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THE HARVARD CLASSICS 



The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 



THE HARVARD CLASSICS 
EDITED BY CHARLES W. ELIOT, LL.D. 



Elizabethan Drama 

IN TWO VOLUMES 
VOLUME II 

Dekker • Jonson 

Beaumont and Fletcher 

Webster • Massinger 

WzM Introductions and ^otes 
Volume 47 




P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 

NEW YORK 



Copyright, 1910 
By p. F. Collier & Son 

manufactured in u. s. a. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

The Shoemaker's Holiday 469 

By Thomas Dekker 

The Alchemist 543 

By Ben Jonson 

Philaster 667 

By Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher 

The Duchess of Malfi 755 

By John Webster 

A New Way to Pay Old Debts 859 

By Philip Massinger 



THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY 



BY 
THOMAS DEKKER 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

Thomas Dekker's career is an extreme instance of the hazardous life 
led by the professional author in the time of Shakespeare. Born in Lon- 
don about 1570, Dekker first appears certainly as a dramatist about 1598, 
when we find him working on plays in collaboration with other drama- 
tists in the pay of the manager, Henslowe. He wrote, in partnership or 
alone, many dramas; and when the market for these was dull he turned 
to the writing of entertainments, occasional verses, and prose pamphlets 
on a great variety of subjects. But all his activity seems to have failed to 
supply a decent livelihood, for he was often in prison for debt, at one 
time for a period of three years; and most of the biographical details 
about him which have come down to us are connected with borrowing 
money or getting into jail or out of it. He disappears from view in the 
thirties of the seventeenth century. 

"The Shoemaker's Holiday," first acted in 1599, is a good example of 
Dekker's work in the drama. The story is taken from Thomas Deloney's 
"Gentle Craft," and gives an opportunity for a picture of life among the 
trades-people of London at a period when the frequency in the drama 
of Italian Dukes and Cardinals is liable to make us forget that, in spite 
of vice and frivolity in high places, the world was still kept going by 
decent work-people who attended to their business. The play is full of 
an atmosphere of pleasant mirth, varied with characteristic touches of 
pathos; and it contains in the figure of Simon Eyre a creation of marked 
individuality and hilarious humor. It is striking that the most high- 
spirited picture of London life in the time of Elizabeth should come from 
the pen of the author who seems to have been more hardly treated by 
fortune than any of his contemporaries. 



THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY 



[DRAMATIS PERSONiE 



Eyre's Journeymen. 



Roger, commonly " 
called Hodge, 

FiRK, 

Ralph, 

LovELL, a Courtier. 

Dodger, Servant to the Earl of Lincoln. 

A Dutch Skipper. 

A Boy. 

Rose, Daughter of Sir Roger. 
Sybil, her Maid. 
Margery, Wife of Simon Eyre. 
Jane, Wife of Ralph. 



The King. 

The Earl of Cornwall. 

Sir Hugh Lacy, Earl of Lincoln. 

Rowland Lacy, "j 

otherwise Hans, VhIs Nephews. 
Askew, j 

Sir Roger Oateley, hard Mayor of 

London. 
Master Hammon, "j 

Master Warner, > Citizens of London. 
Master Scott, ' 
Simon Eyre, the Shoemaker. 
Courtiers, Attendants, Officers, Soldiers, Hunters, Shoemakers, Apprentices, Servants. 
SCENE — LONDON and old ford] 

ACT I 

Scene I. [A street in London] 
Enter the Lord Mayor and the Earl of Lincoln 

Lincoln 

MY lord mayor, you have sundry times 
Feasted myself and many courtiers more; 
Seldom or never can we be so kind 
To make requital of your courtesy. 
But leaving this, I hear my cousin Lacy 
Is much affected to' your daughter Rose. 

L. Mayor. True, my good lord, and she loves him so well 
That I mislike her boldness in the chase. 

Lincoln. Why, my lord mayor, think you it then a shame, 
To join a Lacy with an Oateley's name.? 

L. Mayor. Too mean is my poor girl for his high birth; 
Poor citizens must not with courtiers wed, 

' In love with. 
469 



470 THOMAS DEKKER 

Who will in silks and gay apparel spend 
More in one year than I am worth, by far: 
Therefore your honour need not doubt^ my girl. 

Lincoln. Take heed, my lord, advise you what you do! 
A verier unthrift lives not in the world, 
Than is my cousin; for I'll tell you what: 
'Tis now almost a year since he requested 
To travel countries for experience. 
I furnished him with coins, bills of exchange, 
Letters of credit, men to wait on him. 
Solicited my friends in Italy 
Well to respect him. But to see the end: 
Scant had he journey 'd through half Germany, 
But all his coin was spent, his men cast off. 
His bills embezzl'd,' and my jolly coz,"* 
Asham'd to show his bankrupt presence here, 
Became a shoemaker in Wittenberg, 
A goodly science for a gentleman 
Of such descent! Now judge the rest by this: 
Suppose your daughter have a thousand pound, 
He did consume me more in one half year; 
And make him heir to all the wealth you have 
One twelvemonth's rioting will waste it all. 
Then seek, my lord, some honest citizen 
To wed your daughter to. 

L. Mayor. I thank your lordship. 

[Aside.] Well, fox, I understand your subtilty. — 
As for your nephew, let your lordship's eye 
But watch his actions, and you need not fear, 
For I have sent my daughter far enough. 
And yet your cousin Rowland might do well, 
Now he hath learn'd an occupation; 
And yet I scorn to call him son-in-law. 

Lincoln. Ay, but I have a better trade for him. 
I thank his grace, he hath appointed him 

^Fear. 'Wasted. * Cousin; used of any relative not of one's immediate family. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 47 1 

Chief colonel of all those companies 
Must 'red in London and the shires about, 
To serve his highness in those wars of France. 
See where he comes! — 

Enter Lovell, Lacy, and Askew 

Lovell, what news with you? 

Lovell. My Lord of Lincoln, 'tis his highness' will. 
That presently'' your cousin ship for France 
With all his powers; he would not for a million. 
But they should land at Dieppe within four days. 

Lincoln. Go certify his grace, it shall be done. Exit Lovell. 

Now, cousin Lacy, in what forwardness 
Are all your companies? 

Lacy. All well prepared. 

The men of Hertfordshire lie at Mile-end, 
Suffolk and Essex train in Tothill-fields, 
The Londoners and those of Middlesex, 
All gallantly prepar'd in Finsbury, 
With frolic spirits long for their parting hour. 

L. Mayor. They have their imprest,^ coats, and furniture;' 
And, if it please your cousin Lacy come 
To the Guildhall, he shall receive his pay; 
And twenty pounds besides my brethren 
Will freely give him, to approve our loves 
We bear unto my lord, your uncle here. 

Lacy. I thank your honour. 

Lincoln. Thanks, my good lord mayor. 

L. Mayor. At the Guildhall we will expect your coming. Exit. 

Lincoln. To approve your loves to me? No subtilty! 
Nephew, that twenty pound he doth bestow 
For joy to rid you from his daughter Rose. 
But, cousins both, now here are none but friends, 
I would not have you cast an amorous eye 
Upon so mean a project as the love 

5 At once. ^ Regimental badge. ^ Equipment. 



472 THOMAS DEKKER 

Of a gay, wanton, painted citizen. 
I know, this churl even in the height of scorn 
Doth hate the mixture of his blood with thine. 
I pray thee, do thou so! Remember, coz. 
What honourable fortunes wait on thee. 
Increase the king's love, which so brightly shines, 
And gilds thy hopes. I have no heir but thee, — 
And yet not thee, if with a wayward spirit 
Thou start from the true bias* of my love. 

Lacy. My lord, I will for honour, not desire 
Of land or livings, or to be your heir. 
So guide my actions in pursuit of France, 
As shall add glory to the Lacys' name. 

Lincoln. Coz, for those words here's thirty Portuguese,' 
And, nephew Askew, there's a few for you. 
Fair Honour, in her loftiest eminence. 
Stays in France for you, till you fetch her thence. 
Then, nephews, clap swift wings on your designs. 
Begone, begone, make haste to the Guildhall; 
There presently I'll meet you. Do not stay: 
Where honour beckons, shame attends delay. Exit, 

As/(ew. How gladly would your uncle have you gone! 

Lacy. True, coz, but I'll o'erreach his policies. 
I have some serious business for three days. 
Which nothing but my presence can dispatch. 
You, therefore, cousin, with the companies, 
Shall haste to Dover; there I'll meet with you: 
Or, if I stay past my prefixed time. 
Away for France; we'll meet in Normandy. 
The twenty pounds my lord mayor gives to me 
You shall receive, and these ten Portuguese, 
Part of mine uncle's thirty. Gentle coz, 
Have care to our great charge; I know, your wisdom 
Hath tried itself in higher consequence. 

As\ew. Coz, all myself am yours: yet have this care, 
To lodge in London with all secrecy; 

' Inclination. ' A gold coin, wortli about three pounds twelve shillings. 



THE shoemaker's HOLIDAY 473 

Our uncle Lincoln hath, besides his own, 
Many a jealous eye, that in your face 
Stares only to watch means for your disgrace. 
Lacy. Stay, cousin, who be these? 

Enter Simon Eyre, Margery his wife, Hodge, Firk, Jane, and Ralph 

with a piece^" 

Eyre. Leave whining, leave whining! Away with this whimper- 
ing, this puling, these blubbering tears, and these wet eyes! I'll get 
thy husband discharg'd, I warrant thee, sweet Jane; go to! 

Hodge. Master, here be the captains. 

Eyre. Peace, Hodge; hush, ye knave, hush! 

Firl^. Here be the cavaliers and the colonels, master. 

Eyre. Peace, Firk; peace, my fine Firk! Stand by with your 
pishery-pashery," away! I am a man of the best presence; I'll speak 
to them, an'^ they were Popes. — Gentlemen, captains, colonels, com- 
manders! Brave men, brave leaders, may it please you to give me 
audience. I am Simon Eyre, the mad shoemaker of Tower Street; 
this wench with the mealy mouth that will never tire, is my wife, I 
can tell you; here's Hodge, my man and my foreman; here's Firk, 
my fine firking" journeyman, and this is blubbered Jane. All we 
come to be suitors for this honest Ralph. Keep him at home, and 
as I am a true shoemaker and a gentleman of the gentle craft, buy 
spurs yourselves, and I'll find ye boots these seven years. 

Marg. Seven years, husband? 

Eyre. Peace, midriff," peace! I know what I do. Peace! 

F/r^. Truly, master cormorant," you shall do God good service 
to let Ralph and his wife stay together. She's a young new-married 
woman; if you take her husband away from her a-night, you undo 
her; she may beg in the daytime; for he's as good a workman at a 
prick and an awl, as any is in our trade. 

Jane. O let him stay, else I shall be undone. 

FiV^. Ay, truly, she shall be laid at one side like a pair of old 
shoes else, and be occupied for no use. 

Lacy. Truly, my friends, it lies not in my power: 

1» Piece of leather. "Twiddle-twaddle. "jf 13 Frisky, tricky. "Used 
as a term of contempt. '* Quibbling on colonel. 



474 THOMAS DEKKER 

The Londoners are press'd,'^ paid, and set forth 
By the lord mayor; I cannot change a man. 

Hodge. Why, then you were as good be a corporal as a colonel, 
i£ you cannot discharge one good fellow; and I tell you true, I think 
you do more than you can answer, to press a man within a year and 
a day of his marriage. 

Eyre. Well said, melancholy Hodge; gramercy, my fine foreman. 

Marg. Truly, gentlemen, it were ill done for such as you, to stand 
so stiffly against a poor young wife, considering her case, she is new- 
married, but let that pass. I pray, deal not roughly with her; her 
husband is a young man, and but newly ent'red, but let that pass. 

Eyre. Away with your pishery-pashery, your pols and your edi- 
pols!" Peace, midriff; silence. Cicely Bumtrinket! Let your head 
speak. 

F/r^. Yea, and the horns too, master. 

Eyre. Too soon, my fine Firk, too soon! Peace, scoundrels! See 
you this man? Captains, you will not release him? Well, let him 
go; he's a proper shot; let him vanish! Peace, Jane, dry up thy tears, 
they'll make his powder dankish.^^ Take him, brave men; Hector 
of Troy was an hackney to him, Hercules and Termagant'" scoun- 
drels. Prince Arthur's Round-table — by the Lord of Ludgate — ne'er 
fed such a tall, such a dapper swordsman; by the life of Pharaoh, a 
brave, resolute swordsman! Peace, Jane! I say no more, mad knaves. 

Firi{. See, see, Hodge, how my master raves in commendation of 
Ralph! 

Hodge. Ralph, th'art a guU,^" by this hand, an thou goest not. 

Asl^ew. I am glad, good Master Eyre, it is my hap 
To meet so resolute a soldier. 
Trust me, for your report and love to him, 
A common slight regard shall not respect him. 

Lacy. Is thy name Ralph? 

Ralph. Yes, sir. 

Lacy. Give me thy hand; 

Thou shalt not want, as I am a gentleman. 
Woman, be patient; God, no doubt, will send 

'5 Impressed into service. '' Solemn declarations. '' Damp. 
^' An imaginary Saracen god. ^° Fool. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 475 

Thy husband safe again; but he must go, 
His country's quarrel says it shall be so. 

Hodge. Th'art a gull, by my stirrup, i£ thou dost not go. I will 
not have thee strike thy gimlet into these weak vessels; prick thine 
enemies, Ralph. 

Enter Dodger 

Dodger. My lord, your uncle on the Tower-hill 
Stays with the lord mayor and the aldermen, 
And doth request you with all speed you may. 
To hasten thither. 

Asl{ew. Cousin, let's go. 

Lacy. Dodger, run you before, tell them we come. — 
This Dodger is mine uncle's parasite, Exit Dodger. 

The arrant'st varlet that e'er breath'd on earth; 
He sets more discord in a noble house 
By one day's broaching of his pickthank tales,^' 
Than can be salv'd^^ again in twenty years, 
And he, I fear, shall go with us to France, 
To pry into our actions. 

Askew. Therefore, coz, 

It shall behove you to be circumspect. 

Lacy. Fear not, good cousin. — ^Ralph, hie to your colours. 

[Exit Lacy and Askew.] 

Ralph. I must, because there's no remedy; 
But, gentle master and my loving dame, 
As you have always been a friend to me, 
So in mine absence think upon my wife. 

Jane. Alas, my Ralph. 

Marg. She cannot speak for weeping. 

Eyre. Peace, you crack'd groats,^^ you mustard tokens,^* disquiet 
not the brave soldier. Go thy ways, Ralph! 

]ane. Ay, ay, you bid him go; what shall I do 
When he is gone? 

Fir\. Why, be doing with me or my fellow Hodge; be not idle. 

^' Tales told to curry favor. ^^ Healed. ^^ Fourpenny-pieces. 
** Yellow spots on the body denoting the infection of the plague. 



476 THOMAS DEKKER 

Eyre. Let me see thy hand, Jane. This fine hand, this white hand, 
these pretty fingers must spin, must card, must work; work, you 
bombast-cotton-candle-quean; work for your hving, with a pox to 
you. — Hold thee, Ralph, here's five sixpences for thee; fight for 
the honour of the gentle craft, for the gendemen shoemakers, the 
courageous cordwainers, the flower of St. Martin's, the mad knaves 
of Bedlam, Fleet Street, Tower Street and Whitechapel; crack me the 
crowns of the French knaves; a pox on them, crack them; fight, by 
the Lord of Ludgate; fight, my fine boy! 

Fir\. Here, Ralph, here's three twopences: two carry into France, 
the third shall wash our souls at parting, for sorrow is dry. For my 
sake, firk the Basa mon cues. 

Hodge. Ralph, I am heavy at parting; but here's a shilling for 
thee. God send^^ thee to cram thy slops^^ with French crowns, and 
thy enemies' bellies with bullets. 

Ralph. I thank you, master, and I thank you all. 
Now, gentle wife, my loving lovely Jane, 
Rich men, at parting, give their wives rich gifts. 
Jewels and rings, to grace their lily hands. 
Thou know'st our trade makes rings for women's heels: 
Here take this pair of shoes, cut out by Hodge, 
Stitch'd by my fellow Firk, seam'd by myself. 
Made up and pink'd^' with letters for thy name. 
Wear them, my dear Jane, for thy husband's sake, 
And every morning, when thou puU'st them on. 
Remember me, and pray for my return. 
Make much of them; for I have made them so 
That I can know them from a thousand mo. 
Drum sounds. Enter the Lord Mayor, the Earl of Lincoln, Lacy, 
Askew, Dodger, and Soldiers. They pass over the stage; Ralph 
jails in amongst them; Firk. and the rest cry "Farewell," etc., 
and so exeunt. 

^' Grant. ^^ Breeches (-pockets). ^'Perforated. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 477 

ACT II 

Scene I. [A garden at Old Ford] 
Enter Rose, alone, making a garland 

Rose. Here sit thou down upon this flow'ry bank, 
And make a garland for thy Lacy's head. 
These pinks, these roses, and these violets, 
These blushing gilliflowers, these marigolds, 
The fair embroidery of his coronet. 
Carry not half such beauty in their cheeks, 
As the sweet countenance of my Lacy doth. 
O my most unkind father! O my stars, 
Why lower'd you so at my nativity. 
To make me love, yet live robb'd of my love? 
Here as a thief am I imprisoned 
For my dear Lacy's sake within those walls, 
Which by my father's cost were builded up 
For better purposes. Here must I languish 
For him that doth as much lament, I know. 
Mine absence, as for him I pine in woe. 

Enter Sybil 

Sybil. Good morrow, young mistress. I am sure you make that 
garland for me; against' I shall be Lady of the Harvest. 

Rose. Sybil, what news at London.'' 

Sybil. None but good; my lord mayor, your father, and master 
Philpot, your uncle, and Master Scot, your cousin, and Mistress 
Frigbottom by Doctors' Commons, do all, by my troth, send you 
most hearty commendations. 

Rose. Did Lacy send kind greetings to his love? 

Sybil. O yes, out of cry, by my troth. I scant knew him; here 
'a wore a scarf; and here a scarf, here a bunch of feathers, and here 
precious stones and jewels, and a pair of garters, — O, monstrous! 
like one of our yellow silk curtains at home here in Old Ford House 
here, in Master Belly-mount's chamber. I stood at our door in 

■In preparation. 



478 THOMAS DEKKER 

Cornhill, look'd at him, he at me indeed, spake to him, but he liot 
to me, not a word; marry go-up, thought I, with a wanionP He 
passed by me as proud — Marry foh! are you grown humorous,' 
thought I; and so shut the door, and in I came. 

Rose. O Sybil, how dost thou my Lacy wrong! 
My Rowland is as gentle as a lamb. 
No dove was ever half so mild as he. 

Sybil. Mild? yea, as a bushel of stamped crabs.* He looked upon 
me as sour as verjuice.' Go thy ways, thought I; thou may'st be 
much in my gaskins,^ but nothing in my nether-stocks.' This is your 
fault, mistress, to love him that loves not you; he thinks scorn to 
do as he's done to; but if I were as you, I'd cry, 'Go by, Jeronimo, 
goby!" 

I'd set mine old debts against my new driblets, 
And the hare's foot against the goose giblets, 
For if ever I sigh, when sleep I should take. 
Pray God I may lose my maidenhead when I wake. 

Rose. Will my love leave me then, and go to France? 

Sybil. I know not that, but I am sure I see him stalk before the 
soldiers. By my troth, he is a proper man; but he is proper that 
proper doth. Let him go snick-up,' young mistress. 

Rose. Get thee to London, and learn perfectly 
Whether my Lacy go to France, or no. 
Do this, and I will give thee for thy pains 
My cambric apron and my Romish gloves. 
My purple stockings and a stomacher. 
Say, wilt thou do this, Sybil, for my sake? 

Sybil. Will I, quoth'a? At whose suit? By my troth, yes, I'll go. 
A cambric apron, gloves, a pair of purple stockings, and a stomacher! 
I'll sweat in purple, mistress, for you; I'll take anything that comes a' 
God's name. O rich! a cambric apron! Faith, then have at 'up tails 
all.' I'll go jiggy-joggy to London, and be here in a trice, young 
mistress. Exit. 

^ With a vengeance. ' Capricious. * Crushed crab apples. ^ Juice of green fruits. 
* Wide trousers. ' Stockings. The meaning seems to be that though we may be 
acquainted we are not intimate friends. * A phrase from Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. 
'Go and be hanged! 



THE shoemaker's HOLIDAY 479 

Rose. Do so, good Sybil. Meantime wretched I 
Will sit and sigh for his lost company. Exit. 

Scene II. [/4 street in London] 
Enter Lacy, disguised as a Dutch Shoema}{er 

Lacy. How many shapes have gods and kings devis'd. 
Thereby to compass their desired loves! 
It is no shame for Rowland Lacy, then, 
To clothe his cunning with the gentle craft, 
That, thus disguis'd, I may unknown possess 
The only happy presence of my Rose. 
For her have I forsook my charge in France, 
Incurr'd the king's displeasure, and stirr'd up 
Rough hatred in mine uncle Lincoln's breast. 

love, how powerful art thou, that canst change 
High birth to baseness, and a noble mind 

To the mean semblance of a shoemaker! 

But thus it must be. For her cruel father, . 

Hating the single union of our souls, 

Has secretly convey 'd my Rose from London, 

To bar me of her presence; but I trust. 

Fortune and this disguise will further me 

Once more to view her beauty, gain her sight. 

Here in Tower Street with Eyre the shoemaker 

Mean I a while to work; I know the trade, 

1 learnt it when I was in Wittenberg. 

Then cheer thy hoping spirits, be not dismay'd, 
Thou canst not want: do Fortune what she can. 
The gentle craft is living for a man. Exit. 

Scene III. [Before Eyre's house] 
Enter Eyre, maf^ing himself ready^ 

Eyre. Where be these boys, these girls, these drabs, these scoun- 
drels? They wallow in the fat brewiss^ of my bounty, and lick up 
' Dressing himself. ^ Beef broth. 



480 THOMAS DEKKER 

the crumbs of my table, yet will not rise to see my walks cleansed. 
Come out, you powder-beeF queans! What, Nan! what, Madge 
Mumble-crust. Come out, you fat midrifl-swag-belly-whores, and 
sweep me these kennels* that the noisome stench offend not the 
noses of my neighbours. What, Firk, I say; what, Hodge! Open my 
shop-windows! What, Firk, I say! 

Enter Firk 

Fir^. O master, is't you that speak bandog^ and Bedlam' this 
morning? I was in a dream, and mused what madman was got 
into the street so early. Have you drunk this morning that your 
throat is so clear? 

Eyre. Ah, well said, Firk; well said, Firk. To work, my fine 
knave, to work! Wash thy face, and thou't be more blest. 

Fir/i. Let them wash my face that will eat it. Good master, send 
for a souse-wife,' if you'll have my face cleaner. 

Enter Hodge 

Eyre, Away, sloven! a vaunt, scoundrel! — Good-morrow, Hodge; 
good-morrow, my fine foreman. 

Hodge. O master, good-morrow; y'are an early stirrer. Here's a 
fair morning. — Good-morrow, Firk, I could have slept this hour. 
Here's a brave day towards.' 

Eyre, Oh, haste to work, my fine foreman, haste to work. 

FiV^. Master, I am dry as dust to hear my fellow Roger talk of 
fair weather; let us pray for good leather, and let clowns and plough- 
boys and those that work in the fields pray for brave days. We work 
in a dry shop; what care I if it rain? 

Enter Margery 

Eyre. How now, Dame Margery, can you see to rise? Trip and go, 
call up the drabs, your maids. 

Marg. See to rise? I hope 'tis time enough, 'tis early enough for 
any woman to be seen abroad. I marvel how many wives in Tower 
Street are up so soon. Gods me, 'tis not noon, — here's a yawling!' 

' Salted beef. ■* Gutters. ' Watch-dog. ^ Madman. 
' A woman who washed and pickled pigs' faces. 
' Coming. ' Bawling. 



THE shoemaker's HOLIDAY 48 1 

Eyre. Peace, Margery, peace! Where's Cicely Bumtrinket, your 
maid ? She has a privy fault, she farts in her sleep. Call the quean 
up; if my men want shoe-thread, I'll swinge her in a stirrup. 

FiV^. Yet, that's but a dry beating; here's still a sign of drought. 

Enter Lacy disguised, singing 

Lacy. Der was een bore van Gelderland 

Frolic\ sie by en; 
He was als dronc\ he cold nyet stand, 

Upsolce sie by en. 
Tap eens de cannehen, 
Drinc\e, schone mannekin}'' 

Fir\. Master, for my life, yonder's a brother of the gentle craft; 
if he bear not Saint Hugh's bones," I'll forfeit my bones; he's some 
uplandish workman: hire him, good master, that I may learn some 
gibble-gabble; 'twill make us work the faster. 

Eyre. Peace, Firk! A hard world! Let him pass, let him vanish; 
we have journeymen enow. Peace, my fine Firk! 

Marg. Nay, nay, y'are best follow your man's counsel; you shall 
see what will come on't. We have not men enow, but we must 
entertain every butter-box;" but let that pass. 

Hodge. Dame, 'fore God, if my master follow your counsel, he'll 
consume little beef. He shall be glad of men an he can catch them. 

Fir\. Ay, that he shall. 

Hodge. 'Fore God, a proper man, and I warrant, a line workman. 
Master, farewell; dame, adieu; if such a man as he cannot find work, 
Hodge is not for you. Offers to go. 

Eyre. Stay, my fine Hodge. 

Fir\. Faith, an your foreman go, dame, you must take a journey 
to seek a new journeyman; if Roger remove, Firk follows. If Saint 

*" The language is, of course, meant for Dutch. 

'There was a boor from Gelderland, 

Jolly they be; 
He was so drunk he could not stand. 

Drunken (f) they be: 
Clink then the cannikin, 
Drink, pretty mannikinl' 
"The bones of St. Hugh, the patron saint of shoemakers, were supposed to have 
been made into shoemaker's tools. '^ Dutchman. 



482 THOMAS DEKKER 

Hugh's bones shall not be set a-work, I may prick mine awl in the 
walls, and go play. Fare ye well, master; good-bye, dame. 

Eyre. Tarry, my fine Hodge, my brisk foreman! Stay, Firk! 
Peace, pudding-broth! By the Lord of Ludgate, I love my men as 
my life. Peace, you gallimaufry!'' Hodge, if he want work, I'll 
hire him. One of you to him; stay, — he comes to us. 

Lacy. Goeden dach, meester, ende u vro oa}{}^ 

Fir\. Nails," if I should speak after him without drinking, I 
should choke. And you, friend Oake, are you of the gentle craft? 

Lacy. Yaw, yaw, if^ bin den s\omaw\er}^ 

Fir\. Den s\oma\er, quoth 'a! And hark you, s\oma\er, have 
you all your tools, a good rubbing-pin, a good stopper, a good dresser, 
your four sorts of awls, and your two balls of wax, your paring 
knife, your hand- and thumb-leathers, and good St. Hugh's bones to 
smooth up your work? 

Lacy. Yaw, yaw; be niet vorveard. l\ hab all de dingen voour 
mac\ s\ooes groot and cleane" 

Fir/{. Ha, ha! Good master, hire him; he'll make me laugh so 
that I shall work more in mirth than I can in earnest. 

Eyre. Hear ye, friend, have ye any skill in the mystery of cord- 
wainers? 

Lacy. 1\ weet niet wat yow seg; ich verstaw you niet}* 

Fir]{^. Why, thus, man: {Imitating by gesture a shoema\er at 
worW Ich verste u niet, quoth 'a. 

Lacy. Yaw, yaw, yaw; ic\ can dat wel doen}^ 

Fir\. Yaw, yaw! He speaks yawing like a jackdaw that gapes to 
be fed with cheese-curds. Oh, he'll give a villanous pull at a can 
of double^beer; but Hodge and I have the vantage, we must drink 
first, because we are the eldest journeymen. 

Eyre. What is thy name ? 

Lacy. Hans — Hans Meulter. 

Eyre. Give me thy hand; th'art welcome. — Hodge, entertain him; 
Firk, bid him welcome; come, Hans. Run, wife, bid your maids, 

'' A dish of different hashed meats. Many of Eyre's words have no particular 
appropriateness. '^ Good day, master, and your wife too. '^ An oath. 

'^ Yes, yes, I am a shoemaker. '' Yes, yes; be not afraid. I have everything to 
make boots big and litde. '*I don't know what you say; I don't understand you 

"Yes, yes, yes; I can do that well. 



THE shoemaker's HOLIDAY 483 

your trullibubs,^" make ready my fine men's breakfasts. To him, 
Hcndge! 

Hodge. Hans, th'art welcome; use thyself friendly, for we are 
good fellows; if not, thou shalt be fought with, wert thou bigger 
than a giant. 

Fir\. Yea, and drunk with, wert thou Gargantua. My master 
keeps no cowards, I tell thee. — Ho, boy, bring him an heel-block, 
here's a new journeyman. 

Enter Boy 

Lacy. 0, ich wersto you; ich moet een halve dossen cans betaelen; 
here, boy, nempt dis shilling, tap eens freelicke?^ Exit Boy. 

Eyre. Quick, snipper-snapper, away! Firk, scour thy throat; thou 
shalt wash it with Castilian liquor. 

Enter Boy 

Oome, my last of the fives, give me a can. Have to thee, Hans; here, 
Hodge; here, Firk; drink, you mad Greeks, and work like true 
Trojans, and pray for Simon Eyre, the shoemaker. — Here, Hans, 
and th'art welcome. 

Firl{. Lo, dame, you would have lost a good fellow that will 
teach us to laugh. This beer came hopping in well. 

Marg. Simon, it is almost seven. 

Eyre. Is't so, Dame Clapper-dudgeon?" Is't seven a clock, and 
my men's breakfast not ready? Trip and go, you soused conger,^' 
away! Come, you mad hyperboreans; follow me, Hodge; follow 
me, Hans; come after, my fine Firk; to work, to work a while, and 
then to breakfast! [Exit. 

Fir\. Soft! Yaw, yaw, good Hans, though my master have no 
more wit but to call you afore me, I am not so foolish to go behind 
you, I being the elder journeyman. [Exeunt. 

2" Slatterns. 

^' O, I understand you; I must pay for half-a-dozen cans; here, boy, take this 
shilling, tap this once freely. ^^ Slang for beggar. ^^ Conger -eel. 



484 THOMAS DEKKER 

Scene IV. [A field near Old Ford] 

Holloaing within. Enter Master Warner and Master Hammon, 
attired as Hunters 

Ham. Cousin, beat every brake, the game's not far. 
This way with winged feet he fled from death. 
Whilst the pursuing hounds, scenting his steps, 
Find out his highway to destruction. 
Besides, the miller's boy told me even now. 
He saw him take soil,' and he holloaed him, 
AiBrming him to have been so embost^ 
That long he could not hold. 

Warn. If it be so, 

'Tis best we trace these meadows by Old Ford. 

A noise of Hunters within. Enter a Boy 

Ham. How now, boy ? Where's the deer ? speak, saw'st thou him ? 

Boy. O yea; I saw him leap through a hedge, and then over a 
ditch, then at my lord mayor's pale, over he skipp'd me, and in he 
went me, and 'holla' the hunters cried, and 'there, boy; there, boy!' 
But there he is, a' mine honesty. 

Ham. Boy, Godamercy. Cbusin, let's away; 
I hope we shall find better sport to-day. Exeunt. 

Scene V. \The garden at Old Ford] 
[Hunting within.] Enter Rose and Sybil 

Rose. Why, Sybil, wilt thou prove a forester ? 

Sybil. Upon some, no. Forester? Go by; no, faith, mistress. The 
deer came running into the barn through the orchard and over the 
pale; I wot well, I looked as pale as a new cheese to see him. But 
whip, says Goodman Pin<lose, up with his flail, and our Nick with 
a prong, and down he fell, and they upon him, and I upon them. 
By my troth, we had such sport; and in the end we ended him; 
his throat we cut, flayed him, unhorn'd him, and my lord mayor 
shall eat of him anon, when he comes. Horns sound within. 

' Cover. ^ Exhausted. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 485 

Rose. Hark, hark, the hunters come; y'are best take heed, 
They'll have a saying to you for this deed. 

Enter Master Hammon, Master Warner, Huntsmen, and Boy 

Ham. God save you, fair ladies. 

Sybil. Ladies! O gross!' 

Warn. Came not a buck this w^ay? 

Rose. No, but tvi^o does. 

Ham. And wrhich way went they ? Faith, we'll hunt at those. 

Sybil. At those? Upon some, no. When, can you tell? 

Warn. Upon some, ay. 

Sybil. Good Lord! 

Warn. Wounds!^ Then farewell! 

Ham. Boy, which way went he? 

Boy. This way, sir, he ran. 

Ham. This way he ran indeed, fair Mistress Rose; 
Our game was lately in your orchard seen. 

Warn. Can you advise, which way he took his flight? 

Sybil. Follow your nose; his horns will guide you right. 

Warn. Th'art a mad wench. 

Sybil. O, rich! 

Rose. Trust me, not L 

It is not like that the wild forest-deer 
Would come so near to places of resort; 
You are deceiv'd, he fled some other way. 

Warn. Which way, my sugar-candy, can you shew? 

Sybil. Come up, good honeysops, upon some, no. 

Rose. Why do you stay, and not pursue your game? 

Sybil. I'll hold my life, their hunting-nags be lame. 

Ham. A deer more dear is found within this place. 

Rose. But not the deer, sir, which you had in chase. 

Ham. I chas'd the deer, but this dear chaseth me. 

Rose. The strangest hunting that ever I see. 
But where's your park ? She offers to go away. 

Ham. 'Tis here: O stay! 

Rose. Impale me, and then I will not stray. 

' Stupid. ^ An oath. 



486 THOMAS DEKKER 

Warn. They wrangle, wench; we are more kind than they. 

Sybil. What kind of hart is that dear heart, you seek? 

Warn. A hart, dear heart. 

Sybil. Who ever saw the hke? 

Rose. To lose your heart, is't possible you can? 

Ham. My heart is lost. 

Rose. Alack, good gentleman! 

Ham. This poor lost hart would I wish you migiht find. 

Rose. You, by such luck, might prove your hart a hind. 

Ham. Why, Luck had horns, so have I heard some say. 

Rose. Now, God, an't be his will, send Luck into your way. 

Enter the Lord Mayor and Servants 

L. Mayor. What, Master Hammon? Welcome to Old Ford! 

Sybil. Gods pittikins,^ Hands off, sir! Here's my lord. 

L. Mayor. I hear you had ill luck, and lost your game. 

Ham. 'Tis true, my lord. 

L. Mayor. I am sorry for the same. 

What gendeman is this? 

Ham. My brother-in-law. 

L. Mayor. Y'are welcome both; sith Fortune offers you 
Into my hands, you shall not part from hence, 
Until you have refresh'd your wearied limbs. 
Go, Sybil, cover the board! You shall be guest 
To no good cheer, but even a hunter's feast. 

Ham. I thank your lordship. — Cousin, on my life. 
For our lost venison I shall find a wife. Exeunt [all but Mayor]. 

L. Mayor. In, gentlemen; I'll not be absent long. — 
This Hammon is a proper gentleman, 
A citizen by birth, fairly allied; 
How fit an husband were he for my girl! 
Well, I will in, and do the best I can. 

To match my daughter to this gentleman. Exit. 

*By God's pity. 



THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY 487 

ACT III 

Scene I. — [A room in Eyre's housed 
Enter Lacy [as Hans], Skipper, Hodge, and Firk 

Skip. lc\ sal yow wat seggen, Hans; dis s\ip, dat comen from 
Candy, is al vol, by Got's sacrament, van sugar, civet, almonds, cam- 
bric\, end alle dingen, towsand towsand ding. Nempt it, Hans, 
nempt it vor v meester. Daer be de bils van laden. Your meester 
Simon Eyre sal hae good copen. Wat seggen yow, Hans?^ 

Fir\. Wat seggen de r eg gen de copen, slopen — laugh, Hodge, 
laugh! 

Hans. Mine liever broder Fir\, bringt Meester Eyre tot det signe 
vn Swanne\in; daer sal yow finde dis shipper end me. Wat seggen 
yow, broder FirJ(? Doot it, Hodge^ 
Come, skipper. Exeunt. 

Firk- Bring him, quoth you? Here's no knavery, to bring my 
master to buy a ship worth the lading of two or three hundred thou- 
sand pounds. Alas, that's nothing; a trifle, a bauble, Hodge. 

Hodge. The truth is, Firk, that the merchant owner of the ship 
dares not shew his head, and therefore this skipper that deals for 
him, for the love he bears to Hans, offers my master Eyre a bargain 
in the commodities. He shall have a reasonable day of payment; 
he may sell the wares by that time, and be an huge gainer himself. 

Fir^. Yea, but can my fellow Hans lend my master twenty por- 
pentines as an earnest penny? 

Hodge. Portuguese,' thou wouldst say; here they be, Firk; hark, 
they jingle in my pocket like St. Mary Overy's bells. 

Enter Eyre and Margery 

Fir^. Mum, here comes my dame and my master. She'll scold, 
on my life, for loitering this Monday: but all's one, let them all say 
what they can, Monday's our holiday. 

■ I'll tell you what, Hans; this ship that is come from Candia, is quite full, by God's 
sacrament, of sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, and all things; a thousand, thousand 
things. Take it, Hans, take it for your master. There are the bills of lading. 
Your master, Simon Eyre, shall have a good bargain. What say you, Hans? 

^ My dear brother Firk, bring Master Eyre to the sign of the Swan; there shall you 
find this skipper and me. What say you, brother Firk? Do it, Hodge. 

^ A coin worth about three pounds twelve shillings. 



488 THOMAS DEKKER 

Marg. You sing, Sir Sauce, but I beshrew your heart, 
I fear, for this your singing we shall smart. 

Fir\. Smart for me, dame; why, dame, why? 

Hodge. Master, I hope you'll not suffer my dame to take down 
your journeymen. 

Fir/(^. If she take me down, I'll take her up; yea, and take her 
down too, a button-hole lower. 

Eyre. Peace, Firk; not I, Hodge; by the life of Pharaoh, by the 
Lord of Ludgate, by this beard, every hair whereof I value at a 
king's ransom, she shall not meddle with you. — Peace, you bombast- 
cotton-candle-quean; away, queen of clubs; quarrel not with me and 
my men, with me and my fine Firk; I'll firk you, if you do. 

Marg. Yea, yea, man, you may use me as you please; but let 
that pass. 

Eyre. Let it pass, let it vanish away; peace! Am I not Simon 
Eyre? Are not these my brave men, brave shoemakers, all gentlemen 
of the gentle craft ? Prince am I none, yet am I nobly born, as being 
the sole son of a shoemaker. Away, rubbish! vanish, melt; melt like 
kitchen-stuff. 

Marg. Yea, yea, 'tis well; I must be call'd rubbish, kitchen-stuff, 
for a sort^ of knaves. 

Fir/^. Nay, dame, you shall not weep and wail in woe for me. 
Master, I'll stay no longer; here's an inventory of my shop-tools. 
Adieu, master; Hodge, farewell. 

Hodge. Nay, stay, Firk; thou shalt not go alone. 

Marg. I pray, let them go; there be more maids than Mawkin, 
more men than Hodge, and more fools than Firk. 

F/ry^. Fools? Nails! if I tarry now, I would my guts might be 
turn'd to shoe-thread. 

Hodge. And if I stay, I pray God I may be turn'd to a Turk, and 
set in Finsbury^ for boys to shoot at. — Come, Firk. 

Eyre. Stay, my fine knaves, you arms of my trade, you pillars of 
my profession. What, shall a tittle-tattle's words make you forsake 
Simon Eyre? — Avaunt, kitchen-stuff! Rip, you brown-bread Tanni- 
kin; out of my sight! Move me not! Have not I ta'en you from 

* Set. ^ Finsbury was a famous practising ground for archery. 



THE shoemaker's HOLIDAY 489 

selling tripes in East-cheap, and set you in my shop, and made you 
hail-fellow with Simon Eyre, the shoemaker? And now do you 
deal thus with my journeymen? Look, you powder-beef-quean, on 
the face of Hodge, here's a face for a lord. 

Firl{. And here's a face for any lady in Christendom. 

Eyre. Rip, you chitterling, avaunt! Boy, bid the tapster of the 
Boar's Head fill me a dozen cans of beer for my journeymen. 

Fir\. A dozen cans? O, brave! Hodge, now I'll stay. 

Eyre. \In a low voice to the Boy.] An the knave fills any more 
than two, he pays for them. \Exit Boy. Aloud.] — A dozen cans of 
beer for my journeymen. [Re-enter Boy.] Here, you mad Mesopo- 
tamians, wash your livers with this liquor. Where be the odd ten? 
No more, Madge, no more. — Well said. Drink and to work! — What 
work dost thou, Hodge? What work? 

Hodge. I am a making a pair of shoes for my lord mayor's 
daughter, Mistress Rose. 

F/V^. And I a pair of shoes for Sybil, my lord's maid. I deal 
with her. 

Eyre. Sybil? Fie, defile not thy fine workmanly fingers with the 
feet of kitchen-stufi and basting-ladles. Ladies of the court, fine 
ladies my lads, commit their feet to our apparelling; put gross work 
to Hans. Yark and seam, yark° and seam! 

Fir/^. For yarking and seaming let me alone, an I come to't. 

Hodge. Well, master, all this is from the bias.' Do you remember 
the ship my fellow Hans told you of? The skipper and he are both 
drinking at the Swan. Here be the Portuguese to give earnest. If 
you go through with it, you cannot choose but be a lord at least. 

Fir/(^. Nay, dame, if my master prove not a lord, and you a lady, 
hang me. 

Marg. Yea, like enough, if you may loiter and tipple thus. 

Firl{. Tipple, dame? No, we have been bargaining with Skellum 
Skanderbag:' can you Dutch spreaken for a ship of silk Cyprus, laden 
with sugar-candy. 

* Prepare. ' Beside the point. 

'German: Schelm, a scoundrel. Skanderbag, or Scander Beg (/'. c. Lord Alex- 
ander), a Turkish name for John Kastriota, the Albanian hero, who {reed his country 
from the yoke of the Turks (1443-1467). — Warn\e and Proescholdt. 



490 THOMAS DEKKER 

Enter Boy with a velvet coat and an Alderman' s gown. 
Eyre puts them on 

Eyre. Peace, Firk; silence, Tittle-tattle! Hodge, I'll go through 
with it. Here's a seal-ring, and I have sent for a guarded gown* 
and a damask cassock. See where it comes; look here, Maggy; help 
me, Firk; apparel me, Hodge; silk and satin, you mad Philistines, 
silk and satin. 

Fir\. Ha, ha, my master will be as proud as a dog in a doublet, 
all in beaten"* damask and velvet. 

Eyre. Softly, Firk, for rearing" of the nap, and wearing thread- 
bare my garments. How dost thou like me, Firk.? How do I look, 
my fine Hodge.'' 

Hodge. Why, now you look like yourself, master. I warrant you, 
there's few in the city but will give you the wall,''' and come upon 
you with" the right worshipful. 

Fir\. Nails, my master looks like a threadbare cloak new turned 
and dressed. Lord, Lord, to see what good raiment doth! Dame, 
dame, are you not enamoured .'' 

Eyre. How say'st thou, Maggy, am I not brisk.? Am I not fine.? 

Marg. Fine? By my troth, sweetheart, very fine! By my troth, I 
never liked thee so well in my life, sweetheart; but let that pass. I 
warrant, there be many women in the city have not such handsome 
husbands, but only for their apparel; but let that pass too. 

Re-enter Hans and Skipper 

Hans. Godden day, mester. Dis be de shipper dat heb de s\ip 
van marchandice; de commodity ben good; nempt it, master, 
nempt it}* 

Eyre. Godamercy, Hans; welcome, skipper. Where lies this ship 
of merchandise .? 

S\ip. De s^ip ben in revere; dor be van Sugar, cyvet, almonds, 

' A robe ornamented with guards or facings. "• Stamped. '' RufHing. 
'^ Yield precedence. '' Address you as. 

^^ Good day, master. This is the skipper that bas the ship of merchandise; the 
commodity is good; take it, master, take it. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 49 1 

cambricl^, and a towsand, towsand tings, gotz sacrament; nempt it, 
mester: ye sal heb good copen}^ 

Firl^. To him, master! O sweet master! O sweet wares! Prunes, 
almonds, sugar-candy, carrot-roots, turnips, O brave fatting meat! 
Let not a man buy a nutmeg but yourself. 

Eyre. Peace, Firk! Come, skipper, I'll go aboard with you. — Hans, 
have you made him drink? 

Sl{ip. Yaw, yaw, ic heb veale gedrunc\}^ 

Eyre. Come, Hans, follow me. Skipper, thou shalt have my 
countenance in the city. Exeunt. 

Fir\. Yaw heb veale gedrunc\, quoth a. They may well be 
called butter-boxes, when they drink fat veal and thick beer too. 
But come, dame, I hope you'll chide us no more. 

Marg. No, faith, Firk; no, perdy," Hodge. I do feel honour creep 
upon me, and which is more, a certain rising in my flesh; but let 
that pass. 

Fir/(. Rising in your flesh do you feel, say you? Ay, you may 
be with child, but why should not my master feel a rising in his flesh, 
having a gown and a gold ring on ? But you are such a shrew, you'll 
soon pull him down. 

Marg. Ha, ha! prithee, peace! Thou mak'st my worship laugh; 
but let that pass. Come, I'll go in; Hodge, prithee, go before me; 
Firk, follow me. 

Fir^. Firk doth follow: Hodge, pass out in state. Exeunt. 

Scene II. [London: a room in Lincoln's house] 
Enter the Earl of Lincoln and Dodger 

Lincoln. How now, good Dodger, what's the news in France? 

Dodger. My lord, upon the eighteenth day of May 
The French and English were prepar'd to fight; 
Each side with eager fury gave the sign 
Of a most hot encounter. Five long hours 
Both armies fought together; at the length 

'^The ship lies in the river; there are sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, and a 
thousand thousand things. By God's sacrament, take it, master; you shall have a good 
bargain. '° Yes, yes, I have drunk well. " Fr. Par Dieu. 



492 THOMAS DEKKER 

The lot of victory fell on our side. 

Twelve thousand of the Frenchmen that day died, 

Four thousand English, and no man of name 

But Captain Hyam and young Ardington, 

Two gallant gentlemen, I knew them well. 

Lincoln. But Dodger, prithee, tell me, in this fight 
How did my cousin Lacy bear himself? 

Dodger. My lord, your cousin Lacy was not there. 

Lincoln. Not there? 

Dodger. No, my good lord. 

Lincoln. Sure, thou mistakest. 

I saw him shipp'd, and a thousand eyes beside 
Were witnesses of the farewells which he gave. 
When I, with weeping eyes, bid him adieu. 
Dodger, take heed. 

Dodger. My lord, I am advis'd' 

That what I spake is true : to prove it so. 
His cousin Askew, that supplied his place. 
Sent me for him from France, that secretly 
He might convey himself thither. 

Lincoln. Is't even so? 

Dares he so carelessly venture his life 
Upon the indignation of a king? 
Has he despis'd my love, and spurn'd those favours 
Which I with prodigal hand pour'd on his head? 
He shall repent his rashness with his soul; 
Since of my love he makes no estimate, 
I'll make him wish he had not known my hate. 
Thou hast no other news? 

Dodger. None else, my lord. 

Lincoln. None worse I know thou hast. — Procure the king 
To crown his giddy brows with ample honours. 
Send him chief colonel, and all my hope 
Thus to be dash'd! But 'tis in vain to grieve. 
One evil cannot a worse relieve. 
Upon my life, I have found out his plot; 

' Certainly informed. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 493 

That old dog, Love, that fawn'd upon him so. 
Love to that puUng girl, his fair-cheek'd Rose, 
The lord mayor's daughter, hath distracted him, 
And in the fire of that love's lunacy 
Hath he burnt up himself, consum'd his credit, 
Lost the king's love, yea, and I fear, his life, 
Only to get a wanton to his wife, 
Dodger, it is so. 

Dodger. I fear so, my good lord. 

Lincoln. It is so — nay, sure it cannot be! 
I am at my wits' end. Dodger! 

Dodger. Yea, my lord. 

Lincoln. Thou art acquainted with my nephew's haunts. 
Spend this gold for thy pains; go seek him out; 
Watch at my lord mayor's — there if he live. 
Dodger, thou shalt be sure to meet with him. 
Prithee, be diligent. — Lacy, thy name 
Liv'd once in honour, now 'tis dead in shame. — 
Be circumspect. Exit. 

Dodger. I warrant you, my lord. Exit. 

Scene III. {London: a room in the Lord Mayor's house] 

Enter the Lord Mayor and Master Scon 

L. Mayor. Good Master Scott, I have been bold with you, 
To be a witness to a wedding-knot 
Betwixt young Master Hammon and my daughter. 
O, stand aside; see where the lovers come. 

Enter Master Hammon and Rose 

Rose. Can it be possible you love me so? 
No, no, within those eyeballs I espy 
Apparent likelihoods of flattery. 
Pray now, let go my hand. 

Ham. Sweet Mistress Rose, 

Misconstrue not my words, nor misconceive 



494 THOMAS DEKKER 

Of my affection, whose devoted soul 

Swears that I love thee dearer than my heart. 

Rose. As dear as your own heart? I judge it right, 
Men love their hearts best when th'are out of sight. 

Ham. I love you, by this hand. 

Rose. Yet hands ofl now! 

If flesh be frail, how weak and frail's your vow! 

Ham. Then by my life I swear. 

Rose. Then do not brawl; 

One quarrel loseth wife and life and all. 
Is not your meaning thus? 

Ham. In faith, you jest. 

Rose. Love loves to sport; therefore leave love, y'are best. 

L. Mayor. What? square' they, Master Scott? 

Scott. Sir, never doubt, 

Lovers are quickly in, and quickly out. 

Ham. Sweet Rose, be not so strange in fancying me. 
Nay, never turn aside, shun not my sight: 
I am not grown so fond, to fond^ my love 
On any that shall quit it with disdain; 
If you will love me, so — if not, farewell. 

L. Mayor. Why, how now, lovers, are you both agreed ? 

Ham. Yes, faith, my lord. 

L. Mayor. 'Tis well, give me your hand. 

Give me yours, daughter. — How now, both pull back! 
What means this, girl? 

Rose. I mean to live a maid. 

Ham. But not to die one; pause, ere that be said. Aside. 

L. Mayor. Will you still cross me, still be obstinate ? 

Ham. Nay, chide her not, my lord, for doing well; 
If she can live an happy virgin's life, 
'Tis far more blessed than to be a wife. 

Rose. Say, sir, I cannot : I have made a vow, 
Whoever be my husband, 'tis not you. 

L. Mayor. Your tongue is quick; but Master Hammon, know, 
I bade you welcome to another end. 

* Quarrel. * Found, set; a pun upon fond. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 495 

Ham. What, would you have me pule and pine and pray, 
With 'lovely lady,' 'mistress of my heart,' 
'Pardon your servant,' and the rhymer play. 
Railing on Cupid and his tyrant's-dart; 
Or shall I undertake some martial spoil, 
Wearing your glove at tourney and at tilt. 
And tell how many gallants I unhors'd — 
Sweet, will this pleasure you? 

Rose. Yea, when wilt begin ? 

What, love rhymes, man? Fie on that deadly sin! 

L. Mayor. If you will have her, I'll make her agree. 

Ham. Enforced love is worse than hate to me. 
[Aside.] There is a wench keeps shop in the Old Change, 
To her will I; it is not wealth I seek, 
I have enough; and will prefer her love 
Before the world. — [Aloud.] My good lord mayor, adieu. 
Old love for me, I have no luck with new. Exit. 

L. Mayor. Now, mammet,^ you have well behav'd yourself. 
But you shall curse your coyness if I live. — 
Who's within there? See you convey your mistress 
Straight to th' Old Ford! I'll keep you straight enough. 
Fore God, I would have sworn the puling girl 
Would willingly accepted Hammon's love; 

But banish him, my thoughts!— Go, minion, in! Exit Rose. 

Now tell me. Master Scott, would you have thought 
That Master Simon Eyre, the shoemaker. 
Had been of wealth to buy such merchandise ? 

Scott. 'Twas well, my lord, your honour and myself 
Grew partners with him; for your bills of lading 
Shew that Eyre's gains in one commodity 
Rise at the least to full three thousand pound 
Besides like gain in other merchandise. 

L. Mayor. Well, he shall spend some of his thousands now, 
For I have sent for him to the Guildhall 

^ Puppet, doll. 



496 THOMAS DEKKER 

Enter Eyre 

See, where he comes. — Good morrow, Master Eyre. 
Eyre. Poor Simon Eyre, my lord, your shoemaker. 
L. Mayor. Well, well, it likes* yourself to term you so. 

Enter Dodger 

Now, Master Dodger, what's the news with you ? 

Dodger. I'd gladly speak in private to your honour. 

L. Mayor. You shall, you shall. — Master Eyre and Master Scott, 
I have some business with this gentleman; 
I pray, let me entreat you to walk before 
To the Guildhall; I'll follow presently. 
Master Eyre, I hope ere noon to call you sheriff. 

Eyre. I would not care, my lord, if you might call me King of 
Spain. — Come, Master Scott. [Exeunt Eyre and Scott.] 

L. Mayor. Now, Master Dodger, what's the news you bring ? 

Dodger. The Earl of Lincoln by me greets your lordship. 
And earnestly requests you, if you can. 
Inform him where his nephew Lacy keeps. 

L. Mayor. Is not his nephew Lacy now in France? 

Dodger. No, I assure your lordship, but disguis'd 
Lurks here in London. 

L. Mayor. London.'' Is't even so.'' 

It may be; but upon my faith and soul, 
I know not where he lives, or whether he lives : 
So tell my Lord of Lincoln. — Lurks in London.'' 
Well, Master Dodger, you perhaps may start him; 
Be but the means to rid him into France, 
I'll give you a dozen angels^ for your pains: 
So much I love his honour, hate his nephew. 
And, prithee, so inform thy lord from me. 

Dodger. I take my leave. Exit Dodger. 

L. Mayor. Farewell, good Master Dodger. 

Lacy in London? I dare pawn my life. 
My daughter knows thereof, and for that cause 

* Pleases. ^ Coins worth about 10^. each. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 497 

Deni'd young Master Hammon in his love. 

Well, I am glad I sent her to Old Ford. 

Gods Lord, 'tis late; to Guildhall I must hie; 

I know my brethren stay* my company. Exit. 

Scene IV. [London: a room in Eyre's house] 

Enter Firk, Margery, [Lacy as] Hans, and Roger 

Marg. Thou goest too fast for me, Roger. O, Firk! 

Firl^. Ay, forsooth. 

Marg. I pray thee, run — do you hear? — run to Guildhall, and 
learn if my husband, Master Eyre, will take that worshipful voca- 
tion of Master Sheriff upon him. Hie thee, good Firk. 

F/V^. Take it? Well, I go; an he should not take it, Firk swears 
to forswear him. Yes, forsooth, I go to Guildhall. 

Marg, Nay, when? Thou art too compendious and tedious. 

Firf(^. O rare, your excellence is full of eloquence; how like a new 
cart-wheel my dame speaks, and she looks like an old musty ale- 
bottle' going to scalding. 

Marg. Nay, when? Thou wilt make me melancholy. 

F/r^. God forbid your worship should fall into that humour; — 
I run. Exit, 

Marg. Let me see now, Roger and Hans. 

Hodge. Ay, forsooth, dame — mistress I should say, but the old 
term so sticks to the roof of my mouth, I can hardly lick it off. 

Marg. Even what thou wilt, good Roger; dame is a fair name for 
any honest Christian; but let that pass. How dost thou, Hans? 

Hans. Mee tanc\ you, vro? 

Marg. Well, Hans and Roger, you see, God hath blest your mas- 
ter, and, perdy, if ever he comes to be Master Sheriff of London — 
as we are all mortal — you shall see, I will have some odd thing or 
other in a corner for you: I will not be your back-friend;' but let 
that pass. Hans, pray thee, tie my shoe. 

Hans. Yaw, ic sal, vro^ 

' Wait for. ' Ale-kegs, made of wood. ^ I thank you, mistress! 
'Faithless friend. ^ Yes, I shall, mistress! 



498 THOMAS DEKKER 

Marg. Roger, thou know'st the length of my foot; as it is none of 
the biggest, so I thank God, it is handsome enough; prithee, let me 
have a pair of shoes made, cork, good Roger, wooden heel too. 

Hodge. You shall. 

Marg. Art thou acquainted with never a farthingale-maker, nor 
a French hood-maker ? I must enlarge my bum, ha, ha! How shall 
I look in a hood, I wonder! Perdy, oddly, I think. 

Hodge. [Aside.] As a cat out of a pillory. — Very well, I warrant 
you, mistress. 

Marg. Indeed, all Hesh is grass; and, Roger, canst thou tell where 
I may buy a good hair ? 

Hodge. Yes, forsooth, at the poulterer's in Gracious Street. 

Marg. Thou art an ungracious wag; perdy, I mean a false hair for 
my periwig. 

Hodge. Why, mistress, the next time I cut my beard, you shall 
have the shavings of it; but they are all true hairs. 

Marg. It is very hot, I must get me a fan or else a mask. 

Hodge. [Aside.] So you had need, to hide your wicked face. 

Marg. Fie, upon it, how costly this world's calling is; perdy, but 
that it is one of the wonderful works of God, I would not deal with 
it. — Is not Firk come yet ? Hans, be not so sad, let it pass and vanish, 
as my husband's worship says. 

Hans. Ic\ Inn vrolicke, lot see yow soo!" 

Hodge. Mistress, will you drink* a pipe of tobacco ? 

Marg. Oh, fie upon it, Roger, perdy! These filthy tobacco-pipes 
are the most idle slavering baubles that ever I felt. Out upon it! God 
bless us, men look not like men that use them. 

Enter Ralph, lame 

Hodge. What, fellow Ralph? Mistress, look here, Jane's husband! 
Why, how now, lame ? Hans, make much of him, he's a brother of 
our trade, a good workman, and a tall soldier. 

Hans. You be welcome, broder. 

Marg. Perdy, I knew him not. How dost thou, good Ralph? I 
am glad to see thee well. 

Ralph. I would to God you saw me, dame, as well 
' I am merry; let's see you so too! ' Smoke. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 499 

As when I went from London into France. 

Marg. Trust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see thee impotent. Lord, 
how the wars have made him sunburnt! The left leg is not well; 
'twas a fair gift of God the infirmity took not hold a little higher, 
considering thou earnest from France; but let that pass. 

Ralph. I am glad to see you well, and I rejoice 
To hear that God hath blest my master so 
Since my departure. 

Marg. Yea, truly, Ralph, I thank my Maker; but let that pass. 

Hodge. And, sirrah Ralph, what news, what news in France? 

Ralph. Tell me, good Roger, first, what news in England ? How 
does my Jane? When didst thou see my wife? 
Where lives my poor heart? She'll be poor indeed. 
Now I want Umbs to get whereon to feed. 

Hodge. Limbs? Hast thou not hands, man? Thou shalt never 
see a shoemaker want bread, though he have but three fingers on 
a hand. 

Ralph. Yet all this while I hear not of my Jane. 

Marg. O Ralph, your wife, — perdy, we know not what's become 
of her. She was here a while, and because she was married, grew 
more stately than became her; I checked her, and so forth; away 
she flung, never returned, nor said bye nor bah; and, Ralph, you 

know, 'ka me, ka thee.' ' And so, as I tell ye Roger, is not Firk 

come yet? 

Hodge. No, forsooth. 

Marg. And so, indeed, we heard not of her, but I hear she lives in 
London; but let that pass. If she had wanted, she might have opened 
her case to me or my husband, or to any of my men; I am sure, 
there's not any of them, perdy, but would have done her good to 
his power. Hans, look if Firk be come. 

Hans. Yaw, il{ sal, vrof Exit Hans. 

Marg. And so, as I said — ^but, Ralph, why dost thou weep ? Thou 
knowest that naked we came out of our mother's womb, and naked 
we must return; and, therefore, thank God for all things. 

Hodge. No, faith, Jane is a stranger here; but, Ralph, pull up a 
good heart, I know thou hast one. Thy wife, man, is in London; one 
'' Scratch me, and I'll scratch thee. ' Yes, I shall, dame! 



500 THOMAS DEKKER 

told me, he saw her a while ago very brave' and neat; we'll ferret 
her out, an London hold her. 

Marg. Alas, poor soul, he's overcome with sorrow; he does but as 
I do, weep for the loss of any good thing. But, Ralph, get thee in, 
call for some meat and drink, thou shah find me worshipful towards 
thee. 

Ralph. I thank you, dame; since I want limbs and lands, I'll 
trust to God, my good friends, and my hands. Exit. 

Enter Hans and Firk running 

Fir\. Run, good Hans! O Hodge, O mistress! Hodge, heave up 
thine ears; mistress, smug up'" your looks; on with your best ap- 
parel; my master is chosen, my master is called, nay, condemned 
by the cry of the country to be sheriff of the city for this famous 
year now to come. And time now being, a great many men in black 
gowns were asked for their voices and their hands, and my master 
had all their fists about his ears presently, and they cried 'Ay, ay, ay, 
ay,' — and so I came away — 

Wherefore without all other grieve 
I do salute you, Mistress Shrieve," 

Hans. Yaw, my mester is de groot man, de shrieve. 

Hodge. Did not I tell you, mistress? Now I may boldly say: 
Good-morrow to your worship. 

Marg. Good-morrow, good Roger. I thank you, my good people 
all. — Firk, hold up thy hand: here's a three-penny piece for thy 
tidings. 

Fir/^. 'Tis but three-half-pence, I think. Yes, 'tis three-pence, I 
smell the rose.'^ 

Hodge. But, mistress, be rul'd by me, and do not speak so pulingly. 

FzV^. 'Tis her worship speaks so, and not she. No, faith, mistress, 
speak me in the old key: 'To it, Firk,' 'there, good Firk,' 'ply your 
business, Hodge,' 'Hodge, with a full mouth,' 'I'll fill your bellies 
with good cheer, till they cry twang.' 

9 Fine. ■" Brighten up. " Sheriff. 

'^ "The three-farthing silver pieces of Queen Elizabeth had the profile of the 
sovereign with a ros3 at the back of her head." -^Dyce. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 5OI 

Enter Eyre wearing a gold chain 

Hans. See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester}^ 

Marg. Welcome home, Master Shrieve; I pray God continue you 
in health and wealth. 

Eyre. See here, my Maggy, a chain, a gold chain for Simon Eyre. 
I shall make thee a lady; here's a French hood for thee; on with 
it, on with it! dress thy brows with this flap of a shoulder of mut- 
ton," to make thee look lovely. Where be my fine men ? Roger, I'll 
make over my shop and tools to thee; Firk, thou shalt be the fore- 
man; Hans, thou shalt have an hundred for twenty." Be as mad 
knaves as your master Sim Eyre hath been, and you shall live to be 
Sheriffs of London. — How dost thou like me, Margery? Prince 
am I none, yet am I princely born. Firk, Hodge, and Hans! 

All Three. Ay forsooth, what says your worship. Master Sheriff? 

Eyre. Worship and honour, you Babylonian knaves, for the gentle 
craft. But I forgot myself, I am bidden by my lord mayor to dinner 
to Old Ford; he's gone before, I must after. Come, Madge, on with 
your trinkets! Now, my true Trojans, my fine Firk, my dapper 
Hodge, my honest Hans, some device, some odd crotchets, some 
morris, or such like, for the honour of the gentlemen shoemakers. 
Meet me at Old Ford, you know my mind. Come, Madge, away. 
Shut up the shop, knaves, and make holiday. Exeunt. 

Fir\. O rare! O brave! Come, Hodge; follow me, Hans; We'll 
be with them for a morris-dance. Exeunt. 

Scene V. [A room at Old Ford] 

Enter the Lord Mayor, [Rose,] Eyre, Margery in a French hood, 
Sybil, and other Servants 

L. Mayor. Trust me, you are as welcome to Old Ford 
As I myself. 
Marg. Truly, I thank your lordship. 
L. Mayor. Would our bad cheer were worth the thanks you give. 

" See, my dear brothers, here comes my master. 

'* The flap of a hood trimmed with fur or sheep's wool. — Rhys. 

'^ /. e., for the twenty Portuguese previously lent. 



502 THOMAS DEKKER 

Eyre. Good cheer, my lord mayor, fine cheer! A fine house, fine 
walls, all fine and neat. 

L. Mayor. Now, by my troth, I'll tell thee, Master Eyre, 
It does me good, and all my brethren, 
That such a madcap fellow as thyself 
Is ent'red into our society. 

Marg. Ay, but, my lord, he must learn now to put on gravity. 

Eyre. Peace, Maggy, a fig for gravity! When I go to Guildhall in 
my scarlet gown, I'll look as demurely as a saint, and speak as gravely 
as a justice of peace; but now I am here at Old Ford, at my good 
lord mayor's house, let it go by, vanish, Maggy, I'll be merry; away 
with flip-flap, these fooleries, these gulleries. What, honey? Prince 
am I none, yet am I princely born. What says my lord mayor? 

L. Mayor. Ha, ha, ha! I had rather than a thousand pounds, I 
had an heart but half so light as yours. 

Eyre. Why, what should I do, my lord? A pound of care pays not 
a dram of debt. Hum, let's be merry, whiles we are young; old age, 
sack and sugar will steal upon us, ere we be aware. 

The First Three-Men's Song 

O the month of May, the merry month of May, 
So frolick, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! 

O, and then did I unto my true love say: 
"Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's queen! 

"Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale. 
The sweetest singer in all the forest's choir, 

Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's tale; 
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier. 

"But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo; 

See where she sitteth: come away, my joy; 
Come away, I prithee: I do not like the cuckoo 

Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy." 

O the month of May, the merry month of May, 
So frolick, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 503 

And then did I unto my true love say: 
"Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's queen!" 

L. Mayor. It's well done; Mistress Eyre, pray, give good counsel 
To my daughter. 

Marg. I hope. Mistress Rose will have the grace to take nothing 
that's bad. 

L. Mayor. Pray God she do; for i' faith. Mistress Eyre, 
I would bestow upon that peevish girl 
A thousand marks more than I mean to give her 
Upon condition she'd be rul'd by me. 
The ape still crosseth me. There came of late 
A proper gentleman of fair revenues, 
Whom gladly I would call son-in-law: 
But my fine cockney would have none of him. 
You'll prove a coxcomb for it, ere you die: 
A courtier, or no man must please your eye. 

Eyre. Be rul'd, sweet Rose : th'art ripe for a man. Marry not with 
a boy that has no more hair on his face than thou hast on thy cheeks. 
A courtier, wash, go by, stand not upon pishery-pashery: those silken 
fellows are but painted images, outsides, outsides. Rose; their inner 
linings are torn. No, my fine mouse, marry me with a gentleman 
grocer like my lord mayor, your father; a grocer is a sweet trade: 
plums, plums. Had I a son or daughter should marry out of the 
generation and blood of the shoemakers, he should pack; what, 
the gentle trade is a living for a man through Europe, through the 
world. A noise within of a tabor and a pipe. 

L. Mayor. What noise is this ? 

Eyre. O my lord mayor, a crew of good fellows that for love to 
your honour are come hither with a morris-dance. Come in, my 
Mesopotamians, cheerily. 

Enter Hodge, Hans, Ralph, Firk, and other Shoemakers, in a mor- 
ris; after a little dancing the Lord Mayor speaks. 

L. Mayor. Master Eyre, are all these shoemakers? 

Eyre. All cordwainers, my good lord mayor. 

Rose. [Aside.] How like my Lacy looks yond shoemaker! 



504 THOMAS DEKKER 

Hans. [Aside.] O that I durst but speak unto my love! 

L. Mayor. Sybil, go fetch some wine to make these drink. You are 
all welcome. 

All. We thank your lordship. 

Rose ta/(es a cup of wine and goes to Hans. 

Rose. For his sake whose fair shape thou represent'st, 
Good friend, I drink to thee. 

Hans. Ic bedanc/^e, good frister} 

Marg. I see, Mistress Rose, you do not want judgment; you have 
drunk to the properest man I keep. 

Fir/(^. Here be some have done their parts to be as proper as he. 

L. Mayor. Well, urgent business calls me back to London. 
Good fellows, first go in and taste our cheer; 
And to make merry as you homeward go, 
Spend these two angels in beer at Stratford-Bow. 

Eyre. To these two, my mad lads, Sim Eyre adds another; then 
cheerily, Firk; tickle it, Hans, and all for the honour of shoemakers. 

All go dancing out. 

L. Mayor. Come, Master Eyre, let's have your company. Exeunt. 

Rose. Sybil, what shall I do.? 

Sybil. Why, what's the matter.? 

Rose. That Hans the shoemaker is my love Lacy, 
Disguis'd in that attire to find me out. 
How should I find the means to speak with him.? 

Sybil. What, mistress, never fear; I dare venture my maidenhead 
to nothing, and that's great odds, that Hans the Dutchman, when 
we come to London, shall not only see and speak with you, but in 
spite of all your father's poUcies steal you away and marry you. 
Will not this please you ? 

Rose. Do this, and ever be assured of my love. 

Sybil. Away, then, and follow your father to London, lest your 
absence cause him to suspect something: 

To-morrow, if my counsel be obey'd, 
I'll bind you prentice to the gentle trade. [Exeunt.] 

' I thank you, good maidi 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 505 

ACT IV 

Scene I. [A street in London] 

Jane in a Seamster's shop, tvorkjng; enter Master Hammon, muffled; 

he stands aloof 

Ham. Yonder's the shop, and there my fair love sits. 
She's fair and lovely, but she is not mine. 
O, would she were! Thrice have I courted her. 
Thrice hath my hand been moist'ned with her hand, 
Whilst my poor famish'd eyes do feed on that 
Which made them famish. I am unfortunate: 
I still love one, yet nobody loves me. 
I muse in other men what women see 
That I so want! Fine Mistress Rose was coy, 
And this too curious! Oh, no, she is chaste. 
And for she thinks me wanton, she denies 
To cheer my cold heart with her sunny eyes. 
How prettily she works, oh pretty hand! 
Oh happy work! It doth me good to stand 
Unseen to see her. Thus I oft have stood 
In frosty evenings, a light burning by her, 
Enduring biting cold, only to eye her. 
One only look hath seem'd as rich to me 
As a king's crown; such is love's lunacy. 
Muffled I'll pass along, and by that try 
Whether she know me. 

Jane. Sir, what is't you buy .? 

What is't you lack, sir, calico, or lawn. 
Fine cambric shirts, or bands, what will you buy } 

Ham. [^Aside.] That which thou wilt not sell. Faith, yet I'll try: 
How do you sell this handkerchief? 

]ane. Good cheap. 

Ham. And how these rufis? 

]ane. Cheap too. 

Ham. And how this band.? 

Jane. Cheap too. 



506 THOMAS DEKKER 

Ham. All cheap; how sell you then this hand? 

Jane. My hands are not to be sold. 

Ham. To be given then! 

Nay, faith, I come to buy. 

Jane. But none knows when. 

Ham. Good sweet, leave work a little while; let's play. 

]ane. I cannot live by keeping holiday. 

Ham. I'll pay you for the time which shall be lost. 

Jane. With me you shall not be at so much cost. 

Ham. Look, how you wound this cloth, so you wound me. 

Jane. It may be so. 

Ham. 'Tis so. 

Jane. What remedy? 

Ham. Nay, faith, you are too coy. 

Jane. Let go my hand. 

Ham. I will do any task at your command, 
I would let go this beauty, were I not 
In mind to disobey you by a power 
That controls kings: I love you! 

Jane. So, now part. 

Ham. With hands I may, but never with my heart. 
In faith, I love you. 

Jane. I believe you do. 

Ham. Shall a true love in me breed hate in you? 

Jane. I hate you not. 

Ham. Then you must love? 

Jane. I do. 

What are you better now? I love not you. 

Ham. All this, I hope, is but a woman's fray. 
That means, "Come to me," when she cries, "Away!" 
In earnest, mistress, I do not jest, 
A true chaste love hath ent'red in my breast. 
I love you dearly, as I love my life, 
I love you as a husband loves a wife; 
That, and no other love, my love requires. 
Thy wealth, I know, is little; my desires 
Thirst not for gold. Sweet, beauteous Jane, what's mine 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 507 

Shall, if thou make myself thine, all be thine. 
Say, judge, what is thy sentence, life or death? 
Mercy or cruelty lies in thy breath. 

Jane. Good sir, I do believe you love me well; 
For 'tis a silly conquest, silly pride 
For one like you — I mean a gentleman — 
To boast that by his love-tricks he hath brought 
Such and such women to his amorous lure; 
I think you do not so, yet many do. 
And make it even a very trade to woo. 
I could be coy, as many women be, 
Feed you with sunshine smiles and wanton looks, 
But I detest witchcraft; say that I 
Do constantly believe, you constant have 

Ham. Why dost thou not believe me? 

Jane. I believe you; 

But yet, good sir, because I will not grieve you 
With hopes to taste fruit which will never fall, 
In simple truth this is the sum of all: 
My husband lives, at least, I hope he lives. 
Press'd was he to these bitter wars in France; 
Bitter they are to me by wanting him. 
I have but one heart, and that heart's his due. 
How can I then bestow the same on you ? 
Whilst he lives, his I live, be it ne'er so poor. 
And rather be his wife than a king's whore. 

Ham. Chaste and dear woman, I will not abuse thee, 
Although it cost my life, if thou refuse me. 
Thy husband, press'd for France, what was his name? 

Jane. Ralph Damport. 

Ham. Damport? — Here's a letter sent 

From France to me, from a dear friend of mine, 
A gentleman of place; here he doth write 
Their names that have been slain in every fight. 

Jane. I hope death's scroll contains not my love's name. 

Ham. Cannot you read? 

Jane. I can. 



508 THOMAS DEKKER 

Ham. Peruse the same. 

To my remembrance such a name I read 
Amongst the rest. See here. 

]ane. Ay me, he's dead! 

He's dead! If this be true, my dear heart's slain! 

Ham. Have patience, dear love. 

Jane. Hence, hence! 

Ham. Nay, sweet Jane, 

Make not poor sorrow proud with these rich tears. 
I mourn thy husband's death, because thou mourn'st. 

Jane. That bill is forg'd; 'tis sign'd by forgery. 

Ham. I'll bring thee letters sent besides to many, 
Carrying the like report: Jane, 'tis too true. 
Come, weep not : mourning, though it rise from love, 
Helps not the mourned, yet hurts them that mourn. 

Jane. For God's sake, leave me. 

Ham. Whither dost thou turn.? 

Forget the dead, love them that are alive; 
His love is faded, try how mine will thrive. 

Jane. 'Tis now no time for me to think on love. 

Ham. 'Tis now best time for you to think on love, 
Because your love lives not. 

Jane. Though he be dead, 

My love to him shall not be buried; 
For God's sake, leave me to myself alone. 

Ham. 'T would kill my soul, to leave thee drown'd in moan. 
Answer me to my suit, and I am gone; 
Say to me yea or no. 

Jane. No. 

Ham. Then farewell! 

One farewell will not serve, I come again; 
Come, dry these wet cheeks; tell me, faith, sweet Jane, 
Yea or no, once more. 

Jane. Once more I say: no; 

Once more be gone, I pray; else will I go. 

Ham. Nay, then I will grow rude, by this white hand, 
Until you change that cold "no"; here I'll stand 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 509 

Till by your hard heart 

Jane. Nay, for God's love, peace! 

My sorrows by your presence more increase. 
Not that you thus are present, but all grief 
Desires to be alone; therefore in brief 
Thus much I say, and saying bid adieu: 
If ever I wed man, it shall be you. 

Ham. O blessed voice! Dear Jane, I'll urge no more, 
Thy breath hath made me rich. 

Jane. Death makes me poor. Exeunt. 

Scene II. [London: a street before Hodge's shop] 

Hodge, at his shop-board, Ralph, Firk, Hans, and 
a Boy at wor\ 

All. Hey, down a down, down derry. 

Hodge. Well said, my hearts; ply your work to-day, we loit'red 
yesterday; to it pell-mell, that we may live to be lord mayors, or 
aldermen at least. 

Fir\. Hey, down a down, derry. 

Hodge. Well said, i' faith! How say'st thou, Hans, doth not 
Firk tickle it? 

Hans. Yaw, mester. 

Fir\. Not so neither, my organ-pipe squeaks this morning for 
want of liquoring. Hey, down a down, derry! 

Hans. Fortvard, Fir\, totv best un jolly yongster. Hort, I, mester, 
ic bid yo, cut me un pair vampres vor Mester Je^re's boots} 

Hodge. Thou shalt, Hans. 

Fir\. Master! 

Hodge. How now, boy ? 

Fir\. Pray, now you are in the cutting vein, cut me out a pair of 
counterfeits,'' or else my work will not pass current; hey, down a 
down! 

Hodge. Tell me, sirs, are my cousin Mrs. Priscilla's shoes 
done ? 

' "Forward, Firk, thou art a jolly youngster. Hark, ay, master, I pray you cut 
me a pair of vamps for Master Jeffrey's boots." Vamps are the upper leathers of a shoe. 
^ Counterfeits sometimes means vamps. 



510 THOMAS DEKKER 

Fir\. Your cousin? No, master; one of your aunts, hang her; let 
them alone. 

Ralph. I am in hand with them; she gave charge that none but I 
should do them for her. 

Fir\. Thou do for her? Then 'twill be a lame doing, and that 
she loves not. Ralph, thou might'st have sent her to me, in faith, I 
would have yearked and firked your Priscilla. Hey, down a down, 
derry. This gear will not hold. 

Hodge. How say'st thou, Firk, were we not merry at Old Ford? 

Fir}{. How, merry! Why, our buttocks went jiggy-joggy like a 
quagmire. Well, Sir Roger Oatmeal, if I thought all meal of that 
nature, I would eat nothing but bagpuddings. 

Ralph. Of all good fortunes my fellow Hans had the best. 

Fir\. 'Tis true, because Mistress Rose drank to him. 

Hodge. Well, well, work apace. They say, seven of the aldermen 
be dead, or very sick. 

Firl{^. I care not, I'll be none. 

Ralph. No, nor I; but then my Master Eyre will come quickly to 
be lord mayor. 

Enter Sybil 

Fir\. Whoop, yonder comes Sybil. 

Hodge. Sybil, welcome, i'faith; and how dost thou, mad wench? 

Fir\. Sybil, welcome to London. 

Sybil. Godamercy, sweet Firk; good lord, Hodge, what a delicious 
shop you have got! You tickle it, i'faith. 

Ralph. Godamercy, Sybil, for our good cheer at Old Ford. 

Sybil. That you shall have, Ralph. 

Fir\. Nay, by the mass, we had tickling cheer, Sybil; and how 
the plague dost thou and Mistress Rose and my lord mayor? I put 
the women in first. 

Sybil. Well, Godamercy; but God's me, I forget myself, where's 
Hans the Fleming? 

Fir\. Hark, butter-box, now you must yelp out some spre\en, 

Hans. Wat begaie you? Vat vod you, Frister?^ 

Sybil. Marry, you must come to my young mistress, to pull on her 
shoes you made last. 

' what do you want, what would you, girl ? 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 5II 

Hans. Vare ben your egle fro, vare ben your mistris?^ 

Sybil. Marry, here at our London house in Cornhill. 

F/>^. Will nobody serve her turn but Hans? 

Sybil. No, sir. Come, Hans, I stand upon needles. 

Hodge. Why then, Sybil, take heed of pricking. 

Sybil. For that let me alone. I have a trick in my budget. Come, 
Hans. 

Hans. Yaw, yaw, ic sail meete yo gane!" Exit Hans and Sybil. 

Hodge. Go, Hans, make haste again. Come, who lacks work? 

Firl{. I, master, for I lack my breakfast; 'tis munching-time, and 
past. 

Hodge. Is't so? Why, then leave work, Ralph. To breakfast! 
Boy, look to the tools. Come, Ralph; come, Firk. Exeunt. 

Scene III. [The same] 

Enter a Serving-man 

Serv. Let me see now, the sign of the Last in Tower Street. Mass, 
yonder's the house. What, haw! Who's within? 

Enter Ralph 

Ralph. Who calls there? What want you, sir? 

Serv. Marry, I would have a pair of shoes made for a gentle- 
woman against to-morrow morning. What, can you do them? 

Ralph. Yes, sir, you shall have them. But what length's her foot? 

Serv. Why, you must make them in all parts like this shoe; but, 
at any hand, fail not to do them, for the gentlewoman is to be mar- 
ried very early in the morning. 

Ralph. How? by this shoe must it be made? By this? Are you 
sure, sir, by this ? 

Serv. How, by this? Am I sure, by this? Art thou in thy wits? 
I tell thee, I must have a pair of shoes, dost thou mark me? A pair 
of shoes, two shoes, made by this very shoe, this same shoe, against 
to-morrow morning by four a clock. Dost understand me? Canst 
thou do't? 

* where is your noble lady, where is your mistress? 
^ Yes, yes, I shall go with you. 



512 THOMAS DEKKER 

Ralph. Yes, sir, yes — I — I — I can do't. By this shoe, you say? I 
should know this shoe. Yes, sir, yes, by this shoe, I can do't. Four a 
clock, well. Whither shall I bring them? 

Serv. To the sign of the Golden Ball in Watling Street; enquire 
for one Master Hammon, a gentleman, my master, 

Ralph. Yea, sir; by this shoe, you say? 

Serv. I say. Master Hammon at the Golden Ball; he's the bride- 
groom, and those shoes are for his bride. 

Ralph. They shall be done by this shoe. Well, well. Master Ham- 
mon at the Golden Shoe — I would say, the Golden Ball; very well, 
very well. But I pray you, sir, where must Master Hammon be 
married ? 

Serv. At Saint Faith's Church, under Paul's. But what's that to 
thee? Prithee, dispatch those shoes, and so farewell. Exit. 

Ralph. By this shoe, said he. How am I amaz'd 
At this strange accident! Upon my life, 
This was the very shoe I gave my wife. 
When I was press'd for France; since when, alas! 
I never could hear of her. It is the same, 
And Hammon's bride no other but my Jane. 

Enter Firk 

Fir\. 'Snails.' Ralph, thou hast lost thy part of three pots, a 
countryman of mine gave me to breakfast. 

Ralph. I care not; I have found a better thing. 

Fir\. A thing? Away! Is it a man's thing, or a woman s thing? 

Ralph. Firk, dost thou know this shoe? 

Fir\. No, by my troth; neither doth that know me! I have no 
acquaintance with it, 'tis a mere stranger to me. 

Ralph. Why, then I do; this shoe, I durst be sworn, 
Once covered the instep of my Jane. 
This is her size, her breadth, thus trod my love; 
These true-love knots I pricked. I hold my life. 
By this old shoe I shall find out my wife. 

Fir\. Ha, ha! Old shoe, that wert new! How a murrain came 
this ague-fit of foolishness upon thee ? 

* A corruption of "God's nails." 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 513 

Ralph. Thus, Firk: even now here came a serving-man; 
By this shoe would he have a new pair made 
Against to-morrow morning for his mistress, 
That's to be married to a gentleman. 
And why may not this be my sweet Jane? 

Fir\. And why may'st not thou be my sweet ass? Ha, ha! 

Ralph. Well, laugh and spare not! But the truth is this: 
Against to-morrow morning I'll provide 
A lusty crew of honest shoemakers. 
To watch the going of the bride to church. 
If she prove Jane, I'll take her in despite 
From Hammon and the devil, were he by. 
If it be not my Jane, what remedy ? 
Hereof I am sure, I shall live till I die. 
Although I never with a woman lie. Exit. 

Fir\. Thou lie with a woman to build nothing but Cripple-gates! 
Well, God sends fools fortune, and it may be, he may light upon 
his matrimony by such a device; for wedding and hanging goes by 
destiny. Exit. 

Scene IV. \London: a room in the Lord Mayor's house] 
Enter Hans and Rose, arm in arm 

Hans. How happy am I by embracing thee! 
Oh, I did fear such cross mishaps did reign, 
That I should never see my Rose again. 

Rose. Sweet Lacy, since fair opportunity 
Offers herself to further our escape. 
Let not too over-fond esteem of me 
Hinder that happy hour. Invent the means. 
And Rose will follow thee through all the world. 

Hans. Oh, how I surfeit with excess of joy. 
Made happy by thy rich perfection! 
But since thou pay'st sweet interest to my hopes, 
Redoubling love on love, let me once more 
Like to a bold-fac'd debtor crave of thee. 
This night to steal abroad, and at Eyre's house, 



514 THOMAS DEKKER 

Who now by death of certain aldermen 
Is mayor of London, and my master once, 
Meet thou thy Lacy, where in spite of change, 
Your father's anger, and mine uncle's hate, 
Our happy nuptials will we consummate. 

Enter Sybil 

Sybil. Oh God, what will you do, mistress? Shift for yourself, 
your father is at hand! He's coming, he's coming! Master Lacy, 
hide yourself in my mistress! For God's sake, shift for yourselves! 

Hans, Your father come, sweet Rose — what shall I do? Where 
shall I hide me? How shall I escape? 

Rose. A man, and want wit in extremity? 
Come, come, be Hans still, play the shoemaker. 
Pull on my shoe. 

Enter the Lord Mayor 

Hans. Mass, and that's well rememb'red. 

Sybil. Here comes your father. 

Hans. Forware, metresse, 'tis un good s\ow, it sal vel dute, or ye 
sal neit betallen} 

Rose. Oh God, it pincheth me; what will you do? 

Hans. [Aside.] Your father's presence pincheth, not the shoe. 

L. Mayor. Well done; fit my daughter well, and she shall please 
thee well. 

Hans. Yaw, yaw, ic\ weit dat well; forware, 'tis un good sl{oo, 
'tis gimait van neits leither; se euer, mine here} 

Enter a Prentice 

L. Mayor. I do believe it. — What's the news with you? 

Prentice. Please you, the Earl of Lincoln at the gate 
Is newly lighted, and would speak with you. 

L. Mayor. The Earl of Lincoln come to speak with me ? 
Well, well, I know his errand. Daughter Rose, 

* Indeed, mistress, 'tis a good shoe, it shall fit well, or you shall not pay. 
^Yes, yes, I know that well; indeed, 'tis a good shoe, 'tis made of neat's leather, 
see here, good sir! 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 515 

Send hence your shoemaker, dispatch, have done! 

Syb, make things handsome! Sir boy, follow me. Exit. 

Hans. Mine uncle come! Oh, what may this portend? 
Sweet Rose, this of our love threatens an end. 

Rose. Be not dismay 'd at this; whate'er befall, 
Rose is thine own. To witness I speak truth, 
Where thou appoint'st the place, I'll meet with thee. 
I will not fix a day to follow thee. 
But presently' steal hence. Do not reply: 
Love which gave strength to bear my father's hate, 
Shall now add wings to further our escape. Exeunt. 

Scene V. [Another room in the same housed 

Enter the Lord Mayor and the Earl of Lincoln 

L. Mayor. Believe me, on my credit, I speak truth: 
Since first your nephew Lacy went to France, 
I have not seen him. It seem'd strange to me. 
When Dodger told me that he stay'd behind, 
Neglecting the high charge the king imposed. 

Lincoln. Trust me. Sir Roger Oateley, I did think 
Your counsel had given head to this attempt. 
Drawn to it by the love he bears your child. 
Here I did hope to find him in your house; 
But now I see mine error, and confess. 
My judgment wrong'd you by conceiving so. 

L. Mayor. Lodge in my house, say you.? Trust me, my lord, 
I love your nephew Lacy too too dearly. 
So much to wrong his honour; and he hath done so, 
That first gave him advice to stay from France. 
To witness I speak truth, I let you know. 
How careful I have been to keep my daughter 
Free from all conference or speech of him; 
Not that I scorn your nephew, but in love 
I bear your honour, lest your noble blood 
Should by my mean worth be dishonoured. 

' Immediately. 



5l6 THOMAS DEKKER 

Lincoln. [Aside.] How far the churl's tongue wanders from his 
heart! 
Well, well, Sir Roger Oateley, I believe you, 
With more than many thanks for the kind love 
So much you seem to bear me. But, my lord, 
Let me request your help to seek my nephew, 
Whom if I find, I'll straight embark for France. 
So shall your Rose be free, my thoughts at rest. 
And much care die which now lies in my breast. 

Enter Sybil 

Sybil. Oh Lord! Help, for God's sake! My mistress; oh, my 
young mistress! 

L. Mayor. Where is thy mistress? What's become of her? 

Sybil. She's gone, she's fled! 

L. Mayor. Gone! Whither is she fled? 

Sybil. I know not, forsooth; she's fled out of doors with Hans the 
shoemaker; I saw them scud, scud, scud, apace, apace! 

L. Mayor, Which way? What, John! Where be my men ? Which 
way? 

Sybil. I know not, an it please your worship. 

L. Mayor. Fled with a shoemaker? Can this be true? 

Sybil. Oh Lord, sir, as true as God's in Heaven. 

Lincoln. Her love turn'd shoemaker ? I am glad of this. 

L. Mayor. A Fleming butter-box, a shoemaker! 
Will she forget her birth, requite my care 
With such ingratitude? Scorn'd she young Hammon 
To love a honniken,' a needy knave? 
Well, let her fly, I'll not fly after her, 
Let her starve, if she will; she's none of mine. 

Lincoln. Be not so cruel, sir. 

Enter Firk with shoes 

Sybil. I am glad, she's scap'd. 

L. Mayor. I'll not account of her as of my child. 
Was there no better object for her eyes 

' Simpleton (?). 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 517 

But a foul drunken lubber, swill-belly, 
A shoemaker? That's brave! 

Fir\. Yea, forsooth; 'tis a very brave shoe, and as fit as a pud- 
ding. 

L. Mayor. How now, what knave is this? From whence comest 
thou? 

Firk^. No knave, sir. I am Firk the shoemaker, lusty Roger's chief 
lusty journeyman, and I have come hither to take up the pretty leg 
of sweet Mistress Rose, and thus hoping your worship is in as good 
health, as I was at the making hereof, I bid you farewell, yours, Firk. 

L. Mayor. Stay, stay. Sir Knave! 

Lincoln. Come hither, shoemaker! 

Fir\. 'Tis happy the knave is put before the shoemaker, or else 
I would not have vouchsafed to come back to you. I am moved, for 
I stir. 

L. Mayor. My lord, this villain calls us knaves by craft. 

Fir\. Then 'tis by the gentle craft, and to call one knave gently, 
is no harm. Sit your worship merry! Syb, your young mistress — 
I'll so bob^ them, now my Master Eyre is lord mayor of London. 

L. Mayor. Tell me, sirrah, whose man are you ? 

Fir\. I am glad to see your worship so merry. I have no maw to 
this gear, no stomach as yet to a red petticoat. 

Pointing to Sybil. 

Lincoln. He means not, sir, to woo you to his maid, 
But only doth demand whose man you are. 

Firl{. I sing now to the tune of Rogero. Roger, my fellow, is now 
my master. 

Lincoln. Sirrah, know'st thou one Hans, a shoemaker ? 

Fir\. Hans, shoemaker? Oh yes, stay, yes, I have him. I tell you 
what, I speak it in secret: Mistress Rose and he are by this time — no, 
not so, but shortly are to come over one another with "Can you 
dance the shaking of the sheets?" It is that Hans — [Aside.] I'll so 
gulF these diggers!' 

L. Mayor. Know'st thou, then, where he is? 

F/r^. Yes, forsooth; yea, marry! 

Lincoln. Canst thou, in sadness* 

Fir^. No, forsooth; no, marry! 

^ Fool. ' /. e., diggers for information. * Seriously. 



5l8 THOMAS DEKKER 

L. Mayor. Tell me, good honest fellow, where he is, 
And thou shalt see what I'll bestow on thee. 

Fir^. Honest fellow? No, sir; not so, sir; my profession is the 
gentle craft; I care not for seeing, I love feeling; let me feel it here; 
aurium tenus, ten pieces of gold; genuum tenus, ten pieces of silver; 
and then Firk is your man — [aside] in a new pair of stretchers.^ 

L. Mayor. Here is an angel, part of thy reward, 
Which I will give thee; tell me where he is. 

Fir\. No point. Shall I betray my brother? No! Shall I prove 
Judas to Hans? No! Shall I cry treason to my corporation? No, I 
shall be firked and yerked then. But give me your angel; your 
angel shall tell you. 

Lincoln. Do so, good fellow; 'tis no hurt to thee. 

Firl(^. Send simpering Syb away. 

L. Mayor. Huswife, get you in. Exit Sybil. 

Firl{. Pitchers have ears, and maids have wide mouths; but for 
Hans Prauns, upon my word, to-morrow morning he and young 
Mistress Rose go to this gear, they shall be married together, by 
this rush, or else turn Firk to a firkin of butter, to tan leather withal. 

L. Mayor. But art thou sure of this? 

Fir]{. Am I sure that Paul's steeple is a handful higher than 
London Stone,^ or that the Pissing-Conduit' leaks nothing but pure 
Mother Bunch?* Am I sure I am lusty Firk? God's nails, do you 
think I am so base to gull you ? 

Lincoln. Where are they married? Dost thou know the church? 

Fir\. I never go to church, but I know the name of it; it is a 
swearing church — stay a while, 'tis — ay, by the mass, no, no, — 'tis — 
ay, by my troth, no, nor that; 'tis — ay, by my faith, that, that; 'tis, 
ay, by my Faith's Church under Paul's Cross. There they shall be 
knit like a pair of stockings in matrimony; there they'll be inconie.' 

Lincoln. Upon my life, my nephew Lacy walks 
In the disguise of this Dutch shoemaker. 

Firl^. Yes, forsooth. 

Lincoln. Doth he not, honest fellow? 

Fir\. No, forsooth; I think Hans is nobody but Hans, no spirit. 

' Stretchers of the truth, lies. ^ A stone which marked the center from which the 
old Roman roads radiated. ^ A small conduit near the Royal Exchange. * Mother 
Bunch was a well-known ale-wife. ' A pretty sight. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 519 

L. Mayor. My mind misgives me now, 'tis so, indeed. 

Lincoln. My cousin speaks the language, knows the trade. 

L. Mayor. Let me request your company, my lord; 
Your honourable presence may, no doubt. 
Refrain their headstrong rashness, when myself 
Going alone perchance may be o'erborne. 
Shall I request this favour? 

Lincoln. This, or what else. 

Fir\. Then you must rise betimes, for they mean to fall to their 
hey-pass and repass,'" pindy-pandy, which hand will you have, very 
early. 

L. Mayor. My care shall every way equal their haste. 
This night accept your lodging in my house. 
The earlier shall we stir, and at Saint Faith's 
Prevent this giddy hare-^brain'd nuptial. 
This traffic of hot love shall yield cold gains: 
They ban" our loves, and we'll forbid their banns. Exit. 

Lincoln. At Saint Faith's Church thou say'st? 

F«r^. Yes, by their troth. 

Lincoln. Be secret, on thy life. Exit. 

Fir\. Yes, when I kiss your wife! Ha, ha, here's no craft in the 
gentle craft. I came hither of purpose with shoes to Sir Roger's 
worship, whilst Rose, his daughter, be cony-catched by Hans. Soft 
now; these two gulls will be at Saint Faith's Church to-morrow 
morning, to take Master Bridegroom and Mistress Bride napping, 
and they, in the mean time, shall chop up the matter at the Savoy. 
But the best sport is, Sir Roger Oateley will find my fellow lame 
Ralph's wife going to marry a gentleman, and then he'll stop her 
instead of his daughter. Oh brave! there will be fine tickling sport. 
Soft now, what have I to do? Oh, I know; now a mess of shoe- 
makers meet at the Woolsack in Ivy Lane, to cozen" my gendeman 
of lame Ralph's wife, that's true. 

Alack, alack! 
Girls, hold out tack! 
For now smocks for this jumbling 
Shall go to wrack. Exit. 

** Conjuring terms. '' Curse. '^ Cheat. 



520 THOMAS DEKKER 

ACT V 

Scene I. [A room in Eyre's house] 

Enter Eyre, Margery, Hans, and Rose 

Eyre. This is the morning, then; stay, my bully, my honest Hans, 
is it not? 

Hans. This is the morning that must make us two happy or 
miserable; therefore, if you — 

Eyre. Away with these ifs and ands, Hans, and these et caeteras! 
By mine honour, Rowland Lacy, none but the king shall wrong thee. 
Come, fear nothing, am not I Sim Eyre? Is not Sim Eyre lord mayor 
of London? Fear nothing. Rose: let them all say what they can; 
dainty, come thou to me — ^laughest thou ? 

Marg. Good my lord, stand her friend in what thing you may. 

Eyre. Why, my sweet Lady Madgy, think you Simon Eyre can for- 
get his fine Dutch journeyman? No, vah! Fie, I scorn it, it shall 
never be cast in my teeth, that I was unthankful. Lady Madgy, thou 
had' St never covered thy Saracen's head with this French flap, nor 
loaden thy bum with this farthingale, ('tis trash, trumpery, vanity) ; 
Simon Eyre had never walked in a red petticoat, nor wore a chain of 
gold, but for my fine journeyman's Portuguese. — ^And shall I leave 
him? No! Prince am I none, yet bear a princely mind. 

Hans. My lord, 'tis time for us to part from hence. 

Eyre. Lady Madgy, Lady Madgy, take two or three of my pie- 
crust-eaters, my buff-jerkin varlets, that do walk in black gowns at 
Simon Eyre's heels; take them, good Lady Madgy; trip and go, my 
brown queen of periwigs, with my delicate Rose and my jolly Row- 
land to the Savoy; see them link'd, countenance the marriage; and 
when it is done, cling, cling together, you Hamborow turtle-doves. 
I'll bear you out, come to Simon Eyre; come, dwell with me, Hans, 
thou shah eat minced-pies and marchpane.' Rose, away, cricket; trip 
and go, my Lady Madgy, to the Savoy; Hans, wed, and to bed; kiss, 
and away! Go, vanish! 

Marg. Farewell, my lord. 

Rose. Make haste, sweet love. 

' A sweetmeat made of sugar and almonds. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 52 1 

Marg. She'd fain the deed were done. 

Hans. Come, my sweet Rose; faster than deer we'll run. 

Exeunt Hans, Rose, and Margery. 

Eyr^. Go, vanish, vanish! A vaunt, I say! By the Lord of Ludgate, 
it's a mad life to be a lord mayor; it's a stirring life, a fine life, a 
velvet life, a careful life. Well, Simon Eyre, yet set a good face 
on it, in the honour of Saint Hugh. Soft, the king this day comes 
to dine with me, to see my new buildings; his majesty is welcome, 
he shall have good cheer, delicate cheer, princely cheer. This day, 
my fellow prentices of London come to dine with me too, they shall 
have fine cheer, gentlemanlike cheer. I promised the mad Cappado- 
cians, when we all served at the Conduit together, that if ever I 
came to be mayor of London, I would feast them all, and I'll do't, 
I'll do't, by the life of Pharaoh; by this beard, Sim Eyre will be no 
flincher. Besides, I have procur'd that upon every Shrove-Tuesday, at 
the sound of the pancake bell, my fine dapper Assyrian lads shall 
clap up their shop windows, and away. This is the day, and this day 
they shall do't, they shall do't. 

Boys, that day are you free, let masters care, 

And prentices shall pray for Simon Eyre. Exit. 

Scene II. \A street near St. Faith's Church] 

Enter Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and five or six Shoemakers, all tvith 
cudgels or such weapons 

Hodge. Come, Ralph; stand to it, Firk. My masters, as we are 
the brave bloods of the shoemakers, heirs apparent to Saint Hugh, 
and perpetual benefactors to all good fellows, thou shalt have no 
wrong; were Hammon a king of spades, he should not delve in thy 
close without thy sufferance. But tell me, Ralph, art thou sure 'tis 
thy wife? 

Ralph. Am I sure this is Firk? This morning, when I stroked' 
on her shoes, I looked upon her, and she upon me, and sighed, asked 
me if ever I knew one Ralph. Yes, said I. For his sake, said she — 
tears standing in her eyes — and for thou art somewhat like him, 

' Fitted. 



522 THOMAS DEKKER 

spend this piece o£ gold. I took it; my lame leg and my travel 
beyond sea made me unknown. All is one for that: I know she's 
mine. 

Fir\. Did she give thee this gold? O glorious glittering gold! 
She's thine own, 'tis thy wife, and she loves thee; for I'll stand to't, 
there's no woman will give gold to any man, but she thinks better 
of him than she thinks of them she gives silver to. And for Ham- 
mon, neither Hammon nor hangman shall wrong thee in London. 
Is not our old master Eyre, lord mayor? Speak, my hearts. 

All. Yes, and Hammon shall know it to his cost. 

Enter Hammon, his Serving-man, Jane and Others 

Hodge. Peace, my bullies; yonder they come. 

Ralph, Stand to't, my hearts. Firk, let me speak first. 

Hodge. No, Ralph, let me. — Hammon, whither away so early ? 

Ham. Unmannerly, rude slave, what's that to thee? 

Fir]{. To him, sir? Yes, sir, and to me, and others. Good-morrow, 
Jane, how dost thou? Good Lord, how the world is changed with 
you! God be thanked! 

Ham. Villains, hands off! How dare you touch my love? 

All. Villains? Down with them! Cry clubs for prentices!'' 

Hodge. Hold, my hearts! Touch her, Hammon? Yea, and more 
than that: we'll carry her away with us. My masters and gentle- 
men, never draw your bird-spits; shoemakers are steel to the back, 
men every inch of them, all spirit. 

Those of Hammon' s side. Well, and what of all this? 

Hodge. I'll show you. — Jane, dost thou know this man? 'Tis 
Ralph, I can tell thee; nay, 'tis he in faith, though he be lam'd by the 
wars. Yet look not strange, but run to him, fold him about the 
neck and kiss him. 

Jane. Lives then my husband? Oh God, let me go, Let me 
embrace my Ralph, 

Ham. What means my Jane? 

]ane. Nay, what meant you, to tell me, he was slain? 

Ham. Pardon me, dear love, for being misled. 
[To Ralph.] 'Twas rumour'd here in London, thou wert dead. 
2 "Clubs" was the rallying cry of the London apprentices. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 523 

Fir\. Thou seest he Uves. Lass, go, pack home with him. Now, 
Master Hammon, where's your mistress, your wife? 

Sen. 'S wounds, master, fight for her! Will you thus lose her ? 

All. Down with that creature! Clubs! Down with him! 

Hodge. Hold, hold! 

Ham. Hold, fool! Sirs, he shall do no wrong. 
Will my Jane leave me thus, and break her faith? 

Fir}{. Yea, sir! She must, sir! She shall, sir! What then? Mend it! 

Hodge. Hark, fellow Ralph, follow my counsel: set the wench 
in the midst, and let her choose her man, and let her be his woman. 

Jane. Whom should I choose ? Whom should my thoughts affect 
But him whom Heaven hath made to be my love? 
Thou art my husband, and these humble weeds 
Make thee more beautiful than all his wealth. 
Therefore, I will but put off his attire, 
Returning it into the owner's hand, 
And after ever be thy constant wife. 

Hodge. Not a rag, Jane! The law's on our side; he that sows in 
another man's ground, forfeits his harvest. Get thee home, Ralph; 
follow him, Jane; he shall not have so much as a busk-point^ from 
thee. 

Fir\. Stand to that, Ralph; the appurtenances are thine own. 
Hammon, look not at her! 

Serv. O, swounds, no! 

Fir}{. Blue coat, be quiet, we'll give you a new livery else; we'll 
make Shrove Tuesday Saint George's Day for you. Look not, 
Hammon, leer not! I'll firk you! For thy head now, one glance, 
one sheep's eye, anything, at her! Touch not a rag, lest I and my 
brethren beat you to clouts. 

Serv. Come, Master Hammon, there's no striving here. 

Ham. Good fellows, hear me speak; and, honest Ralph, 
Whom I have injured most by loving Jane, 
Mark what I offer thee: here in fair gold 
Is twenty pound, I'll give it for thy Jane; 
If this content thee not, thou shalt have more. 

' A lace with a tag, which fastened the busk, or piece of wood or whale-bone, 
used to keep the stays in position. 



524 THOMAS DEKKER 

Hodge. Sell not thy wife, Ralph; make her not a whore. 

Ham. Say, wilt thou freely cease thy claim in her, 
And let her be my wife ? 

All. No, do not, Ralph. 

Ralph. Sirrah, Hammon, Hammon, dost thou think a shoemaker 
is so base to be a bawd to his own wife for commodity? Take thy 
gold, choke with it! Were I not lame, I would make thee eat thy 
words. 

Fir\. A shoemaker sell his flesh and blood? Oh indignity! 

Hodge. Sirrah, take up your pelf, and be packing. 

Ham. I will not touch one penny, but in lieu 
Of that great wrong I offered thy Jane, 
To Jane and thee I give that twenty pound. 
Since I have fail'd of her, during my life, 
I vow, no woman else shall be my wife. 
Farewell, good fellows of the gende trade: 
Your morning mirth my mourning day hath made. Exit. 

Fir\. yTo the Serving-man.] Touch the gold, creature, if you 
dare! Y'are best be trudging. Here, Jane, take thou it. Now let's 
home, my hearts. 

Hodge. Stay! Who comes here? Jane, on again with thy mask! 

Enter the Earl of Lincoln, the Lord Mayor and Servants 

Lincoln. Yonder's the lying varlet mocked us so. 

L. Mayor. Come hither, sirrah! 

Fir\. I, sir? I am sirrah? You mean me, do you not? 

Lincoln. Where is my nephew married? 

Firl{. Is he married? God give him joy, I am glad of it. They 
have a fair day, and the sign is in a good planet. Mars in Venus. 

L. Mayor. Villain, thou toldst me that my daughter Rose 
This morning should be married at Saint Faith's; 
We have watch'd there these three hours at the least. 
Yet see we no such thing. 

Fir\. Truly, I am sorry for't; a bride's a pretty thing. 

Hodge. Come to the purpose. Yonder's the bride and bridegroom 
you look for, I hope. Though you be lords, you are not to bar by 
your authority men from women, are you? 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 525 

L. Mayor. See, see, my daughter's masked. 

Lincoln. True, and my nephew, 

To hide his guik, counterfeits him lame. 

Firf(^. Yea, truly; God help the poor couple, they are lame and 
blind. 

L. Mayor. I'll ease her blindness. 

Lincoln. I'll his lameness cure. 

FzV^. Lie down, sirs, and laugh! My fellow Ralph is taken for 
Rowland Lacy, and Jane for Mistress Damask Rose. This is all my 
knavery. 

L. Mayor. What, have I found you, minion ? 

Lincoln. O base wretch 

Nay, hide thy face, the horror of thy guilt 
Can hardly be washed off. Where are thy powers.'' 
What battles have you made.? O yes, I see, 
Thou fought'st with Shame, and Shame hath conquer'd thee. 
This lameness will not serve. 

L. Mayor. Unmask yourself. 

Lincoln. Lead home your daughter. 

L. Mayor. Take your nephew hence. 

Ralph. Hence! Swounds, what mean you? Are you mad.? I 
hope you cannot enforce my wife from me. Where's Hammon.? 

L. Mayor. Your wife.? 

Lincoln. What, Hammon? 

Ralph. Yea, my wife; and, therefore, the proudest of you that 
lays hands on her first, I'll lay my crutch 'cross his pate. 

Firl^. To him, lame Ralph! Here's brave sport! 

Ralph. Rose call you her.? Why, her name is Jane. 
Look here else; do you know her now? \lJnmas\ing Jane.] 

Lincoln. Is this your daughter .? 

L. Mayor. No, nor this your nephew. 

My Lord of Lincoln, we are both abus'd 
By this base, crafty varlet. 

Fir\. Yea, forsooth, no varlet; forsooth, no base; forsooth, I am 
but mean; no crafty neither, but of the gentle craft. 

L. Mayor. Where is my daughter Rose .? Where is my child ? 

Lincoln. Where is my nephew Lacy married .? 



526 THOMAS DEKKER 

Fir\. Why, here is good lac'd mutton/ as I promis'd you. 
Lincoln. Villain, I'll have thee punish'd for this wrong. 
Fir\. Punish the journeyman villain, but not the journeyman 
shoemaker. 

Enter Dodger 

Dodger. My lord, I come to bring unwelcome news. 
Your nephew Lacy and your daughter Rose 
Early this morning wedded at the Savoy, 
None being present but the lady mayoress. 
Besides, I learnt among the officers, 
The lord mayor vows to stand in their defence 
'Gainst any that shall seek to cross the match. 

Lincoln. Dares Eyre the shoemaker uphold the deed ? 

F/r^. Yes, sir, shoemakers dare stand in a woman's quarrel, I 
warrant you, as deep as another, and deeper too. 

Dodger. Besides, his grace to-day dines with the mayor; 
Who on his knees humbly intends to fall 
And beg a pardon for your nephew's fault. 

Lincoln. But I'll prevent him! Come, Sir Roger Oateley; 
The king will do us justice in this cause. 
Howe'er their hands have made them man and wife, 
I will disjoin the match, or lose my life. Exeunt. 

Fir\. Adieu, Monsieur Dodger! Farewell, fools! Ha, ha! Oh, 
if they had stay'd, I would have so lamb'd^ them with flouts! . . . 
But let that pass, as my lady mayoress says. 

Hodge. This matter is answer'd. Come, Ralph; home with thy 
wife. Come, my fine shoemakers, let's to our master's, the new 
lord mayor, and there swagger this Shrove-Tuesday. I'll promise 
you wine enough, for Madge keeps the cellar. 

All. O rare! Madge is a good wench. 

Fir1{. And I'll promise you meat enough, for simp'ring Susan 
keeps the larder. I'll lead you to victuals, my brave soldiers; follow 
your captain. O brave! Hark, hark! Bell rings. 

All. The pancake-belP rings, the pancake-ibelll Trilill, my hearts! 

Fir\. Oh brave! Oh sweet bell! O delicate pancakes! Open the 

* A slang term for a woman. ' Whipped. 

^ A bell rung on the morning of Shrove Tuesday. 



.'_ 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 527 

doors, my hearts, and shut up the windows! Keep in the house, 
let out the pancakes! Oh rare, my hearts! Let's march together for 
the honour of Saint Hugh to the great new halF in Gracious Street- 
corner, which our master, the new lord mayor, hath Built. 

Ralph. O the crew of good fellows that will dine at my lord 
mayor's cost to-day! 

Hodge. By the Lord, my lord mayor is a most brave man. How 
shall prentices be bound to pray for him and the honour of the 
gentlemen shoemakers! Let's feed and be fat with my lord's 
bounty. 

F/r^. O musical bell, still! O Hodge, O my brethren! There's 
cheer for the heavens: venison-pasties walk up and down piping hot, 
like sergeants; beef and brewess' comes marching in dry- vats,' frit- 
ters and pancakes comes trowling in in wheel-barrows; hens and 
oranges hopping in porters'-baskets, coUops and eggs in scuttles,'" 
and tarts and custards comes quavering in in malt-shovels. 

Enter more Prentices 

All. Whoop, look here, look here! 

Hodge. How now, mad lads, whither away so fast? 

I St Prentice. Whither? Why, to the great new hall, know you 
not why? The lord mayor hath bidden all the prentices in London 
to breakfast this morning. 

All. Oh brave shoemakers, oh brave lord of incomprehensible 
good-fellowship! Whoo! Hark you! The pancake-bell rings. 

Cast up caps. 

FirJ^. Nay, more, my hearts! Every Shrove-Tuesday is our year 
of jubilee; and when the pancake-bell rings, we are as free as my 
lord mayor; we may shut up our shops, and make holiday. I'll have 
it called Saint Hugh's Holiday. 

All. Agreed, agreed! Saint Hugh's Holiday. 

Hodge. And this shall continue for ever. 

All. Oh brave! Come, come, my hearts! Away, away! 

Fir\. O eternal credit to us of the gentle craft! March fair, my 
hearts! Oh rare! . Exeunt. 

^Leadenhall. « Beef broth. ^ Barrels. '"Hods. 



528 THOMAS DEKKER 

Scene III. [A street in London] 

Enter the King and his Train across the stage 

King. Is our lord mayor of London such a gallant ? 

Nobleman. One of the merriest madcaps in your land. 
Your grace will think, when you behold the man, 
He's rather a wild ruffian than a mayor. 
Yet thus much I'll ensure your majesty. 
In all his actions that concern his state, 
He is as serious, provident, and wise. 
As full of gravity amongst the grave. 
As any mayor hath been these many years. 

King. I am with child,' till I behold this huff-cap.^ 
But all my doubt is, when we come in presence, 
His madness will be dashed clean out of countenance. 

Nobleman. It may be so, my liege. 

King. Which to prevent. 

Let some one give him notice, 'tis our pleasure 
That he put on his wonted merriment. 
Set forward! 

All. On afore! Exeunt. 

Scene IV. \^A great hall] 

Enter Eyre, Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and other Shoemakers, all with 
napl^ins on their shoulders 

Eyre. Come, my fine Hodge, my jolly gentlemen shoemakers; 
soft, where be these cannibals, these varlets, my officers? Let them 
all walk and wait upon my brethren; for my meaning is, that none 
but shoemakers, none but the livery of my company shall in their 
satin hoods wait upon the trencher of my sovereign. 

Eir\. O my lord, it will be rare! 

Eyre. No more, Firk; come, lively! Let your fellow-prentices 
want no cheer; let wine be plentiful as beer, and beer as water. Hang 
these penny-pinching fathers, that cram wealth in innocent lamb- 
skins. Rip, knaves, a vaunt! Look to my guests! 
^ In suspense. ' Swaggerer. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 529 

Hodge. My lord, we are at our wits' end for room; those hundred 
tables will not feast the fourth part of them. 

Eyre. Then cover me those hundred tables again, and again, 
till all my jolly prentices be feasted. Avoid, Hodge! Run, Ralph! 
Frisk about, my nimble Firk! Carouse me fathom-healths to the 
honour of the shoemakers. Do they drink lively, Hodge? Do they 
tickle it, Firk? 

Fir\. Tickle it? Some of them have taken their liquor standing 
so long that they can stand no longer; but for meat, they would eat 
it, an they had it. 

Eyre. Want they meat ? Where's this swag4)elly, this greasy kitch- 
enstuff cook? Call the varlet to me! Want meat? Firk, Hodge, lame 
Ralph, run, my tall men, beleaguer the shambles, beggar all East- 
cheap, serve me whole oxen in chargers, and let sheep whine upon 
the tables like pigs for want of good fellows to eat them. Want meat ? 
Vanish, Firk! Avaunt, Hodge! 

Hodge. Your lordship mistakes my man Firk; he means, their 
bellies want meat, not the boards; for they have drunk so much, 
they can eat nothing. 

The Second Three Men's Song 

Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain, 

Saint Hugh be our good speed : 
111 is the weather that bringeth no gain. 

Nor helps good hearts in need. 

Trowl' the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl, 

And here, kind mate, to thee: 
Let's sing a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul, 

And down it merrily. 

Down a down heydown a down, 
{Close with the tenor boy) 
Hey derry derry, down a down! 
Ho, well done; to me let come! 
Ring, compass, gentle joy. 
'Pass. 



530 THOMAS DEKKER 

Trowl the bowl, the nut-brown bowl, 
And here, kind mate, to thee : etc. 

[Repeat as often as there be men to drin\; and at 
last when all have drunl{, this verse: 

Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain, 

Saint Hugh be our good speed: 
111 is the weather that bringeth no gain, 

Nor helps good hearts in need. 

Enter Hans, Rose, and Margery 

Marg. Where is my lord? 

Eyre, How now. Lady Madgy? 

Marg. The king's most excellent majesty is new come; he sends 
me for thy honour; one of his most worshipful peers bade me tell 
thou must be merry, and so forth; but let that pass. 

Eyre. Is my sovereign come? Vanish, my tall shoemakers, my 
nimble brethren; look to my guests, the prentices. Yet stay a little! 
How now, Hans? How looks my little Rose? 

Hans. Let me request you to remember me. 
I know, your honour easily may obtain 
Free pardon of the king for me and Rose, 
And reconcile me to my uncle's grace. 

Eyre. Have done, my good Hans, my honest journeyman; look 
cheerily! I'll fall upon both my knees, till they be as hard as horn, 
but I'll get thy pardon. 

Marg. Good my lord, have a care what you speak to his grace. 

Eyre. Away, you Islington whitepot!^ hence, you barley-pudding, 
full of maggots! you broiled carbonado!' avaunt, avaunt, avoid, 
Mephistophiles! Shall Sim Eyre learn to speak of you. Lady Madgy? 
Vanish, Mother Miniver-cap; vanish, go, trip and go; meddle with 
your partlets* and your pishery-pashery, your flewes'' and your whirli- 
gigs; go, rub,* out of mine alley! Sim Eyre knows how to speak to 
a Pope, to Sultan Soliman, to Tamburlaine, an he were here, and 

' "A dish, made of milk, eggs and sugar, baked in a pot." — Webster. 

^ A steak cut crossways. 

^ Ruffs for the neck. ' Flaps; as resembling the hanging chaps of a hound. 

^ Obstruction, a term in bowling. 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 53 1 

shall I melt, shall I droop before my sovereign ? No, come, my Lady 
Madgy! Follow me, Hans! About your business, my frolic free- 
booters! Firk, frisk about, and about, and about, for the honour of 
mad Simon Eyre, lord mayor of London. 
Fir\. Hey, for the honour of the shoemakers. Exeunt. 

Scene V. [An open yard before the hall] 

A long Nourish, or two. Enter the King, Nobles, Eyre, Margery, 
Lacy, Rose. Lacy and Rose \neel 

King. Well, Lacy, though the fact was very foul 
Of your revolting from our kingly love 
And your own duty, yet we pardon you. 
Rise both, and. Mistress Lacy, thank my lord mayor 
For your young bridegroom here. 

Eyre. So, my dear liege, Sim Eyre and my brethren, the gentle- 
men shoemakers, shall set your sweet majesty's image cheek by jowl 
by Saint Hugh for this honour you have done poor Simon Eyre. I 
beseech your grace, pardon my rude behaviour; I am a handicrafts- 
man, yet my heart is without craft; I would be sorry at my soul, 
that my boldness should offend my king. 

King. Nay, I pray thee, good lord mayor, be even as merry 
As if thou wert among thy shoemakers; 
It does me good to see thee in this humour. 

Eyre. Say'st thou me so, my sweet Dioclesian? Then, humph! 
Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. By the Lord of Ludgate, 
my liege, I'll be as merry as a pie.' 

King. Tell me, in faith, mad Eyre, how old thou art. 

Eyre. My liege, a very boy, a stripling, a younker; you see not a 
white hair on my head, not a gray in this beard. Every hair, I assure 
thy majesty, that sticks in this beard, Sim Eyre values at the King 
of Babylon's ransom, Tamar Cham's beard was a rubbing brush 
to't: yet I'll shave it off, and stuff tennis-balls with it, to please my 
bully king. 

King. But all this while I do not know your age. 

Eyre. My liege, I am six and fifty year old, yet I can cry humph! 

■ Magpie. 



532 THOMAS DEKKER 

with a sound heart for the honour of Saint Hugh. Mark this old 
wench, my king: I danc'd the shaking of the sheets with her six and 
thirty years ago, and yet I hope to get two or three young lord 
mayors, ere I die. I am lusty still, Sim Eyre still. Care and cold 
lodging brings white hairs. My sweet Majesty, let care vanish, cast 
it upon thy nobles, it will make thee look always young like Apollo, 
and cry humph! Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. 

King. Ha, ha! 
Say, Cornwall, didst thou ever see his like.? 

Cornwall. Not I, my lord. 

Enter the Earl of Lincoln and the Lord Mayor 

King. Lincoln, what news with you? 

Lincoln. My gracious lord, have care unto yourself. 
For there are traitors here. 

All. Traitors? Where? Who? 

Eyre. Traitors in my house? God forbid! Where be my oflScers? 
I'll spend my soul, ere my king feel harm. 

King. Where is the traitor, Lincoln ? 

Lincoln. Here he stands. 

King. Cornwall, lay hold on Lacy! — Lincoln, speak, 
What canst thou lay unto thy nephew's charge? 

Lincoln. This, my dear liege: your Grace, to do me honour, 
Heap'd on the head of this degenerate boy 
Desertless favours; you made choice of him, 
To be commander over powers in France. 
But he 

King. Good Lincoln, prithee, pause a while! 
Even in thine eyes I read what thou wouldst speak. 
I know how Lacy did neglect our love. 
Ran himself deeply, in the highest degree. 
Into vile treason 

Lincoln. Is he not a traitor ? 

King. Lincoln, he was; now have we pard'ned him. 
'Twas not a base want of true valour's fire. 
That held him out of France, but love's desire. 

Lincoln. I will not bear his shame upon my back. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 533 

King. Nor shalt thou, Lincoln; I forgive you both. 

Lincoln. Then, good my liege, forbid the boy to wed 
One whose mean birth will much disgrace his bed. 

King. Are they not married.? 

Lincoln. No, my liege. 

Both. We are. 

King. Shall I divorce them then ? O be it far, 
That any hand on earth should dare untie 
The sacred knot, knit by God's majesty; 
I would not for my crown disjoin their hands 
That are conjoin'd in holy nuptial bands. 
How say'st thou. Lacy, wouldst thou lose thy Rose.? 

Lacy. Not for all India's wealth, my sovereign. 

King. But Rose, I am sure, her Lacy would forego? 

Rose. If Rose were asked that question, she'd say no. 

King. You hear them, Lincoln? 

Lincoln. Yea, my liege, I do. 

King. Yet canst thou find i'th' heart to part these two ? 
Who seeks, besides you, to divorce these lovers? 

L. Mayor. I do, my gracious lord, I am her father. 

King. Sir Roger Oateley, our last mayor, I think ? 

Nobleman. The same, my liege. 

King. Would you offend Love's laws? 

Well, you shall have your wills, you sue to me, 
To prohibit the match. Soft, let me see — 
You both are married, Lacy, art thou not? 

Lacy. 1 am, dread sovereign. 

King. Then, upon thy life, 

I charge thee, not to call this woman wife. 

L. Mayor. I thank your grace. 

Rose. O my most gracious lord! 

Kneels. 

King. Nay, Rose, never woo me; I tell you true, 
Although as yet I am a bachelor, 
Yet I believe, I shall not marry you. 

Rose. Can you divide the body from the soul. 
Yet make the body live ? 



534 THOMAS DEKKER 

King. Yea, so profound ? 

I cannot, Rose, but you I must divide. 
This fair maid, bridegroom, cannot be your bride. 
Are you pleas'd, Lincoln? Oateley, are you pleas'd? 

Both. Yes, my lord. 

King. Then must my heart be eas'd; 

For, credit me, my conscience lives in pain. 
Till these M^hom I divorc'd, be join'd again. 
Lacy, give me thy hand; Rose, lend me thine! 
Be what you would be! Kiss now! So, that's fine. 
At night, lovers, to bed! — Now, let me see. 
Which of you all mislikes this harmony. 

L. Mayor. Will you then take from me my child perforce.? 

King. Why, tell me, Oateley: shines not Lacy's name 
As bright in the world's eye as the gay beams 
Of any citizen ? 

Lincoln. Yea, but, my gracious lord, 

I do mislike the match far more than he; 
Her blood is too too base. 

King. Lincoln, no more. 

Dost thou not know that love respects no blood. 
Cares not for difference of birth or state? 
The maid is young, well born, fair, virtuous, 
A worthy bride for any gentleman. 
Besides, your nephew for her sake did stoop 
To bare necessity, and, as I hear. 
Forgetting honours and all courtly pleasures, 
To gain her love, became a shoemaker. 
As for the honour which he lost in France, 
Thus I redeem it: Lacy, kneel thee down! — 
Arise, Sir Rowland Lacy! Tell me now. 
Tell me in earnest, Oateley, canst thou chide, 
Seeing thy Rose a lady and a bride? 

L. Mayor. I am content with what your grace hath done. 

Lincoln. And I, my liege, since there's no remedy. 

King. Come on, then, all shake hands: I'll have you friends; 
Where there is much love, all discord ends. 



THE SHOEMAKER S HOLIDAY 535 

What says my mad lord mayor to all this love? 

Eyre. O my liege, this honour you have done to my fine journey- 
man here, Rowland Lacy, and all these favours which you have 
shown to me this day in my poor house, will make Simon Eyre live 
longer by one dozen of warm summers more than he should. 

King. Nay, my mad lord mayor, that shall be thy name; 
If any grace of mine can length thy life, 
One honour more I'll do thee: that new building,* 
Which at thy cost in Cornhill is erected. 
Shall take a name from us; we'll have it call'd 
The Leadenhall, because in digging it 
You found the lead that covereth the same. 

Eyre. I thank your majesty. 

Marg. God bless your grace! 

King, Lincoln, a word with you! 

Enter Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and more Shoemakers 

Eyre. How now, my mad knaves? Peace, speak sofdy, yonder 
is the king. 

King. With the old troop which there we keep in pay. 
We will incorporate a new supply. 
Before one summer more pass o'er my head, 
France shall repent, England was injured. 
What are all those? 

Lacy. All shoemakers, my liege. 

Sometime my fellows; in their companies 
I liv'd as merry as an emperor. 

King. My mad lord mayor, are all these shoemakers? 

Eyre. All shoemakers, my liege; all gentlemen of the gentle craft, 
true Trojans, courageous cordwainers; they all kneel to the shrine 
of holy Saint Hugh. 

All the Shoemakers. God save your majesty! 

King. Mad Simon, would they anything with us? 

Eyre. Mum, mad knaves! Not a word! I'll do't; I warrant you. 

2 "a. d. 1419. This year Sir Symon Eyre built Leadenhall, at his proper expense, 
as it now appears, and gave the same to the City to be employed as a public granary for 
laying up corn against a time of scarcity." — Maitland, History and Survey of London, 
ii., p. 187, quoted by Rhys. 



536 THOMAS DEKKER 

They are all beggars, my liege; all for themselves, and I for them all 
on both my knees do entreat, that for the honour of poor Simon Eyre 
and the good of his brethren, these mad knaves, your grace would 
vouchsafe some privilege to my new Leadenhall, that it may be 
lawful for us to buy and sell leather there two days a week. 

King. Mad Sim, I grant your suit, you shall have patent 
To hold two market-days in Leadenhall, 
Mondays and Fridays, those shall be the times. 
Will this content you? 

All. Jesus bless your grace! 

Eyre. In the name of these my poor brethren shoemakers, I most 
humbly thank your grace. But before I rise, seeing you are in the 
giving vein and we in the begging, grant Sim Eyre one boon more. 

King. What is it, my lord mayor ? 

Eyre. Vouchsafe to taste of a poor banquet that stands sweetly 
waiting for your sweet presence. 

King. I shall undo thee. Eyre, only with feasts; 
Already have I been too troublesome; 
Say, have I not? 

Eyre. O my dear king,- Sim Eyre was taken unawares upon a day 
of shroving,' which I promised long ago to the prentices of London. 

For, an't please your highness, in time past, 
I bare the water-tankard,* and my coat 
Sits not a whit the worse upon my back; 
And then, upon a morning, some mad boys, 
It was Shrove Tuesday, even as 'tis now, 

gave me my breakfast, and I swore then by the stopple of my 
tankard, if ever I came to be lord mayor of London, I would feast 
all the prentices. This day, my liege, I did it, and the slaves had an 
hundred tables five times covered; they are gone home and van- 
ished; 

Yet add more honour to the gentle trade. 
Taste of Eyre's banquet, Simon's happy made. 

' Merry-making. * As an apprentice. 



, '_ 



THE SHOEMAKERS HOLIDAY 537 

King. Eyre, I will taste of thy banquet, and will say, 
I have not met more pleasure on a day. 
Friends of the gentle craft, thanks to you all, 
Thanks, my kind lady mayoress, for our cheer. — 
Come, lords, a while let's revel it at home! 
When all our sports and banquetings are done. 
Wars must right wrongs which Frenchmen have begun. 

Exeunt, 



THE ALCHEMIST 



BY 
BEN JONSON 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

Ben Jonson was born of poor parents at Westminster in 1573. Through 
the influence of Camden, the antiquary, he got a good education at 
Westminster School; but he does not seem to have gone to a University, 
though later both Oxford and Cambridge gave him degrees. In his 
youth he practised for a time his stepfather's trade of bricklaying, and he 
served as a soldier in Flanders. 

It was probably about 1595 that he began to write for the stage, and 
within a few years he was recognized as a distinguished playwright. His 
comedy of "Every Man in His Humour" was not only a great immediate 
success, but founded a school of satirical drama in England. "Sejanus" 
and "Catiline" were less popular, but are impressive pictures of Roman 
life, less interesting but more accurate than the Roman plays of Shake- 
speare. 

For the court of James I, Jonson wrote a large number of masques, 
which procured him substantial rewards in the form of pensions. 

But it was between 1605 and 1614 that Jonson's greatest work was 
done. "Volpone," "Epicoene," "The Alchemist," and "Bartholomew 
Fair" belong to this period, and are all masterpieces. 

After the accession of Charles I, Jonson fell into adversity. His plays 
were less successful and he had enemies at court; but he continued to 
hold his position of leadership among his fellow authors. 

A specimen of Jonson's prose will be found in the volume of "English 
Essays" in the Harvard Classics, and a number of his graceful lyrics in 
the first volume of "English Poetry." 

Jonson died in 1637, and was celebrated in a volume of elegies to 
which all the chief poets of the day contributed. 

"The Alchemist" is perhaps the most perfect technically of Jonson's 
plays, and is an admirable satire on the quacks and humbugs of the day. 
It contains, at the same time, so much universal human nature, and is 
so excellent in art, that it holds a place among the first of those Eliza- 
bethan works that have held the interest of posterity. 



ARGUMENT 

The sickness hot,' a master quit, for fear, 

H is house in town, and left one servant there; 

E ase him corrupted, and gave means to know 

A Cheater and his punk;^ who now brought low, 
L eaving their narrow practice, were become 
C oz'ners^ at large; and only wanting some 
H ouse to set up, with him they here contract, 
E ach for a share, and all begin to act. 
M uch company they draw, and much abuse,* 
I n casting figures,^ telling fortunes, news, 
S elling of flies," flat bawdry, with the stone,' 
T ill it, and they, and all in fume' are gone. 

* The plague raging. ^ Mistress. ' Swindlers. * Deceive. 

' Calculating the f'lture. " Familiar spirits. ' Philosopher's stone. ' Smoke. 



PROLOGUE 

Fortune, that favours fools, these two short hours 

We wish away, both for your sakes and ours, 
Judging spectators; and desire, in place. 

To th' author justice, to ourselves but grace. 
Our scene is London, 'cause we would make known. 

No country's mirth is better than our own: 
No clime breeds better matter for your whore, 

Bawd, squire, impostor, many persons more, 
Whose manners, now call'd humours, feed the stage; 

And which have still been subject for the rage 
Or spleen of comic writers. Though this pen 

Did never aim to grieve, but better men; 
Howe'er the age he lives in doth endure 

The vices that she breeds, above their cure. 
But when the wholesome remedies are sweet. 

And in their working gain and profit meet, 
He hopes to find no spirit so much diseas'd. 

But will with such fair correctives be pleas'd: 
For here he doth not fear who can apply. 

If there be any that will sit so nigh 
Unto the stream, to look what it doth run. 

They shall find things, they'd think or wish were done: 
They are so natural follies, but so shown, 

As even the doers may see, and yet not own. 



THE ALCHEMIST 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 



Subtle, the Alchemist. 
Face, the House-keeper. 
DoL Common, their colleague. 
Dapper, a Lawyer's clerk. 
Drucger, a Tobacco-man. 
LovEwiT, Master of the House. 
Sir Epicure Mammon, a Knight. 



Pertinax Surly, a Gamester. 
Tribulation Wholesome, a Pastor of 

Amsterdam. 
Ananias, a Deacon there. 
Kastrill, the angry boy. 
Dame Pliant, his sister, a Widow. 
Neighbours. 



Officers, Mutes. 

SCENE LONDON 



V ACT I 

Scene I. [A room in Lovewit's housed 

\Enter^ Face, \in a captain's uniform, with his sword drawn, and] 
SuBTLH [with a vial, quarrelling, and followed by] Dot Common 
Face 

BELIEVE 't, I will. 
, Sub. Thy worst. 

Dol. Have you your wits.'' why, gentlemen! for love — '■ — 

Face. Sirrah, I'll strip you 

Sub. What to do.? 

Face. Rogue, rogue! — out of all your sleights.' 
Dol. Nay, look ye, sovereign, general, are you madmen.'' 
Sub. O, let the wild sheep loose. I'll gum your silks 
With good strong water, an you come. 

Dol. Will you have 

The neighbours hear you.? Will you betray all? 
Hark! I hear somebody. 

Face. Sirrah 

Sub. I shall mar 

All that the tailor has made if you approach. 

* Drop your tricks. 
543 



544 BEN JONSON 

Face. You most notorious whelp, you insolent slave, 
Dare you do this? 

Sub. Yes, faith; yes, faith. 

Face. Why, who 

Am I, my mongrel, who am I? 

Sub. I'll tell you. 

Since you know not yourself. 

Face. Speak lower, rogue. 

Sub. Yes, you were once (time's not long past) the good, 
Honest, plain, livery-three-pound-thrum,^ that kept 
Your master's worship's house here in the Friars,' 
For the vacations 

Face. Will you be so loud? 

Sub, Since, by my means, translated suburb-captain. 

Face. By your means, doctor dog! 

Sub. Within man's memory, 

All this I speak of. 

Face. Why, I pray you, have I 

Been countenanc'd by you, or you by me? 
Do but collect, sir, where I met you first. 

Sub. I do not hear well. 

Face. Not of this, I think it. 

But I shall put you in mind, sir; — at Pie-corner, 
Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks' stalls, 
Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk 
Piteously costive, with your pinch 'd-horn-nose. 
And your complexion of the Roman wash,* 
Stuck full of black and melancholic worms. 
Like powder-corns'* shot at the artillery-yard. 

Sub. I wish you could advance your voice a little. 

Face. When you went pinn'd up in the several rags 
You had rak'd and pick'd from dunghills, before day; 
Your feet in mouldy slippers, for your kibes;' 
A felt of rug,' and a thin threaden cloak, 
That scarce would cover your no-buttocks 

^ Poorly paid servant. ' The precinct of Blackfriars. * /. e., sallow. 
' Grains o£ powder. ^ Chilblains. ^ A hat of coarse material. 



THE ALCHEMIST 545 

- Sub. So, sir! 

Face. When all your alchemy, and your algebra. 
Your minerals, vegetals, and animals. 
Your conjuring, coz'ning;' and your dozen of trades. 
Could not relieve your corpse with so much linen 
Would make you tinder, but to see a fire; 
I ga' you count'nance, credit for your coals. 
Your stills, your glasses, your materials; 
Built you a furnace, drew you customers, 
Advanc'd all your black arts; lent you, beside, 
A house to practise in 

Sub. Your master's house! 

Face. Where you have studied the more thriving skill 
Of bawdry since. 

Sub. Yes, in your master's house. 

You and the rats here kept possession. 
Make it not strange.' I know you were one could keep 
The buttery-hatch still lock'd, and save the chippings. 
Sell the dole beer to aqua-vitse men," 
The which, together with your Christmas vails'' 
At post-and-pair,'^ your letting out of counters," 
Made you a pretty stock, some twenty marks. 
And gave you credit to converse with cobwebs, 
Here, since your mistress' death hath broke up house. 

Face. You might talk sofdier, rascal. 

Sub. No, you scarab, 

I'll thunder you in pieces: I will teach you 
How to beware to tempt a Fury again 
That carries tempest in his hand and voice. 

Face. The place has made you valiant. 

Sub. No, your clothes. 

Thou vermin, have I ta'en thee out of dung, 
So poor, so wretched, when no living thing 
Would keep thee company, but a spider or worse? 
Rais'd thee from brooms, and dust, and wat'ring-pots, 

' Swindling. ' Don't pretend to forget. "• Sell the beer intended for the poor 
to liquor-dealers. '' Tips. '^ A game of cards. " /. e., to the card-players. 



546 BEN JONSON 

Sublim'd thee, and exalted thee, and fix'd thee 
In the third region,'* call'd our state of grace ? 
Wrought thee to spirit, to quintessence, with pains 
Would twice have won me the philosopher's work? 
Put thee in words and fashion, made thee fit 
For more than ordinary fellowships? 
Giv'n thee thy oaths, thy quarrelling dimensions, 
Thy rules to cheat, at horse-race, cock-pit, cards, 
Dice, or whatever gallant tincture'^ else? 
Made thee a second in mine own great art? 
And have I this for thanks! Do you rebel? 
Do you fly out i' the projection ?'° 
Would you be gone now? 

Dol. Gentlemen, what mean you? 

Will you mar all? 

Sub. Slave, thou hadst had no name 

Dol. Will you undo yourselves with civU war? 

Sub. Never been known, past equi clibanum, 
The heat of horse-dung, under ground, in cellars, 
Or an ale-house darker than deaf John's; been lost 
To all mankind, but laundresses and tapsters. 
Had not I been. 

Dol. Do you know who hears you, sovereign? 

Face. Sirrah 

Dol. Nay, general, I thought you were civil. 

Face. I shall turn desperate, if you grow thus loud. 

Sub. And hang thyself, I care not. 

Face. Hang thee, collier, 

And all thy pots and pans, in picture, I will. 
Since thou hast mov'd me 

Dol. [Aside] O, this'U o'erthrow all. 

Face. Write thee up bawd in Paul's, have all thy tricks 
Of coz'ning with a hollow coal, dust, scrapings. 
Searching for things lost, with a sieve and shears. 
Erecting figures in your rows of houses," 

'* Technical jargon of alchemy. '^ Accomplishment. 

'^ At the moment when success is near. " Astrological tricks. 



THE ALCHEMIST 547 

And taking in of shadows with a glass, 
Told in red letters; and a face cut for thee, 
Worse than Gamaliel Ratsey's." 

Dol. Are you sound? 

Ha' you your senses, masters? 

Face. I will have 

A book, but barely reckoning thy impostures. 
Shall prove a true philosopher's stone to printers. 

Sub. Away, you trencher-rascal! 

Face. Out, you dog-leech! 

The vomit of all prisons 

Dol. Will you be 

Your own destructions, gentlemen ? 

Face. Still spew'd out 

For lying too heavy on the basket." 

Sub. Cheater! 

Face. Bawd! 

Sub. Cow-herd! 

Face. Conjurer! 

Sub. Cutpurse! 

Face. Witch! 

Dol. O me! 

We are ruin'd, lost! Ha' you no more regard 
To your reputations? Where's your judgment? 'Slight, 
Have yet some care of me, o' your republic 

Face. Away, this brach!^° I'll bring thee, rogue, within 
The statute of sorcery, tricesimo tertio 
Of Harry the Eighth :" ay, and perhaps thy neck 
Within a noose, for laund'ring gold and barbing it.^* 

Dol. You'll bring your head within a cockscomb,^' will you ? 

She catcheth out Face his sword, and breaks 
Subtle's glass. 
And you, sir, with your menstrue!" — Gather it up. 

'' A notorious highwayman. '' Eating more than his share of rations. ^^ Bitch. 
^' 33 Henry VIII, the first act against witchcraft in England. 
^^ "Sweating" and clipping the coinage. ^' Halter. 
'^ A liquid which dissolves solids. 



548 BEN JONSON 

'Sdeath, you abominable pair of stinkards, 

Leave off your barking, and grow one again. 

Or, by the light that shines, I'll cut your throats. 

I'll not be made a prey unto the marshal 

For ne'er a snarling dog-bolt of you both. 

Ha' you together cozen'd all this while. 

And all the world, and shall it now be said. 

You've made most courteous shift to cozen yourselves? 

[To Face.] You will accuse him! You will "bring him in 
Within the statute!" Who shall take your word? 
A whoreson, upstart, apocryphal captain. 
Whom not a Puritan in Blackfriars will trust 
So much as for a feather: and you, too, [to Subtle.] 

Will give the cause, forsooth! You will insult, 
And claim a primacy in the divisions! 
You must be chief! As if you only had 
The powder to project^^ with, and the work 
Were not begun out of equality! 
The venture tripartite! All things in common! 
Without priority! 'Sdeath! you perpetual curs. 
Fall to your couples again, and cozen kindly. 
And heartily, and lovingly, as you should, 
And lose not the beginning of a term. 
Or, by this hand, I shall grow factious too, 
And take my part, and quit you. 

Face. 'Tis his fault; 

He ever murmurs, and objects his pains. 
And says, the weight of all lies upon him. 

Sub. Why, so it does. 

Dol. How does it? Do not we 

Sustain our parts? 

Sub. Yes, but they are not equal. 

Dol. Why, if your part exceed to-day, I hope 
Ours may to-morrow match it. 

Sub. Ay, they may. 

Dol. May, murmuring mastiff! Ay, and do. Death on me! 
Help me to throttle him. [Seizes Sub. by the throat.] 

*5 Transmute metals. 



THE ALCHEMIST 549 

Sub. Dorothy! Mistress Dorothy! 

'Ods precious, I'll do anything. What do you mean ? 

Dol. Because o' your fermentation and cibation?^° 

Sub. Not I, by heaven 

Dol. Your Sol and Luna help me. 

[To Face.] 

Sub. Would I were hang'd then! I'll conform myself. 

Dol. Will you, sir? Do so then, and quickly: swear. 

Sub. What should I swear? 

Dol. To leave your faction, sir, 

And labour kindly in the common work. 

Sub. Let me not breathe if I meant aught beside. 
I only us'd those speeches as a spur 
To him. 

Dol. I hope we need no spurs, sir. Do we? 

Face. 'Slid, prove to-day who shall shark best. 

Sub. Agreed. 

Dol. Yes, and work close and friendly. 

Sub. 'Slight, the knot 

Shall grow the stronger for this breach, with me. 

\They sha\e hands.] 

Dol. Why, so, my good baboons! Shall we go make 
A sort of sober, scurvy, precise neighbours. 
That scarce have smil'd twice sin' the king came in,^' 
A feast of laughter at our follies? Rascals, 
Would run themselves from breath, to see me ride, 
Or you t' have but a hole to thrust your heads in,^* 
For which you should pay ear-rent?''' No, agree. 
And may Don Provost ride a feasting long. 
In his old velvet jerkin and stain'd scarfs, 
My noble sovereign, and worthy general, 
Ere we contribute a new creweP" garter 
To his most worsted'" worship. 

Sub. Royal Dol! 

Spoken like Claridiana,'' and thyself. 

Face. For which at supper, thou shalt sit in triumph, 

^° Alchemical terms. 

" Seven years before. ^ In the pillory. '' Have your ears cut off. 

*• Familiar puns. '^ The heroine of the "Mirror of Knighthood." 



550 BEN JONSON 

And not be styl'd Dol Common, but Dol Proper, 

Dol Singular: the longest cut at night. 

Shall draw thee for his Dol Particular. [Bell rings without.^ 

Sub. Who's that? One rings. To the window, Dol: \Exit Dol.] — 
pray heav'n, 
The master do not trouble us this quarter. 

Face. O, fear not him. While there dies one a week 
O' the plague, he's safe from thinking toward London. 
Beside, he's busy at his hop-yards now; 
I had a letter from him. If he do. 
He'll send such word, for airing o' the house, 
As you shall have sufficient time to quit it: 
Though we break up a fortnight, 'tis no matter. 

Re-enter Dol 

S«^. Who is it, Dol.? 

Dol. A fine young quodling.'* 

Face. 
My lawyer's clerk, I lighted on last night, 
In Holborn, at the Dagger. He would have 
(I told you of him) a familiar, 
To rifle with at horses, and win cups. 

Dol. O, let him in. 

Sub. Stay. Who shall do't.? 

Face. Get you 

Your robes on; I will meet him, as going out. 

Dol. And what shall I do? 

Face. Not be seen; away! \jExit Dol.] 

Seem you very reserv'd. 

Sub. Enough. [E«V.] 

Face, [aloud and retiring.^ God be wi' you, sir, 
I pray you let him know that I was here: 

His name is Dapper. I would gladly have staid, but 

^ Green apple, a youth. 



THE ALCHEMIST 551 

Scene II. [The samey 

Face, alone 

Dap. [within.] Captain, I am here. 

Face. Who's that.? — He's come, I think, doctor, 

[Enter Dapper] 

Good faith, sir, I was going away. 

Dap. In truth 

I am very sorry, captain. 

Face. But I thought 

Sure I should meet you. 

Dap. Ay, I am very glad. 

I had a scurvy writ or two to make. 
And I had lent my watch last night to one 
That dines to-day at the sheriff's, and so was robb'd 
Of my pass-time.^ 

[Re-enter Subtle in his velvet cap and gown] 

Is this the cunning-man.? 

Face. This is his worship. 

Dap. Is he a doctor? 

Face. Yes. 

Dap. And ha' you broke' with him, captain.? 

Face. Ay. 

Dap. And how.? 

Face. Faith, he does make the matter, sir, so dainty,* 
I know not what to say. 

Dap. Not so, good captain. 

Face. Would I were fairly rid on't, believe me. 

Dap. Nay, now you grieve me, sir. Why should you wish so.? 
I dare assure you, I'll not be ungrateful. 

' The scene-divisions are Jonson's. 
^ Watch. ^ Opened the matter. 
* Has such scruples. 



552 BEN JONSON 

Face. I cannot think you will, sir. But the law 

Is such a thing and then he says, Read's^ matter 

Falling so lately. 

Dap. Read! he was an ass, 

And dealt, sir, with a fool. 

Face. It was a clerk, sir. 

Dap. A clerk! 

Face. Nay, hear me, sir. You know the law 

Better, I think 

Dap. I should, sir, and the danger: 

You know, I show'd the statute to you. 

Face. You did so. 

Dap. And will I tell then! By this hand of flesh. 
Would it might never write good courthand more, 
If I discover.^ What do you think of me. 
That I am a chiaus?' 

Face. What's that ? 

Dap. The Turk was, here — 

As one would say, do you think I am a Turk ? 

Face. I'll tell the doctor so. 

Dap. Do, good sweet captain. 

Face. Come, noble doctor, pray thee let's prevail; 
This is the gentleman, and he is no chiaus. 

Sub. Captain, I have return'd you all my answer. 

I would do much, sir, for your love But this 

I neither may, nor can. 

Face. Tut, do not say so. 

You deal now with a noble fellow, doctor. 
One that will thank you richly; and he is no chiaus: 
Let that, sir, move you. 

Sub. Pray you, forbear 

Face. He has 

Four angels here. 

Sub. You do me wrong, good sir. 

Face. Doctor, wherein? To tempt you with these spirits? 

* A magician recently convicted. ' Reveal. 

' A Turkish interpreter, like the one who had recently cheated some merchants. 



THE ALCHEMIST 553 

Sub. To tempt my art and love, sir, to my peril. 
Tore heav'n, I scarce can think you are my friend, 
That so would draw me to apparent danger. 

Face. I draw you! A horse draw you, and a halter, 
You, and your flies' together 

Dap. Nay, good captain. 

Face. That know no difference of men. 

Sub. Good words, sir. 

Face. Good deeds, sir, doctor dogs'-meat. 'Slight, I bring you 
No cheating Clim o' the Cloughs' or Claribels,'" 
That look as big as live-and-fifty, and flush;" 
And spit out secrets like hot custard 

Dap. Captain! 

Face. Nor any melancholic underscribe, 
Shall tell the vicar; but a special gentle, 
That is the heir to forty marks a year, 
Consorts with the small poets of the time, 
Is the sole hope of his old grandmother; 
That knows the law, and writes you six fair hands, 
Is a fine clerk, and has his ciph'ring perfect. 
Will take his oath o' the Greek Xenophon,'^ 
If need be, in his pocket; and can court 
His mistress out of Ovid. 

Dap. Nay, dear captain 

Face. Did you not tell me so? 

Dap. Yes; but I'd ha' you 

Use master doctor with some more respect. 

Face. Hang him, proud stag, with his broad velvet head! — 
But for your sake, I'd choke ere I would change 
An article of breath with such a puck-fist!" 
Come, let's be gone. [Going.] 

Sub. Pray you le' me speak with you. 

' Familiar spirits. ' An oudaw hero. 

'" Probably a hero of romance. The name occurs in Spenser. 

" Five-and-fifty was the highest number to stand on at the old game of Primero. 
If a flush accompanied this, the hand swept the table. — Gifford. 
'^ The Quarto reads Testament. '^ Niggard. 



554 BEN JONSON 

Dap. His worship calls you, captain. 

Face. I am sorry 

I e'er embark'd myself in such a business. 

Dap. Nay, good sir; he did call you. 

Face. Will he take then? 

Sub. First, hear me 

Face. Not a syllable, 'less you take. 

Sub. Pray ye, sir 

Face, Upon no terms but an assumpsit^ 

Sub. Your humour must be law. He taJ^es the money. 

Face. Why now, sir, talk. 

Now I dare hear you with mine honour. Speak. 
So may this gentleman too. 

Sub. Why, sir [Offering to whisper Face.] 

Face. No whispering. 

Sub. 'Fore heav'n, you do not apprehend the loss 
You do yourself in this. 

Face. Wherein? for what.? 

Sub. Marry, to be so importunate for one 
That, when he has it, will undo you all: 
He'll win up all the money i' the town. 

Face. How? 

Sub. Yes, and blow up gamester after gamester, 

As they do crackers in a puppet-^play. 
If I do give him a familiar. 
Give you him all you play for; never set" him: 
For he will have it. 

Face. You're mistaken, doctor. 

Why, he does ask one but for cups and horses, 
A rifling" fly; none o' your great familiars. 

Dap. Yes, captain, I would have it for all games. 

Sub. I told you so. 

Face, [taking Dap. aside.] 'Slight, that is a new business! 
I understood you, a tame bird, to fly 
Twice in a term, or so, on Friday nights, 

" That he has undertaken the affair. '' Stake against. '^ To be used in raffles. 



THE ALCHEMIST 555 

When you had left the office; for a nag 
Of forty or fifty shilhngs. 

Dap. Ay, 'tis true, sir; 

But I do think, now, I shall leave the law, 
And therefore 

Face. Why, this changes quite the case. 

Do you think that I dare move him? 

Dap. If you please, sir; 

All's one to him, I see. 

Face. What! for that money.'' 

I cannot with my conscience; nor should you 
Make the request, methinks. 

Dap. No, sir, I mean 

To add consideration. 

Face. Why then, sir, 

I'll try. [Goes to Subtle.] Say that it were for all games, doctor? 

Sub. I say then, not a mouth shall eat for him 
At any ordinary," but on the score," 
That is a gaming mouth, conceive me. 

Face. Indeed! 

Sub. He'll draw you all the treasure of the realm. 
If it be set him. 

Face. Speak you this from art ? 

Sub. Ay, sir, and reason too, the ground of art. 
He is of the only best complexion. 
The queen of Fairy loves. 

Face. What! is he? 

Sub. Peace. 

He'll overhear you. Sir, should she but see him — 

Face. What? 

Sub. Do not you tell him. 

Face. Will he win at cards too? 

Sub. The spirits of dead Holland, living Isaac," 

" Table d'hote restaurant. 

" The gamblers (who frequented ordinaries) will be so impoverished through his 
winnings that they will have to eat on credit. 

'^ Supposed to refer to two alchemists, but the dates do not agree. 



556 BEN JONSON 

You'd swear, were in him; such a vigorous luck 
As cannot be resisted. 'Slight, he'll put 
Six of your gallants to a cloak,^" indeed. 

Face. A strange success, that some man shall be born to I 

Sub. He hears you, man 

Dap. Sir, I'll not be ingrateful. 

Face. Faith, I have confidence in his good nature: 
You hear, he says he will not be ingrateful. 

Sub. Why, as you please; my venture follows yours. 

Face. Troth, do it, doctor; think him trusty, and make him. 
He may make us both happy in an hour; 
Win some five thousand pound, and send us two on't. 

Dap. Believe it, and I will, sir. 

Face. And you shall, sir. 

You have heard all.? 

Dap. No, what was't? Nothing, I, sir. 

Face takes him aside. 

Face. Nothing! 

Dap. A litde, sir. 

Face. Well, a rare star 

Reign'd at your birth. 

Dap. At mine, sir! No. 

Face. Thfc doctor 

Swears that you are 

Sub. Nay, captain, you'll tell all now. 

Face. Allied to the queen of Fairy. 

Dap. Who! That I am? 

Believe it, no such matter 

Face. Yes, and that 

You were born with a caul on your head. 

Dap. Who says so.? 

Face. Come, 

You know it well enough, though you dissemble it. 

Dap. r fac,^' I do not; you are mistaken. 

2" Strip to the cloak. 
" Faith. 



THE ALCHEMIST 557 

Face. How! 

Swear by your fac," and in a thing so known 
Unto the doctor? How shall we, sir, trust you 
r the other matter; can we ever think. 
When you have won five or six thousand pound. 
You'll send us shares in't by this rate? 

Dap. By Jove, sir, 

I'll win ten thousand pound, and send you half. 
r fac's no oath. 

Sub. No, no, he did but jest. 

Face. Go to. Go thank the doctor: he's your friend, 
To take it so. 

Dap. I thank his worship. 

Face. So! 

Another angel. 

Dap. Must I? 

Face. Must you! 'slight, 

What else is thanks ? Will you be trivial ? — Doctor, 

[Dapper gives him the money,] 
When must he come for his familiar? 

Z)a/7.- Shall I not ha' it with me? 

Sub. O, good sir! 

There must a world of ceremonies pass; 
You must be bath'd and fumigated first: 
Besides, the queen of Fairy does not rise 
Till it be noon. 

Face. Not if she danc'd to-night. 

Sub. And she must bless it. 

Face. Did you never see 

Her royal grace yet? 

Dap. Whom ? 

Face. Your aunt of Fairy ? 

Sub. Not since she kist him in the cradle, captain; 
I can resolve you that. 

Face. Well, see her grace, 

Whate'er it cost you, for a thing that I know. 



558 BEN JONSON 

It will be somewhat hard to compass; but 
However, see her. You are made, believe it. 
If you can see her. Her grace is a lone woman, 
And very rich; and if she take a fancy. 
She will do strange things. See her, at any hand. 
'Slid, she may hap to leave you all she has: 
It is the doctor's fear. 

Dap. How will't be done, then.? 

Face. Let me alone, take you no thought. Do you 
But say to me, "Captain, I'll see her grace," 

Dap. "Captain, I'll see her grace." 

Face. Enough. One \noc\s without. 

Sub. Who's there.'' 

Anon. — [Aside to Face.] Conduct him forth by the back way. 
— Sir, against one o'clock prepare yourself; 
Till when you must be fasting; only take 
Three drops of vinegar in at your nose. 
Two at your mouth, and one at either ear; 
Then bathe your fingers' ends and wash your eyes, 
To sharpen your five senses, and cry hum 
Thrice, and then buz as often; and then come. [Eat//.] 

Face. Can you remember this? 

Dap. I warrant you. 

Face. Well then, away. It is but your bestowing 
Some twenty nobles 'mong her grace's servants, 
And put on a clean shirt. You do not know 
What grace her grace may do you in clean linen. 

[Exeunt Face and Dapper.] 

Scene III. [The samel 

Sub. [Within.^ Come in! Good wives, I pray you forbear me 
now; 
Troth, I can do you no good till afternoon — 

[Enter Subtle, followed by Drugger] 

Sub. What is your name, say you.? Abel Drugger.? 

Drug. Yes, sir. 



THE ALCHEMIST' 559 

Sub. A seller of tobacco? 

Drug. Yes, sir. 

Sub. Umph! 

Free of the grocers?* 

Drug. Ay, an't please you. 

Sub. Well 

Your business, Abel? 

Drug. This, an't please your worship; 

I am a young beginner, and am building 
Of a new shop, an't like your worship, just 

At corner of a street: — Here is the plot^ on't 

And I would know by art, sir, of your worship. 
Which way I should make my door, by necromancy. 
And where my shelves; and which should be for boxes. 
And which for pots. I would be glad to thrive, sir: 
And I was wish'd^ to your worship by a gentleman, 
One Captain Face, that says you know men's planets. 
And their good angels, and their bad. 

Sub. I do, 

If I do see 'em 

[Enter Face] 

Face. What! my honest Abel ? 

Thou art well met here. 

Drug. Troth, sir, I was speaking, 

Just as your worship came here, of your worship: 
I pray you speak for me to master doctor. 

Face. He shall do anything. Doctor, do you hear? 
This is my friend, Abel, an honest fellow; 
He lets me have good tobacco, and he does not 
Sophisticate it with sack-lees or oil. 
Nor washes it in muscadel and grains, 
Nor buries it in gravel, under ground. 
Wrapped up in greasy leather, or piss'd clouts: 
But keeps it in fine lily pots, that, open'd, 
Smell like conserve of roses, or French beans. 

* /. e., a member of the Grocers' Company. ' Plan. ' Recommended. 



560 BEN JONSON 

He has his maple block,* his silver tongs, 

Winchester pipes, and fire of juniper:^ 

A neat, spruce, honest fellow, and no goldsmith.' 

Sub. He's a fortunate fellow, that I am sure on. 

Face. Already, sir, ha' you found it? Lo thee, Abel! 

Sub. And in right way toward riches 

Face. Sir! 

Sub. This summer. 

He will be of the clothing of his company,^ 
And next spring call'd to the scarlet;' spend what he can. 

Face. What, and so little beard? 

Sub. Sir, you must think, 

He may have a receipt to make hair come: 
But he'll be wise, preserve his youth, and fine for 't; 
His fortune looks for him another way. 

Face. 'Slid, doctor, how canst thou know this so soon? 
I am amus'd' at that. 

Sub. By a rule, captain, 

In metoposcopy,*" which I do work by; 
A certain star i' the forehead, which you see not. 
Your chestnut or your olive-colour'd face 
Does never fail : and your long ear doth promise, 
I knew't, by certain spots, too, in his teeth. 
And on the nail of his mercurial finger. 

Face. Which finger's that? 

Sub. His litde finger. Look. 
You were born upon a Wednesday? 

Drug. Yes, indeed, sir. 

Sub. The thumb, in chiromancy, we give Venus; 
The forefinger to Jove; the midst to Saturn; 
The ring to Sol; the least to Mercury, 
Who was the lord, sir, of his horoscope, 
His house of life being Libra; which foreshow'd 
He should be a merchant, and should trade with balance. 

* On which tobacco was shredded. 

^ The coals of which were used to light pipes. ' Usurer. 
' Wear the livery. * Be sheriff. * Amazed. 
'"A branch of physiognomy. 



THE ALCHEMIST 561 

Voce. Why, this is strange! Is it not, honest Nab? 

Sub. There is a ship now coming from Ormus, 
That shall yield him such a commodity 

Of drugs This is the west, and this the south? 

[Pointing to the -plan.] 

Drug. Yes, sir. 

Sub. And those are your two sides ? 

Drug. Ay, sir. 

Sub. Make me your door then, south; your broad side, west: 
And on the east side of your shop, aloft. 
Write Mathlai, Tarmiel, and Baraborat; 
Upon the north part, Rael, Velel, Thiel. 
They are the names of those Mercurial spirits 
That do fright flies from boxes. 

Drug. Yes, sir. 

Sub. And 

Beneath your threshold, bury me a loadstone 
To draw in gallants that wear spurs: the rest, 
They'll seem" to follow. 

Face. That's a secret. Nab! 

Sub. And, on your stall, a puppet, with a vice 
And a court-fucus," to call city-dames: 
You shall deal much with minerals. 

Drug. Sir, I have. 

At home, already 

Sub. Ay, I know you have arsenic, 

Vitriol, sal^artar, argaile," alkali, 
Cinoper:" I know all. — This fellow, captain. 
Will come, in time, to be a great distiller, 
And give a say" — I will not say directly. 
But very fair — at the philosopher's stone. 

Face. Why, how now, Abel! is this true? 

Drug. [Aside to Face.] Good captain. 

What must I give? 

Face. Nay, I'll not counsel thee. 

" Be seen. '^ Paint for the face. " Tartar deposited by wine. 
" Cinnabar, mercuric sulphid. '* Assay. 



562 BEN JONSON 

Thou hear'st what wealth (he says, spend what thou canst), 
Thou'rt like to come to. 

Drug. I would gi' him a crown. 

Face. A crown! and toward such a fortune? Heart, 
Thou shalt rather gi' him thy shop. No gold about thee ? 

Drug. Yes, I have a portague,'^ I ha' kept this half-year. 

Face. Out on thee. Nab! 'Slight, there was such an offer — 
Shalt keep't no longer, I'll give't him for thee. Doctor, 
Nab prays your worship to drink this, and swears 
He will appear more grateful, as your skill 
Does raise him in the world. 

Drug. I would entreat 

Another favour of his worship. 

Face. What is't, Nab ? 

Drug. But to look over, sir, my almanac, 
And cross out my ill-days," that I may neither 
Bargain, nor trust upon them. 

Face. That he shall. Nab: 

Leave it, it shall be done, .'gainst afternoon. 

Sul?. And a direction for his shelves. 

Face. Now, Nab, 

Art thou well pleas'd, Nab? 

Drug. 'Thank, sir, both your worships. 

Face. Away. [Exit Drugger.] 

Why, now, you smoaky persecutor of nature! 
Now do you see, that something's to be done. 
Beside your beech-coal, and your cor'sive" waters. 
Your crosslets,'' crucibles, and cucurbites?^" 
You must have stuff, brought home to you, to work on: 
And yet you think, I am at no expense 
In searching out these veins, then following them, 
Then trying 'em out. 'Fore God, my intelligence 
Costs me more money than my share oft comes to. 
In these rare works. 

Sub. You're pleasant, sir. — How now! 

■* A gold coin worth about three pounds twelve shillings. 
'' Unlucky days. '^ Corrosive. '' Crucibles. 
2° Glass retort, shaped like a gourd. 



THE ALCHEMIST 563 

Scene IV. [The same] 
Face. Subtle. [Enter] Dot 

Sub. What says my dainty Dolkin? 

Dol. Yonder fish-wife 

Will not away. And there's your giantess, 
The bawd of Lambeth. 

Sub. Heart, I cannot speak with 'em. 

Dol. Not afore night, I have told 'em in a voice. 
Thorough the trunk, like one of your familiars. 
But I have spied Sir Epicure Mammon 

Sub. Where? 

Dol. Coming along, at far end of the lane, 
Slow of his feet, but earnest of his tongue 
To one that's with him. 

Sub. Face, go you and shift. 

Dol, you must presently make ready too. \Exit Face.] 

Dol. Why, what's the matter? 

Sub. O, I did look for him 

With the sun's rising: marvel he could sleep. 
This is the day I am to perfect for him 
The magisterium, our great work, the stone; 
And yield it, made, into his hands: of which 
He has, this month, talk'd as he were possess'd. 
And now he's dealing pieces on't away. 
Methinks I see him ent'ring ordinaries. 
Dispensing for the pox, and plaguy houses. 
Reaching his dose, walking Moorfields for lepers. 
And ofl'ring citizens' wives pomander'-bracelets. 
As his preservative, made of the elixir; 
Searching the spittle, to make old bawds young; 
And the highways, for beggars, to make rich. 
I see no end of his labours. He will make 
Nature asham'd of her long sleep : when art. 
Who's but a step-dame, shall do more than she, 

' A ball of perfume carried against infection. 



564 BEN JONSON 

In her best love to mankind, ever could. 

If his dream last, he'll turn the age to gold. [Exeunt.] 

ACT II 

Scene I. [An outer room in Lovewit's house] 

[Enter] Sir Epicure Mammon and Surly 

Mam. Come on, sir. Now you set your foot on shore 
In Novo Orbe;^ here's the rich Peru: 
And there v/ithin, sir, are the golden mines, 
Great Solomon's Ophir! He was sailing to't 
Three years, but we have reach'd it in ten months. 
This is the day wherein, to all my friends, 
I will pronounce the happy word. Be rich; 
This day you shall be spectatissimi.* 
You shall no more deal with the hollow die. 
Or the frail card. No more be at charge of keeping 
The livery-punk' for the young heir, that must 
Seal, at all hours, in his shirt: no more. 
If he deny, ha' him beaten to't, as he is 
That brings him the commodity. No more 
Shall thirst of satin, or the covetous hunger 
Of velvet entrails* for a rude-spun cloak, 
To be display'd at Madam Augusta's, make 
The sons of Sword and Hazard fall before 
The golden calf, and on their knees, whole nights, 
Commit idolatry with wine and trumpets: 
Or go a feasting after drum and ensign. 
No more of this. You shall start up young viceroys. 
And unto thee I speak it first. Be rich. 
Where is my Subtle, there? Within, ho! 

[Face, within.] Sir, 

He'll come to you by and by. 

Mam. That is his fire-drake,* 

His Lungs, his Zephyrus, he that puffs his coals, 

* The New World. ' Most gazed at. 

' Female accomplice in swindling heirs out of property. * Lining. * Dragon. 



THE ALCHEMIST 565 

Till he firk* nature up, in her own centre. 

You are not faithful,' sir. This night I'll change 

All that is metal in my house to gold: 

And, early in the morning, will I send 

To all the plumbers and the pewterers, 

And buy their tin and lead up; and to Lothbury 

For all the copper. 

Sur. What, and turn that, too? 

Mam. Yes, and I'll purchase Devonshire and Cornwall, 
And make them perfect Indies! You admire now? 

Sur. No, faith. 

Mam. But when you see th' effects of the Great Med'cine, 
Of which one part projected on a hundred 
Of Mercury, or Venus, or the moon, 
Shall turn it to as many of the sun;' 
Nay, to a thousand, so ad infinitum: 
You will believe me. 

Sur. Yes, when I see't, I will. 

But if my eyes do cozen me so, and I 
Giving them no occasion, sure I'll have 
Them out next day. 

Mam. Ha! why? 

Do you think I fable with you? I assure you, 
He that has once the flower of the sun, 
The perfect ruby, which we call elixir, 
Not only can do that, but by its virtue, 
Can confer honour, love, respect, long life; 
Give safety, valour, yea, and victory, 
To whom he will. In eight and twenty days, 
I'll make an old man of fourscore, a child. 

Sur. No doubt; he's that already. 

Mam. Nay, I mean, 

Restore his years, renew him, like an eagle. 
To the fifth age; make him get sons and daughters, 
Young giants; as our philosophers have done, 
The ancient patriarchs, afore the flood, 

* Stir, rouse. ' Believing. * Turn mercury, copper, or silver into gold. 



566 BEN JONSON 

But taking, once a week, on a knife's point. 
The quantity of a grain of mustard of it; 
Become stout Marses, and beget young Cupids. 

Sur. The decay'd vestals of Pickt-hatch' would thank you. 
That keep the fire alive there. 

Mam. 'Tis the secret 

Of nature naturiz'd 'gainst all infections, 
Cures all diseases coming of all causes; 
A month's grief in a day, a year's in twelve; 
And, of what age soever, in a month: 
Past all the doses of your drugging doctors. 
I'll undertake, withal, to fright the plague 
Out o' the kingdom in three months. 

Sur. And I'll 

Be bound, the players shall sing your praises then, 
Without their poets.'" 

Mam. Sir, I'll do't. Meantime, 
I'll give away so much unto my man. 
Shall serve th' whole city with preservative 
Weekly; each house his dose, and at the rate 

Sur. As he that built the Water- work does with water.? 

Mam. You are incredulous. 

Sur. Faith, I have a humour, 

I would not willingly be gull'd." Your stone 
Cannot transmute me. 

Mam. Pertinax Surly, 
Will you believe antiquity.? Records? 
I'll show you a book where Moses, and his sister, 
And Solomon have written of the art; 
Ay, and a treatise penn'd by Adam 

Sur. How! 

Mam. Of the philosopher's stone, and in High Dutch. 

Sur. Did Adam write, sir, in High Dutch .'' 

Mam. He did; 

Which proves it was the primitive tongue. 

®A disreputable locality. 
"> The theatres were dosed when the plague was prevalent. '' Fooled. 



THE ALCHEMIST 567 

Sur. What paper? 

Mam. On cedar board. 

Sur. O that, indeed, they say, 

Will last 'gainst worms. 

Mam. 'Tis like your Irish wood, 

'Gainst cobwebs. I have a piece of Jason's fleece too, 
Which was no other than a book of alchemy. 
Writ in large sheepskin, a good fat ram-vellum. 
Such was Pythagoras' thigh. Pandora's tub, 
And all that fable of Medea's charms. 
The manner of our work; the bulls, our furnace, 
Still breathing fire; our argent-vive,''' the dragon: 
The dragon's teeth, mercury sublimate. 
That keeps the whiteness, hardness, and the biting; 
And they are gather'd into Jason's helm. 
The alembic, and then sow'd in Mars his field, 
And thence sublim'd so often, till they're fix'd. 
Both this, th' Hesperian garden, Cadmus' story, 
Jove's shower, the boon of Midas, Argus' eyes, 
Boccace his Demogorgon," thousands more. 
All abstract riddles of our stone. — How now! 

Scene II. [The same] 
Mammon, Surly. [Enter] Face, [as a Servant] 

Mam. Do we succeed? Is our day come? And holds it? 

Face. The evening will set red upon you, sir; 
You have colour for it, crimson : the red ferment 
Has done his office; three hours hence prepare you 
To see projection. 

Mam. Pertinax, my Surly. 

Again I say to thee, aloud, be rich. 
This day thou shalt have ingots; and to-morrow 
Give lords th' affront. — Is it, my Zephyrus, right? 
Blushes the bolt's-head?' 

'^ Quick-silver. " According to Boccaccio, the ancestor of all the gods. 
' A kind of flask. 



568 BEN JONSON 

Face. Like a wench with child, sir, 

That were but now discover'd to her master. 

Mam. Excellent witty Lungs! — My only care is 
Where to get stuff enough now, to project on;^ 
This town will not half serve me. 

Face. No, sir! buy 

The covering off o' churches. 

Mam. That's true. 

Face. Yes, 

Let 'em stand bare, as do their auditory;' 
Or cap 'em new with shingles. 

Mam. No, good thatch: 

Thatch will lie light upo' the rafters. Lungs. — 
Lungs, I will manumit thee from the furnace; 
I will restore thee thy complexion, Puff, 
Lost in the embers; and repair this brain. 
Hurt with the fume o' the metals. 

Face. I have blown, sir, 

Hard, for your worship; thrown by many a coal, 
When 'twas not beech; weigh'd those I put in, just, 
To keep your heat still even. These blear'd eyes 
Have wak'd to read your several colours, sir. 
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow. 
The peacock's tail, the plumed swan. 

Mam. And lasdy. 

Thou hast descried the flower, the sanguis agni? 

Face. Yes, sir. 

Mam. Where's master? 

Face. At's prayers, sir, he; 

Good man, he's doing his devotions 
For the success. 

Mam. Lungs, I will set a period 

To all thy labours; thou shalt be the master 
Of my seraglio. 

Face. Good, sir. 

Mam. But do you hear? 

* Transmute. ' Congregation. 



THE ALCHEMIST 569 

I'll geld you, Lungs. 

Face. Yes, sir. 

Mam. For I do mean 

To have a list of wives and concubines 
Equal with Solomon, who had the stone 
Alike with me; and I will make me a back 
With the elixir that shall be as tough 
As Hercules, to encounter fifty a night. — 
Thou'rt sure thou saw'st it blood? 

Face. Both blood and spirit, sir. 

Mam. I will have all my beds blown up, not stuft; 
Down is too hard: and then, mine oval room 
Fill'd with such pictures as Tiberius took 
From Elephantis, and dull Aretine 
But coldly imitated. Then, my glasses 
Cut in more subtle angles, to disperse 
And multiply the figures, as I walk 
Naked between my succubz.'* My mists 
I'll have of perfume, vapour'd 'bout the room, 
To lose our selves in; and my baths, like pits 
To fall into; from whence we will come forth 
And roll us dry in gossamer and roses. — 

Is it arrived at ruby ? Where I spy 

A wealthy citizen, or [a] rich lawyer, 
Have a sublim'd pure wife, unto that fellow 
I'll send a thousand pound to be my cuckold. 

Face. And I shall carry it? 

Mam. No. I'll ha' no bawds 

But fathers and mothers: they will do it best, 
Best of all others. And my flatterers 
Shall be the pure and gravest of divines. 
That I can get for money. My mere fools, 
Eloquent burgesses, and then my poets 
The same that writ so subtly of the fart, 
Whom I will entertain still for that subject. 
The few that would give out themselves to be 

^ Mistresses. 



570 BEN JONSON 

Court and town-stallions, and, each-where, bely 

Ladies who are known most innocent, for them, 

Those will I beg, to make me eunuchs of: 

And they shall fan me with ten estrich tails 

A-piece, made in a plume to gather wind. 

We will be brave. Puff, now we ha' the med'cine. 

My meat shall all come in, in Indian shells, 

Dishes of agate set in gold, and studded 

With emeralds, sapphires, hyacinths, and rubies. 

The tongues of carps, dormice, and camels' heels, 

Boil'd i' the spirit of sol, and dissolv'd pearl 

(Apicius' diet, 'gainst the epilepsy) : 

And I will eat these broths with spoons of amber, 

Headed with diamond and carbuncle. 

My foot-boy shall eat pheasants, calver'd salmons/ 

Knots,^ godwits, lampreys: I myself will have 

The beards of barbel' serv'd, instead of salads; 

Oiled mushrooms; and the swelling unctuous paps 

Of a fat pregnant sow, newly cut off, 

Drest with an exquisite and poignant sauce; 

For which, I'll say unto my cook, There's gold, 

Go forth, and be a \night. 

Face. Sir, I'll go look 

A little, how it heightens. [£x/>.] 

Mam. Do. — My shirts 
I'll have of tafleta-sarsnet,* soft and light 
As cobwebs; and for all my other raiment, 
It shall be such as might provoke the Persian, 
Were he to teach the world riot anew. 
My gloves of fishes and birds' skins, perfum'd 
With gums of paradise, and Eastern air 

Sur. And do you think to have the stone with this? 

Mam. No, I do think t' have all this with the stone. 

Sur. Why, I have heard he must be homo frugi^ 

' Salmon elaborately prepared. ^ Robin-snipes. ^ A fish. ' Soft silk. 
* A virtuous man. 



THE ALCHEMIST 57I 

A pious, holy, and religious man, 

One free from mortal sin, a very virgin. 

Mam. That makes it, sir; he is so: but I buy it; 
My venture brings it me. He, honest wretch, 
A notable, superstitious, good soul, 
Has worn his knees bare, and his slippers bald, 
With prayer and fasting for it: and, sir, let him 
Do it alone, for me, still. Here he comes. 
Not a profane word afore him; 'tis poison. — 

Scene III. [The same] 
Mammon, Surly. [Enter] Subtle 

Mam. Good morrow, father. 

Sub. Gentle son, good morrow, 

And to your friend there. What is he is with you? 

Mam. An heretic, that I did bring along. 
In hope, sir, to convert him. 

Sub. Son, I doubt 

You're covetous, that thus you meet your time 
r the just' point, prevent* your day at morning. 
This argues something worthy of a fear 
Of importune and carnal appetite. 
Take heed you do not cause the blessing leave you. 
With your ungovern'd haste. I should be sorry 
To see my labours, now e'en at perfection. 
Got by long watching and large patience, 
Not prosper where my love and zeal hath plac'd them. 
Which (heaven I call to witness, with your self, 
To whom I have pour'd my thoughts) in all my ends. 
Have look'd no way, but unto public good. 
To pious uses, and dear charity 
Now grown a prodigy with men. Wherein 
If you, my son, should now prevaricate. 
And to your own particular lusts employ 
' Exact. ^ Anticipate. 



572 BEN JONSON 

So great and catholic a bliss, be sure 
A curse will follow, yea, and overtake 
Your subtle and most secret ways. 

Mam. I know, sir; 

You shall not need to fear me; I but come 
To ha' you confute this gentleman. 

Sur. Who is. 

Indeed, sir, somewhat costive of belief 
Toward your stone; would not be gull'd. 

Sub. Well, son, 

All that I can convince him in, is this, 
The work is done, bright Sol is in his robe. 
We have a med'cine of the triple soul, 
The glorified spirit. Thanks be to heaven, 
And make us worthy of it! — WHttl S>picgell' 

Face, [within.] Anon, sir. 

Sub. Look well to the register. 

And let your heat still lessen by degrees. 
To the aludels.* 

Face, [within.] Yes, sir. 

Sub. Did you look 

O' the bolt's head yet? 

Face, [within.] Which? On D, sir? 

Sub. Ay; 

What's the complexion? 

Face, [within.] Whitish. 

Sub. Infuse vinegar. 

To draw his volatile substance and his tincture: 
And let the water in glass E be filt'red, 
And put into the gripe's egg.' Lute^ him well; 
And leave him clos'd in balneal 

Face, [within.] I will, sir. 

Sur. What a brave language here is! next to canting.' 

' The hero of a well-known German jest-book. 

^ A pear-shaped vessel, open at both ends. 

' An egg-shaped vessel. Gripe is griffin. 

^ Seal with clay. ' A dish of warm water. ' Rogues' slang. 



THE ALCHEMIST e^y^ 

Sub. I have another work you never saw, son, 
That three days since past the philosopher's wheel. 
In the lent heat of Athanor;' and's become 
Sulphur o' Nature. 

Mam. But 'tis for me? 

Sub. What need you? 

You have enough, in that is, perfect. 

Mam. O, but 

Sub. Why, this is covetise! 

Mam. No, I assure you, 

I shall employ it all in pious uses, 
Founding of colleges and grammar schools. 
Marrying young virgins, building hospitals. 
And now and then a church. 

[Re-enter Face] 

Sub. How now! 

Face. Sir, please you. 

Shall I not change the filter ? 

Sub. Marry, yes; 

And bring me the complexion of glass B. [Exit Face.] 

Mam. Ha' you another.? 

Sub. Yes, son; were I assur'd 

Your piety were firm, we would not want 
The means to glorify it: but I hope the best. 
I mean to tinct C in sand-heat to-morrow. 
And give him imbibition.'" 

Mam. Of white oil? 

Sub. No, sir, of red. F is come over the helm too, 
I thank my maker, in S. Mary's bath, 
And shows lac virginis. Blessed be heaven! 
I sent you of his faeces there calcin'd: 
Out of that calx, I ha' won the salt of mercury. 

Mam. By pouring on your rectified water? 

Sub. Yes, and reverberating in Athanor. 

"An alchemical furnace. '"Absorption. 



574 BEN JONSON 

[Re-enter Face] 

How now! what colour says it? 

Face. The ground black, sir. 

Mam. That's your crow's head? 

Sur. Your cock's-comb's, is it not? 

Sub. No, 'tis not perfect. Would it were the crow! 
That work wants something. 

Sur. [Aside.] O, I look'd for this, 

The hay's" a pitching. 

Sub. Are you sure you loos'd 'em 

In their own menstrue?" 

Face. Yes, sir, and then married 'em, 

And put 'em in a bolt's-head nipp'd to digestion. 
According as you bade me, when I set 
The liquor of Mars to circulation 
In the same heat. 

Sub. The process then was right. 

Face. Yes, by the token, sir, the retort brake, 
And what was sav'd was put into the pellican, 
And sign'd with Hermes' seal. 

Sub. I think 'twas so. 

We should have a new amalgama. 

Sur. [Aside.] O, this ferret 

Is rank as any polecat. 

Sub. But I care not; 

Let him e'en die; we have enough beside, 
In embrion. H has his white shirt on? 

Face. Yes, sir. 

He's ripe for inceration, he stands warm. 
In his ash-fire. I would not you should let 
Any die now, if I might counsel, sir. 
For luck's sake to the rest: it is not good. 

Mam. He says right. 

Sur. [Aside.] Ah, are you bolted? 

Face. Nay, I know't, sir, 

" A net for catching rabbits. " Dissolving fluids. 



THE ALCHEMIST 575 

I have seen the ill fortune. What is some three ounces 
Of fresh materials? 

Mam. Is't no more? 

Face. No more, sir, 

Of gold, t' amalgam with some six of mercury. 

Mam. Away, here's money. What will serve? 

Face. Ask him, sir. 

Mam. How much? 

Sub. Give him nine pound: you may gi' him ten. 

Sur. Yes, twenty, and be cozen'd, do. 

Mam. There 'tis. [Gives Face the money.] 

Sub. This needs not; but that you will have it so, 
To see conclusions of all: for two 
Of our inferior works are at fixation, 
A third is in ascension. Go your ways. 
Ha' you set the oil of luna in kemia? 

Face. Yes, sir. 

Sub. And the philosopher's vinegar? 

Face. Ay. [Exit.] 

Sur. We shall have a salad! 

Mam. When do you make projection? 

Sub. Son, be not hasty, I exalt our med'cine, 
By hanging him in balneo vaporoso, 
And giving him solution; then congeal him; 
And then dissolve him; then again congeal him; 
For look, how oft I iterate the work. 
So many times I add unto his virtue. 
As if at first one ounce convert a hundred, 
After his second loose, he'll turn a thousand; 
His third solution, ten; his fourth, a hundred; 
After his fifth, a thousand thousand ounces 
Of any imperfect metal, into pure 
Silver or gold, in all examinations. 
As good as any of the natural mine. 
Get you your stuff here against afternoon, 
Your brass, your pewter, and your andirons. 

Mam. Not those of iron? 



576 BEN JONSON 

Sub. Yes, you may bring them too; 

We'll change all metals. 

Sur. I believe you in that. 

Mam. Then I may send my spits ? 

Sub. Yes, and your racks. 

Sur. And dripping-pans, and pot-hangers, and hooks? 
Shall he not? 

Sub. If he please. 

Sur. — ^To be an ass. 

Sub. How, sir! 

Mam. This gent'man you must bear withal: 

I told you he had no faith. 

Sur. And little hope, sir; 

But much less charity, should I gull myself. 

Sub. Why, what have you observ'd, sir, in our art, 
Seems so impossible? 

Sur. But your whole work, no more. 

That you should hatch gold in a furnace, sir, 
As they do eggs in Egypt! 

Sub. Sir, do you 

Believe that eggs are hatch'd so? 

Sur. If I should? 

Sub. Why, I think that the greater miracle. 
No egg but differs from a chicken more 
Than metals in themselves. 

Sur. That cannot be. 

The egg's ordain'd by nature to that end. 
And is a chicken in potentia. 

Sub. The same we say of lead and other metals, 
Which would be gold if they had time. 

Mam. And that 

Our art doth further. 

Sub. Ay, for 'twere absurd 

To think that nature in the earth bred gold 
Perfect i' the instant: something went before. 
There must be remote matter. 

Sur. Ay, what is that? 



THE ALCHEMIST 577 

Sub. Marry, we say 

Mam. Ay, now it heats: stand, father, 

Pound him to dust. 

Sub. It is, of the one part, 

A humid exhalation, which we call 
Materia liquida, or the unctuous water; 
On th' other part, a certain crass and viscous 
Portion of earth; both which, concorporate, 
Do make the elementary matter of gold; 
Which is not yet propria materia, 
But common to all metals and all stones; 
For, where it is forsaken of that moisture, 
And hath more dryness, it becomes a stone: 
Where it retains more of the humid fatness. 
It turns to sulphur, or to quicksilver. 
Who are the parents of all other metals. 
Nor can this remote matter suddenly 
Progress so from extreme unto extreme, 
As to grow gold, and leap o'er all the means. 
Nature doth first beget th' imperfect, then 
Proceeds she to the perfect. Of that airy 
And oily water, mercury is engend'red; 
Sulphur o' the fat and earthy part; the one. 
Which is the last, supplying the place of male, 
The other, of the female, in all metals. 
Some do believe hermaphrodeity, 
That both do act and suffer. But these two 
Make the rest ductile, malleable, extensive. 
And even in gold they are; for we do find 
Seeds of them by our fire, and gold in them; 
And can produce the species of each metal 
More perfect thence, than nature doth in earth. 
Beside, who doth not see in daily practice 
Art can beget bees, hornets, beetles, wasps, 
Out of the carcases and dung of creatures; 
Yea, scorpions of an herb, being rightly plac'd? 
And these are living creatures, far more perfect 



578 BEN JONSON 

And excellent than metals. 

Mam. Well said, father! 

Nay, if he take you in hand, sir, with an argument, 
He'll bray you in a mortar. 

Sur. Pray you, sir, stay. 

Rather than I'll be bray'd, sir, I'll believe 
That Alchemy is a pretty kind of game. 
Somewhat like tricks o' the cards, to cheat a man 
With charming. 

Sub. Sir? 

Sur. What else are all your terms, 

Whereon no one o' your writers 'grees with other? 
Of your elixir, your lac virginis, 
Your stone, your med'cine, and your chrysosperm. 
Your sal, your sulphur, and your mercury, 
Your oil of height, your tree of life, your blood, 
Your marchesite, your tutie, your magnesia. 
Your toad, your crow, your dragon, and your panther; 
Your sun, your moon, your firmament, your adrop, 
Your lato, azoch, zernich, chibrit, heautarit. 
And then your red man, and your white woman. 
With all your broths, your menstrues, and materials 
Of piss and egg-shells, women's terms, man's blood, 
Hair o' the head, burnt clouts, chalk, merds, and clay, 
Powder of bones, scalings of iron, glass. 
And worlds of other strange ingredients. 
Would burst a man to name? 

Sub. And all these nam'd, 

Intending but one thing; which art our writers 
Us'd to obscure their art. 

Mam. Sir, so I told him — 

Because" the simple idiot should not learn it. 
And make it vulgar. 

Sub. Was not all the knowledge 

Of the ^Egyptians writ in mystic symbols? 
Speak not the scriptures oft in parables? 

'' In order that. 



THE ALCHEMIST 579 

Are not the choicest fables of the poets, 

That were the fountains and first springs of wisdom, 

Wrapt in perplexed allegories? 

Mam. I urg'd that, 

And clear'd to him, that Sisyphus was damn'd 
To roll the ceaseless stone, only because 

He would have made ours common. Dol appears [at the door.] — 
Who is this? 

Sub. 'Sprecious! — What do you mean? Go in, good lady. 
Let me entreat you. [Dol retires.] — Where's this varlet? 

[Re-enter Face] 

Face. Sir. 

Sub. You very knave! do you use me thus? 

Face. Wherein, sir? 

Sub. Go in and see, you traitor. Go! [Exit Face.] 

Mam. Who is it, sir? 

Sub. Nothing, sir; nothing. 

Mam. What's the matter, good sir? 

I have not seen you thus distemp'red: who is't? 

Sub. All arts have still had, sir, their adversaries; 
But ours the most ignorant. — 

Re-enter Face 

What now? 
Face. 'Twas not my fault, sir; she would speak with you. 
Sub. Would she, sir! Follow me. [£«>.] 

Mam. [stopping him.] Stay, Lungs. 
Face. I dare not, sir. 

Mam. How! pray thee, stay. 

Face. She's mad, sir, and sent hither — 

Mam. Stay, man; what is she? 
Face. A lord's sister, sir. 

He'll be mad too. — 
Mam. I warrant thee. — 

Why sent hither? 



580 BEN JONSON 

Face. Sir, to be cur'd. 

Sub. [within.] Why, rascal! 

Face. Lo youl — Here, sirl Exit. 

Mam. 'Fore God, a Bradamante, a brave piece. 

Sur. Heart, this is a bawdy-house! I'll be burnt else. 

Mam. O, by this light, no: do not wrong him. He's 
Too scrupulous that way: it is his vice. 
No, he's a rare physician, do him right. 
An excellent Paracelsian, and has done 
Strange cures with mineral physic. He deals all 
With spirits, he; he will not hear a word 
Of Galen; or his tedious recipes. — 

Re-enter Face 

How now. Lungs! 

Face. Softly, sir; speak softly. I meant 
To have told your worship all. This must not hear. 

Mam. No, he will not be gull'd; let him alone. 

Face. You're very right, sir; she is a most rare scholar, 
And is gone mad with studying Broughton's" works. 
If you but name a word touching the Hebrew, 
She falls into her fit, and will discourse 
So learnedly of genealogies. 
As you would run mad too, to hear her, sir. 

Mam. How might one do t' have conference with her. Lungs.? 

Face. O, divers have run mad upon the conference: 
I do not know, sir. I am sent in haste 
To fetch a vial. 

Sur. Be not gull'd, Sir Mammon. 

Maw. Wherein.? Pray ye, be patient. 

Sur. Yes, as you are. 

And trust confederate knaves and bawds and whores. 

Mam. You are too foul, believe it. — Come here, ^lett, 
One word. 

Face. I dare not, in good faith. [Going.] 

Mam. Stay, knave. 

" A learned eccentric of the time. 



THE ALCHEMIST 58 1 

Face. He is extreme angry that you saw her, sir. 

Mam. Drink that. [Gives him money. ^ What is she when she's 
out of her fit? 

Face. O, the most afJablest creature, sir! so merry! 
So pleasant! She'll mount you up, like quicksilver, 
Over the helm; and circulate like oil, 
A very vegetal : discourse of state. 
Of mathematics, bawdry, anything 

Mam. Is she no way accessible? no means, 

No trick to give a man a taste of her wit 

Or so? 

Sub. [within.] "MtXlX 

Face. I'll come to you again, sir. [£x//.] 

Mam. Surly, I did not think one of your breeding 
Would traduce personages of worth. 

Sur. Sir Epicure, 

Your friend to use; yet still loth to be gull'd: 
I do not like your philosophical bawds. 
Their stone is lechery enough to pay for, 
Without this bait. 

Mam. Heart, you abuse yourself. 

I know the lady, and her friends, and means, 
The original of this disaster. Her brother 
Has told me all. 

Sur. And yet you ne'er saw her 

Till now! 

Mam. O yes, but I forgot. I have, believe it, 
One o' the treacherousest memories, I do think. 
Of all mankind. 

Sur. What call you her brother? 

Mam. My lord 

He wi' not have his name known, now I think on't. 

Sur. A very treacherous memory! 

Mam. On my faith 

Sur. Tut, if you ha' it not about you, pass it. 
Till we meet next. 

Mam. Nay, by this hand, 'tis true. 



582 BEN JONSON 

He's one I honour, and my noble friend; 
And I respect his house. 

Sur. Heart! can it be 

That a grave sir, a rich, that has no need, 
A wise sir, too, at other times, should thus, 
With his own oaths, and arguments, make hard means 
To gull himself? An this be your ehxir. 
Your lapis mineralis, and your lunary. 
Give me your honest trick yet at primero, 
Or gleek;" and take your lutum sapientis, 
Your menstruum simplex! I'll have gold before you, 
And with less danger of the quicksilver. 
Or the hot sulphur. 

[Re-enter Face] 

Face. Here's one from Captain Face, sir, [To SimtY.] 

Desires you meet him i' the Temple-church, 
Some half -hour hence, and upon earnest business. 
Sir, {whispers Mammon) if you please to quit us now; and come 
Again within two hours, you shall have 
My master busy examining o' the works; 
And I will steal you in unto the party. 
That you may see her converse. — Sir, shall I say 
You'll meet the captain's worship? 

Sur. Sir, I will. — [Walf^^s aside.] 

But, by attorney, and to a second purpose. 
Now, I am sure it is a bawdy-house; 
I'll swear it, were the marshal here to thank me: 
The naming this commander doth confirm it. 
Don Face! why, he's the most authentic dealer 
In these commodities, the superintendent 
To all the quainter traffickers in town! 
He is the visitor, and does appoint 
Who lies with whom, and at what hour; what price; 
Which gown, and in what smock; what fall;'" what tire." 
Him will I prove, by a third person, to find 

'' Games at cards. *^ A collar, or a veil. " A head-dress. 



THE ALCHEMIST 583 

The subtleties of this dark labyrinth : 

Which if I do discover, dear Sir Mammon, 

You'll give your poor friend leave, though no philosopher, 

To laugh: for you that are, 'tis thought, shall weep. 

Face. Sir, he does pray you'll not forget. 

Sur. I will not, sir. 

Sir Epicure, I shall leave you. {Exit. 

Mam. I follow you straight. 

Face. But do so, good sir, to avoid suspicion. 
This gent'man has a parlous head. 

Mam. But wilt thou, ®Ien, 

Be constant to thy promise.? 

Face. As my life, sir. 

Mam. And wilt thou insinuate what I am, and praise me, 
And say I am a noble fellow.? 

Face. O, what else, sir ? 

And that you'll make her royal with the stone, 
An empress; and yourself King of Bantani. 

Mam. Wilt thou do this? 

Face. Will I, sir! 

Mam. Lungs, my Lungs! 

I love thee. 

Face. Send your stuff, sir, that my master 

May busy himself about projection. 

Mam. Thou'st witch'd me, rogue: take, go. [Gives him money.] 

Face. Your jack, and all, sir. 

Mam. Thou art a villain — I will send my jack. 
And the weights too. Slave, I could bite thine ear. 
Away, thou dost not care for me. 

Face. Not I, sir! 

Mam. Come, I was born to make thee, my good weasel. 
Set thee on a bench, and have thee twirl a chain 
With the best lord's vermin of 'em all. 

Face. Away, sir. 

Mam. A count, nay, a count palatine 

Face. Good sir, go. 

Mam. Shall not advance thee better: no, nor faster. [Exit.] 



584 BEN JONSON 

Scene IV. [The same] 

Face. [Re-enter] Subtle and Dol 

Sub. Has he bit? has he bit? 

Face. And swallowed, too, my Subtle. 

I have given him line, and now he plays, i' faith. 

Sub. And shall we twitch him ? 

Face. Thorough both the gills. 

A wench is a rare bait, with which a man 
No sooner's taken, but he straight firks mad.' 

Sub. Dol, my Lord What'ts'hum's sister, you must now 
Bear yourself statelich. 

Dol. O, let me alone. 

I'll not forget my race, I warrant you. 
I'll keep my distance, laugh and talk aloud; 
Have all the tricks of a proud scurvy lady, 
And be as rude's her woman. 

Face. Well said, sanguine!* 

Sub. But will he send his andirons? 

Face. His jack too. 

And 's iron shoeing-horn; I have spoke to him. Well, 
I must not lose my wary gamester yonder. 

Sub. O, Monsieur Caution, that will not be gull'd? 

Face. Ay, 
If I can strike a fine hook into him, now! — 
The Temple-church, there I have cast mine angle. 
Well, pray for me. I'll about it. Knocking without. 

Sub. What, more gudgeons!' 
Dol, scout, scout! [Dol goes to the window.] Stay, Face, you must 

go to the door, 
'Pray God it be my anabaptist — Who is't, Dol ? 

Dol. I know him not: he looks like a gold-end-man.* 

Sub. 'Ods so! 'tis he, he said he would send — what call you him? 
The sanctified elder, that should deal 

' Runs mad. ' Red cheeks. 

5 Easy dupes. * A man who buys broken remnants of gold. 



THE ALCHEMIST 585 

For Mammon's jack and andirons. Let him in. 

Stay, help me off, first, with my gown. [Exit Face u^ith the gown.\ 

Away, 
Madam, to your withdrawing chamber. \Exit. Dol.] Now, 
In a new tune, new gesture, but old language. — 
This fellow is sent from one negotiates with me 
About the stone too, for the holy brethren 
Of Amsterdam, the exil'd saints, that hope 
To raise their discipline^ by it. I must use him 
In some strange fashion now, to make him admire me. 

Scene V. YThe same] 

Subtle. [Enter] Ananias 
Where is my drudge? [Aloud.] 

[Enter] Face 

Face. Sir! 

Sub. Take away the recipient, 

And rectify your menstrue from the phlegma. 
Then pour it on the Sol, in the cucurbite, 
And let them macerate together. 

Face. Yes, sir. 

And save the ground ? 

Sub. No: terra damnata 

Must not have entrance in the work. — Who are you ? 

Ana. A faithful brother,' if it please you. 

Sub. What's that.? 

ALullianist? a Ripley?' Filius artis? 
Can you subhme and dulcify? Calcine? 
Know you the sapor pontic ? Sapor stiptic ? 
Or what is homogene, or heterogene ? 

Ana. I understand no heathen language, truly. 

Sub. Heathen! You Knipper-doHng?' Is Ars sacra, 

' Puritan form of church government. 
' A Puritan. Subtle wilfully misunderstands. 

*A follower of Raymond Lully (1235-1315) or George Ripley (d. c. 1490), well- 
known alchemical writers. ' An Anabaptist leader. 



586 BEN JONSON 

Or chrysopceia, or spagyrica, 

Or the pamphysic, or panarchic knowledge, 

A heathen language? 

Ana. Heathen Greek, I take it. 

Sub. How! Heathen Greek? 

Ana. All's heathen but the Hebrew. 

Sub. Sirrah my varlet, stand you forth and speak to him 
Like a philosopher : answer i' the language. 
Name the vexations, and the martyrizations 
Of metals in the work. 

Face. Sir, putrefaction, 

Solution, ablution, sublimation, 
Cohobation, calcination, ceration, and 
Fixation. 

Sub. This is heathen Greek, to you, now! — 
And when comes vivification ? 

Face. After mortification. 

Sub. What's cohobation? 

Face. 'Tis the pouring on 

Your aqua regis, and then drawing him ofif. 
To the trine circle of the seven spheres. 

Sub. What's the proper passion of metals? 

Face. Malleation. 

Sub. What's your ultimum supplicium auri? 

Face. Antimonium. 

Sub. This is heathen Greek to you! — And what's your mercury? 

Face. A very fugitive, he will be gone, sir. 

Sub. How know you him? 

Face. By his viscosity. 

His oleosity, and his suscitability. 

Sub. How do you sublime him? 

Face. With the cake of egg-shells. 

White marble, talc. 

Sub. Your magisterium now, 

What's that? 

Face. Shifting, sir, your elements. 

Dry into cold, cold into moist, moist into hot. 
Hot into dry. 



THE ALCHEMIST 587 

Sub. This is heathen Greek to you still! 

Your lapis philosophicus? 

Face. 'Tis a stone, 

And not a stone; a spirit, a soul, and a body: 
Which if you do dissolve, it is dissolv'd; 
If you coagulate, it is coagulated; 
If you make it to fly, it flieth. 

Sub. Enough. [Exit Face.] 

This is heathen Greek to you! What are you, sir? 

Ana. Please you, a servant of the exil'd brethren. 
That deal with widows' and with orphans' goods, 
And make a just account unto the saints: 
A deacon. 

Sub. O, you are sent from Master Wholesome, 
Your teacher? 

Ana. From Tribulation Wholesome, 

Our very zealous pastor. 

Sub. Good! I have 

Some orphans' goods to come here. 

Ana. Of what kind, sir? 

Sub. Pewter and brass, andirons and kitchen-ware. 
Metals, that we must use our med'cine on : 
Wherein the brethren may have a penn'orth 
For ready money. 

Ana. Were the orphans' parents 

Sincere professors? 

Sub. Why do you ask ? 

Ana. Because 

We then are to deal justly, and give. In truth, 
Their utmost value. 

Sub. 'Slid, you'd cozen else, 

An if their parents were not of the faithful! — 
I will not trust you, now I think on it. 
Till I ha' talk'd with your pastor. Ha' you brought money 
To buy more coals? 

Ana. No, surely. 

Sub. No? How so? 

Ana. The brethren bid me say unto you, sir, 



588 BEN JONSON 

Surely, they will not venture any more 
Till they may see projection. 

Sub. How! 

Ana. You've had 

For the instruments, as bricks, and lome, and glasses, 
Already thirty pound; and for materials. 
They say, some ninety more: and they have heard since, 
That one, at Heidelberg, made it of an egg. 
And a small paper of pin-dust. 

Sub. What's your name? 

Ana. My name is Ananias. 

Sub. Out, the varlet 

That cozen'd the apostles! Hence, away! 
Flee, mischief! had your holy consistory 
No name to send me, of another sound. 
Than wiclied Ananias? Send your elders 
Hither, to make atonement for you, quickly. 
And give me satisfaction; or out goes 
The fire; and down th' alembecs, and the furnace, 
Piger Henricus, or what not. Thou wretch! 
Both sericon and bufo shall be lost. 
Tell them. All hope of rooting out the bishops, 
Or th' anti-Christian hierarchy shall perish. 
If they stay threescore minutes : the aqueity, 
Terreity, and sulphureity 
Shall run together again, and all be annull'd. 
Thou wicked Ananias! {Exit Ananias.] This will fetch 'em. 
And make 'em haste towards their gulling more. 
A man must deal like a rough nurse, and fright 
Those that are froward, to an appetite. 

Scene VI. [The same] 

Subtle [Enter] Face [in his uniform, followed by] Drugger 

Face. He's busy with his spirits, but we'll upon him. 
Sub. How now! What mates, what Bayards' ha' we here? 

' Blind horses. 



THE ALCHEMIST 589 

Face. I told you he would be furious. — Sir, here's Nab 
Has brought you another piece of gold to look on; 
— We must appease him. Give it me, — and prays you, 
You would devise — what is it, Nab } 

Drug. A sign, sir. 

Face. Ay, a good lucky one, a thriving sign, doctor. 

Sub. I was devising now. 

Face. {Aside to Sub.] 'Slight, do not say so, 

He will repent he ga' you any more — 
What say you to his constellation, doctor. 
The Balance.'' 

Sub. No, that way is stale and common. 

A townsman born in Taurus, gives the bull. 
Or the bull's head : in Aries, the ram, 
A poor-device! No, I will have his name 
Form'd in some mystic character; whose radii, 
Striking the senses of the passers-by, 
Shall, by a virtual^ influence, breed affections. 
That may result upon the party owns it: 
As thus 

Face. Nab! 

Sub. He first shall have a bell, that's Abel; 

And by it standing one whose name is Dee^ 
In a rug* gown, there's D, and Rug, that's drug: 
And right anenst him a dog snarling er; 
There's Drugger, Abel Drugger. That's his sign. 
And here's now mystery and hieroglyphic! 

Face. Abel, thou art made. 

Drug. Sir, I do thank his worship. 

Face. Six o' thy legs" more will not do it. Nab. 
He has brought you a pipe of tobacco, doctor. 

Drug. Yes, sir; 

I have another thing I would impart 

Face. Out with it, Nab. 

Drug. Sir, there is lodg'd, hard by me, 

* Due to the virtue or power of the device. 

'A reference to Dr. Dee, the famous magician and astrologer, who died in 1608. 

* Of coarse frieze. ' Bows. 



590 BEN JONSON 

A rich young widow 

Face. Good! a bona roba?° 

Drug. But nineteen at the most. 

Face. Very good, Abel. 

Drug. Marry, she's not in fashion yet; she wears 
A hood, but 't stands a cop.' 

Face. No matter, Abel. 

Drug. And I do now and then give her a fucus' 

Face. What ! dost thou deal, Nab ? 

Sub. I did tell you, captain 

Drug. And physic too, sometime, sir; for which she trusts me 
With all her mind. She's come up here of purpose 
To learn the fashion. 

Face. Good (his match too!) — On, Nab. 

Drug. And she does strangely long to know her fortune. 

Face. 'Ods lid, Nab, send her to the doctor, hither. 

Drug. Yes, I have spoke to her of his worship already; 
But she's afraid it will be blown abroad, 
And hurt her marriage. 

Face. . Hurt it! 'tis the way 

To heal it, if 'twere hurt; to make it more 
Follow'd and sought. Nab, thou shalt tell her this. 
She'll be more known, more talk'd of; and your widows 
Are ne'er of any price till they be famous; 
Their honour is their multitude of suitors. 
Send her, it may be thy good fortune. What! 
Thou dost not know. 

Drug. No, sir, she'll never marry 

Under a knight : her brother has made a vow. 

Face. What! and dost thou despair, my little Nab, 
Knowing what the doctor has set down for thee, 
And seeing so many o' the city dubb'd ? 
One glass o' thy water, with a madam I know. 
Will have it done. Nab. What's her brother, a knight? 

Drug. No, sir, a gentleman newly warm in's land, sir, 

'Handsome girl. 

'Peaked (?) or straight on the top of her head, instead of tilted (?). 

' Paint for the face. 



THE ALCHEMIST 59 1 

Scarce cold in his one and twenty, that does govern 
His sister here; and is a man himself 
Of some three thousand a year, and is come up 
To learn to quarrel, and to live by his wits. 
And will go down again, and die i' the country. 

Face. How! to quarrel? 

Drug. Yes, sir, to carry quarrels. 

As gallants do; to manage 'em by line. 

Face. 'Slid, Nab, the doctor is the only man 
In Christendom for him. He has made a table, 
With mathematical demonstrations, 
Touching the art of quarrels: he will give him 
An instrument to quarrel by. Go, bring 'em both, 
Him and his sister. And, for thee, with her 
The doctor happ'ly may persuade. Go to: 
'Shalt give his worship a new damask suit 
Upon the premises. 

Sub. O, good captain! 

Face. He shall; 

He is the honestest fellow, doctor. Stay not, 
No offers; bring the damask, and the parties. 

Drug. I'll try my power, sir. 

Face. And thy will too, Nab. 

Sub. 'Tis good tobacco, this! What is't an ounce? 

Face. He'll send you a pound, doctor. 

Sub. O no. 

Face. He will do't. 

It is the goodest soul! — Abel, about it. 

Thou shalt know more anon. Away, be gone. [Exit Abel.] 

A miserable rogue, and lives with cheese. 
And has the worms. That was the cause, indeed, 
Why he came now : he dealt with me in private. 
To get a med'cine for 'em. 

Sub. And shall, sir. This works. 

Face. A wife, a wife for one on us, my dear Subtle! 
We'll e'en draw lots, and he that fails, shall have 
The more in goods. 



592 BEN JONSON 

Sub. Faith, best let's see her first, and then determine. 
Face. Content: but Dol must ha' no breath on't. 
Sub. Mum. 

Away you, to your Surly yonder, catch him. 
Face. Pray God I ha' not staid too long. 
Sub. I fear it. [Exeunt.] 

ACT III 

Scene I. [The lane before Lovewit's house\ 
Enter Tribulation Wholesome and Ananias 

Tri. These chastisements are common to the saints, 
And such rebukes we of the separation 
Must bear with willing shoulders, as the trials 
Sent forth to tempt our frailties. 

Ana. In pure zeal, 

I do not like the man; he is a heathen. 
And speaks the language of Canaan, truly. 

Tri. I think him a profane person indeed. 

Ana. He bears 

The visible mark of the beast in his forehead. 
And for his stone, it is a work of darkness. 
And with philosophy blinds the eyes of man. 

Tri. Good brother, we must bend unto all means, 
That may give furtherance to the holy cause. 

Ana. Which his cannot : the sanctified cause 
Should have a sanctified course. 

Tri. Not always necessary: 

The children of perdition are oft times 
Made instruments even of the greatest works. 
Beside, we should give somewhat to man's nature. 
The place he lives in, still about the fire, 
And fume of metals, that intoxicate 
The brain of man, and make him prone to passion. 
Where have you greater atheists than your cooks ? 
Or more profane, or choleric, than your glass-men } 
More anti-Christian than your bell-founders ? 



THE ALCHEMIST 593 

What makes the devil so deviUsh, I would ask you, 

Sathan, our common enemy, but his being 

Perpetually about the fire, and boiling 

Brimstone and arsenic? We must give, I say, 

Unto the motives, and the stirrers up 

Of humours in the blood. It may be so, 

When as the work is done, the stone is made, 

This heat of his may turn into a zeal. 

And stand up for the beauteous discipline 

Against the menstruous cloth and rag of Rome. 

We must await his calling, and the coming 

Of the good spirit. You did fault, t' upbraid him 

With the brethren's blessing of Heidelberg, weighing 

What need we have to hasten on the work, 

For the restoring of the silenc'd saints,' 

Which ne'er will be but by the philosopher's stone. 

And so a learned elder, one of Scotland, 

Assur'd me; aurum potabile being 

The only med'cine for the civil magistrate, 

T' incline him to a feeling of the cause; 

And must be daily us'd in the disease. 

Ana. I have not edified more, truly, by man; 
Not since the beautiful light first shone on me: 
And I am sad my zeal hath so offended. 

Tri. Let us call on him then. 

Ana. The motion's good. 

And of the spirit; I will knock first. \KnocI{s.] Peace be within! 

[The door is opened, and they enter,] 

Scene II. [A room in Lovewit's house] 

Enter Subtle, followed by Tribulation and Ananias 

Sub. O, are you come.? 'Twas time. Your threescore minutes 
Were at last thread, you see; and down had gone 
Furnus acedice, turris circulatorius : 
Limbec, bolt's-head, retort, and pelican 

' Non-conformist ministers not allowed to preach. 



594 BEN joNsoN 

Had all been cinders. Wicked Ananias! 

Art thou return'd ? Nay, then it goes down yet. 

Tri. Sir, be appeased; he is come to humble 
Himself in spirit, and to ask your patience, 
If too much zeal hath carried him aside 
From the due path. 

Sub. Why, this doth qualifyl 

Tri. The brethren had no purpose, verily, 
To give you the least grievance; but are ready 
To lend their willing hands to any project 
The spirit and you direct. 

Sub. This qualifies more! 

Tri. And for the orphans' goods, let them be valu'd, 
Or what is needful else to the holy work, 
It shall be numb'red; here, by me, the saints 
Throw down their purse before you. 

Sub. This qualifies most! 

Why, thus it should be, now you understand. 
Have I discours'd so unto you of our stone, 
And of the good that it shall bring your cause? 
Show'd you (beside the main of hiring forces 
Abroad, drawing the Hollanders, your friends. 
From the Indies, to serve you, with all their fleet) 
That even the med'cinal use shall make you a faction, 
And party in the realm ? As, put the case. 
That some great man in state, he have the gout. 
Why, you but send three drops of your elixir. 
You help him straight : there you have made a friend. 
Another has the palsy or the dropsy. 
He takes of your incombustible stuff. 
He's young again : there you have made a friend. 
A lady that is past the feat of body, 
Though not of mind, and hath her face decay'd 
Beyond all cure of paintings, you restore. 
With the oil of talc: there you have made a friend; 
And all her friends. A lord that is a leper, 
A knight that has the bone-ache, or a squire 



THE ALCHEMIST 595 

That hath both these, you make 'em smooth and sound, 
With a bare fricace' of your med'cine: still 
You increase your friends. 

Tri. Ay, 'tis very pregnant. 

Sub. And then the turning of this lawyer's pewter 
To plate at Christmas 

Ana. Christ-tide, I pray you. 

Sub. Yet, Ananias! 

Ana. I have done. 

Sub. Or changing 

His parcel^ gilt to massy gold. You cannot 
But raise you friends. Withal, to be of power 
To pay an army in the field, to buy 
The King of France out of his realms, or Spain 
Out of his Indies. What can you not do 
Against lords spiritual or temporal. 
That shall oppone' you? 

Tri. Verily, 'tis true. 

We may be temporal lords ourselves, I take it. 

Sub. You may be anything, and leave off to make 
Long-winded exercises; or suck up 
Your ha! and hum! in a tune. I not deny. 
But such as are not graced in a state. 
May, for their ends, be adverse in religion. 
And get a tune to call the flock together: 
For, to say sooth, a tune does much with women 
And other phlegmatic people; it is your bell. 

Ana. Bells are profane; a tune may be religious. 

Sub. No warning with you? Then farewell my patience. 
'Slight, it shall down; I will not be thus tortur'd. 

Tri. I pray you, sir. 

Sub. All shall perish. I have spoke it. 

Tri. Let me find grace, sir, in your eyes; the man 
He stands corrected : neither did his zeal, 
But as your self, allow a tune somewhere. 
Which now, being tow'rd* the stone, we shall not need. 
' Rubbing. ^ Partly. ' Oppose. * Near possession of. 



596 BEN JONSON 

Sub. No, nor your holy vizard/ to win widows 
To give you legacies; or make zealous wives 
To rob their husbands for the common cause: 
Nor take the start of bonds broke but one day, 
And say they were forfeited by providence. 
Nor shall you need o'er night to eat huge meals. 
To celebrate your next day's fast the better; 
The whilst the brethren and the sisters humbled, 
Abate the stiffness of the flesh. Nor cast 
Before your hungry hearers scrupulous bones;' 
As whether a Christian may hawk or hunt, 
Or whether matrons of the holy assembly 
May lay their hair out, or wear doublets, 
Or have that idol, starch, about their linen. 

Ana. It is indeed an idol. 

Tri. Mind him not, sir. 

I do command thee, spirit (of zeal, but trouble), 
To peace within him! Pray you, sir, go on. 

Sub. Nor shall you need to Ubel 'gainst the prelates. 
And shorten so your ears' against the hearing 
Of the next wire-drawn grace. Nor of necessity 
Rail against plays, to please the alderman 
Whose daily custard you devour; nor lie 
With zealous rage till you are hoarse. Not one 
Of these so singular arts. Nor call yourselves 
By names of Tribulation, Persecution, 
Restraint, Long-patience, and such like, affected 
By the whole family or wood' of you. 
Only for glory, and to catch the ear 
Of the disciple. 

Tri. Truly, sir, they are 

Ways that the godly brethren have invented, 
For propagation of the glorious cause, 
As very notable means, and whereby also 
Themselves grow soon, and profitably famous. 

' Set expression of face. 

' The dry bones of discussion on such scruples. 

' Have your ears cut off in the pillory. ' Assembly. 



THE ALCHEMIST 597 

Sub. O, but the stone, all's idle to't! Nothing! 
The art of angels, nature's miracle, 
The divine secret that doth fly in clouds 
From east to west: and whose tradition 
Is not from men, but spirits. 

Ana. I hate traditions; 

I do not trust them 

Trt. Peace! 

Ana. They are popish all. 

I will not peace: I will not 

Tri. Ananias! 

Ana. Please the profane, to grieve the godly; I may not. 

Sub. Well, Ananias, thou shalt overcome. 

Tri. It is an ignorant zeal that haunts him, sir: 
But truly else a very faithful brother, 
A botcher,' and a man by revelation 
That hath a competent knowledge of the truth. 

Sub. Has he a competent sum there i' the bag 
To buy the goods within ? I am made guardian, 
And must, for charity and conscience' sake. 
Now see the most be made for my poor orphan; 
Though I desire the brethren, too, good gainers: 
There they are within. When you have view'd and bought 'em, 
And ta'en the inventory of what they are. 
They are ready for projection; there's no more 
To do: cast on the med'cine, so much silver 
As there is tin there, so much gold as brass, 
I'll gi' it you in by weight. 

Tri. But how long time, 

Sir, must the saints expect yet ? 

Sub. Let me see. 

How's the moon now ? Eight, nine, ten days hence, 
He will be silver potate; then three days 
Before he citronise."* Some fifteen days, 
The magisterium" will be perfected. 

• Tailor. But the term was used generally of Puritans. 

'" Become the color of citron — a stage in the process of producing the stone. 

" Full accomplishment. 



598 BEN JONSON 

Ana. About the second day of the third week, 
In the ninth month? 

Sub. Yes, my good Ananias. 

Tri. What will the orphans' goods arise to, think you ? 

Sub. Some hundred marks, as much as fiU'd three cars, 

Unladed now : you'll make six millions of 'em 

But I must ha' more coals laid in. 

Tri. How ? 

Sub. Another load, 

And then we ha' finish'd. We must now increase 
Our fire to ignis ardensf^ we are past 
Fimusequinus, balnei, cineris^^ 
And all those lenter" heats. If the holy purse 
Should with this draught fall low, and that the saints 
Do need a present sum, I have a trick 
To melt the pewter, you shall buy now instantly, 
And with a tincture make you as good Dutch dollars 
As any are in Holland. 

Tri. Can you so? 

Sub. Ay, and shall bide the third examination. 

Ana. It will be joyful tidings to the brethren. 

Sub. But you must carry it secret. 

Tri. Ay; but stay, 

This act of coining, is it lawful? 

Ana. Lawful! 

We know no magistrate: or, if we did. 
This is foreign coin. 

Sub. It is no coining, sir. 

It is but casting. 

Tri. Ha! you distinguish well: 

Casting of money may be lawful. 

Ana. 'Tis, sir. 

Tri. Truly, I take it so. 

Sub. There is no scruple. 

Sir, to be made of it; believe Ananias: 
This case of conscience he is studied in. 

" Fiery heat. " Heat from horse-dung, warm bath, ashes. '* Milder. 



THE ALCHEMIST 599 

Tri. I'll make a question of it to the brethren. 

Ana. The brethren shall approve it lawful, doubt not. 
Where shall it be done? 

Sub. For that we'll talk anon. KnocI^ without. 

There's some to speak with me. Go in, I pray you. 
And view the parcels. That's the inventory, 

I'll come to you straight. {Exeunt Trie, and Ana.] Who is it? — 
Face! appear. 

Scene III. \The same] 
Subtle. [Enter] Face [in his uniform] 

How now! good prize? 

Face. Good pox! Yond' costive cheater 

Never came on. 

Sub. How then? 

Face. I ha' walk'd the round 

Till now, and no such thing. 

Sub. And ha' you quit him ? 

Face. Quit him! An hell would quit him too, he were happy. 
'Slight! would you have me stalk like a mill-jade, 
All day, for one that will not yield us grains? 
I know him of old. 

Sub. O, but to ha' gull'd him, 

Had been a mastery. 

Face. Let him go, black boy! 

And turn thee, that some fresh news may possess thee. 
A noble count, a don of Spain (my dear 
Delicious compeer, and my party '-bawd). 
Who is come hither private for his conscience 
And brought munition with him, six great slops,' 
Bigger than three Dutch hoys,' beside round trunks,* 
Furnish'd with pistolets,^ and pieces of eight,' 
Will straight be here, my rogue, to have thy bath, 
(That is the colour,^) and to make his battery 

* Partner. ^ Large breeches. ' Ships. ^ Trunk hose. * A Spanish gold coin 
worth about i6sh. 8d. ^ A coin worth about 4sh. 6d. 'Pretext. 



600 BEN JONSON 

Upon our Dol, our castle, our cinqueport, 

Our Dover pier, our what thou wilt. Where is she? 

She must prepare perfumes, delicate linen, 

The bath in chief, a banquet, and her wit. 

Where is the doxy? 

Sub. I'll send her to thee: 

And but despatch my brace of little John Leydens,' 
And come again myself. 

Face. Are they within then? 

Sub. Numbering the sum. 

Face. How much? 

Sub. A hundred marks, boy. [Ewf.] 

Face. Why, this is a lucky day. Ten pounds of Mammon! 
Three o' my clerk! A portague o' my grocer! 
This o' the brethren! Beside reversions 
And states to come, i' the widow, and my count! 
My share to-day will not be bought for forty 

[Enter Dol] 

Dol. What? 

Face. Pounds, dainty Dorothy! Art thou so near? 

Dol. Yes; say, lord general, how fares our camp? 

Face. As with the few that had entrench'd themselves 
Safe, by their discipline, against a world, Dol, 
And laugh'd within those trenches, and grew fat 
With thinking on the booties, Dol, brought in 
Daily by their small parties. This dear hour, 
A doughty don is taken with my Dol; 
And thou mayst make his ransom what thou wilt 
My Dousabel;' he shall be brought here fetter'd 
With thy fair looks, before he sees thee; and thrown 
In a down-bed, as dark as any dungeon; 
Where thou shalt keep him waking with thy drum; 
Thy drum, my Dol, thy drum; till he be tame 
As the poor blackbirds were i' the great frost, 

* Puritans, from the name of the Anabaptist leader. 

* /. e., douce et belle; sweetheart. 



THE ALCHEMIST 6oi 

Or bees are with a bason; and so hive him 

r the swan-skin coverHd and cambric sheets, 

Till he work honey and wax, my little God's-gift.'° 

Dol. What is he, general? 

Face. An adalantado," 

A grandee, girl. Was not my Dapper here yet? 

Dol. No. 

Face. Nor my Drugger? 

Dol. Neither. 

Face. A pox on 'em, 

They are so long a furnishing! such stinkards 
Would not be seen upon these festival days. — 

[Re-enter Subtle] 

How now! ha' you done? 

Sub. Done. They are gone: the sum 

Is here in bank, my Face. I would we knew 
Another chapman who would buy 'em outright. 

Face. 'Slid, Nab shall do't against he ha' the widow, 
To furnish household. 

Sub. Excellent, well thought on: 

Pray God he come. 

Face. I pray he keep away 

Till our new business be o'erpast. 

Sub. But, Face, 

How camst thou by this secret don ? 

Face. A spirit 

Brought me th' intelligence in a paper here. 
As I was conjuring yonder in my circle 
For Surly; I ha' my flies'^ abroad. Your bath 
Is famous. Subtle, by my means. Sweet Dol, 
Tickle him with thy mother tongue. His great 
Verdugoship" has not a jot of language; 
So much the easier to be cozen'd, my Dolly. 
He will come here in a hir'd coach, obscure, 

'" Referring to the literal meaning of Dorothea. 

" A Spanish governor. '^ Familiars. 

" Verdugo is a Spanish name, but the precise allusion is uncertain. 



602 BEN JONSON 

And our own coachman, whom I have sent as guide, 

No creature else. Owe /^wocy^j. Who's that? [Exit Dou] 

Sub. It is not he ? 

Face. O no, not yet this hour. 

Re-enter Dol 

Sub. Whois't.? 

Dol. Dapper, 

Your clerk. 

Face. God's will then. Queen of Fairy, 

On with your tire; [Exit DoL.] and, doctor, with your robes. 
Let's despatch him for God's sake. 

Sub. 'Twill be long. 

Face. I warrant you, take but the cues I give you. 
It shall be brief enough. [Goes to the window.] 'Slight, here are 

more! 
Abel, and I think the angry boy, the heir. 
That fain would quarrel. 

Sub. And the widow? 

Face. No, 

Not that I see. Away! [Exit Sub.] 

Scene IV. [The same] 
Face. [Enter] Dapper 

Face. O, sir, you are welcome. 

The doctor is within a moving for you; 
I have had the most ado to win him to it! — 
He swears you'll be the darling o' the dice: 
He never heard her highness dote till now.' 
Your aunt has giv'n you the most gracious words 
That can be thought on. 

Dap. Shall I see her grace? 

Face, See her, and kiss her too. — 

'Folio adds (he says). 



THE ALCHEMIST 603 

[Enter Abel, followed by Kastril] 

What, honest Nab! 
Hast brought the damask ? 

Nab. No, sir; here's tobacco. 

Face. 'Tis well done. Nab; thou'lt bring the damask too? 

Drug. Yes. Here's the gentleman, captain. Master Kastril, 
I have brought to see the doctor. 

Face. Where's the widow? 

Drug. Sir, as he likes, his sister, he says, shall come. 

Face. O, is it so ? Good time. Is your name Kastril, sir ? 

Kas. Ay, and the best of the Kastrils, I'd be sorry else. 
By fifteen hundred a year.^ Where is this doctor? 
My mad tobacco-boy here tells me o£ one 
That can do things. Has he any skill? 

Fa Wherein, sir? 

Kas. To carry a business, manage a quarrel fairly, 
Upon fit terms. 

Face. It seems, sir, you're but young 

About the town, that can make that a question. 

Kas. Sir, not so young but I have heard some speech 
Of the angry boys,' and seen 'em take tobacco; 
And in his shop; and I can take it too. 
And I would fain be one of 'em, and go down 
And practice i' the country. 

Face. Sir, for the duello. 

The doctor, I assure you, shall inform you, 
To the least shadow of a hair; and show you 
An instrument he has of his own making. 
Wherewith, no sooner shall you make report 
Of any quarrel, but he will take the height on't 
Most instantly, and tell in what degree 
Of safety it lies in, or mortality. 
And how it may be borne, whether in a right line. 
Or a half circle; or may else be cast 

*/. e., he is ;C'>50'' 2 year richer than any other of the Kastrils. 
' Roysterers, young bloods. 



604 BEN JONSON 

Into an angle blunt, if not acute: 

And this he will demonstrate. And then, rules 

To give and take the lie by. 

Kas. How! to take it? 

Face. Yes, in oblique he'll show you, or in circle;* 
But never in diameter.^ The whole town 
Study his theorems, and dispute them ordinarily 
At the eating academies. 

Kas. But does he teach 

Living by the wits too ? 

Face. Anything whatever. 

You cannot think that subtlety but he reads it. 
He made me a captain. I was a stark pimp, 
Just o' your standing, 'fore I met with him; 
It's not two months since. I'll tell you his method: 
First, he will enter you at some ordinary. 

Kas. No, I'll not come there: you shall pardon me. 

Face. For why, sir? 

Kas. There's gaming there, and tricks. 

Face. Why, would you be 
A gallant, and not game? 

Kas. Ay, 'twill spend a man. 

Face. Spend you! It will repair you when you are spent. 
How do they live by their wits there, that have vented 
Six times your fortunes? 

Kas. What, three thousand a year! 

Face. Ay, forty thousand. 

Kas. Are there such? 

Face. Ay, sir, 

And gallants yet. Here's a young gentleman 
Is born to nothing, — [Points to Dapper.] forty marks a year 
Which I count nothing :^he is to be initiated, 
And have a fly o' the doctor. He will win you 
By unresistible luck, within this fortnight. 
Enough to buy a barony. They will set him 

* The lie circumstantial. 
° The lie direct. 



THE ALCHEMIST 6o$ 

Upmost, at the groom porter's/ all the Christmas: 

And for the whole year through at every place 

Where there is play, present him with the chair, 

The best attendance, the best drink, sometimes 

Two glasses of Canary, and pay nothing; 

The purest linen and the sharpest knife. 

The partridge next his trencher: and somewhere 

The dainty bed, in private, with the dainty. 

You shall ha' your ordinaries bid for him. 

As playhouses for a poet; and the master 

Pray him aloud to name what dish he affects, 

Which must be butter'd shrimps: and those that drink 

To no mouth else, will drink to his, as being 

The goodly president mouth of all the board. 

Kas. Do you not gull one ? 

Face. 'Ods my life! Do you think it? 

You shall have a cast commander, (can but get 
In credit with a glover, or a spurrier. 
For some two pair of either's ware aforehand,) 
Will, by most swift posts, dealing [but] with him. 
Arrive at competent means to keep himself. 
His punk, and naked boy, in excellent fashion. 
And be admir'd for't. 

Kas. Will the doctor teach this ? 

Face. He will do more, sir: when your land is gone, 
(As men of spirit hate to keep earth long), 
In a vacation,' when small money is stirring, 
And ordinaries suspended till the term, 
He'll show a perspective,' where on one side 
You shall behold the faces and the persons 
Of all sufficient young heirs in town. 
Whose bonds are current for commodity;' 
On th' other side, the merchants' forms, and others, 

' An officer of the royal household, having charge of the cards, dice, etc. He had 
the privilege of keeping open table at Christmas, 

^ Of the law-courts. ' A magic glass. 

' The reference is to the "commodity" fraud, in which a borrower was obliged 
to take part of a loan in merchandise, which the lender frequendy bought back by 
agents for much less than it represented in the loan. 



6o6 BEN JONSON 

That without help o£ any second broker, 

Who would expect a share, will trust such parcels: 

In the third square, the very street and sign 

Where the commodity dwells, and does but wait 

To be deliver'd, be it pepper, soap, 

Hops, or tobacco, oatmeal, woad,'" or cheeses. 

All which you may so handle, to enjoy 

To your own use, and never stand oblig'd. 

Kas. V faith! is he such a fellow? 

Face. Why, Nab here knows him. 

And then for making matches for rich widows, 
Young gentlewomen, heirs, the fortunat'st man! 
He's sent to, far and near, all over England, 
To have his counsel, and to know their fortunes. 

Kas. God's will, my suster shall see him. 

Face. I'll tell you, sir, 

What he did tell me of Nab. It's a strange thing — 
(By the way, you must eat no cheese. Nab, it breeds melancholy, 
And that same melancholy breeds worms) but pass it: — 
He told me, honest Nab here was ne'er at tavern 
But once in's life. 

Drug. Truth, and no more I was not. 

Face. And then he was so sick 

Drug. Could he tell you that too? 

Face. How should I know it? 

Drug. In troth, we had been a shooting, 
And had a piece of fat ram-mutton to supper, 
That lay so heavy o' my stomach 

Face. And he has no head 
To bear any wine; for what with the noise o' the fiddlers. 
And care of his shop, for he dares keep no servants 

Drug. My head did so ache 

Face. And he was fain to be brought home. 
The doctor told me: and then a good old woman 

Drug. Yes, faith, she dwells in Seacoal-lane, — did cure me. 
With sodden ale, and pellitory" o' the wall; 

'" A plant used for a dye. ** A herb. 



THE ALCHEMIST 607 

Cost me but twopence. I had another sickness 
Was worse than that. 

Face. Ay, that was with the grief 

Thou took'st for being cess'd" at eighteenpence, 
For the waterwork. 

Drug. In truth, and it was hke 

T' have cost me almost my hfe. 

Face. Thy hair went off ? 

Drug. Yes, sir; 'twas done for spite. 

Face. Nay, so says the doctor. 

Kas. Pray thee, tobacco-boy, go fetch my suster; 
I'll see this learned boy before I go; 
And so shall she. 

Face. Sir, he is busy now: 

But if you have a sister to fetch hither, 
Perhaps your own pains may command her sooner; 
And he by that time will be free. 

Kas. I go. [Exit.] 

Face. Drugger, she's thine: the damask! — \Exit Abel.] Subtle and I 
Must wrastle for her. [Aside.] Come on. Master Dapper, 
You see how I turn clients here away. 
To give your cause dispatch; ha' you perform'd 
The ceremonies were enjoin'd you .'' 

Dap. Yes, o' the vinegar, 

And the clean shirt. 

Face. 'Tis well: that shirt may do you 

More worship than you think. Your aunt's a-fire. 
But that she will not show it, t' have a sight of you. 
Ha' you provided for her grace's servants ? 

Dap. Yes, here are six score Edward shillings. 

Face. Good! 

Dap. And an old Harry's sovereign. 

Face. Very good! 

Dap. And three James shillings, and an Elizabeth groat. 
Just twenty nobles." 

Face. O, you are too just. 

'^ Assessed, taxed. ^ A noble was worth 6sh. 8d. 



6o8 BEN JONSON 

I would you had had the other noble in Maries. 

Dap. I have some Philip and Maries. 

Face. Ay, those same 

Are best of all: where are they? Hark, the doctor. 

Scene V. \The samel 

Face, Dapper. Enter Subtle, disguised li\e a priest of Fairy 
[mth a strip of cloth] 

Sub. [in a feigned voice.] Is yet her grace's cousin come? 



Face. 


He is cc 


Sub. And is he fasting? 
Face. Yes. 




Sub. 


And hath cried hum? 


Face. Thrice, you must answer. 




Dap. 
Sub. 


Thrice. 

And as oft buz? 


Face. If you have, say. 

Dap. I have. 

Sub. 


Then, to her cuz, 



Hoping that he hath vinegar'd his senses. 
As he was bid, the Fairy queen dispenses, 
By me, this robe, the petticoat of fortune; 
Which that he straight put on, she doth importune. 
And though to fortune near be her petticoat. 
Yet nearer is her smock, the queen doth note: 
And therefore, even of that a piece she hath sent, 
Which, being a child, to wrap him in was rent; 
And prays him for a scarf he now will wear it, 
With as much love as then her grace did tear it, 
About his eyes. They blind him with the rag, to show he is for- 
tunate. 
And, trusting unto her to make his state, 
He'll throw away all worldly pelf about him; 
Which that he will perform, she doth not doubt him. 

Face. She need not doubt him, sir. Alas, he has nothing 
But what he will part withal as willingly. 



THE ALCHEMIST 609 

Upon her grace's word — throw away your purse — 

As she would ask it: — handkerchiefs and all — 

She cannot bid that thing but he'll obey. — 

If you have a ring about you, cast it off, 

Or a silver seal at your wrist; her grace will send 

He throws away, as they bid him. 
Her fairies here to search you, therefore deal 
Direcdy' with her highness: if they find 
That you conceal a mite, you are undone. 

Dap. Truly, there's all. 

Face. All what? 

Dap. My money; truly. 

Face. Keep nothing that is transitory about you. 
{Aside to Subtle.] Bid Dol play music. — Look, the elves are come. 

[Dot. plays on the cittern within. 
To pinch you, if you tell not truth. Advise you. 

[They pinch him.] 

Dap. 01 I have a paper with a spur-ryaP in't. 

Face. Ti, ti. 

They knew't, they say. 

Sub. Ti, ti, ti, ti. He has more yet. 

Face. Ti, ti-ti-ti. Y the other pocket? 

Sub. Titi, titi, titi, titi, titi. 

They must pinch him or he will never confess, they say. 

\They pinch him again. 

Dap. O, 01 

Face. Nay, pray you, hold: he is her grace's nephew, 
Ti, ti, ti? What care you ? good faith, you shall care. — 
Deal plainly, sir, and shame the fairies. Show 
You are innocent. 

Dap. By this good light, I ha' nothing. 

Sub. Ti, ti, ti, ti, to, ta. He does equivocate she says: 
Ti, ti do ti, ti ti do, ti da; and swears by the light when he is blinded. 

Dap. By this good dar\, I ha' nothing but a half-crown 
Of gold about my wrist, that my love gave me; 
And a leaden heart I wore sin' she forsook me. 

'Uprighdy. ^A gold coin worth issh. 



6lO BEN JONSON 

Face. I thought 'twas something. And would you incur 
Your aunt's displeasure for these trifles ? Come, 
I had rather you had thrown away twenty half-crowns. 

[Ta\es it off.] 
You may wear your leaden heart still. — 

[Enter Dol hastily] 

How now! 

Sub. What news, Dol.'' 

Dol. Yonder's your knight. Sir Mammon. 

Face. 'Ods lid, we never thought of him till now! 
Where is he.? 

Dol. Here hard by. He's at the door. 

Sub. And you are not ready now! Dol, get his suit. 

[Exit DoL.] 
He must not be sent back. 

Face. O, by no means. 

What shall we do with this same puffin^ here. 
Now he's on the spit ? 

Sub. Why, lay him back awhile, 

With some device. 

[Re-enter Dol with Face's clothes] 

— Ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, Would her grace speak with me.? 
I come. — Help, Dol! Knocking without. 

Face, [speakj through the keyliole.] — Who's there? Sir Epicure, 
My master's i' the way. Please you to walk 
Three or four turns, but till his back be turn'd, 
And I am for you. — Quickly, Dol! 

Sub. Her grace 

Commends her kindly to you, Master Dapper. 

Dap. I long to see her grace. 

Sub. She now is set 

At dinner in her bed, and she has sent you 
From her own private trencher, a dead mouse. 
And a piece of gingerbread, to be merry withal, 

' A sort of gull. 



THE ALCHEMIST 6ll 

And stay your stomach, lest you faint with fasting: 
Yet if you could hold out till she saw you, she says, 
It would be better for you. 

Face. Sir, he shall 

Hold out, an 'twere this two hours, for her highness; 
I can assure you that. We will not lose 
All we ha' done. 

Sub. He must not see, nor speak 

To anybody, till then. 

Face. For that we'll put, sir, 

A stay in's mouth. 

Sub. Of what.? 

Face. Of gingerbread. 

Make you it fit. He that hath pleas'd her grace 

Thus far, shall not now crinkle^ for a little. 

Gape, sir, and let him fit you. 

yrhey thrust a gag of gingerbread into his mouth.] 

Sub. Where shall we now 

Bestow him.? 

Dol. V the privy. 

Sub. Come along, sir, 

I must now show you Fortune's privy lodgings. 

Face. Are they perfum'd, and his bath ready ? 

Sub. All: 

Only the fumigation's somewhat strong. 

Face. [spea\ing through the /(^eyhole.] Sir Epicure, I am yours, 
sir, by and by. [Exeunt with Dapper.] 

ACT IV 

Scene I. [A room in Love wit's house] 
Enter Face and Mammon 

Face. O, sir, you're come i' the only finest time. 

Mam. Where's master? 

Face. Now preparing for projection, sir. 

^Turn aside from his purpose. 



6l2 BEN JONSON 

Your stuff will be all chang'd shortly. 

Mam. Into gold? 

Face. To gold and silver, sir. 

Mam. Silver I care not for. 

Face. Yes, sir, a little to give beggars. 

Mam. Where's the lady.? 

Face. At hand here. I ha' told her such brave things o' you, 
Touching your bounty and your noble spirit 

Mam. Hast thou.'' 

Face. As she is almost in her fit to see you. 
But, good sir, no divinity i' your conference, 
For fear of putting her in rage. 

Mam. I warrant thee. 

Face. Six men [sir] will not hold her down. And then. 
If the old man should hear or see you 

Mam. Fear not. 

Face. The very house, sir, would run mad. You know it, 
How scrupulous he is, and violent, 
'Gainst the least act of sin. Physic or mathematics. 
Poetry, state,' or bawdry, as I told you. 
She will endure, and never startle; but 
No word of controversy. 

Mam. I am school'd, good Wlhn. 

Face. And you must praise her house, remember that, 
And her nobility. 

Mam. Let me alone: 

No herald, no, nor antiquary. Lungs, 
Shall do it better. Go. 

Face. [Aside.] Why, this is yet 

A kind of modern happiness,^ to have 
Dol Common for a great lady. [Exit.] 

Mam. Now, Epicure, 

Heighten thyself, talk to her all in gold; 
Rain her as many showers as Jove did drops 
Unto his Danae; show the god a miser, 
Compar'd with Mammon. What! the stone will do't. 
■ Politics. ^ Up-to-date appropriateness. 



THE ALCHEMIST 613 

She shall feel gold, taste gold, hear gold, sleep gold; 
Nay, we will concumbere gold: I will be puissant, 
And mighty in my talk to her. — 

\Re-enter Face with Dol richly dressed] 

Here she comes. 

Face. To him, Dol, suckle him. This is the noble knight 
I told your ladyship 

Mam. Madam, with your pardon, 

I kiss your vesture. 

Dol. Sir, I were uncivil 

If I would suffer that; my lip to you, sir. 

Mam. I hope my lord your brother be in health, lady. 

Dol. My lord my brother is, though I no lady, sir. 

Face. [Aside.] Well said, my Guinea bird. 

Mam. Right noble madam 

Face. [Aside.] O, we shall have most fierce idolatry. 

Mam. 'Tis your prerogative. 

Dol. Rather your courtesy. 

Mam. Were there nought else t' enlarge your virtues to me, 
These answers speak your breeding and your blood. 

Dol. Blood we boast none, sir; a poor baron's daughter. 

Mam. Poor! and gat you? Profane not. Had your father 
Slept all the happy remnant of his life 
After that act, lien but there still, and panted, 
He'd done enough to make himself, his issue, 
And his posterity noble. 

Dol. Sir, although 

We may be said to want the gilt and trappings, 
The dress of honour, yet we strive to keep 
The seeds and the materials. 

Mam. I do see 

The old ingredient, virtue, was not lost. 
Nor the drug money us'd to make your compound. 
There is a strange nobility i' your eye. 
This lip, that chin! Methinks you do resemble 
One o' the Austriac princes. 



6l4 BEN JONSON 

Face. [Aside. \ Very like! 

Her father was an Irish costermonger. 

Mam. The house o£ Valois just had such a nose, 
And such a forehead yet the Medici 
Of Florence boast. 

Dol. Troth, and I have been lik'ned 

To all these princes. 

Face. [Aside.] I'll be sworn, I heard it. 

Mam. I know not how! it is not any one. 
But e'en the very choice of all their features. 

Face. [Aside.] I'll in, and laugh. [Eat/V.] 

Mam. A certain touch, or air. 

That sparkles a divinity beyond 
An earthly beauty! 

Dol. O, you play the courtier. 

Mam. Good lady, gi' me leave 

Dol. In faith, I may not. 

To mock me, sir. 

Mam. To burn i' this sweet flame; 

The phoenix never knew a nobler death. 

Dol. Nay, now you court the courtier, and destroy 
What you would build. This art, sir, i' your words. 
Calls your whole faith in question. 

Mam. By my soul 

Dol. Nay, oaths are made o' the same air, sir. 

Mam. Naturtf 

Never bestow'd upon mortality 
A more unblam'd, a more harmonious feature; 
She play'd the step-dame in all faces else: 
Sweet madam, le' me be particular 

Dol. Particular, sir! I pray you know your distance. 

Mam. In no ill sense, sweet lady; but to ask 
How your fair graces pass the hours ? I see 
You're lodg'd here, in the house of a rare man. 
An excellent artist; but what's that to you? 

Dol. Yes, sir; I study here the mathematics, 
And distillation. 



THE ALCHEMIST 6l$ 

Mam. O, I cry your pardon. 

He's a divine instructor! can extract 
The souls of all things by his art; call all 
The virtues, and the miracles of the sun, 
Into a temperate furnace; teach dull nature 
What her own forces are. A man, the emp'ror 
Has courted above Kelly;' sent his medals 
And chains, t' invite him. 

Dol. Ay, and for his physic, sir 

Mam. Above the art of iEsculapius, 
That drew the envy of the thunderer! 
I know all this, and more. 

Dol. Troth, I am taken, sir, 

Whole with these studies, that contemplate nature. 

Mam. It is a noble humour; but this form 
Was not intended to so dark a use. 
Had you been crooked, foul, of some coarse mould, 
A cloister had done well; but such a feature 
That might stand up the glory of a kingdom. 
To live recluse! is a mere solcecism. 
Though in a nunnery. It must not be. 
I muse, my lord your brother will permit it: 
You should spend half my land first, were I he. 
Does not this diamond better on my finger 
Than i' the quarry ? 

Dol. Yes. 

Mam. Why, you are like it. 

You were created, lady, for the light. 
Here, you shall wear it; take it, the first pledge 
Of what I speak, to bind you to believe me. 

Dol. In chains of adamant? 

Mam. Yes, the strongest bands. 

And take a secret too. — Here, by your side, 
Doth stand this hour the happiest man in Europe. 

Dol. You are contented, sir ? 

Mam. Nay, in true being, 

' The partner of Dee, the astrologer. 



6l6 BEN JONSON 

The envy of princes and the fear of states. 

Dol. Say you so, Sir Epicure? 

Mam. Yes, and thou shalt prove it, 

Daughter of honour. I have cast mine eye 
Upon thy form, and I will rear this beauty 
Above all styles. 

Dol. You mean no treason, sir? 

Mam. No, I will take away that jealousy. 
I am the lord of the philosopher's stone, 
And thou the lady. 

Dol. How, sir! ha' you that? 

Mam. I am the master of the mastery.* 
This day the good old wretch here o' the house 
Has made it for us: now he's at projection. 
Think therefore thy first wish now, let me hear it; 
And it shall rain into thy lap, no shower, 
But floods of gold, whole cataracts, a deluge, 
To get a nation on thee. 

Dol. You are pleas'd, sir, 

To work on the ambition' of our sex. 

Mam. I'm pleas'd the glory of her sex should know, 
This nook here of the Friars is no climate 
For her to live obscurely in, to learn 
Physic and surgery, for the constable's wife 
Of some odd hundred in Essex; but come forth, 
And taste the air of palaces; eat, drink 
The toils of empirics, and their boasted practice; 
Tincture of pearl, and coral, gold, and amber; 
Be seen at feasts and triumphs; have it ask'd, 
What miracle she is; set all the eyes 
Of court a-fire, like a burning glass, 
And work them into cinders, when the jewels 
Of twenty states adorn thee, and the light 
Strikes out the stars! that, when thy name is mention'd. 
Queens may look pale; and we but showing our love, 
Nero's Poppcca may be lost in story! 

^The art of transmutation. 



THE ALCHEMIST 617 

Thus will we have it. 

Dol. I could well consent, sir. 

But in a monarchy, how will this be? 
The prince will soon take notice, and both seize 
You and your stone, it being a wealth unlit 
For any private subject. 

Mam. If he knew it. 

Dol. Yourself do boast it, sir. 

Mam. To thee, my life. 

Dol. O, but beware, sir! You may come to end 
The remnant of your days in a loath'd prison, 
By speaking of it. 

Mam. 'Tis no idle fear. 

We'll therefore go with all, my girl, and live 
In a free state, where we will eat our mullets, 
Sous'd in high-country wines, sup pheasants' eggs, 
And have our cockles boil'd in silver shells; 
Our shrimps to swim again, as when they liv'd, 
In a rare butter made of dolphins' milk. 
Whose cream does look like opals; and with these 
Delicate meats set ourselves high for pleasure. 
And take us down again, and then renew 
Our youth and strength with drinking the elixir, 
And so enjoy a perpetuity 

Of life and lust! And thou shalt ha' thy wardrobe 
Richer than nature's, still to change thyself. 
And vary oftener, for thy pride, than she. 
Or art, her wise and almost-equal servant. 

[Re-enter Face] 

Face. Sir, you are too loud. I hear you every word 
Into the laboratory. Some fitter place; 
The garden, or great chamber above. How like you her? 

Mam. Excellent! Lungs. There's for thee. 

[Gives him money.] 

Face. But do you hear ? 

Good sir, beware, no mention of the rabbins. 



6l8 BEN JONSON 

Mam. We think not on 'em. [Exeunt Mam. and Dol.] 

Fare. O, it is well, sir. — Subtle! 

Scene II. [The same] 

Face. [Enter] Subtle 
Dost thou not laugh? 

Sub. Yes; are they gone? 

Face. All's clear. 

Sui>. The widow is come. 

Face. And your quarrelling disciple? 

Sub. Ay. 

Face. I must to my captainship again then. 

Sub. Stay, bring 'em in first. 

Face. So I meant. What is she? 

A bonnibel ? 

Sub. I know not. 

Face. We'll draw lots: 

You'll stand to that? 

Sub. What else? 

Face. O, for a suit. 

To fall now like a curtain, flap! 

Sub. To th' door, man. 

Face. You'll ha' the first kiss, 'cause I am not ready. [Exit.] 

Sub. Yes, and perhaps hit you through both the nostrils.' 

Face, [within.] Who would you speak with? 

Kas. [within.] Where's the captain? 

Face. [within.] Gone, sir, 

About some business. 

Kas. [within.] Gone! 

Face. [within.] He'll return straight. 

But, master doctor, his lieutenant, is here. 

[Enter Kastril, followed by Dame Pliant] 

Sub. Come near, my worshipful boy, my terra fili. 
That is, my boy of land; make thy approaches: 
1 "Put yow nose out of joint." 



THE ALCHEMIST 619 

Welcome; I know thy lusts, and thy desires, 
And I will serve and satisfy 'em. Begin, 
Charge me from thence, or thence, or in this hne; 
Here is my centre: ground thy quarrel. 

Kas. You he. 

Sub. How, child of wrath and anger! the loud he.^ 
For what, my sudden boy } 

Kas. Nay, that look you to, 

I am aforehand. 

Sub. O, this is no true grammar. 

And as ill logic! You must render causes, child. 
Your first and second intentions, know your canons 
And your divisions, moods, degrees, and differences. 
Your predicaments, substance, and accident, 
Series extern and intern, with their causes, 
Efficient, material, formal, final, 
And ha' your elements perfect.' 

Kas. What is this.? 

The angry^ tongue he talks in? 

Sub. That false precept, 

Of being aforehand, has deceiv'd a number. 
And made 'em enter quarrels oftentimes 
Before they were aware; and afterward. 
Against their wills. 

Kas. How must I do then, sir? 

Sub. I cry this lady mercy; she should first 
Have been saluted. Kisses her. I do call you lady. 
Because you are to be one ere 't be long. 
My soft and buxom widow. 

Kas. Is she, i' faith? 

Sub. Yes, or my art is an egregious liar. 

Kas. How know you? 

Sub. By inspection on her forehead. 

And subtlety of her lip, which must be tasted 
Often to make a judgment. Kisses her again. 'Slight, she melts 
Like a myrobolane.^ Here is yet a line, 

^ Swaggering. ' A kind of dried plum, esteemed as a sweetmeat. 



620 BEN JONSON 

In rivo jrontis* tells me he is no knight. 

Dame P. What is he then, sir ? 

Sub. Let me see your hand. 

O, your linea fortunce makes it plain; 
And Stella here in monte Veneris. 
But, most of all, junctura annularis? 
He is a soldier, or a man of art, lady, 
But shall have some great honour shortly. 

Dame P. Brother, 

He's a rare man, believe me! 

\Re-enter Face, in his uniform] 

Kas. Hold your peace. 

Here comes the t' other rare man. — 'Save you, captain. 

Face. Good Master Kastril! Is this your sister ? 

Kas. Ay, sir. 

Please you to kiss her, and be proud to know her. 

Face. I shall be proud to know you, lady. [Kisses her.] 

Dame P. Brother, 

He calls me lady too. 

Kas. Ay, peace: I heard it. \Ta\es her aside.] 

Face. The count is come. 

Sub. Where is he ? 

Face. At the door. 

Sub. Why, you must entertain him. 

Face. What will you do 

With these the while ? 

Sub. Why, have 'em up, and show 'em 

Some fustian book, or the dark glass. 

Face. 'Fore God, 

She is a delicate dabchick! I must have her. [E;!?/?.] 

Sub. [Aside.] Must you! Ay, if your fortune will, you must. 

Come, sir, the captain will come to us presently: 
I'll ha' you to my chamber of demonstrations, 
Where I'll show you both the grammar and logic. 
And rhetoric of quarrelling; my whole method 

* Frontal vein. ^ These are the cant phrases of palmistry. 



THE ALCHEMIST 62 1 

Drawn out in tables; and my instrument, 

That hath the several scales upon't, shall make you 

Able to quarrel at a straw's-breadth by moonlight. 

And, lady, I'll have you look in a glass, 

Some half an hour, but to clear your eyesight, 

Against you see° your fortune; which is greater 

Than I may judge upon the sudden, trust me. [Exeunt.] 

Scene III. [The same] 

[Enter] Face 

Face. Where are you, doctor.? 

Sub. [within.] I'll come to you presently. 

Face. I will ha' this same widow, now I ha' seen her, 
On any composition. 

[Enter Subtle] 

Sub. What do you say.? 

Face. Ha' you dispos'd of them ? 

Sub. I ha' sent 'em up. 

Face. Subtle, in troth, I needs must have this widow. 

Sub. Is that the matter? 

Face. Nay, but hear me. 

Sub. Go to. 

If you rebel once, Dol shall know it all: 
Therefore be quiet, and obey your chance. 

Face. Nay, thou art so violent now. Do but conceive, 
Thou art old, and canst not serve 

Sub. Who cannot? I? 
'Slight, I will serve her with thee, for a 

Face. Nay, 

But understand: I'll gi' you composition.' 

Sub. I will not treat with thee. What! sell my fortune? 
'Tis better than my birthright. Do not murmur: 
Win her, and carry her. If you grumble, Dol 
Knows if: directly. 

' In preparation for seeing. ' Recompense. 



622 BEN JONSON 

Face. Well, sir, I am silent. 

Will you go help to fetch in Don in state? [EjrzV.] 

Sub. I follow you, sir. We must keep Face in awe, 
Or he will overlook us like a tyrant. 

[Re-enter Face, introducing^ Surly disguised as a Spaniard 

Brain of a tailor! who comes here? Don John! 

Sur. Senores, beso las manos a vuestras mercedes} 

Sub. Stab me; I shall never hold, man. 
He looks in that deep ruff like a head in a platter, 
Serv'd in by a short cloak upon two trestles. 

Face. Or what do you say to a collar of brawn,' cut down 
Beneath the souse,"* and wriggled with a knife ? 

Sub. 'Slud, he does look too fat to be a Spaniard. 

Face. Perhaps some Fleming or some Hollander got him 
In d'Alva's time; Count Egmont's bastard. 

Sub. Don, 

Your scurvy, yellow, Madrid face is welcome. 

Sur. Gratia. 

Sub. He speaks out of a fortification. 

Pray God he ha' no squibs in those deep sets.^ 

Sur. For dios, senores, muy linda casal^ 

Sub. What says he? 

Face. Praises the house, I think; 

I know no more but's action. 

Sub. Yes, the casa. 

My precious Diego,' will prove fair enough 
To cozen you in. Do you mark ? You shall 
Be cozened, Diego. 

Face. Cozened, do you see. 

My worthy Donzel,' cozened. 

Sur. Entiendo? 

Sub. Do you intend it ? So do we, dear Don. 

^ Spanish. "Gentlemen, I kiss your hands." 

' Neck of a boar, or boar's flesh rolled. * Ear. 

' The deep plaits of his ruff. * "Gad, sirs, a very pretty house." 

' Spaniard. Strictly, Spanish for James. 

' Diminutive of Don. ' "I understand." 



THE ALCHEMIST 623 

Have you brought pistolets," or portagues, 

My solemn Don? [to Face.] Dost thou feel any? 

Face, feels his pockets. Full. 

Sub. You shall be emptied, Don, pumped and drawn 
Dry, as they say. 

Face. Milked, in troth, sweet Don. 

Sub. See all the monsters; the great lion of all, Don. 

Sur. Con licencia, se puede uer a esta senora?^^ 

Sub. What talks he now ? 

Face. Of the senora. 

Sub. O, Don, 

This is the lioness, which you shall see 
Also, my Don. 

Face. 'Slid, Subtle, how shall we do? 

Sub. For what? 

Face. Why, Dol's employ 'd, you know. 

Sub. That's true. 

'Fore heaven I know not : he must stay, that's all. 

Face. Stay! that he must not by no means. 

Sub. No! why? 

Face. Unless you'll mar all. 'Slight, he'll suspect it; 
And then he will not pay, not half so well. 
This is a travell'd punk-master, and does know 
All the delays; a notable hot rascal, 
And looks already rampant. 

Sub. 'Sdeath, and Mammon 

Must not be troubled. 

Face. Mammon! in no case. 

Sub. What shall we do then? 

Face. Think: you must be sudden." 

Sur. Entiendo que la senora es tan hermosa, que codicio tan a 
verla, como la bien aventuranza de mi vida}^ 

Face. Mi vidal 'Slid, Subtle, he puts me in mind o' the widow. 
What dost thou say to draw her to't, ha! 

'" Spanish gold coin, worth about i6sh. 8d. " "If you please, may I see the lady?" 
'^ Quick about it. 

" "I understand that the lady is so handsome that I am as eager to see her as 
the good fortune of my life." 



624 BEN JONSON 

And tell her 'tis her fortune? All our venture 
Now lies upon't. It is but one man more, 
Which on's chance to have her: and beside, 
There is no maidenhead to be fear'd or lost. 
What dost thou think on't. Subtle? 

Sub. Who, I ? why 

Face. The credit o£ our house too is engag'd." 

Sub. You made me an offer for my share erewhile. 
What wilt thou gi' me, i' faith ? 

Face. O, by that light 

I'll not buy now. You know your doom'^ to me. 
E'en take your lot, obey your chance, sir; win her. 
And wear her — out for me. 

Sub. 'Slight, I'll not work her then. 

Face. It is the common cause; therefore bethink you. 
Dol else must know it, as you said. 

Sub. I care not. 

Sur. Senores, porque se tarda tanto?^* 

Sub. Faith, I am not fit, I am old. 

Face. That's now no reason, sir. 

Sur. Puede ser de hacer burla de mi amor?" 

Face. You hear the Don too ? by this air I call, 
And loose the hinges. Dol! 

Sub. A plague of hell 

Face. Will you then do? 

Sub. You're a terrible rogue! 

I'll think of this. Will you, sir, call the widow ? 

Face. Yes, and I'll take her too with all her faults, 
Now I do think on't better. 

Sub. With all my heart, sir; 

Am I discharg'd o' the lot ? 

Face. As you please. 

Sub. Hands. [They shal(e hands.] 

Face. Remember now, that upon any change. 
You never claim her. 

'* Involved. '' Agreement. ""Sirs, why so long delay?" 
" "Can it be to make sport of my love.'" 



THE ALCHEMIST 625 

Sub. Much good joy and health to you, sir, 

Marry a whore! Fate, let me wed a witch first. 

Sur. Por estas honradas barbas^^ 

Sub. He swears by his beard. 

Dispatch, and call the brother too. \Exit Face.] 

Sur. Tengo duda, senores, que no me hagan alguna traycion." 

Sub. How, issue on ? yes, prcesto, senor. Please you 
Enthratha the chambratha, worthy don: 
Where if you please the fates, in your bathada, 
You shall be soak'd, and strok'd and tubb'd and rubb'd, 
And scrubb'd, and fubb'd,''" dear don, before you go. 
You shall in faith, my scurvy baboon don. 
Be curried, claw'd, and flaw'd," and taw'd,^' indeed. 
I will the heartlier go about it now, 
And make the widow a punk so much the sooner, 
To be reveng'd on this impetuous Face: 
The quickly doing of it is the grace. [Exeunt Sub. and Surly.] 

Scene IV. [Another room in the same] 
[Enter] Face, Kastril, and Dame Pliant 

Face. Come, lady: I knew the doctor would not leave 
Till he had found the very nick of her fortune. 

Kas. To be a countess, say you? 

[Face.\ A Spanish countess, sir. 

Dame P. Why, is that better than an English countess ? 

Face. Better! 'Slight, make you that a question, lady ? 

Kas. Nay, she is a fool, captain, you must pardon her. 

Face. Ask from your courtier to your inns-of-court-man, 
To your mere milliner; they will tell you all. 
Your Spanish jennet is the best horse; your Spanish 
Stoop is the best garb;^ your Spanish beard 
Is the best cut; your Spanish rufifs are the best 

" "By this honored beard — " 

" "I fear, sirs, that you are playing me some trick." 
20 Cheated. "Cracked. 
^ Soaked, like a hide being tanned. 
' Folio gives this line also to Kastril. ^ Bodily carriage. 



626 BEN JONSON 

Wear; your Spanish pavin the best dance; 
Your Spanish titillation in a glove 
The best perfume: and for your Spanish pike, 
And Spanish blade, let your poor captain speak. — 
Here comes the doctor. 

[Enter Subtle with a paper] 

Sub. My most honour'd lady, 
For so I am now to style you, having found 
By this my scheme,' you are to undergo 
An honourable fortune very shortly, 
What will you say now, if some 

Face. I ha' told her all, sir, 

And her right worshipful brother here, that she shall be 
A countess; do not delay 'em, sir; a Spanish countess. 

Sub. Still, my scarce-worshipful captain, you can keep 
No secret! Well, since he has told you, madam, 
Do you forgive him, and I do. 

Kas. She shall do that, sir; 

I'll look to it, 'tis my charge. 

Sub. Well then : nought rests 

But that she fit her love now to her fortune. 

Dame P. Truly I shall never brook a Spaniard. 

Sub. No.? 

Dame P. Never sin' eighty-eight* could I abide 'em. 
And that was some three years afore I was born, in truth. 

Sub. Come, you must love him, or be miserable; 
Choose which you will. 

Face. By this good rush, persuade her. 

She will cry'* strawberries else within this twelve month. 

Sub. Nay, shads and mackerel, which is worse. 

Face. Indeed, sirl 

Kas. God's lid, you shall love him, or I'll kick you. 

Dame P. Why, 

I'll do as you will ha' me, brother. 

'Horoscope. *I. e., since 1588, the year of the "Invincible Armada." 
^ Sell on the street. 



THE ALCHEMIST 627 

Kas. Do, 

Or by this hand I'll maul you. 

Face. Nay, good sir, 

Be not so fierce. 

Sub. No, my enraged child; 
She will be rul'd. What, when she comes to taste 
The pleasures of a countess! to be courted 

Face. And kiss'd, and ruffled! 

Sub. Ay, behind the hangings. 

Face. And then come forth in pomp! 

Sub. And know her state! 

Face. Of keeping all th' idolaters of the chamber 
Barer to her, than at their prayers! 

Sub. Is served 

Upon the knee! 

Face. And has her pages, ushers. 
Footmen, and coaches 

Sub. Her six mares 



Face. Nay, eight! 

Sub. To hurry her through London, to th' Exchange,^ 
Bethlem,' the China-houses' 

Face. Yes, and have 

The citizens gape at her, and praise her tires,' 
And my lord's goose-turd'° bands, that rides with her! 

Kas. Most brave! By this hand, you are not my suster 
If you refuse. 

Dame P. I will not refuse, brother. 

[Enter Surly] 

Sur. Que es esto, senores, que non se venga? 
Esta tardanza me matal^^ 

Face. It is the count come: 

The doctor knew he would be here, by his art. 

' There were shops in the Royal Exchange. 

^ The madhouse was often visited for entertainment. 

' Shops with merchandise from China. ' Head-dresses. 

'" In greenish-yellow liveries. 

" "Why doesn't she come, sirs? This delay is killing me." 



628 BEN JONSON 

Sub, En gallanta madama, Don! gallantissimal 

Sur. Por todos los dioses, la mas acabada hermosura, que he visto 
en ma vida!^^ 

Face. Is't not a gallant language that they speak ? 

Kas. An admirable language! Is't not French? 

Face. No, Spanish, sir. 

Kas. It goes like law French, 

And that, they say, is the court-liest language. 

Face. List, sir. 

Sur. El sol ha perdido su lumbre, con el resplandor que true esta 
damal Valgame diosl" 

Face. H' admires your sister. 

Kas. Must not she make curt'sy. 

Sub. 'Ods will, she must go to him, man, and kiss him I 
It is the Spanish fashion, for the women 
To make first court. 

Face. 'Tis true he tells you, sir: 

His art knows all. 

Sur. Porque no se acude?^* 

Kas. He speaks to her, I think. 

Face. That he does, sir. 

Sur. Por el amor de dios, que es esto que se tarda?^^ 

Kas. Nay, see: she will not understand him! Gull, Noddy. 

Dame P. What say you, brother? 

Kas. Ass, my suster, 

Go kuss him, as the cunning man would have you; 
I'll thrust a pin in your buttocks else. 

Face. O no, sir. 

Sur. Senora mia, mi persona muy indigna esta allegar a tanta 
hermosura}^ 

Face. Does he not use her bravely? 

Kas. Bravely, i' faith! 

Face. Nay, he will use her better. 

*^ "By all the gods, the most perfect beauty I have seen in my lifel" 

^ "The sun has lost his light with the splendor this lady brings, so help me God." 

**"Why don't you draw near?" 

1* "For the love of God, why this delay?" 

^* "Madam, my person is unworthy to approach such beauty." 



THE ALCHEMIST 629 

Kas. Do you think so? 

Sur. Senora, si sera servida, entremos." 

[Exit with Dame Pliant.] 

Kas. Where does he carry her? 

Face. Into the garden, sir; 

Take you no thought: I must interpret for her. 

Sub. Give Dol the word. [Aside to Face who goes out.] 

— Come, my fierce child, advance. 
We'll to our quarrelHng lesson again. 

Kas. Agreed. 

I love a Spanish boy with all my heart. 

Sub. Nay, and by this means, sir, you shall be brother 
To a great count. 

Kas. Ay, I knew that at first, 

This match will advance the house of the Kastrils. 

Sub. 'Pray God your sister prove but pliant! 

Kas. Why, 

Her name is so, by her other husband. 

Sub. Howl 

Kas. The Widow Pliant. Knew you not that? 

Sub. No, faith, sir; 

Yet, by erection of her figure," I guess'd it. 
Come, let's go practise. 

Kas. Yes, but do you think, doctor, 

I e'er shall quarrel well? 

Sub. I warrant you. [Exeunt.] 

Scene V. [Another room in the same] 

Enter Dol [in her fit of raving, followed by] Mammon 

Dol. For after Alexander's death^ 

Mam. Good lady 

Dol. That Perdiccas and Antigonus were slain, 
The two that stood, Seleuc' and Ptolomy 

" "Madam, at your service, let us go in." 
" By her horoscope, with a pun on her bearing. 

* Dol's ravings are taken almost at random from the headings of columns, preface, 
etc., of the "Concent of Scripture," by Hugh Broughton. 



630 BEN JONSON 

Mam. Madam 

Dol. Ma\e up the two legs, and the fourth beast, 
That was Gog-north and Egypt-south: which after 
Was call'd Gog-iron-leg and South-iron-leg 

Mam. Lady 

Dol. And then Gog-horned. So was Egypt, too: 
Then Egypt-clay-leg, and Gog-clay-leg 

Mam. Sweet madam^^ 

Dol. And last Gog-dust, and Egypt-dust, which fall 
In the last lin\ of the fourth chain. And these 
Be stars in story, which none see, or lool^ a t 

Mam. What shall I do? 

Dol. For, as he says, except 
We call the rabbins, and the heathen Greeks 

Mam. Dear lady 

Dol. To come from Salem, and from Athens, 
And teach the people of Great Britain 

[Enter Face hastily, in his servants dress] 

Face. What's the matter, sir? 

Dol. To spea\ the tongue of Eber and Javan 

Mam. O, 

She's in her fit. 

Dol. We shall \notif nothing 

Face. Death, sir, 

We are undone! 

Dol. Where then a learned linguist 
Shall see the ancient us'd communion 
Of vowels and consonants 

Face. My master will hear! 

Dol. A wisdom, which Pythagoras held most high—— 

Mam. Sweet honourable lady! 

Dol. To comprise 

All sounds of voices, in few marl{s of letters. 

Face. Nay, you must never hope to lay her now. 

They all spea\ together. 



THE ALCHEMIST 63 1 

Dol. And so we may arrive by Talmud s\ill^ 
And profane Greel{, to raise the building up 
Of Helen's house against the Ismaelite, 
King of Thogarma, and his habergions 
Brimstony, blue, and fiery; and the force 
Of king Abaddon, and the beast of Cittim; 
Which rabbi David Kimchi, On\elos, 
And Aben Ezra do interpret Rome. 

Face. How did you put her into't ? 

Mam. Alas, I talked 

Of a fifth monarchy I would erect 
With the philosopher's stone, by chance, and she 
Falls on the other four straight. 

Face. Out of Broughton! 

I told you so. 'Slid, stop her mouth. 

Mam. Is'tbest? 

Face. She'll never leave else. If the old man hear her, 
We are but faeces, ashes. 

Sub. [within.^ What's to do there? 

Face. O, we are lost! Now she hears him, she is quiet. 

[Enter Subtle;] they run di^erent ways 

Mam. Where shall I hide me! 

Sub. How! what sight is here? 

Close' deeds of darkness, and that shun the light! 
Bring him again. Who is he? What, my son! 
O, I have liv'd too long. 

Mam. Nay, good, dear father. 

There was no unchaste purpose. 

Sub. Not? and flee me 

When I come in ? 

Mam. That was my error. 

Sub. Error? 

Guilt, guilt, my son; give it the right name. No marvel 

^In the early editions this speech is printed in parallel columns with the dialogue 
immediately following, to indicate simultaneous utterance. ' Secret. 



632 BEN JONSON 

If I found check in our great work within, 
When such affairs as these were managing! 

Mam. Why, have you so? 

Sub. It has stood still this half hour: 

And all the rest of our less works gone back. 
Where is the instrument of wickedness. 
My lewd false drudge? 

Mam. Nay, good sir, blame not him; 

Believe me, 'twas against his will or knowledge: 
I saw her by chance. 

Sub. Will you commit more sin, 

To excuse a varlet? 

Mam. By my hope, 'tis true, sir. 

Sub. Nay, then I wonder less, if you, for whom 
The blessing was prepar'd, would so tempt heaven, 
And lose your fortunes. 

Mam. Why, sir? 

Sub. This will retard 

The work a month at least. 

Mam. Why, if it do, 

What remedy? But think it not, good father: 
Our purposes were honest.* 

Sub. As they were, 

So the reward will prove. A great crac\ and noise within. 

— How now! ay me! 
God and all saints be good to us. 

\Re-enter Face] 

What's that? 
Face. O, sir, we are defeated! all the works 
Are flown in fumoj' every glass is burst; 
Furnace and all rent down, as if a bolt 
Of thunder had been driven through the house. 
Retorts, receivers, pelicans,* bolt-heads,' 

All struck in shivers! Subtle falls down as in a swoon. 

Help, good sir! alas, 

* Chaste. ^ Into smoke. * An alembic of a particular shape. ' A globular flask. 



THE ALCHEMIST 6;^^ 

Coldness and death invades him. Nay, Sir Mammon, 

Do the fair offices of a man! You stand. 

As you were readier to depart than he. One ^nocl^s. 

Who's there? My lord her brother is come. 

Mam. Ha, Lungs! 

Face. His coach is at the door. Avoid his sight. 
For he's as furious as his sister's mad. 

Mam. Alas! 

Face. My brain is quite undone with the £um.e, sir, 

I ne'er must hope to be mine own man again. 

Mam. Is all lost, Lungs ? Will nothing be preserv'd 
Of all our cost.'' 

Face. Faith, very little, sir; 

A peck of coals or so, which is cold comfort, sir. 

Mam. O, my voluptuous mind! I am justly punish'd. 

Face. And so am I, sir. 

Mam. Cast from all my hopes 

Face. Nay, certainties, sir. 

Mam. By mine own base affections. 

Sub. seeming to come to himself. O, the curst fruits of vice and 
lust! 

Mam. Good father, 

It was my sin. Forgive it. 

Sub. Hangs my roof 

Over us still, and will not fall, O justice, 
Upon us, for this wicked man! 

Face. Nay, look, sir, 

You grieve him now with staying in his sight. 
Good sir, the nobleman will come too, and take you, 
And that may breed a tragedy. 

Mam. I'll go. 

Face. Ay, and repent at home, sir. It may be. 
For some good penance you may ha' it yet; 
A hundred pound to the box at Bethlem' 

Mam. Yes. 

Face. For the restoring such as — ha' their wits. 

*The lunatic asylum. 



634 BEN JONSON 

Mam. I'll do't. 

Face. I'll send one to you to receive it. 

Mam. Do. 

Is no projection left? 

Face. All flown, or stinks, sir. 

Mam. Will nought be sav'd that's good for med'cine, think'st thou ? 

Face. 1 cannot tell, sir. There will be perhaps 
Something about the scraping of the shards, 

Will cure the itch, though not your itch of mind, sir. [Aside.] 

It shall be saved for you, and sent home. Good sir, 
This way for fear the lord should meet you. [Exit Mammon.] 

Sub. [raising his head.] Face! 

Face. Ay. 

Sub. Is he gone? 

Face. Yes, and as heavily 

As all the gold he hop'd for were in's blood. 
Let us be light though. 

Sub. [leaping up.] Ay, as balls, and bound 
And hit our heads against the roof for joy: 
There's so much of our care now cast away. 

Face. Now to our don. 

Sub. Yes, your young widow by this time 

Is made a countess, Face; she's been in travail 
Of a young heir for you. 

Face. Good, sir. 

Sub. Off with your case,' 

And greet her kindly, as a bridegroom should, 
After these common hazards. 

Face. Very well, sir. 

Will you go fetch Don Diego off the while ? 

Sub. And fetch him over too, if you'll be pleas'd, sir. 
Would Dol were in her place, to pick his pockets now! 

Face. Why, you can do't as well, if you would set to't. 
I pray you prove your virtue.^" 

Sub. For your sake, sir. [Exeunt.] 

' His costume as Lungs. '" Capacity. 



THE ALCHEMIST 635 

Scene VI. [Another room in the same] 
[Enter] Surly and Dame Pliant 

Sur. Lady, you see into what hands you are fall'n; 
'Mongst what a nest of villains! and how near 
Your honour was t'have catch'd a certain clap, 
Through your credulity, had I but been 
So punctually forward, as place, time. 
And other circumstances would ha' made a man; 
For you're a handsome woman: would you were wise too! 
I am a gentleman come here disguis'd, 
Only to find the knaveries of this citadel; 
And where I might have wrong'd your honour, and have not, 
I claim some interest in your love. You are. 
They say, a widow, rich; and I'm a bachelor, 
Worth nought: your fortunes may make me a man, 
As mine ha' preserv'd you a woman. Think upon it, 
And whether I have deserv'd you or no. 

Dame P. I will, sir. 

Sur. And for these household-rogues, let me alone 
To treat with them. 

[Enter Subtle] 

Sub. How doth my noble Diego, 

And my dear madam countess ? Hath the count 
Been courteous, lady ? liberal and open ? 
Donzel,' methinks you look melancholic, 
I do not like the dulness of your eye; 
It hath a heavy cast, 'tis upsee Dutch,^ 
And says you are lumpish. 
Be lighter, and I will make your pockets so. 

He falls to picking of them. 

Sur. [Throws open his cloa\.] Will you, don bawd and pick- 
purse? [Strides him down.] How now! Reel you? 
Stand up, sir, you shall find, since I am so heavy, 
I'll give you equal weight. 

Sub. Help! murder! 

' Diminutive of Don. * As if you had been drinking heavy Dutch beer. 



636 BEN JONSON 

Sur. No, sir, 

There's no such thing intended. A good cart' 
And a clean whip shall ease you of that fear. 
I am the Spanish don that should be cozened, 
Do you see? Cozened? Where's your Captain Face, 
That parcels-broker, and whole-bawd, all rascal? 

[Enter Face in his uniform^ 

Face. How, Surly! 

Sur. O, make your approach, good captain, 

I have found from whence your copper rings and spoons 
Come now, wherewith you cheat abroad in taverns. 
'Twas here you learn'd t'anoint your boot with brimstone, 
Then rub men's gold on't for a kind of touch, 
And say 'twas naught, when you had changed the colour, 
That you might ha't for nothing. And this doctor, 
Your sooty, smoky-bearded compeer, he 
Will close you so much gold, in a bolt's-head. 
And, on a turn, convey i' the stead another 
With sublim'd mercury, that shall burst in the heat. 
And fly out all in fumo! Then weeps Mammon; 
Then swoons his worship. [Face slips out.] Or, he is the Faustus, 
That casteth figures' and can conjure, cures 
Plagues, piles, and pox, by the ephemerides,' 
And holds intelligence with all the bawds 

And midwives of three shires: while you send in 

Captain! — what! is he gone? — damsels with child, 

Wives that are barren, or the waiting-maid 

With the green sickness. [Seizes Subtle as he is retiring.] 

— Nay, sir, you must tarry. 
Though he be scap'd; and answer by the ears, sir. 

' Referring to the punishment inflicted on bawds. ' Part. 
° Horoscopes. ^ Astrological almanacs. 



THE ALCHEMIST 637 

Scene VII. [The same] 
[Re-enter] Face with Kastril [to] Surly and Subtle 

Face. Why, now's the time, if ever you will quarrel 
Well, as they say, and be a true-born child: 
The doctor and your sister both are abus'd.' 

Kas. Where is he? Which is he? He is a slave, 
Whate'er he is, and the son of a whore. — Are you 
The man, sir, I would know? 

Sur. I should be loth, sir, 

To confess so much. 

Kas. Then you lie i' your throat. 

Sur. How! 

Face. [To Kastril.] A very arrant rogue, sir, and a cheater, 
Employ'd here by another conjurer 
That does not love the doctor, and would cross him 
If he knew how. 

Sur. Sir, you are abus'd. 

Kas. You lie: 

And 'tis no matter. 

Face. Well said, sir! He is 
The impudent'st rascal 

Sur. You are indeed. Will you hear me, sir? 

Face. By no means: bid him be gone. 

Kas. Begone, sir, quickly. 

Sur. This is strange! — Lady, do you inform your brother. 

Face. There is not such a foist^ in all the town. 
The doctor had him presently; and finds yet 
The Spanish count will come here. — Bear up. Subtle. [Aside. 

Sub. Yes, sir, he must appear within this hour. 

Face. And yet this rogue would come in a disguise, 
By the temptation of another spirit. 
To trouble our art, though he could not hurt it! 

Kas. Ay, 

I know — Away, [to his sister.] you talk like a foolish mauther.' 
' Cheated. ^ Rascal. ' Girl. 



638 BEN JONSON 

Sur. Sir, all is truth she says. 

Face. Do not believe him, sir. 

He is the lying'st swabber! Come your ways, sir. 
Sur. You are valiant out of company! 
Kas. Yes, how then, sir? 

[Enter Drugger with a piece of damasf(] 

Face. Nay, here's an honest fellow too that knows him, 
And all his tricks. Make good what I say, Abel, 
This cheater would ha' cozen'd thee o' the widow. — 

[Aside to Drug.] 
He owes this honest Drugger here seven pound, 
He has had on him in twopenny 'orths of tobacco. 

Drug. Yes, sir. And he has damn'd himself three terms to pay me. 

Face. And what does he owe for lotium ?^ 

Drug. Thirty shillings, sir; 

And for six syringes. 

Sur. Hydra of villainy! 

Face. Nay, sir, you must quarrel him out o' the house. 

Kas. I will: 

— Sir, if you get not out o' doors, you lie; 
And you are a pimp. 

Sur. Why, this is madness, sir. 

Not valour in you; I must laugh at this. 

Kas. It is my humour; you are a pimp and a trig.' 
And an Amadis de Gaul, or a Don Quixote. 

Drug. Or a knight o' the curious coxcomb, do you see? 

[Enter Ananias] 

Ana. Peace to the household! 

Kas. I'll keep peace for no man. 

Ana. Casting of dollars is concluded lawful. 
Kas. Is he the constable? 
Sub. Peace, Ananias. 

Face. No, sir. 

* A lotion. ^ Dandy. 



THE ALCHEMIST 639 

Kas. Then you are an otter, and a shad, a whit, 
A very tim.° 

Sur. You'll hear me, sir? 

Kas. I will not. 

Ana. What is the motive? 

Sub. Zeal in the young gentleman. 

Against his Spanish slops. 

Ana. They are profane, 

Lewd, superstitious, and idolatrous breeches. 

Sur. New rascals! 

Kas. Will you be gone, sir? 

Ana. Avoid, Sathan! 

Thou art not of the light! That ruff of pride 
About thy neck, betrays thee; and is the same 
With that which the unclean birds, in seventy-seven,' 
Were seen to prank it with on divers coasts: 
Thou look'st like antichrist, in that lewd hat. 

Sur. I must give way. 

Kas. Be gone, sir. 

Sur. But I'll take 

A course with you 

Ana. Depart, proud Spanish fiend! 

Sur. Captain and doctor. 

Ana. Child of perdition! 

Kas. Hence, sir! — \Exit Surly.] 

Did I not quarrel bravely ? 

Face. Yes, indeed, sir. 

Kas. Nay, an I give my mind to't, I shall do't. 

Face. O, you must follow, sir, and threaten him tame: 
He'll turn again else. 

Kas. I'll re-turn him then. [Exi/.] 

Face. Drugger, this rogue prevented us, for ithee: 
We had determin'd that thou should'st ha' come 
In a Spanish suit, and ha' carried her so; and he, 
A brokerly slave, goes, puts it on himself. 

' Kastril's terms of abuse are not meant to be appropriate. 
' The allusion here has not been explained. 



640 BEN JONSON 

Hast brought the damask ? 

Drug. Yes, sir. 

Face. Thou must borrow 

A Spanish suit. Hast thou no credit with the players? 

Drug. Yes, sir; did you never see me play the Fool? 

Face. I know not, Nab : — thou shalt, if I can help it. — [Aside.] 
Hieronimo's* old cloak, ruff, and hat will serve; 
I'll tell thee more when thou bring'st 'em. 

[Exit Drugger.] Subtle hath whisper'd with 
Anan. this while. 

Ana. Sir, I know. 

The Spaniard hates the brethren, and hath spies 
Upon their actions: and that this was one 
I make no scruple. — But the holy synod 
Have been in prayer and meditation for it; 
And 'tis reveal'd no less to them than me, 
That casting of money is most lawful. 

Sub. True. 

But here I cannot do it: if the house 
Should chance to be suspected, all would out. 
And we be lock'd up in the Tower for ever. 
To make gold there for th' state, never come out; 
And then are you defeated. 

Ana. I will tell 

This to the elders and the weaker brethren, 
That the whole company of the separation 
May join in humble prayer again. 

Sub. And fasting. 

Ana. Yea, for some fitter place. The peace of mind 
Rest with these walls! [Exit.] 

Sub. Thanks, courteous Ananias. 

Face. What did he come for? 

Sub. About casting dollars. 

Presently out of hand. And so I told him, 
A Spanish minister came here to spy. 

Against the faithful 

* In Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. 



THE ALCHEMIST 64I 

Face. I conceive. Come, Subtle, 

Thou art so down upon the least disaster! 
How wouldst thou ha' done, if I had not help'd thee out? 

Sub. I thank thee, Face, for the angry boy, i' faith. 

Face. Who would ha' look'd^ it should ha' been that rascal Surly } 
He had dy'd his beard and all. Well, sir. 
Here's damask come to make you a suit. 

Sub. Where's Drugger.? 

Face. He is gone to borrow me a Spanish habit; 
I'll be the count now. 

Sub. But where 's the widow? 

Face. Within, with my lord's sister; Madam Dol 
Is entertaining her. 

Sub. By your favour, Face, 

Now she is honest, I will stand again. 

Face. You will not offer it? 

Sub. Why? 

Face. Stand to your word. 

Or — here comes Dol. She knows 

Sub. You're tyrannous still. 

[Enter Dol hastily] 

Face. — Strict for my right. — How now, Dol! Hast told her. 
The Spanish count will come? 

Dol. Yes; but another is come. 

You litde looked for! 

Face. Who's that ? 

Dol. Your master; 

The master of the house. 

Sub. How, Dol! 

Face. She lies. 

This is some trick. Come, leave your quiblins,'" Dorothy. 

Dol. Look out and see. [Face goes to the window.] 

Sub. Art thou in earnest? 

Dol. 'Slight, 

Forty o' the neighbours are about him, talking. 

* Expected. '" Quibbles. 



642 BEN JONSON 

Face. 'Tis he, by this good day. 

Dol. 'Twill prove ill day 

For some on us. 

Face. We are undone, and taken. 

Dol. Lost, I'm afraid. 

Sub. You said he would not come, 

While there died one a week within the liberties." 

Face. No: 'twas within the walls. 

Sub. Was't so! cry you mercy. 

I thought the liberties. What shall we do now. Face? 

Face. Be silent: not a word, if he call or knock. 
I'll into mine old shape again and meet him. 
Of Jeremy, the butler. F the meantime. 
Do you two pack up all the goods and purchase" 
That we can carry i' the two trunks. I'll keep him 
Off for today, if I cannot longer: and then 
At night, I'll ship you both away to RatclifF, 
Where we will meet to-morrow, and there we'll share. 
Let Mammon's brass and pewter keep the cellar; 
We'll have another time for that. But, Dol, 
Prithee go heat a little water quickly; 
Subtle must shave me. All my captain's beard 
Must off, to make me appear smooth Jeremy. 
You'll do it? 

Sub. Yes, I'll shave you as well as I can. 

Face. And not cut my throat, but trim me ? 

Sub. You shall see, sir. [Exeunt.] 

ACT V 

Scene I. [Before Lovewit's door] 
[Enter] Lovewit, [with several of the] Neighbours 

Love. Has there been such resort, say you ? 

1 Nei. Daily, sir. 

2 Nei. And nightly, too. 

'' The district outside the walls subject to the city authorities. 
'^ Stolen goods, booty. 



THE ALCHEMIST 643 

3 Net. Ay, some as brave as lords. 
^Nei. Ladies and gendewomen. 

•jNei. Citizens' wives. 

1 Net. And knights. 

6 Nei. In coaches. 

2 Nei. Yes, and oyster-women. 

1 Nei. Beside other gallants. 

T^Nei. Sailors' wives. 

4 Nei. Tobacco men. 
'jNei. Another Pimlico!' 

Love. What should my knave advance, 

To draw this company ? He hung out no banners 
Of a strange calf with five legs to be seen, 
Or a huge lobster with six claws? 

6 Nei. No, sir. 

3 Nei. We had gone in then, sir. 

Love. He has no gift 

Of teaching i' the nose" that e'er I knew of. 
You saw no bills set up that promis'd cure 
Of agues, or the tooth-ache? 

2 Nei. No such thing, sir! 

Love. Nor heard a drum struck for baboons or puppets? 

5 Nei. Neither, sir. 

Love. What device should he bring forth now? 

I love a teeming wit as I love my nourishment: 
'Pray God he have not kept such open house, 
That he had sold my hangings, and my bedding! 
I left him nothing else. If he have eat 'em, 
A plague o' the moth, say II Sure he has got 
Some bawdy pictures to call all this ging;^ 
The Friar and the Nun; or the new motion* 
Of the knight's courser and the parson's mare; 
Or't may be, he has the fleas that run at tilt 
Upon a table, or some dog to dance. 
When saw you him ? 

' A summer resort, where the citizens had cakes and ale. 
^ Like a Puritan preacher. ' Gang. * Puppet show. 



644 BEN JONSON 

1 Nei. Who, sir, Jeremy ? 

2. Net. Jeremy butler? 

We saw him not this month. 
Lofe. How! 

^Nei. Not these five weeks, sir. 

6 Nei. These six weeks at the least. 
Love. You amaze me, neighbours! 

5 Nei. Sure, if your worship know not where he is, 
He's slipt away. 

6 Nei. Pray God he be not made away. 

Love. Ha! it's no time to question, then. Knocks at the door. 

6 Nei. About 

Some three weeks since I heard a doleful cry, 
As I sat up a mending my wife's stockings. 

Love. 'Tis strange that none will answer! Did'st thou hear 
Aery, sayst thou? 

6 Nei. Yes, sir, like unto a man 

That had been strangled an hour, and could not speak. 

2 Nei. I heard it too, just this day three weeks, at two o'clock 
Next morning. 

Love. These be miracles, or you make 'em so! 

A man an hour strangled, and could not speak, 
And both you heard him cry? 

3 Nei. Yes, downward, sir. 

Love. Thou art a wise fellow. Give me thy hand, I pray thee. 
What trade art thou on? 
3 Nei. A smith, an't please your worship. 

Love. A smith! Then lend me thy help to get this door open. 
^Nei. That I will presently, sir, but fetch my tools — [EotV.] 

I Nei. Sir, best to knock again afore you break it. 

Scene II. [The same] 

LovEwiT, Neighbours 
Love. [Knocks again.] I will. 



THE ALCHEMIST 645 

[Enter Face in his butler's lifery] 

Face. What mean you, sir? 

1, 2, 4 Nei. O, here's Jeremy ! 

Face. Good sir, come from the door. 

Love. Why, what's the matter? 

Face. Yet farther, you are too near yet. 

Love. In the name of wonder, 

What means the fellow! 

Face. The house, sir, has been visited. 

Love. What, with the plague ? Stand thou then farther. 

Face. No, sir, 

I had it not. 

Love. Who had it then? I left 

None else but thee i' the house. 

Face. Yes, sir, my fellow. 

The cat that kept the buttery, had it on her 
A week before I spied it; but I got her 
Convey'd away i' the night: and so I shut 
The house up for a month 

Love. How! 

Face. Purposing then, sir. 

To have burnt rose-vinegar, treacle, and tar, 
And have made it sweet, that you should ne'er ha' known it; 
Because I knew the news would but afflict you, sir. 

Love. Breathe less, and farther off! Why this is stranger: 
The neighbours tell me all here that the doors 
Have still been open 

Face. How, sir! 

Love. Gallants, men and women, 

And of all sorts, tag-rag, been seen to flock here 
In threaves,' these ten weeks, as to a second Hogsden, 
In days of Pimlico and Eye-bright.^ 

Face. Sir, 

Their wisdoms will not say so. 

'Literally, two dozen sheaves; droves. ^A suburban tavern, eclipsed as a resort 
by Pimlico. 



646 BEN JONSON 

Love. To-day they speak 

Of coaches and gallants; one in a French hood 
Went in, they tell me; and another was seen 
In a velvet gown at the window: divers more 
Pass in and out. 

Face. They did pass through the doors then, 

Or walls, I assure their eye-sights, and their spectacles; 
For here, sir, are the keys, and here have been, 
In this my pocket, now above twenty days! 
And for before, I kept the fort alone there. 
But that 'tis yet not deep i' the afternoon, 
I should believe my neighbours had seen double 
Through the black pot,' and made these apparitions! 
For, on my faith to your worship, for these three weeks 
And upwards, the door has not been open'd. 

Love. Strange! 

1 Nei. Good faith, I think I saw a coach. 

2 Nei. And I too, 
I'd ha' been sworn. 

Love. Do you but think it now? 

And but one coach ? 

4 Nei, We cannot tell, sir : Jeremy 

Is a very honest fellow. 

Face. Did you see me at all ? 

I Nei. No; that we are sure on. 

2Nei. I'll be sworn o' that. 

Love. Fine rogues to have your testimonies built on! 

[Re-enter third Neighbour, with his tools] 

^Nei. Is Jeremy come! 

1 Nei. O yes; you may leave your tools; 
We were deceiv'd, he says. 

2 Nei. He has had the keys; 
And the door has been shut these three weeks. 

^Nei. Like enough. 

Love. Peace, and get hence, you changelings. 
'With drinking. 



THE ALCHEMIST 647 

[Enter Surly and Mammon] 

Face. [Aside.] Surly comel 

And Mammon made acquainted! They'll tell all. 
How shall I beat them off? What shall I do? 
Nothing's more wretched than a guilty conscience. 

Scene III. [The same] 

Surly, Mammon, Lovewit, Face, Neighbours 

Sur. No, sir, he was a great physician. This, 
It was no bawdy-house, but a mere chancel! 
You knew the lord and his sister. 

Mam. Nay, good Surly. 

Sur. The happy word. Be rich 

Mam. Play not the tyrant. — 

Sur. Should be to-day pronounc'd to all your friends. 
And where be your andirons now ? And your brass pots. 
That should have been golden flagons, and great wedges? 

Mam. Let me but breathe. What, they have shut their doors, 
Methinks! He and Surly \noc\. 

Sur. Ay, now 'tis holiday with them. 

Mam. Rogues, 

Cozeners, impostors, bawds! 

Face. What mean you, sir? 

Mam. To enter if we can. 

Face. Another man s house! 

Here is the owner, sir; turn you to him, 
And speak your business. 

Mam. Are you, sir, the owner? 

Lofe. Yes, sir. 

Mam. And are those knaves within your cheaters! 

Love. What knaves, what cheaters? 

Mam. Subtle and his Lungs. 

Face. The gentleman is distracted, sir! No lungs 
Nor lights ha' been seen here these three weeks, sir, 
Within these doors, upon my word. 



648 BEN JONSON 

Sur. Your word, 

Groom arrogant! 

Face. Yes, sir, I am the housekeeper, 

And know the keys have not been out o' my hands. 

Sur. This is a new Face. 

Face. You do mistake the house, sir: 

What sign was't at? 

Sur. You rascal! This is one 

Of the confederacy. Come, let's get officers. 
And force the door. 

Love. Pray you stay, gentlemen. 

Sur. No, sir, we'll come with warrant. 

Mam. Ay, and then 

We shall ha' your doors open. [Exeunt Mam. and SuR.J 

Love. What means this.? 

Face. I cannot tell, sir. 

I Nei. These are two o' the gallants 

That we do think we saw. 

Face. Two o' the fools! 

You talk as idly as they. Good faith, sir, 
I think the moon has craz'd 'em all. — [Aside.] O me, 

[Enter Kastril] 

The angry boy come too! He'll make a noise. 
And ne'er away till he have betray'd us all. 

Kas. {\noc\ing.) What rogues, bawds, slaves, you'll open the door, 
anon! 
Punk, cockatrice, my suster! By this light 
I'll fetch the marshal to you. 

Face. Who would you speak with, sir? 

Kas. The bawdy doctor, and the cozening captain. 
And puss my suster. 

Love. This is something, sure. 

Face. Upon my trust, the doors were never open, sir. 

Kas. I have heard all their tricks told me twice over, 
By the fat knight and the lean gentleman. 

Love. Here comes another. 



THE ALCHEMIST 649 

[Enter Ananias and Tribulation] 

Facf. Ananias too! 

And his pastor! 

Tri. (beating at the door.) The doors are shut against us. 

Ana. Come forth, you seed of sulphur, sons of fire! 
Your stench it is broke forth; abomination 
Is in the house. 

Kas. Ay, my suster's there. 

Ana. The place. 

It is become a cage of unclean birds. 

Kas. Yes, I will fetch the scavenger, and the constable. 

Tri. You shall do well. 

Ana. We'll join to weed them out. 

Kas. You will not come then, punk devise,' my suster! 

Ana. Call her not sister; she's a harlot verily. 

Kas. I'll raise the street. 

Love. Good gentlemen, a word. 

Ana, Satan avoid, and hinder not our zeal! 

[Exeunt Ana., Trie., and Kast.] 

Love. The world's turned Bethlem. 

Face. These are all broke loose, 

Out of St. Katherine's, where they use to keep 
The better sort of mad-folks. 

1 Nei. All these persons 
We saw go in and out here. 

2 Nei. Yes, indeed, sir. 

3 Nei. Tiiese were the parties. 

Face. Peace, you drunkards! Sir, 

I wonder at it. Please you to give me leave 
To touch the door; I'll try an the lock be chang'd. 

Love. It mazes me! 

Face. [Goes to the door.] Good faith, sir, I believe 
There's no such thing: 'tis all deceptio visus? — 
[Aside.] Would I could get him away. 

Dap. [Within.] Master captain! Master doctor! 

' Perfect harlot. ^ Optical illusion. 



650 BEN JONSON 

Love. Who's that? 

Face. [Aside.] Our clerk within, that I forgot! — I know not, sir. 

Dap. [Within.] For God's sake, when will her grace be at leisure? 

Face. Ha! 
Illusions, some spirit o' the air! — [Aside.] His gag is melted, 
And now he sets out the throat. 

Dap. [Within.] I am almost stifled 

Face. [Aside.] Would you were together. 

Love. 'Tis in the house." 

Ha! list. 

Face. Believe it, sir, i' the air. 

Love, Peace, you. 

Dap. [Within.] Mine aunt's grace does not use me well. 

Sub. [Within.] You fool. 

Peace, you'll mar all. 

Face. [Speaf(^s through the \eyhole, while Lovewit advances to the 
door unobserved.] Or you will else, you rogue. 

Love. O, is it so? Then you converse with spirits! — 
Come, sir. No more of your tricks, good Jeremy. 
The truth, the shortest way. 

Face. Dismiss this rabble, sir. — 

[Aside.] What shall I do? I am catch'd. 

Love. Good neighbours, 

I thank you all. You may depart. [Exeunt Neighbours.] — Come, sir, 
You know that I am an indulgent master; 
And therefore conceal nothing. What's your medicine. 
To draw so many several sorts of wild fowl ? 

Face. Sir, you were wont to affect mirth and wit — 
But here's no place to talk on't i' the street. 
Give me but leave to make the best of my fortune, 
And only pardon me th' abuse of your house: 
It's all I beg. I'll help you to a widow, 
In recompense, that you shall give me thanks for. 
Will make you seven years younger, and a rich one. 
'Tis but your putting on a Spanish cloak: 
I have her within. You need not fear the house; 
It was not visited. 



THE ALCHEMIST 65 1 

Love. But by me, who came 

Sooner than you expected. 

Face. It is true, sir. 

'Pray you forgive me. 

Love. Well: let's see your widow. [Exeunt.] 

Scene IV. [A room in the same] 

[Enter] Subtle, [leading in] Dapper, [with his eyes bound as before] 

Sub. How! you have eaten your gag? 

Dap. Yes, faith, it crumbled 

Away in my mouth. 

Sub. You ha' spoil'd all then. 

Dap. No! 

I hope my aunt of Fairy will forgive me. 

Sub. Your aunt's a gracious lady; but in troth 
You were to blame. 

Dap. The fume did overcome me, 

And I did do't to stay my stomach. 'Pray you 
So satisfy her grace. 

[Enter Face in his uniform] 

Here comes the captain. 

Face. How now! Is his mouth down.? 

Sub. Ay, he has spoken! 

Face. A pox, I heard him, and you too. He's undone then. — 
[Aside to Subtle.] I have been fain to say, the house is haunted 
With spirits, to keep churl back. 

Sub. And hast thou done it } 

Face. Sure, for this night. 

Sub. Why, then triumph and sing 

Of Face so famous, the precious king 
Of present wits. 

Face. Did you not hear the coil 

About the door? 

Sub. Yes, and I dwindled' with it. 

' shrank with fear. 



652 BEN JONSON 

Face. Show him his aunt, and let him be dispatch 'd : 
I'll send her to you. [Exit Face.] 

Sub. Well, sir, your aunt her grace 

Will give you audience presently, on my suit, 
And the captain's word that you did not eat your gag 
In any contempt of her highness. [Unbinds his eyes.^ 

Dap. Not I, in troth, sir. 

[Enter] Dol lil^e the Queen of Fairy 

Sub. Here she is come. Down o' your knees and wriggle: 
She has a stately presence. [Dapper \neels and shuffles towards her.] 

Good! Yet nearer, 
And bid, God save you! 

Dap. Madam! 

Sub. And your aunt. 

Dap. And my most gracious aunt, God save your grace. 

Dol. Nephew, we thought to have been angry with you; 
But that sweet face of yours hath turn'd the tide. 
And made it flow with joy, that ebb'd of love. 
Arise, and touch our velvet gown. 

Sub. The skirts, 

And kiss 'em. So! 

Dol. Let me now stroke that head. 
Much, nephew, shalt thou win, much shall thou spend; 
Much shalt thou give away, much shalt thou lend. 

Sub. [Aside.] Ay, much! indeed. — Why do you not thank her 
grace ? 

Dap. I cannot speak for joy. 

Sub. See, the kind wretch! 

Your grace's kinsman right. 

Dol. Give me the bird. 

Here is your fly in a purse, about your neck, cousin; 
Wear it, and feed it about this day sev'n-night, 
On your right wrist 

Sub. Open a vein with a pin, 

And let it suck but once a week; till then. 
You must not look on't. 



THE ALCHEMIST 653 

Dol. No: and, kinsman, 

Bear yourself worthy of the blood you come on. 

Sub. Her grace would ha' you eat no more Woolsack' pies. 
Nor Dagger^ frumety.' 

Dol. Nor break his fast 

In Heaven' and Hell.' 

Sub. She's with you everywhere! 
Nor play with costermongers, at mumchance,* traytrip,^ 
God-make-you-rich^ (when as your aunt has done it) ; but keep 
The gallant'st company, and the best games 

Dap. Yes, sir. 

Sub. Gleek* and primero;* and what you get, be true to us. 

Dap. By this hand, I will. 

Sub. You may bring 's a thousand pound 

Before to-morrow night, if but three thousand 
Be stirring, an you will. 

Dap. I swear I will then. 

Sub. Your fly will learn you all games. 

Face. [Within.^ Ha' you done there? 

Sub. Your grace will command him no more duties? 

Dol. No: 

But come, and see me often. I may chance 
To leave him three or four hundred chests of treasure, 
And some twelve thousand acres of fairy land, 
If he game well and comely with good gamesters. 

Sub. There's a kind aunt: kiss her departing part. — 
But you must sell your forty mark a year now. 

Dap. Ay, sir, I mean. 

Sub. Or, give 't away; pox on't! 

Dap. I'll give 't mine aunt. I'll go and fetch the writings. [Ea://.] 

Sub. 'Tis well; away. 

[Re-enter Face] 

Face. Where's Subtle? 

Sub. Here: what news? 

Face. Drugger is at the door, go take his suit, 

^ Names of taverns. ' Wheat boiled in milk. * Games of chance. 



654 BEN JONSON 

And bid him fetch a parson presendy. 

Say he shall marry the widow. Thou shalt spend 

A hundred pound by the service! [Exit Subtle.] Now, Queen Del, 

Have you pack'd up all ? 

Dol. Yes, 

Face. And how do you like 

The Lady Pliant.? 

Dol. A good dull innocent. 

[Re-enter Subtle] 

Sub. Here's your Hieronimo's cloak and hat. 

Face. Give me 'em. 

Sub. And the rufif too? 

Face. Yes; I'll come to you presently. [Exit.] 

Sub. Now he is gone about his project, Dol, 
I told you of, for the widow. 

Dol. 'Tis direct 

Against our articles. 

Sub. Well, we will fit him, wench. 

Hast thou gull'd her of her jewels or her bracelets.'' 

Dol. No; but I will do 't. 

Sub. Soon at night, my Dolly, 

When we are shipp'd, and all our goods aboard. 
Eastward for Ratcliff, we will turn our course 
To Brainford, westward, if thou sayst the word, 
And take our leaves of this o'erweening rascal, 
This peremptory Face. 

Dol. Content; I'm weary of him. 

Sub. Thou'st cause, when the slave will run a wiving, Dol, 
Against the instrument that was drawn between us. 

Dol. I'll pluck his bird as bare as I can. 

Sub. Yes, tell her 

She must by any means address some present 
To the cunning man, make him amends for wronging 
His art with her suspicion; send a ring, 
Or chain of pearl; she will be tortur'd else 



THE ALCHEMIST 655 

Extremely in her sleep, say, and have strange things 
Come to her. Wilt thou? 

Dol. Yes. 

Sub. My fine flitter-mouse,' 

My bird o' the night! We'll tickle it at the Pigeons,^ 
When we have all, and may unlock the trunks. 
And say, this's mine, and thine; and thine, and mine. They f(iss. 

Re-enter Face 

Face. What now! a billing? 

Sub. Yes, a little exalted 

In the good passage of our stock-afFairs. 

Face. Drugger has brought his parson; take him in, Subtle, 
And send Nab back again to wash his face. 

Sub. I will: and shave himself? [Exit.] 

Face. If you can get him. 

Dol. You are hot upon it. Face, whate'er it is! 

Face. A trick that Dol shall spend ten pound a month by. 

[Re-enter Subtle] 

Is he gone? 

Sub. The chaplain waits you in the hall, sir. 

Face. I'll go bestow him. [Exit.] 

Dol. He'll now marry her instantly. 

Sub. He cannot yet, he is not ready. Dear Dol, 
Cozen her of all thou canst. To deceive him 
Is no deceit, but justice, that would break 
Such an inextricable tie as ours was. 

Dol. Let me alone to fit him. 

[Re-enter Face] 

Face. Come, my venturers. 

You ha' pack'd up all? Where be the trunks? Bring forth. 
Sub. Here. 

^ Bat. ' An inn at Brentford. 



656 BEN JONSON 

Face. Let us see 'em. Where's the money ? 

Sub. Here, 

In this. 

Face. Mammon's ten pound; eight score before: 
The brethren's money this. Drugger's and Dapper's. 
What paper's that? 

Dol. The jewel of the waiting maid's, 
That stole it from her lady, to know certain 

Face. If she should have precedence of her mistress. 

Dol. Yes. 

Face. What box is that? 

Sub. The fish-wives' rings, I think. 

And th' ale-wives' single money.' Is't not, Dol ? 

Dol. Yes; and the whistle that the sailor's wife 
Brought you to know an her husband were with Ward.' 

Face. We'll wet it to-morrow; and our silver beakers 
And tavern cups. Where be the French petticoats 
And girdles and hangers? 

Sub. Here, i' the trunk. 

And the bolts of lawn. 

Face. Is Drugger's damask there, 

And the tobacco? 

Sub. Yes. 

Face. Give me the keys. 

Dol. Why you the keys? 

Sub. No matter, Dol; because 

We shall not open them before he comes. 

Face. 'Tis true, you shall not open them, indeed; 
Nor have 'em forth, do you see? Not forth, Dol. 

Dol. No! 

Face. No, my smock-rampant. The right is, my master 
Knows all, has pardon'd me, and he will keep 'em. 
Doctor, 'tis true — you look — for all your figures: 
I sent for him, indeed. Wherefore, good partners, 
Both he and she be satisfied; for here 
Determines' the indenture tripartite 

' Small change. ' A famous pirate. ' Ends. 



THE ALCHEMIST 657 

'Twixt Subtle, Dol, and Face. All I can do 

Is to help you over the wall, o' the back-side, 

Or lend you a sheet to save your velvet gown, Dol. 

Here will be officers presently, bethink you 

Of some course suddenly to scape the dock; 

For thither you will come else. Some knoc\. Hark you, thunder. 

Sub. You are a precious fiend! 

Offi. [without.^ Open the door. 

Face. Dol, I am sorry for thee i' faith; but hear'st thou? 
It shall go hard but I will place thee somewhere: 
Thou shalt ha' my letter to Mistress Amo 

Dol. Hang you! 

Face. Or Madam Cxsarean. 

Dol. Pox upon you, rogue, 

Would I had but time to beat thee! 

Face. Subtle, 

Let's know where you set up next; I will send you 
A customer now and then, for old acquaintance. 
What new course have you ? 

Sub. Rogue, I'll hang myself; 

That I may walk a greater devil than thou. 
And haunt thee i' the flock-bed and the buttery. [Exeunt.] 

Scene V. [An outer room in the same] 

[Enter] Lovewit [in the Spanish dress, with the Parson. 
Loud }{nocking at the door] 

hove. What do you mean, my masters? 

Mam. [without^ Open your door, 

Cheaters, bawds, conjurers. 

Offi. [without.] Or we will break it open. 

Lofe. What warrant have you? 

Offi. [without.] Warrant enough, sir, doubt not. 

If you'll not open it. 

Love. Is there an officer there? 

Offi. [without.] Yes, two or three for failing.' 
' For fear of failing. 



658 BEN JONSON 

Love. Have but patience, 

And I will open it straight. 

[Enter Face, as butler] 

Face. Sir, ha' you done? 

Is it a marriage ? Perfect? 

Love. Yes, my brain. 

Face. Off with your ruff and cloak then; be yourself, sir. 

Sur. [without.] Down with the door. 

Kas. [without.] 'Slight, ding' it open. 

Love. [Opening the door.] Hold, 

Hold, gentlemen, what means this violence? 

[Mammon, Surly, Kastril, Ananias, Tribulation, and Officers 

rush in.] 

Mam. Where is this collier? 

Sur. And my Captain Face? 

Mam. These day owls. 

Sur. That are birding' in men's purses. 

Mam. Madam Suppository. 

Kas. Doxy, my suster. 

Ana. Locusts 

Of the foul pit. 

Tri. Profane as Bel and the Dragon. 

Ana. Worse than the grasshoppers, or the lice of Egypt. 

Love. Good gentlemen, hear me. Are you officers, 
And cannot stay this violence? 

I Offi. Keep the peace. 

Love. Gentlemen, what is the matter? Whom do you seek? 

Mam. The chemical cozener. 

Sur. And the captain pander. 

Kas. The nun my suster. 

Mam. Madam Rabbi. 

Ana. Scorpions, 

And caterpillars. 

^ Break. ' Stealing. 



THE ALCHEMIST 659 

hove. Fewer at once, I pray you. 

I Offi. One after another, gentlemen, I charge you, 
By virtue of my sta£F. 

Ana. They are the vessels 

Of pride, lust, and the cart. 

hove. Good zeal, lie still 

A litde while. 

Tri. Peace, Deacon Ananias. 

hove. The house is mine here, and the doors are open; 
If there be any such persons as you seek for, 
Use your authority, search on o' God's name. 
I am but newly come to town, and finding 
This tumult 'bout my door, to tell you true. 
It somewhat maz'd me; till my man here, fearing 
My more displeasure, told me he had done 
Somewhat an insolent part, let out my house 
(Belike presuming on my known aversion 
From any air o' the town while there was sickness), 
To a doctor and a captain: who, what they are 
Or where they be, he knows not. 

Mam. Are they gone? 

Love. You may go in and search, sir. [Mammon, Ana., and Trib. 
go in.] Here, I find 
The empty walls worse than I left 'em, smok'd, 
A few crack'd pots, and glasses, and a furnace; 
The ceiling fill'd with poesies of the candle, 
And "Madam with a dildo" * writ o' the walls. 
Only one gendewoman I met here 
That is within, that said she was a widow 

Kas. Ay, that's my suster; I'll go thump her. Where is she? 

[Goes in.] 

Love. And should ha' married a Spanish count, but he. 
When he came to't, neglected her so grossly. 
That I, a widower, am gone through with her. 

Sur. How! have I lost her then? 

Love. Were you the don, sir ? 

^ Probably a fragment of a song. 



66o BEN JONSON 

Good faith, now she does blame you extremely, and says 

You swore, and told her you had taken the pains 

To dye your beard, and umber o'er your face, 

Borrowed a suit^ and ruff, all for her love: 

And then did nothing. What an oversight 

And want of putting forward, sir, was this! 

Well fare an old harquebusier^ yet, 

Could prime his powder, and give fire, and hit, 

All in a twinkling! 

Re-enter Mammon 

Mam. The whole nest are fled! 

Love. What sort of birds were they ? 

Mam. A kind o£ choughs,* 

Or thievish daws, sir, that have pick'd my purse 
Of eight score and ten pounds within these five weeks, 
Beside my first materials; and my goods. 
That lie i' the cellar, which I am glad they ha' left, 
I may have home yet. 

Love. Think you so, sir? 

Mam. Ay. 

Love. By order of law, sir, but not otherwise. 

Mam. Not mine own stuff! 

Love. Sir, I can take no knowledge 

That they are yours, but by public means. 
If you can bring certificate that you were guU'd of 'em. 
Or any formal writ out of a court. 
That you did cozen yourself, I will not hold them. 

Mam. I'll rather lose 'em. 

Love. That you shall not, sir. 

By me, in troth; upon these terms, they are yours. 
What, should they ha' been, sir, turn'd into gold, all ? 

Mam. No. 

I cannot tell. — It may be they should. — What then.? 

Love. What a great loss in hope have you sustain'd! 

Mam. Not I, the commonwealth has. 

^ Musketeer. ^ Crow. 



THE ALCHEMIST 66 1 

Face. Ay, he would ha' buih 

The city new; and made a ditch about it 
Of silver, should have run with cream from Hogsden; 
That every Sunday in Moorfields the younkers. 
And tits' and tom-boys should have fed on, gratis. 

Mam. I will go mount a turnip-cart, and preach 
The end of the world within these two months. Surly, 
What! in a dream? 

Sur. Must I needs cheat myself. 

With that same foolish vice of honesty! 
Come, let us go and hearken out the rogues: 
That Face I'll mark for mine, if e'er I meet him. 

Face. If I can hear of him, sir, I'll bring you word 
Unto your lodging; for in troth, they were strangers 
To me; I thought 'em honest as myself, sir. 

\Exeunt Mam. and Sur.] 

\Re-enter Ananias and Tribulation] 

Tri. 'Tis well, the saints shall not lose all yet. Go 
And get some carts 

Love. For what, my zealous friends? 

Ana. To bear away the portion of the righteous 
Out of this den of thieves. 

Love. What is that portion? 

Ana. The goods sometimes the orphans', that the brethren 
Bought with their silver pence. 

Love. What, those i' the cellar, 

The knight Sir Mammon claims? 

Ana. I do defy 

The wicked Mammon, so do all the brethren, 
Thou profane man! I ask thee with what conscience 
Thou canst advance that idol against us. 
That have the seal?^ Were not the shillings numb'red 
That made the pounds; were not the pounds told out 
Upon the second day of the fourth week. 
In the eighth month, upon the table dormant, 

' Wenches. ' That are sealed as God's people. 



662 BEN JONSON 

The year of the last patience of the saints, 
Six hundred and ten? 

Love. Mine earnest vehement botcher, 

And deacon also, I cannot dispute with you: 
But if you get you not away the sooner, 
I shall confute you with a cudgel. 

Ana. Sir! 

Tri. Be patient, Ananias. 

Ana. I am strong, 

And will stand up, well girt, against an host 
That threaten Gad in exile. 

Love. I shall send you 

To Amsterdam, to your cellar. 

Ana. I will pray there, 

Against thy house. May dogs defile thy walls. 
And wasps and hornets breed beneath thy roof. 
This seat of falsehood, and this cave of coz'nage! 

[Exeunt Ana. and Trie. 

Enter Drugger 

Love. Another too.? 

Drug. Not I, sir, I am no brother. 

Love, {beats him.) Away, you Harry Nicholas!' do you talk.? 

[Exit Drug. 

Face. No, this was Abel Drugger. Good sir, go, To the Parson. 
And satisfy him; tell him all is done: 
He staid too long a washing of his face. 
The doctor, he shall hear of him at Westchester; 
And of the captain, tell him, at Yarmouth, or 

Some good port-town else, lying for a wind. [Exit Parson.] 

If you can get off the angry child now, sir 

[Enter Kastril, dragging in his sister^ 
Kas. Come on, you ewe, you have match'd most sweetly, have 
you not? 
Did not I say, I would never ha' you tupp'd 
But by a dubb'd boy,'" to make you a lady-tom ? 
*The founder of the fanatical sect called "The Family of Love." '"Knight. 



THE ALCHEMIST 663 

'Slight, you are a mammet!" O, I could touse you now. 
Death, mun'^ you marry with a pox! 

Love. You lie, boy; 

As sound as you; and I'm aforehand with you. 

Kas. Anon 1 

Love. Come, will you quarrel? I will feize" you, sirrah; 
Why do you not buckle to your tools? 

Kas. Od's light, 

This is a fine old boy as e'er I saw! 

Love. What, do you change your copy now? Proceed; 
Here stands my dove: stoop" at her if you dare. 

Kas. 'Slight, I must love him! I cannot choose, i' faith, 
An I should be hang'd for't! Suster, I protest, 
I honour thee for this match. 

Love. O, do you so, sir? 

Kas. Yes, an thou canst take tobacco and drink, old boy, 
I'll give her five hundred pound more to her marriage, 
Than her own state. 

Love. Fill a pipe full, Jeremy. 

Face. Yes; but go in and take it, sir. 

Love. We will. 

I will be rul'd by thee in anything, Jeremy. 

Kas. 'Slight, thou art not hide-bound, thou art a jovy'^ boy! 
Come, let us in, I pray thee, and take our whiffs. 

Love. Whiff in with your sister, brother boy. [Exeunt Kas. 

and Dame P.] That master 
That had receiv'd such happiness by a servant, 
In such a widow, and with so much wealth, 
Were very ungrateful, if he would not be 
A little indulgent to that servant's wit. 
And help his fortune, though with some small strain 
Of his own candour.'^ [advancing.^ Therefore, gentlemen. 
And kind spectators, if I have outstript 
An old man's gravity, or strict canon, think 
What a young wife and a good brain may do; 

"Puppet. '2 Must. "Beat. '^ A term of falconry: used in punning allusion 
to the name Kastril, which means hawk. '^ Jovial. '"" Fair reputation. 



664 BEN JONSON 

Stretch age's truth sometimes, and crack it too. 
Speak for thyself, knave. 

Face. So I will, sir. [adt/ancing to the front of the stage.'] 
Gentlemen, 
My part a little fell in this last scene. 
Yet 'twas decorum." And though I am clean 
Got off from Subtle, Surly, Mammon, Dol, 
Hot Ananias, Dapper, Drugger, all 
With whom I traded; yet I put myself 
On you, that are my country:'* and this pelf, 
Which I have got, if you do quit me, rests 

To feast you often, and invite new guests. [Exeunt.] 

" Dramatic propriety. '* Jury. 



PHILASTER 

OR 

LOVE LIES A-BLEEDING 

BY 
FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

The men who laid the foundations of the EUzabethan drama were 
generally of obscure origin; and though some of them had been edu- 
cated at the universities, they were all poor. Beaumont and Fletcher 
are the first recruits to the profession of play-writing who came of dis- 
tinguished families and habitually moved in wealthy circles; and this 
social environment was early suggested as an explanation of their power 
of representing naturally the conversation of high-born ladies and gen- 
demen. 

Francis Beaumont, son of Sir Francis Beaumont, was born about 1585, 
and died in 1616. He was educated at Oxford and studied law at the 
Inner Temple; and though his career as a writer was short he won a 
high reputation as a poet and was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

John Fletcher, son of the Bishop of London, was born in 1579, and 
died in 1625. He was a graduate of Cambridge, and appears to have 
been much more a professional man of letters than Beaumont. He wrote 
many plays by himself, and, after Beaumont ceased to write, worked in 
collaboration with several other men, including Shakespeare. 

"Philaster" is an excellent typical example of their plays, which are 
thus admirably characterized by Thorndike: 

"Their plots, largely invented, are ingenious and complicated. They 
deal with royal or noble persons, with heroic actions, and are placed in 
foreign localities. The conquests, usurpations, and passions that ruin 
kingdoms are their themes, there are no battles or pageants, and the 
action is usually confined to the rooms of the palace or its immediate 
neighborhood. Usually contrasting a story of gross sensual passion with 
one of idyllic love, they introduce a great variety of incidents, and aim 
at constant but varied excitement. . . . The plays depend for interest 
not on their observation or revelation of human nature, or the develop- 
ment of character, but on the variety of situations, the clever construc- 
tion that holds the interest through one suspense to another up to the 
unravelling at the very end, and on the naturalness, felicity, and vigor 
of the poetry." 



PHILASTER 



King of Sicily. 

Philaster, Heir to the Crown of Sicily. 

Phakamond, Prince of Spain. 

Dion, a Lord. 

Cleremont, ) Noble Gentlemen, 

Thrasiline, ) his associates. 

An Old Captain. 

Five Citizens. 

A Country Fellow. 

Two Woodmen. 



[DRAMATIS PERSONS 

The King's Guard and Train. 



Arethusa, Daughter of the King. 

Euphrasia, Daughter of Dion, but dis- 
guised like a Page and called Bellario. 

Megra, a lascivious Lady. 

Galatea, a wise modest Lady attending 
the Princess. 

Two other Ladies. 



SCENE. ^MESSINA AND ITS NEIGHBORHOOD] 

ACT THE FIRST 

Scene i. [The presence chamber in the palace] 

Enter Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline 
Cleremont 

HRE'S nor lords nor ladies. 
Dion. Credit me, gentlemen, I wonder at it. They receiv'd 
strict charge from the King to attend here; besides, it was 
boldly published that no officer should forbid any gentleman that 
desired to attend and hear. 

Cle. Can you guess the cause.? 

Dion. Sir, it is plain, about the Spanish Prince, that's come to 
marry our kingdom's heir and be our sovereign. 

Thru. Many that will seem to know much say she looks not on 
him like a maid in love. 

Dion. Faith, sir, the multitude, that seldom know any thing but 
their own opinions, speak that they would have; but the prince, 
before his own approach, receiv'd so many confident messages from 
the state, that I think she's resolv'd to be rul'd. 

Cle. Sir, it is thought, with her he shall enjoy both these king- 
doms of Sicily and Calabria. 

667 



668 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Dion. Sir, it is without controversy so meant. But 'twill be a 
troublesome labour for him to enjoy both these kingdoms with 
safety, the right heir to one of them living, and living so virtuously; 
especially, the people admiring the bravery of his mind and lament- 
ing his injuries. 

Cle. Who, Philaster? 

Dion. Yes; whose father, we all know, was by our late King of 
Calabria unrighteously deposed from his fruitful Sicily. Myself 
drew some blood in those wars, which I would give my hand to be 
washed from. 

Cle. Sir, my ignorance in state-policy will not let me know why, 
Philaster being heir to one of these kingdoms, the King should 
suffer him to walk abroad with such free liberty. 

Dion. Sir, it seems your nature is more constant than to inquire 
after state-news. But the King, of late, made a hazard of both the 
kingdoms, of Sicily and his own, with offering but to imprison 
Philaster; at which the city was in arms, not to be charmed down 
by any state-order or proclamation, till they saw Philaster ride 
through the streets pleased and without a guard; at which they threw 
their hats and their arms from them; some to make bonfires, some 
to drink, all for his deliverance: which wise men say is the cause 
the King labours to bring in the power of a foreign nation to awe 
his own with. 

Enter Galatea, a Lady and Megra 

Thru. See, the ladies! What's the first? 

Dion. A wise and modest gentlewoman that attends the princess. 

Cle. The second ? 

Dion. She is one that may stand still discreetly enough, and ill- 
favour'dly dance her measure; simper when she is courted by her 
friend, and slight her husband. 

Cle. The last? 

Dion. Faith, I think she is one whom the state keeps for the 
agents of our confederate princes; she'll cog' and lie with a whole 
army, before the league shall break. Her name is common through 
the kingdom, and the trophies of her dishonour advanced beyond 

1 cheat. 



PHILASTER 669 

Hercules' Pillars. She loves to try the several constitutions of men's 
bodies; and, indeed, has destroyed the worth of her own body by 
making experiment upon it for the good of the commonwealth. 

Cle. She's a profitable member. 

Meg. Peace, if you love me! You shall see these gentlemen stand 
their ground and not court us. 

Gal. What if they should? 

La. What if they should! 

Meg. Nay, let her alone. — What if they should! Why, if they 
should, I say they were never abroad. What foreigner would do 
so? It writes them directly untravell'd. 

Gal. Why, what if they be? 

La. What if they be! 

Meg. Good madam, let her go on. — What if they be! Why, if 
they be, I will justify, they cannot maintain discourse with a judicious 
lady, nor make a leg^ nor say "Excuse me." 

Gal. Ha, ha, ha! 

Meg. Do you laugh, madam? 

Dion. Your desires upon you, ladies! 

Meg. Then you must sit beside us. 

Dion. I shall sit near you then, lady. 

Meg. Near me, perhaps; but there's a lady endures no stranger; 
and to me you appear a very strange fellow. 

La. Methinks he's not so strange; he would quickly be acquainted. 

Thra. Peace, the King! 

Enter King, Pharamond, Arethusa, and Train 

King. To give a stronger testimony of love 
Than sickly promises (which commonly 
In princes find both birth and burial 
In one breath) we have drawn you, worthy sir. 
To make your fair endearments to our daughter, 
And worthy services known to our subjects. 
Now lov'd and wondered at; next, our intent 
To plant you deeply our immediate heir 
Both to our blood and kingdoms. For this lady, 

2 Bow. 



670 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

(The best part of your life, as you confirm me, 

And I believe,) though her few years and sex 

Yet teach her nothing but her fears and blushes, 

Desires without desire, discourse and knowledge 

Only of what herself is to herself. 

Make her feel moderate health; and when she sleeps, 

In making no ill day, knows no ill dreams. 

Think not, dear sir, these undivided parts. 

That must mould up a virgin, are put on 

To show her so, as borrowed ornaments 

To speak her perfect love to you, or add 

An artificial shadow to her nature, — 

No, sir; I boldly dare proclaim her yet 

No woman. But woo her still, and think her modesty 

A sweeter mistress than the offer'd language 

Of any dame, were she a queen, whose eye 

Speaks common loves and comforts to her servants." 

Last, noble son (for so I now must call you), 

What I have done thus public, is not only 

To add a comfort in particular 

To you or me, but all; and to confirm 

The nobles and the gentry of these kingdoms 

By oath to your succession, which shall be 

Within this month at most. 

Thra. This will be hardly done. 

Cle. It must be ill done, if it be done. 

Dion. When 'tis at best, 'twill be but half done, whilst 
So brave a gentleman is wrong'd and flung off. 

Thra. I fear. 

Cle. Who does not ? 

Dion. I fear not for myself, and yet I fear too. 
Well, we shall see, we shall see. No more. 

Pha. Kissing your white hand, mistress, I take leave 
To thank your royal father; and thus far 
To be my own free trumpet. Understand, 
Great King, and these your subjects, mine that must be, 

' Lovers. 



PHIL ASTER 671 

(For so deserving you have spoke me, sir. 

And so deserving I dare speak myself,) 

To what a person, of what eminence, 

Ripe expectation, of what facuhies. 

Manners and virtues, you would wed your kingdoms; 

You in me have your wishes. Oh, this country! 

By more than all the gods, I hold it happy; 

Happy in their dear memories that have been 

Kings great and good; happy in yours that is; 

And from you (as a chronicle to keep 

Your noble name from eating age) do I 

Opine myself most happy. Gentlemen, 

Believe me in a word, a prince's word. 

There shall be nothing to make up a kingdom 

Mighty and flourishing, defenced, fear'd. 

Equal to be commanded and obeyed. 

But through the travails of my life I'll find it. 

And tie it to this country. By all the gods. 

My reign shall be so easy to the subject, 

That every man shall be his prince himself. 

And his own law — yet I his prince and law. 

And, dearest lady, to your dearest self 

(Dear in the choice of him whose name and lustre 

Must make you more and mightier) let me say. 

You are the blessed'st living; for, sweet princess. 

You shall enjoy a man of men to be 

Your servant; you shall make him yours, for whom 

Great queens must die. 

Thru. Miraculous! 

Cle. This speech calls him Spaniard, being nothing but a large 
inventory of his own commendations. 

Dion. I wonder what's his price; for certainly 
He'll sell himself, he has so prais'd his shape. 

Enter Philaster 

But here comes one more worthy those large speeches. 
Than the large speaker of them. 



SyZ BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Let me be swallowed quick, i£ I can find, 
In all the anatomy of yon man's virtues, 
One sinew sound enough to promise for him, 
He shall be constable. By this sun, 
He'll ne'er make king unless it be for trifles. 
In my poor judgment. 

Phi. [/^neeling.] Right noble sir, as low as my obedience, 
And with a heart as loyal as my knee, 
I beg your favour. 

King. Rise; you have it, sir. [Philaster rifes.] 

Dion. Mark but the King, how pale he looks! He fears! 
Oh, this same whorson conscience, how it jades us! 

King. Speak your intents, sir. 

Phi. Shall I speak 'em freely.? 

Be still my royal sovereign. 

King. As a subject, 

We give you freedom. 

Dion. Now it heats. 

Phi. Then thus I turn 

My language to you, prince; you, foreign man! 
Ne'er stare nor put on wonder, for you must 
Endure me, and you shall. This earth you tread upon 
(A dowry, as you hope, with this fair princess), 
By my dead father (oh, I had a father. 
Whose memory I bow to!) was not left 
To your inheritance, and I up and living — 
Having myself about me and my sword. 
The souls of all, my name and memories, 
These arms and some few friends beside the gods — 
To part so calmly with it, and sit still 
And say, "I might have been." I tell thee, Pharamond, 
When thou art king, look I be dead and rotten, 
And my name ashes: for, hear me, Pharamond! 
This very ground thou goest on, this fat earth, 
My father's friends made fertile with their faiths, 
Before that day of shame shall gape and swallow 
Thee and thy nation, like a hungry grave, 



PHILASTER (i"]!, 

Into her hidden bowels. Prince, it shall; 
By the just gods, it shall! 

Fha. He's mad; beyond cure, mad. 

Dion, Here is a fellow has some fire in's veins: 
The outlandish prince looks like a tooth-drawer. 

Phi. Sir prince of popinjays,^ I'll make it well 
Appear to you I am not mad. 

King. You displease us: 

You are too bold. 

Phi. No, sir, I am too tame, 

Too much a turtle, a thing born without passion, 
A faint shadow, that every drunken cloud 
Sails over, and makes nothing. 

King. I do not fancy this. 

Call our physicians; sure, he's somewhat tainted.^ 

Thra. I do not think 'twill prove so. 

Dion. H'as given him a general purge already. 
For all the right he has; and now he means 
To let him blood. Be constant, gentlemen : 
By heaven, I'll run his hazard. 
Although I run my name out of the kingdom! 

Cle. Peace, we are all one soul. 

Fha. What you have seen in me to stir offence 
I cannot find, unless it be this lady, 
Offer'd into mine arms with the succession; 
Which I must keep, (though it hath pleas'd your fury 
To mutiny within you,) without disputing 
Your genealogies, or taking knowledge 
Whose branch you are. The King will leave it me. 
And I dare make it mine. You have your answer. 

Phi. If thou wert sole inheritor to him 
That made the world his,° and couldst see no sun 
Shine upon any thing but thine; were Pharamond 
As truly valiant as I feel him cold, 
And ring'd among the choicest of his friends 

* Parrots. ' Unbalanced in mind. 
*/. e., Alexander the Great. 



674 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

(Such as would blush to talk such serious folHes, 
Or back such beUied commendations), 
And from this presence, spite of all these bugs,^ 
You should hear further from me. 

King. Sir, you wrong the prince; I gave you not this freedom 
To brave our best friends. You deserve our frown. 
Go to; be better temper'd. 

Phi. It must be, sir, when I am nobler us'd. 

Gal. Ladies, 
This would have been a pattern of succession. 
Had he ne'er met this mischief. By my life, 
He is the worthiest the true name of man 
This day within my knowledge. 

Meg. I cannot tell what you may call your knowledge; 
But the other is the man set in mine eye. 
Oh, 'tis a prince of wax!' 

Gal. A dog it is.' 

King. Philaster, tell me 
The injuries you aim at in your riddles. 

Phi. If you had my eyes, sir, and sufferance, 
My griefs upon you, and my broken fortunes. 
My wants great, and now nought but hopes and fears, 
My wrongs would make ill riddles to be laugh'd at. 
Dare you be still my king, and right me not? 

King. Give me your wrongs in private. 

Phi. Take them. 

And ease me of a load would bow strong Adas. They whisper. 

Cle. He dares not stand the shock. 

Dion. I cannot blame him; there's danger in't. 
Every man in this age has not a soul of crystal, for all men to read 
their actions through: men's hearts and faces are so far asunder, 
that they hold no intelligence. Do but view yon stranger well, and 
you shall see a fever through all his bravery, and feel him shake 
like a true tenant.'" If he give not back his crown again upon the 
report of an elder-gun, I have no augury. 

' Bugbears. * A model prince. * The phrase, a dog of wax, is used elsewhere in 
a contemptuous sense, but has not been explained. '" Probably corrupt. First quarto 
truant. Modern editions tyrant, recreant, in a true tertian. 



PHILASTER 675 

King. Go to; 
Be more yourself, as you respect our favour; 
You'll stir us else. Sir, I must have you know. 
That you are, and shall be, at our pleasure, what 
Fashion we will put upon you. Smooth your brow, 
Or by the gods 

Phi. I am dead, sir; you're my fate. It was not I 
Said, I was wrong'd; I carry all about me 
My weak stars lead me to, all my weak fortunes. 
Who dares in all this presence speak, (that is 
But man of flesh, and may be mortal,) tell me 
I do not most entirely love this prince, 
And honour his full virtues! 

King. Sure, he's possess'd. 

Phi. Yes, with my father's spirit. It's here, O King, 
A dangerous spirit! Now he tells me. King, 
I was a king's heir, bids me be a king. 
And whispers to me, these are all my subjects. 
'Tis strange he will not let me sleep, but dives 
Into my fancy, and there gives me shapes 
That kneel and do me service, cry me king: 
But I'll suppress him; he's a factious spirit. 
And will undo me. — [To Phar.] Noble sir, your hand; 
I am your servant. 

King. Away! I do not like this: 

I'll make you tamer, or I'll dispossess you 
Both of your life and spirit. For this time 
I pardon your wild speech, without so much 
As your imprisonment. 

Exeunt King, Pharamond, Arethusa \and Attendants.] 

Dion. I thank you, sir; you dare not for the people. 

Gal. Ladies, what think you now of this brave fellow.? 

Meg. A pretty talking fellow, hot at hand. But eye yon stranger : 
is he not a fine complete gentleman ? Oh, these strangers, I do affect 
them strangely! They do the rarest home-things, and please the 
fullest! As I live, I could love all the nation over and over for his 
sake. 



676 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Gal. Gods cxjmfort your poor head-piece, lady! 'Tis a weak one 
and had need o£ a night-cap. Exeunt Ladies. 

Dion. See, how his fancy labours! Has he not 
Spoke home and bravely ? What a dangerous train 
Did he give fire to! How he shook the King, 
Made his soul melt within him, and his blood 
Run into whey! It stood upon his brow 
Like a cold winter-dew. 

P/ii. Gentlemen, 

You have no suit to me ? I am no minion. 
You stand, methinks, like men that would be courtiers, 
If I" could well be flatter'd at a price 
Not to undo your children. You're all honest: 
Go, get you home again, and make your country 
A virtuous court, to which your great ones may. 
In their diseased age, retire and live recluse. 

Cle. How do you, worthy sir? 

Phi. Well, very well; 

And so well that, if the King please, I find 
I may live many years. 

Dion. The King must please. 

Whilst we know what you are and who you are. 
Your wrongs and virtues." Shrink not, worthy sir, 
But add your father to you; in whose name 
We'll waken all the gods, and conjure up 
The rods of vengeance, the abused people. 
Who, like to raging torrents, shall swell high, 
And so begirt the dens of these male-dragons, 
That, through the strongest safety, they shall beg 
For mercy at your sword's point. 

Phi. Friends, no more; 

Our ears may be corrupted; 'tis an age 
We dare not trust our wills to. Do you love me ? 

Thru. Do we love Heaven and honour.? 

Phi. My Lord Dion, you had 

" Mason conj. Quartos, folio you. If I could be induced not to ruin your families 
by antagonizing the king. '^ First quarto. Other editions injuries. 



PHILASTER 677 

A virtuous gentlewoman call'd you father; 
Is she yet alive? 

Dion. Most honour'd sir, she is; 

And, for the penance but of an idle dream, 
Has undertook a tedious pilgrimage. 

Enter a Lady 

Phi. Is it to me, or any of these gentlemen, you come? 

Lady. To you, brave lord; the princess would entreat 
Your present company. 

Phi. The princess send for me! You are mistaken. 

hady. If you be called Philaster, 'tis to you. 

Phi. Kiss her fair hand, and say I will attend her. \Exit Lady.] 

Dion. Do you know what you do? 

Phi. Yes; go to see a woman. 

Cle. But do you weigh the danger you are in ? 

Phi. Danger in a sweet face! 
By Jupiter, I must not fear a woman! 

Thra. But are you sure it was the princess sent? 
It may be some foul train" to catch your life. 

Phi. I do not think it, gentlemen; she's noble. 
Her eye may shoot me dead, or those true red 
And white friends in her cheeks may steal my soul out; 
There's all the danger in't. But, be what may. 
Her single name hath armed me. Exit. 

Dion. Go on, 

And be as truly happy as thou'rt fearless! — 
Come, gentlemen, let's make our friends acquainted, 
Lest the King prove false. Exeunt. 

[Scene II. Arethusa's apartment in the palace^ 
Enter Arethusa and a Lady 

Are. Comes he not? 

Lady. Madam ? 

"Plot. 



678 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Are. Will Philaster come? 

Lady. Dear madam, you were wont to credit me 
At first. 

Are. But didst thou tell me so? 
I am forgetful, and my woman's strength 
Is so o'ercharg'd with dangers like to grow 
About my marriage, that these under-things 
Dare not abide in such a troubled sea. 
How look'd he when he told thee he would come? 

Lady. Why, well. 

Are. And not a little fearful? 

Lady. Fear, madam! Sure, he knows not what it is. 

Are. You all are of his faction; the whole court 
Is bold in praise of him; whilst I 
May live neglected, and do noble things. 
As fools in strife throw gold into the sea, 
Drown'd in the doing. But, I know he fears. 

Lady. Fear, madam! Methought, his looks hid more 
Of love than fear. 

Are. Of love! To whom? To you? 

Did you deliver those plain words I sent. 
With such a winning gesture and quick look 
That you have caught him? 

Lady. Madam, I mean to you. 

Are. Of love to me! alas, thy ignorance 
Lets thee not see the crosses of our births! 
Nature, that loves not to be questioned 
Why she did this or that, but has her ends. 
And knows she does well, never gave the world 
Two things so opposite, so contrary. 
As he and I am : if a bowl of blood 
Drawn from this arm of mine would poison thee, 
A draught of his would cure thee. Of love to me! 
Lady. Madam, I think I hear him. 

Are. Bring him in. [Exit Lady.] 

You gods, that would not have your dooms withstood. 
Whose holy wisdoms at this time it is 



PHILASTER 679 

To make the passion of a feeble maid 
The way unto your justice, I obey. 

[Re]-enter [Lady with] Philaster 

Lady. Here is my Lord Philaster. 

Are. Oh, 'tis well. 

Withdraw yourself. [Exit Lady.] 

Phi. Madam, your messenger 

Made me believe you wish'd to speak with me. 

Are. 'Tis true, Philaster; but the words are such 
I have to say, and do so ill beseem 
The mouth of woman, that I wish them said. 
And yet am loath to speak them. Have you known 
That I have aught detracted from your worth.'' 
Have I in person wrong'd you, or have set 
My baser instruments to throw disgrace 
Upon your virtues ? 

Phi. Never, madam, you. 

Are. Why, then, should you, in such a public place, 
Injure a princess, and a scandal lay 
Upon my fortunes, fam'd to be so great, 
Calling a great part of my dowry in question ? 

Phi. Madam, this truth which I shall speak will be 
Foolish : but, for your fair and virtuous self, 
I could afford myself to have no right 
To any thing you wish'd. 

Are. Philaster, know, 

I must enjoy these kingdoms. 

Phi. Madam, both.' 

Are. Both, or I die: by heaven, I die, Philaster, 
If I not calmly may enjoy them both. 

Phi. I would do much to save that noble life; 
Yet would be loath to have posterity 
Find in our stories, that Philaster gave 
His right unto a sceptre and a crown 
To save a lady's longing. 

Are. Nay, then, hear: 



68o BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

I must and will have them, and more 

Phi. What more? 

Are. Or lose that Httle life the gods prepared 
To trouble this poor piece of earth withal. 

Phi. Madam, what more? 

Are. Turn, then, away thy face. 

Phi. No. 

Are. Do. 

Phi. I can endure it. Turn away my face! 
I never yet saw enemy that look'd 
So dreadfully, but that I thought myself 
As great a basilisk' as he; or spake 
So horrible, but that I thought my tongue 
Bore thunder underneath, as much as his; 
Nor beast that I could turn from. Shall I then 
Begin to fear sweet sounds? A lady's voice. 
Whom I do love? Say you would have my life; 
Why, I will give it you; for 'tis of me 
A thing so loath'd, and unto you that ask 
Of so poor use, that I shall make no price : 
If you entreat, I will unmov'dly hear. 

Are. Yet, for my sake, a little bend thy looks. 

Phi. I do. 

Are. Then know, I must have them and thee. 

Phi. And me? 

Are. Thy love; without which, all the land 

Discovered yet will serve me for no use 
But to be buried in. 

Phi. Is't possible? 

Are. With it, it were too little to bestow 
On thee. Now, though thy breath do strike me dead, 
(Which, know, it may,) I have unript my breast. 

Phi. Madam, you are too full of noble thoughts, 
To lay a train for this contemned life. 
Which you may have for asking. To suspect 
Were base, where I deserve no ill. Love you! 

' A fabulous serpent that killed with a glance. 



PHIL ASTER 68 1 

By all my hopes, I do, above my life! 

But how this passion should proceed from you 

So violently, would amaze a man 

That would be jealous.^ 

Are. Another soul into my body shot 
Could not have fill'd me with more strength and spirit 
Than this thy breath. But spend not hasty time 
In seeking how I came thus: 'tis the gods. 
The gods, that make me so; and, sure, our love 
Will be the nobler and the better blest. 
In that the secret justice of the gods 
Is mingled with it. Let us leave, and kiss; 
Lest some unwelcome guest should fall betwixt us, 
And we should part without it. 

Phi. 'Twill be ill 

I should abide here long. 

Are. 'Tis true; and worse 

You should come often. How shall we devise 
To hold intelligence, that our true loves, 
On any new occasion, may agree 
What path is best to tread ? 

Phi. I have a boy, 

Sent by the gods, I hope, to this intent. 
Not yet seen in the court. Hunting the buck, 
I found him sitting by a fountain's side, 
Of which he borrow'd some to quench his thirst. 
And paid the nymph again as much in tears. 
A garland lay him by, made by himself. 
Of many several flowers bred in the vale, 
Stuck in that mystic order that the rareness 
Delighted me: but ever when he turn'd 
His tender eyes upon 'em, he would weep. 
As if he meant to make 'em grow again. 
Seeing such pretty helpless innocence 
Dwell in his face, I ask'd him all his story. 
He told me that his parents gentle died, 

^ Suspicious. 



682 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Leaving him to the mercy of the fields, 
Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs, 
Which did not stop their courses; and the sun. 
Which still, he thank'd him, yielded him his light. 
Then took he up his garland, and did show 
What every flower, as country-people hold, 
Did signify, and how all, ordered thus, 
Express'd his grief; and, to my thoughts, did read 
The prettiest lecture of his country-art 
That could be wish'd : so that methought I could 
Have studied it. I gladly entertain'd 
Him, who was glad to follow; and have got 
The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy 
That ever master kept. Him will I send 
To wait on you, and bear our hidden love. 
Are. 'Tis well; no more. 

Re-enter Lady 

Lady. Madam, the prince is come to do his service. 

Are. What will you do, Philaster, with yourself? 

Phi. Why, that which all the gods have pointed out for me. 

Are. Dear, hide thyself. — 
Bring in the prince. [Exit Lady.] 

Phi. Hide me from Pharamond! 

When thunder speaks, which is the voice of God, 
Though I do reverence, yet I hide me not; 
And shall a stranger-prince have leave to brag 
Unto a foreign nation, that he made 
Philaster hide himself? 

Are. He cannot know it. 

Phi. Though it should sleep for ever to the world, 
It is a simple sin to hide myself. 
Which will for ever on my conscience lie. 

Are. Then, good Philaster, give him scope and way 
In what he says; for he is apt to speak 
What you are loath to hear. For my sake, do. 

Phi. I will. 



PHILASTER 683 

[Re]-enter [Lady u^ith] Pharamond 

Pka. My princely mistress, as true lovers ought, 
I come to kiss these fair hands, and to show, [Exit Lady.] 

In outward ceremonies, the dear love 
Writ in my heart. 

Phi. If I shall have an answer no directlier, 
I am gone. 

Pha. To what would he have answer.' 

Are. To his claim unto the kingdom. 

Pha. Sirrah, I forbare you before the King — 

Phi. Good sir, do so still; I would not talk with you. 

Pha. But now the time is fitter. Do but offer 
To make mention of right to any kingdom, 
Though it be scarce habitable 

Phi. Good sir, let me go. 

Pha. And by the gods — 



Phi. Peace, Pharamond! if thou 

Are. Leave us, Philaster. 

Phi. I have done. [Going.] 

Pha. You are gone! by Heaven I'll fetch you back. 

Phi. You shall not need. [Returning.] 

Pha. What now.? 

Phi. Know, Pharamond, 

I loathe to brawl with such a blast as thou. 
Who art nought but a valiant voice; but if 
Thou shalt provoke me further, men shall say, 
"Thou wert," and not lament it. 

Pha. Do you slight 

My greatness so, and in the chamber of 
The princess? 

Phi. It is a place to which I must confess 
I owe a reverence; but were't the church. 
Ay, at the altar, there's no place so safe. 
Where thou dar'st injure me, but I dare kill thee. 
And for your greatness, know, sir, I can grasp 
You and your greatness thus, thus into nothing. 



684 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Give not a word, not a word back! Farewell. Exit. 

Pha. 'Tis an odd fellow, madam; we must stop 
His mouth with some office when we are married. 

Are. You were best make him your controller. 

Pha. I think he would discharge it well. But, madam, 
I hope our hearts are knit; but yet so slow 
The ceremonies of state are, that 'twill be long 
Before our hands be so. If then you please, 
Being agreed in heart, let us not wait 
For dreaming form, but take a little stolen 
Delights, and so prevent' our joys to come. 

Are. If you dare speak such thoughts, 
I must withdraw in honour. Exit. 

Pha. The constitution of my body will never hold out till the 
wedding; I must seek elsewhere. Exit. 

ACT THE SECOND 

Scene I. [An apartment in the palace^ 

Enter Philaster and Bellario 

Phi. And thou shalt find her honourable, boy; 
Full of regard unto thy tender youth. 
For thine own modesty; and, for my sake, 
Apter to give than thou wilt be to ask, 
Ay, or deserve. 

Bel. Sir, you did take me up 

When I was nothing; and only yet am something 
By being yours. You trusted me unknown; 
And that which you were apt to conster' 
A simple innocence in me, perhaps 
Might have been craft, the cunning of a boy 
Hard'ned in lies and theft: yet ventur'd you 
To part my miseries and me; for which, 
I never can expect to serve a lady 

^ Anticipate. ^ Construe, interpret. 



PHILASTER 685 

That bears more honour in her breast than you. 

Phi. But, boy, it will prefer^ thee. Thou art young. 
And bear'st a childish overflowing love 
To them that clap thy cheeks and speak thee fair yet; 
But when thy judgment comes to rule those passions, 
Thou wilt remember best those careful friends 
That plac'd thee in the noblest way of life. 
She is a princess I prefer thee to. 

Bel. In that small time that I have seen the world, 
I never knew a man hasty to part 
With a servant he thought trusty. I remember, 
My father would prefer the boys he kept 
To greater men than he; but did it not 
Till they were grown too saucy for himself. 

Phi. Why, gentle boy, I find no fault at all 
In thy behaviour. 

Bel. Sir, if I have made 

A fault in ignorance, instruct my youth: 
I shall be willing, if not apt, to learn; 
Age and experience will adorn my mind 
With larger knowledge; and if I have done 
A wilful fault, think me not past all hope 
For once. What master holds so strict a hand 
Over his boy, that he will part with him 
Without one warning? Let me be corrected 
To break my stubbornness, if it be so. 
Rather than turn me off; and I shall mend. 

Phi. Thy love doth plead so prettily to stay. 
That, trust me, I could weep to part with thee. 
Alas, I do not turn thee off! Thou knowest 
It is my business that doth call thee hence; 
And when thou art with her, thou dwell'st with me. 
Think so, and 'tis so; and when time is full. 
That thou hast well discharg'd this heavy trust. 
Laid on so weak a one, I will again 

* Advance. 



686 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

With joy receive thee; as I Uve, I will! 

Nay, weep not, gentle boy. 'Tis more than time 

Thou didst attend the princess. 

Bel. I am gone. 

But since I am to part with you, my lord, 
And none knows whether I shall live to do 
More service for you, take this little prayer : 
Heaven bless your loves, your fights, all your designs! 
May sick men, if they have your wish, be well; 
And Heaven hate those you curse, though I be one! Exit. 

Phi. The love of boys unto their lords is strange; 
I have read wonders of it : yet this boy 
For my sake (if a man may judge by looks 
And speech) would out-do story. I may see 
A day to pay him for his loyalty. Exit. 

[Scene II. A gallery in the palace] 
Enter Pharamond 

Pha. Why should these ladies stay so long? They must come this 
way. I know the queen employs 'em not; for the reverend mother' 
sent me word, they would all be for the garden. If they should all 
prove honest^ now, I were in a fair taking; I was never so long with- 
out sport in my life, and, in my conscience, 'tis not my fault. Oh, for 
our country ladies! 

Enter Galatea 

Here's one bolted; I'll hound at her. — Madam! 

Gal. Your grace! 

Pha. Shall I not be a trouble.? 

Gal. Not to me, sir. 

Pha. Nay, nay, you are too quick. By this sweet hand 

Gal. You'll be forsworn, sir; 'tis but an old glove. 
If you will talk at distance, I am for you: 
But, good prince, be not bawdy, nor do not brag; 
These two I bar; 

' In charge of the maids of honor. ^ Chaste. 



PHILASTER 687 

And then, I think, I shall have sense enough 
To answer all the weighty apophthegms 
Your royal blood shall manage. 

Pha. Dear lady, can you love? 

Gal. Dear prince! how dear? I ne'er cost you a coach yet, nor put 
you to the dear repentance of a banquet. Here's no scarlet, sir, to 
blush the sin out it was given for. This wire mine own hair covers; 
and this face has been so far from being dear to any, that it ne'er cost 
penny painting; and, for the rest of my poor wardrobe, such as you 
see, it leaves no hand' behind it, to make the jealous mercer's wife 
curse our good doings. 

Pha. You mistake me, lady. 

Gal. Lord, I do so; would you or I could help it! 

Pha. You're very dangerous bitter, like a potion. 

Gal. No, sir, I do not mean to purge you, though 
I mean to purge a little time on you. 

Pha. Do ladies of this country use to give 
No more respect to men of my full being ? 

Gal. Full being! I understand you not, unless your grace means 
growing to fatness; and then your only remedy (upon my knowl- 
edge, prince) is, in a morning, a cup of neat white wine brew'd with 
carduus,'' then fast till supper; about eight you may eat; use exercise, 
and keep a sparrow-hawk; you can shoot in a tiller:^ but, of all, 
your grace must fly phlebotomy,^ fresh pork, conger,^ and clarified 
whey; they are all duller of the vital spirits. 

Pha. Lady, you talk of nothing all this while. 

Gal. 'Tis very true, sir; I talk of you. 

Pha. [Aside.] This is a crafty wench; I like her wit well; 'twill be 
rare to stir up a leaden appetite. She's a Danae, and must be courted 
in a shower of gold. — Madam, look here; all these, and more than 

Gal. What have you there, my lord? Gold! now, as I live, 'tis 
fair gold! You would have silver for it, to play with the pages. 
You could not have taken me in a worse time; but, if you have 
present use, my lord, I'll send my man with silver and keep your 
gold for you. 

' Note of indebtedness. * A kind of thistle used as a medicine. 
' Cross bow. • Blood letting. ' Conger-eel. 



688 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Pha. Lady, lady! 

Gal. She's coming, sir, behind, will take white money. — {AsideJ] 
Yet for all this I'll match ye. Exit behind the hangings. 

Pha. If there be but two such more in this kingdom, and near 
the court, we may even hang up our harps. Ten such camphire' 
constitutions as this would call the golden age again in question, and 
teach the old way for every ill-fac'd husband to get his own children; 
and what a mischief that would breed, let all consider! 

Enter Megra 

Here's another: if she be of the same last, the devil shall pluck her 
on. — Many fair mornings, lady! 

Meg. As many mornings bring as many days, 
Fair, sweet and hopeful to your grace! 

Pha. [Aside.] She gives good words yet; sure this wench is free. — 
If your more serious business do not call you. 
Let me hold quarter with you; we will talk 
An hour out quickly. 

Meg. What would your grace talk of? 

Pha. Of some such pretty subject as yourself: 
I'll go no further than your eye, or lip; 
There's theme enough for one man for an age. 

Meg. Sir, they stand right, and my lips are yet even, 
Smooth, young enough, ripe enough, and red enough, 
Or my glass wrongs me. 

Pha. Oh, they are two twinn'd cherries dy'd in blushes 
Which those fair suns above with their bright beams 
Reflect upon and ripen. Sweetest beauty. 
Bow down those branches, that the longing taste 
Of the faint looker-on may meet those blessings. 
And taste and live. They f^iss. 

Meg. [Aside.] Oh, delicate sweet prince! 
She that hath snow enough about her heart 
To take the wanton spring of ten such lines o£E, 
May be a nun without probation. — Sir, 

* /. e., cold. ' Responsive. 



PHILASTER 689 

You have in such neat poetry gathered a kiss, 
That if I had but five lines of that number, 
Such pretty begging blanks,'" I should commend 
Your forehead or your cheeks, and kiss you too. 

Pha. Do it in prose; you cannot miss it, madam. 

Meg. I shall, I shall. 

Pha. By my life, but you shall not; 

I'll prompt you first. {Kisses her.] Can you do it now? 

Meg. Methinks 'tis easy, now you ha' done't before me; 
But yet I should stick at it. [Kisses him.] 

Pha. Stick till to-morrow; 

I'll ne'er part you, sweetest. But we lose time: 
Can you love me? 

Meg. Love you, my lord! How would you have me love you? 

Pha. I'll teach you in a short sentence, 'cause I will not load your 
memory; this is all: love me, and lie with me. 

Meg. Was it "lie with you" that you said? 'Tis impossible. 

Pha. Not to a willing mind, that will endeavour. If I do not teach 
you to do it as easily in one night as you'll go to bed, I'll lose my 
royal blood for't. 

Meg. Why, prince, you have a lady of your own 
That yet wants teaching. 

Pha. I'll sooner teach a mare the old measures" than teach her 
anything belonging to the function. She's afraid to lie with herself 
if she have but any masculine imaginations about her. I know, when 
we are married, I must ravish her. 

Meg. By mine honour, that's a foul fault, indeed; 
But time and your good help will wear it out, sir. 
Has your grace seen the court-star, Galatea? 

Pha. Out upon her! She's as cold of her favour as an apoplex; 
she sailed by but now. 

Meg. And how do you hold her wit, sir? 

Pha. I hold her wit? The strength of all the guard cannot hold 
it, if they were tied to it; she would blow 'em out of the kingdom. 
They talk of Jupiter; he's but a squib-cracker to her: look well about 
"• Blank verses. " Stately dances. 



690 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

you, and you may find a tongue-bolt. But speak, sweet lady, shall I 
be freely welcome? If you mistrust my faith, you do me the un- 
noblest wrong. 

Meg. I dare not, prince, I dare not. 

Pha. Make your own conditions, my purse shall seal 'em; and 
what you dare imagine you can want, I'll furnish you withal. Give 
two hours to your thoughts every morning about it. Come, I know 
you are bashful; 

Speak in my ear, will you be mine? Keep this, 
And with it me: soon I will visit you. 

Meg. My lord, my chamber's most unsafe; but when 'tis night, 
I'll find some means to slip into your lodging; 
Till when 

PAa. Till when, this and my heart go with thee! 

Exeunt several ways. 

Re-enter Galatea from behind the hangings 
Gal. Oh, thou pernicious petticoat prince! are these your virtues? 
Well, if I do not lay a train to blow your sport up, I am no woman: 
and, Lady Towsabel, I'll fit you for't. Exit. 

[Scene III. Arethusa's apartment in the palace^ 

Enter Arethusa and a Lady 
Are. Where's the boy? 
Lady. Within, madam. 
Are. Gave you him gold to buy him clothes? 
Lady. I did. 

Are. And has he done't? 
Lady. Yes, madam. 

Are. Tis a pretty sad-talking boy, is it not? 
Asked you his name ? 
Lady. No, madam. 

Enter Galatea 
Are. Oh, you are welcome. What good news? 
Gal. As good as any one can tell your grace. 
That says she has done that you would have wish'd. 



PHILASTER 691 

Are. Hast thou discovered? 

Gal. I have strain'd a point of modesty for you. 

Are. I prithee, how? 

Gal. In hst'ning after bawdry. I see, let a lady live never so mod- 
estly, she shall be sure to find a lawful time to hearken after bawdry. 
Your prince, brave Pharamond, was so hot on't! 

Are. With whom? 

Gal. Why, with the lady I suspected. I can tell the time and 
place. 

Are. Oh, when, and where? 

Gal. To-night, his lodging. 

Are. Run thyself into the presence; mingle there again 
With other ladies; leave the rest to me. \Exit Galatea.] 

If destiny (to whom we dare not say, 
"Why didst thou this?") have not decreed it so, 
In lasting leaves (whose smallest characters 
Were never alter'd yet), this match shall break. — 
Where's the boy? 

Lady. Here, madam. 

Enter Bellario 

Are. Sir, you are sad to change your service; is't not so? 

Bel. Madam, I have not chang'd; I wait on you, 
To do him service. 

Are. Thou disclaim'st in me. 

Tell me thy name. 

Bel. Bellario. 

Are. Thou canst sing and play ? 

Bel. If grief will give me leave, madam, I can. 

Are. Alas, what kind of grief can thy years know? 
Hadst thou a curst master when thou went'st to school ? 
Thou art not capable of other grief; 
Thy brows and cheeks are smooth as waters be 
When no breath troubles them. Believe me, boy, 
Care seeks out wrinkled brows and hollow eyes. 
And builds himself caves, to abide in them. 
Come, sir, tell me truly, doth your lord love me ? 



692 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Bel. Love, madam! I know not what it is. 

Are. Canst thou know grief, and never yet knew'st love ? 
Thou art deceiv'd, boy. Does he speak of me 
As if he wish'd me well .? 

Bel. If it be love 

To forget all respect of his own friends 
With thinking of your face; if it be love 
To sit cross-arm'd and sigh away the day. 
Mingled with starts, crying your name as loud 
And hastily as men i' the streets do fire; 
If it be love to weep himself away 
When he but hears of any lady dead 
Or kill'd, because it might have been your chance; 
If, when he goes to rest (which will not be), 
'Twixt every prayer he says, to name you once, 
As others drop a bead, be to be in love. 
Then, madam, I dare swear he loves you. 

Are. Oh you're a cunning boy, and taught to lie 
For your lord's credit! But thou know'st a He 
That bears this sound is welcomer to me 
Than any truth that says he loves me not. 
Lead the way, boy. — [To Lady.] Do you attend me too. — 
'Tis thy lord's business hastes me thus. Away! Exeunt. 

[Scene IV. Before Pharamond's lodging in the court of the palace^ 

Enter Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, Megra, and 
Galatea 

Dion. Come, ladies, shall we talk a round? As men 
Do walk a mile, women should talk an hour 
After supper: 'tis their exercise. 

Gal. 'Tis late. 

Meg. 'Tis all 
My eyes will do to lead me to my bed. 

Gal. I fear, they are so heavy, you'll scarce find 
The way to your own lodging with 'em to-night. 



PHILASTER 693 

Enter Pharamond 

Thra. The prince! 

Pha. Not a-bed, ladies? You're good sitters-up. 
What think you of a pleasant dream, to last 
Till morning? 

Meg. I should choose, my lord, a pleasing wake before it. 

Enter Arethusa and Bellario 

Are. 'Tis well, my lord; you're courting of these ladies. — 
Is't not late, gentlemen? 

Cle. Yes, madam. 

Are, Wait you there. Exit. 

Meg. [Aside.] She's jealous, as I live. — Look you, my lord. 
The princess has a Hylas, an Adonis. 

Pha. His form is angel-like. 

Meg. Why, this is he that must, when you are wed, 
Sit by your pillow, like young Apollo, with 
His hand and voice binding your thoughts in sleep; 
The princess does provide him for you and for herself. 

Pha. I find no music in these boys. 

Meg. Nor I: 

They can do little, and that small they do. 
They have not wit to hide. 

Dion. Serves he the princess? 

Thra. Yes. 

Dion. 'Tis a sweet boy: how brave' she keeps him! 

Pha. Ladies all, good rest; I mean to kill a buck 
To-morrow morning ere you've done your dreams. 

Meg. All happiness attend your grace! [Exit Pharamond.] Gentle- 
men, good rest. — Come, shall we go to bed? 

Gal. Yes. — All good night. 

Dion. May your dreams be true to you! — 

Exeunt Galatea and Megra. 

' Finely dressed. 



694 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

What shall we do, gallants? 'tis late. The King 
Is up still: see, he comes; a guard along 
With him. 

Enter King, Arethusa, and Guard 

King. Look your intelligence be true. 

Are. Upon my life, it is; and I do hope 
Your highness will not tie me to a man 
That in the heat of wooing throws me off, 
And takes another. 

Dion. What should this mean? 

King. If it be true, 
That lady had been better have embrac'd 
Cureless diseases. Get you to your rest: 
You shall be righted. Exeunt Arethusa and Bellario. 

— Gentlemen, draw near; 
We shall employ you. Is young Pharamond 
Come to his lodging? 

Dion. I saw him enter there. 

King. Haste, some of you, and cunningly discover 
If Megra be in her lodging. \Exit Dion.] 

Cle. Sir, 
She parted hence but now, with other ladies. 

King. If she be there, we shall not need to make 
A vain discovery of our suspicion. 
[Aside.] You gods, I see that who unrighteously 
Holds wealth or state from others shall be curs'd 
In that which meaner men are blest withal: 
Ages to come shall know no male of him 
Left to inherit, and his name shall be 
Blotted from earth; if he have any child, 
It shall be crossly match'd; the gods themselves 
Shall sow wild strife betwixt her lord and her. 
Yet, if it be your wills, forgive the sin 
I have committed; let it not fall 
Upon this understanding child of mine! 



PHILASTER Gg/^ 

She has not broke your laws. But how can I 
Look to be heard of gods that must be just, 
Praying upon the ground I hold by wrong? 

Re-enter Dion 

Dion. Sir, I have asked, and her women swear she is within; but 
they, I think, are bawds. I told 'em, I must speak with her; they 
laugh'd, and said, their lady lay speechless. I said, my business was 
important; they said, their lady was about it. I grew hot, and cried, 
my business was a matter that concern'd life and death; they an- 
swered, so was sleeping, at which their lady was. I urg'd again, she 
had scarce time to be so since last I saw her : they smil'd again, and 
seem'd to instruct me that sleeping was nothing but lying down and 
winking.^ Answers more direct I could not get: in short, sir, I think 
she is not there. 

King. 'Tis then no time to dally. — ^You o' the guard, 
Wait at the back door of the prince's lodging. 
And see that none pass thence, upon your lives. [Exeunt Guards.] 
Knock, gentlemen; knock loud; louder yet. 

[Dion, Cler., &c. ]{noc\ at the door of 
Pharamond's Lodging.^ 
What, has their pleasure taken off their hearing.? — 
I'll break your meditations. — Knock again. — 
Not yet ? I do not think he sleeps, having this 
Larum by him. — Once more. — Pharamond! prince! 

Pharamond [appears^ above, 

Pha. What saucy groom knocks at this dead of night? 
Where be our waiters? By my vexed soul, 
He meets his death that meets me, for this boldness. 

King. Prince, prince, you wrong your thoughts; we are your 
friends: 
Come down. 

Pha. The King! 

King. The same, sir. Come down, sir: 

We have cause of present counsel with you. 

* Closing the eyes. 



696 BEAUMONT AND^ FLETCHER 

Pha. If your grace please 
To use me, I'll attend you to your chamber. 

Enter Pharamond below 

King. No, 'tis too late, prince; I'll make bold with yours. 

Pha. I have some private reasons to myself 
Make me unmannerly, and say you cannot. — 

They press to come in. 
Nay, press not forward, gentlemen; he must 
Come through my life that comes here. 

King. Sir, be resolv'd' I must and will come. — Enter. 

Pha. I will not be dishonour'd. 
He that enters, enters upon his death. 
Sir, 'tis a sign you make no stranger of me, 
To bring these renegadoes to my chamber 
At these unseasoned hours. 

King. Why do you 

Chafe yourself so? You are not wronged nor shall be; 
Only I'll search your lodging, for some cause 
To ourself known. — Enter, I say. 

Pha. I say, no. 

Enter Megra above 

Meg. Let 'em enter, prince, let 'em enter; 
I am up and ready :^ I know their business; 
'Tis the poor breaking of a lady's honour 
They hunt so hotly after; let 'em enjoy it. — 
You have your business, gentlemen; I lay here. 
Oh, my lord the King, this is not noble in you 
To make public the weakness of a woman 1 

King. Come down. 

Meg. I dare, my lord. Your hootings and your clamours, 
Your private whispers and your broad fleerings, 
Can no more vex my soul than this base carriage.^ 
But I have vengeance yet in store for some 

' Convinced. * Dressed. ^ Behavior. 



PHILASTER 697 

Shall, in the most contempt you can have o£ me, 
Be joy and nourishment. 

King. Will you come down ? 

Meg. Yes, to laugh at your worst; but I shall wring you, 
If my skill fail me not. [Exit above.] 

King. Sir, I must dearly chide you for this looseness; 
You have wrong'd a worthy lady; but, no more. — 
Conduct him to my lodging and to bed. 

[Exeunt Pharamond and Attendants.] 

Cle. Get him another wench, and you bring him to bed indeed. 

Dion. 'Tis strange a man cannot ride a stage 
Or two, to breathe himself, without a warrant. 
If his gear hold, that lodgings be search'd thus. 
Pray God we may lie with our own wives in safety, 
That they be not by some trick of state mistaken! 

Enter [Attendants] with Megra [below] 

King. Now, lady of honour, where's your honour now? 
No man can fit your palate but the prince. 
Thou most ill-shrouded rottenness, thou piece 
Made by a painter and a 'pothecary, 
Thou troubled sea of lust, thou wilderness 
Inhabited by wild thoughts, thou swoln cloud 
Of infection, thou ripe mine of all diseases, 
Thou all-sin, all-hell, and last all-devils, tell me, 
Had you none to pull on with your courtesies 
But he that must be mine, and wrong my daughter? 
By all the gods, all these, and all the pages. 
And all the court, shall hoot thee through the court, 
Fling rotten oranges, make ribald rhymes. 
And sear thy name with candles upon walls! 
Do you laugh. Lady Venus? 

Meg. Faith, sir, you must pardon me; 
I cannot choose but laugh to see you merry. 
If you do this, O King! nay, if you dare do it. 
By all those gods you swore by, and as many 
More of my own, I will have fellows, and such 



698 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Fellows in it, as shall make noble mirth! 

The princess, your dear daughter, shall stand by me 

On walls, and sung in ballads, any thing. 

Urge me no more; I know her and her haunts, 

Her lays, leaps, and outlays, and will discover all; 

Nay, will dishonour her. I know the boy 

She keeps; a handsome boy, about eighteen; 

Know what she does with him, where, and when. 

Come, sir, you put me to a woman's madness, 

The glory of a fury; and if I do not 

Do't to the height 

King. What boy is this she raves at? 

Meg. Alas! good-minded prince, you know not these things! 
I am loath to reveal 'em. Keep this fault. 
As you would keep your health from the hot air 
Of the corrupted people, or, by Heaven, 
I will not fall alone. What I have known 
Shall be as public as a print; all tongues 
Shall speak it as they do the language they 
Are born in, as free and commonly; I'll set it, 
Like a prodigious^ star, for all to gaze at. 
And so high and glowing, that other kingdoms far and foreign 
Shall read it there, nay, travel with it, till they find 
No tongue to make it more, nor no more people; 
And then behold the fall of your fair princess! 

King. Has she a boy } 

Cle. So please your grace, I have seen a boy wait 
On her, a fair boy. 

King. Go, get you to your quarter: 

For this time I will study to forget you. 

Meg. Do you study to forget me, and I'll study 
To forget you. Exeunt King, Megra, and Guard. 

Cle. Why, here's a male spirit lit for Hercules. If ever there be 
Nine Worthies of women, this wench shall ride astride and be their 
captain. 

Dion. Sure, she has a garrison of devils in her tongue, she uttered 
' Portentous, ominous. 



PHILASTER 699 

such balls of wild-fire. She has so nettled the King, that all the 
doctors in the country will scarce cure him. That boy was a strange- 
found-out antidote to cure her infection; that boy, that princess' boy; 
that brave, chaste, virtuous lady's boy; and a fair boy, a well-spoken 
boy! All these considered, can make nothing else — but there I leave 
you, gentlemen. 
Thra. Nay, we'll go wander with you. Exeunt. 

ACT THE THIRD 

Scene I. yihe court of the palace] 

Enter Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline 

Cle. Nay, doubtless, 'tis true. 

Dion. Ay; and 'tis the gods 
That rais'd this punishment, to scourge the King 
With his own issue. Is it not a shame 
For us that should write noble in the land, 
For us that should be freemen, to behold 
A man that is the bravery of his age, 
Philaster, press'd down from his royal right 
By this regardless King? and only look 
And see the sceptre ready to be cast 
Into the hands of that lascivious lady 
That lives in lust with a smooth boy, now to be married 
To yon strange prince, who, but that people please 
To let him be a prince, is born a slave 
In that which should be his most noble part. 
His mind ? 

Thra. That man that would not stir with you 

To aid Philaster, let the gods forget 
That such a creature walks upon the earth! 

Cle. Philaster is too backward in 't himself. 
The gentry do await it, and the people, 
Against their nature, are all bent for him. 
And like a field of standing corn, that's moved 
With a stiff gale, their heads bow all one way. 



700 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Dion. The only cause that draws Philaster back 
From this attempt is the fair princess' love, 
Which he admires, and we can now confute. 

Thra. Perhaps he'll not believe it. 

Dion. Why, gentlemen, 'tis without question so. 

Cle. Ay, 'tis past speech, she lives dishonestly. 
But how shall we, if he be curious,' work 
Upon his faith? 

Thra. We all are satisfied within ourselves. 

Dion. Since it is true, and tends to his own good, 
I'll make this new report to be my knowledge; 
I'll say I know it; nay, I'll swear I saw it. 

Cle. It will be best. 

Thra. 'Twill move him. 

Enter Philaster 

Dion. Here he comes. 

Good morrow to your honour: we have spent 
Some time in seeking you. 

Phi. My worthy friends, 

You that can keep your memories to know 
Your friend in miseries, and cannot frown 
On men disgrac'd for virtue, a good day 
Attend you all I What service may I do 
Worthy your acceptation.? 

Dion. My good lord. 

We come to urge that virtue, which we know 
Lives in your breast, forth. Rise, and make a head:* 
The nobles and the people are all dulled 
With this usurping king; and not a man. 
That ever heard the word, or knew such a thing 
As virtue, but will second your attempts. 

Phi. How honourable is this love in you 
To me that have deserv'd none! Know, my friends, 
(You, that were born to shame your poor Philaster 
With too much courtesy,) I could afford 

' Scrupulous. ^ Raise an armed force. 



PHIL ASTER 701 

To melt myself in thanks : but my designs 
Are not yet ripe. Suffice it, that ere long 
I shall employ your loves; but yet the time 
Is short of what I would. 

Dion. The time is fuller, sir, than you expect; 
That which hereafter will not, perhaps, be reach'd 
By violence, may now be caught. As for the King, 
You know the people have long hated him; 
But now the princess, whom they lov'd 

Phi. Why, what of her ? 

Dion. Is loathed as much as he. 

Phi. By what strange means? 

Dion. She's known a whore. 

Phi. Thou liest. 

Dion. My lord 

Phi. Thou liest. Offers to draw and is held. 

And thou shalt feel it! I had thought thy mind 
Had been of honour. Thus to rob a lady 
Of her good name, is an infectious sin 
Not to be pardon'd. Be it false as hell, 
'Twill never be redeem'd, if it be sown 
Amongst the people, fruitful to increase 
All evil they shall hear. Let me alone 
That I may cut off falsehood whilst it springs! 
Set hills on hills betwixt me and the man 
That utters this, and I will scale them all. 
And from the utmost top fall on his neck. 
Like thunder from a cloud. 

Dion. This is most strange: 

Sure, he does love her. 

Phi. I do love fair truth. 

She is my mistress, and who injures her 
Draws vengeance from me. Sirs, let go my arms. 

Thra. Nay, good my lord, be patient. 

Cle. Sir, remember this is your honour'd friend. 
That comes to do his service, and will show you 
Why he utter'd this. 



702 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Phi. I ask you pardon, sir; 

My zeal to truth made me unmannerly ; 
Should I have heard dishonour spoke of you, 
Behind your back, untruly, I had been 
As much distemper'd and enrag'd as now. 

Dion. But this, my lord, is truth. 

Phi. Oh, say not so! 

Good sir, forbear to say so; 'tis then truth. 
That womankind is false: urge it no more; 
It is impossible. Why should you think 
The princess light? 

Dion. Why, she was taken at it. 

Phi. 'Tis false! by Heaven, 'tis false! It cannot be! Can it? Speak, 
gentlemen; for God's love, speak! Is't possible? Can women all 
be damn'd? 

Dion. Why, no, my lord. 

Phi. Why, then, it cannot be. 

Dion. And she was taken with her boy. 

Phi. What boy? 

Dion. A page, a boy that serves her. 

Phi. Oh, good gods! 

A Httleboy? 

Dion. Ay; know you him, my lord? 

Phi. [Aside.] Hell and sin know him! — Sir, you are deceiv'd; 
I'll reason it a little coldly with you. 
If she were lustful, would she take a boy, 
That knows not yet desire ? She would have one 
Should meet her thoughts and know the sin he acts. 
Which is the great delight of wickedness. 
You are abus'd,' and so is she, and I. 

Dion. How you, my lord? 

Phi. Why, all the world's abused 

In an unjust report. 

Dion. Oh, noble sir, your virtues 

Cannot look into the subtle thoughts of woman! 
In short, my lord, I took them; I myself. 

' Deceived. 



PHILASTER 703 

Phi. Now, all the devils, thou didst! Fly from my rage! 
Would thou hadst ta'en devils engend'ring plagues, 
When thou didst take them! Hide thee from mine eyes! 
Would thou hadst taken thunder on thy breast, 
When thou didst take them; or been strucken dumb 
For ever; that this foul deed might have slept 
In silence! 

Thra. Have you known him so ill-tempered ? 

Cle. Never before. 

Phi. The winds, that are let loose 

From the four several corners of the earth. 
And spread themselves all over sea and land, 
Kiss not a chaste one. What friend bears a sword 
To run me thorough ? 

Dion. Why, my lord, are you 

So moved at this ? 

Phi. When any fall from virtue, 

I am distract; I have an interest in 't. 

Dion. But, good my lord, recall yourself, and think 
What's best to be done. 

Phi. I thank you; I will do it. 

Please you to leave me; I'll consider of it. 
To-morrow I will find your lodging forth. 
And give you answer. 

Dion. All the gods direct you 

The readiest way! 

Thra. He was extreme impatient. 

Cle. It was his virtue and his noble mind. 

[Exeunt Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiune.] 

Phi. I had forgot to ask him where he took them; 
I'll follow him. Oh, that I had a sea 
Within my breast, to quench the fire I feel! 
More circumstances will but fan this fire: 
It more afflicts me now, to know by whom 
This deed is done, than simply that 'tis done; 
And he that tells me this is honourable. 
As far from lies as she is far from truth. 



704 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Oh, that, hke beasts, we could not grieve ourselves 
With that we see not! Bulls and rams will fight 
To keep their females, standing in their sight; 
But take 'em from them, and you take at once 
Their spleens away; and they will fall again 
Unto their pastures, growing fresh and fat; 
And taste the waters of the springs as sweet 
As 'twas before, finding no start in sleep; 
But miserable man 

Enter Bellario 

See, see, you gods, 
He walks still; and the face you let him wear 
When he was innocent is still the same. 
Not blasted! Is this justice? Do you mean 
To intrap mortality, that you allow 
Treason so smooth a brow ? I cannot now 
Think he is guilty. 

Bel. Health to you, my lord! 

The princess doth commend her love, her life, 
And this, unto you. Gives a letter. 

Phi. Oh, Bellario, 

Now I perceive she loves me; she does show it 
In loving thee, my boy; she has made thee brave. 

Bel. My lord, she has attir'd me past my wish, 
Past my desert; more fit for her attendant, 
Though far unfit for me who do attend. 

Phi. Thou art grown courtly, boy. — Oh, let all women, 
That love black deeds, learn to dissemble here. 
Here, by this paper! She does write to me 
As if her heart were mines of adamant 
To all the world besides; but, unto me, 
A maiden-snow that melted with my looks. — 
Tell me, my boy, how doth the princess use thee.? 
For I shall guess her love to me by that. 

Bel. Scarce like her servant, but as if I were 
Something allied to her, or had preserv'd 



PHILASTER 705 

Her life three times by my fidelity; 

As mothers fond do use their only sons, 

As I'd use one that's left unto my trust, 

For whom my life should pay if he met harm. 

So she does use me. 

Phi. Why, this is wondrous well: 

But what kind language does she feed thee with ? 

Bel. Why, she does tell me she will trust my youth 
With all her loving secrets, and does call me 
Her pretty servant; bids me weep no more 
For leaving you; she'll see my services 
Regarded : and such words of that soft strain. 
That I am nearer weeping when she ends 
Than ere she spake. 

Phi. This is much better still. 

Bel. Are you not ill, my lord ? 

Phi. III? No, Bellario. 

Bel. Methinks your words 
Fall not from off your tongue so evenly. 
Nor is there in your looks that quietness 
That I was wont to see. 

Phi. Thou art deceiv'd, boy : 

And she strokes thy head ? 

Bel. Yes. 

Phi. And she does clap thy cheeks? 

Bel. She does, my lord. 

Phi. And she does kiss thee, boy? ha! 

Bel. How, my lord? 

Phi. She kisses thee? 

Bel. Never, my lord, by heaven. 

Phi. That's strange; I know she does. 

Bel. No, by my life. 

Phi. Why then she does not love me. Come, she does. 
I bade her do it; I charg'd her, by all charms 
Of love between us, by the hope of peace 
We should enjoy, to yield thee all delights 
Naked as to her bed; I took her oath 



706 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Thou should'st enjoy her. Tell me, gentle boy, 
Is she not parallelless ? Is not her breath 
Sweet as Arabian winds when fruits are ripe? 
Are not her breasts two liquid ivory balls? 
Is she not all a lasting mine of joy? 

Bel. Ay, now I see why my disturbed thoughts 
Were so perplex'd. When first I went to her, 
My heart held augury. You are abus'd; 
Some villain has abus'd you; I do see 
Whereto you tend. Fall rocks upon his head 
That put this to you! 'Tis some subtle train 
To bring that noble frame of yours to nought. 

Phi. Thou think'st I will be angry with thee. Come, 
Thou shalt know all my drift. I hate her more 
Than I love happiness, and placed thee there 
To pry with narrow eyes into her deeds. 
Hast thou discovered? Is she fallen to lust, 
As I would wish her ? Speak some comfort to me. 

Bel. My lord, you did mistake the boy you sent. 
Had she the lust of sparrows or of goats. 
Had she a sin that way, hid from the world, 
Beyond the name of lust, I would not aid 
Her base desires; but what I came to know^ 
As servant to her, I would not reveal, 
To make my life last ages. 

Phi. Oh, my heart! 

This is a salve worse than the main disease. — 
Tell me thy thoughts; for I will know the least 
That dwells within thee, or will rip thy heart 
To know it. I will see' thy thoughts as plain 
As I do now thy face. 

Bel. Why, so you do. 

She is (for aught I know) by all the gods. 
As chaste as ice! But were she foul as hell, 
And I did know it thus, the breath of kings. 
The points of swords, tortures, nor bulls of brass, 
Should draw it from me. 

Phi. Then it is no time 



PHILASTER 707 

To dally with thee; I will take thy life, 
For I do hate thee. I could curse thee now. 

Bel. If you do hate, you could not curse me worse; 
The gods have not a punishment in store 
Greater for me than is your hate. 

Phi. Fie, fie, 

So young and so dissembling! Tell me when 
And where thou didst enjoy her, or let plagues 
Fall on me, if I destroy thee not! He draws his sword. 

Bel. By heaven, I never did; and when I lie 
To save my life, may I live long and loath'd! 
Hew me asunder, and, whilst I can think, 
I'll love those pieces you have cut away 
Better than those that grow, and kiss those limbs 
Because you made 'em so. 

Phi. Fear'st thou not death? 

Can boys contemn that? 

Bel, Oh, what boy is he 

Can be content to live to be a man. 
That sees the best of men thus passionate, 
Thus without reason? 

Phi. Oh, but thou dost not know 

What 'tis to die. 

Bel. Yes, I do know, my lord: 

'Tis less than to be born; a lasting sleep; 
A quiet resting from all jealousy, 
A thing we all pursue. I know, besides, 
It is but giving over of a game 
That must be lost. 

Phi. But there are pains, false boy, 

For perjur'd souls. Think but on those, and then 
Thy heart will melt, and thou wilt utter all. 

Bel. May they fall all upon me whilst I live, 
If I be perjur'd, or have ever thought 
Of that you charge me with! If I be false. 
Send me to suffer in those punishments 
You speak of; kill me! 

Phi. Oh, what should I do? 



708 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Why, who can but believe him? He does swear 
So earnestly, that if it were not true. 
The gods would not endure him. Rise, Bellario: 
Thy protestations are so deep, and thou 
Dost look so truly when thou utter'st them, 
That, though I know 'em false as were my hopes, 
I cannot urge thee further. But thou wert 
To blame to injure me, for I must love 
Thy honest looks, and take no revenge upon 
Thy tender youth. A love from me to thee 
Is firm, whate'er thou dost; it troubles me 
That I have call'd the blood out of thy cheeks, 
That did so well become thee. But, good boy. 
Let me not see thee more: something is done 
That will distract me, that will make me mad. 
If I behold thee. If thou tender'st me, 
Let me not see thee. 

Bel. I will fly as far 

As there is morning, ere I give distaste 
To that most honour'd mind. But through these tears, 
Shed at my hopeless parting, I can see 
A world of treason practis'd upon you. 
And her, and me. Farewell for evermore! 
If you shall hear that sorrow struck me dead. 
And after find me loyal, let there be 
A tear shed from you in my memory, 
And I shall rest at peace. Exit, 

Phi. Blessing be with thee, 

Whatever thou deserv'st! Oh, where shall I 
Go bathe this body? Nature too unkind; 
That made no medicine for a troubled mind! Exit. 

[Scene II. Arethusa's apartment in the palace^ 

Enter Arethusa 

Are. I marvel my boy comes not back again: 
But that I know my love will question him 



PHILASTER 709 

Over and over, — how I slept, wak'd, talk'd, 

How I rememb'red him when his dear name 

Was last spoke, and how when I sigh'd, wept, sung. 

And ten thousand such, — I should be angry at his stay. 

Enter King 

King. What, at your meditations! Who attends you? 

Are. None but my single self. I need no guard; 
I do no wrong, nor fear none. 

King. Tell me, have you not a boy? 

Are. Yes, sir. 

King. What kind of boy? 

Are. A page, a waiting-boy. 

King. A handsome boy? 

Are. I think he be not ugly : 

Well qualified and dutiful I know him; 
I took him not for beauty. 

King. He speaks and sings and plays? 

Are. Yes, sir. 

King. About eighteen? 

Are. I never ask'd his age. 

King. Is he full of service? 

Are. By your pardon, why do you ask? 

King. Put him away. 

Are. Sir! 

King. Put him away, I say. 
H'as done you that good service shames me to speak of. 

Are. Good sir, let me understand you. 

King. If you fear me, 

Show it in duty; put away that boy. 

Are. Let me have reason for it, sir, and then 
Your will is my command. 

King. Do not you blush to ask it? Cast him off. 
Or I shall do the same to you. You're one 
Shame with me, and so near unto myself, 
That, by my life, I dare not tell myself 
What you, myself, have done. 



7IO BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Are. What have I done, my lord? 

King. 'Tis a new language, that all love to learn: 
The common people speak it well already; 
They need no grammar. Understand me well; 
There be foul whispers stirring. Cast him off, 
And suddenly. Do it! Farewell. Exit. 

Are. Where may a maiden live securely free, 
Keeping her honour fair ? Not with the living. 
They feed upon opinions, errors, dreams, 
And make 'em truths; they draw a nourishment 
Out of defamings, grow upon disgraces. 
And, when they see a virtue fortified 
Strongly above the battery of their tongues, 
Oh, how they cast' to sink it! and, defeated, 
(Soul-sick with poison) strike the monuments 
Where noble names lie sleeping, till they sweat. 
And the cold marble melt. 

Enter Philaster 

Phi. Peace to your fairest thoughts, dearest mistress! 

Are. Oh, my dearest servant,' I have a war within me! 

Phi. He must be more than man that makes these crystals 
Run into rivers. Sweetest fair, the cause ? 
And, as I am your slave, tied to your goodness, 
Your creature, made again from what I was 
And newly-spirited, I'll right your honour. 

Are. Oh, my best love, that boy! 

Phi. What boy? 

Are. The pretty boy you gave me 

Phi. What of him? 

Are. Must be no more mine. 

Phi. Why? 

Are. They are jealous of him. 

Phi. Jealous! Who? 

Are. The King. 

' Plan. * Lover. 



PHILASTER 711 

Phi. [Aside.] Oh, my misfortune! 

Then 'tis no idle jealousy. — ^Let him go. 

Are. Oh, cruel! 
Are you hard-hearted too? Who shall now tell you 
How much I lov'd you ? Who shall swear it to you. 
And weep the tears I send ? Who shall now bring you 
Letters, rings, bracelets? Lose his health in service? 
Wake tedious nights in stories of your praise? 
Who shall now sing your crying elegies, 
And strike a sad soul into senseless pictures, 
And make them mourn? Who shall take up his lute, 
And touch it till he crown a silent sleep 
Upon my eye-lids, making me dream, and cry, 
"Oh, my dear, dear Philaster!" 

Phi. [Aside.] Oh, my heart! 

Would he had broken thee, that made me know 
This lady was not loyal! — Mistress, 
Forget the boy; I'll get thee a far better. 

Are. Oh, never, never such a boy again 
As my Bellario! 

Phi. 'Tis but your fond affection. 

Are. With thee, my boy, farewell for ever 
All secrecy in servants! Farewell faith. 
And all desire to do well for itself I 
Let all that shall succeed thee for thy wrongs 
Sell and betray chaste love! 

Phi. And all this passion for a boy ? 

Are. He was your boy, and you put him to me, 
And the loss of such must have a mourning for. 

Phi. Oh, thou forgetful woman! 

Are. How, my lord? 

Phi. False Arethusa! 
Hast thou a medicine to restore my wits, 
When I have lost 'em? If not, leave to talk. 
And do thus. 

Are. Do what, sir? Would you sleep? 



712 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Phi. For ever, Arethusa. Oh, you gods, 
Give me a worthy patience! Have I stood 
Naked, alone, the shock of many fortunes ? 
Have I seen mischiefs numberless and mighty 
Grow like a sea upon me ? Have I taken 
Danger as stern as death into my bosom. 
And laugh'd upon it, made it but a mirth. 
And flung it by ? Do I live now like him, 
Under this tyrant King, that languishing 
Hears his sad bell and sees his mourners ? Do I 
Bear all this bravely, and must sink at length 
Under a woman's falsehood? Oh, that boy, 
That cursed boy! None but a villain boy 
To ease your lust ? 

Are. Nay, then, I am betrayed: 

I feel the plot cast for my overthrow. 
Oh, I am wretched! 

Phi. Now you may take that little right I have 
To this poor kingdom. Give it to your joy; 
For I have no joy in it. Some far place. 
Where never womankind durst set her foot 
For^ bursting with her poisons, must I seek. 
And live to curse you; 

There dig a cave, and preach to birds and beasts 
What woman is, and help to save them from you; 
How heaven is in your eyes, but in your hearts 
More hell than hell has; how your tongues, like scorpions, 
Both heal and poison;^ how your thoughts are woven 
With thousand changes in one subtle web. 
And worn so by you; how that foolish man, 
That reads the story of a woman's face 
And dies believing it, is lost for ever; 
How all the good you have is but a shadow, 
r the morning with you, and at night behind you, 
Past and forgotten; how your vows are frosts, 

' For fear of. 

*It was believed that scorpions, applied to the wound they made, cured it. 



PHILASTER 713 

Fast for a night, and with the next sun gone; 

How you are, being taken all together, 

A mere confusion, and so dead a chaos, 

That love cannot distinguish. These sad texts, 

Till my last hour, I am bound to utter of you. 

So, farewell all my woe, all my delight! Exit. 

Are. Be merciful, ye gods, and strike me dead! 
What way have I deserv'd this ? Make my breast 
Transparent as pure crystal, that the world, 
Jealous of me, may see the foulest thought 
My heart holds. Where shall a woman turn her eyes. 
To find out constancy } 

Enter Bellario 

Save me, how black 
And guiltily, methinks, that boy looks now! 
Oh, thou dissembler, that, before thou spak'st, 
Wert in thy cradle false, sent to make lies 
And betray innocents! Thy lord and thou 
May glory in the ashes of a maid 
Fool'd by her passion; but the conquest is 
Nothing so great as wicked. Fly away! 
Let my command force thee to that which shame 
Would do without it. If thou understood'st 
The loathed office thou hast undergone. 
Why, thou wouldst hide thee under heaps of hills. 
Lest men should dig and find thee, 

Bel. Oh, what god. 

Angry with men, hath sent this strange disease 
Into the noblest minds! Madam, this grief 
You add unto me is no more than drops 
To seas, for which they are not seen to swell. 
My lord hath struck his anger through my heart. 
And let out all the hope of future joys. 
You need not bid me fly; I came to part. 
To take my latest leave. Farewell for ever! 
I durst not run away in honesty 



714 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

From such a lady, like a boy that stole 

Or made some grievous fault. The power of gods 

Assist you in your sufferings! Hasty time 

Reveal the truth to your abused lord 

And mine, that he may know your worth ; whilst I 

Go seek out some forgotten place to die! Exit. 

Are. Peace guide thee! Thou hast overthrown me once; 
Yet, if I had another Troy to lose, 
Thou, or another villain with thy looks. 
Might talk me out of it, and send me naked, 
My hair dishevell'd, through the fiery streets. 

Enter a Lady 

Lady. Madam, the King would hunt, and calls for you 
With earnestness. 

Are. I am in tune to hunt! 

Diana, if thou canst rage with a maid 
As with a man,^ let me discover thee 
Bathing, and turn me to a fearful hind. 
That I may die pursued by cruel hounds, 
And have my story written in my wounds! Exeunt. 

ACT THE FOURTH 

Scene I. [Before the palace] 

Enter King, Pharamond, Arethusa, Galatea, Megra, Dion, 
Cleremont, Thrasiline, and Attendants 

King. What, are the hounds before and all the woodmen, 
Our horses ready and our bows bent ? 

Dion. All, sir. 

King [to Pharamond.] You are cloudy, sir. Come, we have for- 
gotten 
Your venial trespass; let not that sit heavy 
Upon your spirit; here's none dare utter it. 

Dion. He looks like an old surfeited stallion, dull as a dormouse. 

See how he sinks! 

' Acteon. 



PHILASTER 715 

Thra. He needs no teaching, he strikes sure enough. His greatest 
fault is, he hunts too much in the purlieus; would he would leave 
off poaching! 

Dion. And for his horn, h'as left it at the lodge where he lay late. 
Oh, he's a precious limehound! ' Turn him loose upon the pursuit 
of a lady, and if he lose her, hang him up i' the slip. When my fox- 
bitch Beauty grows proud, I'll borrow him. 

King. Is your boy turn'd away ? 

Are. You did command, sir, and I obey'd you. 

King. 'Tis well done. Hark ye further. [They taU{^ apart.] 

Cle. Is't possible this fellow should repent? Methinks, that were 
not noble in him; and yet he looks like a mortified member, as if he 
had a sick man's salve^ in's mouth. If a worse man had done this 
fault now, some physical' justice or other would presently (without 
the help of an almanack*) have opened the obstructions of his liver, 
and let him blood with a dog-whip. 

Dion. See, see how modestly yon lady looks, as if she came from 
churching with her neighbour! Why, what a devil can a man see in 
her face but that she's honest! ' 

Thra. Faith, no great matter to speak of; a foolish twinkling with 
the eye, that spoils her coat;' but he must be a cunning herald that 
finds it. 

Dion. See how they muster one another! Oh, there's a rank 
regiment where the devil carries the colours and his dam drum- 
major! Now the world and the flesh come behind with the car- 
riage.' 

Cle. Sure this lady has a good turn done her against her will; 
before she was common talk, now none dare say cantharides* can 
stir her. Her face looks like a warrant, willing and commanding all 
tongues, as they will answer it, to be tied up and bolted when this 
lady means to let herself loose. As I live, she has got her a goodly 
protection and a gracious; and may use her body discreetly for her 
health's sake, once a week, excepting Lent and dog-days. Oh, if they 

'A hunting dog. Lyme = leash. ^ An allusion to a religious work, Thomas 
Bacon's "The Sicke Man's Salve," 1561. 'Acting as a doctor. 

* AInnanacs gave the proper seasons for blood-letting. ^ Chaste. 

* Coat of arms. Mason explains that the reference is to the introduction of stars 
into a coat of arms, denoting a younger branch. ' Baggage. ' Spanish fly, used as 
a provocative. 



71 6 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

were to be got for money, what a great sum would come out of the 
city for these Hcences! 
King. To horse, to horse! we lose the morning, gentlemen. 

Exeunt. 

[Scene II. A forest] 

Enter two Woodmen 

I St Wood. What, have you lodged the deer } 

2nd Wood. Yes, they are ready for the bow. 

I St Wood. Who shoots ? 

2nd Wood. The princess. 

ist Wood. No, she'll hunt. 

2nd Wood. She'll take a stand, I say. 

ist Wood. Who else ? 

2nd Wood. Why, the young stranger-prince. 

ist Wood. He shall shoot in a stone-bow' for me. I never lov'd his 
beyond-sea-ship since he forsook the say,^ for paying ten shillings. 
He was there at the fall of a deer, and would needs (out of his mighti- 
ness) give ten groats for the dowcets; marry, his steward would have 
the velvet-head' into the bargain, to turf* his hat withal. I think he 
should love venery; he is an old Sir Tristrem; for, if you be remem- 
b'red, he forsook the stag once to strike a rascaP miching^ in a 
meadow, and her he killed in the eye. Who shoots else? 

2nd Wood. The Lady Galatea. 

1st Wood. That's a good wench. She's liberal, and, by the Gods, 
they say she's honest, and whether that be a fault, I have nothing 
to do. There's all? 

2nd Wood. No, one more; Megra. 

ist Wood. That's a firker,^ i'faith, boy. There's a wench will ride 
her haunches as hard after a kennel of hounds as a hunting saddle, 
and when she comes home, get 'em clapt, and all is well again. I 
have known her lose herself three times in one afternoon (if the 
woods have been answerable) ^ and it has been work enough for one 

* With a cross-bow for shooting stones. ^ The assay or slitting of the deer, in 
order to test the quality of the flesh, which involved a fee of ten shillings to the keeper. 
' The hart's horns, which are covered with velvet pile when new. ^ Re-cover. 
' A lean doe. ^ Creeping stealthily. ''' A fast one. * Suitable. 



PHILASTER 717 

man to find her, and he has sweat for it. She rides well and she pays 
well. Hark! let's go. Exeunt. 

Enter Philaster 

Phi. Oh, that I had been nourish'd in these woods 
With milk of goats and acorns, and not known 
The right of crowns nor the dissembling trains 
Of women's looks; but digg'd myself a cave. 
Where I, my fire, my cattle, and my bed. 
Might have been shut together in one shed; 
And then had taken me some mountain-girl. 
Beaten with winds, chaste as the hard'ned rocks 
Whereon she dwelt, that might have strewed my bed 
With leaves and reeds, and with the skins of beasts, 
Our neighbours, and have borne at her big breasts 
My large coarse issue! This had been a life 
Free from vexation. 

Enter Bellario 

Bel. Oh, wicked men! 

An innocent may walk safe among beasts; 
Nothing assaults me here. See, my griev'd lord 
Sits as his soul were searching out a way 
To leave his body! — Pardon me, that must 
Break thy last commandment; for I must speak. 
You that are griev'd can pity; hear, my lord! 

Phi. Is there a creature yet so miserable, 
That I can pity ? 

Bel. Oh, my noble lord. 

View my strange fortune, and bestow on me, 
According to your bounty (if my service 
Can merit nothing), so much as may serve 
To keep that little piece I hold of life 
From cold and hunger! 

Phi. Is it thou? Begone! 

Go, sell those misbeseeming clothes thou wear'st. 
And feed thyself with them. 



7l8 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Bel. Alas, my lord, I can get nothing for them! 
The silly country-people think 'tis treason 
To touch such gay things. 

Phi. Now, by the gods, this is 

Unkindly done, to vex me with thy sight. 
Thou'rt fallen again to thy dissembling trade; 
How shouldst thou think to cozen me again? 
Remains there yet a plague untried for me ? 
Even so thou wept'st, and looked'st, and spok'st when first 
I took thee up. 

Curse on the time! If thy commanding tears 
Can work on any other, use thy art; 
I'll not betray it. Which way wilt thou take. 
That I may shun thee, for thine eyes are poison 
To mine, and I am loath to grow in rage; 
This way, or that way ? 

Bel. Any will serve; but I will choose to have 
That path in chase that leads unto my grave. Exeunt severally. 

Enter [on one side] Dion, and [on the other] the two Woodmen 

Dion. This is the strangest sudden chance! — ^You, woodmen! 

I St Wood. My lord Dion ? 

Dion. Saw you a lady come this way on a sable horse studded 

with stars of white? 
2nd Wood. Was she not young and tall ? 
Dion. Yes. Rode she to the wood or to the plain ? 
2nd Wood. Faith, my lord, we saw none. Exeunt Woodmen. 

Dion. Pox of your questions then! 

Enter Cleremont 

What, is she found? 

Cle. Nor will be, I think. 

Dion. Let him seek his daughter himself. She cannot stray about 
a little necessary natural business, but the whole court must be in 
arms. When she has done, we shall have peace. 

Cle. There's already a thousand fatherless tales amongst us. Some 



PHIL ASTER 719 

say, her horse ran away with her; some, a wolf pursued her; others, 
'twas a plot to kill her, and that arm'd men were seen in the wood: 
but questionless she rode away willingly. 

Enter King, and Thrasiline 

King. Where is she? 

Cle, Sir, I cannot tell. 

King. How's that.? 

Answer me so again! 

Cle. Sir, shall I lie.? 

King. Yes, lie and damn, rather than tell me that. 
I say again, where is she.? Mutter not! — 
Sir, speak you; where is she.? 

Dion. Sir, I do not know. 

King. Speak that again so boldly, and, by Heaven, 
It is thy last! — ^You, fellows, answer me; 
Where is she.? Mark me, all; I am your King: 
I wish to see my daughter; show her me; 
I do command you all, as you are subjects, 
To show her me! What! am I not your King? 
If ay, then am I not to be obeyed .? 

Dion. Yes, if you command things possible and honest. 

King. Things possible and honest! Hear me, thou, — 
Thou traitor, that dar'st confine thy King to things 
Possible and honest! Show her me, 
Or, let me perish, if I cover not 
All Sicily with blood! 

Dion. Faith, I cannot, 

Unless you tell me where she is. 

King. You have betray'd me; you have let me lose 
The jewel of my life. Go, bring her to me. 
And set her here before me. 'Tis the King 
Will have it so; whose breath can still the winds, 
Uncloud the sun, charm down the swelling sea. 
And stop the floods of heaven. Speak, can it not ? 

Dion. No. 



720 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

King. No! cannot the breath of kings do this? 

Dion. No; nor smell sweet itself, if once the lungs 
Be but corrupted. 

King. Is it so? Take heed! 

Dion. Sir, take you heed how you dare the powers 
That must be just. 

King. Alas! what are we kings! 

Why do you gods place us above the rest, 
To be serv'd, flatter'd, and ador'd, till we 
BeUeve we hold within our hands your thunder ? 
And when we come to try the power we have. 
There's not a leaf shakes at our threatenings. 
I have sinn'd, 'tis true, and here stand to be punish'd; 
Yet would not thus be punish'd. Let me choose 
My way, and lay it on ! 

Dion. {Aside.] He articles with the gods. Would somebody 
would draw bonds for the performance of covenants betwixt 
them! 

Enter Pharamond, Galatea, and Megra 

King. What, is she found? 

Pha. No; we have ta'en her horse; 

He gallop'd empty by. There is some treason. 
You, Galatea, rode with her into the wood; 
Why left you her ? 

Gal. She did command me. 

King. Command! you should not. 

Gal. 'Twould ill become my fortunes and my birth 
To disobey the daughter of my King. 

King. You're all cunning to obey us for our hurt; 
But I will have her. 

Pha. If I have her not, 

By this hand, there shall be no more Sicily. 

Dion. [Aside.'] What, will he carry it to Spain in's pocket? 

Pha. I will not leave one man alive, but the King, 
A cook, and a tailor. 

King. [Aside.] I see the injuries I have done must be reveng'd. 



PHILASTER 721 

Dion. Sir, this is not the way to find her out. 
King. Run all, disperse yourselves. The man that finds her, 
Or (if she be kill'd) the traitor, I'll make him great. 
Dion. I know some would give five thousand pounds to find her. 
Pha. Cbme, let us seek. 
King. Each man a several way; here I myself. 
Dion. Come, gentlemen, we here. 
Cle. Lady, you must go search too. 
Meg. I had rather be search'd myself. Exeunt [seferally]. 

[Scene III. Another part of the forest] 
Enter Arethusa 

Are. Where am I now? Feet, find me out a way. 
Without the counsel of my troubled head. 
I'll follow you boldly about these woods. 
O'er mountains, thorough brambles, pits, and floods. 
Heaven, I hope, will ease me: I am sick. 5//^ down. 

Enter Bellario 

Bel. Yonder's my lady. God knows I want nothing. 
Because I do not wish to live; yet I 

Will try her charity. [Aside.] — Oh hear, you that have plenty! 
From that flowing store drop some on dry ground. — See, 
The lively red is gone to guard her heart! 
I fear she faints. — Madam, look up! — She breathes not. — 
Open once more those rosy twins, and send 
Unto my lord your latest farewell! — Oh, she stirs. — 
How is it, madam? speak comfort. 

Are. 'Tis not gently done, 

To put me in a miserable life. 
And hold me there. I prithee, let me go; 
I shall do best without thee; I am well. 

Enter Phil aster 

Phi. I am to blame to be so much in rage. 
I'll tell her coolly when and where I heard 



722 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

This killing truth. I will be temperate 

In speaking, and as just in hearing. 

Oh, monstrous! Tempt me not, you gods! good gods, 
Tempt me not a frail man! What's he, that has a heart, 
But he must ease it here! 

Bel. My lord, help, help! The princess! 

Are. I am well: forbear. 

Phi. [Aside.] Let me love lightning, let me be embrac'd 
And kiss'd by scorpions, or adore the eyes 
Of basilisks, rather than trust the tongues 
Of heU-bred women! Some good god look down. 
And shrink these veins up! Stick me here a stone 
Lasting to ages in the memory 
Of this damn'd act! — Hear me, you wicked ones! 
You have put hills of fire into this breast. 
Not to be quench'd with tears; for which may guilt 
Sit on your bosoms! At your meals and beds 
Despair await you! What, before my face? 
Poison of asps between your lips! Diseases 
Be your best issues! Nature make a curse, 
And throw it on you! 

Are. Dear Philaster, leave 

To be enrag'd, and hear me. 

Phi. I have done; 

Forgive my passion. Not the calmed sea. 
When iEolus locks up his windy brood, 
Is less disturb'd than I. I'll make you know 't. 
Dear Arethusa, do but take this sword, Offers his drawn sword. 
And search how temperate a heart I have; 
Then you and this your boy may live and reign 
In lust without control. — Wilt thou, Bellario ? 
I prithee kill me; thou art poor, and may'st 
Nourish ambitious thoughts; when I am dead. 
Thy way were freer. Am I raging now ? 
If I were mad, I should desire to live. 
Sirs,' feel my pulse, whether you have known 

' Formerly used to women as well as to men. 



PHILASTER 723 

A man in a more equal tune to die. 

Bel. Alas, my lord, your pulse keeps madman's time! 
So does your tongue. 

Phi. You will not kill me, then.'' 

Are. Kill you! 

Bel. Not for the world. 

Phi. I blame not thee, 

Bellario; thou hast done but that which gods 
Would have transform'd themselves to do. Be gone, 
Leave me without reply; this is the last 

Of all our meetings — Exit Bellario. Kill me with this sword; 
Be wise, or worse will follow: we are two 
Earth cannot bear at once. Resolve to do. 
Or suffer. 

Are. If my fortune be so good to let me fall 
Upon thy hand, I shall have peace in death. 
Yet tell me this, will there be no slanders. 
No jealousy in the other world; no ill there.? 

Phi. No. 

Are. Show me, then, the way. 

Phi. Then guide my feeble hand, 
You that have power to do it, for I must 
Perform a piece of justice! — If your youth 
Have any way offended Heaven, let prayers 
Short and effectual reconcile you to it. 

Are. I am prepared. 

Enter a Country Fellow 

C. Fell. I'll see the King, if he be in the forest; I have hunted him 
these two hours. If I should come home and not see him, my 
sisters would laugh at me. I can see nothing but people better 
hors'd than myself, that out-ride me; I can hear nothing but shout- 
ing. These kings had need of good brains; this whooping is able 
to put a mean man out of his wits. There's a courtier with his 
sword drawn; by this hand, upon a woman, I think! 

Phi. Are you at peace ? 

Are. With heaven and earth. 



724 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Phi. May they divide thy soul and body! Wounds her. 

C. Fell. Hold, dastard! strike a woman! Thou'rt a craven, I 
warrant thee; thou wouldst be loth to play half a dozen venies^ at 
wasters^ with a good fellow for a broken head. 

Phi. Leave us, good friend. 

Are. What ill-bred man art thou, to intrude thyself 
Upon our private sports, our recreation? 

C. Fell. God 'uds* me, I understand you not; but 
I know the rogue has hurt you. 

Phi. Pursue thy own affairs: it will be ill 
To multiply blood upon my head; which thou 
Wilt force me to. 

C. Fell. I know not your rhetoric; but I can lay it on, if you touch 
the woman. 

Phi. Slave, take what thou deservest! They fight. 

Are. Heavens guard my lord! 

C. Fell. Oh, do you breathe? 

Phi. I hear the tread of people. I am hurt. 
The gods take part against me: could this boor 
Have held me thus else ? I must shift for life. 
Though I do loathe it. I would find a course 
To lose it rather by my will than force. Exit. 

C. Fell. I cannot follow the rogue. I pray thee, wench, come and 
kiss me now. 

Enter Pharamond, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, and 
Woodmen 

Pha. What art thou? 

C. Fell. Almost kill'd I am for a foolish woman; a knave has 
hurt her. 

Pha. The princess, gentlemen! — Where's the wound, madam! Is 
it dangerous? 

Are. He has not hurt me. 

C. Fell. By God, she lies; h'as hurt her in the breast; 
Look else. 

2 Bouts. ' Cudgels. * God judge. 



PHILASTER 725 

Pha. O, sacred spring of innocent blood! 

Dion. 'Tis above wonder! Who should dare this? 

Are. I felt it not. 

Pha. Speak, villain, who has hurt the princess? 

C. Fell. Is it the princess? 

Dion. Ay. 

C. Fell. Then I have seen something yet. 

Pha. But who has hurt her ? 

C. Fell. I told you, a rogue; I ne'er saw him before, I. 

Pha. Madam, who did it? 

Are. Some dishonest wretch; 

Alas, I know him not, and do forgive him! 

C. Fell. He's hurt too; he cannot go far; I made my father's old 
fox* fly about his ears. 

Pha. How will you have me kill him ? 

Are. Not at all; 'tis some distracted fellow. 

Pha. By this hand, I'll leave ne'er a piece of him bigger than a 
nut, and bring him all to you in my hat. 

Are. Nay, good sir. 
If you do take him, bring him quick' to me, 
And I will study for a punishment 
Great as his fault. 

Pha. I will. 

Are, But swear. 

Pha. By all my love, I will. 

Woodmen, conduct the princess to the King, 

And bear that wounded fellow to dressing. 

Come, gentlemen, we'll follow the chase close. 
Exeunt {on one side\ Pharamond, Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasi- 
line; [exit on the other] Arethusa [attended by the] First 
Woodman. 

C. Fell. I pray you, friend, let me see the King. 

2nd Wood. That you shall, and receive thanks. 

C. Fell. If I get clear with this, I'll go see no more gay sights. 

Exeunt. 
' Broad sword. ' Alive. 



726 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

[Scene IV. Another part of the forest^ 

Enter Bellario 

Bel. A heaviness near death sits on my brow. 
And I must sleep. Bear me, thou gentle bank. 
For ever, if thou wilt. You sweet ones all, {Lies down.] 

Let me unworthy press you; I could wish 
I rather were a corse strew'd o'er with you 
Than quick above you. Dulness' shuts mine eyes. 
And I am giddy : oh, that I could take 
So sound a sleep that I might never wake! ^Sleeps.] 

Enter Philaster 

Phi. I have done ill; my conscience calls me false, 
To strike at her that would not strike at me. 
When I did fight, methought I heard her pray 
The gods to guard me. She may be abus'd, 
And I a loathed villain; if she be, 
She will conceal who hurt her. He has wounds 
And cannot follow; neither knows he me. 
Who's this? Bellario sleeping! If thou be'st 
Guilty, there is no justice that thy sleep 
Should be so sound, and mine, whom thou hast wrong'd. 
So broken. Cry within. Hark! I am pursued. You gods 
I'll take this ofler'd means of my escape. 
They have no mark to know me but my blood. 
If she be true; if false, let mischief light 
On all the world at once! Sword, print my wounds 
Upon this sleeping boy! I ha' none, I think, 
Are mortal, nor would I lay greater on thee. Wounds Bellario. 

Bel. Oh, death, I hope, is come! Blest be that hand! 
It meant me well. Again, for pity's sake! 

Phi. I have caught myself; Falls, 

The loss of blood hath stay'd my flight. Here, here. 
Is he that struck thee: take thy full revenge; 

' sleepiness. 



PHILASTER 727 

Use me, as I did mean thee, worse than death; 
I'll teach thee to revenge. This luckless hand 
Wounded the princess; tell my followers^ 
Thou didst receive these hurts in staying me. 
And I will second thee; get a reward. 

Bel. Fly, fly, my lord, and save yourself I 

Phi. How's this.? 

Wouldst thou I should be safe? 

Bel. Else were it vain 

For me to live. These little wounds I have 
Ha' not bled much. Reach me that noble hand; 
I'll help to cover you. 

Phi.. Art thou then true tome? 

Bel. Or let me perish loath'd! Come, my good lord, 
Creep in amongst those bushes; who does know 
But that the gods may save your much-lov'd breath? 

Phi. Then I shall die for grief, if not for this, 
That I have wounded thee. What wilt thou do? 

Bel. Shift for myself well. Peace! I hear 'eih come. 

[Philaster creeps into a bush.] 
[Voices] within. Follow, follow, follow! that way they went. 

Bel. With my own wounds I'll bloody my own sword. 
I need not counterfeit to fall; Heaven knows 
That I can stand no longer. Falls. 

Enter Pharamond, Dion, Cleremont, and Theasiline 

Pha. To this place we have track'd him by his blood. 

Cle. Yonder, my lord, creeps one away. 

Dion. Stay, sir! what are you? 

Bel. A wretched creature, wounded in these woods 
By beasts. Relieve me, if your names be men, 
Or I shall perish. 

Dion. This is he, my lord. 

Upon my soul, that hurt her. 'Tis the boy, 
That wicked boy, that serv'd her. 

Pha, Oh, thou damn'd 

^ Pursuers. 



728 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

In thy creation! What cause couldst thou shape 
To hurt the princess? 

Bel. Then I am betrayed. 

Dion. Betrayed! No, apprehended. 

Bel. I confess, 

(Urge it no more) that, big with evil thoughts 
I set upon her, and did take my aim, 
Her death. For charity let fall at once 
The punishment you mean, and do not load 
This weary flesh with tortures. 

Pha.. I will know 

Who hir'd thee to this deed. 

Bel. Mine own revenge. 

Pha. Revenge! for what? 

Bel. It pleas'd her to receive 

Me as her page, and, when my fortunes ebb'd. 
That men strid o'er them careless, she did shower 
Her welcome graces on me, and did swell 
My fortunes till they overflow'd their banks, 
Threat'ning the men that crossed 'em; when, as swift 
As storms arise at sea, she turn'd her eyes 
To burning suns upon me, and did dry 
The streams she had bestow'd, leaving me worse 
And more contemn'd than other little brooks. 
Because I had been great. In short, I knew 
I could not live, and therefore did desire 
To die reveng'd. 

Pha. If tortures can be found 

Long as thy natural life, resolve to feel 
The utmost rigour. 

Cle. Help to lead him hence. 

Philaster creeps out of the bush. 

Phi. Turn back, you ravishers of innocence! 
Know ye the price of that you bear away 
So rudely? 

Pha. Who's that? 

Dion. 'Tis the Lord Philaster. 



PHILASTER 729 

Phi. 'Tis not the treasure of all kings in one, 
The wealth of Tagus, nor the rocks of pearl 
That pave the court of Neptune, can weigh down 
That virtue. It was I that hurt the princess. 
Place me, some god, upon a pyramis' 
Higher than hills of earth, and lend a voice 
Loiid as your thunder to me, that from thence 
I may discourse to all the under-world 
The worth that dwells in him! 

Pha. How's this? 

Bel. My lord, some man 

Weary of life, that would be glad to die. 

Phi. Leave these untimely courtesies, Bellario. 

Bel. Alas, he's mad! Come, will you lead me on? 

Phi. By all the oaths that men ought most to keep, 
And gods to punish most when men do break, 
He touch'd her not. — Take heed, Bellario, 
How thou dost drown the virtues thou hast shown 
With perjury. — By all that's good, 'twas I! 
You know she stood betwixt me and my right. 

Pha. Thy own tongue be thy judge! 

Cle. It was Philaster. 

Dion. Is't not a brave boy? 
Well, sirs, I fear me we were all deceived. 

Phi. Have I no friend here? 

Dion. Yes. 

Phi. Then show it: some 

Good body lend a hand to draw us nearer. 
Would you have tears shed for you when you die? 
Then lay me gently ori his neck, that there 
I may weep floods and breathe forth my spirit. 
'Tis not the wealth of Plutus, nor the gold [Embraces Bel.] 

Lock'd in the heart of earth, can buy away 
This arm-full from me; this had been a ransom 
To have redeemed the Great Augustus Caesar, 
Had he been taken. You hard-hearted men, 

* Pyramid. 



730 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

More stony than these mountains, can you see 
Such clear pure blood drop, and not cut your flesh 
To stop his life, to bind whose bitter wounds, 
Queens ought to tear their hair, and with their tears 
Bathe 'em ?— Forgive me, thou that art the wealth 
Of poor Philaster! 

Enter King, Arethusa, and Guard 

King. Is the villain ta'en? 

Pha. Sir, here be two confess the deed; but sure 
It was Philaster. 

Phi. Question it no more; 

It was. 

King. The fellow that did fight with him, 
Will tell us that. 

Are. Aye me! I know he will. 

King. Did not you know him? 

Are. Sir, if it was he, 

He was disguis'd. 

Phi. I was so. Oh, my stars. 

That I should live still. Aside. 

King. Thou ambitious fool, 

Thou that hast laid a train for thy own life! — 
Now I do mean to do, I'll leave to talk. 
Bear them to prison. 

Are. Sir, they did plot together to take hence 
This harmless life; should it pass unreveng'd, 
I should to earth go weeping. Grant me, then. 
By all the love a father bears his child. 
Their custodies, and that I may appoint 
Their tortures and their deaths. 

Dion. Death! Soft; our law will not reach that for this fault. 

King. 'Tis granted; take 'em to you with a guard. — 
Come, princely Pharamond, this business past, 
We may with more security go on 
To your intended match. 

\Exeunt all except Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline.] 



PHILASTER 731 

Cle. I pray that this action lose not Philaster the hearts of the 
people. 
Dion. Fear it not; their over-wise heads will think it but a trick. 

Exeunt. 

ACT THE FIFTH 
Scene I. [Before the palace] 

Enter Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline 

Thru. Has the King sent for him to death? 

Dion. Yes; but the King must know 'tis not in his power to war 
with Heaven. 

Cle. We linger time; the King sent for Philaster and the heads- 
man an hour ago. 

Thru. Are all his wounds well.? 

Dion. All; they were but scratches; but the loss of blood made 
him faint. 

Cle. We dally, gentlemen. 

Thra. Away! 

Dion. We'll scufHe hard before he perish. Exeunt. 

[Scene II. A prison] 

Enter Philaster, Arethusa, and Bellario 

Are. Nay, dear Philaster, grieve not; we are well. 

Bel. Nay, good my lord, forbear; we are wondrous well. 

Phi. Oh, Arethusa, oh, Bellario, 
Leave to be kind! 

I shall be shut from Heaven, as now from earth. 
If you continue so. I am a man 
False to a pair of the most trusty ones 
That ever earth bore; can it bear us all? 
Forgive, and leave me. But the King hath sent 
To call me to my death : oh, shew it me. 
And then forget me! And for thee, my boy, 
I shall deliver words will mollify 



732 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

The hearts of beasts to spare thy innocence. 

Bel. Alas, my lord, my life is not a thing 
Worthy your noble thoughts! 'Tis not a life, 
'Tis but a piece of childhood thrown away. 
Should I outlive you, I should then outlive 
Virtue and honour; and when that day comes, 
If ever I shall close these eyes but once, 
May I live spotted for my perjury. 
And waste my limbs to nothing! 

Are. And I (the wof ul'st maid that ever was, 
Forc'd with my hands to bring my lord to death) 
Do by the honour of a virgin swear 
To tell no hours beyond it! 

Phi. Make me not hated so. 

Are. Come from this prison all joyful to our deaths! 

Phi. People will tear me, when they find you true 
To such a wretch as I; I shall die loath'd. 
Enjoy your kingdoms peaceably, whilst I 
For ever sleep forgotten with my faults. 
Every just servant, every maid in love. 
Will have a piece of me, if you be true. 

Are. My dear lord, say not so. 

Bel. A piece of you! 

He was not born of woman that can cut 
It and look on. 

Phi. Take me in tears betwixt you, for my heart 
Will break with shame and sorrow. 

Are. Why, 'tis well. 

Bel. Lament no more. 

Phi. Why, what would you have done 

If you had wrong'd me basely, and had found 
Your' life no price compared to mine?' For love, sirs. 
Deal with me truly. 

Bel. 'Twas mistaken, sir. 

Phi. Why, if it were ? 

Bel. Then, sir, we would have ask'd 

' Mason conj . Quartos, folio my . . . yours. 



PHILASTER 733 

You pardon. 
Phi. And have hope to enjoy it? 

Are. Enjoy it! ay. 

Phi. Would you indeed? be plain. 

Bel. We would, my lord. 
Phi. Forgive me, then. 

Are. So, so. 

Bel. 'Tis as it should be now. 
Phi. Lead to my death. Exeunt. 

[Scene III. A state-room in the palace} 

Enter King, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, \and Attendants] 

King. Gentlemen, who saw the prince? 

Cle. So please you, sir, he's gone to see the city 
And the new platform, with some gentlemen 
Attending on him. 

King. Is the princess ready 

To bring her prisoner out? 

Thra. She waits your grace. 

King. Tell her we stay. Exit Thrasiline. 

Dion. [Aside.] King, you may be deceiv'd yet. 

The head you aim at cost more setting on 
Than to be lost so lightly. If it must off, — 
Like a wild overflow, that swoops before him 
A golden stack, and with it shakes down bridges, 
Cracks the strong hearts of pines, whose cable-roots 
Held out a thousand storms, a thousand thunders, 
And, so made mightier, takes whole villages 
Upon his back, and in that heat of pride 
Charges strong towns, towers, castles, palaces, 
And lays them desolate; so shall thy head. 
Thy noble head, bury the lives of thousands, 
That must bleed with thee like a sacrifice, 
In thy red ruins. 



734 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Enter Arethusa, Philaster, Bellario in a robe and garland, [and 

Thrasiline.] 

King. How now? What masque is this? 

Bel. Right royal sir, I should 
Sing you an epithalamion of these lovers, 
But having lost my best airs with my fortunes, 
And wanting a celestial harp to strike 
This blessed union on, thus in glad story 
I give you all. These two fair cedar-branches 
The noblest of the mountain where they grew, 
Straightest and tallest, under whose still shades 
The worthier beasts have made their lairs, and slept 
Free from the fervour of the Sirian star 
And the fell thunder-stroke, free from the clouds, 
When they were big with humour, and deliver'd. 
In thousand spouts their issues to the earth; 
Oh, there was none but silent quiet there! 
Till never-pleased Fortune shot up shrubs. 
Base under-brambles, to. divorce these branches; 
And for a while they did so, and did reign 
Over the mountain, and choke up his beauty 
With brakes, rude thorns and thistles, till the sun 
Scorch'd them even to the roots and dried them there. 
And now a gentle gale hath blown again. 
That made these branches meet and twine together. 
Never to be divided. The god that sings 
His holy numbers over marriage-beds 
Hath knit their noble hearts; and here they stand 
Your children, mighty King: and I have done. 

King. How, how ? 

Are. Sir, if you love it in plain truth, 

(For now there is no masquing in't,) this gentleman, 
The prisoner that you gave me, is become 
My keeper, and through all the bitter throes 
Your jealousies and his ill fate have wrought him. 
Thus nobly hath he struggled, and at length 



PHIL ASTER 735 

Arrived here my dear husband. 

King. Your dear husband! — 

Call in the Captain of the Citadel. — 
There you shall keep your wedding. I'll provide 
A masque shall make your Hymen turn his saffron 
Into a sullen coat, and sing sad requiems 
To your departing souls. 
Blood shall put out your torches; and, instead 
Of gaudy flowers about your wanton necks. 
An axe shall hang, like a prodigious meteor. 
Ready to crop your loves' sweets. Hear, you gods! 
From this time do I shake all title off 
Of father to this woman, this base woman; 
And what there is of vengeance in a lion 
Chaf'd among dogs or robb'd of his dear young, 
The same, enforc'd more terrible, more mighty, 
Expect from me! 

Are. Sir, by that little life I have left to swear by. 
There's nothing that can stir me from myself. 
What I have done, I have done without repentance, 
For death can be no bugbear unto me, 
So long as Pharamond is not my headsman. 

Dion. [Aside.] Sweet peace upon thy soul, thou worthy maid, 
Whene'er thou diest! For this time I'll excuse thee, 
Or be thy prologue. 

Phi. Sir, let me speak next; 

And let my dying words be better with you 
Than my dull living actions. If you aim 
At the dear life of this sweet innocent, 
You are a tyrant and a savage monster. 
That feeds upon the blood you gave a life to; 
Your memory shall be as foul behind you. 
As you are living; all your better deeds 
Shall be in water writ, but this in marble; 
No chronicle shall speak you, though your own, 
But for the shame of men. No monument, 
Though high and big as Pelion, shall be able 



736 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

To cover this base murder: make it rich 

With brass, with purest gold and shining jasper, 

Like the Pyramides; lay on epitaphs 

Such as make great men gods; my little marble 

That only clothes my ashes, not my faults, 

Shall far outshine it. And for after-issues, 

Think not so madly of the heavenly wisdoms, 

That they will give you more for your mad rage 

To cut off, unless it be some snake, or something 

Like yourself, that in his birth shall strangle you. 

Remember my father. King! There was a fault, 

But I forgive it. Let that sin persuade you 

To love this lady; if you have a soul. 

Think, save her, and be saved. For myself, 

I have so long expected this glad hour. 

So languish'd under you, and daily withered. 

That, Heaven knows, it is a joy to die; 

I find a recreation in't. 

Enter a Messenger 

Mess. Where is the King? 

King. Here. 

Mess. Get you to your strength 

And rescue the Prince Pharamond from danger; 
He's taken prisoner by the citizens. 
Fearing' the Lord Philaster. 

Dion. [Aside.] Oh, brave followers! 

Mutiny, my fine dear countrymen, mutiny! 
Now, my brave valiant foremen, shew your weapons 
In honour of your mistresses! [Aside.] 

Enter a Second Messenger 

2nd Mess. Arm, arm, arm, arm! 

King. A thousand devils take 'em! 

Dion. [Aside.] A thousand blessings on 'em! 

' /. e., fearing for. 



PHIL ASTER 737 

2nd Mess. Arm, O King! The city is in mutiny, 
Led by an old grey ruffian, who comes on 
In rescue of the Lord Philaster. 

King. Away to the citadel! I'll see them safe, 
And then cope with these burghers. Let the guard 
And all the gentlemen give strong attendance. 

Exeunt all except Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline. 

Cle. The city up! this was above our wishes. 

Dion. Ay, and the marriage too. By my life. 
This noble lady has deceiv'd us all. 
A plague upon myself, a thousand plagues. 
For having such unworthy thoughts of her dear honour! 
Oh, I could beat myself I Or do you beat me, 
And I'll beat you; for we had all one thought. 

Cle. No, no, 'twill but lose time. 

Dion, You say true. Are your swords sharp? — Well, my dear 
countrymen What-ye-lacks,^ if you continue, and fall not back upon 
the first broken skin, I'll have you chronicled and chronicled, and 
cut and chronicled, and all-to-be-prais'd and sung in sonnets, and 
bawled in new brave ballads, that all tongues shall troll you in 
scEcula scEculorum, my kind can-carriers. 

Thru. What, if a toy' take 'em i' the heels now, and they run all 
away, and cry, "the devil take the hindmost"? 

Dion. Then the same devil take the foremost too, and souse him 
for his breakfast! If they all prove cowards, my curses fly amongst 
them, and be speeding! May they have murrains reign to keep the 
gentlemen at home unbound in easy frieze! May the moths branch^ 
their velvets, and their silks only to be worn before sore eyes! May 
their false lights undo 'em, and discover presses,' holes, stains, and 
oldness in their stuffs, and make them shop-rid! May they keep 
whores and horses, and break; and live mewed up with necks of beef 
and turnips! May they have many children, and none Hke the father! 
May they know no language but that gibberish they prattle to their 
parcels, unless it be the goatish Latin they write in their bonds — and 
may they write that false, and lose their debts! 

^ /. c, shopkeepers, who were in the habit of thus addressing passers-by. 
' Trifle, whim. ^ Eat patterns on. ' Creases. 



738 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Re-enter King 

King. Now the vengeance of all the gods confound them! How 
they swarm together! What a hum they raise! — Devils choke your 
wild throats! If a man had need to use their valours, he must pay a 
broliage for it, and then bring 'em on, and they will fight like sheep. 
'Tis Philaster, none but Philaster, must allay this heat. They will not 
hear me speak, but fling dirt at me and call me tyrant. Oh, run, dear 
friend, and bring the Lord Philaster! Speak him fair; call him 
prince; do him all the courtesy you can; commend me to him. Oh, 
my wits, my wits! Exit Cleremont. 

Dion. [Aside.] Oh, my brave countrymen! as I live, I will not 
buy a pin out of your walls for this. Nay, you shall cozen me, and 
I'll thank you, and send you brawn and bacon, and soiP you every 
long vacation a brace of foremen,' that at Michaelmas shall come up 
fat and kicking. 

King. What they wall do with this poor prince, the gods know, 
and I fear. 

Dion. [Aside.] Why, sir, they'll flay him, and make church- 
buckets on's skin, to quench rebellion; then clap a rivet in's sconce, 
and hang him up for a sign. 

Enter Cleremont with Philaster 

King. Oh, worthy sir, forgive me! Do not make 
Your miseries and my faults meet together, 
To bring a greater danger. Be yourself. 
Still sound amongst diseases. I have wrong'd you; 
And though I find it last, and beaten to it, 
Let first your goodness know it. Calm the people. 
And be what you were born to. Take your love, 
And with her my repentance, all my wishes, 
And all my prayers. By the gods, my heart speaks this; 
And if the least fall from me not perform'd, 
May I be struck with thunder! 

Phi. Mighty sir, 

* Fatten. ' Geese. 



PHIL ASTER 739 

I will not do your greatness so much wrong, 
As not to make your word truth. Free the princess 
And the poor boy, and let me stand the shock 
Of this mad sea-breach, which I'll either turn, 
Or perish with it. 

King. Let your own word free them. 

Phi. Then thus I take my leave, kissing your hand, 
And hanging on your royal word. Be kingly, 
And be not moved, sir. I shall bring you peace 
Or never bring myself back. 

King. All the gods go with thee. Exeunt. 

[Scene IV. A street^ 

Enter an old Captain and Citizens with Pharamond 

Cap. Come, my brave myrmidons, let us fall on. 
Let your caps swarm, my boys, and your nimble tongues 
Forget your mother-gibberish of "what do you lack?" 
And set your mouths ope, children, till your palates 
Fall frighted half a fathom past the cure 
Of bay-salt and gross pepper, and then cry 
"Philaster, brave Philaster!" Let Philaster 
Be deeper in request, my ding-dongs,' 
My pairs of dear indentures,^ kings of clubs,^ 
Than your cold water-camlets,' or your paintings 
Spitted with copper.* Let not your hasty silks. 
Or your branch'd cloth of bodkin,^ or your tissues. 
Dearly beloved of spiced cake and custard. 
Your Robin Hoods, Scarlets, and Johns, tie your affections 
In darkness to your shops. No, dainty duckers^ 
Up with your three-piled spirits, your wrought valours;^ 
And let your uncut cholers' make the King feel 

' Darlings. ^ Apprentices, who were bound by indentures, and whose usual 
weapons were clubs. Throughout these scenes, it is, of course, London citizens who 
are in view. ' A cloth, made of wool, sometimes mixed with silk, with a watered 
surface. * Colored cloth interwoven with copper. ^ Embroidered cloth, originally 
of gold and silk. ' Cringers (?), duck-hunters (.'). ' A pun on velour. 'Apun 
on collars. 



740 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

The measure of your mightiness. Philaster! 
Cry, my rose-nobles/ cry! 

All. Philaster! Philaster! 

Cap. How do you like this, my lord-prince? 
These are mad boys, I tell you; these are things 
That will not strike their top-sails to a foist,'" 
And let a man of war, an argosy, 
Hull" and cry cockles.'^ 

Pha. Why, you rude slave, do you know what you do? 

Cap. My pretty prince of puppets, we do know; 
And give your greatness warning that you talk 
No more such bug's-words," or that solder'd crown 
Shall be scratch'd with a musket." Dear prince Pippin, 
Down with your noble blood, or, as I live, 
I'll have you coddled.'^ — Let him loose, my spirits: 
Make us a round ring with your bills, my Hectors, 
And let us see what this trim man dares do. 
Now, sir, have at you! here I lie; 

And with this swashing blow (do you see, sweet prince?) 
I could hulk" your grace, and hang you up cross-legg'd, 
Like a hare at a poulter's, and do this with this wiper.'' 

Pha. You will not see me murder'd, wicked villains? 

I St Cit. Yes, indeed, will we, sir; we have not seen one 
For a great while. 

Cap. He would have weapons, would he? 

Give him a broadside, my brave boys, with your pikes; 
Branch'* me his skin in flowers like a satin, 
And between every flower a mortal cut. — 
Your royalty shall ravel! — Jag him, gentlemen; 
I'll have him cut to the kell,'^ then down the seams. 
O for a whip to make him galloon-laces!^" 
I'll have a coach-whip. 

Pha. Oh, spare me, gentlemen! 

' Another pun. Rose-nobles were gold coins. '" A small vessel. " Float idly. 

'^ Crow over them. '^ Swaggering words. " A male sparrow-hawk, with a 
pun on the weapon. '^ Stewed. '^ Disembowel. " Instrument for cleaning a 
gun. '* Embroider. '^ The caul about the hart's paunch. ^^ Ribbons, tape. 



PHILASTER 741 

Cap. Hold, hold; 
The man begins to fear and know himself. 
He shall for this time only be seel'd up/' 
With a feather through his nose, that he may only 
See heaven, and think whither he is going. 
Nay, my beyond-sea sir, we will proclaim you : 
You would be king! 

Thou tender heir apparent to a church-ale,^^ 
Thou slight prince of single sarcenet,''' 
Thou royal ring-tail,^^ fit to fly at nothing 
But poor men's poultry, and have every boy 
Beat thee from that too with his bread and butter! 

Pha. Gods keep me from these hell-hounds! 

1st Cit. I'll have a leg, that's certain. 

2nd Cit. I'll have an arm. 

^rd Cit. I'll have his nose, and at mine own charge build 
A college and clap't upon the gate.^^ 

4th Cit. I'll have his little gut to string a kit^^ with; 
For certainly a royal gut will sound like silver. 

Pha. Would they were in thy belly, and I past 
My pain once! 

^th Cit. Good captain, let me have his liver to feed ferrets. 

Cap. Who will have parcels else? Speak. 

Pha. Good gods, consider me! I shall be tortur'd. 

ist Cit. Captain, I'll give you the trimming of your two-hand 
sword. 
And let me have his skin to make false scabbards. 

2nd Cit. He had no horns, sir, had he? 

Cap. No, sir, he's a pollard.^' 
What wouldst thou do with horns ? 

2nd Cit. Oh, if he had had, 

I would have made rare hafts and whistles of 'em; 
But his shin-bones, if they be sound, shall serve me. 

^' Have his eyelids sewed together like a hawk's. ^^ /. e., a bastard, one born 
after the convivialities of a church feast. 
23 Thin silk. ^4 a sort of kite. 
^ In allusion to Brazen Nose College, Oxford. ^^ Cittern. ^^ Hornless animal. 



742 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Enter Philaster 

All. Long live Philaster, the brave Prince Philaster! 

Phi. I thank you, gentlemen. But why are these 
Rude weapons brought abroad, to teach your hands 
Uncivil trades? 

Cap. My royal Rosicleer,^' 

We are thy myrmidons, thy guard, thy roarers;** 
And when thy noble body is in durance, 
Thus do we clap our musty murrions'" on, 
And trace the streets in terror. Is it peace, 
Thou Mars of men ? Is the King sociable. 
And bids thee live ? Art thou above thy f oemen. 
And free as Phcebus ? Speak. If not, this stand'' 
Of royal blood shall be abroach, a-tilt, 
And run even to the lees of honour. 

Phi. Hold, and be satisfied. I am myself; 
Free as my thoughts are; by the gods, I am! 

Cap. Art thou the dainty darling of the King.? 
Art thou the Hylas to our Hercules? 
Do the lords bow, and the regarded scarlets'^ 
Kiss their gummed goUs,'' and cry, "We are your servants" ? 
Is the court navigable, and the presence stuck 
With flags of friendship ? If not, we are thy castle. 
And this man sleeps. 

Phi. I am what I desire to be, your friend; 
I am what I was born to be, your prince. 

Pha. Sir, there is some humanity in you; 
You have a noble soul. Forget my name, 
And know my misery; set me safe aboard 
From these wild cannibals, and, as I live, 
I'll quit this land for ever. There is nothing, — 
Perpetual prisonment, cold, hunger, sickness 
Of all sorts, of all dangers, and all together, 
The worst company of the worst men, madness, age, 

^ A hero in "The Mirrour of Knighthood," a romance from the Spanish. See "The 
Knight of the Burning Pestle." ^' Roistering blades. '" Steel caps. 

^' Cask (Pharamond). '^Courtiers clad in scarlet. ^'Perfumed hands. 



PHILASTER 743 

To be as many creatures as a woman, 
And do as all they do, nay, to despair, — 
But I would rather make it a new nature, 
And live with all these, than endure one hour 
Amongst these wild dogs. 

Phi. I do pity you. — Friends, discharge your fears; 
Deliver me the prince. I'll warrant you 
I shall be old enough to find my safety. 

^rd Cit. Good sir, take heed he does not hurt you; 
He is a fierce man, I can tell you, sir. 

Cap. Prince, by your leave, I'll have a surcingle," 
And make''^ you like a hawk. [Phar.] strives. 

Phi. Away, away, there is no danger in him: 
Alas, he had rather sleep to shake his fit off! 
Look you, friends, how gently he leads! Upon my word. 
He's tame enough, he needs no further watching. 
Good my friends, go to your houses, 
And by me have your pardons and my love; 
And know there shall be nothing in my power 
You may deserve, but you shall have your wishes. 
To give you more thanks, were to flatter you. 
Continue still your love; and, for an earnest, 
Drink this. [Gives money.] 

All. Long mayst thou live, brave prince, brave prince, brave 
prince! Exeunt Phil, and Phar, 

Cap. Go thy ways, thou art the king of courtesy! 
Fall off again, my sweet youths. Come, 
And every man trace to his house again. 
And hang his pewter up; then to the tavern. 
And bring your wives in muffs. We will have music; 
And the red grape shall make us dance and rise, boys. Exeunt. 

3^ Band. ^5 Train. 



744 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

[Scene V. An apartment in the palace] 

Enter King, Arethusa, Galatea, Megra, Dion, Cleremont, 
Thrasiline, Bellario, and Attendants 

King. Is it appeas'd? 

Dion. Sir, all is quiet as this dead of night, 
As peaceable as sleep. My lord Philaster 
Brings on the prince himself. 

King. Kind gentleman! 

I will not break the least word I have given 
In promise to him. I have heap'd a world 
Of grief upon his head, which yet I hope 
To wash away. 

Enter Philaster and Pharamond 

Cle. My lord is come. 

King. My son! 

Blest be the time that I have leave to call 
Such virtue mine! Now thou art in mine arms, 
Methinks I have a salve unto my breast 
For all the stings that dwell there. Streams of grief 
That I have wrong'd thee, and as much of joy 
That I repent it, issue from mine eyes; 
Let them appease thee. Take thy right; take her; 
She is thy right too; and forget to urge 
My vexed soul with that I did before. 

Phi. Sir, it is blotted from my memory. 
Past and forgotten. — For you, prince of Spain, 
Whom I have thus redeem'd, you have full leave 
To make an honourable voyage home. 
And if you would go furnish'd to your realm 
With fair provision, I do see a lady, 
Methinks, would gladly bear you company. 
How like you this piece ? 

Meg. Sir, he likes it well. 

For he hath tried it, and hath found it worth 
His princely liking. We were ta'en abed; 



PHIL ASTER 745 

I know your meaning. I am not the first 
That nature taught to seek a fellow forth; 
Can shame remain perpetually in me, 
And not in others ? Or have princes salves 
To cure ill names, that meaner people want? 

Phi. What mean you? 

Meg. You must get another ship, 

To bear the princess and her boy together. 

Dion. How now! 

Meg. Others took me, and I took her and him. 
Ship us all four, my lord; we can endure 
Weather and wind alike. 

King. Clear thou thyself, or know not me for father. 

Are. This earth, how false it is! What means is left for me 
To clear myself? It lies in your belief. 
My lords, believe me; and let all things else 
Struggle together to dishonour me. 

Bel. Oh, stop your ears, great King, that I may speak 
As freedom would! Then I will call this lady 
As base as are her actions. Hear me, sir; 
Believe your heated blood when it rebels 
Against your reason, sooner than this lady. 

Meg. By this good light, he bears it handsomely. 

Phi. This lady! I will sooner trust the wind 
With feathers, or the troubled sea with pearl, 
Than her with any thing. Believe her not. 
Why, think you, if I did believe her words, 
I would outlive 'em? Honour cannot take 
Revenge on you; then what were to be known 
But death? 

King. Forget her, sir, since all is knit 

Between us. But I must request of you 
One favour, and will sadly' be denied. 

Phi. Command, whate'er it be. 

King. Swear to be true 

To what you promise. 

' shall be sorry to be denied. 



746 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Phi. By the powers above, 

Let it not be the death of her or him, 
And it is granted! 

King. Bear away that boy 

To torture; I will have her clear'd or buried. 

Phi. Oh, let me call my word back, worthy sir I 
Ask something else: bury my life and right 
In one poor grave; but do not take away 
My life and fame at once. 

King. Away with him! It stands irrevocable. 

Phi. Turn all your eyes on me. Here stands a man. 
The falsest and the basest of this world. 
Set swords against this breast, some honest man. 
For I have liv'd till I am pitied! 
My former deeds were hateful; but this last 
Is pitiful, for I unwillingly 
Have given the dear preserver of my life 
Unto his torture. Is it in the power 
Of flesh and blood to carry this, and live } Offers to stab himself. 

Are. Dear sir, be patient yet! Oh, stay that hand! 

King. Sirs, strip that boy. 

Dion. Come, sir; your tender flesh 

Will try your constancy. 

Bel. Oh, kill me, gentlemen! 

Dion. No. — Help, sirs. 

Bel. Will you torture me? 

King. Haste there; 

Why stay you? 

Bel. Then I shall not break my vow. 

You know, just gods, though I discover all. 

King. How's that? Will he confess? 

Dion. Sir, so he says. 

King. Speak then. 

Bel. Great King, if you command 

This lord to talk with me alone, my tongue, 
Urg'd by my heart, shall utter all the thoughts 



PHILASTER 747 

My youth hath known; and stranger things than these 
You hear not often. 

King. Walk aside with him. 

[Dion and Bellario wall^ apart.] 

Dion. Why speak'st thou not ? 

Bel. Know you this face, my lord ? 

Dion. No. 

Bel. Have you not seen it, nor the like ? 

Dion. Yes, I have seen the like, but readily 
I know not where, 

Bel. I have been often told 

In court of one Euphrasia, a lady. 
And daughter to you; betwixt whom and me 
They that would flatter my bad face would swear 
There was such strange resemblance, that we two 
Could not be known asunder, drest alike. 

Dion. By Heaven, and so there is! 

Bel. For her fair sake. 

Who now doth spend the spring-time of her life 
In holy pilgrimage, move to the King, 
That I may scape this torture. 

Dion. But thou speak'st 

As like Euphrasia as thou dost look. 
How came it to thy knowledge that she lives 
In pilgrimage? 

Bel. I know it not, my lord; 

But I have heard it, and do scarce believe it. 

Dion. Oh, my shame! is it possible? Draw near, 
That I may gaze upon thee. Art thou she. 
Or else her murderer?^ Where wert thou born? 

Bel. In Syracusa. 

Dion. What's thy name ? 

Bel. Euphrasia. 

Dion. Oh, 'tis just, 'tis she! 

' In some barbarous countries, it was believed that the murderer inherited the form 
and qualities of his victim. — Mason. 



748 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

Now I do know thee. Oh, that thou hadst died, 
And 1 had never seen thee nor my shame! 
How shall I own thee ? Shall this tongue of mine 
E'er call thee daughter more ? 

Bel. Would I had died indeed! I wish it too; 
And so I must have done by vow, ere publish'd 
What I have told, but that there was no means 
To hide it longer. Yet I joy in this, 
The princess is all clear. 

King. What, have you done.? 

Dion. All is discovered. 

Phi. Why then hold you me? 

All is discovered! Pray you, let me go. Offers to stab himself. 

King. Stay him. 

Are. What is discovered.? 

Dion. Why, my shame. 

It is a woman : let her speak the rest. 

Phi. How.? That again! 

Dion. It is a woman. 

Phi. Blessed be you powers that favour innocence! 

King. Lay hold upon that lady. [Megra is seized.] 

Phi. It is a woman, sir! — Hark, gentlemen, 
It is a woman! — Arethusa, take 
My soul into thy breast, that would be gone 
With joy. It is a woman! Thou art fair, 
And virtuous still to ages, in despite 
Of malice. 

King. Speak you, where Ues his shame .? 

Bel. I am his daughter. 

Phi. The gods are just. 

Dion. I dare accuse none; but, before you two. 
The virtue of our age, I bend my knee 
For mercy. [Kneels.]' 

Phi. [raising him] Take it freely; for I know, 
Though what thou didst were undiscreetly done, 
'Twas meant well. 

Are. And for me, 

I have a power to pardon sins, as oft 



PHILASTER 749 

As any man has power to wrong me. 

Cle. Noble and worthy! 

Phi. But, Bellario, 

(For I must call thee still so,) tell me why 
Thou didst conceal thy sex. It was a fault, 
A fault, Bellario, though thy other deeds 
Of truth outweigh'd it: all these jealousies 
Had flown to nothing, if thou hadst discovered 
What now we know. 

Bel. My father oft would speak 

Your worth and virtue; and, as I did grow 
More and more apprehensive,' I did thirst 
To see the man so prais'd. But yet all this 
Was but a maiden-longing, to be lost 
As soon as found; till, sitting in my window, 
Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god, 
I thought, (but it was you,) enter our gates. 
My blood flew out and back again, as fast 
As I had puff'd it forth and suck'd it in 
Like breath. Then was I called away in haste 
To entertain you. Never was a man, 
Heav'd from a sheep-cote to a sceptre, rais'd 
So high in thoughts as I. You left a kiss 
Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep 
From you for ever. I did hear you talk, 
Far above singing. After you were gone, 
I grew acquainted with my heart, and search'd 
What stirred it so: alas, I found it love! 
Yet far from lust; for, could I but have liv'd 
In presence of you, I had had my end. 
For this I did delude my noble father 
With a feign'd pilgrimage, and dress'd myself 
In habit of a boy; and, for I knew 
My birth no match for you, I was past hope 
Of having you; and, understanding well 
That when I made discovery of my sex 
I could not stay with you, I made a vow, 

' Quick to understand. 



750 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER 

By all the most religious things a maid 

Could call together, never to be known, 

Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's eyes, 

For other than I seem'd, that I might ever 

Abide with you. Then sat I by the fount, 

Where first you took me up. 

King. Search out a match 

Within our kingdom, where and when thou wilt. 
And I will pay thy dowry; and thyself 
Wilt well deserve him. 

Bel. Never, sir, will I 

Marry; it is a thing within my vow: 
But, if I may have leave to serve the princess, 
To see the virtues of her lord and her, 
I shall have hope to live. 

Are. I, Philaster, 

Cannot be jealous, though you had a lady 
Drest like a page to serve you; nor will I 
Suspect her living here. — Come, live with me; 
Live free as I do. She that loves my lord, 
Curs'd be the wife that hates her! 

Phi. I grieve such virtue should be laid in earth 
Without an heir. — Hear me, my royal father: 
Wrong not the freedom of our souls so much. 
To think to take revenge of that base woman; 
Her malice cannot hurt us. Set her free 
As she was born, saving from shame and sin. 

King. Set her at liberty. — But leave the court; 
This is no place for such. — You, Pharamond, 
Shall have free passage, and a conduct home 
Worthy so great a prince. When you come there, 
Remember 'twas your faults that lost you her. 
And not my purpos'd will. 

Pha. I do confess, 

Renowned sir. 

King. Last, join your hands in one. Enjoy, Philaster, 



PHILASTER 751 

This kingdom, which is yours, and, after me, 

Whatever I call mine. My blessing on you! 

All happy hours be at your marriage-joys, 

That you may grow yourselves over all lands. 

And live to see your plenteous branches spring 

Wherever there is sun! Let princes learn 

By this to rule the passions of their blood; 

For what Heaven wills can never be withstood. Exeunt omnes. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 



BY 

JOHN WEBSTER 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

Of John Webster's life almost nothing is known. The dates 1580- 
1625 given for his birth and death are conjectural inferences, about 
which the best that can be said is that no known facts contradict them. 

The first notice of Webster so far discovered shows that he was col- 
laborating in the production of plays for the theatrical manager, Hens- 
lowe, in 1602, and of such collaboration he seems to have done a 
considerable amount. Four plays exist which he wrote alone, "The 
White Devil," "The Duchess of Malfi," "The Devil's Law-Case," and 
"Appius and Virginia." 

"The Duchess of Malfi" was published in 1623, but the date of writ- 
ing may have been as early as 1611. It is based on a story in Painter's 
"Palace of Pleasure," translated from the Italian novelist, Bandello; and 
it is entirely possible that it has a foundation in fact. In any case, it 
portrays with a terrible vividness one side of the court life of the Italian 
Renaissance; and its picture of the fierce quest of pleasure, the reckless- 
ness of crime, and the worldliness of the great princes of the Church 
finds only too ready corroboration in the annals of the time. 

Webster's tragedies come toward the close of the great series of 
tragedies of blood and revenge, in which "The Spanish Tragedy" and 
"Hamlet" are landmarks, but before decadence can fairly be said to 
have set in. He, indeed, loads his scene with horrors almost past the 
point which modern taste can bear; but the intensity of his dramatic 
situations, and his superb power of flashing in a single line a light into 
the recesses of the human heart at the crises of supreme emotion, re- 
deems him from mere sensationalism, and places his best things in the 
first rank of dramatic writing. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 



Ferdinand [Duke of Calabria]. 

Cardinal [his brother]. 

Antonio [Bologna, Steward of the 

Household to the Duchess]. 
Delio [his friend]. 
Daniel de Bosola [Gentleman of the 

Horse to the Duchess]. 
[Castruccio, an old Lord.] 
Marquis of Pescara. 
[Count] Malatesti. 



RODERIGO, "j 

Silvio, > [Lords.] 

Grisolan, J 

Doctor. 

The Several Madmen. 

Duchess [of Malfi]. 

Cariola [her woman]. 

[Julia, Castruccio's wife, and] the 

Cardinal's mistress. 
[Old Lady.] 



Ladies, Three Young Children, Two Pilgrims, Executioners, Court Officers, 
and Attendants 



ACT I 

Scene I. [Malfi. The presence-chamber in the palace of the Duchess^ 

[Enter] Antonio and Delio 
Delio 

YOU are welcome to your country, dear Antonio; 
You have been long in France, and you return 
A very formal Frenchman in your habit: 
How do you like the French court.'' 

Ant. I admire it: 

In seeking to reduce both state and people 
To a fix'd order, their judicious king 
Begins at home; quits first his royal palace 
Of flattering sycophants, of dissolute 
And infamous persons, — which he sweetly terms 
His master's master-piece, the work of heaven; 
Considering duly that a prince's court 
Is like a common fountain, whence should flow 
Pure silver drops in general, but if 't chance 
Some curs'd example poison 't near the head, 

755 



756 JOHN WEBSTER 

Death and diseases through the whole land spread. 

And what is 't makes this blessed government 

But a most provident council, who dare freely 

Inform him the corruption of the times ? 

Though some o' the court hold it presumption 

To instruct princes what they ought to do, 

It is a noble duty to inform them 

What they ought to foresee.' — Here comes Bosola, 

The only court-gall; yet I observe his railing 

Is not for simple love of piety : 

Indeed, he rails at those things which he wants; 

Would be as lecherous, covetous, or proud, 

Bloody, or envious, as any man. 

If he had means to be so. — Here's the cardinal. 

[Enter Cardinal and Bosola] 

Bos. I do haunt you still. 

Card. So. 

Bos. I have done you better service than to be slighted thus. 
Miserable age, where only the reward of doing well is the doing of it! 

Card. You enforce your merit too much. 

Bos. I fell into the galleys in your service; where, for two years 
together, I wore two towels instead of a shirt, with a knot on the 
shoulder, after the fashion of a Roman mantle. Slighted thus! I will 
thrive some way. Black-birds fatten best in hard weather; why not 
I in these dog-days? 

Card. Would you could become honest! 

Bos. With all your divinity do but direct me the way to it. I 
have known many travel far for it, and yet return as arrant knaves 
as they went forth, because they carried themselves always along 
with them. [Exit Cardinal.] Are you gone.'' Some fellows, they 
say, are possessed with the devil, but this great fellow were able to 
possess the greatest devil, and make him worse. 

Ant. He hath denied thee some suit? 

Bos. He and his brother are like plum-trees that grow crooked 
over standing-pools; they are rich and o'erladen with fruit, but none 

' Prevent. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 757 

but crows, pies, and caterpillars feed on them. Could I be one of 
their flattering panders, I would hang on their ears like a horseleech, 
till I were full, and then drop off. I pray, leave me. Who would 
rely upon these miserable dependencies, in expectation to be ad- 
vanc'd to-morrow? What creature ever fed worse than hoping 
Tantalus ? Nor ever died any man more fearfully than he that hoped 
for a pardon. There are rewards for hawks and dogs when they 
have done us service; but for a soldier that hazards his limbs in a 
battle, nothing but a kind of geometry is his last supportation. 

Delia. Geometry? 

Bos. Ay, to hang in a fair pair of slings, take his latter swing in 
the world upon an honourable pair of crutches, from hospital to 
hospital. Fare ye well, sir: and yet do not you scorn us; for places 
in the court are but like beds in the hospital, where this man's head 
lies at that man's foot, and so lower and lower. [Ear//.] 

Del. I knew this fellow seven years in the galleys 
For a notorious murder; and 'twas thought 
The cardinal suborn'd it: he was releas'd 
By the French general, Gaston de Foix, 
When he recover'd Naples. 

Ant, 'Tis great pity 

He should be thus neglected : I have heard 
He 's very valiant. This foul melancholy 
Will poison all his goodness; for, I'll tell you. 
If too immoderate sleep be truly said 
To be an inward rust unto the soul. 
It then doth follow want of action 
Breeds all black malcontents; and their close rearing. 
Like moths in cloth, do hurt for want of wearing. 

Scene II. \The same] 

Antonio, Delio, [Enter Silvio, Castruccio, Julia, Roderigo and 

Grisolan] 

Delio. The presence 'gins to fill : you promis'd me 
To make me the partaker of the natures 
Of some of your great courtiers. 



758 JOHN WEBSTER 

Ant. The lord cardinal's 

And other strangers' that are now in court ? 
I shall. — Here comes the great Calabrian duke. 

[Enter Ferdinand and Attendants] 

Ferd. Who took the ring oftenest?' 

Sil. Antonio Bologna, my lord. 

Ferd. Our sister duchess' great-master of her household? Give 
him the jewel. — When shall we leave this sportive action, and fall 
to action indeed? 

Cast. Methinks, my lord, you should not desire to go to war in 
person. 

Ferd. Now for some gravity. — Why, my lord ? 

Cast. It is fitting a soldier arise to be a prince, but not necessary a 
prince descend to be a captain. 

Ferd. No? 

Cast. No, my lord; he were far better do it by a deputy. 

Ferd. Why should he not as well sleep or eat by a deputy? This 
might take idle, offensive, and base office from him, whereas the 
other deprives him of honour. 

Cast. Believe my experience, that realm is never long in quiet 
where the ruler is a soldier. 

Ferd. Thou toldest me thy wife could not endure fighting. 

Cast. True, my lord. 

Ferd. And of a jest she broke of^ a captain she met full of wounds: 
I have forgot it. 

Cast. She told him, my lord, he was a pitiful fellow, to lie, like 
the children of Ismael, all in tents.' 

Ferd. Why, there's a wit were able to undo all the chirurgeons* 
o' the city; for although gallants should quarrel, and had drawn 
their weapons, and were ready to go to it, yet her persuasions would 
make them put up. 

Cast. That she would, my lord. — How do you like my Spanish 
gennet?^ 

Rod. He is all fire. 

' The reference is to the knightly sport of riding at the ring. * At the expense of 
^ Rolls of lint used to dress wounds. * Surgeons. ^ A small horse. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 759 

Ferd. I am of Pliny's opinion, I think he was begot by the wind; 
he runs as if he were ballass'd^ with quicksilver. 

Sil. True, my lord, he reels from the tilt often. 

Rod. Gris. Ha, ha, ha! 

Ferd. Why do you laugh? Methinks you that are courtiers should 
be my touch- wood, take fire when I give fare; that is, laugh when 
I laugh, were the subject never so witty. 

Cast. True, my lord: I myself have heard a very good jest, and 
have scorn'd to seem to have so silly a wit as to understand it. 

Ferd. But I can laugh at your fool, my lord. 

Cast. He cannot speak, you know, but he makes faces; my lady 
cannot abide him. 

Ferd. No? 

Cast. Nor endure to be in merry company; for she says too much 
laughing, and too much company, fills her too full of the wrinkle. 

Ferd. I would, then, have a mathematical instrument made for 
her face, that she might not laugh out of compass. — I shall shordy 
visit you at Milan, Lord Silvio. 

5/7. Your grace shall arrive most welcome. 

Ferd. You are a good horseman, Antonio: you have excellent 
riders in France: what do you think of good horsemanship? 

Ant. Nobly, my lord: as out of the Grecian horse issued many 
famous princes, so out of brave horsemanship arise the first sparks of 
growing resolution, that raise the mind to noble action. 

Ferd. You have bespoke it worthily. 

5/7. Your brother, the lord cardinal, and sister duchess. 

[Enter Cardinal, with Duchess, and Cariola] 

Card. Are the galleys come about? 

Gris. They are, my lord. 

Ferd. Here's the Lord Silvio is come to take his leave. 

Delia. Now, sir, your promise: what's that cardinal? 
I mean his temper ? They say he's a brave fellow. 
Will play his five thousand crowns at tennis, dance. 
Court ladies, and one that hath fought single combats. 

Ant. Some such flashes superficially hang on him for form; but 

' Ballasted. 



760 JOHN WEBSTER 

observe his inward character: he is a melancholy churchman. The 
spring in his face is nothing but the engend'ring of toads; where he 
is jealous of any man, he lays worse plots for them than ever was 
impos'd on Hercules, for he strews in his way flatterers, panders, 
intelligencers, atheists, and a thousand such political monsters. He 
should have been Pope; but instead of coming to it by the primitive 
decency of the church, he did bestow bribes so largely and so 
impudently as if he would have carried it away without heaven's 
knowledge. Some good he hath done 

Delia. You have given too much of him. What's his brother.? 

Ant. The duke there? A most perverse and turbulent nature. 
What appears in him mirth is merely outside; 
If he laught heartily, it is to laugh 
All honesty out of fashion. 

Delia. Twins ? 

Ant. In quahty. 

He speaks with others' tongues, and hears men's suits 
With others' ears; will seem to sleep o' the bench 
Only to entrap offenders in their answers; 
Dooms men to death by information; 
Rewards by hearsay. 

Delia. Then the law to him 

Is like a foul, black cobweb to a spider, — 
He makes it his dwelling and a prison 
To entangle those shall feed him. 

Ant. Most true: 

He never pays debts unless they be shrewd turns, 
And those he will confess that he doth owe. 
Last, for his brother there, the cardinal. 
They that do flatter him most say oracles 
Hang at his lips; and verily I believe them, 
For the devil speaks in them. 
But for their sister, the right noble duchess, 
You never fix'd your eye on three fair medals 
Cast in one figure, of so different temper. 
For her discourse, it is so full of rapture, 
You only will begin then to be sorry 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 761 

When she doth end her speech, and wish, in wonder. 

She held it less vain-glory to talk much. 

Than your penance to hear her. Whilst she speaks, 

She throws upon a man so sweet a look 

That it were able to raise one to a galliard^ 

That lay in a dead palsy, and to dote 

On that sweet countenance; but in that look 

There speaketh so divine a continence 

As cuts off all lascivious and vain hope. 

Her days are practis'd in such noble virtue. 

That sure her nights, nay, more, her very sleeps. 

Are more in heaven than other ladies' shrifts. 

Let all sweet ladies break their flatt'ring glasses, 

And dress themselves in her. 

Delia. Fie, Antonio, 

You play the wire-drawer with her commendations. 

Ant. I'll case the picture up: only thus much; 
All her particular worth grows to this sum, — 
She stains' the time past, lights the time to come. 

Cari. You must attend my lady in the gallery. 
Some half an hour hence. 

Ant. I shall. [Exeunt Antonio and Delio.] 

Ferd. Sister, I have a suit to you. 

Duch. Tome, sir? 

Ferd. A gentleman here, Daniel de Bosola, 
One that was in the galleys 

Duch. Yes, I know him. 

Ferd. A worthy fellow he is : pray, let me entreat for 
The provisorship of your horse. 

Duch. Your knowledge of him 

Commends him and prefers him. 

Ferd. Call him hither. [Exit Attendant.] 

We [are] now upon' parting. Good Lord Silvio, 
Do us commend to all our noble friends 
At the leaguer. 

Sil. Sir, I shall. 

' A lively dance. ' Throws into the shade. ' At the point of. 



762 JOHN WEBSTER 

[Duch.] You are for Milan? 

Sil. I am. 

Duch. Bring the caroches.'" — We'll bring you down 

To the haven. 

[Exeunt Duchess, Silvio, Castruccio, Roderigo, Grisolan, 
Cariola, Julia, and Attendants.] 

Card. Be sure you entertain that Bosola 

For your intelligence." 1 would not be seen in 't; 
And therefore many times I have slighted him 
When he did court our furtherance, as this morning. 

Ferd. Antonio, the great-master of her household, 
Had been far fitter. 

Card. You are deceiv'd in him. 

His nature is too honest for such business. — 
He comes : I'll leave you. [£a;/V.] 

[Re-enter Bosola] 

Bos. I was lur'd to you. 

Ferd. My brother, here, the cardinal, could never 
Abide you. 

Bos. Never since he was in my debt. 

Ferd. May be some oblique character in your face 
Made him suspect you. 

Bos. Doth he study physiognomy? 

There's no more credit to be given to the face 
Than to a sick man's urine, which some call 
The physician's whore, because she cozens''' him. 
He did suspect me wrongfully. 

Ferd. For that 

You must give great men leave to take their times. 
Distrust doth cause us seldom be deceiv'd. 
You see the oft shaking of the cedar-tree 
Fastens it more at root. 

Bos. Yet take heed; 

" Coaches. " Spy. " Cheats. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 763 

For to suspect a friend unworthily 
Instructs him the next way to suspect you, 
And prompts him to deceive you. 

Ferd. There's gold. 

Bos. So : 

What follows? [Aside.] Never rain'd such showers at these 
Without thunderbolts i' the tail of them. — Whose throat must 
I cut? 

Ferd. Your inclination to shed blood rides post 
Before my occasion to use you. I give you that 
To live i' the court here, and observe the duchess; 
To note all the particulars of her behaviour, 
What suitors do solicit her for marriage. 
And whom she best affects." She's a young widow: 
I would not have her marry again. 

Bos. No, sir? 

Ferd. Do not you ask the reason; but be satisfied. 
I say I would not. 

Bos. It seems you would create me 

One of your familiars. 

Ferd. Familiar! What's that? 

Bos. Why, a very quaint invisible devil in flesh, — 
An intelligencer.'* 

Ferd. Such a kind of thriving thing 

I would wish thee; and ere long thou mayst arrive 
At a higher place by 't. 

Bos. Take your devils, 

Which hell calls angels! These curs'd gifts would make 
You a corrupter, me an impudent traitor; 
And should I take these, they'd take me [to] hell. 

Ferd. Sir, I'll take nothing from you that I have given. 
There is a place that I procur'd for you 
This morning, the provisorship o' the horse; 
Have you heard on 't? 

Bos. No. 

" Likes. " Spy. 



764 JOHN WEBSTER 

Ferd. 'Tis yours: is 't not worth thanks? 

Bos. I would have you curse yourself now, that your bounty 
(Which makes men truly noble) e'er should make me 
A villain. O, that to avoid ingratitude 
For the good deed you have done me, I must do 
All the ill man can invent! Thus the devil 
Candies all sins o'er; and what heaven terms vile, 
That names he complimental. 

Ferd. Be yourself; 

Keep your old garb of melancholy; 'twill express 
You envy those that stand above your reach, 
Yet strive not to come near 'em. This will gain 
Access to private lodgings, where yourself 
May, like a politic dormouse 

Bos. As I have seen some 

Feed in a lord's dish, half asleep, not seeming 
To listen to any talk; and yet these rogues 
Have cut his throat in a dream. What's my place? 
The provisorship o' the horse ? Say, then, my corruption 
Grew out of horse-dung: I am your creature. 

Ferd. Away! [£x«'f.] 

Bos. Let good men, for good deeds, covet good fame, 
Since place and riches oft are bribes of shame. 
Sometimes the devil doth preach. Exit, 

[Scene III. Malfi. Gallery in the Duchess's palace] 

[Enter Ferdinand, Duchess, Cardinal, and Cariola] 

Card. We are to part from you; and your own discretion 
Must now be your director. 

Ferd. You are a widow: 
You know already what man is; and therefore 
Let not youth, high promotion, eloquence 

Card. No, 
Nor anything without the addition, honour. 
Sway your high blood. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 765 

Ferd. Marry! they are most luxurious' 

Will wed twice. 

Card. O, fie! 

Ferd. Their livers are more spotted 

Than Laban's sheep.^ 

Duch. Diamonds are of most value, 

They say, that have pass'd through most jewellers' hands. 

Ferd. Whores by that rule are precious. 

Duch. Will you hear me? 

I'll never marry. 

Card. So most widows say; 

But commonly that motion lasts no longer 
Than the turning of an hour-glass : the funeral sermon 
And it end both together. 

Ferd. Now hear me: 

You live in a rank pasture, here, i' the court; 
There is a kind of honey-dew that's deadly; 
'Twill poison your fame; look to 't. Be not cunning; 
For they whose faces do belie their hearts 
Are witches ere they arrive at twenty years, 
Ay, and give the devil suck. 

Duch. This is terrible good counsel. 

Ferd. Hypocrisy is woven of a fine small thread. 
Subtler than Vulcan's engine:^ yet, beheve 't. 
Your darkest actions, nay, your privat'st thoughts. 
Will come to light. 

Card. You may flatter yourself. 
And take your own choice; privately be married 
Under the eaves of night 

Ferd. Think 't the best voyage 

That e'er you made; like the irregular crab. 
Which, though 't goes backward, thinks that it goes right 
Because it goes its own way : but observe. 
Such weddings may more properly be said 
To be executed than celebrated. 

Card. The marriage night 

' Lustful. 2 Genesis xxx., 31-42. ' The net in which he caught Venus and Mars. 



766 JOHN WEBSTER 

Is the entrance into some prison. 

Ferd. And those joys, 

Those lustful pleasures, are like heavy sleeps 
Which do fore-run man's mischief. 

Card. Fare you well. 

Wisdom begins at the end: remember it. [EarzV.] 

Duch. I think this speech between you both was studied, 
It came so roundly off. 

Ferd. You are my sister; 

This was my father's poniard, do you see? 
I'd be loth to see't look rusty, 'cause 'twas his. 
I would have you give o'er these chargeable revels: 
A visor and a mask are whispering-rooms 
That were never built for goodness, — fare ye well — 
And women like variety of courtship. 
What cannot a neat knave with a smooth tale 
Make a woman believe ? Farewell, lusty widow. [JE*:«V.] 

Duch. Shall this move me? If all my royal kindred 
Lay in my way unto this marriage, 
I'd make them my low footsteps. And even now, 
Even in this hate, as men in some great battles, 
By apprehending danger, have achiev'd 
Almost impossible actions (I have heard soldiers say so), 
So I through frights and threatenings will assay 
This dangerous venture. Let old wives report 
I wink'd and chose a husband. — Cariola, 
To thy known secrecy I have given up 
More than my life, — my fame. 

Cari. Both shall be safe; 

For I'll conceal this secret from the world 
As warily as those that trade in poison 
Keep poison from their children. 

Duch. Thy protestation 

Is ingenious and hearty; I believe it. 
Is Antonio come? 

Cari. He attends you. 

Duch. Good dear soul, 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 767 

Leave me; but place thyself behind the arras, 

Where thou mayst overhear us. Wish me good speed; 

For I am going into a wilderness, 

Where I shall find nor path nor friendly clue 

To be my guide. [Cariola goes behind the arras. \ 

[Enter Antonio] 

I sent for you: sit down; 
Take pen and ink, and write : are you ready ? 

Ant. Yes. 

Duck. What did I say ? 

Ant. That I should write somewhat. 

Duck. O, I remember. 

After these triumphs and this large expense 
It's fit, like thrifty husbands,^ we inquire 
What's laid up for to-morrow. 

Ant. So please your beauteous excellence. 

Duch. Beauteous! 

Indeed, I thank you. I look young for your sake; 
You have ta'en my cares upon you. 

Ant. I'll fetch your grace 

The particulars of your revenue and expense. 

Duch. O, you are 
An upright treasurer: but you mistook; 
For when I said I meant to make inquiry 
What's laid up for to-morrow, I did mean 
What's laid up yonder for me. 

Ant. Where? 

Duch. In heaven. 

I am making my will (as 'tis fit princes should. 
In perfect memory), and, I pray, sir, tell me, 
Were not one better make it smiling, thus. 
Than in deep groans and terrible ghastly looks, 
As if the gifts we parted with procur'd^ 
That violent distraction.? 

Ant. O, much better. 

* Housekeepers. ^ Produced. 



768 JOHN WEBSTER 

Duch. I£ I had a husband now, this care were quit: 
But I intend to make you overseer. 
What good deed shall we first remember ? Say. 

Ant. Begin with that first good deed began i' the world 
After man's creation, the sacrament of marriage; 
I'd have you first provide for a good husband; 
Give him all. 

Duch. All! 

Ant. Yes, your excellent self. 

Duch. In a winding-sheet? 

Ant. In a couple. 

Duch. Saint Winifred, that were a strange will! 

Ant. 'Twere stranger^ if there were no will in you 
To marry again. 

Duch. What do you think of marriage? 

Ant. I take 't, as those that deny purgatory, 
It locally contains or heaven or hell; 
There's no third place in't. 

Duch. How do you affect it? 

Ant. My banishment, feeding my melancholy. 
Would often reason thus. 

Duch. Pray, let's hear it. 

Ant. Say a man never marry, nor have children. 
What takes that from him ? Only the bare name 
Of being a father, or the weak delight 
To see the little wanton ride a-cock-horse 
Upon a painted stick, or hear him chatter 
Like a taught starling. 

Duch. Fie, fie, what's all this ? 

One of your eyes is blood-shot; use my ring to 't. 
They say 'tis very sovereign. 'Twas my wedding-ring. 
And I did vow never to part with it 
But to my second husband. 

Ant. You have parted with it now. 

Duch. Yes, to help your eye-sight. 

Ant. You have made me stark blind. 

^ Quartos read strange. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 769 

Duch. How? 

Ant. There is a saucy and ambitious devil 
Is dancing in this circle. 

Duch. Remove him. 

Ant. How ? 

Duch. There needs small conjuration, when your finger 
May do it: thus. Is it fit? 

YShe puts the ring upon his finger '."l he \neels. 

Ant. What said you ? 

Duch. Sir, 

This goodly roof of yours is too low built; 
I cannot stand upright in 't nor discourse. 
Without I raise it higher. Raise yourself; 
Or, if you please, my hand to help you: so. [Raises him.] 

Ant. Ambition, madam, is a great man's madness, 
That is not kept in chains and close-pent rooms, 
But in fair lightsome lodgings, and is girt 
With the wild noise of prattling visitants. 
Which makes it lunatic beyond all cure. 
Conceive not I am so stupid but I aim' 
Whereto your favours tend : but he's a fool 
That, being a-cold, would thrust his hands i' the fire 
To warm them. 

Duch. So, now the ground's broke. 

You may discover what a wealthy mine 
I make you lord of. 

Ant. O my unworthiness! 

Duch. You were ill to sell yourself: 
This dark'ning of your worth is not like that 
Which tradesmen use i' the city; their false lights 
Are to rid bad wares off: and I must tell you. 
If you will know where breathes a complete man 
(I speak it without flattery), turn your eyes. 
And progress through yourself. 

Ant. Were there nor heaven nor hell, 
I should be honest : I have long serv'd virtue, 

' Guess. 



770 JOHN WEBSTER 

And ne'er ta'en wages of her. 

Duch. Now she pays it. 

The misery of us that are born great! 
We are forc'd to woo, because none dare woo us; 
And as a tyrant doubles with his words, 
And fearfully equivocates, so we 
Are forc'd to express our violent passions 
In riddles and in dreams, and leave the path 
Of simple virtue, which was never made 
To seem the thing it is not. Go, go brag 
You have left me heartless; mine is in your bosom: 
I hope 'twill multiply love there. You do tremble: 
Make not your heart so dead a piece of flesh. 
To fear more than to love me. Sir, be confident : 
What is 't distracts you? This is flesh and blood, sir; 
'Tis not the figure cut in alabaster 
Kneels at my husband's tomb. Awake, awake man! 
I do here put off all vain ceremony, 
And only do appear to you a young widow 
That claims you for her husband, and, like a widow, 
I use but half a blush in 't. 

Ant. Truth speak for me; 

I will remain the constant sanctuary 
Of your good name. 

Duch. I thank you, gentle love: 

And 'cause you shall not come to me in debt. 
Being now my steward, here upon your lips 
I sign your Quietus est? This you should have begg'd now. 
I have seen children oft eat sweetmeats thus. 
As fearful to devour them too soon. 

Ant. But for your brothers ? 

Duch. Do not think of them: 

All discord without this circumference 
Is only to be pitied, and not fear'd: 
Yet, should they know it, time will easily 
Scatter the tempest. 

' The phrase used to indicate that accounts had been examined and found correct. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 77I 

Ant. These words should be mine, 

And all the parts you have spoke, if some part of it 
Would not have savour'd flattery. 

Duch. Kneel. [Cariola comes from behind the arras.] 

Ant. Ha! 

Duch. Be not amaz'd; this woman's of my counsel: 
I have heard lawyers say, a contract in a chamber 
Per verba ^de] present!^ is absolute marriage. 

[She and Antonio \neel.\ 
Bless, heaven, this sacred gordian'" which let violence 
Never untwine! 

Ant. And may our sweet affections, lilie the spheres, 
Be still in motion! 

Duch. Quickening, and make 

The like soft music! 

Ant. That we may imitate the loving palms. 
Best emblem of a peaceful marriage, 
That never bore fruit, divided! 

Duch. What can the church force more? 

Ant. That fortune may not know an accident. 
Either of joy or sorrow, to divide 
Our fixed wishes! 

Duch. How can the church build faster.?" 

We now are man and wife, and 'tis the church 
That must but echo this. — Maid, stand apart : 
I now am blind. 

Ant. What's your conceit in this? 

Duch. I would have you lead your fortune by the hand 
Unto your marriage-bed: 
(You speak in me this, for we now are one :) 
We'll only lie and talk together, and plot 
To appease my humorous''' kindred; and if you please. 
Like the old tale in Alexander and Lodowic\, 
Lay a naked sword between us, keep us chaste. 
O, let me shrowd my blushes in your bosom, 

'Using words of present time; /. e., "I take," not "I will take." '"Knot. 
" More firmly. *' Of difficult disposition. 



772 JOHN WEBSTER 

Since 'tis the treasury of all my secrets! 

[Exeunt Duchess and Antonio.] 
Cart. Whether the spirit of greatness or of woman 
Reign most in her, I know not; but it shows 
A fearful madness. I owe her much of pity. Exit. 

ACT II 

Scene I. [Malfi. An apartment in the palace of the Duchess"] 
[Enter] Bosola and Castruccio 

Bos. You say you would fain be taken for an eminent courtier? 

Cast. 'Tis the very main' of my ambition. 

Bos. Let me see: you have a reasonable good face for 't already, 
and your night-cap expresses your ears sufficient largely. I would 
have you learn to twirl the strings of your band with a good grace, 
and in a set speech, at th' end of every sentence, to hum three or four 
times, or blow your nose till it smart again, to recover your memory. 
When you come to be a president in criminal causes, if you smile 
upon a prisoner, hang him; but if you frown upon him and threaten 
him, let him be sure to scape the gallows. 

Cast. I would be a very merry president. 

Bos. Do not sup o' nights; 'twill beget you an admirable wit. 

Cast. Rather it would make me have a good stomach to quarrel; 
for they say, your roaring boys eat meat seldom, and that makes 
them so valiant. But how shall I know whether the people take me 
for an eminent fellow ? 

Bos. I will teach a trick to know it: give out you lie a-dying, and 
if you hear the common people curse you, be sure you are taken 
for one of the prime night-caps.^ 

[Enter an Old Lady] 

You come from painting now. 

Old Lady. From what ? 

Bos. Why, from your scurvy face-physic. To behold thee not 
painted inclines somewhat near a miracle. These in thy face here 
'Chief part. * Bullies (Hazlitt); lawyers (Vaughan). 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 773 

were deep ruts and foul sloughs the last progress.' There was a 
lady in France that, having had the small-pox, flayed the skin ofi 
her face to make it more level; and whereas before she looked like 
a nutmeg-grater, after she resembled an abortive hedge-hog. 

Old Lady. Do you call this painting ? 

Bos. No, no, but you call [it] careening* of an old morphewed' 
lady, to make her disembogue' again: there's rough-cast phrase to 
your plastic' 

Old Lady. It seems you are well acquainted with my closet. 

Bos. One would suspect it for a shop of witchcraft, to find in it 
the fat of serpents, spawn of snakes, Jews' spittle, and their young 
children's ordure; and all these for the face. I would sooner eat 
a dead pigeon taken from the soles of the feet of one sick of the 
plague, than kiss one of you fasting. Here are two of you, whose 
sin of your youth is the very patrimony of the physician; makes 
him renew his foot-cloth with the spring, and change his high-pric'd 
courtezan with the fall of the leaf. I do wonder you do not loathe 
yourselves. Observe my meditation now. 
What thing is in this outward form of man 
To be belov'd ? We account it ominous, 
If nature do produce a colt, or lamb, 
A fawn, or goat, in any limb resembling 
A man, and fly from 't as a prodigy : 
Man stands amaz'd to see his deformity 
In any other creature but himself. 
But in our own flesh though we bear diseases 
Which have their true names only ta'en from beasts, — 
As the most ulcerous wolf and swinish measle, — 
Though we are eaten up of lice and worms, 
And though continually we bear about us 
A rotten and dead body, we delight 
To hide it in rich tissue: all our fear. 
Nay, all our terror, is, lest our physician 
Should put us in the ground to be made sweet. — 
Your wife's gone to Rome: you two couple, and get you to the wells 

' Royal journey. ^ Turning a boat on its side for repairs. * Scabbed. ^ Empty. 
' Face-modeling (Sampson). "There's a plain statement o£ your practises." 



774 JOHN WEBSTER 

at Lucca to recover your aches. I have other work on foot. 

[Exeunt Castruccio and Old Lady] 
I observe our duchess 

Is sick a-days, she pukes, her stomach seethes, 
The fins of her eye-Uds look most teeming blue,* 
She wanes i' the cheek, and waxes fat i' the flank. 
And, contrary to our Italian fashion. 
Wears a loose-bodied gown: there's somewhat in't. 
I have a trick may chance discover it, 
A pretty one; I have bought some apricocks, 
The first our spring yields. 

[Enter Antonio and Delio, tallying together apart'] 

Delia, And so long since married? 

You amaze me. 

Ant. Let me seal your lips for ever: 

For, did I think that anything but th' air 
Could carry these words from you, I should wish 
You had no breath at all. — ^Now, sir, in your contemplation? 
You are studying to become a great wise fellow. 

Bos. O, sir, the opinion of wisdom is a foul tetter' that runs all 
over a man's body : if simplicity direct us to have no evil, it directs 
us to a happy being; for the subtlest folly proceeds from the subtlest 
wisdom: let me be simply honest. 

Ant. I do understand your inside. 

Bos. Do you so ? 

Ant. Because you would not seem to appear to th' world 
PuflE'd up with your preferment, you continue 
This out-of-fashion melancholy: leave it, leave it. 

Bos. Give me leave to be honest in any phrase, in any compliment 
whatsoever. Shall I confess myself to you? I look no higher than 
I can reach: they are the gods that must ride on winged horses. 
A lawyer's mule of a slow pace will both suit my disposition and 
business; for, mark me, when a man's mind rides faster than his 
horse can gallop, they quickly both tire. 

Ant. You would look up to heaven, but I think 

* Blue like those of a woman with child. ' Scurf. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 775 

The devil, that rules i' th' air, stands in your light. 

Bos. O, sir, you are lord of the ascendant,"* chief man with the 
duchess: a duke was your cousin-german remov'd. Say you were 
lineally descended from King Pepin, or he himself, what of this? 
Search the heads of the greatest rivers in the world, you shall 
find them but bubbles of water. Some would think the souls of 
princes were brought forth by some more weighty cause than those 
of meaner persons: they are deceiv'd, there's the same hand to 
them; the like passions sway them; the same reason that makes a 
vicar go to law for a tithe-pig, and undo his neighbours, makes them 
spoil a whole province, and batter down goodly cities with the 
cannon. 

[Enter Duchess and Ladies] 

Duch. Your arm, Antonio: do I not grow fat? 
I am exceeding short-winded. — Bosola, 
I would have you, sir, provide for me a litter; 
Such a one as the Duchess of Florence rode in. 

Bos. The duchess us'd one when she was great with child, 

Duch. I think she did. — Come hither, mend my ruff : 
Here, when? thou art such a tedious lady; and 
Thy breath smells of lemon-pills: would thou hadst done! 
Shall I swoon under thy fingers? I am 
So troubled with the mother!" 

Bos. [aside.^ I fear too much. 

Duch. I have heard you say that the French courtiers 
Wear their hats on 'fore the king. 

Ant. I have seen it. 

Duch. In the presence? 

Ant. Yes. 

Duch. Why should not we bring up that fashion? 
'Tis ceremony more than duty that consists 
In the removing of a piece of felt. 
Be you the example to the rest o' th' court; 
Put on your hat first. 

Ant. You must pardon me: 

10 Person of highest influence. '' Hysteria. 



776 JOHN WEBSTER 

I have seen, in colder countries than in France, 
Nobles stand bare to th' prince; and the distinction 
Methought show'd reverently. 

Bos. I have a present for your grace. 

Duch. For me, sir? 

Bos. Apricocks, madam. 

Duch. O, sir, vi'here are they.? 

I have heard of none to-year'^ 

Bos. [aside.] Good; her colour rises. 

Duch. Indeed, I thank you: they are wondrous fair ones. 
What an unskilful fellow is our gardener! 
We shall have none this month. 

Bos. Will not your grace pare them? 

Duch. No: they taste of musk, methinks; indeed they do. 

Bos. I know not : yet I wish your grace had par'd 'em. 

Duch. Why? 

Bos. I forgot to tell you, the knave gardener, 

Only to raise his profit by them the sooner. 
Did ripen them in horse-dung. 

Duch. O, you jest. — 

You shall judge: pray, taste one. 

Ant. Indeed, madam, 

I do not love the fruit. 

Duch. Sir, you are loth 

To rob us of our dainties. 'Tis a delicate fruit; 
They say they are restorative. 

Bos. 'Tis a pretty art, 

This grafting. 

Duch. 'Tis so; a bettering of nature. 

Bos. To make a pippin grow upon a crab, 
A damson on a black-thorn. — [Aside.] How greedily she eats them! 
A whirlwind strike off these bawd farthingales! 
For, but for that and the loose-bodied gown, 
I should have discover'd apparently" 
The young springal" cutting a caper in her belly. 

Duch. I thank you, Bosola : they were right good ones, 

12 This year. " Clearly. " Youngster. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 777 

If they do not make me sick. 

Ant. How now, madam! 

Duch. This green fruit and my stomach are not friends: 
How they swell me! 

Bos. [aside.^ Nay, you are too much swell'd already. 

Duch. O, I am in an extreme cold sweat! 

Bos. I am very sorry. [Exit.\ 

Duch. Lights to my chamber! — O good Antonio, 
I fear I am undone! 

Delia. Lights there, lights! 

Exeunt Duchess [and Ladies.] 

Ant. O my most trusty Delio, we are lost! 
I fear she's fall'n in labour; and there's left 
No time for her remove. 

Delio. Have you prepar'd 

Those ladies to attend her; and procur'd 
That politic safe conveyance for the midwife 
Your duchess plotted ? 

Ant. I have. 

Delio. Make use, then, of this forc'd occasion. 
Give out that Bosola hath poison'd her 
With these apricocks; that will give some colour 
For her keeping close. 

Ant. Fie, fie, the physicians 

Will then flock to her. 

Delio. For that you may pretend 
She'll use some prepar'd antidote of her own, 
Lest the physicians should re-poison her. 

Ant, I am lost in amazement: I know not what to think on 't. 

Exeunt. 



778 JOHN WEBSTER 

Scene II. [A hall in the same palace^ 
[Enter] Bosola and Old Lady 

Bos. So, so, there's no question but her techiness' and most 
vulturous eating of the apricocks are apparent signs of breeding, 
now ? 

Old Lady. I am in haste, sir. 

Bos. There was a young waiting-woman had a monstrous desire 
to see the glass-house 

Old Lady. Nay, pray, let me go. 

Bos. And it was only to know what strange instrument it was 
should swell up a glass to the fashion of a woman's belly. 

Old Lady. I will hear no more of the glass-house. You are still^ 
abusing women! 

Bos. Who, I? No; only, by the way now and then, mention your 
frailties. The orange-tree bears ripe and green fruit and blossoms all 
together; and some of you give entertainment for pure love, but 
more for more precious reward. The lusty spring smells well; but 
drooping autumn tastes well. If we have the same golden showers 
that rained in the time of Jupiter the thunderer, you have the same 
Danaes still, to hold up their laps to receive them. Didst thou never 
study the mathematics? 

Old Lady. What's that, sir? 

Bos. Why, to know the trick how to make a many lines meet in 
one centre. Go, go, give your foster-daughters good counsel: tell 
them, that the devil takes delight to hang at a woman's girdle, like 
a false rusty watch, that she cannot discern how the time passes. 

[Exit Old Lady.] 

[Enter Antonio, Roderigo, and Grisolan] 

Ant. Shut up the court-gates. 

Rod. Why sir? What's the danger? 

Ant. Shut up the posterns presently, and call 
Ail the officers o' th' court. 

Gris. I shall instantly. [Eat/V.] 

Ant. Who keeps the key o' th' park-gate? 
* Crossness. ^ Always. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 779 

Rod. Forobosco. 

Ant. Let him bring 't presently. 

\Re-enter Grisolan with Servants] 

First Serv. O, gentleman o' th' court, the foulest treason! 

Bos. [aside.] If that these apricocks should be poison'd now, 
Without my knowledge? 

First Serv. There was taken even now a Switzer in the duchess' 
bed-chamber 

Second Serv. A Switzer! 

First Serv. With a pistol in his great codpiece. 

Bos. Ha, ha, ha! 

First Serv. The codpiece was the case for't. 

Second Serv. There was a cunning traitor. Who would have 
search'd his codpiece? 

First Serv. True; if he had kept out of the ladies' chambers. And 
all the moulds of his buttons were leaden bullets. 

Second Serv. O wicked cannibal! A fire-lock in's codpiece! 

First Serv. 'Twas a French plot, upon my life. 

Second Serv. To see what the devil can do! 

Ant. [Are] all the officers here? 

Servants. We are. 

Ant. Gentlemen, 
We have lost much plate, you know; and but this evening 
Jewels, to the value of four thousand ducats, 
Are missing in the duchess' cabinet. 
Are the gates shut? 

Serv. Yes. 

Ant. 'Tis the duchess' pleasure 

Each officer be lock'd into his chamber 
Till the sun-rising; and to send the keys 
Of all their chests and of their outward doors 
Into her bed-chamber. She is very sick. 

Rod. At her pleasure. 

Ant. She entreats you take 't not ill: the innocent 
Shall be the more approv'd by it. 

Bos. Gentlemen o' the wood-yard, where's your Switzer now ? 



780 JOHN WEBSTER 

First Serv. By this hand, 'twas credibly reported by one o' the 
black guard.' [Exeunt all except Antonio and Delio.] 

Delia. How fares it with the duchess ? 

Ant. She's expos'd 

Unto the worst of torture, pain, and fear. 

Delio. Speak to her all happy comfort. 

Ant. How I do play the fool with mine own danger! 
You are this night, dear friend, to post to Rome: 
My life lies in your service. 

Delio. Do not doubt me. 

Ant. O, 'tis far from me : and yet fear presents me 
Somewhat that looks like danger. 

Delio. Believe it, 

'Tis but the shadow of your fear, no more: 
How superstitiously we mind our evils! 
The throwing down salt, or crossing of a hare, 
Bleeding at nose, the stumbling of a horse. 
Or singing of a cricket, are of power 
To daunt whole man in us. Sir, fare you well: 
I wish you all the joys of a bless'd father; 
And, for my faith, lay this unto your breast, — 
Old friends, like old swords, still are trusted best. [Eat/V.] 

\Enter Cariola] 

Cari. Sir, you are the happy father of a son : 
Your wife commends him to you. 

Ant. Blessed comfort! — 

For heaven' sake, tend her well: I'll presently' 
Go set a figure for 's nativity .° • Exeunt. 

Scene III. [T^e court of the same palace^ 

[Enter Bosola, with a dar\ lantern^ 

Bos. Sure I did hear a woman shriek: list, ha! 
And the sound came, if I receiv'd it right, 
From the duchess' lodgings. There's some stratagem 

' The meaner servants. * At once. ^ Cast his horoscope. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 78 1 

In the confining all our courtiers 

To their several wards: I must have part of it; 

My intelligence will freeze else. List, again! 

It may be 'twas the melancholy bird, 

Best friend of silence and of solitariness, 

The owl, that screamed so. — Ha! Antonio! 

[Enter Antonio with a candle, his sword drawn] 

Ant. I heard some noise. — Who's there ? What art thou ? Speak. 

Bos. Antonio, put not your face nor body 
To such a forc'd expression of fear; 
I am Bosola, your friend. 

Ant. Bosola!— 

[Aside.] This mole does undermine me. — Heard you not 
A noise even now? 

Bos. From whence.'' 

Ant. From the duchess' lodging. 

Bos. Not I : did you ? 

Ant. I did, or else I dream'd. 

Bos. Let's walk towards it. 

Ant. No: it may be 'twas 

But the rising of the wind. 

Bos. Very likely. 

Methinks 'tis very cold, and yet you sweat: 
You look wildly. 

Ant. I have been setting a figure' 

For the duchess' jewels. 

Bos. Ah, and how falls your question ? 

Do you find it radical?^ 

Ant. What's that to you } 

'Tis rather to be question'd what design, 
When all men were commanded to their lodgings, 
Makes you a night-walker. 

Bos. In sooth, I'll tell you: 

Now all the court's asleep, I thought the devil 
Had least to do here; I came to say my prayers; 

' Making an astrological calculation. ^ Going to the root of the matter. 



782 JOHN WEBSTER 

And if it do ofiFend you I do so, 
You are a fine courtier. 

Ant. [Aside.] This fellow will undo me. — 

You gave the duchess apricocks to-day: 
Pray heaven they were not poison'dl 

Bos. Poison'd! a Spanish fig 
For the imputation! 

Ant. Traitors are ever confident 

Till they are discover'd. There were jewels stol'n too: 
In my conceit, none are to be suspected 
More than yourself. 

Bos. You are a false steward. 

Ant. Saucy slave, I'll pull thee up by the roots. 

Bos. May be the ruin will crush you to pieces. 

Ant. You are an impudent snake indeed, sir: 
Are you scarce warm, and do you show your sting.? 
YoulibeP well, sir? 

Bos. No, sir: copy it out, 

And I will set my hand to 't. 

Ant. [Aside.] My nose bleeds. 

One that were superstitious would count 
This ominous, when it merely comes by chance. 
Two letters, that are wrought here for my name,* 
Are drown'd in blood! 
Mere accident. — For you, sir, I'll take order 
r the morn you shall be safe. — [Aside.] 'Tis that must colour 
Her lying-in. — Sir, this door you pass not: 
I do not hold it fit that you come near 
The duchess' lodgings, till you have quit yourself. — 
[Aside.] The great are like the base, nay, they are the same, 
When they seek shameful ways to avoid shame. Exit, 

Bos. Antonio hereabout did drop a paper: — 
Some of your help, false friend.^ — O, here it is. 
What's here? a child's nativity calculated! [Reads.] 

'The duchess was deliver'd of a son, 'tween the hours twelve and 
one in the night, Anno Dom. 1504,'— that's this year — 'decimo nono 
' Write. * I. e., on his handkerchief. ^ Addressing the lantern. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 783 

Decembris,' — that's this night — 'taken according to the meridian of 

Malfi,' — that's our duchess: happy discovery! — 'The lord of the first 

house being combust in the ascendant, signifies short life; and Mars 

being in a human sign, joined to the tail of the Dragon, in the 

eighth house, doth threaten a violent death. Cmtera non scrutan- 

turr 

Why, now 'tis most apparent; this precise fellow 

Is the duchess' bawd: — I have it to my wish! 

This is a parcel of intelligency' 

Our courtiers were cas'd up for : it needs must follow 

That I must be committed on pretence 

Of poisoning her; which I'll endure, and laugh at. 

If one could find the father now! but that 

Time will discover. Old Castruccio 

r th' morning posts to Rome : by him I'll send 

A letter that shall make her brothers' galls 

O'erflow their livers. This was a thrifty* way! 

Though lust do mask in ne'er so strange disguise. 

She's oft found witty, but is never wise. [£«'/.] 

Scene IV. [An apartment in the palace of the Cardinal] 
[Enter] Cardinal and Julia 

Card. Sit: thou art my best of wishes. Prithee, tell me 
What trick didst thou invent to come to Rome 
Without thy husband? 

fulia. Why, my lord, I told him 

I came to visit an old anchorite' 
Here for devotion. 

Card. Thou art a witty false one, — 

I mean, to him. 

Julia. You have prevail'd with me 
Beyond my strongest thoughts; I would not now 
Find you inconstant. 

Card. Do not put thyself 

^ "The rest not considered." ' A piece of news. ' Cleverly contrived. 
' Religious recluse. 



784 JOHN WEBSTER 

To such a voluntary torture, which proceeds 
Out of your own guilt. 

Julia. How, my lord! 

Card. You fear 

My constancy, because you have approv'd^ 
Those giddy and wild turnings in yourself. 

Julia. Did you e'er find them? 

Card. Sooth, generally for women, 

A man might strive to make glass malleable. 
Ere he should make them fixed. 

Julia. So, my lord. 

Card. We had need go borrow that fantastic glass 
Invented by Galileo the Florentine 
To view another spacious world i' th' moon, 
And look to find a constant woman there. 

Julia. This is very well, my lord. 

Card. Why do you weep? 

Are tears your justification? The self-same tears 
Will fall into your husband's bosom, lady. 
With a loud protestation that you love him 
Above the world. Come, I'll love you wisely, 
That's jealously; since I am very certain 
You cannot make me cuckold. 

Julia. I'll go home 

To my husband. 

Card. You may thank me, lady, 

I have taken you off your melancholy perch. 
Bore you upon my fist, and show'd you game. 
And let you fly at it. — I pray thee, kiss me. — 
When thou wast with thy husband, thou wast watch'd 
Like a tame elephant: — still you are to thank me: — 
Thou hadst only kisses from him and high feeding; 
But what delight was that ? 'Twas just like one 
That hath a little fing'ring on the lute, 
Yet cannot tune it: — still you are to thank me. 

Julia. You told me of a piteous wound i' th' heart, 

^ Experienced. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 785 

And a sick liver, when you woo'd me first, 
And spake like one in physic' 

Card. Who's that? 

[Enter Servant] 

Rest firm, for my affection to thee, 
Lightning moves slow to 't. 

Serv. Madam, a gentleman, 

That's come post from Malfi, desires to see you. 

Card. Let him enter: I'll withdraw. Exit. 

Serv. He says 

Your husband, old Castruccio, is come to Rome, 
Most pitifully tir'd with riding post. [E^fif.] 

\Enter Delio] 

Julia, [aside.] Signior Delio! 'tis one of my old suitors. 

Delio. I was bold to come and see you. 

Julia. Sir, you are welcome. 

Delio. Do you lie here ? 

Julia. Sure, your own experience 

Will satisfy you no: our Roman prelates 
Do not keep lodging for ladies. 

Delio. Very well: 

I have brought you no commendations from your husband. 
For I know none by him. 

Julia. I hear he's come to Rome. 

Delio. I never knew man and beast, of a horse and a knight. 
So weary of each other. If he had had a good back. 
He would have undertook to have borne his horse. 
His breech was so pitifully sore. 

Julia. Your laughter 

Is my pity. 

Delio. Lady, I know not whether 
You want money, but I have brought you some. 

Julia. From my husband? 

Delio. No, from mine own allowance. 

5 Sick. 



786 JOHN WEBSTER 

Julia. I must hear the condition, ere I be bound to take it. 

Delia. Look on't, 'tis gold; hath it not a fine colour? 

Julia. I have a bird more beautiful. 

Delia. Try the sound on't. 

Julia. A lute-string far exceeds it. 
It hath no smell, like cassia or civet; 
Nor is it physical/ though some fond doctors 
Persuade us seethe 't in cuUises.* I'll tell you, 
This is a creature bred by 

[Re-enter Servant] 

Serv. Your husband's come, 

Hath deliver'd a letter to the Duke of Calabria 
That, to my thinking, hath put him out of his wits. [Exit.] 

Julia. Sir, you hear: 
Pray, let me know your business and your suit 
As briefly as can be. 

Delia. With good speed: I would wish you, 
At such time as you are non-resident 
With your husband, my mistress. 

Julia. Sir, I'll go ask my husband if I shall, 
And straight return your answer. Exit. 

Delia. Very fine! 

Is this her wit, or honesty, that speaks thus? 
I heard one say the duke was highly mov'd 
With a letter sent from Malfi. I do fear 
Antonio is betray 'd. How fearfully 
Shows his ambition now! — Unfortunate fortune! 
They pass through whirl-pools, and deep woes do shun. 
Who the event weigh ere the action's done. Exit. 

Scene V. [Another apartment in the same palace] 
[Enter] Caiu)inal and Ferdinand tvith a letter 

Ferd. I have this night digg'd up a mandrake.' 

Card. Say you ? 

^ Medicinal. ' Strong broth. ' The mandrake was supposed to give forth 
shrieks when uprooted, which drove the hearer mad. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 787 

Ferd. And I am grown mad with 't. 

Card. What's the prodigy ? 

Ferd. Read there, — a sister damn'd: she's loose i' the hilts ;^ 
Grown a notorious strumpet. 

Card. Speak lower. 

Ferd. Lower! 

Rogues do not whisper 't now, but seek to publish 't 
(As servants do the bounty of their lords) 
Aloud; and with a covetous searching eye, 
To mark who note them. O, confusion seize her! 
She hath had most cunning bawds to serve her turn, 
And more secure conveyances for lust 
Than towns of garrison for service. 

Card. Is 't possible ? 

Can this be certain? 

Ferd. Rhubarb, O, for rhubarb 

To purge this choler! Here's the cursed day 
To prompt my memory; and here 't shall stick 
Till of her bleeding heart I make a sponge 
To wipe it out. 

Card. Why do you make yourself 

So wild a tempest ? 

Ferd. Would I could be one. 

That I might toss her palace 'bout her ears, 
Root up her goodly forests, blast her meads. 
And lay her general territory as waste 
As she hath done her honours. 

Card. Shall our blood, 

The royal blood of Arragon and Castile, 
Be thus attainted? 

Ferd. Apply desperate physic: 

We must not now use balsamum, but fire, , 
The smarting cupping-glass, for that's the mean 
To purge infected blood, such blood as hers. 
There is a kind of pity in mine eye, — 
I'll give it to my handkercher; and now 'tis here, 
I'll bequeath this to her bastard. 

^ Unchaste. 



788 JOHN WEBSTER 

Card. What to do? 

Ferd. Why, to make soft lint for his mother's wounds, 
When I have hew'd her to pieces. 

Card. Curs'd creature! 

Unequal nature, to place women's hearts 
So far upon the left side! * 

Ferd. Foolish men, 

That e'er will trust their honour in a bark 
Made of so slight weak bulrush as is woman. 
Apt every minute to sink it! 

Card. Thus ignorance, when it hath purchas'd honour, 
It cannot wield it. 

Ferd. Methinks I see her laughing, — 

Excellent hyena! Talk to me somewhat quickly, 
Or my imagination will carry me 
To see her in the shameful act of sin. 

Card. With whom? 

Ferd. Happily with some strong-thigh'd bargeman, 

Or one o' th' wood-yard that can quoit the sledge'' 
Or toss the bar, or else some lovely squire 
That carries coals up to her privy lodgings. 

Card. You fly beyond your reason. 

Ferd. Go to, mistress! 

'Tis not your whore's milk that shall quench my wild-fire. 
But your whore's blood. 

Card. How idly shows this rage, which carries you, 
As men convey 'd by witches through the air. 
On violent whirlwinds! This intemperate noise 
Fitly resembles deaf men's shrill discourse, 
Who talk aloud, thinking all other men 
To have their imperfection. 

Ferd. Have not you 

My palsy? 

Card. Yes, [but] I can be angry 
Without this rupture. There is not in nature 
A thing that makes man so deform'd, so beastly, 

' Supposed to be a sign of folly. * Throw the hammer. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 789 

As doth intemperate anger. Chide yourself. 
You have divers men who never yet express'd 
Their strong desire of rest but by unrest, 
By vexing of themselves. Come, put yourself 
In tune. 

Ferd. So I will only study to seem 
The thing I am not. I could kill her now. 
In you, or in myself; for I do think 
It is some sin in us heaven doth revenge 
By her. 

Card. Are you stark mad.? 

Ferd. I would have their bodies 

Burnt in a coal-pit with the ventage stopp'd, 
That their curs'd smoke might not ascend to heaven; 
Or dip the sheets they lie in in pitch or sulphur. 
Wrap them in 't, and then light them like a match; 
Or else to-boiP their bastard to a culHs, 
And give 't his lecherous father to renew 
The sin of his back. 

Card. I'll leave you. 

Ferd. Nay, I have done. 

I am confident, had I been damn'd in hell, 
And should have heard of this, it would have put me 
Into a cold sweat. In, in; I'll go sleep. 
Till I know who [loves] my sister, I'll not stir: 
That known, I'll find scorpions to string my whips, 
And fix her in a general eclipse. Exeunt. 

ACT III 

Scene I. [Malfi. An apartment in the palace of the Duchess^ 

[E«fer] Antonio and Delio 

Ant. Our noble friend, my most beloved Delio! 
O, you have been a stranger long at court: 
Came you along with the Lord Ferdinand? 

*Boil to shreds. (Dyce.) Quartos, to boil. 



790 JOHN WEBSTER 

Delia. I did, sir: and how fares your noble duchess? 

Ant. Right fortunately well: she's an excellent 
Feeder of pedigrees; since you last saw her, 
She hath had two children more, a son and daughter. 

Delia. Methinks 'twas yesterday. Let me but wink, 
And not behold your face, which to mine eye 
Is somewhat leaner, verily I should dream 
It were within this half hour. 

Ant. You have not been in law, friend Delio, 
Nor in prison, nor a suitor at the court. 
Nor begg'd the reversion of some great man's place, 
Nor troubled with an old wife, which doth make 
Your time so insensibly hasten. 

Delia. Pray> sir, tell me, 

Hath not this news arriv'd yet to the ear 
Of the lord cardinal ? 

Ant. I fear it hath : 

The Lord Ferdinand, that's newly come to court. 
Doth bear himself right dangerously. 

Delio. Pray, why } 

Ant. He is so quiet that he seems to sleep 
The tempest out, as dormice do in winter. 
Those houses that are haunted are most still 
Till the devil be up. 

Delio. What say the common people.'' 

Ant. The common rabble do directly say 
She is a strumpet. 

Delio. And your graver heads 

Which would be politic, what censure they ? 

Ant. They do observe I grow to infinite purchase,' 
The left hand way; and all suppose the duchess 
Would amend it, if she could; for, say they. 
Great princes, though they grudge their officers 
Should have such large and unconfined means 
To get wealth under them, will not complain. 
Lest thereby they should make them odious 
Unto the people. For other obligation 

> Wealth. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 79 1 

Of love or marriage between her and me 
They never dream of. 

Delia. The Lord Ferdinand 

Is going to bed. 

[Enter Duchess, Ferdinand, and Attendants] 

Ferd. I'll instantly to bed. 

For I am weary. — I am to bespeak 
A husband for you. 

Duch. For me, sir! Pray, who is \} 

Ferd. The great Count Malatesti. 

Duch. Fie upon him! 

A count! He's a mere stick of sugar-candy; 
You may look quite through him. When I choose 
A husband, I will marry for your honour. 

Ferd. You shall do well in 't. — How is 't, worthy Antonio.? 

Duch. But, sir, I am to have private conference with you 
About a scandalous report is spread 
Touching mine honour. 

Ferd. Let me be ever deaf to 't : 

One of Pasquil's paper-bullets,' court-calumny, 
A pestilent air, which princes' palaces 
Are seldom purg'd of. Yet, say that it were true, 
I pour it in your bosom, my fix'd love 
Would strongly excuse, extenuate, nay, deny 
Faults, were they apparent in you. Go, be safe 
In your own innocency. 

Duch. [Aside.] O bless'd comfort! 

This deadly air is purg'd. 

Exeunt [Duchess, Antonio, Delio, and Attendants.] 

Ferd. Her guilt treads on 

Hot-burning coulters.' 

Enter Bosola 

Now, Bosola, 
How thrives our intelligence ? * 

2 Lampoons. ' Plowshares. 

* Spying. 



792 JOHN WEBSTER 

Bos. Sir, uncertainly: 

'Tis rumoufd she hath had three bastards, but 
By whom we may go read i' the stars. 

Ferd. Why, some 

Hold opinion all things are written there. 

Bos. Yes, if we could find spectacles to read them. 
I do suspect there hath been some sorcery 
Us'd on the duchess. 

Ferd. Sorcery! to what purpose? 

Bos. To make her dote on some desertless fellow 
She shames to acknowledge. 

Ferd. Can your faith give way 

To think there's power in potions or in charms, 
To make us love whether we will or no ? 

Bos. Most certainly. 

Ferd. Away! these are mere guUeries,' horrid things, 
Invented by some cheating mountebanks 
To abuse us. Do you think that herbs or charms 
Can force the will ? Some trials have been made 
In this foolish practice, but the ingredients 
Were lenitive^ poisons, such as are of force 
To make the patient mad; and straight the witch 
Swears by equivocation they are in love. 
The witch-craft lies in her rank blood. This night 
I will force confession from her. You told me 
You had got, within these two days, a false key 
Into her bed-chamber. 

Bos. I have. 

Ferd. As I would wish. 

Bos. What do you intend to do ? 

Ferd. Can you guess.? 

Bos. No. 

Ferd. Do not ask, then: 
He that can compass me, and know my drifts, 
May say he hath put a girdle 'bout the world. 
And sounded all her quick-sands. 

^ Deceptions. ^ Soothing. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 793 

Bos. I do not 

Think so. 

Ferd. What do you think, then, pray? 

Bos. That you 

Are your own chronicle too much, and grossly 
Flatter yourself. 

Ferd. Give me thy hand; I thank thee: 

I never gave pension but to flatterers. 
Till I entertained thee. Farewell. 
That friend a great man's ruin strongly checks 
Who rails into his belief all his defects. Exeunt. 

Scene II. [The bed-chamber of the Duchess in the same] 
[Enter] Duchess, Antonio, and Cariola 

Duck. Bring me the casket hither, and the glass. — 
You get no lodging here to-night, my lord. 

Ant. Indeed, I must persuade one. 

Duck. Very good: 

I hope in time 'twill grow into a custom, 
That noblemen shall come with cap and knee 
To purchase a night's lodging of their wives. 

Ant. I must lie here. 

Duck. Must! You are a lord of mis-rule. 

Ant. Indeed, my rule is only in the night. 

Duch. To what use will you put me .'' 

Ant. We'll sleep together. 

Duch. Alas, what pleasure can two lovers find in sleep? 

Cari. My lord, I lie with her often, and I know 
She'll much disquiet you. 

Ant. See, you are complain'd of. 

Cari. For she's the sprawling' st bedfellow. 

Ant. I shall like her the better for that. 

Cari. Sir, shall I ask you a question } 

Ant. I pray thee, Cariola. 

Cari. Wherefore still when you lie with my lady 
Do you rise so early? 



794 JOHN WEBSTER 

Ant. Labouring men 

Count the clock oft'nest, Cariola, 
Are glad when their task's ended. 

Duch. I'll stop your mouth. {^Kisses him.] 

Ant. Nay, that's but one; Venus had two soft doves 
To draw her chariot; I must have another. — 

[5A(? f^tsses him again.] 
When wilt thou marry, Cariola.? 

Cari. Never, my lord. 

Ant. O, fie upon this single life! forgo it. 
We read how Daphne, for her peevish [flight,]' 
Became a fruitless bay-tree; Syrinx turn'd 
To the pale empty reed; Anaxarete 
Was frozen into marble: whereas those 
Which married, or prov'd kind unto their friends. 
Were by a gracious influence transhap'd 
Into the olive, pomegranate, mulberry. 
Became flowers, precious stones, or eminent stars. 

Cari. This is a vain poetry : but I pray you, tell me, 
If there were propos'd me, wisdom, riches, and beauty, 
In three several young men, which should I choose.? 

Ant. 'Tis a hard question. This was Paris' case, 
And he was blind in 't, and there was a great cause; 
For how was 't possible he could judge right. 
Having three amorous goddesses in view, 
And they stark naked ? 'Twas a motion 
Were able to benight the apprehension 
Of the severest counsellor of Europe. 
Now I look on both your faces so well form'd, 
It puts me in mind of a question I would ask. 

Cari. What is 't.? 

Ant. I do wonder why hard-favour'd ladies, 

For the most part, keep worse-favour'd waiting-women 
To attend them, and cannot endure fair ones. 

Duch. O, that's soon answer'd. 
Did you ever in your life know an ill painter 
' Quartos read slight. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 795 

Desire to have his dwelHng next door to the shop 
Of an excellent picture-maker? 'Twould disgrace 
His face-making, and undo him. I prithee, 
When were we so merry ? — My hair tangles. 

Ant. Pray thee, Cariola, let's steal forth the room, 
And let her talk to herself: I have divers times 
Serv'd her the like, when she hath chaf'd extremely. 
I love to see her angry. Softly, Cariola. 

Exeunt [Antonio and Cariola.] 

Duch. Doth not the colour of my hair 'gin to change.? 
When I wax gray, I shall have all the court 
Powder their hair with arras,^ to be like me. 
You have cause to love me; I ent'red you into my heart 

[Enter Ferdinand unseen^ 

Before you would vouchsafe to call for the keys. 

We shall one day have my brothers take you napping. 

Methinks his presence, being now in court, 

Should make you keep your own bed; but you'll say 

Love mix'd with fear is sweetest. I'll assure you. 

You shall get no more children till my brothers 

Consent to be your gossips. Have you lost your tongue } 

'Tis welcome: 

For know, whether I am doom'd to live or die, 

I can do both like a prince. 

Ferd. Die, then, quickly! Giving her a poniard. 

Virtue, where art thou hid ? What hideous thing 
Is it that doth eclipse thee ? 

Duch. Pray, sir, hear me. 

Ferd. Or is it true thou art but a bare name, 
And no essential thing? 

Duch. Sir 

Ferd. Do not speak. 

Duch. No, sir: 
I will plant my soul in mine ears, to hear you. 

Ferd. O most imperfect light of human reason, 

^Powder of orris-root. 



796 JOHN WEBSTER 

That mak'st [us] so unhappy to foresee 
What we can least prevent! Pursue thy ■yvishes, 
And glory in them : there's in shame no comfort 
But to be past all bounds and sense of shame. 

Duch. I pray, sir, hear me: I am married. 

Ferd. So! 

Duch. Happily, not to your liking: but for that, 
Alas, your shears do come untimely now 
To clip the bird's wings that's already flown! 
Will you see my husband ? 

Ferd. Yes, if I could change 

Eyes with a basilisk. 

Duch. Sure, you came hither 

By his confederacy. 

Ferd. The howling of a wolf 

Is music to thee, screech-owl: prithee, peace. — 
Whate'er thou art that hast enjoy 'd my sister. 
For I am sure thou hear'st me, for thine own sake 
Let me not know thee. I came hither prepar'd 
To work thy discovery; yet am now persuaded 
It would beget such violent effects 
As would damn us both. I would not for ten millions 
I had beheld thee: therefore use all means 
I never may have knowledge of thy name; 
Enjoy thy lust still, and a wretched life, 
On that condition. — And for thee, vile woman. 
If thou do wish thy lecher may grow old 
In thy embracements, I would have thee build 
Such a room for him as our anchorites 
To holier use inhabit. Let not the sun 
Shine on him till he's dead; let dogs and monkeys 
Only converse with him, and such dumb things 
To whom nature denies use to sound his name; 
Do not keep a paraquito, lest she learn it; 
If thou do love him, cut out thine own tongue. 
Lest it bewray him. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 797 

Duch. Why might not I marry? 

I have not gone about in this to create 
Any new world or custom. 

Ferd. Thou art undone; 

And thou hast ta'en that massy sheet of lead 
That hid thy husband's bones, and folded it 
About my heart. 

Duch. Mine bleeds for't. 

Ferd. Thine! thy heart! 

What should I name 't unless a hollow bullet 
Fill'd with unquenchable wild-fire .'' 

Duch. You are in this 

Too strict; and were you not my princely brother, 
I would say, too wilful : my reputation 
Is safe. 

Ferd. Dost thou know what reputation is? 
I'll tell thee, — to small purpose, since the instruction 
Comes now too late. 

Upon a time Reputation, Love, and Death, 
Would travel o'er the world; and it was concluded 
That they should part, and take three several ways. 
Death told them, they should find him in great battles, 
Or cities plagu'd with plagues: Love gives them counsel 
To inquire for him 'mongst unambitious shepherds, 
Where dowries were not talk'd of, and sometimes 
'Mongst quiet kindred that had nothing left 
By their dead parents: 'Stay,' quoth Reputation, 
'Do not forsake me; for it is my nature. 
If once I part from any man I meet, 
I am never found again.' And so for you : 
You have shook hands with Reputation, 
And made him invisible. So, fare you well: 
I will never see you more. 

Duch. Why should only I, 

Of all the other princes of the world, 
Be cas'd up, like a holy relic? I have youth 



798 JOHN WEBSTER 

And a little beauty. 

Ferd. So you have some virgins 

That are witches. I will never see thee more. Exit. 

Re-enter Antonio with a pistol, [and Cariola] 

Duch. You saw this apparition? 

Ant. Yes: we are 

Betray'd. How came he hither? I should turn 
This to thee, for that. 

Cari. Pray, sir, do; and when 

That you have cleft my heart, you shall read there 
Mine innocence. 

Duch. That gallery gave him entrance. 

Ant. I would this terrible thing would come again, 
That, standing on my guard, I might relate 

My warrantable love. — She shows the poniard. 

Ha! what means this? 

Duch. He left this with me. 

Ant. And it seems did wish 

You would use it on yourself. 

Duch. His action seem'd 

To intend so much. 

Ant. This hath a handle to't. 

As well as a point: turn it towards him, and 

So fasten the keen edge in his rank gall. \Knoc\ing within.^ 

How now! who knocks? More earthquakes? 

Duch. I stand 

As if a mine beneath my feet were ready 
To be blown up. 

Cari. 'Tis Bosola. 

Duch. Away! 

O misery! methinks unjust actions 
Should wear these masks and curtains, and not we. 
You must instantly part hence: I have fashion'd it already. 

Exit Antonio. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 799 

Enter Bosola 

Bos. The duke your brother is ta'en up in a whirlwind; 
Hath took horse, and's rid post to Rome. 

Duch. So late ? 

Bos. He told me, as he mounted into the saddle, 
You were undone. 

Duch. Indeed, I am very near it. 

Bos. What's the matter ? 

Duch. Antonio, the master of our household, 
Hath dealt so falsely with me in's accounts. 
My brother stood engag'd with me for money 
Ta'en up of certain Neapolitan Jews, 
And Antonio lets the bonds be forfeit. 

Bos. Strange! — [Aside.] This is cunning. 

Duch. And hereupon 

My brother's bills at Naples are protested 
Against. — Call up our officers. 

Bos. I shall. Exit. 

[Re-enter Antonio] 

Duch. The place that you must fly to is Ancona: 
Hire a house there; I'll send after you 
My treasure and my jewels. Our weak safety 
Runs upon enginous wheels:' short syllables 
Must stand for periods. I must now accuse you 
Of such a feigned crime as Tasso calls 
Magnanima menzogna, a noble lie, 
'Cause it must shield our honours. — Hark! they are coming. 

[Re-enter Bosola and Officers] 

^«/. Will your grace hear me? 

Duch. I have got well by you; you have yielded me 
A million of loss: I am hke to inherit 
The people's curses for your stewardship. 
You had the trick in audit-time to be sick, 

' Wheels of craft. 



800 JOHN WEBSTER 

Till I had sign'd your quietus;* and that cur'd you 

Without help of a doctor. — Gentlemen, 

I would have this man be an example to you all; 

So shall you hold my favour; I pray, let him; 

For h'as done that, alas, you would not think of, 

And, because I intend to be rid of him, 

I mean not to publish.^Use your fortune elsewhere. 

Ant. I am strongly arm'd to brook my overthrow, 
As commonly men bear with a hard year. 
I will not blame the cause on 't; but do think 
The necessity of my malevolent star 
Procures this, not her humour. O, the inconstant 
And rotten ground of service! You may see, 
'Tis even like him, that in a winter night, 
Takes a long slumber o'er a dying fire, 
A-loth to part from 't; yet parts thence as cold 
As when he first sat down. 

Duch. We do confiscate, 

Towards the satisfying of your accounts. 
All that you have. 

Ant. I am all yours; and 'tis very fit 

All mine should be so. 

Duch. So, sir, you have your pass. 

Ant. You may see, gentlemen, what 'tis to serve 
A prince with body and soul. Exit. 

Bos. Here's an example for extortion: what moisture is drawn out 
of the sea, when foul weather comes, pours down, and runs into the 
sea again. 

Duch. I would know what are your opinions 
Of this Antonio. 

Sec. Off. He could not abide to see a pig's head gaping : 
I thought your grace would find him a Jew. 

Third Off. I would you had been his officer, for your own sake. 

Fourth Off. You would have had more money. 

First Off. He stopped his ears with black wool, and to those came 
to him for money said he was thick of hearing. 

^Certificate that the books were found correct. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 8oi 

Sec. Off. Some said he was an hermaphrodite, for he could not 
abide a woman. 

Fourth Off. How scurvy proud he would look when the treasury 
was full! Well, let him go. 

First Off. Yes, and the chippings of the buttery fly after him, to 
scour his gold chain.^ 

Duch. Leave us. Exeunt [Officers.] 

What do you think of these ? 

Bos. That these are rogues that in 's prosperity, 
But to have waited on his fortune, could have wish'd 
His dirty stirrup riveted through their noses, 
And foUow'd after 's mule, like a bear in a ring; 
Would have prostituted their daughters to his lust; 
Made their first-born intelligencers;" thought none happy 
But such as were born under his blest planet, 
And wore his hvery: and do these lice drop off now.? 
Well, never look to have the like again: 
He hath left a sort' of flattering rogues behind him; 
Their doom must follow. Princes pay flatterers 
In their own money : flatterers dissemble their vices. 
And they dissemble their lies; that's justice. 
Alas, poor gentleman! 

Duch. Poor! he hath amply fiU'd his coffers. 

Bos. Sure, he was too honest. Pluto,* the god of riches, 
When he's sent by Jupiter to any man. 
He goes limping, to signify that wealth 
That comes on God's name comes slowly; but when he's sent 
On the devil's errand, he rides post and comes in by scuttles." 
Let me show you what a most unvalu'd jewel 
You have in a wanton humour thrown away. 
To bless the man shall find him. He was an excellent 
Courtier and most faithful; a soldier that thought it 
As beastly to know his own value too little 
As devilish to acknowledge it too much. 
Both his virtue and form deserv'd a far better fortune: 

The badge of a steward. ^ Spies. ' Lot. 
•For Plutus. ' Quick steps. 



802 JOHN WEBSTER 

His discourse rather delighted to judge itself than show itself: 

His breast was fiU'd with all perfection, 

And yet it seemed a private whisp'ring-room, 

It made so little noise of 't. 

Duch. But he was basely descended. 

Bos. Will you make yourself a mercenary herald, 
Rather to examine men's pedigrees than virtues ? 
You shall want'" him: 
For know an honest statesman to a prince 
Is like a cedar planted by a spring; 
The spring bathes the tree's root, the grateful tree 
Rewards it with his shadow : you have not done so. 
I would sooner swim to the Bermoothes on 
Two politicians' rotten bladders, tied 
Together with an intelligencer's heart-string. 
Than depend on so changeable a prince's favour. 
Fare thee well, Antonio! Since the malice of the world 
Would needs down with thee, it cannot be said yet 
That any ill happen'd unto thee, considering thy fall 
Was accompanied with virtue. 

Duch. O, you render me excellent music! 

Bos. Say you? 

Duch. This good one that you speak of is my husband. 

Bos. Do I not dream ? Can this ambitious age 
Have so much goodness in 't as to prefer 
A man merely for worth, without these shadows 
Of wealth and painted honours? Possible? 

Duch. I have had three children by him. 

Bos. Fortunate lady! 

For you have made your private nuptial bed 
The humble and fair seminary of peace. 
No question but: many an unbenelic'd scholar 
Shall pray for you for this deed, and rejoice 
That some preferment in the world can yet 
Arise from merit. The virgins of your land 
That have no dowries shall hope your example 

""Miss. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 803 

Will raise them to rich husbands. Should you want 

Soldiers, 'twould make the very Turks and Moors 

Turn Christians, and serve you for this act. 

Last, the neglected poets of your time, 

In honour of this trophy of a man, 

Rais'd by that curious engine, your white hand. 

Shall thank you, in your grave, for 't; and make that 

More reverend than all the cabinets 

Of living princes. For Antonio, 

His fame shall likewise flow from many a pen, 

When heralds shall want coats to sell to men. 

Duch. As I taste comfort in this friendly speech, 
So would I find concealment. 

Bos. O, the secret of my prince, 
Which I will wear on th' inside of my heart! 

Duch. You shall take charge of all my coin and jewels, 
And follow him; for he retires himself 
To Ancona. 

Bos. So. 

Duch. Whither, within few days, 

I mean to follow thee. 

Bos. Let me think: 

I would wish your grace to feign a pilgrimage 
To our Lady of Loretto, scarce seven leagues 
From fair Ancona; so may you depart 
Your country with more honour, and your flight 
Will seem a princely progress, retaining 
Your usual train about you. 

Duch. Sir, your direction 

Shall lead me by the hand. 

Can. In my opinion. 

She were better progress to the baths at Lucca, 
Or go visit the Spa 

In Germany; for, if you will believe me, 
I do not like this jesting with religion, 
This feigned pilgrimage. 

Duch. Thou art a superstitious fool: 



804 JOHN WEBSTER 

Prepare us instantly for our departure. 
Past sorrows, let us moderately lament them, 
For those to come, seek wisely to prevent them. 

[Exeunt Duchess and Cariola.] 
Bos. A politician is the devil's quilted anvil; 
He fashions all sins on him, and the blows 
Are never heard: he may work in a lady's chamber, 
As here for proof. What rests" but I reveal 
All to my lord ? O, this base quality'^ 
Of intelligencer! Why, every quality i' the world 
Prefers but gain or commendation: 
Now, for this act I am certain to be rais'd. 
And men that paint weeds to the life are prais'd. [Exit, 

Scene III. [An apartment in the Cardinal's palace at Rome] 
[Enter] Cardinal, Ferdinand, Malatesti, Pescara, Delio, and 



S 



ILVIO 



Card. Must we turn soldier, then ? 

Mai. The emperor. 

Hearing your worth that way, ere you attain'd 
This reverend garment, joins you in commission 
With the right fortunate soldier the Marquis of Pescara, 
And the famous Lannoy. 

Card. He that had the honour 

Of taking the French king prisoner ? 

Mai. The same. 

Here's a plot drawn for a new fortification 
At Naples. 

Ferd. This great Count Malatesti, I perceive, 
Hath got employment ? 

Delio. No employment, my lord; 

A marginal note in the muster-book, that he is 
A voluntary lord. 

Ferd. He's no soldier. 

" Remains. '^ Profession. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 805 

Delia. He has worn gun-powder in's hollow tooth for the tooth- 
ache. 

Sil. He comes to the leaguer with a full intent 
To eat fresh beef and garlic, means to stay 
Till the scent be gone, and straight return to court. 

Delia. He hath read all the late service 
As the City-Chronicle relates it; 
And keeps two pewterers going, only to express 
Battles in model. 

Sil. Then he'll fight by the book. 

Delia. By the almanac, I think, 
To choose good days and shun the critical; 
That's his mistress' scarf. 

Sil. Yes, he protests 

He would do much for that taffeta. 

Delia. I think he would run away from a battle. 
To save it from taking prisoner. 

Sil. He is horribly afraid 

Gun-powder will spoil the perfume on 't. 

Delia. I saw a Dutchman break his pate once 
For calling him pot-gun; he made his head 
Have a bore in 't like a musket. 

Sil. I would he had made a touch-hole to 't. 
He is indeed a guarded sumpter-cloth,' 
Only for the remove of the court. 

[Enter Bosola] 

Pes. Bosola arriv'd! What should be the business.? 
Some falling-out amongst the cardinals. 
These factions amongst great men, they are like 
Foxes, when their heads are divided. 
They carry lire in their tails, and all the country 
About them goes to wrack for 't. 

Sil. What's that Bosola? 

Delia. I knew him in Padua, — a fantastical scholar, like such who 
' A decorated horse-cloth, used only when the court is traveling. 



8o6 JOHN WEBSTER 

study to know how many knots was in Hercules' club, of what 
colour Achilles' beard was, or whether Hector were not troubled 
with the tooth-ache. He hath studied himself half blear-eyed to 
know the true symmetry of Cssar's nose by a shoeing-horn; and 
this he did to gain the name of a speculative man. 

Pes. Mark Prince Ferdinand: 
A very salamander lives in 's eye, 
To mock the eager violence of fire. 

Sil. That cardinal hath made more bad faces with his oppression 
than ever Michael Angelo made good ones. He lifts up 's nose, like 
a foul porpoise before a storm. 

Pes. The Lord Ferdinand laughs. 

Delia. Like a deadly cannon 

That lightens ere it smokes. 

Pes. These are your true pangs of death, 
The pangs of life, that struggle with great statesmen. 

Delia. In such a deformed silence witches whisper their charms. 

Card. Doth she make religion her riding-hood 
To keep her from the sun and tempest? 

Ferd. That, that damns her. Methinks her fault and beauty. 
Blended together, show like leprosy. 
The whiter, the fouler. I make it a question 
Whether her beggarly brats were ever christ'ned. 

Card. I will instantly solicit the state of Ancona 
To have them banish'd. 

Ferd. You are for Loretto: 

I shall not be at your ceremony; fare you well. — 
Write to the Duke of Malfi, my young nephew 
She had by her first husband, and acquaint him 
With 's mother's honesty. 

Bos. I will. 

Ferd. Antonio! 

A slave that only smell'd of ink and counters. 
And never in 's life look'd like a gentleman. 
But in the audit-time. — Go, go presently, 
Draw me out an hundred and fifty of our horse, 
And meet me at the foot-bridge. Exeunt. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 807 

Scene IV 

[Enta"] Two Pilgrims to the Shrine of our Lady of Loretto 

First Pit. I have not seen a goodlier shrine than this; 
Yet I have visited many. 

Sec. Pil. The Cardinal of Arragon 

Is this day to resign his cardinal's hat: 
His sister duchess likewise is arriv'd 
To pay her vow of pilgrimage. I expect 
A noble ceremony. 

First, Pil. No question. — They come. 

[Here the ceremony of the Cardinal's instalment, in the habit of a 
soldier, perform' d in delivering up his cross, hat, robes, and ring, 
at the shrine, and investing him with sword, helmet, shield, and 
spurs; then Antonio, the Duchess and their children, having 
presented themselves at the shrine, are, by a form of banishment 
in dumb-show expressed towards them by the Cardinal and the 
state of Ancona, banished: during all which ceremony, this ditty 
is sung, to very solemn music, by divers churchmen: and then 
exeunt [dl except the Two Pilgrims}. 

Arms and honours deck thy story, 

To thy fame's eternal glory! 

Adverse fortune ever fly thee; 

No disastrous fate come nigh theel 

I alone will sing thy praises, 

Whom to honour virtue raises, 

And thy study, that divine is. 

Bent to martial discipline is, 

Lay aside all those robes lie by thee; 

Crown thy arts with arms, they'll beautify thee. 

O worthy of worthiest name, adorn'd in this manner. 
Lead bravely thy forces on under war's warlike banner 1 
O, mayst thou prove fortunate in all martial courses! 
Guide thou still by skill in arts and forces! 
Victory attend thee nigh, whilst fame sings loud thy powers; 



8o8 JOHN WEBSTER 

Triumphant conquest crown thy head, and blessings pour 
down showers!' 

First Pil. Here's a strange turn of state! who would have thought 
So great a lady would have match'd herself 
Unto so mean a person ? Yet the cardinal 
Bears himself much too cruel. 

Sec. Pil. They are banish'd. 

First Pil. But I would ask what power hath this state 
Of Ancona to determine of a free prince? 

Sec. Pil. They are a free state, sir, and her brother show'd 
How that the Pope, fore-hearing of her looseness, 
Hath seiz'd into th' protection of the church 
The dukedom which she held as dowager. 

First Pil. But by what justice? 

Sec. Pil. Sure, I think by none, 

Only her brother's instigation. 

First Pil. What was it with such violence he took 
Off from her finger? 

Sec. Pil. 'Twas her wedding-ring; 

Which he vow'd shortly he would sacrifice 
To his revenge. 

First Pil. Alas, Antonio! 

If that a man be thrust into a well, 
No matter who sets hand to 't, his own weight 
Will bring him sooner to th' bottom. Come, let's hence. 
Fortune makes this conclusion general, 
All things do help th' unhappy man to fall. Exeunt. 

Scene V. [Near Loretto] 
[Enter] Duchess, Antonio, Children, Cariola, and Servants 

Duch. Banish'd Ancona! 

Ant. Yes, you see what power 

Lightens in great men's breath. 

Duch. Is all our train 

Shrunk to this poor remainder? 

'The first quarto has in the margin: "The Author disclaims this Ditty to be his." 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 809 

Ant. These poor men, 

Which have got little in your service, vow 
To take your fortune: but your wiser buntings,' 
Now they are fledg'd, are gone. 

Duch. They have done wisely. 

This puts me in mind of death: physicians thus, 
With their hands full of money, use to give o'er 
Their patients. 

Ant. Right the fashion of the world: 

From decay 'd fortunes every flatterer shrinks; 
Men cease to build where the foundation sinks. 

Duch. I had a very strange dream to-night. 

Ant. What was 't.? 

Duch. Methought I wore my coronet of state, 
And on a sudden all the diamonds 
Were chang'd to pearls. 

Ant. My interpretation 

Is, you'll weep shortly; for to me the pearls 
Do signify your tears. 

Duch. The birds that live i' th' field 

On the wild benefit of nature live 
Happier than we; for they may choose their mates, 
And carol their sweet pleasures to the spring. 

[Enter Bosola with a letter^ 

Bos. You are happily o'erta'en. 

Duch. From my brother? 

Bos. Yes, from the Lord Ferdinand your brother 
All love and safety. 

Duch. Thou dost blanch mischief, 

Would' St make it white. See, see, like to calm weather 
At sea before a tempest, false hearts speak fair 
To those they intend most mischief. [Reads.^ 

'Send Antonio to me; I want his head in a business.' 
A politic equivocation! 
He doth not want your counsel, but your head; 

* Small birds. 



8 10 JOHN WEBSTER 

That is, he cannot sleep till you be dead. 

And here's another pitfall that's strew'd o'er 

With roses; mark it, 'tis a cunning one: [Reads.] 

'I stand engaged for your husband for several debts at Naples: 
let not that trouble him; I had rather have his heart than his 
money': — 
And I believe so too. 

Bos. What do you believe ? 

Duck. That he so much distrusts my husband's love, 
He will by no means believe his heart is with him 
Until he see it : the devil is not cunning enough 
To circumvent us in riddles. 

Bos. Will you reject that noble and free league 
Of amity and love which I present you ? 

Duch. Their league is like that of some politic kings, 
Only to make themselves of strength and power 
To be our after-ruin; tell them so. 

Bos. And what from you ? 

Ant. Thus tell him; I will not come. 

Bos. And what of this? 

Ant. My brothers have dispers'd 

Bloodhounds abroad; which till I hear are muzzl'd. 
No truce, though hatch'd with ne'er such politic skill, 
Is safe, that hangs upon our enemies' will. 
I'll not come at them. 

Bos. This proclaims your breeding. 

Every small thing draws a base mind to fear. 
As the adamant draws iron. Fare you well, sir; 
You shall shortly hear from 's. Exit, 

Duch. I suspect some ambush; 

Therefore by all my love I do conjure you 
To take your eldest son, and fly towards Milan. 
Let us not venture all this poor remainder 
In one unlucky bottom. 

Ant. You counsel safely. 

Best of my life, farewell. Since we must part, 
Heaven hath a hand in 't; but no otherwise 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 8ll 

Than as some curious artist takes in sunder 
A clock or watch, when it is out of frame, 
To bring 't in better order. 

Duch. I know not which is best. 
To see you dead, or part with you. — ^Farewell, boy: 
Thou art happy that thou hast not understanding 
To know thy misery; for all our wit 
And reading brings us to a truer sense 
Of sorrow. — In the eternal church, sir, 
I do hope we shall not part thus. 

Ant. O, be of comfort! 

Make patience a noble fortitude. 
And think not how unkindly we are us'd: 
Man, like to cassia, is prov'd best, being bruis'd. 

Duch. Must I, like to slave-born Russian, 
Account it praise to suffer tyranny ? 
And yet, O heaven, thy heavy hand is in 't! 
I have seen my little boy oft scourge his top, ^ 

And compar'd myself to 't: naught made me e'er 
Go right but heaven's scourge-stick. 

Ant. Do not weep: 

Heaven fashion'd us of nothing; and we strive 
To bring ourselves to nothing. — Farewell, Cariola, 
And thy sweet armful. — If I do never see thee more, 
Be a good mother to your little ones. 
And save them from the tiger: fare you well. 

Duch. Let me look upon you once more, for that speech 
Came from a dying father. Your kiss is colder 
Than that I have seen an holy anchorite 
Give to a dead man's skull. 

Ant. My heart is turn'd to a heavy lump of lead, 
With which I sound my danger: fare you well. 

Exeunt [Antonio and his son]. 

Duch. My laurel is all withered. 

Cari. Look, madam, what a troop of armed men 
Make toward us! 



8 12 JOHN WEBSTER 

Re-enter Bosola \visarded,^ with a Guard 

Duck. O, they are very welcome: 

When Fortune's wheel is over-charg'd with princes, 
The weight makes it move swift: I would have my ruin 
Be sudden. — I am your adventure, am I not? 

Bos. You are: you must see your husband no more. 

Duch. What devil art thou that counterfeit' st heaven's thunder ? 

Bos. Is that terrible ? I would have you tell me whether 
Is that note worse that frights the silly birds 
Out of the corn, or that which doth allure them 
To the nets? You have heark'ned to the last too much. 

Duch. O misery! like to a rusty o'ercharg'd cannon, 
Shall I never fly in pieces? — Come, to what prison? 

Bos. To none. 

Duch. Whither, then? 

Bos. To your palace. 

Duch. I have heard 

That Charon's boat serves to convey all o'er 
The dismal lake, but brings none back again. 

Bos. Your brothers mean you safety and pity. 

Duch. Pity! 

With such a pity men preserve alive 
Pheasants and quails, when they are not fat enough 
To be eaten. 

Bos. These are your children? 

Duch. Yes. 

Bos. Can they prattle? 

Duch. No: 
But I intend, since they were born accurs'd, 
Curses shall be their first language. 

Bos. Fie, madam! 

Forget this base, low fellow 

Duch. Were I a man, 

I'd beat that counterfeit face^ into thy other. 

Bos. One of no birth. 

^ His vizard. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 813 

Duch. Say that he was born mean, 

Man is most happy when 's own actions 
Be arguments and examples of his virtue. 

Bos. A barren, beggarly virtue. 

Duch. I prithee, who is greatest.? Can you tell.? 
Sad tales befit my woe: I'll tell you one. 
A salmon, as she swam unto the sea, 
Met with a dog-fish, who encounters her 
With this rough language; 'Why art thou so bold 
To mix thyself with our high state of floods, 
Being no eminent courtier, but one 
That for the calmest and fresh time o' th' year 
Dost live in shallow rivers, rank'st thyself 
With silly smelts and shrimps? And darest thou 
Pass by our dog-ship without reverence?' 
'O,' quoth the salmon, 'sister, be at peace: 
Thank Jupiter we both have pass'd the net! 
Our value never can be truly known. 
Till in the fisher's basket we be shown: 
r th' market then my price may be the higher. 
Even when I am nearest to the cook and fire.' 
So to great men the moral may be stretched; 
Men oft are valu'd high, when they're most wretched. — 
But come, whither you please. I am arm'd 'gainst misery; 
Bent to all sways of the oppressor's will : 
There's no deep valley but near some great hill. Exeunt. 

ACT IV 
Scene I. [Malfi. An apartment in the palace of the Duchess^ 

[Enter] Ferdinand and Bosola 

Ferd. How doth our sister duchess bear herself 
In her imprisonment? 

Bos. Nobly : I'll describe her. 

She's sad as one long us'd to 't, and she seems 
Rather to welcome the end of misery 



8l4 JOHN WEBSTER 

Than shun it; a behaviour so noble 

As gives a majesty to adversity: 

You may discern the shape of loveHness 

More perfect in her tears than in her smiles: 

She will muse for hours together; and her silence, 

Methinks, expresseth more than if she spake. 

Ferd. Her melancholy seems to be fortified 
With a strange disdain. 

Bos. 'Tis so; and this restraint, 

Like English mastives that grow fierce with tying, 
Makes her too passionately apprehend 
Those pleasures she is kept from. 

Ferd. Curse upon her! 

I will no longer study in the book 
Of another's heart. Inform her what I told you. Exit. 

[Enter Duchess and Attendants] 

Bos. All comfort to your grace! 

Duch. I will have none. 

Pray thee, why dost thou wrap thy poison'd pills 
In gold and sugar? 

Bos. Your elder brother, the Lord Ferdinand, 
Is come to visit you, and sends you word, 
'Cause once he rashly made a solemn vow 
Never to see you more, he comes i' th' night; 
And prays you gently neither torch nor taper 
Shine in your chamber. He will kiss your hand. 
And reconcile himself; but for his vow 
He dares not see you. 

Duch. At his pleasure. — 

Take hence the lights. — He's come. 

[Exeunt Attendants with lights.] 

[Enter Ferdinand] 

Ferd. Where are you ? 

Duch. Here, sir. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 815 

Ferd. This darkness suits you well. 

Duch. I would ask your pardon. 

Ferd. You have it; 
For I account it the honorabl'st revenge, 
Where I may kill, to pardon. — Where are your cubs ? 

Duch. Whom? 

Ferd. Call them your children; 

For though our national law distinguish bastards 
From true legitimate issue, compassionate nature 
Makes them all equal. 

Duch. Do you visit me for this? 

You violate a sacrament o' th' church 
Shall make you howl in hell for't. 

Ferd. It had been well, 

Could you have liv'd thus always; for, indeed. 
You were too much i' th' light: — but no more; 
I come to seal my peace with you. Here's a hand 

Gives her a dead man's hand. 
To which you have vow'd much love; the ring upon't 
You gave. 

Duch. I affectionately kiss it. 

Ferd. Pray, do, and bury the print of it in your heart. 
I will leave this ring with you for a love-token; 
And the hand as sure as the ring; and do not doubt 
But you shall have the heart too. When you need a friend. 
Send it to him that ow'd it; you shall see 
Whether he can aid you. 

Duch. You are very cold: 

I fear you are not well after your travel. — 
Ha! lights! O, horrible! 

Ferd. Let her have lights enough. Exit. 

Duch. What witchcraft doth he practise, that he hath left 
A dead man's hand here? 

Here is discovered, behind a traverse^ the artificial figures 
of Antonio and his children, appearing as if they were 
dead. 

' Curtain. 



8l6 JOHN WEBSTER 

Bos. Look you, here's the piece from which 'twas ta'en. 
He doth present you this sad spectacle, 
That, now you know directly they are dead, 
Hereafter you may wisely cease to grieve 
For that which cannot be recovered. 

Duch. There is not between heaven and earth one wish 
I stay for after this. It wastes me more 
Than were't my picture, fashion'd out of wax. 
Stuck with a magical needle, and then buried 
In some foul dunghill; and yon's an excellent property 
For a tyrant, which I would account mercy. 

Bos. What's that.? 

Duch. If they would bind me to that lifeless trunk. 
And let me freeze to death. 

Bos. Come, you must live. 

Duch. That's the greatest torture souls feel in hell, 
In hell, that they must live, and cannot die. 
Portia,^ I'll new kindle thy coals again, 
And revive the rare and almost dead example 
Of a loving wife. 

Bos. O, fie! despair? Remember 

You are a Christian. 

Duch. The church enjoins fasting: 

I'll starve myself to death. 

Bos. Leave this vain sorrow. 

Things being at the worst begin to mend : the bee 
When he hath shot his sting into your hand. 
May then play with your eye-lid. 

Duch. Good comfortable fellow, 

Persuade a wretch that's broke upon the wheel 
To have all his bones new set; entreat him live 
To be executed again. Who must despatch me? 
I account this world a tedious theatre. 
For I do play a part in't 'gainst my will. 

Bos. Come, be of comfort; I will save your life. 

Duch. Indeed, I have not leisure to tend so small a business. 

^ The wife of Brutus, who died by swallowing fire. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 817 

Bos. Now, by xny life, I pity you. 

Duch. Thou art a fool, then, 

To waste thy pity on a thing so wretched 
As cannot pity itself. I am full of daggers. 
Puff, let me blow these vipers from me. 

[Enter Servant] 
What are you? 

Serv. One that wishes you long life. 

Duch. I would thou wert hang'd for the horrible curse 
Thou hast given me: I shall shortly grow one 
Of the miracles of pity. I'll go pray; — [Exit Servant.] 

No, I'll go curse. 

Bos. O, fie! 

Duch. I could curse the stars. 

Bos. O, fearful! 

Duch. And those three smiling seasons of the year 
Into a Russian winter; nay, the world 
To its first chaos. 

Bos. Look you, the stars shine still. 

Duch. O, but you must 
Remember, my curse hath a great way to go. — 
Plagues, that make lanes through largest families, 
Consume them! — 

Bos. Fie, lady! 

Duch. Let them, like tyrants, 

Never be remembered but for the ill they have done; 
Let all the zealous prayers of mortified 
Churchmen forget them! — 

Bos. O, uncharitable! 

Duch. Let heaven a little while cease crowning martyrs. 
To punish them! — 

Go, howl them this, and say, I long to bleed: 
It is some mercy when men kill with speed. Exit. 



8l8 JOHN WEBSTER 

[Re-enter Ferdinand] 

Ferd. Excellent, as I would wish; she's plagu'd in art.' 
These presentations are but fram'd in wax 
By the curious master in that quality/ 
Vincentio Lauriola, and she takes them 
For true substantial bodies. 

Bos. Why do you do this? 

Ferd. To bring her to despair. 

Bos. Faith, end here. 

And go no farther in your cruelty: 
Send her a penitential garment to put on 
Next to her delicate skin, and furnish her 
With beads and prayer-'books. 

Ferd. Damn her! that body of hers, 

While that my blood ran pure in't, was more worth 
Than that which thou wouldst comfort, call'd a soul. 
I will send her masques of common courtezans. 
Have her meat serv'd up by bawds and ruffians, 
And, 'cause she'll needs be mad, I am resolv'd 
To move forth the common hospital 
All the mad-folk, and place them near her lodging; 
There let them practise together, sing and dance. 
And act their gambols to the full o' th' moon: 
If she can sleep the better for it, let her. 
Your work is almost ended. 

Bos. Must I see her again? 

Ferd. Yes. 

Bos. Never. 

Ferd. You must. 

Bos. Never in mine own shape; 

That 's forfeited by my intelligence^ 
And this last cruel lie: when you send me next, 
The business shall be comfort. 

Ferd. Very likely; 

Thy pity is nothing of kin to thee. Antonio 

5 By artificial means. * Profession. ' Spying. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 819 

Lurks about Milan : thou shalt shortly thither, 

To feed a fire as great as my revenge, 

Which nev'r will slack till it hath spent his fuel: 

Intemperate agues make physicians cruel. Exeunt. 

[Scene II. Another room in the lodging of the Duchess] 

[Enter] Duchess and Cariola 

Duch. What hideous noise was that? 

Cari. 'Tis the wild consort* 

Of madmen, lady, which your tyrant brother 
Hath plac'd about your lodging. This tyranny, 
1 think, was never practis'd till this hour. 

Duch. Indeed, I thank him. Nothing but noise and folly 
Can keep me in my right wits; whereas reason 
And silence make me stark mad. Sit down; 
Discourse to me some dismal tragedy. 

Cari. O, 'twill increase your melancholy! 

Duch. Thou art deceiv'd: 

To hear of greater grief would lessen mine. 
This is a prison? 

Cari. Yes, but you shall live 

To shake this durance off. 

Duch. Thou art a fool: 

The robin-red-breast and the nightingale 
Never live long in cages. 

Cari. Pray, dry your eyes. 

What think you of, madam? 

Duch. Of nothing; 

When I muse thus, I sleep. 

Cari. Like a madman, with your eyes open? 

Duch. Dost thou think we shall know one another 
In th' other world? 

Cari. Yes, out of question. 

Duch. O, that it were possible we might 
But hold some two days' conference with the dead! 

' Band. 



820 JOHN WEBSTER 

From them I should learn somewhat, I am sure, 

I never shall know here. I'll tell thee a miracle : 

I am not mad yet, to my cause of sorrow: 

Th' heaven o'er my head seems made of molten brass, 

The earth of flaming sulphur, yet I am not mad. 

I am acquainted with sad misery 

As the tann'd galley-slave is with his oar; 

Necessity makes me suffer constantly. 

And custom makes it easy. Who do I look like now? 

Cari. Like to your picture in the gallery, 
A deal of life in show, but none in practice; 
Or rather like some reverend monument 
Whose ruins are even pitied. 

Duch. Very proper; 

And Fortune seems only to have her eye-sight 
To beihold my tragedy. — How now! 
What noise is that? 

[Enter Servant] 

Serv. I am come to tell you 

Your brother hath intended you some sport, 
A great physician, when the Pope was sick 
Of a deep melancholy, presented him 
With several sorts^ of madmen, which wild object 
Being full of change and sport, forc'd him to laugh. 
And so the imprasthume' broke: the self-same cure 
The duke intends on you. 

Duch. Let them come in. 

Serv. There's a mad lawyer; and a secular priest; 
A doctor that hath forfeited his wits 
By jealousy; an astrologian 
That in his works said such a day o' the month 
Should be the day of doom, and, failing oft. 
Ran mad; an English tailor craz'd i' the brain 
With the study of new fashions; a gentleman-usher 
Quite beside himself with care to keep in mind 

2 Bands. ' Boil. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 82 1 

The number of his lady's salutations 

Or 'How do you,' she employ 'd him in each morning; 

A farmer, too, an excellent knave in grain,^ 

Mad 'cause he was hind'red transporta'^ion:^ 

And let one broker that's mad loose to these, 

You'd think the devil were among them. 

Duch. Sit, Cariola. — Let them loose when you please, 
For I am chain'd to endure all your tyranny. 

[Enter Madman] 
Here by a Madman this song is sung to a dismal }{ind of music 

O, let us howl some heavy note, 

Some deadly dogged howl. 
Sounding as from the threatening throat 

Of beasts and fatal fowl! 
As ravens, screech-owls, bulls, and bears, 

We'll bell, and bawl our parts. 
Till irksome noise have cloy'd your ears 

And corrosiv'd your hearts. 
At last, whenas our choir wants breath, 

Our bodies being blest, 
We'll sing, like swans, to welcome death, 

And die in love and rest. 

First Madman. Doom's-day not come yet! I'll draw it nearer by 
a perspective,^ or make a glass that shall set all the world on fire upon 
an instant. I cannot sleep; my pillow is stuffed with a litter of 
porcupines. 

Second Madman. Hell is a mere glass-house, where the devils are 
continually blowing up women's souls on hollow irons, and the fire 
never goes out. 

First Madman. I have skill in heraldry. 

Second Madman. Hast? 

First Madman. You do give for your crest a woodcock's head 
with the brains picked out on't; you are a very ancient gentle- 
man. 

Third Madman. Greek is turned Turk : we are only to be saved 
by the Helvetian translation.^ 

* Punning on the two senses of "dye" and "corn." 

' From exporting his grain. ^ Optical glass. ^ The Geneva Bible. 



822 JOHN WEBSTER 

First Madman. Come on, sir, I will lay the law to you. 

Second Madman. O, rather lay a corrosive: the law will eat to the 
bone. 

Third Madman. He that drinks but to satisfy nature is damn'd. 

Fourth Madman. If I had my glass here, I would show a sight 
should make all the women here call me mad doctor. 

First Madman. What's he? a rope-maker? 

Second Madman. No, no, no, a snuffling knave that, while he 
shows the tombs, will have his hand in a wench's placket.' 

Third Madman. Woe to the caroche' that brought home my wife 
from the masque at three o'clock in the morning! It had a large 
feather-bed in it. 

Fourth Madman. I have pared the devil's nails forty times, roasted 
them in raven's eggs, and cured agues with them. 

Third Madman. Get me three hundred milch-bats, to make pos- 
sets'" to procure sleep. 

Fourth Madman. All the college may throw their caps at me: I 
have made a soap-boiler costive; it was my masterpiece. 

Here the dance, consisting of Eight Madmen, with music 
answerable thereunto; after which, Bosola, li/(e an old 
man, enters. 

Duch. Is he mad too? 

Serv. Pray, question him. I '11 leave you. 

[Exeunt Servant and Madmen.] 

Bos. I am come to make thy tomb. 

Duch. Ha! my tomb! 

Thou speak'st as if I lay upon my death-bed. 
Gasping for breath. Dost thou perceive me sick ? 

Bos. Yes, and the more dangerously, since thy sickness is 
insensible. 

Duch. Thou art not mad, sure: dost know me? 

Bos. Yes. 

Duch. Who am I? 

Bos. Thou art a box of worm-seed, at best but a salvatory" of 
green mummy .'^ What's this flesh? a little crudded" milk, fantas- 

' Petticoat. * Coach. '" A warm drink containing milk, wine, etc. 
" Receptacle. '^ A drug supposed to ooze from embalmed bodies. '' Curdled. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 823 

tical pufif-paste. Our bodies are weaker than those paper-prisons 
boys use to keep flies in; more contemptible, since ours is to preserve 
earth-worms. Didst thou ever see a lark in a cage? Such is the soul 
in the body : this world is like her little turf of grass, and the heaven 
o'er our heads like her looking-glass, only gives us a miserable 
knowledge of the small compass of our prison. 

Duch. Am not I thy duchess? 

Bos. Thou art some great woman, sure, for riot begins to sit on 
thy forehead (clad in gray hairs) twenty years sooner than on a 
merry milk-maid's. Thou sleepest worse than if a mouse should be 
forced to take up her lodging in a cat's ear: a little infant that breeds 
its teeth, should it lie with thee, would cry out, as if thou wert the 
more unquiet bedfellow. 

Duch. I am Duchess of Malfi still. 

Bos. That makes thy sleep so broken : 
Glories, like glow-worms, afar off shine bright. 
But, look'd to near, have neither heat nor light. 

Duch. Thou art very plain. 

Bos. My trade is to flatter the dead, not the living; I am a tomb- 
maker. 

Duch. And thou comest to make my tomb ? 

Bos. Yes. 

Duch. Let me be a little merry: — of what stuff wilt thou make it? 

Bos. Nay, resolve me first, of what fashion ? 

Duch. Why, do we grow fantastical on our deathbed? Do we 
affect fashion in the grave? 

Bos. Most ambitiously. Princes' images on their tombs do not lie, 
as they were wont, seeming to pray up to heaven; but with their 
hands under their cheeks, as if they died of the tooth-ache. They are 
not carved with their eyes fix'd upon the stars, but as their minds 
were wholly bent upon the world, the selfsame way they seem to turn 
their faces. 

Duch. Let me know fully therefore the effect 
Of this thy dismal preparation. 
This talk fit for a charnel. 

Bos. Now I shall:— 



824 JOHN WEBSTER 

[Enter Executioners, with] a coffin, cords, and a bell 
Here is a present from your princely brothers; 
And may it arrive welcome, for it brings 
Last benefit, last sorrow. 

Duch, Let me see it: 

I have so much obedience in my blood, 
I wish it in their veins to do them good. 

Bos. This is your last presence-chamber, 

Cari. O my sweet lady! 

Duch. Peace; it affrights not me. 

Bos. I am the common bellman 
That usually is sent to condemn'd persons 
The night before they suffer. 

Duch. Even now thou said'st 

Thou wast a tomb-maker. 

Bos. 'Twas to bring you 

By degrees to mortification. Listen. 

Hark, now everything is still, 

The screech-owl and the whistler shrill 

Call upon our dame aloud. 

And bid her quickly don her shroud ! 

Much you had of land and rent; 

Your length in clay 's now competent: 

A long war disturb'd your mind; 

Here your perfect peace is sign'd. 

Of what is't fools make such vain keeping? 

Sin their conception, their birth weeping. 

Their life a general mist of error. 

Their death a hideous storm of terror. 

Strew your hair with powders sweet, 

Don clean linen, bathe your feet, 

And (the foul fiend more to check) 

A crucifix let bless your neck. " 

'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day; 

End your groan, and come away. 

Cari. Hence, villains, tyrants, murderers! Alas! 
What will you do with my lady? — Call for help! 
Duch. To whom? To our next neighbours? They are mad-folks. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 825 

Bos. Remove that noise. 

Duch. Farewell, Cariola. 

In my last will I have not much to give: 
A many hungry guests have fed upon me; 
Thine will be a poor reversion. 

Cari. I will die with her. 

Duch. I pray thee, look thou giv'st my little boy 
Some syrup for his cold, and let the girl 
Say her prayers ere she sleep. 

[Cariola is forced out by the Executioners.] 
Now what you please: 
What death? 

Bos. Strangling; here are your executioners. 

Duch. I forgive them: 
The apoplexy, catarrh, or cough o' th' lungs. 
Would do as much as they do. 

Bos. Doth not death fright you.? 

Duch. Who would be afraid on 't, 

Knowing to meet such excellent company 
In th' other world? 

Bos. Yet, methinks, 
The manner of your death should much afflict you: 
This cord should terrify you. 

Duch. Not a whit: 

What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut 
With diamonds? or to be smothered 
With cassia? or to be shot to death with pearls? 
I know death hath ten thousand several doors 
For men to take their exits; and 'tis found 
They go on such strange geometrical hinges, 
You may open them both ways: any way, for heaven-sake, 
So I were out of your whispering. Tell my brothers 
That I perceive death, now I am well awake, 
Best gift is they can give or I can take. 
I would fain put off my last woman's-fault, 
I'd not be tedious to you. 

First Execut. We are ready. 



826 JOHN WEBSTER 

Duck. Dispose my breath how please you; but my body 
Bestow upon my women, will you? 

First Execut. Yes. 

Duch. Pull, and pull strongly, for your able strength 
Must pull down heaven upon me: — 
Yet stay; heaven-gates are not so highly arch'd 
As princes' palaces; they that enter there 
Must go upon their knees [KneeWl. — Come, violent death, 
Serve for mandragora to make me sleep! — 
Go tell my brothers, when I am laid out, 
They then may feed in quiet. They strangle her. 

Bos. Where's the waiting-woman? 
Fetch her: some other strangle the children. 

{Enter Cariola] 

Look you, there sleeps your mistress. 

Cari. O, you are damn'd 

Perpetually for this! My turn is next; 
Is 't not so ordered? 

Bos. Yes, and I am glad 

You are so well prepar'd for 't. 

Cari. You are deceiv'd, sir, 

I am not prepar'd for't, I will not die; 
I will first come to my answer," and know 
How I have offended. 

Bos. Come, despatch her. — 

You kept her counsel; now you shall keep ours. 

Cari. I will not die, I must not; I am contracted 
To a young gendeman. 

First Execut. Here 's your wedding-ring. 

Cari. Let me but speak with the duke, I'll discover 
Treason to his person. 

Bos. Delays: — throttle her. 

First Execut. She bites and scratches. 

Cari. If you kill me now, 

I am damn'd; I have not been at confession 

"Trial. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALE I 827 

This two years. 
Bos. [To Executioners.] When?** 

Cart. I am quick with child. 

Bos. Why, then, 

Your credit's saved. [Executioners strangle Cariola.] 

Bear her into the next room; 
Let these he still. 

[Exeunt the Executioners with the body of Cariola.] 

[Enter Ferdinand] 

Ferd. Is she dead? 

Bos. She is what 

You'd have her. But here begin your pity : 

Shows the Children strangled. 
Alas, how have these offended ? 

Ferd. The death 

Of young wolves is never to be pitied. 

Bos. Fix your eye here. 

Ferd. Constantly. 

Bos. Do you not weep.? 

Other sins only speak; murder shrieks out. 
The element of water moistens the earth, 
But blood flies upwards and bedews the heavens. 

Ferd. Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle: she died young. 

Bos. I think not so; her infelicity 
Seem'd to have years too many. 

Ferd. She and I were twins; 
And should I die this instant, I had liv'd 
Her time to a minute. 

Bos. It seems she was born first: 

You have bloodily approv'd the ancient truth, 
That kindred commonly do worse agree 
Than remote strangers. 

Ferd. Let me see her face 

Again. Why didst thou not pity her ? What 
An excellent honest man mightst thou have been, 
''An exclamation of impatience. 



828 JOHN WEBSTER 

If thou hadst borne her to some sanctuary! 

Or, bold in a good cause, oppos'd thyself. 

With thy advanced sword above thy head, 

Between her innocence and my revenge! 

I bade thee, when I was distracted of my wits, 

Go kill my dearest friend, and thou hast done 't. 

For let me but examine well the cause: 

What was the meanness of her match to me? 

Only I must confess I had a hope. 

Had she continu'd widow, to have gain'd 

An infinite mass of treasure by her death: 

And that was the main cause, — her marriage, 

That drew a stream of gall quite through my heart. 

For thee, as we observe in tragedies 

That a good actor many times is curs'd 

For playing a villain's part, I hate thee for 't, 

And, for my sake, say, thou hast done much ill well. 

Bos. Let me quicken your memory, for I perceive 
You are falling into ingratitude : I challenge 
The reward due to my service. 

Ferd. I'H tell thee 

What I'll give thee. 

Bos. Do. 

Ferd. I'll give thee a pardon 

For this murder. 

Bos. Ha! 

Ferd. Yes, and 'tis 

The largest bounty I can study to do thee. 
By what authority didst thou execute 
This bloody sentence ? 

Bos. By yours. 

Ferd. Mine! was I her judge.? 
Did any ceremonial form of law 
Doom her to not-being? Did a complete jury 
Deliver her conviction up i' the court ? 
Where shalt thou find this judgment register'd, 



THE DUCHESS OF MALE! 829 

Unless in hell? See, like a bloody fool, 

Thou 'st forfeited thy life, and thou shalt die for 't. 

Bos. The office of justice is perverted quite 
When one thief hangs another. Who shall dare 
To reveal this? 

Ferd. O, I'll tell thee; 

The wolf shall find her grave, and scrape it up, 
Not to devour the corpse, but to discover 
The horrid murder. 

Bos. You, not I, shall quake for 't. 

Ferd. Leave me. 

Bos. I will first receive my pension. 

Ferd. You are a villain. 

Bos. When your ingratitude 

Is judge, I am so. 

Ferd. O horror. 

That not the fear of him which binds the devils 
Can prescribe man obedience! — 
Never look upon me more. 

Bos. Why, fare thee well. 

Your brother and yourself are worthy men! 
You have a pair of hearts are hollow graves. 
Rotten, and rotting others; and your vengeance, 
Like two chain'd-bullets, still goes arm in arm: 
You may be brothers; for treason, like the plague. 
Doth take much in a blood. I stand like one 
That long hath ta'en a sweet and golden dream: 
I am angry with myself, now that I wake. 

Ferd. Get thee into some unknown part o' the world, 
That I may never see thee. 

Bos. Let me know 

Wherefore I should be thus neglected. Sir, 
I serv'd your tyranny, and rather strove 
To satisfy yourself than all the world: 
And though I loath'd the evil, yet I lov'd 
You that did counsel it; and rather sought 



830 JOHN WEBSTER 

To appear a true servant than an honest man. 

Ferd. I'll go hunt the badger by owl-light: 
'Tis a deed of darkness. Exit, 

Bos. He's much distracted. Off, my painted honour! 
While with vain hopes our faculties we tire, 
We seem to sweat in ice and freeze in fire. 
What would I do, were this to do again.'' 
I would not change my peace of conscience 
For all the wealth of Europe. — She stirs; here's life: — 
Return, fair soul, from darkness, and lead mine 
Out of this sensible hell: — she's warm, she breathes: — 
Upon thy pale lips I will melt my heart. 
To store them with fresh colour. — Who's there.? 
Some cordial drink! — Alas! I dare not call: 
So pity would destroy pity. — Her eye opes. 
And heaven in it seems to ope, that late was shut, 
To take me up to mercy. 

Duch. Antonio! 

Bos. Yes, madam, he is living; 

The dead bodies you saw were but feign'd statues. 
He's reconcil'd to your brothers; the Pope hath wrought 
The atonement. 

Duch. Mercy! Dies. 

Bos. O, she's gone again! there the cords of life broke. 
O sacred innocence, that sweetly sleeps 
On turtles' feathers, whilst a guilty conscience 
Is a black register wherein is writ 
All our good deeds and bad, a perspective 
That shows us hell! That we cannot be suffer'd 
To do good when we have a mind to it! 
This is manly sorrow; 
These tears, I am very certain, never grew 
In my mother's milk. My estate is sunk 
Below the degree of fear: where were 
These penitent fountains while she was living? 
O, they were frozen up! Here is a sight 
As direful to my soul as is the sword 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 83 1 

Unto a wretch hath slain his father. 

Come, I'll bear thee hence, 

And execute thy last will : that's deliver 

Thy body to the reverend dispose 

Of some good women: that the cruel tyrant 

Shall not deny me. Then I'll post to Milan, 

Where somewhat I will speedily enact 

Worth my dejection. Exit [with the body], 

ACT V 

Scene I. [Milan. A public place] 

[Enter] Antonio and Delio 

Ant. What think you of my hope of reconcilement 
To the Arragonian brethren.? 

Delio. I misdoubt it; 

For though they have sent their letters of safe-conduct 
For your repair to Milan, they appear 
But nets to entrap you. The Marquis of Pescara, 
Under whom you hold certain land in cheat,' 
Much 'gainst his noble nature hath been mov'd 
To seize those lands; and some of his dependants 
Are at this instant making it their suit 
To be invested in your revenues. 
I cannot think they mean well to your life 
That do deprive you of your means of life, 
Your living. 

Ant. You are still an heretic'' 

To any safety I can shape myself. 

Delio. Here comes the marquis : I will make myself 
Petitioner for some part of your land. 
To know whither it is flying. 

Ant. I pray, do. [Withdraws.] 

' In escheat; here, in fee. ^ Disbeliever. 



832 JOHN WEBSTER 

[Enter Pescara] 

Delia. Sir, I have a suit to you. 

Pes. To me? 

Delia. An easy one: 

There is the Citadel of Saint Bennet, 
With some demesnes, of late in the possession 
Of Antonio Bologna, — please you bestow them on me. 

Pes. You are my friend; but this is such a suit, 
Nor fit for me to give, nor you to take. 

Delia. No, sir ? 

Pes. I will give you ample reason for 't 

Soon in private: — here's the cardinal's mistress. 

[Enter Julia] 

Julia. My lord, I am grown your poor petitioner, 
And should be an ill beggar, had I not 
A great man's letter here, the cardinal's, 
To court you in my favour. [Git/es a letter.^ 

Pes. He entreats for you 

The Citadel of Saint Bennet, that belong'd 
To the banish'd Bologna. 

]ulia. Yes. 

Pes. I could not have thought of a friend I could rather 
Pleasure with it: 'tis yours. 

Julia. Sir, I thank you; 

And he shall know how doubly I am engag'd 
Both in your gift, and speediness of giving 
Which makes your grant the greater. Exit. 

Ant. How they fortify 

Themselves with my ruin! 

Delia. Sir, I am 

Little bound to you. 

Pes. Why? 

Delia. Because you deni'd this suit to me, and gave 't 
To such a creature. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 833 

Pes. Do you know what it was? 

It was Antonio's land; not forfeited 
By course of law, but ravish'd from his throat 
By the cardinal's entreaty. It were not fit 
I should bestow so main a piece of wrong 
Upon my friend; 'tis a gratification 
Only due to a strumpet, for it is injustice. 
Shall I sprinkle the pure blood of innocents 
To make those followers I call my friends 
Look ruddier upon me ? I am glad 
This land, ta'en from the owner by such wrong, 
Returns again unto so foul an use 
As salary for his lust. Learn, good Delio, 
To ask noble things of me, and you shall find 
I'll be a noble giver. 

Delio. You instruct me well. 

Ant. Why, here's a man now would fright impudence 
From sauciest beggars. 

Pes. Prince Ferdinand's come to Milan, 

Sick, as they give out, of an apoplexy; 
But some say 'tis a frenzy : I am going 
To visit him. Exit. 

Ant. 'Tis a noble old fellow. 

Delio. What course do you mean to take, Antonio.? 

Ant. This night I mean to venture all my fortune, 
Which is no more than a poor ling'ring life, 
To the cardinal's worst of malice. I have got 
Private access to his chamber; and intend 
To visit him about the mid of night. 
As once his brother did our noble duchess. 
It may be that the sudden apprehension 
Of danger, — for I'll go in mine own shape, — 
When he shall see it f raight' with love and duty, 
May draw the poison out of him, and work 
A friendly reconcilement. If it fail, 

' Fraught. 



834 JOHN WEBSTER 

Yet it shall rid me of this infamous calling; 
For better fall once than be ever falling. 

Delia. I'll second you in all danger; and howe'er, 
My life keeps rank with yours. 

Ant. You are still my lov'd and best friend. Exeunt, 

Scene II. [A gallery in the residence of the Cardinal and Ferdinand] 

[Etiter] Pescara and Doctor 

Pes. Now, doctor, may I visit your patient ? 

Doc. If 't please your lordship; but he's instantly 
To take the air here in the gallery 
By my direction. 

Pes. Pray thee, what's his disease.'' 

Doc. A very pestilent disease, my lord, 
They call lycanthropia. 

Pes. What's that? 

I need a dictionary to 't. 

Doc. I'll tell you. 

In those that are possess'd with 't there o'erflows 
Such melancholy humour they imagine 
Themselves to be transformed into wolves; 
Steal forth to church-yards in the dead of night, 
And dig dead bodies up: as two nights since 
One met the duke 'bout midnight in a lane 
Behind Saint Mark's church, with the leg of a man 
Upon his shoulder; and he howl'd fearfully; 
Said he was a wolf, only the difference 
Was, a wolf's skin was hairy on the outside. 
His on the inside; bade them take their swords. 
Rip up his flesh, and try. Straight I was sent for. 
And, having minister'd to him, found his grace 
Very well recover'd. 

Pes. I am glad on 't. 

Doc. Yet not without some fear 

Of a relapse. If he grow to his fit again. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 835 

I'll go a nearer way to work with him 

Than ever Paracelsus dream'd of; if 

They'll give me leave, I'll buffet his madness out of him. 

Stand aside; he comes. 

[Enter Ferdinand, Cardinal, Malatesti, and Bosola] 

Ferd. Leave me. 

Mai. Why doth your lordship love this solitariness? 

Ferd. Eagles commonly fly alone: they are crows, daws, and star- 
lings that flock together. Look, what's that follows rae? 

Mai. Nothing, my lord, 

Ferd. Yes. 

Mai. 'Tis your shadow. 

Ferd. Stay it; let it not haunt me. 

Mai. Impossible, if you move, and the sun shine. 

Ferd. I will throttle it. [Throws himself down on his shadow. '[ 

Mai. O, my lord, you are angry with nothing. 

Ferd. You are a fool: how is 't possible I should catch my shadow, 
unless I fall upon 't? When I go to hell, I mean to carry a bribe; 
for, look you, good gifts evermore make way for the worst per- 
sons. 

Pes. Rise, good my lord. 

Ferd. I am studying the art of patience. 

Pes. 'Tis a noble virtue. 

Ferd. To drive six snails before me from this town to Moscow; 
neither use goad nor whip to them, but let them take their own 
time; — the patient'st man i' th' world match me for an experiment: 
— an I'll crawl after like a sheep-biter.' 

Card. Force him up. [They raise him.] 

Ferd. Use me well, you were best. What I have done, I have done: 
I'll confess nothing. 

Doc. Now let me come to him. — Are you mad, my lord? are you 
out of your princely wits? 

Ferd. What's he? 

Pes. Your doctor. 

' A dog which worries sheep. 



836 JOHN WEBSTER 

Ferd. Let me have his beard saw'd off, and his eye-brows fil'd 
more civil. 

Doc. I must do mad tricks with him, for that's the only way 
on 't. — I have brought your grace a salamander's skin to keep you 
from sun-burning. 

Ferd. I have cruel sore eyes. 

Doc. The white of a cockatrix's^ egg is present remedy. 

Ferd. Let it be a new-laid one, you were best. 
Hide me from him: physicians are like kings, — 
They brook no contradiction. 

Doc. Now he begins to fear me: now let me alone with him. 

Card. How now! put off your gown! 

Doc. Let me have some forty urinals filled with rosewater: he and 
I'll go pelt one another with them. — Now he begins to fear me. — 
Can you fetch a frisk,' sir? — Let him go, let him go, upon my peril: 
I find by his eye he stands in awe of me; I'll make him as tame as 
a dormouse. 

Ferd. Can you fetch your frisks, sir! — I will stamp him into a 
cullis,'' flay off his skin to cover one of the anatomies^ this rogue hath 
set i' th' cold yonder in Barber-Chirurgeon's-hall. — Hence, hence! 
you are all of you like beasts for sacrifice. {Throws the Doctor down 
and beats him.] There's nothing left of you but tongue and belly, 
flattery and lechery. • [Ex/f.] 

Pes. Doctor, he did not fear you thoroughly. 

Doc. True; I was somewhat too forward. 

Bos. Mercy upon me, what a fatal judgment 
Hath fall'n upon this Ferdinand! 

Pes. Knows your grace 

What accident hath brought unto the prince 
This strange distraction? 

Card, [aside.] I must feign somewhat. — Thus they say it grew. 
You have heard it rumour'd, for these many years 
None of our family dies but there is seen 
The shape of an old woman, which is given 
By tradition to us to have been murder'd 
By her nephews for her riches. Such a figure 

* A fabulous serpent that killed by its glance. ' Cut a caper. * Broth. ' Skeletons. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 837 

One night, as the prince sat up late at's book, 

Appear'd to him; when crying out for help. 

The gentleman of 's chamber found his grace 

All on a cold sweat, alter'd much in face 

And language : since which apparition. 

He hath grown worse and worse, and I much fear 

He cannot live. 

Bos. Sir, I would speak with you. 

Pes. We'll leave your grace. 
Wishing to the sick prince, our noble lord, 
All health of mind and body. 

Card. You are most welcome. 

[Exeunt Pescara, Malatesti, and Doctor.] 
Are you come? so. — [Aside.] This fellow must not know 
By any means I had intelligence 
In our duchess' death; for, though I counsell'd it, 
The full of all th' engagement seem'd to grow 
From Ferdinand. — Now, sir, how fares our sister? 
I do not think but sorrow makes her look 
Like to an oft-dy'd garment : she shall now 
Take comfort from me. Why do you look so wildly? 
O, the fortune of your master here the prince 
Dejects you; but be you of happy comfort: 
If you'll do one thing for me I'll entreat. 
Though he had a cold tomb-stone o'er his bones, 
I'd make you what you would be. 

Bos. Any thing; 

Give it me in a breath, and let me fly to 't. 
They that think long small expedition win, 
For musing much o' th' end cannot begin. 

[Enter Julia] 

Julia. Sir, will you come into supper ? 

Card. I am busy; leave me. 

fulia [aside.] What an excellent shape hath that fellow! Exit. 

Card. 'Tis thus. Antonio lurks here in Milan: 
Inquire him out, and kill him. While he lives, 



838 JOHN WEBSTER 

Our sister cannot marry; and I have thought 

Of an excellent match for her. Do this, and style me 

Thy advancement. 

Bos. But by what means shall I find him out? 

Card. There is a gentleman call'd Delio 
Here in the camp, that hath been long approv'd 
His loyal friend. Set eye upon that fellow; 
Follow him to mass; may be Antonio, 
Although he do account religion 
But a school-name, for fashion of the world 
May accompany him; or else go inquire out 
Delio's confessor, and see if you can bribe 
Him to reveal it. There are a thousand ways 
A man might find to trace him; as to know 
What fellows haunt the Jews for taking up 
Great sums of money, for sure he's in want; 
Or else to go to the picture-makers, and learn 
Who bought" her picture lately: some of these 
Happily may take. 

Bos. Well, I'll not freeze i' th' business: 

I would see that wretched thing, Antonio, 
Above all sights i' th' world. 

Card. Do, and be happy. Exit, 

Bos. This fellow doth breed basilisks in 's eyes. 
He's nothing else but murder; yet he seems 
Not to have notice of the duchess' death. 
'Tis his cunning: I must follow his example; 
There cannot be a surer way to trace 
Than that of an old fox. 

\Re-enter Julia, with a pistol] 

Julia. So, sir, you are well met. 
Bos. How now! 

Julia. Nay, the doors are fast enough : 
Now, sir, I will make you confess your treachery. 
Bos. Treachery! 

' So Dyce. Quartos, brought. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 839 

Julia. Yes, confess to me 

Which of my women 'twas you hir'd to put 
Love-powder into my drink? 

Bos. Love-powder! 

Julia. Yes, when I was at Malfi. 

Why should I fall in love with such a face else? 
I have already suffer'd for thee so much pain, 
The only remedy to do me good 
Is to kill my longing. 

Bos. Sure, your pistol holds 

Nothing but perfumes or kissing-comfits.' 
Excellent lady! 

You have a pretty way on 't to discover 
Your longing. Come, come, I'll disarm you. 
And arm you thus: yet this is wondrous strange. 

Julia. Compare thy form and my eyes together, 
You'll find my love no such great miracle. 
Now you'll say 

I am wanton : this nice modesty in ladies 
Is but a troublesome familiar 
That haunts them. 

Bos. Know you me, I am a blunt soldier. 

Julia. The better: 

Sure, there wants fire where there are no lively sparks 
Of roughness. 

Bos. And I want compliment. 

Julia, Why, ignorance 

In courtship cannot make you do amiss. 
If you have a heart to do well. 

Bos. You are very fair. 

Julia. Nay, if you lay beauty to my charge, 
I must plead unguilty. 

Bos. Your bright eyes 

Carry a quiver of darts in them sharper 
Than sun-beams. 

Julia. You will mar me with commendation, 

^Perfumed sweetmeats for the breath. 



840 JOHN WEBSTER 

Put yourself to the charge of courting me, 
Whereas now I woo you. 

Bos. [Aside. ^ I have it, I will work upon this creature. — 
Let us grow most amorously familiar : 
If the great cardinal now should see me thus. 
Would he not count me a villain ? 

Julia. No; he might count me a wanton, 
Not lay a scruple of offence on you; 
For if I see and steal a diamond, 
The fault is not i' th' stone, but in me the thief 
That purloins it. I am sudden with you. 
We that are great women of pleasure use to cut off 
These uncertain wishes and unquiet longings. 
And in an instant join the sweet delight 
And the pretty excuse together. Had you been i' th' street, 
Under my chamber-window, even there 
I should have courted you. 

Bos. O, you are an excellent lady! 

]ulia. Bid me do somewhat for you presently 
To express I love you. 

Bos. I will; and if you love me. 

Fail not to effect it. 

The cardinal is grown wondrous melancholy; 
Demand the cause, let him not put you off 
With feign'd excuse; discover the main ground on't. " 

Julia. Why would you know this? 

Bos. I have depended on him, 

And I hear that he is fall'n in some disgrace 
With the emperor : if he be, like the mice 
That forsake falling houses, I would shift 
To other dependance. 

Julia. You shall not need 

Follow the wars: I'll be your maintenance. 

Bos. And I your loyal servant: but I cannot 
Leave my calling. 

Julia. Not leave an ungrateful 

General for the love of a sweet lady! 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 84I 

You are like some cannot sleep in feather-beds, 
But must have blocks for their pillows. 

Bos. Will you do this? 

Julia. Cunningly. 

Bos. To-morrow I'll expect th' intelligence. 

Julia. To-morrow! get you into my cabinet; 
You shall have it with you. Do not delay me, 
No more than I do you: I am like one 
That is condemn'd; I have my pardon promis'd. 
But I would see it seal'd. Go, get you in: 
You shall see me wind my tongue about his heart 
Like a skein of silk. [Exit Bosola.] 

[Re-enter Cardinal] 
Card. Where are you.'' 

[Enter Servants] 

Servants. Here. 

Card. Let none, upon your lives, have conference 
With the Prince Ferdinand, unless I know it. — 
[Aside] In this distraction he may reveal 
The murder. [Exeunt Servants.] 

Yond's my lingering consumption: 
I am weary of her, and by any means 
Would be quit of. 

Julia. How now, my lord! what ails you? 

Card. Nothing. 

Julia. O, you are much alter'd: 

Come, I must be your secretary, and remove 
This lead from off your bosom: what's the matter? 

Card. I may not tell you. 

Julia. Are you so far in love with sorrow 
You cannot part with part of it ? Or think you 
I cannot love your grace when you are sad 
As well as merry? Or do you suspect 
I, that have been a secret to your heart 



842 JOHN WEBSTER 

These many winters, cannot be the same 
Unto your tongue? 

Card. Satisfy thy longing, — 

The only way to make thee keep my counsel 
Is, not to tell thee. 

Julia. Tell your echo this, 

Or flatterers, that like echoes still report 
What they hear though most imperfect, and not me; 
For if that you be true unto yourself, 
I'll know. 

Card. Will you rack me ? 

Julia. No, judgment shall 

Draw it from you : it is an equal fault, 
To tell one's secrets unto all or none. 

Card. The first argues folly. 

Julia. But the last tyranny. 

Card. Very well: why, imagine I have committed 
Some secret deed which I desire the world 
May never hear of. 

Julia. Therefore may not I know it.? 
You have conceal'd for me as great a sin 
As adultery. Sir, never was occasion 
For perfect trial of my constancy 
Till now: sir, I beseech you 

Card. You'll repent it. 

Julia. Never. 

Card. It hurries thee to ruin: I'll not tell thee. 
Be well advis'd, and think what danger 'tis 
To receive a prince's secrets. They that do, 
Had need have their breasts hoop'd with adamant 
To contain them. I pray thee, yet be satisfi'd; 
Examine thine own frailty; 'tis more easy 
To tie knots than unloose them. 'Tis a secret 
That, like a ling'ring poison, may chance lie 
Spread in thy veins, and kill thee seven year hence. 

Julia. Now you dally with me. 

Card. No more; thou shalt know it. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 843 

By my appointment the great Duchess of Malfi 
And two of her young children, four nights since, 
Were strangl'd. 

]ulia. O heaven! sir, what have you done! 

Card. How now? How settles this? Think you your bosom 
Will be a grave dark and obscure enough 
For such a secret? 

Julia. You have undone yourself, sir. 

Card. Why? 

]ulia. It lies not in me to conceal it. 

Card. No? 

Come, I will swear you to 't upon this book. 

]ulia. Most religiously. 

Card. Kiss it. [She kjsses the bool{.\ 

Now you shall never utter it; thy curiosity 
Hath undone thee; thou'rt poison'd with that book. 
Because I knew thou couldst not keep my counsel, 
I have bound thee to 't by death. 

\Re-enter Bosola] 

Bos. For pity-sake, hold! 

Card. Ha, Bosola! 

Julia. I forgive you 

This equal piece of justice you have done; 
For I betray'd your counsel to that fellow. 
He over-heard it; that was the cause I said 
It lay not in me to conceal it. 

Bos. O foolish woman, 
Couldst not thou have poison'd him? 

Julia. 'Tis weakness, 

Too much to think what should have been done. I go, 
I know not whither. [Dies,^ 

Card. Wherefore com'st thou hither? 

Bos. That I might find a great man like yourself, 
Not out of his wits, as the Lord Ferdinand, 
To remember my service. 

Card. I'll have thee hew'd in pieces. 



844 JOHN WEBSTER 

Bos. Make not yourself such a promise of that life 
Which is not yours to dispose of. 

Card. Who plac'd thee here ? 

Bos. Her lust, as she intended. 

Card. Very well: 

Now you know me for your fellow-murderer. 

Bos. And wherefore should you lay fair marble colours 
Upon your rotten purposes to me? 
Unless you imitate some that do plot great treasons, 
And when they have done, go hide themselves i' th' grave 
Of those were actors in 't? 

Card. No more; there is 

A fortune attends thee. 

Bos. Shall I go sue to Fortune any longer } 
'Tis the fool's pilgrimage. 

Card. I have honours in store for thee. 

Bos. There are a many ways that conduct to seeming 
Honour, and some of them very dirty ones. 

Card. Throw to the devil 
Thy melancholy. The fire burns well; 
What need we keep a stirring of 't, and make 
A greater smother?' Thou wilt kill Antonio? 

Bos. Yes. 

Card. Take up that body. 

Bos. I think I shall 

Shortly grow the common bier for church-yards. 

Card. I will allow thee some dozen of attendants 
To aid thee in the murder. 

Bos. O, by no means. Physicians that apply horse-leeches to any 
rank swelling use to cut off their tails, that the blood may run 
through them the faster: let me have no train when I go to shed 
blood, less it make me have a greater when I ride to the gallows. 

Card. Come to me after midnight, to help to remove 
That body to her own lodging. I'll give out 
She died o' th' plague; 'twill breed the less inquiry 
After her death. 

' Smoke. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 845 

Bos. Where's Castruccio her husband? 

Card, He's rode to Naples, to take possession 
Of Antonio's citadel. 

Bos. Believe me, you have done a very happy turn. 

Card. Fail not to come. There is the master-key 
Of our lodgings; and by that you may conceive 
What trust I plant in you. 

Bos. You shall find me ready. Exit Capdinal. 

O poor Antonio, though nothing be so needful 
To thy estate as pity, yet I find 
Nothing so dangerous! I must look to my footing: 
In such slippery ice-pavements men had need 
To be frost-nail'd well, they may break their necks else; 
The precedent's here afore me. How this man 
Bears up in blood! seems fearless! Why, 'tis well; 
Security some men call the suburbs of hell, 
Only a dead wall between. Well, good Antonio, 
I'll seek thee out; and all my care shall be 
To put thee into safety from the reach 
Of these most cruel biters that have got 
Some of thy blood already. It may be, 
I'll join with thee in a most just revenge. 
The weakest arm is strong enough that strikes 
With the sword of justice. Still methinks the duchess 
Haunts me: there, there! — 'Tis nothing but my melancholy. 
O Penitence, let me truly taste thy cup, 
That throws men down only to raise them up! Exit. 

Scene III. [A fortification] 
[Enter] Antonio and Delio. Echo (from the Duchess's Grave") 

Delio. Yond's the cardinal's window. This fortification 
Grew from the ruins of an ancient abbey; 
And to yond side o' th' river lies a wall. 
Piece of a cloister, which in my opinion 
Gives the best echo that you ever heard, 



846 JOHN WEBSTER 

So hollow and so dismal, and withal 
So plain in the distinction of our words, 
That many have suppos'd it is a spirit 
That answers. 

Ant. I do love these ancient ruins. 

We never tread upon them but we set 
Our foot upon some reverend history; 
And, questionless, here in this open court, 
Which now lies naked to the injuries 
Of stormy weather, some men lie interr'd 
Lov'd the church so well, and gave so largely to 't, 
They thought it should have canopied their bones 
Till dooms-day. But all things have their end; 
Churches and cities, which have diseases like to men, 
Must have like death that we have. 

Echo. Li\e death that we have, 

Delia. Now the echo hath caught you. 

Ant. It groan'd methought, and gave 
A very deadly accent. 

Echo. Deadly accent. 

Delia. I told you 'twas a pretty one. You may make it 
A huntsman, or a falconer, a musician, 
Or a thing of sorrow. 

Echo. A thing of sorrow. 

Ant. Ay, sure, that suits it best. 

Echo. That suits it best. 

Ant. 'Tis very like my wife's voice. 

Echo. Ay, wife's voice. 

Delia. Come, let us walk further from 't. 
I would not have you go to the cardinal's to-night: 
Do not. 

Echo. Do not. 

Delia. Wisdom doth not more moderate wasting sorrow 
Than time. Take time for 't; be mindful of thy safety. 

Echo. Be mindful of thy safety. 

Ant. Necessity compels me. 
Make scrutiny through the passages 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 847 

Of your own life, you'll find it impossible 
To fly your fate. 

Echo. 0, fly your fate! 

Delio. Hark! the dead stones seem to have pity on you, 
And give you good counsel. 

Ant. Echo, I will not talk with thee, 
For thou art a dead thing. 

Echo. Thou art a dead thing. 

Ant. My duchess is asleep now. 
And her little ones, I hope sweetly. O heaven, 
Shall I never see her more? 

Echo. 'Never see her more. 

Ant, I mark'd not one repetition of the echo 
But that; and on the sudden a clear light 
Presented me a face folded in sorrow. 

Delio. Your fancy merely. 

Ant. Come, I'll be out of this ague. 

For to live thus is not indeed to live; 
It is a mockery and abuse of life. 
I will not henceforth save myself by halves; 
Lose all, or nothing. 

Delio. Your own virtue save you! 

I'll fetch your eldest son, and second you. 
It may be that the sight of his own blood 
Spread in so sweet a figure may beget 
The more compassion. However, fare you well. 
Though in our miseries Fortune have a part, 
Yet in our noble sufferings she hath none. 
Contempt of pain, that we may call our own. Exeunt. 

Scene IV. [Milan. An apartment in the residence of the Cardinal and 

Ferdinand} 

[Enter] Cardinal, Pescara, Malatesti, Roderigo, and Grisolan 

Card. You shall not watch to-night by the sick prince; 
His grace is very well recover'd. 
Mai. Good my lord, suffer us. 



848 JOHN WEBSTER 

Card. O, by no means; 

The noise, and change of object in his eye, 
Doth more distract him. I pray, all to bed; 
And though you hear him in his violent fit, 
Do not rise, I entreat you. 

Pes. So, sir; we shall not. 

Card. Nay, I must have you promise 

Upon your honours, for I was enjoin'd to 't 
By himself; and he seem'd to urge it sensibly. 

Pes. Let our honours bind this trifle. 

Card. Nor any of your followers. 

Mai. Neither. 

Card. It may be, to make trial of your promise. 
When he's asleep, myself will rise and feign 
Some of his mad tricks, and cry out for help, 
And feign myself in danger. 

Mai. If your throat were cutting, 
I'd not come at you, now I have protested against it. 

Card. Why, I thank you. 

Gris. 'Twas a foul storm to-night. 

Rod. The Lord Ferdinand's chamber shook like an osier. 

Mai. 'Twas nothing but pure kindness in the devil 
To rock his own child. Exeunt [all except the Cardinal]. 

Card. The reason why I would not suffer these 
About my brother, is, because at midnight 
I may with better privacy convey 
Julia's body to her own lodging. O, my conscience! 
I would pray now; but the devil takes away my heart 
For having any confidence in prayer. 
About this hour I appointed Bosola 
To fetch the body. When he hath serv'd my turn. 
He dies. Exit. 

{Enter Bosola] 

Bos. Ha! 'twas the cardinal's voice; I heard him name Bosola and 
my death. Listen; I hear one's footing. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 849 

[Enter Ferdinand] 

Ferd. Strangling is a very quiet death. 

Bos. [aside.] Nay, then, I see I must stand upon my guard. 

Ferd. What say to that? Whisper softly: do you agree to't? So; 
it must be done i' th' dark; the cardinal would not for a thousand 
pounds the doctor should see it. Exit, 

Bos. My death is plotted; here's the consequence of murder. 
We value not desert nor Christian breath, 
When we know black deeds must be cur'd with death. 

[Enter Antonio and Servant] 

Serv. Here stay, sir, and be confident, I pray; 
I'll fetch you a dark lantern. Exit. 

Ant. Could I take him at his prayers, 
There were hope of pardon. 

Bos. Fall right, my sword! — [Stabs him.] 

I'll not give thee so much leisure as to pray. 

Ant. O, I am gone! Thou hast ended a long suit 
In a minute. 

Bos. What art thou ? 

Ant. A most wretched thing. 

That only have thy benefit in death, 
To appear myself. 

[Re-enter Servant with a lantern] 

Serv. Where are you, sir ? 

Ant. Very near my home. — Bosola! 

Sert/. O, misfortune! 

Bos. Smother thy pity, thou art dead else. — ^Antonio! 
The man I would have sav'd 'bove mine own life! 
We are merely the stars' tennis-balls, struck and banded' 
Which way please them. — O good Antonio, 
I'll whisper one thing in thy dying ear 
Shall make thy heart break quickly! Thy fair duchess 
And two sweet children 

' Bandied. 



850 JOHN WEBSTER 

Ant. Their very names 

Kindle a little life in me. 

Bof. Are murder 'd. 

Ant. Some men have wish'd to die 
At the hearing of sad tidings; I am glad 
That I shall do 't in sadness.^ I would not now 
Wish my wounds balm'd nor heal'd, for I have no use 
To put my life to. In all our quest of greatness, 
Like wanton boys whose pastime is their care, 
We follow after bubbles blown in th' air. 
Pleasure of life, what is 't ? Only the good hours 
Of an ague; merely a preparative to rest. 
To endure vexation. I do not ask 
The process of my death; only commend me 
To Delio. 

Bos. Break, heart! 

Ant. And let my son fly the courts of princes. [Dies.] 

Bos. Thou seem'st to have lov'd Antonio. 

Serv. I brought him hither. 
To have reconcil'd him to the cardinal. 

Bos. I do not ask thee that. 
Take him up, if thou tender thine own life. 
And bear him where the lady Julia 
Was wont to lodge. — O, my fate moves swift! 
I have this cardinal in the forge already; 
Now I'll bring him to th' hammer. O direful misprision!' 
I will not imitate things glorious. 
No more than base; I'll be mine own example. — 
On, on, and look thou represent, for silence, 
The thing thou bear'st.* Exeunt. 

Scene V. [Another apartment in the same] 

[Enter] Cardinal, with a boo}^ 

Card. I am puzzl'd in a question about hell; 
He says, in hell there's one material fire, 

^ Reality. ^ Mistake. ■* /. e., the dead body. 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 85 1 

And yet it shall not burn all men alike. 
Lay him by. How tedious is a guilty conscience! 
When I look into the fish-ponds in my garden, 
Methinks I see a thing arm'd with a rake, 
That seems to strike at me. 

[Enter Bosola, and Servant bearing Antonio's body] 

Now, art thou come? 
Thou look'st ghastly; 

There sits in thy face some great determination 
Mix'd with some fear. 

Bos. Thus it lightens into action: 

I am come to kill thee. 

Card. Ha! — Help! our guard! 

Bos. Thou art deceiv'd; they are out of thy howling. 

Card. Hold; and I will faithfully divide 
Revenues with thee. 

Bos. Thy prayers and proffers 

Are both unseasonable. 

Card. Raise the watch! 

We are betray 'd! 

Bos. I have confin'd your flight: 

I'll suffer your retreat to Julia's chamber, 
But no further. 

Card. Help! we are betray 'd! 

[Enter, above, Pescara, Malatesti, Roderigo, and Grisolan] 

Mai. Listen. 

Card. My dukedom for rescue! 

Rod. Fie upon his counterfeiting! 

Mai. Why, 'tis not the cardinal. 

Rod. Yes, yes, 'tis he: 
But I'll see him hang'd ere I'll go down to him. 

Card. Here's a plot upon me; I am assaulted! I am lost, 
Unless some rescue! 

Gris. He doth this pretty well; 

But it will not serve to laugh me out of mine honour. 



852 JOHN WEBSTER 

Card. The sword's at my throat! 

Rod. You would not bawl so loud then. 

Mai. Come, come, let's go to bed : he told us this much aforehand. 

Pes. He wish'd you should not come at him; but, believe 't, 
The accent of the voice sounds not in jest: 
I'll down to him, howsoever, and with engines 
Force ope the doors. [Exit above.] 

Rod. Let's follow him aloof. 

And note how the cardinal will laugh at him. 

[Exeunt, above, Malatesti, Roderigo, and Grisolan.] 

Bos. There's for you first, 
'Cause you shall not unbarricade the door 
To let in rescue. Kills the Servant. 

Card. What cause hast thou to pursue my life? 

Bos. Look there. 

Card. Antonio! 

Bos. Slain by my hand unwittingly. 

Pray, and be sudden. When thou kill'd'st thy sister, 
Thou took'st from Justice her most equal balance. 
And left her naught but her sword. 

Card. O, mercy! 

Bos. Now it seems thy greatness was only outward; 
For thou fall'st faster of thyself than calamity 
Can drive thee. I'll not waste longer time; there! [Stabs him.] 

Card. Thou hast hurt me. 

Bos. Again! 

Card. Shall I die like a leveret, 

Without any resistance.'' — Help, help, help! 
I am slain! 

[Enter Ferdinand] 

Ferd. Th' alarum! Give me a fresh horse; 

Rally the vaunt-guard, or the day is lost. 
Yield, yield! I give you the honour of arms 
Shake my sword over you; will you yield.? 

Card. Help me; I am your brother! 

Ferd. The devil! 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 853 

My brother fight upon the adverse party! 

He wounds the Cardinal, and, in the scuffle, 
gives BosoLA his death-wound. 
There flies your ransom. 

Card. O justice! 
I suffer now for what hath former bin: 
Sorrow is held the eldest child of sin. 

Ferd. Now you're brave fellows. Cesar's fortune was harder than 
Pompey's; Caesar died in the arms of prosperity, Pompey at the feet 
of disgrace. You both died in the field. The pain's nothing; pain 
many times is taken away with the apprehension of greater, as the 
tooth-ache with the sight of a barber that comes to pull it out. There's 
philosophy for you. 

Bos. Now my revenge is perfect. — Sink, thou main cause 

Kills Ferdinand. 
Of my undoing! — The last part of my life 
Hath done me best service. 

Ferd. Give me some wet hay; I am broken-winded. 
I do account this world but a dog-kennel : 
I will vault credit and affect high pleasures 
Beyond death. 

Bos. He seems to come to himself. 

Now he's so near the bottom. 

Ferd. My sister, O my sister! there's the cause on 't. 
Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, 
Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust. [D/fj.] 

Card. Thou hast thy payment too. 

Bos. Yes, I hold my weary soul in my teeth; 
'Tis ready to part from me. I do glory 
That thou, which stood'st like a huge pyramid 
Begun upon a large and ample base, 
Shalt end in a little point, a kind of nothing. 

[Enter, below, Pescara, Malatesti, Roderigo, and Grisolan] 

Pes. How now, my lord! 

Mai. O sad disaster! 

Rod. How comes this ? 



854 JOHN WEBSTER 

Bos. Revenge for the Duchess of Malfi murdered 
By the Arragonian brethren; for Antonio 
Slain by this hand; for lustful Julia 
Poison'd by this man; and lastly for myself, 
That was an actor in the main of all 
Much 'gainst mine own good nature, yet i' the end 
Neglected. 

Pes. How now, my lord! 

Card. Look to my brother: 

He gave us these large wounds, as we were struggling 
Here i' th' rushes. And now, I pray, let me 
Be laid by and never thought of. [Dies.^ 

Pes. How fatally, it seems, he did withstand 
His own rescue! 

Md. Thou wretched thing of blood, 

How came Antonio by his death? 

Bos. In a mist; I know not how : 
Such a mistake as I have often seen 
In a play. O, I am gone! 
We are only like dead walls or vaulted graves. 
That, ruin'd, yield no echo. Fare you well. 
It may be pain, but no harm, to me to die 
In so good a quarrel. O, this gloomy world! 
In what a shadow, or deep pit of darkness. 
Doth womanish and fearful mankind live! 
Let worthy minds ne'er stagger in distrust 
To suffer death or shame for what is just: 
Mine is another voyage. {Dies.] 

Pes. The noble Delio, as I came to th' palace. 
Told me of Antonio's being here, and show'd me 
A pretty gentleman, his son and heir. 

\Enter Delio, and Antonio's Son] 

Mai. O sir, you come too late! 

Delio. I heard so, and 

Was arm'd for 't, ere I came. Let us make noble use 
Of this great ruin; and join all our force 



THE DUCHESS OF MALFI 855 

To establish this young hopeful gentleman 

In's mother's right. These wretched eminent things 

Leave no more fame behind 'em, than should one 

Fall in a frost, and leave his print in snow; 

As soon as the sun shines, it ever melts, 

Both form and matter. I have ever thought 

Nature doth nothing so great for great men 

As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth: 

Integrity of life is fame's best friend, 

Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end. Exeunt. 



A NEW WAY 
TO PAY OLD DEBTS 

BY 
PHILIP MASSINGER 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

Philip Massinger was born at Salisbury in 1584. Though the son of 
a Member of Parliament, he seems to have inherited no means, for the 
first notice we have of him after his leaving Oxford in 1606 is a petition 
addressed to Henslowe by him and two friends for a payment of five 
pounds on account, to get them out of prison. 

After Beaumont retired from play-writing, Massinger became Fletch- 
er's chief partner, and there is evidence that there existed between them 
a warm friendship. All Massinger's relations with his fellow authors of 
which we have record seem to have been pleasant; and the impression 
of his personality which one derives from his work is that of a digni- 
fied, hard-working, and conscientious man. He seems to have been 
much interested in public affairs, and he at times came into collision 
with the authorities on account of the introduction into his plays of 
more or less veiled allusions to political personages and events. He died 
in 1640. 

The best known of Massinger's works is "A New Way to Pay Old 
Debts," which was probably acted for the first time in 1625. The popu- 
larity of the play is chiefly due to the principal characters, Sir Giles 
Overreach, a usurer and extortioner, drawn, however, on such magnifi- 
cent lines as to rise far above the conventional miser of literature. Over- 
reach is presented with great dramatic skill, the situations being chosen 
and elaborated so as to throw his figure into high relief; and though his 
villainy reaches the pitch of monstrosity, the illusion of life is pre- 
served. Here, as elsewhere, Massinger's sympathies are on the side of 
wholesome morals; and it was probably the powerful didactic tendency 
of the play and its fine rhetoric which, united with the impressiveness 
of the main figure, enabled it to hold the stage into the nineteenth 
century. 



A NEW WAY 
TO PAY OLD DEBTS 

DRAMATIS PERSONS 

Lord Lovell, an English Lord. 

Sir Giles Overreach, a cruel extortioner. 

[Frank] Wellborn, a Prodigal. 

[Tom] Allworth, a young Gentleman, Page to Lord Lovell. 

Greedy, a hungry Justice of Peace. 

Marrall, a Term-Driver; a creature of Sir Giles Overreach. 

Order [Steward], 1 

Fr^ciy^:^]. h— t. - ^^^y a"-«'>- 

Watchall [Porter], J 
WiLLDO, a Parson. 
Tapwell, an Alehouse Keeper. 
Three Creditors, Servants, &c. 

Lady Allworth, a rich Widow. 
Margaret, Daughter of Sir Giles Overreach. 
Froth, Wife of Tapwell. 
Chambermaid. 
Waiting Woman. 

[SCENE — The Country near Nottingham] 

ACT I 

Scene I. [Before Tapwell's house] 

[Enter] Wellborn [in tattered apparel], Tapwell, and Froth 
Wellborn. 

NO BOUSE.?' nor no tobacco.? 
Tap. Not a suck, sir; 

Nor the remainder of a single can 
Left by a drunken porter, all night pall'd ^ too. 
Froth. Not the dropping of the tap for your morning's draught, 
sir: 
'Tis verity, I assure you. 

' Booze, drink. ^ Staled. 
859 



86o PHILIP MASSINGER 

Well. Verity, you brache! ' 

The devil turn'd precisian! * Rogue, what am I? 

Tap. Troth, durst I trust you with a looking-glass, 
To let you see your trim shape, you would quit me 
And take the name yourself. 

Well. How, dog! 

Tap. Even so, sir. 

And I must tell you, if you but advance 
Your Plymouth cloak'' you shall be soon instructed 
There dwells, and within call, if it please your worship, 
A potent monarch call'd the constable, 
That does command a citadel called the stocks; 
Whose guards are certain files of rusty billmen 
Such as with great dexterity will hale 
Your tatter'd, lousy 

Well. Rascal! slave! 

Froth. No rage, sir. 

Tap. At his own peril. Do not put yourself 
In too much heat, there being no water near 
To quench your thirst; and sure, for other liquor. 
As mighty ale, or beer, they are things, I take it. 
You must no more remember; not in a dream, sir. 

Well. Why, thou unthankful villain, dar'st thou talk thus! 
Is not thy house, and all thou hast, my gift ? 

Tap. I find it not in chalk; and Timothy Tapwell 
Does keep no other register. 

Well. Am not I he 

Whose riots fed and cloth'd thee ? Wert thou not 
Born on my father's land, and proud to be 
A drudge in his house ? 

Tap. What I was, sir, it skills ' not; 

What you are, is apparent. Now, for a farewell. 
Since you talk of father, in my hope it will torment you, 
I'll briefly tell your story. Your dead father. 
My quondam master, was a man of worship, 
Old Sir John Wellborn, justice of peace and quorum,'' 

' Hound. ■* Puritan. ° Cudgel. ' Matters. '' A select number of the more 
learned justices, whose presence was necessary to constitute the bench. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 86 1 

And stood fair to be custos rotulorum; ^ 
Bore the whole sway of the shire, kept a great house, 
Reliev'd the poor, and so forth; but he dying. 
And the twelve hundred a year coming to you. 
Late Master Francis, but now forlorn Wellborn 

Well. Slave, stop! or I shall lose myself. 

Froth. Very hardly: 

You cannot out of your way. 

Tap. But to my story: 

You were then a lord of acres, the prime gallant, 
And I your under-butler. Note the change now; 
You had a merry time oft; hawks and hounds. 
With choice of running horses; mistresses 
Of all sorts and all sizes, yet so hot. 
As their embraces made your lordship melt; 
Which your uncle. Sir Giles Overreach, observing, 
(Resolving not to lose a drop of them,) 
On foolish mortgages, statutes, and bonds. 
For a while supph'd your looseness, and then left you. 

Well. Some curate hath penn'd this invective, mongrel. 
And you have studied it. 

Tap. I have not done yet. 

Your land gene, and your credit not worth a token 
You grew a common borrower; no man scap'd 
Your paper-pellets, ° from the gentleman 
To the beggars on highways, that sold you switches 
In your gallantry. 

Well. I shall switch your brains out. 

Tap. Where poor Tim Tapwell, with a little stock. 
Some forty pounds or so, bought a small cottage; 
Humbled myself to marriage with my Froth here. 
Gave entertainment 

Well. Yes, to whores and canters,"* 

Clubbers by night. 

Tap. True, but they brought in profit, 

And had a gift to pay for what they call'd for, 

' Keeper of the county records. 

'Acknowledgments o£ indebtedness. '"Whining beggars. 



862 PHILIP MASSINGER 

And stuck not like your mastership. The poor income 

I glean'd from them hath made me in my parish 

Thought worthy to be scavenger, and in time 

I may rise to be overseer of the poor; 

Which if I do, on your petition, Wellborn, 

I may allow you thirteen-pence a quarter. 

And you shall thank my worship. 

Well. Thus, you dog-bolt. 

And thus Beats and \ic\s him. 

Tap. [to his wife.] Cry out for help! 

Well. Stir, and thou diest: 

Your potent prince, the constable, shall not save you. 
Hear me, ungrateful hell-hound! Did not I 
Make purses for you ? Then you lick'd my boots. 
And thought your holiday cloak too coarse to clean them. 
'Twas I that, when I heard thee swear if ever 
Thou couldst arrive at forty pounds thou wouldst 
Live like an emperor, 'twas I that gave it 
In ready gold. Deny this, wretch! 

Tap. I must, sir; 

For, from the tavern to the taphouse, all. 
On forfeiture of their licenses, stand bound 
Ne'er to remember who their best guests were, 
If they grew poor like you. 

Well. They are well rewarded 

That beggar themselves to make such cuckolds rich. 
Thou viper, thankless viper! impudent bawd! — 
But since you are grown forgetful, I will help 
Your memory, and tread you into mortar, 
Nor leave one bone unbroken. [Beats him again.] 

Tap. Oh! 

Froth. Ask mercy. 

Enter Allworth 

Well. 'Twill not be granted. 

All. Hold — for my sake, hold. 

Deny me, Frank? They are not worth your anger. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 863 

Well. For once thou hast redeem'd them from this sceptre;" 
But let 'em vanish, creeping on their knees, 
And, i£ they grumble, I revoke my pardon. 

Froth. This comes o£ your prating, husband; you presum'd 
On your ambling wit, and must use your glib tongue, 
Though you are beaten lame for't. 

Tap. Patience, Froth; 

There's law to cure our bruises. 

They go off on their hands and ^nees. 

Well. Sent to your mother? 

All. My lady, Frank, my patroness, my all! 
She's such a mourner for my father's death, 
And, in her love to him, so favours me. 
That I cannot pay too much observance to her. 
There are few such stepdames. 

Well. 'Tis a noble widow, 

And keeps her reputation pure, and clear 
From the least taint of infamy; her life. 
With the splendour of her actions, leaves no tongue 
To envy or detraction. Prithee tell me. 
Has she no suitors ? 

All. Even the best of the shire, Frank, 

My lord excepted; such as sue and send. 
And send and sue again, but to no purpose; 
Their frequent visits have not gain'd her presence. 
Yet she's so far from sullenness and pride. 
That I dare undertake you shall meet from her 
A liberal entertainment. I can give you 
A catalogue of her suitors' names. 

Well. Forbear it. 

While I give you good counsel: I am bound to it. 
Thy father was my friend, and that affection 
I bore to him, in right descends to thee; 
Thou art a handsome and a hopeful youth, 
Nor will I have the least affront stick on thee, 
If I with any danger can prevent it. 

"1. ff., his cudgel. 



864 PHILIP MASSINGER 

All. I thank your noble care; but, pray you, in what 
Do I run the hazard? 

Well. Art thou not in love? 

Put it not off with wonder. 

All. In love, at my years! 

Well. You think you walk in clouds, but are transparent. 
I have heard all, and the choice that you have made, 
And, with my finger, can point out the north star 
By which the loadstone of your folly's guided; 
And, to confirm this true, what think you of 
Fair Margaret, the only child and heir 
Of Cormorant Overreach ? Does it blush and start, 
To hear her only nam'd ? Blush at your want 
Of wit and reason. 

All. You are too bitter, sir. 

Well. Wounds of this nature are not to be cur'd 
With balms, but corrosives. I must be plain : 
Art thou scarce manumis'd '^ from the porter's lodge " 
And yet sworn servant to the pantofle,''' 
And dar'st thou dream of marriage ? I fear 
'Twill be concluded for impossible 
That there is now, or e'er shall be hereafter, 
A handsome page or player's boy of fourteen 
But either loves a wench, or drabs love him; 
Court-waiters not exempted. 

All. This is madness. 

Howe'er you have discover'd my intents, 
You know my aims are lawful; and if ever 
The queen of flowers, the glory of the spring, 
The sweetest comfort to our smell, the rose, 
Sprang from an envious briar, I may infer 
There's such disparity in their conditions 
Between the goodness of my soul, the daughter. 
And the base churl her father. 

Well. Grant this true, 

As I believe it, canst thou ever hope 

'2 Freed. '' Where servants used to be punished. '* Slipper. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 865 

To enjoy a quiet bed with her whose father 
Ruin'd thy state? 

All. And yours too. 

Well. I confess it; 

True; I must tell you as a friend, and freely, 
That, where impossibilities are apparent, 
'Tis indiscretion to nourish hopes. 
Canst thou imagine (let not self-love blind thee) 
That Sir Giles Overreach, that, to make her great 
In swelling titles, without touch of conscience 
Will cut his neighbour's throat, and I hope his own too. 
Will e'er consent to make her thine? Give o'er. 
And think of some course suitable to thy rank. 
And prosper in it. 

All. You have well advis'd me. 

But in the mean time you that are so studious 
Of my affairs wholly neglect your own. 
Remember yourself, and in what plight you are. 

Well. No matter, no matter. 

All. Yes, 'tis much material. 

You know my fortune and my means; yet something 
I can spare from myself to help your wants. 

Well. How's this? 

All. Nay, be not angry; there's eight pieces 
To put you in better fashion. 

Well. Money from thee! 

From a boy! A stipendiary! One that lives 
At the devotion of a stepmother 
And the uncertain favour of a lord! 
I'll eat my arms first. Howsoe'er blind Fortune 
Hath spent the utmost of her malice on me — 
Though I am vomited out of an alehouse, 
And thus accoutred — know not where to eat. 
Or drink, or sleep, but underneath this canopy" — 
Although I thank thee, I despise thy offer; 
And as I in my madness broke my state 

''/. e., the sky. 



866 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Without th' assistance of another's brain, 
In my right wits I'll piece it; at the worst, 
Die thus and be forgotten. 
All. A strange humour! Exeunt. 

Scene II. [A room in Lady Alltvorth's house] 

[Enter] Order, Amble, Furnace, and Watchall 

Ord. Set all things right, or, as my name is Order, 
And by this stafi of office that commands you. 
This chain and double ruff, symbols of power, 
Whoever misses in his function. 
For one whole week makes forfeiture of his breakfast, 
And privilege in the wine-cellar. 

Amb. You are merry. 

Good master steward. 

Furn. Let him; I'll be angry. 

Amb. Why, fellow Furnace, 'tis not twelve o'clock yet, 
Nor dinner taking up; then, 'tis allow'd. 
Cooks, by their places, may be choleric. 

Furn. You think you have spoke wisely, goodman Amble, 
My lady's go-before! 

Ord. Nay, nay, no wrangling. 

Furn. Twit me with the authority of the kitchen! 
At all hours, and all places, I'll be angry; 
And thus provok'd, when I am at my prayers 
I will be angry. 

Amb. There was no hurt meant. 

Furn. I am friends with thee; and yet I will be angry. 

Ord. With whom ? 

Furn. No matter whom: yet, now I think on it, 

I am angry with my lady. 

Watch. Heaven forbid, man ! 

Ord. What cause has sne given thee? 

Furn. Cause enough, master steward. 

I was entertain'd by her to please her palate, 
And, till she forswore eating, I perform'd it. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 867 

Now, since our master, noble Allworth, died, 

Though I crack my brains to find out tempting sauces, 

And raise fortifications in the pastry 

Such as might serve for models in the Low Countries; 

Which, if they had been practised at Breda, 

Spinola might have thrown his cap at it, and ne'er took it* 

Amb. But you had wanted matter there to work on. 

Furn. Matter! with six eggs, and a strike^ of rye meal, 
I had kept the town till doomsday, perhaps longer. 

Ord. But what's this to your pet against my lady ? 

Furn. What's this? Marry this: when I am three parts roasted 
And the fourth part parboil'd, to prepare her viands. 
She keeps her chamber, dines with a panada' 
Or water-gruel, my sweat never thought on. 

Ord. But your art is seen in the dining-room. 

Furn. By whom? 

By such as pretend love to her, but come 
To feed upon her. Yet, of all the harpies 
That do devour her, I am out of charity 
With none so much as the thin-gutted squire 
That's stolen into commission. 

Ord. Justice Greedy? 

Furn. The same, the same; meat's cast away upon him. 
It never thrives; he holds this paradox. 
Who eats not well, can ne'er do justice well. 
His stomach's as insatiate as the grave. 
Or strumpet's ravenous appetites. Knocking. 

Watch. One knocks. 

Enter Allworth 

Ord. Our late young master! 
Amb. Welcome,. sir. 

Furn. Your hand; 

If you have a stomach, a cold bake-meat's ready. 
Ord. His father's picture in little. 

'The siege o£ Breda by Spinola in 1624-5 was one of the great events of the 
time. ^ Two bushels. ' Bread soaked in hot water and milk. 



868 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Furn. We are all your servants. 

Amb. In you he lives. 

All. At once, my thanks to all; 

This is yet some comfort. Is my lady stirring? 

Enter Lady Allworth, Waiting Woman, and 
Chambermaid 

Ord. Her presence answers for us. 

L. All. Sort those silks well. 

I'll take the air alone. 

Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid. 

Furn. You air and air; 

But will you never taste but spoon-meat more? 
To what use serve I? 

L. All. Prithee, be not angry; 

I shall ere long: i' the mean time, there is gold 
To buy thee aprons, and a summer suit. 

Furn. I am appeas'd, and Furnace now grows cool.* 

L. All. And, as I gave directions, if this morning 
I am visited by any, entertain 'em 
As heretofore; but say, in my excuse, 
I am indispos'd. 

Ord. I shall, madam. 

L. All. Do, and leave them. 

Nay, stay you, Allworth. 

Exeunt Order, Amble, Furnace, and Watchall. 

All. I shall gladly grow here, 

To wait on your commands. 

L. All. So soon turn'd courtier! 

All. Style not that courtship, madam, which is duty 
Purchas'd on your part. 

L. All. Well, you shall o'ercome; 

I'll not contend in words. How is it with 
Your noble master ? 

All. Ever like himself. 

No scruple lessen'd in the full weight of honour. 

*Q. reads Coo){e. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 869 

He did command me, pardon my presumption, 
As his unworthy deputy, to kiss 
Your ladyship's fair hands. 

L. All. I am honour'd in 

His favour to me. Does he hold his purpose 
For the Low Countries? 

All. Constantly, good madam; 

But he will in person first present his service. 

L. All. And how approve you of his course? You are yet 
Like virgin parchment, capable of any 
Inscription, vicious or honourable. 
I will not force your will, but leave you free 
To you own election. 

All. Any form you please, 

I will put on; but, might I make my choice, 
With humble emulation I would follow 
The path my lord marks to me. 

L. All. 'Tis well answer'd. 

And I commend your spirit. You had a father, 
Blest be his memory! that some few hours 
Before the will of Heaven took him from me, 
Who did commend you, by the dearest ties 
Of perfect love between us, to my charge; 
And, therefore, what I speak, you are bound to hear 
With such respect as if he liv'd in me. 
He was my husband, and howe'er you are not 
Son of my womb, you may be of my love, 
Provided you deserve it. 

All. I have found you, 

Most honour'd madam, the best mother to me; 
And, with my utmost strengths of care and service, 
Will labour that you never may repent 
Your bounties shower'd upon me. 

L. All I much hope it. 

These were your father's words: "If e'er my son 
Follow the war, tell him it is a school 
Where all the principles tending to honour 



870 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Are taught, i£ truly followed : but for such 
As repair thither as a place in which 
They do presume they may with license practise 
Their lusts and riots, they shall never merit 
The noble name of soldiers. To dare boldly. 
In a fair cause, and for their country's safety. 
To run upon the cannon's mouth undaunted; 
To obey their leaders, and shun mutinies; 
To bear with patience the winter's cold 
And summer's scorching heat, and not to faint, 
When plenty of provision fails, with hunger; 
Are the essential parts make up a soldier, 
Not swearing, dice, or drinking." 

All. There's no syllable 

You speak, but is to me an oracle. 
Which but to doubt were impious. 

L. All. To conclude: 

Beware ill company, for often men 
Are like to those with whom they do converse; 
And, from one man I warn^ you, and that's Wellborn: 
Not 'cause he's poor, that rather claims your pity; 
But that he's in his manners so debauch 'd, 
And hath to vicious courses sold himself. 
'Tis true, your father lov'd him, while he was 
Worthy the loving; but if he had liv'd 
To have seen him as he is, he had cast him off. 
As you must do. 

All. I shall obey in all things. 

L. All. Follow me to my chamber, you shall have gold 
To furnish you like my son, and still supplied. 
As I hear from you. 

All. I am still your creature. Exeunt, 

* Q. warn'd. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 87I 

Scene III. [A hall in the same] 

[Enter] Overreach, Greedy, Order, Amble, Furnace, 
Watchall, and Marrall 

Greedy. Not to be seen! 

Over. Still cloistered up! Her reason, 

I hope, assures her, though she make herself 
Close prisoner ever for her husband's loss, 
'Twill not recover him. 

Ord. Sir, it is her will. 

Which we, that are her servants, ought to serve. 
And not dispute. Howe'er, you are nobly welcome; 
And, if you please to stay, that you may think so, 
There came, not six days since, from Hull, a pipe 
Of rich Canary, which shall spend itself 
For my lady's honour. 

Greedy. Is it of the right race? 

Ord. Yes, Master Greedy. 

Amb. How his mouth runs o'er! 

Furn. I'll make it run, and run. Save your good worship! 

Greedy. Honest Master Cook, thy hand; again, how I love thee! 
Are the good dishes still in being? Speak, boy. 

Furn. If you have a mind to feed, there is a chine' 
Of beef, well seasoned. 

Greedy. Good! 

Furn. A pheasant, larded. 

Greedy. That I might now give thanks for't! 

Furn. Other kickshaws. 

Besides, there came last night, from the forest of Sherwood, 
The fattest stag I ever cook'd. 

Greedy. A stag, man! 

Furn. A stag, sir; part of it prepar'd for dinner. 
And bak'd in puff-paste. 

Greedy. Puff-paste too! Sir Giles, 

A ponderous chine of beef! a pheasant larded! 

' Part of the back: ribs or sirloin. 



872 PHILIP MASSINGER 

And red deer too, Sir Giles, and bak'd in puff-paste! 
All business set aside, let us give thanks here. 

Furn. How the lean skeletons rapt! 

Over. You know we cannot. 

Mar. Your worships are to sit on a commission. 
And if you fail to come, you lose the cause. 

Greedy. Cause me no causes. I'll prove't, for such dinner, 
We may put off a commission : you shall find it 
Henrici decimo quarto. 

Over. Fie, Master Greedy! 

Will you lose me a thousand pounds for a dinner.? 
No more, for shame! We must forget the belly 
When we think of profit. 

Greedy. Well, you shall o'er-rule me; 

I could ev'n cry now. — Do you hear. Master Cook, 
Send but a corner of that immortal pasty, 
And I, in thankfulness, will, by your boy. 
Send you — a brace of three-pences. 

Furn, Will you be so prodigal.? 

Enter Wellborn 

Over. Remember me to your lady. Who have we here ? 

Well. You know me. 

Over. I did once, but now I will not; 

Thou art no blood of mine. Avaunt, thou beggar! 
If ever thou presume to own me more, 
I'll have thee cag'd and whipp'd. 

Greedy. I'll grant the warrant. 

Think of pie-corner, Furnace! 

Exeunt Overreach, Greedy, and Marrall. 

Watch. Will you out, sir? 

I wonder how you durst creep in. 

Ord. This is rudeness, 

And saucy impudence. 

Amb. Cannot you stay 

To be serv'd, among your fellows, from the basket," 

^ The basket of broken meats given in alms. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 873 

But you must needs press into the hall ? 

Furn. Prithee, vanish 

Into some outhouse, though it be the pigstye; 
My scullion shall come to thee. 

Enter Allworth 

Well. This is rare: 

Oh, here's Tom Allworth. Tom! 

All. We must be strangers; 

Nor would I have you seen here for a million. Exit. 

Well. Better and better. He contemns me too! 

Enter Waiting Woman and Chambermaid 

Woman. Fob, what a smell's here! What thing's this? 

Cham. A creature 

Made out of the privy; let us hence, for love's sake, 
Or I shall swoon. 

Woman. I begin to feel faint already. 

Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid. 

Watch. Will you know your way; 

Amb. Or shall we teach it you. 

By the head and shoulders.'' 

Well. No; I will not stir; 

Do you mark, I will not : let me see the wretch 
That dares attempt to force me. Why, you slaves, 
Created only to make legs,' and cringe; 
To carry in a dish, and shift a trencher; 
That have not souls only to hope a blessing 
Beyond black-jacks* or flagons; you, that were born 
Only to consume meat and drink, and batten' 
Upon reversions! — who advances? Who 
Shews me the way? 

Ord. My lady! 

' Bow. * A leathern beer can. ' Feed. 



874 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Enter Lady Allworth, Waiting Woman, and Chambermaid 

Cham. Here's the monster. 

Woman. Sweet madam, keep your glove to your nose. 

Cham. Or let me 

Fetch some perfumes may be predominant; 
You wrong yourself else. 

Well. Madam, my designs 

Bear me to you. 

L.AII. Tome! 

Well. And though I have met with 

But ragged entertainment from your grooms here, 
I hope from you to receive that noble usage 
As may become the true friend of your husband. 
And then I shall forget these. 

L. All. I am amaz'd 

To see and hear this rudeness. Dar'st thou think. 
Though sworn, that it can ever find belief. 
That I, who to the best men of this country 
Deni'd my presence since my husband's death, 
Can fall so low as to change words with thee ? 
Thou son of infamy, forbear my house. 
And know and keep the distance that's between us; 
Or, though it be against my gentler temper, 
I shall take order you no more shall be 
An eyesore to me. 

Well. Scorn me not, good lady; 

But, as in form you are angelical, 
Imitate the heavenly natures, and vouchsafe 
At the least awhile to hear me. You will grant 
The blood that runs in this arm is as noble 
As that which fills your veins; those costly jewels, 
And those rich clothes you wear, your men's observance, 
And women's flattery, are in you no virtues, 
Nor these rags, with my poverty, in me vices. 
You have a fair fame, and, I know, deserve it; 
Yet, lady, I must say, in nothing more 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 875 

Than in the pious sorrow you have shewn 
For your late noble husband. 

Ord. How she starts! 

Furn. And hardly can keep finger from the eye 
To hear him nam'd. 

L. All. Have you aught else to say ? 

Well. That husband, madam, was once in his fortune 
Almost as low as I; want, debts, and quarrels 
Lay heavy on him : let it not be thought 
A boast in me, though I say, I reliev'd him. 
'Twas I that gave him fashion; mine the sword, 
That did on all occasions second his; 
I brought him on and off with honour, lady; 
And when in all men's judgments he was sunk. 
And, in his own hopes, not to be buoy'd" up, 
I stepp'd unto him, took him by the hand. 
And set him upright. 

Furn. Are not we base rogues. 

That could forget this ? 

Well. I confess, you made him 

Master of your estate; nor could your friends. 
Though he brought no wealth with him, blame you for it; 
For he had a shape, and to that shape a mind 
Made up of all parts, either great or noble: 
So winning a behaviour, not to be 
Resisted, madam. 

L. All. 'Tis most true, he had. 

Well. For his sake, then, in that I was his friend, 
Do not contemn me. 

L. All. For what's past excuse me, 

I will redeem it. Order, give the gentleman 
A hundred pounds. 

Well. No, madam, on no terms: 

I will nor beg nor borrow sixpence of you, 
But be suppli'd elsewhere, or want thus ever. 
Only one suit I make, which you deny not 

^ Q. bung'd. 



876 PHILIP MASSINGER 

To strangers; and 'tis this. Whispers to her. 

L.All. Fie! nothing else? 

Well. Nothing, unless you please to charge your servants 
To throw away a little respect upon me. 

L. All. What you demand is yours. 

Well. I thank you, lady. 

Now what can be wrought out o£ such a suit 
Is yet in supposition: I have said all; 

When you please, you may retire. — \Exit Lady All.] 

Nay, all's forgotten; \To the Servants.] 
And, for a lucky omen to my project, 
Shake hands, and end all quarrels in the cellar. 

Ord. Agreed, agreed. 

Furn. Still merry Master Wellborn. Exeunt. 

ACT II 

Scene I. \A room in Overreach's housed 
Enter Overreach and Marrall 

Over. He's gene, I warrant thee; this commission crush'd him. 

Mar. Your worships have the way on't, and ne'er miss 
To squeeze these un thrifts into air; and yet. 
The chapf alien' justice did his part, returning 
For your advantage the certificate, 
Against his conscience, and his knowledge too, 
With your good favour, to the utter ruin 
Of the poor farmer. 

Over. 'Twas for these good ends 

I made him a justice; he that bribes his belly, 
Is certain to command his soul. 

Mar. I wonder. 

Still with your license, why, your worship having 
The power to put this thin-gut in commission. 
You are not in't yourself? 

Over. Thou art a fool; 

In being out of office I am out of danger; 

' Hollow-cheeked. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 877 

Where, if I were a justice, besides the trouble, 

I might or out of wilfulness or error 

Run myself finely into a premuniref 

And so become a prey to the informer. 

No, I'll have none oft; 'tis enough I keep 

Greedy at my devotion; so he serve 

My purposes, let him hang or damn, I care not; 

Friendship is but a word. 

Mar. You are all wisdom. 

Over. I would be worldly wise; for the other wisdom. 
That does prescribe us a well govern'd life. 
And to do right to others as ourselves, 
I value not an atom. 

Mar. What course take you. 

With your good patience, to hedge in the manor 
Of your neighbour, Master Frugal? as 'tis said 
He will nor sell, nor borrow, nor exchange; 
And his land, lying in the midst of your many lordships. 
Is a foul blemish. 

Over. I have thought on't, Marrall, 

And it shall take. I must have all men sellers. 
And I the only purchaser. 

Mar. 'Tis most fit, sir. 

Over. I'll therefore buy some cottage near his manor. 
Which done, I'll make my men break ope his fences. 
Ride o'er his standing corn, and in the night 
Set fire on his barns, or break his cattle's legs. 
These trespasses draw on suits, and suits' expenses, 
Which I can spare, but will soon beggar him. 
When I have harried him thus two or three year. 
Though he sue in forma pauperis, in spite 
Of all his thrift and care, he'll grow behindhand. 

Mar. The best I ever heard! I could adore you. 

Over. Then, with the favour of my man of law, 
I will pretend some title. Want will force him 

' A writ issued for the offense of acknowledging foreign authority within the realm, 
or some offense with the same penalties. 



878 PHILIP MASSINGER 

To put it to arbitrement; then, i£ he sell 

For half the value, he shall have ready money, 

And I possess his land. 

Mar. 'Tis above wonderl 

Wellborn was apt to sell, and needed not 
These fine arts, sir, to hook him in. 

Over. Well thought on. 

This varlet, Marrall, lives too long, to upbraid me 
With my close cheat put upon him. Will nor cold 
Nor hunger kill him ? 

Mar. I know not what to think on't. 

I have us'd all means; and the last night I caus'd 
His host, the tapster, to turn him out of doors; 
And have been since with all your friends and tenants. 
And, on the forfeit of your favour, charg'd them. 
Though a crust of mouldy bread would keep him from starving, 
Yet they should not relieve him. This is done, sir. 

Ouer. That was something, Marrall; but thou must go further, 
And suddenly, Marrall. 

Mar. Where, and when you please, sir. 

Over. I would have thee seek him out, and, if thou canst, 
Persuade him that 'tis better steal than beg; 
Then, if I prove he has but robb'd a henroost, 
Not all the world shall save him from the gallows. 
Do any thing to work him to despair; 
And 'tis thy masterpiece. 

Mar. I will do my best, sir. 

Over. I am now on my main work with the Lord Lovell, 
The gallant-minded, popular Lord Lovell, 
The minion of the people's love. I hear 
He's come into the country, and my aims are 
To insinuate myself into his knowledge, 
And then invite him to my house. 

Mar. I have you; 

This points at my young mistress. 

Over. She must part with 

That humble title, and write honourable. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 879 

Right honourable, Marrall, my right honourable daughter, 
If all I have, or e'er shall get, will do it. 
I'll have her well attended; there are ladies 
Of errant knights decay'd and brought so low, 
That for cast clothes and meat will gladly serve her. 
And 'tis my glory, though I come from the city. 
To have their issue whom I have undone. 
To kneel to mine as bondslaves. 

Mar. 'Tis fit state, sir. 

Over. And therefore, I'll not have a chambermaid 
That ties her shoes, or any meaner office. 
But such whose fathers were right worshipful. 
'Tis a rich man's pride! there having ever been 
More than a feud, a strange antipathy. 
Between us and true gentry. 

Enter Wellborn 

Mar. See, who's here, sir. 

Over. Hence, monster! prodigy! 

Well. Sir, your wife's nephew. 

Over. Avoid my sight! thy breath's infectious, rogue! 
I shun thee as a leprosy, or the plague. 
Come hither, Marrall {Aside.] — this is the time to work him. 

Exit. 

Mar. I warrant you, sir. 

Well. By this light I think he's mad. 

Mar. Mad! had you ta'en compassion on yourself. 
You long since had been mad. 

Well. You have ta'en a course 

Between you and my venerable uncle, 
To make me so. 

Mar. The more pale-spirited you. 
That would not be instructed. I swear deeply 

H/<?//. Bywhat? 

Mar. By my religion. 

Well. Thy religion! 

The devil's creed: — but what would you have done.? 



88o PHILIP MASSINGER 

Mar. Had there been but one tree in all the shire, 
Nor any hope to compass a penny halter, 
Before, like you, I had outliv'd my fortunes, 
A withe had serv'd my turn to hang myself. 
I am zealous in your cause; pray you hang yourself, 
And presently,' as you love your credit. 

Well. I thank you. 

Mar. Will you stay till you die in a ditch, or lice devour you.'' 

Or, if you dare not do the feat yourself. 

But that you'll put the state to charge and trouble. 

Is there no purse to be cut, house to be broken. 

Or market-woman with eggs, that you may murder, 

And so dispatch the business.'' 

Well. Here's variety, 

I must confess; but I'll accept of none 
Of all your gentle offers, I assure you. 

Mar. Why, have you hope ever to eat again. 
Or drink.'' or be the master of three farthings.'' 
If you like not hanging, drown yourself! Take some course 
For your reputation. 

Well. 'Twill not do, dear tempter. 

With all the rhetoric the fiend hath taught you. 
I am as far as thou art from despair; 
Nay, I have confidence, which is more than hope, 
To live, and suddenly, better than ever. 

Mar. Ha! ha! these castles you build in the air 
Will not persuade me to give or lend 
A token to you. 

Well. I'll be more kind to thee: 

Come, thou shalt dine with me. 

Mar. With you! 

Well. Nay more, dine gratis. 

Mar. Under what hedge, I pray you.? or at whose cost.? 
Are they padders* or abram-men^ that are your consorts ? 

Well. Thou art incredulous; but thou shalt dine 
Not alone at her house, but with a gallant lady; 

' At once. * Footpads. * Beggars pretending lunacy. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 88 1 

With me, and with a lady. 

Mar. Lady! what lady? 

With the Lady of the Lake, or queen of fairies? 
For I know it must be an enchanted dinner. 

Well. With the Lady AUworth, knave. 

Mar. Nay, now there's hope 

Thy brain is crack'd. 

Well. Mark there, with what respect 

I am entertain'd. 

Mar. With choice, no doubt, of dog-whips. 

Why, dost thou ever hope to pass her porter ? 

Well. 'Tis not far off, go with me; trust thine own eyes. 

Mar. Troth, in my hope, or my assurance rather, 
To see thee curvet* and mount like a dog in a blanket, 
If ever thou presume to cross her threshold, 
I will endure thy company. 

Well. Come along then. Exeunt. 

Scene II. [A room in Lady Allworth's house] 

[Enter] Allworth, Waiting Woman, Chambermaid, Order, 
Amble, Furnace, and Watchall 

Woman. Could you not command your leisure one hour longer? 

Cham. Or half an hour? 

All. I have told you what my haste is: 

Besides, being now another's, not mine own, 
Howe'er I much desire to enjoy you longer. 
My duty suffers, if, to please myself, 
I should neglect my lord. 

Woman. Pray you do me the favour 

To put these few quince-cakes into your pocket; 
They are of mine own preserving. 

Cham. And this marmalade; 

'Tis comfortable for your stomach. 

Woman. And, at parting. 

Excuse me if I beg a farewell from you. 

' Bound. The reference is to the game of tossing in a blanket. 



882 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Cham. You are still before me. I move the same suit, sir. 

Allworth \isses them severally. 

Furn. How greedy these chamberers are o£ a beardless chin! 
I think the tits' will ravish him. 

All. My service 

To both. 

Woman. Ours waits on you. 

Cham. And shall do ever. 

Ord. You are my lady's charge, be therefore careful 
That you sustain your parts. 

Woman. We can bear, I warrant you. 

Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid. 

Furn. Here, drink it ofl; the ingredients are cordial, 
And this the true elixir; it hath boil'd 
Since midnight for you. 'Tis the quintessence 
Of five cocks of the game, ten dozen of sparrows. 
Knuckles of veal, potatoe-roots and marrow. 
Coral and ambergris. Were you two years older. 
And I had a wife, or gamesome mistress, 
I durst trust you with neither. You need not bait 
After this, I warrant you, though your journey's long; 
You may ride on the strength of this till to-morrow morning. 

All. Your courtesies overwhelm me: I much grieve 
To part from such true friends; and yet find comfort. 
My attendance on my honourable lord. 
Whose resolution holds to visit my lady. 
Will speedily bring me back. Knocking at the gate. 

Mar. {within.) Dar'st thou venture further.? 

Well, {within.) Yes, yes, and knock again. 

Ord. 'Tis he; disperse! 

Amb. Perform it bravely. 

Furn. I know my cue, ne'er doubt me. 

Exeunt [all but Allworth]. 
* Wenches. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 883 

[Enter Watchall, ceremoniously introducing Wellborn 
and Marrall] 

Watch. Beast that I was, to make you stay! Most welcome; 
You were long since expected. 

Well. Say so much 

To my friend, I pray you. 

Watch. For your sake, I will, sir. 

Mar. For his sake! 

Well. Mum; this is nothing. 

Mar. More than ever 

I would have believ'd, though I had found it in my primer. 

All. When I have given you reasons for my late harshness. 
You'll pardon and excuse me; for, believe me. 
Though now I part abruptly, in my service 
I will deserve it. 

Mar. Service! with a vengeance! 

Well. I am satisfied: farewell, Tom. 

All. All joy stay with you! Exit. 

Re-enter Amble 

Amb. You are happily encounter'd; I yet never 
Presented one so welcome as I know 
You will be to my lady. 

Mar. This is some vision, 

Or, sure, these men are mad, to worship a dunghill; 
It cannot be a truth. 

Well. Be still a pagan. 

An unbelieving infidel; be so, miscreant. 
And meditate on "blankets, and on dog-whips!" 

Re-enter Furnace 
Furn. I am glad you are come; until I know your pleasure 
I knew not how to serve up my lady's dinner. 
Mar. His pleasure! is it possible.? 
Well. What's thy will? 

Furn. Marry, sir, I have some grouse, and turkey chicken, 



884 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Some rails^ and quails, and my lady will'd me ask you 
What kind of sauces best affect your palate, 
That I may use my utmost skill to please it. 

Mar. [Aside.] The devil's enter'd this cook. Sauce for his palate! 
That, on my knowledge, for almost this twelvemonth, 
Durst wish but cheese-parings and brown bread on Sundays. 

Well. That way I like 'em best. 

Furn. It shall be done, sir. Exit. 

Well. What think you of "the hedge we shall dine under?" 
Shall we feed gratis.? 

Mar. I know not what to think; 

Pray you make me not mad. 

Re-enter Order 

Ord. This place becomes you not; 

Pray you walk, sir, to the dining room. 

Well. I am well here, 

Till her ladyship quits her chamber. 

Mar. Well here, say you.? 

'Tis a rare change! But yesterday you thought 
Yourself well in a barn, wrapp'd up in peas-straw. 

Re-enter Waiting Woman and Chambermaid 

Woman. O! sir, you are wish'd for. 

Cham. My lady dreamt, sir, of you. 

Woman. And the first command she gave, after she rose. 
Was (her devotions done) to give her notice 
When you approach'd here. 

Cham. Which is done, on my virtue. 

Mar. I shall be converted; I begin to grow 
Into a new belief, which saints nor angels 
Could have won me to have faith in. 

Woman. Sir, my lady! 

Enter Lady Allworth 
L. All. I come to meet you, and languish'd till I saw you. 
This first kiss is for form; I allow a second 

To such a friend. [Kisses Wellborn.] 

' Marsh birds. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 885 

Mar. To such a friend! Heaven bless me! 

Well. I am wholly yours; yet, madam, if you please 
To grace this gentleman with a salute 

Mar. Salute me at his bidding! 

Well. I shall receive it 

As a most high favour. 

L. All. Sir, you may command me. 

[Advances to kjss Marrall, who retires. \ 

Well. Run backward from a lady ! and such a lady ! 

Mar. To kiss her foot is, to poor me, a favour 
I am unworthy of. Offers to l^iss her foot. 

L.All. Nay, pray you rise; 

And since you are so humble, I'll exalt you. 
You shall dine with me to-day, at mine own table. 

Mar. Your ladyship's table! I am not good enough 
To sit at your steward's board. 

L.All. You are too modest; 

I will not be deni'd. 

Re-enter Furnace 

Furn. Will you still be babbling 

Till your meat freeze on the table.? The old trick still; 
My art ne'er thought on! 

L.All. Your arm, Master Wellborn: 



Nay, keep us company. [To Marrall.] 

Mar. I was ne'er so graced. 

Exeunt Wellborn, Lady Allworth, Amble, Marrall, 
Waiting Woman, [and Chambermaid]. 

Ord. So! we have play'd our parts, and are come off well; 
But if I know the mystery, why my lady 
Consented to it, or why Master Wellborn 
Desir'd it, may I perish! 

Furn. Would I had 

The roasting of his heart that cheated him, 
And forces the poor gentleman to these shifts! 
By fire! for cooks are Persians, and swear by it, 
Of all the griping and extorting tyrants 



886 PHILIP MASSINGER 

I ever heard or read of, I ne'er met 
A match to Sir Giles Overreach. 

Watch. What will you take 

To tell him so, fellow Furnace? 

Furn. Just as much 

As my throat is worth, for that would be the price on't. 
To have a usurer that starves himself. 
And wears a cloak of one and twenty years 
On a suit of fourteen groats, bought of the hangman. 
To grow rich, and then purchase, is too common; 
But this Sir Giles feeds high, keeps many servants. 
Who must at his command do any outrage; 
Rich in his habit, vast in his expenses; 
Yet he to admiration' still increases 
In wealth and lordships. 

Ord. He frights men out of their estates, 

And breaks through all law-nets, made to curb ill men. 
As they were cobwebs. No man dares reprove him. 
Such a spirit to dare and power to do were never 
Lodg'd so unluckily. 

Re-enter Amble [laughing] 

Amb. Ha! ha! I shall burst. 

Ord. Contain thyself, man. 

Furn. Or make us partakers 

Of your sudden mirth. 

Amb. Ha! ha! my lady has got 
Such a guest at her table! — this term-driver, Marrall, 
This snip of an attorney 

Furn. What of him, man ? 

Amb. The knave thinks still he's at the cook's shop in Ram Alley ,^ 
Where the clerks divide, and the elder is to choose; 
And feeds so slovenly! 

Furn. Is this all? 

Amb. My lady 

^ Marvellously. * Off Fleet Street, famous for its restaurants. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 887 

Drank to him for fashion sake, or to please Master Wellborn; 
As I live, he rises, and takes up a dish 
In which there were some remnants of a boil'd capon, 
And pledges her in white broth! 

Furn. Nay, 'tis like 

The rest of his tribe. 

Amb. And when I brought him wine, 

He leaves his stool, and, after a leg or two, 
Most humbly thanks my worship. 

Ord. Risen already! 

Amb. I shall be chid. 

Re-enter Lady Allworth, Wellborn, and Marrall 

Furn. My lady frowns. 

L. All. You wait well! [To Amble.] 

Let me have no more of this; I observ'd your jeering: 
Sirrah, I'll have you know, whom I think worthy 
To sit at my table, be he ne'er so mean. 
When I am present, is not your companion. 

Ord. Nay, she'll preserve what's due to her. 

Furn. This refreshing 

Follows your flux of laughter. 

L.All. [To Wellborn.] You are master 
Of your own will. I know so much of manners, 
As not to inquire your purposes; in a word. 
To me you are ever welcome, as to a house 
That is your own. 

Well. [Aside to Marrall.] Mark that. 

Mar. With reverence, sir. 

An it like your worship. 

Well. Trouble yourself no further, 

Dear madam; my heart's full of zeal and service. 
However in my language I am sparing. 
Come, Master Marrall. 

Mar. I attend your worship. 

Exeunt Wellborn and Marrall. 



888 PHILIP MASSINGER 

L. All. I see in your looks you are sorry, and you know me 
An easy mistress. Be merry; I have forgot all. 
Order and Furnace, come with me; I must give you 
Further directions. 

Ord. What you please. 

Furn. We are ready. Exeunt. 

Scene III. [The country near Lady Allworth's house] 
[Enter] Wellborn, and Marrall [bare-headed] 

Well. I think I am in a good way. 

Mar. Good! sir; the best way, 

The certain best way. 

Well. There are casualties 

That men are subject to. 

Mar. You are above 'em; 

And as you are already worshipful, 
I hope ere long you will increase in worship, 
And be right worshipful. 

Well. Prithee do not flout me: 

What I shall be, I shall be. Is't for your ease, 
You keep your hat off? 

Mar. Ease! an it like your worship! 

I hope Jack Marrall shall not live so long, 
To prove himself such an unmannerly beast, 
Though it hail hazel-nuts, as to be cover'd 
When your worship's present. 

Well. Aside. Is not this a true rogue. 

That, out of mere hope of a future coz'nage,' 
Can turn thus suddenly ? 'Tis rank already. 

Mar. I know your worship's wise, and needs no counsel, 
Yet if, in my desire to do you service, 
I humbly offer my advice, (but still 
Under correction,) I hope I shall not 
Incur your high displeasure. 

Well. No; speak freely. 

* cheating. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 889 

Mar. Then, in my judgment, sir, my simple judgment, 
(Still with your worship's favour,) I could wish you 
A better habit, for this cannot be 
But much distasteful to the noble lady 
(I say no more) that loves you; for, this morning, 
To me, and I am but a swine to her. 
Before the assurance of her wealth perf um'd you. 
You savour'd not of amber.^ 

Well. I do now then! 

Mar. This your batoon hath got a touch of it. 

Kisses the end 0/ his cudgel. 
Yet, if you please, for change, I have twenty pounds here. 
Which, out of my true love, I'll presently 
Lay down at your worship's feet; 'twill serve to buy you 
A riding suit. 

Well. But where's the horse? 

Mar. My gelding 

Is at your service; nay, you shall ride me. 
Before your worship shall be put to the trouble 
To walk afoot. Alas, when you are lord 
Of this lady's manor, as I know you will be. 
You may with the lease of glebe land, called Knave' s-acre, 
A place I would manure,' requite your vassal. 

Well. I thank thy love, but must make no use of it; 
What's twenty pounds? 

Mar. 'Tis all that I can make, sir. 

Well. Dost thou think, though I want clothes, I could not have 
them, 
For one word to my lady ? 

Mar. As I know not that! 

Well. Come, I will tell thee a secret, and so leave thee. 
I will not give her the advantage, though she be 
A gallant-minded lady, after we are married, 
(There being no woman but is sometimes froward,) 
To hit me in the teeth, and say, she was forc'd 
To buy my wedding-clothes, and took me on 

^ Ambergris, a fashionable perfume. ^ Cultivate. 



890 PHILIP MASSINGER 

With a plain riding-suit, and an ambling nag. 
No, I'll be furnish'd something like myself, 
And so farewell: for thy suit touching Knave's-acre, 
When it is mine, 'tis thine. 

Mar. I thank your worship. Exit Well. 

How was I cozen'd^ in the calculation 
Of this man's fortune! My master cozen'd too, 
Whose pupil I am in the art of undoing men; 
For that is our profession! Well, well. Master Wellborn, 
You are of a sweet nature, and fit again to be cheated: 
Which, if the Fates please, when you are possess'd 
Of the land and lady, you, sans question, shall be. 
I'll presently think of the means. Wal^s by, musing. 

Enter Overreach, [speaking to a Servant within^ 

Over. Sirrah, take my horse. 

I'll walk to get me an appetite; 'tis but a mile. 
And exercise will keep me from being pursy.' 
Ha! Marrall! Is he conjuring? Perhaps 
The knave has wrought the prodigal to do 
Some outrage on himself, and now he feels 
Compunction in his conscience for't: no matter, 
So it be done. Marrall! 

Mar. Sir. 

Over. How succeed we 

In our plot on Wellborn ? 

Mar. Never better, sir. 

Over. Has he hang'd or drown'd himself? 

Mar. No, sir, he lives; 

Lives once more to be made a prey to you, 
A greater prey than ever. 

Over. Art thou in thy wits? 

If thou art, reveal this miracle, and briefly. 

Mar. A lady, sir, is fall'n in love with him. 

Over. With him? What lady? 

Mar. The rich Lady Allworth. 

* Cheated. ' Fat and short-winded. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 89 1 

Over. Thou dolt! how dar'st thou speak this? 

Mar. I speak truth. 

And I do so but once a year, unless 
It be to you, sir. We din'd with her ladyship, 
I thank his worship. 

Over. His worship! 

Mar. As I live, sir, 

I din'd with him, at the great lady's table, 
Simple as I stand here; and saw when she kiss'd him, 
And would, at his request, have kiss'd me too: 
But I was not so audacious as some youths are, 
That dare do anything, be it ne'er so absurd. 
And sad after performance. 

Over. Why, thou rascal! 

To tell me these impossibilities. 

Dine at her table! and kiss him! or thee! 

Impudent varlet, have not I myself. 

To whom great countesses' doors have oft flew open, 

Ten times attempted, since her husband's death. 

In vain, to see her, though I came — a suitor? 

And yet your good solicitorship, and rogue Wellborn, 

Were brought into her presence, feasted with her! 

But that I know thee a dog that cannot blush. 
This most incredible lie would call up one 
On thy buttermilk cheeks. 

Mar. Shall I not trust my eyes, sir, 

Or taste? I feel her good cheer in my belly. 

Over. You shall feel me, if you give not over, sirrah: 
Recover your brains again, and be no more gull'd 
With a beggar's plot, assisted by the aids 
Of serving-men and chambermaids, for beyond these 
Thou never saw'st a woman, or I'll quit you 
From my employments. 

Mar. Will you credit this yet? 

On my confidence of their marriage, I offer'd Wellborn- 



Aside. I would give a crown now I durst say "his worship"- 
My nag and twenty pounds. 



892 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Over. Did you so, idiot! Strides him down. 

Was this the way to work him to despair, 
Or rather to cross me? 

Mar. Will your worship kill me? 

Over. No, no; but drive the lying spirit out of you. 

Mar. He's gone. 

Over. I have done then : now, forgetting 

Your late imaginary feast and lady. 
Know, my Lord Lovell dines with me to-morrow. 
Be careful nought be wanting to receive him; 
And bid my daughter's women trim her up, 
Though they paint her, so she catch the lord, I'll thank them. 
There's a piece for my late blows. 

Mar. Aside. I must yet suffer: 
But there may be a time 

Over. Do you grumble? 

Mar. No, sir. [Exeunt.] 

ACT III 

Scene I. [The country near Overreach's house] 

[Enter Lord] Lovell, Allworth, and Servants 

Lov. Walk the horses down the hill : something in private 
I must impart to Allworth. Exeunt Servants. 

All. O, my lord. 

What a sacrifice of reverence, duty, watching. 
Although I could put off the use of sleep, 
And ever wait on your commands to serve them; 
What dangers, though in ne'er so horrid shapes. 
Nay death itself, though I should run to meet it. 
Can I, and with a thankful willingness suffer! 
But still the retribution will fall short 
Of your bounties shower'd upon me. 

Lov. Loving youth, 

Till what I purpose be put into act, 
Do not o'erprize it; since you have trusted me 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 893 

With your soul's nearest, nay, her dearest secret. 
Rest confident 'tis in a cabinet lock'd 
Treachery shall never open. I have found you 
(For so much to your face I must profess, 
Howe'er you guard your modesty with a blush for't) 
More zealous in your love and service to me 
Than I have been in my rewards. 

All. Still great ones, 

Above my merit. 

Lov. Such your gratitude calls 'em; 

Nor am I of that harsh and rugged temper 
As some great men are tax'd with, who imagine 
They part from the respect due to their honours 
If they use not all such as follow 'em. 
Without distinction of their births, like slaves. 
I am not so condition'd; I can make 
A fitting difference between my footboy 
And a gentleman by want compell'd to serve me. 

All. 'Tis thankfully acknowledg'd; you have been 
More like a father to me than a master. 
Pray you, pardon the comparison. 

Lot/. I allow it: 

And, to give you assurance I am pleas'd in't. 
My carriage and demeanour to your mistress, 
Fair Margaret, shall truly witness for me 
I can command my passions. 

All. 'Tis a conquest 

Few lords can boast of when they are tempted — Oh! 

Lov. Why do you sigh? Can you be doubtful of me? 
By that fair name I in the wars have purchas'd, 
And all my actions, hitherto untainted, 
I will not be more true to mine own honour 
Than to my All worth! 

All. As you are the brave Lord Lovell, 

Your bare word only given is an assurance 
Of more validity and weight to me 
Than all the oaths, bound up with imprecations, 



894 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Which, when they would deceive, most courtiers practise; 
Yet being a man, (for, sure, to style you more 
Would relish of gross flattery,) I am forc'd. 
Against my confidence of your worth and virtues. 
To doubt, nay, more, to fear. 

Lov. So young, and jealous! 

All. Were you to encounter with a single foe, 
The victory were certain; but to stand 
The charge of two such potent enemies. 
At once assaulting you, as wealth and beauty. 
And those too seconded with power, is odds 
Too great for Hercules, 

Love. Speak your doubts and fears, 

Since you will nourish them, in plainer language. 
That I may understand them. 

All. What's your will, 

Though I lend arms against myself, (provided 
They may advantage you,) must be obeyed. 
My much-lov'd lord, were Margaret only fair. 
The cannon of her more than earthly form. 
Though mounted high, commanding all beneath it, 
And ramm'd with bullets of her sparkling eyes. 
Of all the bulwarks that defend your senses 
Could batter none, but that which guards your sight. 
But when the well-tun'd accents of her tongue 
Make music to you, and with numerous' sounds 
Assault your hearing, (such as if Ulysses, 
Now liv'd again, howe'er he stood the Syrens, 
Could not resist,) the combat must grow doubtful 
Between your reason and rebellious passions. 
Add this too; when you feel her touch, and breath 
Like a soft western wind when it glides o'er 
Arabia, creating gums and spices; 
And, in the van, the nectar of her lips. 
Which you must taste, bring the battalia on. 
Well arm'd, and strongly lin'd^ with her discourse. 
And knowing manners, to give entertainment; — 

* Rhythmical. ^ Reinforced. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 895 

Hippolytus himself would leave Diana, 
To follow such a Venus. 

Lov. Love hath made you 

Poetical, AUworth. 

All. Grant all these beat off, 

Which if it be in man to do, you'll do it. 
Mammon, in Sir Giles Overreach, steps in 
With heaps of ill-got gold, and so much land, 
To make her more remarkable, as would tire 
A falcon's wings in one day to fly over. 
O my good lord! these powerful aids, which would 
Make a mis-shapen negro beautiful, 
(Yet are but ornaments to give her lustre, 
That in herself is all perfection,) must 
Prevail for her. I here release your trust; 
'Tis happiness enough for me to serve you 
And sometimes, with chaste eyes, to look upon her. 

Lov. Why, shall I swear? 

All. O, by no means, my lord; 

And wrong not so your judgment to the world 
As from your fond indulgence to a boy. 
Your page, your servant, to refuse a blessing 
Divers great men are rivals for. 

Lov. . Suspend 

Your judgment till the trial. How far is it 
To Overreach's house? 

All. At the most, some half hour's riding; 

You'll soon be there. 

Lov. And you the sooner freed 

From your jealous fears. 

All. O that I durst but hope it! Exeunt. 

Scene II. \A room in Overreach's housed 

[Enter] Overreach, Greedy, and Marrall 

Over. Spare for no cost; let my dressers crack with the weight 
Of curious viands. 

Greedy. "Store indeed's no sore," sir. 



896 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Over. That proverb fits your stomach, Master Greedy. 
And let no plate be seen but what's pure gold, 
Or such whose workmanship exceeds the matter 
That it is made of; let my choicest linen 
Perfume the room, and, when we wash, the water, 
With precious powders mix'd, so please my lord, 
That he may with envy wish to bathe so ever. 

Mar. 'Twill be very chargeable. 

Over. Avaunt, you drudge! 

Now all my labour'd ends are at the stake, 
Is't a time to think of thrift ? Call in my daughter. 

\Exit Marrall.] 
And, Master Justice, since you love choice dishes, 
And plenty of them 

Greedy. As I do, indeed, sir, 

Almost as much as to give thanks for 'em. 

Over. I do confer that providence,' with my power 
Of absolute command to have abundance, 
To your best care. 

Greedy. I'll punctually discharge it, 

And give the best directions. Now am I, 
In mine own conceit, a monarch; at the least. 
Arch-president of the boil'd, the roast, the bak'd; 
For which I will eat often, and give thanks 
When my belly's brac'd up like a drum, and that's pure justice. 

Exit. 

Over. It must be so. Should the foolish girl prove modest, 
She may spoil all; she had it not from me, 
But from her mother; I was ever forward. 
As she must be, and therefore I'll prepare her. 

[Enter] Margaret 

Alone — and let your women wait without. 

Marg. Your pleasure, sir ? 

Over. Ha! this is a neat dressing! 

These orient pearls and diamonds well plac'd too! 

' Responsibility for providing. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 897 

The gown affects me not, it should have been 

Embroider'd o'er and o'er with flowers of gold; 

But these rich jewels and quaint fashion help it. 

And how below? since oft the wanton eye, 

The face observ'd, descends unto the foot. 

Which being well proportion'd, as yours is, 

Invites as much as perfect white and red, 

Though without art. How like you your new woman, 

The Lady Downfall'n? 

Marg. Well, for a companion; 

Not as a servant. 

Over. Is she humble, Meg, 

And careful too, her ladyship forgotten? 

Marg. I pity her fortune. 

Over. Pity her! trample on her. 

I took her up in an old tamin^ gown, 
(Even starv'd for want of twopenny chops,) to serve thee; 
And if I understand she but repines 
To do thee any duty, though ne'er so servile, 
I'll pack her to her knight, where I have lodg'd him, 
Into the Counter,' and there let them howl together. 

Marg. You know your own ways; but for me, I blush 
When I command her, that was once attended 
With persons not inferior to myself 
In birth. 

Over. In birth! why, art thou not my daughter, 
The blest child of my industry and wealth? 
Why, foolish girl, was't not to make thee great 
That I have run, and still pursue, those ways 
That hale down curses on me, which I mind not? 
Part with these humble thoughts, and apt* thyself 
To the noble state I labour to advance thee; 
Or, by my hopes to see thee honourable, 
I will adopt a stranger to my heir. 
And throw thee from my care. Do not provoke me. 

Marg. I will not, sir; mould me which way you please. 

^ A coarse cloth. ' One of the London prisons. * Fit. 



898 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Re-enter Greedy 

Over. How! interrupted! 

Greedy. 'Tis matter of importance. 

The cook, sir, is self-will'd, and will not learn 
From my experience. There's a fawn brought in, sir, 
And, for my life, I cannot make him roast it 
With a Norfolk dumpling in the belly of it; 
And, sir, we wise men know, without the dumpling 
'Tis not worth three-pence. 

Over.. Would it were whole in thy belly. 

To stuff it out! Cook it any way; prithee, leave me. 

Greedy. Without order for the dumpling? 

Over. Let it be dumpl'd 

Which way thou wilt; or tell him, I will scald him 
In his own caldron. 

Greedy. I had lost my stomach 

Had I lost my mistress dumpling; I'll give thanks for't. [ExzV.] 

Over. But to our business, Meg; you have heard who dines here? 

Marg. I have, sir. 

Over. 'Tis an honourable man; 

A lord, Meg, and commands a regiment 
Of soldiers, and, what's rare, is one himself, 
A bold and understanding one; and to be 
A lord, and a good leader, in one volume. 
Is granted unto few but such as rise up 
The kingdom's glory. 

Re-enter Greedy 

Greedy. I'll resign my office. 

If I be not better obey'd. 

Over. 'Slight, art thou frantic? 

Greedy. Frantic! 'Twould make me frantic, and stark mad, 
Were I not a justice of peace and quorum too. 
Which this rebellious cook cares not a straw for. 
There are a dozen of woodcocks 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 899 

Over. Make thyself 

Thirteen, the baker's dozen. 

Greedy. I am contented, 

So they may be dress'd to my mind; he has found out 
A new device for sauce, and will not dish 'em 
With toasts and butter. My father was a tailor, 
And my name, though a justice, Greedy Woodcock; 
And, ere I'll see my lineage so abus'd, 
I'll give up my commission. 

Over. [loudly.] Cook! — Rogue, obey himi 

I have given the word, pray you now remove yourself 
To a collar of brawn,'' and trouble me no further. 

Greedy. I will, and meditate what to eat at dinner. Exit. 

Over. And as I said, Meg, when this gull° disturb'd us, 
This honourable lord, this colonel, 
I would have thy husband. 

Marg. There's too much disparity 

Between his quality and mine, to hope it. 

Over. I more than hope't, and doubt not to effect it. 
Be thou no enemy to thyself, my wealth 
Shall weigh his titles down, and make you equals. 
Now for the means to assure him thine, observe me: 
Remember he's a courtier, and a soldier. 
And not to be trifled with; and, therefore, when 
He comes to woo you, see you do not coy it: 
This mincing modesty has spoil'd many a match 
By a first refusal, in vain after hop'd for. 

Marg. You'll have me, sir, preserve the distance that 
Confines a virgin.? 

Over. Virgin me no virgins! 

I must have you lose that name, or you lose me. 
I will have you private — start not — I say, private; 
If thou art my true daughter, not a bastard. 
Thou wilt venture alone with one man, though he came 
Like Jupiter to Semele, and come off, too; 

' Neck of a boar. ^ Fool. 



900 PHILIP MASSINGER 

And therefore, when he kisses you, kiss close. 

Marg. I have heard this is the strumpet's fashion, sir, 
Which I must never learn. 

Over. Learn any thing. 

And from any creature that may make thee great; 
From the devil himself. 

Marg. [Aside.] This is but devilish doctrine! 

Over. Or, if his blood grow hot, suppose he oiEfer 
Beyond this, do not you stay till it cool. 
But meet his ardour; if a couch be near, 
Sit down on't, and invite him. 

Marg. In your house. 

Your own house, sir! For Heaven's sake, what are you then.? 
Or what shall I be, sir? 

Over. Stand not on form; 

Words are no substances. 

Marg. Though you could dispense 

With your own honour, cast aside religion. 
The hopes of Heaven, or fear of hell, excuse me, 
In worldly policy, this is not the way 
To make me his wife; his whore, I grant it may do. 
My maiden honour so soon yielded up. 
Nay, prostituted, cannot but assure him 
I, that am light to him, will not hold weight 
Whene'er' tempted by others; so, in judgment. 
When to his lust I have given up my honour, 
He must and will forsake me. 

Over. How! forsake thee! 

Do I wear a sword for fashion ? or is this arm 
Shrunk up or wither'd ? Does there live a man 
Of that large list I have encounter'd with 
Can truly say I e'er gave inch of ground 
Not purchas'd with his blood that did oppose me? 
Forsake thee when the thing is done! He dares not. 
Give me but proof he has enjoy'd thy person. 
Though all his captains, echoes to his will, 

'So Gifford. Q. when he is. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 9OI 

Stood arm'd by his side to justify the wrong, 
And he himself in the head of his bold troop, 
Spite of his lordship, and his colonelship, 
Or the judge's favour, I will make him render 
A bloody and a strict account, and force him. 
By marrying thee, to cure thy wounded honour! 
I have said it. 

Re-enter Marrall 

Mar. Sir, the man of honour's come, 

Newly alighted. 

Over. In, without reply; 

And do as I command, or thou art lost. Exit Margaret. 

Is the loud music I gave order for 
Ready to receive him? 

Mar. 'Tis, sir. 

Over, Let them sound 

A princely welcome. [Exit Marrall.] Roughness awhile leave me; 
For fawning now, a stranger to my nature, 
Must make way for me. 

Loud music. Enter Lord Lovell, Greedy, Allworth, 
and Marrall 

Lov. Sir, you meet your trouble. 

Over. What you are pleas'd to style so is an honour 
Above my worth and fortunes. 

All. [Aside.] Strange, so humble. 

Over. A justice of peace, my lord. Presents Greedy to him. 

Lov. Your hand, good sir. 

Greedy. [Aside.] This is a lord, and some think this a favour; 
But I had rather have my hand in my dumpling. 

Over. Room for my lord. 

Lov. I miss, sir, your fair daughter 

To crown my welcome. 

Over. May it please my lord 

To taste a glass of Greek wine first, and suddenly 
She shall attend my lord. 



902 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Lov. You'll be obey'd, sir. Exeunt all but Overreach. 

Over. 'Tis to my wish: as soon as come, ask for her! 
Why, Meg! Meg Overreach. — 

[Re-enter Margaret] 

How! tears in your eyes! 
Hah! dry 'em quickly, or I'll dig 'em out. 
Is this a time to whimper ? Meet that greatness 
That flies into thy bosom, think what 'tis 
For me to say, "My honourable daughter;" 
And thou, when I stand bare, to say, "Put on;" 
Or, "Father, you forget yourself." No more: 
But be instructed, or expect ^he comes. 

Re-enter Lord Lovell, Greedy, Allworth, and Marrall 

A black-brow'd girl, my lord, 

Lov. As I live, a rare one. They salute. 

All. [Aside.] He's ta'en already: I am lost. 

Over. [Aside.] That kiss 

Came twangling off, I like it. — Quit the room. 

[Exeunt all but Overreach, Lovell, and Margaret. 
A little bashful, my good lord, but you, 
I hope, will teach her boldness. 

Lov. I am happy 

In such a scholar: but 

Over. I am past learning. 

And therefore leave you to yourselves. — Remember. 

Aside to Margaret and exit. 

Lov. You see, fair lady, your father is solicitous, 
To have you change the barren name of virgin 
Into a hopeful wife. 

Marg. His haste, my lord, 

Holds no power o'er my will. 

Lov. But o'er your duty. 

Marg. Which forc'd too much, may break. 

Love. Bend rather, sweetest. 

Think of your years. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 903 

Marg. Too few to match with yours: 

And choicest fruits too soon pluck'd, rot and wither. 

Lov. Do you think I am old ? 

Marg. I am sure I am too young. 

Lov. I can advance you. 

Marg. To a hill of sorrow, 

Where every hour I may expect to fall, 
But never hope firm footing. You are noble, 
I of a low descent, however rich; 
And tissues match'd with scarlet' suit but ill. 
O, my good lord, I could say more, but that 
I dare not trust these walls. 

Lov. Pray you, trust my ear then. 

Re-enter Overreach [behind], listening 

Over. Close at it! whispering! this is excellent! 
And, by their postures, a consent on both parts. 

Re-enter Greedy behind 

Greedy. Sir Giles, Sir Giles! 

Over. The great fiend stop that clapper! 

Greedy. It must ring out, sir, when my belly rings noon. 
The bak'd-meats are run out, the roasts turn'd powder. 

Over. I shall powder you. 

Greedy. Beat me to dust, I care not; 

In such a cause as this, I'll die a martyr. 

Over. Marry, and shall, you barathrum' of the shambles! 

Stril^es him. 

Greedy. How! strike a justice of peace! 'Tis petty treason, 
Edwardi quinto: but that you are my friend, 
I would commit you without bail or mainprize.'" 

Over. Leave your bawling, sir, or I shall commit you 
Where you shall not dine to-day. Disturb my lord. 
When he is in discourse! 

' Silks matched with woolen. * Gulf: here, insatiable glutton. 
'" A writ commanding the sheriff to take bail. 



904 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Greedy. Is't a time to talk 

When we should be munching! 

hov. Hah! I heard some noise 

Over. Mum, villain; vanish! Shall we break a bargain 
Almost made up ? Thrusts Greedy o§. 

hov. Lady, I understand you. 

And rest most happy in your choice, believe it; 
I'll be a careful pilot to direct 
Your yet uncertain bark to a port of safety. 

Marg. So shall your honour save two lives, and bind us 
Your slaves for ever. 

Lov. I am in the act rewarded, 

Since it is good; howe'er, you must put on 
An amorous carriage towards me to delude 
Your subtle father. 

Marg. I am prone to that. 

Lov. Now break we off our conference. — Sir Giles! 
Where is Sir Giles? [Overreach comes forward,] 

Re-enter Allworth, Marrall, and Greedy 

Over. My noble lord; and how 

Does your lordship find her ? 

Lov. Apt, Sir Giles, and coming; 

And I like her the better. 

Over. So do I too. 

Lov. Yet should we take forts at the first assault, 
'Twere poor in the defendant; I must confirm her 
With a love-letter or two, which I must have 
Deliver'd by my page, and you give way to't. 

Over. With all my soul:— a towardly gentleman! 
Your hand, good Master Allworth; know my house 
Is ever open to you. 

All. \ Aside.] 'Twas shut till now. 

Over. Well done, well done, my honourable daughter! 
Thou'rt so already. Know this gentle youth. 
And cherish him, my honourable daughter. 

Marg. I shall, with my best care. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 905 

Noise within, as of a coach. 
Over. A coach! 

Greedy. More stops 

Before we go to dinner! O my guts! 

Enter Lady Allworth and Wellborn 

L. All. If I find welcome, 

You share in it; if not, I'll back again. 
Now I know your ends; for I come arm'd for all 
Can be objected. 

Lov. How! the Lady Allworth! 

Over. And thus attended! 

LovELL salutes Lady Allworth, Lady Allworth salutes 
Margaret. 

Mar. No, "I am a dolt! 

The spirit of lies had ent'red me!" 

Over. Peace, Patch;" 

'Tis more than wonder! an astonishment 
That does possess me wholly! 

Lov. Noble lady, 

This is a favor, to prevent'^ my visit, 
The service of my life can never equal. 

L. All. My lord, I laid wait for you, and much hop'd 
You would have made my poor house your first inn : 
And therefore doubting that you might forget me, 
Or too long dwell here, having such ample cause, 
In this unequall'd beauty, for your stay. 
And fearing to trust any but myself 
With the relation of my service to you, 
I borrow'd so much from my long restraint 
And took the air in person to invite you. 

Lov. Your bounties are so great, they rqb me, madam. 
Of words to give you thanks. 

L. All. Good Sir Giles Overreach. Salutes him. 

— How dost thou, Marrall ? Lik'd you my meat so ill. 
You'll dine no more with me? 

" Fool. '^ Anticipate. 



906 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Greedy. I will, when you please, 

And it like" your ladyship. 

L. All. When you please, Master Greedy; 

If meat can do it, you shall be satisfied. 
And now, my lord, pray take into your knowledge 
This gentleman; howe'er his outside's coarse. Presents Wellborn. 
His inward linings are as fine and fair 
As any man's; wonder not I speak at large: 
And howsoe'er his humour carries him 
To be thus accoutred, or what taint soever. 
For his wild life, hath stuck upon his fame, 
He may, ere long, with boldness, rank himself 
With some that have contemn'd him. Sir Giles Overreach, 
If I am welcome, bid him so. 

Over. My nephew! 

He has been too long a stranger. Faith you have. 
Pray let it be mended. Lovell confers aside with Wellborn. 

Mar. Why, sir, what do you mean? 

This is "rogue Wellborn, monster, prodigy. 
That should hang or drown himself;" no man of worship. 
Much less your nephew. 

Over. Well, sirrah, we shall reckon 

For this hereafter. 

Mar. I'll not lose my jeer, 

Though I be beaten dead for't. 

Well. Let my silence plead 

In my excuse, my lord, till better leisure 
Offer itself to hear a full relation 
Of my poor fortunes. 

Lov. I would hear, and help 'em. 

Over. Your dinner waits you. 

Lov. Pray you lead, we follow. 

L. All. Nay, you are my guest; come, dear Master Wellborn. 

Exeunt all but Greedy. 

Greedy. "Dear Master Wellborn!" so she said: Heaven! Heaven! 

"If it please. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 907 

If my belly would give me leave, I could ruminate 

All day on this: I have granted twenty warrants 

To have him committed, from all prisons in the shire, 

To Nottingham gaol; and now, "Dear Master WellbornI" 

And, "My good nephew!" — but I play the fool 

To stand here prating, and forget my dinner. 

Re-enter Marrall 

Are they set, Marrall? 

Mar. Long since; pray you a word, sir. 

Greedy. No wording now. 

Mar. In troth, I must. My master. 

Knowing you are his good friend, makes bold with you. 
And does entreat you, more guests being come in 
Than he expected, especially his nephew. 
The table being full too, you would excuse him, 
And sup with him on the cold meat. 

Greedy. How! no dinner, 

After all my care? 

Mar. 'Tis but a penance for 

A meal; besides, you broke your fast. 

Greedy. That was 

But a bit to stay my stomach. A man in commission 
Give place to a tatterdemalion! 

Mar. No bug" words, sir; 

Should his worship hear you 

Greedy. Lose my dumpling too. 

And butter'd toasts, and woodcocks! 

Mar. Come, have patience. 

If you will dispense a little with your worship, 
And sit with the waiting women, you'll have dumpling, 
Woodcock, and butter'd toasts too. 

Greedy. This revives me: 

I will gorge there sufficiently. 

Mar. This is the way, sir. Exeunt. 

'* Terrifying. 



908 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Scene III. [Another room in Overreach's house] 

[Enter] Overreach, as from dinner 

Over. She's caught! O women! — she neglects my lord, 
And all her compliments appli'd to Wellborn! 
The garments of her widowhood laid by, 
She now appears as glorious as the spring. 
Her eyes fix'd on him, in the wine she drinks. 
He being her pledge, she sends him burning kisses, 
And sits on thorns, till she be private with him. 
She leaves my meat to feed upon his looks. 
And if in our discourse he be but nam'd, 
From her a deep sigh follows. And why grieve I 
At this? It makes for me; if she prove his. 
All that is hers is mine, as I will work him. 

Enter Marrall 

Mar. Sir, the whole board is troubled at your rising. 

Over. No matter, I'll excuse it. Prithee, Marrall, 
Watch an occasion to invite my nephew 
To speak with me in private. 

Mar. Who! "The rogue 

The lady scorned to look on"? 

Over. You are a wag. 

Enter Lady Allworth and Wellborn 

Mar. See, sir, she's come, and cannot be without him. 

L. All. With your favour, sir, after a plenteous dinner, 
I shall make bold to walk a turn or two. 
In your rare garden. 

Over. There's an arbour too. 

If your ladyship please to use it. 

L. All, Come, Master Wellborn. 

Exeunt Lady Allworth and Wellborn. 

Over. Grosser and grosser! Now I believe the poet 
Feign'd not, but was historical, when he wrote 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 909 

Pasiphae was enamour'd of a bull : 

This lady's lust's more monstrous. — My good lord, 

Enter Lord Lovell, Margaret, and the rest 

Excuse my manners. 

Imv. There needs none. Sir Giles, 

I may ere long say father, when it pleases 
My dearest mistress to give warrant to it. 

Over. She shall seal to it, my lord, and make me happy. 

Re-enter Wellborn and Lady Allworth 

Marg. My lady is return'd. 

L. All. Provide my coach, 

I'll instantly away. My thanks, Sir Giles, 
For my entertainment. 

Over. 'Tis your nobleness 

To think it such. 

L. All. I must do you a further wrong 

In taking away your honourable guest. 

Lov. I wait on you, madam; farewell, good Sir Giles. 

L. All. Good Mistress Margaret! Nay, come, Master Wellborn, 
I must not leave you behind; in sooth, I must not. 

Over. Rob me not, madam, of all joys at once; 
Let my nephew stay behind. He shall have my coach, 
And, after some small conference between us, 
Soon overtake your ladyship. 

L. All. Stay not long, sir. 

Lov. This parting kiss: {Kisses Margaret] you shall every day 
hear from me, 
By my faithful page. 

All. 'Tis a service I am proud of. 

Exeunt Lord Lovell, Lady Allworth, Allworth, and 
Marrall. 

Over. Daughter, to your chamber. — Exit Margaret. 

— ^You may wonder, nephew. 
After so long an enmity between us, 
I should desire your friendship. 



910 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Well. So I do, sir; 

'Tis strange to me. 

Of«-. But I'll make it no wonder; 

And what is more, unfold my nature to you. 
We worldly men, when we see friends and kinsmen 
Past hopes sunk in their fortunes, lend no hand 
To lift 'em up, but rather set our feet 
Upon their heads, to press 'em to the bottom; 
As, I must yield,' with you I practis'd it: 
But, now I see you in a way to rise, 
I can and will assist you. This rich lady 
(And I am glad of 't) is enamour'd of you; 
'Tis too apparent, nephew. 

Well. No such thing: 

Compassion rather, sir. 

Over, Well, in a word, 

Because your stay is short, I'll have you seen 
No more in this base shape; nor shall she say 
She married you like a beggar, or in debt. 

Well. Aside. He'll run into the noose, and save my labour. 

Over. You have a trunk of rich clothes, not far hence, 
In pawn; I will redeem 'em; and that no clamour 
May taint your credit for your petty debts. 
You shall have a thousand pounds to cut 'em off, 
And go a free man to the wealthy lady. 

Well. This done, sir, out of love, and no ends else 

Over. As it is, nephew. 

Well. Binds me still your servant. 

Over. No compliments; you are staid for. Ere you have supp'd 
You shall hear from me. My coach, knaves, for my nephew. 
To-morrow I will visit you. 

Well. Here's an uncle 

In a man's extremes! How much they do belie you. 
That say you are hard-hearted! 

Over. My deeds, nephew. 

Shall speak my love; what men report I weigh not. Exeunt. 

1 Admit 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 9II 

ACT IV 
Scene I. [A room in Lady AUworth's house] 

[Enter Lord] Lovell and Allworth 

Lov. 'Tis well; give me my cloak; I now discharge you 
From further service. Mind your own affairs; 
I hope they will prove successful. 

All. What is blest 

With your good wisn, my lord, cannot but prosper. 
Let aftertimes report, and to your honour, 
How much I stand engag'd, for I want language 
To speak my debt; yet if a tear or two 
Of joy, for your much goodness, can supply 
My tongue's defects, I could 

Lot/. Nay, do not melt: 

This ceremonial thanks to me's superfluous. 

Over, (within.) Is my lord stirring? 

Lov. 'Tis he! oh, here's your letter. Let him in. 

Enter Overreach, Greedy, and Marrall 

Over. A good day to my lord! 

Lov. You are an early riser, 

Sir Giles. 

Over. And reason, to attend your lordship. 

Lot/. And you, too, Master Greedy, up so soon ! 

Greedy. In troth, my lord, after the sun is up, 
I cannot sleep, for I have a foolish stomach 
That croaks for breakfast. With your lordship's favour, 
I have a serious question to demand 
Of my worthy friend Sir Giles. 

Lov. Pray you use your pleasure. 

Greedy. How far. Sir Giles, and pray you answer me 
Upon your credit, hold you it to be 
From your manor-house, to this of my Lady's AUworth's? 

Over. Why, some four mile. 



912 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Greedy. How! four mile, good Sir Giles 

Upon your reputation, think better; 
For if you do abate but one half -quarter 
Of five, you do yourself the greatest wrong 
That can be in the world; for four miles riding 
Could not have rais'd so huge an appetite 
As I feel gnawing on me. 

Mar. Whether you ride, 

Or go afoot, you are that way still provided. 
An it please your worship. 

Over. How now, sirrah? Prating 

Before my lord! No difference! Go to my nephew, 
See all his debts discharg'd, and help his worship 
To fit on his rich suit. 

Mar. [Aside.] I may fit you too. 

Toss'd like a dog still! Exit. 

Lov. I have writ this morning 

A few lines to my mistress, your fair daughter. 

Over. 'Twill fire her, for she's wholly yours already. — 
Sweet Master All worth, take my ring; 'twill carry you 
To her presence, I dare warrant you; and there plead 
For my good lord, if you shall find occasion. 
That done, pray ride to Nottingham, get a licence, 
Still by this token. I'll have it dispatch'd. 
And suddenly, my lord, that I may say. 
My honourable, nay, right honourable daughter. 

Greedy. Take my advice, young gentleman, get your breakfast; 
'Tis unwholesome to ride fasting. I'll eat with you, 
And eat to purpose. 

Over. Some Fury's in that gut: 

Hungry again! Did you not devour, this morning, 
A shield of brawn, and a barrel of Colchester oysters ? 

Greedy. Why, that was, sir, only to scour my stomach, 
A kind of a preparative. Come, gentleman, 
I will not have you feed like the hangman of Flushing, 
Alone, while I am here. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 913 

hov. Haste your return. 

All. I will not fail, my lord. 

Greedy. Nor I, to line 

My Christmas coffer. Exeunt Greedy and Allworth. 

Over. To my wish : we are private. 

I come not to make offer with my daughter 
A certain portion, — that were poor and trivial : 
In one word, I pronounce all that is mine, 
In lands or leases, ready coin or goods. 
With her, my lord, comes to you; nor shall you have 
One motive to induce you to believe 
I live too long, since every year I'll add 
Something unto the heap, which shall be yours too. 

Lov. You are a right kind father. 

Over. You shall have reason 

To think me such. How do you like this seat? 
It is well wooded, and well water' d, the acres 
Fertile and rich; would it not serve for change. 
To entertain your friends in a summer progress? 
What thinks my noble lord ? 

Lov. 'Tis a wholesome air. 

And well-built pile; and she that's mistress of it. 
Worthy the large revenue. 

Over. She the mistress! 

It may be so for a time : but let my lord 
Say only that he likes it, and would have it, 
I say, ere long 'tis his. 

Lov. Impossible. 

Over. You do conclude too fast, not knowing me, 
Nor the engines' that I work by. 'Tis not alone 
The Lady AUworth's lands, for those once Wellborn's 
(As by her dotage on him I know they will.be,) 
Shall soon be mine; but point out any man's 
In all the shire, and say they lie convenient 
And useful for your lordship, and once more 

' Devices. 



914 PHILIP MASSINGER 

I say aloud, they are yours. 

Lov. I dare not own 

What's by unjust and cruel means extorted; 
My fame and credit are more dear to me, 
Than so to expose them to be censur'd by 
The pubhc voice. 

Over, You run, my lord, no hazard. 

Your reputation shall stand as fair. 
In all good men's opinions, as now; 
Nor can my actions, though condemn'd for ill, 
Cast any foul aspersion upon yours. 
For, though I do contemn report myself 
As a mere sound, I still will be so tender 
Of what concerns you, in all points of honour, 
That the immaculate whiteness of your fame, 
Nor your unquestioned integrity, 
Shall e'er be sullied with one taint or spot 
That may take from your innocence and candour.^ 
All my ambition is to have my daughter 
Right honourable, which my lord can make her: 
And might I live to dance upon my knee 
A young Lord Lovell, born by her unto you, 
I write nil ultra^ to my proudest hopes. 
As for possessions and annual rents, 
Equivalent to maintain you in the port 
Your noble birth and present state requires, 
I do remove that burthen from your shoulders, 
And take it on mine own : for, though I ruin 
The country to supply your riotous waste, 
The scourge of prodigals, want, shall never find you. 

Lov. Are you not frighted with the imprecations 
And curses of whole families, made wretched 
By your sinister practices? 

Over. Yes, as rocks are, 

When foamy billows split themselves against 
Their flinty ribs; or as the moon is mov'd, 

* Stainlessness. ' Nothing beyond. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 915 

When wolves, with hunger pin'd, howl at her brightness. 

I am of a solid temper, and, like these, 

Steer on a constant course. With mine own sword. 

If called into the field, I can make that right, 

Which fearful enemies murmur'd at as wrong. 

Now, for these other piddling complaints 

Breath'd out in bitterness; as when they call me 

Extortioner, tyrant, cormorant, or intruder 

On my poor neighbour's right, or grand incloser 

Of what was common, to my private use; 

Nay, when my ears are pierc'd with widows' cries. 

And undone orphans wash with tears my threshold, 

I only think what 'tis to have my daughter 

Right honourable; and 'tis a powerful charm 

Makes me insensible of remorse, or pity, 

Or the leajt sting of conscience. 

Lov. I admire^ 

The toughness of your nature. 

Over. 'Tis for you, 

My lord, and for my daughter, I am marble; 
Nay more, if you will have my character 
In little, I enjoy more true delight 
In my arrival to my wealth these dark 
And crooked ways, than you shall e'er take pleasure 
In spending what my industry hath compass'd. 
My haste commands me hence; in one word, therefore, 
Is it a match ? 

Lov. I hope, that is past doubt now. 

Over. Then rest secure; not the hate of all mankind here, 
Nor fear of what can fall on me hereafter, 
Shall make me study aught but your advancement 
One story higher: an earl! if gold can do it. 
Dispute not my religion, nor my faith; 
Though I am borne thus headlong by my will. 
You may make choice of what belief you please. 
To me they are equal; so, my lord, good morrow. Exit. 

■•Wonder at. 



91 6 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Lov. He's gone — I wonder how the earth can bear 
Such a portent! I, that have Hv'd a soldier, 
And stood the enemy's violent charge undaunted, 
To hear this blasphemous beast am bath'd all over 
In a cold sweat : yet, like a mountain, he 
(Cbnfirm'd in atheistical assertions) 
Is no more shaken than Olympus^ is 
When angry Boreas loads his double head 
With sudden drifts of snow. 

Enter Lady Allworth, Waiting Woman, and Amble 

L. All. Save you, my lord! 

Disturb I not your privacy ? 

Lov. No, good madam; 

For your own sake I am glad you came no sooner, 
Since this bold bad man. Sir Giles Overreach, 
Made such a plain discovery of himself. 
And read this morning such a devilish matins, 
That I should think it a sin next to his 
But to repeat it. 

L. All. I ne'er press'd, my lord, 

On others' privacies; yet, against my will, 
Walking, for health' sake, in the gallery 
Adjoining to your lodgings, I was made 
(So vehement and loud he was) partaker 
Of his tempting offers. 

Lov. Please you to command 

Your servants hence, and I shall gladly hear 
Your wiser counsel. 

L. All. 'Tis, my lord, a woman's. 

But true and hearty; — wait in the next room. 
But be within call; yet not so near to force me 
To whisper my intents. 

Amb. We are taught better 

By you, good madam. 

W. Worn. And well know our distance. 

^Apparently a slip for "Parnassus." 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS pi 7 

L. All. Do so, and talk not; 'twill become your breeding. 

Exeunt Amble and Woman. 
Now, my good lord; if I may use my freedom. 
As to an honour'd friend 

Lov. You lessen else 

Your favour to me. 

L. All. I dare then say thus: 

As you are noble (howe'er common men 
Make sordid wealth the object and sole end 
Of their industrious aims) 'twill not agree 
With those of eminent blood, who are engag'd 
More to prefer'' their honours than to increase 
The state left to them by their ancestors. 
To study large additions to their fortunes. 
And quite neglect their births: — ^though I must grant. 
Riches, well got, to be a useful servant. 
But a bad master. 

Lov. Madam, 'tis confessed; 

But what infer you from it? 

L. All. This, my lord; 

That as all wrongs, though thrust into one scale, 
Slide of themselves off when right fills the other 
And cannot bide the trial; so all wealth, 
I mean if ill-acquir'd, cemented to honour 
By virtuous ways achiev'd, and bravely purchas'd, 
Is but as rubbish pour'd into a river, 
(Howe'er intended to make good the bank,) 
Rendering the water, that was pure before, 
Polluted and unwholesome. I allow 
The heir of Sir Giles Overreach, Margaret, 
A maid well quahfied and the richest match 
Our north part can make boast of; yet she cannot, 
With all that she brings with her, fill their mouths, 
That never will forget who was her father; 
Or that my husband Allworth's lands, and Wellborn's, 
(How wrung from both needs now no repetition,) 

* Promote. 



91 8 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Were real motives that more work'd your lordship 
To join your families, than her form and virtues : 
You may conceive the rest. 

Lav. I do, sweet madam, 

And long since have consider'd it. I know, 
The sum of all that makes a just man happy 
Consists in the well choosing of his wife: 
And there, well to discharge it, does require 
Equality of years, of birth, of fortune; 
For beauty being poor, and not cried up 
By birth or wealth, can truly mix with neither. 
And wealth, where there such difference in years. 
And fair descent, must make the yoke uneasy: — 
But I come nearer. 

L. All. Pray you do, my lord. 

Lov. Were Overreach's states thrice centupl'd, his daughter 
Millions of degrees much fairer than she is, 
Howe'er I might urge precedents to excuse me, 
I would not so adulterate my blood 
By marrying Margaret, and so leave my issue 
Made up of several pieces, one part scarlet, 
And the other London blue. In my own tomb 
I will inter my name first. 

L. All. Aside. I am glad to hear this. 

Why then, my lord, pretend your marriage to her ? 
Dissimulation but ties false knots 
On that straight Une by which you, hitherto. 
Have measur'd all your actions. 

Lov. I make answer, 

And aptly, with a question. Wherefore have you, 
That, since your husband's death, have liv'd a strict 
And chaste nun's life, on the sudden given yourself 
To visits and entertainments ? Think you, madam, 
'Tis not grown public conference .''' Or the favours 
Which you too prodigally have thrown on Wellborn 
Being too reserv'd before, incur not censure? 

'' Gossip. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 919 

L.AII. I am innocent here; and, on my life, I swear 
My ends are good. 

Lov. On my soul, so are mine 

To Margaret; but leave both to the event: 
And since this friendly privacy does serve 
But as an offer'd means unto ourselves, 
To search each other farther, you having shewn 
Your care of me, I my respect to you. 
Deny me not, but still in chaste words, madam, 
An afternoon's discourse. 

L.All. So I shall hear you. [Exeunt.] 

Scene II. [Before Tapwell's house] 

[Enter] Tapwell and Froth 

Tap. Undone, undone! this was your counsel, Froth. 

Froth. Mine! I defy thee. Did not Master Marrall 
(He has marr'd all, I am sure) strictly command us. 
On pain of Sir Giles Overreach' displeasure. 
To turn the gentleman out of doors ? 

Tap. 'Tis true; 

But now he's his uncle's darling, and has got 
Master Justice Greedy, since he fiU'd his belly. 
At his commandment, to do anything. 
Woe, woe to us! 

Froth. He may prove merciful. 

Tap. Troth, we do not deserve it at his hands. 
Though he knew all the passages of our house. 
As the receiving of stolen goods, and bawdry. 
When he was rogue Wellborn no man would believe him, 
And then his information could not hurt us; 
But now he is right worshipful again. 
Who dares but doubt his testimony ? Methinks, 
I see thee. Froth, already in a cart. 
For a close' bawd, thine eyes ev'n pelted out 
With dirt and rotten eggs; and my hand hissing, 

' Secret. 



920 PHILIP MASSINGER 

I£ I scape the halter, with the letter R^ 
Printed upon it. 

Froth. Would that were the worst! 

That were but nine days' wonder: as for credit, 
We have none to lose, but we shall lose the money 
He owes us, and his custom; there's the hell on't. 

Tap. He has summon'd all his creditors by the drum, 
And they swarm about him like so many soldiers 
On the pay day : and has found out such a new way 
To PAY HIS OLD DEBTS, as 'tis Very likely 
He shall be chronicled for it! 

Froth. He deserves it 

More than ten pageants. But are you sure his worship 
Comes this way, to my lady's ? 

A cry within: Brave master Wellborn! 

Tap. Yes: — I hear him. 

Froth. Be ready with your petition, and present it 
To his good grace. 

Enter Wellborn in a rich habit, [followed by Marrall,] Greedy, 
Order, Furnace, and Creditors; Tapwell kneeling, delivers his 
bill of debt. 

Well. How's this! petition'd to?' 

But note what miracles the payment of 
A little trash, and a rich suit of clothes, 
Can work upon these rascals! I shall be, 
I think, Prince Wellborn. 

Mar. When your worship's married. 

You may be — I know what I hope to see you. 

Well. Then look thou for advancement. 

Mar. To be known 

Your worship's bailiff, is the mark I shoot at. 

Well. And thou shalt hit it. 

Mar. Pray you, sir, despatch 

These needy followers, and for my admittance,* 
Provided you'll defend me from Sir Giles, 

2 For "Rogue." ^ Quarto, too. ^ Appointment. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 92I 

Whose service I am weary o£, I'll say something 
You shall give thanks for. 

Well. Fear me not, Sir Giles. 

Greedy. Who, Tapwell? I remember thy wife brought me 
Last new-year's tide, a couple of fat turkeys. 

Tap. And shall do every Christmas, let your worship 
But stand my friend now. 

Greedy. How! with Master Wellborn? 

I can do anything with him on such terms. — 
See you this honest couple; they are good souls 
As ever drew out faucet; have they not 
A pair of honest faces.? 

Well. I o'erheard you. 

And the bribe he promis'd. You are cozen'd in them; 
For, of all the scum that grew rich by my riots, 
This, for a most unthankful knave, and this. 
For a base bawd and whore, have worst deserv'd me, 
And therefore speak not for 'em. By your place 
You are rather to do me justice. Lend me your ear: 
— Forget his turkeys, and call in his license. 
And, at the next fair, I'll give you a yoke of oxen 
Worth all his poultry. 

Greedy. I am chang'd on the sudden 

In my opinion! Come near; nearer, rascal. 
And, now I view him better, did you e'er see 
One look so like an archknave ? His very countenance, 
Should an understanding judge but look upon him, 
Would hang him, though he were innocent. 

Tap. Froth. Worshipful sir. 

Greedy. No, though the great Turk came, instead of turkeys. 
To beg my favour, I am inexorable. 
Thou hast an ill name: besides thy musty ale, 
That hath destroy'd many of the king's liege people, 
Thou never hadst in thy house, to stay men's stomachs, 
A piece of Suffolk cheese or gammon of bacon, 
Or any esculent, as the learned call it, 
For their emolument, but sheer drink only. 



922 PHILIP MASSINGER 

For which gross fault I here do damn thy license, 
Forbidding thee ever to tap or draw; 
For, instantly, I will, in mine own person. 
Command the constable to pull down thy sign, 
And do it before I eat. 

Froth. No mercy? 

Greedy. Vanish! 

If I shew any, may my promis'd oxen gore me! 

Tap. Unthankful knaves are ever so rewarded. 

Exeunt Greedy, Tapwell, and Froth. 

Well. Speak; what are you? 

1st Cred. A decay 'd vintner, sir. 

That might have thriv'd, but that your worship broke me 
With trusting you with muscadine'' and eggs, 
And five pound suppers, with your after drinkings. 
When you lodg'd upon the Bankside. 

Well. I remember. 

ist Cred. I have not been hasty, nor e'er laid to arrest you; 
And therefore, sir 

Well. Thou art an honest fellow, 

I'll set thee up again; see his bill paid. — 
What are you ? 

2nd Cred. A tailor once, but now mere botcher.* 

I gave you credit for a suit of clothes. 
Which was all my stock, but you failing in payment, 
I was remov'd from the shopboard, and confin'd 
Under a stall. 

Well. See him paid; — and botch no more. 

2nd Cred. I ask no interest, sir. 

Well. Such tailors need not; 

If their bills are paid in one and twenty year. 
They are seldom losers. — O, I know thy face, 

{To 3RD Creditor.] 
Thou wert my surgeon. You must tell no tales; 
Those days are done. I will pay you in private. 

^ wine from muscadel grapes. '' Repairer. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 923 

Ord. A royal gentleman! 

Furn. Royal as an emperor! 

He'll prove a brave master; my good lady knew 
To choose a man. 

Well. See all men else discharg'd; 

And since old debts are clear'd by a new way, 
A little bounty will not misbecome me; 
There's something, honest cook, for thy good breakfasts; 
And this, for your respect: \To Order] take't, 'tis good gold, 
And I able to spare it. 

Ord. You are too munificent. 

Furn. He was ever so. 

Well. Pray you, on before. 

^rd Cred. Heaven bless you! 

Mar. At four o'clock; the rest know where to meet me. 

Exeunt Order, Furnace, and Creditors. 

Well. Now, Master Marrall, what's the weighty secret 
You promis'd to impart ? 

Mar. Sir, time nor place 

Allow me to relate each circumstance. 
This only, in a word : I know Sir Giles 
Will come upon you for security 

For his thousand pounds, which you must not consent to. 
As he grows in heat, as I am sure he will, 
Be you but rough, and say he's in your debt 
Ten times the sum, upon sale of your land; 
I had a hand in't (I speak it to my shame) 
When you were defeated' of it. 

Well. That's forgiven. 

Mar. I shall deserve 't. Then urge him to produce 
The deed in which you pass'd it over to him. 
Which I know he'll have about him, to deliver 
To the Lord Lovell, with many other writings. 
And present monies; I'll instruct you further, 
As I wait on your worship. If I play not my prize 

' Robbed. 



924 PHILIP MASSINGER 

To your full content, and your uncle's much vexation, 
Hang up Jack Marrall. 

Well. I rely upon thee. Exeunt. 

Scene III. [A room in Overreach's house] 

Enter Allworth and Margaret 

All. Whether to yield the first praise to my lord's 
Unequall'd temperance or your constant sweetness 
That I yet live, my weak hands fasten'd on 
Hope's anchor, spite of all storms of despair, 
I yet rest doubtful. 

Marg. Give it to Lord Lovell; 

For what in him was bounty, in me's duty, 
I make but payment of a debt to which 
My vows, in that high ofBce regist'red. 
Are faithful witnesses. 

All. 'Tis true, my dearest: 

Yet, when I call to mind how many fair ones 
Make wilful shipwreck of their faiths, and oaths 
To God and man, to fill the arms of greatness. 
And you rise up [no]' less than a glorious star, 
To the amazement of the world, — hold out 
Against the stern authority of a father. 
And spurn at honour, when it comes to court you; 
I am so tender of your good, that faintly. 
With your wrong, I can wish myself that right 
You yet are pleas'd to do me. 

Marg. Yet, and ever. 

To me what's title, when content is wanting? 
Or wealth, rak'd up together with much care. 
And to be kept with more, when the heart pines 
In being dispossess'd of what it longs for 
Beyond the Indian mines ? or the smooth brow 
Of a pleas'd sire, that slaves me to his will. 
And, so his ravenous humour may be feasted 

' Inserted by Dodsley. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 925 

By my obedience, and he see me great, 
Leaves to my soul nor faculties nor power 
To make her own election ? 

All. But the dangers 

That follow the repulse 

Marg. To me they are nothing; 

Let AUworth love, I cannot be unhappy. 
Suppose the worst, that, in his rage, he kill me, 
A tear or two, by you dropt on my hearse 
In sorrow for my fate, will call back life 
So far as but to say, that I die yours; 
I then shall rest in peace: or should he prove 
So cruel, as one death would not suffice 
His thirst of vengeance, but with ling'ring torments 
In mind and body I must waste to air. 
In poverty join'd with banishment; so you share 
In my afflictions, which I dare not wish you, 
So high I prize you, I could undergo 'em 
With such a patience as should look down 
With scorn on his worst malice. 

All. Heaven avert 

Such trials of your true affection to me! 
Nor will it unto you, that are all mercy. 
Shew so much rigour: but since we must run 
Such desperate hazards, let us do our best 
To steer between them. 

Marg. Your lord's ours, and sure; 

And, though but a young actor, second me 
In doing to the life what he has plotted. 

Enter Overreach [behind.] 

The end may yet prove happy. Now, my Allworth — 

[Seeing her father.] 

All. To your letter, and put on a seeming anger. 

Marg. I'll pay my lord all debts due to his title; 
And when with terms, not taking from his honour, 
He does solicit me, I shall gladly hear him. 



926 PHILIP MASSINGER 

But in this peremptory, nay, commanding way, 
To appoint a meeting, and, without my knowledge, 
A priest to tie the knot can ne'er be undone 
Till death unloose it, is a confidence 
In his lordship will deceive him. 

All. I hope better, 

Good lady. 

Marg. Hope, sir, what you please : for me 
I must take a safe and secure course; I have 
A father, and without his full consent. 
Though all lords of the land kneel'd for my favour, 
I can grant nothing. 

Over. I like this obedience : [Comes forward. 

But whatsoe'er my lord writes, must and shall be 
Accepted and embrac'd. Sweet Master Allworth, 
You shew yourself a true and faithful servant 
To your good lord; he has a jewel of you. 
How! frowning, Meg? Are these looks to receive 
A messenger from my lord? What's this? Give me it. 

Marg. A piece of arrogant paper, like th' inscriptions. 

Over. Reads. "Fair mistress, from your servant learn all joys 
That we can hope for, if deferr'd, prove toys;"" 
Therefore this instant, and in private, meet 
A husband, that will gladly at your feet 
Lay down his honours, tend'ring them to you 
With all content, the church being paid her due." 
— Is this the arrogant piece of paper? Fool! 
Will you still be one ? In the name of madness what 
Could his good honour write more to content you? 
Is there aught else to be wish'd, after these two. 
That are already ofler'd; marriage first. 
And lawful pleasure after : what would you more ? 

Marg. Why, sir, I would be married like your daughter; 
Not hurried away i' th' night I know not whither. 
Without all ceremony; no friends invited 
To honour the solemnity. 

2 Trifles. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 927 

All. An't please your honour, 

For so before to-morrow I must style you. 
My lord desires this privacy, in respect 
His honourable kinsmen are afar ofl, 
And his desires to have it done brook not 
So long delay as to expect' their coming; 
And yet he stands resolv'd, with all due pomp, 
As running at the ring, plays, masques, and tilting, 
To have his marriage at court celebrated, 
When he has brought your honour up to London. 

Over. He tells you true; 'tis the fashion, on my knowledge: 
Yet the good lord, to please your peevishness, 
Must put it off, forsooth! and lose a night. 
In which perhaps he might get two boys on thee. 
Tempt me no further, if you do, this goad [Points to his su/ord.] 
Shall prick you to him. 

Marg. I could be contented. 

Were you but by, to do a father's part. 
And give me in the church. 

Over. So my lord have you, 

What do I care who gives you ? Since my lord 
Does purpose to be private, I'll not cross him. 
I know not, Master AUworth, how my lord 
May be provided, and therefore there's a purse 
Of gold, 'twill serve this night's expense; to-morrow 
I'll furnish him with any sums. In the mean time. 
Use my ring to my chaplain; he is benefic'd 
At my manor of Gotham, and call'd Parson Willdo: 
'Tis no matter for a licence, I'll bear him out in't. 

Marg. With your favour, sir, what warrant is your ring? 
He may suppxDse I got that twenty ways, 
Without your knowledge; and then to be refus'd 
Were such a stain upon me! — If you pleas'd, sir, 
Your presence would do better. 

Over. Still perverse! 

I say again, I will not cross my lord; 

' Wait for. 



928 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Yet I'll prevent* you too. — Paper and ink, there! 

All. I can furnish you. 

Ot/er. I thank you, I can write then. 

Writes on his boo/^^. 

All. You may, if you please, put out the name of my lord, 
In respect he comes disguis'd, and only write, 
"Marry her to this gentleman." 

Ot/er. Well advis'd. 

'Tis done; away; — ^Margaret \neels. My blessing, girl? Thou hast it. 
Nay, no reply, be gone. — Good Master Allworth, 
This shall be the best night's work you ever made. 

All. I hope so, sir. Exeunt Allworth and Margaret. 

Over. Farewell! — ^Now all's cocksure: 
Methinks I hear already knights and ladies 
Say, Sir Giles Overreach, how is it with 
Your honourable daughter } Has her honour 
Slept well to-night? or, will her honour please 
To accept this monkey, dog, or paraquit,' 
(This is state in ladies), or my eldest son 
To be her page, and wait upon her trencher? 
My ends, my ends are compass'd — then for Wellborn 

And the lands; were he once married to the widow 

I have him here — I can scarce contain myself, 

I am so full of joy, nay, joy all over. Exit. 

ACT V 

Scene I. {A room in Lady Allworth's house] 

[Enter Lord] Lovell, Lady Allworth, and Amble 

L. All. By this you know how strong the motives were 
That did, my lord, induce me to dispense 
A little, with my gravity, to advance, 
In personating some few favours to him. 
The plots and projects of the down-trod Wellborn. 
Nor shall I e'er repent, although I suffer 

* Anticipate your objections. ' Parrot. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 929 

In some few men's opinions for't, the action; 
For he that ventur'd all for my dear husband 
Might justly claim an obligation from me 
To pay him such a courtesy; which had I 
Coyly or over-curiously' denied, 
It might have argu'd me of little love 
To the deceased. 

Lov. What you intended, madam, 

For the poor gentleman hath found good success; 
For, as I understand, his debts are paid. 
And he once more furnish'd for fair employment: 
But all the arts that I have us'd to raise 
The fortunes of your joy and mine, young All worth, 
Stand yet in supposition, though I hope well; 
For the young lovers are in wit more pregnant 
Than their years can promise; and for their desires. 
On my knowledge, they are equal. 

L. All. As my wishes 

Are with yours, my lord; yet give me leave to fear 
The building, though well grounded: to deceive 
Sir Giles, that's both a lion and a fox 
In his proceedings, were a work beyond 
The strongest undertakers; not the trial 
Of two weak innocents. 

Lov. Despair not, madam: 

Hard things are compass'd oft by easy means; 
And judgment, being a gift deriv'd from Heaven, 
Though sometimes lodg'd i' the hearts of worldly men, 
That ne'er consider from whom they receive it, 
Forsakes such as abuse the giver of it. 
Which is the reason that the politic 
And cunning statesman, that believes he fathoms 
The counsels of all kingdoms on the earth, 
Is by simplicity oft over-reach'd. 

L. All. May he be so! Yet, in his name to express it. 
Is a good omen. 

' Fastidiouslv. 



930 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Lov. May it to myself 

Prove so, good lady, in my suit to you! 
What think you of the motion? 

L. All. Troth, my lord, 

My own unworthiness may answer for me; 
For had you, when that I was in my prime, 
My virgin flower uncropp'd, presented me 
With this great favour; looking on my lowness 
Not in a glass of self-love, but of truth, 
I could not but have thought it as a blessing 
Far, far beyond my merit. 

Lov. You are too modest, 

And undervalue that which is above 
My title, or whatever I call mine. 
I grant, were I a Spaniard, to marry 
A widow might disparage me; but being 
A true-born Englishman, I cannot find 
How it can taint my honour : nay, what's more. 
That which you think a blemish is to me 
The fairest lustre. You already, madam. 
Have given sure proofs how dearly you can cherish 
A husband that deserves you; which confirms me, 
That, if I am not wanting in my care 
To do you service, you'll be still the same 
That you were to your Allworth: in a word, 
Our years, our states, our births are not unequal. 
You being descended nobly, and alli'd so; 
If then you may be won to make me happy. 
But join your lips to mine, and that shall be 
A solemn contract. 

L. All. I were blind to my own good. 

Should I refuse it; {Kisses him] yet, my lord, receive me 
As such a one, the study of whose whole life 
Shall know no other object but to please you. 

Lov. If I return not, with all tenderness. 
Equal respect to you, may I die wretched! 

L. All. There needs no protestation, my lord. 
To her that cannot doubt. — 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 93 1 

Enter Wellborn, [handsomely apparelled] 

You are welcome, sir. 
Now you look like yourself. 

Well. And will continue 

Such in my free acknowledgment, that I am 
Your creature, madam, and will never hold 
My life mine own, when you please to command it. 

Lot/. It is a thankfulness that well becomes you. 
You could not make choice of a better shape 
To dress your mind in. 

L. All. For me, I am happy 

That my endeavours prosper'd. Saw you of late 
Sir Giles, your uncle? 

Well. I heard of him, madam, 

By his minister, Marrall; he's grown into strange passions 
About his daughter. This last night he look'd for 
Your lordship at his house, but missing you. 
And she not yet appearing, his wise head 
Is much perplex'd and troubl'd. 

Lav. It may be, 

Sweetheart, my project took. 

L. All. I strongly hope. 

Over, [within.] Ha! find her, booby, thou huge lump of nothing, 
I'll bore thine eyes out else. 

Well. May it please your lordship, 

For some ends of mine own, but to withdraw 
A little out of sight, though not of hearing, 
You may, perhaps, have sport. 

Lov. You shall direct me. Steps aside. 

Enter Overreach, tvith distracted lqo\s, driving in Marrall 
before him, [with a box^ 

Over. I shall sol fa you, rogue! 
Mar. Sir, for what cause 

Do you use me thus? 

2 In Quarto this entrance occurs after "took," above. 



932 PHILIP MASSINGER 

Over. Cause, slave! Why, I am angry, 

And thou a subject only fit for beating. 
And so to cool my choler. Look to the writing; 
Let but the seal be broke upon the box 
That hast slept in my cabinet these three years, 
I'll rack thy soul for't. 

Mar. Aside. I may yet cry quittance. 

Though now I suffer, and dare not resist. 

Over. Lady, by your leave, did you see my daughter lady? 
And the lord her husband? Are they in your house? 
If they are, discover, that I may bid 'em joy; 
And, as an entrance to her place of honour, 
See your ladyship be on her left hand, and make courtsies 
When she nods on you; which you must receive 
As a special favour. 

L. All. When I know. Sir Giles, 

Her state requires such ceremony, I shall pay it; 
But in the meantime, as I am myself, 
I give you to understand, I neither know 
Nor care where her honour is. 

Over. When you once see her 

Supported, and led by the lord her husband. 
You'll be taught better. -Nephew. 

Well. Sir. 

Over. No more? 

Well. 'Tis all I owe you. 

Over. Have your redeem'd rags 

Made you thus insolent? 

Well. [in scorn.] Insolent to you! 

Why, what are you, sir, unless in your years. 
At the best, more than myself? 

Over. [Aside.] His fortune swells him: 

'Tis rank' he's married. 

L. All. This is excellent! 

Over. Sir, in calm language, though I seldom use it, 
I am familiar with the cause that makes you 

' Obvious. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 933 

Bear up thus bravely; there's a certain buzz 
Of a stol'n marriage, do you hear ? of a stol'n marriage, 
In which, 'tis said, there's somebody hath been cozen'd; 
I name no parties. 

Well. Well, sir, and what follows? 

Over. Marry, this; since you are peremptory. Remember, 
Upon mere hope of your great match, I lent you 
A thousand pounds: put me in good security, 
And suddenly, by mortgage or by statute, 
Of some of your new possessions, or I'll have you 
Dragg'd in your lavender robes* to the gaol. You know me, 
And therefore do not trifle. 

Well. Can you be 

So cruel to your nephew, now he's in 
The way to rise? Was this the courtesy 
You did me "in pure love, and no ends else" ? 

Over. End me no ends! Engage the whole estate, 
And force your spouse to sign it, you shall have 
Three or four thousand more, to roar and swagger 
And revel in bawdy taverns. 

Well. And beg after; 

Mean you not so? 

Over. My thoughts are mine, and free. 

Shall I have security? 

Well. No, indeed you shall not. 

Nor bond, nor bill, nor bare acknowledgment; 
Your great looks fright not me. 

Over. But my deeds shall. 

Outbrav'd! Both draw. 

L. All. Help, murder! murder! 

Enter Servants 

Well. Let him come on, 

With all his wrongs and injuries about him, 
Arm'd with his cut-throat practices to guard him; 

* Clothes in pawn were said to be "laid up in lavender." 



934 PHILIP MASSINGER 

The right that I bring with me will defend me, 
And punish his extortion. 

Over. That 1 had thee 

But single in the field! 

L. All. You may; but make not 

My house your quarrelling scene. 

Over. Were't in a church, 

By Heaven and Hell, I'll do't! 

Mar. Now put him to 

The shewing of the deed. {Aside to Wellborn.] 

Well. This rage is vain, sir; 

For fighting, fear not, you shall have your hands full. 
Upon the least incitement; and whereas 
You charge me with a debt of a thousand pounds. 
If there be law, (howe'er you have no conscience,) 
Either restore my land, or I'll recover 
A debt, that's truly due to me from you. 
In value ten times more than what you challenge. 

Over. I in thy debt! O impudence! did I not purchase 
The land left by thy father, that rich land. 
That had continued in Wellborn's name 
Twenty descents; which, lilie a riotous fool. 
Thou didst make sale of it? Is not here inclos'd 
The deed that dost confirm it mine ? 

Mar. Now, now! 

Well. I do acknowledge none; I ne'er pass'd over 
Any such land. I grant, for a year or two 
You had it in trust; which if you do discharge, 
Surrend'ring the possession, you shall ease 
Yourself and me of chargeable suits in law, 
Which, if you prove not honest, as I doubt it, 
Must of necessity follow. 

L. All. In my judgment, 

He does advise you well. 

Over. Good! good! Conspire 

With your new husband, lady; second him 
In his dishonest practices; but when 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 935 

This manor is extended'' to my use, 

You'll speak in an humbler key, and sue for favour. 

L. All. Never: do not hope it. 

Well. Let despair first seize me. 

Over. Yet, to shut up thy mouth, and make thee give 
Thyself the lie, the loud he, I draw out 
The precious evidence; if thou canst forswear 
Thy hand and seal, and make a forfeit of 

Opens the box [and displays the bond]. 
Thy ears to the pillory, see! here's that will make 
My interest clear — ha! 

L. All. A fair skin of parchment. 

Well. Indented, I confess, and labels too; 
But neither wax nor words. How! thunderstruck? 
Not a syllable to insult with ? My wise uncle, 
Is this your precious evidence? Is this that makes 
Your interest clear ? 

Over. I am o'erwhelm'd with wonder! 

What prodigy is this? What subtle devil 
Hath raz'd out the inscription, the wax 
Turned into dust ? The rest of my deeds whole 
As when they were deliver'd, and this only 
Made nothing! Do you deal with witches, rascal? 
There is a statute* for you, which will bring 
Your neck in an hempen circle; yes, there is; 
And now 'tis better thought for, cheater, know 
This jugghng shall not save you. 

Well. To save thee. 

Would beggar the stock of mercy. 

Over. Marrall! 

Mar. Sir. 

Over. Flattering him. Though the vvitnesses are dead, your testi- 
mony 
Help with an oath or two : and for thy master. 
Thy liberal master, my good honest servant, 
I know thou wilt swear anything, to dash 

' Seized. ^ The law against witchcraft. 



936 PHILIP MASSINGER 

The cunning sleight: besides, I know thou art 

A pubHc notary, and such stand in law 

For a dozen witnesses: the deed being drawn too 

By thee, my careful Marrall, and delivered 

When thou were't present, will make good my title. 

Wilt thou not swear this? 

Mar. I! No, I assure you: 

I have a conscience not sear'd up like yours; 
I know no deeds. 

Over. Wilt thou betray me ? 

Mar. Keep him 

From using of his hands, I'll use my tongue, 
To his no little torment. 

Over. Mine own varlet 

Rebel against me! 

Mar. Yes, and uncase' you too. 

"The idiot, the patch, the slave, the booby. 
The property fit only to be beaten 
For your morning exercise," your "football," or 
"The unprofitable lump of flesh," your "drudge," 
Can now anatomise you, and lay open 
All your black plots, and level with the earth 
Your hill of pride, and, with these gabions* guarded 
Unload my great artillery, and shake. 
Nay pulverize, the walls you think defend you. 

L. All. How he foams at the mouth with rage! 

Well. To him again. 

Over. O that I had thee in my gripe, I would tear thee 
Joint after joint! 

Mar. I know you are a tearer. 

But I'll have first your fangs par'd off, and then 
Come nearer to you; when I have discover'd,' 
And made it good before the judge, what ways 
And devilish practices you us'd to cozen 
With an army of whole families, who yet live, 

' Flay. ' Wicker baskets filled with earth used to protect soldiers when digging 
trenches. * Revealed. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 937 

And but enrolled for soldiers, were able 
To take in"* Dunkirk. 

Well. All will come out. 

L. All. The better. 

Over. But that I will live, rogue, to torture thee. 
And make thee wish, and kneel in vain, to die, 
These swords that keep thee from me should fix here, 
Although they made my body but one wound, 
But I would reach thee. 

Lov. Aside. Heaven's hand is in this; 

One bandog" worry the other! 

Over. I play the fool, 

And make my anger but ridiculous: 
There will be a time and place, there will be, cowards, 
When you shall feel what I dare do. 

Well. I think so: 

You dare do any ill, yet want true valour 
To be honest, and repent. 

Over. They are words I know not, 

Nor e'er will learn. Patience, the beggar's virtue. 

Enter Greedy and Parson Willdo 

Shall find no harbour here: — after these storms 
At length a calm appears. Welcome, most welcome! 
There's comfort in thy looks. Is the deed done ? 
Is my daughter married ? Say but so, my chaplain. 
And I am tame. 

Willdo. Married! Yes, I assure you. 

Over. Then vanish all sad thoughts! There's more gold for thee. 
My doubts and fears are in the titles drown'd 
Of my honourable, my right honourable daughter. 

Greedy. Here will'^ be feasting! At least for a month, 
I am provided : empty guts, croak no more. 
You shall be stuff'd like bagpipes, not with wind. 
But bearing" dishes. 

Over. Instantly be here? Whispering to Willdo. 

1" Capture. " Fierce watchdog. ^^ Q. will I. " Solid. 



938 PHILIP MASSINGER 

To my wish! to my wish! Now you that plot against me, 

And hop'd to trip my heels up, that contemn'd me. 

Think on't and tremble. — Loud music — They come! I hear the 

music. 
A lane there for my lord! 

Well. Think sudden heat 

May yet be cool'd, sir. 

Over. Make way there for my lord! 

Enter Allworth and Margaret 

Marg. Sir, first your pardon, then your blessing, with 
Your full allowance of the choice I have made. 
As ever you could make use of your reason. Kneeling, 

Grow not in passion; since you may as well 
Call back the day that's past, as untie the knot 
Which is too strongly f asten'd : not to dwell 
Too long on words, this is my husband. 

Over. How! 

All. So I assure you; all the rites of marriage, 
With every circumstance, are past. Alas! sir, 
Although I am no lord, but a lord's page, 
Your daughter and my lov'd wife mourns not for it; 
And, for right honourable son-in-law, you may say, 
Your dutiful daughter. 

Over. Devil! are they married? 

Willdo. Do a father's part, and say. Heaven give 'em joy! 

Over. Confusion and ruin! Speak, and speak quickly, 
Or thou art dead. 

Willdo. They are married. 

Over. Thou hadst better 

Have made a contract with the king of fiends. 
Than these: — my brain turns! 

Willdo. Why this rage to me ? 

Is not this your letter, sir, and these the words? 
"Marry her to this gentleman." 

Over. It cannot — 

Nor will I e'er believe it, 'sdeath! I will not; 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 939 

That I, that in all passages I touch'd 

At worldly profit have not left a print 

Where I have trod for the most curious search 

To trace my footsteps, should be gull'd by children, 

Baffl'd and fool'd, and all my hopes and labours 

Defeated and made void. 

Well. As it appears, 

You are so, my grave uncle. 

Over. Village nurses 

Revenge their wrongs with curses; I'll not waste 
A syllable, but thus I take the life 
Which, wretched, I gave to thee. Offers to kjll Margaret. 

Lov. [coming forward.] Hold, for your own sake! 
Though charity to your daughter hath quite left you, 
Will you do an act, though in your hopes lost here, 
Can leave no hope for peace or rest hereafter ? 
Consider; at the best you are but a man. 
And cannot so create your aims, but that 
They may be cross'd. 

Over. Lord! thus I spit at thee, 

And at thy counsel; and again desire thee. 
And as thou art a soldier, if thy valour 
Dares shew itself where multitude and example 
Lead not the way, let's quit the house, and change 
Six words in private. 

Lov. I am ready. 

L. All. Stay, sir. 

Contest with one distracted! 

Well. You'll grow like him. 

Should you answer his vain challenge. 

Over. Are you pale ? 

Borrow his help, though Hercules call it odds, 
I'll stand against both as I am, hemm'd in thus. 
Since, like a Libyan lion in the toil, 
My fury cannot reach the coward hunters, 
And only spends itself, I'll quit the place. 
Alone I can do nothing; but I have servants 



940 PHILIP MASSINGER 

And friends to second me; and if I make not 

This house a heap of ashes (by my wrongs, 

What I have spoke I will make good!) or leave 

One throat uncut, — ^if it be possible, 

Hell, add to my afflictions! Exit. 

Mar. Is't not brave sport? 

Greedy. Brave sport! I am sure it has ta'en away my stomach; 
I do not like the sauce. 

All. Nay, weep not, dearest, 

Though it express your pity; what's decreed 
Above, we cannot alter. 

L. All. His threats move me 

No scruple, madam. 

Mar. Was it not a rare trick, 

An it please your worship, to make the deed nothing ? 
I can do twenty neater, if you please 
To purchase and grow rich ; for I will be 
Such a solicitor and steward for you, 
As never worshipful had. 

Well. I do believe thee; 

But first discover the quaint'* means you us'd 
To raze out the conveyance ? 

Mar. They are mysteries 

Not to be spoke in public: certain minerals 
Incorporated in the ink and wax — 
Besides, he gave me nothing, but still fed me 
With hopes and blows; but that was the inducement 
To this conundrum. If it please your worship 
To call to memory, this mad beast once caus'd me 
To urge you or to drown or hang yourself; 
I'll do the like to him, if you command me. 

Well. You are a rascal! He that dares be false 
To a master, though unjust, will ne'er be true 
To any other. Look not for reward 
Or favour from me; I will shun thy sight 
As I would do a basiUsk's. Thank my pity, 

" Crafty. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 94 1 

If thou keep thy ears; howe'er, I will take order 
Your practice shall be silenc'd. 

Greedy. I'll commit him, 

If you'll have me, sir. 

Well. That were to little purpose; 

His conscience be his prison. Not a word, 
But instantly be gone. 

Ord. Take this kick with you. 

Amb. And this. 

Furn. If that I had my cleaver here, 

I would divide your knave's head. 

Mar. This is the haven 

False servants still arrive at. Exit. 

Re-enter Overreach 

L. All, Come again! 

Lov. Fear not, I am your guard. 

Well. His looks are ghastly. 

Willdo. Some little time I have spent, under your favours. 
In physical studies, and if my judgment err not. 
He's mad beyond recovery : but observe him, 
And look to yourselves. 

Over. Why, is not the whole world 

Include in yourself? To what use then 
Are friends and servants ? Say there were a squadron 
Of pikes, lin'd through with shot, when I am mounted 
Upon my injuries, shall I fear to charge them? 
No : I'll through the battalia, and, that routed. 

Flourishing his sword sheathed.^^ 
I'll fall to execution. — Ha! I am feeble: 
Some undone widow sits upon mine arm. 
And takes away the use oft; and my sword, 
Glu'd to my scabbard with wrong'd orphans' tears, 
Will not be drawn. Ha! what are these? Sure, hangmen, 
That come to bind my hands, and then to drag me 
Before the judgment-seat: now they are new shapes, 

'^ Q. unsheathed. 



942 PHILIP MASSINGER 

And do appear like Furies, with steel whips 
To scourge my ulcerous soul. Shall I then fall 
Ingloriously, and yield? No; spite o£ Fate, 
I will be forc'd to hell like to myself. 
Though you were legions of accursed spirits, 
Thus would I fly among you. 

[Rushes forward and flings himself on the ground.^ 

Well. There's no help; 

Disarm him first, then bind him. 

Greedy. Take a mittimus}^ 

And carry him to Bedlam. 

Lov. How he foams! 

Well. And bites the earth! 

Willdo. Carry him to some dark room, 

There try what art can do for his recovery. 

Marg. O my dear father! They force Overreach off. 

All. You must be patient, mistress. 

Lot/. Here is a precedent to teach wicked men, 
That when they leave religion, and turn atheists, 
Their own abilities leave them. Pray you take comfort, 
I will endeavour you shall be his guardians 
In his distractions: and for your land. Master Wellborn, 
Be it good or ill in law, I'll be an umpire 
Between you, and this, th' undoubted heir 
Of Sir Giles Overreach. For me, here's the anchor 
That I must fix on. 

All. What you shall determine, 

My lord, I will allow of. 

Well. 'Tis the language 

That I speak too; but there is something else 
Beside the repossession of my land. 
And payment of my debts, that I must practise. 
I had a reputation, but 'twas lost 
In my loose course; and until I redeem it 
Some noble way, I am but half made up. 
It is a time of action; if your lordship 

'^ A writ of committal. 



A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS 943 

Will please to confer a company upon me 
In your command, I doubt not in my service 
To my king and country but I shall do something 
That may make me right again. 

Lov. Your suit is granted. 

And you lov'd for the motion. 

Well, [coming forward.] Nothing wants then 
But your allowance — 

THE EPILOGUE 

But your allowance, and in that our all 

Is comprehended; it being known, nor we. 

Nor he that wrote the comedy, can be free. 

Without your manumission; which if you 

Grant willingly, as a fair favour due 

To the poet's and our labours, (as you may, 

For we despair not, gentlemen, of the play,) 

We jointly shall profess your grace hath might 

To teach us action, and him how to write. \Exeunt.^ 



FINIS