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Tread on my neck: I freely offer it ;
Tigr. No; I forgive,
Arb. May'st thou be happy:
My thanks to Heaven for 'em. Will you go
Tigr. I will.
THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE.
FROM THE SECOND EDITION (1635). WHERE the bee can suck no honey, she leaves mixed with wit, as to the foolish to have sport her sting behind; and where the bear cannot mingled with rudeness. They were banished find origanum? to heal his grief, he blasteth all the theatre of Athens, and from Rome hissed, the other leaves with his breath. We fear it is that brought parasites on the stage, with apish like to fare so with us; that, seeing you cannot actions, or fools with uncivil habits, or courtezans draw from our labours sweet content, you leave with immodest words. We have endeavoured behind you a sour mislike, and with open re to be as far from unseemly speeches, to make proach blame our good meaning, because you your ears glow, as we hope you will be free from cannot reap the wonted mirth. Our intent was unkind reports, or mistaking the author's intenat this time to move inward delight, not outward tion, who never aimed at any one particular, in lightness; and to breed (if it might be) soft this play, to make our cheeks blush. And thus smiling, not loud laughing; knowing it, to the I leave it, and thee to thine own censure, to like wise, to be a great pleasure to hear counsel or dislike.- VALE.
sitting below amidst
Three suppose l Knights. the Spectators.
A Captain. RALPH, his Apprentice,
and MICHAEL MICHAEL, Second Son of MISTRESS MERRY- LUCE, the Merchant's Daughter, beloved of and THOUGHT.
loving JASPER. Tim, acting as Squire
Mistress MERRYTHOUGHT, JASPER's Mother.
Woman Captive. Host.
POMPIONA, Princess of Moldavia. Barber.
SCENE-London, and the neighbouring Country, excepting Act Iv., Scene 11., where it is in Moldavia.
1 It is uncertain whether this excellent burlesque comedy was the joint production of both Beaumont and Fletcher, or whether only one of them should get the credit of it. It is generally supposed that the idea of the burlesque was suggested by Don Quixote. A. W. Schlegel calls it an incomparable and singular work of its kind,' and that although the thought is borrowed from Don Quixote, the imitation is handled with freedom, and so particularly applied to Spencer's Fairy Queen, that it may pass for a second invention.'
2 origanum-wild marjoram.
Wife. By your leave, gentlemeu all! I'm someINDUCTION.
thing troublesome. I'm a stranger here; I was
ne'er at one of these plays, as they say, before; Enter Speaker of the Prologue. The Citizen, his but I should have seen Jane Shore' once; and
Wife, and RALPH, sitting below the stage among my husband hath promised me, any time this the Spectators. Several Gentlemen sitting upon twelvemonth, to carry me to the Bold Beauthe Stage."
champs, a but in truth he did not. I pray you
bear with me. Prologue. From all that's near the court, from all that's great
Cit. Boy, let my wife and I have a couple of
stools, and then begin; and let the grocer do Within the compass of the city walls,
rare things. We now have brought our scene-
[Stools are brought, and they sit down. Citizen leaps upon the Stage.
Prol. But, sir, we have never a boy to play
him. Every one hath a part already. Cit. Hold your peace, goodman boy!
Wife. Husband, husband, for God's sake, lot Prol. What do you mean, sir?
Ralph play him! Beshrew me, if I do not tbink Cit. That you have no good meaning. This
he will go beyond them all. seven years there hath been plays at this house,
Cit. Well remember'd, wife.-Come up, Ralph! I have observed it, you have still girds at citi
I'll tell you, gentlemen ; let them but lend him zens; and now you call your play The London
a suit of reparrel, 3 and necessaries, and, by gnd, Merchant. Down with your title, boy, down
if any of them all blow wind in the tail on him, with your title!
I'll be hanged! [RALPH comes on the Stage. Prol. Are you a member of the noble city ?
Wife. I pray you, youth, let him have a suit Cit. I am.
of reparrel. i'll be sworn, gentlemen, my hus. Prol. And a frecman?
band tells you true. He will act you sometimes Cit. Yea, and a grocer.
at our house, that all the neighbours cry out on Prol. So, grocer; then, by your sweet favour, him; he will fetch you up a couraging part so we intend no abuse to the city.
in the garret, that we are all as scared, I warrant Cit. No, sir ? yes, sir; if you were not re you, that we quake again. We'll fear our chilsolved to play the Jacks, what need you study dren with him; if they bo never so unruly, do for new subjects, purposely to abuse your bet but cry, 'Ralph comes, Ralph comes!' to them, ters? Why could not you be contented, as well
and they'll be as quiet as lambs.-Hold up the as others, with the legend of Whittington, or the head, Ralph ; show the gentleman what thou Life and Death of Sir Thomas Gresham, with canst do ; speak a huffing“ part; I warrant you the building of the Royal Exchange? or the
the gentlemen will accept of it. story of Queen Eleanor, with the rearing of
Cit. Do, Ralph, do. London Bridge upon woolsacks? 4
Ralph. By Heaven, methinks, it were an easy Prol. You seem to be an understanding man;
leap what would you have us do, sir?
To pluck bright honour from the palc-faced moon, Cit. Why, present something notably in honour Or dive into the bottom of the sea, of the commons of the city.
Where never fathom-line touch'd any ground, Prol. Why, what do you say to the Life and And pluck up drowned honour from the lake of Death of fat Drake, or the Repairing of Fleet
hell. Privies? 4
Cit. How say you, gentlemen? is it not as I Cit. I do not like that; but I will have a
told you? citizen, and he shall be of my own trade.
Wife. Nay, gentlemen, he hath played before, Prol. Oh, you should have told us your mind
my husband says, Musidorus, beloru the wardens a month since; our play is ready to begin now. of our company;
Cit. 'Tis all one for that; I will have a grocer, Cit. Ay, and he should have played Jeronimo, and he shall do admirable things.
with a shoemaker for a wager. Prol. What will you have him do ?
Prol. He shall have a suit of apparel, if he will Cit. Marry, I will have him Wife. [Below.] Husband, husband!
Cit. In, Ralph! in, Ralph! and set out the Ralph. [Below.) Peace, mistress!
grocery in their kind, if thou lovest me. Wife. Hold thy peace, Ralph; I know what I
Wije. I warrant our Ralph will look finely do, I'warrant thee. Husband, husband !
when he's dress'd. Cit. What say'st thou, cony?
Prol. But what will you have it call'd ? Wife. Let him kill a lion with a Pestle, hus Cit. The Grocer's Ilonour. band! let him kill a lion with a Pestle !
Prol. Methinks The knight of the Burning Cit. So he shall; I'll have him kill a lion with | Pestle were better. a Pestle,
Wife. I'll be sworn, husband, that's as good a Wife. Husband! shall I come up, husband ?
name as can be. Cit. Ay, cony. - Ralph, help your mistress Cit. Let it be so; begin, begin; my wife and this way.--Pray, gentlemen, make her a little I will sit down. room. I pray you, sir, lend me your hand to Prol. I pray you, do. help up my wife. I thank you, sir; so! [Wise comes upon the Stage.
1 There was more than one play referring to Jane
Shore; this muy refer to the one composed by Chetulo 1 The practice of accommodating gallants with seats and Day, acted in 1602. on the stage, is often alluded to in old plays; and they 2 the Bold Beauchamps. This was one of the ancient commonly paid from a sixpence to a shilling for a stool, heroic plays, probably now lost.-WZBER. according to the value of the scat.-WEEER.
3 repurrel-appurel. 2 girds--gibes, sarcasms. See note 7, p. 49, col. 1. 4 hulling--heaving or swelling with anger, swaggering.
3 play the Jacks. This seems to have been a prover 5 Musidorus--a play printed in 1528. bial expression at the time.
6 Jeronimo--the name of a play, said to be by Thomas 4 They were all probably names of contemporary Kyd, which was continually made a butt of by contene
Cit. What stately music have you? you have She is private to herself, and best of knowledge chaums? 1
Whom she will make so happy as to sigh for. Prol. Shaums? No.
Besides, I cannot think you mean to match her Cit. No? I'm a thief if my mind did not give Unto a fellow of so lame a presence, me so. Ralph plays a stately part, and he must One that hath little left of nature in him. needs have shaums. I'll be at the charge of them Vent. "Tis very well, sir; I can tell your wisdom myself, rather than we'll be without thein.
How all this shall be cured. Prol. So you are like to be.
Jasp. Your care becomes you. Cit. Why, and so I will be. There's two shil V'ent. And thus it must be, sir: I here dislings; lets have the waits of Southwark! they
charge you are as rare fellows as any are in England, and My house and service; take your liberty ; that will fetch them o'er the water, with a ven And when I want a son, I'll send for you. [Exit. geance, as if they were mad.
Jasp. These be the fair rewards of them that Prol. You shall have them. Will you sit down love. then?
Oh, you that live in freedom never prove Cit. Ay.-Come, wife.
The travail of a mind led by desire! Wife. Sit you merry all, gentlemen; I'm bold
Enter Luce. to sit amongst you for my ease. Prol. From all that's near the court, from all Luce. Why, how now, friend? struck with my
father's thunder? Within the compass of the city walls,
Jasp. Struck, and struck dead, unless the We now have brought our scene: Fly far from remedy hence
Be full of speed and virtue; I am now, All private taxes, ? (all) immodest phrases,
What I expected long, no more your father's. Whuterer may but show like vicious!
Luce. But mine? For wicked mirth never true pleasure brings, Jasp. But yours, and only yours, I am; But honest minds are pleased with honest things. That's all I have to keep me from the statuto.
Thus much for what we do; but, for Ralph's | You dare be constant still? part, you must answer for yourself.
Luce. Oh, fear me not! Cit. Take you no care for Ralph; he'll dis- In this I dare be better than a woman. charge himself, I warrant you.
Nor shall his anger nor his offers move me, Wife. I' faith, gentlemen, I'll give my word Were they both equal to a prince's power. for Kalph.
Jasp. You know my rival ?
Luce. Yes, and love him dearly ;
I pr’ythee, Jasper, fear him not!
Jasp. Oh, no;
I do not mean to do him so much kindness. A Room in the House of VENTERWELS. But to our own desires: you know the plot
We both agreed on?
Luce. Yes, and will perform
Jasp. I desire no more. And whom my charitable love redeem’d
Farewell, and keep my heart; 'tis yours. Even from the fall of fortune; gave thee heat
Luce. I take it ; And growth, to be what now thou art, new-cast He must do miracles, makes me forsake it. thee;
[Exeunt. Adding the trust of all I have, at home,
Cit.? Fy upon 'em, little infidels! what a In foreign staples, or upon the sea,
matter's here now? Well, I'll be hang'd for a To thy direction; tied the good opinions
halípenny, it there be not some abomination Both of myself and friends to thy endeavours; knavery in this play. Well; let 'em look to't ; So sair were thy beginnings. But with these, Ralph must come, and if there be any tricks aAs I remember, you had never charge
brewingTo love your master's daughter; and even then • Wife. Let 'em brew and bake too, husband, When I had found a wealthy husband for her; a' God's name; Ralph will find all out, I warrant I take it, sir, you had not. But, however, you, an they were older than they are.--I pray, I'll break the neck of that commission,
my pretty youth, is Ralph ready? And make you know you're but a merchant's • Boy. He will be presently. factor.
• Wife. Now, I pray you, make my commendaJasp. Sir, I do liberally confess I am yours, tions unto him, and withal, carry him this stick Bound both by love and duty to your service, of liquorice; tell him his mistress sent it him; In which my labour hath been all my profit; and bid him bite a piece; 'twill open his pipes I have not lost in bargain, nor delighted
the better, say.'
[Exit Boy. To wear your honest gains upon my back;
Enter VENTERWELS and Master HUMPHREY. Nor have I given a pension to my blood, Or lavishly in play consumed your stock:
Vent. Come, sir, she's yours; upon my faith, These, and the miseries that do attend them, I dare with innocence proclaim are strangers You have my hand: for other idle lets 2 To all my temperate actions. For your daughter, Between your hopes and her, thus with a wind If there be any love to my deservings
They are scattered, and no more. My wanton Borne by her virtuous self, I cannot stop it;
prentice, Nor am I able to refrain her wishes:
That like a bladder blew himself with love,
I shaums-see note 3, p. 64, col. 2.
2 All private tarer-i.e. all private taskings,' or reflections on individuals.-WEBER.
1 To distinguish the speeches of the supposed spectators from those of the real dramatis personix, the former are inc.uded in inverted commas.
I have let out, and sent him to discover
• Wife. There's a kind gentleman, I warrant New masters yet unknown.
you; when will you do as much for me, George? Hum. I thank you, sir,
Luce. Beshrew me, sir, I'm sorry for your Indeed I thank you, sir; and, ere I stir,
losses ; It shall be known, however you do deem,
But, as the proverb says, “I cannot cry;' I am of gentle blood, and gentle seem.
I would you had not seen me! Vent. Oh, sir, I know it certain.
Hum. So would I, Hum. Sir, my friend,
Unless you had more maw to do me good. Although, as writers say, all things have end, Luce. Why, cannot this strange passion be And that we call a pudding hath his two,
withstood ? Oh, let it not seem strange, I pray to you, Send for a constable, and raise the town. If in this bloody simile I put
Hum. Oh, no, my valiant love will batter dowa My love, more endless than frail things or gut. Millions of constables, and put to flight
Wife. Husband, I prythee, sweet lamb, tell Even that great watch of Midsummer-day at me one thing; but tell me truly.-Stay, youths, night. I beseech you, till I question my husband.
Luce. Beshrew me, sir, 'twere good I yielded Cit. What is it, mouse ?
then; ' Wife. Sirrah, didst thou ever see a prettier Weak women cannot hope, where valiant men child? How it behaves itself, I warrant ye! and Have no resistance. speaks, and looks, and perts up the head! I pray Hum. Yield then; I am full you, brother, with your favour, were you never Of pity, though I say it, and can pull none of Master Moncaster's scholars?
Out of my pocket thus a pair of gloves. Cit. Chicken, I pr’ythee heartily contain thy- | Look, Lucy, look; the dog's tooth, nor the dove's, self; the childer are pretty childer; but when Are not so white as these ; and sweet they be, Ralph comes, lamb
And whipt about with silk, as you may see. • Wife. Ay, when Ralph comes, cony !-Well, If you desire the price, shoot from your eye my youth, you may proceed.'
A beam to this place, and you shall espy Vent. Well, sir; you know my love, and rest, FS, which is to say, my sweetest honey, I hope,
They cost me three and twopence or no money. Assured of my consent; get but my daughter's, Luce. Well, sir, I take them kindly, and I And wed her when you please. You must be bold,
What would you more ?
Wife. A whoresome tyrant! 'hath been an old Hum. Nor so, nor so; for, lady, I must tell, stringer 3 in his days, I warrant him!'
Before we part for what we met together; Hum. I take your gentle offer, and withal God grant me time, and patience, and fair Yield love again for love reciprocal.
weather! Vent. What, Luce! within there!
Luce. Speak, and declare your mind in termas
so brief, Enter LUCE.
Hum. I shall; then first and foremost, for relief Luce. Calld you, sir ?
I call to you, if that you can afford it;
I care not at what price, for on my word, it
Shall be repaid again, although it cost me
More than I'll speak of now; for love hath toss'd And see you be not froward. - To her, sir! My presence will but be an eyesore to you.
In furious blanket like a tennis-ball,
[Exit. And now I rise aloft, and now I fall. Hum. Fair Mistress Luce, how do you? are
Luce. Alas, good gentleman, alas the day!
Hum. I thank you heartily; and, as I say, Give me your hand, and then I pray you tell
Thus do I still continue without rest,
I'tli' morning like a man, at night a beast,
Roaring and bellowing mine own disquiet, Ilum. So they are,
That much I fear, forsaking of my diet Where women are not cruel. But how far
Will bring me presently to that quandary,
I shall bid all adieu. Is it now distant from the place we are in,
Luce. Now, by St. Mary, Unto that blessed place, your father's warren ?
That were great pity! Luce. What makes you think of that, sir?
Hum. So it were, beshrew me; Hum. Even that face;
Then ease me, lusty Luce, and pity show me. For stealing rabbits whilome in that place,
Luce. Why, sir, you know my will is nothing God Cupid, or the keeper, I know not whether,
worth Unto my cost and charges brought you thither, And there began
Without my father's grant; get his consent, Luce. Your game, sir ?
And then you may with assurance try me. Hlum. Let no game,
Hum. The worshipful your sire will not deny me,
For I have ask'd him, and he hath replied,
'Sweet Master Humphrey, Luce shall be thy
bride.' For whom I sate me down and brake my tiller."
Luce. Sweet Master Humphrey, then I am con
Hum. And so am I, in truth. 1 Moncaster, or rather Mulcaster, was appointed master of Mercbant Tailor's Schod at its original institution in 1561 - WEBER.
? childer--this old plural of child is still in use in 1 This probably alludes to a custom of celebrating Scotland.
the vigil of St. John the Baptist after sunset, when, 3 stringer-same as striker, i.e. libertinc.
among other things, 2000 men perambulated the streets. 4tiler--a cross-bow.
Luce. Yet take me with you;
Wife. 'Faith, husband, and Ralph says true; There is another clause must be annex'd,
for they say the King of Portugal cannot sit at And this it is: I swore, and will perform it, his meat, but the giants and the ettins' will come No man shall ever 'joy me as his wife,
and snatch it from him. But he that stole me hence. If you dare venture, • Cit. Hold thy tongue.-On, Ralph!' I'm yours (you need not fear; my father loves Ralph. And certainly those knights are much you);
to be commended, who, neglecting their possesIf not, farewell for ever!
sions, wander with a squire and a dwarf through Hum. Stay, nymph, stay!
the deserts, to relieve poor ladies. I have a double gelding, colour'd bay,
Wife. Ay, by my faith are they, Ralph ; let Sprung by his father from Barbarian kind; 'em say what they will, they are indeed. Our Another for myself, though somewhat blind, knights neglect their possessions well enough, Yet true as trusty tree.
but they do not the rest.' Luce. I am satisfied ;
Ralph. There are no such courteous and fair And so I give my hand. Our course must lie well-spoken knights in this age. But what brave Through Waltham-Forest, where I have a friend spirit could be content to sit in his shop, with a Will entertain us. So farewell, Sir Humphrey, flappet of 'wood, and a blue apron before hin, And think upon yonr business! [Exit LUCE. selling Methridatam? and dragon's water to visited Hum. Though I die,
houses, that might pursue feats of arms, and, I am resolved to venture life and limb,
through his noble achievements, procure such For one so young, so fair, so kind, so trim. a famous history to be written of his heroic
[Exit HUMPHREY. prowess? Wife. By my faith and troth, George, and as . Cit. Well said, Ralph; some more of thoso I am virtuous, it is e'en the kindest young man words, Ralph! that ever trod on shoe-leather. Well, go thy • Wife. I'hey go finely, by my troth.' ways; if thou hast her not, 'tis not thy fault, faith. Ralph. Why should not I then pursue this Cit
. I prythee, mouse, be patient! a'l shall course, both for the credit of myself and our have her, or I'll make some of 'em smoke for't. company? for amongst all the worthy books of
• Wife. That's my good lamb, George. Fy! achievements, I do not call to mind that I yet This stinking tobacco kills men! 'Would there read of a Grocer- Errant; I will be the said were none in England! Now I pray, gentlemen, Knight-Have you heard of any that hath wanwhat good does this stinking tobacco 2 do you?
dered unfurnished of his squire and dwarf ? My nothing, I warrant you; make chimneys a' your
elder prentice Tim shall be my trusty squire, and faces!'
little George my dwarf. Hence, my blue apron! Yet, in remembrance of my former trade, upon
my shield shall be portrayed a Burning Pestle, ACT 1.--SCENE II.
and I will be called the knight of the Burning
• Wife. Nay, I dare swear thou wilt not forget Enter RALPH, like a Grocer, with two Apprentices,
thy old trade; thou wert ever meek.' reading Palmerin of England.
Ralph. Tim !
l'im. Anon. Wife. Oh, husband, husband, now, now! Ralph. My beloved squire, and George my there's Ralph, there's Ralph.'
dwarf, I charge you that from henceforth you • Cit. Peace, fool! let Ralph alone.--Hark you, never call me by any other name but the Right Ralph; do not strain yourself too much at the courteous and valiant Knight of the Burning first. Peace! Begin, Ralph.'
Pestle; and that you never call any female by the Ralph. [Reads.] Then Palmerin and Trineus, snatch name of a woman or wencli, but fair lady, if she ing their lances from their dwarfs, and clasping their have her desires; if not, distressed damsel ; that helmets, galloped amain after the giant; and Palmeriu you call all forests and heaths, deserts, and all having gotten a sight of him, came posting amain, horses, palfries ! saying, 'Stay, traitorous thief! for thou mayst not so carry away her, that is worth the greatest lord in the
• Wife. This is very fine !-- 'Faith, do the world,' and, with these words, gave him a blow on the gentlemen like Ralph, think you, husband ? shoulder, that he struck him besides his elephant. And * Cit. Ay, I warrant thee; the players would Trineus coming to the knight that had Agricola behind give all the shoes in their shop for him.' him, set him soon besides his horse, with his neck broken Ralph. My beloved squire Tim, stand out. in the fall ; so that the princess getting out of the Admit this were a desert, and over it a knightthrong, between joy and grief, said, 'All happy knight, the mirror of all such as follow aims, now may I be well
errant pricking, and I should bid you inquire of assured of the love thou bearest me.'3
his intents, what would you say?
Tim. "Sir, my master sent me to know whither I wonder why the kings do not raise an army of you are riding? fourteen or fiiteen hundred thousand men, as big Ralph. No! thus: “Fair sir! the Right couras the army that the Prince of Portigo brought teous and valiant Knight of the Burning Pestle against Rosicler,* and destroy these giants; they commanded me to inquire upon what a sventure do much hurt to wandering damsels, that go in you are bound, whether to relieve some distressed quest of their knights.
damsels, or otherwise.'
. Cit. Whoreson blockhead, cannot remember! la-he.
· Wife. l'faith, and Ralph told him on't before; 2 tobacco. At the time our authors wrote, tobacco, wine, and beer, were the usual accommodations in the theatre.--REED.
3 This passage is taken, with some slight variations, I ettins-giants. Anglo-Saxon, eton, coten; Scotch, from Palmerin Do Oliva, the Mirror of Nobility, Map of | eyttyn; probably connected with Icelandic jotun. Honour, dc, and most accomplished Knight in all Per 2 selling Methridatam, &c.-1.e. to houses visited by fections (1588).--REED.
the plague. For methridate, see p. 230, col. 2, note . 4 These were characters in the celebrated Espeio de Dragon's water is a ludicrous mistake for drayon's blood, Caballenso, one of the romances condeinned by the curate the gum of the dragon tree. in Don Quijote to the flames.- WEBER.