A COLLECTION OF OLD ENGLISH PLAYS, VOL. II
In Four Volumes
Dick of Devonshire
The Lady Mother
The Tragedy of Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt
The plays in this volume are printed for the first time. All are
anonymous; but it is absolutely certain that _Sir John Van Olden
Barnavelt_ is a masterpiece by Fletcher and Massinger; that _Captain
Underwit_ is a comedy of Shirley's; and that the _Lady Mother_ (a piece
of no particular merit) is by Glapthorne. I am not at all sure that I am
right in ascribing _Dick of Devonshire_ to Heywood. But, whoever may
have been the author, I am confident that this well-written play will be
welcomed by all. In _Appendix I_ I give an account of the folio volume
(Eg. MS. 1,994) from which the two last pieces are taken.
To Mr. ROBERT BOYLE, of St. Petersburg, I offer my sincere thanks for
the very interesting note (_Appendix II_) which he sent me after reading
the proof-sheets of _Barnavelt_. Elsewhere I have expressed my gratitude
to Mr. F.G. FLEAY for his valuable help.
The preparation of this volume has been a work of great labour, for
everything has been transcribed by my own hand; but the tedious delay in
publication has been due in great part to circumstances beyond my
_January_ 27, 1883.
INTRODUCTION TO DICK OF DEVONSHIRE.
The play of _Dick of Devonshire_, now first printed (from Eg. MS.,
1994), is distinctly a well-written piece, the work of a practised
hand. There is nothing amateurish in the workmanship; the reader is not
doomed to soar into extravagances at one moment, and sink into
flatnesses at another. Ample opportunities were offered for displays of
boisterous riot, but the playwright's even-balanced mind was not to be
disturbed. Everywhere there are traces of studious care; and we may be
sure that a style at once so equable and strong was not attained without
a long apprenticeship. Nor will the reader fail to note the lesson of
charitableness and Christian forbearance constantly, yet unobtrusively,
The hero of the play, Richard Pike, published, under the title of _Three
to One_, a pamphlet (reprinted in vol. i. of Mr. Arber's valuable
_English Garner_) describing his exploits. There is no date to the
pamphlet; but it was no doubt issued very shortly after Pike's return,
which took place on April 20, 1626. At the outset the writer apologises
for the rudeness of his style, "I know not," he says, "what the court of
a king means, nor what the fine phrases of silken courtiers are. A good
ship I know, and a poor cabin; and the language of a cannon: and
therefore as my breeding has been rough, scorning delicacy; and my
present being consisteth altogether upon the soldier (blunt, plain and
unpolished), so must my writings be, proceeding from fingers fitter for
the pike than the pen." In those days a soldier was never at a loss to
express himself, and honest Dick Pike was no exception to the rule. He
goes straight to the point, and relates his adventures very vividly in
the homeliest language. Returning from an expedition against Algiers
"somewhat more acquainted with the world, but little amended in estate,"
he could not long rest inactive; and soon, "the drum beating up for a
new expedition," set out to try his fortunes again. The design was
against Cadiz; the fleet, under the command of the Earl of Essex,
numbered some 110 sail. There is no need to continue the story, for I
have nothing to add to the facts set forth in the pamphlet and the play.
If _Britannia's Pastorals_ had been written a few years later, we may be
sure that William Browne would have paid a fitting compliment to his
fellow-townsman's bravery. But Pike's famous deeds were not forgotten by
his countymen; for in a broadside of the late seventeenth century,
bearing the title of _A Panegyric Poem; or, Tavestock's Encomium_, he
is thus enthusiastically praised: -
"Search whether can be found again the like
For noble prowess for our Tav'stock Pike,
In whose renowned never-dying name
Live England's honour and the Spaniard's shame."
There is a curious notice of our hero in a private letter, dated May 19,
1626, of Dr. Meddus to the Rev. Joseph Mead: - "Yesterday being Holy
Thursday, one Pyke, a common soldier, left behind the fleet at Cadiz,
delivered a challenge to the Duke of Buckingham from the Marquis of - - ,
brother-in-law to the Conde d'Olivares, in defence of the honour of his
sister; affirming, moreover, that he had wronged Olivares, the King of
Spain, and the King of England, and therefore he would fight with him in
any part of France. This Pike, a Devonshire man, being presented
prisoner to the Duke of Medina, he would needs have him fight at rapier
or dagger with a Spaniard, supposing he would not stand him two thrusts:
but Pyke, by a dexterous sleight, presently disarmed the Spaniard of his
rapier without hurting him, and presented it to the Duke," &c.
As to the authorship of the play, though I should be loth to speak with
positiveness, I feel bound to put forward a claim for Thomas Heywood.
Through all Heywood's writings there runs a vein of generous kindliness:
everywhere we see a gentle, benign countenance, radiant with love and
sympathy. On laying down one of his plays, the reader is inclined to
apply to him Tacitus' judgment of Agricola, "bonum virum facile
crederes, magnum libenter." Now, when we open _Dick of Devonshire_, the
naturalness and simplicity of the first scene at once suggest Heywood's
hand. In the second scene, the spirited eulogy on Drake -
"That glory of his country and Spayne's terror,
That wonder of the land and the seas minyon,
_Drake_, of eternall memory - "
and the fine lines descriptive of the Armada are just such as we might
expect from the author of the closing scenes of the second part of _If
you know not me, you know nobody_. Heywood was fond of stirring
adventures: he is quite at home on the sea, and delights in nothing more
than in describing a sea-fight; witness his _Fortunes by Land and Sea_,
and the two parts of the _Fair Maid of the West_. But the underplot
bears even clearer traces of Heywood's manner. Manuel is one of those
characters he loved to draw - a perfect Christian gentleman, incapable of
baseness in word or deed. Few situations could be found more touching
than the scene (iii. 3), where Manuel defends with passionate
earnestness the honour of his absent brother, Henrico, and tries to
comfort his heart-broken father. Heywood dealt in extremes: his
characters are, as a rule, either faultless gentlemen or abandoned
scoundrels. Hence we need not be surprised that Henrico exceeds other
villains in ruffianism as much as his brother, the gentle Manuel,
surpasses ordinary heroes in virtue. The characters of Henrico's
contracted bride, Eleonora, and Catalina, the good wife of a vicious
husband, are drawn tenderly and skilfully. Heywood's eyes were oftener
dim with tears than radiant with laughter; yet, with all his sympathy
for the afflicted and the fallen, he never took a distorted view of
society, but preserved untainted to the end a perennial spring of
I now leave the reader to the enjoyment of this old play, which, whether
it be Heywood's or not, certainly deserves the attention of all faithful
students of our inexhaustible dramatic literature.
NOTE. - I gratefully acknowledge the assistance that I have received from
F.G. Fleay, Esq., in preparing this volume for the press. To ensure as
much accuracy as possible, Mr. Fleay has read the proof-sheets
throughout. By the same gentleman's kindness I am able to correct the
following misprints in the first volume: -
p. 37, l. 23, for "Yet can give," read, "Yet can I give."
p. 71, l. 18, del. comma after "live."
p. 103, l. 9, del. "we."
p. 119, 7 from bottom, for "she doth preferd doth see," read "she thus
p. 142, 9 from bottom, for "vouchsafed," read "vouchsafe."
p. 154, l. 19, for "There they are," read "I, here they are."
p. 190, l. 24, for "woman" read "women."
p. 194, l. 12, for "unwist," read "unjust."
p. 228, last line, for "Equire," read "Squire."
p, 258, l. 29, for "1639," read "1612."
p. 274, l. 16, for "whore," read "whore's;" and in the next line, for
"sunnes," read "sinnes."
p. 276, l. 4, after "Do not my Dons know," add "me."
p. 281, 4 from bottom, for "wo," read "two."
p. 311, l. 12, for "sol-Re-fa-mi," read "sol-Re-me-fa-mi." In l. 19, for
"Ra." read "Re."
p. 317, l. 21, for "goon," read "good."
p. 331, l. i, for "Med,," read "King."
THE PLAY OF DICKE OF DEVONSHIRE.
Hector adest secumque Deos in praelia ducit.
_The Duke of Macada_, |
_The Duke of Girona_, |
_The Duke of Medina_, | Four Grandies.
_The Marquesse d'Alquevezzes_, |
_Don Pedro Gusman_, An ancient Lord.
_Manuell_, | His Sons.
_Don Fernando_, Governor of Cadiz Towne.
_Teniente_, A Justicier.
_Bustamente_, Captaine of Cadiz Castle.
_Dicke Pike_, The Devonshire Soldier.
_Don John_, A Colonel.
_Buzzano_, Servant to Pedro Guzman.
_Eleonora_, Daughter to Fernando.
_Catelina_, Wife to Don John.
_An English Captaine_.
The Play of Dick of Devonshire.
_Enter Don Pedro Gusman, Henrico and Manuell, his sons;
Don Fernando and Eleanora, his daughter, and Teniente_.
_Pedr_. Gentlemen, y'have much honourd me to take
Such entertainement, but y'are welcome all.
'Twas my desire to have your company
At parting: heaven knowes when we shall meete againe.
_Ten_. You are for _France_ then too?
_Man_. I wayte on my father.
_Ten_. But how chance, _Manuell_, your younger brother
Is at the Goale before you? What, no Lady
To please your eye?
_Man_. I am not
Yet weary of my freedome. May _Henrico_
Meete Joy in his Election: yet I know not
One I would sooner chuse to call a sister
_Pedr_. At my returne from France all things shall bee
Consummate; in meane time let your owne hearts,
Knitt with the strongest tye of love, be merry
In mutuall embraces, and let your prayers
Fill our departing sayles. Our stay will not
Bee long, and the necessity of my affaires
Unwillingly doth take me from you.
_Hen_. Though I could wish your stay, my duty bidds me
Expect the enjoying of my happines
Till your returne from _France_. - Your blessing.
_Eleo_. How ever heaven dispose of _Eleonora_,
Pray write me in your thoughts your humblest daughter,
That shall make it a part of her devotions
To pray for you.
_Fer_. Well, sir, since your designe
Pulls you away, may your good Angell guard you.
_Ten_. The like wish I, _Don Pedro_.
_Fer_. _Manuell_, I hope
You will not long breath out of _Spanish_ ayre.
_Pedr_. My thanks to all. - Stay!
_Fer_. The Captaine of the Castle come to interpret
That language to us? What newes?
_Bust_. Such as will make all _Spaine_ dance in Canary.
The _Brasile_ fleete -
_Bust_. Is putting into harbour, and aloud
Calls for a Midwife: she is great with gold
And longs to be delivered.
_Pedr_. No he _Spanyard_
Is not a true reioycer at the newes:
Be't a good omen to our Journey.
_Ten_. So we wish all.
_Pedr_. May we at our returne meet no worse newes
Then now at parting. My noble _Don Fernando_
And _Teniente_, once more farewell, (my daughter, I hope)
_Eleonora, Henrico_, - Nay, your good newes deserves a farewell.
_Bust_. A soldier's farewell, a fast hand and heart;
Good fate to both.
[_Ex. Pedr. and Man_.
_Hen_. Come, _Elinor_, let them discourse their Joyes
For the safe fleete: in thee all my delights
_Bust_. Tush, lett 'em come; our shippes have brought with them
The newes of warre.
_Per_. What is that, Gentlemen?
_Ten_. I am speaking of a fleete of Enemyes.
_Per_. From whence?
_Ten_. From _England_.
_Fer_. A castle in the ayre.
_Ten_. Doe you not believe it?
_Fer_. I heard such a report,
But had no faith in't: a mere Potgun!
_Bust_. Nay, sir,
'Tis certaine there hath bene great preparation,
If our Intelligence be true to us;
And a mighty Navy threatens the sea.
_Fer_. What's that to us?
How long hath it bene a voyce they were at sea!
I have ventured to discharge the soldiers
Which to keepe here in pay upon the rumour
Of a great fleete a comming, would both pester
The Towne and be unnecessary charge
To the King our Master.
_Ten_. But how if they intend us?
_Fer_. 'Tis not probable:
The time of yeare is past, sir, now; more then
The middle of October. Had they meant us
We should have heard their message in loud Cannon
Before this time.
_Bust_. I am of that opinion.
_Ten_. But _Don Fernando_ and _Bustamente_, call to mind
The time hath bene, when we supposed too
The season past, they have saluted us
With more then friendly Bulletts; tore the ribbs
Of our Towne up, made every house too hott
For the Inhabitants; had a spoyle of all,
Spight of our hearts.
_Fer_. One Swallow makes not Summer: because once
Our City was their prize, is't of necessity
It must be so againe?
_Bust_. Or were the Navy
Greater, as fame gives out it is the fayrest
That ever danced upon these Seas, why yet
Should we suspect for this Citty?
_Fer_. Because we dreame soe.
_Ten_. If you did dreame it may be as neare truth:
I wish the contrary, but know them daring Enemyes.
_Fer_. The world, we doe acknowledge, cannot boast
More resolution then the _English_ hearts
Seasond for action.
_Ten_. _Francisco Bustamente_, how is the Castle? what strength?
_Bust_. A fort impregnable, wanting neyther soldiers nor munition.
_Ten_. Well, looke to't.
_Fer_. How ere
That wilbe necessary; the fort lyes in
The mouth of danger, and it will become
You to discharge that duty, _Bustamente_.
_Bust_. With my best care.
_Ten_. I wish all well, and that you had not yet
Discharg'd your Companyes, _Don Fernando_.
_Fer_. Come, come; putt of your Jelousy,
Drinke downe the remembrance. We forget
Our fleetes arrivall; send your feares away;
Nothing but wine and mirth should crowne this day.
_Enter two Devonshire Merchants, as being in Sherryes_
1. Heare you the newes?
2. Yes, that an English fleete
Is making up to Cales.
1. Our _Sherryes_ merchants,
Though few of us be heere, shall soundly pay
To the furnishing of this Navy.
2. Nay, I assure you
Our shipps wilbe fast bound by _Spanish_ charmes
Not to get hence in hast.
1. The Divell allready
Is furling up the sayles; would all the sackes
Which we have bought for _England_ were in _Devonshire_
Turnd to small Beere, so we were but in _Tavistocke_
To see it drawne out; were it nere so thin
I'de drink a health to all the Dons in _Sherryes_
And cry a pox upon 'em.
2. That word heard
By any lowsy _Spanish_ Picardo
Were worth our two neckes. Ile not curse my Diegoes
But wish with all my heart that a faire wind
May with great Bellyes blesse our _English_ sayles
Both out and in; and that the whole fleete may
Be at home delivered of no worse a conquest
Then the last noble voyage made to this Citty,
Though all the wines and merchandize I have here
Were ith' Seas bottome.
1. Troth, so would I mine.
2. I nere could tell yet from what roote this huge
Large spreading Tree of hate from _Spayne_ to us,
From us agayne to _Spayne_, took the first growth.
1. No? then lie tell you: let us season our sorrow
With this discourse.
2. With all my heart I long for't.
1. You shall not loose your longing: then, sir, know
The hate a _Spanyard_ beares an _Englishman_
Nor naturall is, nor ancient; but as sparkes,
Flying from a flint by beating, beget flames,
Matter being neere to feed and nurse the fire,
So from a tinder at the first kindled
Grew this heartburning twixt these two great Nations.
2. As how, pray?
1. Heare me: any _Englishman_
That can but read our Chronicles can tell
That many of our Kings and noblest Princes
Have fetcht their best and royallest wives from _Spayne_,
The very last of all binding both kingdomes
Within one golden ring of love and peace
By the marriage of Queene _Mary_ with that little man
(But mighty monarch) _Phillip_, son and heire
To _Charles_ the Emperour.
2. You say right.
Having but one face then both here and there,
Both Nations seemd as one: Concord, Commerce
And sweete Community were Chaynes of Pearle
About the neckes of eyther. But when _England_
Threw of the Yoake of _Rome, Spayne_ flew from her;
_Spayne_ was no more a sister nor a neighbour,
But a sworne Enemy. All this did but bring
Dry stickes to kindle fire: now see it burne.
2. And warme my knowledge and experience by't.
1. Spaines anger never blew hott coales indeed
Till in Queene _Elizabeths_ Raigne when (may I call him so)
That glory of his Country and _Spaynes_ terror,
That wonder of the land and the Seas minyon,
_Drake_, of eternall memory, harrowed th'_Indyes_.
2. The King of _Spaynes_ west _Indyes_?
1. Yes, when his Hands
_Nombre de Dios, Cartagena, Hispaniola_,
With _Cuba_ and the rest of those faire Sisters,
The mermaydes of those Seas, whose golden strings
Give him his sweetest musicke, when they by _Drake_
And his brave Ginges were ravishd; when these red apples
Were gather'd and brought hither to be payrd -
Then the _Castilian_ Lyon began to roare.
2. Had he not cause, being vexd soe?
1. When our shipps
Carrying such firedrakes in them that the huge
_Spanish_ Galleasses, Galleons, Hulkes and Carrackes
Being great with gold, in labour with some fright,
Were all delivered of fine redcheekt Children
At _Plymouth, Portsmouth_ and other _English_ havens
And onely by men midwives: had not _Spayne_ reason
To cry out, oh Diables _Ingleses_!
2. It had not spoke such _Spanish_ else.
1. When we did sett our feete even on their Mynes
And brought their golden fagotts thence, their Ingotts
And silver wedges; when each ship of ours
Was able to spread sayles of silke; the tacklings
Of twisted gold; when every marryner
At his arrivall here had his deepe pockets
Crammd full of Pistoletts; when the poorest ship-boy
Might on the _Thames_ make duckes and drakes with pieces
Of eight fetchd out of _Spayne_: These were the Bellowes
Which blew the _Spanish_ bonfires of revenge;
These were the times in which they calld our Nation
Borachos, Lutherans and Furias del Inferno.
2. Would we might now give them the selfe same cause
To call us soe.
1. The very name of _Drake_
Was a Bugbear to fright Children; Nurses still'd
Their little _Spanish_ Nynnyes when they cryde
"Hush! the _Drake_ comes."
2. All this must needs beget
Their mortall hate to us.
1. It did; yet then
We lovd them beyond measure.
1. Why, did not
_Spaine_ fetch gold from the _West Indies_ for us
To spend here merrily? She planted vines,
We eate the Grapes; she playd the _Spanish_ Pavine
Under our windowes, we in our bedds lay laughing
To heare such Mynstrelsy.
2. How then turnd the windes?
Why did this beauteous face of love in us
Put on so blacke a Visour of hate to them?
1. Oh, sir, doe but looke backe to Eighty Eight,
That _Spanish_ glasse shall tell you, shew each wrinckle.
_England_ that yeare was but a bit pickd out
To be layd on their Kinges Trencher. Who were their Cookes?
Marry, sir, his Grandees and great Dons of _Spaine_,
A Navy was provided, a royall fleete,
Infinite for the bravery of Admiralls,
Viceadmirall [sic], Generalls, Colonells and Commanders,
Soldiers, and all the warlike furniture
Cost or experience or mans witt could muster
For such a mayne designe.
2. Stay; Eighty Eight, -
Thirty eight yeares agoe: much about then
Came I into the world. - Well, sir, this fleete?
1. Which made the Sea fish wonder what new kingdome
Was building over theirs, beate downe the Billowes
Before them to gett thither. 'Twas such a Monster
In body, such a wonder in the eyes,
And such a thunder in the eares of Christendome
That the Popes Holynes would needes be Godfather
To this most mighty big limbd Child, and call it
2. Thats to say
A Fleete of Shipps not to be overcome
By any power of man.
1. These were the Whales,
These were the huge Levyathans of the Sea
Which roaring came with wide and dreadfull Jawes
To swallow up our Kingdom, Shipps & Nation.
The fame of this Armado flew with Terrour
Riding on Envyes wing; the preparation
Was wayted on with wonder, and the approach
Shewd the grim face of horrour: yet gainst all these
Our Country and our Courages were armd.
2. _St. George_ for _England_!
1. And _St. George_ we cryde,
Albeit, we heard, the _Spanish_ Inquisition
Was aboord every ship with torture, torments,
Whipps strung with wyre, and knives to cutt our throates.
But from the armed winds an hoast brake forth
Which tare their shipps and sav'd ours. - Thus I have read
Two storyes to you; one, why _Spayne_ hates us,
T'other why we love not them.
2. Oh, sir, I thank you.
_Ent. Teniente, Don John, Henrico_.
_Ten_. I ever feard some ill fate pointed at
_Jo_. Makes the fleete this way?
_Ten_. I did dreame every night of't, and the Ravens
With their unlucky throates never leave croaking
Some danger to us all.
_Hen_. Where's _Buzzano_? Villaine!
_Jo_. Be not discomforted.
_Ten_. Don _Fernando_, too,
Hath cut our strength off, taken away our swords
Should save our throates. I did preiudicate
Too rashly of the _English_; now we may
Yield up the Towne. - Sirra, get you up to th'highest _Enter Buzzano_.
Turret, that lookes three leagues into the Sea,
And tell us what you can discover there.
_Buz_. Why, I can tell you ere I goe.
_Buz_. Why there are fishes and shipps too in the sea; they were made
for that purpose.
_Ten_. The fellow doates? climbe quickly, sirra, and tell us
Whither any bend to this place: there's a fleete
Abroad; skud, rascall.
_Hen_. Villayne, away; and cast your eyes into the Sea.
_Buz_. Ile be hangd first; some wiser then some: mine Eyes into the Sea?
I see no reason for't.
_Ten_. Why stayest thou? - this slave is without sence.
Get up and see, and report the truth.
_Buz_. Thats another matter: I will orelooke you all presently.
_Jo_. What were I best to doe? I doe not like these Navyes.
_Hen_. 'Tis past question,
If they were kenn'd this way, that they intend
To make another meale of this Citty.
_Ten_. The first was but a Breakfast: they have shrewd stomakes.
Oh for a lusty storme to bury all
Their hopes in the waves now! one good swelling Gust
Would breake their ribbs in pieces.
_Jo_. No witches abroad?
_Buz_. I see, I see, I see!
_Enter Buzzano above_.
_Buz_. Nay, I cannot tell what yet:
Something it is; I thinke it be a Towne.
_Hen_. Some Iland in the Sea!
_Buz_. It swims on the water.
_Jo_. 'Tis the fleete: come they this way?
_Buz_. Yes, th'are ships; I know 'em by their foule linen; now I see
them plainely; they come, they come, they come!
_Hen_. How far off?
_Ten_. Speake, sirra.
_Buz_. If you would peace I might heare what they say; the wind serves
to bring every word they speake: they make towards, yes, towards this