Truly my soul did lust, they were temptations._
    What! sing that you might eat? It is the sin
    O' th' brethren, son; but that their reliques are
    Whole widows' houses.

    HEAR. O thou preaching devil!

    SHAPE. Item, _I entered into a chandler's shop,_
    _And eat my bread in secret, whilst my man_
    _Fed on the wholesome steam of candle-suet_,
    Item, _which grieves me most, I did make bold_
    _With the black puddings of my needy tailor:_
    _Satan was strong; they did provoke me much._

    SIR T. Wretch that I was, to trust my bosom to
    One so exactly bad that, if the book
    Of all men's lives lay open to his view,
    Would meet no sin unpractis'd by himself.
    I will rush in.                                            [_Above._

    MEAN. Good sir, keep close awhile.                         [_Above._

    SHAPE. I see no tears, no penitential tears.
    _Alas! I cannot weep, mine eyes are pumice:_
    _But alms I hope may yet redeem._ Alms given
    In a large manner, son. _Won't fifty pounds_
    _Wipe off my score?_ If doubled, 't may do something.
    _Can I be sav'd no cheaper? Take this, then,_
    _And pray for me_. With that I thus dismiss'd him.
    Bless'd son, for now I dare pronounce thee bless'd,
    Being thou'st pour'd thus out thy soul.--The wolf!
    The wolf! 'Sfoot, peace, we're in the noose;
    We are betray'd; yon's Meanwell and the knight!
    Truly he is as good a man as any
    I ever yet confess'd--don't look that way--
    A very honest, charitable man,
    Full of sincerity and true devotion.

    SIR T. Patience itself would now turn furious.
    Let's for some officers.

                                    [_Exeunt_ SIR THOMAS _and_ MEANWELL.

    SHAPE. Discover'd all!
    Religion is unlucky to me.

    HEAR. Man,
    Perfidious man! there is no trust in thee!

    SLICER. I never lik'd this Meanwell; I did always
    See treachery writ in's forehead. I well hop'd
    H' had been in prison with his wench.

    SHAPE. Leave railing.
    Along with me. There is left one way more;
    The cat may yet perhaps light on all four.[228]           [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

                SIR THOMAS BITEFIG, MEANWELL, CONSTABLE,
                               WATCHMEN.

    SIR T. What, gone! Upon my life, they did mistrust.

    MEAN. They are so beaten, that they smell an officer,
    As crows do powder.

    SIR T. Watchman, call you forth

    The mistress of the house _imprimis_; for

                                                        [_Exit_ OFFICER.

    They have their lurking-hole near hand most certain.

             _Enter_ MOTH _and_ POTLUCK, _as man and wife_.

    MOTH. _Denuncio vobis gaudium magnum,_
    _Robertus de Tinea electus est in sedem hospitalem,_
    _Et assumit sibi nomen Galfridi_.
    Joy comes to our house: I, Robert Moth, am
    Chesen into thylk hospital seat,
    Thylk bason of Joan Potluck, vintner's widow,
    And do transmue[229] my name to Geffery.
    New foysons[230] byn ygraced with new titles.
    Come, buss.                                           [_Kisses her._

    POT. Fie! Master Geffery, I swear
    You make m' asham'd 'fore all this company.

    SIR T. Sir, if you be the master of this house,
    You've harbour'd here a company of cheating
    Villains we are come to apprehend.

    POT. Pray y', look,
    Search every corner: here's no cheats. I'm sure
    The house was clear before your worship enter'd.

    CON. Make fast the doors, for fear they do escape.
    Let's in, and ferret out these cheating rake-hells.

                            [_As the_ WATCHMEN _go in and out about the_
                                 _rooms_, HEARSAY, SLICER, _and_ SHAPE,
                         _mingle themselves with them, being accounted_
                             _watchmen, and so pass without discovery_.

                  _Enter_ 1ST WATCHMAN _and_ HEARSAY.

    1ST WATCH. 'Tis very certain they are not in the house.

    SIR T. They had no time to get away.

    HEAR. Why, then,
    It may be, being they are such cunning fellows,
    They have the trick of going invisible.

                   _Enter_ 2D WATCHMAN _and_ SLICER.

    2D WATCH. There's no place left unsearch'd but pots and mouseholes.

    SLICER. They're either gone or in the house, that's certain.

    2D WATCH. That cannot be: the doors were shut, I'm sure,
    And so they could not get out; the rooms then are
    All search'd, and so they cannot be within.

    SLICER. I'll lay my neck to a farthing, then, they're vanish'd.

    HEAR. Sunk like the Queen; they'll rise at Queenhive, sure![231]

             _Enter_ CONSTABLE _and other_ WATCHMEN, _and_
            SHAPE _among 'em, bringing in_ CREDULOUS _and_
                                CASTER.

    SHAPE. Most certain, these are two of them: for this
    Old knave, I'll take my oath that he is one.

    CON. Confess, confess: where are your other comrades?

    CRE. I am as honest as the skin that is
    Between thy brows.

    CON. What skin between my brows?
    What skin, thou knave? I am a Christian;
    And, what is more, a constable! What skin?[232]

    SIR T. You are mistaken, friends.

    CON. I cry you mercy.

    SHAPE. The constable may call you anything
    In the king's name, upon suspicion.

    SIR T. We're cheated, friends: these men o' th' ordinary
    Have gull'd us all this while, and now are gone.

    CAS. I am undone! Ne'er let me live, if that
    I did not think they would gull me. I perceive
    Fancy doth much: see, how 'tis come to pass!

    CRE. Where is my son? God bless, him!
    Where is Andrew?
    Pray God they have not taken him along:
    He hath a perilous wit to be a cheat;
    H'd quickly come to be his Majesty's taker.

    CON. I took one Andrew Credulous this morning
    In dishonest adultery with a trull;
    And if he be your son, he is in prison.

    CRE. Their villainy, o' my life! Now, as I am
    A freeman and a grocer, I had rather have
    Found forty pounds. I pray, go fetch him.

                                                        [_Exit_ OFFICER.

    SIR T. I'm sorry that your son takes these lewd courses;
    He is not fit to make a husband of.

    CRE. Do not condemn before you hear. I'll warrant,
    Though he be guilty, yet he's innocent.


    MOTH. Hent[233] him, for dern love, hent him; I done drad
    His visage foul, yfrounc'd[234] with glowing eyne.

    HAVE. I come t' excuse my ruder usage of you;
    I was in drink when that I did it: 'twas
    The plot of those base knaves, I hear, are gone,
    To teach me valour by the strength of wine;
    Naming that courage which was only fury:
    It was not wilfully.

    MOTH. I do not rech
    One bean for all. This buss is a blive guerdon.[235]
    Hence carlishnesse yferre. 'Tis a sooth saw,
    Had I but venged all mine herme,
    Mine cloak had not been furred half so werme.

          _Enter_ OFFICERS _with_ ANDREW, PRISCILLA, _and the_
             _four that were taken at the window singing._

    CRE. Now, sir, you shall hear all. Come, Andrew, tell me,
    How cam'st thou hither?

    AND. Truly, Master Meanwell
    Told me that I should meet with Mistress Jane;
    And there I found her chambermaid!

    CRE. D' y' see?
    Your chambermaid, Sir Thomas! Out, you whore.

    AND. Take heed what you say, father; she's my wife.

    CRE. I would thou'rt in thy grave, then; 'twere the better
    Fortune o' th' two.

    PRIS. Indeed, this reverend man join'd us i' th' prison.

    CHRIS. Marriage is a bond;
    So no place fitter to perform it in!

    SIR T. Send for my daughter hither; we'll know all.
    What are you, sir?

    CHRIS. A workman in the clergy.

    CON. Yes, this is one I took at the window singing,
    With these three other vagrant fellows here.

    CHRIS. I was in body there, but not in mind,
    So that my sin is but inchoately perfect;
    And I, though in a fault, did not offend;
    And that for three reasons. First, I did yield
    Only a kind of unwilling consent.
    Secondly, I was drawn, as 'twere, by their
    Impulsive gentleness (mark, sir, I'm strong).
    Thirdly, I deem'd it not a woman's shambles.
    Fourthly and lastly, that I sung was only
    An holy wish. Once more, beloved--

    SIR T. Peace!
    Y' have said enough already. How came you
    To sing beneath the window?

    RIME. Master Hearsay
    Told us that Master Meanwell was new-married,
    And thought it good that we should gratify him.
    And show ourselves to him in a Fescennine.[236]

    CRE. That rascal Meanwell was the cause of all:
    I would I had him here.

    SIR T. Why, this is he,
    Sir Robert Littleworth his son: he hath
    Disclos'd their villanies; he is no cheat.

    MEAN. God save you, Master Credulous; you have
    Forgotten me, perhaps: I'm somewhat chang'd.
    You see, your lost man's found; your vagabond
    Appears at last.

    CRE. Go, you are a gibing scab.
    Leave off your flouting: you're a beardless boy,
    I am a father of children.

    MEAN. And your son
    Will be so shortly, if he han't ill-luck
    To vex you more: that hundred pounds you sent
    To Master Caster, Shape i' th' habit of
    A country-fellow gull'd you of.

    CRE. That rascal!
    Thou show'st thy wit t' abuse an old man thus:
    As God shall mend me, I will hamper thee.
    Thou'st been disguis'd here all this while, thou hast!
    Would I were bray'd in mine own mortar,[237] if
    I do not call th' in question the next term,
    For counterfeiting of the king's subjects.
    Come away from him, sirrah, come along.

                           [_Exeunt_ CREDULOUS, ANDREW, _and_ PRISCILLA.

    MEAN. There's a trunk they've left behind; I have
    Seiz'd it for you, so that you'll be no loser.

    SIR T. If you can find a way whereby I may
    Reward this courtesy of yours, I shall
    Confess myself engaged doubly to you--
    Both for the benefit and its requital.

                             _Enter_ JANE.

    MEAN. The appearance of your daughter here suggests
    Something to ask, which yet my thoughts call boldness.

    SIR T. Can she suggest yet any good, that is
    So expert grown in this flesh-brokery?

    MEAN. O, do not blot that innocence with suspicion,
    Who never came so near a blemish yet,
    As to be accus'd. To quit you of such thoughts,
    I did receive a tempting letter from
    That strumpet that's gone out (as sin is bold
    To try, even where no hope is); I made promise,
    But to secure myself, and withal sound
    Th' affections of young Credulous unto
    Your virtuous daughter, told him he should meet her,
    Where I agreed to meet your chambermaid:
    The blame must all be mine.

    SIR T. 'Tis her deliverance.
    She hath escap'd two plagues, a lustful fool.

    MEAN. I dare not challenge her, I do confess,
    As a reward due to my service; and
    If you deny her me, assure yourself
    I'll never draw her from obedience.
    I will not love her to procure her ruin,
    And make m' affection prove her enemy.

    SIR T. You speak most honestly: I never did
    Think ill of your intents, but always gave
    A testimony to your life as large
    As were your merits. But your fortunes are
    Unequal; there's the want.

    MEAN. What's there defective
    Love shall supply. True, Master Credulous
    Is a rich man, but yet wants that which makes
    His riches useful, free discretion.
    He may be something in th' eye o' th' world;
    But let a knowing man, that can distinguish
    Between possessions and good parts, but view him,
    And prize impartially, he will be rated
    Only as chests and caskets, just according
    To what he holds. I value him as I
    Would an exchequer or a magazine.
    He is not virtuous, but well-stor'd: a thing
    Rather well-victuall'd than well-qualified;
    And if you please to cast your eye on me,
    Some moneys will call back my father's lands
    Out of his lime-twig fingers, and I shall
    Come forth as gay as he.

    SIR T. I'll strive no longer,
    For fear I seem t' oppose felicity.
    If she'll give her consent, y' are one.

    JANE. It is
    The voice of angels to me. I had thought
    Nothing in all the store of nature could
    Have added to that love wherewith I do
    Reverence that name, my father, till that you
    Spoke this.

    SIR T. I know your former loves: grow up
    Into an aged pair, yet still seem young.
    May you stand fresh, as in your pictures, still,
    And only have the reverence of the aged.
    I thank you for your pains, Master Constable:
    You may dismiss your watch now.

    SHAPE. [_Disguised as a Constable._] A pox on't!
    That, after all this, ne'er a man to carry
    To prison! Must poor tradesmen be brought out,
    And nobody clapp'd up?

    MEAN. That you mayn't want
    Employment, friends, take this, I pray, and drink it.

    SLICER. [_Disguised._] Sir, when y' are cheated next, we are
            your servants.

                         [_Exeunt all but_ SHAPE, HEARSAY, _and_ SLICER.


SCENE V.

                        SHAPE, SLICER, HEARSAY.

    SHAPE. Lie thou there, watchman. How the knave that's look'd for
    May often lurk under the officer!
    Invention, I applaud thee.

    HEAR. London air,
    Methinks, begins to be too hot for us.

    SLICER. There is no longer tarrying here: let's swear
    Fidelity to one another, and
    So resolve for New England.[238]

    HEAR. 'Tis but getting
    A little pigeon-hole reformed ruff----

    SLICER. Forcing our beards into th' orthodox bent----

    SHAPE. Nosing a little treason 'gainst the king,
    Bark something at the bishops, and we shall
    Be easily receiv'd.

    HEAR. No fitter place.
    They are good silly people; souls that will
    Be cheated without trouble. One eye is
    Put out with zeal, th' other with ignorance;
    And yet they think they're eagles.

    SHAPE. We are made
    Just fit for that meridian. No good work's
    Allow'd there: faith--faith is that they call for,
    And we will bring it 'em.

    SLICER. What language speak they?

    HEAR. English, and now and then a root or two
    Of Hebrew, which we'll learn of some Dutch skipper
    That goes along with us this voyage. Now
    We want but a good wind; the brethren's sighs
    Must fill our sails; for what Old England won't
    Afford, New England will. You shall hear of us
    By the next ship that comes for proselytes.
    Each soil is not the good man's country only;
    Nor is the lot his to be still at home:
      _We'll claim a share, and prove that nature gave_
      _This boon, as to the good, so to the knave._           [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[226] Adultery.

[227] See Note to "The Antiquary" [act iv., vol. 13].

[228] [_i.e._, All fours.]

[229] Change.

[230] Plenty, abundance.

[231] The story here alluded to is told in an old play, entitled
"The Famous Chronicle of King Edward the first, sir-named Edward
Longshankes, with his returne from the holy land. Also the life of
Llevellen rebell in Wales. _Lastly, the sinking of Queene Elinor, who
sunck at Charing cross, and rose againe at Potters hith, now named
Queene-hith._ By George Peele." 4o, 1593, 1599. See also a ballad on
the same subject in Evans's "Old Ballads," vol i. p. 237. [Peele's play
is, of course, printed in his works by Dyce.]

[232] [The Constable's ideas had become confused, and he thought that
_Credulous_, was taxing him with having been circumcised.]

[233] Take hold of him.--_T._

[234] Decorated or adorned [in the forehead or brow.] So in Milton's
"Penseroso"--

    "Not trick'd and frounc'd as she was wont,
    With Attic boy to hunt;
    But kerchief'd in a comely cloud."

--_Steevens_ (_altered_).

[235] Quick reward. [But it may be doubted, perhaps, if Cartwright did
not intend _blithe_, _i.e._, glad or joyful.]

[236] _i.e._, A nuptial ditty: from _Fescennia_, or _Fescennium_,
a town in Italy, where these kinds of songs were first
practised.--_Steevens._

[237] To _bray_, to pound, or grind small--

    "I'll burst him, _I will bray_
    _His bones, as in a mortar_."

"Except you would _bray_ christendom _in a mortar_, and mould it into
a new paste, there is no possibility of a holy war."--_Bacon_. See
Johnson's Dictionary, _v._ Bray.

It also means only to _stamp with the feet_: thus in Fortescue's
"Foreste of Histories," 1571, fol. 68: "When Apelles his horse was
brought into the place the other began to _braie_ and stirre, as is
their common usage."--_Collier._

[238] This is intended to ridicule the Puritans of the times, who, on
account of the severe censures of the Star Chamber, the greatness of
the fines there, the rigorous proceedings to impose ceremonies, the
suspending and silencing ministers for not reading in church "The Book
of Sports," and other grievances, sold their estates, and settled in
_New England_. The emigrations, on these accounts, at length became
so general, that a proclamation was put forth in 1635 to stop those who
had determined to follow their friends. It is remarkable that amongst
those who were actually on shipboard, and prevented by the proclamation
from proceeding on their voyage, were the patriot Hampden and his
cousin Oliver Cromwell.



THE EPILOGUE


    SHAPE. We have escap'd the law, but yet do fear
    Something that's harder answered--your sharp ear.
    O, for a present sleight now to beguile
    That, and deceive you but of one good smile.
    'Tis that must free us: th' Author dares not look
    For that good fortune, to be sav'd by's book.
    To leave this blessed soil is no great woe;
    Our griefs in leaving you, that make it so;
      For if you shall call in those beams you lent,
      'Twould ev'n at home create a banishment.



THE LONDON CHANTICLEERS.



_EDITION._


    _The London Chaunticleers. A Witty Comoedy, full of Various
      and Delightfull Mirth. Often Acted with Great applause, and
      never before Published. London, Printed for Simon Miller,
      at the Star in St. Pauls Churchyard._ 1659. 4o.

This amusing and peculiar play has never hitherto been re-published
from the original edition. It is a performance, as the title-page
partly intimates, considerably older than the date of publication. Mr
Halliwell ("Dictionary of Old Plays," 1860, p. 144) observes: "This
piece is rather an interlude than a play; but it is curious, the
characters being London criers.

"From a passage in the prologue we may perhaps infer that the
production originally appeared during a visitation of the plague at
London, and that it was first presented (the machinery required being
simple enough) on some suburban or provincial stage. The metropolis was
ravaged by pestilence in 1636, which is a not unlikely date for the
composition and original presentation of 'The London Chanticleers.'"

The allusions to old usages, with the mention of many well-known
ballads, and of some known no longer, contribute to give the present
piece an interest and value of its own.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


  HEATH, _a broom-man_.
  BRISTLE, _a brush-man_.
  DITTY, _a ballad-man_.
  BUDGET, _a tinker_.
  GUM, _a tooth-drawer_.
  WELCOME, _a host_.
  BUNG, _a tapster_.
  FENNETING, _an apple-wench_.
  CURDS, _a fresh cheese and cream woman_.



PROLOGUE.


    The style that banish'd Ovid and his book,
    And, spite of's laurel made him thunderstrook,
    Is banish'd from this scene by us; and here
    Cato may come into the theatre.
    At our love-tricks none need their eyelids crush,
    Chaste vestals may look on without a blush:
    Our cheats do take, if they but time beguile,
    And all our plot is but to make you smile.
    You're welcome then to London, which our show,
    Since you mayn't go to that, has brought to you.
    Pardon, if we offend you with our noise,
    'Tis but an echo of their clamorous voice.

                        THE LONDON CHANTICLEERS.


SCENE I.

                     _Enter_ HEATH, _a broom-man_.

    HEATH. Brooms, maids, brooms! Old boots or shoes! Come, buy my
    brooms!

        _You maidens that do cleanse the door,_
        _And make a looking-glass o' th' floor,_
        _That every night prepare the ground,_
        _For Oberon to dance a round,_
        _And do expect Queen Mab for you_
        _Should drop a tester in a shoe,_
        _And would sleep without pinching, come_
        _Quickly to me, and buy a broom,_
        _That will effect the thing you mean;_
        _'Tis a new broom, and will sweep clean._

    Come, buy my broom, maids! Maids, did I say? Sure, there are
    none i' th' city; or, if there be any, they have forsworn my
    custom. All the brooms I have sold to-day would not sweep half
    the ground I have gone; and the money I have got will scarce
    buy ale enough to moisten my mouth after one cry. Sure, all
    the city are turned dustmen, and the whole corporation are of
    the company of Grobians. Women sweep their houses with their
    long coats, and men their shops with their scrubbed beards.
    There's no use of a besom now but to make rods of and sweep the
    children's backsides. 'Tis better killing men for eightpence
    a day, or hanging of 'em for thirteenpence halfpenny apiece,
    than follow this poor and idle life; 'tis easier canting out,
    _A piece of broken bread for a poor man_, than singing,
    _Brooms, maids, brooms: come, buy my brooms!_ I should e'en go
    hang myself now if I were worth a halter; but who will spend
    a groat on't, when he may be hanged at free cost? I'll go rob
    the sheriff, and not leave him enough to hire an executioner
    for me; steal the judge's gown, that he may not come to the
    assizes, and poison the jury, that they may not bring me in
    guilty.

                            _Enter_ BRISTLE.

    BRIS. Buy a save-all, buy a save-all; never more need. Come,
    buy a save-all! Buy a comb-brush or a pot-brush; buy a flint,
    or a steel, or a tinder-box.

    HEATH. O Bristle, welcome! I perceive by thy merry note, that
    there's music in thy pocket. What, dost jingle?

    BRIS. And I perceive by thy heavy countenance thy purse is
    light. Dost want coin?

    HEATH. Dost thou doubt that? Dost thou not see I'm sober? Do I
    swear or kick for asking, if I want money?

    BRIS. These are infallible signs indeed that thou dost want it.

    HEATH. I have been up this two hours, and have not visited one
    alehouse yet.

    BRIS. Nay, I am fully satisfied; but canst thou want money
    whilst thou hast fingers to tell it?

    HEATH. Why, wouldst have 'um made of loadstones, to draw all
    that comes nigh 'em?

    BRIS. Canst thou be poor, and have a tongue Nay, then, 'tis
    pity but thou shouldst be sent to the Mint thyself, and be
    stamped into farthings, to be bestowed on beggars! I'd dig to
    the Antipodes with my nails, but I'd find a mine; and, like the
    cripple, run up Paul's steeple, but I'd get the silver cock.

    HEATH. He had no legs to break if he had fallen, nor weight
    enough to crack his neck.

    BRIS. Nor thou wit enough to be hanged. Thou hadst rather be
    starved than break open a cupboard, and die a good poor man
    or an honest beggar, than a rich thief or a gentleman rogue.
    Thou thinkest it more commendable, I warrant, to be carried in
    a chair from constable to constable, with a warrant from the
    churchwardens; that thou art a poor man, and desirest their
    charity; that thou art willing to work, but art almost starved;
    hast half a dozen children, the eldest not above three years
    old, their mother having been dead this eight year; and such
    pitiful complaints, with as many tears as would drown all the
    victuals thou eat'st, than ride a mile or two in a cart, with
    the sheriff attending on thee! Thou believ'st that more may be
    gotten with a _Good your_ (non-sense) _Worship_ to every Jack
    than a _Sirrah, deliver your purse_ to the best lord i' th'
    land; and all this grounded upon that precise axiom, "A little
    with honesty is better than a great deal with knavery."

    HEATH. Thanks, good Bristle, for thy counsel. I mean to be as
    perfect a pickpocket, as good as ever nipped the judge's bung
    while he was condemning him. Look to thy purse, Bristle, lest
    I practise on thee first. The fairies can't creep through a
    lesser keyhole than I. O, for a dead man's hand now! 'Tis as
    good as poppy-seed to charm the house asleep; it makes 'um
    as senseless as itself. Come, shall we turn knight-errants?
    Name the first adventure. Dost thou know no enchanted castle,
    no golden ladies in distress or imprisoned by some old giant
    usurer?

    BRIS. Stay a little, Heath. I have a design in my head that
    will outgo Don Quixote or Palmerin as far as they did the
    giants they overcame--a trick that shall load us with money
    without any fear of th' cart.

    HEATH. I'll be thy squire, though I fare no better than Sanch
    Pancha, and am tossed in a blanket.

    BRIS. Come, follow me.                                    [_Exeunt._


SCENE II.

                        _Enter_ NANCY CURDWELL.

    CURD. I have fresh cheese and cream; I have fresh cheese
    and cream. Heigho! But one suitor yet? Must my sheets lie
    smooth till I am wrinkled? Nay, then, I see beauty is not a
    cable-rope, to draw men's hearts after it, nor our mouths a
    mouse-trap, our tongues a lure, and lips a gin; our hairs are
    not fishing-lines, nor our noses hooks. These gudgeons will not
    swallow the bait that hangs there. Nay, we cannot catch these
    mermen, though our smocks were made of network, and we hung all
    o'er with looking-glasses. No, no; I see, when these buzzards
    look after mates, they wink and choose. I think I must have my
    nose turned into a bill, and write upon it, _Here is a house
    to be let._ I am but six-and-twenty years old, and that's young
    enough to play with a baby. O, how like the picture of Charity
    should I look with two sucklings at my breast!

                      _Enter_ BUDGET, _a tinker_.

    BUD. Have you any work for a tinker? Old brass, old pots, old
    kettles. I'll mend them all with a tara-tink, and never hurt
    your metal.--Here she is! Methinks she looks very smug upon me.
    Now to my 'ration. Most beautiful, fair and virtuous mistress,
    whose face is a burning-glass, and hath set me on fire. My
    sugar-plum and stewed-prune lady, whose fine sharp nose, like
    Cupid's darts, hath pricked me to the heart! Whiter than the
    curds thou sell'st, softer than the silk thou wearest, milder
    than the four-shilling beer thou drink'st! Venus, I believe,
    was a fresh cheese and cream woman, and, letting fall her pail,
    made the Milky Way, but yet came as far short of thee, my
    sweet, honey Nancy, as whey of butter-milk or skimmed milk of
    cream! O, that I were a worm to crawl on that face of thine, or
    a flea------

    CURD. He'd bite me, sure?

    BUD. To slip about thy neck. Do not, I pray, tread on me with
    the foot of disdain, lest thou crush my heart as flat as a
    pancake.

    CURDS. Pray, leave off your suit; I have no mind to marry; I'll
    always live a virgin.

    BUD. What, and lead apes in hell? What pity would it be to see
    you chained to a monkey!

    CURDS. Or tied to you!                                     [_Aside._

    BUD. O, do not frown! Each wrinkle is a grave to me, and angry
    look a death's-head. Do not despise me 'cause I am black and
    you so white; the moon wears beauty-spots, and the fairest
    ladies black patches. White petticoats are wrought with black
    silk, and we put black plums into white puddings.

    CURD. But black-and-white ribbons are worn only at burials,
    never at weddings: and I would be loth my wedding-sheet should
    be my shroud, and my bed a grave. Therefore, pray, be gone, and
    come when I send for you.

    BUD. Sweet sugar-candy mistress, grant me one thing before you
    go.

    CURD. What is't?

    BUD. Give me leave to vouchsafe one kiss on those sweet silken
    parchment-lips.

    CURD. Take your farewell, you shall never kiss 'um again.
                                  [_Kisses her_, _and blacks her mouth_.

    BUD. Thanks, pudding-pie Nancy.                             [_Exit._

    CURD. Faugh, how he stinks of smoke! Does he think I'll be his
    trull, and that he shall smutch my face thus with his charcoal
    nose? No, I'll see him burnt first! Out upon him, beggar,
    burnt-arse rogue, devil-tinker! I am afraid his ugly looks have
    soured my cream, and made all my cheese run to whey; but if he
    come to me again thus, I'll make him blue as well as black.

                        _Enter_ HANNA JENNITING.

    JEN. Come, buy my pearmains, curious John apples, dainty
    pippins; come, who buys? who buys?

    CURD. O sister Hanna, I wanted you just now; here was a tinker
    had like to have run away with me in his budget; a copper-nosed
    rogue, brazen-faced rascal!

    JEN. But you were even with him? Nay, you are a whisket! I'
    faith, I see beards are infectious as well as scabbed lips.
    Salute your apron, and 'twill tell you who you kissed last.

    CURD. He has printed a kiss indeed.

    JEN. Was he a suitor? Did he woo you with posnets and skillets,
    and promise you a kettle next Bartholomew fair? And how did
    you answer him? Did you say, Fly, brass, the devil's a tinker?
    Or more mildly tell him you could not settle your affections
    on him? But come, look sprightly. Somebody will stare so long
    upon the bright sun of our beauties, till they are blinded
    with beams. Thou knowest, when my mother died, she left us,
    beside some stringed pence and a granam's groat, seven suitors,
    whereof all have forsaken us but Graftwell the gardener; and my
    mother indeed used to say that I was born to be a gardener's
    wife, as soon as ever I was taken out of her parsley-bed. But
    'tis no matter; let 'um go.

    CURD. But I wonder, Hanna, that you, having been an apple-woman
    so long, cannot get a customer for yourself. You might go off
    for a queen-apple! Come along; the next chapman shall have us
    at an easy rate. I have fresh cheese, &c.

    JEN. Come, buy pippins.                            [_Exeunt crying._


SCENE III.

                     _Enter_ DITTY, _a ballad-man_.

    DITTY. Come, new books, new books; newly printed and newly
    come forth! All sorts of ballads and pleasant books! _The
    Famous History of Tom Thumb_ and _Unfortunate Jack_,[239]
    _A Hundred Godly Lessons_, and _Alas, poor Scholar, whither
    wilt thou go? The second part of Mother Shipton's
    Prophecies, newly made by a gentleman of good quality_,
    foretelling what was done four hundred years ago, and _A
    Pleasant Ballad of a bloody fight seen i' th' air_, which,
    the astrologers say, portends scarcity of fowl this year.
                                                      [_Sings a ballad._

                            _Enter_ BUDGET.

    BUD. Have you the _Ballad of the Unfortunate Lover_?

    DITTY. No, but I have _George of Green_ or _Chivy Chase_,
    _Collins and the Devil_, or _Room for Cuckolds_; I have
    anything but that.

    BUD. Have you the _Coy Maid_?

    DITTY. I sold that just now; but I have the _Ballad of the
    London 'Prentice_, _Guy of Warwick_, or _The Beggar of Bethnal
    Green_.

    BUD. What loves-ongs have you? I would have a wooing ballad.

    DITTY. I have twenty of them. Look you, here's one, and
    although I say it myself, as good a one as ever trod upon
    shoe-leather.

    BUD. What is't? Good Ditty, let me hear it.

    DITTY. _The honest Milkmaid, or I must not wrong my Dame._

    BUD. Have you never a one called _The honest Fresh Cheese and
    Cream Woman_?

    DITTY. I do not remember that; but here is another, you shall
    hear me sing it.

        _Once did I love a maiden fair,_
        _Down derry, down, down, down, down derry;_
        _With silver locks and golden hair,_
        _Down derry, &c.;_
        _Her cheeks were like the rose so sweet,_
        _Down derry, &c.;_
        _Like marble pillars were her feet,_
        _Down derry, &c._

    How like you this? 'Tis a rare tune, and a very pleasant song.

    BUD. I like the song well; but I would have a picture upon it
    like me.

    DITTY. Look you here; here's one as like you as if it had been
    spit out of your mouth; your nose, eye, lip, chin; sure, they
    printed it with your face! and the most sweetest ballad that
    ever I sung--

        _My love and I to medley,_
        _Upon a time would go:_
        _The boatmen they stood ready,_
        _My love and I to row;_
        _Where we had cakes and prunes,_
        _And many fine things mo;_
        _But now, alas, she has left me:_
        _Fa la, fa lero, lo!_

    BUD. This is the ballad I'll have. Come, Ditty, thou shalt
    teach me to sing it, and I'll pay thee at the next good house.
                                                              [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

       _Enter_ BRISTLE, _like a shoemaker_, _with_ HEATH, _like_
                              _a butcher_.

    HEATH. Slaughter-calf do you say my name shall be?

    BRIS. Ay, ay, and mine Vamp.

    HEATH. And how do I look now? Like one that was begotten under
    a butcher's stall, I warrant, and born in a slaughter-house?
    I know there's never a Kill-cow i' th' city becomes a woollen
    apron better than I do.

    BRIS. Liker a calf than butcher; yet thy sheep's head will
    be some token thou cam'st from the Butch Row. Have a care
    thou dost not forget thyself, and talk of brooms instead of
    fly-flops, and old boots and shoes instead of calves' skins!

    HEATH. I am as artificial at the trade as the master o' th'
    company. I could sell Jupiter, were he a bull again. I am
    perfectly changed; I never knew Heath the broom-man or the
    price of a besom, never trafficked with maids o' th' kitchen,
    or shopboys for old boots and shoes.

    BRIS. Nor I for new, for all I'm a shoemaker. But to the
    design. Stand here; this is the road she walks; if thou
    fail'st, may thy woollen apron be spun into halters to hang
    thee in, and a stall be thy gibbet.                         [_Exit._

    HEATH. If I don't act my part well, may I be a changeling
    indeed, and be begged for the city fool. If she be coy, and by
    her obstinacy hinder our plot, I'll quarter her out and sell
    her for cow-beef, make pettitoes of her fingers and trotters of
    her feet.

                           _Enter_ CURDWELL.

    CURD. I have fresh cheese and cream!

    HEATH. Harmonious voice! The Witney singers are but chattering
    magpies to this melodious nightingale, and the tabor and pipe
    but as the scraping on a brass pan to this organ; sure, this is
    the beauty that I must court. If Cupid be not propitious now,
    I'll cut my brooms into rods, and whip the peevish boy. Lady
    (for so your beauty styles you), to whom the snow and swan are
    black, whether thou art a goddess, and come down to punish men,
    and make them die with love, or a mortal which excellest all
    goddesses, pity a wounded heart, which can receive no ease from
    any thing but those eyes from whom it did receive its wounds.
    There's no nectar or ambrosia but what thy pail affords; the
    moon would willingly be that the Welshmen wish it, so thou
    wouldst give it room amongst thy cheeses. Be not unkind, sweet
    lady; one cruel look will make this place my slaughter-house,
    and thee the butcher's butcher.

    CURD. I dare not trust you, for all your fair words; men of
    your profession make it a trade to cheat us.

    HEATH. I'll be as faithful as thou art fair, and stick as close
    unto thee as my shirt does to my back on a sweltry sweating
    day. Come, thou shalt yield, and by yielding conquer me.

    CURD. You set upon weak women with your strong compliments, and
    overcome them, whether they will or no.                 [_He moves._

    HEATH. Move forward; we'll be contracted at the next alehouse,
    be married to-morrow, and have half a dozen children the next
    day.                                                      [_Exeunt._


SCENE V.

                       _Enter_ WELCOME, _a host_.

    WEL. Sure, I have slept myself into an owl, and mistake night
    for day? Can light dawn, and none see the way to my house for a
    morning's draught? No groats due? Did all my mad lads go sober
    to bed last night? Such a crime forfeits the city charter. What
    ho! speak here, sirrah Bung.

                             _Enter_ BUNG.

    BUNG. By and by! Who calls? O master, good morrow to you.

    WEL. Why, it is day with thee too, Bung, and I no owl. Speak,
    prythee; how long is't since thou couldst grope the tap out?

    BUNG. O sir, this two hours. I have cut two dozen of toasts,
    broached a new barrel of ale, washed all the cups and flagons,
    made a fire i' th' George,[240] drained all the beer out of th'
    Half-Moon the company left o' the floor last night, wiped down
    all the tables, and have swept every room. The sun has been up
    this hour almost.

    WEL. Ay, there's an honest soaker; the old blade swills himself
    i' th' sea all night, and quaffs from th' earth all day, and
    that makes him have such a ruby face. But what, no customers
    yet?

    BUNG. Not one, sir; our old charwoman, Mary, has not called for
    her morning's draught yet--she that's the tub for all men's
    snuffs, and devours me more tappings than would serve to make
    strong waters for an army.

    WEL. Sure, all the beer that was drunk yesterday had poppy in't
    instead of malt; and people are not yet awake, or else they
    mistake my house for a prison, and my old lattice for grates.
    Come, Bung, we'll give ourselves handsel; go, fill's a lusty
    pot of ale. [_Exit_ BUNG.] This is a precious varlet, and has
    tricks enou' to furnish all the tapsters between Charing Cross
    and Fleet Bridge. The sleights of nicking and frothing he
    scorns as too common, but supplies that defect with little jugs
    and great glasses, and where he fears a dissolution, brings up
    his flagon, begins the king's health, and with that decoy draws
    on another dozen or two, till the whole royal progeny is gone
    over. He wished it once as numerous as old Priam's was, and
    another time had like to have been hanged for praying treason,
    that there were a hundred kings i' th' land, that men might be
    forced to drink all their healths for fear of displeasing any.

    _Re-enter_ BUNG.

    BUNG. Here, sir, here's a cup of stinging liquor; it is so
    thick that you may slice it, and came drivelling out as if the
    loving vessel had been loth to part with it.

    WEL. How? 'tis cold; the rogue has put ice into't instead of
    toast, or else one of's hundred leger wafers the baker dried
    for him t'other day in's oven, after his bread was drawn, for
    the yeast of two barrels. [_Aside._] You rascal, cheat your
    master?

    BUNG. Cry you mercy, good sir; I protest I had forgot who 'twas
    for, and popped it in before I was aware; but I'll air it for
    you instantly, if you please.

    WEL. No, no, I'll warm't myself, and it shall warm me. Come,
    here's to all good swallows! So, so, one cup of ale will shroud
    one better from the cold than all the furs in Russia.

    WITHIN. Tapster, where are you? Show's a room here.

    BUNG. Anon, anon, sir. You are welcome, gentlemen. Please you,
    walk into th' George; there's a good fire, and no company.
                                                                [_Exit._

    WEL. To see what luck a handsel will procure! No sooner the
    cup out of my mouth but another called for! It seems it stayed
    at me all this while; a dry, shabby host is more absurd than a
    dumb Exchange. These are some boon fellows, I know; the rogue
    is so perfect in his lerry.[241] Ditty and's comrades, perhaps;
    the rascal can never sing well till he has wetted his whistle
    at my house. He made me set up the sign o' th' Flying Horse for
    a Pegasus. Budget the tinker, too, is as good at cracking a pot
    as any, and Bristle the merriest, cunningest whoreson; he sells
    his traps twopence dearer, only by giving rules how to bait
    them--for a Dutch mouse, with butter forsooth, or bacon; and
    then for a Welsh one, toasted cheese is the best.

                         _Enter_ BUNG _again_.

    BUNG. The gentlemen within desire your company.

    WEL. What are they?

    BUNG. The four churchwardens o' th' parish, that never exceed
    halfpence apiece at a morning's draught, must have a flagon
    instead of a black-pot, and fire, toast and nutmeg over and
    above; nay, sometimes a breakfast too.

    WEL. And when they mount so high as a penny, drink at Widow
    Grunt's--she that has an eleven children, and say they are
    prodigal, merely out of charity to the poor orphan pigs; but at
    th' hall, on a court-day, can be as drunk as so many tinkers at
    Banbury, or nurses at a christ'ning! Pox on 'um, tell 'um I am
    busy with other company.

    BUNG. Nay, sir, they protest they'll have your jug in.[242]

    WEL. They shall have me too then, and for once I'll obey their
    summons; but let 'um expect to pay for all they call for, and
    therefore for me.                                         [_Exeunt._


SCENE VI.

                     _Enter_ GUM, _a tooth-drawer_.

    GUM. Have you any corns upon your feet or toes? any teeth to
    draw? O, for a flood now or a whole year of rain, that every
    step may be up to the ankles in water, and cover every toe with
    a corn! May the shoemakers make all their shoes too strait,
    that they may pinch the sore-toed miser, and at every tread
    put him in mind of work for the corn-cutter! May the toothache
    be an hereditary disease, and prove infectious, or so many
    aldermen be turned into marble that the whole city may get
    rotten teeth with eating of sugar-plums and sweetmeats at their
    funerals.

                             _Enter_ DITTY.

    DITTY. _The Seven Wise Men of Gotam_, _a Hundred Merry
    Tales_, _Scoggin's Jests_, or _A Book of Prayers and Graces
    for Young Children_.

    GUM. What news-books, Ditty? Any proclamations that they must
    forfeit all their toes that have no corns, or that they must
    never eat good victuals that have not the toothache? Are red
    mufflers and slashed shoes come into fashion? They are as sure
    signs of the ache of teeth and toes as a red lattice of an
    alehouse.

    DITTY. No, truly, Master Gum, I have none of these books, but I
    have as good. I have very strange news from beyond seas.

    GUM. What is't? Do they want corn-cutters or tooth-drawers?
    prythee, let's hear it.

    DITTY. The King of Morocco has got the black jaundice, and the
    Duke of Westphalia is sick of the swine-pox with eating bacon;
    the Moors increase daily, and the King of Cyprus mourns for the
    Duke of Saxony, that is dead of the stone; and Presbyter John
    is advanced to Zealand; the sea ebbs and flows but twice in
    four-and-twenty hours, and the moon has changed but once the
    last month.

    GUM. Hold, hold! here's enough to tire the dove's neck, before
    she gets home.

                            _Enter_ BUDGET.

    BUD. Well, I must strike whilst the iron's hot. Good Vulcan,
    be assistant, and grant that some spark of love may be kindled
    in her heart, and that I may with my compliments, as with the
    bellows of rhetoric, blow the coals of good-will, and with my
    forked arguments stir up the fire of affection in her! I have
    been filing my nose and anviling down my chin this two days,
    and yet just now there was scarce room enough for her sweet
    lips and mine to meet. She calls me Vulcan and Cyclops, and
    says I shall be hanged up for the sign of the _Black Boy_. But
    'tis no matter. It may be, when she calls me Vulcan, she would
    have me make her my Venus!

    DITTY. Who is this trough that he is about to run away with?

    BUD. Well, I'll try both ways.

    DITTY. How now, Budget? Can you sing your ballad yet? Come, are
    you perfect?

    BUD. Not yet, Ditty; but is't to the tune o' th' _Bleeding
    Heart_, do you say?

    DITTY. Ay, ay; but what makes you so pale, Budget? There's
    a cup of ale at mine host Welcome's will make your nose of
    another colour.

    BUD. O Ditty, there is a nail knocked into my heart! It pricks,
    it pricks.

    GUM. Why, if you can't wrench it out, we'll send for a smith.

    DITTY. Has Cupid played the joiner with you, then? Who is't he
    has fastened to your heart with that nail? What metal is she
    made of, that you cannot hammer her?

    BUD. It is the city's beauty!

    DITTY. The city's beauty? who's that? One of my lord major's
    spaniels?

    GUM. I knew a bitch of that name was a very pretty dog, and
    would fetch and carry as nimbly as any porter in the town.

    BUD. What, villain, do you make a puppy of me! I'll kick you
    into glove-dogs, you mongrels, hell-hounds, whelps!          [_Kicks
    them._

    DITTY. Hold, good Budget, a jest is but a jest; I spoke but in
    jest.

    GUM. Nor I, indeed, Master Budget.

    BUD. Then I kicked you but in jest.

    GUM. Ay, ay, sir, we take it so; you must think, if it had been
    in earnest, though it had been the best man i' th' land, he had
    kicked his last.

    BUD. Had he so, slave?

    GUM. Yes, when he had done kicking.

    DIT. Good Budget, be pacified, and we'll recompense the injury
    we have done you with our forwardness to promote your desires
    and translation out of the circle of love into the wedding-ring.

    BUD. Thanks, kind Ditty; walk along with me, and I will show
    thee the sweet empress of my heart. I am appeased.        [_Exeunt._


SCENE VII.

                    _Enter_ BRISTLE _and_ JENNITING.

    BRIS. Yes, truly, I am one of the gentle craft, though I
    have got somewhat of the tailor's trade too; some hangers
    on--fellow-travellers, that I cannot be rid of, though, are
    still upon my back: they put me to foul shifts sometimes.

    JEN. Then you know Crispianus?

    BRIS. Yes, he is a saint amongst us, of whose votaries I am
    one, that each Monday morning liquor his altar with ale, and
    grease it with bacon.

    JEN. So you sacrifice the hog to get the bristles?

    BRIS. She knows my name, sure. [_Aside._] But 'tis no matter
    for him. Hereafter I'll know no saints but thee; be not
    therefore unkind, but look with a favourable aspect on him that
    can expect no bad influence from so benign a star.

    JEN. You do but flatter me; I am not so good a one as you make
    me.

    BRIS. Now, by Jove, thou art fairer than Calisto (and more
    like a bear), more divine than Cassiopeia! Do but consider that
    every sow has a ring, and will not you have one?

    JEN. Well, Vamp, you know how to take the length of women's
    feet.

    BRIS. Come, my Jenniting, we will have twins every year.

    JEN. Such as shall be christened at Saint James' tide, I
    warrant!

    BRIS. No, no; two boys and so many wenches, that we will
    furnish the whole city with herb-women and costermongers of
    our own progeny; there shall not be an apple-wife in the whole
    country but she shall be ingrafted into some branch of our
    family: not a day in the whole year shall pass but some tree
    of our stock shall be set, till we have enough to plant a
    wilderness and people it. Go, pack up thy treasure; the time
    flies too fast, but we'll outstrip it. To-night we'll be at a
    place some ten miles off, where a house ready-furnished waits
    for thee, with all things necessary for the celebration of our
    nuptials. I'll fit thee with a pair of shoes; let's see thy
    foot. It is of the eighteens; thou shalt have a strapping pair.
    Make haste.

    JEN. Thanks, kind Vamp; all that I have is thine.           [_Exit._

    BRIS. I hope so, or else my plot fails me: if Heath speed with
    Nancy Curds as well as I have with Hanna Jenniting, we shall
    make quick work with 'um; we shall fledge ourselves before we
    fly. Let them husband what we leave 'um as well as they can.
                                                                [_Exit._


SCENE VIII.

                       _Enter_ HEATH _and_ CURDS.

    HEATH. Yes, it is a very neat house; 'tis at the, sign of the
    Bull; 'tis newly covered with calves'-skins, and paved with
    knuckle-bones. Thou shalt not deny me; we'll be there to-night;
    and 'tis but three hours' journey. Let me have thy bundles of
    necessaries an hour hence, and I'll see 'um safe sent before.
    Thou shalt be the lady o' th' town.

    CURDS. I have been one in my days, when we kept the Whitson
    ale, where we danced _The Building of London Bridge upon
    wool-packs_[243] and _The Hay_[244] upon a grass-plat, and
    when we were aweary with dancing hard, we always went to the
    cushion dance.

    HEATH. Ay, we'll have dancing at our wedding too, when the cups
    of canary have made our heads frisk. O, how we shall foot it,
    when we can scarce stand, and caper when we are cut in the leg!
    The first year shall be a leap-year with us.

    CURDS. What shall we have at our wedding dinner? We'll be sure
    of a plum-pudding, that shall be the very flower of the feast.

    HEATH. Then a leg of beef shall walk round the table, like
    a city captain with a target of lamb before it: a snipe,
    with his long bill, shall be a serjeant, and a capon carry
    the drumsticks. Thou shalt be lady-general, and pick out the
    choicest of every dish for thy life-guard.

    CURDS. I'll pay them to the full.                          [_Aside._

    HEATH. Till anon good-bye.                            [_Exit_ HEATH.

                      _Enter_ BUDGET, DITTY, GUM.

    DITTY. Pox o' thy ugly face! ca'st not sing but thou must cry
    too? Look, there she is; good Gum, hold my shop a little.

    BUD. And mine too.

    GUM. Now do I look like one of the pillars in the Exchange.
                                                                [_Exit._

    BUD. _Sweet lady, smile on me._

    CURDS. [_Aside._] Hissing adders!

    BUD. _Now merrily:_
                   _For if thou frown on me,_
                   _Sure I shall die._
    BOTH. _Sure I shall die, &c._

    CURDS. Croaking toads.

    BUD. _Thy eyes, like a cockatrice,_
                   _Kill with a look:_
                   _They shine like the sun,_
                   _I'd swear on a book._

    CURDS. Away, screech-owls!

    BOTH. _I swear on a book, &c._                        [_Exit_ CURDS.

    BUD. Stay, Ditty, she is deaf, and would not hear though
    Orpheus played, nor be moved though the stones and trees danced.

    DITTY. Give me thy letter then--I'll run after her and deliver
    it myself.

    BUD. Prythee, do, kind-hearted Ditty.

    DITTY. O, what a nimble Cupid shall I be! Venus herself will
    mistake me for her boy.

    BUD. I'll wait here till thou returnest.

                                                     [_Exit_ DITTY.[245]


SCENE IX.

                      _Enter_ BRISTLE _and_ HEATH.

    BRIS. What, did she melt easily? Was she pliable?

    HEATH. O, like cobbler's wax; she stuck to my fingers: I could
    hardly get her off, and had much ado to persuade her not to
    undo herself quite. She would have had me gone home and took
    all; nay, would have robbed her aunt too, but that I should
    cheat her sufficiently. This will be the best day's work I have
    done this many a year.

    BRIS. And yet all my rhetoric could scarce persuade you to be
    wise.

    HEATH. I am thy scholar, and thou shalt find I'll prove an apt
    one. If I am not as perfect at the art as thyself in a short
    time, may I never be made free, but always steal for others,
    and be hanged myself.

    BRIS. Yet still thou owest thy learning unto me; if I had not
    been thy master, thou might'st have sat at home now with a cup
    of cold water and thy precious jewel, a contented mind, wishing
    thou hadst but money enough to pay a forfeit for being drunk,
    though thy empty pockets forced thee to be sober.

    HEATH. Come, prythee, leave; I myself do now laugh at my former
    ignorance. Thou hast infused a new soul into me; thou hast
    played hocus-pocus with me, I think, and juggled Gusmond or
    country Tom's legerdemain into me. There's not such a change in
    all the Metamorphosis.

    BRIS. And now thou hast[246] bargained with thy whey-faced
    wench, what hast thou gained by the project? nothing but wit.

    HEATH. Yes, a silver bodkin and thimble, and as many curds as
    would serve the court ladies for a twelvemonth, besides the box
    laden with all the plate and household stuff that her pitchy
    fingers could stick to in six years' service, with which I
    believe she now waits for me at the appointed place. What we
    can't turn into money we will into ale, and drink it out. Mine
    host Welcome has a cup of blessed lull.[247]

    BRIS. Away, make haste, we'll empty his cellar to-night, and
    draw his barrels out into our hogshead.

    HEATH. I'll outfly the swift.                         [_Exit_ HEATH.

    BRIS. But scarce outgo an owl. This fellow will I so tutor,
    that he shall rob Mercury himself, surpass Prometheus, and
    steal the sun from heaven! Filch away Venus's box of beauty,
    and pawn it to ladies, not to be redeemed but by the golden
    apple that Paris gave her! Jupiter's thunder, too, and sell it
    to besieged towns for granadoes!

                   _Enter_ JENNITING _with a bundle_.

    O, here comes my precious Hanna, never so lovely as now, when
    she brings a bundle along with her! That beauty-spot makes her
    look fair. Come, my sweeting; every minute was an age till thou
    camest. But why so wrinkled? Those looks do not become a bride.

    JEN. Is there no danger of drowning? I am ready to sink every
    time I think of the water. I cannot choose but quake ever since
    I was in the ducking-stool.

    BRIS. Never fear it. Thou shalt be Queen o' th' Thames, and
    command the waves; be crowned with water-cresses, and enrobed
    in watered grogerum. The Nymphs shall curl thy hair, and Syrens
    sing thy nuptials. The sea shall drink thy health, till it
    spews and purges again, and swell with pride, that it can carry
    thee.

    JEN. These lines are strong enough to hold an anchor.

    BRIS. Dolphins shall bring musicians on their backs, and spout
    out cans of beer beyond the conduits on the Mayor's-day.

    JEN. We'll have a fish-dinner, too, and the Lady o' th' Lobster
    shall be Mistress o' th' Feast.

    BRIS. Yes, yes; and Triton's trumpet shall echo up each mess,
    while we sound the bottom of our ocean cups, and drown god
    Neptune in a sea of wine! But let not your sister Nancy hear of
    it for your ears. She'll raise a tempest will ship-wreck all
    our hopes; she'll storm louder than the winds. Meet me here two
    hours hence with all your tacklings. I'll see this bundle shall
    be safe. The ruddy sky promises a fair gale; if the winds fail
    us and blow enviously, we'll blast Æolus.                 [_Exeunt._


SCENE X.

                             _Enter_ DITTY.

    DITTY. Well, if ever I carry love-letters again, may they make
    a love-letter of me; turn my skin to paper, my skull to an
    inkhorn, and make a pen of my nose; it will be excellent for
    a fast hand, for it runs continually, and is so moist that
    it will write without ink! Nay, if ever I thrust myself into
    wedding businesses again, may a piece of match be my bane;
    may the bridegroom wring my ears off, hang me in the bride's
    garter, or drown me in the sack posset; and if he bury me,
    bestow this threadbare epitaph--

    _Here lieth Tom Ditty under this stone,_
    _That carried love-letters; reader, go on,--_
    _But stay! wouldst thou know the cause of his death?_
    _Th' long-winded letter put him out of breath._

    The next epistle I carry for Budget, he shall carry himself;
    I'll not be his post, to be her beating-block too. Pox on's
    kettledrum! 'tis good for nothing but to call the moon out
    of an eclipse, and he'll serve for nought neither, but a
    chimney-sweeper's shadow, or bugbear to fright froward
    children. I'll have some revenge on him, and deliver him up
    into her hands. If she do not sufficiently punish him, I'll
    forgive him.

                            _Enter_ BUDGET.

    DITTY. O, here comes the chimney, the man of soot, the picture
    of smoke and cinders!

    BUD. O Ditty! I see by thy face there's ill news.

    DITTY. Ay, pox on't! I was set upon yonder by a company of
    women, and had like to have been scolded into a cripple for
    singing _Room for Cuckolds_ t'other day.

    BUD. But what said my Nancy? Did she smile, and say that all
    her denials were maiden's nays? Is she softened, and will she
    now let me taste her strawberry lips willingly?

    DITTY. Yes, and give you cream to 'um too. Why, she is almost
    mad for you, and has bespoke a place in Bedlam already. If you
    do not go quickly and recover her, she'll either be turned into
    a kettle with grief, or melt into bell-metal, that she may be
    made a posnet of. Nay, and desired me to tell you that if after
    her transformation she chance ever to come under your hands to
    be mended, she would desire you to use her gently, and that you
    should know which was she, she had provided in her will that H.
    L. may be set on her handle for Nancy Curdwell.

    BUD. I will, I will; I'll mend her with sugar-nails and a
    Naples biscuit-hammer. But is there no way to persuade her to
    live still a woman? I would be loth to carry my wife at my
    back, and have one with three legs.

    DITTY. If you make haste, you may chance to come before she is
    quite changed; you may save a leg, perhaps, or an arm of flesh
    yet; but I believe the most part of her is brass already.

    BUD. Good Ditty, go along with me; if she be a pot before I
    come, I'll weep it full of tears, and then be boiled to death
    in't.                                                     [_Exeunt._


SCENE XI.

        _Enter_ GUM _with the Tinker's budget and Ballad-man's_
                                 _box_.

    Any old pots or kettles to mend? Will you buy my ballads?
    or have you any corns on your feet-toes? Nay, I am
    Jack-of-all-trades now. Three is a perfect number, and so many
    I have. Nay, Master Tinker, you kicked me to-day; but since
    you are so light of your heels, I'll make you walk after your
    budget before you have it. 'T shall be in trouble presently,
    not to be delivered without a fee. I'll drink as much ale on
    the kettle as will fill it; the rest o' th' tools shall go for
    jugs apiece; and then, Master Ditty, I will be merry with your
    ballads, too. They must be in lavender a little, and soak. If
    they will but yield me draughts apiece, I care not, and the box
    shall serve to score on. But stay, had I not better burn it,
    to bake the toasts and warm the ale? Hang't! 'tis but engaging
    the books twopence or a groat deeper, and have some three or
    four bundles of straws like faggots, and 'twill be _a-la-mode_.

            _Enter_ BRISTLE _and_ HEATH _with bundles_. GUM
                               _retires_.

    BRIS. She'll say I am a pretty jewel to run away with her
    cabinet; but 'tis no matter. This box will make me flourish all
    the year long.

    GUM. So, so; here are companions that will help drink the sea
    dry: mere gulfs or whirlpools, that suck in all that comes nigh
    'um.

    BRIS. Come, Heath, open thy treasury. What's the first pearl?

    GUM. These ale-suckers, too, are a-going to liquor some prize
    that their lime-twig fingers have seized upon.

    HEATH. A pair of silver-handled knives. These, I believe, she
    made when she lived with my Lady May'ress. Next, a pair of
    white gloves; these she had at the funeral of a dear friend,
    for whose sake she meant to be buried in 'um herself; and how
    would Cerberus take it, to see one come to hell with a dog-skin
    pair of gloves? A silken garter! This, I warrant it, she had at
    a wedding, and intended to bestow it on her own bridemaid. Then
    a pair of scissors----

    GUM. Sure, these villains have robbed an haberdasher, and stole
    a box of small-ware.                                       [_Aside._

                             HEATH _sings_.

            _Come out to the light,_
             _Than which thou'rt more bright:_
        _This box thee no longer shall harbour._
            _'Tis thou that hast made_
             _Me o' th' triple trade--_
        _A tailor, a sempster, a barber._
             _With thee I will shave_
             _The barbarian slave,_
        _And trim up the youngsters of Poland,_
             _Make a jump of Aleppo,_
             _Of Friesland a[nd] Joppo,_
        _And a stately brave shirt of Holland._

    GUM. [_Coming forward_.] Well sung of a woodcock. Come, thou
    must go have thy pipe tuned at mine host Welcome's; thou art
    like the glass pipe, that will never whistle but when there's
    water in't.

    HEATH. Ho, ho! What, furniture for a whole fair upon thy back
    at once? Dressed up just like the wooden boys on haberdashers'
    stalls.

    BRIS. Three strings to thy bow at once? Sure, thou canst not
    break when thou hast such a triple cord to hold thee.

    GUM. A single one, I believe, would spoil your drinking;
    'twould tie up your guzzle.

    BRIS. But how dar'st thou walk abroad before owl-light? Dost
    think there's no birds stirring still that will spy out
    these feathers? Come, off with thy box of poetry, the Muses'
    warehouse, Calliope's Cabinet. 'Tis ominous to have the string
    about thy neck. If thou art taken with 'um, thou may'st be
    condemned to make as many wry mouths as the squeaking owner
    did, when he last strained and vomited 'um out at Smithfield or
    Pye Corner.

    GUM. O, there's no fear of that, though he that these call
    master had my neck in a slip. These are Ditty's, and these
    Budget's; they gave 'um me to hold a little; but I'll carry
    'um to the Flying Horse, and change 'um for a cup of Helicon,
    which will in half an hour make me able to repay the paltry
    rhymes in heroic verse.

    BRIS. Come, shall we join together? we three are able to sponge
    up all the ale i' th' city, and raise the price of malt.

    GUM. A match; as far as these will go, I'm for you.

    HEATH. And when they're gone, we'll drink our very shirts out,
    and then pawn ourselves too.                              [_Exeunt._


SCENE XII.

                     _Enter_ JENNITING _and_ CURDS.

    JEN. Was he a butcher, say you?

    CURDS. Ay, and called me his pretty lamb and his sweetbread;
    told me he would meet me here two hours ago, and promised me
    mountains; but bid me I should not tell you on't.

    JEN. They are mere rogues, very jugglers; they have cheated us
    both. Just so did the shoemaker do to me.

    CURDS. He has got my box of milled sixpences and Harry groats:
    the gilded scissors that were given me for a New Year's gift,
    and my bodkin and thimble.

    JEN. I would they might both feed upon nothing but rotten
    apples, and be choked with pears!

    CURDS. Or a piece of clout be left in the next fresh cheese
    they eat, and strangle 'um; or a favourable spider drop into
    the cream, and drown himself, that he may poison them.

                      _Enter_ DITTY _and_ BUDGET.

    DITTY. 'Slife, lose [not] this opportunity; there she is; on,
    I say, and I'll be your second. I warrant she had been dead
    before this time, but that she smelt your breath hard by, or
    else knew by sympathy that you were coming.

    BUD. Did the letter work so strangely on her, are you sure? I
    would not willingly venture my lips for a kiss, or my eyes for
    a look.

    DITTY. Why, I tell thee she was so nigh a dissolution when I
    left her, that I thought to have found her in a sand-box, or
    begged by some vintner to keep bottled wine in, before I could
    return.

    BUD. Well, I'll try, though she squeeze me into verjuice, and
    stamp my bones into small coal, that they may be twice burnt.
    [_Advances._] O my honeycomb, milksop Nancy, whiter than the
    powder of chalk, and (like it) able to scour off the dirt of
    sullied drabs, and paint them with a brightness as glustering
    as thy own.

    CURDS. Out, you sooty goblin, besmeared dolt! dost think I'll
    couple with a negro, to bring forth magpies, half white and
    half black? Take me for a bee, to knit at the sound of a brass
    kettle or frying-pan? Bundle of charcoal, furred crock, dost
    think I'll hang in thy pot-hook arm? Hence, or I'll beat thee
    worse than the Bridewell crew does hemp!

    DITTY. Ay, ay, read him the same lesson you conned me!

    BUD. Sweet Mistress Curds, be not so sour. Good Ditty, stop her
    mouth.

    DITTY. Hold, hold, Nancy! He thought all women like pots of
    ale, and that tinkers might call for 'um as freely as the
    finest customer; this crab-tree lecture will teach him better
    manners hereafter.

    JEN. Ay, sister, do not foul your mouth any more with the
    checker-faced scullion; let him go.

    DITTY. Come, then, and shake hands; we'll fine him for's
    sauciness, and his ransom shall be half a dozen at mine host
    Welcome's. Come, come, you shall be friends, and I'll perfect
    the reconciliation with a song.

    BUD. Half a dozen! We'll score out all the chalk i' th' house,
    and make the tapster fetch one o' th' city clerks to sum up the
    reckoning.

    JEN. Come, sister, let's go drink sorrows dry; and a woman's
    anger should be like jack-weights--quickly up and quickly down.
                                                              [_Exeunt._


SCENE XIII.

                            _Enter_ WELCOME.

    WEL. Ay, ay, 'tis the rich face that keeps us from poverty. If
    the tailor's countenance were in fashion now, and all that had
    fiery faces were counted comets, what a decay would there be
    amongst our houses of good fellowship. How our cans would rot
    and jugs grow musty for want of use! I would the whole city
    were jugs and cans, that they might never be in good case but
    when they're full of good liquor. I fear this will be a bad
    year for all of our profession; salt meats are grown out of
    fashion, and Lent will be forgotten this year, and, for aught I
    know, the next Papist that's drunk may make the people condemn
    it for superstition because he uses it. Forbid, thou who ever
    art patron of good fellowship!

                             _Enter_ BUNG.

    BUNG. [_To some one within._] I'll be with you presently.
    Master, can you give me a groat and sixpence for a twopence.

    WEL. Who is't for?

    BUNG. For a couple of strangers i' th' King's Head; they have
    sat preaching this two hours over two cans, and called me rogue
    and rascal for not giving attendance, and setting a chamber-pot
    for 'um. They've twopence to pay.

    WEL. Then thou'dst have me give 'um eightpence to be gone, ha!

    BUNG. A groat and twopence for a sixpence, I mean.

    WEL. There 'tis; go, be nimble. [_Exit_ BUNG.] We have had but
    small takings to-day; men have got the squincy or stopping of
    the throat, I think--they drink so slowly. May it turn to the
    dropsy, that they may never be weary of drinking, but that
    every draught may but make room for two more! 'Twill never be
    a good world while there's any but Welsh taverns, such as sell
    nothing but ale and tobacco; these French and Spanish ones will
    be the undoing of us all; men are grown such dottrels, that
    they had rather give five or six shillings to be drunk, like
    the Spaniard, with canary, or the Frenchman, with claret, than
    so many pence to be foxed with their own native beer.

                             _Enter_ BUNG.

    BUNG. O master, master, yonder's Ditty and Budget come in with
    two doxies! Ditty swears he'll have one of 'um, though she
    cuckold him the first night, and clap a pair of horns upon his
    head, that will confine him to his chamber till rutting-time
    come, and he shed 'um.

    WEL. Who are they which they're enamoured so with?

    BUNG. The one's Nancy Curds and the other Hanna Jenniting;
    Ditty and Jenniting are agreed already; now, if you'll go
    promote Budget's suit, and make a conclusion between him and
    Curds, the wedding will be kept at our house, and we shall,
    besides the getting by the victuals, put off the barrel of sour
    beer by and by.                                             [_Exit._

    WEL. Well said, Bung: the crafti'st knave alive! I should be
    glad to see both Budget and Ditty in the way of multiplying;
    all their progeny cannot choose but be friends to the black
    pot, and will be notable tipplers, I warrant 'um, as soon as
    they come to the sucking-bottle. I'll go myself and contract
    'um.                                                        [_Exit._


SCENE XIV.

                      _Enter_ BRISTLE, HEATH, GUM.

    BRIS. Pox o' the ugly baboon! she has got a face like a
    Bartholomew Fair baby, and a mouth like the whale that
    swallowed a whole fleet. Her fingers are rolling-pins, and her
    arms coal-staves! Hang her, what should women do with money, or
    anything that's good?

    HEATH. You say true. If we had let 'um alone, I warrant these
    boxes had been kept till they were mouldy, visited but once a
    quarter, and at last bequeathed by will and testament to some
    silly sober well-wisher of hers in her lifetime.

    BRIS. One that never drank above four-shilling beer but once
    at a christening, and then had like to have got a red nose by
    it, cannot distinguish between a jug and a flagon, never was in
    an alehouse, knows not what a bush means, nor ever spent above
    twopence in his life, and that was upon a prayer-book.

    GUM. Your tongues, methinks, run very glib; I wonder they do
    not screek for want of liquor. What, tapster? attendance here.

    BUNG. Anon, anon, sir; I have it in my hand.

                            _Enter_ TAPSTER.

    TAP. You're welcome, gentlemen; here's a cup of the best ale in
    London.

    BRIS. How? gentlemen? untutored slave, saucy villain!
    Gentlemen? why, sirrah, do I look like a gentleman? I scorn thy
    terms, and let this kick put thee in mind of better language.

    BUNG. Cry you mercy, I mistook you indeed.

    HEATH. Sirrah, we'll make you know who you mistake; call one of
    your master's best customers gentleman!

    BUNG. [_To some one outside._] Anon, anon, sir; I'll be with
    you presently.

    BRIS. Sirrah, bid your master come in.

                                                        [_Exit_ TAPSTER.

    GUM. Come, here's a round to the first inventor of the famous
    art of drinking.

    BRIS. No, no; to the first finder out of the noble art of
    brewing; for we should be forced to drink water else.

    HEATH. To neither; but to the first most commendable
    alehouse-keeper that sold three cans for twopence; he is the
    chief benefactor we have. Come, three cans to his health!

    GUM, BRIS. A match!

               _Enter_ WELCOME, DITTY, BUDGET, JENNITING,
                                 CURDS.

    WEL. Set you merry, my merry, merry lads; what, do the cans
    dance nimbly?

    HEATH. Yes, but we want a pipe or two; good mine host, let's
    have some whiff.

    WEL. Here's a musician; honest Ditty and Budget too: if they do
    not make up the consort, they are very much out of tune.

    DITTY. O Gum, have we found you out? my box, you slave!

    BUD. And my budget!

    WEL. Come, set about, set about, my boon companions.

    BRIS. A devil on your snout! oatmeal face and tallow-chops, how
    came you hither with a pox, trow?

    HEATH. Look here, Bristle, how like shorn sheep they look.
    Where shall we run? they have cast me into a fit o' th' shaking
    palsy.

    BRIS. Come, we'll outface 'um.

    WEL. Come, sit down, my jovial boys, and roar. This night we'll
    suck up all the dew.

                     _Enter_ BUNG, _with tobacco_.

    BUNG. Here's a pipe o' th' best tobacco that Christendom
    affords; it grew under the King of Spain's own window.          [_To
    other customers._] By and by; what do you want, sirs?       [_Exit._

    DITTY. And I warrant he used to fling pisspots out on't.

    WEL. We'll drink ourselves into fish, and eat ourselves into
    cormorants; we'll not fast, though it be an eve to a surfeiting
    gawdy day.

    HEATH. Is't an eve, say you? pray, what holiday is to-morrow?

    WEL. Budget's and Ditty's nuptials. Drink freely; all is paid
    already, and you are Ditty's guests to-night as well as mine.
    There sit the brides. You shall not leave my house to-night,
    that I may be sure of you to-morrow morning at the solemnities;
    be merry then, and free. I'll pardon you your groats to-morrow,
    and none shall forfeit but he that is not drunk.             [_Exit_
    WELCOME.

    HEATH, BRIS, GUM. Joy to the brides and bridegrooms!

    DITTY. Gentlemen, you may see how quickly a man may be shuffled
    into a wedding; we liked at first sight, and why should we
    then defer our joys any longer?

    BUD. Like the Spanish, I was beaten into love; but at last have
    overcome, thanks to mine host, that took my part.

    CURDS. And I cheated into a bride; he that stole away my box
    made up the match between you and me.

    BRIS. Is't so, i' faith? then, mistress bride, pray take this
    box. You know it, I believe, and me too.

    HEATH. And you this bundle.

    JEN. The thing I was cheated of! Art thou the thief too? O, the
    very villain!

    CURDS. Lay hold of 'um, sweet Budget--the slaves that cheated
    us in a disguise.

    DITTY. Come, what's the matter? we'll have no quarrelling
    to-night; we forgive all.

    GUM. Then your books may be freed for eighteen-pence; that's
    all they are engaged for yet, and the budget but for two
    shillings.

    DITTY, BUD. We forgive most willing.

    DITTY. A porter would not have carried 'um so far for the price.

    BRIS. Here's a health to the brides, then, out of an
    extinguisher. I'll find 'um in mice-traps, brushes, steel and
    tinder-box all their lifetime.

    HEATH. And I with brooms.

    GUM. I'll cut their corns for nothing, and draw their teeth for
    a touch of their lips.

    DITTY. Defer that health till to-morrow; in the meanwhile let's
    have on[e] to the genius of good ale.

    OMNES. Begin't, begin't!

    DITTY.   _Submit, bunch of grapes,_
             _To the strong barley ear:_
             _The weak vine no longer_
             _The laurel shall wear._

    BUD.     _Sack and all drinks else,_
             _Desist from the strife,_
             _Ale's th' only aqua vitæ_
             _And liquor of life._

    ALL TOG. _Then come, my boon fellows,_
             _Let's drink it around;_
             _It keeps us from th' grave,_
             _Though it lays us o' th' ground._

    BUD.     _Ale's a physician,_
             _No mountebank bragger,_
             _Can cure the chill ague,_
             _Though't be with the stagger._

    DITTY.   _Ale's a strong wrestler,_
             _Flings all it hath met,_
             _And makes the ground slippery,_
             _Though't be not wet._

    OMNES.   _But come, my boon, &c._

    DITTY.   _Ale is both Ceres_
             _And good Neptune too;_
             _Ale's froth was the sea,_
             _From whence Venus grew._

    BUD.     _Ale is immortal,_
             _And be there no stops,_
             _In bonny lads quaffing,_
             _Can live without hops,_

    OMNES.   _Then come, my boon fellows,_
             _Let's drink it around,_
             _It keeps us from th' grave,_
             _Though it lays us o' th' ground._

                                                           [_All drink._

                            _Enter_ WELCOME.

    WEL. Well said, my whistling birds; 'tis spring with you all
    the year long, while the ale flourishes. Come, I have provided
    a supper will tire your teeth; 'tis but a prologue, though, of
    to-morrow's feast. I hope your appetites need no provocations.
    It now waits for you, but will not be ready till you concoct
    it. Come then, cheer up, my buxom girls; the cakes and posset
    my wife shall provide, and I'll engage myself to be father to
    you both. Ditty's ballads and his budget shall be cut out into
    favours and gloves.                                       [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[239] See Hazlitt's "Handbook," art. Jack. Only a second part is at
present known.

[240] It is well known that in our old inns the various rooms had
separate names.

[241] The usual burden of a song.

[242] This points to the custom of the landlord, when he joined any
guests at a table, contributing a free jug or bottle.

[243] This saying arose from the duty on wool, levied to defray the
cost of rebuilding the bridge (Knight's "London," i. 79). Nancy alludes
to a dance so called.

[244] A well-known and often-quoted dance. See the poem by N. Breton,
in "England's Helicon," 1600, repr. Collier, p. 222.

[245] Although Budget promises to await Ditty's return, he appears to
retire to the back of the stage.

[246] Old copy, _hast thou_.

[247] Ale.



EPILOGUE.


                          WELCOME _the Host_.

    Gentlemen and ladies, I am sent to you,
    Not to beg cast-by sheets, a shirt or two,
    Or clouts for th' teeming women, nor bespeak
    Gossips or guests against the christ'ning week:
    No off'ring for the married couple. What, then?
    Only to bid you welcome, gentlemen,
    Before your parting; and for th' women, beg
    That, when they travail, you'ld not sit cross-leg.
    But when their notes are turn'd to childbirth cries,
    You'd cry good speed to their deliveries;
    And if our cries have wanted mirth or wit,
    There's one more left, _We cry you mercy yet!_



THE SHEPHERDS' HOLIDAY.



_EDITION._


    _The Shepheards Holy-day. A pastorall tragi-Comoedie._
      _Acted before their Majesties at Whitehall by the Queenes_
      _Servants. With an Eligie on the death of the most Noble
      Lady, the Lady Venetia Digby. London, Printed by N. and I.
      Okes for Iohn Benson.... 1635. 8o._

[This is one of the pieces which Isaac Reed did not retain in the
edition of 1780, nor is it in that of 1825. Yet there is no apparent
ground for its exclusion.

A piece bearing the same title as Rutter's was written by Sir W. Denny
at a later date, and is printed from the original MS. in "Inedited
Poetical Miscellanies," 1870.

It seems to be a hypothesis sufficiently plausible to justify a passing
notice, in that one of the suppressed printed at the end of the
"Private Memoirs of Sir Kinelm Digby," 1827, the intimacy of Digby with
a royal personage is described in very warm terms and colours, and that
Rutter, who was in Digby's family at one time, may have founded on what
came to his ears the episode of Sylvia and Thyrsis in this production.]



[DODSLEY'S PREFACE.]


This author wrote in the reign of Charles the First. He lived with the
Earl of Dorset, as tutor to his son, and translated, at the desire
of his patron, the Cid of Corneille, a tragi-comedy, in two parts
[1640-50, 8o]. It appears, from his dedication of this pastoral to Sir
Kenelm Digby, that he lived also with that gentleman for some time, but
in what capacity I cannot tell. The plainness and simplicity of this
pastoral is commended by Thomas May, author of "The Heir" and "The Old
Couple;" and also by Ben Jonson in the following lines--

                         "I have read
    And weigh'd your play; untwisted every thread,
    And know the woof and warp thereof; can tell
    Where it runs round and even; where so well,
    So soft, and smooth it handles, the whole piece,
    As it were, spun by nature off the fleece."



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


  THYRSIS, _the lover of Sylvia_.
  HYLAS, _the lover of Nerina_.
  MIRTILLUS, _the common lover_.
  DAPHNIS, _the rich shepherd_.
  MONTANUS, _an ancient shepherd_.
  CHARINUS, _father to Nerina_.
  ALCON, an ancient shepherd.
  NUNTIUS.

                         _Chorus of Shepherds._

  SYLVIA, _beloved of Thyrsis_.
  NERINA, _a huntress, beloved of Hylas and of Daphnis_.
  DORINDA, _enamoured of Daphnis_.
  DELIA, _a court lady_.

  EUARCHUS, _king of Arcady_.
  EUBULUS, _his councillor_.
  CLEANDER, _son to Eubulus_.
  _Attendants._

                          _The Scene, Arcady._



THE PROLOGUE FOR THE STAGE.


    To this fair company I am to say,
    You're welcome all to a well-meaning play;
    For such our author made it, with intent
    To defame none. His muse is innocent:
    A virgin yet, that has not found the ways
    Out of foul crimes to raise herself a praise;
    And therefore she desires you would excuse
    All bitter strains, that suit a satire muse:
    And that which so much takes the vulgar ear--
    Looseness of speech, which they for jests do hear.
    She hopes none such are here, therefore she dares
    Venture this story, purg'd from lighter airs:
    A piece entire, without or patch or maim,
    Round in itself, and everywhere the same.
    And if there be not in't what they call wit,
    There might have been, had it been thought so fit.
    A shepherd's muse gently of love does sing,
    And with it mingles no impurer thing.
    Such she presents unto your ears and eyes,
    And yet your Christian freedom not denies
    Of liking or disliking what you will:
    You may say this is well, or that is ill,
    Without dispute; for why should you that pay
    For what you have, be taught what you should say?
    Or made to judge by any square or rule,
    As if you came not to a stage, but school?
    No, he that made it says, if you will eat,
    He will not force your stomachs: there's your meat;
    Which if you like, 'tis well; if not, all's one;
    There must be difference in opinion.
    Besides, he's sure, whatever he could wish,
    Your taste, and not his art, must praise the dish.

                        The Shepherds' Holiday.



ACTUS I., SCENA I.


                           THYRSIS, MONTANUS.

    THYR. Here in this grove I left her, here amongst
    These poplars, laurels, and these sycamores,
    Guilty of her sad loss: and yet behold
    They do appear as fresh and full of verdure,
    As when my love, clothed in her clearest looks,
    Did give them grace and lustre. Why do we,
    Poor silly men, bred up in cares and fear,
    The nurse of our religion, stoop to Nature,
    That only knows to form, not to preserve
    What she has made; since, careless of her work,
    She leaves to giddy Fortune the whole power
    Of ruling us? These senseless trees stand still,
    And flourish too, and in their pride upbraid
    My loss to me; but my dear Sylvia being
    Nature's best piece, made to excuse the rest
    Of all her vulgar forms, ah me! was left
    To desolation, till some horrid satyr,
    Bred in these woods, and furious in his lusts,
    Made her his prey; and now has carried her
    Into his dark retirings, or some cave,
    Where her poor Thyrsis never more shall see her.
    But I will be reveng'd: this wood, that now
    Is so bedeck'd with leaves and fresh array,
    I'll level with the ground, until it be
    As desolate as I.

    MON. Alas, poor shepherd!                                  [_Aside._

    THYR. It shall afford no shade to anything,
    That hither us'd to come for its relief;
    But henceforth be for ever infamous:
    That, when some gentle shepherd passes by,
    And sees this ground rent with the crooked plough:
    Here, he may say, here 'twas that Sylvia
    Was lost, and then shall turn another way.

    MON. Good Thyrsis, do not make so much of grief,
    Y' have fed it with too many tears already;
    Take comfort now.

    THYR. What has my present state
    To do with comfort? If you see the trees
    Widow'd of leaves, the earth grown hard, and spoil'd
    Of the green mantles which she wont to wear,
    You wonder not if winter then appear.

    MON. By these we know that season.

    THYR. And must I,
    When she is gone, whose sun-like eyes did cherish
    An everlasting summer in my life,
    Feel any spring of joy to comfort me?
    No, father, grief with me is best in season.

    MON. But whilst you mourn thus, who looks to your flock?

    THYR. All as the shepherd is, such be his flocks,
    So pine and languish they, as in despair
    He pines and languishes; their fleecy locks
    Let hang disorder'd, as their master's hair,
    Since she is gone that deck'd both him and them.
    And now what beauty can there be to live,
    When she is lost that did all beauty give?

    MON. But yet, methinks, for one that is a stranger,
    Scarce known to any here, but by her name,
    These plaints are overmuch. Besides, there are
    In fruitful Arcady as fair as she:
    I'm sure more rich and wise: make out of them
    A choice. Nerina is as fair as she,
    Dorinda's flocks are more than Sylvia's,
    And carry on their backs more wool than hers.

    THYR. Let such base peasants as the gods do hate
    Admire their wealth and them for what they have,
    Their bodies' and their souls material
    Alike of drossy substance are compounded,
    And can contemplate nothing but the earth.
    No, Sylvia, whom some better god, perhaps
    For the reward of my well-tuned pipe,
    Sent down to me, made up of air and fire;
    Though since, because I knew not how to use
    With fair respect a gift so great as she,
    Has justly reft her from me,--is so much,
    So great a part of me, that in her absence
    Amidst my grief I feel some little joy,
    To see how much of me each minute wasteth,
    And gives me hope, that when I shall dissolve
    This earthly substance, and be pure as she
    (For sure the gods have ta'en her undefil'd),
    I may enjoy her looks, and though it be
    Profane to touch a hallowed thing like her,
    I may adore her yet, and recompense
    With my religion the proud thoughts I had
    Once to enjoy her.

    MON. See how fond you are
    T'embrace a shadow, and to leave the substance!
    The love of Hylas to Nerina has
    More hopes than yours; though she be young and coy,
    Yet whilst Nerina is and Hylas too,
    One time or other they may both have joy.

    THYR. May they prove happy in each other's love,
    And nothing please, but what each other do;
    For so liv'd Thyrsis and his Sylvia:
    Whilst Sylvia was, and Thyrsis was her love.
    Whatever Thyrsis pip'd, pleas'd Sylvia;
    Thyrsis admir'd whatever Sylvia sung,
    And both their joys were equal or but one.
    Well, I can now remember (and it is
    Some comfort to remember what I moan)
    That, when our loves began, how first I gaz'd
    On her, and she was pleas'd that I should look,
    Till greedily I had devour'd the hook.
    Love gave me courage then to speak my thoughts,
    And gave her pity to receive my words,
    They link'd our hearts together: from that time,
    Whene'er she saw me strike the furious boar,
    Though then my case she ru'd, and sigh'd full oft,
    Yet was she pleas'd to see my victory,
    And I receiv'd my vigour from her eye.
    Then would she make me chaplets of the best
    And choicest flowers, to adorn my head:
    Which when I wore, methought I did then grasp
    The empire of the world. But what of that?
    The more I then enjoy'd of heavenly bliss,
    The more my present grief and passion is.

    MON. Well, Thyrsis, since my words do but renew
    The story of your grief, I'll leave to use
    Persuasions to you; for 'tis time, I see,
    And not my words, must cure your malady.                    [_Exit._

    THYR. That time must put a period to my life,
    Or else it never will unto my grief:
    Come, boy, and under this same hanging bough
    The note, which thou attemper'st to my words,
    Sing, and be happier than thy master, boy.

                                   1.

    BOY.  _Shall I, because my love is gone,_
            _Accuse those golden darts,_
          _Which to a blessed union_
            _Struck our two loving hearts,_
          _Since fortune, and not love, hath caus'd my moan?_

                                   2.

          _No, her pure image I shall prize,_
            _Imprinted in my breast,_
          _More than the fairest mistress' eyes,_
            _That ever swain possessed,_
          _Which in eternal bonds my fancy ties._

                                   3.

          _Come then, you sharpest griefs, and try_
            _If you can pierce my heart,_
          _But use, if you would have me die,_
            _The best you can of art,_
          _To wound a breast so arm'd with constancy._

    THYR. Enough: I'll sigh the rest out. Go, my boy,
    Be careful of thy tender lambs, whilst I
    Seek out some hidden place to pine and die.


SCENA II.

                           HYLAS, MIRTILLUS.

    Believe, Mirtillus, never any love
    Was bought with other price than love alone,
    Since nothing is more precious than itself:
    It being the purest abstract of that fire
    Which wise Prometheus first indu'd us with;
    And he must love that would be lov'd again.

    MIR. Why, who can say Mirtillus does not love?
    Mirtillus, he who has employ'd his youth
    Ever in service of the fairest nymphs.

    HYL. Mirtillus cannot love.

    MIR. No, gentle Hylas?
    This riband and this hair you see me wear,
    Are they not ensigns of a lover? Say,
    What shepherdess whom ever swain thought fair,
    Has not Mirtillus courted, and obtain'd
    Some favour from. But you will think, because
    I do not fold my arms, and sigh, and spend
    The days, the gods have given me to rejoice,
    In whining passion, walking still alone,
    Now proud with hopes, then cast down with despair,
    Unequal to myself in everything,
    I cannot love. No, Hylas, know I love
    Dorinda, Chloris, Amarillis, all
    Whom ever love did to his altars call:
    And when this mistress frowns, I am content
    To take another; when that flame is spent
    By time, or put out by a rival, straight
    A third supplies her place, perhaps more worthy;
    If less, because she loves, I'll think her so.

    HYL. Alas, Mirtillus! I do pity thee--
    Pity the error which thou wander'st in,
    That think'st thou lov'st, and know'st not what it is.

    MIR. Why, what is love, say you, if mine be not?

    HYL. I know, Mirtillus, that no lover yet
    Purchas'd a lasting pleasure without grief;
    For love has gall in it as well as honey,
    And so compounded that, whosoe'er will taste
    The sweets of it, must take the bitter too,
    Out of both which is made our constancy.
    You, that embrace the false delights alone,
    Are a feign'd lover or (more truly) none.

    MIR. I know not what you mean by constancy:
    I'm sure I love the fairest.

    HYL. Still you err;
    For, if you lov'd the fairest, none had been
    The object of your choice but my Nerina;
    Nerina, she the glory of these woods,
    The only subject of all shepherds' song.

    MIR. She has her share of beauty with the rest,
    And I confess she's fit for love as any;
    But why she only should take up your breast,
    And shut out all that have a right as good,
    Whose equal or transcendent beauty pleads
    As just a title to't as hers can do,
    I cannot reach the reason, but admire
    Your faith and (what you praise) your constancy.

    HYL. Mirtillus, though I know your stubborn heart
    Could never entertain a lover's thought,
    Yet did I think you would have been more tender
    How you profan'd a name so sacred as
    Nerina's is, whom never any swain,
    Nor rural god, nor satyr, though he be
    Of savage kind, would ever violate:
    Nerina, in whose form love ever dwells,
    Attended by the Graces, which do range
    Themselves in order 'bout her comely face:
    Whose breasts without are hills of whitest snow,
    Within, the seat of blameless modesty,
    Regard of honour and pure chastity;
    Nor may a loose thought ever harbour there
    To tempt such lovers as you seem to be:
    Is it for that you slight her?

    MIR. No, I love her
    As I do others, with whom I compare her.
    But you, that love with such intemperance,
    Make of your love a glass, wherein you see
    Each thing much greater than indeed it is:
    My love's too cold, you say; but I am sure
    Yours is too hot for any to endure:
    A mean, perhaps, 'twixt these I might approve.

    HYL. You might, if there were any mean in love.

    MIR. But whilst we talk thus, see, the flame has caught you;
    Your beauteous flame, Nerina, is at hand,
    Dorinda with her: dare you stay th' encounter?

    HYL. No, let's withdraw, and watch her, where she goes.


SCENA III.

                            NERINA, DORINDA.

    Dorinda, I have miss'd the chase to-day,
    Such is my chance, and he that lodg'd the deer
    Told me it was the fairest in these woods.

    DOR. The gods do love you, sure, that thus have left
    Your thoughts so free for sport; mine are not so.

    NER. Thou art in love, I warrant, art thou not?

    DOR. That angry god pursues me in his fury,
    And forces me to love where I am scorn'd.
    Hapless Dorinda, why should he despise thee?
    Many a swain and many a rural god
    Have sought thy favours, and have sought in vain:
    Now thou art justly punish'd with disdain.

    NER. Trust me, sweetheart, I cannot choose but wonder,
    To think that one of such a comely grace--
    I do not flatter you--could sue to any
    For love, who are much fitter to be lov'd:
    Scorn him as much as he does thee; for men
    Love us no more! when we love them again.

    DOR. Ah, good Nerina, you have spoken truth:
    It may warn other nymphs by my example,
    How they profess their loves to any man:
    I am past cure, for[248] he that wounded me
    Has left me quite disarm'd, and robb'd me of
    All those defensive arts which men will say
    Are natural and proper to our sex.
    I cannot change a face or weep one tear,
    Or laugh against my will, so violently
    My fate hath thrust me to this love, that all
    My faculties confess their weakness; and
    My flame is got so much above my reach,
    I cannot put it out, nor smother it.

    NER. Alas, poor wench! tell me, who is the man
    Made up of so much rigid cruelty,
    That I may shun him wheresoe'er I go.

    DOR. Do not you know him?

    NER. No.

    DOR. I hear he boasts
    To every shepherd and to every nymph
    How much I love him.

    NER. Then it must be Daphnis.

    DOR. Venus forgive me if I do disclose him,
    But he will do't himself: 'tis he, Nerina.

    NER. Daphnis, that wooes my father to win me;
    He is my daily suitor; now I know
    How much he owes to pity and to thee;
    Until he pay that debt, I shall despise him.

    DOR. Why, do not you love him as much as I?

    NER. Love him! I know no greater misery,
    Than to love one that's not of human race--
    A tiger rather; but a tiger is more mild
    Than he.

    DOR. For love's sake, say not so!
    He has a manly feature, and does show
    As much of grace in his comportment as
    The best of shepherds can; him Titan made
    Of better clay than he did other men,
    Although his heart be flint and hardest rock.
    Yet is his heart so hard, or are my parts
    Rather unequal to his high deserts?
    For he can love, I see, since you he loves,
    And you deserve it. Had he thought me worthy,
    He would have lov'd me too; but as I am
    Worthless Dorinda, I am made his scorn,
    And I had rather be so, than Nerina
    Should want a servant such as Daphnis is.

    NER. Prythee, no more of him: I hate his name
    As much as I would do the loss of honour,
    Which he injuriously would rob me of.
    No, no, Dorinda, if by love I be
    Enthrall'd to any, Daphnis is not he.

    DOR. Why, is there any can deserve you more?

    NER. Yes, many, that I could tell how to love
    Rather than him: for why should I love him,
    Whilst Hylas lives, and languishes for me?
    Hylas, who lov'd me in my infancy,
    And being then a boy, was never well
    If I was absent; nor indeed was I
    Content with any but his company.
    Our flocks still fed together: I on him,
    And he on me did feed his greedy eyes.
    Since, though his years have styled him man, he has
    Continu'd that first love with such respects,
    So full of innocence and simple truth,
    That howsoe'er my outward coyness is,
    My heart within tells me 'tis only his.
    Ah me! my father! prythee, let's away.

    DOR. But Daphnis comes with him: for love's sake, stay!


SCENA IV.

                  HYLAS, MIRTILLUS, CHARINUS, DAPHNIS.

    Pan be as cruel to his flocks and him
    As he has been to me!

    MIR. Go, leave your cursing,
    And follow her; let me alone with him.

    CHAR. Ha! have I found you? Ho! Nerina, stay!
    Your father calls you; was not that my daughter
    That made away so fast?

    MIR. Who, she that's gone?
    Believe your eyes no more, they are false to you.
    Could you take one for her that's nothing like her?
    'Twas Chloris went from us.

    CHAR. Is't possible?

    MIR. 'Tis true.

    DAPH. I thought that it had been my love.

    CHAR. I durst have sworn that she had been my daughter.
    What made she here? 'Twill ne'er be otherwise;
    Young women will be chatting with young men,
    Whate'er their fathers say. It was not so
    When I was young--a boy, as you are, shepherds.

    MIR. We are not men with him till after fifty.

    CHAR. We never durst keep company with women,
    Nor they with us: each one did carefully
    Attend his charge. And when the time was come,
    That we grew ripe in years, and were staid youths,
    Our fathers would provide us wives: we did not
    Carve for ourselves, as nowadays they do.
    But now our children think themselves as wise,
    Nay, wiser than their fathers, and will rule 'em:
    They can no sooner peep out of the shell,
    But they must love, forsooth. I would fain know,
    Whether 'twere fit a maid should be in love--
    I speak now of that skittish girl, my daughter--
    Before she ask her father's leave and liking?

    DAPH. Tis true, Charinus, 'twere not fit indeed.
    Who should bestow the daughter but the father?

    MIR. But, shepherds, did you never hear that once
    There was an age, the nearest to the gods:
    An age we rather praise than imitate;
    When no man's will nor woman's was enforc'd
    To any bent but its own motion?
    Each follow'd nature's laws, and by instinct
    Did love the fairest, and enjoy their wishes:
    Love then, not tied to any interest
    Of blood or fortune, hasten'd to his end
    Without control, nor did the shepherd number
    Her sheep that was his choice, but every grace
    That did adorn her beauteous mind or face.
    Riches with love then were not valued--
    Pure, uncompounded love--that could despise
    The whole world's riches for a mistress' eyes.
    Pray tell me, Daphnis--you are young and handsome,
    The lover of our fairest nymph Nerina--
    Would you, for all that fruitful Sicily
    Can yield, or all the wealth of Persia,
    Change one poor lock of your fair mistress' hair,
    Whilst she is yours, and you her shepherd are?

    DAPH. Would she were mine, I'd ask no portion.

    MIR. Spoke like a lover of the ancient stamp!

    CHAR. Son, son, she shall be yours: why, am not I
    Her father, she my daughter? May not I
    Bestow her where I please?

    MIR. Yes, if she like
    The man, she will bestow herself, ne'er fear it.

    CHAR. What! she bestow herself without my leave?
    No, no, Mirtillus, you mistake my daughter.
    I cannot get her once to think of marriage,
    And truly I do muse to see a wench,
    That in all other things (although I say it)
    Has wit at will: can pin her sheep in fold
    As well as any: knows when to drive them home;
    And there she can do twenty things as well:
    Yet when I speak to her of marriage,
    She turns the head: she'll be a Dryad, she,
    Or one of those fond nymphs of Dian's train.

    MIR. Old man, believe her not, she means not so;
    She loves to keep the thing for which she is
    So much belov'd--I mean her maidenhead--
    Which, whilst she has, she knows to play the tyrant,
    And make us slaves unto her scornful looks:
    For beauty then itself most justifies,
    When it is courted; if not lov'd, it dies.

    CHAR. Well, we will think of this. Come, Daphnis, come,
    I see you love my daughter, and you only
    Shall have her; it is I that tell you so,
    That am her father.

    DAPH. Thank you, good Charinus;
    But I had rather she had told me so.                       [_Aside._

FOOTNOTES:

[248] [Old copy, _the cure, he_.]



ACTUS II., SCÆNA 1.


                THYRSIS, MONTANUS. _To them_ MIRTILLUS.

    [THYR.] This day the sun shot forth his beams as fair
    As e'er he did, and through the trembling air
    Cool Zephyrus with gentle murmuring
    Breath'd a new freshness on each tree and plant:
    My kids are gamesome too, as e'er they were;
    All show a face of gladness but myself.

    MON. And why not you as well by their example?

    THYR. Not in this life: here joy would be untimely:
    The gods reserve for me their comforts in
    Th' Elysian fields, or else they mock my sorrows.

    MON. O, say not so, they're just and pitiful.

    THYR. They are, but, father--so I still must call you--
    When in the sadness of my soul I ask'd
    Before the altar of our great Apollo,
    What should become of me, or where my love,
    Bright Sylvia, was, whether alive or dead,
    Why should the oracle reply: _Go home_,
    _Thou shall enjoy thy Sylvia_?

    MON. What more could you
    Desire to hear?

    THYR. Ay, but when greedily
    I ask'd the time, the answer was, _That day_
    _Thou art not Thyrsis, nor she Sylvia._
    Then in this life I'm sure it must not be,
    For I was Thyrsis ever call'd, and she
    Known by no other name than Sylvia.

    MON. It may be, for your importunity
    You might deserve this answer, or else is it
    Because the gods speak not their mysteries
    To be conceiv'd by every vulgar sense?
    I now remember what Acrisius,
    The wise and virtuous Acrisius,
    Was wont to say.

    THYR. Why, what said he?
    Does it concern me aught?

    MON. It may do, son;
    He bid us fly all curiosity,
    Seeking to know what future time may bring
    To us, which only gods above do know;
    And if at any time they do impart
    This knowledge unto us, it is enwrapp'd
    In such a mist, as we shall ne'er see through it:
    Because, said he, we have enough to do
    With what is present; the celestial powers
    Would not cut off our hopes, nor multiply
    Our cares, by showing us our destiny.

    THYR. O, this discourse to a despairing lover
    What comfort does it bring? for heaven's sake, leave it
    And me; for I am best, I find, alone.
    Yet stay, there's something that I fain would ask you:
    You said this circle here about my neck
    Has so continued from my infancy,
    When first you took me up.

    MON. 'Tis true, that circle
    Hung loosely then about your neck, which since
    Is fill'd with it. I left it there, because
    I saw some letters that were wrought about it.

    THYR. And may they not be read?

    MON. I think they may:
    But I could never find so great a clerk
    As could tell how t' expound the meaning of them.

    THYR. My life is nothing but a mystery;
    That which I was, and that which I shall be,
    Is equally unknown. Now, if you'll leave me
    Unto my thoughts, they'll keep me company.

    MON. I will; but here is one come to supply me.

                       _Enter to him_ MIRTILLUS.

    MIR. Ay, let me alone.

                                _Sings._

        _He that mourns for a mistress,_
        _When he knows not where she is,_
        _Let him kiss her shadow fair,,_
        _Or engender with the air;_
        _Or see, if with his tears he can_
        _Swell at an ebb the ocean:_
        _Then, if he had not rather die,_
        _Let him love none, or all, as I._

    This is the doctrine that I ever taught you,
    And yet you profit not: these scurvy passions
    Hang on you still. You that are young and active,
    That may have all our nymphs at your devotion,
    To live a whining kind of life as this,
    How ill it does become you!

    THYR. True, Mirtillus;
    And yet I do not envy thee the pleasure
    Thou hast in thy dispers'd affections.

    MIR. You would, if your head were right once; but love--
    Your love does make an ass of all your reason.

    THYR. Sure, a true lover is more rational
    Than you, that love at random everywhere.

    MIR. I do not think so; all the reason love
    Has left you to employ in this discourse
    Will hardly bring me to confess it to you.

    THYR. Why, all men's actions have some proper end,
    Whereto their means and strict endeavours tend:
    Else there would be nought but perplexity
    In human life, and all uncertainty.

    MIR. Well, what will you infer on this?

    THYR. That you,
    Who know no end at all of wild desire,
    Must in your wand'ring fancy see this way
    Leads unto madness, when too late you find
    That nothing satisfies a boundless mind.

    MIR. Ay, but I do confine myself to two
    Or three at most; in this variety
    I please myself; for what is wanting in
    One, I may find it in another.

    THYR. No.
    Not in another; one is the only centre
    The line of love is drawn to, must have all
    Perfections in her, all that's good and fair,
    Or else her lover must believe her so.

    MIR. Ay, there's your error, that's the ground of all
    Your tears and sighs, your fruitless hopes and fears,
    When she perhaps has not so much t' adorn her
    As the least grace your thoughts bestow upon her.

    THYR. Well, be it so; and yet this fair idea,
    Which I have fram'd unto myself, does argue
    Virtue in me; so that, if she be lost,
    Or dead--ah me! the sad remembrance of
    My Sylvia causes this--yet I must love,
    Because the character is indelibly
    Writ in my heart, and heaven is witness to it.

    MIR. Well, I'll no more of this, I'll be converted
    Rather than call this grief to your remembrance.

    THYR. Why, dost thou think I ever shall forget her?
    Or that where'er I set my careful foot,
    As in this place, will it not tell me that
    Here Sylvia and I walk'd hand in hand,
    And here she pluck'd a flower, and anon
    She gave it me; and then we kiss'd, and here
    We mutually did vow each other's love?

    MIR. Nay leave, good Thyrsis: I did come to tell you
    This holiday our royal Prince Euarchus,
    Being remov'd to his house here near adjoining,
    Sent to command us to attend his person,
    With all our sports and wonted merriment,
    Wherein you always bore the chiefest part.
    And I have heard ('tis not to make you blush)
    The princess has commended your rare art
    And handsome graces, which you gave your music.
    Come, you must go with us, for Hylas is
    So far engag'd in love, and near his hopes,
    He will not stir unless his mistress go.

    THYR. Alas, Mirtillus! I have broke my pipe,
    My sighs are all the music which I now
    Can make, and how unfit I am t' attend
    So great an expectation, you may see.
    Yet give me leave to think on it; at night
    Perhaps I'll go with you.

    MIR. Till then farewell.                            [_Exit_ THYRSIS.
    The gentlest youth that ever play'd on pipe,
    But see, who's here? O, 'tis my other lover,
    His mistress with him; I will not disturb him.


SCENA II.

                       NERINA, HYLAS, MIRTILLUS.

    NER. Shepherd, I would you'd leave to follow me.

    HYL. How can I, sweetest, when my heart is with you?

    NER. With me? Then tell me where, and see how soon
    I shall restore it you.

    MIR. O, this is fine!                                      [_Aside._

    HYL. It hangs upon your eyes where, being scorch'd
    With their disdain, and dazzl'd with their lustre,
    It flies for ease unto your rosy lips.
    But, beaten thence with many a harsh denial,
    Fain would it come for better harbour here;
    But here for ever it must be an exile.
    For pity then, fair nymph, receive it you;
    And if you can, teach it the hardness of
    Your own, and make it marble, as yours is.

    MIR. I see he is not such a novice as
    I took him for; he can tell how to speak.                  [_Aside._

    NER. Well, if my heart be such as you will make it,
    I am so much the gladder that it is
    Of strength to be a fence unto my honour.

    HYL. In vain a fence is made to guard the sheep,
    Where no wolf ever came.

    NER. What, if within
    It keep a dog of prey, would they be safe?
    For my part, I'll not cherish in my breast
    The man that would undo my chastity.

    HYL. Then cherish me, for you best know I never
    Attempted anything to cast a spot
    On that white innocence, to which I am
    A most religious votary.

    MIR. More fool you!
    It may be, if you had, it needed not
    Ha' come to this.                                          [_Aside._

    NER. Yes, yes, you may remember,
    I blush to tell it you, when first my thoughts
    Were pure and simple--as I hope they are
    Still, and will so continue, whilst I fly
    Such company as you--- I thought you one
    Whom never any flame impure had touch'd:
    Then we convers'd without suspect together.

    HYL. And am I not so still? why do you now
    Fly from me thus?

    NER. The cause I shall tell you,
    Since you will not remember; though it be
    Unfit for me to speak, yet you shall know
    How just my anger is.

    HYL. Ah me most wretched!
    What have I done?

    NER. When tending of my flocks
    Under the shade of yonder myrtle-tree.
    Which bears the guilt of your foul misdemeanour,
    My maid Corisca cried out for my help,
    Because a bee had stung her in the face:
    You heard me speak in pity of her smart,
    A charm my mother taught me, that, being said
    Close to the place affected, takes away
    The pain: which gave her ease. But you, uncivil,
    Turning my courtesy to your vile ends,
    Feign'd you were stung too, and cried out your lips
    Had from the same sharp point receiv'd a wound:
    Pray'd me to say the same charm over there.
    I charitably lent my help to you,
    Mistrusting nothing of your purposes,
    When with ungentle hands you held me fast,
    And for my thanks gave me a lustful kiss.
    Canst thou remember this, and yet not blush?
    O impudence!

    HYL. You will excuse the heat
    Of my desires; still I feel that sting,
    But dare not ask the cure, nor did I then
    Do any hurt: but since you think it was
    A fault, I do repent it, and am sorry
    I did offend you so.

    MIR. Better and better!
    He'll cry anon, he has already ask'd
    Forgiveness of her.                                        [_Aside._

    NER. Well, shepherd, look
    You never see me more: I cannot love
    At all, or if at all, not you: let this
    Settle your thoughts.

    HYL. O, it distracts them more:
    But since my presence is offensive to you,
    I must obey, yet, if I thought you would,
    When I am dead--the martyr of your beauty,
    Shed one poor tear on my untimely grave,
    And say that Hylas was unfortunate,
    To love where he might not be lov'd again,
    My ashes would find rest. And so farewell:
    The fairest, but the cruel'st nymph alive!

    MIR. What, will you leave her thus?

    HYL. I prythee, come,
    The sentence of my banishment is pass'd,
    Never to be recall'd.

    MIR. Are these the hopes
    You fed upon? O, what a thing in nature
    Is a coy woman! or how great a fool
    The man is that will give her leave to rule!          [_Exit_ HYLAS.


SCENA III.

                                NERINA.

    NER. Alas! my Hylas, my beloved soul,
    Durst she whom thou hast call'd cruel Nerina
    But speak her thoughts, thou wouldst not think her so;
    To thee she is not cruel, but to herself:
    That law, which nature hath writ in my heart,
    Taught me to love thee, Hylas, and obey
    My father too, who says I must not love thee.
    O disproportion'd love and duty, how
    Do you distract me? If I love my choice,
    I must be disobedient; if obedient,
    I must be link'd to one I cannot love.
    Then either, Love, give me my liberty,
    Or, Nature, from my duty set me free.                       [_Exit._


SCENA IV.

                                DAPHNIS.

    DAPH. Nerina, since nor tears nor prayers can move
    Thy stubborn heart, I'll see what gifts can do:
    They of my rank, whom most do deem unworthy
    Of any virgin's love, being rough, and bred
    To manage the estates our fathers left us,
    Unskill'd in those hid mysteries, which Love's
    Professors only know, have yet a way
    To gain our wishes. First we get the father:
    He knows our pleasure, and gives his consent.
    The daughter's eyes being blinded with our gifts,
    Cannot so soon spy our deformities,
    But we may catch her too. This Alcon says,
    A man whom age and observation taught
    What I must learn; yet though most women be
    Such as he has deliver'd, my Nerina
    Seems not to have regard to what I give,
    But holds me and my gifts both at one rate.
    What can I hope, then, out of this poor present:
    A looking-glass which, though within our plains
    'Tis seldom seen, yet I have heard in cities
    They are as common as a lock of wool.
    However, if she take it, I am happy,
    So Alcon tells me; and he knows full well
    (He gave it me) that, whose'er shall look
    Her face in it, shall be at my dispose.
    In confidence of this, I will present it,
    And see my fortune; sure, I must needs speed:
    My friend, her father, comes along with her.
    But, O my fate! is not that nymph Dorinda
    Which keeps them company? Yes, sure, 'tis she;
    A curse light on her importunity!
    Her father urges something, and I hope
    On my behalf; let me observe a little.


SCENA V.

                  CHARINUS, NERINA, DORINDA, DAPHNIS.

    CHAR. And as I oft have told you, I do wish
    To see you wise.

    DOR. Is she not so, Charinus?
    Does she say anything that's out of reason?

    CHAR. Do not tell me of reason; I would hear
    Of her obedience: therefore I say, be wise,
    And do as I would have you.

    DOR. What would you
    Have her to do? you see she answers not
    To contradict you.

    CHAR. I will have her answer
    To what I now demand, that is, to marry
    Daphnis, and I will have her love him too.

    DOR. Love him, Charinus! that you cannot do:
    Her body you may link i' th' rites of Hymen;
    Her will she must bestow herself, not you.

    DAPH. O, she was born to be a plague unto me.              [_Aside._

    CHAR. Why should she wish or hope for anything,
    But what I'd have her wish or hope for only?
    Come, to be short, answer me, and directly;
    Are you content to marry Daphnis, say?

    NER. What is your pleasure, father?

    CHAR. You do not hear,
    It seems, but what you list; I ask you once
    Again, if you will marry Daphnis? speak.

    NER. Sir, I would marry whom you please to give me;
    I neither can nor ought to make my choice,
    I would refer that to you: but you know
    My inclination never lay to marry.

    CHAR. I know you shall do that which I command.

    NER. Now heaven forbid that I, who have thus long
    Vow'd to Diana my virginity,
    To follow her a huntress in these woods,
    Should yield myself to the impure delights
    Of Hymen, and so violate my faith.

    CHAR. A fine devotion, is it not? to make
    A vow, and never ask your father leave!
    The laws will not permit it to be so.

    DOR. The vow, Charinus, is not made to men:
    The laws have not to do with that which is
    Seal'd and recorded in the court of heaven.

    CHAR. Do not tell me of vows: I'll have her marry,
    And marry Daphnis: is he not rich and handsome?

    DOR. Ah me! I would he were not rich nor handsome:
    It may be then he would regard my sufferings.              [_Aside._

    CHAR. No, daughter, do not you believe you can
    Catch me with shifts and tricks: I see, I tell you,
    Into your heart.

    NER. Alas! I would you did;
    Then your discourse would tend another way.

    CHAR. Yes, you have made a vow, I know, which is,
    Whilst you are young, you will have all the youth
    To follow you with lies and flatteries.
    Fool, they'll deceive you; when this colour fades,
    Which will not always last, and you go crooked,
    As if you sought your beauty lost i' th' ground;
    Then they will laugh at you, and find some other
    Fit for their love; where, if you do as I
    Command you, I have one will make you happy.

    NER. Ah me most miserable!

    DAPH. Now I'll come in,
    And see what I can do with this my gift.

    CHAR. Look now, as if the Fates would have it so,
    He comes just in the nick of my discourse:
    Come, use him kindly now, and then you shall
    Redeem what you have lost--my good opinion.

    NER. O most ungrateful chance! how I do hate
    The sight of him!

    DOR. Were it to me he came,
    How happy would this fair encounter be!

    CHAR. Daphnis, you're welcome, very welcome to me,
    And to my daughter: what is that you have there?

    DAPH. A present, which I mean to give my love.

    CHAR. See but how true a lover Daphnis is;
    His hand is never empty when he comes.
    Welcome him, daughter: look what he has for you.

    DAPH. O good Charinus! none must look in it,
    But she herself to whom it is presented.

    CHAR. I am an old man, I, and therefore care not
    To see my wither'd face and hoary hair:
    Give it that young thing, she knows what to do with it.
    Daughter, come hither; use him courteously
    And kindly too: be sure you take his gift.                 [_Aside._
    Daphnis, I'll leave you both together here;
    My sheep are shearing, I can stay no longer.                [_Exit._

    DAPH. Farewell, old man; health to my dearest mistress.

    NER. And to you, shepherd.

    DOR. Daphnis, am not I
    Worthy to have a share in your salute?

    DAPH. How can I give thee part of that, whereof
    I have no share myself?

    DOR. If you would love
    There where you are belov'd again, you might
    Make your content such as you would yourself.

    DAPH. If you, Nerina, would vouchsafe to love
    Him that loves you, and ever will, you might
    Make your content such as you would yourself.

    NER. Shepherd, I oft have wish'd you not to trouble
    Me and yourself with words: I cannot love you.

    DAPH. As oft, Dorinda, have I spoke to you,
    To leave to trouble me: I cannot love you.

    DOR. Will you then slight my love because 'tis offer'd?

    DAPH. Will you then slight my love because 'tis offer'd?

    NER. Somebody else may love you, I cannot.

    DAPH. Somebody else may love you, I cannot.

    DOR. O cruel words, how they do pierce my heart!

    DAPH. O cruel words, how they do pierce my heart!

    NER. How can I help it, if your destiny
    Lead you to love where you may not obtain?

    DAPH. How can I help it, if your destiny
    Lead you to love where you may not obtain?

    DOR. It is not destiny that injures me;
    It is thy cruel will and marble heart.

    DAPH. It is not destiny that injures me;
    It is thy cruel will and marble heart.

    NER. No, Daphnis; 'tis not hardness of my heart,
    Nor any cruelty that causes this.

    DAPH. Then 'tis disdain of me.

    NER. Nor is it that:
    I do not see in Daphnis anything
    To cause disdain.

    DOR. Why do you not reply
    In those same words to me, malicious Echo?

    DAPH. I pray, leave me; I have other business now
    To trouble me; if you disdain me not,
    Fair nymph, as you pretend, receive my offer.

    NER. What's that?

    DAPH. My heart.

    DOR. I will, gentle Daphnis.

    DAPH. O importunity!

    NER. Give her thy heart.
    She has deserv'd it, for she loves thee Daphnis.

    DAPH. First, I would tear it piecemeal here before you.

    DOR. O me unfortunate! O cruel man!

    NER. Stay, good Dorinda, I'll go with thee; stay.

    DAPH. Let her go where she will; behold, sweet saint,
    This mirror here, the faithful representer
    Of that which I adore, your beauteous form;
    When you do see in that how lovely are
    Your looks, you will not blame my love.

    NER. If I refuse it,
    My father will be angry. [_Aside._] Let me see it.
    Here, take thy glass again: what ails my head?
    I know not where I am, it is so giddy:
    And something like a drowsiness has seiz'd
    My vital spirits.

    DAPH. How do you, love?

    NER. Heavy o' th' sudden; I'll go home and sleep.

    DAPH. So, let her go, and let this work awhile.
    She cast an eye upon me as she went,
    That by its languishing did seem to say,
    Daphnis, I'm thine; thou hast o'ercome at last.
    Alcon, th' hast made me happy by thy art                  [_Exeunt._



ACTUS III, SCENA I.


                             SYLVIA, DELIA.

        Q. _Tell me what you think on earth_
          _The greatest bliss?_
        A. _Riches, honour, and high birth_.
        Q. _Ah! what is this?_
        _If love be banished the heart,_
        _The joy of Nature, not of Art?_

                                   2.

        _What's honour worth or high descent?_
          _Or ample wealth,_
        _If cares do breed us discontent,_
          _Or want of health?_
        A. _It is the order of the Fates,_
        _That these should wait on highest states._

                                   3.

        CHORUS. _Love only does our souls refine,_
          _And by his skill_
        _Turns human things into divine,_
          _And guides our will._
        _Then let us of his praises sing:_
        _Of love, that sweetens everything._

    DEL. Madam, you're overheard.

    SYL. I care not, Delia.
    Although my liberty and free discourse
    Be here denied me, yet the air is common:
    To it, then, will I utter my complaints,
    Or to thee, friend, to whom my love will dare
    To show the secrets of my heart; for others
    I do not care nor fear, so thou be faithful.

    DEL. Madam, I have no life, but what I wish
    May be employ'd to do your beauty's service;
    My tongue is rul'd by yours: what you would have
    It speak, it shall; else further than my thoughts
    Nothing shall venture that you leave to me:
    And those my thoughts I'll keep to such restraint,
    As they shall never come within my dreams,
    Lest they betray your counsels. This I vow
    Religiously by----

    SYL. Hold, I will not
    Have thee to swear, nor would I thou shouldst think
    That I so much suspect thee, as to urge
    An oath; I know thou hast too much of goodness,
    That's bred within thee, to betray a trust:
    And therefore, without further circumstance,
    I'll let thee know my fortunes, part of which
    I'm sure th' hast heard already.

    DEL. Madam, I have,
    And wish'd that they had sorted to your wishes.

    SYL. I thank thee, Delia; but my evil genius,
    That has pursu'd my innocence with hate,
    Brought me from thence, where I had set my heart,
    Unto this cursed Court which, though it be
    My place of birth and breeding, I do find
    Nothing but torment and affliction in it.

    DEL. I guess the cause, sweet madam, but that's pass'd
    And now forgotten: if you clear your looks,
    Your father will enlarge you, and ne'er think
    On what you did, but that you are his daughter.

    SYL. Alas, my Delia! thou dost mistake,
    My liberty is of no worth to me,
    Since that my love, I fear, will ne'er be free:
    Nor do I care what idle ladies talk
    Of my departure or my strange disguise,
    To colour my intents; I am above
    Their envy or their malice:
    But for th' unlucky chance that sent to me
    The over-curious eyes of him I hate--
    Thou know'st the man.

    DEL. Yes, you mean Cleander,
    Son to Eubulus, who is now your keeper:
    What star directed him to find you out?

    SYL. His love, forsooth; for so he colour'd his
    Unseason'd boldness: told me he was not able
    To want my sight: and so, when every one
    Had given o'er their strict inquiry of me,
    He only, with too much officiousness,
    Observ'd me in the woods, walking alone:
    And when I would have shunn'd him, which perhaps
    Had I not done, he had not so well known me:
    He came and utter'd, as his manner was,
    His tedious complaints; until at length
    He brought me with him, making no resistance:
    And to ingratiate himself the more,
    He said he would convey me where my father
    Should have no knowledge of me. I refused it;
    Willing, however, to be rid of him.
    And now, you know, it is a full month since
    I did return to Court, but left my heart
    Behind me in those fields wherein I joy'd.

    DEL. Madam, has not the Court more pleasure in it
    Than the dull country, which can represent
    Nothing but what does taste of solitude?
    'Twas something else that carried you away.

    SYL. 'Tis true, my Delia; for though thou wert
    Privy to my departure, yet the cause
    Thou couldst not tell, which I will now unfold;
    And think I trust my honour in thy hands,
    And maiden modesty: 'twas love that did it.

    DEL. Love, madam! Sure, it is impossible
    You should find anything there worth your love.

    SYL. Thou know'st the shepherds that do dwell about
    This place which, for their entertainments only,
    The king my father built, did use to come,
    As now they do, being sent for unto Court:
    I ever lik'd their sports, their harmless mirth,
    And their contentions, which were void of malice,
    And wish'd I had been born just such an one.

    DEL. Your state is better, madam, as you are.

    SYL. But I confess the rather, 'cause there was
    One amongst them of a more comely grace
    (Though none of them did seem uncomely to me)
    Call'd Thyrsis; and with him methought I could
    Draw out my life rather than any other,
    Such things my fancy then suggested to me:
    So well he sung, so passionate his love
    Show'd in his verse, thereto so well express'd,
    As any one would judge it natural:
    Yet never felt he flame, till this of me:
    Often he came, and oft'ner was desir'd
    Of me; nor did I shame in public there
    Before my father to commend his graces;
    Which when I did, the whole Court, as they use,
    Consented with me, and did strive to make them
    Greater than I or any else could think them:
    At last I was surpris'd, I could not help it;
    My fate with love consenting, so would have it:
    Then did I leave the Court--I've told thee all.

    DEL. 'Tis strange! but, madam, though in that disguise,
    How could you hope (a stranger) to be lov'd
    Of him you held so dear?

    SYL. I feign'd myself
    Of Smyrna, and from thence some goats I had
    And sheep, with them a rich commodity.
    Near him I bought me land to feed them; he
    Seem'd glad of it, and thinking me a stranger,
    Us'd me with such civility and friendship,
    As one would little look for of a shepherd;
    And did defend me from the avarice
    Of the old shepherds, which did think to make
    A prey of what I had. At length I saw
    He did address himself with fear to me,
    Still gazing on me. Knowing my love to him,
    I easily believ'd he lov'd me too--
    For love, alas! is ever credulous--
    And though I was resolv'd (having my end,
    Which was no more than to discourse with him)
    Never to let him know what flame I felt;
    Yet when I saw his tears, and heard his vows--
    Persuasive speakers for affection--
    I could not choose but open to his view
    My loving heart; yet with this caution,
    That he should ever bear respect unto
    My honour and my virgin chastity:
    Which then he vow'd, and his ambition
    Never was more than to attain a kiss,
    Which yet he hardly got. Thou seest, sweet Delia,
    How willingly I dwell upon this theme.
    But can'st thou help me, now that I have open'd
    My wound unto thee?

    DEL. Alas! I would I could
    Invent the way to cure you; I should soon
    Apply my help: yet, stay, this day it is
    The shepherds come to Court.

    SYL. 'Tis true, they come;
    But what is that to me, if Thyrsis come not?
    Or if he come, how shall he know me his,
    Or I enjoy his company?

    DEL. Let me alone to work out that.

    SYL. Thou dream'st: thou can'st not do it.

    DEL. I'll undertake it; but how shall I know him
    Without inquiring, which must breed suspicion?

    SYL. True, and beware thou ask; the majesty
    Which sits upon his brow will say 'tis he--
    Thyrsis my love. But yet, perhaps, at this time,
    If I myself not flatter, thou shalt know him
    By his eyes cast down and folding of his arms,
    And often sighs that interrupt his words.
    For if his sorrow wears the liveries
    Which mine does for his absence, by these signs
    Thou shalt descry him.

    DEL. These are silent marks:
    Yet will I not despair to find him out.

    SYL. But when thou hast, what wilt thou say to him?

    DEL. Give me but leave to use my mother-wit.
    You would be gone together, would you not?

    SYL. Thou speak'st my thoughts: do this, and I will crown
    Thy faith: thou shalt be queen instead of me.

    DEL. If you could crown me with your virtues, madam,
    I should be a queen indeed; in the meantime,
    As I am Delia, I'll do this business.

    SYL. Do it, and when th' hast done, the god of love
    Reward thee with thine own desires for this.

    DEL. Madam, withdraw; I hear your keepers coming.         [_Exeunt._


SCENA II.

                           CLEANDER, EUBULUS.

    Sir, you have put a bridle on my passions,
    And given my soul the liberty it wish'd:
    I now entreat your pardon for beginning
    A thing of so great consequence without
    Leave and advice from you.

    EUB. 'Tis well, Cleander,
    It will behove you then to be reserv'd,
    And lock this secret up: for 'tis no jesting
    With kings, that may command our lives and fortunes:
    You now perceive her, whom we call the princess,
    To be your sister, and the love you bear her
    Must be a brother's friendship, not a lover's
    Passionate heat; but yet she must not know,
    That I her father am, and you her brother:
    And trust me, son, had I not seen despair
    Of life in you, which this love brought you to,
    I should not have reveal'd what now you know.

    CLE. It was a comfort, sir, I do confess,
    That came in time to rescue me from death,
    So great her scorn was, and my love so violent.

    EUB. Now you're at peace, I hope?

    CLE. I am: but if
    I be too curious in asking where
    The king's son is, I shall desire your pardon:
    For, sure, it were injustice to deprive
    So great a prince of that which he was born to.

    EUB. You are too far inquisitive; yet because
    I have engag'd you in a secret of
    As great importance, this I will not hide.
    The king, I told you, when his wife grew near
    The time of her delivery, sent to know
    Of our great oracle whether the child should be
    Female or male, and what should be its fortune.

    CLE. What said the oracle? have you the answer?

    EUB. It only was imparted unto me,
    And this it is, which I have never shown
    To any but the queen. Here take and read it.

      _If e'er thy issue male thou live to see,_
      _The child thou think'st is thine, thine shall not be;_
      _His life shall be obscure: twice shall thy hate_
      _Doom him to death. Yet shall he 'scape that fate:_
      _And thou shalt live to see, that not long after_
      _Thy only son shall wed thy only daughter._

    This oracle is full of mystery.

    EUB. It is; and yet the king would needs interpret
    That, should it prove a man-child, 'twas a bastard:
    And being loth that one not of his blood,
    As he conceived by this, should be his heir,
    Told me in private that, if it were male,
    He would not have it live; yet, fearing most
    To publish his dishonour and his wife's,
    He charg'd me not reveal it unto any,
    But take the child and see it made away,
    And make the world believe it was still-born.

    CLE. And did you so?

    EUB. No, for indeed I durst not
    For anything become a murderer.

    CLE. How did you then?

    EUB. I went unto the queen,
    Show'd her the state she was in, and besought her
    To be as careful of me as I was
    Of her, and we would work a better end
    Than she expected. So we both agreed
    That, if the child she then did labour with
    Proved to be a male, I should with care conceal
    The birth of it, and put a female child
    Instead of it, which I was to look out.
    It fortun'd that your mother then was ready
    To be deliver'd of your sister, and
    Time and good fortune did conspire to save
    The king's child and to make my daughter princess.

    CLE. But what did then become of the young prince?

    EUB. The queen protesting to me that it was
    The king's own child, conjur'd me to preserve it,
    Which as mine own I could not; for already
    Many took notice that my child was female,
    And therefore I was fain to publish her
    As dead, and buried an empty coffin.
    I rode forth with the child a full night's journey,
    With purpose to deliver it to some
    Plain honest man, that would be careful of it,
    And not inquisitive to know whose child
    It was, but give it breeding as his own:
    When, being frighted with the noise of arms
    Of some outlawed thieves, that did infest
    The place, I made all haste I could to 'scape 'em,
    Considering my charge; for that I knew,
    If I were taken, though they spar'd my life,
    The charge I had must needs betray me to
    The king, and then I could not hope for mercy
    I laid it down there, cover'd closely o'er,
    A circle 'bout his neck, wherein was writ--

                 _Archigenes, son of Euarchus and Eudora_

    In characters known only to myself
    And to the king, in which I us'd to clothe
    Secret despatches when I writ to him
    From foreign states, and within the circle
    I grav'd the king's less seal, which then I kept.
    Some gold besides and jewels there I left,
    That, whosoe'er should find him might with that
    Defray the charge of his education;
    Howe'er, next day I purposed to return
    With speed, and carry it to some abode.

    CLE. But did the queen know this?

    EUB. She did not,
    Till my return next day: then, when I told her,
    The child was thence remov'd where I had left him.

    CLE. Belike those thieves had carried him away.

    EUB. 'Tis probable.

    CLE. How could the queen take this
    So sad a story?

    EUB. With such impatience
    That, being weak before, she shortly died.

    CLE. But yet, sir, with your favour, might you not
    Have made inquiry after him?

    EUB. I durst not,
    For fear of being discover'd. On your life,
    Take heed how you reveal this.

    CLE. I am charm'd.

    EUB. Then let us watch my daughter, for I fear
    The flight she made was for some other end
    Than for retirement, which she does pretend.

    CLE. Henceforth I shall obey her as my princess,
    And love her as my sister, not my mistress.

    EUB. You shall do well: come, let us to the king.


SCENA III.

      HYLAS, MIRTILLUS, _Chorus of shepherds and shepherdesses,_
                 _representing Paris, OEnone, Venus,_
                           _and the Graces_.

    HYL. It was my dream, and I will send it to her;
    Though I myself by her too cruel sentence
    Must never see her face.

    MIR. What paper's that?
    Love verses, as I live! What's here? a dream!
    Nay, I will read 'em: therefore stand aside.

                           MIRTILLUS _reads_.

        _Sleep, thou becalmer of a troubled sprite,_
        _Which lead'st my fancy to that sweet delight_
        _Wherein my soul found rest when thou didst show_
        _Her shadow mine whose substance is not so,_
        _Wrap up mine eyes in an eternal night:_
        _For since my day springs only from that light,_
        _Which she denies me, I account the best_
        _Part of my life is that which gives me rest._
          _And thou, more hard to be entreated than_
        _Sleep to the heated eyes of frantic men;_
        _That thou canst make my joys essential_
        _Which are but shadows now, be liberal,_
        _And outdo sleep; let me not dream in vain,_
        _Unless thou mean'st I ne'er shall sleep again._

    Alas, poor soul! will she not let thee sleep?

    HYL. I knew I should be mock'd, but I'll divert him.       [_Aside._
    What are those thou hast brought along with thee?

    MIR. The masquers, Hylas; these are they must trip it
    Before the king: dost like their properties?

    HYL. What, Paris and OEnone--the old story?

    MIR. But newly made, and fashion'd to my purpose;
    Brought hither to make good my own positions
    Against the company of puling lovers;
    Which if I do not, and with good effect,
    Let me be one myself; and that's a torture
    Worse than Apollo laid upon the satyr,
    When the rude villain durst contend with him.
    Look this way, Hylas; see OEnone here--
    The fairest nymph that ever Ida bless'd,
    Court her departing shepherd, who is now
    Turning his love unto a fairer object;
    And for his judgment in variety.
    See how the sea-born goddess and the Graces
    Present their darling Helena to him!
    Be happy in thy choice, and draw a war
    On thee and thine, rather than set thy heart
    Upon a stale delight. Do, let her weep,
    And say thou art inconstant. Be so still;
    The queen of love commands it: you, that are
    The old companions of your Paris here,
    Move in a well-pac'd measure, that may show
    The goddess how you are content for her
    Fair sake to leave the honour of your woods;
    But first let her and all the Graces sing
    The invitation to your offering.

                      _Venus and the Graces sing._

        _Come, lovely boy, unto my court,_
          _And leave these uncouth woods, and all_
          _That feed thy fancy with love's gall;_
        _But keep away the honey and the sport._
            CHORUS. _Come unto me,_
                             _And with variety_
        _Thou shalt be fed, which nature loves and I._

                                  2.

        _There is no music in a voice_
          _That is but one, and still the same:_
          _Inconstancy is but a name_
        _To fright poor lovers from a better choice._
            CHORUS. _Come then to me, &c._

                                  3.

        _Orpheus, that on Eurydice_
          _Spent all his love, on others scorn,_
          _Now on the banks of Hebrus torn,_
        _Finds the reward of foolish constancy._
            CHORUS. _Come then to me, &c._

                                  4.

        _And sigh no more for one love lost:_
          _I have a thousand Cupids here,_
          _Shall recompense with better cheer_
        _Thy misspent labours and thy bitter cost._
            CHORUS. _Come then to me, &c._

                     _The dance ended, enter a Messenger._

    NUN. Shepherds, if you have any pity, come
    And see a woful spectacle.

    MIR. What is't,
    That can be worth the breaking of our sports?

    NUN. The gentle nymph Nerina--

    HYL. What of her?

    NUN. The last of her: I think see lies a-dying,
    And calls to speak with you.

    HYL. Curse of your follies!
    Do I live here whilst she is dying there?

    MIR. But, shepherd, what disease is't that so soon
    Could spend his force upon her? she was well
    This morning, when she made poor Hylas sick.

    MON. I know not; I am sent unto the well
    Of Esculapius to fetch some water
    For her recovery. I must be gone.                           [_Exit._

    MIR. Shepherds, here let us end. I think we are
    Perfect in all the rest. This night the king
    Must see't, resolve on that.

    CHORUS. We are all ready.

    MIR. Then let's away, and see what will betide
    This gentle nymph Nerina.

    CHORUS. We'll go with you.


SCENA IV.

              CHARINUS, NERINA, DORINDA, HYLAS, MIRTILLUS,
                                NUNTIUS.

    Hold up thy head, good child: see, he is come.
    Bring me the water quickly, whilst there is
    Some life in her. Now chafe her, good Dorinda.

    NER. All is in vain, I cannot live; dear father,
    Farewell. What shepherd's that lies on the ground?
    Is it not Hylas?

    DOR. Yes, it is he, Nerina.

    NER. Alas, poor shepherd! 'tis my greatest grief,
    That I have grieved him; I would beg life
    For nothing but to make him satisfaction.

    MIR. Hylas, what, on the ground! look up and speak:
    Alas, he's dead!

    NER. It cannot be: good father,
    Let me go to him, and but touch his ear,
    It may be that my voice may have more virtue.

    CHAR. Do what thou wilt, sweetheart: see, my poor child,
    How charitable she is: being half-dead
    Herself, she pities others.

    MIR. Mark her finesse,
    How at the brink of death she kisses him,
    And took this way to mock her simple father:
    O fine invention! sure, a woman's wit
    Does never fail her.                                       [_Aside._

    NER. Hylas, Hylas, speak,
    Nerina calls thee! speak to thy Nerina!

    MIR. What cannot love do? It revives the dead,
    He's come to himself again!

    HYL. What god is it
    That has the power to return my soul
    From the Elysian fields?

    MIR. It is no god:
    A goddess rather, Hylas. 'Tis Nerina,
    Look where she is!

    HYL. Ah! then I do not wonder
    I cannot die, when my best soul comes to me:
    Shall we live ever thus?

    NER. How fain I would
    For thy sake, Hylas; but it cannot be:
    I feel a heavy sleep sit on my head,
    And my strength fails me; help me, sweet Dorinda,
    Farewell for ever! O, I die, I die!

    HYL. And must I then be call'd to life again,
    To see my life expire before my face?
    You Fates, if you will take a ransom for her,
    Then take my life: but you are sure of that,
    You'll say, already; for in her one death
    Two lives are forfeit. Nerina, gentle nymph,
    The cause why now I live, open these eyes
    Once more, and I shall flourish like those plants
    The sun gives life to: else I fall and wither,
    Leaving behind nought but a worthless stem.
    Speak to thy Hylas, sweet Nerina, speak.

    CHAR. Ah me! my daughter, hadst thou liv'd, perhaps
    I might have seen thee married to Daphnis,
    Now we must see thee buried. Ah me!

    NER. Hylas!

    HYL. She lives! give me some more of that----
    That water there, see now she comes again!
    O gentle Destinies, but spare this thread,
    And cut a thousand coarser! Speak, Nerina;
    Give me some comfort, give thy father some,
    Or else behold three lives fall in thy death.

    NER. Ye Fates, that keep th' account of all our days,
    Add but one minute to my life, that I
    May quit my soul of those two heavy burthens,
    Which now oppress it: dry your eyes, good father,
    Remember that the gods do send us nothing
    But for our good; and if my journey be
    Shorter than yours, the less will be my trouble.
    Will you forgive me, father, that I have not
    Paid so much duty to you as I ow'd you?
    Take my good-will, I pray, instead of it.

    CHAR. See her good nature. Ay, child, 'tis enough,
    Thou always wert obedient.

    NER. Shall I dare
    To speak my thoughts, and so discharge my soul
    Of one load yet?

    CHAR. Ay, do, my child; speak freely.

    NER. I've heard you say that no sin was so heavy
    As is ingratitude.

    CHAR. Tis true, Nerina.
    How she remembers what her father said!

    NER. Then be not angry, if I now must tell you,
    That this poor shepherd, whose swoll'n eyes you see
    Cover'd with tears, for many years now pass'd
    Has courted me: but still with such a love,
    So full of truth and gentle services,
    That should I not requite him with my love,
    I should be guilty of ingratitude.
    Therefore, before I die, I pray give leave
    That he may have my dying heart, which living
    I still debarr'd him of. Hylas, thy hand!
    O, stay a little, death: here, take thou mine,
    And since I cannot live the wife of Hylas,
    Yet let me die so. Sir, are you content?

    CHAR. I am with anything that pleaseth thee.

    NER. Tell me, are you so, Hylas?

    HYL. O my love,
    Ask me if I would live amongst the gods,
    But ask not this. Sir, have we your consent?

    CHAR. You have: it is in vain now to deny it.
    You see, Dorinda, what her vow's come to!

    NER. Then let me die, take me into thy arms,
    Sweet love, you'll see my coffin strew'd with flowers,
    And you, Dorinda, will you make a garland?
    I die a virgin, though I die his wife.

    DOR. Alas, she's gone!

    HYL. She's dead, and do I live?

    CHAR. Look to the shepherd there! O my Nerina!

    DOR. Vex not her soul, I pray, with often calling;
    You see she's dead.

    CHAR. Then there is no hope left:
    Pray help us, shepherds, now to bear her hence;
    You'll come, I hope, to see her in her grave.             [_Exeunt._



ACTUS IV., SCENA I.

                            THYRSIS, DELIA.

    Here I am come unto a place where grief,
    They say, has no abode. In princes' courts,
    I've heard there is no room for love's laments:
    For either they enjoy or else forget.
    Thrice-happy men, to whom love gives such leave!
    It may be that this place or people may
    Work so with me, and melt this frozen heart:
    Ah fool! that can'st believe the change of place
    Or air can change thy mind; the love thou bear'st
    Is woven so within thy thoughts, that as
    Out of this piece thy Sylvia wrought for thee,
    Thou can'st not take her name forth, but withal
    Thou must deface the whole: so, Thyrsis, think
    The wind that here may rise, or heat or rain,
    Thou may'st avoid, thy love will still remain;
    And when thou diest, then may it die with thee;
    Till then resolve to endure thy misery.

                             _Enter_ DELIA.

    DEL. This is the garden which I saw him go to,
    And that is he; for all the marks she gave me
    To know him by he bears.

    THYR. A heaviness
    Weighs down my head, and would invite me to
    Repose myself; I'll take the offer; here
    I'll rest awhile, for I have need of it.

    DEL. How if I be deceived, and this should prove
    Another man! What then? I can excuse it.
    He's laid already, and (I fear) asleep;
    I'll stay until he wake; but then suppose
    That anybody come, and take me here,
    What will they think of me? Best wake him. Shepherd!
    It is a handsome youth: see what a grace
    Shows itself in his feature--such a face
    Might take the heart of any lady living,
    Ay, though she were a princess. Shepherd! what,
    Not yet? his sleeps are sound.

    THYR. Ah Sylvia,                             [_Speaks in his sleep._
    Preserve thy life! O, let me die. Alas!
    I do but dream. Methought I saw myself
    Condemn'd to die, and Sylvia, to save me,
    Offer'd herself, and would needs die for me.
    'Twas a sweet shadow: let me court this dream.

    DEL. He must not sleep again: shepherd, look up.

    THYR. Who envies me this small repose? Indeed
    I do not often sleep: ha, who are you?

    DEL. Sent to thee from thy Sylvia. Shepherd, rise,
    And follow me.

    THYR. Do I dream still! What are you?
    Came you from heaven, where my Sylvia is,
    And must I thither? whosoe'er you are,
    An angel or a fiend, in such a name
    You come, as I'm conjur'd to follow you:
    But I must die first. Here is to be with thee.

                                              [_Offers to stab himself._

    DEL. Stay, hold thy hand: she lives--thy Sylvia lives
    To make thee happy, if thou wilt go to her.

    THYR. You're habited like those I've seen at court;
    And courtesy, they say, is ever there,
    Yet mingled with deceit. If you do mean
    T' abuse me for your sport, this way will prove
    Too sad to raise mirth out of. There's no ill
    That I have done to you or any else,
    Unless my constancy be here a sin.

    DEL. His griefs have made him wild.                        [_Aside._
    I have no time
    Left me to use persuasions, or to make
    This truth apparent to you; on my word,
    You shall be safe; and if you dare believe me,
    I'll bring you where your love is; follow me.

    THYR. Why should I doubt, or fear to go with her?
    Ill does he call for physic whom the law
    Has doom'd to die. There's no condition
    Can prove worse to me than my present one.
    Pray, lead me where you please; I'm sure of this:
    To one that's desperate no way's amiss.                   [_Exeunt._


SCENA II.

               EUARCHUS, EUBULUS, CLEANDER, _Attendants_.

    All leave the room. Eubulus, I'm resolv'd
    To hold an easier hand over my daughter
    Than I was wont: therefore I sent Cleander
    To bring her to my presence. Though she have
    Wrong'd her great birth and breeding by her follies,
    Yet I consider that she is my daughter,
    And this restraint cannot but harden her
    In her fond resolutions. Have you sought
    By all the means you can to sift the cause
    Of her departure?

    EUB. Sir, I have tried
    By all the ways that fit a subject, to
    Inquire a truth of one that is his princess.

    EUAR. And what have you discover'd?

    EUB. Nothing more
    Than what my son Cleander did before.

    EUAR. I have heard his relation: but [I] wonder
    How for a whole month's time she should abide
    Within our confines, when so great a search
    Through all our countries, and loud proclamations,
    Were made for her recovery.

    EUB. 'Tis true.
    She herein was ingenuous, and confess'd
    That she foresaw what search would be made for her:
    Therefore with some about her she had plotted
    To hire a bark that might convey her hence
    In a disguise to Smyrna, where she stay'd
    Till time did fit her, that with safety
    She might return in habit of a nymph
    Unto the place where then Cleander found her:
    But why she left the court she will not tell.

    EUAR. I will not force her to't: some little time
    Perhaps may make discovery of that secret.
    But unto thee, my faithful councillor
    (As unto one my heart hath still been open),
    I will discover what my purpose is
    In sending for these shepherds to my court.

    EUB. I should believe they're sent for to delight
    Your majesty, as they were wont.

    EUAR. No, Eubulus;
    But for a greater end: I fear my daughter,
    And therefore I have sent for her to see
    These sports with purpose to observe her looks.
    For I suspect she loves some shepherd there.

    EUB. It cannot be: she will not stain her birth
    With such ignoble love; yet I confess,
    Revolving all the causes of her strange
    Departure, I could fix on none but that.

    EUAR. Well, if she do so, I will let her forth--
    Forth of my blood; and whosoe'er he be
    Whose fortune mark'd him out to be the object
    Of this her love, shall find Ixion's fate,
    He shall embrace a shadow. By my life,
    They both shall die.

    EUB. O my gracious lord,
    Remember she's your daughter!

    EUAR. Ay, thou still
    Dost plead for her, but yet am I her king
    As well as father; private men respect
    Their profits and their private interests
    Of kindred, but the actions of a king
    To honour and renown must be directed:
    Consider that, and then thou wilt forget her.

                           _Enter_ CLEANDER.

    Cleander, welcome! how does Calligone?
    Is she not glad to come unto our presence?
    Why dost not answer? Art thou frighted, man?

    CLE. I know not how to answer anything,
    Unless your majesty will sign my pardon.

    EUAR. Why, what's the matter? speak, and speak it freely.

    CLE. Then know, great sovereign, that, when I went
    As full of joy as speed, with your glad message,
    I found the princess----

    EUAR. What, not dead, I hope?

    CLE. Dead to her honour.

    EUAR. Ha!

    CLE. In short, my lord,
    I found her walking in the garden with
    A shepherd--more of him I cannot tell;
    But she was habited in that attire
    She wore, when from the woods I brought her home.
    I slipp'd away, not being seen by them,
    And if you please to go, perhaps, great sir,
    You still may find them there.

    EUAR. How now, Eubulus,
    Are my presages true? Shall I then sleep
    With this disgrace, and let my neighbour princes
    Mock at my humble fortunes, when they hear
    The daughter of Euarchus match'd herself
    With a base shepherd? Go, Eubulus, quickly:
    Here take my signet; let this be your warrant
    To put them both to death.

    EUB. How! both, my lord?

    EUAR. Ay, both.

    EUB. Your daughter too?

    EUAR. Why do you question me?
    Have I not said they both shall die: despatch.
    Let me not see thee till they both be dead.                 [_Exit._

    EUB. What hast thou done! thou rash, inhumane boy?
    Depriv'd thy father of a child, thyself
    Of thine own sister, whom but now thou knew'st?
    Well may the king take that dear life away
    Which he did never give: I will go tell him
    I am her father: but I lose my life
    If I do that, as guilty of a treason.
    Go, murderer, hadst thou no pity in thee!

    CLE. Sir, I do feel so much grief within me
    For this my act that, if my blood will serve
    To save her life, I'll make no price of it:
    Yet could I not imagine that the king
    Would have been so enrag'd; or if he would,
    I had no time to think of it before.

    EUB. No time! who bid thee hasten to the ruin
    Of thy poor father and thy family?
    The messages which come to do us hurt
    Are speedy; but the good come slowly on.

    CLE. But, sir, remember what a strait we're in:
    It will concern us to invent some way
    To save my sister, though the shepherd die;
    He will deserve it for his bold attempt.

    EUB. Go, take thy way, whither thou wilt, thyself;
    That way is best which leads me to my grave.                [_Exit._

    CLE. What luck is this? This is more haste than speed:
    I am resolv'd, though my life lie at stake,
    To stand the fury of th' enraged king:
    Who knows but he may be as sorry for
    His sudden act, as I for mine. 'Tis here
    To save her, though it cost her lover dear.               [_Exeunt._


SCENA III.

                            SYLVIA, THYRSIS.

    Nay, stay a little, Thyrsis; we are safe.
    My wary keepers now are with the king.

    THYR. Madam, for my poor self I do not fear;
    But when I think on you, and how your name
    And state, that is so eminent, must needs
    Receive a certain scandal and foul blot
    If we be seen together, blame me not,
    Though I do fear or doubt. What cruel fate,
    Angry with men, that gave us hearts alike
    And fortunes so asunder? You're a cedar,
    I a poor shrub, that may look up unto you
    With adoration, but ne'er reach your height.

    SYL. But, Thyrsis, I do love you. Love and death
    Do not much differ; they make all things equal:
    The monuments of kings may show for them
    What they have been; but look upon their dust--
    The colour and the weight of theirs and beggars'
    You'll find the same: and if, 'mongst living men,
    Nature has printed in the face of many
    The characters of nobleness and worth,
    Whose fortune envies them a worthy place
    In birth or honour, when the greatest men,
    Whom she has courted, bear the marks of slaves,
    Love (sure,) will look on those, and lay aside
    The accidents of wealth and noble blood,
    And in our thoughts will equal them with kings.

    THYR. 'Tis true, divinest lady, that the souls
    Of all men are alike, of the same substance,
    By the same Maker into all infus'd;
    But yet the several matters which they work on--
    How different they are, I need not tell you.
    And as these outward organs give our souls
    Or more or less room, as they are contriv'd,
    To show their lustre, so again comes fortune
    And darkens them, to whom the gods have given
    A soul divine and body capable
    Of that divinity and excellence.
    But 'tis the order of the Fates, whose causes
    We must not look into. But you, dear madam,
    Nature and fortune have conspir'd to make
    The happiest alive.

    SYL. Ah me most wretched!
    What pleasure can there be in highest state,
    Which is so cross'd in love--the greatest good
    The gods can tell how to bestow on men?

    THYR. Yet some do reckon it the greatest ill,
    A passion of the mind, form'd in the fancy,
    And bred to be the worst disease of reason.

    SYL. They that think so are such as love excludes:
    Men full of age or foul deformity.
    No, Thyrsis, let not us profane that deity:
    Love is divine, the seed of everything,
    The cause why now we live, and all the world.

    THYR. Love is divine, for if religion
    Binds us to love, the gods, who never yet
    Reveal'd themselves in anything to us
    But their bright images, the fairest creatures
    Who are our daily objects; loving them,
    We exercise religion: let us not
    Be scrupulous or fear; the gods have care
    Of us and of our piety.

    SYL. But take heed:
    We cannot be too wary. Many things
    Oppose our wills; yet, if you think it fit,
    And this night's silence will so favour us,
    We'll go together: if we quit this country,
    It is no matter: all the world to me
    Will be Arcadia, if I may enjoy
    Thy company, my love.

    THYR. No, Sylvia--
    Pardon me, dear, if still I call you so--
    Enjoy your fortunes; think how much your honour
    Must suffer in this act! For me, I find,
    It is enough that I have ever lov'd you:
    Now let me, at the light of your bright eye,
    Burn like the bird whose fires renew her nest;
    I shall leave you behind me to the world,
    The Phoenix of true love and constancy:
    Nor is that bird more glorious in her flames,
    Than I shall be in mine, though they consume me.

    SYL. It must not be; for know, my dearest shepherd,
    I shall not tell one minute after thee;
    I find my soul so link'd to thine, that death
    Cannot divide us.

    THYR. What then shall we do?
    Shall we resolve to live thus, till we gaze
    Our eyes out first, and then lose all our senses
    In their succession? Shall we strive to leave
    Our souls breath'd forth upon each other's lips?
    Come, let us practise: this our envious fates
    Cannot deny us.

                           _Enter_ CLEANDER.

    CLE. What a sight were this,
    To meet her father? This would make him mad
    Indeed, and execute his rage himself.
    Madam, your father's here!

    SYL. Ha, Delia!
    Cleander, is it thou? then I'm betray'd
    The second time; but must thy fortune make thee
    The instrument of my undoing still?

    CLE. Shepherd, I will not honour thee so much
    As to inquire thy name: thou hast done that
    Thou wilt pay dear for, and I hope thy death
    Will take away the blot of this disgrace
    Th' hast laid upon the princess.

    THYR. If you do this,
    You'll make me happy: it was this I look'd for,
    My trivial acts of life this of my death
    Will recompense with glory; I shall die
    To save my princess, and what's more, to save
    The life of her life, her unspotted honour.
    Bless'd lady, though you are as innocent
    And chaste as purest virgins that have yet
    Seen nothing in a dream to warm their blood,
    Yet the malicious world, the censuring people,
    That haste to cast dirt on the fairest things,
    Will hardly spare you, if it once be known
    That we were here together. As for me,
    My life is nothing but variety
    Of grief and troubles, which with constancy
    I have borne yet; 'tis time that now I die,
    Before I do accuse the gods, that have
    Brought me to this, and so pull on my death
    A punishment. Will you be merciful,
    And end me quickly?

    CLE. Shepherd, know for this
    Thy resolution, which in noble bloods
    I scarce have found, I willingly would grant
    What thou desir'st. But something must be known
    Before that time either from you or you.

    SYL. I know, Cleander, it is me you aim at:
    I do confess, this shepherd is my love;
    For his sake I did leave the court and thee,
    Unworthy as thou art to be his rival.

    CLE. Madam, my duty bids me speak to you,
    Not as a lover now, but as you are
    My princess and the daughter of my king.
    I would not for the world have those desires
    Which I had then; for, sure, my bolder love
    Would have transgress'd the limits of all duty,
    And would have dar'd to tell you that this shepherd
    Was not a match for great Arcadia's heir,
    Nor yet one fit for my competitor.
    'Tis not his outward feature--which how fair
    It is, I do not question--that can make him
    Noble or wise; whereas my birth, deriv'd
    From ancient kings, and years not far unsuiting
    Those of your own--to these my education,
    To you well known, perhaps might make me worthy
    Of being your servant.

    SYL. Can'st thou look on this,
    This piece, Cleander, and not blush to boast
    Thy follies thus, seeking to take away
    From his full virtue? If but this one act
    Of his appear unto the world, as now
    It shall; for I'll not shame to publish him,
    Though I die for it: will it not devour
    Thy empty glories and thy puff'd-up nothings
    And (like a grave) will bury all thy honours?
    Do, take his life, and glory in that act;
    But, be thou sure, in him thou shalt kill two.

    CLE. What mean you, madam?

    SYL. Not to live a minute
    After his death.

    CLE. That all the gods forbid!

    SYL. No, they command it rather, that have made
    Our souls but one. Cleander, thou wert wont
    To be more courteous; and I do see
    Some pity in thee: if not for pity's sake,
    Yet for thine own good, spare his life, and take
    Mine; for thou know'st, when I am dead, this kingdom
    Thy father will inherit or thyself.
    'Tis but the waiting of an old man's death,
    Who cannot long outlive me: will you do't?

    THYR. Sir, you are noble, I do see you are,
    You lov'd this lady once: by that dear love--
    With me it was a conjuration
    To draw my soul out, whilst I was so happy--
    I do beseech you spare her noble life,
    Her death will sit full heavy on your soul,
    And in your height of kingly dignities
    Disturb that head which crowns will give no rest to.
    To take my life is justice.

    SYL. Rather mine;
    I have offended in first loving him,
    And now betraying him unto his end.

    THYR. Be not so cruel, madam, to yourself
    And me, to envy me a death so noble.
    Sir, as you hope your love shall ever prosper,
    Your great designs, your fights, whate'er they are;
    As you do hope for peace in your last hour,
    And that the earth may lightly clothe your ashes,
    Despatch me quickly, send me to my death.

    CLE. A strange contention! Madam, will you please
    A little to retire: 'tis your honour
    That I do strive to save, as well as life.
    Pray, do not cross my purpose; I shall do
    Something that you may thank me for.

    SYL. Cleander,
    Save but the shepherd, and I'll crown thy merit.

    CLE. Will you be pleas'd to enter here?

    SYL. But swear
    That thou wilt save him.

    CLE. I shall do my best.
    I dare not swear; for 'tis not in my power
    To do what you command.

    SYL. But will you swear
    To let me know of it before he die?

    CLE. I will, by heaven.

    SYL. Then I take my leave.
    And, Thyrsis, be thou sure, whatever fate
    Attends thy life, the same does govern mine:
    One kiss I must not be denied.

    CLE. Fie, madam!
    How low is this in you?

    SYL. Then thus we part,
    To meet again, I hope.

    THYR. Down, stubborn heart,
    Wilt thou not break yet? In my death I find
    Nothing that's terrible; but this farewell
    Presents my soul with all the pains of hell.              [_Exeunt._


SCENA IV.

                   MIRTILLUS, _Chorus of_ SHEPHERDS.

    1ST SHEP. I'm sorry that this business went not forward.

    2D SHEP. So am not I; we're rid of so much trouble.

    1ST SHEP. Yet it is strange the king should send for us,
    And when we were come, command us to return.

    MIR. No, 'tis not strange; it was his will to do
    so.
    But if you have an itch of dancing, friends,
    Next holiday we'll ha't amongst ourselves,
    And every man shall dance with his own sweetheart:
    What say you, shepherds? will't not be as well?

    1ST SHEP. It will be very fine. But where is Thyrsis?

    2D SHEP. Ay, where is he! you went along with him;
    Where did you leave him?

    MIR. Walking in a garden,
    Where when I came to call him, he was gone.

    2D SHEP. It seems he cares not for our company.

    MIR. Neither for yours nor any man's besides.

    1ST SHEP. He is much alter'd since his love was lost;
    Methinks he's nothing like the man he was.

    MIR. Well then, beware, my friends, how you engage
    Yourselves in love: he is a fair example.
    And Hylas too--he's drooping for his mistress:
    Daphnis is mad, they say; if you've a mind
    To die or to run mad, then be in love.

    2D SHEP. See where he comes, in what a fume he is!

    MIR. I do not like his fumes: pray let's away.            [_Exeunt._


SCENA V.

                       DAPHNIS. _To him_ DORINDA.

    DAPH. He will not now be found, the traitor. But,
    Where'er he be, nor heaven nor hell shall save him
    From my revenge. To take away the life
    Of that sweet innocent, without whose sight
    He knew I could not live, and to do this
    Under the name of friendship! O ye gods!
    What age can parallel so great a mischief?
    This is his magic glass, which had the virtue
    To make her mine, but sent her to the gods.
    Bless'd soul, I will revenge thy death, and then
    I'll follow thee myself.

    DOR. Daphnis, my, love,
    Whither so fast?

    DAPH. Now, love, deliver me;
    And must you come to trouble me? Begone!
    I cannot stay to hear thy tedious follies.

    DOR. Were all your vows then made but to abuse me?
    Are there not pains to punish perjur'd men?
    And will they not o'ertake you?

    DAPH. 'Las, poor fool!
    The gods do laugh at such slight perjuries
    As come from lovers.

    DOR. Yet it was no conquest
    To deceive one that would be credulous:
    A simple maid, that lov'd you!

    DAPH. Then I see
    There is no end of women's reasoning;
    Or else this might suffice thee--that I cannot,
    No, nor I will not love thee.

    DOR. Never?

    DAPH. Never.

    DOR. Go, cruel man, and if the god of love
    Will hear my prayers, thou in thy love shalt thrive,
    As I in mine: that, when thou art forlorn,
    Thou may'st remember her thou now dost scorn.             [_Exeunt._



ACTUS V., SCENA 1.


                                 HYLAS.

    It was the cruel practice of my fate
    That lifted me unto the height of bliss
    To make my fall the greater: for no sooner
    Did I enjoy the love of my Nerina,
    But in a moment she was taken from me:
    A love so dearly bought with sighs and tears,
    So many years spent in the gaining her,
    And lost in one poor minute! It is better
    Always to live a miserable life
    Than once to have been happy. She is dead,
    And I alive, that cannot live without her.
    'Tis fit that I die too; but by what means?
    By violence? No, that the gods forbid.
    A ling'ring grief, I need not fear, will kill me,
    When every day I shall repair, as now,
    Unto her tomb, and consecrate my tears
    And tearing sighs unto her blessed ghost.
    Some pitying god, when I'm dissolv'd away
    Upon her ashes, will congeal those tears,
    That they may clothe her dust; whilst some kind shepherd,
    Passing this way, does write this on her grave--

        _See here Nerina, that from Hylas' eyes_
        _Fed her fair flame, now in their dew she lies._

    Thus I will have it: so the words shall run.                [_Exit._


SCENA II.

                DAPHNIS, ALCON, NERINA. _To them_ HYLAS,
                     MONTANUS, CHARINUS, MIRTILLUS.

    DAPH. It shall not serve thy turn, malicious shepherd,
    Though thou hast ta'en my love away by tricks,
    Yet all thy cunning and thy practices
    Shall not secure thee from my revenge.

    ALC. Are these the thanks I have for that rich jewel
    Which I bestow'd on thee, ungrateful man?

    DAPH. Yes, for a poison'd glass--a precious jewel!

    ALC. I do confess 'twas poison'd.

    DAPH. Do you so!
    And, to do me a courtesy, you kill'd her.

    ALC. Yet hear me, she is not dead; and if she be,
    I'll pay my life for hers.

    DAPH. Be sure thou shalt.
    But can'st thou hope for such a strong illusion
    To mock my sense? Did I not see her dead?

    ALC. She did appear so: what you thought was death
    Is but a lethargy; though I profess not
    To draw the moon down from the sphere she is in,
    Or make the sun look bloody by my art,
    Yet am I well-inform'd in everything
    This glass is made of, and I know th' effects
    It works, and can discourse 'em.

    DAPH. Let me hear them.

    ALC. Have patience, and you shall: the glass, you see,
    Of this rare mirror which I gave you, is
    Made of a Memphian stone, that has the power
    To bring a deadly sleep on all the senses:
    With it, to make th' effects more strong, is mingled
    The quintessence, extracted in a limbec,
    Of the torpedo, which has such a quality
    That if the fisher touch it with his hook,
    A poison straight will creep through all his veins,
    Till it benumb his senses. This compounded,
    And made into a glassy metal, soon
    Reflects upon the eyes of him that looks in't
    A sleepy poison, which will stupefy
    The vital parts. Yet he that gave it me
    Taught me the cordial water which he us'd
    To restore spirits and heat unto those vitals;
    And I have brought it with me for our purpose.
    What have I wrong'd you now? Or is my present
    Worthy the thanks you give me?

    DAPH. Yet you were
    To blame, that you'd not tell me this, before
    I gave it her.

    ALC. In that I show'd my love;
    For I did fear your resolution,
    Though I were certain of recovering her.

    DAPH. And what must now be done?

    ALC. Here, where you found me,
    I saw her laid, and buried in the clothes
    She wont to wear--her father so would have it.
    I waited on the funeral with purpose
    To see the stone laid hollow on her grave,
    For fear of hurting her.

    DAPH. It was well done.

    ALC. Here I'll apply my medicine; you shall see
    Whether I lie or no.

    DAPH. Let's lose no time.
    I long to see my love alive again.

    ALC. Then help to lift this stone; see where she lies--
    The same Nerina?

    DAPH. She is dead, I see.

    ALC. Love is still full of fears: give me the water.

    DAPH. Here: but take heed it do not spoil her face.

    ALC. If she be dead, you need not fear the change
    Of any colour. What a child is love!

    DAPH. The gods, I see, will not let beauty die.
    She breathes--she stirs--her eyes begin to open
    As after sleep. O miracle!

    ALC. How now?
    Is she alive? Will you believe your sense?
    Now I have put her in your hands, be sure
    You do not let her go, and lose no time.
    If you give credit to her words, you're lost.
    What cannot women's words and flatteries
    Effect with simple lovers? Think on that.
    Be confident: I'll leave you to your fate.

    NER. Ye gods, where am I now? What place is this?
    What light is this I see? Are the same things
    Seen in this new world as they are in th' other?
    Or in the grave do men see waters, trees,
    As I do now, and all things, as I liv'd?
    But (sure) I live still. If I do, why then
    Was I here buried amongst these flowers?
    Sure, I am dead; but yet I walk and speak,
    And I have heard that those who once are dead
    Can never use their voice or action.
    But who is this I see here? Daphnis, ha!
    Are you dead too, as well as I?

    DAPH. No, sweet;
    I live to be the servant of Nerina.

    NER. Ay, so said Hylas, whilst I liv'd with him.

    DAPH. She thinks of Hylas still: what shall I do?

    NER. But tell me, Daphnis, in what place am I?

    DAPH. In Daphnis' heart you live, and ever did.

    NER. And so said Hylas, when we liv'd together.

    DAPH. O gods, again! Nerina, think not on him;
    You must love me.

    NER. Must they in this new world,
    As they have chang'd their lives, so change their loves?
    I never shall do that.

    DAPH. You are deceiv'd:
    You are not dead.

    NER. Not dead? How came I hither then?

    DAPH. By my device to keep me company.

    NER. But will you not declare how I came hither?

    DAPH. Ask me not that; but go along with me.

    NER. Stay, shepherd, whither would you have me go?

    DAPH. Where love and silence shall befriend us best.

    NER. But tell me, Daphnis, was not I once dead?

    DAPH. You were; but I, your servant, chang'd that death
    Into a sleep.

    NER. I know not what you mean:
    Can you change death into a sleep?

    DAPH. I can,
    And did for love of you.

    NER. This is a riddle:
    Pray let me know what you do mean by it?

    DAPH. Come with me, and you shall.

    NER. Nay, tell me first.

    DAPH. Then know, fair shepherdess, that when I saw
    My love, my services, my gifts, my vows,
    Did all return to me without your love,
    I had recourse unto this artifice:
    A pleasant one of love's invention,
    Which you may well remember.

    NER. What was that?

    DAPH. I did present you with a looking-glass.

    NER. You did, but what of that?

    DAPH. Nothing at all.
    Pray, go this way with me.

    NER. But tell me first.

    DAPH. That cast you into this deep lethargy:
    Such was the magic of it.

    NER. To what purpose
    Did you do this?

    DAPH. To make you mine.

    NER. Yours, Daphnis?
    How could you hope that without my consent?

    DAPH. My services, I thought, would merit it;
    Besides, the world, not dreaming but you were
    Dead and here buried, we two might live
    Together, without being known to any.

    NER. But could you practise tricks on those you love?
    Now you are paid with your own artifice:
    For know, there's none that can dispose of me
    But Hylas, who has long preserv'd my heart;
    And now my father, whom I did resolve
    For ever to obey, has made him mine
    By giving his consent, which had not been
    But for this trick of yours.

    DAPH. Why then it seems
    You do not love me?

    NER. Love you! Know, I had
    Rather embrace my death again than thee.

    DAPH. Then 'tis no time to dally: come along,
    Or I will force you.

    NER. Help me, shepherds, help!

    DAPH. Fool! stop your mouth, no human help shall save thee.

                             _Enter_ HYLAS.

    HYL. This is the place where I am come to pay
    My tears' first sacrifice upon this tomb
    That glories in the spoils of all my wealth.

    NER. Hylas, come help me; see'st thou not that Daphnis
    Will ravish me?

    HYL. Ha! what do I hear?
    The voice of my Nerina! so she spake
    When she did live; but now, alas! she's dead.
    Some devil mocks me with a vision,
    And voice unto it.

    NER. Will you see me ravish'd
    Before your face? O Hylas! O my love!

    HYL. Tis she, it is no vision: hold, ravisher,
    My love thou canst not take without my life.

                 _Enter_ MIRTILLUS, MONTANUS, CHARINUS.

    MIR. What noise is this?

    MON. Some shriek much like a woman's.

    NER. O, help my love, Mirtillus!

    MIR. Shepherd, hold;
    Let go this nymph.

    DAPH. Or death or victory
    Shall crown my enterprise.

    CHAR. Who makes this outcry?

    MIR. Sir, I shall cool you, if you be so hot.

    CHAR. My daughter here! was she not buried?
    Away, foul spirit, away! Let's part these shepherds.

    NER. O father, do you think that I am dead?
    I am alive, as you are; touch me, see.

    CHAR. She is alive indeed! How cam'st thou hither?

    NER. Daphnis, whom you would have to be my husband,
    Brought me to this supposed death and grave.

    CHAR. By what strange means, Nerina?

    NER. By the glass
    You bid me I should take: he has confess'd
    To me that it was poison'd.

    CHAR. Can it be?
    Can Daphnis do this? He had little reason.

    DAPH. She was a fool to cry; I should ha' pleas'd her
    Ere this, perhaps.

    CHAR. Here, Hylas, take my daughter,
    For she is thine: you, Daphnis, I did further
    In all I could, till you would find a trick
    To put yourself beside her.

    NER. I forgive him:
    For though it was ill-meant, yet did it sort
    By accident unto my good.

    MON. But will
    Our laws permit a ravisher to live?

    HYL. No, no, Montanus: let him live, and envy
    Our present happiness.

    DAPH. Cover, you gods,
    The world in public ruin, or else show me
    A way to hide my shame.

    MON. What will he do?

    MIR. He will go hang himself: what plots he had
    To fool himself with!

    MON. They that practise tricks,
    Find them as jades, that throw 'em first, then kick 'em,
    As his has done.

    CHAR. Come, shepherds, let's away,
    And solemnise these nuptials.

    MIR. Stay, Montanus,
    Did the king send for you?

    MON. He did.

    MIR. And how?

    MON. The message came from Thyrsis.

    MIR. I'll go with you:
    'Tis strange the king should send for you: pray heaven
    Thyrsis have done no mischief there: he's handsome,
    Of a good grace and moving eloquence:
    Perhaps some lady may have taken him
    Up for herself, and he, I'll lay a wager,
    Will be so squeamish that, if Sylvia
    Come in his mind, he ne'er will do her reason,
    And then her plot will be how to betray him--
    Would I were in his place!

    MON. I would thou wert,
    So he were safe.

    MIR. I would comply, ne'er fear it;
    They live a heavenly life of love in court
    To that which we do here; a mistress there
    Will satisfy the longings of her lover,
    And never trouble Hymen for the matter:
    Then, if they like not, they may look elsewhere.

    MON. Thou wilt be punish'd one day for thy mischief.

    MIR. The mischief's in my tongue, I ne'er do any.

    MON. No, I have heard that Stella was with child
    By thee, and thou must father it.

    MIR. Who--I?
    Take me at that once--fathering of children,
    And make me common father of them all!
    A child's a pretty thing, and I should joy
    To see one of mine own. I'll tell thee truth,
    Montanus. By this hand, I never lay
    With any woman in my life.

    MON. How then?
    You have courted all; who is it that Mirtillus
    Has not profess'd to love?

    MIR. I do confess it,
    And that is all I could do; for before
    I could get earnest of any one's love,
    To whom I made address, even she would say:
    You have another mistress, go to her,
    I will not be her stale: and so by this means,
    Nor this nor that would do me any reason.

    MON. You had ill luck, it seems; 'twas not your fault.

    MIR. No, for if they would believe me, I did swear
    I had no other. Pray, Montanus, tell me----
    For you have known the several ways of wooing,
    Which is the best and safest?

    MON. O Mirtillus,
    Grey hairs have put the wilder thoughts of love
    Out of my head; cold blood and frozen limbs
    Fright all those heats away, in place of which
    Discretion and sobriety should come.

    MIR. But, I have heard, old men do sometimes
    love.

    MON. They doat, Mirtillus--give it the right name;
    In old men's bloods Cupid does quench his flames.
    But as we go, I'll tell thee: not to love
    At all is best; but if you needs must love,
    Love one, and seek no further. Thou wilt find
    Enough of her, if once she prove unkind.


SCENA III.

                 DAPHNIS, ALCON. _To_ DAPHNIS, DORINDA.

    There is no way t' avoid the shame of this.
    Each shepherd's boy, that sings unto his flock,
    Will make me the scorn'd subject of his song.

    ALC. Had you been sudden, as I counsell'd you,
    You had not fail'd: but you young men do never
    Go through with anything.

    DAPH. For heaven's sake,
    Call not that wicked deed to my remembrance.
    I do repent me that I e'er begun it:
    I would not for a world have ended it:
    Nerina's chaste and fair, and I a villain.
    Leave me, I pray; for something tells me you
    Did first advise me to this damned act.

    ALC. Nay, if you prize my friendship at this rate,
    I'll leave you to your penance.                             [_Exit._

    DAPH. This old man
    Is full of malice; nothing troubles him.
    The ills that he has done fly from his thoughts,
    And he rejoices that he did them quaintly;
    I have begun my youth as if I meant
    To have my age so punish'd as his is.

                            _Enter_ DORINDA.

    Who's this? Dorinda! I have done her wrong:
    I sued for love to her first, which obtain'd,
    I stuck disgraces on her; let me ask
    Forgiveness now, for 'twere too much to hope
    That she should love one stain'd with such a deed
    As I have done, so foul and impious.

    DOR. Great love, if yet thou art not satisfied
    With all the wrongs I have sustain'd for thee;
    My blood, I hope, thy anger will appease,
    Which thou may'st glut thyself with.

    DAPH. Gentle nymph.

    DOR. I've been too gentle, do not mock me with't:
    O Daphnis! is it you? This is not well
    To mock me thus; your looks, when arm'd with frowns,
    Gave not my heart so deep a wound as this.

    DAPH. I mean no scorn; I come to ask your pardon
    For what I've done already, not to heap
    More sins upon my head.

    DOR. 'Tis very strange.

    DAPH. But true, Dorinda; will you spit upon me?
    Take your revenge, for I have well deserv'd it.

    DOR. But is this serious, Daphnis? O, take heed,
    Crack not my heart with such a load of grief
    And scorn, so press'd as this is: if you do,
    The gods will punish it; for though they have
    Neglected me thus long, they will revenge
    Such injuries as these.

    DAPH. My many ills
    Discredit my repentance: if my words
    Can find no faith with you, believe my tears:
    Indeed they are not feign'd.

    DOR. Even so you look'd
    When first you stole my heart: but I forgive you,
    Whate'er become of me, I still must love you.

    DAPH. Forgive me first, and then I will begin
    By my endeavours and true services
    To deserve something of you, if not love.

    DOR. There is not that hard-heartedness in man
    Which I did think, for he repents, I see.
    O Daphnis! if thou mean'st not this as scorn,
    Take me into thine arms, and I will be
    Thy slave.

    DAPH. O, say not so; let me
    Rather be thine; it will be pride in me
    To be ambitious of it.

    DOR. O my heart!
    What sudden joy thou strik'st into it now!
    But yet methinks I fear thou dost not love me.

    DAPH. Why should you fear? By Pan, you are to me
    Whate'er you can imagine; equal--above
    All that I e'er thought fair; and if you be
    Content to hide my faults, and take me to
    Your nuptial bed, which yet I dare not hope--
    But if you will, whene'er that day shall come,
    Th' embraces of my love and me shall be
    Such, as the Cyprian boy from our abundance
    Shall take his fires to kindle other hearts,
    Yet leave with us a flame which we will cherish,
    And keep alive unto eternity.

    DOR. Women are ever credulous--most then,
    When knowledge of the truth would but afflict them.
    I dare not now distrust you, though I knew
    What you have said were false: it has a semblance
    Of such a pleasing truth: give me thy hand,
    And take thou mine; whilst we walk thus entwin'd,
    I shall think Daphnis never was unkind.                   [_Exeunt._


SCENA IV.

             EUBULUS, CLEANDER. _To them_ THYRSIS, SYLVIA.

    What, are they dead? is the king's will obey'd?

    CLE. No, sir, they live, and Hymen in his bands
    Has tied them both; the happiest knot that e'er
    Knit two such equal hearts and loves together.
    O, I'm ravish'd with the news: my joy
    Is greater now than if sh' had been the daughter
    Unto our king, and I had married her.

    EUB. I am amaz'd; pray Jove thou be'st not mad.

    CLE. Somewhat exalted, sir, beyond myself,
    But yet not mad. Go, sir, unto the king;
    Tell him Cleander lives to make him happy.

    EUB. Sure, thou wilt come unto thyself anon!
    Prythee, bethink thee.

    CLE. Yes, sir, I do think,
    And know that I have news to make him live,
    And you an age yet longer.

    EUB. This is strange.

    CLE. 'Tis true.

    EUB. But what is true?

    CLE. 'Tis true, my sister
    Shall be a queen.

    EUB. If she do live, I think
    She will; but yet you know we were commanded
    To cut that life off.

    CLE. But your hasty son,
    That came so speedy with a fatal message,
    Was not so forward now; they both do live,
    And both are married.

    EUB. Jupiter forbid!

    CLE. The Fates command it, 'tis their proper work:
    The shepherd is a prince--your prince and mine,
    And married to my sister.

    EUB. Ha! what's that?
    Prythee, digest thy troubled thoughts, and tell me
    What prince is this thou mean'st?

    CLE. Archigenes.

    EUB. Thou dream'st: it cannot be.

    CLE. No? then come forth,
    You royal pair, and testify yourselves.

                     _Enter_ THYRSIS _and_ SYLVIA.

    SYL. Father, your blessing.

    EUB. Ha!

    CLE. Nay, I've told all.
    She knows she is your daughter: look, sir, here;
    Here we must place our reverence.

    EUB. Who's this?

    CLE. Not yet? Then look upon this circle, that
    You know for certain, though you know not him.

    EUB. 'Tis it--it is the same: _Archigenes,_
    _Son of Euarchus and Eudora_:
    This is my character, and this my seal.

    THYR. Sir, I have heard that by your piety
    My infant life was sav'd: now by the goodness,
    Deriv'd from you unto your son, I have
    Not only found my life, but my content.
    The sum of all my hopes--this lady here,
    Without whose love my life had been a torment.

    SYL. And I the happiest maid that ever was,
    Conducted by the power of simple love,
    Have found, in place of him I thought a shepherd,
    A princely lover.

    EUB. Rise, Calligone:
    The gods are just, I see, that, favouring
    My innocence, have brought this match about.
    But say, Cleander, what fate guided thee
    To this discovery?

    CLE. Sir, should I tell you
    How many ways I cast to save my sister
    After the fatal message which I brought,
    I should be tedious, and keep you from
    What you do long to hear: in short, I soon
    Resolv'd to make away this royal shepherd:
    And knowing that, in this affair, to keep it
    Secret, despatch was needful, I commanded
    A servant, of whose faith and courage I
    Was well-assur'd, to kill him in my presence.

    EUB. 'Tis strange thou shouldst be present at a murder.

    CLE. 'Twas a necessity was laid upon me,
    Because I would be sure to see him dead.
    I bade him choose his death; when manfully
    He said he car'd not how, so he might die.
    I knew to strangle him was the readiest way,
    Which death himself was ready to embrace:
    This his so noble resolution
    Did startle me from mine; my servants' hands
    Trembled for fear,
    Presaging what a sin they were to act:
    He bade him be assur'd he would not start.
    And often call'd him to despatch him quickly.

    SYL. What man could have a heart for such a deed,
    And see his face?

    CLE. The prince, before he came
    To put the fatal twist about his neck,
    Besought me, as I ever hop'd for peace,
    I should preserve the princess; this I promis'd,
    And whatsoever else he would desire.
    He answered, nothing now, but hasty death;
    Then stripping off his doublet, I espied
    With a quick eye this golden circle here,
    When hastily I bid my servant hold,
    And let him go. He ask'd me why I stay'd;
    I told him that about his neck was sacred.
    He would have rent it off, but I forbad it.

    EUB. What did you then?

    CLE. Sir, I did well remember
    What I had heard of th' oracle and you,
    Which, with the computation of his years,
    I found agreeing to make up a truth;
    Which you before assur'd me. Then I ask'd him
    Whether he would be married to the princess
    Before he died; he thought that I had mock'd him,
    And said I practis'd tyranny upon him.
    Then went I to my sister, and desir'd
    The same of her. In fine, I saw them both
    Join hands and hearts together; but the prince
    Thought this a dream of life, which certain death
    Would wake him from, until I did assure him
    Of his great state, and that his love, whom now
    He thought to be the princess, was my sister;
    All which I did refer unto your knowledge.

    EUB. This day for ever let it holy be,
    And you, whom love has brought through deep despair
    Unto the haven of your happiness,
    Enjoy each other freely. Of you, brave shepherd,
    But now my prince, I shall inquire anon
    Where and with whom you liv'd.

    THYR. Sir, the shepherd
    Whom I call father stays without. Montanus
    His name is, by whose gentle hands (as he
    Has often told me) I was rescu'd first
    From cold and death, since under his kind roof
    Foster'd, and bred as his.

    EUB. Go, call him in.

                      _Enter_ MONTANUS, MIRTILLUS.

    You're welcome both; you may applaud your fortune
    That brought you such a shepherd. Stay all here,
    Whilst I go to the king. This day will add
    More years unto his life, when he shall say,
    No day shone brighter on Arcadia.                           [_Exit._

    MON. We are both come to do our duties to you,
    I as being sent for, and Mirtillus with me,
    To celebrate your joys. Within a while,
    The shepherds and the nymphs will all be here.

    THYR. My old companions shall be welcome all,
    As you are now; I never shall forget
    Your courtesy nor theirs.

    SYL. Nor I the nymphs',
    Once my dear fellows; but you, Mirtillus,
    Though you did scorn to love, yet could you sing
    Well, if you listed of it.

    CLE. Can shepherds then
    Despise that deity which we adore?

    MIR. Madam, I reverence it in you,
    The perfect'st pattern of a constant lover,
    And in the honour of your nuptials
    I have a song, which if your grace will hear,
    'Twill entertain the time.

    SYL. Let it be sung.

                                _Song._

        _Hymen, god of marriage-bed,_
        _Be thou ever honoured:_
        _Thou, whose torch's purer light_
        _Death's sad tapers did affright,_
        _And instead of funeral fires_
        _Kindled lovers' chaste desires:_
            _May their love_
            _Ever prove_
        _True and constant; let not age_
        _Know their youthful heat t' assuage._

                                 _2._

        _Maids, prepare the genial bed:_
        _Then come, night, and hide that red,_
        _Which from her cheeks his heart does burn;_
        _Till the envious day return,_
        _And the lusty bridegroom say,_
        _I have chas'd her fears away,_
            _And instead_
            _Of virgin-head,_
        _Given her a greater good:_
        _Perfection and womanhood._

    THYR. Thanks, good Mirtillus; this indeed was proper
    Unto your subject.

    MIR. Your thrice-happy match
    Being but now come to my knowledge, made me
    Contract myself into a straiter room
    Than the large subject might afford.

    CLE. The king!

                     _To these_ EUARCHUS, EUBULUS.

    EUAR. Although I wonder, yet I do believe thee,
    My faithful councillor.

    EUB. Your majesty
    Has found me always real; but this truth
    The oracle's accomplishment will prove,
    That did foretell their match.

    EUAR. Read it, Eubulus,
    Once more, and then call in my son and daughter.

    EUB. _If e'er thy issue male thou liv'st to see,_
    _The child thou think'st is thine, thine shall not be._

    EUAR. Calligone is not my child; proceed.

    EUB. _His life shall be obscure: twice shall thy hate_
    _Doom him to death, yet shall he 'scape that fate._

    EUAR. 'Tis true, that twice I did command his death,
    First thinking him a bastard, then a shepherd,
    For his offence: the gods are just. Go on.

    EUB. _And thou shalt live to see, that not long after_
    _Thy only son shall wed thy only daughter._

    EUAR. This was a riddle ever till this day,
    Their marriage has made it plain. Eubulus,
    Call in Archigenes, and call thy daughter,
    The fair Calligone, that I may pour
    My blessings on them: and I long to see
    Those characters thou writ'st about his neck,
    That I may call him mine.

    EUB. See where they are!

    EUAR. Archigenes, come nearer, for thou art
    A stranger yet, although thou be my son.
    The character is plain, it is the same
    Eubulus writ to me: ye heavenly powers,
    Give me a heart that may be large enough
    T' express my joy for these and thanks to you.

    THYR. My royal father--for I am instructed
    To call you so--if I have done amiss
    In hasting to this match, I ask your pardon.

    SYL. And I for daring to aspire so high
    Without your leave.

    EUAR. Rise both; you have my blessing.
    But who are these?

    THYR. This is the shepherd, sir,
    Who took me up first, whom till now I call'd
    Father, and he deserv'd it for his care.

    EUAR. Eubulus, this is he; Montanus, is it not?

    EUB. He is deliver'd to me for the shepherd,
    Of whom your majesty may, if you please,
    Be well-inform'd of all those passages
    I left untold.

    EUAR. Some other time we'll hear them:
    Let him be well rewarded.

    THYR. Sir, these shepherds
    Are come to entertain your majesty
    With their devices, as their custom is;
    In which sometimes, until my fortune chang'd,
    I bore a part.

    EUAR. Let them be feasted all,
    And study something new to celebrate
    These nuptials, which I will have proclaim'd
    Throughout my kingdom: and, Eubulus, see
    That everything be fitted for their honour.
    Come, let us to the temple, that we may
    With holy sacrifice appease the gods,
    Whose great decrees, though we did strive to hinder,
    Yet are they now fulfill'd. It is in vain
    T' oppose the Fates, whose laws do all constrain.



THE EPILOGUE TO THE KING AND QUEEN.


    To you, most royal pair, whose lives have brought
    Virtue in fashion, and the world have taught,
    That chaste innocuous sports become the stage,
    No less than civil manners do the age,
    We dedicate this piece, but yet with fears
    To have displeas'd so chaste, so tender ears;
    Which if you free us from, we'll call this play
    No more the Shepherds', but our Holiday.



FUIMUS TROES: THE TRUE TROJANS



_EDITION._


    _Fvimvs Troes, Æneid. 2. The Trve Troianes, Being a Story
      of the Britaines valour at the Romanes first invasion:_
      _Publikely represented by the Gentlemen Students of
      Magdalen Colledge in Oxford._

    _Quis Martem tunicâ tectum adamantinâ_
    _Dignè scripserit?_

    _London, Printed by I. L. for Robert Allott, and are to be sold
    at the signe of the Beare in Pauls-Churchyard, 1633. 4o._



INTRODUCTION


Dr Jasper Fisher, a gentleman's son, born in Bedfordshire, and entered
a Commoner of Magdalen Hall in 1607, is declared by Wood[249] to be
the author of this play. He afterwards took the degrees in arts,
became divinity or philosophy reader of Magdalen College; rector of
Wilden, Bedfordshire about 1631, and at length doctor of divinity.
Besides this play he published some sermons. Oldys in his MSS. notes
says he was blind. At what time he died is unknown. The title of this
performance does not inform us when it was acted, nor is it spoken of
as a republication.[250] Langbaine mentions no other edition but that
of 1633, [nor is any other known, or believed to exist].

FOOTNOTES:

[249] "Ath. Oxon.," i. 619.

[250] All the acts close with songs by the Druids; and at the end of
Act iii. is one in the Scottish dialect. Hence a conjecture has been
hazarded, either that the author was a Scotchman, or that the song was
introduced to please King James. If so, the play must have been written
and represented before 1625; but there is no evidence that James was
ever present when it was performed.--_Collier._



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ


  MERCURY.       }
  FUR. CAMILLUS. } Livius, lib. 5
  BRENNUS.       }

  JULIUS CÆSAR.                           }
  C. VOLUSENUS.                           }
  Q. LABERIUS, _alias_ LABIENUS.          }
  Q. ATRIUS.                              }
  COMIUS ATREBAS.                         }
  CASSIBELANUS, _imperator Britannorum_.  } Cæsar, Com. de
  MANDUBRATIUS, _princeps Trinobantum_.   } bell. Gall., lib
  CINGETORIX,  }                          } 4 et 5.
  CARVILIUS,   } _four petty kings_       }
  TAXIMAGULUS, } _in Kent_.               }
  SEGONAX,     }                          }

  {LUD,         { ANDROGEUS.         }
  {  _his sons_ { TENANTIUS.         }
  {CASSIBELANE.                      }
  {NENNIUS.                          }
  BELINUS, _a chief nobleman_.       } Galfrid
  HIRILDAS, _nephew to Cassibelane_. } Monumetensis
  EULINUS, _nephew to Androgeus_.    } lib. 4.
  CRIDOUS, _king of Albania_.        }
  BRITAEL, _king of Demetia_.        }
  GUERTHED, _king of Ordovicia_.     }

                             NAMES FEIGNED.

  LANTONUS, } _two druids,_
  HULACUS,  } _or priests._

  LANDORA,  } _two ladies_
  CORDELLA, } _mentioned._

  ROLLANO, _a Belgic_.

               _Chorus of five Bards or Poets-Laureate._
                     _Soldiers, Shipmen, Servants._



FUIMUS TROES: THE TRUE TROJANS.


           MERCURY _conducting the ghosts of_ BRENNUS _and_
          CAMILLUS[251] _in complete armour, and with swords_
                               _drawn._

    MER. As in the vaults of this big-bellied earth
    Are dungeons, whips and flames for wicked ghosts;
    So fair Elysian fields, where spotless souls
    Do bathe themselves in bliss.[252] Amongst the rest,[253]
    Two pleasant groves by two sorts are possess'd:
    One by true lovers crown'd with myrtle boughs,
    Who hand-in-hand sing pæans of their joy:
    Brave soldiers hold the second, clad in steel,
    Whose glittering arms brighten those gloomy shades,
    In lieu of starry lights. From hence I bring
    A pair of martial imps,[254] by Jove's decree,
    As sticklers[255] in their nation's enmity.
    Furious Camillus, and, thou Briton bold,
    Great Brennus, sheathe your conquering blades. In vain
    You threaten death; for ghosts may not be slain.

    BREN. From the unbounded ocean and cold climes,
    Where Charles his wain[256] circles the Northern Pole,
    I first led out great swarms of shaggy Gauls
    And big-bon'd Britons. The white-pated Alps,
    Where snow and winter dwell, did bow their necks
    To our victorious feet: Rome, proudest Rome,
    We cloth'd in scarlet of patrician blood,
    And 'bout your Capitol pranc'd our vaunting steeds,
    Defended more by geese,[257] than by your gods.

    CAM. But I cut short your fury, and my sword
    Redeem'd the city, making your huge trunks
    To fat our crows, and dung our Latian fields.
    I turn'd your torrent to another coast;
    And what you quickly won, you sooner lost.

    MER. Leave these weak brawlings. Now swift time hath spent
    A Pylian age and more, since you two breath'd,
    Mirrors of Briton and of Roman valour.
    Lo, now the black imperial bird doth clasp
    Under her wings the continent; and Mars,
    Trampling down nations with his brazen wheels,
    Fights for his nephews, and hath once more made
    Britons and Romans meet. To view these deeds
    I, Hermes, bring you to this upper sky;
    Where you may wander, and with ghastly looks
    Incite your countrymen, when night and sleep
    Conquer the eyes: when weary bodies rest,
    And senses cease,[258] be furies in their breast.
    Never two nations better match'd; for Jove
    Loves both alike. Whence then these armed bands?
    Mavors[259] for Rome, Neptune for Albion stands.

    BREN. Then let war ope his jaws as wide as hell,
    And fright young babes; my country-folk, more stern,
    Can outlook Gorgon. Let the Fates transpos'd
    Hang beaten flags up in the victor's land:
    Full dearly will each pace of ground be sold,
    Which rated is at dearest blood, not gold.
    What! are their ruin'd fanes, demolish'd walls,
    So soon forgot? Doth Allia yet run clear?
    Or can three hundred summers slake their fear?

    CAM. Arise, thou Julian star, whose angry beams
    Be heralds to the North of war and death.
    Let those black calends be reveng'd; those ghosts,
    Whose mangled sheaths, depriv'd of funeral rites,
    Made the six hills promise a Cadmus' crop--
    Be expiated with a fiery deluge.
    Jove rules the spheres, Rome all the world beside;
    And shall this little corner be denied?

    MER. Bandy no more these private frowns; but haste,
    Fly to your parties, and enrage their minds:
    Till, at the period of these broils, I call
    And back reduce you[260] to grim Pluto's hall [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[251] Brennus, king or leader of the Transalpine Gauls. He won the
battle of Allia against the Romans, and in consequence of it made
himself master of their city, which he entered about the year 363 from
its foundation, and committed every excess which wanton barbarity could
dictate. After continuing there some time, he was defeated and driven
out of it by Camillus, then an exile, but created dictator on the
occasion.

[252] So Milton, in "Comus," l. 811--

                        "One sip of this
    Will _bathe the drooping spirits in delight_
    _Beyond the bliss of dreams_."

The thought is much older than Milton, and the following from Chaucer
is still more apposite--

    "His herte was _bathed in a bath of bliss_."

--"Wife of Bath's Tale."

Chaucer has nearly the same expression in his "Book of Troilus," l. 1,
st. 4--

    "But ye lovers that _bathen in gladnesse_."

--_Collier._

[253] See Virgil's "Æneid," bk. vi.

[254] "Impyn," says Mr Steevens (note to the "Second Part of Henry
IV.," act v. sc. 5), is a Welsh word, and primitively signifies
a sprout, a sucker; and by the writers of this period is almost
perpetually used for progeny. So in Chaloner's translation of Erasmus's
"Praise of Folie," 1549, sig. D 3: "Yet truly more pernicious was he to
the common-weale, in leavying so ungracious an _ympe_ as Commodus was,"
&c.

[255] A _stickler_ was a sidesman to a fencer, so called because he
carried a _stick_, wherewith to part the combatants. See Note to "The
Ordinary," [xii. 275.]

[256] Seven stars in the constellation Ursa Minor.

[257] After Brennus had taken the city of Rome, he besieged the
Capitol, and in the night attempted to scale the ramparts. The attempt
was rendered abortive by the cackling of some geese consecrated to
Juno, which were kept as sacred birds, and which being heard, gave an
alarm to the garrison in time enough to save the place they defended.

[258] Generally speaking, this play was more accurately reprinted by
Mr Reed than any other in the whole collection. Nevertheless, several
errors crept in some of them from following the blunders of the old
copy, although that is not so incorrect as many others of the same
date. In a few instances the punctuation was neglected or mistaken, and
such was the case with the passage in the text. It is evident that the
ghosts of Camillus are to "incite their countrymen when night and sleep
conquer the eyes," from scene 7 of act ii., where they work alternately
upon Nennius and Cæsar, who are in "night-robes." Till now the wrong
pointing obscured the sense. See also act v., scene 2.--_Collier._

[259] _i.e._, Mars.



ACT I., SCENE I.


                       DUKE NENNIUS[261] _alone_.

    NEN. Methinks I hear Bellona's dreadful voice
    Redoubled from the concave shores of Gaul:
    Methinks I hear their neighing steads, the groans
    Of complimental souls taking their leave:
    And all the dim and clamorous route which sounds
    When falling kingdoms crack in fatal flames.
    Die, Belgics,[262] die like men! Free minds need have
    Nought but the ground they fight on for their grave:
    And we are next. Think ye the smoky mist
    Of sun-boil'd seas can stop the eagle's eye?[263]
    Or can our wat'ry walls keep dangers out,
    Which fly aloft, that thus we snorting lie,
    Feeding imposthum'd humours, to be lanc'd
    By some outlandish surgeon?
    As they are now, whose flaming towns (like beacons)
    Give us fair warning, and e'en gild our spires,
    Whilst merrily we warm us at their fires.
    Yet we are next: who, charm'd with peace and sloth,
    Dream golden dreams. Go, warlike Britain, go,
    For olive-bough exchange thy hazel-bow:
    Hang up thy rusty helmet, that the bee
    May have a hive, or spider find a loom:
    Instead of soldiers' fare and lodging hard
    (The bare ground being their bed and table), lie
    Smother'd in down, melting in luxury:
    Instead of bellowing drum[264] and cheerful flute,
    Be lull'd in lady's lap with amorous lute.
    But as for Nennius, know, I scorn this calm:
    The ruddy planet at my birth bore sway,
    (Sanguine) adust my humour; and wild-fire
    (My ruling element), blood and rage, and choler,
    Make up the temper of a captain's valour.                   [_Exit._


SCENE II.

               JULIUS CÆSAR, COMIUS VOLUSENUS, LABERIUS;
         _Soldiers, with ensign, a two-necked eagle displayed_
             _sable, drum, ancient, trumpet. A flourish._

    CÆS. Welcome thus far, partners of weal and woe,
    Welcome, brave bloods! Now may our weapons sleep,
    Since Ariovist in cock-boat basely flies;[265]
    Vast Germany stands trembling at our bridge,[266]
    And Gaul lies bleeding in her mother's lap.
    Once the Pellæan duke did eastward march,[267]
    To rouse the drowsy sun, before he rose,
    Adorn'd with Indian rubies: but the main
    Bade him retire. He was my type. This day
    We stand on Nature's western brink; beyond,
    Nothing but sea and sky. Here is _nil ultra_.
    Democritus, make good thy fancy; give me
    More worlds to conquer, which may be both seen
    And won together. But methinks I ken
    A whitish cloud kissing the waves, or else
    Some chalky rocks surmount the barking flood.
    Comius, your knowledge can correct our eyes.

    COM. It is the Britain shore, which ten leagues hence
    Displays her shining cliffs unto your sight.

    CÆS. I'll hit the white.[268] That sea-mark for our ships
    Invites destruction, and gives to our eye
    A treacherous beck. Dare but resist, your shore
    Shall paint her pale face with red crimson gore.

    COM. Thus much I know, great Cæsar--that they lent
    Their secret aid unto the neighbour Gauls;
    Fostering their fugitives with friendly care:
    Which made your victory fly with slower wing.

    CÆS. That's cause enough. They shall not henceforth range
    Abroad for war; we'll bring him to their doors.
    His ugly idol shall displace their gods,
    Their dear Penates, and in desolate streets
    Raise trophies high of barbarous bones, whose stench
    May poison all the rest. I long to stride
    This Hellespont, or bridge it with a navy,
    Disclosing to our empire unknown lands,
    Until the arctic star for zenith stands.

    LAB. Then raise the camp, and strike a dreadful march,
    And unawares pour vengeance on their heads.
    Be like the winged bolt of angry Jove,
    Or chiding torrent, whose late-risen stream
    From mountains' bended top runs raging down,
    Deflow'ring all the virgin dales.

    CÆS. First, let's advise; for soon to ruin come
    Rash weapons, which lack counsel grave at home.

    LAB. What need consulting where the cause is plain?

    CÆS. The likeliest cause without regard proves vain.

    LAB. Provide for battle, but of truce no word.

    CÆS. Where peace is first refus'd, should come the sword.

    LAB. But 'tis unlike their self-presuming might
    Will curbed be with terms of civil right.

    CÆS. 'Tis true: yet so we stop the people's cry,
    When we propose, and they do peace deny.
    We'll therefore wise embassadors despatch,
    Parents of love, the harbingers of leagues;
    Men that may speak with mildness mix'd with courage,
    Having quick feet, broad eyes, short tongues, long ears,
    To warn the British court.
    And further view the ports, fathom the seas,
    Learn their complotments, where invasion may
    Be soonest entertain'd. All this shall lie
    On Volusene, a legate and a spy.

    VOL. My care and quickness shall deserve this kindness.
    Meantime unite, and range your scatter'd troops:
    Embark your legions at the Iccian shore,
    And teach Erynnis[269] swim, which crawl'd before. [_Exeunt._


SCENE III.

                  CASSIBELANUS, ANDROGEUS, TENANTIUS,
                         BELINUS, _Attendants_.

    CAS. Although the people's voice constrains me hold
    This regal staff, whose massy weight would bruise
    Your age and pleasures; yet this, nephews, know,
    Your trouble less, your honour is the same,
    As if you wore the diadem of this isle.
    Meanwhile, Androgeus, hold unto your use
    Our lady-city Troynovant,[270] and all
    The toll and tribute of delicious Kent;
    Of which each quarter can maintain a king.
    Have you, Tenantius, Cornwall's dukedom large,
    Both rich and strong in metals and in men.
    I must to Verulam's fenc'd town repair,
    And as protector for the whole take care.

    AND. My heart agrees. Henceforth, ye sovereign cares,
    State mysteries, false graces, jealous fears,
    The linings of a crown, forsake my brain:
    These territories neither are too wide
    To trouble my content, nor yet too narrow
    To feed a princely train.

    TEN. All thanks I render: your will shall guide ours;
    With treble-twisted love we'll strive to make
    One soul inform three bodies, keeping still
    The same affections both in good and ill.
    Now am I for a hunting-match. Yon thickets
    Shelter a boar, which spoil's the ploughman's hope:
    Whose jaws with double sword, whose back is arm'd
    With bristled pikes; whose fume inflames the air,
    And foam besnows the trampled corn. This beast
    I long to see come smoking to a feast.            [_Exit_ TENANTIUS.


    BEL. Here comes my Belgic friend, Landora's servant.
    What news, Rollano, that thy feet so strive
    To have precedence of each other? Speak!
    I read disturbed passions on thy brow.

    ROL. My trembling heart quivers upon my tongue,
    That scarce I can with broken sounds vent forth
    These sad, strange, sudden, dreary, dismal news.
    A merchant's ship arriv'd tells how the Roman,
    Having run Gaul quite through with bloody arms,
    Prepares for you: his navy, rigg'd in bay,
    Only expects a gale. Farther, they say
    A pinnace landed from him brings command
    Either to lose your freedom or your land.

    CAS. And dares proud Cæsar back our untam'd surges?
    Dreads he not our sea-monsters, whose wild shapes
    Their theatres ne'er yet in picture saw?
    Come, sirs, to arms! to arms! Let speedy posts
    Summon our petty kings, and muster up
    Our valorous nations from the north and west.
    Androgeus, haste you to the Scots and Picts,
    Two names which now Albania's kingdom share:
    Entreat their aid, if not for love, yet fear!
    For new foes should imprint swift-equal fear
    Through all the arteries of this our isle.
    Belinus, thy authority must rouse
    The vulgar troops within thy[271] special charge.
    Fire [all] the beacons, strike alarums loud:
    Raise all the country 'gainst this common foe.

    We'll soon confront him in his full career:
    This news more moves my choler than my fear.              [_Exeunt._

                            ROLLANO _alone_.

    ROL. I am by birth a Belgic, whence I fled
    To Germany for fear of Roman arms:
    But when their bridge bridled the stately Rhine,
    I soon return'd, and thought to hide my head
    In this soft halcyon's nest, this Britain isle.
    And now, behold, Mars is a-nursing here,
    And 'gins to speak aloud.
    Is no nook safe from Rome? Do they still haunt me?
    Some peaceful god transport me through the air,
    Beyond cold Thule[272] or the sun's bedchamber,
    Where only swine or goats do live and reign.
    Yet these may fight. Place me where quiet peace
    Hushes all storms; where sleep and silence dwell,
    Where never man nor beast did wrong the soil,
    Or crop the first-fruits, or made so much noise
    As with their breath. But, foolish thoughts, adieu:
    Now catch I must, or stand or fall with you.                [_Exit._


SCENE IV.

                           EULINUS, HIRILDAS.

    EUL. The court a wardrobe is of living shapes:
    And ladies are the tissue-spangled suits,
    Which Nature wears on festival high days.
    The Court a spring: each madam is a rose.
    The Court is heaven, fair ladies are the stars.[273]

    HIR. Ay, falling stars.

    EUL. False echo, don't blaspheme that glorious sex,
    Whose beauteous rays can strike rash gazers blind.

    HIR. Love should be blind.

    EUL. Pray leave this cynic humour, whilst I sigh
    My mistress' praise. Her beauty's past compare:
    O, would she were more kind, or not so fair!
    Her modest smiles both curb and kindle love.
    The court is dark without her: when she rises,
    The morning is her handmaid, strewing roses.
    About love's hemisphere. The lamps above
    Eclipse themselves for shame to see her eyes,
    Outshine their chrysolites, and more bless the skies
    Than they the earth.

    HIR. Give me her name.

    EUL. Her body is a crystal cage, whose pure
    Transparent mould, not of gross elements
    Compacted, but th' extracted quintessence
    Of sweetest forms distill'd; whose graces bright
    Do live immur'd, but not exempt from sight.

    HIR. I prythee, speak her [name].

    EUL. Her model is beyond all poets' brains
    And painters' pencils: all the lively nymphs,
    Syrens, and Dryads are but kitchen-maids,
    If you compare. To frame the like Pandore,[274]
    The gods repine, and nature would grow poor.

    HIR. By love, who is't? hath she no mortal name?

    EUL. For here you find great Juno's stately front,
    Pallas' grey eye, Venus her dimpled chin,
    Aurora's rosy fingers, the small waist
    Of Ceres' daughter, and Medusa's hair,
    Before it hiss'd.

    HIR. O love, as deaf as thou art blind! Good Eulinus,
    Call home thy soul, and tell thy mistress' name.

    EUL. O strange! what, ignorant still! when as so plainly
    These attributes describe her? Why, she is
    A rhapsody of goddesses; the elixir
    Of all their several perfections. She is
    (Now bless your ears!) by mortals call'd Landora.

    HIR. What! Landora, the Trinobantic lady?
    How grow your hopes? what metal is her breast?

    EUL. All steel and adamant. 'Tis beauty's pride to stain
    Her lily white with blood of lovers slain,
    Their groans make music, and their scalding sighs
    Raise a perfume, and vulture-like she gnaws
    Their bleeding hearts. No gifts, no learned flattery,
    No stratagems, can work Landora's battery.
    As a tall rock maintains majestic state,
    Though Boreas gallop on the tottering seas,
    And tilting split his froth out, spurging waves
    Upon his surly breast; so she resists,
    And all my projects on her cruel heart
    Are but retorted to their author's smart.

    HIR. Why, then, let scorn succeed thy love: and bravely
    Conquer thyself, if thou wilt conquer her:
    Stomachs with kindness cloy'd disdain must stir.

    EUL. Most impious thoughts! O, let me rather perish,
    And loving die, than living cease to love:
    And when I faint, let her but hear my cry.
    Ah me! there's none which truly loves, but I.

    HIR. O ye cross darts of Cupid! this very lady,
    This lady-wasp wooes me, as thou dost her,
    With glances, jewels, bracelets of her hair,
    Lascivious banquets and most eloquent eyes:
    All which my heart misconstrues as immodest,
    It being pointed for another pole.
    But hence learn courage, coz. Why stand you dumb?
    Women are women, and may be o'ercome.

    EUL. Your words are earwigs to my vexed brain;
    Like henbane juice or aconite diffus'd,
    They strike me senseless.
    My kinsman and Hirildas, to my end;
    But I'll ne'er call you councillor or friend.
    Adieu.

    HIR. Stay, stay. For now I mean with gentler breath[275]
    To waft you to your happy landing-place.
    Seeing this crocodile pursues me flying,
    Flies you pursuing, we'll catch her by a trick.
    With promise feign'd I'll 'point a Cupid's stage,
    But in the night and secret, and disguis'd,
    Where thou, which art myself, shalt act my part.
    In Venus' games all cosening goes for art.

    EUL. Bless'd be these means, and happy the success!
    Now 'gin I rear my crest above the moon.
    And in those gilded books read lectures of
    The feminine sex. There moves Cassiope,
    Whose garments shine with thirteen precious stones,
    Types of as many virtues: then her daughter,
    Whose beauty without Perseus would have tam'd
    The monstrous fish, glides with a starry crown:
    Then just Astrea kembs her golden hair:
    And my Landora can become the skies
    As well as they. O, how my joys do swell!
    He mounted not more proud whose burning throne
    Kindled the cedar-tops, and quaff'd whole fountains,
    Fly then, ye winged hours, as swift as thought
    Or my desires: let day's bright waggoner
    Fall headlong, and lie buried in the deep,
    And (dormouse-like) Alcides night outsleep:
    Good Tethys, quench his beams, that he ne'er rise
    To scorch the Moors, to suck up honey-dews,
    Or to betray my person.
    But prythee, tell what mistress you adore?

    HIR. The kind Cordelia, loving and belov'd:
    Only some jar of late about a favour
    Made me inveigh 'gainst women. Come away,
    Our plots desire the night, not babbling day.

    EUL. We must give way: here come our reverend bards
    To sing in synod, as their custom is
    With former chance comparing present deeds.               [_Exeunt._


SCENE V.

          _Chorus of five Bards-Laureate, four Voices, and a_
                           _Harper; attired._

                               1. _Song._

        1. _At the spring_
            _Birds do sing:_
            _Now with high,_
            _Then low cry._
            _Flat, acute;_
            _And salute,_
            _The sun, born_
            _Every morn._

        ALL. _He's no bard that cannot sing_
             _The praises of the flow'ry spring._

        2. _Flora queen,_
            _All in green,_
            _Doth delight_
            _To paint white,_
            _And to spread_
            _Cruel red_
            _With a blue,_
            _Colour true._

        ALL. _He's no bard, &c._

        3. _Woods renew_
            _Hunter's hue._
            _Shepherd's grey_
            _Crown'd with bay,_
            _With his pipe_
            _Care doth wipe,_
            _Till he dream_
            _By the stream._

        ALL. _He's no bard, &c._

        4. _Faithful loves,_
            _Turtle-doves,_
            _Sit and bill_
            _On a hill._
            _Country swains_
            _On the plains_
            _Run and leap,_
            _Turn and skip._

        ALL. _He's no bard, &c._

        5. _Pan doth play_
            _Care away._
            _Fairies small,_
            _Two foot tall,_
            _With caps red_
            _On their head,_
            _Dance around_
            _On the ground._

        ALL. _He's no bard, &c._

        6. _Phillis bright,_
            _Cloth'd in white,_
            _With neck fair,_
            _Yellow hair,_
            _Rocks doth move_
            _With her love,_
            _And make mild_
            _Tigers wild._

        ALL. _He's no bard that cannot sing_
              _The praises of the flow'ry spring._

                              _2d Song._

        _Thus spend we time in laughter,_
          _While peace and spring do smile;_
        _But I hear a sound of slaughter_
          _Draw nearer to our isle._

        _Leave then your wonted prattle,_
          _The oaten reed forbear;_
        _For I hear a sound of battle,_
          _And trumpets tear the air._

        _Let bagpipes die for want of wind,_
          _Let crowd[276] and harp be dumb:_
        _Let little tabor come behind:_
          _For I hear the dreadful drum._

        _Let no birds sing, no lambkins dance,_
          _No fountains murmuring go:_
        _Let shepherd's crook be made a lance._
          _For the martial horns do blow._                    [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[260] Bring you back. _Reduco_, Lat.--_Steevens._

[261] _Dux_ Nennius. The leaders of armies are on this account styled
Dukes by many of our ancient English translators; as Duke Æneas, Duke
Hannibal, &c.--_Steevens._

[262] [Natives of Gallia Belgica, a province comprising the Duchy of
Treves, part of Luxembourg, and the departments of the Meuse, Moselle,
Meurthe, and Vosges. Hazlitt's "Classical Gazetteer," 1851, p. 71.]

[263] The same turn of thought occurs in Mr Gray's celebrated ode
called "The Bard"--

              "Think'st thou yon sanguine cloud,
    Raised by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day?"

--_Steevens._

[264] Imitated from the first speech of Gloster in "King Richard III."

[265] "In bis fuit Ariovistus, qui naviculam deligatam ad ripam nactus
ea profugit."--Cæsar "De Bello Gallico," lib. i. s. 53.

[266] See Cæsar "De Bello Gallico," lib, iv., s. 17, for an account of
this bridge over the Rhine.

[267] Alexander the Great. Pella was a city of Macedon, where he was
born.

[268] A term in archery.

[269] Erynnis is the common name of the sister Furies, but is
frequently used by the poets for mischief in general.--_Steevens._

[270] The ancient name of London.

[271] [Old copy, _my_.]

[272] There is no place oftener mentioned by the ancients than _Thule_,
nor any one about the situation of which there has been a greater
variety of opinions. Sir Robert Sibbald, in the additions to Camden,
has given a discourse concerning the _Thule_ of the ancients, in which
the sentiments of different writers on this subject are considered, and
many of them refuted. Camden supposes _Shetland_ to be the place so
often distinguished by the name of _Thule_; and Bishop Gibson appears
to agree with him in the conjecture. See Camden's "Britannia." vol. ii.
p. 411, edit. 1772.

[273] So in Shakespeare's "King Henry VIII."--

          "These are _stars_ indeed,
    And sometimes _falling ones_."

--_Steevens._

[274] _Pandora_ was a woman formed by Vulcan, with the joint
contribution of all the gods, every one of whom bestowed on her some
grace or beauty.--_Steevens._

[275] In the old copy the four last letters of _breath_ have dropped
out by accident, but they are no doubt rightly restored.--_Collier._



ACT II, SCENE I.


               CASSIBELANUS, CRIDOUS, BRITAEL, GUERTHED,
                 NENNIUS, BELINUS, EULINUS. VOLUSENUS
                             _following_.

    CAS. Heavens favour Cridous, fair Albania's king:
    And Britael, deck'd with the Demetian crown:
    The same to famous Guerthed, whose command
    Embraces woody Ordovic's black hills.
    Legate, you may your message now declare.

    VOL. By me great Cæsar greets the Briton state:
    This letter speaks the rest.

    CAS. Then read the rest.

                           VOLUSENUS _reads_.

     "Cæsar, Proconsul of Gallia, to Cassibelane, King of Britain.

        Since Romulus' race by will of Jove
          Have stretch'd their empire wide
        From Danube's banks (by Tigris swift)
          Unto Mount Atlas' side:
        And provinces and nations strong
          With homage due obey;
        We wish that you, hid in the sea,
          Do likewise tribute pay.
        Submitting all unto our wills
          For rashly aiding Gaul:
        And noble lads for hostages
          Make ready at our call.
        These granted may our friendship gain;
          Denied shall work your woe.
        Now take your choice, whether you'd find
          Rome as a friend or foe."

    CAS. Bold mandates are unwelcome to free princes.
    Legate, withdraw; you shall be soon despatch'd.

                                                      [_Exit_ VOLUSENUS.

    CRI. He writes more like a victor than a foe;
    Whose greatness, risen from subdued nations,
    Is fasten'd only with fear's slippery knot.
    Nor can they fight so fierce for wealth or fame,
    As we for native liberty. With answer rough
    Bid him defiance. So thinks Cridous.

    GUER. Guerthed maintains the same, and on their flesh
    I'll write my answer in red characters.

    BRI. Thou ravenous wolf, imperious monster, Rome,
    Seven-headed Hydra, know, we scorn thy threats:
    We can oppose thy hills with mounts as high,
    And scourge usurpers with like cruelty.
    And thus thinks Britael.

    EUL. Let Cæsar come: our land doth rust with ease,
    And wants an object, whose resisting power
    May strike out valorous flashes from her veins.
    So shadows give a picture life: so flames
    Grow brighter by a fanning blast. Nor think
    I am a courtier and no warrior born,
    Nor love object; for well my poet says:[277]
    _Militat omnis amans_, each lover is a soldier:
    I can join Cupid's bow and Mars his lance.
    A pewter-coat fits me as well as silk.
    It grieves me see our martial spirits trace
    The idle streets, while weapons by their side
    Dangle and lash their backs, as 'twere to upbraid
    Their needless use. Nor is it glory small
    They set upon us last, when their proud arms
    Fathom the land and seas, and reach both poles.
    On, then; so great a foe, so good a cause,
    Shall make our name more famous. So thinks Eulinus.

    CAS. Then, friends and princes, on this blade take oath,[278]
    First to your country to revenge her wrongs;
    And next to me, as general, to be led
    With unity and courage.                      [_They kiss the sword._

    ALL. The gods bless Britain and Cassibelane.

    NEN. Now, royal friends, the heirs of mighty Brute,
    You see what storm hangs hovering o'er this land,
    Ready to pour down cataclysms[279] of blood:
    Let ancient glory then inflame your hearts.
    Beyond the craggy hills of grim-fac'd Death,
    Bright Honour keeps triumphant court, and deeds
    Of martial men live there in marble rolls.
    Death is but Charon to the fortunate isles;
    Porter to Fame.
    What though the Roman, arm'd with foreign spoil,
    Behind him lead the conquer'd world, and hope
    To sink our island with his army's weight:
    Yet we have gods and men and horse to fight,
    And we can bravely die. But our just cause,
    Your forward loves, and all our people edg'd
    With Dardan[280] spirit and the powerful name
    Of country, bid us hope for victory.
    We have a world within ourselves, whose breast
    No foreigner hath unrevenged press'd
    These thousand years. Though Rhine and Rhone can serve,
    And envy Thames his never captive stream,
    Yet maugre all, if we ourselves are true,
    We may despise what all the earth can do.[281]

    CAS. Let's then dismiss the legate with a frown:
    And draw our forces t'ward the sea, to join
    With the four kings of Kent, and so affront[282]
    His first arrival. But, before all, let
    Our priests and Druids, in their hallow'd groves,
    Propitiate the gods, and scan events
    By their mysterious arts.                                 [_Exeunt._


SCENE II.

                      EULINUS, HIRILDAS, ROLLANO.

    HIR. Well, so: your tongue's your own, though drunk or angry.

    ROL. Umh!                                        [_Seals his mouth._

    HIR. Speak not a word, upon your life: be dumb.

    ROL. Umh!                                        [_Gives him money._

    HIR. I'll winch up thy estate. Be Harpocrates.[283]

    ROL. Umh!

    HIR. Thy fortunes shall be double-gilt. Be midnight.

    ROL. Umh!

    HIR. An excellent instrument, to be the bawd
    To his dear lady! But, Rollano, hark;
    What words, what looks did give my letter welcome?

    ROL. Umh!

    HIR. Nay, now thy silence is antedated: speak.

    ROL. Umh!

    HIR. I give thee leave, I say. Speak, be not foolish.

    ROL. Then, with your leave, she us'd, upon receipt,
    No words, but silent joy purpl'd her face;
    And seeing your name, straight clapp'd it to her heart,
    To print there a new copy; as she'd say,
    The words went by her eyes too long a way.

    HIR. You told her my conditions, and my oath
    Of silence, and that only you be used?

    ROL. All, sir.

    HIR. And that this night----

    ROL. Ay, sir.

    HIR. You guard the door----

    ROL. Ay, sir.

    HIR. But I ne'er mean to come.

    ROL. No, sir? O wretch!
    Shall I deceive, when she remains so true?

    HIR. No. Thou shalt be true, and she remain deceiv'd.
    I'll lie, and yet I will not lie. My friend
    Eulinus, in my shape, shall climb her bed,
    This is the point. You'll promise all your aid?

    ROL. Your servant to command, and then reward.

    EUL. We'll draw thee, meteor-like, by our warm favour,
    Unto the roof and ceiling of the court:
    We'll raise thee (hold but fast) on fortune's ladder.
                                                        [_Exit_ ROLLANO.
    This fellow is a medley of most lewd
    And vicious qualities: a braggart, yet a coward;
    A knave, and yet a slave: true to all villany,
    But false to goodness. Yet now I love him,
    Because he stands just in the way of love.

    HIR. Coz, I commend you to the Cyprian queen,
    Whilst I attend Diana in the forest:
    My kinsman Mandubrace and I must try
    Our greyhounds' speed after a lightfoot hare.

                                                       [_Exit_ HIRILDAS.

    EUL. O love! whose nerves unite in equal bonds
    This massy frame! thou cement of the world!
    By which the orbs and elements agree,
    By which all living creatures joy to be,
    And dying live in their posterity.
    Thy holy raptures warm each noble breast,
    Sweetly inspiring more soul. Thy delight
    Surpasses melody, nectar, and all pleasures
    Of Tempe, and of Tempe's eldest sister,
    Elysium: a banquet of all the senses!
    By thy commanding power gods into beasts,
    And men to gods, are chang'd, as poets say;
    When sympathy rules, all like what they obey.
    But love triumphs when man and woman meet
    In full affection; double vows then fill
    His sacred shrine. Yet this to me denied
    More whets my passion: mutual love grows cold.
    Venus, be thou propitious to my wiles,
    And laugh at lovers' perjuries and guiles.                  [_Exit._


SCENE III.

            LANTONUS, HULACUS, _two Druids, in long robes;_
              _hats like pyramids, branches of misletoe._

    LAN. That souls immortal are, I easily grant;
    Their future state distinguish'd--joy or pain,
    According to the merits of this life.
    But then, I rather think, being free from prison
    And bodily contagion, they subsist
    In places fit for immaterial spirits;
    Are not transfus'd from men to beasts, from beasts
    To men again--wheel'd round about by change.

    HUL. And were it not more cruel to turn out
    Poor naked souls stripp'd of warm flesh (like land-lords),
    Bidding them wander? then forsooth imagine
    Some unknown cave or coast, whither all the myriads
    Of souls deceas'd are shipp'd[284] and thrust together.
    Nay, reason rather says, as at one moment
    Some die, and some are born, so may their ghosts
    Without more cost serve the succeeding age:
    For (sure) they don't wear to be cast aside,
    But enter straight less or more noble bodies,
    According to desert of former deeds:
    The valiant into lions; coward minds
    Into weak hares; th' ambitious into eagles
    Soaring aloft; but the perverse and peevish
    Are next indeniz'd[285] into wrinkled apes,
    Each vice and virtue wearing seemly shapes.

    LAN. So you debase the gods' most lively image.
    The human soul, and rank it with mere brutes,
    Whose life, of reason void, ends with their sense.

                            _Enter_ BELINUS.

    BEL. Hail to heaven's privy councillors! The king
    Desires your judgment of these troublesome times.

    LAN. The gods foretold these mischiefs long ago.

    In Eldell's reign the earth and sky were fill'd
    With prodigies, strange sights, and hellish shapes:
    Sometimes two hosts with fiery lances met,
    Armour and horse being heard amid the clouds:
    With streamers red now march these airy warriors,
    And then a sable hearse-cloth wraps up all;
    And bloody drops speckled the grass, as falling
    From their deep-wounded limbs:
    Whilst staring comets[286] shook their flaming hair.
    Thus all our wars were acted first on high,
    And we taught what to look for.

    HUL. Nature turns stepdame to her brood, and dams
    Deny their monstrous issue. Saturn, join'd
    In dismal league with Mars, portends some change.
    Late in a grove, by night, a voice was heard
    To cry aloud, _Take heed: more Trojans come!_
    What may be known or done, we'll search, and help
    With all religious care.

    BEL. The king and army do expect as much:
    That powers divine, perfum'd with odours sweet,
    And feasted with the fat of bulls and rams,
    Be pleas'd to bless their plots.

    LAN. All rites and orisons due shall be perform'd:
    Chiefly night's empress fourfold honour craves,
    Mighty in heaven and hell, in woods and waves.            [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

                CÆSAR, VOLUSENUS, LABERIUS, _Soldiers_.

    CÆS. What land, what people, and what answer, show.

    VOL. We saw a paradise, whose bosom teems
    With silver ore, whose seas are paved with pearl,
    The meadows richly spread with Flora's tapestry;
    The fields even wonder at their harvest-loads:
    In crystal streams the scaly nations play,
    Fring'd all along with trembling poplar trees.
    The sun in summer, loth to leave their sight,
    Forgets to sleep, and glancing makes no night.
    Then, for the men, their stature's tall and big.
    With blue-stain'd skins and long black dangling hair,
    Promise a barbarous fierceness. They scarce know,
    And much less fear our empire's might: but thus
    Return'd defiance:--

         "Cassibelane, King of Britain, to Julius Cæsar,[287]
                         Proconsul of Gallia.

    Seeing your empire's great, why should it not suffice?
    To covet more and more is tyrants' usual guise.
    To lose what Jove you gave, you'd think it but unjust;
    You have your answer then; defend this isle we must:
    Which from the world cut off, and free from her first day,
    Hath iron more for swords than gold for tribute's pay.
    If amity and like fear succour to Gaul imparts,
    Pardon, for this small brook could not divide our hearts.
    We hope the gods will help, and fortune back our cause,
    Who take arms but to keep our lives, our wives, and laws.
    As you from Troy, so we our pedigree do claim:
    Why should the branches fight when as the root's the same?
    Despise us not because the sea and north us close:
    Who can no farther go, must turn upon their foes.
    Thus rudely we conclude: wage war, or change your will,
    We hope to use a lance far better than a quill."

    CÆS. I grieve to draw my sword against the stock
    Of thrice-renowned Troy; but they are rude,
    And must be frighted, ere we shall be friends.
    Then let's aboard, and (hoisting sails) convey
    Two legions over; for I long to view
    This unknown land and all their fabulous rites:
    And gather margarites[288] in my brazen cap.
    Nature nor fates can valorous virtue stop.

    LAB. Now Cæsar speaks like Cæsar: stronger and stronger,
    Rise like a whirlwind; tear the mountain's pride;
    Shake thy brass harness, whose loud clattering may
    Waken Gradivus[289], where he sleeps on top
    Of Hæmus, lull'd with Boreas' roaring base,
    And put to flight this nation with the noise.
    A fly is not an eagle's combatant.
    Nor may a pigmy with a giant strive.                      [_Exeunt._


SCENE V.

         CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS; COMIUS _following. Attendants._

    COM. Health and good fortune on Cassibelane 'tend:
    My love to you and Britain waft me hither
    To make atonement, ere the Roman leader
    Bring fire and spoil, and ruin on your heads.
    No herb can ever grow where once he treads:
    Nothing withstands his force. Be not too hardy,
    But buy a friend with kindness, lest you buy
    His anger dearly.

    CAS. Comius, speak no more: he knows our mind.

    COM. O, let not rage so blind your judgment, but
    Prevent with ease the hazard of a war,
    Of war, a word compos'd of thousand ills.
    O, be not cruel to yourselves! I'll undertake
    Without discredit to appease his wrath,
    If you'll cashier your soldiers, and receive
    Him like a guest, not like an enemy.

    CAS. False-hearted Gaul, dar'st thou persuade e'en me
    For to betray my people to the sword?
    Now know I thou art sent for to solicit
    Our princes to rebel, to learn our strength.
    Lay hands on him! a spy!

    ALL. A spy! a spy! a traitor and a spy!

                                                      [_They chain him._

    COM. Is this the guerdon[290] of my loving care?
    You break the laws of nature, nations, friends.
    But look for due revenge at Cæsar's hand.

    CAS. Expect in prison thy revenge. Away with him!

                                                         [_Exit_ COMIUS.

    Belinus, have you muster'd up our forces?

    BEL. Yes, if it please your highness.

    CAS. And what are the particulars?

    BEL. First Cridous leads from the Albanian realm,
    Where Grampius' ridge divides the smiling dales,
    Five thousand horse and twenty thousand foot,
    Three thousand chariots mann'd. The Brigants come,
    Deck'd with blue-painted shields, twelve thousand strong;
    Under the conduct of Demetia's prince
    March twice three thousand, armed with pelts[291] and glaves;[292]
    Whom the Silures flank, eight thousand stout,
    Greedy of fight, born soldiers the first day,
    Whose grey-goose winged shafts ne'er flew in vain.
    Then Guerthed, mounted on a shag-hair steed,
    Full fifteen thousand brings, both horse and foot,
    Of desperate Ordovicians, whose use is
    To rush half-naked on their foes, enrag'd
    With a rude noise of pipes.
    Your province, bounded with that boiling stream[293]
    Where Sabrine (lovely damsel) lost her breath,
    And with curl'd-pated Humber, Neptune's heir,
    Affords eight thousand cars, with hooks and scythes,
    And fifty thousand expert men of war;
    All brave Loëgrians, arm'd with pike and spear;
    Each nation, being distinguish'd into troops,
    With gaudy pennons flickering[294] in the air.

    Besides these, Kent is up in arms to blunt
    The edge of their first furious shock.

    CAS. We'll now invite them to a martial feast,
    Carving with falchions, and carousing healths
    In their lives' moisture.

                           _Enter_ ANDROGEUS.

    Well-returned, Androgeus:
    Have you obtain'd, or is your suit denied?

    AND. Our message told unto the Scots; their king
    With willing sympathy levies a band,
    Ten thousand footmen, whose strange appetites
    Murder and then devour; and dare gnaw and suck
    Their enemies' bones. Conducted thence, we saw
    The Pictish court, and friendly entertain'd,
    Receive eight thousand, whose most ugly shapes,
    Painted like bears and wolves, and brinded tigers,
    May kill and stonify without all weapons.
    More aid they promise, if more need. These forces,
    Led by Cadallan, hither march with speed.

    CAS. 'Tis well, our kings consent for common good.
    When all are join'd, we shall o'erspread the hills,
    And soldiers, thicker than the sand on shore,
    Hide all the landing coasts. Ere next daybreak,
    The rocks shall answer what the drum doth speak.          [_Exeunt._


SCENE VI.

                    HULACUS, LANTONUS, _Ministers_.

    LAN. That ceremonious fear, which bends the heart
    Of mortal creatures, and displays itself
    In outward signs of true obedience,
    As prayer, kneeling, sacrifice, and hymns,
    Requires again help from immortal deities,
    As promise, not as debt. We laud their names:
    They give us blessings, and forgive our blames.
    Thus gods and men do barter: what in piety
    Ascends, as much descends again in pity;
    A golden chain reaching from heaven to earth.

    HUL. And now's the time, good brother, of their aid,
    When danger's black face frowns upon our state.
    Away, away, ye hearts and tongues profane!
    Without devotion mysteries are vain.

                                    [_They kneel, elevate hands thrice._

    LAN. Draw near, ye heavenly powers,
        Who dwell in starry bowers;
        And ye, who in the deep
        On mossy pillows sleep;
        And ye who keep the centre,
        Where never light did enter;
        And ye whose habitations
        Are still among the nations;
        To see and hear our doings,
        Our births, our wars, our wooings:
        Behold our present grief,
        Belief doth beg relief.

                       _Both going around say_--

        By the vervain and lunary,
        By fern-seed planetary,
        By the dreadful misletoe,
        Which doth on holy oak grow,
        Draw near, draw near, draw near!

    HUL. Help us, beset with danger,
        And turn away your anger;
        Help us, begirt with trouble,
        And now your mercy double:
        Help us, oppress'd with sorrow,
        And fight for us to-morrow.
        Let fire consume the foeman,
        Let air infect the Roman:
        Let seas entomb their fury,
        Let gaping earth them bury:
        Let fire, and air, and water,
        And earth, conspire their slaughter.

    BOTH. By the vervain, &c.
        Help us, help us, help us!

    LAN. We'll praise then your great pow'r,
        Each month, each day, each hour;
        And blaze in lasting story
        Your honour and your glory.
        High altars lost in vapour,
        Young heifers free from labour,
        White lambs for suck still crying,
        Shall make your music dying.
        The boys and girls around,
        With honeysuckles crown'd;
        The bards with harp and rhyming,
        Green bays their brows entwining,
        Sweet tune and sweeter ditty,
        Shall chant your gracious pity.

    BOTH. By the vervain, &c.
        We'll praise, we'll praise, we'll praise!

                             [_The image of the moon: the shrine opens._

    HUL. Fix, holy brother, now your prayers on one,
    Britain's chief patroness: with humble cry
    Let us invoke the moon's bright majesty.              [_They kneel._

    LAN. Thou queen of heaven, commandress of the deep,
    Lady of lakes, regent of woods and deer,
    A lamp dispelling irksome night, the source
    Of generable moisture; at whose feet,
    With garments blue and rushy garlands dress'd,
    Wait twenty thousand Naiades: thy crescent
    Brute elephants adore, and man doth feel
    Thy force run through the zodiac of his limbs.
    O thou first guide of Brutus to this isle,
    Drive back these proud usurpers from this isle.
    Whether the name of Cynthia's silver globe:
    Or chaste Diana with a gilded quiver:
    Or dread Proserpina, stern Dis his spouse:
    Or soft Lucina, call'd in childbed throes,
    Doth thee delight--rise with a glorious face,
    Green drops of Nereus trickling down thy cheeks,
    And with bright horns, united in full orb,
    Toss high the seas, with billows beat the banks,
    Conjure up Neptune and th' Æolian slaves;
    Contract both night and winter in a storm,
    That Romans lose their way, and sooner land
    At sad Avernus, than at Albion's strand.
    So may'st thou shun the dragon's head and tail!
    So may Endymion snort on Latmian bed!
    So may the fair game fall before thy bow:
    Shed light on us, but lightning on our foe!

    HUL. Methinks a gracious lustre spreads her brow,
    And with a nod she ratifies our suit.

    WITHIN. Come near, and take this oracle.

    LAN. Behold, an oracle flies out from her shrine;
    Which both the king and state shall see, before
    We dare unfold it.                                        [_Exeunt._


SCENE VII.

               BRENNUS'S GHOST, NENNIUS _in night-robes_.

    BREN. Follow me.

    NEN. Follow! what means that word? who art? thy will?

    BREN. Follow me, Nennius.

    NEN. He names me: sure, it is some friend which speaks.
    I'll follow thee, though't be through Stygian lakes.

    BREN. 'Tis ancient Brennus calls, whose victories
    Europe and Asia felt, and still record.
    Dear Nennius, now's the time to steel thy courage;
    Canst thou behold thy mother captive, then
    Look back upon thy ancestors, enroll'd
    Among the worthies who spread wide her fame?
    First let thy eyeballs pour out poison'd beams,
    And kill them with disdain, who dare but lift
    Their hand against her. No: no consul must
    Boast of her thraldom, and outbrave our walls.
    I wonder that such impudent owls should gaze
    Against the splendour of our Briton cliffs:
    Play thou a second Brennus: let thy lance,
    Like an Herculean club, two monsters tame,
    Rome's avarice and pride so come life or death,
    Let honour have the incense of thy breath.                  [_Exit._

    NEN. Farewell, heroic soul; thou shalt not blush
    At Nennius' deeds. The smallest drop of fame
    Is cheap, if death and dangers may it buy.
    Yet give thy words new vigour to my spirits,
    And spur the Pegasus of my mounting thoughts.
    I'll follow thee o'er piles of slaughter'd foes,
    And knock at Pluto's gate. I come. Come life or death,
    Honour, to thee I consecrate my breath.                     [_Exit._

                  CÆSAR, CAMILLUS'S GHOST _following_.

    CAM. Julius, stay here; thy friend Camillus speaks.

    CÆS. O thou preserver of our present race!
    Our city's second founder! what dire fate
    Troubles thy rest, that thou shouldst trouble mine?

    CAM. Only to bid thee fight.

    CÆS. Thou shalt not need.

    CAM. And bid thee take a full revenge on this--
    This nation, which did sack and burn down Rome,
    Quenching the coals with blood, and kick'd our ashes,
    Trampling upon the ruins of our state;
    Then led the Gauls in triumph thorough Greece,
    To fix their tents beside Euxinus' gulf.

    CÆS. Is this that Northern rout, the scourge of kingdoms,
    Whose names, till now unknown, we judged Gauls--
    Their tongue and manners not unlike?

    CAM. Gauls were indeed the bulk; but Brennus led
    (Then brother to the British king) those armies,
    Back'd with great troops of warlike islanders.
    To thee belongs to render bad for ill.
    O, be my spirit doubled in thy breast,
    With all the courage of three Scipios,
    Marius and Sylla, that this nation, fierce
    In feats of war, be forc'd to bear our yoke.                [_Exit._

    CÆS. So may'st thou sweetly rest, as I shall strive
    To trace your steps: nor let me live, if I
    Thence disappointed ever seem to fly.                       [_Exit._


SCENE VIII.

                                CHORUS.

                              _1st Song._

        _Ancient bards have sung_
          _With lips dropping honey_
        _And a sugar'd tongue,_
          _Of our worthy knights:_
        _How Brute_[295] _did giants tame,_
          _And, by Isis' current,_
        _A second Troy did frame:_
          _A centre of delights._

        _Locrinus'_[296] _eldest son_
        _Did drown the furious Hun,_
          _But burnt himself with Elstred's love:_
        _Leil_,[297] _rex pacificus;_
        _Elud_,[298] _judicious,_
          _Now heavenly bodies roll above._
        _Wise Bladud_[299] _founded hath_
        _Both soul and body's bath,_
          _Like Icarus he flew:_
        _Now first Mulmutius_[300] _wears_
        _A golden crown, whose heirs_
          _More than half the world subdue._

                              _2d Song._

        _Thou nurse of champions, O thou spring_
          _Whence chivalry did flow!_
        _Thou diamond of the world's great ring,_
          _Thy glorious virtue show:_

        _Thou many a lord hast bred,_
        _In catalogue of fame read;_
          _And still we have_
          _As captives brave,_
        _As ever Britons led._
        _Then dub a dub, dub._
                      _The armies join, tantara._

        _Cassibelane with armour gay_
          _And strongly couched lance,_
        _His courser white turn'd into bay,_
          _On carcases shall prance._
        _What a crimson stream the blade_
          _Of Nennius' sword hath made!_
            _Black Allia's day_
            _And Cannæ's fray_
        _Have for a third long stay'd._
        _Then dub a dub, dub._
                      _The armies join, tantara._

FOOTNOTES:

[276] [Fiddle.]

[277] Ovid.--_Steevens._

[278] [An usual form in ancient times.]

[279] Deluges.--_Steevens._

[280] [Allusively to the fabled descent of the Britons from the
Trojans.]

[281] The same sentiment is introduced by Shakespeare into "King John,"
act v. sc. 7--

    "This England never did, nor never shall,
    Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.
    But when it first did help to wound itself;
    Now these her princes are come home again,
    Come the three corners of the world in arms.
    And we shall shock them: nought shall make us rue,
    If England to itself _do rest but true_."

Again, in the old play of "King John," 1591--

    "If England's Peers and People join in one,
    Nor Pope, nor France, nor Spain can do them wrong."

The same sentiment is in Borde's "Book of the Introduction of
Knowledge," sig. A 4: "They (_i.e._, the English) fare sumptiously,
God is served in their churches devoutli, but treason and deceit among
them is used craftyly, ye more pitie, _for yf they were true wjthin
themselfs, thei nede not to feare, although al nations were set
against them_, specialli now, consydering our noble prince (_i.e._,
Henry VIII.) hath and dayly dothe make noble defences as castels," &c.

[282] See note to "Cornelia," [v. 211.]

[283] A metaphor, from engines by which weights are raised or _winched_
up. Harpocrates was the god of silence.

[284] [Old copy, _slipt_].

[285] I suppose this word is compounded from _denizen_, _i.e._, one
made free, and here very licentiously employed.--_Steevens._

[286] So in Milton's "Paradise Lost," bk. ii. l. 706--

    "Incens'd with indignation Satan stood
    Unterrify'd, and like a _comet_ burn'd,
    That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge
    In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid _hair_
    _Shakes_ pestilence and war."

[287] See the letter printed in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History, bk. iv.
c. 2.

[288] Pearls. In 1596 Tho. Lodge published a pamphlet, entitled, "A
Margarite of America."

[289] Mars.

    "_Gradivumque_ patrem Geticis qui præsidet arvis."

--_Virgil_, _Æneid_, iii. 35.

[290] Reward.

[291] Shields. The author of this play appears to advantage in this and
the subsequent catalogues of warriors.--_Steevens._

[292] Broadswords.

[293] The Severn.

[294] Fluttering.

[295] See note to act iii., sc. 5.

[296] See Geoffrey of Monmouth, bk. ii.; the play of "Locrine,"
[probably by Charles Tylney, and falsely] attributed to Shakespeare;
and Evans's "Old Ballads," vol. i.

[297] See Geoffrey of Monmouth, bk. ii. c. 9.

[298] _Ibid._, bk. iii. c. 19.

[299] _Ibid._, bk. ii. c. 10.

[300] Dunwallo Molmutius. See note to act iii. sc. 5. There was an
old historical play called "Mulmutius Dunwallo," which in Henslowe's
MS. has the date of September 1598 affixed to it; but it must have
been written much earlier, as William Rankins, the author of it, had
long before repented of his "lewd life," and in 1587 published his
"Mirror of Monsters," a puritanical attack on the stage and plays in
general.--_Collier._



ACT III., SCENE I.


           _Noise of ships landing, and the battle within._

             CÆSAR, VOLUSENUS, LABERIUS, ATRIUS. _Ensign,_
                            _drums, flags._

    CÆS. Our landing cost us dearly, many lives
    Between the ships and shore being sacrific'd:
    Our men, with heavy armour clogg'd, and ignorant
    Of all the flats and shallows, were compell'd
    To wade and fight, like Tritons, half above,
    Half under water. Now we surer tread,
    Though much diminish'd by so many lost.
    Come on, come on.                          [_They march and go out._

               CASSIBELANUS, CRIDOUS, BRITAEL, GUERTHED,
             _the four Kings of Kent_, NENNIUS, ANDROGEUS,
                TENANTIUS, EULINUS, HIRILDAS, BELINUS,
                  ROLLANO. _Ensigns, drum. A march._

    CAS. So, let them land. No matter which they choose,
    Fishes or crows, to be executors.
    They'll find the land as dangerous as the sea.
    The nature of our soil won't bear a Roman,
    As Irish earth doth poison poisonous beasts.[301]
    On then! charge close, before they gather head.

    NEN. Brother, advance. On this side I'll lead up
    The new-come succours of the Scots and Picts.

                                               [_They march and go out._

                              CÆSAR, _&c._

    CÆS. What, still fresh supplies come thronging from their dens!
    The nest of hornets is awake. I think
    Here's nature's shop: here men are made, not born;
    Nor stay nine tedious months, but in a trice
    Sprout up like mushrooms at war's thunderclap.
    We must make out a way.                                   [_Exeunt._

                      ROLLANO, _armed cap-a-pie_.

    ROL. Since I must fight, I am prepar'd to fight!
    And much inflam'd with noise of trump and drum:
    Methinks I am turn'd lion, and durst meet
    Ten Cæsars. Where are all these covetous rogues,
    Who spoil the rich for gain, and kill the poor
    For glory? bloodsuckers and public robbers.

                          [LABERIUS _enters_, ROLLANO _retires, afraid;_
                                     _but being gone out, goes forward_.

    ROL. Nay, stay, and brag Rollano did thee kill:
    Stay, let me flesh my sword, and wear thy spoils.

                                   [LABERIUS _re-enters with an ensign_.

    LAB. Come, will ye forsake your ensign, and fall off?
    I call to witness all the gods, I here
    Perform my duty. Thou canst not escape.

                         [ROLLANO _would fly, fights, falls as wounded_.

    Now die, or yield thyself!

    ROL. I yield, I yield! O, save my life, I yield!
    I am no Briton, but by chance come hither.
    I'll never more lift weapon in their quarrel.

    LAB. How may I trust your faith?

    ROL. Command me anything.

    LAB. Lay down your neck.                            [_Treads on it._
    Give up your sword.                            [_Beats him with it._
    Base coward, live: such foes will ne'er do hurt.            [_Exit._

              _Enter_ EULINUS, ANDROGEUS, BELINUS, _with_
                            _bloody swords_.

    EUL. Rollano! what, at stand? pursue the chase.

    ROL. I made their strongest captain fly: this hand,
    This martial hand, I say, did make him fly.

    EUL. Some silly scout!

    ROL. He was a match for Cyclops; at each step
    The ground danc'd, and his nostrils blew the dust:
    Arm'd as the god of battle pictur'd is.

    EUL. What were his looks?

    ROL. His brows were like a stormy winter night,
    When Juno scolding and Mars malcontent
    Disturb the air. At each look lightning flies;
    Jove 'gainst the giants needed but his eyes.

    EUL. How eloquent is fear!

    ROL. So came he stalking with a beam-like spear:
    I gave the onset, then receiv'd his charge,
    And next blow cleft his morion:[302] so he flies.

    EUL. O, bravely done! here comes a straggling soldier.

                           _Enter_ LABERIUS.

    ROL. 'Tis he, 'tis he. I care not for vain glory;
    It's sweeter live, than dead to be a story.            [_Runs away._

    EUL. O valiant coward, stay! There's not a spark
    Of Briton spirit doth enlive thy corpse.                  [_Exeunt._


SCENE II.

                          NENNIUS _pursuing_.

    NEN. Fight, Britons, fight! The day is ours. I'm cloy'd
    And glutted e'en with slaughter. There some fly,
    And flying die, and dying mangled lie.
    I twice broke through the ranks, yet cannot find
    That vent'rous captain Cæsar, on whose breast
    I long to try my blade, and prick that bladder
    Puff'd with ambition and victorious fight.

CÆSAR _enters_.

    CÆS. We may confess they come of Trojan kind;
    An hundred valiant Hectors here we find.

    NEN. Fairly encounter'd: let our blades discuss
    Who hath the justest cause; and on this combat
    May Victory her equal balance hang.

    CÆS. Thou seem'st a worthy prince, and Cæsar's match.

                            [_They fight, wounds_ NENNIUS _in the head,_
                           _who staggers; fights, and recovers_ CÆSAR'S
                                _sword fallen, and puts him to flight_.

    NEN. Stay, stay! Thou art at home: here's Campus Martius.
    The Britons, sought for, see thy frighted back:
    Return, and take possession of our isle,
    And by thy death be styl'd Britannicus.
    Leave not thy blade unsheath'd: a tyrant's heart
    To his own sword a scabbard should impart.
    Ye senators and gaily-gown'd Quirites,
    Open the Capitol's ivory gates, and lead
    Fat bulls with garlands green and gilded horns:
    Let supplications last for twice ten days:
    Cæsar returns a victor!
    Prepare the laureate coach and snow-white steeds,
    Embroider'd canopy and scarlet gowns:
    Let altars smoke, and tholes expect our spoils,[303]
    Cæsar returns in triumph! Basely flies,
    And leaves his conquest in weak infancy.
    For had he won this coast, yet many blows
    Must pass, ere he could pass the Thames; and then,
    Ere he touch Humber, many nations must
    Be tam'd; and then, before he Tweed can drink,
    And climb the craggy rocks of Caledon,
    A life is spent--yea, many thousand lives.
    O, my wound rages, and tormented brain
    Doth labour of a fury, not a Pallas.[304]
    This blade was steep'd in poison: O, I'm poison'd!
    Well didst thou fly, or I had made thee taste
    Thine own provision. Now my wrath and pain
    With double force shall flow in purple streams.
    The three infernal ladies with wire whips
    And speckled snakes shall lackey close my steps,
    While that I offer hecatombs of men.
    The Latian shepherd's brood[305] shall ban those stars,
    Whose glimmering sparks led their audacious pines
    To lie so far from home in foreign soil.
    When cedars fall, whole woods are crush'd; nor die
    Can Nennius private without company.

                           _Enter_ LABERIUS.

    Thou runn'st upon thy death.

    LAB. A Roman never daunted was with looks,
    Else had not Samartane and Lybian bugbears
    Been captive led in chains.

    NEN. But our looks kill.                 [_Fight._ LABERIUS _falls_.
    Die, slave, by Cæsar's sword! Thou art his friend.
    Die as the ransom of his greater ghost;
    And learn, as well as I, how venom smarts.
    Be thou my post to the Tartarian prince,
    And tell him Nennius comes: but first I'll send
    More of you headlong home, a nearer way
    Than by the cloudy Alps.                 [_Exit. A retreat sounded._


SCENE III.

                    CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS, LANTONUS.

    CAS. Now hot alarums die in fainter notes:
    Tempestuous night is gone: victorious joy--
    As when pale Eos[306] cleaves the eastern fogs,
    And, blushing more and more, opes half her eye,
    With holy water sprinkling all the meads,
    Whose clear reflex serves as her morning glass--
    Doth paint with gaudy plumes the chequer'd sky.
    The only name of victory sounds sweeter
    Than all mellifluous rhetoric.

    LAT. Thanks to Andates,[307] whose power kingdoms feel--
    Andates, greatest goddess: in whose train
    Fear, red-fac'd anger, and confusion's wheel,
    Murder and desolation run before:
    But joyful shouts, mirth, olive-budding peace,
    And laurel-crowned triumph at her back
    Do pace with stately steps. Thy temple is
    The earth, where furious monarchs play the priests:
    Armies of men imbrue thy altar-stones.
    Thanks also to the trident-shaker's mace,[308]
    Drawn by two rampant sea-horses, at whose beck
    The waters wrinkled frown or smoothly smile.
    But thou, heav'n's diamond, fair Phoebus' sister,
    Nor Delian dames nor the Ephesian towers
    Shall blazon more thy praise. Thy influence strong
    Struck up the sandy ooze, that madding waves
    Batter'd their ships, and dash'd their bended sails,
    And with a tempest turn'd them round in scorn.

    CAS. But where's the answer which her idol gave?
    Can you expound the sense?

    LAN. Dread sovereign, thus runs the oracle--

    _Loud doth the king of beasts roar,_
    _High doth the queen of birds soar:_
    _But her wings clipp'd soon grow out;_
    _Both repent they are so stout._
    _Till C. 'gainst C. strike a round,_
    _In a perfect circle bound._

    The meaning, wrapp'd up in cross doubtful terms,
    Lies yet thus open. That disastrous fate
    Must be the prologue to a joyful close.
    The rest we'll search out, if our skill don't fail.

    BEL. Renown'd Cassibelane, might my counsel speak?

    CAS. I know thy loyal heart and prudent head,
    Upon whose hairs Time's child, Experience, hangs
    A milk-white badge of wisdom; and canst wield
    Thy tongue in senate and thy hands in field.
    Speak free, Belinus.

    BEL. We forfeit fame and smother victory
    By idle lingering: the foe discomfited
    Must needs be much amaz'd; his ships dismember'd,
    Do piecemeal float upon the waves: the horse,
    Whose succour he expects, are beaten back
    By friendly winds: his camp contracted is:
    A tithe of soldiers left, the rest all slain:
    His chief munition spent or lost: provision
    (An army's soul) but what we give, he wants.
    What then shall hinder to destroy their name?
    So none again shall venture: but our isle,
    Rounded with Nereus' girdle, may enjoy
    Eternal peace.

    CAS. I like thy warning; with united stroke
    Of all our nations we'll his camp beleaguer,
    Devouring ships and men. But one mischance,
    My brother's wound (his mortal wound, I fear)
    Turns all to wormwood. Why were ye dumb, ye idols?
    No sainted statue did foretell this grief.
    Come, let's go visit him. You may, lord general,
    Set Comius free; we love not to insult,
    But render good for ill.                                  [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

                        CÆSAR, VOLUSENUS, _&c._

    CÆS. Heaven, sea and wind, and all the elements,
    Conspire to work us harm. Our ships, in Gaul
    Windbound, at length put forth and come in view,
    Are toss'd and torn; our navy on the shore
    With civil discord break each other's planks.
    The airy rulers are displeas'd; all day
    Noises and nimble flashes, mix'd with rain,
    Amaze our soldiers.
    To make grief full, my daughter's death I hear.
    When, powerful fortune, will thy anger cease?
    Never till now did Cæsar fortune fear.
    Mount Palatine, thou throne of Jove, and ye,
    Whose lesser turrets pinnacle Rome's head,
    Are all your deities fled? or was I bold
    To outgo nature, and our empire stretch
    Beyond her limits? Pardon, then, my fault.
    Or do we basely faint? Or is our might
    Answer'd with like, since Troy 'gainst Troy doth fight?
    Nor can I write now, _I came over, and_
    _I overcame:_ such foes deny such haste.

    VOL. The islanders consult, and (sure) intend
    Some sudden stratagem. And now the scales
    Poise equal day and night, when rougher seas
    And stormy Pleiads may our passage stop.

    CÆS. Then, sirs, to ship! Compell'd, I leave this land,
    But to return, if gods do not withstand.                  [_Exeunt._


SCENE V.

                CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS, LANTONUS. NENNIUS
                             _in a chair_.

    NEN. We won the day, and all our foes are fled?

    BEL. Yes, noble Nennius, scatter'd on the shore,
    Thick lay the Latins, and the glutted stream
    Spews up her dead, whom death hath taught to swim,
    Though ignorant alive: their flowing blood
    Made a new red sea. But those few we lost,
    Sweetly repos'd upon their mother's breast,
    And, wounded all before, kept in their face
    A warlike frown.

    NEN. Where is false Cæsar's sword, call'd Crocea Mors,[309]
    Which never hurt but kill'd? Let it be plac'd
    Within my tomb.

    BEL. Here is the fatal blade.

    NEN. Death like a Parthian flies, and flying kills;
    In midst of conquest came my deadly wound.
    Accursed weapon--more accursed man
    Who, serpent-like, in poison bathes his sting!
    Tiber doth breed as venomous beasts as Nile.
    We scorn such cruel craft. But death draws near,
    A giddy horror seizeth on my brain.
    Dear brother, and thou holy priest of heaven,
    Witness my words; I leave my country free,
    And die a victor. Thus with lighter wing
    My purified soul mounts to her first best cause.
    I long even to behold those glorious cloisters,
    Where Brutus,[310] great Dunwallo,[311] and his sons,
    Thrice-noble spirits, walk.
    Thou mighty enginer of this wondrous globe,
    Protect this isle, confound all foreign plots:
    Grant Thames and Tiber never join their channels;
    But may a natural hate, deriv'd from us,
    Live still in our long-trailed progeny--
    My eyes do swim in death--
    Before this land shall wear the Roman yoke,
    Let first the adamantine axle crack,
    Which binds the ball terrestrial to her poles,
    And dash the empty air! let planets drop
    Their scalding jelly, and, all flame being spent,
    Entomb the world in everlasting smoke![312]
    Come faster, Death: I can behold thy grim
    And ugly jaws with quiet mind. Now, now
    I hear sweet music; and my spirit flies.                 [_He dies._

    CAS. His breath is gone, who was his country's prop
    And my right hand. Now only doth he crave
    To see him laid with honour in the grave.                 [_Exeunt._


SCENE VI.

                           EULINUS, HIRILDAS.

    EUL. A mind content, O, 'tis a mind of pearl:
    A mint of golden thoughts, a heaven on earth!
    When eager longers meet full-butt their scope,
    And hopes are actuated beyond hope.
    So Jason joy'd, the golden fleece obtain'd;
    So Hercules joy'd, the golden fruit being gain'd;
    So Venus joy'd the golden ball to hold;
    So Midas joy'd when he turn'd all to gold.
    So, and much more, rejoic'd the Phrygian swain,
    When he convey'd the fairest (except mine),
    Which air did ever kiss. His brazen keel,
    Proud of her burden, slic'd the capering brine:
    The Tritons blew their horns, and sea-gods dance.
    Before, behind, about his ship they prance:
    The mermaids skip on high, but to compare
    Their dangling tresses with her silken hair--
    These were but shadows of my bliss. A robe
    Of pure beatitude wraps me round about,
    Without a speck or blemish; nor can invention
    Wish more unto me than I have--Landora.
    I'm rich, free, learned, honour'd--all in this.
    Who dares conceive against the female sex
    But one base thought? Lo, here I stand their champion,
    And will maintain he is a beast, a devil,
    Begot between a bitch-wolf and an incubus.
    Women, all-good, all-perfect and all-gracious,
    Men-making creatures, angels clad in flesh;
    Let me adore your name!

    HIR. And let me speak
    Why, Landora loves not you, but me in you.

    EUL. But I in you enjoy Landora's love.

    HIR. But she enjoys not your love, 'cause unknown.

    EUL. No matter, I in you or you in me,
    So that I still possess my dearest dear.
    A paltry fancy last night in her bed
    Turmoil'd my thoughts, which since I shap'd in rhymes.
    Thus.

    HIR. Prythee let's hear: I know thou art turn'd poet.

                              _The Dream._

    Night having drawn the curtain, down I lie
    By one--for worse Saturnius left the sky.
    Slumb'ring at last, for love can hardly sleep,
    Straightways I dream'd, for love doth revels keep,
    A damsel fair, and fashion'd for delight
    (Our day-born objects do return at night),
    With flow'ry chaplet and red velvet gown,
    Which from her breast was fasten'd along down
    With rich enamell'd locks, all which one key,
    Whose bright gold 'bout her silver neck did play,
    Could open and divorce. A veil most fair
    (Such whiteness only Paphian doves do wear)
    With false light did her beauteous front improve;
    From this arch Cupid shot his darts of love.
    With gentle strain she took me by the hand
    (Touches in love do more than tongues command),
    Then leads me with an amorous smile along:
    He's easily led whom beauty draws, more strong
    Than cable ropes. An altar we descry,
    Where incense-frank[313] and amber fumes did fly
    In little rolling curls: a reverend priest,
    With snowy beard waving upon his breast,
    There kneeling did his eyes in sorrow steep.
    Whose passionate cry made me, though ignorant, weep.
    Phlegon's[314] hot breath no sooner licks up dew
    Than joy had dried those tears; for, lo, I view
    A circular room, all built with marble clear,
    The title, nature's storehouse. Most strange here
    It seem'd: I know not how we came nor whence,
    Nor any passage saw to get from thence.
    But O, the rich delight and glorious fire
    Which dazzled me! no heart can more desire.
    Here first my guide op'd her spice-breathing door:
    Ask what thou wilt, this is the ark of store.
    No vows are here repuls'd, she said. But I,
    Surpris'd with extreme joy and ecstasy,
    By chance a scorpion's tail behind her spied:
    Pity such beauty such a monster hide!
    Trembling, yet silent, doubtful what to crave;
    Lo! with a stink and fearful screech this brave
    And glorious dame doth vanish, and a dart,
    Which still I quake at, struck me to the heart.
    But waking I reviv'd, and found in bed
    Such sovereign balm would cure old Peleus dead.[315]

    HIR. Ha, ha! your tedious dream hath made me drowsy.
    But hark, we must attend the funeral pomp.


SCENE VII.

            _The funeral passes over the stage._ NENNIUS'S
              _'scutcheon, armour, Cæsar's sword borne._
                         _Torches, mourners._

    CAS. Set down that heavy load with heavier hearts.
    Could virtuous valour, honourable thoughts,
    A noble scorn of fortune, pride and death,
    Myriads of vows and prayers sent to heaven;
    Could country's love or Britain's genius save
    A mortal man from sleeping in his grave,
    Then hadst thou liv'd, great Nennius, and outliv'd
    The smooth-tongu'd Greek. But we may more envy,
    And less bewail thy loss, since thou didst fall
    On honour's lofty field-bed, on which stage
    Never did worthy act a statelier part.
    Nor durst pale death approach with cypress sad,
    Till flourishing bays thy conquering temples clad.

                  _A Funeral Elegy sung to the Harp._

        _Turnus may conceal his name,_
        _Nennius had Æneas' fame._
        _Hannibal let Afric smother,_
        _Nennius was great Scipio's brother._
        _Greece, forbear Achilles' story,_
        _Nennius had brave Hector's glory._
        _Thrush and nightingale, be dumb:_
        _Sorrowful songs befit a tomb._
        _Turn, ye marble stones, to water:_
        _Isis' nymphs forswear all laughter:_
        _Sigh and sob upon your bed,_
        _Beli's noble son is dead._

        _A banquet served over the stage._ ROLLANO, _with a leg_
                  _of a capon and a tankard of wine._

    ROL. I like such slaughtering well of birds and beasts,
    Which wear no swords, nor shake a fatal pike,
    When hogsheads bleed, and oxen mangled lie.
    O, what a world of victuals is prepar'd
    For sacrifice and feasting! Forty thousand
    Fat bullocks! then the parks and forests send
    Full thirty thousand wild beasts, arm'd with horns
    And dangerous teeth: the main battalion
    Consists of sheep, an hundred thousand fat:
    The wings are both supplied with birds and fowls
    _Sans_ number: and some fish for succours serve--
    A goodly army. Troynovant doth smoke,
    And smells all like a kitchen. The king, princes,
    And nobles of the land a triumph hold.
    Music and songs, good cheer and wine; and wine
    And songs, and music and good cheer. Hei, brave!
    No more shall barley-broth pollute my throat,
    But nectar--nectar of the grape's sweet blood.
    Come, heavenly potion--wine, whose gentle warmth
    Softens the brain, unlocks the silent tongue;
    Wit's midwife, and our spirit's vestal priest,
    Keeping alive the natural heat. A health,
    A health (to make short work) to all the world!
    So will it (sure) go round.                        [_Steals behind._

          _The triumphs._ CASSIBELANUS: _four Kings of Kent:_
              _three Kings_, CRIDOUS, BRITAEL, GUERTHED;
               ANDROGEUS, TENANTIUS, HIRILDAS, EULINUS,
                        BELINUS, _take places_.

    CAS. Sorrow must doff her sable weeds, and joy
    Furbish the Court with fresh and verdant colours;
    Else should we seem ungrateful to the gods.
    Triumphs must thrust out obsequies; and tilt
    With tourney, and our ancient sport call'd Troy,
    Such as Iulus 'bout his grandsire's tomb
    Did represent; and at each temple's porch,
    Games, songs, and holy murdering of beasts.        [_They sit down._

       _A dancing masque of six enters, then the epinicion[316]_
                          _sung by two bards._

          _The Roman eagle, threatening woe,_
          _The sea did shadow with her wing;_
          _But our goose-quills did prick her so_
          _That from the clouds they down her bring._

    BOTH. _Sing then_, _ye hills and dales so-so clear,_
              _That Iö Pæan all may hear._

          _They may us call isles fortunate;_
          _They sought for life here, not for fame._
          _All yield to them, they to our state:_
          _The world knows but our double name._

    BOTH. _Sing then, ye streams and woods so-so clear,_
              _That Iö Pæan all may hear._

            ANDROGEUS _and_ TENANTIUS _play at foils, then_
                     HIRILDAS _and_ EULINUS _play_.

    EUL. 'Twas foully play'd.

    HIR. You lie, 'twas fairly hit.

    EUL. I'll give a quittance.

    HIR. Do your worst, vain braggart.

                           [_They take swords, fight_, HIRILDAS _slain_.

    O, I'm slain.

    CAS. Hold, hold! my nephew's slain before my face.
    Life shall be paid with life.

    AND. He shall not die.

    CAS. Shall not? your king and uncle says he shall.

    EUL. No kingly menace or censorious frown
    Do I regard. Tanti[317] for all your power!
    But the compunction of my guilt doth send
    A shudd'ring chilness through my veins inflam'd.
    Why do ye stare, ye grisly powers of night?
    There, there his soul goes: I must follow him.

                                 [_Offers to kill himself: is hindered._

    AND. He was provok'd, and did it in defence:
    And, being my kinsman, shall be judg'd by laws
    Of Troynovant: such custom claims our court.

    CAS. No custom shall bar justice. I command
    That he appear before us.

    AND. Trials are vain when passion sits as judge.

    CAS. I'll soon rebate this insolent disdain.

                          [_Exeunt_ ANDROGEUS, TENANTIUS, _and_ EULINUS.

    Let not this dismal chance deface our joy,
    Most royal friends.

    CRI. War being silenced, and envy's rage
    In hell fast fetter'd, sound we now retreat,
    That soldiers may regreet their household gods;
    Their children cling about their armed thighs.

    BRI. And place their trophies 'bout their smoky halls;
    There hang a gauntlet bright, here a stabb'd buckler,
    Pile up long pikes,[318] and in that corner plant
    A weighty sword, brandish'd by some centurion:
    Not he, who ne'er on snaky perils trod,
    But happy he, who hath them stoutly pass'd:
    For danger's sauce gives joy a better taste.

    GUER. Great monarch, if thy summons call us back,
    We tender here our service, men and arms,
    As duty bids and binds.

    CAS. Should he return, our province dares him front.
    So a most kind adieu unto all three.

                             [_Exeunt_ CRIDOUS, BRITAEL, _and_ GUERTHED.

    Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus, Segonax,
    I know your faithful love: Kent's fourfold head
    Will check rash rebels, and as firmly stand
    As hearty oaks, who bear off Æolus' blows,
    And with a whistle but deride his force.

                                           [_Exeunt four Kings of Kent._

    Burst, gall, and dye my actions in flame-colour!
    I saw Hirildas fall, and breathe his soul
    Even in my face; as though hell watch'd a time
    To crush our pomp and glory into sighs.
    The conduits of his vital spring being ripp'd,
    Spurtl'd my robes, soliciting revenge. Belinus,
    Attach the murderer, and if abettors
    Deny obedience, then with sword and fire
    Waste their dominions. For a traitor's sake,
    Whole towns shall tremble, and the ground shall quake.    [_Exeunt._


SCENE VIII.

                  ANDROGEUS, TENANTIUS, MANDUBRATIUS.

    AND. Shall justice and just Libra ne'er forsake
    Th' embroider'd belt? no sign of them on earth?
    Are gods dim-sighted grown, or do they sleep
    The morning, and carouse the afternoon,
    That mortal motions tumble thus by chance?
    Cleave, thou blue marble ceiling, that heaven's king
    With clearer aim may strike a tyrant's crown,
    Nor spend his brimstone bullets 'gainst some hill
    Or innocent pine.

    MAN. Your injuries run low; mine break all bounds.
    My father butcher'd at his lawless will:
    I banish'd from my lands, depos'd from rule,
    Owing my life to night and flight.

    TEN. I do confess, you may complain aloud,
    And tear the element with a dolorous note:
    Call down Astræa from her crystal chair,
    Or call up Nemesis from the direful deep,
    To expiate your wrongs.
    Else would the manes of your father slain
    In a white sheet come sliding to your bed,
    And be reveng'd on you. He gave you life;
    How can you better spend it, than to wreak
    His death and slaughter? but our case and cause,
    Brother, is not the same. Eulinus slew
    His innocent friend, and we defend the fact,
    With hostile noise drowning law's reverend voice;
    But murder outcries both. Give me then leave
    To be a neutral: my young years, unfit
    For any desperate course, can but complain,
    The king our uncle doth not use us well.                    [_Exit._

    AND. Usurpers use this method still: at first
    He as protector slily got the stern,
    During our nonage: then the commons' voice,
    Bought with a fawning brow and popular grace,
    Confirms his regiment;[319] we appointed sharers,
    With empty titles to beguile our thoughts,
    Like puppet-lords dress'd up with crown and scarf,
    Glad that we live and hunt, and reign o'er brutes--
    Our uncle is the king who,[320] when he saw
    His throne establish'd and his foes repuls'd,
    Grown big with prosperous fortune, proudly spurns
    All fear of God or man.

    MAN. His anger, nurs'd by jealousies, must feed
    On princes' flesh, who lose both state and life,
    If they but look awry. A tyrant's growth,
    Rear'd up by ruins, thence may learn his fall:
    For whom all fear, he justly feareth all.

    AND. In antiphons[321] thus tune we female plaints;
    But plots and force beseem us. Thus great Cæsar
    Shall pull him down below us. Thou, Mandubrace,
    Sure pledges take of our revolt, and quickly
    Implore his aid, blow up his drooping fire
    With hopeful terms. But let him stronger come.

    MAN. I fly unseen, as charmers[322] in a mist.
    Grateful revenge, whose sharp-sweet relish fats
    My apprehensive soul![323] though all were pared off
    Which doth accrue from fortune, and a man left
    As barely poor as nature thrust him out;
    Nay worse--though spirits boil: rage, anger, care,
    And grief, like wild-horse, tear the affrighted mind;
    Though wrongs excoriate the heart; yet all is sweeten'd
    If vengeance have her course. I reck[324] not how;
    Let commonwealth expire, and owls proclaim
    Sad desolation in our halls; let heaps
    Of dust and rubbish epitaph our towns;
    Let fire and water fight, who first shall spoil
    This universal frame. From north or south,
    Revenge, th' art welcome! No sin worse than pity;
    A tyrant's only physic is phlebotomy.                     [_Exeunt._


SCENE IX.

                               _Chorus._
                              _1st Song._

        _Rejoice, O Britain!_
        _Britain, O, rejoice!_
        _The stormy cloud pass'd o'er,_
        _And only made a noise._
        _A clattering sound was heard,_
        _And still we felt no wound:_
        _Rejoice, rejoice,_
        _Thou happy Britons' ground._

        _O that sweet Plenides,_
        _Eloquent Orone,_
        _Were now to chant our victories_
        _With a melodious tone;_
        _And rousing echo from the dales,_
        _With Harmony to sound:_
        _Rejoice, rejoice,_
        _Thou happy Britons' ground._

                               _2d Song_

        _Gang, ye lads and lasses,_
        _Sa wimble and sa wight:_
        _Fewl mickle teen betide ye,_
        _If ye ligg in this plight._
        _Be bonny, buxom, jolly,_
        _Trip haydegues[325] belive;_
        _And gif night gars the welkin merk,_
        _Tom piper do you blive._

        _Hidder, eke and shidder,_
        _With spic'd sew ycram'd;_
        _Sa that unneath thilke borrels_
        _May well ne yede, ne stand:_
        _As leefe as life do weete it,_
        _When timbarins giu sound;_
        _Fore harvest gil prankt up in lathe,_
        _To loute it low around._[326]

FOOTNOTES:

[301] [An allusion to a belief which is mentioned in many of our early
plays. See Dyce's Middleton, iv. 495.]

[302] Helmet.

[303] _i.e._, The roofs of the temples. "De _tholis_ pendent laqueata
circum Arma."

[304] Pallas being feigned by the poets to have been bred in Jupiter's
brain.

[305] _i.e._, The Romans, who owed their founders, Romulus and
Remus, to the care of _Faustulus_, who was shepherd to the tyrant
Amulius.--_Steevens._

[306] The goddess of the morning.--_Steevens._

[307] The goddess of revenge. Baxter, in his "Glossary," says she is
corruptly so called, and that her true name should be Andrasta.

[308] A mace [here seems to mean a sceptre, but properly stands for a
club.]

[309] Geoffrey of Monmouth says, "His (Nennius's) funeral exequies
were performed with regal pomp, and Cæsar's sword put into the tomb
with him, which he kept possession of when struck into his shield in
the combat. The name of the sword was _Crocea Mors_, Yellow Death, as
being mortal to everybody that was wounded with it."--Bk. iv. c. 4,
Thompson's translation, 1718, p. 102.

[310] By Geoffrey of Monmouth said to be the great grandson of Æneas.
After being banished from Italy, on account of accidentally killing his
father, he arrived at Britain, to which he gave his own name. He built
_Trinovantum_, or London, and dying, left the government of the nation
to his sons.

[311] _Dunwallo Molmutius_, son of Cloton, King of Cornwall. After a
reign of 40 years he died, and was buried at Trinovantum, near the
Temple of Concord.--"Geoffrey of Monmouth," bk. ii. c. 17. [Compare p.
484.]

[312] So in "King Henry IV., Part. II."--

    "And darkness be the burier of the dead."

_--Steevens._

[313] Frankincense.--_Steevens._

[314] One of the horses of the Sun.--_Steevens._

[315] Perhaps _Pylius_, _i.e._, Nestor--

    "Illius ad tactum Pylius juvenescere possit."

--_Steevens._

[316] The song of triumph.

[317] This expression of contempt I have seen in other ancient writers.
It is used in the first scene of Marlowe's "Edward II."--

    "As for the multitude, they are but sparks
    Rak'd up in embers of their poverty;
    _Tanti_; I'll fan first on the wind," &c.

There is, perhaps, some omission after it, as the line is imperfect,
which might explain the meaning of the exclamation.--_Collier._

[318] Old copy, _piles_.

[319] _i.e._, His government, authority. Hitherto it was misprinted--

    "Bought with a _frowning_ brow and popular grace."

The right reading is restored from the quarto.--_Collier._

[320] [Old copy, _King. So when._]

[321] Alternate singing.--_Steevens._

[322] _Charmers_ are _enchanters_ or _magicians_. So in "Othello," act
iii. sc. 4--

          "That handkerchief
    Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
    She was a _charmer_, and could almost read
    The thoughts of people."

And again in "The Two Noble Kinsmen," act v. sc. 4--

    "Oh, you heavenly _charmers_,
    What things you make of us!"

[323] _i.e._, Perceptive, feeling. Falstaff observes that sack makes
the mind _apprehensive_, quick, &c.

[324] _I reck not how_ is the true reading: Mr Reed allowed it to stand
according to the error of the old copy, _I wreak not how_; but to
_reck_ and to _wreak_ are words of a totally different signification.
To _reck_ means to _care for_, while to _wreak_ means to _revenge_.



ACT IV., SCENE I.


                    CÆSAR, VOLUSENUS, _Attendants_.

    CÆS. A story is't or fable that, stern Mars,
    Thy weight did Romulus' sleepy mother press?
    Since we, thy brood degenerous, stand at gaze,
    Charm'd in the circle of a foaming flood,
    And trail our dastard pikes? Burst, Janus' prison!
    Roar as thou didst at Troy, drown Stentor's voice
    By many eighths,[327] which Pindus may re-beat,
    Which Caucasus may as a catch repeat,
    And Taurus lough the same:[328] that pigmies small
    May squeak, it thunders, and dive into burrows.
    Let the four winds with dreadful clamours sing
    Thy anger through th' affrighted world.
    What Lemnian chain shackles our mounting eagle?
    The moon's round concave is too strait a cage
    For her advanced pinions.

         _Enter_ MANDUBRATIUS,[329] _wounded and bloody, with_
                        ANDROGEUS'S _young son_.

    MAN. If pity can have room in angry breast,
    Favour a Briton prince, his father slain,
    His regiment bereft, his dearest blood
    Drawn by the sword of false Cassibelane,
    Having got crown, he then struck at my head;
    Nor can I safely suck my native air.
    His coz Androgeus also and whole regions
    In open war withstand his violence,
    Lo, Albion's aged arms spread wide t'enchain
    Thee, as her patron, in a true-love knot.
    Wherefore, dread Cæsar, let thy mercy strike
    Revengeful fires, and be justly styled,                   [_Kneels._
    Tamer of tyrants. Then fame blows aloud,
    When valour helps the weak, pulls down the proud.

    CÆS. Arise, unhappy prince, our deeds shall show
    We grant thy suit. Fortune repents at last;

                                                        [_To_ VOLUSENUS.

    The moon is chang'd, the globe doth to us turn
    Her shining cheek, and wooes us with a smile.

    But what firm signs of faith, what faithful aid,
    What furtherance, can you give at our arrival?

    MAN. See here Androgeus' heir, whose tender age
    His father ventures, and makes bold with nature
    To pledge his darling. He and thirty more
    Of noble lineage shall assure our faith;
    Besides I pawn my life.

    CÆS. Enough. I'll once more cross the seas:
    For your good more than mine; that happier sky
    May bless your towns with peace, your fields with plenty;
    Perpetual spring, in gay perfum'd attire,
    Sirname your isle the garden of the west.

    MAN. Thanks, gracious Cæsar, for this kind acceptance,
    My knee doth kiss the ground, my lip your knee.
    Pardon, ye gods, if any haunt our land,
    Ye nymphs and lares, fawns and sylvans wild,
    That thus I bring a stranger on our coasts,
    Whose foreign shape and language may affright
    Our lazy clowns, and on my country's back
    Once tread victorious steps. Be pleas'd to view
    Wrongs now redress'd, neglected first by you.

    CÆS. Now, Volusene,
    Our glorious state, like the noon-pointed sun,
    When he bestrides the lion's flaming fleece,
    Doth north-west roll his burning brand, whose fire
    The ocean's blue lake cannot stop, but flies
    With brighter blaze to thaw the frozen isles.
    But how proceeds our preparation?

    VOL. Many strong ships are built, five legions arm'd
    Ready to launch.

    CÆS. Blow gently, Africus:
    Play on our poops. When Hyperion's son
    Shall couch in west his foam-bedappl'd jades,
    We'll rise to run our course.


SCENE II.

    EUL. Though Orpheus' harp, Arion's lute, the chimes
    Whose silver sound did Theban towers raise:
    Though sweet Urania with her ten-string'd lyre,
    Unto whose stroke the daily-rolling spheres
    Dance their just measures, should with tune and tone
    Tickle my air-bred ear; yet can their notes
    Those fabulous stones more enter, than my soul.
    Lead, poppy, slumber, stupefy my heart;
    But Bedlam grief acts gambols in my brain.
    The Centaur's wheel, Prometheus' hawk, the vulture
    Of Tityus, Sisyphus' never-mossy stone,
    The tale of Danaids' tub and Tantalus' gaping,
    Are but flea-bitings to my smart. I've slain
    A kinsman--more, a friend I dearly lov'd:
    Nay more, no cause provoking, but in rash
    And hellish choler.
    I thought my love had cannon-proof been 'gainst
    A world of injuries; when see, all is split
    By a small wind. Cursed be thou, my sword,
    The instrument of fury! cursed hand,
    Which mad'st the thrust! but most accursed part,
    Whose ruddy flesh triangular boil'd in flame,
    Like an Ætnean or Vesuvian salamander!
    That breast I so could hug, that faithful breast,
    That snowy white, I with dark sanguine stain'd;
    And from the wound's red lips his panting heart
    Did seem to say, Is this a friendly deed?
    O no, Hirildas: bears can harmless play,
    Lions can dally, and sheathe up their claws;
    I only, worst of brutes, kill friends in jest.
    Why does Androgeus, kindly-cruel, keep
    Me from their sentence? say, law bids me die;
    If law should not, I'll make that law myself.
    Shall ensigns be display'd, and nations rage
    About so vile a wretch? shall foreign hoofs
    Kick up our trembling dust, and must a Cæsar
    Redeem my folly with a kingdom's fall?
    First may I stop black Cerberus' triple jaws.
    Die, die! thou hast outliv'd thyself. Thou only,
    Phoenix of females, still dost bind and bound
    My runagate spirit in these walls of mud;
    From thee and for thee 'tis I breathe. Yet how
    Borrow can I his shape, or use mine own?
    Odious before, now worse than hell-born goblin,
    With brand and chains to scare this dove, all quaking
    'Twixt wrath and fear. But time may favour win;
    When hope doth fail, then knife or rope begin.              [_Exit._


SCENE III.

                    CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS, ROLLANO.

    CAS. Wisdom, confirm my sense! what seem'd their number?

    ROL. Rising from shore, conjecture might descry
    A thousand ships with painted prows to pave
    The briny fields of Neptune; their broad sails
    Did Nereus canopy, Titan's taper veil.
    As nations twenty-nine 'gainst Troy built up
    A floating Delos of a thousand ships,
    To plough the liquid glass; no frame of Pallas,
    No crafty Sinon; but those wooden horse
    Did Troy _dis-Troy_. So Troynovant shall feel
    Her mother's fate; Achilles comes again,
    And Pergamus again shall sink in dust;
    They threaten.                                              [_Exit._

    CAS. Wonder! what can their arsenals spawn so fast?
    Last year his barks and galleys were debosh'd;[330]
    This spring they sprout again: belike their navy,
    Like the Lernæan adder, faster grows
    The more 'tis prun'd. They come their last. Lord deputy,
    Lead on the present troops, and levy new.
    'Twere best, I think, to let him land, lest view
    Of his huge navy should our commons fright.
    Retire ourselves to some place of advantage,
    Entice him from his ships; so cut the veins
    Which nourish both: enclos'd he cannot 'scape.

    BEL. I rather judge, we should oppose his footing,
    Using the benefit of our natural mound.

    CAS. Uncertain 'tis where--when, he makes inroad:
    To furnish all, unlikely: to neglect
    Any were dangerous as Pelides' heel,
    Our shores are large and level: then t' attend
    His time and leisure would exhaust the state--
    Weary our soldiers.

    BEL. All places may be strengthen'd more or less,
    As by last year discretion now may guess.
    The clifts themselves are bulwarks strong: the shelves
    And flats refuse great ships: the coast so open,
    That every stormy blast may rend their cables,
    Put them from anchor; suffering double war:
    Their men pitch'd battle, and ships naval fight.
    For charges 'tis no season to dispute:
    Spend something or lose all. Shall he maintain
    A fleet t' enthral us, we detract small costs.
    When freedom, life and kingdom lie at stake?

    CAS. But the assailants are the flower of Italy,
    Back'd with four hundred Gallic horse, all tried
    And gallant troops, join'd in one martial body,
    To give a fuller stroke; when we defendants,
    Scatter'd along, can weak resistance make;
    Plainness of ground affording us no shelter.

    BEL. For what serve sart and engines, mounds and trenches,
    But to correct the nature of a plain?
    A few on firm land may keep out a million
    Weaken'd by sea, false footing, billows' rage,
    And pond'rous arms; when as, receiv'd within,
    He prospers by our spoil: we feed a viper,
    And malcontents and rebels have a refuge.
    Nor were it safe to venture all at once;
    When one fought field being lost, swift ruin runs,
    And rushing throws down all.

    CAS. We know our strength and his; we'll fight in field
    Some dozen miles from sea. An open theatre
    Gives lustre to our prowess: to keep him out
    Supposes fear, not manhood. No, let him march,
    Till he rouse Death, and stride his future grave.

    BEL. Your will commands, and mine obeys.                  [_Exeunt._


SCENE IV.

          CÆSAR, _&c. Ensign, drum, trumpet, flag, Soldiers,_
                    _Shipmen. The noise of landing_.

    CÆS. The coast is clear; our honour is the goal.
    In vain doth Tagus' yellow sand obey,
    Rhine's horned front and nimble Tigris running
    For wager with the wind, which skims his top;
    In vain from Ganges to Hesperian Gades,
    The bounds mark'd out by Jove's two base-born sons[331]
    Our echo'd name doth sound, if we recoil
    From hence again not victors.
    Ye pilots old, who were begot mermaids,
    Whose element is their sea, bred and brought up
    In cradles rock'd with storms and wooden walls.
    Fear not to grapple with the seas. Fear not
    Their bulks, brave veterans; that extended mass
    Is not of iron, but can bleed and die:
    They were not dipp'd in Styx, nor are they giants
    Or wild poetic Centaurs we assail.
    Let then this voyage quit out credit lost,
    And let rage lash on courage. Here's the game;
    Life may be lost, but (sure) we'll hold fast fame!

                               [_They march about and go out. The whole_
                                                        _battle within._

                CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS, _&c., Soldiers_.

    CAS. Our first attempt doth prosper: they retiring
    Scud to the bosom of their fir-tree vaults,
    And under hatches hide themselves from death.
    The Cornish band made havoc of their ranks,
    Like Scythian wolves 'midst of a bleating fold:
    The jingling lances, rattling chariot-wheels,
    Madded their horse. The bowmen merrily shot.

    BEL. Yet would our tributary kings had succour'd!
    We are decay'd, they much in number grown,
    And surely will make head again.

    CAS. Fear not; thou know'st I can even with a whistle
    Hide Kent with glitt'ring arms. More flaming sparkles
    Paint not a freezing night; nor speckl'd bees
    Buz not about sweet Hybla's bloomy head.
    But what need millions, when some thousand serve?
    O, did my brother live! we'd climb the Alps.
    Like brave Mulmutius' sons: make Romulus' wolf
    Howl horror in their streets, and Rome look pale,
    As when the Punic captain[332] ey'd her walls.         [_March out._

                        CÆSAR, VOLUSENUS, _&c._

    CÆS. Are ye the men, who never fought in vain?
    Who wear Bellona's favours in your scars?
    Ay, ye are they. What then benumbs our spirits?
    Our empire from Quirinus' narrow centre
    Doth circling spread, and finds no brink nor bottom.
    Titan no later sets nor earlier wakes,
    Than he beholds our provinces. Why, then,
    What privilege hath this place? have we or they
    The Phrygian powers? have they Palladium got?
    No, no; those gods our capitol keeps with joy;
    These only have undaunted minds from Troy.

                           _Enter_ Q. ATRIUS.

    What news, good Atrius?

    ATRIUS. No good news from Atrius.
    When ominous earth with shade and cloudy vapours
    Had darkness doubled, storms began to sound,
    The dappl'd south, rough-footed Aquilo,
    Came rushing like two rams, whose steeled horns
    Dart fiery sparks: the clouds (crush'd) breathe out flames:
    Thunder and lightning daunt all ears and eyes:
    The winds and billows strive who loudest roar:

    The sky distill'd in rain: his room to fill,
    Ambitious waves would climb the starry hill.
    Our ships are batter'd all, some forty sunk.

    CÆS. What devil Cacus drags our fortune back![333]
    Doth she move retrograde, and hoist us up,
    That we may fall at height? why doth Camillus
    Each night torment my sleep, and cry revenge?
    I strive against the stream.

              _Enter_ ANDROGEUS, MANDUBRATIUS, _Soldiers_.

    AND. Thus join we standards; and resign the keys
    Of Troynovant with all our warlike forces.

    MAN. By me the Trinobants[334] submit, and Cenimagnians,
    Segontiacs, Ancalites, Bybrocs, and Cassians:
    Six worthy nations do desire thy guard.

    CÆS. All, all shall know our love.

    MAN. The tyrant lies on Isis' flow'ry banks,
    Where a full choir sing of white surplic'd swans.
    The ford's unlevel belly they have fenc'd
    With sharp stakes under water.

    CÆS. Nor stakes, lakes, fords, nor swords shall check our progress.
    Those downy swans shall hear more funeral notes.
    Their kings departed, Nennius dead, whose loss
    Would tears extort even from pumicean eyes:
    Had Britain nurs'd but such another champion,
    They might have stuck their darts on our barr'd gates,
    And Latium trembled with contrary fates.[335]
    In what now lies their hope?

    MAN. Great numbers still remain: nay, worse, they laugh
    At death, and boldly trust (as Druids preach)
    Their souls who die in fight shall live in joy.
    Hence count they dangers benefits, and die
    With freedom in their mouth and wilful rage.
    But let soft mildness wait on women; let
    Thy wrath ring through the woods in dusty noise,
    To tell thy coming. No man's built so lofty,
    But his foundation meets the humble dust;
    Which undermin'd, how high he pierc'd the clouds,
    So deep he sinks.
    Hostile and civil foes shake top and root,
    As winds invade above and mines below.
    And so will we.

    CÆS. No doubt: this blow shall like an earthquake move
    The roots and pillars of this sea-clipp'd isle.
    A cloud of vultures shall attend our camp,
    And no more shall the fields bear vert, but gules:[336]
    The grain, engrain'd in purple dye, shall lose
    His verdant hue. Bones, marrow, human limbs
    Shall putrifying reek, whose vapour'd slime,
    Kindl'd on high, may breed long-bearded stars,
    To tell more mischief, and outbeard Apollo.

    MAN. Let's waste no time, lest more unto him flock,
    As humours glide to guard the wounded member.

    CÆS. Atrius, let our ships be drawn on shore,
    New-rigg'd and mended. I must needs confess him
    A darling of the gods, under whose colours
    Stars, winter, sky, and tempests serve in pay,
    And know both march and skirmish by his drum.             [_Exeunt._


SCENE V.

                     ROLLANO, EULINUS _hearkening_.

    ROL. O my dear lady, hast thou slain thyself?
    So fairly pure, so kindly chaste, so----                   [_Cries._
    A Venus and Diana mix'd in one.
    She ate her meat with studs of pearl, she kiss'd
    With rubies, and she look'd with diamonds bright.
    Fish seas, and fowl the air, hunt all the earth,
    For such another bit, and lose your labour.

    EUL. O, why dost thou complain?

    ROL. Had she not kill'd herself, no cruel Atropos,
    No fury could for pity cut her thread.
    She was the loadstone of all eyes, the whetstone
    Of all brains, the touchstone of all hearts! she was----
                                                               [_Cries._

    EUL. O, my presaging thoughts in ugly form
    Suggest some tragedy. Speak--yet stay awhile;
    I know thou kill'st with speaking. Be then dumb:
    Let sound ne'er give those notions airy robes.
    Yet speak! despatch me; fear's as bad as death.
    O, could no tongue affirm it! Is she dead?

    ROL. My mistress is.

    EUL. Wither, ye pleasant gardens, where she trod!
    White lilies droop, and blasted daisies wink,
    And weep in pearly dew! blind Vesper mourn;
    Hang thy cold tears on ev'ry grassy blade!
    Groan loud, ye woods, and tear your leafy hair!
    Let wind and hoary frost kill every flow'r;
    For she is gone who made continual May
    Let foggy mists envelope sun and stars;
    For she is gone who made perpetual day.
    Confounded nature, stand amaz'd; dissolve
    Thy rolling engines, and unbrace the seas;
    Fling all into their first disorder'd lump;
    For thy chief paragon, thy rich masterpiece,
    The jewel for which thou didst venture all,
    Is lost, is lost! And can I live to speak it?
    How died she?

    ROL. By a poison'd draught.

    EUL. The very word poison infects my breath.
    Durst thou presume to pass that coral porch?
    Were not her lips sufficient antidote?
    Durst thou descend through those close-winding stairs
    With treacherous intent? How could thy venom
    Seize on her, and not (sweeten'd) lose his virtue,
    Or rather vicious quality? may toads,
    Dragons, and mandrakes be thy gally-pots!
    This body was a casket for the graces,
    No cask for poison. With her dies all love.
    Cupid may break his bow, his arrows burn,
    Then quench his taper in a flood of tears.
    Is she dead?

    ROL. Or in a long trance?

    EUL. She may revive.
    I'll visit her. Art may prolong her days,
    Whether she will or no.                                   [_Exeunt._


SCENE VI.

                                CHORUS.

        1. _Alecto, rising from the lakes_
             _Of nights sad empery_,[337]
           _With knotty bunch of curled snakes_
             _Doth lash fair Brittany._

        2. _More ghastly monster did not spring_
             _From the Hibernian flood:_
           _With which Morvidus_[338] _combating,_
             _Of foe became his food._

        3. _Shall no more shepherds in the shade_
             _Sit whistling without care?_
           _Shall never spear be made a spade,_
             _And sword a ploughing-share?_

        4. _Grant, heaven, at last that music loud_
             _Of bloody Mars be still:_
           _That Britain's virgins in a crowd_
             _With hymns the sky may fill!_

                              _2d Song._

              _Nor is Landora's loss_
            _The least part of our mournful muse:_
              _Jove, Juno for to cross,_
            _This Trojan dame for bride did choose._

              _Where she doth shine_
              _'Bove Guendoline_,[339]
            _The amazon of her days:_
              _And Mercia wise_
              _Law to devise._
            _O, sound Landora's praise._

              _There doth she shine above,_
            _Clear as great Delia's horned bow,_
              _Bright as the queen of love,_
            _To shoot down gentle beams below._
              _Sabrina, dare_
              _Not to compare_
            _With her most splendent rays:_
              _A ring the sky_
              _A gem her eye._
            _O, sound Landora's praise._

FOOTNOTES:

[325] [A sort of rural dance. See a long note in Nares' "Glossary,"
1859, and Halliwell's Dictionary, _v._ Haydigee.]

[326] [This is the Scottish song which has led to the unfortunate
conjecture that the author was a native of Scotland.]

[327] _i.e._, Octaves, a musical term.

[328] _i.e._, Low as a cow does. The word frequently occurs in Roman
poetry. So in Virgil's third Georgic--

    "Et vox assensu nemorum ingeminata remugit."

--_Steevens._

[329] _Mandubratius_, Mr Camden observes, is by Eutropius, Bede, and
the more modern writers called _Androgeus_, which in the British
language signifies _vir malus_, a bad man; a name of infamy fixed on
him for having been the first who betrayed his country.--Camden's
"Britannia," ii. 327, edit. 1772; Baxter's "Glossary" in _voce_.

[330] _i.e._, Spoiled, rendered unserviceable. See Cotgrave in _voce_
Desbaucher.--_Steevens._

[331] Hercules and Alexander.--_Steevens._

[332] Hannibal.--_Steevens._

[333] Cacus stole the oxen of Hercules, and, that which way they went
might not be discovered, drew them backwards into his den.--_Steevens._

[334] See Cæsar's "Commentaries," bk. v. s. 20, 21. The _Trinobantes_
were those who inhabited Middlesex and Essex. The _Cenimagnians_, says
Camden, were the same with the Iceni, whose province contained Suffolk,
Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Huntingdonshire. _Segontiaks_, he thinks,
were originally the Belgæ, and places them in the hundred of Holshot,
in Hampshire; the _Ancalites_ he calls those who inhabit the hundred
of Henley, in Oxfordshire; the _Bybrocks_, that of Bray, in Berkshire;
and the _Cassians_ the people of Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and
Herefordshire, where the name is still preserved in the hundred of
Casbow.

[335]

    "_Versis_ lugeret Græcia _fatis_."

--_Steevens._

[336] Terms of heraldry, signifying _green_ and _red_.

[337] [Dominion.]

[338] A tyrant who lost his life in encountering a monster that
destroyed great numbers of people on the Irish coast. See Geoffrey of
Monmouth, bk. iii. c. 15. The 4o reads _Morindus_.



ACT V., SCENE I.


                  CÆSAR, ANDROGEUS, MANDUBRATIUS, &c.
                              _Soldiers_.

    CÆS. Thus gain we ground; yet still our foes will fight,
    Whether they win or lose. With bloody drops
    Our path is printed: Thames his maiden cheeks
    Blush with vermillion. Nations crave our league
    On every side; yet still Cassibelane braves us,
    Nor will submit.

    AND. Not far hence Verulam lies, his chiefest fort:
    By nature guarded round with woods and fens,
    By art enclosed with a ditch and rampier:
    From hence we must dislodge the boar.

    MAN. There are but two ways to assail this town,
    Both which I know. Your parted army must
    Break through both at once, and so distract
    His doubtful rescues.

             _Enter_ VOLUSENUS, _with_ HULACUS _prisoner_.

    HUL. Draw, slaves unwilling; I dare meet my death,
    And lead my leader.

    VOL. You'll repent anon.

    HUL. If I do ill; but not for suffering ill.

    VOL. Your stoical apathy will relent, I know.
    This priest I caught within a shady grove,
    Devoutly kneeling at a broad oak's foot.
    Now he awaits your doom.

    CÆS. What God adore you?

    HUL. Him whom all should serve.

    CÆS. What's the moon?

    HUL. Night's sun.

    CÆS. What's night?

    HUL. A foil to glorify the day.

    CÆS. What most compendious way to happiness?

    HUL. To die in a good cause.

    CÆS. What is a man?

    HUL. An hermaphrodite of soul and body.

    CÆS. How differ they in nature?

    HUL. The body hath in weight, the soul in length.

    CÆS. One question more: What dangers shall I pass?

    HUL. Many by land and sea, as steps to glory.
    Throw Palatine on Æsquiline, on both
    Heap Aventine, to raise one pyramid for a
    Chair of estate, where thy advanced head,
    Among those heroes pictur'd in the stars,
    Orion, Perseus, Hercules, may consult
    With Jove himself: but shun the senate-house.
    March round about the Caspian sea; search out,
    'Mong cedars tall, th' Arabian phoenix' nest;
    Run counter to old Nile, till thou discover
    His sacred head wrapt up in cloudy mountains;
    And, rather than work fail, turn Hellespont
    Out of his channel; dig that isthmus down,
    Which ties great Afric--shun the senate-house.

        _Be Saturn, and so thou shalt not be Tarquin._
        _A Brutus strong_
          _Repays in fine_
        _The brutish wrong_
          _To Brutus' line._

    CÆS. We'll talk at leisure more.                          [_Exeunt._


SCENE II.

                      CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS, _&c._

    CAS. No rampires keep him back: he presses forward,
    Though every stamp he treads seems to conjure
    The Fates from their infernal centre. None
    But he durst be so bold.

    BEL. Yes, when Britons lead, and Mandubrace, insulting
    With naked sword, calls on the lagging soldiers;
    When fierce Androgeus, with revolted nations,
    Ushers his army. No way half so quick
    To ruinate kingdoms as by homebred strife.
    Thus, while we single fight, we perish all.

    CAS. Ay, ay, those treach'rous caitiffs! rebel slaves!
    O, may their country's heavy curse them sink
    Below the nine-fold brazen gates of hell!
    That princock[340] proud!--ah, 'twas a 'scape in policy:
    I should have slain the whelps with their good sire.
    Let Britain's climacterical year now run,
    The series break of seventy kings: nay, let
    One urn conclude our ashes and the world's.
    Befall what will, in midst of horror's noise
    And crackling flames, when all is lost, we'll die
    With weapons in our hands, and victory scorn:
    There's none that die so poor as they are born.
    Faithful Belinus, let a post command
    The Kentish kings to set upon his fleet,
    Whilst we here bate. Four thousand charioteers,
    (Such as did glide upon the Phrygian plains,
    And (wheeling) double service do perform--
    Both horseman's speed and footman's stable strength)
    Still do remain: with these and flocking voluntaries
    We'll give him once more battle. Let the captains
    Enter and hear my charge.

               _Enter_ CAPTAINS. _He stands on a throne._

    Subjects and fellow-soldiers, we must now try
    For ancient freedom or perpetual bondage:
    There is no third choice. The enraged foe
    (With cruel pride, proud avarice) hath spoil'd
    From East to West, hunting for blood and gain.
    Your wives and daughters ravish'd, ransack'd towns,
    Great bellies ripp'd with lances, sprawling babes,
    The spouse, about her husband's neck, run through
    By the same spear. Think on these objects;
    Then choose them for your lords, who spoil and burn
    Whole countries, and call desolation peace.[341]
    Yield, yield, that he, ennobled by our spoils,
    May climb the capitol with triumphant car;
    You led, fast-fetter'd, through the staring streets,
    For city dames to mock your habit strange,
    And fill their arras-hangings with our story.
    No: Brennus' ghost forbid! who this night stood
    Before my eyes, and grimly furious spake:
    Shall Britain stoop to Roman rods and hatchets,
    And servile tribute? will ye so defame
    Your ancestors, and your successors wrong,
    Heirs but of slavery? O, this day make good
    The glory of so many ages pass'd
    I see you are incens'd, and wish to use
    Your weapons, not your ears.

    ALL. To arms, to arms, to arms! we'll fight and die.      [_Exeunt._


SCENE III.

         EULINUS _in a nightcap, unbraced. Viol, poynado._[342]
                    _Plays, and sings to the viol._

        _So the silver-feather'd swan,_
        _Both by death and colour wan,_
        _Loves to sing, before she die,_
        _Leaving life so willingly._
        _But how can I sing a note,_
        _When dead hoarseness stops my throat?_
        _Or how can I play a stroke,_
        _When my heart-strings are all broke?_

    Come, guilty night, and with black velvet wings
    Mantle me round: let melancholic thoughts
    Hang all my brain with blacks, this darksome grove,
    My gallery. So, all things suit my mind:
    Such funeral colours please a gasping heart.
    I died with thee, Landora, once; now only
    Some struggling spirits are behind, to be
    Laid out with most thrift on thy memory.
    Where shall I first begin my last complaint,
    Which must be measur'd by my glass of life?
    At thee, Hirildas, slain in furious mood,
    By whose help only I enjoy'd my love?
    Or thee, Landora, dying for his sake,
    And in thy death including mine?
    Or at my country's wreck, whose surface torn
    Doth for my vengeance importune the pole?
    Or at myself? Ay, there is sorrow's spring.
    Shall I go wand'ring, lurk in woods unknown
    (A banish'd hermit), and sigh out my griefs,
    Teaching the pretty birds to sing, _My dear,_
    _My dear Landora?_ There to feed on acorns,
    Drink the clear fountain, and consume with weeping,
    Were but an easy life, an easy death:
    My violent passion must have sudden vent.
    Refined soul, whose odoriferous light
    The damned hags stare at, and whining elves,
    Thinking it heaven in hell, behold my pangs,
    Pity my dying groans, and be more soft.
    O, may our shadows mingle; then shall I
    Envy no more those citizens above,
    The ambrosian juncates of th' Olympian hall.
    And all that gorgeous roof. But cowards talk.
    Come, thou last refuge of a wearisome life.   [_Draws his poignard._
    A passport to the Elysian land, a key
    To unlock my griev'd inmate. Lo! I come.
    O, let this river from my eyes, this stream            [_Unbuttons._
    From my poor breast, beg favour of thy ghost:
    O, let this lukewarm blood thy rigour steep,               [_Stabs._
    And mollify thy adamantine heart.
    Leander-like, I swim to thee through blood:
    Be thy bright eyes my Pharos, and conduct me
    Through the dull night of gloomy Erebus.
    Flow, flow, ye lively drops, and from my veins
    Run winding to the ocean of my bliss:
    Tell her my love, and, if she still shall doubt,
    Swear that ye came directly from my heart.
    I stay too long. [_Stabs again._] Sweet lady, give me welcome.
    Though I shall pass twelve monsters, as the sun,
    Or twelve Herculean labours on a row,
    Yet one kind look makes all my labours sweet.
    Thou fairy queen[343] of the Tartarian court,
    To whom Proserpine may the apple give,
    Worthier than she to warm old Pluto's bed;
    See thy poor vassal welt'ring in his gore.
    I faint, I faint;
    I die thy martyr, as I liv'd thy priest:
    Great goddess, be propitious! sweet Landora--     [_Falls and dies._


SCENE IV.

           _The four Kings of Kent march over the stage. A_
            _drum struck up within._ Q. ATRIUS _comes with_
               CINGETORIX _prisoner_. ROLLANO _running_;
                        VOLUSENUS _meets him_.

    ROL. What shall I do? how shall I 'scape?         [_Falls for fear._

    VOL. I scorn to take advantage; rise and fight.

    ROL. I had rather be kill'd quickly, quickly.

    VOL. Then die, as thou desirest.                  [_Thrusts at him._

    ROL. O, let me wink first.                           [_Bawls aloud._
    I shall never endure it. O, O, I am pepper'd and salted!

                               [_Exit_ VOLUSENUS. ROLLANO _crawls away_.

                      CASSIBELANUS, BELINUS, _&c._

    CAS. O, that base fortune should great spirits damp,
    And fawn on muddy slaves! That envious fate
    Should ripen villany with a Syrian dew,
    And blast sweet virtue with a Syrian flame!
    A catalogue of mischiefs do concur:
    Our Briton Hector Nennius dead; our kings,
    Angry to be refus'd, sit still at home;
    And then those traitors with their train augment
    His huge and expert army. Nothing stops him:
    Rivers nor rampiers, woods nor dangerous bogs.
    On this side Thames his dismal ensigns shine.
    Last, Kent's unhappy rulers are at sea
    O'erthrown, and our men almost spent. Then, general,
    In desperate pride and valour's scornful rage,
    Let us run headlong through their armed tents,
    And make their camp a shambles; so to raise
    Our lofty tombs upon their slaughter'd heaps.

    BEL. Nay, rather first let us parley for peace.

    CAS. Ye country gods and nymphs, who Albion love:
    Old father Neptune: all ye powers divine:
    Witness my loyal care! If human strength,
    Courage and policy could a kingdom save,
    We did our best; but discord, child of hell,
    Numbers of train-men, and each captain pick'd
    Out of a province, make us bow or break.
    In vain we strive, when deities do frown;
    When destinies push, Atlas himself comes down.

                            _Enter_ COMIUS.

    BEL. No mediator is so fit as Comius:
    And here's the man.

    COM. Do not the dangers which
    Environ you call for a good conclusion?
    Which I wish, as friend to both sides.

    CAS. No, Comius. There is more behind than Cæsar
    Hath overrun: our charioteers still drive;
    Our harness still is worn. Through woods and lakes
    We'll tire his dainty soldiers; then set fire
    On towns, and sacrifice ourselves, our wives,
    Our goods and cattle, in one public flame,
    That wind may blow our ashes in his face.

    COM. So shall dead el'ments curse your causeless fury:
    Rather conclude some friendly peace.

    CAS. Thus far we hear you. If with honour'd terms
    And royal looks he will accept our faith,
    We will obey, but never serve.

    COM. I'll undertake as much.                              [_Exeunt._


SCENE V.

                         ANDROGEUS, TENANTIUS.

    AND. Thus civil war by me and factious broils
    Deface this goodly land: I am reveng'd;
    The cause (Eulinus) dead, my anger dies.
    He is our uncle, and in danger's mouth;
    Both claim relenting pity. Whom peace made
    A rampant lion, war hath made a lamb.
    Cæsar shall not proceed, for private ends,
    To captivate our isle, whose clamorous curse
    Doth knock, I know, at heaven's star-nail'd gates:
    For that Jove's bird, imp'd[344] with our plumes, o'erflew
    The ocean's wall, to seek her prey in Britain.

    TEN. Ay, we have made a rod for our own backs:
    Fetters of gold are fetters. No gap worse
    To let destruction in by, than to call
    A foreign aid who, having seen our weakness,
    And tasted once the fatness of our land,
    Is not so easily thrust out as admitted.
    Such medicine is worse than the malady:
    Fretting the bowels of our kingdom.

    AND. I know their hatred just; and here resign
    All my birthright to thee, my second self.
    I must forsake my country's sight, and seek
    New fortunes with this emperor, in hope
    To be rais'd up by his now rising wheel.

    TEN. O, do not so, dear brother! so to part
    Were to divide one individual soul.
    Nor think me so ambitious. I can live
    A private life, and see a regal crown
    With no more envy than I see the sun
    Glitter above me. Let not Lud's two sons
    Be parted by a sea. I hold your presence
    At higher price than a whole kingdom's pomp.
    Keep then your right; like those admired twins,
    Let us rejoice, mourn, live, and die together.

    AND. You shall a sceptre gain.

    TEN. And lose a brother.

    AND. Bear you the sovereign power of this land.

    TEN. A body politic must on two legs stand:
    I'll bear a part, so to diminish envy.

    AND. I must away, and shun the people's eye.

    TEN. If to yourself unkind, be kind to me;
    For my sake stay at home; why will you fly?
    Think you a stepdame soil gives sweeter sap?

    AND. Ay, for trees transplanted do more goodly grow.

    TEN. And I'll count men but stocks, when they do so.

    AND. I am resolv'd, all troubles brought asleep,
    To leave you with a parting kiss.

    TEN. And by that kiss
    May I transfuse my soul or quite expire.
    Brothers have often for a kingdom fought;
    We strive to lose it. This is holy strife.
    But here I vow, if e'er that sacred lace
    Shall gird my temples, Rome must keep her bounds,
    Or fish for tribute in the dreadful deep.


SCENE VI.

                          CÆSAR, MANDUBRATIUS.

    AND. Let gracious favour smooth war's rugged brow;
    Cassibelane will compound; all rage must end.
    We choose you umpire for a friendly close.

    CÆS. It is my glory to end all with peace;
    And for that cause I Comius sent in haste
    For to conduct him hither.

    TEN. This trump gives warning of the king's approach.

                    CASSIBELANUS, COMIUS, LANTONUS.

    CAS. Fate, and no fault of mine, makes me appear
    To yield, as far as honour gives me leave.

    CÆS. Hail, valorous prince! disdain not this ingrafting
    Into Rome's empire, whose command encloses
    The whole Levant, and whose large shadow hides
    The triple-bounded earth and bellowing seas.

    CAS. We shall observe your will, so you impose
    A league--no yoke.                              [_They shake hands._

    CÆS. Thus we determine: that crown still shall stand:
    Reign as the total monarch of this isle,
    Till death unkings you. 'Twere, Androgeus, best
    You in our train kept honourable place;
    And let Tenantius wear the royal wreath.
    You must forgive the towns which did revolt,
    Nor seek revenge on Trinobants, but let
    Young Mandubrace possess his father's princedom.

    CAS. Be all wrongs drench'd in Lethe.

    AND. Pardon my rash attempts.

    MAN. Count me your loyal friend.

                                [CASSIBELANUS _embraces_ ANDROGEUS _and_
                                                           MANDUBRATIUS.

    CÆS. In sign of league you shall us pledges give,
    And yearly pay three thousand pound of silver
    Unto our treasury. So let these decrees
    Be straight proclaim'd through Troynovant, whose tower[345]
    Shall be more fairly built at my charge, as
    A lasting monument of our arrival.

    CAS. All shall be done, renowned prince, whose worth,
    Unparallel'd both as a friend and foe,
    We do admire.
    Accept this surcoat, starrified with pearls
    And diamonds, such as our own shores breed.

    CÆS. And you receive this massy cup of gold,
    Love's earnest and memorial of this day.
    By this suppose our senate calls you friend.

                                                   [_They sit together._

    LAN. Now time, best oracle of oracles,
    Father of truth, the true sense doth suggest
    Of Dian's answer.
    The lion and the eagle do design
    The Briton and the Roman states, whose arms
    Were painted with those animals; both fierce,
    Weary at last, conclude: the semicircles,
    First letters of the leaders' names (we see)
    Are join'd in true love's endless figure.
    Both come of Trojan race, both nobly bold,
    Both matchless captains on one throne behold.

    CÆS. Now the Tarpeian rock o'erlooks the world,
    Her empire bounded only by the ocean;
    And boundless fame beats on the starry pole.
    So Danow, crawling from a mountain's side,
    Wider and deeper grows, and like a serpent
    Or pyramid revers'd, improves his bigness
    As well as length; till, viewing countries large,
    And fed with sixty rivers, his wide mouth
    On th' Euxine sea-nymph gapes, and fear doth stir,
    Whether he will disgorge or swallow her.

    CAS. Since the great guide of all, Olympus' king,
    Will have the Romans his viceroys on earth;
    Since the red fatal eyes of crow-black night
    Fling their malignant influence on our state;
      _Since Britain must submit; it was her fame,_
      _None but a Julius Cæsar could her tame._

                      [_While trumpets sound_, ANDROGEUS _and_ TENANTIUS
                                    _embracing, take leave. All depart._


SCENE VII.

                                CHORUS.

                              _1st Song._

        _Come, fellow-bards, and sing with cheer;_
        _Since dreadful alarums we shall no more hear._
        _Come, lovely peace, our saint divine,_
        _Olive and laurel do love for to twine._
        _The Graces and Muses, and nymphs in a round:_
        _Let voice beat the air, and feet beat the ground._

        _So hell's black image chas'd away,_
        _Eos doth dandle the goldy-lock'd day;_
        _So, Bruma[346] banish'd all forlorn,_
        _Cupid and Flora the spring do adorn:_
        _And so, the grim fury of Mars laid in grave,_
        _A merrier ending doth friendly peace crave._

                              _2d Song._

        _The sky is glad, that stars above_
          _Do give a brighter splendour:_
        _The stars unfold their flaming gold,_
          _To make the ground more tender:_
        _The ground doth send a fragrant smell,_
          _That air may be the sweeter:_
        _The air doth charm the swelling seas_
          _With pretty chirping metre:_
        _The sea with rivers' water doth_
          _Feed[347] plants and flowers dainty:_
        _The planets do yield their fruitful seed,_
          _That beasts may live in plenty:_
        _The beasts doth give both food and cloth,_
          _That men high Jove may honour:_
        _And so the world runs merrily round,_
          _When peace doth smile upon her._
        _O then, then O! O then, then O!_
          _This jubilee last for ever:_
        _That foreign spite or civil fight_
          _Our quiet trouble never._                              [_Exeunt._

            MERCURY _reducing the ghosts of_ CAMILLUS _and_
                                BRENNUS.

    CAM. How bravely Cæsar pass'd the angry main!

    BREN. How bravely was he back repuls'd again!

    CAM. How did he wheel his sword in Nennius' face!

    BREN. How did he lose his sword, and fly apace!

    CAM. How did again his army fill your coast!

    BREN. Ay, when our princes did conduct his host.

    CAM. How did they pierce through Isis' dangerous flood!

    BREN. But made her swell, and bankrupt[348] with their blood.

    CAM. Mirror of captains, Julius, still hath won.

    BREN. But we may justly brag of two for one.

    CAM. Confess, our valorous race hath now repaid
    The Allian massacre[349] and our city's flame:
    See how they yield, and yearly tribute pay.

    BREN. No, proud dictator, both do weary stand
    On equal terms: both wish a peaceful league.
    But if they shall oppress, know, generous spirits
    Will break this compact, like a spider's web.

    MER. Jove's will is finish'd: and, though Juno frown,
    That no more Trojan blood shall dye the stage,
    The world's fourth empire Britain doth embrace.
    The thunder-bearer with a Janus look
    At once views ruddy morn and cloudy west:
    Her wings, display'd o'er this terrestrial egg,
    Will shortly hatch an universal peace;
    For Jove intends a favour to the world.
    It now remains that you two martial wights
    Cease from your braving one another's worth:
    You must be friends at last. The close is sweet,
    When, after tumults, hearts and hands do meet.            [_Exeunt._

             _Nec lusisse pudet, sed non incidere ludum._

FOOTNOTES:

[339] The wife of Locrine. See Geoffrey of Monmouth, bk. ii. c. 4.

[340] A coxcomb, or conceited person. So in "The Emperor of the East,"
act iv. sc. 1--

             "I have a heart, yet
    As ready to do service for my leg
    As any _princock_, peacock of you all."

And again, "The Old Law," act iii. sc. 2--

    "That wet one has cost many a _princock's_ life."

See also Mr Steevens's note on "Romeo and Juliet," act i. sc. 5.

[341] This sentiment, and many others in the course of the play,
are borrowed: it is a translation from a very well known passage in
Tacitus: _solitudinem faciunt_, &c.--_Collier._

[342] _i.e._, Poignard, sword. So in "The Return from Parnassus"--

    "Strikes his _poynado_ at a button's breadth."

[343] Alluding to Spenser's celebrated poem.--_Steevens._

[344] See note to "Albumazar," [xi. 346.]

[345] The Tower of London, said to have been built by Julius Cæsar.

[346] [The winter solstice.]

[347] The 4o has it--

    "The sea with rivers' water doth
      _The_ plants and flowers dainty."

--_Collier._

[348] Or broken-banked with the flood.

[349] The slaughter made at the battle of Allia, in the year of Rome
363.



THE LOST LADY.



_EDITION._


    _The Lost Lady. A Tragy Comedy. Imprinted at London by Jo.
      Okes, for John Colby, and are to be sold at his Shop, at
      the Signe of the Holy Lambe on Ludgate-hill. 1639. Folio._

[Sir William Barclay or Berkley was probably related to Sir Richard
Barclay, author of "A Discourse of the Felicity of Man," first
printed in 1598. He wrote, besides the "Lost Lady," a "Description of
Virginia." An account of him will be found in Bliss's edition of Wood's
"Athenæ," iii. 1111-12.

"The Lost Lady" was reprinted by Dodsley in 1744, but excluded from the
second and third editions of the collection.]



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.[350]


                                 _Men._

  LYSICLES.
  EUGENIO.
  AGENOR.
  CLEON.
  ERGASTO.
  PHORMIO.
  PINDARUS.
  PHYSICIAN.

                                _Women._

  MILESIA.
  HERMIONE.
  IRENE.
  PHILLIDA.
  ACANTHE.

FOOTNOTES:

[350] [Not in the old copy.]

                             THE LOST LADY.



ACT I.


                       _Enter_ AGENOR, PHYSICIAN.

    AGEN. Sir, I hope Lord Lysicles is not yet
    Retir'd?

    PHY. No, sir, he commanded immediate
    Notice should be given of your coming.

    AGEN. I fear my stay at the castle hath made
    My duty seem unmannerly; but till
    This minute I had not my despatches from the governor.

    PHY. Let it not trouble you: he never shuts his eyes
    Till all this other world opens theirs; nor
    Does he sleep then, but with distracted thoughts
    Labours his fancy, to present him objects
    That may advance his grief.

    AGEN. What may the monstrous cause be?

    PHY. It was monstrous indeed. He lost his mistress,
    Barbarously murder'd by her perfidious uncle:
    Her urn is in Cirrha, which my lord nightly
    Visits, and presents it all his contracted
    Sighs of the fled day; but at his parting
    Re-assumeth more by thinking she is not:
    To whose dear memory his tears and griefs
    Are offered. He's now alone, and the
    Religious awe which makes our priests retire,
    Before they do adore th' incensed powers,
    Is seen in him, who never dares approach
    Her honoured tomb, till a just contemplation of
    His loss hath made his sorrow eloquent.
    See! he comes. If, when he parts, your haste
    Will license you, I will relate the story
    Of his unequall'd sufferings.

                           _Enter_ LYSICLES.

    LYS. Do you depart to-night?

    AGEN. This hour, my lord.

    LYS. I will not wrong you to entreat your care
    In suddenly delivering these small packets;
    But lest you should believe they are merely
    Ceremonious, and so bear any date, I now
    Inform you, I'm concern'd in nothing nearer.
    My griefs excepted.

    AGEN. I wish your lordship's happiness.

    LYS. First, wish me a captivity; for as
    I am i' th' instant, if Heaven should pour
    His blessings on me, their quality would alter.
    Sir, good night.                                            [_Exit._

    PHY. Sir, you are sad.

    AGEN. He has no heart to joy that can be otherwise,
    That sees this glorious youth groan under his
    Harsh fate.

    PHY. What a sad accent had each word he uttered?

    AGEN. I could not mark them much; but his whole frame
    Is of such making as if Despair had been
    The architect. We may wish, [but] not hope,
    A long life in him.

    PHY. Sir, will you now take horse?

    AGEN. I should, had you
    Not promised the original of this
    Misfortune: and, trust me, it is a bold
    Curiosity, that makes me search into it; for if
    The silent presentation hath struck amazement
    In me, how shall I guard my heart, when sad
    Disasters violence my passions?

    PHY. Thus then in short:--
    These noble kingdoms, Thessaly and Sparta,
    Have, from the time two kings commanded all,
    Under both titles still been emulous,
    And jealous of th' advantages which each
    Suspected might be in the adverse party.
    This caused a lasting war; but the fierce storm
    Threaten'd not till the reign of these two kings,
    Both crowned young, both of an equal age;
    Both having all the passions of their subjects,
    Their fears excepted. The ambassadors
    That should congratulate the new-made kings,
    As if one spirit had inspired both,
    Came with this message, little varied--
    "That each were joy'd in such an enemy;
    No more the fearful wisdom of old men
    Should rust their swords, that fate had given to one
    Command of all." In short, their forces met,
    And in ten bloody days none could decide
    Which had the better cause:
    The virtues of each prince so prevalent,
    Fortune was but spectator. To conclude,
    Urgent affairs at home compell'd each king
    To leave their armies. Ours committed his
    To Strimon, father of Prince Lysicles;
    The Duke of Argos did command the Spartan,
    Who, swoll'n with the great name of general,
    Before his king had hardly left the fight
    Of this great army, draws his forces out,
    And fac'd us in our trenches. 'Tis not yet
    Unquestion'd whether fear or policy
    Made Strimon keep in his: but certainly this,
    That virtue, sharpen'd by necessity,
    Procur'd our triumph. Here Lysicles
    Anticipated years unto his fame,
    And on the wounds of his brave enemy
    Did write his story, which our virgins sing.
    But from this conquest did begin the cause
    Of all his misery.

    AGEN. How from this? unless the king should judge it
    Too dangerous an honour to be given to one.

    PHY. He's lord of so much virtue,
    He cannot fear it in a subject.

    AGEN. And as the common voice reach'd him in Athos,
    There's none he looks on with [a] greater
    Demonstration of his love.

    PHY. I know not that; but this I am perfect in:
    His judgment is directed by the king so powerfully,
    He cannot think his virtues injured,
    Though many should be nearer in his graces,
    'Twould afflict him strangely if any should
    Be thought to love his prince better than he.

    AGEN. Pardon my interruption: pray proceed.

    PHY. The duke, defeated, posts unto the Court,
    Where he design'd unto his dire revenge
    Th' obscurest path that ever time reveal'd
    Since her first glass: procures his king to throw
    Neglects upon him, and to seem in doubt
    Of his obliged faith. A severe search
    Is made on his papers, his treasure valued
    By the public officer, and himself,
    Twice deprehended in a seeming flight,
    Calumniated, libell'd, and disgrac'd
    By his own seeking and belief of others,
    Who, judging him to be their honour's ruin,
    First raze his house, and then demand his life
    As sacrifice unto their brothers, sons,
    Nephews, and public loss. Sedition
    Had now the face of piety, which (once
    Receiv'd as just) can hardly be repell'd.
    The king with difficulty doth assure his life
    With promise of his banishment.
    This he foresaw and sought, and did disguise
    Himself, in fear of the incensed people:
    Parts in the night, and partner of his fate
    Hath his fair niece, who is so innocent
    She cannot think there is a greater crime
    Practis'd by men than error, which does make
    Us seem more vicious than in act we are.

    AGEN. I want a perspective for this dark mystery;
    And but your knowledge doth dissolve my doubts,
    'Twould seem a riddle that a gentleman
    Of his known valour [and his] reputation
    Should strive to lose both for some secret end,
    I cannot yet arrive to.

    PHY. Sir, you know
    Revenge doth master all our passions
    That are not servants to her rage.

    AGEN. But how, unfriended, banish'd, the reproach
    Of traitor fix'd upon him, he could find
    The way unto't more easy, I am ignorant.

    PHY. This story will resolve you. To this Court
    He comes: is brought to th' king; then with a modest freedom
    Relates his sufferings; hopes that fame hath taught
    His story ere his coming, else he should
    Continue miserable, as believ'd
    Both by his friends and enemies a traitor.
    Delivers that he sought protection
    From him, because none else could vindicate
    His innocence, which many mothers here,
    Say'th he, have wept that day when fortune
    Consulted fate who should be conqueror.
    You brave lords (say'th he) that were present, did my sword
    Parley? Did you receive wounds on condition?
    Were these by compact? All my blood is lost,
    Since 'tis discredited; what before was spent,
    Ran in my name, and made that live: but now,
    Great King, you only repeal my honour's fall
    By giving death unto your enemy.
    Our prince resents his fate, confirms him his
    By a large pension, and too soon entrusts [him]
    With all his secrets; gives him means to view
    His forts, which he designs, and learns the strength
    Of each particular province; and (inform'd
    Of all) makes his escape, and is received
    Of the Spartan king with all remonstrances
    Of love and confess'd service; but before
    He parted, did that horrid act which Lysicles
    Must die for.

    AGEN. Indeed this story
    Doth not much concern him, if I mistake not.

    PHY. At his arrival here, he left his niece
    With this design, that, when his plots were ripe,
    Without suspect he might come to the borders.
    Hither he comes, and at his entrance is
    By a base traitorous servant certified
    Of the great love 'twixt her and Lysicles,
    The compact of their vows, with divers letters
    The lovers had exchang'd. He storms and cries,
    If thou dost love young Lysicles, my hate
    Shall strike thee dead; thy hand pluck'd back my honour
    When it was mounting; be constant, and this hand
    Shall by her death give thee a ling'ring one,
    And my revenge in thy own house begin.
    Then with a barbarous unheard-of cruelty
    Murders his niece, and the same instant flies.
    Fame had the next sun blown this through the city;
    His house was searched, the trunk of the dead lady
    Found in the hall; the head he carried with him,
    In honour of his cruelty.

    AGEN. Sure, he was mad!

    PHY. I would say so too, but that I would not
    Make him less guilty of this inhumanity.

    AGEN. What furies govern man! We hazard all
    Our lives and fortunes to gain hated memories;
    And in the search of virtue tremble at shadows.
    But how are you ascertain'd that he did
    This horrid act?

    PHY. He sent the summons of her death
    By her that had betray'd her; the report
    Did make her spirits throng unto her heart,
    And (sure) had kill'd it, had not heaven decreed
    His hand should be as black as his intent.
    She begg'd some time for prayer, and retir'd;
    In her own blood did write her tragedy
    And parting wishes to her dear betroth'd.
    Now hear the strangest mistook piety,
    That ever entered in a virgin's breast,
    She so much lov'd this barbarous homicide,
    She would not have him guilty of her death;
    And therefore with her own hands wounds herself,
    And as she bled, she writ unto her lord--
    At last concludes--
    They will not let me make them innocent;
    I'm call'd unto my death, and I repent
    My wound, because I would not hurt
    That which I hope you lov'd. This bloody note
    Was found the next day in her pocket.

    AGEN. And came it to the Lord Lysicles?

    PHY. It did; and if you e'er had seen
    A hundred parents at one time deplore
    The unexpected deaths of their lost children,
    The father's sorrow and the mother's tears--
    'Twould emblemise, but not express his grief.
    Sometimes he shriek'd, as if h' had sent his soul
    Out in his voice; sometimes stood fix'd, and gaz'd,
    As if he had no sense of what he saw:
    Sometimes he'd swoon; and if the memory
    Of his dear mistress, even i' th' gates of death,
    Had not pursu'd him, he had certain died.
    Torment did now give life; at last he drew
    His sword, and e'er he could be stay'd, did fall
    Upon the point. This I think did preserve him;
    For, not[351] being mortal, and he fainting with
    The loss of blood, had not then strength enough
    To end himself, until he was persuaded
    To live, to celebrate her memory;
    Which nightly he doth do upon her tomb,
    Whither he now is gone.

    AGEN. I have not heard
    Of such a love as this!

    PHY. Nor ever shall
    Of such a beauty as did cause it.
    'Tis late, and I'll not trouble you with her story:
    When you're at Court, all tongues will speak her merit
    To your wonder. I'll bring you to your horse.               [_Exit._


[ACT I., SCENE 2.]

          _The Tomb discovered. Enter_ LYSICLES _with a page_
              _and a torch_, [_and then withdraws_.][352]
                     _Enter_ ERGASTO _and_ CLEON.

    CLE. And will you marry now?

    ERG. Indeed will I.

    CLE. And what shall
    Be done with all those locks of hair you have?

    ERG. Why, I'll make buttons of 'em, and had they half
    The value that I swore they had when I did beg 'em,
    Rich orient diamonds could not equal them:
    Some came eas'ly, and some I was forc'd to
    Dig for in th' mine.

    CLE. And your priz'd liberty--
    What shall become of that?
    You swore you would not marry till there were
    A law established that married men
    Might be redeem'd, as slaves are.

    ERG. I was an ass when I talk'd so:
    Those damned books of chastity I read
    In my minority corrupted me; but since
    I'm practis'd in the world, I find there are
    No greater libertines than married men.
    'Tis true 'twas dangerous, this knot, in the
    First age, when it was a crime to break vows:
    But, thanks to Venus, the scene is alter'd,
    And we act other parts. I'll tell thee
    The privileges we enjoy when we are married.
    First, our secrecy is held authentic, which is
    Assurance will take up any woman
    At interest, that is not peevish; then th' acquaintance
    which our wives bring us, to whom at times I carry my wife's
    commendations; and if their husbands be not at home, I do
    commend myself.

    CLE. For what, I prythee?

    ERG. For a good dancer, a good rider, a good ----, anything
    that I think will please 'em.

    CLE. Thou'lt have a damnable conceit of thy wife, by thy
    knowledge and opinion of all other women, unless you think her
    a ph[oe]nix.

    ERG. 'Twill be my best resolution. But hark in thy ear, rogue:
    I could be content to think, and wish mine and all for the
    public good, and wear my horns with as much confidence, as
    the best velvet-head of 'em all, and paint them in my crest
    with this inscription _These he deserved for his love to_ _the
    commonwealth_.

    CLE. A rare fame you would purchase!

    ERG. A more lasting one than any monument you can repeat the
    epitaph of; and would it not be glorious to be commemorated as
    the first founder of the commonalty of undisparaged cuckolds?

    CLE. Yes, and prayed for by bastards, that got better fathers
    than they were destined to by their mothers' marriages.

    ERG. And cursed by surgeons that were undone by honest women's
    practices.

    CLE. And this done voluntarily, which you will hardly avoid,
    though you have a thousand guards to prevent it. I, that have
    been your playfellow, shall be first suspected, and first
    banished.

    ERG. By Jupiter, never! No, though 'twould preserve a thousand
    smooth foreheads. If she be honest, your arts cannot alter
    her; and if otherwise, had I not rather adopt a son of thine
    than a stranger's? And confess truly, Cleon: would you not for
    this public benefit be content to sacrifice a sister, that we
    might love no longer by obligations, but affection; and seeing,
    liking, and enjoying, finished in a meeting.

    CLE. Unless I had means to appropriate one, you cannot suspect
    but I should wish a title unto all. But what hopes have you of
    your mistress?

    ERG. No airy ones of liking and affection; but mine are built
    on _terra firma_ already, which her father looks on greedily,
    and proportions this to that grandchild, to the second this.

    CLE. Is he not somewhat startled at the report of thy
    debauchery? For though your thickset woods and spreading
    vineyards make excellent shades to keep away the sun--I mean
    the piercing eye of censure--yet some suspicions common fame
    will raise.

    ERG. Indeed it was my enemy, whilst my elder brother lived.

    CLE. But since his death you are altered. I must confess it,
    for then the slenderness of your annuity allowed you but the
    election of some one sin: I mean a cherished sin, whilst the
    others repined, that thought themselves of equal dignity; in
    time they had their turns, yet singly still: but since your
    brother's death you have shown yourself a grateful gentleman,
    and recompensed those that have suffered for you to the full.

    ERG. A pretty satire this, to whip boys of nine! Yet still I
    tell thee, I am another in the opinion of the world.

    CLE. Another Heliogabalus thou wouldst be,
    Hadst thou his power; but by what conjuration can
    You bring me to think it?

    ERG. By reason, which is a spirit will hardly be
    Rais'd in you; but thus it is. Whilst my brother
    Liv'd, my wildness was observed by----

    CLE. But now you walk in shades, recluse, and shut
    Up in your coach; your painted liveries
    Supposed fairies, and she that you were wont to
    Visit by the name of Madam Ruffiana is now
    Your aunt. All this I am perfect in, yet cannot
    Reach the mystery of your suppos'd disguise
    You say doth mask you.

    ERG. Hear me, and be converted. I say I was
    Observed by those that were nearest in blood to me;
    And with fear, too, lest the ruin of my
    Fortune might force them to supply my wants.
    This caus'd the ague, this the admonitions and
    Frequent counsels--sometimes severe reproofs,
    Every one curling himself from any hopes of mine,
    That would assist me; and those gave largest counsels,
    That would give nothing else.

    CLE. Of this I am yet a sad party and a witness too.

    ERG. Since my brother's death, the names of things
    Are changed; my riots are the bounties of my nature,
    Carelessness the freedom of my soul:
    My prodigality, an easiness of mind proportion'd
    To my fortune. Believe me, Cleon, this poverty
    Is that which puts a multiplying-glass upon our
    Faults, and makes 'em swell, and fill the eye;
    Our crimes cry highest then when they have
    brought us low.

    CLE. I have not known any condemn'd for playing,
    But for losing.

    ERG. True; and let it be thy rule for all things else.

    CLE. If this be certain, 'twill be long ere I be reputed virtuous.

    ERG. Thou'lt never be, unless it be this way,
    I prophesy, good Cleon----

    CLE. 'Tis a sad story; pray let us leave it. Have you no rivals?

    ERG. None present that I can fear, having her
    Father's firm consent.

    CLE. Eugenio, your rival, still continues banish'd.

    ERG. And I hope will, till I am full possess'd of Hermione.

    CLE. Did you give him cause to draw upon you in th' garrison?

    ERG. Nor knew then of any[353] offence, or his pretences,
    Which his folly look'd I should divine; he met me on the guard,
    And drew upon me. We had a little scuffle,
    Were parted, and he banish'd for the insolence.

    CLE. Prince Lysicles labours to recall him.

    ERG. By all means; he was by in the nois'd battle, saw the
    Prince cleave this man to the twist,[354] divide a second,
    Overthrow a third; he is his trumpet.

    CLE. His actions need none.

    ERG. Wilt thou be happy, Cleon, believe not fame
    So far, as to make thyself less than another man.
    There were thousands that served for six sesterces,
    That did more than both; yet sleep forgotten. 'Tis
    Now time to meet the ladies on the walk.                  [_Exeunt._

         _Enter_ LYSICLES;[355] _kneels to the tomb, and then_
                               _speaks_.

    LYS. I do profane this place, for were my griefs
    As great as I would boast 'em, I could not live
    To tell them to the world.
    Or is the passage which my soul should make,
    Shut up with sorrow? 'Tis so, and a joy,
    A hopeful joy, to meet her must give freedom
    To my sad prisoner, when my hand shall lead
    This dagger to his heart that parted ours.
    And heaven, that hear'st this vow, pour on my head
    Dire thunder, if I shrink in what I promise.
    And, sacred'st saint, if from thy place of rest,
    Thou turn'st thy eyes upon thy holy relics,
    Accept my vows, and pardon me the life
    Of the curs'd homicide: a full revenge
    Of thy death and [of] my life's misery
    Shall make him pay the time he has outliv'd
    My happiness; and when he is fall'n,
    Present thyself in all thy glories to me,
    That my freed soul may owe her liberty
    To no force, but impatient longing
    Of re enjoying thee. And, holy tomb,
    The altar where my heart is nightly offered,
    Let my wing'd love have passage through thy marble,
    And fan the sacred ashes, knowing no heat
    But what he takes from them. So peace and rest
    Dwell ever with thee.                                       [_Exit._

            _Enter_ HERMIONE, IRENE, PHILLIDA, _all veiled_.

    IRE. Dear Hermione, pinch me, or I shall sink with laughter.

    HER. What said the stranger, Phillida? I did not hear it.

    PHIL. Nothing, madam.

    HER. Then he did talk by signs, he was long about it. What
    was't, Irene?

    IRE. He long importuned her to show her face, which after many
    urgings she consented to; and he in recompense made a low
    reverence to her, and then thanks her for the great favour,
    and concludes he never did receive so great a one from any
    woman, since all else have done them with a reference to
    themselves; but hers was merely goodness, for, before he saw
    her, he might have suspected her face, handsomely hid, for a
    piece of beauty, if her virtue would have suffered him to be
    longer in that error.

    PHIL. I would I were a man for his sake.

    IRE. So you told him, and he, still courteous for all your
    anger, promised to give you what you wanted of a man, or teach
    you how to make one.

    HER. Thou wilt never be old, wench, if thou still keep'st this
    humour.

    IRE. Not a sigh older these seven years, if't please Sir Cupid;
    for he blows our bellows. [_Enter_ ERGASTO _and_ CLEON.] But
    look, yonder's your servant, there's no starting now; you must
    stand to't. But before he comes to interrupt us, observe with
    me, how in that deep band, short cloak, and his great boots, he
    looks three storeys high, and his head is the garret where he
    keeps nothing but lists of horse-matches, and some designs for
    his next clothes.

    PHIL. Where is his cellarage?

    IRE. He'll show it thee himself, dear Phillida, and thine too,
    if thou wilt have him! But they make to us!

    ERG. Madam, will you honour me and this gentleman with a sight
    of that which doth enrich the world?

    HER. You will not take our excuses, if we should say you find
    us now with more advantage to our beauties.

    ERG. So breaks the morning forth, but the sun's rays are not so
    quick and piercing as your eyes, for they descend even to our
    hearts.

    IRE. Heaven defend! my heart would tremble, if they should.

    ERG. Why, madam?

    IRE. See such impieties as are lodged there in a man, and not
    be struck with horror! 'tis impossible.

    ERG. Your wit doth make you cruel. But, madam, I have something
    to deliver unto you, which your father commanded no ear should
    hear but yours.

    IRE. What have you there, Cleon?

    CLE. Verses, madam.

    IRE. Whose?

    CLE. Of Lord Ergasto's, written in celebration of the fair
    Hermione.

    IRE. Did he buy them, or found them without a father, and has
    adopted them for his own?

    CLE. They are his own.

    IRE. Here.

    CLE. I pray read them.

    IRE. What have I deserved of you, good Cleon, that you should
    make me read his verses in his own presence? If you think I
    have not already as ill an opinion of him as I can have, you
    lose your labour.

    CLE. Read them, and I'll assure you you'll find things well
    said and seriously; and you will alter your opinion of him.

    IRE. Pray give them me, I long to be working wonders.          [_She
    reads single words._] _Rubies_, _Pearls_, _Roses_, _Heaven_. Do
    you not think he has done my cousin a simple favour, comparing
    of her voice to that of heaven?

    CLE. 'Tis his love makes him do it; not finding any thing on
    earth fit to express her, he searcheth heaven for a similitude.

    IRE. Alas! good gentleman, 'tis the first time he ever thought
    on't; what frequent thunders should I hear, if 'twere as he
    would have it? Let me counsel you: lay them aside till they
    have contracted an inch of dust, then with your finger write
    their epitaph, expressing the mutual quiet they gave men, and
    received from them; or, as all poisons serve for some use, give
    them your physician, and let him apply them to his patient for
    a vomit--this way they may be useful.

    CLE. However you esteem them, such an elogy would make you
    think your glass had not yet flattered you.

    IRE. It cannot; I prevent it, and accuse it for not showing the
    hills of snow, the rubies, and the roses they say have being
    from me. But stay--heaven opens, and I see a tempest coming;
    your poet is a prophet.

    HER. I'll call an oath to be my witness.

    ERG. Madam!

    HER. My own fears light upon me, if the night that eves the day
    of marriage, doth not shut me from the world.

    ERG. Why, madam, this intemperance?

    HER. 'Tis a just anger.

    ERG. If you are angry, madam, with all that love you, there
    lives none that has more enemies, every eye that looks upon you
    you must hate.

    IRE. Sir Cleon, our friends are engaged; pray let us be o' th'
    party. What has called up this choler in my sweet cousin? My
    lord, you have been begging favours.

    ERG. Yes, of heaven, that it would furnish me with merits fit
    to deserve your cousin.

    IRE. When it has [been] granted you, return to her, and renew
    your suit; but if you stay till then, you must get spectacles
    to see her beauty with.

    HER. Why should you hinder your repose and mine? You know I
    never loved you.

    IRE. Then he has no reason to accuse you of inconstancy.

    ERG. Why are you fair? or why has my stars enforced me to love
    nothing else?

    IRE. If your love were considerable, what an obligation had
    your cousin to your stars? Then these remonstrances of yours
    are impulsive, and not voluntary.

    ERG. I cannot tell; but when I seriously direct them to you,
    I'll swear I am bewitched.

    CLE. Madam, this is repugnant to your other virtues, that you
    should hate a man for loving you. Before he did profess himself
    your servant, I know you did receive him with indifferency at
    least. Whence then proceeds your hate?

    HER. From his expression of his love.

    CLE. A cruel son sprung from so mild a father, if he did urge
    you to anything, might blast your honour.

    IRE. She would not hear him; and as it is, how much does he
    oblige her? He's now her servant, and would entreat her to let
    him be her master; a request strangely modest!

    CLE. If I were he, I'd take an honourable composition, let her
    choose whom she pleas'd for husband, and continue her secret
    servant still.

    HER. You are uncivil.

                           _Enter_ PINDARUS.

    CLE. Pardon me, madam, this mirth's a liberty; your cousin doth
    allow me. Here comes your father.

             [PINDARUS _whispers with_ ERGASTO: _he speaks to_ HERMIONE.

    PIN. How long is't you have undertaken to be your own disposer?

    HER. Sir!

    PIN. After my cares had sought you out a man that brings all
    blessings that the world calls happy, you must refuse him!

    HER. Sir, I have taken an oath.

    PIN. I know the priest that gave it. Do you not blush, being so
    young, to know how to distinguish the difference of desires!
    And this so wildly, that you will put off your obedience rather
    than lose one that you dare not say hath interest in you; but
    by my hopes of rest, I'll use the power custom and nature give
    me to force you to your happiness.

                           _Enter_ LYSICLES.

    LYS. How now, my lord? What miracle can raise a tempest here,
    where so much beauty reigns?

    PIN. My lord, you are not practised in the cares of fathers: I
    thought to have seen this gentleman my son to-morrow; and she
    does refuse him. But----

    LYS. It must not be; pardon me, virtue, that I begin an act
    will set a stain upon my blushing brow. Yet I must thorough.
    Lord Pindarus, my fortunes carry a pardon with them, when they
    make me err in acts of ceremonial decencies, they have been so
    heavy and so mighty, they have bent me so low to th' earth, I
    could not cast my face upwards to hope a blessing; the cause
    you are perfect in.

    PIN. 'Tis a noble sorrow; but your deep melancholy gives it too
    large a growth.

    LYS. Thus all do press it; yet had my grief relation only
    to myself, I would not part them from; my heart and memory
    they justly do possess. But my father hath no more issue save
    myself, for to confer his name and fortunes on.

    PIN. Our Greece would mourn if such a glorious stock should end
    in the most flourishing branch.

    LYS. If you do wish it a continuance, 'tis in your power to
    make it last to ages. Since my Milesia's death, I have not
    loved a lady equal with your Hermione; in her I hope to lose
    my swollen misfortunes, and find out a joy that may extinguish
    them. 'Tis now no time to tell her how much I am her servant;
    for this lord here, that does pretend to her fair graces,
    before I had declared myself his rival--perchance you would
    believe me if I had said, he no way doth deserve her.

    PIN. Where you pretend, who can? But heaven, that designed a
    blessing to my child, it had been pride to hope for, hath made
    her still averse to his pretences; but giving her the liberty
    of refusing, I know he is removed.

    LYS. Thus then to-morrow I'll wait on you. Ladies, I am your
    servant.                                                    [_Exit._

    PIN. My Lord Ergasto, you see with how much candour I have
    embraced your love; yet, though I do put on a father's
    strictness in my daughter's presence, I cannot force her to an
    act whereon for ever will depend her happiness. My house shall
    still be open to you as my heart. My business calls me, get you
    home; your servant.                                [_Exit_ PINDARUS.

    CLE. Ergasto, my Lord Ergasto, what, have you left your tongue
    with your heart?

    ERG. Is she not strangely fair?

    CLE. You'll not believe me if I should say the contrary.

    ERG. D'ye think that there are such faces in Elysium?

    CLE. I'm sure many better go t'other way, if they be not marred
    in the voyage. But do you remember where you are to meet with
    Phormio?

    ERG. Nor anything else; her beauty makes me forget all things
    that has no reference to it.

    CLE. Heyday! if within these two hours you do not forget the
    cause of this forgetfulness, I'll be an eunuch. What, if
    the prince should be your rival? I cannot tell, but my Lord
    Pindarus on a sudden fell from his anger to his daughter to a
    ceremony to you might be suspected.

    ERG. 'Tis a fear that makes me tremble.

    CLE. Courage, man! If you have not lost your memory, your
    remedy is certain. There are more handsome faces will
    recompense this loss. Let us meet Phormio.                [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[351] [_i.e._, The _wound_ not being, &c.]

[352] [This is the second scene of Act i., though not so marked. The
entrance of Lysicles, with his page and torch, was in dumb-show, the
tomb having been apparently placed in the back of the stage while the
curtain was drawn.]

[353] [Old copy, _any of_.]

[354] [Fork, Fr. _fourchure_.]

[355] [He must be supposed, from the preceding direction, to have been
in the back of the stage.]



ACT II., SCENE 1.


                _Enter_ HERMIONE, IRENE, _and_ PHILLIDA.

    IRE. Have you sent for the Egyptian lady?

    HER. I have; and she'll be here within this half-hour.

    IRE. She speaks our language.

    HER. Her father was of Greece a wealthy merchant, and his
    business enforcing him to leave his country, he married a lady
    of that place, where he lived, who, excellent in the mystery of
    divination, hath left that knowledge to her daughter, enriched
    with thousand other modest virtues, as is delivered to me by
    those are frequent with her.

    IRE. Do you believe what Phillida say'th is the voice of all
    your friends?

    HER. What is't?

    IRE. That you shall marry with Prince Lysicles.

    PHIL. I heard your uncle say the governor did receive it with
    all appearances of joy, in hope this match will free him from
    this deep melancholy: and 'tis determined the next feast joins
    your hands.

    HER. The grave must be my bed then.
    With what harsh fate doth heaven afflict me,
    That all those blessings which make others happy
    Must be my ruin! But if this lady's knowledge
    Shall inform me that I shall ne'er enjoy Eugenio,
    Darkness shall seize me, ere [the] tapers light
    My blushes to the forsworn Hymen's rites.

    IRE. Why should you labour your disquiet, cousin?
    Anticipating thus your knowledge, you will make
    Your future sufferings present; and so call
    Lasting griefs upon you, which your hopes might
    Dissipate, till heaven had made your mind
    Strong enough to encounter them.

    HER. Dear Irene,
    Our stars, whose influence doth govern us,
    Are not malignant to us, but whilst we
    Remain in this false earth. He that hath courage
    To divest himself of that, removes with it
    Their powers to hurt him; and injur'd Love,
    Who sees that fortune would usurp his power,
    I know will not be wanting. See, the lady

                      _Enter_ ACANTHE _the Moor_.

    Comes! Madam, the excuse that justifies sick men
    That send for their physician, must beg my pardon,
    That did not visit you to have this honour.
    Here you see a virgin that hath long stood
    The mark of fortune, and now's so full of misery
    That, though the gods resented what I suffer,
    Yet I fear that they have plung'd me to extremes,
    Exceed their own assistance.

    MOOR. Fear not their power.

    HER. I do not; but their will to help me I must doubt;
    For those that know no reason of their hate
    Must fear it is perpetual.
    And let the ensigns of their wrath fall on me,
    If e'er by any willing act I have provok'd
    Their justice. To you now, in whom 'tis said,
    As in their oracle they speak, I come to know
    What mighty growth of dangers are decreed me.

    MOOR. First, dearest lady, do not think my power
    Great as my will to serve you; 'tis so weak
    That, if you should rely on't, I shall seem
    Cold in your service, when it does not answer
    What is expected from it. All I know
    Is but conjectured; for our stars incline,
    Not force us in our actions. Let me observe your face.

    HER. Do, and if yet you are not perfect in
    Your mysteries, observe mine well; and when you meet
    A face branded with such a line, conclude
    It miserable: when an eye that doth
    Resemble this, teach it to weep betimes,
    That so being lost, it may not see those miseries
    Must be its only object.                       [_The_ MOOR _starts_.
    Are my misfortunes of that horrid shape
    That the mere speculation doth affright
    Those whose compassion only it concerns?
    I, that must stand the strokes then, what defence
    Shall I prepare against them? Yet a hope
    That they be ripen'd now to fall on me,
    Lightens a desperate joy to my dark soul:
    For the last dart shall be embrac'd as remedy
    To cure my former wounds.

    MOOR. It is not that;
    I was surprised in considering I must
    Partake of all your fortunes; for our ascendants
    Threaten like danger to us both.

    HER. Are then my miseries grown infectious too?
    Must that be added? Pardon me, gentle lady; this
    Sad crime I must account amongst my secret faults:
    I meant no more but to communicate,
    Not part my sorrows with you.

    MOOR. [O,] would you could; with what great willingness
    Should I embrace a share of what afflicts you?
    I'd haste to meet and ease you of your fears.
    Now if to one, whose interest doth force her
    To advance your hopes, you dare deliver
    The cause of your disquiet, you shall find a closet,
    If not a fort, to vindicate your fears.

    HER. You shall know all. I have exchang'd my heart
    With a young gentleman's, now banished
    His country and my hopes; his rival labours
    To make me his; my father resolute I should
    Consent, till fortune chang'd, but lessen'd not
    My sufferings; for our prince, Lysicles,
    Ruins me with the honour of his search.

    MOOR. Does Eugenio know you love him?

    HER. No.

    MOOR. Why does he doubt it?

    HER. A womanish scorn to have my love reveal'd,
    Made me receive his declaration of it
    As an affront unto my honour, and when
    He came to take his leave, I left him
    In the opinion I would obey my father.

    MOOR. I have heard as much; but [these] contradictions
    In the prince's actions do amaze me:
    They say he loves your friend, and labours now
    For to recall him; and that every night
    He courts his former flame, hid in the ashes
    Of his lost mistress.

    HER. By this judge how miserable I am?
    That my malignant stars force them to change
    Nature and virtue too, that else would shine
    Unmoved, like the star that does direct
    The wand'ring seaman. Must then nature change,
    And will not fortune cease to persecute? Good gods!
    I will submit to all but breach of faith.

    MOOR. They will not hear us, madam, unless we
    Contribute to their aid our best endeavours.
    I have thought a way may for a time secure you:
    You must dissemble with the prince, and seem
    To love Ergasto.
    'Tis not impossible, but he, seeing you
    Prefer one so far beneath him, may provoke
    A just neglect from him. Then for Ergasto,
    Besides the time you gain, there may succeed
    A thousand ways to hinder his pretence.

    HER. Can my heart e'er consent my tongue should say,
    I am for any other but Eugenio?
    No, my dear love, though cruel fate hath sever'd
    My vow'd embraces, yet hath death ice enough
    To fright all others from them.

    MOOR. I see love is a child still; what a trifle
    Doth now disturb him! You will not get your health
    At the price of saying you are sick. I know
    There is another remedy more proportion'd
    For your disease, but not for you that suffer,
    Which is this:
    Tell the prince that you're engag'd, but he
    That broke with vows and friendship for your love,
    Will not desist for such suppos'd slight lets;
    And then your father will force you t' his will.

    HER. If the prince leave me, it is most certain
    He'll use his power to make me take Ergasto.

    MOOR. Those that in dangers that do press them nearly,
    Will not resolve upon some hazard, and
    Give leave to chance to govern what
    Our knowledge cannot hinder, must sit still,
    And wait their preservation from a miracle.

    HER. I am determin'd; for knives, fire, and seas
    Shall lose their qualities, ere fate shall make
    Me his: and if death cannot be
    Shunn'd, I will meet it boldly.

                             _Enter_ IRENE.

    IRE. Cousin, the prince is come to see you.

    MOOR. Good madam, use some means that I may speak
    With him before he goes: my heart doth promise
    I shall do something in your service; and
    Be sure, when he first speaks of love, seem not
    To understand him.                                          [_Exit._


ACT II., SCENE 2.

                           _Enter_ LYSICLES.

    LYS. Madam, I've begg'd leave of your noble father to
    Offer up myself a servant to your virtues.

    HER. It is a grace our family must boast of
    That you descend to visit those that style
    Themselves your creatures, made such by your goodness,
    Which we can only pay by frequent prayers,
    That your line may last as glorious to
    Posterity, as your now living fame is.

    LYS. Madam, you were not wont by a feign'd praise
    To scorn those that admire you; or would you
    Thus insinuate what I should be by telling
    Me I am, what I must ever aim at?

    HER. Were there proportion 'twixt our births, my lord,
    'Twould ill become a virgin's mouth to utter,
    How much you do deserve; that will excuse,
    When I shall say our Greece ne'er saw your equal.

    LYS. I did not think I ever could be mov'd
    With my own praise; but now my happiness
    So much depends, that you shall truly think
    What now you utter of me; that I glory
    My actions are thus favour'd by your judgment.

    HER. We must forget our safeties and the gods,
    Whose instrument you were of our deliverance,
    When we are silent of the mighty debt
    This kingdom owes your courage.

    LYS. This declaration of your favouring me will plead
    My pardon, if I do omit the ceremonial circumstance,
    Which usually makes way for this great truth
    I now must utter. Madam, I do love
    Your virtues with that adoration,
    That the all-seeing sun does not behold
    A lady that I love with equal ardour.
    Our friends, who have most power over us, both
    Do second my desires of joining us
    In the sacred tie of marriage.

    HER. My lord, I thought at first how ill my words
    Became a virgin; but give 'em the right sense:
    They were design'd, which was to speak you truly,
    Not with a flatt'ring ambition
    They might engage you to the love of one
    So far unequal. If I have ever gain'd
    Anything on your goodness, I'll not lose it
    By foolishly aspiring to that height
    You must in honour dispossess me of,
    When I was seated. Marry you, my lord!
    The king, our neighbour princes, all good men
    Must curse me as a stain to those great virtues
    You're the single lord of. If you speak this to try
    What easy conquest you can make of all
    You faintly but pretend to, I'll confess
    The weakness of our sex would be prouder
    Only to have the shows of your affection,
    Than real loves of any they can hope
    With justice to attain to.

    LYS. Whatever I deserve,
    The gods have largely recompens'd my intent
    Of doing virtuously, if it hath gain'd so much
    Upon your goodness as to make a way
    For my affection.

    HER. My lord, I do not understand you.

    LYS. Pardon me, dearest lady, if my words
    Too boldly do deliver what my actions
    And frequent services should first have smooth'd
    The way they are to take. My happiness
    So nearly is concern'd, you shall approve
    Me for your servant, that I trembling haste,
    To know what rigours or what joys expect me,
    But ere you do begin to speak my fate,
    Know whom you do condemn, or whom make happy:
    One, that when misery had made so wretched,
    That it ravished his desires to change,
    Whose eyes were turned inward on his grief,
    Pleas'd with no object but what caus'd their tears,
    Your beauty only rais'd from his dark seat
    Of circling sorrows, lighting me a hope
    By you I might receive all happiness,
    The gods have made, my heart capacious of.

    HER. Good my lord, give me leave again to say,
    I dare not understand you; you are too noble
    To glory in the conquest of a heart
    That ever hath admir'd you; and to think
    You can so far forget your birth and virtue,
    As to believe me fit to be your wife,
    Were a presumption that swelling pride
    Must be the father of, which never yet
    My heart could be allied to. Continue, prince:
    Be the example of a constant love,
    And let not your Milesia's ashes shrink
    With a new-piercing cold, which they will feel
    I'th' instant that your heart shall be consenting
    To any new affection; and give me leave to say,
    Your mind can ne'er admit a noble love,
    If it hath banish'd hers your memory.

    LYS. Must that be argument of cruelty,
    Which should be cause of pity? And will you
    Assume the patronage of envious fortune,
    By adding torments unto her affliction?
    Must I be miserable in losing you,
    Because the gods thought me unworthy her?
    Did I so easily digest her death,
    That I want pity, and am thought unworthy
    Of all succeeding love? Witness my loss
    Of joys; if sorrow could have kill'd me,
    I had not lived to show your mercy.

    HER. Protect me, virtue!                                   [_Aside._
    Pardon me, my lord! I know your griefs
    How great and just they are, and only meant
    By mentioning Milesia to confess,
    How much unworthy I am to succeed her
    In your affection which, though you bent
    As low as I durst raise myself to reach,
    'Twere now impiety for me to grasp,
    I being no more my own disposer.

    LYS. Ha! what fate hath taken you from yourself?

    HER. The Lord Ergasto's importunity;
    Who, though at first no inclination
    Of mine made me affect his vows,
    Hath vanquish'd my determination.
    I finding nothing in myself deserving
    The constancy of his affection to me,
    Besides my father's often urging me
    To make my choice obeying[356] his commands,
    And threat'ning misery if I declin'd the least--
    Knowing his violent nature, I consented
    To a contract 'twixt me and the Lord Ergasto.

    HER. O, the prophecies of my just[357] fears, how true
    My heart foretold you!
    Madam, it cannot be you should affect
    One that hath no desert but what you give,
    By making him a part of you. My hopes,
    Though always blasted, could not apprehend
    A fear from him. I should be happy yet,
    If any worthy love shadowed my shame
    Of being refused by you.

    HER. Give not my want of power to serve your grace,
    The cruel title of refusing you.

    Your merits are so great, you may assure yourself
    Of all you can desire, that's possible
    To grant, whom thousands worthier than myself
    Would kneel to.
    By my life, if my faith were not given, I would
    Here offer up myself to be dispos'd by you.
    Though no ambitious pride could flatter me,
    You could descend to raise me to your height.

    LYS. Must this be added to my former griefs
    That, in the instant you profess to pity
    What I must suffer in your loss--your virtue,
    For which I [most] admire you, must exclude
    My hopes of ever changing your resolves?
    Yet let my vows gain thus much of you,
    That for a month you will not marry him;
    I know your father will not force you to't,
    For he, not knowing what hath pass'd between you,
    Consented to this visit.

    HER. By all things holy, this I swear to do,
    Though violent diseases should enclose me,
    Till the priest join'd our hands; yet, if you please,
    Let not my father know but he's the cause,
    I dare not look upon the mighty blessing
    Your love doth promise.

    LYS. May I not know the reason?

    HER. That he may know that his unquestion'd power
    Hath forc'd me to that error which himself
    And I must ever mourn unpitied.[358]

    LYS. Now you throw oil upon the wound you make:

    I may be ignorant of all things else,
    But of my want of merit to deserve
    I am most perfect in: be happy, lady,
    He that enjoys you shall not need that prayer--
    My father's business calls me.

    HER. Let me entreat you, that you'll see a lady,
    Whose virtue does deserve the honour of
    Your knowledge.

    LYS. What is she?

    HER. An Egyptian lady, lately come to Cirrha.

    LYS. I have heard of her; they say she knows
    Our actions pass'd and future.

    HER. When you her know, you will believe,
    That virtue chose that dark inhabitation,
    To hide her treasure from the envious world,
    I'll call her to your grace. [Acanthe!]

                            _Enter_ ACANTHE.

    HER. Madam, this is the prince.                   [_He salutes her._

    MOOR. You need not tell me it, though this be the first
    Time that I saw him since I came to Cirrha,
    His fame doth make him known to all that are
    Remotest from him.

    LYS. My miseries indeed
    Have made it great; for all things else I should
    Be more beholden unto silence than
    The voice of my most partial friends.
    Why do you gaze upon me so?

    MOOR. Have you
    Not lately lost a lady that did love you dearly?

    LYS. If you do measure time by what I suffer,
    My undiminish'd grief tells me but now--
    But now I lost her; if the sad minutes
    That have oppress'd me since the fatal stroke,
    It is an age of torments I have felt.

    MOOR. Good sir, withdraw a little, I shall deliver
    What you believe none knows besides yourself.       [_They whisper._

    LYS. Most true it is! What god, that heard our vows,
    Hath told it you? But if your eyes
    Pierce farther in their secrets than our
    Weak fancies can give credit to, tell me,
    If, where she is, she can discern and know
    My actions?

    MOOR. Most perfectly she does,
    And mourns your loss of faith, that now begin.
    After so many vows, so many oaths, you would
    Be only hers, to think of a new choice.

    LYS. This may be [a] conspiracy; I'll try
    It further.                                                [_Aside._

    MOOR. Had you been snatch'd from her.
    And for her sake murder'd, as she for you;
    Your urn's cold ashes should have hid her fire
    Of faithful love. Pardon me, my lord, her injur'd spirit inspires me
    With this boldness.

    LYS. I am certain
    This is no inspiration of the gods;
    It cannot be she should consent my faith
    Should be the ruin of my name and memory:
    Which necessarily must follow, if virtuous love
    Did not continue it to future ages.

    MOOR. Fame of a constant lover will eternise it
    More than a numerous issue; would you hear
    Herself express her sorrow?

    LYS. If I should desire it, it were impossible.

    MOOR. You conclude too fast: if this night you'll come
    Unto her tomb, you there shall see her.

    LYS. Though she bring thunder in her hand, I will not fail to come,
    And though I cannot credit that your power can procure it,
    My hopes it should be so will overcome
    My reason. Ladies, I am your servant.                       [_Exit._

    MOOR. Madam, I cannot stay to know particulars
    Of what hath pass'd betwixt you and the prince:
    Only tell me how he relish'd your saying you
    Were promis'd to Ergasto?

    HER. Respects to one
    I seem'd to have made choice of made him
    Forbear his character: but shall not I
    Be punish'd, seeming to prefer one so unworthy
    Both to Eugenio and this noble prince?

    MOOR. The gods give us permission to be false
    When they exclude us from all other ways
    Which may preserve our faith.
    Longer I dare not stay. I am your servant.      [_Exeunt severally._

                    _Enter_ ERGASTO, CLEON, PHORMIO.

    ERG. Now we are met, what shall we do to keep us together?

    PHOR. Let's take some argument may last an hour of mirth.

    CLE. If you'll have Ergasto be of the parley, it must be of the
    ladies; for he is desperately in love.

    PHOR. If the disease grow old in him, I'll pay the physician;
    but be it so, and let it be lawful to change as often as we
    will.

    ERG. What, the ladies?

    PHOR. The discourse of them and themselves too, if we could
    arrive to it. But what is she you love?

    ERG. One that I would sacrifice half my life to have but a
    week's enjoying of.

    PHOR. At these games of love we set all; but the best is, we
    cannot stake, and there's no loss of credit in the breaking.
    Cleon, hast thou seen him with his mistress?

    CLE. Yes, and he stands gazing on her, as if he were begging of
    an alms.

    PHOR. 'Tis not ill-done; but does he not speak to her?

    CLE. Never but in hyperboles; tells her, her eyes are stars,
    which astronomers should only study to know our fate by.

    PHOR. 'Tis not amiss if she have neither of the extremes.

    CLE. What do you intend?

    PHOR. I mean, neither so ill-favoured as to have no ground
    for what we say, for there belief will hardly enter; nor so
    handsome as to have it often spoke to her. For your indifferent
    beauties are those whom flattery surpriseth, there being so
    natural a love and opinion of ourselves, that we are adapted to
    believe that men are rather deceived in us, than abuse us.

    ERG. Your limitation takes away much of my answer: but grant
    all that you say, I have no hope of obtaining my mistress.

    PHOR. Then thou hast yet a year of happiness: but why, I
    prythee?

    ERG. She is so deserving, she thinks none worthy of her
    affections, and so can love none.

    PHOR. You have more cause to doubt that she will never affect
    you, than that already she is not in love: what, a young
    handsome lady, that carries the flame of her heart in her
    cheeks, not have yet seen any one to desire? 'Tis impossible.

    ERG. I was of your mind, till I had experience of the contrary.

    PHOR. Conceit[359] of yourself makes you of the opinion I
    mentioned. You think 'tis impossible for all men, what you
    cannot attain to; what arts have you used to gain her?

    CLE. He knows none but distilling sighs at the altar of her
    beauty.

    PHOR. If he be subject to that frenzy, I will counsel him to
    take any trade upon him rather than that of love.

    ERG. And do you think there is anything fitter to call down
    affection than submission?

    PHOR. Nothing more opposite; for languishing transports,
    whinings and melancholy make us more laughed at than beloved
    of our mistresses--and with reason: for why should we hope to
    deserve their favours, when we confess we merit not a lawful
    esteem of ourselves?

    CLE. I have known some their mistresses have forsaken, only
    because they were certain the world took notice they were
    deeply in love with them.

    PHOR. And they did wisely; for, the victory being got, they
    were to prepare for a new triumph, and not, like your city
    officers, ride still with the same liveries. Some (I confess)
    have miscarried in it, but 'twas because their provision of
    beauty was spent before they came to composition.

    ERG. Thou wert an excellent fool in a chamber; if you continue,
    you'll be so in a comedy. Dost believe thou can'st swagger them
    out of their loves?

    PHOR. Sooner than soften their hearts by my tears; and though a
    river should run through me, I would seal up my eyes, before
    a drop should come that way: for our unmanly submissions raise
    them to that height, that they think we are largely favoured if
    they hearken to us with contempt.

    ERG. 'Tis safer they should do so, than hate us for our
    insolence.

    PHOR. If thou hadst ever been used to talk sense, I should
    wonder at thee now; why, I should sooner hope to gain a lady
    after the murder of her family, than after she had an opinion I
    deserved to be slighted by her.

    CLE. 'Fore Venus, he talks with authority. I know not well what
    he has said; but methinks there is something in it: prythee,
    let's hearken to him.

    PHOR. Do; and if I do not dispossess you of all your opinions,
    let me be----

    ERG. You must deal by enchantment then; for I am resolved to
    stick to my conclusions.

    PHOR. 'Tis the best holdfast your foolish devil has; but strong
    reasons shall be your exorcism. Tell me first, what is she you
    love?

    ERG. Would I could.

    PHOR. Then, for all thy jesting, there's some hope thou art yet
    in thy wits.

    ERG. You mistake me; I mean I could not tell, because no tongue
    can speak her to her merit.

    PHOR. Heyday! if the ballad of the rose and honeycomb do not
    do it more than she deserves, or almost any woman, let me be
    condemned to sing the funerals of parrots.

    CLE. Would the ladies heard you!

    PHOR. They would believe me, though they would be sorry your
    honours should. But what, this love--has it transformed us all?
    Cleon, you can tell who 'tis he thus admires?

    CLE. Yes, and will; 'tis Hermione, Pindarus his heir.

    PHOR. What, Epictetus in a petticoat! She that disputes love
    into nothing--or, what's worse, a friendship with a woman?

    CLE. The same; and I know you'll confess she's deserving.

    PHOR. Yes; but the mischief is, she'll ne'er think so of him.
    If polygamy were in fashion, I would persuade him to marry her,
    to be governess to the rest; but not till then. Wouldst thou be
    content to lie with a statue, that will never confess more of
    love than suffering the effects of thine?

    CLE. And have his liberties in the discourse of her friends,
    that her retiredness may be more magnified.

    PHOR. Believe me, Ergasto, these severe beauties, that are to
    be looked on with the eyes of respect, are not for us: we must
    have them, that love to be praised more for fair ladies than
    judicious.

    ERG. You mistake me, gentlemen; I choose for myself, not for
    you.

    PHOR. Faith, for that, whoever marries, must sacrifice to
    fortune; and she, whose wisdom makes her snow to you may be
    fire to another. Some odd wrinkled fellow, that conquers her
    with wit, may throw her on her back with reason. Take this from
    the oracle, that for the general calamity of husbands all women
    are reputed vicious, and for the quiet of particulars every one
    thinks his wife the phoenix.

    ERG. You have met with rare fortunes.

    PHOR. Calumny is so general, that truth has lost her credit.
    But to th' purpose--what rivals? what hopes?

    CLE. A potent rival takes away all: Lysicles does woo her.

    PHOR. Good night. I will dispute it no more, whether thou
    shouldst have her or no; for I now conclude it is impossible.

    ERG. I had her father's firm consent before he declared himself.

    PHOR. Though thou hadst hers too, be wise, and despair betimes.
    In this point women are commonwealths, and are obliged to their
    faiths no farther than the safety and honour of the state is
    concerned. If thou wert the first example, I would excuse thee
    for being the first cosened. But stay, who's here?

             _Enter_ PHILLIDA _veiled, beckons to_ ERGASTO.

    O' my conscience, an embassage from some of your kind
    mistresses, that would fain take their leaves, before you go to
    captivity.

    ERG. Is't possible?

    PHIL. She desires you to see her, and believe that ambition
    cannot gain more upon her than your affection.

    ERG. Take this ring, and this.

    PHIL. I dare not, sir.

    ERG. I'll pay thy dowry then within this half-hour: I'll wait
    on her.                                            [_Exit_ PHILLIDA.

    CLE. From what part of the town came this fair day in a cloud,
    that makes you look so cheerfully?

    ERG. Alas, gentlemen! I was born to know nothing of love but
    sighs and despairs. I can be servant to none that can have the
    election of two.

    CLE. Unriddle, unriddle.

    ERG. 'Twas the servant of Hermione that came to have me wait
    upon her lady.

    CLE. Phormio, what do you think of this?

    PHOR. I won't think at all, for fear I judge amiss. The mazes
    of a woman are so intricate, no precept can secure us. Yet this
    I'm resolved on: she will not love you.

    CLE. Why sent she for him, then?

    PHOR. The devil that advis'd her can tell you: they
    Will not lose a servant whilst he lives,
    Though they command him to be murder'd. 'Tis the
    Woman-art--if they perceive a lover to desist
    Through fear, distrust, or harsher usage, they
    Open him the heaven of their beauty in smiles
    And yielding looks, and with their eyes do melt
    The ice of doubts their fears contracted: perhaps
    Prince Lysicles spurs coldly whilst he rides
    Alone, and you must strain to make him go
    The faster. Eugenio, too, was servant to your
    Mistress, and Lysicles and he parted good friends.
    Should I think all the ways they have to cosen
    Us, 'twere endless. But I'll along with you,
    And guess at more.                                        [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[356] [In obedience to.]

[357] [Old copy, _unjust_.]

[358] [Dodsley printed _unquitted_.]

[359] [Old copy, _conceites_.]



ACT III., SCENE 1.

             _Enter_ HERMIONE, IRENE; PINDARUS _following_.

    PIN. Tell my Lord Lysicles
    I will attend him in the walks. Where's this
    Ungrateful child whom the just gods have curs'd
    So much, they will not let her take the blessings they
    Do offer?

    HER. Here, sir, on
    Her knees, begging your pardon or your pity.

    PIN. Canst thou hope either from my injur'd patience,
    Vex'd by thy folly into rage and madness?
    What colour now to cover disobedience?
    Is Lysicles unworthy? or your knowledge,
    Does it pierce farther than the eyes of all
    Into Eugenie's virtues? I tremble,
    When I think thou may'st have cause
    To know him to thy shame. Do not confess it!
    By the just gods, if I do come to know it,
    I'll sacrifice thee on thy mother's tomb.

    HER. What secret sin calls down this punishment?
    That I should be accused of a fault
    I dare not hear the sound of. Add not, sir,
    Suspicions of new crimes unto your rage;
    The faults I have committed are enough to arm
    Your justice. Bring me to the tomb,
    And kill me there; my mother's ghost will smile
    To see my blood shed to preserve my faith.

    PIN. Your faith!

    HER. Yes, sir.
    Nor is my disobedience so swoll'n
    As you esteem it by your passion:
    I now obey your general commands,
    Of doing virtuously in loving him
    You did applaud whilst my poor brother liv'd.

    PIN. But you are not the same; 'twas never meant
    He should enjoy you if your brother died.

    HER. I was not made acquainted with so much;
    But, strengthen'd by your approbation,
    Gave up my will to his, and vows to heaven,
    To know no other man for husband.

    PIN. Nor I no child, if you continue thus:
    Nor will I argue more to make you doubt,
    I am not resolute in my intents:
    Alive or dead, I'll give thee to the hands
    Of Lysicles.                                       [_Exit_ PINDARUS.

    HER. Good gods' if you are mov'd with tears,
    Grant this a trial only of the weak proportion
    Of virtue you have lent me, not the overthrow.

    IRE. How is it, dearest cousin?

    HER. As with a martyr, almost as much pleased with
    Knowledge [of] what I dare to suffer for Eugenio,
    As griev'd with my affliction. Fortune in her
    Malice has given me yet a field to exercise
    My faith and love to him I do adore.

    IRE. Whilst you believe you have such cause to grieve,
    All comforts seem importunate; but yet Prince Lysicles----

    HER. But what! Forbear; I fear thy thoughts
    Are poison, which thou wouldest fain infuse
    To wound my constancy.

    IRE. Sure, there is magic in that mystic name;
    It could not else divide us from our reason:
    What law, what faith, can bind us to remove
    Love of ourselves and reverence to our parents?
    You must forgive this; your Eugenio,
    If he were here, must speak as I do now,
    Granting his love be great as his profession,
    For that must have reflection on your peace,
    Not bargaining for his own happiness
    With the price of the entire destruction
    Of yours. What is't you fear? Report?
    It will reproach your being obstinate.
    Or breach of faith d'you fear?
    The gods for you have made it not a fault,
    Proposing such an object as Prince Lysicles.

    HER. Who ever had a misery like mine?
    All that are griev'd have yet the liberty
    And ease of their complaints, or pitying friends;
    I am excluded both; for my misfortune
    Is mask'd with happiness, and if I grieve,
    Such comforts as we give to those complain
    Of being too rich, have I--smiles of contempt.

    IRE. If it be thus, retire into your reason,
    And for a time forget your passion.
    D'you think that all the names of virtue shrink
    Into the sound of constancy? Must this
    Make you forget the debt that you do owe
    Unto your father, friends, and to yourself;
    Their house's honour and your happiness?
    Is Lysicles less worthy than his rival?

    HER. No more: their virtues, that exceed all other men's,
    In them are equal.

    IRE. But yet their fortune is not?

    HER. It is confess'd. Nor ever any man
    Had juster claim than he against her;
    Rich in all virtues, that make men desir'd,
    Her narrow hand excludes him, unwonted to bestow
    Her treasure there, where an excess of merit
    Would make her gifts but seem the pay of virtue,
    Not favours of her partial love.

                      _Enter_ ACANTHE _the Moor_.

    O, you are welcome! Here behold a rock,
    That stands the shake of the impetuous winds
    And the swoll'n seas.

    MOOR. Have there been any new storms since I went?

    HER. O yes; and more endangering songs of Sirens!
    A flourishing land propos'd, on which I might
    Have shipwreck'd with delight.

    MOOR. I think I understand you.

    HER. You must needs:
    It was Prince Lysicles, presented in his lustre,
    'Gainst whom I arm'd the virtues of my friend
    And my own faith, irresolute to whom
    The victory should yield. At last I left
    My heart, the prize to both divided.

    MOOR. To both divided!

    HER. Yes, the prince hath the adoration of my heart,
    Eugenio the love.

    MOOR. What fires, what seas, must your Eugenio pass,
    To make him worthy you? Methinks I feel
    His soul sigh for a trial of his faith.

    HER. We both have had satiety of that:
    But can you bring no comfort? Have the gods
    Shut up their oracles as well as mercy?
    Though they will give no ease, they might advise,
    That we may put off misery by death.

    MOOR. They seldom let us know what is to come,
    That we may still implore their aid to help us:
    Yet something I can tell; if hope or force
    Shall make you deviate from your resolve,
    You are the subject of their hate: or if
    You measure your or their affection
    By merit or advantages of fortune,
    You are the mark of all disasters.

    HER. I have complained unjustly of the gods:
    They favour me so much, they do applaud
    My resolution for Eugenio.
    Merit in others! I will close my eyes
    From the bless'd sun, before they shall take in
    An object that may startle my firm faith.

    MOOR. Be constant, and be happy; when you meet
    With opposition that may shake your judgment,
    Remember what affliction 'tis to weep
    A fault irreparable; and think not
    Reason can pacify your father's rage;
    You must oppose your passion unto his,
    And love will be victorious, being the noblest.
    To-morrow I will bring more certain counsel.                [_Exit._

    HER. Where cannot virtue dwell? What a still shade
    Hath she found out to live securely in,
    From the attempts of men? Come, my Irene,
    Though thou hast spoken treason 'gainst my love,
    Because[360] thine did produce it, I must thank thee.
    Let's in, and fortify ourselves with some sad tale
    Of those whose perjur'd loves have made them live
    Hated, and die most miserable.                     [_Exit_ HERMIONE.

                           _Enter_ PHILLIDA.

    PHIL. If I should weep, as my lady does, for all the servants I
    have lost!

    IRE. Thou wouldst weep in thy grave, Phillida; yet the worst
    is, thou wilt lose more within this seven years than thou hast
    got in ten; for men are changeable, sweet Phillida.

    PHIL. And our faces were not, 'twere no matter. They should
    make haste, or we should overtake them, or prevent them. A
    commodity of beauty, that would last forty years, would bear a
    good price, madam.

    IRE. By Venus, would it, Phillida! as high as that of honour.

    PHIL. But is not my lady a strange woman to weep thus for one
    servant, when she has another in his place? For my part, I
    could never find such differences in men--to be sad when I had
    any.

    IRE. And thy word may be taken as soon as any wench's in
    Greece, or there be slanderers in the world. But she affects
    constancy.

    PHIL. Some ill-favoured woman, that meant to preserve her last
    purchase, which her want of beauty forfeited, invented that
    name.

    IRE. Thou'rt in the right, Phillida; this inconstancy is a
    monster without teeth, for it devours none, makes no son wear
    happy mourning, nor mother childless: and, for my part, I am
    of opinion that the gods give a blessing to it; for none live
    happier than those that have greatest abundance of it.

    PHIL. What is got by this whining constancy, but the loss of
    that beauty for one servant, which would procure us the vows,
    [the] sacrifice, and service of a thousand?

    IRE. Enough of this; wert thou with Ergasto?

    PHIL. Yes, and told him that my lady sent for him: but to what
    intent did you make me lie?

    IRE. Thou art so good-natured, that thou wilt pardon such a
    trifle for one reason; but I have two: the first is, I would
    fain speak with him; the other, knowing my cousin to be in an
    ill humour, if he press to see her, I hope she will give him
    such an answer, that he shall never dare to speak to her more.

    PHIL. These men have less reason than mice: they would know
    else how to shift places, and shelter themselves from a storm.
    If I were a man, and lost the happiness of seeing my mistress
    two days, I should lose the desire the third. [_Aside._] Do you
    sigh, madam? You are in love too.

    IRE. As far as goes to sighing, but no dying, for their
    breeches.

    PHIL. I'll be your compurgator for the handle of a fan; I know
    love has brought many into the world, but let out none. Has he
    pierced you, ha?

    IRE. O no, my skin was always proof against his dart; but he
    once found me laughing, and so thrust it down to my heart.

    PHIL. Look to it, though 'tis but a little weapon, yet I have
    known it make greater swellings than the sting of a bee. Do you
    long for a man?

    IRE. Yes, a husbandman, and let the gods after take care for my
    children.

    PHIL. You'll find enou' to do it: is the Moor still with my
    lady?

    IRE. I left her with her.

    PHIL. 'Tis a shame such people should be suffered near the
    Court.

    IRE. Why, prythee?

    PHIL. As 'tis, there be so many inquisitive rascals, that we
    have much ado to keep matters secret; but if in despite of our
    care they be divulged, we shall be defamed on the Exchanges.

    IRE. Thou hast reason, but she is secret as the night she
    resembles.

    PHIL. Is she? I would fain ask her one question: but 'tis no
    matter: 'tis but taking physic at the worst.

    IRE. If thou talk'st a little longer, I shall guess as much as
    she knows. But who's here?

                        [ERGASTO, PHORMIO, CLEON, _talking at the door_.

    PHOR. Ne'er fright me with the lightning of her eyes; on me she
    may open or shut her eyes as she please, but my happiness is
    not at her disposing.

    CLE. If thou provest a lover, my next song is begun.

    PHOR. I will not deny but I may love her, if she please. But if
    she be not pleased with my love, if it continue two hours, I'll
    give her leave to tie me to her monkey.

    CLE. Look, Ergasto has found two of the ladies, and has set his
    face to begin to them.

    PHOR. In verse or prose?

    CLE. We shall hear, if we draw nearer. A good evening, ladies!

    IRE. We thank you, my lords; but if we were superstitious, your
    company were no good omen.

    PHOR. Why, I beseech you?

    IRE. Nay, I am no expositor; you come, my lord, to see my
    cousin Hermione.

    ERG. I do, madam, and should be proud to hear I live in her
    memory.

    IRE. Can you doubt it? I'll assure you you do; she's never
    troubled with anything, but you presently are called into the
    comparison with it; her teeth cannot ache, but she swears it is
    almost as great a vexation as your love: if any die, out of her
    pity to save the tears of a few mourners, she wishes it were
    you.

    ERG. If I heard her desire it, she should quickly have her wish.

    IRE. She would be glad on't, o' my conscience, though the
    scruple, of having you do anything for her sake would trouble
    her a little; yet I can teach you to make advantage of all this.

    PHOR. What advantage, my delicate sweet lady?

    IRE. A very great one; for, first, I believe he desires nothing
    more than to be assured she esteems him for her servant.

    PHOR. Right; but does this usage show it?

    IRE. Most evidently; for, being thus severe to none else, 'tis
    manifest she confesseth a power over him, and pays his services
    with this coin of scorn and contempt, and having her stamp
    upon't, he is bound to accept it.

    CLE. What think you of this, Phormio?

    PHOR. A most excellent girl! would she were poor.

    CLE. Why poor?

    PHOR. She would live rarely by her----

    CLE. What?

    PHOR. Wit! I would be a good customer.

    IRE. 'Twould please you to hear with what arguments she
    justifies this cruelty, and swears it is not revenge enough for
    spoiling her good nature.

    ERG. I spoil her good nature?

    PHOR. Nay, let her go on; I'll hearken an age.

    IRE. Yes, you, by suff'ring her undeserved scorn, have bred
    such a delight and habit of it in her, that she can hardly
    forbear it when she strives to be complaisant to her best
    friends; and, to say truth, we are all endangered by such as
    you, when we see that frowns procure us knees, and kind usage
    scarce gets us two good-morrows.

    PHOR. If ever there were a Sybil at sixteen, this lady is one.
    By this day, you have a high place in my heart.

    IRE. In your heart!

    PHOR. Nay, despise it not, you'll find good company there.

    IRE. But I love to be alone.

    PHOR. And I would fain meet you when you are so. Will you give
    me leave to speak with your scholar?         [HERMIONE _and_ ACANTHE
    _above_.

    IRE. If you be his friend, teach him to be wise.

    PHOR. For your sake, I will do all I can. Ergasto, wilt thou
    be happy? Marry this lady! Wilt thou be revenged on thy proud
    mistress? Marry her! Wilt thou be sure to father wise children?
    Do as I bid thee.

    ERG. I will deal truly with thee: she has taken my heart out of
    Hermione's keeping.

    PHOR. Be thankful, and bestow it upon her in recompense; she
    will accept it, doubt not; she has taken such pains to redeem
    it. Look how she casts her eyes upon thee! She's thine own for
    ever, and has been long.

    ERG. I am desperately in love.

    PHOR. Marry, and get out of it; there may be some little
    straining at the first offer of the present; but if she send
    not for it before you get home, I'll ne'er trust my eyes more.

                               [PHILLIDA _steals away_, CLEON _follows_.

    ERG. I'll attempt it, let what will follow.

    PHOR. Be confident, and prosper.

    ERG. Madam, what would you expect from him you had redeemed
    from captivity?

    IRE. The disposing of his liberty.

    ERG. 'Tis just; but this may be no great favour to the slave,
    if his misery be only altered, not lessened.

    PHOR. You are little curious! Why do you not ask who this
    concerns? Well, I'll tell you; you have redeemed Ergasto, and
    he kneels to know your commands.

                            [_Whilst he kneels_, HERMIONE _and the_ MOOR
                                            _look down from the window_.

    MOOR. You may believe her, madam, she loves him; now you may
    revenge her, persuading you to leave Eugenio, by smiling on
    Ergasto; 'twill advance your cousin's ends too, if you do as
    I'll advise you, whilst we descend.

    IRE. 'Tis festival to-day, my lords, and so I admit this mirth.
    But to-morrow, I will tell you, I am no more inclined to love
    than my cousin Hermione.

    ERG. But you can suffer yourself to be beloved?

    IRE. I think I can.

    PHOR. He'll ask no more, but leave the rest to his respects and
    services.

    IRE. But you consider not whom you may offend in this mirth.

    ERG. I'll ne'er consider whom I offend in loving you: I wish
    her beauty centupled, that my first obligation to you might be
    leaving her. By this fair hand, I'll never name any but you for
    mistress.

    IRE. I may believe you when time and your actions shall tell it
    me as well as your words.

    PHOR. You wrong your beauty to expect an assurance from time.
    Ordinary faces require it to perfect the impressions they make;
    yours strikes like lightning in an instant. If he did not
    adore you till now, you must attribute it to some fascination;
    but, his judgment cleared, he will be forced to continue the
    adoration he has begun.

            _Enter_ HERMIONE, MOOR, PHILLIDA, CLEON: _they_
                       _find_ ERGASTO _kneeling_.

    PHOR. Who's that?

    ERG. The Moor you heard of.

    PHOR. I have a strange capricio of love entered me: I must
    court that shade.

    HER. How now, my lord! Courting another mistress! I see I must
    lock up my winds, or you will seek the nearest harbour.

    ERG. Excluded by your rigour, madam, I was entreating your fair
    cousin to present my vows.

    HER. Was it no more?

    ERG. No more! you cannot doubt it, madam. Turn in your eyes
    upon your beauties and perfections, and they will tell you how
    impossible it is to lose the empire they have gained upon our
    hearts and wills. Fortune and want of merit may make me lose
    the hope of your fair graces, but never so much traitor as to
    pay homage to any other beauty, or change the resolution I have
    fixed to be your servant only.

    HER. I thank you, sir; my sex will be my pardon if I return not
    equal thanks. We think, if any manumit, before we license them
    to part, they do usurp a power is ours by nature. The posture I
    found you in was more than ordinary courtship gives.

    ERG. You might condemn it, had not you been the cause on't.
    I ne'er think of your name but with a reverence great as I
    pay the gods; and they allow us bending to their images when
    we transfer our vows. The fair Irene is worthy all have not
    the hope of you; but whilst you give me leave to cherish that
    ambition, I must not own so great an injury as to admit the
    proffered love of those who are so distant from your merit.

    HER. 'Twas unkindly done to undermine me.

    ERG. In her presence I will confirm this to you.

    HER. You shall oblige me, since she has wronged me; Irene, hark
    you.

                          [_They talk in private. After a long whisper,_
                          _the_ MOOR _strives to go from_ PHORMIO; _he_
                                                           _holds her_.

    PHOR. In the name of darkness, d'ye think I am not in earnest,
    that you coy it thus?

    MOOR. Forbear; uncivil lord.                   [_She goes from him._

    CLE. Dost thou not see that all the fire is out of the coal?
    If thou wouldst have it burn, lay thy lips to the spark that's
    left, and blow it into flame.

    PHOR. What wouldst thou have me do?

    CLE. Kiss her.

    PHOR. Not for five hundred crowns.

    CLE. Wouldst lie with her, and not kiss her?

    PHOR. Yes, and can give reasons for't, besides experience; and
    when this act is known--this resolute encounter, rich widows of
    threescore will not doubt my prowess.

                            [HERMIONE, IRENE, ERGASTO, _break off their_
                                                         _private talk_.

    IRE. As I live, he swore all this to me.

    HER. Hide thee, inconstant man, thou art so false
    Thy oaths do serve thee for no other use
    But to condemn thee, not to get belief:
    Be gone, and leave to love till thou hast found
    The way to truth, and let not vanity cozen you
    To believe that I am mov'd, because you change:
    A thousand other imperfections
    Have made me hate thee; yet I chose this way
    To let thee know't that, deprehended with the
    Black mark upon thee, thou may'st not dare
    To trouble me again.

    ERG. Madam!

    HER. There may be some that for their secret sins
    The gods will punish, making them love you:
    Choose amongst them. Irene, I will hope, though she
    Be credulous, will learn by this how far 'tis safe to trust you.

    MOOR. This was well manag'd.

    PHOR. What mountain have you pierc'd,
    That hath sent forth this wind, since I left you?

    ERG. I have undone myself for ever.

    PHOR. As how?

    ERG. I told Hermione I never lov'd Irene.

    CLE. Did she hear it?

    ERG. O yes! it might have been forsworn else.

    CLE. The devil thou hast!

    ERG. Ask him; he made me do't.

    CLE. What course will you take to redeem your fault?

    ERG. A precipice, as being ashamed to live any longer.

    PHOR. A halter you shall as soon! Come, come, I'll intercede,
    and be your surety. Look, she stays to pardon you; down on your
    knees.

                     [_She goes away_; PHORMIO _pulls her back_; ERGASTO
                                _kneels, holds up his hands, his cloak_
                                                       _over his face_.

    PHOR. O my sweet lady! be merciful, like the gods you resemble.
    They have as often pardon in their hands as thunder; and the
    truth is, if they will not forgive this fault of inconstancy,
    they must live alone, or at least without men. This was the
    last gasp of his dying friendship to her; and now he is
    entirely yours.

    IRE. He has not wronged me.

    PHOR. Fie! say not so; that's as great an injury as not
    pardoning him: he has, and shall come naked to receive his
    punishment. See, he dares not look for comfort; let him take it
    in at his ears.

    IRE. Pray content yourself with the time you have made me lose,
    and let me go.

    PHOR. Never, till you pardon him.

    IRE. I will do anything for my release; if he has offended me,
    let him learn hereafter to speak truer than he swears; and in
    time he may get credit.

    PHOR. 'Tis enough.

    ERG. Is she gone?

    PHOR. Yes.

    ERG. How did she look?

    PHOR. Faith, ashamed; she loved you so well, and sorry she had
    no reason to love you better.

    ERG. 'Tis an excellent lady.

    PHOR. If I could make jointures, I would not take this pains
    for your honour. Cleon, whither slip you?

    CLE. After Phillida.

    PHOR. And what success?

    CLE. Pox on't! these waiting-women will not deal, unless they
    have earnest in their hands, and I was unprovided.

    PHOR. Away, unthrift![361] [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[360] [So for the metre; the old copy and Dodsley, _'cause_.]



[ACT IV., SCENE 1.]


                           _Enter_ LYSICLES.

    LYS. This is the hour powerful Acanthe promis'd
    I should once more behold my lost Milesia.

    Pardon me, Reason, that my wither'd hopes
    Rebel against thy force; a happiness
    So mighty is oppos'd unto thy doubts,
    That I'll divest myself for ever of thee,
    Rather than not believe impossibles,
    That bring such comforts to my languish'd soul.
    Hail, holy treasurer of all the wealth
    Nature e'er lent the world! be still the envy
    Of the proud monuments that do enclose
    The glorious titles of great conquerors.
    Let no profane air pierce thee but my sighs;

                                         [MILESIA _riseth like a ghost_.

    Let them have entrance, whilst my tears do warm
    Thy colder marble. Ha! what miracle!
    Are the gods pleas'd to work to ease affliction?
    The phoenix is created from her ashes,
    Pure as the flames that made 'em: still the same,
    The same Milesia! Heaven does confess in this,
    That she can only add unto thy beauty
    By making it immortal.
    Let it be lawful for thy Lysicles
    To touch thy sacred hand, and with it guide
    My wandering soul unto that part of heaven
    Thy beauty does enlighten.

    GHOST. Forbear, and hear me. If you approach, I vanish----
    Impious, inconstant Lysicles! Cannot
    This miracle of my reassuming
    A mortal shape persuade thee there are gods
    To punish falsehood, that thou still persistest
    In thy dissembling? Do not I know
    Thy heart is swoll'n with vows thou hast laid up
    For thy Hermione? whom thou wouldst persuade
    Thy narrow heart is capable of love,
    By mocking of my ashes, and erecting tombs
    To me, which are indeed but trophies of thy dead
    Conquer'd love and virtue.

    LYS. No more, bless'd shape!
    I shall not think that thou descendst from heaven,
    If thou continuest thus in doubt of me;
    Nor can there be a hell where such forms are.
    The knowledge how thou com'st here doth disturb me;
    Yet such a reverence I do owe thy image,
    That I will lay before thee all my thoughts,
    Spotless as truth. Then thou shalt tell the shades,
    How fortune, though it made my love unhappy,
    Could not diminish it, nor press it one degree
    From the proud height it was arrived to.
    How I did nightly pray to this sad tomb,
    Bringing and taking fire of constant love
    From the cold ashes. How, when encompass'd
    With thousand horrors, death had been a rest [from],
    I did prefer a loath'd life, to revenge myself
    And her upon the murderer.

    GHOST. I shall desire to live if this be true;
    Nothing can add a comfort where I am,
    But the assurance of your love. I know
    Faith is not tied to pass the confines
    Of this life; yet Hermione's happiness
    Does trouble me. You'll think I lov'd
    You living, when (dead) I am jealous of you.

    LYS. Milesia, bless'd saint, now I am sure thou art
    What thou resemblest, and dost know my secret'st thought.
    But as the gods, of which thou art a part,
    Are not content with our hearts' sacrifice,
    Unless our words confess it; hear me then:
    If my thoughts e'er consented to replant
    My love, may your dire thunder light
    Upon my head, and sink it down so low,
    I may not see thy glories. I confess
    My words have sacrific'd to deities
    I ne'er ador'd. Those strains of love
    My tears and friendship to the best of men,
    I hope have cancell'd. For my Eugenio
    I did pretend a love unto Hermione,
    Who else had sold herself unto the rage
    Of her offended father. Had you liv'd,
    You would have pardon'd, when infidelity,
    But personated, did preserve a faith
    So holy as theirs was; this is my fault.

    GHOST. My glory and my happiness!

    LYS. Yet this, as oft I wept as I was forc'd
    (For his dear cause) to injure sacred love;
    Yet durst not but decline his severe laws,
    When my friend's life excus'd the pious error.

    GHOST. Did you suspect her, that you conceal'd this from her?

    LYS. There is but one Milesia; besides,
    If true, I meant her fears should aid
    My false disguise, which her quick-sighted father
    Would else have pierc'd, who hates Eugenio,
    And loves no virtue but what shines through wealth.

    GHOST. My best, best Lysicles, I am again in love,
    Thy holy flame doth lend me light to see
    My closed fires. Why did not fate give me
    So large a field to exercise my faith?
    I envy thee this trial, and would be
    Expos'd to dangers, that have yet no name,
    That I might meet thy love with equal merit.

    LYS. The cause takes all away, and want of power
    Excuseth what I cannot yet express.
    But how our loves came to so sad a period,
    As yet in clouds I have only seen [shown.]

    GHOST. My uncle's cruelty and hate of you procur'd our separation.

    LYS. But how knew he our loves? Though torment since
    Have wrung it from me, my joys ever flow'd silent
    And calm.

    GHOST. I know it; but we were betray'd
    By one that serv'd me, and the doubt's confirm'd
    By the Moor you spake with yesterday.

    LYS. Ha! how came she to know it? She was not here?

    GHOST. All that I ever did she's conscious of;
    And jealous of your love unto Hermione,
    Did place me here, to search into your thoughts;
    And now is prouder of this discovery,
    Than if a crown were added to her [brows].

    LYS. To what strange laws does heaven confine itself,
    That it will suffer them that dare be damn'd
    To have power over those it has selected?
    My tears and sacrifice could never gain
    So much upon its mercy, as to lend
    Thy happy sight for one faint minute's comfort;
    Yet those that sell themselves to hell, can force
    Thy quiet rest for inquisition
    On innocence. And to what purpose serves
    Faith and religious secrecy,
    When magic mocks and frustrates all our vows?
    This Moor then was confederate with your uncle's passion?

    GHOST. She is the cause that I do walk in shades.

    LYS. And I will be that she shall walk in hell.
    With her I will begin, then seek revenge
    Under the ruins of thy uncle's house.
    All men that dare to name him, and not curse
    His memory, shall feel the power
    Of my despised hate and friendship.

    GHOST. My dearest Lysicles, promise to be
    But temperate in your anger, and I will
    Discover more than you yet hop'd to know.

    LYS. As justice, that's concern'd to punish crimes, I will.

    GHOST. Then know I was betray'd.
    O love! here's company, I must retire.                     [_Sinks._

                    _Enter_ PINDARUS _and_ SERVANTS.

    PIN. Talking to graves at night, and making love i' th' day?
    My lord, I nor my daughter have deserved this.

    LYS. Pardon me, sir, I could do no less, being to take
    An everlasting farewell, but give this
    Visit to her memory. Reserve your censure
    Till ten days be over, and if I do not
    Satisfy you, condemn me.                                  [_Exeunt._

                    _Enter_ HERMIONE _and_ PHILLIDA.

    HER. [Here,] Philly, take thy lute, and sing the song
    Was given thee last.                               [_Exit_ PHILLIDA.

                                _Song._

        _Where did you borrow that last sigh_
          _And that relenting groan?_
        _For those that sigh, and not for love,_
          _Usurp what's not their own._
        _Love's arrows sooner armour pierce,_
          _Than your soft snowy skin;_
        _Your eyes can only teach us love,_
          _But cannot take it in._

               _The song being ended, re-enter_ PHILLIDA.

    PHIL. O madam! call all your sorrows to you, you are
    Not sad enough to hear the news I bring.

    HER. Would it were killing, that my death might end
    My fears, as my life has my hopes.

    PHIL. You mistake me, madam; Eugenio is returned.

    HER. Eugenio returned! thou hast reason, Phillida, I should
    be dead with sorrow: 'tis not fit we hear his name without a
    miracle. Where is he? Send to bring him hither.

    PHIL. He waits on your commands without.

    HER. Bring him in. Good gods!
    If you can suffer me one minute's joy,
    Give it me now, and let excess of happiness
    Finish what sorrow cannot. But where's this happiness
    I fain would dream of? Eugenio is return'd,
    That I may look on him, and not be his,
    And call our faiths in vain to aid our loves.


[ACT IV., SCENE 2.]

                    _Enter_ EUGENIO _and_ PHILLIDA.

    EUG. May the gods give you, madam, a content
    As high as you have power to bestow
    On those you favour, and then your happiness
    Will be as great as is your beauty.

    HER. O my best lord! you now behold a face
    Too much acquainted with my sad heart's grief
    Not to be stain'd with't. Sure, you cannot
    Know it?--I pray, say you do not--you'll wrong
    Two things I am most proud of--my just grief
    And your young love--which could not grow,
    Nourish'd with such poor heat as now it gives.
    I have a story that will break your heart
    When you have heard it, and mine, ere I
    Deliver it. Prince Lysicles to-morrow marries me,
    Or I must leave my duty or my life.
    Forgive me, that I dare to utter this.

    EUG. Madam, forbear your tears: they are a ransom
    Too mighty to redeem the greatest faith
    The gods were ever witness to. I know
    Whereto you tend: you would have me untie
    The knot that bound our loves, and I will do't,
    Though it be fasten'd to my strings of life.
    Be happy in your choice: give to his merit
    What once you promis'd to my perfect love,
    By which I only did pretend my claim.
    I do release you, as I know heaven has;
    Who in his justice cannot have consented
    To a longer faith in you; you must not be
    The conquest of a miserable man,
    O'er whom their cruel'st influences reign.

    HER. Some saving power close up my drowned eyes,
    Which death had long since shut, had not the love
    And hope of seeing you preserv'd them open.
    Have I been false for this to all my friends?
    That you should think I can be so to you? Add not
    By your suspicions a crime to our misfortune.

    EUG. Of you I can have none, but what excuse you:
    You had made me miserable, had not your faith
    Yielded to those assaults; as worth and greatness
    Titles your father's rage; and your own judgment
    Did shake and raze it. With what disturbed mind
    Should I have look'd on you my heart ador'd,
    And love made miserable? Still you weep----
    But these are tears your fortune did lay up
    To ease your misery, had you continued mine.
    And your suns, clear'd from their last clouds,
    They will more freely shine on your Lysicles.
    For myself, my love in his last act shall recompense
    The injuries 't has done to your repose,
    By killing me; then must injustice fly,
    And hale inconstancy along with her,
    From your fair conquer'd soul they now possess?

    HER. O my griefs!
    Now I perceive the gods decreed you endless,
    Since they have made him add unto my torment,
    Whose memory before did make the sharpest glorious.
    Tears and sighs and groans, farewell.
    They ne'er were spent but when I fear'd for you;
    And, you being lost, I have no use of them.
    Here, take this paper: 'tis the last legacy
    My love shall ever give you: 'twas design'd
    When I conceived you worthy. If you
    Believe her words, whose faith was never lost, though you
    Ungratefully have flung it off. If so you be not
    That you accuse me for, you there shall find
    A story that will punish your suspicion.

                        [_He reads, and then kneels, and she turns from_
                                                                  _him._

    EUG. You that by powerful prayers have diverted
    An imminent ruin, inspire me with fit words
    To appease my injur'd mistress. Hear me:
    I do not kneel for mercy, but to beg
    Your leave to die: I must not live, when
    Pardons make my offence most horrible, and hell
    Is here without them; take a middle way
    If you incline to mercy, and forget me.

    HER. Rise; this is worse than your doubts were.

    EUG.[362] Turn not your face away; would you revenge?
    Then let my eyes dwell on't. What punishment
    Can there be greater than for me to see
    The beauty I have lost by my own fault?
    Look then upon me.

    HER. No, I must yet keep
    My anger to preserve my honour, and I dare not trust
    That and my eyes at once, if they behold you.

    EUG. Then hear a wretched man, that has outliv'd
    So much his hopes, he knows not what to wish--
    Whether to live or die; yet life for this
    I only seek, that you may find I shrink not
    To punish him your justice has condemn'd.

    HER. Rise, I can hold out no longer; the bare
    Sounds of your death dissolve my resolutions;
    Forget my anger, as I will the cause.

    EUG. Never; it shall live here to honour me,
    Since pity of my love made you decline it:
    But must----

    HER. Yes, the virtuous Lysicles--for his respects to me,
    Howe'er unhappy, challenged that name--
    In your absence labours to marry me: yet death----

    EUG. Wretched Eugenio! did thy coward fate
    Not dare to strike thee, till thou turn'dst thy back?
    Must I return from banishment to find
    My hopes are banish'd? Did I for this love virtue,
    Pursued her rugged paths, when danger made
    Her horrid to the valiant to be ruin'd
    By him that is most virtuous? Ye gods,
    Was envy, malice, fortune impotent
    To injure me, but you must raise up virtue to suppress
    Me? If I suffer it, I shall deserve it.

    HER. O my Eugenio! we are miserable,
    Yet must not quarrel, love, to take or give
    A seeming comfort: go, try all your power
    Of hate or friendship to undo this match;
    I'll give you leave to die first--anything,
    But let not me have so much leave to change,
    As to believe you think it possible.                      [_Exeunt._


[ACT IV., SCENE 3.]

                    _Enter_ LYSICLES _and_ SERVANT.

    SER. The physician you sent for waits without.

    LYS. Bring him in, and stay in the next room.

                           _Enter_ PHYSICIAN.

    You are welcome: I must employ your trust and secrecy in
    something that concerns me. You must procure me instantly a
    powerful poison.

    PHY. My lord!

    LYS. Nay, no ceremonies of denial. I give you my intents, not
    to be disputed, but obeyed. I know you walk not frequently in
    these rough ways; but 'tis not want of knowledge, but your
    will, makes you decline them.

    PHY. My lord, I have observ'd you long, and see you
    Wear your life like something you would fain
    Put off. I will not undertake to counsel you, in
    That your nearest friends have oft attempted
    Without success: yet, if my life should issue
    With the words I now will utter, I'll boldly tell
    Your grace, I will not be a means to cut your
    Days off, to make mine happy ever.

    LYS. I did expect this from you; and to inform you
    Briefly know, though I do loathe my life, I will
    Not part with't willingly, till it does serve
    Me to revenge my wrongs: and to assure you more,
    I will not use your art against myself. Let
    Your composition procure the greatest torture
    Poison can force, for I must use it upon one
    Our laws cannot condemn; because the circumstance
    That makes him guilty, cannot be produc'd, but with
    Expense of time; and my revenge will not
    Admit it. By my honour, this is the cause.

    PHY. If I
    Were sure your enemies should only try
    Th' effects of what I can do in your service,
    The horrid'st tortures treason ever justified,
    Should not exceed the sufferings of those
    Should take the poison I can bring you.

    LYS. Bring it me instantly; and if the pains of hell
    Can be felt here, let your ingredients
    Call them up. If his life were only
    My aim and end, whilst I do wear this,
    I'd not implore your aid;
    But I must set him on the rack, that there
    He may confess my inquisition justice.

    PHY. An hour returns me with your commands
    Perform'd. Yet I'll observe you farther.                   [_Aside._

    LYS. So, this is the first degree to my revenge,
    Which I will prosecute, till I have made
    All that were guilty of my loss of peace,
    Wash their impiety in their guilty blood.
    All places where I meet them shall be altars,
    On which I'll sacrifice the murderers,
    To appease the spirit of my injur'd mistress:
    And (the last victim) I will fall myself
    Upon her sacred tomb, to expiate
    The crimes I have committed in deferring
    Justice thus long. This curs'd magician
    Shall be the first--she did reveal our loves;
    Milesia said she did; and if it were
    Her blessed spirit, nothing but truth dwells in't.
    If it were a phantom rais'd by her foul spells;
    She pays the fault of her abusing me,
    Insidiating with my Milesia's form,
    To search, and then betray my resolution
    Of serving my best friend. How now!

                             Enter SERVANT.

    SER. Sir, Lord Pindarus would speak with you.

    LYS. Where is he?                                         [_Exeunt._

FOOTNOTES:

[361] [The third act is not divided into scenes in the old copy, nor
are the first and second; and it is difficult to fix the point where
the second scene should open.]

[362] [Omitted in old copy, but supplied by Dodsley, and in a coeval
hand inserted in the copy now used of the original edition.]



ACT V., SCENE 1.


                    _Enter_ SERVANT _and_ LYSICLES.

    SER. Sir, I have waited, as you commanded, near the house of
    the Egyptian lady: something is done that disturbs them all,
    divers run in and out, physicians are sent for: at last, I went
    in myself, and entered her chamber, found her on her bed almost
    distracted with torture: cries she is poisoned: curses her
    jealousy and curiosity, calls upon your name; desires and then
    forbids you should be sent for.

    LYS. But I will come to her confession. Courage, my soul,
    Let no faint pity hinder thee the joys
    Thou art receiving; triumph in their sufferings
    That have attempted thine. Look down, Milesia,
    Applaud my piety, that snatch'd the sword
    From sleeping justice to revenge thy death.                 [_Exit._

    SER. What means my lord to be pleas'd with this
    Sad news? How can this stranger have offended him?
    I'll follow, learn the issue, and the cause.         [_Aside. Exit._

           _Enter the_ MOOR _on her bed_, HERMIONE, PHILLIDA,
                   _and_ IRENE. _The bed thrust out._

    MOOR. O, O, O gods! If I have merited your hate,
    You might have laid it on, until my name
    Had been a word to express full misery,
    And I had thank'd you, if you had forborne
    To make his innocence the instrument
    Of your dire wrath. Hermione, Irene,
    I have conjur'd my servants not to tell you,
    When I am dead, who I was: but if
    Their weakness shall discover't, let it be hid
    From the best Lysicles: I burn, I burn,
    And death dares not seize me, frighted
    With the furies that torment me.

    HER. Mysterious powers! Instruct us in the way
    You would be serv'd, for we are ignorant;
    Your thunder else would not be aim'd at those,
    That follow virtue, as it is prescrib'd,
    Whilst thousand others 'scape unpunished,
    That violate the laws we are taught to keep.

                           _Enter_ LYSICLES.

    LYS. What mean these sad expressions of sorrow?

    HER. O my lord, nature had not made our hearts
    Capable of pity if we forbear it here:
    The virtuous Acanthe has been tormented
    With pains nothing is able to express
    But her own groans: she fears she's poison'd;
    Talks of you, of tombs, and of Milesia,
    And in the midst of all her torture says
    Her distrust and jealousy deserve a greater punishment.

    LYS. And I believe't, nor should you pity her:
    Those that do trace forbidden paths of knowledge
    The gods reserve unto themselves, do never do't,
    But with intent to ruin the believers,
    And venturers on their art. Something I know
    O' th' curs'd effects of her commanding magic,
    And she (no doubt) is conscious to herself
    Of infinite more mischiefs than are yet reveal'd.
    I am confident she is fled her country
    For the ills she has done there, and now
    The punishment has overta'en her here.
    And, for her shows of virtue, they are masks
    To hide the rottenness that lies within,
    And gain her credit with some dissembled acts
    Of piety, which levels her a passage
    To those important mischiefs hell
    Has employ'd her here to execute.

    MOOR. O gods! deny me not a death, since you
    Have given me the tortures that advance it:
    If I deserve this, your inflicting hands
    Do reach unto the shades, lay it on there.
    Hermione, Irene, is Lysicles yet come?

    LYS. Yes, to counsel you to pacify the gods
    You have offended by your cursed arts:
    The blessed ghost you sent me to has told me
    Some sad effects on it, and in her name and cause
    Have the gods hurl'd this punishment on thy
    Foul soul, and made my grief, enrag'd to madness,
    The blessed instrument of thy destruction,
    Which does but here begin.

    MOOR. You then did send
    The poison with the present I receiv'd?

    LYS. Yes, I did;
    And wonder you durst tempt my just revenge,
    Unless you did believe, you could confine
    The revelations of the best spirits
    Your cursed charms betray'd first,
    And then enforc'd to leave their happy seats,
    To perfect the designs your malice labour'd in.

    MOOR. What unknown ways have the gods invented
    To punish me! I feel a torment
    No tyranny e'er parallell'd, yet must confess
    An obligation to him that impos'd it.
    Good gods! If I do bow under your wills,
    Without repining at your sad decrees,
    Grant this to recompense my martyrdom,
    That he that is the author of my sufferings,
    May never learn his error. Sir, if torments
    E'er could expiate the crimes we have committed,
    Mine might challenge your pardon and your pity:
    I feel death entering me; love the memory
    Of your Milesia, and forgive----

    IRE. Help, help! She dies!

    LYS. If it be possible, call life into her for some minutes,
    her full confession will absolve my justice.

    IRE. Bring some water here, she does but swoon. So, chafe her
    temples----O heavens! What prodigy is here! Her blackness falls
    away! My lord, look on this miracle; doth not heaven instruct
    us in pity of her wrongs, that the opinions which prejudice her
    virtue, should thus be washed away with the black clouds that
    hide her purer form?

    HER. Heaven hath some further ends in this than we
    Can pierce. More water: she returns to life,
    And all the blackness of her face is gone.

    IRE. Pallas, Apollo, what may this portend?
    My lord, have you not seen a face like this?

    LYS. Yes, and horror seizeth me. Tis the idea
    Of my Milesia. Impenetrable powers!
    Deliver us in thunder your intents,
    And exposition of this metamorphosis.

    HER. She stirs

    LYS. Hold her up gently.                               [_He kneels._

    MOOR. O, O! Why do you kneel to me?

    LYS. Are not you Milesia?

    MOOR. Why do you ask?

    LYS. O, then you are.

    MOOR. My Lysicles, I am by miracle preserv'd;
    Though, since the gods repent them of their succours,
    Knowing me unworthy of thy firm constant love,
    I never thought that death could be a terror,
    Too long acquainted with the miseries
    Pursue our lives; but now the apprehension
    My grave should swallow thee, makes me to welcome it
    With a heaviness that sinks despairing sinners.

    LYS. Pour down your thunder, gods, upon this head,
    And try if that can make me yet more wretched.
    Was not her death affliction enough,
    But you must make me be the murderer?
    Is this a punishment for adoring her
    Equal with you, you made so equal to ye?
    Pardon the fault you forc'd me to commit:
    So visible a divinity could not be look'd
    On with less adoration.

    MOOR. If e'er I did expect a happier death,
    May I die loath'd! What funeral pomp
    Can there be greater than for me to hear,
    Whilst I yet live, my dying obsequies
    With so much zeal pronounc'd by him I love?----
    Tortures again do seize me.

    LYS. Eyes, are you dry, where such an object calls
    [All] your tears forth! My blood shall supply their[363] place.

    MOOR. For heaven's sake, hold his hands. O my best Lysicles,
    Do not destroy the comforts of my soul;
    What a division do I feel within me!
    I am but half-tormented; my soul in spite
    O' th' tortures of my body, does feel a joy
    That meets departed spirits in the blest shades.

    LYS. What unexpected mischiefs circle me,
    What arts hath malice, arm'd with fortune, found
    To make me wretched? Could I e'er have thought
    A miracle could have restor'd thee to my eyes,
    That[364] they should, see the joys of heaven in thee?
    Yet now the height of my affliction is,
    That they behold thee, guilty of the close
    Of thine for ever. See, Hermione,
    The countenance death should put on, when death
    Would have us throng unto her palaces,
    And court her frozen sepulchres.

    IRE. Sure, she is dead: how pale she is!

    LYS. No; she is white as lilies, as the snow
    That falls upon Parnassus; if the red were here,
    As I have seen't enthron'd, the rising day would get
    New excellence by being compared to her:
    Argos nor Cyprus [nor] Egypt ne'er saw
    A beauty like to this; let it be lawful for me to usurp
    So much on death's right, as to take a kiss
    From thy cold virgin-lips, where he and love
    Yet strive for empire. The flames that rise from hence
    Are not less violent, though less pleasing now,
    Than when she did consent I should receive
    What now I ravish.

    MOOR. Dares not death shut those eyes, where love
    Hath enter'd once, or am I in the shades
    Assisted with the ghost of my dear Lysicles?

    LYS. She speaks again: good heaven, she speaks again!

    HER. You are yet living?

    MOOR. And, therefore dying; but, before I go,
    Let me obtain your pardon for the wrongs
    My jealousy hath thrown upon your innocence.
    'Twas my too perfect knowledge of my want
    Of merit to deserve, made me doubt yours:
    I mean your constant love, which I will teach
    Below, and make them learn again to love
    Who have died for it.

    LYS. Do not abuse your mercy and my grief
    By asking pardon of your murtherer;
    But curse your sufferings off on this devoted head,
    To save the beauty of the world in you.

    MOOR. Why should your grief make me repent the joys
    I ever begg'd of heaven--the knowledge
    Of your love? Could there be added more
    Unto my happiness, than to be confirm'd
    By my own sufferings, how much you did love me,
    And prosecuted those that desired my ruin?
    Like Semele I die, who could not take
    The full God in her arms.
    I have but one wish more, that I may bear
    Unto the shades the glorious title of your wife:
    If I may live so long to hear but this
    Pronounc'd by Lysicles, I die in peace.

    LYS. Hear it, with my vows not to behold
    The sun rise after you are gone.

    MOOR. O, say not so; live, I command you, live;
    Let your obedience unto this command
    Show you have lost a mistress.

    LYS. Can I hear this and live?

    IRE. My lord, our cares will be employed better
    In seeking to avert this lady's death
    Than in deploring it.

    LYS. You advise well. Run all to the physician:
    I will myself to Arnaldo, who gave
    This poison to me. Let me have word sent to the
    Cypress grove the minute she is dead.    [_Exeunt. Draw in the bed._

                     _Enter_ LYSICLES _meditating_.

    LYS. If life be given as a blessing to us,
    What law compels us to preserve it longer
    Than we can see a possibility
    Of being happy by it, but we must expect,
    Till the same power that plac'd us here, commands
    A restitution of His gift? This is indeed a rule
    To make us live, but not live happily.
    'Tis true, the slave that frees himself by death,
    Doth wrong his master; but yet the gods are not
    Necessitous of us, but we of them.
    Who then is injur'd if I kill myself?
    And if I durst to hear their voice, they call
    Men to some other place, when they remove
    The gust and taste of this. We should adore, thee, death,
    If constant virtue, not enforcement, built
    Thy spacious temples.

                            _Enter_ EUGENIO.

    Welcome, Eugenio, welcome, worthy friend;
    How long are you arrived?

    EUG. Time enough to revenge, though not prevent
    The injuries you have done me.

    LYS. What means my friend?

    EUG. I must not hear that name now; you have lost
    The effects and virtue of it: I come to punish
    Your breach of faith.

    LYS. Is hell afraid my constancy should conquer
    The mischiefs that are rais'd to swallow me,
    That it invents new plagues to batter me?
    By all that's holy, I never did offend my friend--
    Not in a thought.

    EUG. Those that by breach of vows provoke their justice
    Do seldom fear profaning of their names;
    To hide their perjuries will put it on them.
    You have attempted my Hermione,
    And forc'd her father to compel her voice
    Unto your marriage.

    LYS. All this I do confess; but 'twas for both your goods,
    As I will now inform you.

    EUG. Hell and furies! Because your specious titles,
    Your spreading vineyards, and your gilded house
    Do shine upon our cottage, must our faiths,
    Which heaven did seal, be cancell'd? 'Twas my virtue
    Won her fair graces, which still outshine
    Your flames of vice.

    LYS. It hath not light enough to let you see your friend.
    Gods, could that man have liv'd that dar'd to say
    Eugenio did suspect his Lysicles?
    And now in pity you do show him me,
    That I may fly the world without regret,
    Not leaving one of worth behind me in it.
    Be gone, and learn your errors.

    EUG. I have done't already. They were trusting you
    With my life's happiness. Draw, and restore the vows
    You made Hermione; or I will leave you dead,
    And tear them from your heart.

    LYS. Fond man! thou dost not know how much 'tis in
    My power to make thee miserable:
    I could now force thee execute my wish
    In killing me; and thou wouldst fly the light,
    When it had show'd thee whom thy rage offended.
    But till I fall by my own hand, my life
    Is chain'd unto my honour, which I will wear
    Upon my sepulchre. Nor must I die,
    Being guilty of Milesia's murder,
    For any cause but hers; else were my breast,
    Since you have wrong'd me, open to your point.

    EUG. Can you deny but that you have attempted
    The faith of my Hermione?

    LYS. I can with so strong circumstance of truth
    Would make you blush for having doubted mine.
    But he that was my friend, and suspects me,
    Must attend less satisfaction than a stranger.
    Proceed, and let your case be both your judge and guide.

    EUG. What should I do? I dare not trust my sense,
    If he should tell me that it does deceive me:
    Virtue itself would lose her quality
    Ere he forsook her, and his words do fall
    Distorted from him; his soul doth labour
    Under some heavy burden, which my passion
    Did hinder me from seeing. Sir, forgive,
    Or take your full revenge; let your own griefs
    Teach you to pity those are distract with it.
    I will not rise until you pardon me.

    LYS. O my Eugenio, thy kindness hath undone me!
    My rage did choke my grief, which now did spread
    Itself over my soul and body. Up, and help
    To bear me till I fall eternally.

    EUG. Who can hear this, and not be turn'd to marble?
    Good sir, impart your sorrows; I may bring comfort.

    LYS. Whilst they were capable, thou didst; but now
    They are too great and swoll'n to let it in.
    Milesia, whom you and I supposed dead,
    By me to-day is poison'd, and lies dying
    In her torment. Is not this strange?

    EUG. What have you said that is not?
    But heaven avert this last!

    LYS. It is too late now; let me beg thy kindness
    Would do that for me I forbad thy passion.

    EUG. What is't?

    LYS. Kill me.

    EUG. You cannot wish me such an hated office!
    Call up your reason and your courage to you,
    Which was not given you only for the wars,
    But to resist the batteries of fortune.
    People will say that Lysicles did want
    Part of that courage fame did speak him lord of,
    When they shall hear him sunk below her succour.

    LYS. You will not kill me then?

    EUG. When I believe there is no other means
    To ease you, I will do't.

    LYS. All but death are fled.

    EUG. Then draw your sword, and as I lift my arm
    To sheathe this in your breast, let yours pierce me;
    On this condition I may do your will.

    LYS. I may not for the world. Why should you die?

    EUG. See how your passions blind you! Is death
    An ease or torment? If it be a joy,
    Why should you envy it your dearest friend?

    LYS. Our causes are not equal.

    EUG. They will be, when you're dead. How you mistake
    The laws of friendship, and commit those faults
    You did accuse me of! I would not live so long
    To think you can survive your dying friend.

    LYS. Eugenio, I am conquered; yet I hope thy kindness
    Will do that for me which thy sword refuseth.
    Love thy Hermione: she deserves it. Friend,
    Leave me alone awhile.

    EUG. Your grief's too great for me to trust your life with't:
    I dare not venture you beyond my help.

    WITHIN. Where's Prince Lysicles? Where's Prince Lysicles?

    LYS. Hark! I am call'd, the fatal news is come.

                                                               [_Draws._

    EUG. Fie! how unmanly's this? Can sounds affright you,
    Which yet you know not whether they do bring
    Or joys or sorrows? When remedies are despair'd of,
    You have still leave to die. Perhaps she lives,
    And you'll exhale her soul into your wounds,
    And be the death of her you mourn for living.

    WITHIN. Where's Prince Lysicles? Where's Prince Lysicles?

    EUG. It is the voice of comfort; none would strive
    To be a sad relator. I'll call him. Holla!
    Here he is.

                           _Enter a_ SERVANT.

    SER. The strange lady kisses
    Your hands, my lord: Arnaldo has restored her;
    She bid me say your sight can only give
    Perfection to what he has begun.

    EUG. Will you die now?

    LYS. Softly, good friend: gently let it
    Slide into my breast; my heart is too narrow yet
    To take so full a joy in.
    You're sure this news is true?

    SER. Upon my life.

    EUG. Why should you doubt it?

    LYS. My comforts ever were like winter suns,
    That rise late and [then] set betimes: set with thick clouds
    That hide their light at noon. But be this true,
    And I have life enough to let me see it,
    I shall be ever happy.

    EUG. So, 'tis well;
    At length his hope hath taught despair to fear.           [_Exeunt._

              _Enter_ MILESIA, HERMIONE, IRENE, PHYSICIAN.

    PHY. Madam, my innocence will plead my pardon; I could not
    guess for whom my lord intended it. The truth is I feared,
    considering his deep melancholy, he intended to use it on
    himself, and therefore meant to make him out of love with
    death, by suffering the pains our souls do feel when they are
    violenced from us. I had provided antidotes, but could not till
    this hour learn on whom it was employed. Sure I was, it could
    be death to none, though full of torment.

    MIL. Till I have farther means to thank you, receive this ring.

    HER. But, madam, what did poor[365] Hermione deserve,
    That you should hide yourself from her?
    Or are you the Milesia that was pleas'd
    To call me friend? or is she buried
    By Pallas' temple? Truly, belief and memory,
    Opposing sense, makes me doubt which to credit.

    I wept you dead, the virgins did entomb you:
    Were we then or no deceiv'd?

    MIL. My fair dear friend, you shall know all my story.
    'Tis true, my uncle did design my death
    For loving Lysicles; for, at his coming hither,
    He charg'd me, by all ties that were between us,
    To hate him as the ruin of his honour;
    And yet, for some dark ends I understood not,
    Resolv'd to leave me here. I swore obedience,
    But knew not what offence it was to keep
    An oath so made, till I had seen Lysicles,
    Which at your house I did, when he came wounded
    From hunting of the boar. All but his name
    Appear'd most godlike to me. You all did run
    To stop his wounds, and I thought I might see
    My enemy's blood; yet soon did pity seize me,
    To see him bleed. Thus, love taking the shape
    Of pity, glided unseen of me into my heart,
    And whilst I thought myself but charitable,
    I nurs'd my infant love with milk of pity,
    Till he grew strong enough to take me prisoner.
    I found his eyes on mine, and ere I could
    Remove them, heard him say, he'd thank his fortune
    For this last wound, if 'twere the cause
    Of seeing me; then took his leave,
    But left me speechless that I could not say,
    My heart, farewell! After this visit our loves
    Grew to that height that you have heard of.

    HER. The groves and temples, and dark shades have heard
    Them mourn'd and celebrated by your friend.

    MIL. I had a servant unsuspected of me,
    (For none I trusted that observ'd our meetings,)
    Who[366] guessing by my sighs that love had made them,
    Betray'd them to my uncle. On Pallas' eve
    He rush'd into my chamber, his sword drawn,
    And snatch'd me by the arm. I fell down,
    But, knowing yet no fault, could beg no pardon.
    Awhile our eyes did only speak our thoughts;
    At length out of his bosom he pull'd a paper:
    It was the contract betwixt my lord and me;
    And ask'd me if I would avow the hand.
    Heaven, said I, has approv'd it, and the gods
    Have chose this way to reunite our houses.
    Stain of thy kindred's honour, he exclaims,
    Was there no other man to ease your lust
    But he that was our greatest enemy?
    Resolve to die: thy blood shall hide the stains.
    Of our dishonour.

    HER. He could not be so cruel to intend it?

    MIL. He was; for leaving me oppress'd with sighs
    And tears, yet not of sorrow and repentance,
    But fear that I should leave my dearest servant,
    Commands his cruel slaves to murder me
    As I descended; and lest pity should
    Create remorse, in their obdurate hearts,
    The lights were all put out. Then hastily
    My name was heard. I then entreated her
    That betray'd me to tell them I was coming,
    And took this time to write unto my lord.
    She went, but by the way was seiz'd
    And strangled by those murderers
    That expected me. My uncle heard
    Her latest groans; and now the act was pass'd
    His power to help, he wish'd it were undone:
    Brings lights to see the body, and perceiv'd
    The strange mistake. By signs and lifted eyes
    Confess'd heaven's hand was in't; yet would not leave
    His revenge here--commands his slaves to change
    My clothes with hers was slain; then takes the head off,
    And on the trunk did leave a note which told
    My death for loving Lysicles, in hope my ruin,
    Knowing his noble nature, would be his.
    At midnight quits this town, leaving none behind
    Were conscious of the fact--immures me in
    His house; till I escap'd in that disguise
    I wore when I first came to you.

    IRE. Why did
    You not declare yourself when you came hither?

    MIL. You were the cause on't. At my arrival here
    I heard my Lysicles should marry you,
    And therefore kept the habit I was in,
    To search unknown the truth of this report,
    And practis'd in the private actions
    Of some near friends, got an opinion
    I could presage the future. Thus was I
    Sought by you, thus [I] found the faith
    Of my dear Lysicles, when at the tomb I did
    Appear his ghost, and had reveal'd myself, had not
    The shame of doubting such a faith kept my desires in.

    HER. Then he dissembled when he made love to me?

    MIL. He did. Forgive it him; 'twas for his friend.

    HER. I am sorry for it.

    MIL. How, my dear friend?

                    _Enter_ LYSICLES _and_ EUGENIO.

    HER. Nay, it is true.
    Eugenio and he are of such equal
    Tempers I shall suspect he has dissembled too.

    MIL. O, you are pleasant!
    Here comes my lord.

    LYS. Is there a wish beyond this happiness,
    When I embrace thee thus? I will not ask
    Thy story now: it is enough to know
    That you are living.

    MIL. The gods have made this trial in my sufferings,
    If I deserv'd so great a blessing:
    I have but one grief left.

    LYS. Is that word yet on earth?

    MIL. Yes, but it springs from an excessive joy
    Of finding such admired worth in you.
    What I hereafter shall do in your service
    Must wear the name of gratitude, not love.

    LYS. No, my Milesia,
    Mine was the first engagement, and the gods
    Made thee so excellent to keep on earth
    Love that was flying hence, finding no object
    Worthy to fix him here.

    HER. No more, Eugenio: if your words could add
    Expressions to your love, you had not had
    So much of mine; and after I have tried
    Your faith so many ways, it would appear
    Ingratitude, not modesty, to show
    A mistress' coldness.

    EUG. May I believe all advantageous words,
    Or may I doubt them, seeing they come from you,
    Who are all truth? I will not speak
    How undeserving I am of these favours,
    Because I will not wrong th' election
    Your gracious pity forceth on your judgment.

    LYS. Our joys do multiply; but, my dear friend,
    I have yet something that will add to yours.
    My father's call'd to court, and you are left
    Governor in his place; this, I know, will make
    Lord Pindarus consent to both your wishes.
    Your pardon, madam, and when you lie embrac'd
    With your Eugenio, tell him, if my faith
    Had not the double tie of friend and mistress,
    A single one had yielded to the hopes
    Of the enjoying you. Here comes my lord!

                           _Enter_ PINDARUS.

    O my good lord, I must entreat your pardon
    For a fault my love unto my friend engag'd me in:
    Let your consent complete the happiness
    Of these two perfect lovers; I am confident
    You ever did approve his virtue: his fortune now
    Can be no hindrance, since our gracious king,
    In contemplation of his merits,
    Hath made him governor in my father's place.

    PIN. Most willingly I give it, since I've lost the
    Hopes of being allied to you: heaven bless you both!
    Sir, your own love of my Hermione,
    And yours now, will teach you t' admit
    An easy satisfaction for the troubles
    My love unto my child hath thrown upon you.

    EUG. You are all goodness, and my services,
    Ever directed by your will, shall show,
    Though I can never merit this great honour,
    I will do nothing shall deprive me of
    The honour of your love and favour.

    PIN. Your virtue promiseth more than I may hear
    From you. Once more, heaven bless you!
    If my Lord Ergasto now were satisfied,
    I shall be at peace; for, having promised
    My daughter to him, I would not have him
    Think that by me he's injur'd.

    HER. 'Tis in your power, sir, to satisfy him.

    PIN. I would do anything.

    HER. Persuade my cousin to confess she loves him,
    Which I do know she does; and he already
    Has made profession of his unto my prejudice:
    Nay, blush not, cousin, since you would not allow me
    This secret as a friend, you may excuse
    Th' inquisitiveness of a rival.

    MIL. This is all truth, my lord, I can assure you.

    PIN. Is't possible, Irene, do you love Ergasto?

    IRE. Methinks your experience, uncle, should teach you
    That such a question was not to be ask'd.
    Well, if I did love[367] him, 'twas 'cause I thought
    That he lov'd me; but if he does not,
    I pardon him: for I am certain he
    Once believ'd it himself.

    PIN. If ever love
    Make any deep impression in you,
    I am deceiv'd.

    IRE. His dart may strike as far into me
    As into another, for aught you know, uncle.

    PIN. You have ill-luck else, niece.

                    _Enter_ PHORMIO, ERGASTO, CLEON.

    PHOR. Nay, it is most certain, the town is full of it:
    Milesia, I know not how, is alive again:
    Eugenio is made governor; though you were constant,
    You can have no longer hopes of Hermione:
    Therefore let me advise you, make that seem
    Your own election which'll else be enforcement:
    Quit your interest in Hermione, and renew
    Your suit to Irene.

    ERG. Observe me.

    PIN. Welcome, my lords, do you know this lady?

    ERG. Most perfectly, and came to congratulate
    With the prince for her double recovery.

    LYS. I thank you, my lord; and when my friend and you
    Are reconcil'd, you may assure yourself
    I am your servant.

    ERG. What's in my power to give him satisfaction,
    He may command.

    EUG. Your friendship does it.

    PIN. My lord, this reconcilement will make way
    Unto my pardon: I have not been wanting
    In my promise to you; but my daughter thinks she
    Has chosen so well that, without my leave,
    She hath made herself her own disposer.

    ERG. Ages of happiness attend them! If I may hope to gain the
    graces of the fair Irene, I shall be happy too.

    PIN. If I have any power, she shall be yours.

    LYS. Let me beg the honour of interceding; your fortunes and
    conditions are so equal, it were a sin to part you.

    PHOR. Pray, sir, let him do it himself: the task is not so hard
    to require a mediator.

    IRE. Have you such skill in perspective?

    PHOR. As good as any chiromancer in Egypt, madam.

    ERG. He has reason, for I have opened my breast to him, and he
    has seen my heart, and you enthroned in't.

    PHOR. He tells you true, lady.

    IRE. Indeed, sir! And pray, what did it look like?

    PHOR. Faith, to deal truly, much like the wheel of fortune
    which, turning round, puts the same persons sometimes at top,
    sometimes at bottom: but at last love shot his dart thorough
    the axle-tree, and fixed you regent.

    IRE. Well, I have considered, and my cousin's example shall
    teach me.

    ERG. What, in the name of doubt?

    IRE. To avoid the infinite troubles you procured her by your
    fruitless solicitations. D'ye think your tears shall cost me so
    many tears as they have done her?

    PIN. You may excuse them by consenting to your friend's desires.

    MIL. Sweet madam, let me obtain this for him. He dies if you
    deny him.

    HER. Dear Irene, perfect the happiness of this day.

    IRE. You have great reason to persuade me to take him you
    abhorred.

    HER. I was engaged.

    IRE. Well, if any here will pass their words he can continue
    constant a week, I will be disposed by you.

    OMNES. We all will be engaged for him.

    IRE. On this condition I admit him to a month's service, and
    myself to a perpetual servitude.

    ERG. I ever shall be yours.

    IRE. My father said so, till my mother wept.[368]

    EUG. A notable wooing this!

    LYS. And as notably finish'd.
    Let's now unto my father, who expects
    You, to deliver his commission to you.
    Come, my Milesia, tell my wounded heart
    No more her sighs shall wander through the air,
    Not knowing where to find thee: no more
    Shall the mistaken tomb of false OEnone
    Be moist'ned with my tears; yet, since she died
    To save thy life, her ghost could not expect
    A cheaper sacrifice. This I'll only add:
    In memory of us, all lovers shall
    Repute this day as their great festival.

FOOTNOTES:

[363] [Old copy, _your_.]

[364] [Old copy, _but_.]

[365] [Old copy; _your poor_.]

[366] [Old copy, _and_.]

[367] [Dodsley omitted _love_.]

[368] [Some of the sallies of the fair Irene remind us of Shakespeare's
Beatrice.]

                                 FINIS.



    Transcriber's Notes:


    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were
    corrected.

    Punctuation normalized.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

    Greek text is transliterated and enclosed in ~tildes~.





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