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whole: better a little shame than an infinite grief; the strangeness will abate the fault, and the bewraying wipe it clean away. [Exit.
Synis, NASUTUS, BEDUNENUS, three Fiddlers.
Syn. Come, fellows, 'tis almost day: let us have a fit of mirth at Sperantus' door, and give a song to the bride.
Nas. I believe they are asleep, it were pity to awake them.
Bed. 'Twere a shame they should sleep the first night.
Syn. But who can tell at which house they lie; at Prisius' it may be, we'll try both.
Nas. Come, let's draw like men.
Syn. Now, tune; tune, I say; that boy 1 think will never profit in his faculty, he loses his rosin, that his fiddle goes cush, cush, like as one should go wetshod; and his mouth so dry that he hath not spittle for his pin as I have.
Bed. Marry, sir, you see I go wetshod and dry mouthed, for yet could I never get new shoes or good drink : rather than I'll lead this life, I'll throw my fiddle into the leads for a hobler.
Syn. Boy, no more words, there is time for all things; though I say it, that should not say it, I have been a minstrel these thirty years, and tickled more strings than thou hast hairs, but yet was never so misused.
Nas. Let us not brabble but play, to-morrow is a new day.
Bed. I am sorry I speak in your cast, what shall we sing?
Syn. The love knot, for that's best for a bridal. Sing.
Nas. Good morrow, fair bride, and send you joy of your bridal.
[Sperantus looks out. Sper. What a mischief makes the twangers here? we have no trenchers to scrape; it makes my teeth on edge to hear such grating. Get you packing, or I'll make you wear double stocks *, and yet you shall be never the warmer.
Syn. We come for good will to bid the bride and bridegroom; God give them joy.
Sper. Here's no wedding.
Syn. Yes, your son and Prisius' daughter were married; though you seem strange, yet they repent it not, I am sure.
Sper. My son, villain! I had rather he were fairly hanged. Nas. So he is, sir, you have your
Cand. Here, fiddlers, take this, and not a word; here is no wedding; it was at Memphio's house; yet, gramercy, your music though it mist the house, hit the mind, we were a preparing our wedding gear.
Syn. I cry you mercy, sir, I think it was Memphio's son that was married.
Sper. Oho, the case is altered ; go thither then, and be haltered for me.
* Id est, cause you to be set in the stocks.
Nas. What's the alms ?
Bed. I'll warrant there's some work towards ; ten shillings is money in master Mayor's purse.
Syn. Let us to Memphio's and share equally; when we have done all, thou shalt have new shoes.
Bed. Ah, such as they cry at the sizes, a mark in issues, mark in issues, and yet I never saw so much leather as would piece my shoes *.
Syn. No more, there's the money.
Bed. A good handsell, and I think the maidenhead of your liberality.
Nas. Come, here's the house, what shall we sing?
Syn. You know Memphio is very rich and wise, and therefore let us strike the gentle stroke, and sing a catch. Sing.
All three. The bride this night can catch no cold,
No cold; the bridegroom's young, not old;
Like ivy he her fast does hold.
3 Fid. And flips her too; All three. Then let them alone, they know what they do.
1 Fid. At laugh and lie down if they play.
And stronger, 3 Fid.
It still holds too;
* I cannot with any thing like certainty explain this speech,
All three. Then let them alone, they know what they do.
Take your filling,
Nas. Good morrow, mistress bride, and send you a huddle *.
[Memphio looks out. Mem. What crowding knaves have we there; case up your fiddles, or the constable shall cage you up. What bride talk
of? Syn. Here's a wedding in Rochester, and 'twas told me first that Sperantus' son had married Prisius' daughter, we were there, and they sent us to your worship, saying your son was matched with Stellio's daughter.
Mem. Hath Sperantus, that churl, nothing to do but mock with his neighbours : I'll be even with him; and get you gone, or I swear by the rood's body t, I'll lay you by the heels.
Nas. Sing a catch, here's a fair catch indeed, sing till we catch cold on our feet, and be called knaves till our ears glow on our heads; your worship is wise, sir.
Mem. Dromio, shake off a whole kennel of
Huddle," a close embrace. + “ By the rood's body.” It is observed by Hearne, that,
though the cross and the rood are commonly taken for the same; yet the rood, properly so called, signified formerly the image of Christ upon the cross, so as to represent both the cross and the figure of our blessed Saviour as he suffered upon it.” “ The rood,” says Blount, was an image of Christ on the cross, made generally of wood, and erected in a loft for that purpose, just over the passage from the church into the chancel.”
officers to punish these jarring tongues; I'll teach them to stretch their dried sheep's guts at my door, and to mock one that stands to be mayor.
Drom. I had thought they had been sticking of pigs, I heard such a squeaking. I go, sir.
Syn. Let us be packing.
Nas. Where is my scabbard, every one sheath his science.
Bed. A botts on the shoemaker that made this boot for my fiddle, 'tis too straight.
Syn. No more words; 'twill be thought they were the four waits, and let them wring; as for the wags that set us on work, we'll talk with them.
Enter MEMPHI0 and DROMIO. Drom. They be gone, sir.
Mem. If they had stayed, the stocks should have stayed them. But, sirrah, what shall we
Drom. As I advise you, make a match; for better one house be cumbered with two fools than two.
Mem. 'Tis true; for it being bruted* that each of us have a fool, who will tender marriage to any of them that is wise; besides, fools are fortunate, fools are fair, fools are honest.
Drom. Ah, sir, and more than that, fools are not wise: a wise man is melancholy for moonshine in the water, careful building castles in the air, and commonly hath a fool to his heir.
* “ Bruted;" i.e. commonly reported: it is generally written bruited.