JOHN LITTLEWIT, a Proctor. .
ZEAL-OF-THE-LAND BUSY, Suitor to DAME PURECRAFT, a Banbury Man. .
WINWIFE, his rival, a Gentleman. .
TOM QUARLOUS, companion to WINWIFE, a Gamester. .
BARTHOLOMEW COKES, an Esquire of Harrow. .
HUMPHREY WASPE, his Man. .
ADAM OVERDO, a Justice of Peace. .
LANTHORN LEATHERHEAD, a Hobby-Horse Seller (Toyman).
EZECHIEL EDGWORTH, a Cutpurse. .
NIGHTINGALE, a Ballad-Singer. .
MOONCALF, Tapster to URSULA. .
DAN. JORDAN KNOCKEM, a Horse-Courser, and a Ranger of Turnbull. .
VAL. CUTTING, a Roarer, or Bully. .
CAPTAIN WHIT, a Bawd. .
TROUBLE-ALL, a Madman. BRISTLE, } } Watchmen. HAGGISE, } POCHER, a Beadle. FILCHER, } } Door-keepers to the Puppet-Show. SHARKWELL, } SOLOMON, LITTLEWIT'S Man. NORTHERN, a Clothier (a Northern Man). PUPPY, a Wrestler (a Western Man).
WIN-THE-FIGHT LITTLEWIT. DAME PURECRAFT, her Mother, and a Widow. DAME OVERDO. GRACE WELLBORN, Ward to JUSTICE OVERDO. JOAN TRASH, a Gingerbread-Woman. URSULA, a Pig-Woman. ALICE, Mistress o' the game.
Costard-Monger, Mousetrap-Man, Corn-Cutter, Watch, Porters, Puppets, Passengers, Mob, Boys, etc.
TO THE KING'S MAJESTY.
Your Majesty is welcome to a Fair; Such place, such men, such language, and such ware You must expect: with these, the zealous noise Of your land's faction, scandalised at toys, As babies, hobby-horses, puppet-plays, And such-like rage, whereof the petulant ways Yourself have known, and have been vext with long. These for your sport, without particular wrong, Or just complaint of any private man, Who of himself, or shall think well, or can, The maker doth present: and hopes, to-night To give you for a fairing, true delight.
Enter the Stage-keeper.
STAGE. Gentlemen, have a little patience, they are e'en upon coming, instantly. He that should begin the play, master Littlewit, the proctor, has a stitch new fallen in his black silk stocking; 'twill be drawn up ere you can tell twenty: he plays one o' the Arches that dwells about the hospital, and he has a very pretty part. But for the whole play, will you have the truth on't?--I am looking, lest the poet hear me, or his man, master Brome, behind the arras--it is like to be a very conceited scurvy one, in plain English. When't comes to the Fair once, you were e'en as good go to Virginia, for any thing there is of Smithfield. He has not hit the humours, he does not know them; he has not conversed with the Bartholomew birds, as they say; he has ne'er a sword and buckler-man in his Fair; nor a little Davy, to take toll o' the bawds there, as in my time; nor a Kindheart, if any body's teeth should chance to ache in his play; nor a juggler with a well-educated ape, to come over the chain for a king of England, and back again for the prince, and sit still on his arse for the pope and the king of Spain. None of these fine sights! Nor has he the canvas-cut in the night, for a hobby-horse man to creep into his she-neighbour, and take his leap there. Nothing! No: an some writer that I know had had but the penning o' this matter, he would have made you such a jig-a-jog in the booths, you should have thought an earthquake had been in the Fair! But these master poets, they will have their own absurd courses; they will be informed of nothing. He has (sir reverence) kick'd me three or four times about the tiring-house, I thank him, for but offering to put in with my experience. I'll be judged by you, gentlemen, now, but for one conceit of mine: would not a fine pomp upon the stage have done well, for a property now? and a punk set under upon her head, with her stern upward, and have been soused by my witty young masters o' the Inns of Court? What think you of this for a show, now? he will not hear o' this! I am an ass! I! and yet I kept the stage in master Tarleton's time, I thank my stars. Ho! an that man had lived to have played in Bartholomew Fair, you should have seen him have come in, and have been cozen'd in the cloth-quarter, so finely! and Adams, the rogue, have leaped and capered upon him, and have dealt his vermin about, as though they had cost him nothing! and then a substantial watch to have stolen in upon them, and taken them away, with mistaking words, as the fashion is in the stage-practice.
Enter the Bookholder with a Scrivener.
BOOK. How now! what rare discourse are you fallen upon, ha? have you found any familiars here, that you are so free! what's the business?
STAGE. Nothing, but the understanding gentlemen o' the ground here ask'd my judgment.
BOOK. Your judgment, rascal! for what? sweeping the stage, or gathering up the broken apples for the bears within? Away, rogue, it's come to a fine degree in these spectacles, when such a youth as you pretend to a judgment. [Exit Stage-keeper.]--And yet he may, in the most of this matter, i'faith: for the author has writ it just to his meridian, and the scale of the grounded judgments here, his play-fellows in wit.--Gentlemen, [comes forward] not for want of a prologue, but by way of a new one, I am sent out to you here, with a scrivener, and certain articles drawn out in haste between our author and you; which if you please to hear, and as they appear reasonable, to approve of; the play will follow presently.--Read, scribe; give me the counterpane.
SCRIV. Articles of agreement, indented, between the spectators or hearers, at the Hope on the Bankside in the county of Surry, on the one party; and the author of Bartholomew Fair, in the said place and county, on the other party: the one and thirtieth day of October, 1614, and in the twelfth year of the reign of our sovereign lord JAMES, by the grace of God, king of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith; and of Scotland the seven and fortieth.
Imprimis. It is covenanted and agreed, by and between the parties aforesaid, and the said spectators and hearers, as well the curious and envious, as the favouring and judicious, as also the grounded judgments and understandings, do for themselves severally covenant and agree to remain in the places their money or friends have put them in, with patience, for the space of two hours and an half, and somewhat more. In which time the author promiseth to present them by us, with a new sufficient play, called Bartholomew Fair, merry, and as full of noise, as sport: made to delight all, and to offend none; provided they have either the wit or the honesty to think well of themselves.
It is further agreed, that every person here have his or their free-will of censure, to like or dislike at their own charge, the author having now departed with his right: it shall be lawful for any man to judge his sixpen'worth, his twelvepen'worth, so to his eighteen-pence, two shillings, half a crown, to the value of his place; provided always his place get not above his wit. And if he pay for half a dozen, he may censure for all them too, so that he will undertake that they shall be silent. He shall put in for censures here, as they do for lots at the lottery: marry, if he drop but six-pence at the door, and will censure a crown's-worth, it is thought there is no conscience or justice in that.
It is also agreed, that every man here exercise his own judgment, and not censure by contagion, or upon trust, from another's voice or face, that site by him, be he never so first in the commission of wit; as also that he be fixed and settled in his censure that what he approves or not approves to-day, he will do the same to-morrow; and if to-morrow, the next day, and so the next week, if need be: and not to be brought about by any that sits on the bench with him, though they indite and arraign plays daily. He that will swear, Jeronimo or Andronicus, are the best plays yet, shall, pass unexcepted at here, as a man whose judgment shews it is constant, and hath stood still these five and twenty or thirty years. Though it be an ignorance it is a virtuous and staid ignorance; and next to truth, a confirmed error does well; such a one the author knows where to find him.
It is further covenanted, concluded, and agreed, That how great soever the expectation be, no person here is to expect more than he knows, or better ware than a fair will afford: neither to look back to the sword and buckler age of Smithfield, but content himself with the present. Instead of a little Davy to take toll o' the bawds, the author doth promise a strutting horse-courser, with a leer drunkard, two or three to attend him, in as good equipage as you would wish. And then for Kindheart the tooth-drawer, a fine oily pig-woman with her tapster, to bid you welcome, and a consort of roarers for musick. A wise justice of peace meditant, instead of a juggler with an ape. A civil cutpurse searchant. A sweet singer of new ballads allurant: and as fresh an hypocrite, as ever was broached, rampant. If there be never a servant-monster in the fair, who can help it, he says, nor a nest of antiques? he is loth to make nature afraid in his plays, like those that beget tales, tempests, and such-like drolleries, to mix his head with other men's heels; let the concupiscence of jigs and dances reign as strong as it will amongst you: yet if the puppets will please any body, they shall be intreated to come in.
In consideration of which, it is finally agreed, by the aforesaid hearers and spectators, That they neither in themselves conceal, nor suffer by them to be concealed, any state-decypherer, or politic pick-lock of the scene so solemnly ridiculous, as to search out, who was meant by the gingerbread-woman, who by the hobby-horse man, who by the costard-monger, nay, who by their wares. Or that will pretend to affirm on his own inspired ignorance, what Mirror of Magistrates is meant by the justice, what great lady by the pig-woman, what concealed statesman by the seller of mouse-traps, and so of the rest. But that such person, or persons, so found, be left discovered to the mercy of the author, as a forfeiture to the stage, and your laughter aforesaid. As also such as shall so desperately, or ambitiously play the fool by his place aforesaid, to challenge the author of scurrility, because the language somewhere savours of Smithfield, the booth, and the pigbroth, or of profaneness, because a madman cries, God quit you, or bless you! In witness whereof, as you have preposterously put to your seals already, which is your money, you will now add the other part of suffrage, your hands. The play shall presently begin. And though the Fair be not kept in the same region that some here, perhaps, would have it; yet think, that therein the author hath observed a special decorum, the place being as dirty as Smithfield, and as stinking every whit.
Howsoever, he prays you to believe, his ware is still the same, else you will make him justly suspect that he that is so loth to look on a baby or an hobby-horse here, would be glad to take up a commodity of them, at any laughter or loss in another place.
A Room in LITTLEWIT'S House.
Enter LITTLEWIT with a license in his hand.
LIT. A pretty conceit, and worth the finding! I have such luck to spin out these fine things still, and, like a silk-worm, out of my self. Here's master Bartholomew Cokes, of Harrow o' the Hill, in the county of Middlesex, esquire, takes forth his license to marry mistress Grace Wellborn, of the said place and county: and when does he take it forth? to-day! the four and twentieth of August! Bartholomew-day! Bartholomew upon Bartholomew! there's the device! who would have marked such a leap-frog chance now! A very . . . less than ames-ace, on two dice! Well, go thy ways, John Littlewit, proctor John Littlewit: one of the pretty wits of Paul's, the Littlewit of London, so thou art called, and something beside. When a quirk or a quiblin does 'scape thee, and thou dost not watch and apprehend it, and bring it afore the constable of conceit, (there now, I speak quib too,) let them carry thee out o' the archdeacon's court into his kitchen, and make a Jack of thee, instead of a John. There I am again la!--
Enter MRS. LITTLEWIT.
Win, good-morrow, Win; ay, marry, Win, now you look finely indeed, Win! this cap does convince! You'd not have worn it, Win, nor have had it velvet, but a rough country beaver, with a copper band, like the coney-skin woman of Budge-row; sweet Win, let me kiss it! And her fine high shoes, like the Spanish lady! Good Win, go a little, I would fain see thee pace, pretty Win; by this fine cap, I could never leave kissing on't.
MRS. LIT. Come indeed la, you are such a fool still!
LIT. No, but half a one, Win, you are the t'other half: man and wife make one fool, Win. Good! Is there the proctor, or doctor indeed, in the diocese, that ever had the fortune to win him such a Win! There I am again! I do feel conceits coming upon me, more than I am able to turn tongue to. A pox o' these pretenders to wit! your Three Cranes, Mitre and Mermaid men! not a corn of true salt, not a grain of right mustard amongst them all. They may stand for places, or so, again the next wit-fall, and pay two-pence in a quart more for their canary than other men. But give me the man can start up a justice of wit out of six shillings beer, and give the law to all the poets and poet-suckers in town:--because they are the player's gossips! 'Slid! other men have wives as fine as the players, and as well drest. Come hither, Win!
WINW. Why, how now, master Littlewit! measuring of lips, or moulding of kisses? which is it?
LIT. Troth, I am a little taken with my Win's dressing here: does it not fine, master Winwife? How do you apprehend, sir? she would not have worn this habit. I challenge all Cheapside to shew such another: Moorfields, Pimlico-path, or the Exchange, in a summer evening, with a lace to boot, as this has. Dear Win, let master Winwife kiss you. He comes a wooing to our mother, Win, and may be our father perhaps, Win. There's no harm in him, Win.
WINW. None in the earth, master Littlewit.
LIT. I envy no man my delicates, sir.
WINW. Alas, you have the garden where they grow still! A wife here with a strawberry breath, cherry lips, apricot cheeks, and a soft velvet head, like a melicotton.
LIT. Good, i'faith! now dulness upon me, that I had not that before him, that I should not light on't as well as he! velvet head!
WINW. But my taste, master Littlewit, tends to fruit of a later kind; the sober matron, your wife's mother.
LIT. Ay, we know you are a suitor, sir; Win and I both wish you well: By this license here, would you had her, that your two names were as fast in it as here are a couple! Win would fain have a fine young father-i'-law, with a feather; that her mother might hood it and chain it with mistress Overdo. But you do not take the right course, master Winwife.
WINW. No, master Littlewit, why?
LIT. You are not mad enough.
WINW. How! is madness a right course?
LIT. I say nothing, but I wink upon Win. You have a friend, one master Quarlous, comes here sometimes.
WINW. Why, he makes no love to her, does he?
LIT. Not a tokenworth that ever I saw, I assure you: but--
LIT. He is the more mad-cap of the two. You do not apprehend me.
MRS. LIT. You have a hot coal in your mouth, now, you cannot hold.
LIT. Let me out with it, dear Win.
MRS. LIT. I'll tell him myself.
LIT. Do, and take all the thanks, and much good do thy pretty heart, Win.
MRS. LIT. Sir, my mother has had her nativity-water cast lately by the cunning-men in Cow-lane, and they have told her her fortune, and do ensure her, she shall never have happy hour, unless she marry within this sen'night; and when it is, it must be a madman, they say.
LIT. Ay, but it must be a gentleman madman.
MRS. LIT. Yes, so the t'other man of Moorfields says.
WINW. But does she believe them?
LIT. Yes, and has been at Bedlam twice since every day, to inquire if any gentleman be there, or to come there mad.
WINW. Why, this is a confederacy, a mere piece of practice upon her by these impostors.
LIT. I tell her so; or else, say I, that they mean some young madcap gentleman; for the devil can equivocate as well as a shop keeper: and therefore would I advise you to be a little madder than master Quarlous hereafter.
WINW. Where is she, stirring yet?
LIT. Stirring! yes, and studying an old elder come from Banbury, a suitor that puts in here at meal tide, to praise the painful brethren, or pray that the sweet singers may be restored; says a grace as long as his breath lasts him! Some time the spirit is so strong with him, it gets quite out of him, and then my mother, or Win, are fain to fetch it again with malmsey or aqua coelestis.
MRS. LIT. Yes, indeed, we have such a tedious life with him for his diet, and his clothes too! he breaks his buttons, and cracks seams at every saying he sobs out.
LIT. He cannot abide my vocation, he says.
MRS. LIT. No; he told my mother, a proctor was a claw of the beast, and that she had little less than committed abomination in marrying me so as she has done.
LIT. Every line, he says, that a proctor writes, when it comes to be read in the bishop's court, is a long black hair, kemb'd out of the tail of Antichrist.
WINW. When came this proselyte?
LIT. Some three days since.
QUAR. O sir, have you ta'en soil here? It's well a man may reach you after three hours' running yet! What an unmerciful companion art thou, to quit thy lodging at such ungentlemanly hours! none but a scattered covey of fidlers, or one of these rag-rakers in dunghills, or some marrow-bone man at most, would have been up when thou wert gone abroad, by all description. I pray thee what ailest thou, thou canst not sleep? hast thou thorns in thy eye-lids, or thistles in thy bed?
WINW. I cannot tell: it seems you had neither in your feet, that took this pain to find me.
QUAR. No, an I had, all the lime hounds o' the city should have drawn after you by the scent rather. Master John Littlewit! God save you, sir. 'Twas a hot night with some of us, last night, John: shall we pluck a hair of the same wolf to-day, proctor John?
LIT. Do you remember, master Quarlous, what we discoursed on last night?
QUAR. Not I, John, nothing that I either discourse or do; at those times I forfeit all to forgetfulness.
LIT. No! not concerning Win? look you, there she is, and drest, as I told you she should be: hark you, sir, [whispers him.] had you forgot?
QUAR. By this head I'll beware how I keep you company, John, when I [am] drunk, an you have this dangerous memory: that's certain.
LIT. Why, sir?
QUAR. Why! we were all a little stained last night, sprinkled with a cup or two, and I agreed with proctor John here, to come and do somewhat with Win (I know not what 'twas) to-day; and he puts me in mind on't now; he says he was coming to fetch me. Before truth, if you have that fearful quality, John, to remember when you are sober, John, what you promise drunk, John; I shall take heed of you, John. For this once I am content to wink at you. Where's your wife? come hither, Win.
MRS. LIT. Why, John! do you see this, John? look you! help me, John.
LIT. O Win, fie, what do you mean, Win? be womanly, Win; make an outcry to your mother, Win! master Quarlous is an honest gentleman, and our worshipful good friend, Win; and he is master Winwife's friend too: and master Winwife comes a suitor to your mother, Win; as I told you before, Win, and may perhaps be our father, Win: they'll do you no harm, Win; they are both our worshipful good friends. Master Quarlous! you must know master Quarlous, Win; you must not quarrel with master Quarlous, Win.
QUAR. No, we'll kiss again, and fall in.
[Kisses her again.
LIT. Yes, do, good Win.
MRS. LIT. In faith you are a fool, John.
LIT. A fool-John, she calls me; do you mark that, gentlemen? pretty Littlewit of velvet? a fool-John.
QUAR. She may call you an apple-John, if you use this. [Aside.
[Kisses her again.
WINW. Pray thee forbear, for my respect, somewhat.
QUAR. Hoy-day! how respective you are become o' the sudden? I fear this family will turn you reformed too; pray you come about again. Because she is in possibility to be your daughter-in-law, and may ask you blessing hereafter, when she courts it to Totenham to eat cream! Well, I will forbear, sir; but i'faith, would thou wouldst leave thy exercise of widow-hunting once; this drawing after an old reverend smock by the splay-foot! There cannot be an ancient tripe or trillibub in the town, but thou art straight nosing it, and 'tis a fine occupation thou'lt confine thyself to, when thou hast got one; scrubbing a piece of buff, as if thou hadst the perpetuity of Pannier-ally to stink in; or perhaps worse, currying a carcass that thou hast bound thyself to alive. I'll be sworn, some of them that thou art, or hast been suitor to, are so old, as no chaste or married pleasure can ever become them; the honest instrument of procreation has forty years since left to belong to them; thou must visit them as thou wouldst do a tomb, with a torch or three handfuls of link, flaming hot, and so thou may'st hap to make them feel thee and after come to inherit according to thy inches. A sweet course for a man to waste the brand of life for, to be still raking himself a fortune in an old woman's embers! We shall have thee, after thou hast been but a month married to one of them, look like the quartan ague and the black jaundice met in a face, and walk as if thou hadst borrow'd legs of a spinner, and voice of a cricket. I would endure to hear fifteen sermons a week for her, and such coarse and loud ones, as some of them must be! I would e'en desire of fate, I might dwell in a drum, and take in my sustenance with an old broken tobacco-pipe and a straw. Dost thou ever think to bring thine ears or stomach to the patience of a dry grace as long as thy table-cloth; and droned out by thy son here (that might be thy father) till all the meat on thy board has forgot it was that day in the kitchen? or to brook the noise made in a question of predestination, by the good labourers and painful eaters assembled together, put to them by the matron your spouse; who moderates with a cup of wine, ever and anon, and a sentence out of Knox between? Or the perpetual spitting before and after a sober-drawn exhortation of six hours, whose better part was the hum-ha-hum? or to hear prayers, groaned out over thy iron chests, as if they were charms to break them? And all this for the hope of two apostle-spoons, to suffer! and a cup to eat a caudle in! for that will be thy legacy. She'll have convey'd her state safe enough from thee, an she be a right widow.
WINW. Alas, I am quite off that scent now.
QUAR. How so?
WINW. Put off by a brother of Banbury, one that, they say, is come here, and governs all already.
QUAR. What do you call him? I knew divers of those Banburians when I was in Oxford.
WINW. Master Littlewit can tell us.
LIT. Sir!--Good Win go in, and if master Bartholomew Cokes, his man, come for the license, (the little old fellow,) let him speak with me. [Exit Mrs. Littlewit.]--What say you, gentlemen?
WINW. What call you the reverend elder you told me of, your Banbury man?
LIT. Rabbi Busy, sir; he is more than an elder, he is a prophet, sir.
QUAR. O, I know him! a baker, is he not?
LIT. He was a baker, sir, but he does dream now, and see visions; he has given over his trade.
QUAR. I remember that too; out of a scruple he took, that, in spiced conscience, those cakes he made, were served to bridals, may-poles, morrices, and such profane feasts and meetings. His christian-name is Zeal-of-the-land.
LIT. Yes, sir; Zeal-of-the-land Busy.
WINW. How! what a name's there!
LIT. O they have all such names, sir; he was witness for Win here,--they will not be call'd godfathers--and named her Win-the-fight: you thought her name had been Winnifred, did you not?
WINW. I did indeed.
LIT. He would have thought himself a stark reprobate, if it had.
QUAR. Ay, for there was a blue-starch woman of the name at the same time. A notable hypocritical vermin it is; I know him. One that stands upon his face, more than his faith, at all times: ever in seditious motion, and reproving for vainglory; of a most lunatic conscience and spleen, and affects the violence of singularity in all he does: he has undone a grocer here, in Newgate-market, that broke with him, trusted him with currants, as arrant a zeal as he, that's by the way:--By his profession he will ever be in the state of innocence though, and childhood; derides all antiquity, defies any other learning than inspiration; and what discretion soever years should afford him, it is all prevented in his original ignorance: have not to do with him, for he is a fellow of a most arrogant and invincible dulness, I assure you.--Who is this?
Re-enter MRS. LITTLEWIT with WASPE.
WASPE. By your leave, gentlemen, with all my heart to you; and God give you good morrow!--master Littlewit, my business is to you: is this license ready?
LIT. Here I have it for you in my hand, master Humphrey.
WASPE. That's well: nay, never open or read it to me, it's labour in vain, you know. I am no clerk, I scorn to be saved by my book, i'faith, I'll hang first; fold it up on your word, and give it me. What must you have for it?
LIT. We'll talk of that anon, master Humphrey.
WASPE. Now, or not at all, good master Proctor; I am for no anons, I assure you.
LIT. Sweet Win, bid Solomon send me the little black-box within in my study.
WASPE. Ay, quickly, good mistress, I pray you; for I have both eggs on the spit, and iron in the fire. [Exit Mrs. Littlewit.]--Say what you must have, good master Littlewit.
LIT. Why, you know the price, master Numps.
WASPE. I know! I know nothing, I: what tell you me of knowing? Now I am in haste, sir, I do not know, and I will not know, and I scorn to know, and yet, now I think on't, I will, and do know as well as another; you must have a mark for your thing here, and eight-pence for the box; I could have saved two-pence in that, an I had brought it myself; but here's fourteen shillings for you. Good Lord, how long your little wife stays! pray God, Solomon, your clerk, be not looking in the wrong box, master proctor.
LIT. Good i'faith! no, I warrant you Solomon is wiser than so, sir.
WASPE. Fie, fie, fie, by your leave, master Littlewit, this is scurvy, idle, foolish, and abominable, with all my heart; I do not like it.
WINW. Do you hear! Jack Littlewit, what business does thy pretty head think this fellow may have, that he keeps such a coil with?
QUAR. More than buying of gingerbread in the cloister here, for that we allow him, or a gilt pouch in the fair?
LIT. Master Quarlous, do not mistake him; he is his master's both-hands, I assure you.
QUAR. What! to pull on his boots a mornings, or his stockings, does he?
LIT. Sir, if you have a mind to mock him, mock him softly, and look t'other way: for if he apprehend you flout him once, he will fly at you presently. A terrible testy old fellow, and his name is Waspe too.
QUAR. Pretty insect! make much on him.
WASPE. A plague o' this box, and the pox too, and on him that made it, and her that went for't, and all that should have sought it, sent it, or brought it! do you see, sir.
LIT. Nay, good master Waspe.
WASPE. Good master Hornet, turd in your teeth, hold you your tongue: do not I know you? your father was a 'pothecary, and sold clysters, more than he gave, I wusse: and turd in your little wife's teeth too--here she comes--
Re-enter MRS. LITTLEWIT, with the box.
'twill make her spit, as fine as she is, for all her velvet custard on her head, sir.
LIT. O, be civil, master Numps.
WASPE. Why, say I have a humour not to be civil; how then? who shall compel me, you?
LIT. Here is the box now.
WASPE. Why, a pox o' your box, once again! let your little wife stale in it, an she will. Sir, I would have you to understand, and these gentlemen too, if they please--
WINW. With all our hearts, sir.
WASPE. That I have a charge, gentlemen.
LIT. They do apprehend, sir.
WASPE. Pardon me, sir, neither they nor you can apprehend me yet. You are an ass.--I have a young master, he is now upon his making and marring; the whole care of his well-doing is now mine. His foolish schoolmasters have done nothing but run up and down the county with him to beg puddings and cake-bread of his tenants, and almost spoil'd him; he has learn'd nothing but to sing catches, and repeat Rattle bladder, rattle! and O Madge! I dare not let him walk alone, for fear of learning of vile tunes, which he will sing at supper, and in the sermon-times! If he meet but a carman in the street, and I find him not talk to keep him off on him, he will whistle him and all his tunes over at night in his sleep! He has a head full of bees! I am fain now, for this little time I am absent, to leave him in charge with a gentlewoman: 'tis true she is a justice of peace his wife, and a gentlewoman of the hood, and his natural sister; but what may happen under a woman's government, there's the doubt. Gentlemen, you do not know him; he is another manner of piece than you think for: but nineteen years old, and yet he is taller than either of you by the head, God bless him!
QUAR. Well, methinks this is a fine fellow.
WINW. He has made his master a finer by this description, I should think.
QUAR. 'Faith, much about one, it is cross and pile, whether for a new farthing.
WASPE. I'll tell you, gentlemen--
LIT. Will't please you drink, master Waspe?
WASPE. Why, I have not talk'd so long to be dry, sir. You see no dust or cobwebs come out o' my mouth, do you? you'd have me gone, would you?
LIT. No, but you were in haste e'en now, master Numps.
WASPE. What an I were! so I am still, and yet I will stay too; meddle you with your match, your Win there, she has as little wit as her husband, it seems: I have others to talk to.
LIT. She's my match indeed, and as little wit as I, good!
WASPE. We have been but a day and a half in town, gentlemen, 'tis true; and yesterday in the afternoon we walked London to shew the city to the gentlewoman he shall marry, mistress Grace; but afore I will endure such another half day with him, I'll be drawn with a good gib-cat, through the great pond at home, as his uncle Hodge was. Why, we could not meet that heathen thing all the day, but staid him; he would name you all the signs over, as he went, aloud: and where he spied a parrot or a monkey, there he was pitched, with all the little long coats about him, male and female; no getting him away! I thought he would have run mad o' the black boy in Bucklersbury, that takes the scurvy, roguy tobacco there.
LIT. You say true, master Numps; there's such a one indeed.
WASPE. It's no matter whether there be or no, what's that to you?
QUAR. He will not allow of John's reading at any hand.
Enter COKES, MISTRESS OVERDO, and GRACE.
COKES. O Numps! are you here, Numps? look where I am, Numps, and mistress Grace too! Nay, do not look angerly, Numps: my sister is here and all, I do not come without her.
WASPE. What the mischief do you come with her; or she with you?
COKES. We came all to seek you, Numps.
WASPE. To seek me! why, did you all think I was lost, or run away with your fourteen shillings' worth of small ware here? or that I had changed it in the fair for hobby-horses? S'precious--to seek me!
MRS. OVER. Nay, good master Numps, do you shew discretion, though he be exorbitant, as master Overdo says, and it be but for conservation of the peace.
WASPE. Marry gip, goody She-justice, mistress Frenchhood! turd in your teeth, and turd in your Frenchhood's teeth too, to do you service, do you see! Must you quote your Adam to me! you think you are madam Regent still, mistress Overdo, when I am in place; no such matter. I assure you, your reign is out, when I am in, dame.
MRS. OVER. I am content to be in abeyance, sir, and be governed by you; so should he too, if he did well; but 'twill be expected you should also govern your passions.
WASPE. Will it so, forsooth! good Lord, how sharp you are, with being at Bedlam yesterday! Whetstone has set an edge upon you, has he?
MRS. OVER. Nay, if you know not what belongs to your dignity, I do yet to mine.
WASPE. Very well then.
COKES. Is this the license, Numps? for love's sake let me see't; I never saw a license.
WASPE. Did you not so? why, you shall not see't then.
COKES. An you love me, good Numps.
WASPE. Sir, I love you, and yet I do not love you in these fooleries: set your heart at rest, there's nothing in it but hard words;--and what would you see it for?
COKES. I would see the length and the breadth on't, that's all; and I will see it now, so I will.
WASPE. You shall not see it here.
COKES. Then I'll see it at home, and I'll look upon the case here.
WASPE. Why, do so; a man must give way to him a little in trifles, gentlemen. These are errors, diseases of youth; which he will mend when he comes to judgment and knowledge of matters. I pray you conceive so, and I thank you: and I pray you pardon him, and I thank you again.
QUAR. Well, this dry nurse, I say still, is a delicate man.
WINW. And I am, for the cosset his charge: did you ever see a fellow's face more accuse him for an ass?
QUAR. Accuse him! it confesses him one without accusing. What pity 'tis yonder wench should marry such a Cokes!
WINW. 'Tis true.
QUAR. She seems to be discreet, and as sober as she is handsome.
WINW. Ay, and if you mark her, what a restrained scorn she casts upon all his behaviour and speeches!
COKES. Well, Numps, I am now for another piece of business more, the Fair, Numps, and then--
WASPE. Bless me! deliver me! help, hold me! the Fair!
COKES. Nay, never fidge up and down, Numps, and vex itself. I am resolute Bartholomew in this; I'll make no suit on't to you; 'twas all the end of my journey indeed, to shew mistress Grace my Fair. I call it my Fair, because of Bartholomew: you know my name is Bartholomew, and Bartholomew Fair.
LIT. That was mine afore, gentlemen; this morning. I had that, i'faith, upon his license, believe me, there he comes after me.
QUAR. Come, John, this ambitious wit of yours, I am afraid, will do you no good in the end.
LIT. No! why, sir?
QUAR. You grow so insolent with it, and over-doing, John, that if you look not to it, and tie it up, it will bring you to some obscure place in time, and there 'twill leave you.
WINW. Do not trust it too much, John, be more sparing, and use it but now and then; a wit is a dangerous thing in this age; do not over-buy it.
LIT. Think you so, gentlemen? I'll take heed on't hereafter.
MRS. LIT. Yes, do, John.
COKES. A pretty little soul, this same mistress Littlewit, would I might marry her!
GRACE. So would I; or any body else, so I might 'scape you. [Aside.
COKES. Numps, I will see it, Numps, 'tis decreed: never be melancholy for the matter.
WASPE. Why, see it, sir, see it, do, see it: who hinders you? why do you not go see it? 'slid see it.
COKES. The Fair, Numps, the Fair.
WASPE. Would the Fair, and all the drums and rattles in it, were in your belly for me! they are already in your brain. He that had the means to travel your head now, should meet finer sights than any are in the Fair, and make a finer voyage on't; to see it all hung with cockle shells, pebbles, fine wheat straws, and here and there a chicken's feather, and a cobweb.
QUAR. Good faith, he looks, methinks, an you mark him, like one that were made to catch flies, with his sir Cranion-legs.
WINW. And his Numps, to flap them away.
WASPE. God be wi' you, sir, there's your bee in a box, and much good do't you.
[Gives Cokes the box.
COKES. Why, your friend, and Bartholomew; an you be so contumacious.
QUAR. What mean you, Numps?
[Takes Waspe aside as he is going out.
WASPE. I'll not be guilty, I, gentlemen.
MRS. OVER. You will not let him go, brother, and lose him?
COKES. Who can hold that will away? I had rather lose him than the Fair, I wusse.
WASPE. You do not know the inconvenience, gentlemen, you persuade to, nor what trouble I have with him in these humours. If he go to the Fair, he will buy of every thing to a baby there; and household stuff for that too. If a leg or an arm on him did not grow on, he would lose it in the press. Pray heaven I bring him off with one stone! And then he is such a ravener after fruit!--you will not believe what a coil I had t'other day to compound a business between a Cather'nepear woman, and him, about snatching: 'tis intolerable, gentlemen.
WINW. O, but you must not leave him now to these hazards, Numps.
WASPE. Nay, he knows too well I will not leave him, and that makes him presume: Well, sir, will you go now? if you have such an itch in your feet, to foot it to the Fair, why do you stop, am I [o'] your tarriers? go, will you go, sir? why do you not go?
COKES. O Numps, have I brought you about? come, mistress Grace, and sister, I am resolute Bat, i'faith, still.
GRACE. Truly, I have no such fancy to the Fair, nor ambition to see it: there's none goes thither of any quality or fashion.
COKES. O Lord, sir! you shall pardon me, mistress Grace, we are enow of ourselves to make it a fashion; and for qualities, let Numps alone, he'll find qualities.
QUAR. What a rogue in apprehension is this, to understand her language no better!
WINW. Ay, and offer to marry her! Well, I will leave the chase of my widow for to-day, and directly to the Fair. These flies cannot, this hot season, but engender us excellent creeping sport.
QUAR. A man that has but a spoonful of brain would think so.--Farewell, John.
[Exeunt Quarlous and Winwife.
LIT. Win, you see 'tis in fashion to go to the Fair, Win; we must to the Fair too, you and I, Win. I have an affair in the Fair, Win, a puppet-play of mine own making, say nothing, that I writ for the motion-man, which you must see, Win.
MRS. LIT. I would I might, John; but my mother will never consent to such a profane motion, she will call it.
LIT. Tut, we'll have a device, a dainty one: Now, Wit, help at a pinch, good Wit, come, come, good Wit, an it be thy will! I have it, Win, I have it i'faith, and 'tis a fine one. Win, long to eat of a pig, sweet Win, in the Fair, do you see, in the heart of the Fair, not at Pye-corner. Your mother will do any thing, Win, to satisfy your longing, you know; pray thee long presently; and be sick o' the sudden, good Win. I'll go in and tell her; cut thy lace in the mean time, and play the hypocrite, sweet Win.
MRS. LIT. No, I'll not make me unready for it: I can be hypocrite enough, though I were never so strait-laced.
LIT. You say true, you have been bred in the family, and brought up to't. Our mother is a most elect hypocrite, and has maintained us all this seven year with it, like gentlefolks.
MRS. LIT. Ay, let her alone, John, she is not a wise wilful widow for nothing; nor a sanctified sister for a song. And let me alone too, I have somewhat of the mother in me, you shall see: fetch her, fetch her--[Exit Littlewit.] Ah! ah!
[Seems to swoon.
Re-enter LITTLEWIT with DAME PURECRAFT.
PURE. Now, the blaze of the beauteous discipline, fright away this evil from our house! how now, Win-the-fight, child! how do you? sweet child, speak to me.
MRS. LIT. Yes, forsooth.
PURE. Look up, sweet Win-the-fight, and suffer not the enemy to enter you at this door, remember that your education has been with the purest: What polluted one was it, that named first the unclean beast, pig, to you, child?
MRS. LIT. Uh, uh!
LIT. Not I, on my sincerity, mother! she longed above three hours ere she would let me know it.--Who was it, Win?
MRS. LIT. A profane black thing with a beard, John.
PURE. O, resist it, Win-the-fight, it is the tempter, the wicked tempter, you may know it by the fleshly motion of pig; be strong against it, and its foul temptations, in these assaults, whereby it broacheth flesh and blood, as it were on the weaker side; and pray against its carnal provocations; good child, sweet child, pray.
LIT. Good mother, I pray you, that she may eat some pig, and her belly full too; and do not you cast away your own child, and perhaps one of mine, with your tale of the tempter. How do you do, Win, are you not sick?
MRS. LIT. Yes, a great deal, John, uh, uh!
PURE. What shall we do? Call our zealous brother Busy hither, for his faithful fortification in this charge of the adversary. [Exit Littlewit.] Child, my dear child, you shall eat pig; be comforted, my sweet child.
MRS. LIT. Ay, but in the Fair, mother.
PURE. I mean in the Fair, if it can be any way made or found lawful.--
Where is our brother Busy? will he not come? Look up, child.
LIT. Presently, mother, as soon as he has cleansed his beard. I found him fast by the teeth in the cold turkey-pie in the cupboard, with a great white loaf on his left hand, and a glass of malmsey on his right.
PURE. Slander not the brethren, wicked one.
LIT. Here he is now, purified, mother.
Enter ZEAL-OF-THE-LAND BUSY.
PURE. O brother Busy! your help here, to edify and raise us up in a scruple: my daughter Win-the-fight is visited with a natural disease of women, called a longing to eat pig.
LIT. Ay, sir, a Bartholomew pig; and in the Fair.
PURE. And I would be satisfied from you, religiously-wise, whether a widow of the sanctified assembly, or a widow's daughter, may commit the act without offence to the weaker sisters.
BUSY. Verily, for the disease of longing, it is a disease, a carnal disease, or appetite, incident to women; and as it is carnal and incident, it is natural, very natural: now pig, it is a meat, and a meat that is nourishing and may be longed for, and so consequently eaten; it may be eaten; very exceeding well eaten; but in the Fair, and as a Bartholomew pig, it cannot be eaten; for the very calling it a Bartholomew pig, and to eat it so, is a spice of idolatry, and you make the Fair no better than one of the high-places. This, I take it, is the state of the question: a high-place.
LIT. Ay, but in state of necessity, place should give place, master Busy. I have a conceit left yet.
PURE. Good brother Zeal-of-the-land, think to make it as lawful as you can.
LIT. Yes, sir, and as soon as you can; for it must be, sir: you see the danger my little wife is in, sir.
PURE. Truly, I do love my child dearly, and I would not have her miscarry, or hazard her firstfruits, if it might be otherwise.
BUSY. Surely, it may be otherwise, but it is subject to construction, subject, and hath a face of offence with the weak, a great face, a foul face; but that face may have a veil put over it, and be shadowed as it were; it may be eaten, and in the Fair, I take it, in a booth, the tents of the wicked: the place is not much, not very much, we may be religious in the midst of the profane, so it be eaten with a reformed mouth, with sobriety and humbleness; not gorged in with gluttony or greediness, there's the fear: for, should she go there, as taking pride in the place, or delight in the unclean dressing, to feed the vanity of the eye, or lust of the palate, it were not well, it were not fit, it were abominable, and not good.
LIT. Nay, I knew that afore, and told her on't; but courage, Win, we'll be humble enough, we'll seek out the homeliest booth in the Fair, that's certain; rather than fail, we'll eat it on the ground.
PURE. Ay, and I'll go with you myself, Win-the-fight, and my brother Zeal-of-the-land shall go with us too, for our better consolation.
MRS. LIT. Uh, uh!
LIT. Ay, and Solomon too, Win, the more the merrier. Win, we'll leave Rabbi Busy in a booth. [Aside to Mrs. Littlewit.]--Solomon! my cloak.
Enter SOLOMON with the cloak.
SOL. Here, sir.
BUSY. In the way of comfort to the weak, I will go and eat. I will eat exceedingly, and prophesy; there may be a good use made of it too, now I think on't: by the public eating of swine's flesh, to profess our hate and loathing of Judaism, whereof the brethren stand tax'd. I will therefore eat, yea, I will eat exceedingly.
LIT. Good, i'faith, I will eat heartily too, because I will be no Jew, I could never away with that stiff-necked generation: and truly, I hope my little one will be like me, that cries for pig so in the mother's belly.
BUSY. Very likely, exceeding likely, very exceeding likely.
A number of Booths, Stalls, etc., set out.
LANTHORN LEATHERHEAD, JOAN TRASH, and others, sitting by their wares.
Enter JUSTICE OVERDO, at a distance, in disguise.
OVER. Well, in justice name, and the king's, and for the commonwealth! defy all the world, Adam Overdo, for a disguise, and all story; for thou hast fitted thyself, I swear. Fain would I meet the Linceus now, that eagle's eye, that piercing Epidaurian serpent (as my Quintus Horace calls him) that could discover a justice of peace (and lately of the Quorum) under this covering. They may have seen many a fool in the habit of a justice; but never till now, a justice in the habit of a fool. Thus must we do though, that wake for the public good; and thus hath the wise magistrate done in all ages. There is a doing of right out of wrong, if the way be found. Never shall I enough commend a worthy worshipful man, sometime a capital member of this city, for his high wisdom in this point, who would take you now the habit of a porter, now of a carman, now of the dog-killer, in this month of August; and in the winter, of a seller of tinder-boxes. And what would he do in all these shapes? marry, go you into every alehouse, and down into every cellar; measure the length of puddings; take the gage of black pots and cans, ay, and custards, with a stick; and their circumference with a thread; weigh the loaves of bread on his middle finger; then would he send for them home; give the puddings to the poor, the bread to the hungry, the custards to his children; break the pots, and burn the cans himself: he would not trust his corrupt officers, he would do it himself. Would all men in authority would follow this worthy precedent! for alas, as we are public persons, what do we know? nay, what can we know? we hear with other men's ears, we see with other men's eyes. A foolish constable or a sleepy watchman, is all our information; he slanders a gentleman by the virtue of his place, as he calls it, and we, by the vice of ours, must believe him. As, a while agone, they made me, yea me, to mistake an honest zealous pursuivant for a seminary; and a proper young bachelor of musick, for a bawd. This we are subject to that live in high place; all our intelligence is idle, and most of our intelligencers knaves; and, by your leave, ourselves thought little better, if not arrant fools, for believing them. I, Adam Overdo, am resolved therefore to spare spy-money hereafter, and make mine own discoveries. Many are the yearly enormities of this Fair, in whose courts of Pie-poudres I have had the honour, during the three days, sometimes to sit as judge. But this is the special day for detection of those foresaid enormities. Here is my black book for the purpose; this the cloud that hides me; under this covert I shall see and not be seen. On, Junius Brutus. And as I began, so I'll end; in justice name, and the king's, and for the commonwealth!
[Advances to the booths, and stands aside.
LEATH. The Fair's pestilence dead methinks; people come not abroad to-day, whatever the matter is. Do you hear, sister Trash, lady of the basket? sit farther with your gingerbread progeny there, and hinder not the prospect of my shop, or I'll have it proclaimed in the Fair, what stuff they are made on.
TRASH. Why, what stuff are they made on, brother Leatherhead? nothing but what's wholesome, I assure you.
LEATH. Yes, stale bread, rotten eggs, musty ginger, and dead honey, you know.
OVER. Ay! have I met with enormity so soon? [Aside.
LEATH. I shall mar your market, old Joan.
TRASH. Mar my market, thou too-proud pedlar! do thy worst, I defy thee, I, and thy stable of hobby-horses. I pay for my ground, as well as thou dost: an thou wrong'st me, for all thou art parcel-poet, and an inginer, I'll find a friend shall right me, and make a ballad of thee, and thy cattle all over. Are you puft up with the pride of your wares? your arsedine?
LEATH. Go to, old Joan, I'll talk with you anon; and take you down too, afore justice Overdo: he is the man must charm you, I'll have you in the Pie-poudres.
TRASH. Charm me! I'll meet thee face to face, afore his worship, when thou darest: and though I be a little crooked o' my body, I shall be found as upright in my dealing as any woman in Smithfield, I; charm me!
OVER. I am glad to hear my name is their terror yet, this is doing of justice. [Aside.]
[A number of people pass over the stage.
LEATH. What do you lack? what is't you buy? what do you lack? rattles, drums, halberts, horses, babies o' the best, fiddles of the finest?
Enter COSTARD-MONGER, followed by NIGHTINGALE.
COST. Buy any pears, pears, fine, very fine pears!
TRASH. Buy any gingerbread, gilt gingerbread!
NIGHT. Hey, [Sings.
Now the Fair's a filling! O, for a tune to startle The birds o' the booths here billing, Yearly with old saint Bartle! The drunkards they are wading, The punks and chapmen trading;
Buy any ballads, new ballads?
Enter URSULA, from her Booth.
URS. Fie upon't: who would wear out their youth and prime thus, in roasting of pigs, that had any cooler vocation? hell's a kind of cold cellar to't, a very fine vault, o' my conscience!--What, Mooncalf!
MOON. [within.] Here, mistress.
NIGHT. How now, Ursula? in a heat, in a heat?
URS. My chair, you false faucet you; and my morning's draught, quickly, a bottle of ale, to quench me, rascal. I am all fire and fat, Nightingale, I shall e'en melt away to the first woman, a rib again, I am afraid. I do water the ground in knots, as I go, like a great garden pot; you may follow me by the SS. I make.
NIGHT. Alas, good Urse! was Zekiel here this morning?
URS. Zekiel? what Zekiel?
NIGHT. Zekiel Edgworth, the civil cutpurse, you know him well enough; he that talks bawdy to you still: I call him my secretary.
URS. He promised to be here this morning, I remember.
NIGHT. When he comes, bid him stay: I'll be back again presently.
URS. Best take your morning dew in your belly, Nightingale.--
Enter MOONCALF, with the Chair.
Come, sir, set it here, did not I bid you should get a chair let out o' the sides for me, that my hips might play? you'll never think of any thing, till your dame be rump-gall'd; 'tis well, changeling: because it can take in your grasshopper's thighs, you care for no more. Now, you look as you had been in the corner of the booth, fleaing your breech with a candle's end, and set fire o' the Fair. Fill, Stote, fill.
OVER. This pig-woman do I know, and I will put her in, for my second enormity; she hath been before me, punk, pinnace, and bawd, any time these two and twenty years upon record in the Pie-poudres. [Aside.
URS. Fill again, you unlucky vermin!
MOON. 'Pray you be not angry, mistress, I'll have it widen'd anon.
URS. No, no, I shall e'en dwindle away to't, ere the Fair be done, you think, now you have heated me: a poor vex'd thing I am, I feel myself dropping already as fast as I can; two stone o' suet a day is my proportion. I can but hold life and soul together, with this, (here's to you, Nightingale,) and a whiff of tobacco at most. Where's my pipe now? not fill'd! thou arrant incubee.
NIGHT. Nay, Ursula, thou'lt gall between the tongue and the teeth, with fretting, now.
URS. How can I hope that ever he'll discharge his place of trust, tapster, a man of reckoning under me, that remembers nothing I say to him? [Exit Nightingale.] but look to't, sirrah, you were best. Three-pence a pipe-full, I will have made, of all my whole half-pound of tobacco, and a quarter of pound of colt's-foot mixt with it too, to itch it out. I that have dealt so long in the fire, will not be to seek in smoke, now. Then six and twenty shillings a barrel I will advance on my beer, and fifty shillings a hundred on my bottle-ale; I have told you the ways how to raise it. Froth your cans well in the filling, at length, rogue, and jog your bottles o' the buttock, sirrah, then skink out the first glass ever, and drink with all companies, though you be sure to be drunk; you'll misreckon the better, and be less ashamed on't. But your true trick, rascal, must be, to be ever busy, and mistake away the bottles and cans, in haste, before they be half drunk off, and never hear any body call, (if they should chance to mark you,) till you have brought fresh, and be able to forswear them. Give me a drink of ale.
OVER. This is the very womb and bed of enormity! gross as herself! this must all down for enormity, all, every whit on't. [Aside.
URS. Look who's there, sirrah: five shillings a pig is my price, at least; if it be a sow pig, sixpence more; if she be a great-bellied wife, and long for't, sixpence more for that.
OVER. O tempora! O mores! I would not have lost my discovery of this one grievance, for my place, and worship o' the bench. How is the poor subject abused here! Well, I will fall in with her, and with her Mooncalf, and win out wonders of enormity. [Comes forward.]--By thy leave, goodly woman, and the fatness of the Fair, oily as the king's constable's lamp, and shining as his shooing-horn! hath thy ale virtue, or thy beer strength, that the tongue of man may be tickled, and his palate pleased in the morning? Let thy pretty nephew here go search and see.
URS. What new roarer is this?
MOON. O Lord! do you not know him, mistress? 'tis mad Arthur of Bradley, that makes the orations.--Brave master, old Arthur of Bradley, how do you? welcome to the Fair! when shall we hear you again, to handle your matters, with your back against a booth, ha? I have been one of your little disciples, in my days.
OVER. Let me drink, boy, with my love, thy aunt, here; that I may be eloquent: but of thy best, lest it be bitter in my mouth, and my words fall foul on the Fair.
URS. Why dost thou not fetch him drink, and offer him to sit?
MOON. Is it ale or beer, master Arthur?
OVER. Thy best, pretty stripling, thy best; the same thy dove drinketh, and thou drawest on holydays.
URS. Bring him a sixpenny bottle of ale: they say, a fool's handsel is lucky.
OVER. Bring both, child. [Sits down in the booth.] Ale for Arthur, and Beer for Bradley. Ale for thine aunt, boy. [Exit Mooncalf.]--My disguise takes to the very wish and reach of it. I shall, by the benefit of this, discover enough, and more: and yet get off with the reputation of what I would be: a certain middling thing, between a fool and a madman. [Aside.
KNOCK. What! my little lean Ursula! my she-bear! art thou alive yet, with thy litter of pigs to grunt out another Bartholomew Fair? ha!
URS. Yes, and to amble a foot, when the Fair is done, to hear you groan out of a cart, up the heavy hill--
KNOCK. Of Holbourn, Ursula, meanst thou so? for what, for what, pretty Urse?
URS. For cutting halfpenny purses, or stealing little penny dogs out o' the Fair.
KNOCK. O! good words, good words, Urse.
OVER. Another special enormity. A cut-purse of the sword, the boot, and the feather! those are his marks. [Aside.
Re-enter MOONCALF, with the ale, etc.
URS. You are one of those horse-leaches that gave out I was dead, in Turnbull-street, of a surfeit of bottle-ale and tripes?
KNOCK. No, 'twas better meat, Urse: cow's udders, cow's udders!
URS. Well, I shall be meet with your mumbling mouth one day.
KNOCK. What! thou'lt poison me with a newt in a bottle of ale, wilt thou? or a spider in a tobacco-pipe, Urse? Come, there's no malice in these fat folks, I never fear thee, an I can scape thy lean Mooncalf here. Let's drink it out, good Urse, and no vapours!
OVER. Dost thou hear, boy? There's for thy ale, and the remnant for thee.--Speak in thy faith of a faucet, now; is this goodly person before us here, this vapours, a knight of the knife?
MOON. What mean you by that, master Arthur?
OVER. I mean a child of the horn-thumb, a babe of booty, boy, a cut-purse.
MOON. O Lord, sir! far from it. This is master Daniel Knockem Jordan: the ranger of Turnbull. He is a horse-courser, sir.
OVER. Thy dainty dame, though, call'd him cut-purse.
MOON. Like enough, sir; she'll do forty such things in an hour (an you listen to her) for her recreation, if the toy take her in the greasy kerchief: it makes her fat, you see; she battens with it.
OVER. Here I might have been deceived now, and have put a fool's blot upon myself, if I had not played an after game of discretion! [Aside.
Re-enter URSULA, dropping.
KNOCK. Alas, poor Urse! this is an ill season for thee.
URS. Hang yourself, hackney-man!
KNOCK. How, how, Urse! vapours? motion breed vapours?
URS. Vapours! never tusk, nor twirl your dibble, good Jordan, I know what you'll take to a very drop. Though you be captain of the roarers, and fight well at the case of piss-pots, you shall not fright me with your lion-chap, sir, nor your tusks; you angry! you are hungry. Come, a pig's head will stop your mouth, and stay your stomach at all times.
KNOCK. Thou art such another mad, merry Urse, still! troth I do make conscience of vexing thee, now in the dog-days, this hot weather, for fear of foundering thee in the body, and melting down a pillar of the Fair. Pray thee take thy chair again, and keep state; and let's have a fresh bottle of ale, and a pipe of tobacco; and no vapours. I'll have this belly o' thine taken up, and thy grass scoured, wench.--
Look, here's Ezekiel Edgworth; a fine boy of his inches, as any is in the Fair! has still money in his purse, and will pay all, with a kind heart, and good vapours.
EDG. That I will indeed, willingly, master Knockem; fetch some ale and tobacco.
[Exit Mooncalf.--People cross the stage.
LEATH. What do you lack, gentlemen? maid, see a fine hobby-horse for your young master; cost you but a token a-week his provender.
Re-enter NIGHTINGALE, with CORN-CUTTER, and MOUSETRAP-MAN.
CORN. Have you any corns in your feet and toes?
MOUSE. Buy a mousetrap, a mousetrap, or a tormentor for a flea?
TRASH. Buy some gingerbread?
NIGHT. Ballads, ballads! fine new ballads:
Hear for your love, and buy for your money. A delicate ballad o' the ferret and the coney. A preservative again' the punk's evil. Another of goose-green starch, and the devil. A dozen of divine points, and the godly garters: The fairing of good counsel, of an ell and three-quarters.
What is't you buy?
The windmill blown down by the witch's fart. Or saint George, that, O! did break the dragon's heart.
Re-enter MOONCALF, with ale and tobacco.
EDG. Master Nightingale, come hither, leave your mart a little.
NIGHT. O my secretary! what says my secretary?
[They walk into the booth.
OVER. Child of the bottles, what's he? what's he?
[Points to Edgworth.
MOON. A civil young gentleman, master Arthur, that keeps company with the roarers, and disburses all still. He has ever money in his purse; he pays for them, and they roar for him; one does good offices for another. They call him the secretary, but he serves nobody. A great friend of the ballad-man's, they are never asunder.
OVER. What pity 'tis, so civil a young man should haunt this debauched company? here's the bane of the youth of our time apparent. A proper penman, I see't in his countenance, he has a good clerk's look with him, and I warrant him a quick hand.
MOON. A very quick hand, sir.
EDG. [whispering with Nightingale and Ursula.] All the purses, and purchase, I give you to-day by conveyance, bring hither to Ursula's presently. Here we will meet at night in her lodge, and share. Look you choose good places for your standing in the Fair, when you sing, Nightingale.
URS. Ay, near the fullest passages; and shift them often.
EDG. And in your singing, you must use your hawk's eye nimbly, and fly the purse to a mark still, where 'tis worn, and on which side; that you may give me the sign with your beak, or hang your head that way in the tune.
URS. Enough, talk no more on't: your friendship, masters, is not now to begin. Drink your draught of indenture, your sup of covenant, and away: the Fair fills apace, company begins to come in, and I have ne'er a pig ready yet.
KNOCK. Well said! fill the cups, and light the tobacco: let's give fire in the works, and noble vapours.
EDG. And shall we have smocks, Ursula, and good whimsies, ha!
URS. Come, you are in your bawdy vein!--the best the Fair will afford, Zekiel, if bawd Whit keep his word.--
How do the pigs, Mooncalf?
MOON. Very passionate, mistress, one of 'em has wept out an eye. Master Arthur o' Bradley is melancholy here, nobody talks to him. Will you any tobacco, master Arthur?
OVER. No, boy; let my meditations alone.
MOON. He's studying for an oration, now.
OVER. If I can with this day's travail, and all my policy, but rescue this youth here out of the hands of the lewd man and the strange woman, I will sit down at night, and say with my friend Ovid,
Jamque opus exegi, quod nec Jovis ira, nec ignis, etc. [Aside.
KNOCK. Here, Zekiel, here's a health to Ursula, and a kind vapour; thou hast money in thy purse still, and store! how dost thou come by it? pray thee vapour thy friends some in a courteous vapour.
EDG. Half I have, master Dan. Knockem, is always at your service.
[Pulls out his purse.
OVER. Ha, sweet nature! what goshawk would prey upon such a lamb? [Aside.
KNOCK. Let's see what 'tis, Zekiel; count it, come, fill him to pledge me
Enter WINWIFE and QUARLOUS.
WINW. We are here before them, methinks.
QUAR. All the better, we shall see them come in now.
LEATH. What do you lack, gentlemen, what is't you lack? a fine horse? a lion? a bull? a bear? a dog? or a cat? an excellent fine Bartholomew-bird? or an instrument? what is't you lack?
QUAR. 'Slid! here's Orpheus among the beasts, with his fiddle and all!
TRASH. Will you buy any comfortable bread, gentlemen?
QUAR. And Ceres selling her daughter's picture, in ginger-work.
WINW. That these people should be so ignorant to think us chapmen for them! do we look as if we would buy gingerbread, or hobby-horses?
QUAR. Why, they know no better ware than they have, nor better customers than come: and our very being here makes us fit to be demanded, as well as others. Would Cokes would come! there were a true customer for them.
KNOCK. [to Edgworth.] How much is't? thirty shillings? Who's yonder! Ned Winwife and Tom Quarlous, I think! yes: (give me it all, give it me all.)--Master Winwife! Master Quarlous! will you take a pipe of tobacco with us?--Do not discredit me now, Zekiel.
[Edgworth gives him his purse.
WINW. Do not see him: he is the roaring horse-courser, pray thee let's avoid him: turn down this way.
QUAR. 'Slud, I'll see him, and roar with him too, an he roared as loud as Neptune; pray thee go with me.
WINW. You may draw me to as likely an inconvenience, when you please, as this.
QUAR. Go to then, come along; we have nothing to do, man, but to see sights now.
[They advance to the booth.
KNOCK. Welcome, master Quarlous, and master Winwife; will you take any froth and smoke with us?
QUAR. Yes, sir; but you'll pardon us if we knew not of so much familiarity between us afore.
KNOCK. As what, sir?
QUAR. To be so lightly invited to smoke and froth.
KNOCK. A good vapour! will you sit down, sir? this is old Ursula's mansion; how like you her bower? Here you may have your punk and your pig in state, sir, both piping hot.
QUAR. I had rather have my punk cold, sir.
OVER. There's for me: punk! and pig! [Aside.
URS. [within.] What, Mooncalf, you rogue!
MOON. By and by, the bottle is almost off, mistress; here, master Arthur.
URS. [within.] I'll part you and your play-fellow there, in the garded coat, an you sunder not the sooner.
KNOCK. Master Winwife, you are proud, methinks, you do not talk, nor drink; are you proud?
WINW. Not of the company I am in, sir, nor the place, I assure you.
KNOCK. You do not except at the company, do you! are you in vapours, sir?
MOON. Nay, good master Daniel Knockem, respect my mistress's bower, as you call it; for the honour of our booth, none o' your vapours here.
Enter URSULA with a fire-brand.
URS. Why, you thin, lean polecat you, an they have a mind to be in their vapours must you hinder 'em? What did you know, vermin, if they would have lost a cloke, or such trifle? must you be drawing the air of pacification here, while I am tormented within i' the fire, you weasel? [Aside to Mooncalf.
MOON. Good mistress, 'twas in behalf of your booth's credit that I spoke.
URS. Why! would my booth have broke, if they had fallen out in't, sir? or would their heat have fired it? In, you rogue, and wipe the pigs, and mend the fire, that they fall not, or I'll both baste and roast you 'till your eyes drop out like them.--Leave the bottle behind you, and be curst awhile!
QUAR. Body o' the Fair! what's this? mother of the bawds?
KNOCK. No, she's mother of the pigs, sir, mother of the pigs.
WINW. Mother of the furies, I think, by her fire-brand.
QUAR. Nay, she is too fat to be a fury, sure some walking sow of tallow!
WINW. An inspired vessel of kitchen stuff!
QUAR. She'll make excellent geer for the coach-makers here in Smithfield, to anoint wheels and axletrees with.
[She drinks this while.
URS. Ay, ay, gamesters, mock a plain plump soft wench of the suburbs, do, because she's juicy and wholesome; you must have your thin pinched ware, pent up in the compass of a dog-collar, (or 'twill not do) that looks like a long laced conger, set upright, and a green feather, like fennel in the joll on't.
KNOCK. Well said, Urse, my good Urse! to 'em, Urse!
QUAR. Is she your quagmire, Daniel Knockem? is this your bog?
NIGHT. We shall have a quarrel presently.
KNOCK. How! bog! quagmire? foul vapours! humph!
QUAR. Yes, he that would venture for't, I assure him, might sink into her and be drown'd a week ere any friend he had could find where he were.
WINW. And then he would be a fortnight weighing up again.
QUAR. 'Twere like falling into a whole shire of butter; they had need be a team of Dutchmen should draw him out.
KNOCK. Answer 'em, Urse: where's thy Bartholomew wit now, Urse, thy Bartholomew wit?
URS. Hang 'em, rotten, roguy cheaters, I hope to see them plagued one day (pox'd they are already, I am sure) with lean playhouse poultry, that has the bony rump, sticking out like the ace of spades, or the point of a partizan, that every rib of them is like the tooth of a saw; and will so grate them with their hips and shoulders, as (take 'em altogether) they were as good lie with a hurdle.
QUAR. Out upon her, how she drips! she's able to give a man the sweating sickness with looking on her.
URS. Marry look off, with a patch on your face, and a dozen in your breech, though they be of scarlet, sir. I have seen as fine outsides as either of yours, bring lousy linings to the brokers, ere now, twice a week.
QUAR. Do you think there may be a fine new cucking-stool in the Fair, to be purchased; one large enough, I mean? I know there is a pond of capacity for her.
URS. For your mother, you rascal! Out, you rogue, you hedge-bird, you pimp, you pannier-man's bastard, you!
QUAR. Ha, ha, ha!
URS. Do you sneer, you dog's-head, you trendle-tail! you look as you were begotten a top of a cart in harvest time, when the whelp was hot and eager. Go, snuff after your brother's bitch, mistress Commodity; that's the livery you wear, 'twill be out at the elbows shortly. It's time you went to't for the t'other remnant.
KNOCK. Peace, Urse, peace, Urse;--they'll kill the poor whale, and make oil of her. Pray thee, go in.
URS. I'll see them pox'd first, and piled, and double piled.
WINW. Let's away, her language grows greasier than her pigs.
URS. Does it so, snotty-nose? good lord! are you snivelling? You were engendered on a she-beggar in a barn, when the bald thrasher, your sire, was scarce warm.
WINW. Pray thee let's go.
QUAR. No, faith; I'll stay the end of her now; I know she cannot last long: I find by her smiles she wanes apace.
URS. Does she so? I'll set you gone. Give me my pig-pan hither a little: I'll scald you hence, an you will not go.
KNOCK. Gentlemen, these are very strange vapours, and very idle vapours, I assure you.
QUAR. You are a very serious ass, we assure you.
KNOCK. Humph, ass! and serious! nay, then pardon me my vapour. I have a foolish vapour, gentlemen: Any man that does vapour me the ass, master Quarlous--
QUAR. What then, master Jordan?
KNOCK. I do vapour him the lie.
QUAR. Faith, and to any man that vapours me the lie, I do vapour that.
KNOCK. Nay then, vapours upon vapours.
Re-enter URSULA, with the dripping-pan.
EDG. NIGHT. 'Ware the pan, the pan, the pan! she comes with the pan, gentlemen! [Ursula falls with the pan.]--God bless the woman.
[Exeunt Quarlous and Winwife.
TRASH. [runs in.] What's the matter?
OVER. Goodly woman!
URS. Curse of hell! that ever I saw these fiends! oh! I have scalded my leg, my leg, my leg, my leg! I have lost a limb in the service! run for some cream and sallad-oil, quickly. Are you under-peering, you baboon? rip off my hose, an you be men, men, men.
MOON. Run you for some cream, good mother Joan. I'll look to your basket.
LEATH. Best sit up in your chair, Ursula. Help, gentlemen.
KNOCK. Be of good cheer, Urse; thou hast hindered me the currying of a couple of stallions here, that abused the good race-bawd of Smithfield; 'twas time for them to go.
NIGHT. I' faith, when the pan came,--they had made you run else. This had been a fine time for purchase, if you had ventured. [Aside to Edgworth.
EDG. Not a whit, these fellows were too fine to carry money.
KNOCK. Nightingale, get some help to carry her leg out of the air: take off her shoes. Body o' me! she has the mallanders, the scratches, the crown scab, and the quitter bone in the t'other leg.
URS. Oh, the pox! why do you put me in mind of my leg thus, to make it prick and shoot? Would you have me in the hospital afore my time?
KNOCK. Patience, Urse, take a good heart, 'tis but a blister as big as a windgall. I'll take it away with the white of an egg, a little honey and hog's grease, have thy pasterns well roll'd, and thou shalt pace again by to-morrow. I'll tend thy booth, and look to thy affairs the while: thou shalt sit in thy chair, and give directions, and shine Ursa major.
[Exeunt Knockem and Mooncalf, with Ursula in her chair.
OVER. These are the fruits of bottle-ale and tobacco! the foam of the one, and the fumes of the other! Stay, young man, and despise not the wisdom of these few hairs that are grown grey in care of thee.
EDG. Nightingale, stay a little. Indeed I'll hear some of this!
Enter COKES, with his box, WASPE, Mistress OVERDO, and GRACE.
COKES. Come, Numps, come, where are you? Welcome into the Fair, mistress Grace.
EDG. 'Slight, he will call company, you shall see, and put us into goings presently.
OVER. Thirst not after that frothy liquor, ale; for who knows when he openeth the stopple, what may be in the bottle? Hath not a snail, a spider, yea, a newt been found there? thirst not after it, youth; thirst not after it.
COKES. This is a brave fellow, Numps, let's hear him.
WASPE. 'Sblood! how brave is he? in a garded coat! You were best truck with him; e'en strip, and truck presently, it will become you. Why will you hear him? because he is an ass, and may be a-kin to the Cokeses?
COKES. O, good Numps.
OVER. Neither do thou lust after that tawney weed tobacco.
COKES. Brave words!
OVER. Whose complexion is like the Indian's that vents it.
COKES. Are they not brave words, sister?
OVER. And who can tell, if before the gathering and making up thereof, the Alligarta hath not piss'd thereon?
WASPE. 'Heart! let 'em be brave words, as brave as they will! an they were all the brave words in a country, how then? Will you away yet, have you enough on him? Mistress Grace, come you away; I pray you, be not you accessary. If you do lose your license, or somewhat else, sir, with listening to his fables, say Numps is a witch, with all my heart, do, say so.
COKES. Avoid in your satin doublet, Numps.
OVER. The creeping venom of which subtle serpent, as some late writers affirm, neither the cutting of the perilous plant, nor the drying of it, nor the lighting or burning, can any way persway or assuage.
COKES. Good, i'faith! is it not, sister?
OVER. Hence it is that the lungs of the tobacconist are rotted, the liver spotted, the brain smoked like the backside of the pig-woman's booth here, and the whole body within, black as her pan you saw e'en now, without.
COKES. A fine similitude that, sir! did you see the pan?
EDG. Yes, sir.
OVER. Nay, the hole in the nose here of some tobacco-takers, or the third nostril, if I may so call it, which makes that they can vent the tobacco out, like the ace of clubs, or rather the flower-de-lis, is caused from the tobacco, the mere tobacco! when the poor innocent pox, having nothing to do there, is miserably and most unconscionably slandered.
COKES. Who would have missed this, sister?
MRS. OVER. Not any body but Numps.
COKES. He does not understand.
EDG. [picks Cokes's pocket of his purse.] Nor you feel. [Aside.
COKES. What would you have, sister, of a fellow that knows nothing but a basket-hilt, and an old fox in't? the best musick in the Fair will not move a log.
EDG. [gives the purse aside to Nightingale.] In, to Ursula, Nightingale, and carry her comfort: see it told. This fellow was sent to us by Fortune, for our first fairing.
OVER. But what speak I of the diseases of the body, children of the Fair?
COKES. That's to us, sister. Brave, i'faith!
OVER. Hark, O you sons and daughters of Smithfield! and hear what malady it doth the mind: it causeth swearing, it causeth swaggering, it causeth snuffling and snarling, and now and then a hurt.
MRS. OVER. He hath something of master Overdo, methinks, brother.
COKES. So methought, sister, very much of my brother Overdo: and 'tis when he speaks.
OVER. Look into any angle of the town, the Streights, or the Bermudas, where the quarrelling lesson is read, and how do they entertain the time, but with bottle-ale and tobacco? The lecturer is o' one side, and his pupils o' the other; but the seconds are still bottle-ale and tobacco, for which the lecturer reads, and the novices pay. Thirty pound a week in bottle-ale! forty in tobacco! and ten more in ale again. Then for a suit to drink in, so much, and, that being slaver'd, so much for another suit, and then a third suit, and a fourth suit! and still the bottle-ale slavereth, and the tobacco stinketh.
WASPE. Heart of a madman! are you rooted here? will you never away? what can any man find out in this bawling fellow, to grow here for? He is a full handful higher sin' he heard him. Will you fix here, and set up a booth, sir?
OVER. I will conclude briefly--
WASPE. Hold your peace, you roaring rascal, I'll run my head in your chaps else. You were best build a booth, and entertain him; make your will, an you say the word, and him your heir! heart, I never knew one taken with a mouth of a peck afore. By this light, I'll carry you away on my back, an you will not come.
[He gets Cokes up on pick-back.
COKES. Stay, Numps, stay, set me down: I have lost my purse, Numps. O my purse! One of my fine purses is gone!
MRS. OVER. Is it indeed, brother?
COKES. Ay, as I am an honest man, would I were an arrant rogue else! a plague of all roguy damn'd cut-purses for me.
[Examines his pockets.
WASPE. Bless 'em with all my heart, with all my heart, do you see! now, as I am no infidel, that I know of, I am glad on't. Ay, I am, (here's my witness,) do you see, sir? I did not tell you of his fables, I! no, no, I am a dull malt horse, I, I know nothing. Are you not justly served, in your conscience, now, speak in your conscience? Much good do you with all my heart, and his good heart that has it, with all my heart again.
EDG. This fellow is very charitable, would he had a purse too! but I must not be too bold all at a time. [Aside.
COKES. Nay, Numps, it is not my best purse.
WASPE. Not your best! death! why should it be your worst? why should it be any, indeed, at all? answer me to that, give me a reason from you, why it should be any?
COKES. Nor my gold, Numps; I have that yet, look here else, sister.
[Shews the other purse.
WASPE. Why so, there's all the feeling he has!
MRS. OVER. I pray you, have a better care of that, brother.
COKES. Nay, so I will, I warrant you; let him catch this that catch can. I would fain see him get this, look you here.
WASPE. So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so! very good.
COKES. I would have him come again now, and but offer at it. Sister, will you take notice of a good jest? I will put it just where the other was, and if we have good luck, you shall see a delicate fine trap to catch the cut-purse nibbling.
EDG. Faith, and he'll try ere you be out o' the Fair. [Aside.
COKES. Come, mistress Grace, prithee be not melancholy for my mischance; sorrow will not keep it, sweet-heart.
GRACE. I do not think on't, sir.
COKES. 'Twas but a little scurvy white money, hang it! it may hang the cut-purse one day. I have gold left to give thee a fairing yet, as hard as the world goes. Nothing angers me but that no body here look'd like a cut-purse, unless 'twere Numps.
WASPE. How! I, I look like a cut-purse? death! your sister's a cut-purse! and your mother and father, and all your kin were cut-purses! and here is a rogue is the bawd o' the cut-purses, whom I will beat to begin with.
[They speak all together; and Waspe beats Overdo.
OVER. Hold thy hand, child of wrath, and heir of anger, make it not Childermass day in thy fury, or the feast of the French Bartholomew, parent of the massacre.
COKES. Numps, Numps!
MRS. OVER. Good master Humphrey!
WASPE. You are the Patrico, are you? the patriarch of the cut-purses? You share, sir, they say; let them share this with you. Are you in your hot fit of preaching again? I'll cool you.
OVER. Murther, murther, murther!
LANTHORN LEATHERHEAD, JOAN TRASH, and others, sitting by their wares, as before.
Enter WHIT, HAGGISE, and BRISTLE.
WHIT. Nay, tish all gone, now! dish tish, phen tou wilt not be phitin call, master offisher, phat ish a man te better to lishen out noyshes for tee, and ton art in an oder orld, being very shuffishient noyshes and gallantsh too? one o' their brabblesh would have fed ush all dish fortnight, but tou art so bushy about beggersh still, tou hast no leshure to intend shentlemen, and't be.
HAG. Why, I told you, Davy Bristle.
BRI. Come, come, you told me a pudding, Toby Haggise; a matter of nothing; I am sure it came to nothing. You said, let's go to Ursula's, indeed; but then you met the man with the monsters, and I could not get you from him. An old fool, not leave seeing yet!
HAG. Why, who would have thought any body would have quarrell'd so early; or that the ale o' the fair would have been up so soon?
WHIT. Phy, phat a clock toest tou tink it ish, man?
HAG. I cannot tell.
WHIT. Tou art a vish vatchman, i' te mean teem.
HAG. Why, should the watch go by the clock, or the clock by the watch, I pray?
BRI. One should go by another, if they did well.
WHIT. Tou art right now! phen didst tou ever know or hear of a shuffishient vatchment, but he did tell the clock, phat bushiness soever he had?
BRI. Nay, that's most true, a sufficient watchman knows what a clock it is.
WHIT. Shleeping or vaking: ash well as te clock himshelf, or te Jack dat shtrikes him.
BRI. Let's enquire of master Leatherhead, or Joan Trash here.--Master Leatherhead, do you hear, master Leatherhead?
WHIT. If it be a Ledderhead, tish a very tick Ledderhead, tat sho mush noish vill not piersh him.
LEATH. I have a little business now, good friends, do not trouble me.
WHIT. Phat, because o' ty wrought neet-cap, and ty phelvet sherkin, man? phy! I have sheene tee in ty ledder sherkin, ere now, mashter o' de hobby-horses, as bushy and stately as tou sheemest to be.
TRASH. Why, what an you have, captain Whit? he has his choice of jerkins, you may see by that, and his caps too, I assure you, when he pleases to be either sick or employed.
LEATH. God-a-mercy, Joan, answer for me.
WHIT. Away, be not sheen in my company, here be shentlemen, and men of vorship.
[Exeunt Haggise and Bristle.
Enter QUARLOUS and WINWIFE.
QUAR. We had wonderful ill luck, to miss this prologue o' the purse: but the best is, we shall have five acts of him ere night: he'll be spectacle enough, I'll answer for't.
WHIT. O creesh, duke Quarlous, how dosht tou? tou dosht not know me, I fear: I am te vishesht man, but justish Overdo, in all Bartholomew Fair now. Give me twelve-pence from tee, I vill help tee to a vife vorth forty marks for't, and't be.
QUAR. Away, rogue; pimp, away.
WHIT. And she shall shew tee as fine cut orke for't in her shmock too as tou cansht vish i'faith; vilt tou have her, vorshipful Vinvife? I vill help tee to her here, be an't be, into pig-quarter, gi' me ty twelve-pence from tee.
WINW. Why, there's twelve-pence, pray thee wilt thou begone?
WHIT. Tou art a vorthy man, and a vorshipful man still.
QUAR. Get you gone, rascal.
WHIT. I do mean it, man. Prinsh Quarlous, if tou hasht need on me, tou shalt find me here at Ursla's, I vill see phat ale and punque ish i' te pigsty for tee, bless ty good vorship.
QUAR. Look! who comes here: John Littlewit!
WINW. And his wife, and my widow, her mother: the whole family.
QUAR. 'Slight, you must give them all fairings now.
WINW. Not I, I'll not see them.
QUAR. They are going a feasting. What schoolmaster's that is with 'em?
WINW. That's my rival, I believe, the baker.
Enter RABBI BUSY, DAME PURECRAFT, JOHN LITTLEWIT, and MRS. LITTLEWIT.
BUSY. So, walk on in the middle way, fore-right, turn neither to the right hand nor to the left; let not your eyes be drawn aside with vanity, nor your ear with noises.
QUAR. O, I know him by that start.
LEATH. What do you lack, what do you buy, mistress? a fine hobby-horse, to make your son a tilter? a drum to make him a soldier? a fiddle to make him a reveller? what is't you lack? little dogs for your daughters? or babies, male or female?
BUSY. Look not toward them, hearken not; the place is Smithfield, or the field of smiths, the grove of hobby-horses and trinkets, the wares are the wares of devils, and the whole Fair is the shop of Satan: they are hooks and baits, very baits, that are hung out on every side, to catch you, and to hold you, as it were, by the gills, and by the nostrils, as the fisher doth; therefore you must not look nor turn toward them.--The heathen man could stop his ears with wax against the harlot of the sea; do you the like with your fingers against the bells of the beast.
WINW. What flashes come from him!
QUAR. O, he has those of his oven; a notable hot baker, 'twas when he plied the peel; he is leading his flock into the Fair now.
WINW. Rather driving them to the pens: for he will let them look upon nothing.
Enter KNOCKEM and WHIT from URSULA'S booth.
KNOCK. Gentlewomen, the weather's hot; whither walk you? have a care of your fine velvet caps, the Fair is dusty. Take a sweet delicate booth, with boughs, here in the way, and cool yourselves in the shade; you and your friends. The best pig and bottle-ale in the Fair, sir. Old Ursula is cook, there you may read; [points to the sign, a pig's head, with a large writing under it.] the pig's head speaks it. Poor soul, she has had a string-halt, the maryhinchco; but she's prettily amended.
WHIT. A delicate show-pig, little mistress, with shweet sauce, and crackling, like de bay-leaf i' de fire, la! tou shalt ha' de clean side o' de table-clot, and di glass vash'd with phatersh of dame Annesh Cleare.
LIT. [gazing at the inscription.] This is fine verily. Here be the best pigs, and she does roast them as well as ever she did, the pig's head says.
KNOCK. Excellent, excellent, mistress; with fire o' juniper and rosemary branches! the oracle of the pig's head, that, sir.
PURE. Son, were you not warn'd of the vanity of the eye? have you forgot the wholesome admonition so soon?
LIT. Good mother, how shall we find a pig, if we do not look about for't: will it run off o' the spit, into our mouths, think you, as in Lubberland, and cry, wee, wee!
BUSY. No, but your mother, religiously-wise, conceiveth it may offer itself by other means to the sense, as by way of steam, which I think it doth here in this place--huh, huh--yes, it doth. [He scents after it like a hound.] And it were a sin of obstinacy, great obstinacy, high and horrible obstinacy, to decline or resist the good titillation of the famelic sense, which is the smell. Therefore be bold--huh, huh, huh--follow the scent: enter the tents of the unclean, for once, and satisfy your wife's frailty. Let your frail wife be satisfied; your zealous mother, and my suffering self, will also be satisfied.
LIT. Come, Win, as good winny here as go farther, and see nothing.
BUSY. We scape so much of the other vanities, by our early entering.
PURE. It is an edifying consideration.
MRS. LIT. This is scurvy, that we must come into the Fair, and not look on't.
LIT. Win, have patience, Win, I'll tell you more anon.
[Exeunt, into the booth, Littlewit, Mrs. Littlewit, Busy, and Purecraft.
KNOCK. Mooncalf, entertain within there, the best pig in the booth, a pork-like pig. These are Banbury-bloods, o' the sincere stud, come a pig-hunting. Whit, wait, Whit, look to your charge.
BUSY. [within.] A pig prepare presently, let a pig be prepared to us.
Enter MOONCALF and URSULA.
MOON. 'Slight, who be these?
URS. Is this the good service, Jordan, you'd do me?
KNOCK. Why, Urse, why, Urse? thou'lt have vapours i' thy leg again presently, pray thee go in, it may turn to the scratches else.
URS. Hang your vapours, they are stale, and stink like you! Are these the guests o' the game you promised to fill my pit withal to-day?
KNOCK. Ay, what ail they, Urse?
URS. Ail they! they are all sippers, sippers o' the city; they look as they would not drink off two pen'orth of bottle-ale amongst 'em.
MOON. A body may read that in their small printed ruffs.
KNOCK. Away, thou art a fool, Urse, and thy Mooncalf too: in your ignorant vapours now! hence! good guests, I say, right hypocrites, good gluttons. In, and set a couple o' pigs on the board, and half a dozen of the biggest bottles afore 'em, and call Whit. [Exit Mooncalf.] I do not love to hear innocents abused; fine ambling hypocrites! and a stone puritan with a sorrel head and beard! good mouth'd gluttons; two to a pig, away.
URS. Are you sure they are such?
KNOCK. O' the right breed, thou shalt try 'em by the teeth, Urse; where's this Whit?
WHIT. Behold, man, and see, What a worthy man am ee! With the fury of my sword, And the shaking of my beard, I will make ten thousand men afeard.
KNOCK. Well said, brave Whit! in, and fear the ale out o' the bottles into the bellies of the brethren, and . . . the sisters drink to the cause, and pure vapours.
[Exeunt Knockem, Whit, and Ursula.
QUAR. My roarer is turn'd tapster, methinks. Now were a fine time for thee, Winwife, to lay aboard thy widow, thou'lt never be master of a better season or place; she that will venture herself into the Fair and a pig-box, will admit any assault, be assured of that.
WINW. I love not enterprises of that suddenness though.
QUAR. I'll warrant thee, then, no wife out of the widow's hundred: if I had but as much title to her, as to have breathed once on that straight stomacher of hers, I would now assure myself to carry her, yet, ere she went out of Smithfield; or she should carry me, which were the fitter sight, I confess. But you are a modest undertaker, by circumstances and degrees; come, 'tis disease in thee, not judgment; I should offer at all together.--
Look, here's the poor fool again, that was stung by the Waspe erewhile.
OVER. I will make no more orations, shall draw on these tragical conclusions. And I begin now to think, that by a spice of collateral justice, Adam Overdo deserved this beating; for I, the said Adam, was one cause (a by-cause) why the purse was lost; and my wife's brother's purse too, which they know not of yet. But I shall make very good mirth with it at supper, that will be the sport, and put my little friend, master Humphrey Waspe's choler quite out of countenance: when, sitting at the upper end of my table, as I use, and drinking to my brother Cokes, and mistress Alice Overdo, as I will, my wife, for their good affection to old Bradley, I deliver to them, it was I that was cudgeled, and shew them the marks. To see what bad events may peep out o' the tail of good purposes! the care I had of that civil young man I took fancy to this morning, (and have not left it yet,) drew me to that exhortation, which drew the company indeed; which drew the cut-purse; which drew the money; which drew my brother Cokes his loss; which drew on Waspe's anger; which drew on my beating: a pretty gradation! and they shall have it in their dish, i'faith, at night for fruit; I love to be merry at my table. I had thought once, at one special blow he gave me, to have revealed myself; but then (I thank thee, fortitude) I remembered that a wise man, and who is ever so great a part of the commonwealth in himself, for no particular disaster ought to abandon a public good design. The husbandman ought not, for one unthankful year, to forsake the plough; the shepherd ought not, for one scabbed sheep, to throw by his tar-box; the pilot ought not, for one leak in the poop, to quit the helm; nor the alderman ought not, for one custard more at a meal, to give up his cloke; the constable ought not to break his staff, and forswear the watch, for one roaring night; nor the piper of the parish, ut parvis componere magna solebam, to put up his pipes for one rainy Sunday. These are certain knocking conclusions; out of which, I am resolved, come what come can, come beating, come imprisonment, come infamy, come banishment, nay, come the rack, come the hurdle, (welcome all,) I will not discover who I am, till my due time; and yet still, all shall be, as I said ever, in justice name, and the king's, and for the commonwealth.
WINW. What does he talk to himself, and act so seriously, poor fool!
QUAR. No matter what. Here's fresher argument, intend that.
Enter COKES, Mistress OVERDO, and GRACE WELLBORN, followed by WASPE, loaded with toys.
COKES. Come, mistress Grace, come, sister, here's more fine sights yet, i'faith. Od's 'lid, where's Numps?
LEATH. What do you lack, gentlemen? what is't you buy? fine rattles, drums, babies, little dogs, and birds for ladies? what do you lack?
COKES. Good honest Numps, keep afore, I am so afraid thou'lt lose somewhat; my heart was at my mouth, when I mist thee.
WASPE. You were best buy a whip in your hand to drive me.
COKES. Nay, do not mistake, Numps; thou art so apt to mistake! I would but watch the goods. Look you now, the treble fiddle was e'en almost like to be lost.
WASPE. Pray you take heed you lose not yourself; your best way were e'en get up and ride for more surety. Buy a token's worth of great pins, to fasten yourself to my shoulder.
LEATH. What do you lack, gentlemen? fine purses, pouches, pincases, pipes? what is't you lack? a pair o' smiths to wake you in the morning? or a fine whistling bird?
COKES. Numps, here be finer things than any we have bought by odds! and more delicate horses, a great deal; good Numps, stay, and come hither.
WASPE. Will you scourse with him? you are in Smithfield, you may fit yourself with a fine easy-going street-nag, for your saddle, again Michaelmas term, do: has he ne'er a little odd cart for you to make a caroch on, in the country, with four pied hobby-horses? Why the measles should you stand here, with your train, cheapning of dogs, birds, and babies? you have no children to bestow them on, have you?
COKES. No, but again I have children, Numps, that's all one.
WASPE. Do, do, do, do; how many shall you have, think you? an I were as you, I'd buy for all my tenants too, they are a kind of civil savages, that will part with their children for rattles, pipes, and knives. You were best buy a hatchet or two, and truck with 'em.
COKES. Good Numps, hold that little tongue o' thine, and save it a labour. I am resolute Bat, thou know'st.
WASPE. A resolute fool you are, I know, and a very sufficient coxcomb; with all my heart;--nay, you have it, sir, an you be angry, turd in your teeth, twice; if I said it not once afore, and much good do you.
WINW. Was there ever such a self-affliction, and so impertinent?
QUAR. Alas, his care will go near to crack him; let's in and comfort him.
[They come forward.
WASPE. Would I had been set in the ground, all but the head on me, and had my brains bowled at, or threshed out, when first I underwent this plague of a charge!
QUAR. How now, Numps! almost tired in your protectorship? overparted, overparted?
WASPE. Why, I cannot tell, sir, it may be I am; does it grieve you?
QUAR. No, I swear does't not, Numps; to satisfy you.
WASPE. Numps! 'sblood, you are fine and familiar: how long have we been acquainted, I pray you?
QUAR. I think it may be remembered, Numps, that; 'twas since morning, sure.
WASPE. Why, I hope I know't well enough, sir; I did not ask to be told.
QUAR. No! why, then?
WASPE. It's no matter why; you see with your eyes now, what I said to you to-day: you'll believe me another time?
QUAR. Are you removing the Fair, Numps?
WASPE. A pretty question, and a civil one! yes faith, I have my lading, you see, or shall have anon; you may know whose beast I am by my burden. If the pannier-man's jack were ever better known by his loins of mutton, I'll be flayed, and feed dogs for him when his time comes.
WINW. How melancholic mistress Grace is yonder! pray thee let's go enter ourselves in grace with her.
COKES. Those six horses, friend, I'll have--
COKES. And the three Jew's-trumps; and half a dozen o' birds, and that drum, (I have one drum already) and your smiths; I like that device of your smiths, very pretty well; and four halberts--and, let me see, that fine painted great lady, and her three women for state, I'll have.
WASPE. No, the shop; buy the whole shop, it will be best, the shop, the shop!
LEATH. If his worship please.
WASPE. Yes, and keep it during the Fair, Bobchin.
COKES. Peace, Numps.--Friend, do not meddle with him, an you be wise, and would shew your head above board; he will sting thorough your wrought night-cap, believe me. A set of these violins I would buy too, for a delicate young noise I have in the country, that are every one a size less than another, just like your fiddles. I would fain have a fine young masque at my marriage, now I think on't: But I do want such a number of things!--And Numps will not help me now, and I dare not speak to him.
TRASH. Will your worship buy any gingerbread, very good bread, comfortable bread?
COKES. Gingerbread! yes, let's see.
[Runs to her shop.
WASPE. There's the t'other springe.
LEATH. Is this well, goody Joan, to interrupt my market in the midst, and call away my customers? can you answer this at the Pie-poudres?
TRASH. Why, if his mastership has a mind to buy, I hope my ware lies as open as another's; I may shew my ware as well as you yours.
COKES. Hold your peace; I'll content you both: I'll buy up his shop, and thy basket.
WASPE. Will you, i'faith?
LEATH. Why should you put him from it, friend?
WASPE. Cry you mercy! you'd be sold too, would you? what's the price on you, jerkin and all, as you stand? have you any qualities?
TRASH. Yes, good man, angry-man, you shall find he has qualities if you cheapen him.
WASPE. Od's so, you have the selling of him! What are they, will they be bought for love or money?
TRASH. No indeed, sir.
WASPE. For what then, victuals?
TRASH. He scorns victuals, sir; he has bread and butter at home, thanks be to God! and yet he will do more for a good meal, if the toy take him in the belly; marry then they must not set him at lower ends, if they do, he'll go away, though he fast; but put him a-top o' the table, where his place is, and he'll do you forty fine things. He has not been sent for, and sought out for nothing, at your great city-suppers, to put down Coriat and Cokely, and been laughed at for his labour; he'll play you all the puppets in the town over, and the players, every company, and his own company too; he spares nobody.
TRASH. He was the first, sir, that ever baited the fellow in the bear's skin, an't like your worship: no dog ever came near him since. And for fine motions!
COKES. Is he good at those too? can he set out a masque, trow?
TRASH. O lord, master! sought to far and near for his inventions; and he engrosses all, he makes all the puppets in the Fair.
COKES. Dost thou, in troth, old velvet jerkin? give me thy hand.
TRASH. Nay, sir, you shall see him in his velvet jerkin, and a scarf too at night, when you hear him interpret master Littlewit's motion.
COKES. Speak no more, but shut up shop presently, friend, I'll buy both it and thee too, to carry down with me; and her hamper beside. Thy shop shall furnish out the masque, and her's the banquet: I cannot go less, to set out any thing with credit. What's the price, at a word, of thy whole shop, case and all as it stands?
LEATH. Sir, it stands me in six and twenty shillings seven-pence halfpenny, besides three shillings for my ground.
COKES. Well, thirty shillings will do all, then! and what comes yours to?
TRASH. Four shillings and eleven-pence, sir, ground and all, an't like your worship.
COKES. Yes, it does like my worship very well, poor woman; that's five shillings more: what a masque shall I furnish out, for forty shillings, twenty pound Scotch, and a banquet of gingerbread! there's a stately thing! Numps? sister?--and my wedding gloves too! that I never thought on afore! All my wedding gloves gingerbread? O me! what a device will there be, to make 'em eat their fingers' ends! and delicate brooches for the bridemen and all! and then I'll have this poesie put to them, For the best grace, meaning mistress Grace, my wedding poesie.
GRACE. I am beholden to you, sir, and to your Bartholomew wit.
WASPE. You do not mean this, do you? Is this your first purchase?
COKES. Yes, faith: and I do not think, Numps, but thou'lt say, it was the wisest act that ever I did in my wardship.
WASPE. Like enough! I shall say any thing, I!
Enter EDGWORTH, NIGHTINGALE and People, followed, at a distance, by OVERDO.
OVER. I cannot beget a project, with all my political brain yet: my project is how to fetch off this proper young man from his debauched company. I have followed him all the Fair over, and still I find him with this songster, and I begin shrewdly to suspect their familiarity; and the young man of a terrible taint, poetry! with which idle disease if he be infected, there's no hope of him, in a state-course. Actum est of him for a commonwealth's-man, if he go to't in rhyme once. [Aside.
EDG. [to Nightingale.] Yonder he is buying of gingerbread; set in quickly, before he part with too much of his money.
NIGHT. [advancing and singing.] My masters, and friends, and good people, draw near--
COKES. [runs to the ballad-man.] Ballads! hark! hark! pray thee, fellow, stay a little; good Numps, look to the goods. What ballads hast thou? let me see, let me see myself.
WASPE. Why so! he's flown to another lime-bush, there he will flutter as long more; till he have ne'er a feather left. Is there a vexation like this, gentlemen? will you believe me now, hereafter, shall I have credit with you?
QUAR. Yes, faith shalt thou, Numps, and thou art worthy on't, for thou sweatest for't. I never saw a young pimp-errant and his squire better match'd.
WINW. Faith, the sister comes after them well too.
GRACE. Nay, if you saw the justice her husband, my guardian, you were fitted for the mess, he is such a wise one his way--
WINW. I wonder we see him not here.
GRACE. O! he is too serious for this place, and yet better sport then than the other three, I assure you, gentlemen, wherever he is, though it be on the bench.
COKES. How dost thou call it? A caveat against cut-purses! a good jest, i'faith, I would fain see that demon, your cut-purse you talk of, that delicate-handed devil; they say he walks hereabout; I would see him walk now. Look you, sister, here, here [he shews his purse boastingly], let him come, sister, and welcome. Ballad-man, does any cut-purses haunt hereabout? pray thee raise me one or two; begin, and shew me one.
NIGHT. Sir, this is a spell against them, spick and span new; and 'tis made as 'twere in mine own person, and I sing it in mine own defence. But 'twill cost a penny alone, if you buy it.
COKES. No matter for the price; thou dost not know me, I see, I am an odd Bartholomew.
MRS. OVER. Has it a fine picture, brother?
COKES. O, sister, do you remember the ballads over the nursery chimney at home o' my own pasting up? there be brave pictures, other manner of pictures than these, friend.
WASPE. Yet these will serve to pick the pictures out of your pockets, you shall see.
COKES. So I heard them say! Pray thee mind him not, fellow; he'll have an oar in every thing.
NIGHT. It was intended, sir, as if a purse should chance to be cut in my presence, now, I may be blameless though; as by the sequel will more plainly appear.
COKES. We shall find that in the matter: pray thee begin.
NIGHT. To the tune of Paggington's pound, sir.
COKES. [sings.] Fa, la la la, la la la, fa, la la la! Nay, I'll put thee in tune and all; mine own country dance! Pray thee begin.
NIGHT. It is a gentle admonition, you must know, sir, both to the purse-cutter and the purse-bearer.
COKES. Not a word more out of the tune, an thou lov'st me; Fa, la la la, la la la, fa, la la la. Come, when?
NIGHT. [sings.] My masters, and friends, and good people, draw near, And look to your purses, for that I do say;
COKES. Ha, ha, this chimes! Good counsel at first dash.
NIGHT. And tho' little money in them you do bear, It costs more to get, than to lose in a day.
NIGHT. You oft have been told, Both the young and the old, And bidden beware of the cut-purse so bold;
COKES. Well said! he were to blame that would not, i'faith.
NIGHT. Then if you take heed not, free me from the curse, Who both give you warning, for, and the cut-purse. Youth, youth, thou had'st better been starved by thy nurse, Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
COKES. Good, i'faith; how say you, Numps, is there any harm in this?
NIGHT. It hath been upbraided to men of my trade, That oftentimes we are the cause of this crime;
COKES. The more coxcombs they that did it, I wusse.
NIGHT. Alack and for pity, why should it be said? As if they regarded or places or time! Examples have been Of some that were seen In Westminster-hall, yea the pleaders between; Then why should the judges be free from this curse, More than my poor self, for cutting the purse?
COKES. God a mercy for that! why should they be more free indeed?
NIGHT. Youth, youth, thou had'st better been starved by thy nurse, Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
COKES. That again, good ballad-man, that again. [He sings the burden with him.] O rare! I would fain rub mine elbow now, but I dare not pull out my hand.--On, I pray thee; he that made this ballad shall be poet to my masque.
NIGHT. At Worc'ster, 'tis known well, and even in the jail, A knight of good worship did there shew his face, Against the foul sinners, in zeal for to rail, And lost ipso facto his purse in the place.
COKES. Is it possible?
NIGHT. Nay, once from the seat Of judgment so great, A judge there did lose a fair pouch of velvéte.
NIGHT. O Lord for thy mercy, how wicked or worse, Are those that so venture their necks for a purse! Youth, youth, thou had'st better been starv'd by thy nurse, Than lived to be hanged for cutting a purse.
COKES. [sings after him.] Youth, youth, etc.--Pray thee, stay a little, friend. Yet o' thy conscience, Numps, speak, is there any harm in this?
WASPE. To tell you true, 'tis too good for you, less you had grace to follow it.
OVER. It doth discover enormity, I'll mark it more: I have not liked a paltry piece of poetry so well a good while. [Aside.
COKES. Youth, youth, etc.; where's this youth now? a man must call upon him for his own good, and yet he will not appear. Look here, here's for him; [shews his purse.] handy dandy, which hand will he have? On, I pray thee, with the rest; I do hear of him, but I cannot see him, this master youth, the cut-purse.
NIGHT. At plays, and at sermons, and at the sessions, 'Tis daily their practice such booty to make. Yea under the gallows at executions, They stick not the stare-abouts' purses to take. Nay one without grace, At a [far] better place, At court, and in Christmas, before the king's face.
COKES. That was a fine fellow! I would have him now.
NIGHT. Alack then for pity must I bear the curse, That only belongs to the cunning cut-purse?
COKES. But where's their cunning now, when they should use it? they are all chain'd now, I warrant you. [Sings.] Youth, youth, thou had'st better--The rat-catchers' charms are all fools and asses to this: a pox on them, that they will not come! that a man should have such a desire to a thing, and want it!
QUAR. 'Fore God I'd give half the Fair, an 'twere mine, for a cut-purse for him, to save his longing.
COKES. Look you, sister [shews his purse again], here, here, where is't now? which pocket is't in, for a wager?
WASPE. I beseech you leave your wagers, and let him end his matter, an't may be.
COKES. O, are you edified, Numps!
OVER. Indeed he does interrupt him too much: there Numps spoke to purpose. [Aside.
COKES. Sister, I am an ass, I cannot keep my purse! [Shews it again, and puts it up.]--On, on, I pray thee, friend.
NIGHT. Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starv'd by thy nurse, Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
[As Nightingale sings, Edgworth gets up to Cokes, and tickles him in the ear with a straw twice to draw his hand out of his pocket.
WINW. Will you see sport? look, there's a fellow gathers up to him, mark.
QUAR. Good, i'faith! O he has lighted on the wrong pocket.
WINW. He has it! 'fore God, he is a brave fellow: pity he should be detected.
NIGHT. But O, you vile nation of cut-purses all, Relent and repent, and amend and be sound, And know that you ought not, by honest men's fall, Advance your own fortunes, to die above ground; And though you go gay In silks, as you may, It is not the highway to heaven (as they say). Repent then, repent you, for better, for worse, And kiss not the gallows for cutting a purse. Youth, youth, thou had'st better been starv'd by thy nurse, Than live to be hang'd for cutting a purse.
ALL. An excellent ballad! an excellent ballad!
EDG. Friend, let me have the first, let me have the first, I pray you.
[As Nightingale reaches out the ballad, Edgworth slips the purse into his hand.
COKES. Pardon me, sir; first come first serv'd; and I'll buy the whole bundle too.
WINW. That conveyance was better than all, did you see't? he has given the purse to the ballad-singer.
QUAR. Has he?
EDG. Sir, I cry you mercy, I'll not hinder the poor man's profit; pray you, mistake me not.
COKES. Sir, I take you for an honest gentleman, if that be mistaking; I met you to-day afore: ha! humph! O Lord! my purse is gone, my purse, my purse, my purse!
WASPE. Come do not make a stir, and cry yourself an ass thorough the Fair afore your time.
COKES. Why, hast thou it, Numps? good Numps, how came you by it, I marle?
WASPE. I pray you seek some other gamester to play the fool with; you may lose it time enough, for all your Fair wit.
COKES. By this good hand, glove and all, I have lost it already if thou hast it not; feel else, and mistress Grace's handkerchief too, out of the t'other pocket.
WASPE. Why, 'tis well, very well, exceeding pretty and well.
EDG. Are you sure you have lost it, sir?
COKES. O Lord! yes; as I am an honest man, I had it but e'en now, at Youth, youth.
NIGHT. I hope you suspect not me, sir?
EDG. Thee! that were a jest indeed! dost thou think the gentleman is foolish? where hadst thou hands, I pray thee? Away, ass, away!
OVER. I shall be beaten again, if I be spied. [Aside, retiring.
EDG. Sir, I suspect an odd fellow, yonder, is stealing away.
MRS. OVER. Brother, it is the preaching fellow: you shall suspect him. He was at your t'other purse, you know! [Seizes Overdo.]--Nay, stay, sir, and view the work you have done; an you be beneficed at the gallows, and preach there, thank your own handy-work.
COKES. Sir, you shall take no pride in your preferment, you shall be silenced quickly.
[They seize Overdo.
OVER. What do you mean, sweet buds of gentility?
COKES. To have my pennyworths out on you, bud. No less than two purses a day serve you! I thought you a simple fellow, when my man Numps beat you in the morning, and pitied you.
MRS. OVER. So did I. I'll be sworn, brother; but now I see he is a lewd and pernicious enormity, as master Overdo calls him.
OVER. Mine own words turn'd upon me like swords! [Aside.
COKES. Cannot a man's purse be at quiet for you in the master's pocket, but you must entice it forth, and debauch it!
[Overdo is carried off.
WASPE. Sir, sir, keep your debauch, and your fine Bartholomew terms to yourself, and make as much on 'em as you please. But give me this from you in the mean time; I beseech you, see if I can look to this.
COKES. Why, Numps?
WASPE. Why! because you are an ass, sir, there's a reason the shortest way, an you will needs have it: now you have got the trick of losing, you'd lose your breech an 'twere loose. I know you, sir, come, deliver [takes the box from him], you'll go and crack the vermin you breed now, will you? 'tis very fine; will you have the truth on't? they are such retchless flies as you are, that blow cut-purses abroad in every corner; your foolish having of money makes them. An there were no wiser than I, sir, the trade should lie open for you, sir, it should, i'faith, sir. I would teach your wit to come to your head, sir, as well as your land to come into your hand, I assure you, sir.
WINW. Alack, good Numps!
WASPE. Nay, gentlemen, never pity me. I am not worth it: Lord send me at home once to Harrow o' the Hill, again, if I travel any more, call me Coriat with all my heart.
[Exeunt Waspe, Cokes, and Mrs. Overdo, followed by Edgworth.
QUAR. [stops Edgworth.] Stay, sir, I must have a word with you in private. Do you hear?
EDG. With me, sir! what's your pleasure, good sir?
QUAR. Do not deny it, you are a cut-purse, sir, this gentleman here and I saw you: nor do we mean to detect you, though we can sufficiently inform ourselves toward the danger of concealing you; but you must do us a piece of service.
EDG. Good gentlemen, do not undo me; I am a civil young man, and but a beginner indeed.
QUAR. Sir, your beginning shall bring on your ending for us: we are no catchpoles nor constables. That you are to undertake is this: you saw the old fellow with the black box here?
EDG. The little old governor, sir?
QUAR. That same: I see you have flown him to a mark already. I would have you get away that box from him, and bring it us.
EDG. Wou'd you have the box and all, sir, or only that that is in't? I'll get you that, and leave him the box to play with still, which will be the harder of the two, because I would gain your worship's good opinion of me.
WINW. He says well, 'tis the greater mastery, and 'twill make the more sport when 'tis mist.
EDG. Ay, and 'twill be the longer a missing, to draw on the sport.
QUAR. But look you do it now, sirrah, and keep your word, or--
EDG. Sir, if ever I break my word with a gentleman, may I never read word at my need. Where shall I find you?
QUAR. Somewhere i' the Fair, hereabouts: dispatch it quickly. [Exit Edgworth.] I would fain see the careful fool deluded! Of all beasts, I love the serious ass; he that takes pains to be one, and plays the fool with the greatest diligence that can be.
GRACE. Then you would not choose, sir, but love my guardian, justice Overdo, who is answerable to that description in every hair of him.
QUAR. So I have heard. But how came you, mistress Wellborn, to be his ward, or have relation to him at first?
GRACE. Faith, through a common calamity, he bought me, sir; and now he will marry me to his wife's brother, this wise gentleman that you see; or else I must pay value o' my land.
QUAR. 'Slid, is there no device of disparagement, or so? talk with some crafty fellow, some picklock of the law: would I had studied a year longer in the Inns of court, an't had been but in your case.
WINW. Ay, master Quarlous, are you proffering! [Aside.
GRACE. You'd bring but little aid, sir.
WINW. I'll look to you, in faith, gamester. [Aside.]--An unfortunate foolish tribe you are fallen into, lady, I wonder you can endure them.
GRACE. Sir, they that cannot work their fetters off must wear them.
WINW. You see what care they have on you, to leave you thus.
GRACE. Faith, the same they have of themselves, sir. I cannot greatly complain, if this were all the plea I had against them.
WINW. 'Tis true: but will you please to withdraw with us a little, and make them think they have lost you. I hope our manners have been such hitherto, and our language, as will give you no cause to doubt yourself in our company.
GRACE. Sir, I will give myself no cause; I am so secure of mine own manners, as I suspect not yours.
QUAR. Look where John Littlewit comes.
WINW. Away, I'll not be seen by him.
QUAR. No, you were not best, he'd tell his mother, the widow.
WINW. Heart! what do you mean?
QUAR. Cry you mercy, is the wind there? must not the widow be named?
Enter LITTLEWIT from URSULA'S booth, followed by MRS. LITTLEWIT.
LIT. Do you hear, Win, Win?
MRS. LIT. What say you, John?
LIT. While they are paying the reckoning, Win, I'll tell you a thing, Win; we shall never see any sights in the Fair, Win, except you long still, Win: good Win, sweet Win, long to see some hobby-horses, and some drums, and rattles, and dogs, and fine devices, Win. The bull with the five legs, Win; and the great hog. Now you have begun with pig, you may long for any thing, Win, and so for my motion, Win.
MRS. LIT. But we shall not eat of the bull and the hog, John; how shall I long then?
LIT. O yes, Win: you may long to see, as well as to taste, Win: how did the pothecary's wife, Win, that longed to see the anatomy, Win? or the lady, Win, that desired to spit in the great lawyer's mouth, after an eloquent pleading? I assure you, they longed, Win; good Win, go in, and long.
[Exeunt Littlewit and Mrs. Littlewit.
TRASH. I think we are rid of our new customer, brother Leatherhead, we shall hear no more of him.
LEATH. All the better; let's pack up all and begone, before he find us.
TRASH. Stay a little, yonder comes a company; it may be we may take some more money.
Enter KNOCKEM and BUSY.
KNOCK. Sir, I will take your counsel, and cut my hair, and leave vapours: I see that tobacco, and bottle-ale, and pig, and Whit, and very Ursla herself, is all vanity.
BUSY. Only pig was not comprehended in my admonition, the rest were: for long hair, it is an ensign of pride, a banner; and the world is full of those banners, very full of banners. And bottle-ale is a drink of Satan's, a diet-drink of Satan's, devised to puff us up, and make us swell in this latter age of vanity; as the smoke of tobacco, to keep us in mist and error: but the fleshly woman, which you call Ursla, is above all to be avoided, having the marks upon her of the three enemies of man; the world, as being in the Fair; the devil, as being in the fire; and the flesh, as being herself.
Enter DAME PURECRAFT.
PURE. Brother Zeal-of-the-land! what shall we do? my daughter Win-the-fight is fallen into her fit of longing again.
BUSY. For more pig! there is no more, is there?
PURE. To see some sights in the Fair.
BUSY. Sister, let her fly the impurity of the place swiftly, lest she partake of the pitch thereof. Thou art the seat of the beast, O Smithfield, and I will leave thee! Idolatry peepeth out on every side of thee.
KNOCK. An excellent right hypocrite! now his belly is full, he falls a railing and kicking, the jade. A very good vapour! I'll in, and joy Ursla, with telling how her pig works; two and a half he eat to his share; and he has drunk a pailful. He eats with his eyes, as well as his teeth.
LEATH. What do you lack, gentlemen? what is't you buy? rattles, drums, babies--
BUSY. Peace, with thy apocryphal wares, thou profane publican; thy bells, thy dragons, and thy Tobie's dogs. Thy hobby-horse is an idol, a very idol, a fierce and rank idol; and thou, the Nebuchadnezzar, the proud Nebuchadnezzar of the Fair, that sett'st it up, for children to fall down to, and worship.
LEATH. Cry you mercy, sir; will you buy a fiddle to fill up your noise?
Re-enter LITTLEWIT and his Wife.
LIT. Look, Win, do, look a God's name, and save your longing. Here be fine sights.
PURE. Ay, child, so you hate them, as our brother Zeal does, you may look on them.
LEATH. Or what do you say to a drum, sir?
BUSY. It is the broken belly of the beast, and thy bellows there are his lungs, and these pipes are his throat, those feathers are of his tail, and thy rattles the gnashing of his teeth.
TRASH. And what's my gingerbread, I pray you?
BUSY. The provender that pricks him up. Hence with thy basket of popery, thy nest of images, and whole legend of ginger-work.
LEATH. Sir, if you be not quiet the quicklier, I'll have you clapp'd fairly by the heels, for disturbing the Fair.
BUSY. The sin of the Fair provokes me, I cannot be silent.
PURE. Good brother Zeal!
LEATH. Sir, I'll make you silent, believe it.
LIT. I'd give a shilling you could, i'faith, friend. [Aside to Leatherhead.
LEATH. Sir, give me your shilling, I'll give you my shop, if I do not; and I'll leave it in pawn with you in the mean time.
LIT. A match, i'faith; but do it quickly then.
BUSY. [to Mrs. Purecraft.] Hinder me not, woman I was moved in spirit, to be here this day, in this Fair, this wicked and foul Fair; and fitter may it be called a Foul than a Fair; to protest against the abuses of it, the foul abuses of it, in regard of the afflicted saints, that are troubled, very much troubled, exceedingly troubled, with the opening of the merchandise of Babylon again, and the peeping of popery upon the stalls here, here, in the high places. See you not Goldylocks, the purple strumpet there, in her yellow gown and green sleeves? the profane pipes, the tinkling timbrels? a shop of relicks!
[Attempts to seize the toys.
LIT. Pray you forbear, I am put in trust with them.
BUSY. And this idolatrous grove of images, this flasket of idols, which I will pull down--
[Overthrows the gingerbread basket.
TRASH. O my ware, my ware! God bless it!
BUSY. In my zeal and glory to be thus exercised.
Re-enter LEATHERHEAD, with BRISTLE, HAGGISE, and other Officers.
LEATH. Here he is, pray you lay hold on his zeal; we cannot sell a whistle for him in tune. Stop his noise first.
BUSY. Thou canst not; 'tis a sanctified noise: I will make a loud and most strong noise, till I have daunted the profane enemy. And for this cause--
LEATH. Sir, here's no man afraid of you, or your cause. You shall swear it in the stocks, sir.
BUSY. I will thrust myself into the stocks, upon the pikes of the land.
[They seize him.
LEATH. Carry him away.
PURE. What do you mean, wicked men?
BUSY. Let them alone, I fear them not.
[Exeunt Officers with Busy, followed by Dame Purecraft.
LIT. Was not this shilling well ventured, Win, for our liberty? now we may go play, and see over the Fair, where we list ourselves: my mother is gone after him, and let her e'en go, and lose us.
MRS. LIT. Yes, John; but I know not what to do.
LIT. For what, Win?
MRS. LIT. For a thing I am ashamed to tell you, i'faith; and 'tis too far to go home.
LIT. I pray thee be not ashamed, Win. Come, i'faith, thou shalt not be ashamed: is it any thing about the hobby-horse man? an't be, speak freely.
MRS. LIT. Hang him, base Bobchin, I scorn him; no, I have very great what sha' call 'um, John.
LIT. O, is that all, Win? we'll go back to captain Jordan, to the pig-woman's, Win, he'll help us, or she, with a dripping-pan, or an old kettle, or something. The poor greasy soul loves you, Win; and after we'll visit the Fair all over, Win, and see my puppet-play, Win; you know it's a fine matter, Win.
[Exeunt Littlewit and Mrs. Littlewit.
LEATH. Let's away; I counsell'd you to pack up afore, Joan.
TRASH. A pox of his Bedlam purity! He has spoiled half my ware; but the best is, we lose nothing if we miss our first merchant.
LEATH. It shall be hard for him to find or know us, when we are translated, Joan.
Booths, Stalls, a pair of Stocks, etc.
Enter COKES, BRISTLE, HAGGISE, and POCHER, with OVERDO, followed by TROUBLEALL.
TRO. My masters, I do make no doubt, but you are officers.
BRI. What then, sir?
TRO. And the king's loving and obedient subjects.
BRI. Obedient, friend! take heed what you speak, I advise you; Oliver Bristle advises you. His loving subjects, we grant you; but not his obedient, at this time, by your leave; we know ourselves a little better than so; we are to command, sir, and such as you are to be obedient. Here's one of his obedient subjects going to the stocks; and we'll make you such another, if you talk.
TRO. You are all wise enough in your places, I know.
BRI. If you know it, sir, why do you bring it in question?
TRO. I question nothing, pardon me. I do only hope you have warrant for what you do, and so quit you, and so multiply you.
HAG. What is he?--Bring him up to the stocks there. Why bring you him not up?
[Overdo is brought forward.
TRO. If you have justice Overdo's warrant, 'tis well; you are safe: that is the warrant of warrants. I'll not give this button for any man's warrant else.
BRI. Like enough, sir; but let me tell you, an you play away your buttons thus, you will want them ere night, for any store I see about you; you might keep them, and save pins, I wuss.
OVER. What should he be, that doth so esteem and advance my warrant? he seems a sober and discreet person: It is a comfort to a good conscience to be followed with a good fame in his sufferings. The world will have a pretty taste by this, how I can bear adversity; and it will beget a kind of reverence towards me hereafter, even from mine enemies, when they shall see, I carry my calamity nobly, and that it doth neither break me, nor bend me. [Aside.
HAG. Come, sir, here's a place for you to preach in. Will you put in your leg?
OVER. That I will, cheerfully.
[They put him in the stocks.
BRI. O' my conscience, a seminary! he kisses the stocks.
COKES. Well, my masters, I'll leave him with you; now I see him bestowed, I'll go look for my goods, and Numps.
HAG. You may, sir, I warrant you; where's the t'other bawler? fetch him too, you shall find them both fast enough.
OVER. In the midst of this tumult, I will yet be the author of mine own rest, and not minding their fury, sit in the stocks in that calm as shall be able to trouble a triumph. [Aside.
TRO. Do you assure me upon your words? May I undertake for you, if I be asked the question, that you have this warrant?
HAG. What's this fellow, for God's sake?
TRO. Do but shew me Adam Overdo, and I am satisfied.
BRI. He is a fellow that is distracted, they say; one Troubleall: he was an officer in the court of Pie-poudres here last year, and put out of his place by justice Overdo.
OVER. Ha! [Aside.
BRI. Upon which he took an idle conceit, and is run mad upon't: so that ever since he will do nothing but by justice Overdo's warrant; he will not eat a crust, nor drink a little, nor make him in his apparel ready. His wife, sir-reverence, cannot get him make his water, or shift his shirt, without his warrant.
OVER. If this be true, this is my greatest disaster. How am I bound to satisfy this poor man, that is of so good a nature to me, out of his wits! where there is no room left for dissembling. [Aside.
TRO. If you cannot shew me Adam Overdo, I am in doubt of you; I am afraid you cannot answer it.
HAG. Before me, neighbour Bristle,--and now I think on't better,--justice Overdo is a very parantory person.
BRI. O, are you advised of that! and a severe justicer, by your leave.
OVER. Do I hear ill o' that side too? [Aside.
BRI. He will sit as upright on the bench, an you mark him, as a candle in the socket, and give light to the whole court in every business.
HAG. But he will burn blue, and swell like a boil, God bless us, an he be angry.
BRI. Ay, and he will be angry too, when he lists, that's more; and when he is angry, be it right or wrong, he has the law on's side ever; I mark that too.
OVER. I will be more tender hereafter. I see compassion may become a justice, though it be a weakness, I confess, and nearer a vice than a virtue. [Aside.
HAG. Well, take him out o' the stocks again; we'll go a sure way to work, we'll have the ace of hearts of our side, if we can.
[They take Overdo out.
Enter POCHER, and Officers with BUSY, followed by DAME PURECRAFT.
POCH. Come, bring him away to his fellow there.--Master Busy, we shall rule your legs, I hope, though we cannot rule your tongue.
BUSY. No, minister of darkness, no; thou canst not rule my tongue; my tongue it is mine own, and with it I will both knock and mock down your Bartholomew abominations, till you be made a hissing to the neighbouring parishes round about.
HAG. Let him alone, we have devised better upon't.
PURE. And shall he not into the stocks then?
BRI. No, mistress, we'll have them both to justice Overdo, and let him do over 'em as is fitting: then I, and my gossip Haggise, and my beadle Pocher, are discharged.
PURE. O, I thank you, blessed honest men!
BRI. Nay, never thank us; but thank this madman that comes here! he put it in our heads.
PURE. Is he mad? now heaven increase his madness, and bless it, and thank it.--Sir, your poor handmaid thanks you.
TRO. Have you a warrant? an you have a warrant, shew it.
PURE. Yes, I have a warrant out of the word, to give thanks for removing any scorn intended to the brethren.
[Exeunt all but Troubleall.
TRO. It is justice Overdo's warrant that I look for; if you have not that, keep your word, I'll keep mine. Quit ye, and multiply ye.
Enter EDGWORTH and NIGHTINGALE.
EDG. Come away, Nightingale, I pray thee.
TRO. Whither go you? where's your warrant?
EDG. Warrant! for what, sir?
TRO. For what you go about, you know how fit it is; an you have no warrant, bless you, I'll pray for you, that's all I can do.
EDG. What means he?
NIGHT. A madman that haunts the Fair; do you not know him? It's marvel he has not more followers after his ragged heels.
EDG. Beshrew him, he startled me: I thought he had known of our plot. Guilt's a terrible thing. Have you prepared the costard-monger?
NIGHT. Yes, and agreed for his basket of pears; he is at the corner here, ready. And your prize, he comes down sailing that way all alone, without his protector; he is rid of him, it seems.
EDG. Ay, I know; I should have followed his protectorship, for a feat I am to do upon him: but this offered itself so in the way, I could not let scape: here he comes, whistle; be this sport call'd Dorring the Dotterel.
NIGHT. Wh, wh, wh, wh, etc.
COKES. By this light, I cannot find my gingerbread wife, nor my hobby-horse man, in all the Fair now, to have my money again: and I do not know the way out on't, to go home for more. Do you hear, friend, you that whistle? what tune is that you whistle?
NIGHT. A new tune I am practising, sir.
COKES. Dost thou know where I dwell, I pray thee? nay, on with thy tune; I have no such haste for an answer: I'll practise with thee.
Enter COSTARD-MONGER, with a basket of Pears.
COS. Buy any pears, very fine pears, pears fine!
[Nightingale sets his foot afore him, and he falls with his basket.
COKES. Ods so! a muss, a muss, a muss, a muss!
[Falls a scrambling for the pears.
COS. Good gentlemen, my ware, my ware; I am a poor man. Good sir, my ware.
NIGHT. Let me hold your sword, sir, it troubles you.
COKES. Do, and my cloke an thou wilt, and my hat too.
EDG. A delicate great boy! methinks he out-scrambles them all. I cannot persuade myself, but he goes to grammar-school yet, and plays the truant to-day.
NIGHT. Would he had another purse to cut, Zekiel.
EDG. Purse! a man might cut out his kidneys, I think, and he never feel 'em, he is so earnest at the sport.
NIGHT. His soul is half way out on's body at the game.
EDG. Away, Nightingale; that way.
[Nightingale runs off with his sword, cloke, and hat.
COKES. I think I am furnish'd for cather'ne pears, for one under-meal: Give me my cloke.
COS. Good gentleman, give me my ware.
COKES. Where's the fellow I gave my cloke to? my cloke and my hat; ha! ods 'lid, is he gone? thieves, thieves! help me to cry, gentlemen.
EDG. Away, costard-monger, come to us to Ursula's.
Talk of him to have a soul! 'heart, if he have any more than a thing given him instead of salt, only to keep him from stinking, I'll be hang'd afore my time, presently: where should it be, trow? in his blood? he has not so much toward it in his whole body as will maintain a good flea! and if he take this course, he will not have so much land left as to rear a calf, within this twelvemonth. Was there ever green plover so pull'd! that his little overseer had been here now, and been but tall enough to see him steal pears, in exchange for his beaver-hat and his cloke thus! I must go find him out next, for his black box, and his patent, it seems, he has of his place; which I think the gentleman would have a reversion of, that spoke to me for it so earnestly.
COKES. Would I might lose my doublet, and hose, too, as I am an honest man, and never stir, if I think there be any thing but thieving and cozening in this whole Fair. Bartholomew Fair, quoth he! an ever any Bartholomew had that luck in't that I have had, I'll be martyr'd for him, and in Smithfield too. I have paid for my pears, a rot on 'em! I'll keep them no longer; [throws away his pears.] you were choke-pears to me: I had been better have gone to mum-chance for you, I wuss. Methinks the Fair should not have used me thus, an 'twere but for my name's-sake; I would not have used a dog o' the name so. O, Numps will triumph now!--
Friend, do you know who I am, or where I lie? I do not myself, I'll be sworn. Do but carry me home, and I'll please thee; I have money enough there. I have lost myself, and my cloke, and my hat, and my fine sword, and my sister, and Numps, and mistress Grace, a gentlewoman that I should have married, and a cut-work handkerchief she gave me, and two purses, to-day; and my bargain of hobby-horses and gingerbread, which grieves me worst of all.
TRO. By whose warrant, sir, have you done all this?
COKES. Warrant! thou art a wise fellow indeed: as if a man need a warrant to lose any thing with.
TRO. Yes, justice Overdo's warrant, a man may get and lose with, I'll stand to't.
COKES. Justice Overdo! dost thou know him? I lie there, he is my brother-in-law, he married my sister: pray thee shew me the way; dost thou know the house?
TRO. Sir, shew me your warrant: I know nothing without a warrant, pardon me.
COKES. Why, I warrant thee; come along: thou shalt see I have wrought pillows there, and cambric sheets, and sweet bags too. Pray thee guide me to the house.
TRO. Sir, I'll tell you; go you thither yourself first alone, tell your worshipful brother your mind, and but bring me three lines of his hand, or his clerk's, with Adam Overdo underneath, (here I'll stay you,) I'll obey you, and I'll guide you presently.
COKES. 'Slid, this is an ass, I have found him: pox upon me, what do I talking to such a dull fool! farewell! you are a very coxcomb, do you hear?
TRO. I think I am; if justice Overdo sign to it, I am, and so we are all: he'll quit us all, multiply us all.
Another part of the Fair.
Enter GRACE, QUARLOUS, and WINWIFE, with their swords drawn.
GRACE. Gentlemen, this is no way that you take; you do but breed one another trouble and offence, and give me no contentment at all. I am not she that affects to be quarrell'd for, or have my name or fortune made the question of men's swords.
QUAR. 'Sblood, we love you.
GRACE. If you both love me, as you pretend, your own reason will tell you, but one can enjoy me: and to that point there leads a directer line, than by my infamy, which must follow, if you fight. 'Tis true, I have profest it to you ingenuously, that rather than to be yoked with this bridegroom is appointed me, I would take up any husband almost upon any trust; though subtlety would say to me, I know, he is a fool, and has an estate, and I might govern him, and enjoy a friend beside: but these are not my aims; I must have a husband I must love, or I cannot live with him. I shall ill make one of these politic wives.
WINW. Why, if you can like either of us, lady, say, which is he, and the other shall swear instantly to desist.
QUAR. Content, I accord to that willingly.
GRACE. Sure you think me a woman of an extreme levity, gentlemen, or a strange fancy, that, meeting you by chance in such a place as this, both at one instant, and not yet of two hours' acquaintance, neither of you deserving afore the other of me, I should so forsake my modesty (though I might affect one more particularly) as to say, this is he, and name him.
QUAR. Why, wherefore should you not? what should hinder you?
GRACE. If you would not give it to my modesty, allow it yet to my wit; give me so much of woman and cunning, as not to betray myself impertinently. How can I judge of you, so far as to a choice, without knowing you more? You are both equal, and alike to me yet, and so indifferently affected by me, as each of you might be the man, if the other were away: for you are reasonable creatures, you have understanding and discourse; and if fate send me an understanding husband, I have no fear at all but mine own manners shall make him a good one.
QUAR. Would I were put forth to making for you then.
GRACE. It may be you are, you know not what is toward you: will you consent to a motion of mine, gentlemen?
WINW. Whatever it be, we'll presume reasonableness, coming from you.
QUAR. And fitness too.
GRACE. I saw one of you buy a pair of tables, e'en now.
WINW. Yes, here they be, and maiden ones too, unwritten in.
GRACE. The fitter for what they may be employed in. You shall write either of you here a word or a name, what you like best, but of two or three syllables at most; and the next person that comes this way, because Destiny has a high hand in business of this nature, I'll demand which of the two words he or she doth approve, and, according to that sentence, fix my resolution and affection without change.
QUAR. Agreed; my word is conceived already.
WINW. And mine shall not be long creating after.
GRACE. But you shall promise, gentlemen, not to be curious to know which of you it is, taken; but give me leave to conceal that, till you have brought me either home, or where I may safely tender myself.
WINW. Why, that's but equal.
QUAR. We are pleased.
GRACE. Because I will bind both your endeavours to work together friendly and jointly each to the other's fortune, and have myself fitted with some means, to make him that is forsaken a part of amends.
QUAR. These conditions are very courteous. Well, my word is out of the Arcadia, then; Argalus.
WINW. And mine out of the Play Palemon.
TRO. Have you any warrant for this, gentlemen?
QUAR. WINW. Ha!
TRO. There must be a warrant had, believe it.
WINW. For what?
TRO. For whatsoever it is, any thing indeed, no matter what.
QUAR. 'Slight, here's a fine ragged prophet dropt down i' the nick!
TRO. Heaven quit you, gentlemen!
QUAR. Nay, stay a little: good lady, put him to the question.
GRACE. You are content then?
WINW. QUAR. Yes, yes.
GRACE. Sir, here are two names written--
TRO. Is justice Overdo one?
GRACE. How, sir! I pray you read them to yourself; it is for a wager between these gentlemen; and with a stroke, or any difference, mark which you approve best.
TRO. They may be both worshipful names for aught I know, mistress; but Adam Overdo had been worth three of them, I assure you in this place, that's in plain English.
GRACE. This man amazes me: I pray you like one of them, sir.
TRO. [marks the book.] I do like him there, that has the best warrant, mistress, to save your longing, and (multiply him) it may be this. But I am still for justice Overdo, that's my conscience; and quit you.
WINW. Is it done, lady?
GRACE. Ay, and strangely, as ever I saw: what fellow is this, trow?
QUAR. No matter what, a fortune-teller we have made him; which is it, which is it?
GRACE. Nay, did you not promise not to inquire?
QUAR. 'Slid, I forgot that, pray you pardon me.--Look, here's our Mercury come; the license arrives in the finest time too! 'tis but scraping out Cokes his name, and 'tis done.
WINW. How now, lime-twig, hast thou touch'd?
EDG. Not yet, sir; except you would go with me and see it, it is not worth speaking on. The act is nothing without a witness. Yonder he is, your man with the box, fallen into the finest company, and so transported with vapours! they have got in a northern clothier, and one Puppy, a western man, that's come to wrestle before my lord mayor anon, and captain Whit, and one Val. Cutting, that helps captain Jordan to roar, a circling boy; with whom your Numps is so taken, that you may strip him of his clothes, if you will. I'll undertake to geld him for you, if you had but a surgeon ready to sear him. And mistress Justice there, is the goodest woman! she does so love them all over in terms of justice and the style of authority, with her hood upright that--I beseech you come away, gentlemen, and see't.
QUAR. 'Slight, I would not lose it for the Fair; what will you do, Ned?
WINW. Why, stay hereabout for you: mistress Wellborn must not be seen.
QUAR. Do so, and find out a priest in the mean time; I'll bring the license.--Lead, which way is't?
EDG. Here, sir, you are on the back o' the booth already; you may hear the noise.
Another part of the Fair.
URSULA'S Booth as before.
KNOCKEM, WHIT, NORTHERN, PUPPY, CUTTING, WASPE, and MRS. OVERDO, discovered, all in a state of intoxication.
KNOCK. Whit, bid Val. Cutting continue the vapours for a lift, Whit, for a lift. [Aside, to Whit.
NOR. I'll ne mare, I'll ne mare; the eale's too meeghty.
KNOCK. How now! my galloway nag the staggers, ha! Whit, give him a slit in the forehead. Chear up, man; a needle and thread to stitch his ears. I'd cure him now, an I had it, with a little butter and garlick, long pepper and grains. Where's my horn? I'll give him a mash presently, shall take away this dizziness.
PUP. Why, where are you, zurs? do you vlinch, and leave us in the zuds now?
NOR. I'll ne mare, I is e'en as vull as a paiper's bag, by my troth, I.
PUP. Do my northern cloth zhrink i' the wetting, ha?
KNOCK. Why, well said, old flea-bitten; thou'lt never tire I see.
[They fall to their vapours again.
CUT. No, sir, but he may tire if it please him.
WHIT. Who told dee sho, that he vuld never teer, man?
CUT. No matter who told him so, so long as he knows.
KNOCK. Nay, I know nothing, sir, pardon me there.
Enter behind, EDGWORTH with QUARLOUS.
EDG. They are at it still, sir; this they call vapours.
WHIT. He shall not pardon dee, captain: dou shalt not be pardoned. Pre'dee, shweet-heart, do not pardon him.
CUT. 'Slight, I'll pardon him, an I list, whosoever says nay to't.
QUAR. Where's Numps? I miss him.
WASPE. Why, I say nay to't.
QUAR. O, there he is.
KNOCK. To what do you say nay, sir?
[Here they continue their game of vapours, which is nonsense. Every man to oppose the last man that spoke, whether it concern'd him, or no.
WASPE. To any thing, whatsoever it is, so long as I do not like it.
WHIT. Pardon me, little man, dou musht like it a little.
CUT. No, he must not like it at all, sir: there you are i' the wrong.
WHIT. I tink I bee; he musht not like it indeed.
CUT. Nay, then he both must and will like it, sir, for all you.
KNOCK. If he have reason, he may like it, sir.
WHIT. By no meensh, captain, upon reason, he may like nothing upon reason.
WASPE. I have no reason, nor I will hear of no reason, nor I will look for no reason, and he is an ass that either knows any, or looks for't from me.
CUT. Yes, in some sense you may have reason, sir.
WASPE. Ay, in some sense, I care not if I grant you.
WHIT. Pardon me, thou ougsht to grant him nothing in no shensh, if dou do love dyshelf, angry man.
WASPE. Why then, I do grant him nothing; and I have no sense.
CUT. 'Tis true, thou hast no sense indeed.
WASPE. 'Slid, but I have sense, now I think on't better, and I will grant him any thing, do you see.
KNOCK. He is in the right, and does utter a sufficient vapour.
CUT. Nay, it is no sufficient vapour neither, I deny that.
KNOCK. Then it is a sweet vapour.
CUT. It may be a sweet vapour.
WASPE. Nay, it is no sweet vapour neither, sir, it stinks, and I'll stand to it.
WHIT. Yes, I tink it dosh shtink, captain: all vapour dosh shtink.
WASPE. Nay, then it does not stink, sir, and it shall not stink.
CUT. By your leave it may, sir.
WASPE. Ay, by my leave it may stink, I know that.
WHIT. Pardon me, thou knowesht nothing, it cannot by thy leave, angry man.
WASPE. How can it not?
KNOCK. Nay, never question him, for he is in the right.
WHIT. Yesh, I am in de right, I confesh it, so ish de little man too.
WASPE. I'll have nothing confest that concerns me. I am not in the right, nor never was in the right, nor never will be in the right, while I am in my right mind.
CUT. Mind! why, here's no man minds you, sir, nor any thing else.
[They drink again.
PUP. Vriend, will you mind this that we do?
[Offering Northern the cup.
QUAR. Call you this vapours! this is such belching of quarrel as I never heard. Will you mind your business, sir?
EDG. You shall see, sir.
[Goes up to Waspe.
NOR. I'll ne mare, my waimb warkes too mickle with this auready.
EDG. Will you take that, master Waspe, that nobody should mind you?
WASPE. Why, what have you to do? is't any matter to you?
EDG. No, but methinks you should not be unminded, though.
WASPE. Nor I wu' not be, now I think on't. Do you hear, new acquaintance? does no man mind me, say you?
CUT. Yes, sir, every man here minds you, but how?
WASPE. Nay, I care as little how as you do; that was not my question.
WHIT. No, noting was ty question, tou art a learned man, and I am a valiant man, i'faith la, tou shalt speak for me, and I will fight for tee.
KNOCK. Fight for him, Whit! a gross vapour, he can fight for himself.
WASPE. It may be I can, but it may be I wu' not, how then?
CUT. Why then you may choose.
WASPE. Why, then I'll choose whether I choose or no.
KNOCK. I think you may, and 'tis true; and I allow it for a resolute vapour.
WASPE. Nay then, I do think you do not think, and it is no resolute vapour.
CUT. Yes, in some sort he may allow you.
KNOCK. In no sort, sir, pardon me, I can allow him nothing. You mistake the vapour.
WASPE. He mistakes nothing, sir, in no sort.
WHIT. Yes I pre dee now, let him mistake.
WASPE. A turd in your teeth, never pre dee me, for I will have nothing mistaken.
KNOCK. Turd! ha, turd? a noisome vapour: strike, Whit. [Aside to Whit.
[They fall together by the ears, while Edgworth steals the license out of the box, and exit.
MRS. OVER. Why, gentlemen, why, gentlemen, I charge you upon my authority, conserve the peace. In the king's name, and my husband's, put up your weapons, I shall be driven to commit you myself, else.
QUAR. Ha, ha, ha!
WASPE. Why do you laugh, sir?
QUAR. Sir, you'll allow me my christian liberty; I may laugh, I hope.
CUT. In some sort you may, and in some sort you may not, sir.
KNOCK. Nay, in some sort, sir, he may neither laugh nor hope in this company.
WASPE. Yes, then he may both laugh and hope in any sort, an't please him.
QUAR. Faith, and I will then, for it doth please me exceedingly.
WASPE. No exceedingly neither, sir.
KNOCK. No, that vapour is too lofty.
QUAR. Gentlemen, I do not play well at your game of vapours, I am not very good at it, but--
CUT. [draws a circle on the ground.] Do you hear, sir? I would speak with you in circle.
QUAR. In circle, sir! what would you with me in circle?
CUT. Can you lend me a piece, a Jacobus, in circle?
QUAR. 'Slid, your circle will prove more costly than your vapours, then. Sir, no, I lend you none.
CUT. Your beard's not well turn'd up, sir.
QUAR. How, rascal! are you playing with my beard? I'll break circle with you.
[They all draw and fight.
PUP. NOR. Gentlemen, gentlemen!
KNOCK. [aside to Whit.] Gather up, Whit, gather up, Whit, good vapours.
[Exit, while Whit takes up the swords, clokes, etc., and conceals them.
MRS. OVER. What mean you? are you rebels, gentlemen? shall I send out a serjeant at arms, or a writ of rebellion, against you? I'll commit you upon my woman-hood, for a riot, upon my justice-hood, if you persist.
[Exeunt Quarlous and Cutting.
WASPE. Upon my justice-hood! marry shite o' your hood: you'll commit! spoke like a true justice of peace's wife indeed, and a fine female lawyer! turd in your teeth for a fee, now.
MRS. OVER. Why, Numps, in master Overdo's name, I charge you.
WASPE. Good mistress Underdo, hold your tongue.
MRS. OVER. Alas, poor Numps!
WASPE. Alas! and why alas from you, I beseech you? or why poor Numps, goody Rich? Am I come to be pitied by your tuft-taffata now? Why, mistress, I knew Adam the clerk, your husband, when he was Adam Scrivener, and writ for two-pence a sheet, as high as he bears his head now, or you your hood, dame.--
Enter BRISTLE and other Watchmen.
What are you, sir?
BRI. We be men, and no infidels; what is the matter here, and the noises, can you tell?
WASPE. Heart, what ha' you to do? cannot a man quarrel in quietness, but he must be put out on't by you! what are you?
BRI. Why, we be his majesty's watch, sir.
WASPE. Watch! 'sblood, you are a sweet watch indeed. A body would think, an you watch'd well a nights, you should be contented to sleep at this time a day. Get you to your fleas and your flock-beds, you rogues, your kennels, and lie down close.
BRI. Down! yes, we will down, I warrant you: down with him, in his majesty's name, down, down with him, and carry him away to the pigeon-holes.
[Some of the Watch seize Waspe, and carry him off.
MRS. OVER. I thank you, honest friends, in the behalf o' the crown, and the peace, and in master Overdo's name, for suppressing enormities.
WHIT. Stay, Bristle, here ish anoder brash of drunkards, but very quiet, special drunkards, will pay de five shillings very well. [Points to Northern and Puppy, drunk, and asleep, on the bench.] Take 'em to de, in de graish o' God: one of hem do's change cloth for ale in the Fair, here; te toder ish a strong man, a mighty man, my lord mayor's man, and a wrastler. He has wrashled so long with the bottle here, that the man with the beard hash almosht streek up hish heelsh.
BRI. 'Slid, the clerk o' the market has been to cry him all the Fair over here, for my lord's service.
WHIT. Tere he ish, pre de taik him hensh, and make ty best on him. [Exeunt Bristle and the rest of the Watch with Northern and Puppy.]--How now, woman o' shilk, vat ailsh ty shweet faish? art tou melancholy?
MRS. OVER. A little distempered with these enormities. Shall I entreat a courtesy of you, captain?
WHIT. Entreat a hundred, velvet voman, I vill do it, shpeak out.
MRS. OVER. I cannot with modesty speak it out, but--
WHIT. I vill do it, and more and more, for de. What Ursla, an't be bitch, an't be bawd, an't be!
URS. How now, rascal! what roar you for, old pimp?
WHIT. Here, put up de clokes, Ursh; de purchase. Pre de now, shweet Ursh, help dis good brave voman to a jordan, an't be.
URS. 'Slid call your captain Jordan to her, can you not?
WHIT. Nay, pre de leave dy consheits, and bring the velvet woman to de--
URS. I bring her! hang her: heart, must I find a common pot for every punk in your purlieus?
WHIT. O good voordsh, Ursh, it ish a guest o' velvet, i'fait la.
URS. Let her sell her hood, and buy a spunge, with a pox to her! my vessel is employed, sir. I have but one, and 'tis the bottom of an old bottle. An honest proctor and his wife are at it within; if she'll stay her time, so.
WHIT. As soon as tou cansht, shweet Ursh. Of a valiant man I tink I am te patientsh man i' the world, or in all Smithfield.
KNOCK. How now, Whit! close vapours, stealing your leaps! covering in corners, ha!
WHIT. No, fait, captain, dough tou beesht a vishe man, dy vit is a mile hence now. I vas procuring a shmall courtesie for a woman of fashion here.
MRS. OVER. Yes, captain, though I am a justice of peace's wife, I do love men of war, and the sons of the sword, when they come before my husband.
KNOCK. Say'st thou so, filly? thou shalt have a leap presently, I'll horse thee myself, else.
URS. [within.] Come, will you bring her in now, and let her take her turn?
WHIT. Gramercy, good Ursh, I tank de.
MRS. OVER. Master Overdo shall thank her.
Re-enter URSULA, followed by LITTLEWIT, and MRS. LITTLEWIT.
LIT. Good ga'mere Urse, Win and I are exceedingly beholden to you, and to captain Jordan, and captain Whit.--Win, I'll be bold to leave you, in this good company, Win; for half an hour or so, Win; while I go and see how my matter goes forward, and if the puppets be perfect; and then I'll come and fetch you, Win.
MRS. LIT. Will you leave me alone with two men, John?
LIT. Ay, they are honest gentlemen, Win, captain Jordan and captain Whit; they'll use you very civilly, Win. God be wi' you, Win.
URS. What, is her husband gone?
KNOCK. On his false gallop, Urse, away.
URS. An you be right Bartholomew birds, now show yourselves so: we are undone for want of fowl in the Fair, here. Here will be Zekiel Edgworth, and three or four gallants with him at night, and I have neither plover nor quail for them: persuade this between you two, to become a bird o' the game, while I work the velvet woman within, as you call her.
KNOCK. I conceive thee, Urse: go thy ways. [Exit Ursula.]--Dost thou hear, Whit? is't not pity, my delicate dark chestnut here, with the fine lean head, large forehead, round eyes, even mouth, sharp ears, long neck, thin crest, close withers, plain back, deep sides, short fillets, and full flanks; with a round belly, a plump buttock, large thighs, knit knees, strait legs, short pasterns, smooth hoofs, and short heels, should lead a dull honest woman's life, that might live the life of a lady?
WHIT. Yes, by my fait and trot it is, captain; de honest woman's life is a scurvy dull life indeed, la.
MRS. LIT. How, sir, is an honest woman's life a scurvy life?
WHIT. Yes fait, shweet-heart, believe him, de leef of a bond-woman! but if dou vilt hearken to me, I vill make tee a free woman and a lady; dou shalt live like a lady, as te captain saish.
KNOCK. Ay, and be honest too sometimes; have her wires and her tires, her green gowns and velvet petticoats.
WHIT. Ay, and ride to Ware and Rumford in dy coash, shee de players, be in love vit 'em: sup vit gallantsh, be drunk, and cost de noting.
KNOCK. Brave vapours!
WHIT. And lie by twenty on 'em, if dou pleash, shweet-heart.
MRS. LIT. What, and be honest still! that were fine sport.
WHIT. Tish common, shweet-heart, tou may'st do it by my hand: it shall be justified to thy husband's faish, now: tou shalt be as honesht as the skin between his hornsh, la.
KNOCK. Yes, and wear a dressing, top and top-gallant, to compare with e'er a husband on 'em all, for a foretop: it is the vapour of spirit in the wife to cuckold now a days, as it is the vapour of fashion in the husband not to suspect. Your prying cat-eyed citizen is an abominable vapour.
MRS. LIT. Lord, what a fool have I been!
WHIT. Mend then, and do every ting like a lady hereafter; never know ty husband from another man.
KNOCK. Nor any one man from another, but in the dark.
WHIT. Ay, and then it ish no disgrash to know any man.
URS. [within.] Help, help here!
KNOCK. How now? what vapour's there?
URS. O, you are a sweet ranger, and look well to your walks! Yonder is your punk of Turnbull, ramping Alice, has fallen upon the poor gentlewoman within, and pull'd her hood over her ears, and her hair through it.
Enter ALICE, beating and driving in MRS. OVERDO.
MRS. OVER. Help, help, in the king's name!
ALICE. A mischief on you, they are such as you are that undo us and take our trade from us, with your tuft-taffata haunches.
KNOCK. How now, Alice!
ALICE. The poor common whores can have no traffic for the privy rich ones; your caps and hoods of velvet call away our customers, and lick the fat from us.
URS. Peace, you foul ramping jade, you--
ALICE. Od's foot, you bawd in grease, are you talking?
KNOCK. Why, Alice, I say.
ALICE. Thou sow of Smithfield, thou!
URS. Thou tripe of Turnbull!
KNOCK. Cat-a-mountain vapours, ha!
URS. You know where you were taw'd lately; both lash'd and slash'd you were in Bridewell.
ALICE. Ay, by the same token you rid that week, and broke out the bottom of the cart, night-tub.
KNOCK. Why, lion face, ha! do you know who I am? shall I tear ruff, slit waistcoat, make rags of petticoat, ha! go to, vanish for fear of vapours. Whit, a kick, Whit, in the parting vapour. [They kick out Alice.] Come, brave woman, take a good heart, thou shalt be a lady too.
WHIT. Yes fait, dey shall all both be ladies, and write madam: I vill do't myself for dem. Do is the word, and D is the middle letter of madam, D D, put 'em together, and make deeds, without which all words are alike, la.
KNOCK. 'Tis true: Ursula, take them in, open thy wardrobe, and fit them to their calling. Green gowns, crimson petticoats, green women, my lord mayor's green women! guests o' the game, true bred. I'll provide you a coach to take the air in.
MRS. LIT. But do you think you can get one?
KNOCK. O, they are common as wheelbarrows where there are great dunghills. Every pettifogger's wife has 'em; for first he buys a coach that he may marry, and then he marries that he may be made cuckold in't: for if their wives ride not to their cuckolding, they do them no credit. [Exeunt Ursula, Mrs. Littlewit, and Mrs. Overdo.]--Hide, and be hidden, ride and be ridden, says the vapour of experience.
TRO. By what warrant does it say so?
KNOCK. Ha, mad child o' the Pie-poudres! art thou there? fill us a fresh can, Urse, we may drink together.
TRO. I may not drink without a warrant, captain.
KNOCK. 'Slood, thou'lt not stale without a warrant shortly. Whit, give me pen, ink, and paper, I'll draw him a warrant presently.
TRO. It must be justice Overdo's.
KNOCK. I know, man; fetch the drink, Whit.
WHIT. I pre dee now, be very brief, captain, for de new ladies stay for dee.
[Exit, and re-enters with a can.
KNOCK. O, as brief as can be, here 'tis already. [Gives Troubleall a paper.] Adam Overdo.
TRO. Why now I'll pledge you, captain.
KNOCK. Drink it off, I'll come to thee anon again.
The back of URSULA'S Booth.
OVERDO in the stocks. People, etc.
Enter QUARLOUS with the license, and EDGWORTH.
QUAR. Well, sir, you are now discharged; beware of being spied hereafter.
EDG. Sir, will it please you, enter in here at Ursula's, and take part of a silken gown, a velvet petticoat, or a wrought smock; I am promised such, and I can spare a gentleman a moiety.
QUAR. Keep it for your companions in beastliness, I am none of them, sir. If I had not already forgiven you a greater trespass, or thought you yet worth my beating, I would instruct your manners, to whom you made your offers. But go your ways, talk not to me, the hangman is only fit to discourse with you; the hand of beadle is too merciful a punishment for your trade of life. [Exit Edgworth.]--I am sorry I employ'd this fellow, for he thinks me such; facinus quos inquinat, æquat. But it was for sport; and would I make it serious, the getting of this license is nothing to me, without other circumstances concur. I do think how impertinently I labour, if the word be not mine that the ragged fellow mark'd: and what advantage I have given Ned Winwife in this time now of working her, though it be mine. He'll go near to form to her what a debauched rascal I am, and fright her out of all good conceit of me: I should do so by him, I am sure, if I had the opportunity. But my hope is in her temper yet; and it must needs be next to despair, that is grounded on any part of a woman's discretion. I would give, by my troth now, all I could spare, to my clothes and my sword, to meet my tatter'd soothsayer again, who was my judge in the question, to know certainly whose word he has damn'd or saved; for till then I live but under a reprieve. I must seek him. Who be these?
Enter BRISTLE and some of the Watch, with WASPE.
WASPE. Sir, you are a Welsh cuckold, and a prating runt, and no constable.
BRI. You say very well.--Come, put in his leg in the middle roundel, and let him hole there.
[They put him in the stocks.
WASPE. You stink of leeks, metheglin, and cheese, you rogue.
BRI. Why, what is that to you, if you sit sweetly in the stocks in the mean time? if you have a mind to stink too, your breeches sit close enough to your bum. Sit you merry, sir.
QUAR. How now, Numps?
WASPE. It is no matter how; pray you look off.
QUAR. Nay, I'll not offend you, Numps; I thought you had sat there to be seen.
WASPE. And to be sold, did you not? pray you mind your business, an you have any.
QUAR. Cry you mercy, Numps; does your leg lie high enough?
BRI. How now, neighbour Haggise, what says justice Overdo's worship to the other offenders?
HAG. Why, he says just nothing; what should he say, or where should he say? He is not to be found, man; he has not been seen in the Fair here all this live-long day, never since seven a clock i' the morning. His clerks know not what to think on't. There is no court of Pie-poudres yet. Here they be return'd.
Enter others of the Watch with BUSY.
BRI. What shall be done with them, then, in your discretion?
HAG. I think we were best put them in the stocks in discretion (there they will be safe in discretion) for the valour of an hour, or such a thing, till his worship come.
BRI. It is but a hole matter if we do, neighbour Haggise; come, sir, [to Waspe.] here is company for you; heave up the stocks.
[As they open the stocks, Waspe puts his shoe on his hand, and slips it in for his leg.
WASPE. I shall put a trick upon your Welsh diligence perhaps. [Aside.
BRI. Put in your leg, sir. [To Busy.
QUAR. What, rabbi Busy! is he come?
BUSY. I do obey thee; the lion may roar, but he cannot bite. I am glad to be thus separated from the heathen of the land, and put apart in the stocks, for the holy cause.
WASPE. What are you, sir?
BUSY. One that rejoiceth in his affliction, and sitteth here to prophesy the destruction of fairs and May-games, wakes and Whitson-ales, and doth sigh and groan for the reformation of these abuses.
WASPE. [to Overdo.] And do you sigh and groan too, or rejoice in your affliction?
OVER. I do not feel it, I do not think of it, it is a thing without me: Adam, thou art above these batteries, these contumelies. In te manca ruit fortuna, as thy friend Horace says; thou art one, Quem neque pauperies, neque mors, neque vincula, terrent. And therefore, as another friend of thine says, I think it be thy friend Persius, Non te quæsiveris extra.
QUAR. What's here! a stoic in the stocks? the fool is turn'd philosopher.
BUSY. Friend, I will leave to communicate my spirit with you, if I hear any more of those superstitious relics, those lists of Latin, the very rags of Rome, and patches of popery.
WASPE. Nay, an you begin to quarrel, gentlemen, I'll leave you. I have paid for quarrelling too lately: look you, a device, but shifting in a hand for a foot. God be wi' you.
[Slips out his hand.
BUSY. Wilt thou then leave thy brethren in tribulation?
WASPE. For this once, sir.
BUSY. Thou art a halting neutral; stay him there, stop him, that will not endure the heat of persecution.
BRI. How now, what's the matter?
BUSY. He is fled, he is fled, and dares not sit it out.
BRI. What, has he made an escape! which way? follow, neighbour Haggise.
[Exeunt Haggise and Watch.
Enter DAME PURECRAFT.
PURE. O me, in the stocks! have the wicked prevail'd?
BUSY. Peace, religious sister, it is my calling, comfort yourself; an extraordinary calling, and done for my better standing, my surer standing, hereafter.
Enter TROUBLEALL, with a can.
TRO. By whose warrant, by whose warrant, this?
QUAR. O, here's my man dropt in I look'd for.
PURE. O, good sir, they have set the faithful here to be wonder'd at; and provided holes for the holy of the land.
TRO. Had they warrant for it? shew'd they justice Overdo's hand? if they had no warrant, they shall answer it.
BRI. Sure you did not lock the stocks sufficiently, neighbour Toby.
HAG. No! see if you can lock them better.
BRI. They are very sufficiently lock'd, and truly; yet something is in the matter.
TRO. True, your warrant is the matter that is in question; by what warrant?
BRI. Madman, hold your peace, I will put you in his room else in the very same hold, do you see?
QUAR. How, is he a madman?
TRO. Shew me justice Overdo's warrant, I obey you.
HAG. You are a mad fool, hold your tongue.
[Exeunt Haggise and Bristle.
TRO. In justice Overdo's name, I drink to you, and here's my warrant.
[Shews his can.
OVER. Alas, poor wretch! how it yearns my heart for him! [Aside.
QUAR. If he be mad, it is in vain to question him. I'll try him though.--Friend, there was a gentlewoman shew'd you two names some hours since, Argalus and Palemon, to mark in a book; which of them was it you mark'd?
TRO. I mark no name but Adam Overdo, that is the name of names, he only is the sufficient magistrate; and that name I reverence, shew it me.
QUAR. This fellow's mad indeed: I am further off now than afore.
OVER. I shall not breathe in peace till I have made him some amends. [Aside.
QUAR. Well, I will make another use of him is come in my head: I have a nest of beards in my trunk, one something like his.
Re-enter BRISTLE and HAGGISE.
BRI. This mad fool has made me that I know not whether I have lock'd the stocks or no; I think I lock'd them.
[Tries the locks.
TRO. Take Adam Overdo in your mind, and fear nothing.
BRI. 'Slid, madness itself! hold thy peace, and take that.
TRO. Strikest thou without a warrant? take thou that.
[They fight, and leave open the stocks in the scuffle.
BUSY. We are delivered by miracle; fellow in fetters, let us not refuse the means; this madness was of the spirit: the malice of the enemy hath mock'd itself.
[Exeunt Busy and Overdo.
PURE. Mad do they call him! the world is mad in error, but he is mad in truth: I love him o' the sudden (the cunning man said all true) and shall love him more and more. How well it becomes a man to be mad in truth! O, that I might be his yoke-fellow, and be mad with him, what a many should we draw to madness in truth with us!
BRI. How now, all 'scaped! where's the woman? it is witchcraft! her velvet hat is a witch, o' my conscience, or my key! the one.--The madman was a devil, and I am an ass; so bless me, my place, and mine office!
The Fair, as before.
LANTHORN LEATHERHEAD, dressed as a puppet-show man, FILCHER, and SHARKWELL with a flag.
LEATH. Well, luck and Saint Bartholomew! out with the sign of our invention, in the name of wit, and do you beat the drum the while: all the foul i' the Fair, I mean all the dirt in Smithfield,--that's one of master Littlewit's carwhitchets now--will be thrown at our banner to-day, if the matter does not please the people. O the motions that I Lanthorn Leatherhead have given light to, in my time, since my master Pod died! Jerusalem was a stately thing, and so was Nineveh, and the city of Norwich, and Sodom and Gomorrah, with the rising of the prentices, and pulling down the bawdy-houses there upon Shrove-Tuesday; but the Gun-powder plot, there was a get-penny! I have presented that to an eighteen or twenty pence audience, nine times in an afternoon. Your home-born projects prove ever the best, they are so easy and familiar; they put too much learning in their things now o' days: and that I fear will be the spoil of this. Littlewit! I say, Micklewit! if not too mickle! look to your gathering there, goodman Filcher.
FILCH. I warrant you, sir.
LEATH. An there come any gentlefolks, take two-pence apiece, Sharkwell.
SHARK. I warrant you, sir, three-pence an we can.
Another part of the Fair.
Enter OVERDO, disguised like a Porter.
OVER. This latter disguise, I have borrow'd of a porter, shall carry me out to all my great and good ends; which however interrupted, were never destroyed in me: neither is the hour of my severity yet come to reveal myself, wherein, cloud-like, I will break out in rain and hail, lightning and thunder, upon the head of enormity. Two main works I have to prosecute: first, one is to invent some satisfaction for the poor kind wretch, who is out of his wits for my sake, and yonder I see him coming, I will walk aside, and project for it.
Enter WINWIFE and GRACE.
WINW. I wonder where Tom Quarlous is, that he returns not: it may be he is struck in here to seek us.
GRACE. See, here's our madman again.
Enter QUARLOUS, in TROUBLEALL'S clothes, followed by DAME PURECRAFT.
QUAR. I have made myself as like him, as his gown and cap will give me leave.
PURE. Sir, I love you, and would be glad to be mad with you in truth.
WINW. How! my widow in love with a madman?
PURE. Verily, I can be as mad in spirit as you.
QUAR. By whose warrant? leave your canting. Gentlewoman, have I found you? [To mistress Grace.] save ye, quit ye, and multiply ye! Where's your book? 'twas a sufficient name I mark'd, let me see't, be not afraid to shew't me.
GRACE. What would you with it, sir?
QUAR. Mark it again and again at your service.
GRACE. Here it is, sir, this was it you mark'd.
QUAR. Palemon! fare you well, fare you well.
WINW. How, Palemon!
GRACE. Yes, faith, he has discovered it to you now, and therefore 'twere vain to disguise it longer; I am yours, sir, by the benefit of your fortune.
WINW. And you have him, mistress, believe it, that shall never give you cause to repent her benefit: but make you rather to think that in this choice she had both her eyes.
GRACE. I desire to put it to no danger of protestation.
[Exeunt Grace and Winwife.
QUAR. Palemon the word, and Winwife the man!
PURE. Good sir, vouchsafe a yoke-fellow in your madness, shun not one of the sanctified sisters, that would draw with you in truth.
QUAR. Away, you are a herd of hypocritical proud ignorants, rather wild than mad; fitter for woods, and the society of beasts, than houses, and the congregation of men. You are the second part of the society of canters, outlaws to order and discipline, and the only privileged church-robbers of Christendom. Let me alone: Palemon the word, and Winwife the man!
PURE. I must uncover myself unto him, or I shall never enjoy him, for all the cunning men's promises. [Aside.] Good sir, hear me, I am worth six thousand pound, my love to you is become my rack; I'll tell you all and the truth, since you hate the hypocrisy of the party-coloured brotherhood. These seven years I have been a wilful holy widow, only to draw feasts and gifts from my entangled suitors: I am also by office an assisting sister of the deacons, and a devourer, instead of a distributor of the alms. I am a special maker of marriages for our decayed brethren with our rich widows, for a third part of their wealth, when they are married, for the relief of the poor elect: as also our poor handsome young virgins, with our wealthy bachelors or widowers; to make them steal from their husbands, when I have confirmed them in the faith, and got all put into their custodies. And if I have not my bargain, they may sooner turn a scolding drab into a silent minister, than make me leave pronouncing reprobation and damnation unto them. Our elder, Zeal-of-the-land, would have had me, but I know him to be the capital knave of the land, making himself rich, by being made a feoffee in trust to deceased brethren, and cozening their heirs, by swearing the absolute gift of their inheritance. And thus having eased my conscience, and utter'd my heart with the tongue of my love; enjoy all my deceits together, I beseech you. I should not have revealed this to you, but that in time I think you are mad, and I hope you'll think me so too, sir?
QUAR. Stand aside, I'll answer you presently. [He walks by.] Why should I not marry this six thousand pound, now I think on't, and a good trade too that she has beside, ha? The t'other wench Winwife is sure of; there's no expectation for me there. Here I may make myself some saver yet, if she continue mad, there's the question. It is money that I want, why should not I marry the money when 'tis offer'd me? I have a license and all, it is but razing out one name, and putting in another. There's no playing with a man's fortune! I am resolved: I were truly mad an I would not!--Well, come your ways, follow me, an you will be mad, I'll shew you a warrant!
[Takes her along with him.
PURE. Most zealously, it is that I zealously desire.
OVER. [stopping him.] Sir, let me speak with you.
QUAR. By whose warrant?
OVER. The warrant that you tender, and respect so; Justice Overdo's. I am the man, friend Troubleall, though thus disguised (as the careful magistrate ought) for the good of the republic in the Fair, and the weeding out of enormity. Do you want a house, or meat, or drink, or clothes? speak whatsoever it is, it shall be supplied you; what want you?
QUAR. Nothing but your warrant.
OVER. My warrant! for what?
QUAR. To be gone, sir.
OVER. Nay, I pray thee stay; I am serious, and have not many words, nor much time to exchange with thee. Think what may do thee good.
QUAR. Your hand and seal will do me a great deal of good; nothing else in the whole Fair that I know.
OVER. If it were to any end, thou shouldst have it willingly.
QUAR. Why, it will satisfy me, that's end enough to look on; an you will not give it me, let me go.
OVER. Alas! thou shalt have it presently; I'll but step into the scrivener's here by, and bring it. Do not go away.
QUAR. Why, this madman's shape will prove a very fortunate one, I think. Can a ragged robe produce these effects? if this be the wise justice, and he bring me his hand, I shall go near to make some use on't.
He is come already!
OVER. Look thee! here is my hand and seal, Adam Overdo; if there be any thing to be written above in that paper that thou want'st now, or at any time hereafter, think on't, it is my deed. I deliver it so; can your friend write?
QUAR. Her hand for a witness, and all is well.
OVER. With all my heart.
[He urges her to sign it.
QUAR. Why should not I have the conscience to make this a bond of a thousand pound now, or what I would else? [Aside.
OVER. Look you, there it is, and I deliver it as my deed again.
QUAR. Let us now proceed in madness.
[Exeunt Quarlous and Dame Purecraft.
OVER. Well, my conscience is much eased; I have done my part, though it doth him no good; yet Adam hath offered satisfaction. The sting is removed from hence! Poor man, he is much altered with his affliction, it has brought him low. Now for my other work, reducing the young man, I have followed so long in love, from the brink of his bane to the centre of safety. Here, or in some such-like vain place, I shall be sure to find him. I will wait the good time.
Another part of the Fair.
The Puppet-show Booth, as before.
Enter SHARKWELL and FILCHER, with bills, and COKES in his doublet and hose, followed by the Boys of the Fair.
COKES. How now! what's here to do, friend? art thou the master of the monuments?
SHARK. 'Tis a motion, an't please your worship.
Enter OVERDO behind.
OVER. My fantastical brother-in-law, master Bartholomew Cokes!
COKES. A motion! what's that! [Reads.] The ancient modern history of Hero and Leander, otherwise called the Touchstone of true Love, with as true a trial of friendship between Damon and Pythias, two faithful friends o' the Bank-side.--Pretty, i'faith, what's the meaning on't? is't an interlude, or what is't?
FILCH. Yes, sir, please you come near, we'll take your money within.
COKES. Back with these children; they do so follow me up and down!
LIT. By your leave, friend.
FILCH. You must pay, sir, an you go in.
LIT. Who, I! I perceive thou know'st not me; call the master of the motion.
SHARK. What, do you not know the author, fellow Filcher? You must take no money of him; he must come in gratis: master Littlewit is a voluntary; he is the author.
LIT. Peace, speak not too loud, I would not have any notice taken that I am the author, till we see how it passes.
COKES. Master Littlewit, how dost thou?
LIT. Master Cokes! you are exceeding well met: what, in your doublet and hose, without a cloke or a hat?
COKES. I would I might never stir, as I am an honest man, and by that fire; I have lost all in the Fair, and all my acquaintance too; didst thou meet any body that I know, master Littlewit? my man Numps, or my sister Overdo, or mistress Grace? Pray thee, master Littlewit, lend me some money to see the interlude here; I'll pay thee again, as I am a gentleman. If thou'lt but carry me home, I have money enough there.
LIT. O, sir, you shall command it; what, will a crown serve you?
COKES. I think it will; what do we pay for coming in, fellows?
FILCH. Two-pence, sir.
COKES. Two-pence! there's twelve-pence, friend: nay, I am a gallant, as simple as I look now; if you see me with my man about me, and my artillery again.
LIT. Your man was in the stocks e'en now, sir.
COKES. Who, Numps?
LIT. Yes, faith.
COKES. For what, i'faith? I am glad o' that; remember to tell me on't anon; I have enough now. What manner of matter is this, master Littlewit? what kind of actors have you? are they good actors?
LIT. Pretty youths, sir, all children both old and young; here's the master of 'em--
LEATH. [aside to Littlewit.] Call me not Leatherhead, but Lantern.
LIT. Master Lantern, that gives light to the business.
COKES. In good time, sir! I would fain see them, I would be glad to drink with the young company; which is the tiring-house?
LEATH. Troth, sir, our tiring-house is somewhat little; we are but beginners yet, pray pardon us; you cannot go upright in't.
COKES. No! not now my hat is off? what would you have done with me, if you had had me feather and all, as I was once to-day? Have you none of your pretty impudent boys now, to bring stools, fill tobacco, fetch ale, and beg money, as they have at other houses? Let me see some of your actors.
LIT. Shew him them, shew him them. Master Lantern, this is a gentleman that is a favourer of the quality.
OVER. Ay, the favouring of this licentious quality is the consumption of many a young gentleman; a pernicious enormity. [Aside.
Re-enter LEATHERHEAD, with a basket.
COKES. What! do they live in baskets?
LEATH. They do lie in a basket, sir, they are o' the small players.
COKES. These be players minors indeed. Do you call these players?
LEATH. They are actors, sir, and as good as any, none dispraised, for dumb shows: indeed, I am the mouth of them all.
COKES. Thy mouth will hold them all. I think one tailor would go near to beat all this company with a hand bound behind him.
LIT. Ay, and eat them all too, an they were in cake-bread.
COKES. I thank you for that, master Littlewit; a good jest! Which is your Burbage now?
LEATH. What mean you by that, sir?
COKES. Your best actor, your Field?
LIT. Good, i'faith! you are even with me, sir.
LEATH. This is he, that acts young Leander, sir: he is extremely beloved of the womenkind, they do so affect his action, the green gamesters, that come here! and this is lovely Hero: this with the beard, Damon; and this pretty Pythias: this is the ghost of king Dionysius in the habit of a scrivener; as you shall see anon at large.
COKES. Well, they are a civil company, I like 'em for that; they offer not to fleer, nor jeer, nor break jests, as the great players do: and then, there goes not so much charge to the feasting of them, or making them drunk, as to the other, by reason of their littleness. Do they use to play perfect? are they never fluster'd?
LEATH. No, sir, I thank my industry and policy for it; they are as well govern'd a company, though I say it----And here is young Leander, is as proper an actor of his inches, and shakes his head like an hostler.
COKES. But do you play it according to the printed book? I have read that.
LEATH. By no means, sir.
COKES. No! how then?
LEATH. A better way, sir; that is too learned and poetical for our audience: what do they know what Hellespont is, guilty of true love's blood? or what Abydos is? or the other, Sestos hight?
COKES. Thou art in the right; I do not know myself.
LEATH. No, I have entreated master Littlewit to take a little pains to reduce it to a more familiar strain for our people.
COKES. How, I pray thee, good master Littlewit?
LIT. It pleases him to make a matter of it, sir; but there is no such matter, I assure you: I have only made it a little easy, and modern for the times, sir, that's all. As for the Hellespont, I imagine our Thames here; and then Leander I make a dyer's son about Puddle-wharf: and Hero a wench o' the Bank-side, who going over one morning to Old Fish-street, Leander spies her land at Trig-stairs, and falls in love with her. Now do I introduce Cupid, having metamorphosed himself into a drawer, and he strikes Hero in love with a pint of sherry; and other pretty passages there are of the friendship, that will delight you, sir, and please you of judgment.
COKES. I'll be sworn they shall: I am in love with the actors already, and I'll be allied to them presently.--They respect gentlemen, these fellows:--Hero shall be my fairing: but which of my fairings?--let me see--i'faith, my fiddle; and Leander my fiddlestick: then Damon my drum, and Pythias my pipe, and the ghost of Dionysius my hobby-horse. All fitted.
Enter WINWIFE and GRACE.
WINW. Look, yonder's your Cokes gotten in among his play-fellows; I thought we could not miss him at such a spectacle.
GRACE. Let him alone, he is so busy he will never spy us.
LEATH. Nay, good sir! [To Cokes, who is handling the puppets.
COKES. I warrant thee I will not hurt her, fellow; what, dost thou think me uncivil? I pray thee be not jealous; I am toward a wife.
LIT. Well, good master Lantern, make ready to begin that I may fetch my wife; and look you be perfect, you undo me else, in my reputation.
LEATH. I warrant you, sir, do not you breed too great an expectation of it among your friends; that's the hurter of these things.
LIT. No, no, no.
COKES. I'll stay here and see: pray thee let me see.
WINW. How diligent and troublesome he is!
GRACE. The place becomes him, methinks.
OVER. My ward, mistress Grace, in the company of a stranger! I doubt I shall be compell'd to discover myself before my time. [Aside.
Enter KNOCKEM, EDGWORTH, and MRS. LITTLEWIT, followed by WHIT supporting MRS. OVERDO, masked.
FILCH. Two-pence apiece, gentlemen, an excellent motion.
KNOCK. Shall we have fine fire-works, and good vapours?
SHARK. Yes, captain, and water-works too.
WHIT. I pree dee take care o' dy shmall lady there, Edgworth; I will look to dish tall lady myself.
LEATH. Welcome, gentlemen, welcome, gentlemen.
WHIT. Predee mashter o' the monshtersh, help a very sick lady here to a chair to shit in.
LEATH. Presently, sir.
[A chair is brought in for Mrs. Overdo.
WHIT. Good fait now, Ursula's ale and acqua-vitæ ish to blame for't; shit down, shweet-heart, shit down and sleep a little.
EDG. [to Mrs. Littlewit.] Madam, you are very welcome hither.
KNOCK. Yes, and you shall see very good vapours.
OVER. Here is my care come! I like to see him in so good company: and yet I wonder that persons of such fashion should resort hither. [Aside.
EDG. There is a very private house, madam.
LEATH. Will it please your ladyship sit, madam?
MRS. LIT. Yes, goodman. They do so all-to-be-madam me, I think they think me a very lady.
EDG. What else, madam?
MRS. LIT. Must I put off my mask to him?
EDG. O, by no means.
MRS. LIT. How should my husband know me then?
KNOCK. Husband! an idle vapour; he must not know you, nor you him: there's the true vapour.
OVER. Yea! I will observe more of this. [Aside.] Is this a lady, friend?
WHIT. Ay, and dat is anoder lady, shweet-heart; if dou hasht a mind to 'em, give me twelve-pence from tee, and dou shalt have eder oder on 'em.
OVER. Ay, this will prove my chiefest enormity: I will follow this. [Aside.
EDG. Is not this a finer life, lady, than to be clogg'd with a husband?
MRS. LIT. Yes, a great deal. When will they begin, trow, in the name o' the motion?
EDG. By and by, madam; they stay but for company.
KNOCK. Do you hear, puppet-master, these are tedious vapours, when begin you?
LEATH. We stay but for master Littlewit, the author, who is gone for his wife: and we begin presently.
MRS. LIT. That's I, that's I.
EDG. That was you, lady; but now you are no such poor thing.
KNOCK. Hang the author's wife, a running vapour! here be ladies will stay for ne'er a Delia of them all.
WHIT. But hear me now, here ish one o' de ladish ashleep, stay till shee but vake, man.
WASPE. How now, friends! what's here to do?
FILCH. Two-pence apiece, sir, the best motion in the Fair.
WASPE. I believe you lie; if you do, I'll have my money again, and beat you.
MRS. LIT. Numps is come!
WASPE. Did you see a master of mine come in here, a tall young 'squire of Harrow o' the Hill, master Bartholomew Cokes?
FILCH. I think there be such a one within.
WASPE. Look he be, you were best: but it is very likely: I wonder I found him not at all the rest. I have been at the Eagle, and the Black Wolf, and the Bull with the five legs and two pizzles:--he was a calf at Uxbridge fair two years agone--and at the dogs that dance the morrice, and the hare of the Tabor; and mist him at all these! Sure this must needs be some fine sight that holds him so, if it have him.
COKES. Come, come, are you ready now?
LEATH. Presently, sir.
WASPE. Hoyday, he's at work in his doublet and hose! do you hear, sir, are you employ'd, that you are bare-headed and so busy?
COKES. Hold your peace, Numps; you have been in the stocks, I hear.
WASPE. Does he know that! nay, then the date of my authority is out; I must think no longer to reign, my government is at an end. He that will correct another must want fault in himself.
WINW. Sententious Numps! I never heard so much from him before.
LEATH. Sure master Littlewit will not come; please you take your place, sir; we'll begin.
COKES. I pray thee do, mine ears long to be at it, and my eyes too. O Numps, in the stocks, Numps! where's your sword, Numps!
WASPE. I pray you intend your game, sir, let me alone.
COKES. Well then, we are quit for all. Come, sit down, Numps; I'll interpret to thee: did you see mistress Grace? It's no matter, neither, now I think on't, tell me anon.
WINW. A great deal of love and care he expresses!
GRACE. Alas, would you have him to express more than he has? that were tyranny.
COKES. Peace, ho! now, now.
LEATH. Gentles, that no longer your expectations may wander, Behold our chief actor, amorous Leander. With a great deal of cloth, lapp'd about him like a scarf, For he yet serves his father, a dyer at Puddle-wharf; Which place we'll make bold with, to call it our Abydus, As the Bank-side is our Sestos; and let it not be deny'd us. Now as he is beating to make the dye take the fuller, Who chances to come by, but fair Hero in a sculler; And seeing Leander's naked leg and goodly calf, Cast at him from the boat a sheep's eye and an half. Now she is landed, and the sculler come back, By and by you shall see what Leander doth lack.
PUP. LEAN. Cole, Cole, old Cole!
LEATH. That is the sculler's name without controul.
PUP. LEAN. Cole, Cole, I say, Cole!
LEATH. We do hear you.
PUP. LEAN. Old Cole.
LEATH. Old Cole! is the dyer turn'd collier? how do you sell?
PUP. LEAN. A pox o' your manners, kiss my hole here, and smell.
LEATH. Kiss your hole and smell! there's manners indeed.
PUP. LEAN. Why, Cole, I say, Cole!
LEATH. Is't the sculler you need?
PUP. LEAN. Ay, and be hanged.
LEATH. Be hang'd! look you yonder. Old Cole, you must go hang with master Leander.
PUP. COLE. Where is he?
PUP. LEAN. Here, Cole: what fairest of fairs, Was that fare that thou landedst but now at Trig-stairs?
COKES. What was that, fellow? pray thee tell me, I scarce understand them.
LEATH. Leander does ask, sir, what fairest of fairs, Was the fare he landed but now at Trig-stairs?
PUP. COLE. It is lovely Hero.
PUP. LEAN. Nero?
PUP. COLE. No, Hero.
LEATH. It is Hero Of the Bank-side, he saith, to tell you truth without erring, Is come over into Fish-street to eat some fresh herring. Leander says no more, but as fast as he can, Gets on all his best clothes, and will after to the Swan.
COKES. Most admirable good, is't not?
LEATH. Stay, sculler.
PUP. COLE. What say you?
LEATH. You must stay for Leander, And carry him to the wench.
PUP. COLE. You rogue, I am no pander.
COKES. He says he is no pander. 'Tis a fine language: I understand it now.
LEATH. Are you no pander, goodman Cole? here's no man says you are; You'll grow a hot cole, it seems; pray you stay for your fare.
PUP. COLE. Will he come away?
LEATH. What do you say?
PUP. COLE. I'd have him come away.
LEATH. Would you have Leander come away? why, pray, sir, stay. You are angry, goodman Cole; I believe the fair maid Came over with you a' trust: tell us, sculler, are you paid?
PUP. COLE. Yes, goodman Hogrubber of Pickthatch.
LEATH. How, Hogrubber of Pickthatch?
PUP. COLE. Ay, Hogrubber of Pickthatch. Take you that.
[Strikes him over the pate.
LEATH. O, my head!
PUP. COLE. Harm watch, harm catch!
COKES. Harm watch, harm catch, he says; very good, i'faith: the sculler had like to have knock'd you, sirrah.
LEATH. Yes, but that his fare call'd him away.
PUP. LEAN. Row apace, row apace, row, row, row, row, row.
LEATH. You are knavishly loaden, sculler, take heed where you go.
PUP. COLE. Knave in your face, goodman rogue.
PUP. LEAN. Row, row, row, row, row.
COKES. He said, knave in your face, friend.
LEATH. Ay, sir, I heard him; but there's no talking to these watermen, they will have the last word.
COKES. Od's my life! I am not allied to the sculler yet; he shall be Dauphin my boy. But my fiddle-stick does fiddle in and out too much: I pray thee speak to him on't; tell him I would have him tarry in my sight more.
LEATH. I pray you be content; you'll have enough on him, sir. Now, gentles, I take it, here is none of you so stupid, But that you have heard of a little god of love call'd Cupid; Who out of kindness to Leander, hearing he but saw her, This present day and hour doth turn himself to a drawer. And because he would have their first meeting to be merry, He strikes Hero in love to him with a pint of sherry; Which he tells her from amorous Leander is sent her, Who after him into the room of Hero doth venture.
[Puppet Leander goes into Mistress Hero's room.
PUP. JONAS. A pint of sack, score a pint of sack in the Coney.
COKES. Sack! you said but e'en now it should be sherry.
PUP. JONAS. Why, so it is; sherry, sherry, sherry.
COKES. Sherry, sherry, sherry! By my troth he makes me merry. I must have a name for Cupid too. Let me see, thou might'st help me, now, an thou would'st, Numps, at a dead lift: but thou art dreaming of the stocks still.--Do not think on't, I have forgot it; 'tis but a nine days' wonder, man; let it not trouble thee.
WASPE. I would the stocks were about your neck, sir; condition I hung by the heels in them till the wonder were off from you, with all my heart.
COKES. Well said, resolute Numps! but hark you, friend, where's the friendship all this while between my drum Damon, and my pipe Pythias?
LEATH. You shall see by and by, sir.
COKES. You think my hobby-horse is forgotten too; no, I'll see them all enact before I go; I shall not know which to love best else.
KNOCK. This gallant has interrupting vapours, troublesome vapours; Whit, puff with him.
WHIT. No, I pree dee, captain, let him alone; he is a child, i'faith, la.
LEATH. Now, gentles, to the friends, who in number are two, And lodged in that ale-house in which fair Hero does do. Damon, for some kindness done him the last week, Is come, fair Hero, in Fish-street, this morning to seek: Pythias does smell the knavery of the meeting, And now you shall see their true-friendly greeting.
PUP. PYTHIAS. You whore-masterly slave, you.
COKES. Whore-masterly slave you! very friendly and familiar, that.
PUP. DAMON. Whore-master in thy face, Thou hast lain with her thyself, I'll prove it in this place.
COKES. Damon says, Pythias has lain with her himself, he'll prove't in this place.
LEATH. They are whore-masters both, sir, that's a plain case.
PUP. PYTHIAS. You lie like a rogue.
LEATH. Do I lie like a rogue?
PUP. PYTHIAS. A pimp and a scab.
LEATH. A pimp and a scab. I say, between you, you have both but one drab.
PUP. DAMON. You lie again.
LEATH. Do I lie again?
PUP. DAMON. Like a rogue again.
LEATH. Like a rogue again?
PUP. PYTHIAS. And you are a pimp again.
COKES. And you are a pimp again, he says.
PUP. DAMON. And a scab again.
COKES. And a scab again, he says.
LEATH. And I say again, you are both whore-masters, again. And you have both but one drab again.
PUP. DAMON AND PYTHIAS. Dost thou, dost thou, dost thou?
[They fall upon him.
LEATH. What, both at once?
PUP. PYTHIAS. Down with him, Damon.
PUP. DAMON. Pink his guts, Pythias.
LEATH. What, so malicious? Will ye murder me, masters both, in my own house?
COKES. Ho! well acted, my drum, well acted, my pipe, well acted still!
WASPE. Well acted, with all my heart.
LEATH. Hold, hold your hands.
COKES. Ay, both your hands, for my sake! for you have both done well.
PUP. DAMON. Gramercy, pure Pythias.
PUP. PYTHIAS. Gramercy, dear Damon.
COKES. Gramercy to you both, my pipe and my drum.
PUP. PYTHIAS AND DAMON. Come, now we'll together to breakfast to Hero.
LEATH. 'Tis well you can now go to breakfast to Hero. You have given me my breakfast, with a hone and honero.
COKES. How is't, friend, have they hurt thee?
LEATH. O no: Between you and I, sir, we do but make show.-- Thus, gentles, you perceive, without any denial, 'Twixt Damon and Pythias here, friendship's true trial. Though hourly they quarrel thus, and roar each with other. They fight you no more than does brother with brother; But friendly together, at the next man they meet, They let fly their anger, as here you might see't.
COKES. Well, we have seen it, and thou hast felt it, whatsoe'er thou sayest. What's next, what's next?
LEATH. This while young Leander with fair Hero is drinking, And Hero grown drunk to any man's thinking! Yet was it not three pints of sherry could flaw her, Till Cupid distinguished like Jonas the drawer, From under his apron, where his lechery lurks, Put love in her sack. Now mark how it works.
PUP. HERO. O Leander, Leander, my dear, my dear Leander, I'll for ever be thy goose, so thou'lt be my gander.
COKES. Excellently well said, Fiddle, she'll ever be his goose, so he'll be her gander; was't not so?
LEATH. Yes, sir, but mark his answer now.
PUP. LEAN. And sweetest of geese, before I go to bed, I'll swim over the Thames, my goose, thee to tread.
COKES. Brave! he will swim over the Thames, and tread his goose to-night, he says.
LEATH. Ay, peace, sir, they'll be angry if they hear you eavesdropping, now they are setting their match.
PUP. LEAN. But lest the Thames should be dark, my goose, my dear friend, Let thy window be provided of a candle's end.
PUP. HERO. Fear not, my gander, I protest I should handle My matters very ill, if I had not a whole candle.
PUP. LEAN. Well then, look to't, and kiss me to boot.
LEATH. Now here come the friends again, Pythias and Damon, And under their clokes they have of bacon a gammon.
PUP. PYTHIAS. Drawer, fill some wine here.
LEATH. How, some wine there! There's company already, sir, pray forbear.
PUP. DAMON. 'Tis Hero.
LEATH. Yes, but she will not to be taken, After sack and fresh herring, with your Dunmow-bacon.
PUP. PYTHIAS. You lie, it's Westfabian.
LEATH. Westphalian you should say.
PUP. DAMON. If you hold not your peace, you are a coxcomb, I would say.
[Leander and Hero kiss.
What's here, what's here? kiss, kiss, upon kiss!
LEATH. Ay, wherefore should they not? what harm is in this? 'Tis mistress Hero.
PUP. DAMON. Mistress Hero's a whore.
LEATH._ Is she a whore? keep you quiet, or, sir, knave, out of door._
PUP. DAMON. Knave out of door?
PUP. HERO. Yes, knave out of door.
PUP. DAMON. Whore out of door.
[They fall together by the ears.
PUP. HERO. I say, knave out of door.
PUP. DAMON. I say, whore out of door.
PUP. PYTHIAS. Yea, so say I too.
PUP. HERO. Kiss the whore o' the arse.
LEATH. Now you have something to do: You must kiss her o' the arse, she says.
PUP. DAMON AND PYTHIAS. So we will, so we will.
[They kick her.
PUP. HERO. O my haunches, O my haunches, hold, hold.
LEATH. Stand'st thou still! Leander, where, art thou? stand'st thou still like a sot, And not offer'st to break both their heads with a pot? See who's at thine elbow there! puppet Jonas and Cupid.
PUP. JONAS. Upon 'em, Leander, be not so stupid.
PUP. LEAN. You goat-bearded slave!
PUP. DAMON. You whore-master knave!
PUP. LEAN. Thou art a whore-master.
PUP. JONAS. Whore-masters all.
LEATH. See, Cupid with a word has tane up the brawl.
KNOCK. These be fine vapours!
COKES. By this good day, they fight bravely; do they not, Numps?
WASPE. Yes, they lack'd but you to be their second all this while.
LEATH. This tragical encounter falling out thus to busy us, It raises up the ghost of their friend Dionysius; Not like a monarch, but the master of a school, In a scrivener's furr'd gown, which shews he is no fool: For therein he hath wit enough to keep himself warm. O Damon, he cries, and Pythias, what harm Hath poor Dionysius done you in his grave, That after his death you should fall out thus and rave, And call amorous Leander whore-master knave?
PUP. DAMON. I cannot, I will not, I promise you, endure it.
RABBI BUSY rushes in.
BUSY. Down with Dagon! down with Dagon! 'tis I, I will no longer endure your profanations.
LEATH. What mean you, sir?
BUSY. I will remove Dagon there, I say, that idol, that heathenish idol, that remains, as I may say, a beam, a very beam,--not a beam of the sun, nor a beam of the moon, nor a beam of a balance, neither a house-beam, nor a weaver's beam, but a beam in the eye, in the eye of the brethren; a very great beam, an exceeding great beam; such as are your stage-players, rimers, and morrice-dancers, who have walked hand in hand, in contempt of the brethren, and the cause; and been born out by instruments of no mean countenance.
LEATH. Sir, I present nothing but what is licensed by authority.
BUSY. Thou art all license, even licentiousness itself, Shimei!
LEATH. I have the master of the revels' hand for't, sir.
BUSY. The master of the rebels' hand thou hast. Satan's! hold thy peace, thy scurrility, shut up thy mouth, thy profession is damnable, and in pleading for it thou dost plead for Baal. I have long opened my mouth wide, and gaped; I have gaped as the oyster for the tide, after thy destruction: but cannot compass it by suit or dispute; so that I look for a bickering, ere long, and then a battle.
KNOCK. Good Banbury vapours!
COKES. Friend, you'd have an ill match on't, if you bicker with him here; though he be no man of the fist, he has friends that will to cuffs for him. Numps, will not you take our side?
EDG. Sir, it shall not need; in my mind he offers him a fairer course, to end it by disputation: hast thou nothing to say for thyself, in defence of thy quality?
LEATH. Faith, sir, I am not well-studied in these controversies, between the hypocrites and us. But here's one of my motion, puppet Dionysius, shall undertake him, and I'll venture the cause on't.
COKES. Who, my hobby-horse! will he dispute with him?
LEATH. Yes, sir, and make a hobby-ass of him, I hope.
COKES. That's excellent! indeed he looks like the best scholar of them all. Come, sir, you must be as good as your word now.
BUSY. I will not fear to make my spirit and gifts known: assist me zeal, fill me, fill me, that is, make me full!
WINW. What a desperate, profane wretch is this! is there any ignorance or impudence like his, to call his zeal to fill him against a puppet?
QUAR. I know no fitter match than a puppet to commit with an hypocrite!
BUSY. First, I say unto thee, idol, thou hast no calling.
PUP. DION. You lie, I am call'd Dionysius.
LEATH. The motion says, you lie, he is call'd Dionysius in the matter, and to that calling he answers.
BUSY. I mean no vocation, idol, no present lawful calling.
PUP. DION. Is yours a lawful calling?
LEATH. The motion asketh, if yours be a lawful calling.
BUSY. Yes, mine is of the spirit.
PUP. DION. Then idol is a lawful calling.
LEATH. He says, then idol is a lawful calling; for you call'd him idol, and your calling is of the spirit.
COKES. Well disputed, hobby-horse.
BUSY. Take not part with the wicked, young gallant: he neigheth and hinnieth; all is but hinnying sophistry. I call him idol again; yet, I say, his calling, his profession is profane, it is profane, idol.
PUP. DION. It is not profane.
LEATH. It is not profane, he says.
BUSY. It is profane.
PUP. DION. It is not profane.
BUSY. It is profane.
PUP. DION. It is not profane.
LEATH. Well said, confute him with Not, still. You cannot bear him down with your base noise, sir.
BUSY. Nor he me, with his treble creeking, though he creek like the chariot wheels of Satan; I am zealous for the cause--
LEATH. As a dog for a bone.
BUSY. And I say, it is profane, as being the page of Pride, and the waiting-woman of Vanity.
PUP. DION. Yea! what say you to your tire-women, then?
PUP. DION. Or feather-makers in the Friers, that are of your faction of faith? are not they with their perukes, and their puffs, their fans, and their huffs, as much pages of Pride, and waiters upon Vanity? What say you, what say you, what say you?
BUSY. I will not answer for them.
PUP. DION. Because you cannot, because you cannot. Is a bugle-maker a lawful calling? or the confect-makers? such you have there; or your French fashioner? you would have all the sin within yourselves, would you not, would you not?
BUSY. No, Dagon.
PUP. DION. What then, Dagonet? is a puppet worse than these?
BUSY. Yes, and my main argument against you is, that you are an abomination; for the male, among you, putteth on the apparel of the female, and the female of the male.
PUP. DION. You lie, you lie, you lie abominably.
COKES. Good, by my troth, he has given him the lie thrice.
PUP. DION. It is your old stale argument against the players, but it will not hold against the puppets; for we have neither male nor female amongst us. And that thou may'st see, if thou wilt, like a malicious purblind zeal as thou art.
[Takes up his garment.
EDG. By my faith, there he has answer'd you, friend, a plain demonstration.
PUP. DION. Nay, I'll prove, against e'er a Rabbin of them all, that my standing is as lawful as his; that I speak by inspiration, as well as he; that I have as little to do with learning as he; and do scorn her helps as much as he.
BUSY. I am confuted, the cause hath failed me.
PUP. DION. Then be converted, be converted.
LEATH. Be converted, I pray you, and let the play go on!
BUSY. Let it go on; for I am changed, and will become a beholder with you.
COKES. That's brave, i'faith, thou hast carried it away, hobby-horse; on with the play.
OVER. [discovering himself.] Stay, now do I forbid; I am Adam Overdo! sit still, I charge you.
COKES. What, my brother-in-law!
GRACE. My wise guardian!
EDG. Justice Overdo!
OVER. It is time to take enormity by the forehead, and brand it; for I have discovered enough.
Enter QUARLOUS in TROUBLEALL'S clothes, as before, and DAME PURECRAFT.
QUAR. Nay, come, mistress bride; you must do as I do, now. You must be mad with me, in truth. I have here justice Overdo for it.
OVER. Peace, good Troubleall; come hither, and you shall trouble none. I will take the charge of you, and your friend too; you also, young man [to Edgworth] shall be my care; stand there.
EDG. Now, mercy upon me.
KNOCK. Would we were away, Whit, these are dangerous vapours; best fall off with our birds, for fear o' the cage.
[They attempt to steal away.
OVER. Stay, is not my name your terror?
WHIT. Yesh fait, man, and it ish for tat we would be gone, man.
LIT. O, gentlemen! did you not see a wife of mine? I have lost my little wife, as I shall be trusted; my little pretty Win. I left her at the great woman's house in trust yonder, the pig-woman's, with captain Jordan, and captain Whit, very good men, and I cannot hear of her. Poor fool, I fear she's stepp'd aside. Mother, did you not see Win?
OVER. If this grave matron be your mother, sir, stand by her, et digito compesce labellum; I may perhaps spring a wife for you anon. Brother Bartholomew, I am sadly sorry to see you so lightly given, and such a disciple of enormity, with your grave governor Humphrey: but stand you both there, in the middle place; I will reprehend you in your course. Mistress Grace, let me rescue you out of the hands of the stranger.
WINW. Pardon me, sir, I am a kinsman of hers.
OVER. Are you so! of what name, sir?
WINW. Winwife, sir.
OVER. Master Winwife! I hope you have won no wife of her, sir; if you have, I will examine the possibility of it, at fit leisure. Now, to my enormities: look upon me, O London! and see me, O Smithfield! the example of justice, and Mirrour of Magistrates; the true top of formality, and scourge of enormity. Hearken unto my labours, and but observe my discoveries; and compare Hercules with me, if thou dar'st, of old; or Columbus, Magellan, or our countryman Drake, of later times. Stand forth, you weeds of enormity, and spread. First, Rabbi Busy, thou superlunatical hypocrite;--[to Leatherhead.] Next thou other extremity, thou profane professor of puppetry, little better than poetry:--[to Whit.] Then thou strong debaucher and seducer of youth; witness this easy and honest young man, [pointing to Edgworth.]--[to Knockem.] Now, thou esquire of dames, madams, and twelve-penny ladies.--Now, my green madam herself of the price; let me unmask your ladyship.
[Discovers Mrs. Littlewit.
LIT. O my wife, my wife, my wife!
OVER. Is she your wife? Redde te Harpocratem!
Enter TROUBLEALL, with a dripping-pan, followed by URSULA and NIGHTINGALE.
TRO. By your leave, stand by, my masters, be uncover'd.
URS. O stay him, stay him, help to cry, Nightingale; my pan, my pan!
OVER. What's the matter?
NIGHT. He has stolen gammar Ursula's pan.
TRO. Yes, and I fear no man but justice Overdo.
OVER. Ursula! where is she? O the sow of enormity, this! welcome, stand you there; you, songster, there.
URS. An't please your worship, I am in no fault: a gentleman stripped him in my booth, and borrowed his gown, and his hat; and he ran away with my goods here for it.
OVER. [to Quarlous.] Then this is the true madman, and you are the enormity!
QUAR. You are in the right: I am mad but from the gown outward.
OVER. Stand you there.
QUAR. Where you please, sir.
MRS. OVER. [waking] O, lend me a bason, I am sick, I am sick! where's master Overdo? Bridget, call hither my Adam.
[He is shamed and silenced.
WHIT. Dy very own wife, i'fait, worshipful Adam.
MRS. OVER. Will not my Adam come at me? shall I see him no more then?
QUAR. Sir, why do you not go on with the enormity? are you oppressed with it? I'll help you: hark you, sir, in your ear--Your innocent young man, you have ta'en such care of all this day, is a cut-purse, that hath got all your brother Cokes' things, and helped you to your beating and the stocks; if you have a mind to hang him now, and shew him your magistrate's wit, you may: but I should think it were better recovering the goods, and to save your estimation in him. I thank you, sir, for the gift of your ward, mistress Grace; look you, here is your hand and seal, by the way. Master Winwife, give you joy, you are Palemon, you are possessed of the gentlewoman, but she must pay me value, here's warrant for it. And, honest madman, there's thy gown and cap again; I thank thee for my wife. Nay, I can be mad, sweet-heart, [to Mrs. Purecraft] when I please still; never fear me; and careful Numps, where's he? I thank him for my license.
QUAR. 'Tis true, Numps.
WASPE. I'll be hang'd then.
QUAR. Look in your box, Numps.--Nay, sir, [to Overdo.] stand not you fix'd here, like a stake in Finsbury, to be shot at, or the whipping-post in the Fair, but get your wife out o' the air, it will make her worse else; and remember you are but Adam, flesh and blood! you have your frailty, forget your other name of Overdo, and invite us all to supper. There you and I will compare our discoveries; and drown the memory of all enormity in your biggest bowl at home.
COKES. How now, Numps, have you lost it? I warrant 'twas when thou wert in the stocks: Why dost not speak!
WASPE. I will never speak while I live again, for aught I know.
OVER. Nay, Humphrey, if I be patient, you must be so too; this pleasant conceited gentleman hath wrought upon my judgment, and prevail'd: I pray you take care of your sick friend, mistress Alice, and my good friends all--
QUAR. And no enormities.
OVER. I invite you home with me to my house to supper: I will have none fear to go along, for my intents are ad correctionem, non ad destructionem; ad ædificandum, non ad diruendum: so lead on.
COKES. Yes, and bring the actors along, we'll have the rest of the play at home.
Your Majesty hath seen the play, and you Can best allow it from your ear and view. You know the scope of writers, and what store Of leave is given them, if they take not more, And turn it into license: you can tell If we have us'd that leave you gave us well; Or whether we to rage or license break, Or be profane, or make profane men speak: This is your power to judge, great sir, and not The envy of a few. Which if we have got, We value less what their dislike can bring, If it so happy be, t' have pleased the King.