Not out of envy, for there's no effect|
Where there's no cause; nor out of imitation,
For we have evermore been imitated;
Nor out of our contention to do better
Than that which is oppos'd to ours in title,
For that was good; and better cannot be:
And, for the title, if it seem affected,
We might as well have call'd it, "God you good even:"
Only that eastward westwards still exceeds
Honor the sun's fair rising, not his setting.
Nor is our title utterly enforc'd,
As by the points we touch at you shall see.
Bear with our willing pains, if dull or witty;
We only dedicate it to the City.
ACT I SCENE I.
Enter MASTER TOUCHSTONE and QUICKSILVER at several doors, QUICKSILVER with his hat, pumps, short sword and dagger, and a racket trussed up under his cloak. At the middle door, enter GOLDING, discovering a goldsmith's shop and walking short turns before it.
Enter a Page, as inquiring for Touchstone's shop.
Touch. And whither with you now? what loose action are you bound for? Come, what comrades are you to meet withal? where's the supper? where's the rendezvous?
Quick. Indeed, and in very good sober truth, sir
Touch. "Indeed, and in very good sober truth, sir!" Behind my back thou wilt swear faster than a French footboy, and talk more bawdily than a common midwife; and now "indeed, and in very good sober truth, sir!" But, if a privy search should be made, with what furniture are you rigg'd now? Sirrah, I tell thee, I am thy master, William Touchstone, goldsmith; and thou my prentice, Francis Quicksilver; and I will see whither you are running. Work upon that now!
Quick. Why, sir, I hope a man may use his recreation with his master's profit.
Touch. Prentices' recreations are seldom with their masters' profit. Work upon that now! You shall give up your cloak, though you be no alderman. (TOUCHSTONE uncloaks QUICKSILVER.) Heyday! Ruffians Hall! Sword, pumps, here's a racket indeed!
Quick. Work upon that now!
Touch. Thou shameless varlet! dost thou jest at thy lawful master, contrary to thy indentures?
Quick. Why, 'zblood, sir! my mother's a gentlewoman, and my father a justice of peace and of quorum; and, though I am a younger brother and a prentice, yet I hope I am my father's son; and by God's lid, 't is for your worship and for your commodity that I keep company. I am entertain'd among gallants, true; they call me cousin Frank, right; I lend them moneys, good; they spend it, well. But, when they are spent, must not they strive to get more? Must not their land fly? and to whom? Shall not your Worship ha' the refusal? Well, I am a good member of the City, if I were well considered. How would merchants thrive, if gentlemen would not be unthrifts? How could gentlemen be unthrifts if their humors were not fed? How should their humors be fed but by whitemeat and cunning secondings? Well, the City might consider us. I am going to an ordinary now: the gallants fall to play; I carry light gold with me. The gallants call, "Cousin Frank, some gold for silver;" I change, gain by it; the gallants lose the gold, and then call, "Cousin Frank, lend me some silver." Why
Touch. Why? I cannot tell. Seven score pound art thou out in the cash; but look to it, I will not be gallanted out of my moneys. And, as for my rising by other men's fall, God shield me! Did I gain my wealth by ordinaries? no! by exchanging of gold? no! by keeping of gallants' company? no! I hired me a little shop, fought low, took small gain, kept no debt book, garnished my shop, for want of plate, with good wholesome thrifty sentences: as, "Touchstone, keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;" "Light gains makes heavy purses;" "'T is good to be merry and wise." And, when I was wiv'd, having something to stick to, I had the horn of suretyship ever before my eyes. [to the audience] You all know the device of the horn, where the young fellow slips in at the butt end, and comes squeez'd out at the buccal. And I grew up, and, I praise Providence, I bear my brows now as high as the best of my neighbors: but thou well, look to the accounts; your father's bond lies for you: seven score pound is yet in the rear.
Quick. Why, 'slid, sir, I have as good, as proper gallants' words for it as any are in London gentlemen of good phrase, perfect language, passingly behav'd; gallants that wear socks and clean linen, and call me "kind cousin Frank," "good cousin Frank," for they know my father: and, by God's lid, shall not I trust 'em? not trust?
Gold. What do ye lack, sir? what is 't you'll buy, sir?
Touch. Ay, marry sir; there's a youth of another piece. There's thy fellow-prentice, as good a gentleman born as thou art: nay, and better mean'd. But does he pump it, or racket it? Well, if he thrive not, if he outlast not a hundred such crackling bavins as thou art, God and men neglect industry.
Gold. (to the Page) It is his shop, and here my master walks.
Touch. With me, boy?
Page. My master, Sir Petronel Flash, recommends his love to you, and will instantly visit you.
Touch. To make up the match with my eldest daughter, my wife's dilling, whom she longs to call madam. He shall find me unwillingly ready, boy. (Exit Page.) [to the audience] There's another affliction too. As I have two prentices, the one of a boundless prodigality, the other of a most hopeful industry, so have I only two daughters: the eldest, of a proud ambition and nice wantonness; the other, of a modest humility and comely soberness. The one must be ladyfied, forsooth, and be attir'd just to the court cut and long tail. So far is she ill-natur'd to the place and means of my preferment and fortune that she throws all the contempt and despite hatred itself can cast upon it. Well, a piece of land she has; 't was her grandmother's gift; let her and her Sir Petronel flash out that; but, as for my substance, she that scorns me, as I am a citizen and tradesman, shall never pamper her pride with my industry, shall never use me as men do foxes keep themselves warm in the skin, and throw the body that bare it to the dunghill. I must go entertain this Sir Petronel. Golding, my utmost care 's for thee, and only trust in thee; look to the shop. As for you, Master Quicksilver, think of husks, for thy course is running directly to the prodigal's hogs' trough; husks, sirrah! Work upon that now!
Quick. Marry faugh, Goodman Flat-cap! 'Sfoot! though I am a prentice, I can give arms; and my father's a justice a' peace by descent, and, 'zblood!
Gold. Fie, how you swear!
Quick. 'Sfoot, man, I am a gentleman, and may swear by my pedigree, God's my life! Sirrah Golding, wilt be ruled by a fool? Turn good fellow, turn swaggering gallant, and "let the welkin roar, and Erebus also." Look not westward to the fall of Don Phbus, but to the east Eastward Ho!
Where radiant beams of lusty Sol appear,|
And bright Eous makes the welkin clear.
We are both gentlemen, and therefore should be no coxcombs; let's be no longer fools to this flat-cap, Touchstone, Eastward, bully! this satin belly and canvas-back'd Touchstone. 'S life, man! his father was a malt man, and his mother sold gingerbread in Christ Church.
Gold. What would ye ha' me do?
Quick. Why, do nothing; be like a gentleman, be idle; the curse of man is labor. Wipe thy bum with testones, and make ducks and drakes with shillings. What, Eastward Ho! Wilt thou cry, "What is 't ye lack?" stand with a bare pate and a dropping nose, under a wooden penthouse, and art a gentleman? Wilt thou bear tankards, and mayst bear arms? Be rul'd; turn gallant. Eastward Ho! Ta ly re, ly re ro! "Who calls Jeronimo? Speak, here I am." Gods-so! how like a sheep thou look'st; a' my conscience, some cowherd begot thee, thou Golding of Golding Hall! Ha, boy?
Gold. Go; ye are a prodigal coxcomb! I a cowherd's son, because I turn not a drunken, whore-hunting rakehell like thyself?
Quick. Rakehell? rakehell?
Offers to draw, and GOLDING trips
up his heels and holds him.
Gold. Pish, in soft terms, ye are a cowardly, bragging boy. I'll ha' you whipp'd.
Quick. Whipp'd? that's good, i' faith! Untruss me!
Gold. No, thou wilt undo thyself. Alas! I behold thee with pity, not with anger; thou common shot-clog, gull of all companies; methinks I see thee already walking in Moorfields without a cloak, with half a hat, without a band, a doublet with three buttons, without a girdle, a hose with one point, and no garter, with a cudgel under thine arm, borrowing and begging threepence.
Takes his sword, and releases him.
Quick. Nay, 'slife! take this and take all. As I am a gentleman born, I'll be drunk, grow valiant, and beat thee.
Gold. Go, thou most madly vain, whom nothing can recover but that which reclaims atheists, and makes great persons sometimes religious calamity. As for my place and life, thus I read:
Whate'er some vainer youth may term disgrace,|
The gain of honest pains is never base;
From trades, from arts, from valor, honor springs;
These three are founts of gentry, yea, of kings.
[A room in Touchstone's house.]
Enter GERTRUDE, MILDRED, BETTRICE, and POLDAVY a tailor; POLDAVY with a fair gown, Scotch farthingale, and French fall in his arms; GERTRUDE in a French head attire and citizen's gown; MILDRED sewing; and BETTRICE leading a monkey after her.
Ger. For the passion of patience, look if Sir Petronel approach that sweet, that fine, that delicate, that for love's sake, tell me if he come. Oh, sister Mil, though my father be a low-capp'd tradesman, yet I must be a lady; and I praise God my mother must call me Madam. Does he come? Off with this gown, for shame's sake; off with this gown: let not my knight take me in the city cut in any hand: tear 't, pax on 't! Does he come? tear 't off. [singing] "Thus, whilst she sleeps, I sorrow for her sake," etc.
Mil. Lord, Sister, with what an immodest impatiency and disgraceful scorn do you put off your city tire. I am sorry to think you imagine to right yourself in wronging that which hath made both you and us.
Ger. I tell you I cannot endure it; I must be a lady. Do you wear your quoif with a London licket, your stammel petticoat with two guards, the buffin gown with the tuft-taffety cape and the velvet lace. I must be a lady, and I will be a lady. I like some humors of the city dames well: to eat cherries only at an angel a pound, good; to dye rich scarlet black, pretty; to line a grogram gown clean thorough with velvet, tolerable; their pure linen, their smocks of three pounds a smock, are to be borne withal. But your mincing niceries, taffeta pipkins, durance petticoats, and silver bodkins God's my life, as I shall be a lady, I cannot endure it! Is he come yet? Lord, what a long knight 't is! [singing] "And ever she cried, 'Shoot home'!" And yet I knew one longer. "And ever she cried, 'Shoot home,' fa, la, ly, re, lo, la!"
Mil. Well, Sister, those that scorn their nest, oft fly with a sick wing.
Mil. Where titles presume to thrust before fit means to second them, wealth and respect often grow sullen, and will not follow. For sure in this I would for your sake I spake not truth: where ambition of place goes before fitness of birth, contempt and disgrace follow. I heard a scholar once say that Ulysses, when he counterfeited himself mad, yok'd cats and foxes and dogs together to draw his plough, whilst he followed and sowed salt; but, sure, I judge them truly mad, that yoke citizens and courtiers, tradesmen and soldiers, a goldsmith's daughter and a knight. Well, Sister, pray God my father sow not salt too.
Ger. Alas! poor Mil, when I am a lady, I'll pray for thee yet, i' faith: nay, and I'll vouchsafe to call thee Sister Mil still; for, though thou art not like to be a lady as I am, yet sure thou art a creature of God's making; and mayest peradventure to be sav'd as soon as I. Does he come? [singing] "And ever and anon she doubled in her song." Now, Lady's my comfort! what a profane ape's here! Tailor, Poldavy, prithee, fit it, fit it: is this a right Scot? Does it clip close, and bear up round?
Pold. Fine and stiffly, i' faith; 't will keep your thighs so cool, and make your waist so small; here was a fault in your body, but I have supplied the defect, with the effect of my steel instrument, which, though it have but one eye, can see to rectify the imperfection of the proportion.
Ger. Most edifying tailor! I protest you tailors are most sanctified members, and make many crooked things go upright. How must I bear my hands? light? light?
Pold. Oh, ay; now you are in the lady-fashion, you must do all things light. Tread light, light. Ay, and fall so; that's the court amble.
She trips about the stage.
Ger. Has the court ne'er a trot?
Pold. No, but a false gallop, lady.
Ger. [singing] "And if she will not go to bed "
Bet. The knight's come, forsooth.
Ger. Is my knight come? O the Lord, my band! Sister, do my cheeks look well? Give me a little box a' the ear, that I may seem to blush; now, now! So, there, there, there!
Enter SIR PETRONEL, MASTER TOUCHSTONE, and MISTRESS TOUCHSTONE.
Here he is! O my dearest delight! Lord, Lord! and how does my knight?
Touch. Fie! with more modesty.
Ger. Modesty! Why, I am no citizen now. Modesty? Am I not to be married? Y' are best to keep me modest, now I am to be a lady!
Pet. Boldness is good fashion and court-like.
Ger. Ay, in a country lady I hope it is, as I shall be. And how chance ye came no sooner, knight?
Pet. Faith, I was so entertain'd in the progress with one Count Epernoum, a Welsh knight; we had a match at balloon, too, with my Lord Whachum, for four crowns.
Ger. At baboon? Jesu! you and I will play at baboon in the country, knight!
Pet. Oh, sweet lady: 't is a strong play with the arm.
Ger. With arm or leg, or any other member, if it be a court sport. And when shall 's be married, my knight?
Pet. I come now to consummate it; and your father may call a poor knight son-in-law.
Touch. Sir, ye are come. What is not mine to keep I must not be sorry to forgo. A hundred pound land her grandmother left her; 't is yours. Herself, as her mother's gift, is yours. But, if you expect aught from me, know my hand and mine eyes open together: I do not give blindly. Work upon that now!
Pet. Sir, you mistrust not my means? I am a knight.
Touch. Sir, sir, what I know not, you will give me leave to say I am ignorant of.
Mist. T. Yes, that he is a knight! I know where he had money to pay the gentlemen ushers and heralds their fees. Ay, that he is a knight! And so might you have been too, if you had been aught else than an ass, as well as some of your neighbors. An I thought you would not ha' been knighted, as I am an honest woman, I would ha' dubb'd you myself. I praise God I have wherewithal. But, as for you, Daughter
Ger. Ay, Mother, I must be a lady tomorrow; and, by your leave, Mother (I speak it not without my duty, but only in the right of my husband), I must take place of you, Mother.
Mist. T. That you shall, Lady-Daughter, and have a coach as well as I, too.
Ger. Yes, Mother. But by your leave, Mother (I speak it not without my duty, but only in my husband's right), my coach horses must take the wall of your coach horses.
Touch. Come, come, the day grows low. 'T is supper time: use my house; the wedding solemnity is at my wife's cost; thank me for nothing but my willing blessing; for I cannot feign my hopes are faint. And, sir, respect my daughter; she has refus'd for you wealthy and honest matches, known good men, well moneyed, better traded, best reputed.
Ger. Body a' truth! chitizens, chitizens! Sweet knight, as soon as ever we are married, take me to thy mercy out of this miserable chity; presently carry me out of the scent of Newcastle coal and the hearing of Bow-bell; I beseech thee, down with me, for God sake!
Touch. Well, Daughter, I have read that old wit sings:
Work upon that now!
The greatest rivers flow from little springs:|
Though thou art full, scorn not thy means at first;
He that's most drunk may soonest be athirst.
All but TOUCHSTONE, MILDRED,
No, no! yond' stand my hopes. Mildred, come hither, Daughter. And how approve you your sister's fashion? how do you fancy her choice? what dost thou think?
Mil. I hope, as a sister, well.
Touch. Nay, but, nay, but how dost thou like her behavior and humor? Speak freely.
Mil. I am loath to speak ill; and yet I am sorry of this I cannot speak well.
Touch. Well; very good, as I would wish; a modest answer. Golding, come hither; hither, Golding. How dost thou like the knight, Sir Flash? Does he not look big? How lik'st thou the elephant? He says he has a castle in the country.
Gold. Pray Heaven, the elephant carry not his castle on his back.
Touch. 'Fore Heaven, very well! But, seriously, how dost repute him?
Gold. The best I can say of him is, I know him not!
Touch. Ha, Golding! I commend thee, I approve thee, and will make it appear my affection is strong to thee. My wife has her humor, and I will ha' mine. Dost thou see my daughter here? She is not fair, well-favored or so, indifferent, which modest measure of beauty shall not make it thy only work to watch her, nor sufficient mischance to suspect her. Thou art towardly, she is modest; thou art provident, she is careful. She's now mine. Give me thy hand; she's now thine. Work upon that now!
Gold. Sir, as your son, I honor you; and, as your servant, obey you.
Touch. Sayest thou so? Come hither, Mildred. Do you see yond' fellow? He is a gentleman, though my prentice, and has somewhat to take too: a youth of good hope; well friended, well parted. Are you mine? You are his. Work, you, upon that now!
Mil. Sir, I am all yours; your body gave me life; your care and love, happiness of life; let your virtue still direct it, for to your wisdom I wholly dispose myself.
Touch. Say'st thou so? Be you two better acquainted. Lip her, lip her, knave. So, shut up shop; in. We must make holiday.
Exeunt GOLDING and MILDRED.
This match shall on, for I intend to prove
Which thrives the best, the mean or lofty love:
Whether fit wedlock vow'd 'twixt like and like,
Or prouder hopes, which daringly o'erstrike
Their place and means. 'T is honest time's expense,
When seeming lightness bears a moral sense.
Work upon that now.
ACT II SCENE I
[Goldsmith's Row. The inner stage represents Touchstone's stall.]
TOUCHSTONE, GOLDING, and MILDRED are discovered sitting on either side of the stall.
Touch. Quicksilver! Master Francis Quicksilver! Master Quicksilver!
Quick. Here, sir; (ump!)
Touch. So, sir; nothing but flat "Master Quicksilver," without any familiar addition will fetch you. Will you truss my points, sir?
Quick. Ay, forsooth; (ump!)
Touch. How now, sir! the drunken hiccup so soon this morning?
Quick. 'Tis but the coldness of my stomach, forsooth.
Touch. What! have you the cause natural for it? Y' are a very learned drunkard: I believe I shall miss some of my silver spoons with your learning. The nuptial night will not moisten your throat sufficiently, but the morning likewise must rain her dews into your gluttonous weasand.
Quick. An 't please you, sir, we did but drink (ump!) to the coming off of the knightly bridegroom.
Touch. To the coming off an him?
Quick. Ay, forsooth, we drunk to his coming on (ump!), when we went to bed; and, now we are up, we must drink to his coming off: for that's the chief honor of a soldier, sir; and therefore we must drink so much the more to it, forsooth (ump!)
Touch. A very capital reason! So that you go to bed late, and rise early to commit drunkenness! You fulfil the scripture very sufficient wickedly, forsooth.
Quick. The knight's men, forsooth, be still a' their knees at it (ump!) and because 'tis for your credit, sir, I would be loath to flinch.
Touch. I pray, sir, e'en to 'em again, then; y'are one of the separated crew, one of my wife's faction, and my young lady's, with whom, and with their great match, I will have nothing to do.
Quick. So, sir; now I will go keep my (ump!) credit with 'em, an 't please you, sir.
Touch. In any case, sir, lay one cup of sack more a' your cold stomach, I beseech you.
Quick. Yes, forsooth.
Touch. This is for my credit! Servants ever maintain drunkenness in their master's house for their master's credit a good idle serving man's reason. I thank Time the night is past; I ne'er wak'd to such cost; I think we have stow'd more sorts of flesh in our bellies than ever Noah's ark received; and, for wine, why my house turns giddy with it, and more noise in it than at a conduit. Ay, me, even beasts condemn our gluttony. Well, 'tis our city's fault, which, because we commit seldom, we commit the more sinfully; we lose no time in our sensuality, but we make amends for it. Oh, that we would do so in virtue and religious negligences! But see, here are all the sober parcels my house can show. I'll eavesdrop hear what thoughts they utter this morning.
GOLDING and MILDRED come forward.
Gold. But is it possible that you, seeing your sister preferr'd to the bed of a knight, should contain your affections in the arms of a prentice?
Re-enter QUICKSILVER, unlac'd, a towel about his neck, in his flat cap, drunk.
Mil. I had rather make up the garment of my affections in some of the same piece than, like a Fool, wear gowns of two colors, or mix sackcloth with satin.
Gold. And do the costly garments, the title and fame of a lady, the fashion, observation, and reverence proper to such preferment, no more inflame you than such convenience as my poor means and industry can offer to your virtues?
Mil. I have observ'd that the bridle given to those violent flatteries of fortune is seldom recover'd; they bear one headlong in desire from one novelty to another; and where those ranging appetites reign, there is ever more passion than reason: no stay, and so no happiness. These hasty advancements are not natural. Nature hath given us legs to go to our objects; not wings to fly to them.
Gold. How dear an object you are to my desires I cannot express; whose fruition would my master's absolute consent and yours vouchsafe me, I should be absolutely happy. And, though it were a grace so far beyond my merit that I should blush with unworthiness to receive it, yet thus far both my love and my means shall assure your requital: you shall want nothing fit for your birth and education; what increase of wealth and advancement the honest and orderly industry and skill of our trade will afford in any, I doubt not will be aspir'd by me; I will ever make your contentment the end of my endeavors; I will love you above all; and only your grief shall be my misery, and your delight my felicity.
Touch. [aside] Work upon that now! By my hopes, he woos honestly and orderly; he shall be anchor of my hopes. Look, see the ill-yok'd monster, his fellow!
Quick. Eastward Ho! "Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia!"
Touch. [aside] Drunk now downright, a' my fidelity!
Quick. (Ump!) Pulldo, pulldo! showse, quoth the caliver.
Gold. Fie, fellow Quicksilver, what a pickle are you in!
Quick. Pickle? Pickle in thy throat; 'zouns, pickle! Wa, ha, ho! Good morrow, knight Petronel. Morrow, lady Goldsmith. Come off, knight, with a counterbuff, for the honor of knighthood.
Gold. Why, how now, sir? Do ye know where you are?
Quick. Where I am? Why, 'sblood, you jolt-head, where I am!
Gold. Go to, go to, for shame go to bed, and sleep out this immodesty; thou sham'st both my master and his house.
Quick. Shame? what shame? I thought thou wouldst show thy bringing up; an thou wert a gentleman as I am, thou wouldst think it no shame to be drunk. Lend me some money; save my credit; I must dine with the serving men and their wives and their wives, sirrah!
Gold. E'en who you will; I'll not lend thee threepence.
Quick. 'Sfoot; lend me some money; "hast thou not Hyren here?"
Touch. Why, how now, sirrah? what vein's this, ha?
Quick. "Who cries on murther? Lady, was it you?" How does our master? Pray thee, cry "Eastward Ho!"
Touch. Sirrah, sirrah, y'are past your hiccup now; I see y' are drunk
Quick. 'Tis for your credit, Master.
Touch. And hear you keep a whore in town.
Quick. 'Tis for your credit, Master.
Touch. And what you are out in cash I know.
Quick. So do I. My father's a gentleman. Work upon that now! Eastward Ho!
Touch. Sir, "Eastward Ho" will make you go Westward Ho! I will no longer dishonest my house, nor endanger my stock with your license. There, sir: there's your indenture; all your apparel (that I must know) is on your back; and from this time my door is shut to you: from me be free; but, for other freedom and the moneys you have wasted, "Eastward Ho" shall not serve you.
Quick. Am I free a' my fetters? Rent, fly with a duck in thy mouth; and now I tell thee, Touchstone
Touch. Good sir
Quick. "When this eternal substance of my soul "
Touch. Well said; change your gold ends for your play ends.
Quick. "Did live imprison'd in my wanton flesh "
Touch. What then, sir?
Quick. "I was a courtier in the Spanish court,
And Don Andrea was my name."
Touch. Good Master Don Andrea, will you march?
Quick. Sweet Touchstone, will you lend me two shillings?
Touch. Not a penny.
Quick. Not a penny? I have friends, and I have acquaintance; I will piss at thy shop posts, and throw rotten eggs at thy sign. Work upon that now!
Touch. Now, sirrah, you! hear you? You shall serve me no more neither not an hour longer.
Gold. What mean you, sir?
Touch. I mean to give thee thy freedom, and with thy freedom my daughter, and with my daughter a father's love; and, with all these, such a portion as shall make knight Petronel himself envy thee! Y' are both agreed, are ye not?
Ambo. With all submission, both of thanks and duty.
Touch. Well then, the great power of Heaven bless and confirm you. And, Golding, that my love to thee may not show less than my wife's love to my eldest daughter, thy marriage feast shall equal the knight's and hers.
Gold. Let me beseech you, no, sir; the superfluity and cold meat left at their nuptials will, with bounty, furnish ours. The grossest prodigality is superfluous cost of the belly; nor would I wish any invitement of states or friends; only your reverend presence and witness shall sufficiently grace and confirm us.
Touch. Son to mine own bosom, take her and my blessing. The nice fondling, my Lady Sir-reverence, that I must not now presume to call daughter, is so ravish'd with desire to hansel her new coach and see her knight's Eastward Castle, that the next morning will sweat with her busy setting forth. Away will she and her mother; and, while their preparation is making, ourselves, with some two or three other friends, will consummate the humble match we have in God's name concluded.
'Tis to my wish; for I have often read,
Fit birth, fit age, keeps long a quiet bed.
'Tis to my wish; for tradesmen, well 'tis known,
Get with more ease than gentry keeps his own.
[Before SECURITY'S House.]
Enter SECURITY, solus.
Sec. My privy guest, lusty Quicksilver, has drunk too deep of the bride-bowl; but, with a little sleep, he is much recovered; and, I think, is making himself ready to be drunk in a gallanter likeness. My house is as 't were the cave where the young outlaw hoards the stolen vails of his occupation; and here, when he will revel it in his prodigal similitude, he retires to his trunks, and (I may say softly) his punks: he dares trust me with the keeping of both; for I am security itself; my name is Security, the famous usurer.
Enter QUICKSILVER in his prentice's coat and cap, his gallant breeches and stockings, gartering himself.
Quick. Come, old Security, thou father of destruction! th' indented sheepskin is burn'd wherein I was wrapp'd; and I am now loose, to get more children of perdition into thy usurous bonds. Thou feed'st my lechery, and I thy covetousness; thou art pander to me for my wench, and I to thee for thy cozenages. K. me, K. thee runs through court and country.
Enter SINDEFY, with QUICKSILVER'S doublet, cloak, rapier, and dagger.
Sec. Well said, my subtle Quicksilver! These K's ope the doors to all this world's felicity; the dullest forehead sees it. Let not Master Courtier think he carries all the knavery on his shoulders: I have known poor Hob in the country, that has worn hobnails on 's shoes, have as much villainy in 's head as he that wears gold buttons in 's cap.
Quick. Why, man, 't is the London highway to thrift; if virtue be us'd, 't is but as a scrap to the net of villainy. They that use it simply, thrive simply, I warrant. Weight and fashion makes goldsmiths cuckolds.
Sin. Here, sir, put off the other half of your prenticeship.
Quick. Well said, sweet Sin. Bring forth my bravery.
Now let my trunks shoot forth their silks conceal'd;
I now am free, and now will justify
My trunks and punks. Avaunt, dull flat cap, then!
Via, the curtain that shadowed Borgia!
There lie, thou husk of my envassall'd state;
I, Samson, now have burst the Philistines' bands,
And in thy lap, my lovely Dalila,
I'll lie and snore out my enfranchis'd state.
When Samson was a tall young man,|
His power and strength increased than;
He sold no more nor cup nor can;
But did them all despise.
Old Touchstone, now write to thy friends
For one to sell thy base gold ends;
Quicksilver now no more attends
But, dad, hast thou seen my running gelding dress'd to-day?
Enter WINIFRED above.
Win. Where is my Cu there? Cu?
Sec. That I have, Frank. The ostler a' th' Cock dressed him for a breakfast.
Quick. What, did he eat him?
Sec. No, but he ate his breakfast for dressing him; and so dress'd him for breakfast.
Quick. O witty age! where age is young in wit,
And all youths' words have graybeards full of it!
Sin. But alas, Frank! how will all this be maintain'd now? Your place maintain'd it before.
Quick. Why, and I maintain'd my place. I'll to the court: another manner of place for maintenance, I hope, than the silly city. I heard my father say, I heard my mother sing an old song and a true: "Thou art a she fool, and know'st not what belongs to our male wisdom." I shall be a merchant, forsooth! trust my estate in a wooden trough as he does? What are these ships but tennis balls for the winds to play withal? toss'd from one wave to another; now under-line, now over the house; sometimes brick-wall'd against a rock, so that the guts fly out again; sometimes struck under the wide hazard, and farewell, Master Merchant.
Sin. Well, Frank, well: the seas, you say, are uncertain: but he that sails in your court seas shall find 'em ten times fuller of hazard; wherein to see what is to be seen is torment more than a free spirit can endure; but, when you come to suffer, how many injuries swallow you! What care and devotion must you use to humor an imperious lord, proportion your looks to his looks, smiles to his smiles; fit your sails to the winds of his breath!
Quick. Tush! he's no journeyman in his craft that cannot do that.
Sin. But he's worse then a prentice that does it, not only humoring the lord, but every trencher-bearer, every groom that by indulgence and intelligence crept into his favor, and by panderism into his chamber. He rules the roast; and, when my honorable Lord says it shall be thus, my worshipful rascal, the groom of his close-stool, says it shall not be thus, claps the door after him, and who dares enter? A prentice, quoth you? 'T is but to learn to live; and does that disgrace a man? He that rises hardly, stands firmly; but he that rises with ease, alas, falls as easily.
Quick. A pox on you! who taught you this morality?
Sec. 'T is 'long of this witty age, Master Francis. But, indeed, Mistress Sindefy, all trades complain of inconvenience, and therefore 't is best to have none. The merchant, he complains and says, "Traffic is subject to much uncertainty and loss." Let 'em keep their goods on dry land, with a vengeance, and not expose other men's substances to the mercy of the winds, under protection of a wooden wall, as Master Francis says; and all for greedy desire to enrich themselves with unconscionable gain, two for one, or so; where I, and such other honest men as live by lending money, are content with moderate profit, thirty or forty i' th' hundred, so we may have it with quietness, and out of peril of wind and weather, rather than run those dangerous courses of trading, as they do.
Quick. Ay, dad, thou mayst well be called Security, for thou takest the safest course.
Sec. Faith, the quieter, and the more contented, and, out of doubt, the more godly; for merchants, in their courses, are never pleas'd, but ever repining against Heaven: one prays for a westerly wind, to carry his ship forth; another for an easterly, to bring his ship home; and, at every shaking of a leaf, he falls into an agony, to think what danger his ship is in on such a coast, and so forth. The farmer, he is ever at odds with the weather: sometimes the clouds have been too barren; sometimes the heavens forget themselves. Their harvests answer not their hopes: sometimes the season falls out too fruitful, corn will bear no price, and so forth. Th' artificer, he's all for a stirring world: if his trade be too dull, and fall short of his expectation, then falls he out of joint. Where we that trade nothing but money are free from all this; we are pleas'd with all weathers. Let it rain or hold up, be calm or windy, let the season be whatsoever, let trade go how it will, we take all in good part, e'en what please the Heavens to send us, so the sun stand not still and the moon keep her usual returns, and make up days, months, and years.
Quick. And you have good security!
Sec. Ay, marry, Frank, that's the special point.
Quick. And yet, forsooth, we must have trades to live withal; for we cannot stand without legs, nor fly without wings, and a number of such scurvy phrases. No, I say still, he that has wit, let him live by his wit; he that has none, let him be a tradesman.
Sec. Witty Master Francis! 'T is pity any trade should dull that quick brain of yours. Do but bring knight Petronel into my parchment toils once, and you shall never need to toil in any trade, a' my credit. You know his wife's land?
Quick. Even to a foot, sir; I have been often there: a pretty fine seat, good land, all entire within itself.
Sec. Well wooded?
Quick. Two hundred pounds' worth of wood ready to fell. And a fine sweet house, that stands just in the midst an 't, like a prick in the midst of a circle; would I were your farmer, for a hundred pound a year!
Sec. Excellent Master Francis! how I do long to do thee good! How I do hunger and thirst to have the honor to enrich thee! Ay, even to die, that thou mightest inherit my living; even hunger and thirst! For, a' my religion, Master Francis and so tell knight Petronel I do it to do him a pleasure.
Quick. Marry, dad, his horses are now coming up to bear down his lady; wilt thou lend him thy stable to set 'em in?
Sec. Faith, Master Francis, I would be loth to lend my stable out of doors; in a greater matter I will pleasure him, but not in this.
Quick. A pox of your hunger and thirst! Well, dad, let him have money; all he could anyway get is bestowed on a ship now bound for Virginia; the frame of which voyage is so closely convey'd that his new lady nor any of her friends know it. Notwithstanding, as soon as his lady's hand is gotten to the sale of her inheritance, and you have furnish'd him with money, he will instantly hoist sail and away.
Sec. Now a frank gale of wind go with him, Master Frank! we have too few such knight adventurers! Who would not sell away competent certainties to purchase, with any danger, excellent uncertainties? Your true knight venturer ever does it. Let his wife seal to-day; he shall have his money to-day.
Quick. To-morrow she shall, dad, before she goes into the country; to work her to which action with the more engines, I purpose presently to prefer my sweet Sin here to the place of her gentlewoman; whom you, for the more credit, shall present as your friend's daughter, a gentlewoman of the country, new come up with a will for awhile to learn fashions forsooth, and be toward some lady; and she shall buzz pretty devices into her lady's ear; feeding her humors so serviceably, as the manner of such as she is, you know
Sec. True, good Master Francis.
Quick. That she shall keep her port open to anything she commends to her.
Sec. A' my religion, a most fashionable project; as good she spoil the lady, as the lady spoil her; for 't is three to one of one side. Sweet Mistress Sin, how are you bound to Master Francis! I do not doubt to see you shortly wed one of the head men of our city.
Sin. But, sweet Frank, when shall my father Security present me?
Quick. With all festination; I have broken the ice to it already; and will presently to the knight's house, whither, my good old dad, let me pray thee, with all formality to man her.
Sec. Command me, Master Francis; I do hunger and thirst to do thee service! Come, sweet Mistress Sin, take leave of my Winifred, and we will instantly meet frank Master Francis at your lady's.
Sec. Ay, Winnie.
Win. Wilt thou come in, sweet Cu?
Sec. Ay, Winnie, presently.
Exeunt all but QUICKSILVER.
Quick. "Ay, Winnie," quod he. That's all he can do, poor man; he may well cut off her name at "Winnie." Oh, 't is an egregious pander! What will not an usurous knave be, so he may be rich? Oh, 't is a notable Jews' trump! I hope to live to see dogs' meat made of the old usurer's flesh, dice of his bones, and indentures of his skin; and yet his skin is too thick to make parchment; 't would make good boots for a peterman to catch salmon in. Your only smooth skin to make fine vellum is your Puritan's skin; they be the smoothest and slickest knaves in a country.
Enter SIR PETRONEL, in boots, with a riding-wand.
Pet. I'll out of this wicked town as fast as my horse can trot! Here's now no good action for a man to spend his time in. Taverns grow dead; ordinaries are blown up; plays are at a stand; houses of hospitality at a fall; not a feather waving, nor a spur jingling anywhere. I'll away instantly.
Quick. Y'ad best take some crowns in your purse, knight, or else your Eastward Castle will smoke but miserably.
Pet. Oh, Frank! my castle? Alas! all the castles I have are built with air, thou know'st.
Quick. I know it, knight, and therefore wonder whither your lady is going.
Pet. Faith, to seek her fortune, I think. I said I had a castle and land eastward, and eastward she will, without contradiction; her coach and the coach of the sun must meet full butt. And, the sun being outshined with her Ladyship's glory, she fears he goes westward to hang himself.
Quick. And I fear, when her enchanted castle becomes invisible, her Ladyship will return and follow his example.
Pet. Oh, that she would have the grace! for I shall never be able to pacify her, when she sees herself deceived so.
Quick. As easily as can be. Tell her she mistook your directions, and that shortly yourself will down with her to approve it; and then clothe but her crupper in a new gown, and you may drive her any way you list. For these women, sir, are like Essex calves: you must wriggle 'em on by the tail still, or they will never drive orderly.
Pet. But, alas, sweet Frank! thou know'st my ability will not furnish her blood with those costly humors.
Quick. Cast that cost on me, sir. I have spoken to my old pander, Security, for money or commodity; if you will, I know he will procure you.
Pet. Commodity! Alas! what commodity?
Quick. Why, sir, what say you to figs and raisins?
Pet. A plague of figs and raisins, and all such frail commodities! We shall make nothing of 'em.
Quick. Why then, sir, what say you to forty pound in roasted beef?
Pet. Out upon't. I have less stomach to that than to the figs and raisins. I'll out of town, though I sojourn with a friend of mine; for stay here I must not: my creditors have laid to arrest me, and I have no friend under heaven but my sword to bail me.
Quick. God's me, knight, put 'em in sufficient sureties, rather than let your sword bail you! Let 'em take their choice, either the King's Bench or the Fleet, or which of the two Counters they like best, for, by the Lord, I like none of 'em.
Pet. Well, Frank, there is no jesting with my earnest necessity; thou know'st if I make not present money to further my voyage begun, all's lost, and all I have laid out about it.
Quick. Why, then, sir, in earnest; if you can get your wise lady to set her hand to the sale of her inheritance, the bloodhound, Security, will smell out ready money for you instantly.
Pet. There spake an angel: to bring her to which conformity, I must fain myself extremely amorous; and, alleging urgent excuses for my stay behind, part with her as passionately as she would from her foisting hound.
Quick. You have the sow by the right ear, sir. I warrant there was never child long'd more to ride a cockhorse or wear his new coat than she longs to ride in her new coach. She would long for everything when she was a maid, and now she will run mad for 'em. I lay my life, she will have every year four children; and what charge and change of humor you must endure while she is with child, and how she will tie you to your tackling till she be with child, a dog would not endure. Nay, there is no turnspit dog bound to his wheel more servilely than you shall be to her wheel; for, as that dog can never climb the top of his wheel but when the top comes under him, so shall you never climb the top of her contentment but when she is under you.
Pet. 'Slight, how thou terrifiest me!
Quick. Nay, hark you, sir; what nurses, what midwives, what fools, what physicians, what cunning women must be sought for (fearing sometimes she is bewitch'd, sometimes in a consumption), to tell her tales, to talk bawdy to her, to make her laugh, to give her glisters, to let her blood under the tongue and betwixt the toes; how she will revile and kiss you, spit in your face, and lick it off again; how she will vaunt you are her creature; she made you of nothing; how she could have had thousand-mark jointures; she could have been made a lady by a Scotch knight, and never ha' married him; she could have had panadas in her bed every morning; how she set you up, and how she will pull you down you'll never be able to stand of your legs to endure it.
Pet. Out of my fortune! what a death is my life bound face to face to! The best is, a large time-fitted conscience is bound to nothing: marriage is but a form in the school of policy, to which scholars sit fast'ned only with painted chains. Old Security's young wife is ne'er the further off with me.
Quick. Thereby lies a tale, sir. The old usurer will be here instantly, with my punk Sindefy, whom you know your lady has promis'd me to entertain for her gentlewoman; and he, with a purpose to feed on you, invites you most solemnly by me to supper.
Pet. It falls out excellently fitly; I see desire of gain makes jealously venturous.
See, Frank, here comes my lady. Lord, how she views thee! She knows thee not, I think, in this bravery.
Enter SECURITY and SINDEFY.
Ger. How now? who be you, I pray?
Quick. One Master Francis Quicksilver, an 't please your Ladyship.
Ger. [aside] God's my dignity! as I am a lady, if he did not make me blush so that mine eyes stood a-water. Would I were unmarried again!
Where's my woman, I pray?
Quick. See, madam, she now comes to attend you.
Sec. God save my honorable knight and his worshipful lady!
Ger. Y' are very welcome; you must not put on your hat yet.
Sec. No, madam; till I know your Ladyship's further pleasure, I will not presume.
Ger. And is this a gentleman's daughter new come out of the country?
Sec. She is, madam; and one that her father hath a special care to bestow in some honorable lady's service, to put her out of her honest humors, forsooth; for she had a great desire to be a nun, an 't please you.
Ger. A nun? what nun? a nun substantive? or a nun adjective?
Sec. A nun substantive, madam, I hope if a nun be a noun. But, I mean, lady, a vow'd maid of that order.
Ger. I'll teach her to be a maid of the order, I warrant you. And can you do any work belongs to a lady's chamber?
Sin. What I cannot do, madam, I would be glad to learn.
Ger. Well said! Hold up, then; hold up your head, I say; come hither a little.
Sin. I thank your Ladyship.
Ger. And hark you good man, you may put on your hat now; I do not look on you I must have you of my faction now; not of my knight's, maid.
Sin. No, forsooth, Madam, of yours.
Ger. And draw all my servants in my bow, and keep my counsel, and tell me tales, and put me riddles, and read on a book sometimes when I am busy, and laugh at country gentlewomen, and command anything in the house for my retainers; and care not what you spend, for it is all mine; and, in any case, be still a maid, whatsoever you do, or whatsoever any man can do unto you.
Sec. I warrant your Ladyship for that.
Ger. Very well; you shall ride in my coach with me into the country, to-morrow morning. Come, knight, pray thee let's make a short supper, and to bed presently.
Sec. Nay, good madam, this night I have a short supper at home waits on his Worship's acceptation.
Ger. By my faith, but he shall not go, sir; I shall swoon an he sup from me.
Pet. Pray thee, forbear; shall he lose his provision?
Ger. Ay, by'r Lady, sir, rather than I lose my longing. Come in, I say; as I am a lady, you shall not go.
Quick. [aside] I told him what a burr he had gotten.
Sec. If you will not sup from your knight, madam, let me entreat your Ladyship to sup at my house with him.
Ger. No, by my faith, sir; then we cannot be abed soon enough after supper.
Pet. [aside] What a med'cine is this! Well, Master Security, you are new married as well as I; I hope you are bound as well. We must honor our young wives, you know.
Quick. [aside to SECURITY] In policy, dad, till to-morrow she has seal'd.
Sec. I hope in the morning yet your Knighthood will breakfast with me.
Pet. As early as you will, sir.
Sec. Thank your good Worship; I do hunger and thirst to do you good, sir!
Ger. Come, sweet knight, come; I do hunger and thirst to be abed with thee!
ACT III SCENE I
Enter PETRONEL, QUICKSILVER, SECURITY, BRAMBLE, and WINIFRED.
Pet. Thanks for our feastlike breakfast, good Master Security; I am sorry, by reason of my instant haste to so long a voyage as Virginia, I am without means by any kind amends to show how affectionately I take your kindness, and to confirm by some worthy ceremony a perpetual league of friendship betwixt us.
Bram. And you foreright winds, sir, and a fortunate voyage.
Enter a Messenger.
Sec. Excellent knight! let this be a token betwixt us of inviolable friendship. I am new married to this fair gentlewoman, you know; and, by my hope to make her fruitful, though I be something in years, I vow faithfully unto you to make you godfather, though in your absence, to the first child I am blest withal; and henceforth call me gossip, I beseech you, if you please to accept it.
Pet. In the highest degree of gratitude, my most worthy gossip; for confirmation of which friendly title, let me entreat my fair gossip, your wife here, to accept this diamond, and keep it as my gift to her first child, wheresoever my fortune, in event of my voyage, shall bestow me.
Sec. How now, my coy wedlock! Make you strange of so noble a favor? Take it, I charge you, with all affection, and, by way of taking your leave, present boldly your lips to our honorable gossip.
Quick. [aside] How vent'rous he is to him, and how jealous to others!
Pet. Long may this kind touch of our lips print in our hearts all the forms of affection. And now, my good gossip, if the writings be ready to which my wife should seal, let them be brought this morning before she takes coach into the country, and my kindness shall work her to dispatch it.
Sec. The writings are ready, sir. My learned counsel here, Master Bramble the lawyer, hath perus'd them; and within this hour I will bring the scrivener with them to your worshipful lady.
Pet. Good Master Bramble, I will here take my leave of you, then. God send you fortunate pleas, sir, and contentious clients!
Mess. Sir Petronel, here are three or four gentlemen desire to speak with you.
Enter SEAGULL, SCAPETHRIFT, and SPENDALL.
Pet. What are they?
Quick. They are your followers in this voyage, knight: Captain Seagull and his associates; I met them this morning, and told them you would be here.
Pet. Let them enter, I pray you; I know they long to be gone, for their stay is dangerous.
Sea. God save my honorable colonel!
Pet. Welcome, good Captain Seagull and worthy gentlemen. If you will meet my friend Frank here and me at the Blue Anchor Tavern by Billingsgate this evening, we will there drink to our happy voyage, be merry, and take boat to our ship with all expedition.
Sea. Defer it no longer, I beseech you, sir; but, as your voyage is hitherto carried closely, and in another knight's name, so for your own safety and ours, let it be continued; our meeting and speedy purpose of departing known to as few as is possible, lest your ship and goods be attach'd.
Quick. Well advis'd, captain; our colonel shall have money this morning, to dispatch all our departures. Bring those gentlemen at night to the place appointed, and, with our skins full of vintage, we'll take occasion by the vantage, and away.
Spend. We will not fail but be there, sir.
Pet. Good morrow, good Captain, and my worthy associates. Health and all sovereignty to my beautiful gossip! For you, sir, we shall see you presently with the writings.
Sec. With writings and crowns to my honorable gossip. I do hunger and thirst to do you good, sir.
Enter a Coachman in haste, in 's frock, feeding.
Coach. Here's a stir when citizens ride out of town, indeed, as if all the house were afire! 'Slight! they will not give a man leave to eat 's breakfast afore he rises.
Enter HAMLET, a footman, in haste.
Ham. What, coachman! My Lady's coach, for shame! Her Ladyship's ready to come down.
Enter POTKIN, a tankard-bearer.
Pot. 'Sfoot, Hamlet, are you mad? Whither run you now? You should brush up my old mistress!
Sin. What, Potkin! You must put off your tankard and put on your blue
coat, and wait upon Mistress Touchstone into the country.
Pot. I will, forsooth, presently.
Enter MISTRESS FOND and MISTRESS GAZER.
Fond. Come, sweet Mistress Gazer, let's watch here, and see my Lady Flash take coach.
Enter GERTRUDE, MISTRESS TOUCHSTONE, SINDEFY, HAMLET, and POTKIN.
Gaz. A' my word, here's a most fine place to stand in; did you see the new ship launch'd last day, Mistress Fond?
Fond. O God! an we citizens should lose such a sight!
Gaz. I warrant here will be double as many people to see her take coach as there were to see it take water.
Fond. Oh, she's married to a most fine castle i' th' country, they say!
Gaz. But there are no giants in the castle, are there?
Fond. Oh, no; they say her knight kill'd 'em all; and therefore he was knighted.
Gaz. Would to God her Ladyship would come away!
Fond. She comes, she comes, she comes!
Gaz. and Fond. Pray Heaven bless your Ladyship!
Ger. Thank you, good people! My coach, for the love of Heaven, my coach! In good truth I shall swoon else.
Ham. Coach, coach, my Lady's coach!
Ger. As I am a lady, I think I am with child already, I long for a coach so. May one be with child afore they are married, Mother?
Mist. T. Ay, by'r Lady, madam; a little thing does that: I have seen a little prick no bigger then a pin's head swell bigger and bigger, till it has come to an ancome; and e'en so 't is in these cases.
Ham. Your coach is coming, madam.
Ger. That's well said. Now, Heaven! methinks I am e'en up to the knees in preferment.
But a little higher, but a little higher, but a little higher,|
There, there, there lies Cupid's fire!
Mist. T. But must this young man, an 't please you, madam, run by your coach all the way afoot?
Enter PETRONEL and QUICKSILVER.
Ger. Ay, by my faith, I warrant him; he gives no other milk, as I have another servant does.
Mist. T. Alas! 't is e'en pity, methinks; for God's sake, madam, buy him but a hobby-horse; let the poor youth have something betwixt his legs to ease 'em. Alas! we must do as we would be done to.
Ger. Go to, hold your peace, dame; you talk like an old fool, I tell you!
Pet. Wilt thou be gone, sweet honeysuckle, before I can go with thee?
Ger. I pray thee, sweet knight, let me; I do so long to dress up thy castle afore thou com'st. But I mar'l how my modest sister occupies herself this morning, that she cannot wait on me to my coach, as well as her mother.
Quick. Marry, madam, she's married by this time to prentice Golding. Your father, and someone more, stole to church with 'em in all the haste, that the cold meat left at your wedding might serve to furnish their nuptial table.
Ger. There's no base fellow, my father, now; but he's e'en fit to father such a daughter. He must call me "daughter" no more now: but "madam," and "please you, madam"; and "please your Worship, madam," indeed. Out upon him! marry his daughter to a base prentice?
Mist. T. What should one do? Is there no law for one that marries a woman's daughter against her will? How shall we punish him, madam?
Ger. As I am a lady, an 't would snow, we'd so pebble 'em with snowballs as they come from church; but, sirrah Frank Quicksilver
Quick. Ay, madam.
Ger. Dost remember since thou and I clapp'd what-d'ye-call'ts in the garret?
Quick. I know not what you mean, madam.
His head as white as milk,|
All flaxen was his hair;
But now he is dead,
And laid in his bed,
And never will come again.
God be at your labor!
Enter TOUCHSTONE, GOLDING, and MILDRED with rosemary.
Pet. [aside] Was there ever such a lady?
Quick. See, madam, the bride and bridegroom!
Ger. God's my precious! God give you joy, Mistress What-lack-you! Now out upon thee, baggage! My sister married in a taffeta hat! Marry, hang you! Westward with a wanion t' ye! Nay, I have done wi' ye, minion, then, i' faith; never look to have my countenance any more, nor anything I can do for thee. Thou ride in my coach, or come down to my castle? fie upon thee! I charge thee in my Ladyship's name, call me "sister" no more.
Touch. An 't please your Worship, this is not your sister: this is my daughter, and she calls me "Father," and so does not your Ladyship, an 't please your Worship, madam.
Mist. T. No, nor she must not call thee father by heraldry, because thou mak'st thy prentice thy son as well as she. Ah, thou misproud prentice! dar'st thou presume to marry a lady's sister?
Gold. It pleas'd my master, forsooth, to embolden me with his favor; and, though I confess myself far unworthy so worthy a wife, being in part her servant, as I am your prentice, yet, since (I may say it without boasting) I am born a gentleman, and, by the trade I have learn'd of my master, which I trust taints not my blood, able, with mine own industry and portion, to maintain your daughter, my hope is Heaven will so bless our humble beginning that in the end I shall be no disgrace to the grace with which my master hath bound me his double prentice.
Touch. Master me no more, son, if thou think'st me worthy to be thy father.
Ger. "Sun"? Now, good Lord, how he shines, an you mark him! He's a gentleman!
Gold. Ay, indeed, madam, a gentleman born.
Pet. Never stand a' your gentry, Master Bridegroom; if your legs be no better than your arms, you'll be able to stand upon neither shortly.
Touch. An 't please your good Worship, sir, there are two sorts of gentlemen.
Pet. What mean you, sir?
Touch. Bold to put off my hat to your Worship
Pet. Nay, pray forbear, sir, and then forth with your two sorts of gentlemen.
Touch. If your Worship will have it so! I say there are two sorts of gentlemen. There is a gentleman artificial, and a gentleman natural. Now, though your Worship be a gentleman natural work upon that now!
Quick. Well said, old Touchstone; I am proud to hear thee enter a set speech, i' faith; forth, I beseech thee.
Touch. Cry you mercy, sir, your Worship's a gentleman I do not know. If you be one of my acquaintance, y' are very much disguis'd, sir.
Quick. Go to, old quipper; forth with thy speech, I say.
Touch. What, sir, my speeches were ever in vain to your gracious Worship; and therefore, till I speak to you gallantry indeed I will save my breath for my broth anon. Come, my poor son and daughter, let us hide ourselves in our poor humility, and live safe. Ambition consumes itself with the very show. Work upon that now!
Exeunt TOUCHSTONE, GOLDING and|
Ger. Let him go, let him go, for God's sake! let him make his prentice his son, for God's sake! give away his daughter, for God's sake! and when they come a-begging to us, for God's sake, let's laugh at their good husbandry for God's sake. Farewell, sweet knight, pray thee make haste after.
Pet. What shall I say? I would not have thee go.
Now, oh, now, I must depart;|
Parting, though it absence move
This ditty, knight, do I see in thy looks in capital letters.
What a grief 'tis to depart, and leave the flower that has my heart!|
My sweet lady, and, alack for woe, why should we part so?
Tell truth, knight, and shame all dissembling lovers; does not your pain lie on that side?
Enter SECURITY, with a Scrivener.
Pet. If it do, canst thou tell me how I may cure it?
Quick. Excellent easily. Divide yourself in two halves, just by the girdlestead; send one half with your lady, and keep the tother yourself; or else do as all true lovers do, part with your heart and leave your body behind. I have seen 't done a hundred times: 't is as easy a matter for a lover to part without a heart from his sweetheart, and he ne'er the worse, as for a mouse to get from a trap and leave her tail behind her. See, here comes the writings.
Sec. Good morrow to my worshipful Lady. I present your Ladyship with this writing, to which, if you please to set your hand with your knight's, a velvet gown shall attend your journey, a' my credit.
Ger. What writing is it, knight?
Pet. The sale, sweetheart, of the poor tenement I told thee of, only to make a little money to send thee down furniture for my castle, to which my hand shall lead thee.
Ger. Very well. Now give me your pen, I pray.
Quick. [aside] It goes down without chewing, i' faith.
Scriv. Your Worships deliver this as your deed?
Ambo. We do.
Ger. So now, knight, farewell till I see thee!
Pet. All farewell to my sweetheart.
Mist. T. Good-bye, son knight.
Pet. Farewell, my good mother!
Ger. Farewell, Frank! I would fain take thee down if I could.
Quick. I thank your good Ladyship. Farewell, Mistress Sindefy!
Exeunt GERTRUDE and her party.
Pet. O tedious voyage, whereof there is no end!
What will they think of me?
Quick. Think what they list. They long'd for a vagary into the country; and now they are fitted. So a woman marry to ride in a coach, she cares not if she ride to her ruin. 'T is the great end of many of their marriages. This is not first time a lady has rid a false journey in her coach, I hope.
Pet. Nay, 't is no matter, I care little what they think; he that weighs men's thoughts has his hands full of nothing. A man, in the course of this world, should be like a surgeon's instrument, work in the wounds of others, and feel nothing himself. The sharper and subtler, the better.
Quick. As it falls out now, knight, you shall not need to devise excuses, or endure her outcries, when she returns; we shall now be gone before, where they can not reach us.
Pet. Well, my kind compere, you have now th' assurance we both can make you; let me now entreat you the money we agreed on may be brought to the Blue Anchor, near to Billingsgate, by six a'clock; where I and my chief friends, bound for this voyage, will with feasts attend you.
Sec. The money, my most honorable compere, shall without fail observe your appointed hour.
Pet. Thanks, my dear gossip. I must now impart
To your approved love a loving secret,
As one on whom my life doth more rely
In friendly trust than any man alive.
Nor shall you be the chosen secretary
Of my affections for affection only;
For I protest, if God bless my return,
To make you partner in my action's gain
As deeply as if you had ventur'd with me
Half my expenses. Know then, honest gossip,
I have enjoyed with such divine contentment
A gentlewoman's bed whom you well know,
That I shall ne'er enjoy this tedious voyage,
Nor live the least part of the time it asketh,
Without her presence; so "I thirst and hunger"
To taste the dear feast of her company.
And, if the "hunger" and "the thirst" you vow
As my sworn gossip, to my wished good
Be, as I know it is, unfeign'd and firm,
Do me an easy favor in your power.
Sec. Be sure, brave gossip, all that I can do,
To my best nerve, is wholly at your service.
Who is the woman, first, that is your friend?
Pet. The woman is your learned counsel's wife,
The lawyer, Master Bramble; whom would you
Bring out this even in honest neighborhood,
To take his leave, with you, of me your gossip,
I, in the mean time, will send this my friend
Home to his house, to bring his wife, disguis'd,
Before his face, into our company;
For love hath made her look for such a wile,
To free her from his tyrannous jealousy;
And I would take this course before another,
In stealing her away, to make us sport,
And gull his circumspection the more grossly;
And I am sure that no man like yourself
Hath credit with him to entice his jealousy
To so long stay abroad as may give time
To her enlargement in such safe disguise.
Sec. A pretty, pithy, and most pleasant project!
Who would not strain a point of neighborhood
For such a point-device? that, as the ship
Of famous Draco went about the world,
Will wind about the lawyer, compassing
The world, himself; he hath it in his arms,
And that's enough for him, without his wife.
A lawyer is ambitious, and his head
Cannot be prais'd nor rais'd too high,
With any fork of highest knavery.
I'll go fetch him straight.
Pet. So, so! Now, Frank, go thou home to his house,
'Stead of his lawyer's, and bring his wife hither,
Who, just like to the lawyer's wife, is prison'd
With his stern usurous jealousy, which could never
Be overreach'd thus but with overreaching.
Sec. And, Master Francis, watch you th' instant time
Two fine horn'd beasts, a camel and a lawyer!
To enter with his exit: 't will be rare,
Quick. How the old villain joys in villainy!
Sec. And hark you, gossip, when you have her here,
Have your boat ready, ship her to your ship
With utmost haste, lest Master Bramble stay you.
To o'erreach that head that outreacheth all heads!
'T is a trick rampant! 't is a very quibblin!
I hope this harvest to pitch cart with lawyers,
Their heads will be so forked. This sly touch
Will get apes to invent a number such.
Quick. Was ever rascal honeyed so with poison?
"He that delights in slavish avarice,
Is apt to joy in every sort of vice."
Well, I'll go fetch his wife, whilst he the lawyer.
Pet. But stay, Frank, let's think how we may disguise her.
Upon this sudden.
Quick. God's me, there's the mischief!
But hark you, here's an excellent device
'Fore God, a rare one! I will carry her
A sailor's gown and cap, and cover her,
And a player's beard.
Pet. And what upon her head?
Quick. I tell you, a sailor's cap! 'Slight, God forgive me!
What kind of figent memory have you?
Pet. Nay, then, what kind of figent wit hast thou?
A sailor's cap? how shall she put it off
When thou present'st her to our company?
Quick. Tush, man, for that, make her a saucy sailor!
Pet. Tush, tush! 't is no fit sauce for such sweet mutton.
I know not what t' advise.
Enter SECURITY with his wife's gown.
Sec. Knight, knight, a rare device!
And now I will go fetch him.
Pet. Sownes, yet again?
Quick. What stratagem have you now?
Sec. The best that ever you talk'd of disguising?
Pet. Ay, marry, gossip, that's our present care.
Sec. Cast care away then; here's the best device
For plain Security (for I am no better),
I think, that ever liv'd; here's my wife's gown,
Which you may put upon the lawyer's wife,
And which I brought you, sir, for two great reasons:
One is, that Master Bramble may take hold
Of some suspicion that it is my wife,
And gird me so perhaps with his law wit;
The other, which is policy indeed,
Is that my wife may now be tied at home,
Having no more but her old gown abroad,
And not show me a quirk, while I firk others.
Is not this rare?
Ambo. The best that ever was.
Sec. Am I not born to furnish gentlemen?
Pet. O my dear gossip!
Sec. Well, hold, Master Francis;
Watch, when the lawyer's out, and put it in.
Quick. O my dad!
He goes as 't were the Devil to fetch the lawyer;
And devil shall he be, if horns will make him.
Pet. Why, how now, gossip? why stay you there musing?
Fetch the wench, Frank.
Sec. A toy, a toy runs in my head, i' faith.
Quick. A pox of that head! is there more toys yet?
Pet. What is it, pray thee, gossip?
Sec. Why, sir, what if you
Should slip away now with my wife's best gown,
I having no security for it?
Quick. For that, I hope, dad, you will take our words.
Sec. Ay, by th' mass, your word; that's a proper staff
For wise Security to lean upon!
But 't is no matter; once I'll trust my name
On your crack'd credits; let it take no shame.
Quick. I'll wait upon you, sir.
And fetch you over, you were ne'er so fetch'd.
Go to the tavern, knight; your followers
Dare not be drunk, I think, before their captain.
Pet. Would I might lead them to no hotter service
Till our Virginian gold were in our purses!
[A room in the Blue Anchor Tavern.]
Enter SEAGULL, SPENDALL, and SCAPETHRIFT, in the tavern, with a Drawer.
Seagull. Come, drawer, pierce your neatest hogsheads, and let's have cheer, not fit for your Billingsgate tavern, but for our Virginian colonel; he will be here instantly.
Draw. You shall have all things fit, sir; please you have any more wine?
Spend. More wine, slave! Whether we drink it or no, spill it, and draw more.
Scape. Fill all the pots in your house with all sorts of liquor, and let 'em wait on us here like soldiers in their pewter coats; and, though we do not employ them now, yet we will maintain 'em till we do.
Draw. Said like an honorable captain; you shall have all you can command, sir.
Sea. Come, boys, Virginia longs till we share the rest of her maidenhead.
Spend. Why, is she inhabited already with any English?
Sea. A whole country of English is there, man, bred of those that were left there in '79; they have married with the Indians, and make 'em bring forth as beautiful faces as any we have in England; and therefore the Indians are so in love with 'em that all the treasure they have they lay at their feet.
Scape. But is there such treasure there, Captain, as I have heard?
Sea. I tell thee, gold is more plentiful there than copper is with us; and for as much red copper as I can bring, I'll have thrice the weight in gold. Why, man, all their dripping-pans and their chamber pots are pure gold; and all their chains with which they chain up their streets are massy gold; all the prisoners they take are fetter'd in gold; and, for rubies and diamonds, they go forth on holidays and gather 'em by the seashore, to hang on their children's coats, and stick in their caps, as commonly as our children wear saffron gilt brooches and groats with holes in 'em.
Scape. And is it a pleasant country withal?
Sea. As ever the sun shin'd on; temperate, and full of all sorts of excellent viands: wild boar is as common there as our tamest bacon is here; venison, as mutton. And then you shall live freely there, without sergeants, or courtiers, or lawyers, or intelligencers, only a few industrious Scots, perhaps, who indeed are dispers'd over the face of the whole earth. But, as for them, there are no greater friends to Englishmen and England, when they are out on't, in the world, than they are. And, for my part, I would a hundred thousand of 'em were there, for we are all one countrymen now, ye know; and we should find ten times more comfort of them there than we do here. Then, for your means to advancement there, it is simple, and not preposterously mix'd. You may be an alderman there, and never be scavenger; you may be a nobleman, and never be a slave. You may come to preferment enough, and never be a pander; to riches and fortune enough, and have never the more villainy nor the less wit.
Spend. Gods me! and how far is it thither?
Sea. Some six weeks' sail, no more, with any indifferent good wind. And, if I get to any part of the coast of Africa, I'll sail thither with any wind; or, when I come to Cape Finisterre, there's a foreright wind continually wafts us till we come at Virginia. See, our colonel's come.
Enter SIR PETRONEL.
Pet. Well met, good Captain Seagull and my noble gentlemen! Now the sweet hour of our freedom is at hand. Come, drawer! Fill us some carouses, and prepare us for the mirth that will be occasioned presently. Here will be a pretty wench, gentlemen, that will bear us company all our voyage.
Enter SECURITY and BRAMBLE.
Sea. Whatsoever she be, here's to her health, noble colonel, both with cap and knee.
Pet. Thanks, kind Captain Seagull; she's one I love dearly and must not be known, till we be free from all that know us. And so, gentlemen, here's to her health.
Ambo. Let it come, worthy Colonel; we do hunger and thirst for it!
Pet. Afore Heaven, you have hit the phrase of one that her presence will touch from the foot to the forehead, if ye knew it.
Spend. Why, then, we will join his forehead with her health, sir; and, Captain Scapethrift, here's to 'em both.
Sec. See, see, Master Bramble, 'fore Heaven, their voyage cannot but prosper! they are o' their knees for success to it!
Enter QUICKSILVER, with WINNIE, disguis'd.
Bram. And they pray to god Bacchus.
Sec. God save my brave colonel, with all his tall captains and corporals. See, sir, my worshipful learned counsel, Master Bramble, is come to take his leave of you.
Pet. Worshipful Master Bramble, how far do you draw us into the sweet briar of your kindness! Come, Captain Seagull, another health to this rare Bramble, that hath never a prick about him.
Sea. I pledge his most smooth disposition, sir. Come, Master Security, bend your supporters, and pledge this notorious health here.
Sec. Bend you yours likewise, Master Bramble; for it is you shall pledge me.
Sea. Not so, Master Security; he must not pledge his own health.
Sec. No, Master Captain?
Why, then, here's one is fitly come to do him that honor.
Quick. Here's the gentlewoman your cousin, sir, whom, with much entreaty, I have brought to take her leave of you in a tavern; asham'd whereof, you must pardon her if she put not off her mask.
Pet. Pardon me, sweet Cousin; my kind desire to see you before I went made me so importunate to entreat your presence here.
Sec. How now, Master Francis, have you honor'd this presence with a fair gentlewoman?
Quick. Pray, sir, take you no notice of her, for she will not be known to you.
Sec. But my learned counsel, Master Bramble here, I hope may know her.
Quick. No more than you, sir, at this time; his learning must pardon her.
Sec. Well, God pardon her, for my part; and I do, I'll be sworn. And so, Master Francis, here's to all that are going eastward to-night towards Cuckold's Haven; and so to the health of Master Bramble.
Quick. I pledge it, sir. [kneeling] Hath it gone round, captains?
Sea. It has, sweet Frank; and the round closes with thee.
Quick. Well, sir, here's to all eastward and toward cuckolds, and so to famous Cuckold's Haven, so fatally rememb'red.
Pet. [to WINIFRED] Nay, pray thee, coz, weep not. Gossip Security.
Sec. Ay, my brave gossip.
Pet. A word, I beseech you, sir. [aside] Our friend, Mistress Bramble here, is so dissolv'd in tears, that she drowns the whole mirth of our meeting. Sweet gossip, take her aside and comfort her.
Sec. [aside to WINIFRED] Pity of all true love, Mistress Bramble; what, weep you to enjoy your love? What's the cause, lady? Is 't because your husband is so near, and your heart earns to have a little abus'd him? Alas, alas! the offence is too common to be respected. So great a grace hath seldom chanc'd to so unthankful a woman; to be rid of an old jealous dotard, to enjoy the arms of a loving young knight, that, when your prickless Bramble is withered with grief of your loss, will make you flourish afresh in the bed of a lady.
Draw. Sir Petronel, here's one of your watermen come to tell you it will be flood these three hours; and that 't will be dangerous going against the tide; for the sky is overcast, and there was a porpoise even now seen at London Bridge, which is always the messenger of tempests, he says.
Pet. A porpoise! what's that to th' purpose? Charge him, if he love his life, to attend us. Can we not reach Blackwall, where my ship lies, against the tide, and in spite of tempests? Captains and gentlemen, we'll begin a new ceremony at the beginning of our voyage, which I believe will be follow'd of all future adventurers.
Sea. What's that, good Colonel?
Pet. This, Captain Seagull. We'll have our provided supper brought aboard Sir Francis Drake's ship, that hath compass'd the world; where, with full cups and banquets, we will do sacrifice for a prosperous voyage. My mind gives me that some good spirits of the waters should haunt the desert ribs of her, and be auspicious to all that honor her memory, and will with like orgies enter their voyages.
Sea. Rarely conceited! One health more to this motion, and aboard to perform it. He that will not this night be drunk, may he never be sober.
They compass in WINIFRED, dance|
the drunken round, and drink
Bram. Sir Petronel and his honorable captains, in these young services we old servitors may be spar'd. We only came to take our leaves, and, with one health to you all, I'll be bold to do so. Here, neighbor Security, to the health of Sir Petronel and all his captains.
Sec. You must bend, then, Master Bramble. [They kneel.] So, now I am for you. I have one corner of my brain, I hope, fit to bear one carouse more. Here, lady, to you that are encompass'd there, and are asham'd of our company. [They drink, and rise.] Ha, ha, ha! by my troth, my learn'd counsel, Master Bramble, my mind runs so of Cuckold's Haven to-night that my head runs over with admiration.
Bram. [aside to SECURITY] But is not that your wife, neighbor?
Sec. [aside to BRAMBLE.] No, by my troth, Master Bramble. Ha, ha, ha! A pox of all Cuckold's Havens, I say!
Bram. [aside to SECURITY] A' my faith, her garments are exceeding like your wife's.
Sec. Cucullus non facit monachum, my learned counsel; all are not cuckolds that seem so; nor all seem not that are so. Give me your hand, my learn'd counsel; you and I will sup somewhere else than at Sir Francis Drake's ship to-night. Adieu, my noble gossip!
Bram. Good fortune, brave captains; fair skies God send ye!
Omnes. Farewell, my hearts, farewell!
Pet. Gossip, laugh no more at Cuckold's Haven, gossip.
Sec. I have done, I have done, sir. Will you lead, Master Bramble? Ha, ha, ha!
Pet. Captain Seagull, charge a boat.
Omnes. A boat, a boat, a boat!
Exeunt all except Drawer.
Draw. Y' are in a proper taking indeed, to take a boat, especially at this time of night, and against tide and tempest. They say yet, "Drunken
men never take harm." This night will try the truth of that proverb.
Sec. What, Winnie! Wife, I say! Outdoors at this time! Where should I seek the gadfly? Billingsgate, Billingsgate, Billingsgate! She's gone with the knight, she's gone with the knight! woe be to thee, Billingsgate! A boat! a boat! a boat! a full hundred marks for a boat!
ACT IV SCENE I
Enter SLITGUT with a pair of ox-horns, discovering Cuckold's Haven above.
Slit. All hail, fair haven of married men only! for there are none but married men cuckolds. For my part, I presume not to arrive here but in my master's behalf, a poor butcher of Eastcheap, who sends me to set up, in honor of Saint Luke, these necessary ensigns of his homage. And up I got this morning, thus early, to get up to the top of this famous tree, that is all fruit and no leaves, to advance this crest of my master's occupation. Up then! Heaven and Saint Luke bless me, that I be not blown into the Thames as I climb, with this furious tempest. 'Slight! I think the Devil be abroad, in likeness of a storm, to rob me of my horns! Hark how he roars! Lord! what a coil the Thames keeps! She bears some unjust burthen, I believe, that she kicks and curvets thus to cast it. Heaven bless all honest passengers that are upon her back now; for the bit is out of her mouth, I see, and she will run away with 'em! So, so! I think I have made it look the right way. It runs against London Bridge, as it were, even full butt. And now let me discover from this lofty prospect, what pranks the rude Thames plays in her desperate lunacy. O me! here's a boat has been cast away hard by. Alas, alas, see one of her passengers laboring for his life to land at this haven here! Pray Heaven he may recover it! His next land is even just under me. Hold out yet a little; whatsoever thou art, pray, and take a good heart to thee. 'T is a man; take a man's heart to thee; yet a little further, get up a' thy legs, man; now 't is shallow enough. So, so, so! Alas! he's down again. Hold thy wind, father. 'T is a man in a nightcap. So! now he's got up again; now he's past the worst: yet, thanks be to Heaven, he comes toward me pretty and strongly.
Enter SECURITY, without his hat, in a nightcap, wet band, etc.
Sec. Heaven, I beseech thee, how have I offended thee! where am I cast ashore now, that I may go a righter way home by land? Let me see; Oh, I am scarce able to look about me. Where is there any sea-mark that I am acquainted withal?
back and drown myself.
Slit. Look up, father; are you acquainted with this mark?
Sec. What! landed at Cuckold's Haven? Hell and damnation! I will run
Slit. Poor man, how weak he is! the weak water has wash'd away his strength.
Sec. Landed at Cuckold's Haven! If it had not been to die twenty times alive, I should never have 'scap'd death! I will never arise more; I will grovel here and eat dirt till I be chok'd; I will make the gentle earth do that which the cruel water has denied me.
Slit. Alas, good father, be not so desperate! Rise man; if you will, I'll come presently and lead you home.
Sec. Home! shall I make any know my home that has known me thus abroad? How low shall I crouch away, that no eye may see me? I will creep on the earth while I live, and never look heaven in the face more.
Slit. What young planet reigns now, trow, that old men are so foolish? What desperate young swaggerer would have been abroad such a weather as this, upon the water? Ay me, see another remnant of this unfortunate shipwrack! or some other. A woman, i' faith, a woman; though it be almost at Saint Kath'rine's, I discern it to be a woman, for all her body is above the water, and her clothes swim about her most handsomely. Oh, they bear her up most bravely! Has not a woman reason to love the taking up of her clothes the better while she lives, for this? Alas, how busy the rude Thames is about her! A pox a' that wave! It will drown her, i' faith, 't will drown her! Cry God mercy, she has scap'd it! I thank Heaven she has scap'd it! Oh, how she swims, like a mermaid! Some vigilant body look out and save her. That's well said; just where the priest fell in, there's one sets down a ladder, and goes to take her up. God's blessing a' thy heart, boy! Now take her up in thy arms and to bed with her. She's up, she's up! She's a beautiful woman, I warrant her; the billows durst not devour her.
Enter the Drawer in the tavern before, with WINIFRED.
Draw. How fare you now, lady?
Win. Much better, my good friend, than I wish: as one desperate of her fame, now my life is preserv'd.
Draw. Comfort yourself. That Power that preserved you from death can likewise defend you from infamy, howsoever you deserve it. Were not you one that took boat late this night, with a knight and other gentlemen at Billingsgate?
Win. Unhappy that I am, I was.
Draw. I am glad it was my good hap to come down thus far after you, to a house of my friends here in Saint Kath'rine's, since I am now happily made a mean to your rescue from the ruthless tempest, which, when you took boat, was so extreme, and the gentleman that brought you forth so desperate and unsober, that I fear'd long ere this I should hear of your shipwrack, and therefore, with little other reason, made thus far this way. And this I must tell you, since perhaps you may make use of it, there was left behind you at our tavern, brought by a porter hir'd by the young gentleman that brought you, a gentlewoman's gown, hat, stockings, and shoes; which, if they be yours, and you please to shift you, taking a hard bed here in this house of my friend, I will presently go fetch you.
Win. Thanks, my good friend, for your more than good news. The gown with all things bound with it are mine; which if you please to fetch as you have promis'd, I will boldly receive the kind favor you have offered till your return; entreating you, by all the good you have done in preserving me hitherto, to let none take knowledge of what favor you do me, or where such a one as I am bestowed, lest you incur me much more damage in my fame than you have done me pleasure in preserving my life.
Draw. Come in, lady, and shift yourself; resolve that nothing but your own pleasure shall be us'd in your discovery.
Win. Thank you, good friend; the time may come, I shall requite you.
Exeunt Drawer and WINIFRED.
Slit. See, see, see! I hold my life, there's some other a-taking up at Wapping now! Look, what a sort of people cluster about the gallows there! in good troth, it is so. O me! a fine young gentleman! What, and taken up at the gallows? Heaven grant he be not one day taken down there! A' my life, it is ominous. Well, he is delivered for the time. I see the people have all left him; yet will I keep my prospect awhile, to see if any more have been shipwrack'd.
Enter QUICKSILVER, bareheaded.
Quick. Accurs'd that ever I was sav'd or born!
Hath wrought upon the others' desperate lives.
Enter PETRONEL and SEAGULL, bareheaded.
How fatal is my sad arrival here!
As if the stars and Providence spake to me,
And said, "The drift of all unlawful courses,
Whatever end they dare propose themselves,
In frame of their licentious policies,
In the firm order of just destiny,
They are the ready highways to our ruins."
I know not what to do; my wicked hopes
Are, with this tempest, torn up by the roots.
Oh, which way shall I bend my desperate steps,
In which unsufferable shame and misery
Will not attend them? I will walk this bank,
And see if I can meet the other relics
Of our poor shipwrack'd crew, or hear of them.
The knight, alas, was so far gone with wine,
And th' other three, that I refus'd their boat,
And took the hapless woman in another,
Who cannot but be sunk, whatever Fortune
Pet. Zounds, Captain, I tell thee we are cast up o' the coast of France. 'Sfoot! I am not drunk still, I hope! Dost remember where we were last night?
Enter two Gentlemen.
Sea. No, by my troth, knight, not I; but methinks we have been a horrible while upon the water and in the water.
Pet. Ay me, we are undone forever. Hast any money about thee?
Sea. Not a penny, by Heaven!
Pet. Not a penny betwixt us, and cast ashore in France!
Sea. Faith, I cannot tell that; my brains nor mine eyes are not mine own yet.
Pet. 'Sfoot! wilt not believe me? I know 't by th' elevation of the pole, and by the altitude and latitude of the climate. See! Here comes a couple of French gentlemen; I knew we were in France; dost thou think our Englishmen are so Frenchified that a man knows not whether he be in France or in England, when he sees 'em? What shall we do? We must e'en to 'em, and entreat some relief of 'em. Life is sweet, and we have no other means to relieve our lives now but their charities.
Sea. Pray you, do you beg on 'em then; you can speak French.
Pet. Monsieur, plaist il d'avoir pitie de nostre grande infortunes? Je suis un povre chevalier d'Angleterre qui a souffri l'infortune de naufrage.
1 Gent. Un povre chevalier d'Angleterre?
Pet. Oui, monsieur, il est trop vraye; mais vous scaves bien nous sommes toutes subject a fortune.
2 Gent. A poor knight of England? a poor knight of Windsor, are you not? Why speak you this broken French, when y' are a whole Englishman? On what coast are you, think you?
Pet. On the coast of France, sir.
1 Gent. On the coast of Dogs, sir; y' are i' th' Isle a' Dogs, I tell you. I see y' ave been wash'd in the Thames here, and I believe ye were drown'd in a tavern before, or else you would never have took boat in such a dawning as this was. Farewell, farewell; we will not know you, for shaming of you. I ken the man weel; he's one of my thirty pound knights.
2 Gent. No, no, this is he that stole his knighthood o' the grand day for four pound, giving to a page all the money in's purse, I wot well.
Sea. Death! Colonel, I knew you were overshot.
Pet. Sure I think now, indeed, Captain Seagull, we were something overshot.
What! my sweet Frank Quicksilver! dost thou survive, to rejoice me? But what! nobody at thy heels, Frank? Ay me! what is become of poor Mistress Security?
Quick. Faith, gone quite from her name, as she is from her fame, I think; I left her to the mercy of the water.
Sea. Let her go, let her go! Let us go to our ship at Blackwall, and shift us.
Pet. Nay, by my troth, let our clothes rot upon us, and let us rot in them; twenty to one our ship is attach'd by this time! If we set her not under sail this last tide, I never look'd for any other. Woe, woe is me! what shall become of us? The last money we could make the greedy Thames has devour'd; and, if our ship be attach'd, there is no hope can relieve us.
Quick. 'Sfoot, knight! what an unknightly faintness transports thee! Let our ship sink, and all the world that's without us be taken from us, I hope I have some tricks in this brain of mine shall not let us perish.
Sea. Well said, Frank, i' faith. O my nimble-spirited Quicksilver! 'Fore God, would thou hadst been our colonel!
Pet. I like his spirit rarely; but I see no means he has to support that spirit.
Quick. Go to, knight! I have more means than thou art aware of. I have not liv'd amongst goldsmiths and goldmakers all this while but I have learned something worthy of my time with 'em. And, not to let thee stink where thou stand'st, knight, I'll let thee know some of my skill presently.
Sea. Do, good Frank, I beseech thee.
Quick. I will blanch copper so cunningly that it shall endure all proofs but the test: it shall endure malleation, it shall have the ponderosity of Luna, and the tenacity of Luna, by no means friable.
Pet. 'Slight! where learn'st thou these terms, trow?
Quick. Tush, knight! the terms of this art every ignorant quacksalver is perfect in; but I'll tell you how yourself shall blanch copper thus cunningly. Take ars'nic, otherwise call realga (which indeed is plain ratsbane); sublime him three or four times; then take the sublimate of this realga and put him into a glass, into chymia, and let him have a convenient decoction natural, four-and-twenty hours, and he will become perfectly fix'd; then take this fixed powder, and project him upon well-purg'd copper, et habebis magisterium.
Ambo. Excellent Frank, let us hug thee!
Quick. Nay, this I will do besides: I'll take you off twelvepence from every angel, with a kind of aqua fortis, and never deface any part of the image.
Pet. But then it will want weight!
Quick. You shall restore that thus: take your sal achyme prepar'd, and your distill'd urine, and let your angels lie in it but four-and-twenty hours, and they shall have their perfect weight again. Come on, now; I hope this is enough to put some spirit into the livers of you; I'll infuse more another time. We have saluted the proud air long enough with our bare sconces. Now will I have you to a wench's house of mine at London, there make shift to shift us, and, after, take such fortunes as the stars shall assign us.
Ambo. Notable Frank, we will ever adore thee!
Enter Drawer with WINIFRED new attir'd.
Win. Now, sweet friend, you have brought me near enough your tavern, which I desired that I might with some color be seen near, inquiring for my husband, who, I must tell you, stale thither last night with my wet gown we have left at your friend's, which, to continue your former honest kindness, let me pray you to keep close from the knowledge of any; and so, with all vow of your requital, let me now entreat you to leave me to my woman's wit, and fortune.
for attend you.
Draw. All shall be done you desire; and so all the fortune you can wish
Sec. I will once more to this unhappy tavern before I shift one rag of me more; that I may there know what is left behind, and what news of their passengers. I have bought me a hat and band with the little money I had about me, and made the streets a little leave staring at my nightcap.
Win. Oh, my dear husband! where have you been to-night? All night abroad at taverns? Rob me of my garments, and fare as one run away from me? Alas! is this seemly for a man of your credit, of your age, and affection to your wife?
Sec. What should I say? how miraculously sorts this! Was not I at home, and call'd thee last night?
Win. Yes, sir, the harmless sleep you broke; and my answer to you would have witness'd it, if you had had the patience to have stay'd and answered me; but your so sudden retreat made me imagine you were gone to Master Bramble's, and so rested patient and hopeful of your coming again, till this your unbelieved absence brought me abroad with no less than wonder, to seek you where the false knight had carried you.
Sec. Villain and monster that I was! How have I abus'd thee! I was suddenly gone indeed, for my sudden jealousy transferred me! I will say no more but this, dear wife: I suspected thee.
Win. Did you suspect me?
Sec. Talk not of it, I beseech thee; I am ashamed to imagine it. I will home, I will home; and every morning on my knees ask thee heartily forgiveness.
Exeunt SECURITY and WINIFRED.
Slit. Now will I descend my honorable prospect, the farthest-seeing sea-mark of the world: no marvel, then, if I could see two miles about me. I hope the red tempest's anger be now overblown, which sure I think Heaven sent as a punishment for profaning holy Saint Luke's memory with so ridiculous a custom. Thou dishonest satire! Farewell to honest married men! farewell to all sorts and degrees of thee! Farewell, thou horn of hunger, that call'st th' inns a' court to their manger! Farewell, thou horn of abundance, that adornest the headsmen of the commonwealth! Farewell, thou horn of direction, that is the city lanthorn! Farewell, thou horn of pleasure, the ensign of the huntsman! Farewell, thou horn of destiny, th' ensign of the married man! Farewell, thou horn tree, that
bearest nothing but stone fruit!
[A room in TOUCHSTONE'S, house.]
Touch. Ha, sirrah! thinks my knight adventurer we can no point of our compass? Do we not know north-north-east, north-east and by east, east and by north, nor plain eastward? Ha! have we never heard of Virginia, nor the Cavallaria, nor the Colonoria? Can we discover no discoveries? Well, mine errant Sir Flash, and my runagate Quicksilver, you may drink drunk, crack cans, hurl away a brown dozen of Monmouth caps or so, in sea-ceremony to your bon voyage; but, for reaching any coast, save the coast of Kent or Essex, with this tide, or with this fleet, I'll be your warrant for a Gravesend toast. There's that gone afore will stay your admiral and vice-admiral and rear-admiral, were they all (as they are) but one pinnace, and under sail, as well as a remora, doubt it not; and from this sconce, without either powder or shot. Work upon that now! Nay, an you'll show tricks, we'll vie with you a little. My daughter, his lady, was sent eastward by land to a castle of his i' the air, in what region I know not, and, as I hear, was glad to take up her lodging in her coach, she and her two waiting women (her maid, and her mother), like three snails in a shell, and the coachman a-top on 'em, I think. Since, they have all found the way back again by Weeping Cross; but I'll not see 'em. And, for two on 'em, madam and her malkin, they are like to bite o' the bridle for William, as the poor horses have done all this while that hurried 'em, or else go graze o' the common. So should my Dame Touchstone too; but she has been my cross these thirty years, and I'll now keep her to fright away sprites, i' faith. I wonder I hear no news of my son Golding! He was sent for to the Guildhall this morning betimes, and I marvel at the matter; if I had not laid up comfort and hope in him, I should grow desperate of all. See, he is come i' my thought!
How now, son? What news at the Court of Aldermen?
Enter MISTRESS TOUCHSTONE, GERTRUDE, MILDRED, and SINDEFY.
Gold. Troth, sir, an accident somewhat strange; else, it hath little in it worth the reporting.
Touch. What? It is not borrowing of money, then?
Gold. No, sir; it hath pleas'd the worshipful Commoners of the city to take me one i' their number at presentation of the inquest
Gold. And the alderman of the ward wherein I dwell to appoint me his deputy
Gold. In which place I have had an oath minist'red me, since I went.
Touch. Now, my dear and happy son, let me kiss thy new Worship, and a little boast mine own happiness in thee. What a fortune was it (or rather my judgment, indeed) for me first to see that in his disposition which a whole city so conspires to second! Ta'en into the livery of his company the first day of his freedom! Now, not a week married, chosen Commoner and alderman's deputy in a day! Note but the reward of a thrifty course. The wonder of his time! Well, I will honor Master Alderman for this act, as becomes me, and shall think the better of the Common Council's wisdom and worship, while I live, for thus meeting, or but coming after me, in the opinion of his desert. Forward, my sufficient son! and, as this is the first, so esteem it the least step to that high and prime honor that expects thee.
Gold. Sir, as I was not ambitious of this, so I covet no higher place; it hath dignity enough, if it will but save me from contempt; and I had rather my bearing in this or any other office should add worth to it than the place give the least opinion to me.
Touch. Excellently spoken! This modest answer of thine blushes, as if it said, "I will wear scarlet shortly." Worshipful son! I cannot contain myself; I must tell thee, I hope to see thee one o' the monuments of our city, and reckon'd among her worthies, to be rememb'red the same day with the Lady Ramsey and grave Gresham, when the famous fable of Whittington and his puss shall be forgotten, and thou and thy acts become the posies for hospitals; when thy name shall be written upon conduits, and thy deeds play'd i' thy lifetime by the best companies of actors, and be call'd their get-penny. This I divine; this I prophesy.
Gold. Sir, engage not your expectation farder than my abilities will answer; I, that know mine own strengths, fear 'em; and there is so seldom a loss in promising the least that commonly it brings with it a welcome deceit. I have other news for you, sir.
Touch. None more welcome, I am sure.
Gold. They have their degree of welcome, I dare affirm. The colonel and all his company, this morning putting forth drunk from Billingsgate, had like to have been cast away o' this side Greenwich; and, as I have intelligence by a false brother, are come dropping to town like so many masterless men, i' their doublets and hose, without hat or cloak or any other
Touch. A miracle! the justice of Heaven! Where are they? Let's go presently and lay for 'em.
Gold. I have done that already, sir, both by constables and other officers, who shall take 'em at their old Anchor, and with less tumult or suspicion than if yourself were seen in 't, under color of a great press that is now abroad; and they shall here be brought afore me.
Touch. Prudent and politic son! Disgrace 'em all that ever thou canst; their ship I have already arrested. How to my wish it falls out that thou hast the place of a justicer upon 'em! I am partly glad of the injury done to me, that thou mayst punish it. Be severe i' thy place, like a new officer o' the first quarter, unreflected. You hear how our lady is come back with her train from the invisible castle?
Gold. No; where is she?
Touch. Within; but I ha' not seen her yet, nor her mother, who now begins to wish her daughter undubb'd, they say, and that she had walk'd a foot-pace with her sister. Here they come; stand back.
God save your Ladyship; 'save your good Ladyship! Your Ladyship is welcome from your enchanted castle; so are your beauteous retinue. I hear your knight errant is travell'd on strange adventures. Surely, in my mind, your Ladyship hath "fish'd fair, and caught a frog," as the saying is.
Mist. Touch. Speak to your father, madam, and kneel down.
Ger. Kneel? I hope I am not brought so low yet; though my knight be run away, and has sold my land, I am a lady still.
Touch. Your Ladyship says true, madam; and it is fitter and a greater decorum that I should curtsy to you that are a knight's wife and a lady than you be brought a' your knees to me, who am a poor cullion and your father.
Ger. Law! my father knows his duty.
Mist. T. Oh, child!
Touch. And therefore I do desire your Ladyship, my good Lady Flash, in all humility, to depart my obscure cottage, and return in quest of your bright and most transparent castle, "how ever presently conceal'd to mortal eyes." And, as for one poor woman of your train here, I will take that order she shall no longer be a charge unto you, nor help to spend your Ladyship; she shall stay at home with me, and not go abroad, not put you to the pawning of an odd coach horse or three wheels, but take part with the Touchstone. If we lack, we will not complain to your Ladyship. And so, good madam, with your damosel here, please you to let us see your straight backs in equipage; for truly here is no roost for such chickens as you are, or birds o' your feather, if it like your Ladyship.
Ger. Marry, fyste o' your kindness! I thought as much. Come away, Sin; we shall "as soon get a fart from a dead man as a farthing" of court'sy here.
Mil. Oh, good Sister!
Ger. Sister, Sir Reverence! Come away, I say; hunger drops out at his nose.
Gold. Oh, madam, "Fair words never hurt the tongue."
Ger. How say you by that? You come out with your gold-ends now!
Mist. T. Stay, Lady-daughter. Good husband
Touch. Wife, "no man loves his fetters, be they made of gold." I list not "ha' my head fast'ned under my child's girdle;" "as she has brew'd, so let her drink," a' God's name. She "went witless to wedding," now she may "go wisely a-begging." It's but honeymoon yet with her Ladyship; she has coach horses, apparel, jewels yet left; she needs care for no friends, nor take knowledge of father, mother, brother, sister, or anybody. When those are pawn'd or spent, perhaps we shall return into the list of her acquaintance.
Ger. I scorn it, i' faith. Come, Sin.
Mist. T. Oh, madam, why do you provoke your father thus?
Exit GERTRUDE with SINDEFY.
Touch. Nay, nay, e'en "let pride go afore; shame will follow after," I warrant you. Come, why dost thou weep now? Thou art not "the first good cow" hast "had an ill calf," I trust. [Exit MISTRESS TOUCHSTONE.] What's the news with that fellow?
Gold. Sir, the knight and your man Quicksilver are without; will you ha' 'em brought in?
want foil to set it off.
Touch. Oh, by any means. [Exit Constable.] And, son, here's a chair; appear terrible unto 'em on the first interview. Let them behold the melancholy of a magistrate, and taste the fury of a citizen in office.
Gold. Why, sir, I can do nothing to 'em, except you charge 'em with somewhat.
Touch. I will charge 'em and recharge 'em, rather than authority should
Gold. No, good sir, I will not.
Touch. Son, it is your place; by any means
Gold. Believe it, I will not, sir.
Enter KNIGHT PETRONEL, QUICKSILVER, Constable, and Officers.
Pet. How misfortune pursues us still in our misery!
Quick. Would it had been my fortune to have been truss'd up at Wapping rather than ever ha' come here!
Pet. Or mine to have famish'd in the Island!
Quick. Must Golding sit upon us?
Con. You might carry a Master under your girdle to Master Deputy's Worship.
Gold. What are those, Master Constable?
Con. An 't please your Worship, a couple of masterless men I press'd for the Low Countries, sir.
Gold. Why do you not carry 'em to Bridewell, according to your order, they may be shipp'd away?
Con. An 't please your Worship, one of 'em says he is a knight; and we thought good to show him to your Worship, for our discharge.
Gold. Which is he?
Con. This, sir.
Gold. And what's the other?
Con. A knight's fellow, sir, an 't please you.
Gold. What! a knight and his fellow thus accout'red? Where are their hats and feathers, their rapiers and their cloaks?
Quick. [aside] Oh, they mock us.
Con. Nay, truly, sir, they had cast both their feathers and hats, too, before we see 'em. Here's all their furniture, an 't please you, that we found. They say knights are now to be known without feathers, like cock'rels by their spurs, sir.
Gold. What are their names, say they?
Touch. [aside] Very well, this. He should not take knowledge of 'em in his place, indeed.
Con. This is Sir Petronel Flash.
Con. And this, Francis Quicksilver.
Touch. Is 't possible? I thought your Worship had been gone for Virginia, sir; you are welcome home, sir. Your Worship has made a quick return, it seems, and no doubt a good voyage. Nay, pray you be cover'd, sir. How did your biscuit hold out, sir? Methought I had seen this gentleman afore. Good Master Quicksilver, how a degree to the southward has chang'd you!
Gold. Do you know 'em, Father? Forbear your offers a little, you shall be heard anon.
Touch. Yes, Master Deputy; I had a small venture with them in the voyage a thing call'd a son-in-law, or so. Officers, you may let 'em stand alone: they will not run away; I'll give my word for them, a couple of very honest gentlemen. One of 'em was my prentice, Master Quicksilver here; and when he had two year to serve, kept his whore and his hunting nag, would play his hundred pound at gresco or primero as familiarly (and all a' my purse) as any bright piece of crimson on 'em all; had his changeable trunks of apparel standing at livery, with his mare, his chest of perfum'd linen, and his bathing-tubs, which, when I told him of, why he he was a gentleman, and I a poor Cheapside groom! The remedy was, we must part. Since when he hath had the gift of gathering up some small parcels of mine, to the value of five hundred pound, dispers'd among my customers, to furnish this his Virginian venture; wherein this knight was the chief, Sir Flash one that married a daughter of mine, ladified her, turned two thousand pounds' worth of good land of hers into cash within the first week, bought her a new gown and a coach; sent her to seek her fortune by land, whilst himself prepared for his fortune by sea; took in fresh flesh at Billingsgate, for his own diet, to serve him the whole voyage the wife of a certain usurer call'd Security, who hath been the broker for 'em in all this business. Please, Master Deputy, work upon that now!
Gold. If my worshipful father have ended
Touch. I have, it shall please Master Deputy.
Gold. Well then, under correction
Touch. [aside] Now, son, come over 'em with some fine gird, as thus, "Knight, you shall be encount'red," that is, had to the Counter; or, "Quicksilver, I will put you in a crucible," or so.
Gold. Sir Petronel Flash, I am sorry to see such flashes as these proceed from a gentleman of your quality and rank; for mine own part, I could wish I could say I could not see them; but such is the misery of magistrates and men in place, that they must not wink at offenders. Take him aside. I will hear you anon, sir.
Touch. [aside] I like this well, yet; there's some grace i' the knight left: he cries.
Gold. Francis Quicksilver, would God thou hadst turn'd quacksalver, rather than run into these dissolute and lewd courses! It is great pity; thou art a proper young man, of an honest and clean face, somewhat near a good one; God hath done his part in thee; but thou hast made too much, and been too proud, of that face, with the rest of thy body; for maintenance of which in neat and garish attire, only to be look'd upon by some light housewives, thou hast prodigally consumed much of thy master's estate; and, being by him gently admonish'd at several times, hast return'd thyself haughty and rebellious in thine answers, thund'ring out uncivil comparisons, requiting all his kindness with a coarse and harsh behavior; never returning thanks for any one benefit, but receiving all as if they had been debts to thee, and no courtesies. I must tell thee, Francis, these are manifest signs of an ill nature; and God doth often punish such pride and outrecuidance with scorn and infamy, which is the worst of misfortune. My worshipful father, what do you please to charge them withal? From the press I will free 'em, Master Constable.
Con. Then I'll leave your Worship, sir.
Gold. No, you may stay; there will be other matters against 'em.
Touch. Sir, I do charge this gallant, Master Quicksilver, on suspicion of felony; and the knight, as being accessary in the receipt of my goods.
Quick. O God, sir!
Touch. Hold thy peace, impudent varlet, hold thy peace! With what forehead or face dost thou offer to chop logic with me, having run such a race of riot as thou hast done? Does not the sight of this worshipful man's fortune and temper confound thee, that was thy younger fellow in household, and now come to have the place of a judge upon thee? Dost not observe this? Which of all thy gallants and gamesters, thy swearers and thy swaggerers, will come now to moan thy misfortune, or pity thy penury? They'll look out at a window, as thou rid'st in triumph to Tyburn, and cry, "Yonder goes honest Frank, mad Quicksilver!" "He was a free boon companion, when he had money," says one. "Hang him, fool;" says another; "he could not keep it when he had it!" "A pox o' the cullion, his master," says a third; "he has brought him to this;" when their pox of pleasure, and their piles of perdition, would have been better bestowed upon thee, that hast vent'red for 'em with the best, and by the clue of thy knavery brought thyself weeping to the cart of calamity.
Quick. Worshipful Master!
Touch. Offer not to speak, crocodile; I will not hear a sound come from thee. Thou hast learn'd to whine at the play yonder. Master Deputy, pray you commit 'em both to safe custody, till I be able farther to charge 'em.
Quick. O me! what an infortunate thing am I!
Pet. Will you not take security, sir?
Touch. Yes, marry, will I, Sir Flash, if I can find him, and charge him as deep as the best on you. He has been the plotter of all this; he is your enginer, I hear. Master Deputy, you'll dispose of these? In the mean time, I'll to my Lord Mayor, and get his warrant to seize that serpent, Security, into my hands, and seal up both house and goods to the King's use or my satisfaction.
Gold. Officers, take 'em to the Counter.
Quick. and Pet. O God!
Touch. Nay, on, on; you see the issue of your sloth. Of sloth cometh pleasure, of pleasure cometh riot, of riot comes whoring, of whoring comes spending, of spending comes want, of want comes theft, of theft comes hanging; and there is my Quicksilver fix'd.
ACT V SCENE I
Enter GERTRUDE and SINDEFY.
Ger. Ah, Sin! hast thou ever read i' the chronicle of any lady and her waiting woman driven to that extremity that we are, Sin?
Sin. Not I, truly, madam; and, if I had, it were but cold comfort should come out of books, now.
Ger. Why, good faith, Sin, I could dine with a lamentable story, now. O hone, hone, o no nera! etc. Canst thou tell ne'er a one, Sin?
Sin. None but mine own, madam, which is lamentable enough: first to be stol'n from my friends, which were worshipful and of good account, by a prentice in the habit and disguise of a gentleman, and here brought up to London, and promis'd marriage, and now likely to be forsaken, for he is in possibility to be hang'd!
Ger. Nay, weep not, good Sin; my Petronel is in as good possibility as he. Thy miseries are nothing to mine, Sin; I was more than promis'd marriage, Sin; I had it, Sin; and was made a lady; and by a knight, Sin; which is now as good as no knight, Sin. And I was born in London, which is more then brought up, Sin; and already forsaken, which is past likelihood, Sin; and, instead of land i' the country, all my knight's living lies i' the Counter, Sin; there's his castle, now!
Sin. Which he cannot be forc'd out of, madam.
Ger. Yes, if he would live hungry a week or two. "Hunger," they say, "breaks stone walls." But he is e'en well enough serv'd, Sin, that, so soon as ever he had got my hand to the sale of my inheritance, run away from me, as I had been his punk, God bless us! Would the Knight o' the Sun or Palmerin of England, have us'd their ladies so, Sin? or Sir Lancelot or Sir Tristram?
Sin. I do not know, madam.
Ger. Then thou know'st nothing, Sin. Thou art a fool, Sin. The knighthood nowadays are nothing like the knighthood of old time. They rid a-horseback; ours go afoot. They were attended by their squires, ours by their lackeys. They went buckled in their armor, ours muffled in their cloaks. They travell'd wildernesses and deserts; ours dare scarce walk the streets. They were still press'd to engage their honor, ours still ready to pawn their clothes. They would gallop on at sight of a monster; ours run away at sight of a sergeant. They would help poor ladies; ours make poor ladies.
Sin. Ay, madam, they were knights of the Round Table at Winchester, that sought adventures; but these, of the Square Table at ordinaries, that sit at hazard.
Ger. True, Sin; let him vanish. And tell me, what shall we pawn next?
Sin. Ay, marry, madam, a timely consideration; for our hostess, profane woman, has sworn by bread and salt she will not trust us another meal.
Ger. Let it stink in her hand then. I'll not be beholding to her. Let me see; my jewels be gone, and my gowns, and my red velvet petticoat that I was married in, and my wedding silk stockings, and all thy best apparel, poor Sin! Good faith, rather than thou shouldest pawn a rag more I'd lay my ladyship in lavender if I knew where.
Sin. Alas, madam, your ladyship?
Ger. Ay. Why? You do not scorn my ladyship, though it is in a waistcoat? God's my life! you are a peat indeed! Do I offer to mortgage my ladyship for you and for your avail, and do you turn the lip and the "alas!" to my ladyship?
Sin. No, madam; but I make question who will lend anything upon it.
Ger. Who? marry, enow, I warrant you, if you'll seek 'em out. I'm sure I remember the time when I would ha' given a thousand pound, if I had it, to have been a lady; and I hope I was not bred and born with that appetite alone; some other gentle-born o' the city have the same longing, I trust. And, for my part, I would afford 'em a penny'rth; my ladyship is little the worse for the wearing, and yet I would bate a good deal of the sum. I would lend it, let me see, for forty pounds in hand, Sin; that would apparel us; and ten pound a year: that would keep me and you, Sin, with our needles; and we should never need to be beholding to our scurvy parents! Good Lord! that there are no fairies nowadays, Sin.
Sin. Why, madam?
Ger. To do miracles, and bring ladies money. Sure, if we lay in a cleanly house, they would haunt it, Sin! I'll try. I'll sweep the chamber soon at night, and set a dish of water o' the hearth. A fairy may come and bring a pearl, or a diamond. We do not know, Sin. Or there may be a pot of gold hid o' the back-side, if we had tools to dig for 't! Why may not we two rise early i' the morning, Sin, afore anybody is up, and find a jewel i' the streets worth a hundred pound? May not some great court-lady, as she comes from revels at midnight, look out of her coach as 't is running, and lose such a jewel, and we find it? Ha?
Sin. They are pretty waking dreams, these.
Ger. Or may not some old usurer be drunk overnight, with a bag of money, and leave it behind him on a stall? For God-sake, Sin, let's rise to-morrow by break of day and see. I protest, law, if I had as much money as an alderman, I would scatter some on 't i' th' streets for poor ladies to find, when their knights were laid up. And, now I remember my song o' the "Golden Show'r": why may not I have such fortune? I'll sing it, and try what luck I shall have after it.
Fond fables tell of old|
How Jove in Danaλ's lap
Fell in a shower of gold,
By which she caught a clap;
Oh, had it been my hap,
(Howe'er the blow doth threaten)
So well I like the play,
That I could wish all day
And night to be so beaten.
Enter MISTRESS TOUCHSTONE.
Oh, here's my mother! Good luck, I hope. Ha' you brought any money, Mother? Pray you, Mother, your blessing. Nay, sweet Mother, do not weep.
Ger. Go, Sin, and pray for thy Frank, as I will for my Pet.
Mist. Touch. God bless you! I would I were in my grave!
Ger. Nay, dear Mother, can you steal no more money from my father? Dry your eyes, and comfort me. Alas! it is my knight's fault, and not mine, that I am in a waistcoat, and attired thus simply.
Mist. T. Simply? 'T is better than thou deserv'st. Never whimper for the matter. "Thou should'st have look'd before thou hadst leap'd." Thou wert afire to be a lady, and now your ladyship and you may both "blow at the coal," for aught I know. "Self do, self have." "The hasty person never wants woe," they say.
Ger. Nay then, Mother, you should ha' look'd to it. A body would think you were the older! I did but my kind, I. He was a knight, and I was fit to be a lady. 'T is not lack of liking, but lack of living, that severs us. And you talk like yourself and a citiner in this, i' faith. You show what husband you come on, iwis. You smell the Touchstone he that will do more for his daughter that he has married to a scurvy gold-end man and his prentice, than he will for his tother daughter, that has wedded a knight and his customer. By this light, I think he is not my legitimate father.
Sin. Oh, good madam, do not take up your mother so!
Mist. T. Nay, nay, let her e'en alone. Let her Ladyship grieve me still, with her bitter taunts and terms. I have not dole enough to see her in this miserable case, ay, without her velvet gowns, without ribands, without jewels, without French wires, or cheat bread, or quails, or a little dog, or a gentleman usher, or anything, indeed, that's fit for a lady
Sin. [aside] Except her tongue.
Mist. T. And I not able to relieve her, neither, being kept so short by my husband. Well, God knows my heart. I did little think that ever she should have need of her sister Golding!
Ger. Why Mother, I ha' not yet. Alas! good Mother, be not intoxicate for me; I am well enough; I would not change husbands with my sister, I. "The leg of a lark is better than the body of a kite."
Mist. T. I know that; but
Ger. What, sweet Mother, what?
Mist. T. It's but ill food, when nothing's left but the claw.
Ger. That's true, Mother. Ay me!
Mist. T. Nay, sweet ladybird, sigh not. Child, madam; why do you weep thus? Be of good cheer; I shall die if you cry, and mar your complexion thus.
Ger. Alas, Mother, what should I do?
Mist. T. Go to thy sister's, child; she'll be proud thy Ladyship will come under her roof. She'll win thy father to release thy knight, and redeem thy gowns and thy coach and thy horses, and set thee up again.
Ger. But will she get him to set my knight up too?
Mist. T. That she will, or anything else thou'lt ask her.
Ger. I will begin to love her, if I thought she would do this.
Mist. T. Try her, good chuck; I warrant thee.
Ger. Dost thou think she'll do 't?
Sin. Ay, madam, and be glad you will receive it.
Mist. T. That's a good maiden; she tells you true. Come, I'll take order for your debts i' the alehouse.
Enter TOUCHSTONE, GOLDING, and WOLF.
Touch. I will receive no letters, Master Wolf; you shall pardon me.
Gold. Good Father, let me entreat you.
Touch. Son Golding, I will not be tempted; I find mine own easy nature, and I know not what a well-penn'd, subtle letter may work upon it; there may be tricks, packing, do you see? Return with your packet, sir.
Wolf. Believe it, sir, you need fear no packing here; these are but letters of submission, all.
Touch. Sir, I do look for no submission. I will bear myself in this like blind Justice. Work upon that now! When the sessions come, they shall hear from me.
Gold. From whom come your letters, Master Wolf?
Wolf. An 't please you, sir, one from Sir Petronel, another from Francis Quicksilver, and a third from old Security, who is almost mad in prison. There are two to your Worship; one from Master Francis, sir; another from the knight.
Touch. I do wonder, Master Wolf, why you should travail thus, in a business so contrary to kind or the nature o' your place; that you, being the keeper of a prison, should labor the release of your prisoners; whereas, methinks, it were far more natural and kindly in you to be ranging about for more, and not let these scape you have already under the tooth. But they say you wolves, when you ha' suck'd the blood, once that they are dry, you ha' done.
Wolf. Sir, your Worship may descant as you please o' my name; but I protest I was never so mortified with any men's discourse or behavior in prison; yet I have had of all sorts of men i' the kingdom under my keys; and almost of all religions i' the land, as Papist, Protestant, Puritan, Brownist, Anabaptist, Millenary, Family o' Love, Jew, Turk, Infidel, Atheist, Good Fellow, etc.
Gold. And which of all these, thinks Master Wolf, was the best religion?
Wolf. Troth, Master Deputy, they that pay fees best; we never examine their consciences farder.
Gold. I believe you, Master Wolf. Good faith, sir, here's a great deal of humility i' these letters!
Wolf. Humility, sir? Ay. Were your Worship an eyewitness of it, you would say so. The knight will i' the Knights' Ward, do what we can, sir; and Master Quicksilver would be i' the Hole, if we would let him. I never knew or saw prisoners more penitent or more devout. They will sit you up all night singing of psalms, and edifying the whole prison; only Security sings a note too high sometimes, because he lies i' the Twopenny Ward, far off, and cannot take his tune. The neighbors can not rest for him, but come every morning to ask what godly prisoners we have.
Touch. Which on 'em is 't is so devout, the knight or the tother?
Wolf. Both, sir; but the young man especially. I never heard his like. He has cut his hair too. He is so well given, and has such good gifts. He can tell you almost all the stories of the Book of Martyrs, and speak you all the Sick Man's Salve without book.
Touch. Ay, if he had had grace, he was brought up where it grew, iwis. On, Master Wolf.
Wolf. And he has converted one Fangs, a sergeant, a fellow could neither write nor read; he was called the Bandog o' the Counter; and he has brought him already to pare his nails and say his prayers; and 't is hop'd, he will sell his place shortly, and become an intelligencer.
Touch. No more; I am coming already. If I should give any farther ear, I were taken. Adieu, good Master Wolf. Son, I do feel mine own weaknesses; do not importune me. Pity is a rheum that I am subject to; but I will resist it. Master Wolf, "Fish is cast away that is cast in dry pools." Tell Hypocrisy it will not do; I have touch'd and tried too often; I am yet proof, and I will remain so. When the sessions come, they shall hear from me. In the meantime, to all suits, to all entreaties, to all letters, to all tricks, I will be deaf as an adder and blind as a beetle, lay mine ear to the ground, and lock mine eyes i' my hand against all temptations.
Gold. You see, Master Wolf, how inexorable he is. There is no hope to recover him. Pray you commend me to my brother knight, and to my fellow Francis [giving money]; present 'em with this small token of my love; tell 'em, I wish I could do 'em any worthier office; but, in this, 't is desperate: yet I will not fail to try the uttermost of my power for 'em. And, sir, as far as I have any credit with you, pray you let 'em want nothing; though I am not ambitious they should know so much.
Wolf. Sir, both your actions and words speak you to be a true gentleman. They shall know only what is fit, and no more.
[A room in the Counter.]
Enter HOLDFAST and BRAMBLE.
Hold. Who would you speak with, sir?
Bram. I would speak with one Security, that is prisoner here.
Hold. You are welcome, sir. Stay there, I'll call him to you. Master Security!
SECURITY appears at a grating.
Sec. Who calls?
Hold. Here's a gentleman would speak with you.
Sec. What is he? Is 't one that grafts my forehead now I am in prison, and comes to see how the horns shoot up and prosper?
Hold. You must pardon him, sir; the old man is a little craz'd with his
Sec. What say you to me, sir? Look you here, my learned counsel, Master Bramble! Cry you mercy, sir! When saw you my wife?
Bram. She is now at my house, sir; and desir'd me that I would come to visit you, and inquire of you your case, that we might work some means to get you forth.
Sec. My case, Master Bramble, is stone walls and iron grates; you see it; this is the weakest part on 't. And, for getting me forth, no means but hang myself, and so to be carried forth, from which they have here bound me in intolerable bands.
Bram. Why, but what is 't you are in for, sir?
Sec. For my sins, for my sins, sir, whereof marriage is the greatest. Oh, had I never married, I had never know this purgatory, to which hell is a kind of cool bath in respect; my wife's confederacy, sir, with old Touchstone, that she might keep her jubilee and the feast of her new moon. Do you understand me, sir?
Quick. Good sir, go in and talk with him. The light does him harm, and his example will be hurtful to the weak prisoners. Fie, Father Security, that you'll be still so profane! Will nothing humble you?
Exeunt SECURITY, BRAMBLE, and|
Enter two Prisoners, with a Friend.
Friend. What's he?
Enter PETRONEL, BRAMBLE, and QUICKSILVER.
1 Pris. Oh, he is a rare young man! Do you not know him?
Friend. Not I. I never saw him I can remember.
2 Pris. Why, it is he that was the gallant prentice of London Master Touchstone's man.
Friend. Who? Quicksilver?
1 Pris. Ay, this is he.
Friend. Is this he? They say he has been a gallant indeed.
2 Pris. Oh, the royallest fellow that ever was bred up i' the city. He would play you his thousand pound a night at dice; keep knights and lords company; go with them to bawdyhouses; had his six men in a livery; kept a stable of hunting horses, and his wench in her velvet gown and her cloth of silver. Here's one knight with him here in prison.
Friend. And how miserably he is chang'd!
1 Pris. Oh, that's voluntary in him; he gave away all his rich clothes, as soon as ever he came in here, among the prisoners; and will eat o' the basket, for humility.
Friend. Why will he do so?
1 Pris. Alas, he has no hope of life! He mortifies himself. He does but linger on till the sessions.
2 Pris. O, he has penn'd the best thing, that he calls his "Repentance" or his "Last Farewell," that ever you heard. He is a pretty poet; and, for prose you would wonder how many prisoners he has help'd out, with penning petitions for 'em, and not take a penny. Look! this is the knight, in the rug-gown. Stand by.
Bram. Sir, for Security's case, I have told him: say he should be condemned to be carted or whipp'd for a bawd, or so, why, I'll lay an execution on him o' two hundred pound; let him acknowledge a judgment, he shall do it in half an hour; they shall not all fetch him out without paying the execution, o' my word.
Enter MASTER WOLF.
Pet. But can we not be bail'd, Master Bramble?
Bram. Hardly; there are none of the judges in town, else you should remove yourself, in spite of him, with a habeas corpus. But, if you have a friend to deliver your tale sensibly to some justice o' the town, that he may have feeling of it, do you see, you may be bail'd; for, as I understand the case, 't is only done in terrorem; and you shall have an action of false imprisonment against him when you come out, and perhaps a thousand pound costs.
Quick. How now, Master Wolf? what news? what return?
Wolf. Faith, bad all: yonder will be no letters received. He says the sessions shall determine it. Only Master Deputy Golding commends him to you, and, with this token, wishes he could do you other good.
Quick. I thank him. Good Master Bramble, trouble our quiet no more; do not molest us in prison thus with your winding devices; pray you depart. [Exit BRAMBLE.] For my part, I commit my cause to Him that can succor me; let God work his will. Master Wolf, I pray you let this be distributed among the prisoners, and desire 'em to pray for us.
Wolf. It shall be done, Master Frances.
1 Pris. An excellent temper!
2 Pris. Now God send him good luck.
Exeunt two Prisoners and Friend.
Pet. But what said my father-in-law, Master Wolf?
Hold. Here's one would speak with you, sir.
Wolf. I'll tell you anon, Sir Petronel. [Exit PETRONEL.] Who is 't?
Hold. A gentleman, sir, that will not be seen.
Wolf. Where is he?
Master Deputy! your Worship is welcome
Wolf. Away, sirrah!
Gold. Good faith, Master Wolf, the estate of these gentlemen, for whom you were so late and willing a suitor, doth much affect me; and, because I am desirous to do them some fair office, and find there is no means to make my father relent so likely as to bring him to be a spectator of their miseries, I have ventur'd on a device; which is to make myself your prisoner, entreating you will presently go report it to my father, and feigning an action, at suit of some third person, pray him, by this token, [giving a ring] that he will presently, and with all secrecy, come hither for my bail; which train, if any, I know will bring him abroad; and then, having him here, I doubt not but we shall be all fortunate in the event.
Wolf. Sir, I will put on my best speed to effect it. Please you come in.
Gold. Yes; and let me rest conceal'd, I pray you.
Wolf. See here a benefit truly done, when it is done timely, freely, and
to no ambition.
[A room in TOUCHSTONE'S house.]
Enter TOUCHSTONE, Wife, Daughters, SINDEFY, and WINIFRED.
Touch. I will sail by you, and not hear you, like the wise Ulysses.
you speak to me I commit to the air.
Mil. Dear Father!
Mist. T. Husband!
Win. and Sin. Master Touchstone!
Touch. Away, sirens, I will inmure myself against your cries, and lock myself up to your lamentations.
Mist. T. Gentle husband, hear me!
Ger. Father, it is I, Father, my Lady Flash. My sister and I am friends.
Mil. Good Father!
Win. Be not hard'ned, good Master Touchstone!
Sin. I pray you, sir, be merciful!
Touch. I am deaf; I do not hear you; I have stopp'd mine ears with shoemakers' wax, and drunk Lethe and mandragora, to forget you. All
Mil. How now, Master Wolf?
Wolf. I'll tell you as we go, sir.
Wolf. Where's Master Touchstone? I must speak with him presently; I have lost my breath for haste.
Mil. What's the matter, sir? Pray all be well.
Wolf. Master Deputy Golding is arrested upon an execution, and desires him presently to come to him forthwith.
Mil. Ay me! do you hear, Father?
Touch. [within] Tricks, tricks, confederacy, tricks! I have 'em in my nose I scent 'em!
Wolf. Who's that? Master Touchstone?
Mist. T. Why, it is Master Wolf himself, husband.
Touch. [within] I am deaf still, I say. I will neither yield to the song of the siren nor the voice of the hyena, the tears of the crocodile nor the howling o' the Wolf: avoid my habitation, monsters!
Wolf. Why, you are not mad, sir? I pray you look forth and see the token I have brought you, sir.
Touch. [coming forward] Ha! what token is it?
Wolf. [aside to TOUCHSTONE] Do you know it, sir?
Touch. [aside] My son Golding's ring! Are you in earnest, Master Wolf?
Wolf. [aside] Ay, by my faith, sir. He is in prison, and requir'd me to use all speed and secrecy to you.
Touch. My cloak there (pray you be patient). I am plagu'd for my austerity. My cloak! At whose suit, Master Wolf?
[A yard in the Counter.]
Enter Friend and the two Prisoners.
Friend. Why, but is his offence such as he cannot hope of life?
often repeating of it.
1 Pris. Troth, it should seem so; and 't is a great pity, for he is exceeding penitent.
Friend. They say he is charg'd but on suspicion of felony yet.
2 Pris. Ay, but his master is a shrewd fellow; he'll prove great matter against him.
Friend. I'd as lief as anything I could see his "Farewell."
1 Pris. Oh, 't is rarely written; why, Toby may get him to sing it to you; he's not curious to anybody.
2 Pris. Oh, no! He would that all the world should take knowledge of his repentance, and thinks he merits in 't, the more shame he suffers.
1 Pris. Pray thee, try what thou canst do.
2 Pris. I warrant you he will not deny it, if he be not hoarse with the
1 Pris. You never saw a more courteous creature than he is; and the knight too: the poorest prisoner of the house may command 'em. You shall hear a thing admirably penn'd.
Friend. Is the knight any scholar too?
1 Pris. No, but he will speak very well, and discourse admirably of running horses and Whitefriars, and against bawds, and of cocks; and talk as loud as a hunter, but is none.
Enter WOLF and TOUCHSTONE.
Wolf. Please you stay here, sir; I'll call his Worship down to you.
Exit WOLF; TOUCHSTONE stands aside.
1 Pris. See, he has brought him, and the knight too. Salute him.
Re-enter Second Prisoner with QUICKSILVER and PETRONEL; re-enter WOLF with GOLDING, and they stand aside.
1 Pris. I pray, sir, this gentleman, upon our report, is very desirous to hear some piece of your "Repentance."
Quick. Sir, with all my heart; and, as I told Master Toby, I shall be glad to have any man a witness of it; and, the more openly I profess it, I hope it will appear the heartier, and the more unfeigned.
Touch. [aside] Who is this? my man Francis and my son-in-law?
Quick. Sir, it is all the testimony I shall leave behind me to the world and my master that I have so offended.
Friend. Good sir!
Quick. I writ it when my spirits were oppress'd.
Pet. Ay, I'll be sworn for you, Francis.
Quick. It is in imitation of Mannington's, he that was hang'd at Cambridge, that cut off the horse's head at a blow.
Friend. So, sir!
Quick. To the tune of "I wail in woe, I plunge in pain."
Pet. An excellent ditty it is, and worthy of a new tune.
In Cheapside, famous for gold and plate,|
Quicksilver, I did dwell of late;
I had a master good and kind,
That would have wrought me to his mind.
He bade me still, "Work upon that";
But, alas! I wrought I knew not what.
He was a Touchstone, black, but true,
And told me still what would ensue;
Yet woe is me! I would not learn;
I saw, alas! but could not discern!
Friend. Excellent, excellent well!
Gold. [aside] O, let him alone. He is taken already.
I cast my coat and cap away;|
I went in silks and satins gay;
False metal of good manners I
Did daily coin unlawfully;
I scorn'd my master, being drunk;
I kept my gelding and my punk;
And with a knight, Sir Flash by name,
Who now is sorry for the same
Pet. I thank you, Francis.
I thought by sea to run away,|
But Thames and tempest did me stay.
Touch. [aside] This cannot be feigned sure. Heaven pardon my severity! "The ragged colt may prove a good horse."
Gold. [aside] How he listens! and is transported! He has forgot me.
Still "Eastward Ho" was all my word;|
But westward I had no regard,
Nor never thought what would come after,
As did, alas! his youngest daughter.
At last the black ox trod o' my foot,
And I saw then what 'long'd unto 't;
Now cry I, "Touchstone, touch me still,
And make me current by thy skill."
Touch. [aside] And I will do it, Francis.
Wolf. [aside to GOLDING] Stay him, Master Deputy; now is the time: we shall lose the song else.
Friend. I protest it is the best that ever I heard.
Quick. How like you it, gentlemen?
All. Oh, admirable, sir!
Quick. This stanza now following alludes to the story of Mannington, from whence I took my project for my invention.
Friend. Pray you go on, sir.
O Mannington, thy stories show,|
Thou cutt'st a horse-head off at a blow.
But I confess I have not the force
For to cut off the head of a horse;
Yet I desire this grace to win,
That I may cut off the horse-head of Sin,
And leave his body in the dust
Of sin's highway and bogs of lust,
Whereby I may take Virtue's purse,
And live with her for better, for worse.
Friend. Admirable, sir, and excellently conceited!
Quick. Alas, sir!
Touch. [aside] Son Golding and Master Wolf, I thank you: the deceit is welcome, especially from thee, whose charitable soul in this hath shown a high point of wisdom and honesty. Listen, I am ravished with his repentance, and could stand here a whole prenticeship to hear him.
Friend. Forth, good sir.
Quick. This is the last, and the "Farewell."
Farewell, Cheapside; farewell, sweet trade|
Of goldsmiths all, that never shall fade;
Farewell, dear fellow prentices all,
And be you warned by my fall:
Shun usurers, bawds, and dice, and drabs;
Avoid them as you would French scabs.
Seek not to go beyond your tether,
But cut your thongs unto your leather;
So shall you thrive by little and little,
Scape Tyburn, Counters, and the Spital.
Touch. [coming forward] And scape them shalt thou, my penitent and dear Francis!
A shout in the prison, and SECURITY appears at the grating.
Touch. I can no longer forbear to do your humility right. Arise, and let me honor your repentance with the hearty and joyful embraces of a father and friend's love. Quicksilver, thou hast ate into my breast, Quicksilver, with the drops of thy sorrow, and kill'd the desperate opinion I had of thy reclaim.
Quick. Oh, sir, I am not worthy to see your worshipful face!
Pet. Forgive me, Father.
Touch. Speak no more; all former passages are forgotten; and here my word shall release you. Thank this worthy brother, and kind friend, Francis. Master Wolf, I am their bail.
Sec. Master Touchstone! Master Touchstone!
Touch. Who's that?
Wolf. Security, sir.
Sec. Pray you, sir, if you'll be won with a song, hear my lamentable tune too:
O Master Touchstone,
My heart is full of woe;
Alas, I am a cuckold!
And why should it be so?
Because I was a usurer
And bawd, as all you know;
For which, again I tell you,
My heart is full of woe.
Touch. Bring him forth, Master Wolf, and release his bands. This day shall be sacred to mercy, and the mirth of this encounter in the Counter. See, we are encount'red with more suitors.
Enter MISTRESS TOUCHSTONE, GERTRUDE, MILDRED, SINDEFY, and WINIFRED; and WOLF with SECURITY.
Save your breath, save your breath! All things have succeeded to your wishes; and we are heartily satisifed in their events.
Ger. Ah, runaway, runaway! have I caught you? And how has my poor knight done all this while?
Pet. Dear Lady-wife, forgive me!
Ger. As heartily as I would be forgiven, knight. Dear Father, give me your blessing, and forgive me too; I ha' been proud and lascivious, Father; and a fool, Father; and, being rais'd to the state of a wanton coy thing, call'd a lady, Father, have scorn'd you, Father, and my sister, and my sister's velvet cap, too, and would make a mouth at the city as I rid through it, and stop mine ears at Bow-bell. I have said your beard was a base one, Father; and that you looked like Twierpipe, the taborer; and that my mother was but my midwife.
Mist. T. Now, God forgi' you, child madam!
Touch. No more repetitions. What is else wanting to make our harmony full?
Gold. Only this, sir, that my fellow Francis make amends to Mistress Sindefy with marriage.
Quick. With all my heart.
Gold. And Security give her a dower, which shall be all the restitution he shall make of that huge mass he hath so unlawfully gotten.
Touch. Excellently devis'd! a good motion! What says Master Security?
Sec. I say anything, sir, what you'll ha' me say. Would I were no cuckold!
Win. Cuckold, husband? Why, I think this wearing of yellow has infected you.
Touch. Why, Master Security, that should rather be a comfort to you than a corrosive. If you be a cuckold, it's an argument you have a beautiful woman to your wife; then you shall be much made of; you shall have store of friends, never want money; you shall be eas'd of much o' your wedlock pain; others will take it for you. Besides, you being a usurer, and likely to go to hell, the devils will never torment you: they'll take you for one o' their own race. Again, if you be a cuckold, and know it not, you are an innocent; if you know it and endure it, a true martyr.
Sec. I am resolv'd, sir. Come hither, Winny.
Touch. Well, then, all are pleas'd; or shall be anon. Master Wolf, you look hungry, methinks. Have you no apparel to lend Francis, to shift him?
Quick. No, sir, nor I desire none; but here make it my suit that I may go home, through the streets in these, as a spectacle, or rather an example, to the children of Cheapside.
Touch. Thou hast thy wish. Now, London, look about,
And in this moral see thy glass run out:
Behold the careful father, thrifty son,
The solemn deeds, which each of us have done;
The usurer punish'd, and from fall so steep
The prodigal child reclaim'd, and the lost sheep.
Quick. Stay, sir, I perceive the multitude are gather'd together to view our coming out at the Counter. See, if the streets and the fronts of the houses be not stuck with people, and the windows fill'd with ladies, as on the solemn day of the pageant!
Oh, may you find in this our pageant here,
The same contentment which you came to seek;
And, as that show but draws you once a year,
May this attract you hither once a week.