Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

176

Dol. Nor break his fast

In Heaven and Hell.

Sub. She's with you everywhere!

Nor play with costermongers, at mum-chance,
tray-trip; 1

God make you rich (when as your aunt has done
it);

But keep

The gallant'st company, and the best games-
Dap. Yes, sir.

Sub. Gleek and primero: and what you get, be

true to us.

Dap. By this hand, I will.

Sub. You may bring's a thousand pound Before to-morrow night, if but three thousand Be stirring, an you will.

Dap. I swear I will then.

Sub. Your fly will learn you all games.
Face. [within.] Have you done there?
Sub. Your grace will command him no more
duties?

Dol. No;

But come, and see me often. I may chance
To leave him three or four hundred chests of
treasure,

And some twelve thousand acres of fairy land,
If he game well and comely with good gamesters.
Sub. There's a kind aunt! kiss her departing
part.-

But you must sell your forty mark a year, now.
Dap. Ay, sir, I mean.

Sub. Or, give 't away; pox on't!
Dap. I'll give 't mine aunt: I'll go and fetch
the writings.
[Exit.

Sub. "Tis well-away!

Re-enter FACE.

Face. Where's Subtle?
Sub. Here: what news?

Face. Drugger is at the door; go take his suit,
And bid him fetch a parson presently;
Say, he shall marry the widow. Thou shalt
spend

A hundred pound by the service!

[Exit SUBTLE.

Now, Queen Dol,

Have you pack'd up all?

Dol. Yes.

Face. And how do like

The lady Pliant?

Dol. A good dull innocent.

Re-enter SUBTLE.

Sub. Here's your Hieronimo's cloak and hat. Face. Give me them.

Sub. And the ruff, too?

Face. Yes; I'll come to you presently. [Exit. Sub. Now he is gone about his project, Dol, I told you of, for the widow.

Dol. "Tis direct

Against our articles.

Sub. Well, we will fit him, wench.

Hast thou gull'd her of her jewels or her bracelets?

Dol. No; but I will do't.

Sub. Soon at night, my Dolly,

When we are shipp'd, and all our goods aboard, Eastward for Ratcliff; we will turn our course To Brainford, westward, if thou say'st the word, And take our leaves of this o'er-weening rascal, This peremptory Face.

Dol. Content, I'm weary of him.

Sub. Thou'st cause, when the slave will run a wiving, Dol,

1 These were both games at dice; silence is said to have been enforced in the former.

[blocks in formation]

Re-enter FACE.

Face. What now! a-billing?
Sub. Yes, a little exalted

In the good passage of our stock affairs.
Face. Drugger has brought his parson; take
him in, Subtle,

And send Nab back again to wash his face. Sub. I will: and shave himself.

[Exit.

Face. If you can get him.

Dol. You are hot upon it, Face, whate'er it is! Face. A trick that Dol shall spend ten pound a month by.

Re-enter SUBTLE.

Is he gone?

1

Sub. The chaplain waits you in the hall, sir.
Face. I'll go bestow him.
Dol. He'll now marry her, instantly.
[Exit.
Sub. He cannot yet, he is not ready. Dear
Dol,

Cozen her of all thou canst. To deceive him
Is no deceit, but justice, that would break
Such an inextricable tie as ours was.
Dol. Let me alone to fit him.

Re-enter FACE.

Face. Come, my venturers,

You have pack'd up all? where be the trunks?

bring forth.

Sub. Here.

Face. Let us see them. Where's the money? Sub. Here,

In this.

Face. Mammon's ten pound; eight score before; What paper's that? The brethren's money, this. Drugger's and Dapper's.

Dol. The jewel of the waiting-maid's, That stole it from her lady, to know certainFace. If she should have precedence of her mistress?

Dol. Yes.

Face. What box is that?

Sub. The fish-wives' rings, I think,

And the ale-wives' single money. Is't not, Dol?
Dol. Yes; and the whistle that the sailor's
wife
Brought you to know an her husband were with
Ward.

4

1 flitter-mouse or flicker-mouse-i.e. fluttering mouse, i.e. bat.

2 The Three Pigeons at Brentford, the place of rendezvous.

3 single-money-small money, perhaps, that required no change.-GIFFORD.

4 Ward was a famous pirate.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Face. We'll wet it to-morrow; and our silverbeakers

And tavern cups. Where be the French petticoats,

And girdles and hangers?

Sub. Here, in the trunk,

And the bolts of lawn.

Face. Is Drugger's damask there, And the tobacco?

Sub. Yes.

Face. Give me the keys.

Dol. Why you the keys?

Sub. No matter, Dol; because

We shall not open them before he comes.

Face. "Tis true, you shall not open them, indeed;

Nor have them forth, do you see? not forth, Dol. Dol. No!

Face. No, my smock rampant. The right is, my master

Knows all, has pardon'd me, and he will keep them;

Doctor, 'tis true-you look-for all your figures:
I sent for him indeed. Wherefore, good partners,
Both he and she be satisfied; for here
Determines the indenture tripartite

2

'Twixt Subtle, Dol, and Face. All I can do
Is to help you over the wall, o' the back side,
Or lend you a sheet to save your velvet gown,
Dol.

[blocks in formation]

Offi. [without.] Yes, two or three for failing.1 Love. Have but patience,

And I will open it straight.

M

[blocks in formation]

are open;

If there be any such persons as you seek for,
Use your authority, search on o' God's name.
I am but newly come to town, and finding
This tumult 'bout my door, to tell you true,
It somewhat mazed me; till my man here, fearing
My more displeasure, told me he had done
Somewhat an insolent part, let out my house
(Belike, presuming on my known aversion
From any air o' the town while there was sick-

ness),

To a doctor and a captain; who, what they are
Or where they be, he knows not.
Mam. Are they gone?

Love. You may go in and search, sir. [MAM-
MON, ANA., and TRIB. go in.] Here I find
The empty walls worse than I left them, smoak'd.
A few crack'd pots, and glasses, and a furnace:
The ceiling fill'd with poesies of the candle,
And madam with a dildo writ o' the walls:
Only one gentlewoman, I met here,
That is within, that said she was a widow-

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Love. Another too?

Drug. Not I, sir, I am no brother.

Love [beats him.] Away, you Harry Nicholas!1 do you talk? [Exit DRUG. Face. No, this was Abel Drugger. Good sir, go, [To the Parson. And satisfy him; tell him all is done: He stayed too long a washing of his face. The doctor, he shall hear of him at Westchester; And of the captain, tell him, at Yarmouth, or Some good port town else, lying for a wind. [Exit Parson. If you can get off the angry child, now, sirEnter KASTRIL, dragging in his sister.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Kas. 'Slight, I must love him! I cannot choose, i' faith,

An I should be hang'd for't! Suster, I protest, I honour thee for this match.

Love. Oh, do you so, sir?

Kas. Yes, an thou canst take tobacco and drink, old boy,

I'll give her five hundred pound more to her marriage,

Than her own state.

Love. Fill a pipe full, Jeremy.

Face. Yes; but go in and take it, sir. Love. We will

I will be ruled by thee in anything, Jeremy. Kas. 'Slight, thou art not hide-bound,' thou art a jovy boy!

Come, let us in, I pray thee, and take our whiffs. Love. Whiff in with your sister, brother boy.

[Exeunt KAS. and Dame P.] That master That had received such happiness by a servant, In such a widow, and with so much wealth, Were very ungrateful, if he would not be A little indulgent to that servant's wit,

1 hide-bound-niggardly.

2 jory-jovial.

And help his fortune, though with some small strain

Of his own candour.1 [advancing.]-Therefore, gentlemen,

SIR-My hope is not so nourished by example, as it will conclude, this dumb piece should please you, because it hath pleased others before; but by trust, that when you have read it, you will find it worthy to have displeased none. This makes that I now number you, not only in the names of favour, but the names of justice to what I write; and do presently call you to the exercise of that noblest, and manliest virtue; as coveting rather to be freed in my fame, by the authority of a judge, than the credit of an undertaker. Read, therefore, I pray you, and cen

And kind spectators, if I have outstript
An old man's gravity, or strict canon, think
What a young wife and a good brain may do ;
Stretch age's truth sometimes, and crack it too.
Speak for thyself, knave.

Face. So I will, sir. [advancing to the front of stage.]-Gentlemen,

My part a little fell in this last scene,
Yet 'twas decorum. And though I am clean
Got off from Subtle, Surly, Mammon, Dol,
Hot Ananias, Dapper, Drugger, all
With whom I traded: yet I put myself
On you, that are my country: and this pelf,
Which I have got, if you do quit me, rests
To feast you often, and invite new guests.

EPICENE; OR, THE SILENT WOMAN.

A COMEDY.

ACTED IN THE YEAR 1609 BY THE CHILDREN OF HER MAJESTY'S REVELS.

THE AUTHOR B. J.
London. 1616.

-MOROSE, a Gentleman that loves no noise.
SIR DAUPHINE EUGENIE, a Knight, his Nephew:
NED CLERIMONT, a Gentleman, his Friend."
TRUEWIT, another Friend.

SIR JOHN DAw, a Knight.

SIR AMOROUS LA-FOOLE, a Knight also. -THOMAS OTTER, a Land and Sea Captain. CUTBEARD, a Barber.

MUTE, one of MOROSE's Servants. -Parson.

Page to CLERIMONT.

1 candour-honour, fair reputation.

2 Yet 'twas decorum, i.e. I have not acted, however, against the decorum the suitableness of the character. -UPTON.

TO THE TRULY NOBLE BY ALL TITLES,
SIR FRANCIS STUART.

[Exeunt.

Dramatis Personæ.

sure. There is not a line, or syllable in it, changed from the simplicity of the first copy. And when you shall consider, through the certain hatred of some, how much a man's innocency may be endangered by an uncertain accusation; you will, I doubt not, so begin to hate the iniquity of such natures, as I shall love the contumely done me, whose end was so honourable as to be wiped off by your sentence. Your unprofitable, but true Lover,

BEN. JONSON.

EPICINE, supposed the Silent Woman.
LADY HAUGHTY,
LADY CENTAURE,

Ladies Collegiates.

MISTRESS DOL. MAVIS,)

MISTRESS OTTER, the Captain's Wife,)
MISTRESS TRUSTY, LADY HAUGHTY'S Pretenders.
Woman,

Pages, Servants, etc.

SCENE-London.

1 A learned gentleman, one of Raleigh's club at the Mermaid Tavern.

2 An undertaker, considered a very offensive character, was the name given to certain persons who undertook, through their influence in the House of Commons, in the Parliament of 1614, to carry things agreeably to his Majesty's wishes.-WHALLEY.

PROLOGUE.

Truth says, of old the art of making plays Was to content the people; and their praise Was to the poet money, wine, and bays.

But in this age, a sect of writers are, That only for particular likings care, And will taste nothing that is popular.

With such we mingle neither brains nor breasts;
Our wishes, like to those make public feasts,
Are not to please the cook's taste but the guests.

Yet, if those cunning palates hither come,
They shall find guests entreaty, and good room;
And though all relish not, sure there will be some,

That, when they leave their seats, shall make them say,

Who wrote that piece, could so have wrote a play, But that he knew this was the better way.

For, to present all custard, or all tart,
And have no other meats to bear a part,
Or to want bread, and salt, were but coarse art.

The ends of all, who for the scene do write,
Are, or should be, to profit and delight.
And still 't hath been the praise of all best times,
So persons were not touch'd, to tax the crimes.
Then, in this play, which we present to-night,
And make the object of your ear and sight,
On forfeit of yourselves, think nothing true:
Lest so you make the maker to judge you.

ACT I.-SCENE I.

A Room in CLERIMONT'S House. Enter CLERIMONT, making himself ready, followed by his Page.

Cler. Have you got the song yet perfect, I gave you, boy?

Page. Yes, sir.

Cler. Let me hear it.

Page. You shall, sir; but i'faith let nobody else. Cler. Why, I pray?

The poet prays you then, with better thought
To sit; and, when his cates are all in brought,
Though there be none far-fet, there will dear-
bought,

ANOTHER.

Page. It will get you the dangerous name of a poet in town, sir; besides me a perfect deal of ill-will at the mansion you wot of, whose lady is the argument of it; where now I am the welcomest thing under a man that comes there.

Cler. I think; and above a man too, if the truth were rack'd out of you.

Page. No, faith, I'll confess before, sir. The gentlewomen play with me, and throw me on the bed, and carry me in to my lady: and she kisses me with her oil'd face, and puts a peruke on my head; and asks me an I will wear her gown? and I say, no: and then she hits me a blow o' the ear, and calls me Innocent! and lets me go. Cler. No marvel if the door be kept shut against

1 Innocent-fool, or simpleton.

Be fit for ladies: some for lords, knights, 'squires; Some for your waiting wench, and city wires;2 Some for your men, and daughters of White

friars.

Nor is it only while you keep your seat
Here, that his feast will last; but you shall eat
A week at ord'naries, on his broken meat;
If his muse be true,

Who commends her to you.

1 far-fet-far-fetched.

2 city wires.-This term, which seems to designate the matrons of the city in opposition to the Whitefriars nation,' is new to me. In the stiff and formal dresses of those days, wire indeed was much used; but I know not that it was peculiar to the city dames. Perhaps I have missed the sense. Whitefriars was at this time a privileged spot, the resort of fraudulent debtors, gamblers, prostitutes, and other outcasts of society.-GIF

FORD.

For he knows, poet never credit gain'd

By writing truths, but things, like truths, well feign'd.

If any yet will, with particular sleight

Of application, wrest what he doth write;
And that he meant, or him, or her, will say:
They make a libel, which he made a play.

your master, when the entrance is so easy to you -Well, sir, you shall go there no more, lest I be fain to seek your voice in my lady's rushes,' a | fortnight hence. Sing, sir. [Page sings.

Still to be neat, still to be drest

Enter TRUEWIT.

True. Why, here's the man that can melt away his time and never feels it! What between his mistress abroad and his ingle2 at home, high fare, soft lodging, fine clothes, and his fiddle, he thinks the hours have no wings, or the day no post-horse. Well, Sir Gallant, were you struck with the plague this minute, or condemn'd to any capital punishment to-morrow, you would begin then to think, and value every article of your time, esteem it at the true rate, and give all for it.

Cler. Why, what should a man do?

True. Why, nothing; or that which, when 'tis

done, is as idle.

Hearken after the next horse

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »