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Miles. Nay, now my master goes to conjura- Is under him, and he the master there, tion, take heed.
Stand still, fear not, I'll show you but his book. [Conjures.
Per omnes deos infernales, Belcephon!1 Enter HOSTESS with a shoulder of mutton on a spit, and a Devil.
Miles. Oh, master, cease your conjuration, or you spoil all; for here's a she-devil come with a shoulder of mutton on a spit: you have marred the devil's supper; but no doubt he thinks our college fare is slender, and so hath sent you his cook with a shoulder of mutton, to make it exceed.
Hostess. Oh, where am I, or what's become of me?
Bacon. What art thou?
Hostess. Hostess at Henley, Mistress of the Bell.
Bacon. How cam'st thou here?
Hostess. As I was in the kitchen 'mongst the maids,
Spitting the meat 'gainst supper for my guess,"
But straight a whirlwind hoisted me from thence
What! Master Burden; 'twas but yesternight
Burd. I know not what we did. A pox of all conjuring friars!
Clem. Now, jolly friar, tell us, is this the book That Burden is so careful to look on?
Bacon. It is. But, Burden, tell me now, Think'st thou that Bacon's necromantic skill Cannot perform his head and wall of brass, When he can fetch thine hostess in such post? 3 Miles. I'll warrant you, master, if Master Burden could conjure as well as you, he would have his book every night from Henley to study on at Oxford.
What! are you mated by this frolic friar?Look how he droops; his guilty conscience Drives him to 'bash, and makes his hostess blush. Bacon. Well, mistress, for I will not have you miss'd,
You shall to Henley to cheer up your guests
Burd. The devil take thee and Henley too.
Miles. Marry, sir, now that my hostess is gone to provide supper, conjure up another spirit, and send Doctor Burden flying after.
Bacon. Thus, rulers of our academic state, You have seen the friar frame his art by proof; And as the college called Brazen-nose
1. By all the infernal deities, Belcephon!'
2 guess was often used for guests by our early writers.
3 post-speed; post-haste we now say.
mated confounded; same as mate in checkmate. 'bash-abash; i.e. to feel abashed or affronted.
So surely shall this head of brass be fram'd,
[Exeunt. Enter MARGARET and JOAN; THOMAS, RICHARD, and other Clowns; and LACY disguised in country apparel.
Thom. By my troth, Margaret, here's a weather is able to make a man call his father 'whoreson.' If this weather hold, we shall have hay good? cheap, and butter and cheese at Harleston will bear no price.
Mar. Thomas, maids when they come to see the fair
Count not to make a cope 3 for dearth of hay:
Mar. This is a fairing, gentle sir, indeed,
A farmer's daughter for a farmer's son:
[All this while LACY whispers MARGARET
in the ear.
But, Thomas, what's the news? what! in a dump? Give me your hand, we are near a pedlar's shop; Out with your purse, we must have fairings now.
Thom. Faith, Joan, and shall: I'll bestow a fairing on you; and then we will to the tavern, and snap off a pint of wine or two.
Mar. Whence are you, sir?-of Suffolk? for your terins
Are finer than the common sort of men.
Lacy. Faith, lovely girl, I am of Beccles by, Your neighbour, not above six miles from hence, A farmer's son, that never was so quaint But that he could do courtesy to such dames. But trust me, Margaret, I am sent in charge From him that revell'd in your father's house, And fill'd his lodge with cheer and venison, "Tirèd in green: he sent you this rich purse, His token that he help'd you run your cheese, And in the milkhouse chatted with yourself. Mar. To me? You forget yourself. Lacy. Women are often weak in memory. Mar. Oh, pardon, sir, I call to mind the man: "Twere little manners to refuse his gift, And yet I hope he sends it not for love; For we have little leisure to debate of that.
Joan. What! Margaret, blush not: maids must have their loves.
Thom. Nay, by the mass, she looks pale as if she were angry.
Rich. Sirral, are you of Beccles? I pray, how doth goodman Cob? My father bought a horse of him.-I'll tell you, Margaret, 'a' were good to be a gentleman's jade; for of all things the foul hilding could not abide a dung-cart.
Mar. [aside.] How different is this farmer from the rest,
That erst as yet have pleas'd my wandering sight!
Keep that to thee till time doth serve thy turn,
Mar. Well, if you chance to come by FressingMake but a step into the Keeper's lodge, And such poor fare as woodmen can afford, Butter and cheese, cream and fat venison, You shall have store, and welcome therewithal. Lacy. Gramercies, Peggy; look for me ere long. [Exeunt.
Enter KING HENRY THE THIRD, the EMPEROR, the
Ring'd with the walls of old Oceanus,
Who dar'd for Edward's sake cut through the seas,
K. of Cast. England's rich monarch, brave
The Pyren Mounts swelling above the clouds,
2 hilding-a base, menial wretch, a term of contempt often used by old writers; possibly from hinderling, a provincial word signifying degenerate, or from AngloSaxon, hyldan, to bend.
3 erst generally means formerly, but is here equivalent to ere, or hitherto.
4 grey was the phrase for a homely shepherd's garb,' equivalent to the Scotch homespun "hodden grey.' -Rev. J. MITFORD.
5 quaint, which, according to some, comes from old Fr. coint, pretty, affable, Lat. comptus, trimmed, here means, trim, neat.
6 Gramercies, from Fr. grande merci, means, many thanks, much obliged.
This, perhaps, should be surge is.
8 promontory-cleeves-See note 2, p. 79, 1st col.
Elin. After that English Henry by his lords Had sent Prince Edward's lovely counterfeit,' A present to the Castile Elinor, The comely portrait of so brave a man, The virtuous fame discoursèd of his deeds, Edward's courageous resolution, Done at the Holy Land 'fore Damas' walls, Led both mine eye and thoughts in equal links, To like so of the English monarch's son, That I attempted perils for his sake.
Emp. Where is the prince, my lord?
K. Hen. He posted down, not long since, from the court,
To Suffolk side, to merry Framlingham,
To hear dispute amongst the learned men.
Emp. Nay, rather, Henry, let us, as we be,
To Paris, Rheims, and stately Orleans,
K. Hen. He shall, my lord; this motion likes me well.
We'll progress straight to Oxford with our trains,
Enter RALPH SINNELL in PRINCE EDWARD'S apparel; and PRINCE EDWARD, WARREN, and ERMSBY, disguised.
Ralph. Where be these vagabond knaves, that they attend no better on their master?
P. Edw. If it please your honour, we are all ready at an inch.
Ralph. Sirrah Ned, I'll have no more posthorse to ride on: I'll have another fetch.s
Erms. I pray you, how is that, my lord? Ralph. Marry, sir, I'll send to the Isle of Ely for four or five dozen of geese, and I'll have them tied six and six together with whip-cord: now upon their backs will I have a fair field-bed with a canopy; and so, when it is my pleasure, I'll flee into what place I please. This will be easy. War. Your honour hath said well: but shall we to Brazen-nose College before we pull off our boots?
Erms. Warren, well motion'd; we will to the friar
Before we revel it within the town.
2 Whilst, &c.-Until we set out. 3 fetch-stratagem or contrivance.
Ralph, see you keep your countenance like a prince.
Ralph. Wherefore have I such a company of cutting knaves to wait upon me, but to keep and defend my countenance against all mine enemies? Have you not good swords and bucklers? Erms. Stay, who comes here?
War. Some scholar; and we'll ask him where Friar Bacon is.
Enter FRIAR BACON and MILES.
Bacon. Why, thou arrant dunce, shall I never make thee a good scholar? Doth not all the town cry out and say, Friar Bacon's subsizer is the greatest blockhead in all Oxford? Why, thou canst not speak one word of true Latin.
Miles. No, sir? yet, what is this else? Ego sum tuus homo, 'I am your man:' I warrant you, sir, as good Tully's phrase as any is in Oxford. Bacon. Come on, sirrah; what part of speech is Ego?
Miles. Ego, that is 'I;' marry, nomen substantivo.2
Miles. Why, sir, let him prove himself an a3 will, I can be heard, felt, and understood. Bacon. O gross dunce!
[Beats him. P. Edw. Come, let us break off this dispute between these two.-Sirrah, where is Brazennose College?
Miles. Not far from Coppersmith's Hall.
Erms. Marry, we would speak with Friar Bacon.
Erms. Marry, scholar, here's our master. Ralph. Sirrah, I am the master of these good fellows; mayst thou not know me to be a lord by my reparrel? *
Miles. Then here's good game for the hawk; for here's the master-fool and a covey of coxcombs. One wise man, think, would spring you
P. Edw. Gog's wounds! Warren, kill him. War. Why, Ned, I think the devil be in my sheath; I cannot get out my dagger.
Erms. Nor I mine. Swones, Ned, I think I am bewitched.
Miles. A company of scabs!" the proudest of you all draw your weapon, if he can.-[Aside.] See how boldly I speak, now my master is by. P. Edu. I strive in vain; but if my sword be shut
And conjur'd fast by magic in my sheath,
[Strikes MILES a box on the ear. Miles. Oh, I beseech you conjure his hands too, that he may not lift his arms to his head, for he is light-fingered!
Ralph. Ned, strike him; I'll warrant thee by mine honour.
Bacon. What! means the English prince to Wrong my man?
P. Edw. To whom speak'st thou?
P. Edw. Who art thou?
Bacon. Could you not judge when all your swords grew fast,
That Friar Bacon was not far from hence? Edward, King Henry's son and Prince of Wales,
Thy fool disguis'd cannot conceal thyself:
Miles. In faith, my lord, your manhood and your sword is all alike; they are so fast conjured that we shall never see them.
Erms. What! doctor, in a dump! tush, help the prince,
And thou shalt see how liberal he will prove. Bacon. Crave not such actions greater dumps
I will, my lord, strain out my magic spells;
My scholar shall go bring them to their inn;
Let him be master, and go revel it,
War. We will, my lord.
Ralph. Faith, Ned, and I'll lord it out till thou comest. I'll be Prince of Wales over all the black-pots in Oxford.
[Exeunt WARREN, ERMSBY, RALPH SIMNELL, and MILES.
FRIAR BACON and PRINCE EDWARD go into the study.
Bacon. Now, frolic Edward, welcome to my cell;
Here tempers Friar Bacon many toys,
How Lacy meaneth to his sovereign lord.
1 Fast-fancied-held fast by fancy. 2 treat-entreat.
3 thy college-state-probably means the state of thy college.
Afrolic-gay, merry; Ger. fröhlich-gay, joyful.
Mar. But tell me, Friar Bungay, is it true?
Bun. Peggy, 'tis true, 'tis Lacy for my life,
Mar. Be what he will, his lure is but for lust:
Might well avouch to shadow Helen's rape:"
As Greece afforded in her chiefest prime:
Bun. Hath not each eye that view'd thy pleasing face
Surnamèd thee Fair Maid of Fressingfield?
Mar. Yes, Bungay; and would God the lovely earl
Had that in esse that so many sought.
Bun. Fear not, the friar will not be behind To show his cunning to entangle love.
P. Edw. I think the friar courts the bonny wench:
Bacon, methinks he is a lusty churl.
Enter LACY disguised as before.
P. Edw. Gog's wounds, Bacon, here comes Lacy!
Bacon. Sit still, my lord, and mark the comedy. Bun. Here's Lacy, Margaret; step aside awhile. [Retires with MARGARET.
Lacy. Daphne, the damsel that caught Phoebus fast,
And lock'd him in the brightness of her looks,
Mar. Come, friar, I will shake him from his dumps.[Comes forward. How cheer you, sir? a penny for your thought. You're early up, pray God it be the near.1 What! come from Beccles in a morn so soon?
Lacy. Thus watchful are such men as live in love,
Whose eyes brook broken slumbers for their sleep.
I tell thee, Peggy, since last Harleston fair
Mar. A trusty man, that court it for your
Woo you still for the courtier all in green?
I pleaded first to get your grace' for him;
Love, like a wag, straight div'd into my heart,
And measure not my riches, but my love.
Mar. You are very hasty, for to garden well, Seeds must have time to sprout before they spring.
Love ought to creep as doth the dial's shade,
Bun. Deus hic;3 room for a merry friar!
Bun. Hear you not how the pursuivants do post
With proclamations through each country-town?
Lacy, the Earl of Lincoln is late fled
And therefore doth proclaim in every way,
It was some other; thou mistak'st the man.
Mar. Yes, very well, my lord, for you are he:
P. Edw. How familiar they be, Bacon! Bacon. Sit still, and mark the sequel of their loves.
Lacy. Then am I double prisoner to thyself. Peggy, I yield. But are these news in jest?
Mar. In jest with you, but earnest unto me; For why these wrongs do wring me at the heart.
Ah, how these earls and noblemen of birth
I liv'd disguis'd to win fair Peggy's love.
Lacy. I meant, fair girl, to make thee Lacy's wife.
Mar. I little think that earls will stoop so low.
Lacy. Say shall I make thee countess ere I sleep?
Mar. Handmaid unto the earl, so please himself:
A wife in name, but servant in obedience.
Lacy. The Lincoln Countess, for it shall be so. I'll plight the bands, and seal it with a kiss. P. Edw. Gog's wounds, Bacon, they kiss! I'll stab them.
Bacon. Oh, hold your hands, my lord, it is the glass!
P. Edw. Choler to see the traitors gree so well Made me [to] think the shadows substances.
Bacon. Twere a long poniard, my lord, to
Mar. What likes my lord is pleasing unto me. Bun. Then hand-fast hand, and I will to my book.
Bacon. What sees my lord now?
P. Edw. Bacon, I see the lovers hand in hand, The friar ready with his portace there To wed them both: then am I quite undone. Bacon, help now, if e'er thy magic serv'd; Help, Bacon; stop the marriage now, If devils or necromancy may suffice, And I will give thee forty thousand crowns. Bacon. Fear not, my lord, I'll stop the jolly friar For mumbling up his orisons this day. Lacy. Why speak'st not, Bungay? Friar, to thy book.
[Bungay is mute, crying 'Hud, hud.' Mar. How look'st thou, friar, as a man distraught?
Reft of thy senses, Bungay? show by signs,
Enchanted him, or else some strange disease
Mar. Else let me die, my lord, a miscreant.
I'll fetch this Bungay straightway from Fressingfield,
And he shall dine with us in Oxford here.
P. Edw. Bacon, do that, and thou contentest me. Lacy. Of courtesy, Margaret, let us lead the
Unto thy father's lodge, to comfort him With broths, to bring him from this hapless trance.
Mar. Or else, my lord, we were passing unkind To leave the friar so in his distress.
Enter a Devil, who carries off BUNGAY on his back.
1 portace, also portasse, portesse, porthose, etc.-portalle prayer-book or breviary.
P. Edw. Bacon, I laugh to see the jolly friar Mounted upon the devil, and how the earl Flees with his bonny lass for fear. As soon as Bungay is at Brazen-nose, And I have chatted with the merry friar, I will in post hie me to Fressingfield, And 'quite these wrongs on Lacy ere't be long. Bacon. So be it, my lord: but let us to our dinner;
For ere we have taken our repast awhile, We shall have Bungay brought to Brazen-nose. [Exeunt.
Enter BURDEN, MASON, and CLEMENT. Mason. Now that we are gather'd in the Regent house,
It fits us talk about the king's repair,
Have in their jests resolv'd for Oxford town.
Burd. We must lay plots of stately tragedies, Strange comic shows, such as proud Roscius Vaunted before the Roman emperors.
Clem. To welcome all the western potentates. But more; the king by letters hath foretold That Frederick, the Almain emperor, Hath brought with him a German of esteem, Whose surname is Don Jaques Vandermast, Skilful in magic and those secret arts.
Mason. Then must we all make suit unto the friar,
To Friar Bacon, that he vouch3 this task,
Burd. Bacon, if he will hold the German play, Will teach him what an English friar can do: The devil, I think, dare not dispute with him. Clem. Indeed, Mas doctor, he [dis]pleasur'd
In that he brought your hostess with her spit, From Henley, posting unto Brazen-nose.
Burd. A vengeance on the friar for his pains! But leaving that, let's hie to Bacon straight, To see if he will take this task in hand.
Clem. Stay, what rumour is this? The town is up in a mutiny: what hurly-burly is this? Enter a Constable, with RALPH SIMNELL, WARREN, ERMSBY, all three disguised as before, and MILES.
Cons. Nay, masters, if you were ne'er so good, you shall before the doctors to answer your misdemeanour.
Burd. What's the matter, fellow?
Cons. Marry, sir, here's a company of rufflers,5 that, drinking in the tavern, have made a great brawl, and almost killed the vintner. Miles. Salve, Doctor Burden! This lubberly lurden,'
'Scocon' is the common reading.
2 jests or gests. In the time of the royal progresses, the king's stages, as we may see by the journals of them in the herald's office, were called his gests, from the old Fr. word giste, diversorium.'-NARES. It may possibly, however, mean here merely doings, from Lat. gero, gestum, to do.
3 vouch-to maintain, undertake; literally, to call upon, to defend.
Mas-probably an abbreviation for Master.
5 ruffler-a disturber, a lawless violent person. 6Hail.'
7 lurden or lourden-a heavy, lumpish, lazy fellow; Fr. lourd, heavy, dull.