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Friendes are the surest garde for kinges, gold in Dion. Stay, Gronno, my flesh trembleth. Eatime doos92 ware away,
bulus, what shall I doo? And other precious thinges doo fade, friendship | Were there ever such friendes on earth as were wyll never decay.
these two? Have friendes in store therefore, so shall you safely What harte is so cruell that would devide them sleape;
asunder? Have friendes at home, of forraine foes so neede O noble friendship, I must yield, at thy force I you take no keepe.
wonder. Abandon Aatring tongues, whose clackes truth My hart this rare friendship hath pearst to the never tels;
roote, Abase the yll, advance the good, in whome dame And quenched all my fury, this sight hath brought Vertue dwels;
this about, Let them your playfelowes be: but, O you earthly Which thy grave counsell, Eubulus, and learned kinges,
perswasion could never doo. Your sure defence and strongest garde stands O noble gentlemen, the immortal gods above chiefly in faithfull friendes;
Hath made you play this tragedie, I think, for my Then get you friends by liberall deedes; and here
behove : I make an ende,
Before this day, I never knew what perfect friendAccept this counsell, mightie king, of Damon, Pi
ship ment; thias' friende.
My cruell mind to bloudy deedes was full and Oh! my Pithias, now farewell for ever; let me
wholy bente; kisse thee or93 I die,
My fearefull life I thought with terrour to deo i My soule shall honour thee, thy constant faith above the heavens shall flie.
But now I see there is no garde unto a faithfull Come, Gronno, doo thine office now; why is thy
friend, colour so dead?
Which wyll not spare his lyfe at time of present My neck is so short, that thou wilt never have ho
neede; nestie in striking of this head.94 O happie kinges, who in your courtes have two such Dion. Eubulus, my spirites are sodenly appaul
friends indeed! ed, my limes ware weake,
I honour friendship now, which that you may This straunge friendship amaseth me so, that I can
playnly see; scarse speake.
Damon, have thou thy lyfe, from death I pardon Pith. O mightie kinge, let some pittie your noble
thce; barte meeve !
For which good tourne, I crave this honour doe You require but one man's death, take Pithias, let
me lend, Damon live.
Oh friendly hart, let me linke with you, to youos Eub. O unspeakable friendship!
make me the third friende, Dam. Not so, he hath not offended, there is no My courte is yours, dwell here with mee, by my cause why
commission large, My constant friend Pithias for Damon's sake Myself, my realme, my welth, my health, I com, should die.
mit to your charge: Alas, he is but young, he may doo good to many. Make me a thirde friend, more shall I joye in that Thou cowarde minister, why doest thou not let
thing, mee die?
Then to be called, as I am, Dionisius, the mightie Gron. My hand with soden feare quivereth.
kinge. Pith. O noble kinge, shewe mercy upon Damon, Dam. O mightie king, first for my lyfe most let Pithias die.
humble thankes I geve,
92 Doos-doo, Ist edit.
93 Or-ere, 2d edita 94 My neck is so short, that thou wylt never have honestie in striking of this head-i.e. thou wilt derive no credit from striking off a head so disadvantageously placed from the purpose of decollation. Honnefete, Fr. anciently signified fame, or reputation, in the dexterous execution of any undertaking, whether bonourable, or the contrary. Honesty seems here to be used with the French meaning. S.
In this instance, the author appears to have had before him the speech which Sir Thomas More made at bis execution. Hall, in his Chronicle, tempore Henry VII. p. 226. says, “ Also the hangman kneled doun to him, ask yng him forgevenes of bis death, (as the manner is); to whom he sayed, I forgeve thee, but I promise thee, that thou shalt never have honestie of the strykyng of my head, my necke is so short." 9s To you—two to, 2d edit. Yol. I,
And next, I prayse the immortall gods that did | Poore Stephano now shall live in continuall joy: your harie so meve,
Vive le roy, with Damon and Pithias, in perfect That you would have respect to friendship’s hea
amitie. venly lore,
Vive tu Stephano, in thy pleasant liberalitie: Forseing wel he need not feare which hath true Wherein I joy as much as he that hath a conquest friends in store.
wonne; For my part, most noble king, as a third friend, I am a free man, nonc so mery as I now under welcom to our friendly societie;
the sonne. But you must forget you are a king, for friendship Farewel, my lords, nowe the gods graunt you al standes in true equalitie.
the som of perfect apitie, Dion. Unequall though I be in great posses. And me longe to enjoy my longe-desired libertie. sions,
[Exit. Yet full equall shall you finde me in my changed
Heare entreth EUBULUS beatyng CARISOPHUS. conditions. Tirrannie, flatterie, oppression, loe hear I cast Eub. Away, villaine, away; you flatringe parasite, away;
Away, the playne of this courte: thy filed tongue, Justice, truth, love, friendship, shall be my joy :
that forged lies, True friendship wyl I honour unto my live's end, No more here shall doo hurt; away, false sicoMy greatest glorie shal be to be counted a perfect
phant, wilt thou not? friende.
Caris. I am gone, sir, seeing it is the kinges Pith. For this your deede, most noble king, the
pleasure. gods advance your name;
Why whyp ye me alone? a plague take Damon And since to friendship's lore you list your prince and Pithias, since they came hither ly harte to frame,
I am driven to seke relecfe abrod, alas ! I know With joyful hart, 0 kinge, most wellcome now to
not whither. nie,
Yet, Eubulus, though I be gone, hereafter time With you wyll I knit the perfect knot of amitie:
sball trie, Wherein I shall erstruct you so, and Damon here There shall be found, even in this courte, as great your friend,
fatterers as I. That you may know of amitie the mightie forcc, Well, for a while I wyll forgo the courte, though and eke the joyful end.
to my great payne; And how that kinges doo stand uppon a fickle I doubt not but to spie a time where I may creepe ground,
[Erit. Within whose realme at time of need no faithfull Eub. The serpent that eates men alive, flatfriends are founde.
tery, with all her broode, Dion. Your instruction wyll I folow, to you my. Is whipte away in princes courtes, whiche yet self I doo commite,
did never good. Eubulus, make haste to set new apparell fitte What force, what mighty power, true friendship For my new friends.
may possesse, Eub. I go with joyful hart; O happie day! To all the worlde, Dionisius' courte now playnely
expresse, Gron. I am glade to heare this word; though Who since to faithfull friendes he gave his wiltheir lives they do not leese,
lyng care, It is no reason the hangniau should lose his Most safely sitteth in his seate, and sleepes defees :
void of feare. These are mine, I am gone with a trise. [Erit. Pourged is the courte of vice, since friendship en
tred in, Here entreth EUBULUS with new garmentes.
Tirannie quailes, he studieth now with love eche
hart to win; Dion. Put on these garmentes now, goe in with Vertue is bad in price, and hath his just rewarde; me, the jewelles of my court.
And painted speache, that gloseth for gayne, from Dam. and Pith. We go with joyfull harts.
gifts is quite debar’d. Steph. Oh Damon, my deare inaster, in all this One loveth another now for vertue, not for gayne; joy remember me.
Where vertue doth not knit the knot, there friendDion. My friend Damon, he asketh reason.
ship cannot raigne; Dam. Stephano, for thy good service, be thou Without the whiche, no house, no land, ne kingfree. [Exeunt all but STEPHANO.
dome can endure, Steph. 0. most happie, pleasant, joyfull, and As necessarie for man's lyfe, as water, ayre, and
96 No reason-not reason, Ist edit.
Which frameth the minde of man, all honest
The last Songe: thinges to doo; Unbonest thinges friendshippe ne craveth ne yet The strongest garde that kynges can have, consents thereto.
Are constant friends their stute to save : In wealth a double joye, in woe a present stay, True friendes are constant both in word and deede, A sweete compagnion in each state true friend- True friendes are present, und helpe at each neede : ship is alway:
True friendes talke truely, they glose for no gayne, A sure defence for kinges, a perfect trustie When treasure consumeth, true friendes wyli rebande,
mayne : A force to assayle, a shielde to defende the ene True friendes for their true prince refuseth not mies cruell hande,
their death : A rare, and yet the greatest gift that God can The Lord graunt her such friendes, most noble geve to man :
queene Elizabeth. So rare, that scarce four couple
of faithful friends have ben since the worlde began.
Longe may she governe in honour and wealth, A gift so strange, and of such price, I wish all Voide of all sicknesse, in most perfect health : kyngs to have;
Which health to prolonge, as true friends require, But chiefely yet, as duetie bindeth, I hunbly God graunt she may have her owne hartes desire : crave,
Which friendes wyll defend with most stedfast True friendship and true friendes, full fraught
faith, with constant faith,
The Lorde graunt her such friendes, most noble The gever of friends, the Lord, grant her, most
queene Elizabeth. noble queene Elizabeth.
(1.)“ The excellent Comedie of two the moste faithfullest freendes Damon and Pithias. Newly imprinted as the same was shewed before the queenes majestie, hy the children of her graces chappell, except the prologue, that is somewhat altered for the proper use of them that hereafter shall have occasion to plaie it either in private or open audience. Made by Maister Edwards, then beynge naister of the children, 1571. Imprinted at London, in Fleetelane, by Richard Jones, and are to be solde at his shop joyning to the south-west doore of Paule's churche." 4to, black letter,
(2.) Another edition in 4to, B. L. 1582. Both in Mr Garrick's collection,
GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE.
This dramatic piece is the first performance which appeared in England under the name of a comedy. As a former editor of it (Mr Hawkins) observes,“ There is a vein of familiar humour in this play, and a kind of grotesque imagery not Onlike some parts of Aristophanes, but without thuse graces of language and metre for which the Greek comedian was eminently distinguished.” The author of it is wholly unknown. In the title-page he is only stiled Mr S , master of arts; and we are informed it was acted at Christ's College, Cambridge.
The former edition of this play, and that of Mr Hawkins, were both printed from a re-publication in the year 1661, full of every kind of errors, and some of them so gross as to render the sense of the author totally unintelligible. The present is given from a copy printed in the year 1575, which is probably the first edition; although Chetwood, in his British Theatre, hath set down the dates of 155) and 1559 : but these, like some of the editions of Shakespeare's plays, enumerated in that work, are supposed never to have existed but in the compiler's own imagination.
THE NAMES OF THE SPEAKERS OF THIS COMEDIE.
Doctor Rat, the Curate,
Doll, Dame Chat's Mayde.
SCAPETURY FT, Mayster Bailye's Servante.
? Diccon, the Bedlem-Diccon is the ancient abbreviation of Richard. See Mr Steevens's note on Richard III. A. 5, S. 3.
2 The Bedlem-after the dissolution of the religious houses where the poor of every denomination were provided for, there was for many years no settled or fixed provision made to supply the want of that care which those bodies appear always to bave taken of their distressed brethren. In consequence of this neglect, the idle and dissolute were suffered to wander about the country, assuming such characters as they imagined were most likely to insure success to their frauds, and security from detection. Among other disguises, many affected madness, and were distinguished by the name of Bedlam Beggars. These are mentioned by Edgar, in King Lear :
“ The country gives me proof and precedent,
Inforce their charity." In Dekker's Belman of London, 1616, all the different species of beggars are enumerated. Amongst the rest are mentioned Tom of Bedlam's band of mad caps, otherwise called Poor Tom's flock of wild geese,
As Gammer Gurton, with manye a wyde styche, Mas Doctor was sent for, these gossyp3 to staye : Sat pesynge and patching of Hodge her mau's Because he was curate, and estemed full wyse, briche,
Who found that he sought not, hy Diccour device. By chance or misfortune, as shee her geare tost, When all thinges were tombled and cleane out In Hodge lether bryches her needle she lost.
of fashion, When Ďiccon the bedlam had hard by report, Whether it were by fortune, or some other conThat good Gammer Gorton was robde in thys sorte,
stellacion, He quyetlye perswaded with her in that stound, Sodenlye the neele Hodge found by the prickynge, Dame Chat her deare gossyp this needle had found. And drew out of his bottocke, where he found it Yet knew shee no more of this matter, alas,
stickynge. Then knoeth Tom our clarke what the priest saith Theyr hartes then at rest with perfect securytie,
With a pot of good ale they stroake up theyr Hereof there ensued so fearfull a fraye,
GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE.
THE FYRST ACTE.
THE FYRST SCEANE.
Dic. Many a myle have I walked, divers and
sundry waies, And many a good man's house have I bin at in
my dais; Many a gossip's cop in my tyme have I tasted,
And many a broche and spyt hare I both turnod
and basted; Many a peece of bacon have I had out of thir
balkes, 3 In ronnyng over the countrey, with long and were
walkes; Yet came my foote never within those doore
cheekes, To seek flesh or fysh, garlyke, onyons, or leekos,
(whom here thou seest by his black and blue naked arms to be a man beaten to the world,) and those wild geese, or hair brains, are called Abraham-men. An Abraham-ınan is afterwards described in this
“Of all the mad rascals, (that are of this wing,) the Abraham-man is the most fantastick. The fellow (quoth this old Lady of the Lake unto me) that sate half-naked (at table to-day) from the girdle upward, is the best Abraham-man that ever came to my house, and the notablest villain : he swears he hath been in Bedlam, and will talk frantickly of purpose : you see pins stuck in sundry places of his naked flesh, especially in his arms, which pain he gladly puts bimself to, (being indeed po torment at all, his skin is either so dead with some foule disease, of so hardened with weather,) only to make you believe he is out of his wits: he calls himself by the name of Poor Tom, and coming near any body, cries out, Poor Tom is a cold. Of these Abraham-men, some be exceeding merry, and do nothing but sing songes, fashioned out of their own braines; some will dance ; others will do nothing but either laugh or weep; others are dogged, and are sullen both in look and speech, that, spying but a small company in a house, they boldly and bluntly enter, compelling the servants through fear to give them what they demand, which is commonly bacon, or something that will yield ready money."
of this respectable fraternity Diccon seems to have been a member.
Massinger mentions them in A new way to pay old Debts, A. 2. S. 2. “ Are they padders, or Abrammen, that are your consorts ?”
3'- out of thir balkes-the summer beam, or dorman. Poles laid over a stable, or other building. Ray's Collection of English Words, p. 167.