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Ill-shap'd and ill-fac'd,
Disdain'd and disgrac'd, What he tells unto vobis' Mentitur de nobis.
Like Barclay's ship,1
From Oxford do skip
With colleges and schools, Full-loaden with fools.
Burd. Who is the master and chief of this Quid dicis ad hoc,2
Miles. Ecce asinum mundi
Neat, sheat, and fine,
As brisk as a cup of wine.
Burd. What are you?
Ralph. I am, father doctor, as a man would say, the bell-wether of this company: these are my lords, and I the Prince of Wales.
Clem. Are you Edward, the king's son?
Ralph. Sirrah Miles, bring hither the tapster that drew the wine, and, I warrant, when they see how soundly I have broke his head, they'll say 'twas done by no less man than a prince. Mason. I cannot believe that this is the Prince of Wales.
War. And why so, sir?
Mason. For they say the prince is a brave and a wise gentleman.
War. Why, and think'st thou, doctor, that he is not so?
Dar'st thou detract and derogate from him,
Erms. Whose face, shining with many a sugar'd smile,
Bewrays that he is bred of princely race.
To speak like a proctor,
And tell unto you
What is veriment and true;
To cease of this quarrel,
Look but on his apparel;
Then mark but my talis,
He is great Prince of Walis,
Then 'ware what is done,
Ralph. Doctors, whose doting nightcaps are not capable of my ingenious dignity, know that I am Edward Plantagenet, whom if you displease, will make a ship that shall hold all your colleges, and so carry away the niniversity with a fair wind to the Bankside in Southwark.How sayest thou, Ned Warren, shall I not do it? War. Yes, my good lord; and, if it please your lordship, I will gather up all your old pantofles, and with the cork make you a pinnace of five hundred ton, that shall serve the turn marvellous well, my lord.
Erms. And I, my lord, will have pioneers to undermine the town, that the very gardens and orchards be carried away for your summer walks.
Miles. And I, with scientia
1 vobis, &c.-'you concerning us is false.'
2 Behold the ass (with) the figure of the round world.' 3 'flock.' 4 son of the king.'
5 white son. White was formerly used as a term of endearment.
6 the Bankside was a part of the burgh of Southwark, where were once four public theatres-the Globe, the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope; it was also a noted haunt of frail women.
7 pantofles-slippers; Fr. pantoufle. Whichever of these you choose or prefer.' 'ship.'
Worshipful Domine Dawcock? 3
Clem. Why, hare-brain'd courtiers, are you drunk or mad,
To taunt us up with such scurrility?
Miles. No, no: out with your blades,
Mason. To the prison with them, constable.
Mason. My lord, pardon us, we knew not what you were:
But courtiers may make greater 'scapes than these.
Wilt please your honour dine with me to-day?
War. I will, master doctor, and satisfy the vintner for his hurt; only I must desire you to imagine him all this forenoon the Prince of Wales.
Mason. I will, sir.
Ralph. And upon that I will lead the way: only will have Miles go before me, because I have heard Henry say that wisdom must go before majesty. [Exeunt.
Enter PRINCE EDWARD with his poniard in his hand, LACY, and MARGARET.
P. Edw. Lacy, thou canst not shroud thy traitorous thoughts,
Nor cover, as did Cassius, all thy wiles;
And joining hand in hand had married you,
Lacy. Truth all, my lord; and thus I make reply.
P. Edu. Injurious Lacy, did I love thee more Than Alexander his Hephaestion? Did I unfold the passions of my love, And lock them in the closet of thy thoughts? Wert thou to Edward second to himself, Sole friend, and partner of his secret loves? And could a glance of fading beauty break Th' enchainèd fetters of such private friends? Base coward, false, and too effeminate To be corrival with a prince in thoughts! From Oxford have I posted since I din'd, To quite a traitor 'fore that Edward sleep.
Mar. 'Twas I, my lord, not Lacy stept awry; For oft he sued and courted for yourself, And still woo'd for the courtier all in green; But I, whom fancy made but over-fond, Pleaded myself with looks as if I lov'd; I fed mine eye with gazing on his face, And still bewitch'd lov'd Lacy with my looks; My heart with sighs, mine eyes pleaded with tears, My face held pity and content at once, And more I could not cipher-out by signs, But that I lov'd Lord Lacy with my heart. Then, worthy Edward, measure with thy mind If women's favours will not force men fall, If beauty, and if darts of piercing love, Are not of force to bury thoughts of friends. P. Edw. I tell thee, Peggy, I will have thy loves: Edward or none shall conquer Margaret. In frigates bottom'd with rich Sethin planks, Topt with the lofty firs of Lebanon, Stemm'd and incas'd with burnish'd ivory, And overlaid with plates of Persian wealth, Like Thetis shalt thou wanton on the waves, And draw the dolphins to thy lovely eyes, To dance lavoltas in the purple streams: Sirens, with harps and silver psalteries, Shall wait with music at thy frigate's stem, And entertain fair Margaret with their lays. England and England's wealth shall wait on thee; Britain shall bend unto her prince's love, And do due homage to thine excellence, If thou wilt be but Edward's Margaret. Mar. Pardon, my lord: if Jove's great royalty Sent me such presents as to Danaë; If Phoebus, tired' in Latona's webs, Came courting from the beauty of his lodge; The dulcet tunes of frolic Mercury, Nor all the wealth heaven's treasury affords, Should make me leave Lord Lacy or his love. P. Edw. I have learn'd at Oxford, then, this point of schools,
Ablata causa, tollitur effectus:3
Lacy, the cause that Margaret cannot love
1 lavoltas-a lavolta was a dance for two persons, who whirled quickly round, face to face, each leaping alternately; Ital. volta; from Latin, volvo, volutum, to roll. 2 tired. Perhaps this should be 'tirèd.'
The cause being removed, the effect will fail.'
Villain, prepare thyself; for I will bathe My poniard in the bosom of an earl.
Lacy. Rather than live, and miss fair Margaret's love,
Prince Edward, stop not at the fatal doom,
"Twere sin to stain fair Venus' courts with blood;
P. Edw. Lacy shall die as traitor to his lord. Lacy. I have deserv'd it, Edward; act it well. Mar. What hopes the prince to gain by Lacy's death?
P. Edw. To end the loves 'twixt him and Margaret.
Mar. Why, thinks King Henry's son that Margaret's love
Hangs in th' uncertain balance of proud time? That death shall make a discord of our thoughts? No, stab the earl, and, 'fore the morning sun Shall vaunt him thrice over the lofty east, Margaret will meet her Lacy in the heavens.
Lacy. If aught betides to lovely Margaret That wrongs or wrings her honour from content, Europe's rich wealth nor England's monarchy Should not allure Lacy to over-live.
Then, Edward, short my life, and end her loves. Mar. Rid2 me, and keep a friend worth many loves.
Lacy. Nay, Edward, keep a love worth many friends.
Mar. An' if thy mind be such as fame hath blaz'd,
Then, princely Edward, let us both abide
Banish thou fancy, and embrace revenge,
Who at Damasco beat the Saracens,
And brought'st home triumph on thy lance's point?
And shall thy plumes be pull'd by Venus down?
Conquering thyself, thou gett'st the richest spoil.
Lacy, rise up. Fair Peggy, here's my hand: The Prince of Wales hath conquer'd all his thoughts,
And all his loves he yields unto the earl.
Lacy. Humbly I take her of my sovereign,
Mar. And doth the English prince mean true? Will he vouchsafe to cease his former loves, And yield the title of a country maid Unto Lord Lacy?
P. Edw. I will, fair Peggy, as I am true lord. Mar. Then, lordly sir, whose conquest is as great,
In conquering love, as Cæsar's victories,
1 vaunt display, show.
- Rid-get rid of.
As was Aspasia unto Cyrus' self,
P. Edw.-Gramercy, Peggy.-Now that vows are past,
And that your loves are not to be revolt,
pray God I like her as I loved thee.
Beside, Lord Lincoln, we shall hear dispute
Mar. As it please Lord Lacy: but love's foolish looks
Think footsteps miles and minutes to be hours.
Are richly seated near the river-side:
Spacious the rooms, and full of pleasant walks;
Bun. I tell thee, German, Hapsburg holds none such,
None read so deep as Oxenford contains.
K. Hen. Stand to him, Bungay, charm this
And I will use thee as a royal king.
Van. Wherein dar'st thou dispute with me?
The doubtful question unto Vandermast.
Bun. Let it be this: Whether the spirits of pyromancy 2 or geomancy be most predominant in magic?
Van. I say, of pyromancy.
Van. The cabalists that write of magic spells,
To be a punctum squared to the rest;
And that the compass of ascending elements
Bun. I reason not of elemental shapes,
I tell thee, German, magic haunts the ground,
That work such shows and wondering in the world,
Are acted by those geomantic spirits
The fiery spirits are but transparent shades,
Van. Rather these earthly geomantic spirits
Are mighty, swift, and of far-reaching power.
Emp. Now, English Harry, here begins the game;
We shall see sport between these learned men.
Bun. Show thee the tree, leav'd with refined gold,
Whereon the fearful dragon held his seat,
Van. Well done!
K. Hen. What say you, royal lordings, to my friar?
Hath he not done a point of cunning skill?
Van. Each scholar in the necromantic spells Can do as much as Bungay hath perform'd. But as Alcmena's bastard raz'd this tree, So will I raise him up as when he liv'd, And cause him pull the dragon from his seat, And tear the branches piecemeal from the root.Hercules! Prodi, prodi,2 Hercules!
HERCULES appears in his lion's skin.
Her. Quis me vult?3
The fiend, appearing like great Hercules,
Van. Cease, Hercules, until I give thee charge.
Mighty commander of this English isle,
Bacon. All hail to this royal company,
Van. Lordly thou look'st, as if that thou wert learn'd;
Thy countenance as if science held her seat
K. Hen. Now, monarchs, hath the German found his match.
Emp. Bestir thee, Jaques, take not now the foil,
Lest thou dost lose what foretime thou didst gain.
Unless he were more learn'd than Vandermast:
Van. Rais'd Hercules to ruinate that tree That Bungay mounted by his magic spells. Bacon. Set Hercules to work.
Van. Now, Hercules, I charge thee to thy task; Pull off the golden branches from the root.
Her. I dare not. Seest thou not great Bacon here,
Whose frown doth act more than thy magic can?
Her. Bacon, that bridles headstrong Belcephon,
K. Hen. How now, Vandermast! have you met with your match?
Van. Never before was't known to Vandermast That men held devils in such obedient awe. Bacon doth more than art, or else I fail.
Emp. Why, Vandermast, art thou overcome?Bacon, dispute with him, and try his skill. Bacon. I came not, monarchs, for to hold dispute
With such a novice as is Vandermast;
Shall find the German in his study safe.
K. Hen. Bacon, thou hast honour'd England with thy skill,
And made fair Oxford famous by thine art:
But tell me, shall we dine with thee to-day? Bacon. With me, my lord; and while I fit my cheer,
See where Prince Edward comes to welcome you,
How martial is the figure of his face!
K. Hen. Ned, where hast thou been?
If they could scape the teasers or the toil.
Sweet Elinor, beauty's high-swelling pride,
The mark that Elinor did count her aim,
K. of Cast. Fear not, my lord, this couple will agree,
If love may creep into their wanton eyes :-
K. Hen. Let me that joy in these consorting greets,
And glory in these honours done to Ned,
And rest a true Plantagenet to all.
Enter MILES with a cloth and trenchers and salt.
Miles. Salvete, omnes reges,2
That govern your greges
In Saxony and Spain,
In England and in Almain!
Emp. What pleasant fellow is this?
K. Hen. "Tis, my lord, Doctor Bacon's poor scholar.
Let it be done.'
Lutrech. Probably Utrecht is meant. 3 foil-defeat, failure.
1 amorets-looks of love. 3.flocks.'
Hail, all kings.'
Miles. [aside.] My master hath made me sewer of these great lords; and, God knows, I am as serviceable at a table as a sow is under an appletree. 'Tis no matter; their cheer shall not be great, and therefore what skills2 where the salt stand, before or behind? [Exit. K. of Cast. These scholars know more skill in axioms,
How to use quips and sleights of sophistry,
Re-enter MILES with a mess of pottage and broth; and, after him, BACON.
Miles. Spill, sir? why, do you think I never carried twopenny chop before in my life?By your leave, nobile decus,3
For here comes Doctor Bacon's pecus,*
To carry a mess of pottage.
Bacon. Lordings, admire not if your cheer be
What! dost thou taunt us with thy peasant's fare,
and Frederick will not grieve thee long.
Bacon. Content thee, Frederick, for I show'd thee cates,
To let thee see how scholars use to feed;
Miles. Marry, sir, I will.
This day shall be a festival-day with me;
Bacon. I tell thee, monarch, all the German Could not afford thy entertainment such, [peers So royal and so full of majesty,
As Bacon will present to Frederick.
1 sewer was an official who set on and removed the dishes at a feast; perhaps from sew, sue, to follow; old Fr. sewer, squire.
2 skills-signifies. The seats at table above the saltcellar were assigned to the more distinguished guests; the seats below it, to those of inferior rank.
3 noble ornament or dignity.'
4 pecus means a herd or single head of cattle or sheep, also a beast or brute, literally or figuratively. 5 admire-wonder.
cates or acates-provisions, delicacies; old Fr. acater; Fr. acheter, to buy, provide.
7 drugs-from the same root as dry, means originally and literally, dried herbs, &c., not necessarily for
8 carvel or caravel. A kind of light round ship, with a square poop, rigg'd and fitted out like a galley, holding about six score or seven score tun.'-Kersey in NARES. Fr. caravelle, Span. carabela, from Lat. carabus, Gr. karabos, a small wicker vessel covered with hides.
Egyptian courtesan-Cleopatra no doubt is meant.
Enter LAMBERT and SERLSBY with the Keeper. Lam. Come, frolic Keeper of our liege's game, Whose table spread hath ever venison And jacks of wine to welcome passengers, Know I'm in love with jolly Margaret, That overshines our damsels as the moon Darkeneth the brightest sparkles of the night. In Laxfield here my land and living lies: I'll make thy daughter jointer of it all, So thou consent to give her to my wife; And I can spend five hundred marks a year. Ser. I am the lands-lord, Keeper, of thy holds, By copy all thy living lies in me; Laxfield did never see me raise my due: I will enfeoff fair Margaret in all, So she will take her to a lusty squire.
Keep. Now, courteous gentles, if the Keeper's girl
Hath pleas'd the liking fancy of you both,
It joys me that such men of great esteem
Why, Serlsby, is thy wife so lately dead,
Lam. Peggy, the lovely flower of all towns, Suffolk's fair Helen, and rich England's star, Whose beauty, temper'd with her huswifery, Makes England talk of merry Fressingfield!
Ser. I cannot trick it up with poesies, Nor paint my passions with comparisons, Nor tell a tale of Phoebus and his loves: But this believe me,-Laxfield here is mine, Of ancient rent seven hundred pounds a year, And if thou canst but love a country squire, I will enfeoff thee, Margaret, in all: I cannot flatter; try me, if thou please. Mar. Brave neighbouring squires, the stay of Suffolk's clime,
1 Persia, down her Volga, &c.-This,' observes my friend, Mr. W. N. Lettsom, is much as if France were to send claret and burgundy down her Thames.'-DYCE. 2 Probably mirabolans, or dried plums, are meant. 3 suckets-dried sweetmeats for sucking.
4 Cates from Judæa, choicer than the lamp That fired Rome with sparks of gluttony.Dyce thinks this a mutilated passage. The Rev. J. Mitford (Gent. Mag. for March 1833, p. 217) alters 'lamp' to balm.' 'Balm,' he says, or the exudation of the Balsamum, was the only export of Judæa to Rome; and the balm was peculiar to Judæa.'
5 By copy, &c. This evidently means that the keeper held his lands by copyhold from his landlord Serlsby. This passage is obscure, probably it is corrupted.