Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

race, or hunting-match, lay wagers, praise Puppy, or Peppercorn, Whitefoot, Franklin;1 swear upon Whitemane's party; speak aloud, that my lords may hear you; visit my ladies at night, and be able to give them the character of every bowler or better on the green. These be the things wherein your fashionable men exercise themselves, and I for company.

Cler. Nay, if I have thy authority, I'll not leave yet. Come, the other are considerations, when we come to have grey heads and weak hams, moist eyes and shrunk members. We'll think on 'em then; then we'll pray and fast.

True. Ay, and destine only that time of age to goodness, which our want of ability will not let us employ in evil!

Cler. Why, then 'tis time enough.

True. Yes; as if a man should sleep all the term, and think to effect his business the last day. Oh Clerimont, this time, because it is an incorporeal thing, and not subject to sense, we mock ourselves the fineliest out of it, with vanity and misery indeed! not seeking an end of wretchedness, but only changing the matter still.

Cler. Nay, thou'lt not leave nowTrue. See but our common disease! With what justice can we complain that great men will not look upon us, nor be at leisure to give our affairs such despatch as we expect, when we will never do it to ourselves? nor hear, nor regard ourselves?

Cler. Foh! thou hast read Plutarch's morals, now, or some such tedious fellow; and it shows so vilely with thee! 'Fore God, 'twill spoil thy wit utterly. Talk to me of pins, and feathers, and ladies, and rushes, and such things; and leave this Stoicity alone, till thou mak'st sermons.

True. Well, sir, if it will not take, I have learn'd to lose as little of my kindness as I can; I'll do good to no man against his will, certainly. When were you at the college?

Cler. What college?

True. As if you knew not!

Cler. No, faith, I came but from court yesterday.


True. Why, is it not arrived there yet, the news? A new foundation, sir, here in the town, of ladies, that call themselves the collegiates, an order between courtiers and country madams, that live from their husbands; and give entertainment all the wits and braveries of the time, as they call them: cry down, or up, what they like or dislike in a brain or a fashion, with most masculine, or rather hermaphroditical authority; and every day gain to their college some new probationer.

Cler. Who is the president?

True. The grave and youthful matron, the Lady Haughty.

Cler. A pox of her autumnal face, her pieced beauty! there's no man can be admitted till she be ready, now-a-days, till she has painted, and perfumed, and wash'd, and scour'd, but the boy here; and him she wipes her oil'd lips upon, like a sponge. I have made a song (I pray thee hear it) on the subject. [Page sings.

Still to be neat, still to be drest,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powder'd, still perfum'd:
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face, That makes simplicity a grace;

Names of horses of the time.

Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me,
Than all the adulteries of art;

They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

True. And I am clearly on the other side: I love a good dressing before any beauty o' the world. Oh, a woman is then like a delicate garden; nor is there one kind of it; she may vary every hour; take often counsel of her glass, and choose the best. If she have good ears, show them; good hair. lay it out; good legs, wear short clothes; a good hand, discover it often: practise any art to mend breath, cleanse teeth, repair eyebrows; paint, and profess it. Cler. How! publicly?

True. The doing of it, not the manner: that must be private. Many things that seem foul in the doing, do please done. A lady should, indeed, study her face, when we think she sleeps; nor, when the doors are shut, should men be inquiring; all is sacred within, then. Is it for us to see their perukes put on, their false teeth, their complexion, their eye-brows, their nails? You see gilders will not work, but inclosed. They must not discover how little serves, with the help of art, to adorn a great deal. How long did the canvas hang afore Aldgate?1 Were the people suffered to see the city's Love and Charity, while they were rude stone, before they were painted and burnish'd? No; no more should servants approach their mistresses, but when they are complete and finish'd.

Cler. Well said, my Truewit.

True. And a wise lady will keep a guard always upon the place, that she may do things securely. I once followed a rude fellow into a chamber, where the poor madam, for haste, and troubled, snatch'd at her peruke to cover her baldness; and put it on the wrong way.

Cler. Oh, prodigy!

True. And the unconscionable knave held her in compliment an hour with that reverst face, when I still look'd when she should talk from the t'other side.

Cler. Why, thou shouldst have relieved her. True. No, faith, I let her alone, as we'll let this argument, if you please, and pass to another. When saw you Dauphine Eugenie?

Cler. Not these three days. Shall we go to him this morning? He is very melancholy, I hear.

[blocks in formation]

True. A trumpet should fright him terribly, or
the hautboys.
Cler. Out of his senses.
have a pension of him not to come near that
The waits of the city
ward. This youth practised on him one night
like the bellman; and never left till he had
brought him down to the door with a long
sword; and there left him flourishing with the

Page. Why, sir, he hath chosen a street to lie in so narrow at both ends, that it will receive no coaches, nor carts, nor any of these common noises: and therefore we that love him, devise to bring him in such as we may, now and then, for his exercise, to breathe him. He would grow resty else in his ease: his virtue would rust without action. I entreated a bearward,' one day, to come down with the dogs of some four parishes that way, and I thank him he did; and cried his games under Master Morose's window: till he was sent crying away, with his head made a most bleeding spectacle to the multitude. And, another time, a fencer marching to his prize, had his drum most tragically run through, for taking that street in his way at my request. True. A good wag! How does he for the


Cler. Oh, in the queen's time, he was wont to go out of the town every Saturday at ten o'clock, or on holy day eves. But now, by reason of the sickness, the perpetuity of ringing has made him devise a room, with double walls and treble ceilings; the windows close shut and caulk'd: and there he lives by candle-light. He turn'd away a man, last week, for having a pair of new shoes that creak'd. And this fellow waits on him now in tennis-court socks, or slippers soled with wool: and they talk each to other in a trunk.2 See, who comes here!


Daup. How now! What ail you, sirs? Dumb? True. Struck into stone, almost, I am here, with tales o' thine uncle. There was never such a prodigy heard of.

Daup. I would you would once lose this subject, my masters, for my sake. They are such as you are, that have brought me into that predicament I am with him.

True. How is that?

Daup. Marry, that he will disinherit me; no more. He thinks, I and my company are authors of all the ridiculous Acts and Monuments are told of him.

True. 'Slid, I would be the author of more to vex him; that purpose deserves it: it gives thee law of plaguing him. I'll tell thee what I would do. I would make a false almanack, get it printed; and then have him drawn out on a coronation day to the Tower-wharf, and kill him with the noise of the ordnance. Disinherit thee! he cannot, man. Art not thou next of blood, and his sister's son? Daup. Ay, but he will thrust me out of it, he Vows, and marry.

True. How! that's a more portent. Can he endure no noise, and will venture on a wife?

Cler. Yes: why, thou art a stranger, it seems, to his best trick yet. this half year all over England to hearken him He has employed a fellow out a dumb woman; be she of any form, or any quality, so she be able to bear children: her silence is dowry enough, he says.

1 bearward-the ward or keeper of a bear for bearbaiting.

2 trunk-tube.

[blocks in formation]

True. You shall have no business shall make you neglect this, sir. We'll make her talk, beleast so much as shall interrupt the treaty; we lieve it; or, if she will not, we can give out at when he suspects thee without cause, to torment will break it. Thou art bound in conscience, him.

suffrage to't.
Daup. Not I, by any means. I'll give no
against me, that I opposed the least phant'sy of
He shall never have that plea
his. Let it lie upon my stars to be guilty; I'll
be innocent.

True. Yes, and be poor, and beg; do, innoheir, or this barber, if he himself cannot. cent: when some groom of his has got him an cent!-I prithee, Ned, where lies she? Let him Innobe innocent still.

Cler. Why, right over against the barber's; in the house where Sir John Daw lies.

True. You do not mean to confound me!

Cler. Why?

True. Does he that would marry her know so much?

Cler. I cannot tell.

True. 'Twere enough of imputation to her with him.

Cler. Why?

True. The only talking sir in the town! Jack Daw! And he teach her not to speak! -God be wi' you. I have some business too. Cler. Will you not go thither, then?

True. Not with the danger to meet Daw, for

mine ears.

Cler. Why, I thought you two had been upon very good terms.

True. Yes, of keeping distance.

Cler. They say, he is a very good scholar.
True. Ay, and he says it first. A pox on him,
a fellow that pretends only to learning, bays
titles, and nothing else of books in him!

Cler. The world reports him to be very

True. I am sorry the world should so conspire to belie him.

things come from him.
Cler. Good faith, I have heard very good

ignorant to deny that: would they were
True. You may; there's none so desperately
own! God be wi' you, gentlemen.


Cler. This is very abrupt! [Exit hastily. Daup. Come, you are a strange open man, to tell everything thus.

1 knack-the knocking or snapping made in clipping.

Cler. Why, believe it, Dauphine, Truewit's a very honest fellow.

Daup. I think no other: but this frank nature of his is not for secrets.

Cler. Nay, then, you are mistaken, Dauphine: I know where he has been well trusted, and discharged the trust very truly, and heartily.

Daup. I contend not, Ned; but with the fewer a business is carried, it is ever the safer. Now we are alone, if you'll go thither, I am for


Cler. When were you there? Daup. Last night: and such a Decameron of sport fallen out! Boccace never thought of the like. Daw does nothing but court her; and the wrong way. He would lie with her, and praises her modesty; desires that she would talk and be free, and commends her silence in verses; which he reads, and swears are the best that ever man made. Then rails at his fortunes, stamps, and mutines, why he is not made a counsellor, and call'd to affairs of state.

Cler. I prithee let's go. I would fain partake this. Some water, boy. [Exit Page. Daup. We are invited to dinner together, he and I, by one that came thither to him, Sir LaFoole.

Cler. Oh, that's a precious mannikin!
Daup. Do you know him?

Cler. Ay, and he will know you too, if e'er he saw you but once, though you should meet him at church in the midst of prayers. He is one of the braveries, though he be none of the wits. He will salute a judge upon the bench, and a bishop in the pulpit, a lawyer when he is pleading at the bar, and a lady when she is dancing in a masque, and put her out. He does give plays, and suppers, and invites his guests to them, aloud, out of his window, as they ride by in coaches. He has a lodging in the Strand for the purpose: or to watch when ladies are gone to the China-houses, or the Exchange, that he may meet them by chance, and give them presents, some two or three hundred pounds worth of toys, to be laugh'd at. He is never without a spare banquet, or sweetmeats in his chamber, for their women to alight at, and come up to for a bait.

Daup. Excellent! he was a fine youth last night; but now he is much finer! What is his Christian name? I have forgot.

Re-enter Page.

Cler. Sir Amorous La-Foole.

Page. The gentleman is here below that owns that name.

Cler. 'Heart, he's come to invite me to dinner, I hold my life!

Daup. Like enough: prithee, let's have him


Cler. Boy, marshal him.

Page. With a truncheon, sir?

Cler. Away, I beseech you. [Exit Page.]I'll make him tell us his pedigree now; and what meat he has to dinner; and who are his guests; and the whole course of his fortunes; with a breath.

Enter Sir AMOROUS LA-FOOLE. La-F. 'Save, dear Sir Dauphine! honoured Master Clerimont!


Cler. Sir Amorous! you have very much honested my lodging with your presence. La-F. Good faith, it is a fine lodging: almost as delicate a lodging as mine. Cler. Not so, sir.

1 mutines-mutinies.

2 The braveries were the beaus of the age; men distinguished by the splendour and fashion of their apparel; brave and braw are still applied in the same way in Scotland.

La-F. Excuse me, sir, if it were in the Strand, I assure you. I am come, Master Clerimont, to entreat you to wait upon two or three ladies to dinner to-day.

Cler. How, sir! wait upon them? Did you ever see me carry dishes?

La-F. No, sir, dispense with me; I meant, to bear them company.

Cler. Oh, that I will, sir: the doubtfulness of your phrase, believe it, sir, would breed you a quarrel once an hour, with the terrible boys,3 if you should but keep them fellowship a day.

La-F. It should be extremely against my will, sir, if I contested with any man. Cler. I believe it, sir. Where hold you your


La-F. At Tom Otter's, sir.

Daup. Tom Otter! what's he?

La-F. Captain Otter, sir; he is a kind of gamester, but he has had command both by sea and by land.

Daup. Oh, then he is animal amphibium?

La-F. Ay, sir: his wife was the rich chinawoman,4 that the courtiers visited so often; that gave the rare entertainment. She commands all at home.

Cler. Then she is Captain Otter.

La-F. You say very well, sir; she is my kinswoman, a La-Foole by the mother-side, and will invite any great ladies for my sake.

Daup. Not of the La-Fooles of Essex?
La-F. No, sir, the La-Fooles of London.
Cler. Now, he's in.

[Aside. La-F. They all come out of our house, the LaFooles of the north, the La-Fooles of the west, the La-Fooles of the east and south-we are as ancient a family as any is in Europe-but I myself am descended lineally of the French LaFooles-and, we do bear for our coat yellow, or or, checker'd azure, and gules, and some three or four colours more, which is a very noted coat, and has, sometimes, been solemnly worn by divers nobility of our house; but let that go, antiquity is not respected now.-I had a brace of fat does sent me, gentlemen, and half-a-dozen of pheasants, a dozen or two of godwits, and some other fowl, which I would have eaten, while they are good, and in good company:there will be a great lady or two: my Lady Haughty, my Lady Centaure, Mistress Dol Mavis

and they come o' purpose to see the silent gentlewoman, Mistress Epicone, that honest Sir John Daw has promised to bring thither-and then, Mistress Trusty, my lady's woman, will be there too, and this honourable knight, Sir Dau

1 honested-honoured.

2 dispense with-excuse.

3 The terrible boys were the same as the angry boys mentioned in The Alchemist, and were also called roaring boys, roysters, &c. They were for a long time the terror of peaceful citizens, and caused the streets to swarm with bloody quarrels, private duels,' &c.

4 In Jonson's time, the trade with the East had not long been opened; and the china and lacquered wares from China and Japan were objects of curiosity to both sexes. Advantage was taken of this to convert the places of exhibition (almost always private houses) into a kind of bagnios, of which the owners were the most convenient of procuresses.-GIFFORD.

This is a humorous allusion to the parti-coloured dress of the domestic fool of our ancestors.-GIFFord.

phine, with yourself, Master Clerimont-and
we'll be very merry, and have fiddlers, and dance.
-I have been a mad wag in my time, and have
spent some crowns since I was a page in court,
to my Lord Lofty, and after, my lady's gentle-
man-usher, who got me knighted in Ireland,
since it pleased my elder brother to die.-I had
as fair a gold jerkin on that day, as any worn
in the island voyage, or at Cadiz, none dis-
praised; and I came over in it hither, show'd
myself to my friends in court, and after went
down to my tenants in the country, and sur-
veyed my lands, let new leases, took their money,
spent it in the eye o' the land here, upon ladies:
-and now I can take up at my pleasure.

Daup. Can you take up ladies, sir?
Cler. Oh, let him breathe, he has not recover'd.
Daup. Would I were your half in that com-

La-F. No, sir, excuse me: I meant money,
which can take up anything. I have another
guest or two to invite, and say as much to,
gentlemen. I'll take my leave abruptly, in hope
you will not fail-Your servant.


Daup. We will not fail you, sir precious LaFoole; but she shall, that your ladies come to see, if I have credit afore Sir Daw.

Cler. Did you ever hear such a wind-sucker2

as this?

Daup. Or such a rook as the other, that will betray his mistress to be seen! Come, 'tis time we prevented it. Cler. Go.



A Room in MOROSE'S House.

Enter MOROSE, with a tube in his hand, followed by MUTE.

Mor. Cannot I, yet, find out a more compendious method, than by this trunk, to save my servants the labour of speech, and mine ears the discords of sounds? Let me see: all discourses but my own afflict me; they seem harsh, impertinent, and irksome. thou shouldst answer me by signs, and I Is it not possible, that hend thee, fellow? Speak not, though I quesappretion you. You have taken the ring off from the street door, as I bade you? answer me not by speech, but by silence; unless it be otherwise [MUTE makes a leg.]-Very good. And you have fastened on a thick quilt, or flock-bed, on the outside of the door; that if they knock with their daggers, or with brick-bats, they can make no noise?-But with your leg, your answer, unless it be otherwise [makes a leg.]-Very good. This is not only fit modesty in a servant, but good state and discretion in a master. And you have been with Cutbeard the barber, to have him come to me? [makes a leg.]-Good. And, he will come presently? Answer me not but with your leg, unless it be otherwise: if it be

[blocks in formation]

otherwise, shake your head, or shrug. [makes a leg.]-So! Your Italian and Spaniard are wise in these: and it is a frugal and comely gravity. How long will it be ere Cutbeard come? Stay; if an hour, hold up your whole hand; if half an hour, two fingers; if a quarter, one; [holds up a finger bent.]-Good: half a quarter? 'tis well. And have you given him a key, to come in without knocking? [makes a leg.]-Good. And, is the lock oil'd, and the hinges, to-day? [makes a leg.]-Good. And the quilting of the stairs no good. I see, by much doctrine, and impulsion, where worn out and bare? [makes a leg.]-Very it may be effected; stand by. The Turk, in this divine discipline, is admirable, exceeding all the and all his commands so executed; yea, even in potentates of the earth; still waited on by mutes; the war, as I have heard, and in his marches, signs, and with silence: an exquisite art! and I most of his charges and directions given by the princes of Christendom should suffer a baram heartily ashamed, and angry oftentimes, that barian to transcend them in so high a point of felicity. I will practise it hereafter. A horn villain, what prodigy of mankind is that? Look. winded within.]-How now? oh! oh! what [Exit MUTE.]-[Horn again.] Oh! cut his hound, devil can this be? throat, cut his throat! what murderer, hell

Re-enter MUTE.

Mute. It is a post from the court

Mor. Out, rogue! and must thou blow thy horn too?

Mute. Alas, it is a post from the court, sir, that says, he must speak with you, pain of death

Mor. Pain of thy life, be silent!

Enter TRUEWIT with a post-horn, and a halter in his hand.

True. By your leave, sir,-I am a stranger here, is your name Master Morose? is your name Master Morose? Fishes! Pythagoreans club, among you? Well, sir, I will believe you all! This is strange. What say you, sir? noto be the man at this time: I will venture upon thing! Has Harpocrates' been here with his you, sir. Your friends at court commend them to you, sir

Mor. O men! O manners! was there ever such an impudence?

True. And are extremely solicitous for you,


Mor. Whose knave are you?

True. Mine own knave, and your compeer, sir.

Mor. Fetch me my sword

True. You shall taste the one half of my dagger, if you do, groom; and you the other, if you stir, sir. Be patient, I charge you, in the king's name, and hear me without insurrection. They say, you are to marry; to marry! do you mark, sir?

Mor. How then, rude companion!

True. Marry, your friends do wonder, sir, the Thames being so near, wherein you may drown so handsomely; or London Bridge, at a low fall, with a fine leap to hurry you down the stream; or such a delicate steeple in the town, as Bow, to vault from; or a braver height, as Paul's: or, if you affected to do it nearer home, an

1 Harpocrates was the god of silence. The discree of Pythagoras had to undergo a long probatiary silence.

shorter way, an excellent garret-window into the street; or, a beam the said garret, with this halter [shows him the halter] which they have sent, and desire, that you would sooner commit your grave head to this knot, than to the wedlock noose; or, take a little sublimate, and go out of the world like a rat; or a fly, as one said, with a straw in your arse: any way, rather than follow this goblin Matrimony. Alas! sir, do you ever think to find a chaste wife in these times? now? when there are so many masques, plays, Puritan preachings, mad folks, and other strange sights to be seen daily, private and public? If you had lived in King Etheldred's time, sir, or Edward the Confessor, you might, perhaps, have found one in some cold country hamlet: then, a dull frosty wench would have been contented with one man; now, they will as soon be pleased with one leg, or one eye. I'll tell you, sir, the monstrous hazards you shall run with a wife.

[blocks in formation]

Mor. Why, you do more in this, sir: it were a vengeance centuple, for all facinorous acts that could be named, to do that you do.

True. Alas, sir, I am but a messenger: I but tell you, what you must hear. It seems your friends are careful after your soul's health, sir, and would have you know the danger (but you may do your pleasure for all them, I persuade not, sir). If, after you are married, your wife do run away with a vaulter, or the Frenchman that walks upon ropes, or him that dances the jig, or a fencer for his skill at his weapon; why, it is not their fault, they have discharged their consciences, when you know what may happen. Nay, suffer valiantly, sir, for I must tell you all the perils that you are obnoxious to. If she be fair, young, and vegetous, no sweetmeats ever drew more flies; all the yellow doublets and great roses in the town will be there. If foul and crooked, she'll be with them, and buy those doublets and roses, sir. If rich, and that you marry her dowry, not her, she'll reign in your house as imperious as a widow. If noble, all her kindred will be your tyrants. If fruitful, as proud as May, and humorous as April; she must have her doctors, her midwives, her nurses, her longings every hour; though it be for the dearest morsel of man. If learned, there was never such a parrot; all your patrimony will be too little for the guests that must be invited to hear her speak Latin and Greek; and you must lie with her in those languages too, if you will please her. If precise, you must feast all the silenced brethren once in three days; salute the sisters; entertain the whole family, or wood of them; and hear long-winded exercises, singings and


catechisings, which you are not given to, and yet must give for, to please the zealous matron your wife, who for the holy cause will cozen you over and above. You begin to sweat, sir! but this is not half, i'faith: you may do your pleasure, notwithstanding, as I said before: I come not to persuade you. [MUTE is stealing away.]-Upon my faith, master serving-man, if you do stir, I will beat you.

1 assassinate-assassination.

2 facinorous-atrociously wicked; Lat.


vegetous-vigorous, lusty.

4 humorous-full of humour, capricious, changeable. 5 precise-i.e. a precisian, a Puritan. The silenced brethren may be the nonconformist clergy, silenced in the year 1604.

Mor. Oh, what is my sin! what is my sin! True. Then, if you love your wife, or rather dote on her, sir, oh, how she'll torture you, and take pleasure in your torments! You shall lie with her but when she lists: she will not hurt her beauty, her complexion; or it must be for that jewel, or that pearl, when she does: every half hour's pleasure must be bought anew, and with the same pain and charge you woo'd her at first. Then you must keep what servants she please, what company she will; that friend must not visit you without her licence, and him she loves most she will seem to hate eagerliest, to decline your jealousy; or, feign to be jealous of you first, and for that cause go live with her she-friend, or cousin at the college, that can instruct her in all the mysteries of writing letters, corrupting servants, taming spies; where she must have that rich gown for such a great day, a new one for the next, a richer for the third; be served in silver; have the chamber fill'd with a succession of grooms, footmen, ushers, and other messengers; besides embroiderers, jewellers, tire-women, sempsters, feathermen, perfumers; whilst she feels not how the land drops away, nor the acres melt, nor foresees the change, when the mercer has your woods for her velvets; never weighs what her pride costs, sir, so she may kiss a page, or a smooth chin, that has the despair of a beard: be a stateswoman, know all the news, what was done at Salisbury,' what at the Bath, what at court, what in progress; or so she may censure poets, and authors, and styles, and compare them-Danie with Spenser, Jonson with the t'other youth,2 and so forth or be thought cunning in controversies, or the very knots of divinity; and have often in her mouth the state of the question; and then skip to the mathematics, and demonstration and answer in religion to one, in state to another, in bawdry to a third. Mor. Oh, oh!

True. All this is very true, sir. And then her going in disguise to that conjurer, and this cunning woman, where the first question is, How soon you shall die? next, If her present servant love her? next, If she shall have a new servant? and how many? Which of her family would make the best bawd, male or female? What precedence she shall have by her next match? and sets down the answers, and believes them above the Scriptures. Nay, perhaps she'll study the art.

Mor. Gentle sir, have you done? have you had your pleasure of me? I'll think of these things.

True. Yes, sir: and then comes reeking home of vapour and sweat, with going a-foot, and lies in a month of a new face, all oil and birdlime; and rises in asses' milk, and is cleansed with a new fucus. God be wi' you, sir. One thing more, which I had almost forgot. This too, with whom you are to marry, may have made a conveyance of her virginity aforehand, as your

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »