You that do long for somewhat, I know what -
My father told me - go to, I'll tell all,
If ye be cross - do you hear me? I have labour'd
A year's work in this afternoon for ye:
Come from your cloister, votary, chaste nun,
Come down and kiss Frank Goursey's mother's son.
MAL. Kiss him, I pray?
PHIL. Go to, stale maidenhead! come down, I say,
You seventeen and upward, come, come down;
You'll stay till twenty else for your wedding gown.
MAL. Nun, votary, stale maidenhead, seventeen and upward!
Here be names! what, nothing else?
FRAN. Yes, or a fair-built steeple without bells.
MAL. Steeple! good people, nay, another cast.
FRAN. Ay, or a well-made ship without a mast.
MAL. Fie, not so big, sir, by one part of four.
FRAN. Why, then, ye are a boat without an oar.
MAL. O well row'd wit! but what's your fare, I pray?
FRAN. Your fair self must be my fairest pay.
MAL. Nay, and you be so dear, I'll choose another.
FRAN. Why, take your first man, wench, and go no further. [_Aside_.]
PHIL. Peace, Francis. Hark ye, sister, this I say:
You know my mind; or answer ay or nay.
[Your] wit and judgment hath resolv'd his mind,
And he foresees what after he shall find:
If such discretion, then, shall govern you,
Vow love to him, he'll do the like to you.
MAL. Vow love! who would not love such a comely feature,
Nor high nor low, but of the middle stature?
A middle man, that's the best size indeed;
I like him well: love grant us well to speed!
FRAN. And let me see a woman of that tallness,
So slender and of such a middle smallness,
So old enough, and in each part so fit,
So fair, so kind, endued with so much wit,
Of so much wit as it is held a wonder,
'Twere pity to keep love and her asunder;
Therefore go up, my joy, call down my bliss;
Bid her come seal the bargain with a kiss.
MAL. Frank, Frank, I come through dangers, death, and harms,
To make love's patent with my seal of arms.
PHIL. But, sister, softly, lest my mother hear.
MAL. Hush, then; mum, mouse in cheese, cat is near.
FRAN. Now, in good faith, Philip, this makes me smile,
That I have wooed and won in so small while.
PHIL. Francis, indeed my sister, I dare say.
Was not determined to say thee nay;
For this same tother thing, call'd maiden-head,
Hangs by so small a hair or spider's thread,
And worn so too with time, it must needs fall,
And, like a well-lur'd hawk, she knows her call.
MAL. Whist, brother, whist! my mother heard me tread,
And ask'd, Who's there? I would not answer her;
She call'd, A light! and up she's gone to seek me:
There when she finds me not, she'll hither come;
Therefore dispatch, let it be quickly done.
Francis, my love's lease I do let to thee,
Date of my life and thine: what sayest thou to me?
The ent'ring, fine, or income thou must pay,
Are kisses and embraces every day;
And quarterly I must receive my rent;
You know my mind.
FRAN. I guess at thy intent:
Thou shalt not miss a minute of thy time.
MAL. Why, then, sweet Francis, I am only thine. -
Brother, bear witness.
PHIL. Do ye deliver this as your deed?
MAL. I do, I do.
PHIL. God send ye both good speed!
God's Lord, my mother! Stand aside,
And closely too, lest that you be espied.
[_Enter_ MISTRESS BARNES.]
MRS BAR. Who's there?
PHIL. Mother, 'tis I.
MRS BAR. You disobedient ruffian, careless wretch,
That said your father lov'd me but too well?
I'll think on't, when thou think'st I have forgot it:
Who's with thee else? - How now, minion? you!
With whom? with him! - Why, what make you here, sir,
[_Discovers_ FRANCIS _and_ MALL.]
And thus late too? what, hath your mother sent ye
To cut my throat, that here you be in wait? -
Come from him, mistress, and let go his hand. -
Will ye not, sir?
FRAN. Stay, Mistress Barnes, or mother - what ye will;
She is my wife, and here she shall be still.
MRS BAR. How, sir? your wife! wouldst thou my daughter have?
I'll rather have her married to her grave.
Go to; be gone, and quickly, or I swear
I'll have my men beat ye for staying here.
PHIL. Beat him, mother! as I am true man,
They were better beat the devil and his dam.
MRS BAR. What, wilt thou take his part?
PHIL. To do him good,
And 'twere to wade hitherto up in blood.
FRAN. God-a-mercy, Philip! - But, mother, hear me.
MRS BAR. Call'st thou me mother? no, thy mother's name
Carries about with it reproach and shame.
Give me my daughter: ere that she shall wed
A strumpet's son, and have her so misled,
I'll marry her to a carter; come, I say,
Give me her from thee.
FRAN. Mother, not to-day,
Nor yet to-morrow, till my life's last morrow
Make me leave that which I with leave did borrow:
Here I have borrowed love, I'll not denay it. -
Thy wedding night's my day, then I'll repay it. -
Till then she'll trust me. Wench, is't not so?
And if it be, say ay, if not, say no.
MAL. Mother, good mother, hear me! O good God,
Now we are even, what, would you make us odd?
Now, I beseech ye, for the love of Christ,
To give me leave once to do what I list.
I am as you were, when you were a maid;
Guess by yourself how long you would have stay'd,
Might you have had your will: as good begin
At first as last, it saves us from much sin;
Lying alone, we muse on things and things,
And in our minds one thought another brings:
This maid's life, mother, is an idle life,
Therefore I'll be, ay, I will be a wife;
And, mother, do not mistrust my age or power,
I am sufficient, I lack ne'er an hour;
I had both wit to grant, when he did woo me,
And strength to bear whate'er he can do to me.
MRS BAR. Well, bold-face, but I mean to make ye stay.
Go to, come from him, or I'll make ye come:
Will ye not come?
PHIL. Mother, I pray, forbear;
This match is for my sister.
MRS BAR. Villain, 'tis not;
Nor she shall not be so match'd now.
PHIL. In troth, she shall, and your unruly hate
Shall not rule us; we'll end all this debate
By this begun device.
MRS BAR. Ay, end what you begun! Villains, thieves,
Give me my daughter! will ye rob me of her? -
Help, help! they'll rob me here, they'll rob me here!
_Enter_ MASTER BARNES _and his men_.
MR BAR. How now? what outcry's here? why, how now, woman?
MRS BAR. Why, Goursey's son, confederate with this boy,
This wretch unnatural and undutiful,
Seeks hence to steal my daughter: will you suffer it?
Shall he, that's son to my arch-enemy,
Enjoy her? Have I brought her up to this?
O God, he shall not have her, no, he shall not!
MR BAR. I am sorry she knows it. [_Aside_.] - Hark ye, wife,
Let reason moderate your rage a little.
If you examine but his birth and living,
His wit and good behaviour, you will say,
Though that ill-hate make your opinion bad,
He doth deserve as good a wife as she.
MRS BAR. Why, will you give consent he shall enjoy her?
MR BAR. Ay, so that thy mind would agree with mine?
MRS BAR. My mind shall ne'er agree to this agreement.
_Enter_ MISTRESS GOURSEY _and_ COOMES.
MR BAR. And yet it shall go forward: - but who's here?
What, Mistress Goursey! how knew she of this?
PHIL. Frank, thy mother!
FRAN. 'Sowns, where? a plague upon it!
I think the devil is set to cross this match.
MRS GOUR. This is the house, Dick Coomes, and yonder's [th'] light:
Let us go near. How now? methinks I see
My son stand hand in hand with Barnes his daughter.
Why, how now, sirrah? is this time of night
For you to be abroad? what have we here?
I hope that love hath not thus coupled you.
FRAN. Love, by my troth, mother, love: she loves me,
And I love her; then we must needs agree.
MRS BAR. Ay, but I'll keep her sure enough from thee.
MRS GOUR. It shall not need, I'll keep him safe enough;
Be sure he shall not graft in such a stock.
MRS BAR. What stock, forsooth? as good a stock as thine:
I do not mean that he shall graft in mine.
MRS GOUR. Nor shall he, mistress. Hark, boy; th'art but mad
To love the branch that hath a root so bad.
FRAN. Then, mother, I will graft a pippin on a crab.
MRS GOUR. It will not prove well.
FRAN. But I will prove my skill.
MRS BAR. Sir, but you shall not.
FRAN. Mothers both, I will.
MR BAR. Hark, Philip: send away thy sister straight;
Let Francis meet her where thou shalt appoint;
Let them go several to shun suspicion,
And bid them go to Oxford both this night;
There to-morrow say that we will meet them,
And there determine of their marriage. [_Aside_.]
PHIL. I will: though it be very late and dark.
My sister will endure it for a husband. [_Aside_.]
MR BAR. Well, then, at Carfax, boy, I mean to meet them. [_Aside_.]
PHIL. Enough. _Exit_ [MASTER BARNES.]
Would they would begin to chide!
For I would have them brawling, that meanwhile
They may steal hence, to meet where I appoint it. [_Aside_.]
What, mother, will you let this match go forward?
Or, Mistress Goursey, will you first agree?
MRS GOUR. Shall I agree first?
PHIL. Ay, why not? come, come.
MRS GOUR. Come from her, son, and if thou lov'st thy mother.
MRS BAR. With the like spell, daughter, I conjure thee.
MRS GOUR. Francis, by fair means let me win thee from her,
And I will gild my blessing, gentle son,
With store of angels. I would not have thee
Check thy good fortune by this cos'ning choice:
O, do not thrall thy happy liberty
In such a bondage! if thou'lt needs be bound,
Be then to better worth; this worthless choice
Is not fit for thee.
MRS BAR. Is't not fit for him? wherefore is't not fit?
Is he too brave a gentleman, I pray?
No, 'tis not fit; she shall not fit his turn:
If she were wise, she would be fitter for
Three times his better. Minion, go in, or I'll make ye;
I'll keep ye safe from him, I warrant ye.
MRS GOUR. Come, Francis, come from her.
FRAN. Mothers, with both hands shove I hate from love,
That like an ill-companion would infect
The infant mind of our affection:
Within this cradle shall this minute's babe
Be laid to rest; and thus I'll hug my joy.
MRS GOUR. Wilt thou be obstinate, thou self-will'd boy?
Nay, then, perforce I'll part ye, since ye will not.
COOMES. Do ye hear, mistress? pray ye give me leave to talk two or three
cold words with my young master. - Hark ye, sir, ye are my master's son,
and so forth; and indeed I bear ye some good-will, partly for his sake,
and partly for your own; and I do hope you do the like to me, - I should
be sorry else. I must needs say ye are a young man; and for mine own
part, I have seen the world, and I know what belongs to causes, and the
experience that I have, I thank God I have travelled for it.
FRAN. Why, how far have ye travell'd for it?
BOY. From my master's house to the ale-house.
COOMES. How, sir?
BOY. So, sir.
COOMES. Go to. I pray, correct your boy; 'twas ne'er a good world, since
a boy would face a man so.
FRAN. Go to. Forward, man.
COOMES. Well, sir, so it is, I would not wish ye to marry without my
FRAN. And why?
COOMES. Nay, there's ne'er a why but there is a wherefore; I have
known some have done the like, and they have danc'd a galliard at
beggars'-bush for it.
BOY. At beggars'-bush! Hear him no more, master; he doth bedaub ye with
his dirty speech. Do ye hear, sir? how far stands beggars'-bush from
your father's house, sir? Why, thou whoreson refuge of a tailor,
that wert 'prentice to a tailor half an age, and because, if thou hadst
served ten ages thou wouldst prove but a botcher, thou leapst from the
shop-board to a blue coat, doth it become thee to use thy terms so?
well, thou degree above a hackney, and ten degrees under a page, sew up
your lubber lips, or 'tis not your sword and buckler shall keep my
poniard from your breast.
COOMES. Do ye hear, sir? this is your boy.
FRAN. How then?
COOMES. You must breech him for it.
FRAN. Must I? how, if I will not?
COOMES. Why, then, 'tis a fine world, when boys keep boys, and know not
how to use them.
FRAN. Boy, ye rascal!
MRS GOUR. Strike him, and thou darest.
COOMES. Strike me? alas, he were better strike his father! Sowns, go to,
put up your bodkin.
FRAN. Mother, stand by; I'll teach that rascal -
COOMES. Go to, give me good words, or, by God's dines, I'll buckle
ye for all your bird-spit.
FRAN. Will you so, sir?
PHIL. Stay, Frank, this pitch of frenzy will defile thee;
Meddle not with it: thy unreproved valour
Should be high-minded; couch it not so low.
Dost hear me? take occasion to slip hence,
But secretly, let not thy mother see thee:
At the back-side there is a coney-green;
Stay there for me, and Mall and I will come to thee. [_Aside_.]
FRAN. Enough, I will [_Aside_.] Mother, you do me wrong
To be so peremptory in your command,
And see that rascal to abuse me so.
COOMES. Rascal! take that and take all! Do ye hear, sir? I do not mean
to pocket up this wrong.
Boy. I know why that is.
Boy. Because you have ne'er a pocket.
COM. A whip, sirrah, a whip! But, sir, provide your tools against
to-morrow morning; 'tis somewhat dark now, indeed: you know Dawson's
close, between the hedge and the pond; 'tis good even ground; I'll meet
you there; and I do not, call me cut; and you be a man, show
yourself a man; we'll have a bout or two; and so we'll part for that
FRAN. Well, sir, well.
NICH. Boy, have they appointed to fight?
BOY. Ay, Nicholas; wilt not thou go see the fray?
NICH. No, indeed; even as they brew, so let them bake. I will not thrust
my hand into the flame, and [I] need not; 'tis not good to have an oar
in another man's boat; little said is soon amended, and in little
meddling cometh great rest; 'tis good sleeping in a whole skin; so a man
might come home by Weeping-Cross: no, by lady, a friend is not so
soon gotten as lost; blessed are the peace-makers; they that strike with
the sword, shall be beaten with the scabbard.
PHIL. Well-said, Proverbs: ne'er another to that purpose?
NICH. Yes, I could have said to you, sir, Take heed is a good reed.
PHIL. Why to me, take heed?
NICH. For happy is he whom other men's harms do make to beware.
PHIL. O, beware, Frank! Slip away, Mall, you know what I told ye. I'll
hold our mothers both in talk meanwhile. [_Aside_.]
Mother and Mistress Barnes, methinks you should not stand in hatred so
hard one with another.
MRS BAR. Should I not, sir? should I not hate a harlot,
That robs me of my right, vild boy?
MRS GOUR. That title I return unto thy teeth,
[_Exeunt_ FRANCIS _and_ MALL.
And spit the name of harlot in thy face.
MRS BAR. Well, 'tis not time of night to hold out chat
With such a scold as thou art; therefore now
Think that I hate thee, as I do the devil.
MRS GOUR. The devil take thee, if thou dost not, wretch!
MRS BAR. Out upon thee, strumpet!
MRS GOUR. Out upon thee, harlot!
MRS BAR. Well, I will find a time to be reveng'd:
Meantime I'll keep my daughter from thy son. -
Where are ye, minion? how now, are ye gone?
PHIL. She went in, mother.
MRS GOUR. Francis, where are ye?
MRS BAR. He is not here. O, then, they slipp'd away,
And both together!
PHIL. I'll assure ye, no:
My sister she went in - into the house.
MRS BAR. But then she'll out again at the back door,
And meet with him: but I will search about
All these same fields and paths near to my house:
They are not far, I am sure, if I make haste.
MRS GOUR. O God, how went he hence, I did not see him?
It was when Barnes's wife did scold with me;
A plague on her! - Dick, why didst not thou look to him?
COOMES. What should I look for him? no, no.
I look not for him while to-morrow morning.
MRS GOUR. Come, go with me to help me look him out.
Alas! I have nor light, nor link, nor torch!
Though it be dark, I will take any pains
To cross this match. I prithee, Dick, away.
COOMES. Mistress, because I brought ye out, I'll bring ye home; but,
if I should follow, so he might have the law on his side.
MRS GOUR. Come, 'tis no matter; prythee, go with me.
_Exeunt_ [MRS GOURSEY _and_ COOMES.]
MR BAR. Philip, thy mother's gone to seek thy sister,
And in a rage, i'faith: but who comes here?
PHIL. Old Master Goursey, as I think, 'tis he.
MR BAR. 'Tis so, indeed.
[_Enter_ MASTER GOURSEY.]
MR GOUR. Who's there?
MR BAR. A friend of yours.
MR GOUR. What, Master Barnes! did ye not see my wife?
MR BAR. Yes, sir, I saw her; she was here even now.
MR GOUR. I doubted that; that made me come unto you:
But whither is she gone?
PHIL. To seek your son, who slipp'd away from her
To meet with Mall my sister in a place,
Where I appointed; and my mother too
Seeks for my sister; so they both are gone:
My mother hath a torch; marry, your wife
Goes darkling up and down, and Coomes before her.
MR GOUR. I thought that knave was with her; but 'tis well:
I pray God, they may come by ne'er a light,
But both be led a dark dance in the night!
HOD. Why, is my fellow, Dick, in the dark with my mistress? I pray God,
they be honest, for there may be much knavery in the dark: faith, if I
were there, I would have some knavery with them. [_Aside_]
Good master, will ye carry the torch yourself, and give me leave to play
at blind-man-buff with my mistress.
PHIL. On that condition thou wilt do thy best
To keep thy mistress and thy fellow, Dick,
Both from my sister and thy master's son,
I will entreat thy master let thee go.
HOD. O, ay, I warrant ye, I'll have fine tricks to cosen them.
MR GOUR. Well, sir, then, go your ways; I give you leave.
HOD. O brave! but whereabout are they?
PHIL. About our coney-green they surely are,
If thou canst find them.
HOD. O, let me alone to grope for cunnies.
PHIL. Well, now will I to Frank and to my sister.
Stand you two heark'ning near the coney-green;
But sure your light in you must not be seen;
Or else let Nicholas stand afar off with it,
And as his life keep it from Mistress Goursey.
Shall this be done?
MR BAR. Philip, it shall.
PHIL. God be with ye! I'll be gone.
MR BAR. Come on, Master Goursey: this same is a means
To make our wives friends, if they resist not.
MR GOUR. Tut, sir, howsoever, it shall go forward.
MR BAR. Come, then, let's do as Philip hath advis'd.
MAL. Here is the place where Philip bad me stay,
Till Francis came; but wherefore did my brother
Appoint it here? why in the coney-burrow?
He had some meaning in't, I warrant ye.
Well, here I'll set me down under this tree,
And think upon the matter all alone.
Good Lord, what pretty things these conies are!
How finely they do feed till they be fat,
And then what a sweet meat a coney is!
And what smooth skins they have, both black and gray!
They say they run more in the night than day:
What is the reason? mark; why in the light
They see more passengers than in the night;
For harmful men many a hay do set,
And laugh to see them tumble in the net;
And they put ferrets in the holes - fie, fie! -
And they go up and down where conies lie;
And they lie still, they have so little wit:
I marvel the warrener will suffer it;
Nay, nay, they are so bad, that they themselves
Do give consent to catch these pretty elves.
How if the warrener should spy me here?
He would take me for a coney, I dare swear.
But when that Francis comes, what will he say?
"Look, boy, there lies a coney in my way!"
But, soft, a light! who's that? soul, my mother!
Nay, then, all-hid: i'faith, she shall not see me;
I'll play bo-peep with her behind this tree.
[_Enter_ MISTRESS BARNES.]
MRS BAR. I marvel where this wench doth hide herself
So closely; I have search'd in many a bush.
MAL. Belike my mother took me for a thrush. [_Aside_.]
MRS BAR. She's hid in this same warren, I'll lay money.
MAL. Close as a rabbit-sucker from an old coney. [_Aside_.]
MRS BAR. O God, I would to God that I could find her!
I would keep her from her love's toys yet.
MAL. Ay, so you might, if your daughter had no wit. [_Aside_.]
MRS BAR. What a vild girl 'tis, that would hav't so young!
MAL. A murrain take that dissembling tongue!
Ere your calf's teeth were out, you thought it long. [_Aside_.]
MRS BAR. But, minion, yet I'll keep you from the man.
MAL. To save a lie, mother, say, if you can. [_Aside_.]
MRS BAR. Well, now to look for her.
MAL. Ay, there's the spite:
What trick shall I now have to 'scape her light? [_Aside_.]
MRS BAR. Who's there? what, minion, is it you? -
Beshrew her heart, what a fright she put me to!
But I am glad I found her, though I was afraid. [_Aside_.]
Come on your ways; you are a handsome maid!
Why [steal] you forth a-doors so late at night?
Why, whither go ye? come, stand still, I say.
MAL. No, indeed, mother; this is my best way.
MRS BAR. 'Tis not the best way; stand by me, I tell ye.
MAL. No; you would catch me, mother. O, I smell ye!
MRS BAR. Will ye not stand still?
MAL. No, by lady, no.
MRS BAR. But I will make ye.
MAL. Nay, then, trip-and-go.
MRS BAR. Mistress, I'll make ye weary, ere I have done.
MAL. Faith, mother, then, I'll try, how you can run.
MRS BAR. Will ye?
MAL. Yes, faith. [_Exeunt_.
_Enter_ [FRANK _and_ BOY.]
FRAN. Mall, sweet-heart, Mall! what, not a word?
BOY. A little farther, master; call again.
FRAN. Why, Mall! I prythee, speak; why, Mall, I say!
I know thou art not far, if thou wilt speak;
Why, Mall! -
But now I see she's in her merry vein,
To make me call, and put me to more pain.
Well, I must bear with her; she'll bear with me:
But I will call, lest that it be not so. -
What, Mall! what, Mall, I say! Boy, are we right?
Have we not miss'd the way this same dark night?
BOY. Mass, it may be so: as I am true man,
I have not seen a coney since I came;
Yet at the coney-burrow we should meet.
But, hark! I hear the trampling of some feet.
FRAN. It may be so, then; therefore, let's lie close.
[_Enter_ MISTRESS GOURSEY _and_ COOMES.]
MRS GOUR. Where art thou, Dick?
COOMES. Where am I, quoth-a! marry, I may be where anybody will say I
am; either in France or at Rome, or at Jerusalem, they may say I am,
for I am not able to disprove them, because I cannot tell where I am.
MRS GOUR. O, what a blindfold walk have we had, Dick,
To seek my son! and yet I cannot find him.
COOMES. Why, then, mistress, let's go home.
MRS GOUR. Why, 'tis so dark we shall not find the way.
FRAN. I pray God, ye may not, mother, till it be day! [_Aside_.
COOMES. 'Sblood, take heed, mistress, here's a tree.
MRS GOUR. Lead thou the way, and let me hold by thee.
BOY. Dick Coomes, what difference is there between a blind man and he
that cannot see?
FRAN. Peace, a pox on thee!
COOMES. Swounds, somebody spake.
MRS GOUR. Dick, look about;
It may be here we may find them out.
COOMES. I see the glimpse of somebody here. -
And ye be a sprite, I'll fray the bugbear. -
There a-goes, mistress.
MRS GOUR. O, sir, have I spied you?
FRAN. A plague on the boy! 'was he that descried me.
PHIL. How like a beautous lady mask'd in black
Looks that same large circumference of heaven!
The sky, that was so fair three hours ago,
Is in three hours become an Ethiop;
And being angry at her beauteous change,
She will not have one of those pearled stars
To blab her sable metamorphosis:
'Tis very dark. I did appoint my sister
To meet me at the coney-borough below,
And Francis too; but neither can I see.
Belike my mother happ'ned on that place,
And fray'd them from it, and they both are now
Wand'ring about the fields: how shall I find them?
It is so dark, I scarce can see my hand:
Why, then, I'll hollow for them - no, not so;
So will his voice betray him to our mothers,
And if he answer, and bring them where he is.
What shall I then do? it must not be so -
'Sblood, it must be so; how else, I pray?
Shall I stand gaping here all night till day,
And then be ne'er the near? So ho, so ho!
WILL. So ho! I come: where are ye? where art thou? here!
PHIL. How now, Frank, where hast thou been?