John Fletcher.

The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher Volume 2 of 10: Introduction to the Elder Brother online

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Saw you my Mistress? _Egre._ Yes, shees a sweet young woman,
But be sure you keep her from Learning. _Eust._ Songs she
May have, and read a little unbak'd Poetry,
Such as the Dablers of our time contrive,
That has no weight nor wheel to move the mind,
Nor indeed nothing but an empty sound;
She shall have cloaths, but not made by Geometry;
Horses and Coach, but of no immortal race;
I will not have a Scholar in mine house
Above a gentle Reader; They corrupt
The foolish women with their subtle problems;
Ile have my house call'd Ignorance, to fright
Prating Philosophers from entertainment.

_Cow._ It will do well, love those that love good fashions,
Good clothes and rich, they invite men to admire 'm,
That speak the lisp of Court. Oh 'tis great Learning!
To ride well, dance well, sing well, or whistle Courtly,
Th' are rare endowments; that they have seen far Countries,
And can speak strange things, though they speak no truths,
For then they make things common. When are you married?

_Eust._ To morrow, I think, we must have a Masque Boyes,
And of our own making. _Egre._ 'Tis not half an houres work,
A _Cupid_ and a fiddle, and the thing's done,
But let's be handsome, shall's be Gods or Nymphs?

_Eust._ What, Nymphs with beards? _Cow._ That's true, we'l be Knights
Some wandring Knights, that light here on a sudden.

_Eust._ Let's go, let's go, I must go visit, Gentlemen,
And mark what sweet lips I must kiss to morrow. _Exeunt._

_Actus II. Scena III._

Cook, Andrew, Butler.

And how do's my Master? _And._ Is at's book, peace Coxcomb,
That such an unlearn'd tongue as thine should ask for him!

_Co._ Do's he not study conjuring too? _And._ Have you
Lost any Plate, _Butler_? _But._ No, but I know
I shall to morrow at dinner. _And._ Then to morrow
You shall be turn'd out of your place for't; we meddle
With no spirits oth' Buttry, they taste too small for us;
Keep me a Pye _in folio_, I beseech thee,
And thou shall see how learnedly Ile translate him;
Shalls have good cheer to morrow? _Coo. Ex._ Lent, good cheer _Andrew_.

_And._ The spight on't is, that much about that time,
I shall be arguing, or deciding rather,
Which are the Males or Females of red Herrings
And whether they be taken in the red Sea onely,
A question found out by _Copernicus_,
The learned Motion-maker. _Co._ I marry _Butler_,
Here are rare things; a man that look'd upon him,
Would swear he understood no more than we do.

_But._ Certain, a learned _Andrew_. _And._ I've so much on't
And am so loaden with strong understanding,
I fear, they'l run me mad, here's a new instrument,
A metamatical glister to purge the Moon with,
When she is laden with cold flegmatick humours,
And here's another to remove the Stars,
When they grow too thick in the Firmament.

_Co._ O heavens! why do I labour out my life
In a beef-pot? and only search the secrets
Of a Sallad; and know no farther! _And._ They are not
Reveal'd to all heads; These are far above
Your Element of Fire. _Cooke._ I could tell you
Of _Archimides_ glass to fire your coals with,
And of the Philosophers turf that nere goes out;
And _Gilbert Butler_, I could ravish thee,
With two rare inventions. _But._ What are they _Andrew_?

_And._ The one to blanch your bread from chippings base,
And in a moment, as thou wouldst an Almond,
The Sect of the Epicureans invented that;
The other for thy trenches, that's a strong one,
To cleanse you twenty dozen in a minute,
And no noise heard, which is the wonder _Gilbert_,
And this was out of _Plato's_ new _Idea's_.

_But._ Why, what a learned Master do'st thou serve _Andrew_?

_And._ These are but the scrapings of his understanding, _Gilbert_;
With gods and goddesses, and such strange people
He deals, and treats with in so plain a fashion,
As thou do'st with thy boy that drawes thy drink,
Or _Ralph_ there with his kitchin boyes and scalders.

_Coo._ But why should he not be familiar and talk sometimes,
As other Christians do, of hearty matters,
And come into the Kitchin, and there cut his breakfast?

_But._ And then retyre to the Buttry and there eat it,
And drink a lusty bowle to my younger Master
That must be now the heir will do all these,
I and be drunk too; These are mortal things.

_And._ My Master studies immortality. _Coo._ Now thou talk'st
Of immortality, how do's thy wife _Andrew_? My old Master
Did you no small pleasure when he procur'd her
And stock'd you in a farme. If he should love her now,
As he hath a Colts tooth yet, what sayes your learning
And your strange instruments to that my _Andrew_?
Can any of your learned Clerks avoid it?
Can ye put by his Mathematical Engine?

_And._ Yes, or Ile break it; thou awaken'st me,
And Ile peep ith' Moon this moneth but Ile watch for him.
My Master rings, I must go make him a fire,
And conjure ore his books. _Coo_. Adieu good _Andrew_,
And send thee manly patience with thy learning. _Exeu_.

_Actus II. Scaena IV._


I have forgot to eat and sleep with reading,
And all my faculties turn into studie;
'Tis meat and sleep; what need I outward garments,
When I can cloathe my self with understanding?
The stars and glorious planets have no Taylors,
Yet ever new they are and shine like Courtiers.
The seasons of the yeare find no fond parents,
Yet some are arm'd in silver Ice that glisters,
And sovne in gawdy green come in like Masquers:
The Silk-worme spines her owne suit and her lodging,
And has no aid nor partner in her labours:
Why should we care for any thing but knowledge,
Or look upon the world but to contemne it?

_Enter_ Andrew.

Would you have any thing? _Cha. Andrew_, I find
There is a flie grown o're the eye oth' Bull,
Which will go neere to blind the Constellation.

_And_. Put a gold-ring in's nose, and that will cure him.

_Cha_. _Ariadne's_ crown's away too; two main starres
That held it fast are slip'd out. _And_. Send it presently
To _Gallatteo_ the Italian Star-wright
Hee'll set it right againe with little labour.

_Cha_. Thou art a pretty Schollar. _And_. I hope I shall be;
Have I swept bookes so often to know nothing?

_Cha_. I heare thou art married. _And_. It hath pleas'd your father
To match me to a maid of his owne choosing,
I doubt her constellation's loose too, and wants nailing,
And a sweet farme he has given us a mile off Sir.

_Cha_. Marry thy selfe to understanding, _Andrew_,
These women are _Errata_ in all Authours,
They're faire to see to, and bound up in vellam,
Smooth, white and cleare, but their contents are monstrous;
They treat of nothing but dull age and diseases.
Thou hast not so much wit in thy head, as there is
On those shelves, _Andrew_. _And_. I think I have not Sir.

_Cha_. No, if thou had'st thould'st nere marryed a woman
In thy bosome, they're Cataplasmes made oth' deadly sins:
I nere saw any yet but mine own mother;
Or if I did, I did regard them but
As shadowes that passe by of under Creatures.

_And_. Shall I bring you one? lie trust you with my owne wife;
I would not have your brother go beyond ye;
Th'are the prittiest natural Philosophers to play with.

_Cha_. No, no, th'are Opticks to delude mens eyes with.
Does my younger brother speake any Greek yet, _Andrew_?

_And_. No, but he speaks High Dutch, and that goes as daintily.

_Cha_. Reach me the bookes down I read yesterday,
And make a little fire and get a manchet;
Make cleane those instruments of brass I shew'd you,
And 'set the great Sphere by, then take the fox tayle
And purg the bookes from dust, last take your _Lilly_,
And get your part ready. _And_. Shall I go home Sir?
My wives name is _Lilly_, there my best part lyes, Sir.

_Cha_. I mean your Gammer, O thou dunderhead!
Would'st thou be ever in thy wives Syntaxis?
Let me have no noise nor nothing to disturb me,
I am to find a secret. _And_. So am I too,
Which if I you find, I shall make some smart for't. - _Exeunt_.

_Actus_ 3. _Scena_ 1.

Lewis, Angellina; Sylvia, Notary.

This is the day my daughter _Angellina_,
The happy, that must make you a fortune,
A large and full one, my great care has wrought it,
And yours must be as great to entertaine it;
Young _Eustace_ is a Gentleman at all points,
And his behaviour affable and courtly,
His person excellent, I know you find that,
I read it in your eyes, you like his youth,
Young handsome people should be match'd together,
Then followes handsome Ch[i]ldren, handsome fortunes;
The most part of his fathers state, my Wench,
Is ti'd in a joynture, that makes up the harmony;
And when y'are marryed. he's of that soft temper,
And so far will be chain'd to your observance,
That you may rule and turne him as you please.
What are the writings drawn on our side, Sir?

_Not_. They are, and here I have so fetter'd him,
That if the Elder Brother set his hand to,
Not all the power of law shall ere release him.

_Lew_. These Notaries are notable confident Knaves,
And able to doe more mischeife than an Army:
Are all your clauses sure? _Not_. Sure as proportion,
They may turne Rivers sooner than these writings.

_Not_. Why did you not put all the lands in, Sir?

_Lew_. Twas not condition'd. _Not_. If it had been found,
It had been but a fault made in the writing;
If not found all the Land. _Lew_. These are small Devils
That care not who has misch[ie]fe, so they make it;
They live upon the meere scent of dissension.
Tis well, tis well, Are you contented Girle?
For your wil must be known. _Ang_. A husband's welcom,
And as an humble wife He entertaine him,
No soveraignty I aime at, 'tis the mans Sir,
For she that seekes it, killes her husbands Honour:
The Gentleman I have scene, and well observ'd him,
Yet find not that grac'd excellence you promise,
A pretty Gentle man and he may please too,
And some few flashes I have hear'd come from him,
But not to admiration as to others;
Hee's young and may be good, yet he must make it,
And I may help, and help to thank him also.
It is your pleasure I should make him mine,
And't has beene still my duty to observe you.

_Lew_. Why then let's go, And I shall love your modesty.
To horse, and bring the Coach out _Angellina_,
To morrow you will looke more womanly.

_Ang_. So I looke honestly, I feare no eyes, Sir. _Exeunt._

_Actus III. Scaena II._

Brisac, Andrew, Cooke, Lilly.

Wait on your Master, he shall have that befits him;

_And_. No inheritance, Sir? _Bri_. You speak like a foole, a coxcomb,
He shall have annual meanes to buy him bookes,
And find him cloathes and meat, what would he more?
Trouble him with Land? tis flat against his nature:
I love him too, and honour those gifts in him.

_And_. Shall Master _Eustace_ have all? _Bri_. All, all, he knowes how
To use it, hee's a man bred in the world,
T'other ith' heavens: my Masters, pray be wary,
And serviceable; and Cooke see all your sawces
Be sharp and poynant in the pallat, that they may
Commend you; looke to your roast and bak'd meates hansomly,
And what new kickshawes and delicate made things -
Is th' musick come? _But_. Yes Sir, th'are here at breakfast.

_Bri_. There will be a Masque too, you must see this roome clean,
And _Butler_ your doore open to all good fellowes,
But have an eye to your plate, for their be Furies;
My _Lilly_ welcome, you are for the linnen,
Sort it, and see it ready for the table,
And see the bride-bed made, and looke the cords be
Not cut asunder by the Gallants too,
There be such knacks abroad; hark hither, _Lilly_,
To morrow night at twelve a clock, Ile suppe w'ye,
Your husband shall be safe, Ile send ye meat too,
Before I cannot well slip from my company.

_And_. Will ye so, will you so, Sir? Ile make one to eate it,
I may chance make you stagger too. _Bri_. No answer, _Lilly_?

_Lil_. One word about the linnen; Ile be ready,
And rest your worships still. _And_. And Ile rest w'yee,
You shall see what rest 'twill be: Are ye so nimble?
A man had need have ten paire of eares to watch you.

_Bri_. Wait on your Master, for I know he wants ye,
And keep him in his studie, that the noise
Do not molest him: I will not faile my _Lilly_ -
Come in sweet hearts, all to their several duties. _Exeunt._

_And_. are you kissing ripe, Sir? Double but my farm
And kisse her till thy heart ake; these smocke vermin,
How eagerly they leap at old mens kisses,
They lick their lipps at profit, not at pleasure;
And if't were not for th' scurvie name of Cuckold,
He should lye with her, I know shee'l labour at length
With a good lordship. If he had a wife now,
But that's all one, lie fit him: I must up
Unto my Master, hee'l be mad with studie - _Exit_.

_Actus III_. _Scoena III_.


What a noise is in this house, my head is broken,
Within a Parenthesis, in every corner,
As if the earth were shaken with some strange Collect,
There are stirres and motions. What Planet rules this house?

_Enter_ Andrew.

Who's there? _And_. Tis I Sir faithful _Andrew_. _Cha_. Come neere
And lay thine eare downe, hear'st no noise? _And_. The Cookes
Are chopping hearbs and mince meat to make pies,
And breaking Marrow-bones - _Char_. Can they set them againe?

_And_. Yes, yes, in brothes and puddings, and they grow stronger
For the' use of any man. _Cha_. What speaking's that?
Sure there is a massacre. _And_. Of Pigs and Geese Sir,
And Turkeys for the spit. The Cookes are angry Sirs,
And that makes up the medly. _Cha_. Do they thus
At every dinner? I nere mark'd them yet,
Nor know who is a Cook. _And_. Th'are sometimes sober,
And then they beat as gently as a Tabor.

_Char_. What loads are these? _Andr_. Meat, meat, Sir, for the Kitchin,
And stinking Fowles the Tenants have sent in;
They'l nere be found out at a general eating;
And there's fat Venison, Sir. _Cha_. What's that? _And_. Why Deer,
Those that men fatten for their private pleasures,
And let their tenants starve upon the Commons.

_Char_. I've red of Deer, but yet I nere eat any.

_And_. There's a Fishmongers boy with Caviar Sir,
Anchoves and Potargo, to make ye drink.

_Cha_. Sure these are modern, very modern meats,
For I understand 'm not. _And_. No more do's any man
From Caca merda or a substance worse,
Till they be greas'd with oyle, and rub'd with onions,
And then flung out of doors, they are rare Sallads.

_Cha_. And why is all this, prithee tell me Andrew!
Are there any Princes to dine here to day?
By this abundance sure there should be Princes;
I've read of entertainment for the gods
At half this charge, will not six dishes serve 'em?
I never had but one, and that a small one.

_And_. Your Brother's married this day, he's married,
Your younger brother Eustace. _Cha_. What of that?

_And_. And all the friends about are bidden hither.
There's not a dog that knowes the house but comes too.

_Cha_. Married? to whom? _And_. Why to a dainty Gentlewoman,
Young, sweet, and modest. _Cha_. Are there modest women?
How do they look? _And_. O you'ld blesse your self to see them.
He parts with's book, he nere did so before yet.

_Cha_. What do's my father for 'm? _And_. Gives all his Land,
And makes your brother Heir. _Cha_. Must I have nothing?

_And_. Yes, you must study still, and he'l maintain you.

_Cha_. I am his eldest brother. _And_. True, you were so,
But he has leapd ore your shoulders, Sir. _Cha_. 'Tis wel,
He'l not inherit my understanding too?

_And_. I think not, he'l scarce find tenants to let it
Out to. _Cha_. Hark, hark. _Andr_. The Coach that brings the fair

_Enter_ Lewis, Angellina, _Ladies_, Notary, &c.

_And_. Now you may see her. _Cha_. Sure this should be modest;
But I do not truly know what women make of it,
_Andrew_; She has a face looks like a story,
The storie of the Heavens looks very like her.

_And_. She has a wide face then. _Cha_. She has a Cheiubins,
Cover'd and vail'd with modest blushes.
_Eustace_ be happy, whiles poor _Charles_ is patient.
Get me my book again, and come in with me - _Exeunt_.

_Enter_ Brisac, Eustace, Egremont, Cowsy, Miramont.

_Bri_. Welcome sweet Daughter, welcome noble Brother,
And you are welcome Sir, with all your writings,
Ladies most welcome; What? my angry brother!
You must be welcome too, the Feast is flat else.

_Mir_. I am not come for your welcome, I expect none;
I bring no joyes to blesse the bed withal;
Nor songs, nor Masques to glorifie the Nuptials,
I bring an angrie mind to see your folly,
A sharp one too, to reprehend you for it.

_Bri_. You'l stay and dine though? _Mir_. All your meat smells mustie,
Your table will shew nothing to content me.

_Bri_. Ile answer you, here's good meat. _Mira_. But your sawce is
It is not season'd with the sharpness of discretion.

_Eust_. It seems your anger is at me, dear Uncle.

_Mir_. Thou art not worth my anger, th'art a boy,
A lump o' thy fathers lightness, made of nothing
But antick cloaths and cringes; look in thy head,
And 'twill appear a footbal full of fumes
And rotten smoke; Ladie, I pitie you;
You are a handsome and a sweet young Ladie,
And ought to have a handsome man yoak'd t'ye,
An understanding too; this is a Gincrack,
That ca[n] get nothing but new fashions on you;
For say he have a thing shap'd like a child,
'Twill either prove a tumbler or a tailor.

_Eust_. These are but harsh words Uncle. _Mir_. So I mean 'em.
Sir, you play harsher play w' your elder brother.

_Eust_. I would be loth to give you. _Mi_. Do not venter,
Ile make your wedding cloaths fit closer t'ee then;
I but disturb you, lie go see my nephew:

_Lew_. Pray take a piece of rosemarie. _Mir_. Ile wear it,
But for the Ladies sake, and none of yours;
May be Ile see your table too. _Bri_. Pray do, Sir.

_Ang_. A mad old Gentleman. _Bri_. Yes faith sweet daughter,
He has been thus his whole age to my knowledge,
He has made _Charles_ his heir, I know that certainly;
Then why should he grudge _Eustace_ any thing?

_Ang_. I would not have a light head, nor one laden
With too much learning, as they say, this _Charles_ is,
That makes his book his Mistress: Sure, there's something
Hid in this old mans anger, that declares him
Not a mere Sot. _Bri_. Come shall we go and seal brother?
All things are readie, and the [P]riest is here.
When _Charles_ has set his hand unto the Writings,
As he shall instantly, then to the Wedding,
And so to dinner. _Lew_. Come, let's seal the book first
For my daughters Jointure. _Bri_. Let's be private in't Sir. _Exeunt_.

_Actus III. Scaena IV_.

_Enter_ Charles, Miramont, Andrew.

_Mir_. Nay, y'are undone. _Cha_. hum. _Mira_. Ha' ye no greater feeling?

_And_. You were sensible of the great b[oo]ke, Sir,
When it fell on your head, and now the house
Is ready to fall, Do you feare nothing? _Cha_. Will
He have my bookes too? _Mir_. No, he has a book,
A faire one too to read on, and read wonders,
I would thou hadst her in thy studie Nephew,
And 'twere but to new string her. _Cha_. Yes, I saw her,
And me though[t] 'twas a curious peece of learning,
Handsomely bound, and of a daintly letter.

_And_. He flung away his booke. _Mir_. I like that in him,
Would he had flung away his dulness too,
And speak to her. _Cha_. And must my brother have all?

_Mir_. All that your father has. _Cha_. And that faire woman too?

_Mir_. That woman also. _Cha_. He has enough then
May I not see her somtimes, and call her Sister?
I will doe him no wrong. _Mir_. This makes me mad
I could now cry for anger; these old fooles
Are the most stubborn and the wilfullest Coxcombs -
Farewil, and fall to your booke, forget your brother;
You are my heire, and Ile provide y'a wife;
Ile looke upon this marriage, though I hate it. _Exit_.

_Enter_ Brisac.

Where is my son? _And_. There Sir, casting a figure
What chopping children his brother shall have.

_Bri_. He do's well; How do'st _Charles_? still at thy book?

_And_. Hee's studying now Sir, who shall be his father.

_Bri_. Peace you rude Knave - Come hither _Charles_ be merry.

_Cha_. I thank you, I am busie at my book, Sir.

_Bri._ You must put your hand my _Charles_, as I would have you
Unto a little peece of parchment here;
Onely your name, you write a reasonable hand.

_Cha_. But I may do unreasonably to write it.
What is it Sir? _Bri_. To passe the Land I have, Sir,
Unto your younger brother. _Cha_. Is't no more?

_Bri_. No, no, 'tis nothing; you shall be provided for,
And new bookes you shall have still, and new studies,
And have your meanes brought in without thy care boy,
And one still to attend you. _Cha_. This shewes your love father.

_Bri_. I'm tender to you. _And_. Like a stone, I take it.

_Cha_. Why father, Ile go downe, an't please you let me,
Because Ide see the thing they call the Gentlewoman,
I see no woman but through contemplation,
And there Ile doe't before the company,
And wish my brother fortune. _Bri_. Doe I prithee.

_Cha_. I must not stay, for I have things above
Require my study. _Bri_. No, thou shalt not stay,
Thou shalt have a brave dinner too. _And_. Now has he
Orethrowne himselfe for ever; I will down
Into the Celler, and be stark drunk for anger. _Exeunt_.

_Actus III. Scaena V._

_Enter_ Lewis, Angellina, Eustace, _Priest, Ladies_, Cowsy,
_Notary_, Miramont.

_Not_. Come let him bring his sons hand, and all's done.
Is yours ready? _Pr_. Yes Ile dispatch ye presently,
Immediately for in truth I am a hungry.

_Eust_. Doe speak apace, for we believe exactly
Doe not we stay long Mistris? _Ang_. I find no fault,
Better things well done than want time to doe them.
Uncle, why are you sad? _Mir_. Sweet smelling blossome,
Would I were thine Uncle to thine owne content,
Ide make thy husbands state a thousand, better
A yearlie thousand, thou hast mist a man,
(But that he is addicted to his studie,
And knowes no other Mistresse than his minde)
Would weigh down bundles of these emptie kexes.

_Ang_. Can he speak, Sir? _Mir_. Faith yes, but not to women:
His language is to heaven, and heavenlie wonder,
To Nature, and her dark and secret causes.

_Ang_. And does he speak well there? _Mir_. O, admirably;
But hee's to bashful too behold a woman,
There's none that sees him, nor he troubles none.

_Ang_. He is a man. _Mir_. Faith Yes, and a cleare sweet spirit.

_Ang_. Then conversation me thinkes - _Mir_. So think I
But it is his rugged fate, and so I leave you.

_Ang_. I like thy noblenesse. _Eust_. See my mad Uncle
Is courting my faire Mistresse. _Lew_. Let him alone,
There's nothing that allayes an angrie mind
So soone as a sweet beautie; hee'l come to us.

_Enter_ Brisac, Charles.

_Eust_. My father's here, my brother too! that's a wonder,
Broke like a spirit from his Cell. _Bri_. Come hither,
Come neerer _Charles_; 'Twas your desire to see
My noble Daughter, and the company,
And give your brother joy, and then to seal boy.
You doe like a good brother. _Lew._ Marry do's he
And he shall have my love for ever for't.
Put to your hand now. _Not._ Here's the Deed Sir, ready.

_Cha._ No, you must pardon me a while, I tell ye,
I am in contemplation, doe not trouble me.

_Bri._ Come, leave thy studie, _Charles_. _Cha._ Ile leave my life first;
I studie now to be a man, I've found it.
Before, what man was, was but my argument.

_Mir._ I like this best of all, he has taken fire,
His dull mist flies away. _Eust._ Will you write brother?

_Cha._ No, brother no, I have no time for poore things,
I'm taking th' height of that bright Constellation.

_Bri._ I say, you trifle time, Son. _Cha._ I will not seale, Sir;
I am your eldest, and Ile keepe my birthright,
For heaven forbid I should become example;
Had y'onely shew'd me Land, I had deliver'd it,
And been a proud man to have parted with it;
Tis dirt, and labour; Doe I speak right Uncle?

_Mir._ Bravely my boy, and blesse thy tongue. _Char._ Ile forward,
But you have open'd to me such a treasure,
I find my mind free, heaven direct my fortune.

_Mir._ Can he speak now? Is this a son to sacrifice?

_Cha._ Such an inimitable piece of beauty
That I have studyed long, and now found onely,
That Ile part sooner with my soul of reason,
And be a plant, a beast, a fish, a flie,
And onely make the number of things up
Than yeeld one foot of Land, if she be ty'd to't.

_Lew._ He speakes unhappily. _Aug._ and me thinkes bravely.
This the meere Schollar? _Eust._ You but vexe your selfe brother
And vex your studie too. _Cha._ Go you and studie,
For 'ts time young _Eustace_, you want both man and manners,

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