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A Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 2 online

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_Ri_. Well, away and get the horses readie, sirra,
For I shall ride you and your witt together.

_Tho_. Alas, any foole may ride me, but I would
faine see any man ride Mistres _Dorothy_.

_Do_. How, sirra?
[_Exit Thomas_.

_Ri_. I am sorry I must leave such a Companion.
But more lament the cause. I wish him health;
My presence cannot serve him. Morrow, wife:
I cannot lose my sport. [_Exit_.

_Do_. Nor shee when you are gone.
My Lady does expect another hunt's up.

_La_. Now I must trust thy secresie.

_Do_. You shall not doubt me, Madam, and t'assure you
My faith, I have a suit to your Ladiship
Whose grant, were there no other bonds upon me,
Would tye me everlastinglie to silence.

_La_. What ist? but name, and I shall soone confirme thee.

_Do_. Our Captaine o'th traind band has been offring
To chaffer Maidenheads with me. I must
Confesse I can affect the foole upon
Good tearmes, and could devise a plott to noose
My amorous woodcock, if you privatlie
Assist me and dare trust me with some Jewell
Of price, that is not knowne, which shalbe faithfully
Restor'd Madam.

_La_. I that dare trust my honour with thee sha'not
Suspect thy faith in any treasure else.
But prethe draw the Curtains close, while I
Expect this friend: I needes must hide my blushes.
Thou maist discover from the Gallory windowe
When they are hors'd. I tremble to consider
What I have promis'd.

_Do_. Tremble to meet a Ghost!
You are more fearefull then a Virgin, Madam.
Why this setts me a longing; but ile watch:
This is the timerous world of flesh and blood.
[_Exit_.

_Enter Sir Richard_.

_La. within_. Alas!
What doe you meane? retire for heavens sake!
My husband is not gone, I heare his voice yet;
This rashnes will undoe my fame for ever
Should he returne.

_Ri_. How's this?
"Returne for heavens sake! my husband is not gone:
I heard his voice; this will undoe my fame!"
It was my wife, and this is sure my bed chamber.

_La_. (_looking forth_.) I have undone my selfe; it is my husband.

_Ri_. My forehead sweats: Where are you, Madam?
Whome did you talke too or take me for? ha! Asleepe
Alreadie, or doe I dreame? I am all wonder.
Madam, -

_La_. You may kill him and please you, sweet heart;
I cannot abide a Blackamore.

_Ri_. How's this, wife?

_La_. Helpe, helpe, deare husband, strangle him with one
Of my Lute strings; doe, doe, doe.

_Ri_. If shee be a sleepe she was not us'd to talke thus:
She has some hideous dreame. She spake to me, to;
Whom should I strangle, sweet hart, with a lute string?

_La_. The King of _Morocco_, I thinke.

_Ri_. Tis so, she dreames. What strange Chimeras wee
Doe fancie in our sleepe! I were best wake her.
Madam, Madam!

_La_. O Murder, Murder!

_Ri_. Sweet heart, Madam, wake!

_La_. Whoes that?

_Ri_. Tis I.

_La_. Sir _Richard_? Oh you have delivered me
From such a dreame I quake to thinke upon't.

_Ri_. I must confesse you frighted me at first.

_Enter Dorothy_.

_Do_. - My Master come back? if he had found the [sic] Sir _Francis_ here!

_Ri_. How now? art thou frighted too?

_Do_. Frighted, quoth a! Oh, Madam, the key of the Closet quickly. I
must have some Cordiall water for Sir _Francis_; I feare this fitt will
kill him.

_La_. Alas, good gentleman! make hast.

_Do_. - His appearance would betray all: I thus prevent it.

_La_. Nay, sweet hart, you sha'not leave me till I ha told
What a cruell Dreame I had. Methought a king
Of Blackamores was in love with me, and haveing
By flattering Courtship drawne me to his bed chamber,
With my consent or force swore to enjoy mee.
I knew not by what reasons to divert
The Ravisher, but told him that I heard
Thy voice, and bid him if he lov'd his life
Retire, for thou wouldst deere revenge my honour.
But he pursueing me, I cry'd out Murder!
At which sad noise methought I saw thee enter,
But, having nere a sword, I counselld thee
To strangle him with a Lute string, for which cruelty
Of mine, me thought he threw an Arrow at me,
Which, if thou hadst not wak'd me as thou didst,
Would as I slept with my strong feares ha killd me.

_Ri_. This was the King of _Morocco_: well, I'me glad
I came to take away thy fright.

_La_. But, sweet, you left me with a resolution
To hunt this morning. Have you done already?

_Ri_. The theeves prevented me.
My Stable has been rob'd to night; two geldings
And my roane Nagg are vanished.

_La_. How?

_Ri_. Nay, doe not thou vexe:
I have sent hue and cry that may oretake 'em.
But come, Ile leave thee to my glasse,
And visit Sir _Francis_ now shees return'd. -

[_Enter Dorothy_.

How does our Noble guest?

_Do_. Hees pretty well: he has voided one stone since
And now finds ease.

_Ri_. Tis well: attend your Mistres. [_Exit_.

_La_. O, wench, I had almost undone my selfe,
Come o'tother side, reach me that peticote;
Ile tell the storie as I make me ready.

_Ex[eun]t_.



[SCENE 2.]


_Enter Device, Sister_.

_Sis_. Ist possible you can talke thus and be no travailer?

_De_. I have traveld in my fancie, Ladie, and with the Muses, and do for
my recreation of witt compose some wonders in verse, poeticall essaies,
as once upon the report of a heate that was in _Egipt_.

_Sis_. Lets heare 'em.

_De_. _In Countreys I have been
Under the Equinoctiall, where I have seene
The Sunne disperse such a prodigious heat
That made our sive-like skins to raine with sweat.
Men would have given for an Ecclipse their lives,
Or one whisper of Aire; yet each man strives
To throw up grasse, feathers, nay women, too,
To find the wind: all falls like lead, none blew.
The Dogstarre spits new fire till't came to passe
Each eye became his neighbours burning glasse.
Leane men did burne to ashes presentlie,
Fatt men did wast to leane Anatomye;
Young womens heat did gett themselves with child,
For none but they themselves themselves defild;
Old women naturally to witches turne,
And onely rubbing one another burne.
The beasts were bak'd, skin turnd to crust, they say,
And fishes in the River boild away.
Birds in the aire were rosted and not burn'd,
For, as they fell downe, all the way they turn'd_.

_Sis_. Most excellent!

_De_. I have seene Larkes in that motion at fire
With an Engine of packthread perpendicular.

_Sis_. What would they have given for a shower in those Cuntries?

_De_. Now you talke of a Shower you shall heare
Another coppie of Verses that I made
Of a mighty raine which fell once in the _Indies_.

_Sis_. That you made? If you will venture your lungs let me heare more
impossible stories to passe away the tyme.

_De. _Heaven did not weepe, but in its swelling eye
Whole Seas of Rhume and moist Catarrs did lie,
Which so bespauld the lower world, men see
Corne blasted and the fruit of every tree;
Aire was condenst to water gainst their wish,
And all their foule was turn'd to flying Fish;
Like watermen they throng'd to ply a fare,
As though it had been navigable Aire.
Beasts lost the naturall motion of each limbe,
Forgott to goe with practiseing to swime:
A trout now here you would not thinke how soone
Taken and drest for th'Emperour o'the Moone,
The fixed Starres, though to our eyes were missing
Wee knew yet were by their continuall hissing.
Weomen were mermaides sailing with the wind,
The greatest miracle was fish behind:
But men were all kept chast against their wish,
And could comitt but the cold sin of fish_.

_Sis_. And that synne would puzzle all the Civell Lawyers in the
kingdome. Sinns of the flesh they are perfect in; they know well enough
what belongs to Adultery and simple fornication, but you would much
improve and oblige the practise of the Court, if you could bring this
sinne of fish under the Commission. But now, I hope, the raine is over
we shall have faire weather.

_De_. Now I can tell you, Lady, what a strange frost was in one part of
the world -

_Sis_. I shall cry out fire if you doe; I had rather have some discourse
to keepe me warm still.

_De_. Or how the whole world was troubled with the wind Collick.

_Sis_. No more Earthquakes, I beseech you. Some frends of myne lost a
great deale of land the last terme, and for ought I know tis never like
to be recover'd. Why, all these verses you have honourd me to heare were
translated out of _French_.

_De_. You say very right, Lady.

_Sis_. No, no; they are out of _Spanish_, as I remember.

_De_. I thinke it be out of _Spanish_, indeed.

_Sis_. Or else the _Italian_.

_De_. Troth, I know not which very well.

_Sis_. And yet you made 'em! Some gentlemen have the faculty to make
verses and forgett what language was the Originall: tis Alamode, I
confesse, sir.

_De_. Thers the mischiefe in poetry: a man might have told 200 lies in
prose upon his owne name, and never miscaried. - But, leaving these rude
rymes, Ladie, how do you like the novice that Sir _Richard_ comended.

_Sis_. Mr. _Courtwell_?

_De_. Is he not a pretty Chrisome[249]? I could not choose but laugh to
observe in what rurall deportment he came to salute you, that should
have made his address in theis postures.

_Sis_. Tis enough, sir; I apprehend what you would doe. The truth is,
touching that thing in black, I doe not love him.

_De_. I know't; tis impossible.

_Sis_. Why is't impossible? The man's a pretty indifferent meaning man,
but I must have one of a more active spiritt. No, no, the man's a
Coward.

_De_. He lookes like one.

_Sis_. I put him to't, he dares not fight; and he that expects my favour
to so high a degree as marriage must be none of my lord Maiors
whifflers[250]; he must be valiant in Armes. I am not taken with a ring
or Caskanet, as some avaritious Ladies; he that presents me with the
sword of his rivall is more welcome then all the silken soft natur'd six
hundreds a yeere, that will be baffeld in their best clothes and goe
downe into the Country every Vacacon like Atturneys to be beaten against
next terme and get damage by it, but I forget some affaires that
concerne me. I take my leave. Your deserts upon me are eminent and many,
and for all your noble services I - will promise you nothing: you
apprehend me?

_De_. O, sweet Lady, tis too much.

_Sis_. I am so weary I can stay no longer w'ee. [_Exit_.

_De_. You make mee over happie. - So, so; the matters done. I may write
my friends. Hum: well thought upon! I shall leave her joyes without any
bound to entertaine me if I first beat this foolish rivall of mine and
present her with his sword. She assures me he dares not fight: it shall
be so. Thus with one baffling and disarming him I shall secure my
Mistresse and get the reputation of a fighting Cavallier, which may save
me many a knock hereafter among men of strong faith that shall heare how
much honour I have elsewhere taken upon the ticket.



[SCENE 3.]


_Enter Captaine and Underwit_.

_Un_. Stand right to your files, make even your rankes, silence!
Front to the right hand.
As you were.
To the right hand about.
By the left hand.
As you were.
Rankes to the right double.
Rankes as you were.
Rankes to the left double.
Midlemen to the right hand double the front; as you were, - to the left,
- double the front; middle-men to the right entire [or[251] by division]
double the front; files to the right, - to the left, - to the right hand
countermarch, - to the right, - to the left, - wheele about -

_Cap_. Ran tan: enough, - you must not wast your lunges
Too much at once. March faire and make a Captaine.
When these words of Command are rotten (rooted?) wee
Will sowe some other military seeds.
You beare[252] a braine and memory.

_Un_. I hope so.

[_Cap_.[253]] And now you are chose a Captaine for your Countrey
You must give good example to your Soldiers
And cherish nature after exercise:
You must drinke sack, sack is a fortifier.
Come, wee'le to the taverne.

_Un_. With all my heart.

[_Enter Mr. Courtwell_.

Here's Mr. _Courtwell_: lett's take him with us.

_Cap_. My costive Countrey man? hee's an Anabaptist: he wonot drinke,
and yet kist the Cupp of last night, me thought, when his Mistres -
drank to him: wee'le try. How ist, my man of mortall breeding?

_Cou_. My man of warre, trebonn. - Your servant, Captaine.

_Cap_. Why, this was spoke like one of us; canst doo't
Agen? thy voice is more authentick, soundes
As I have heard a Cavalliers in taverne,
Or like the merry master of the _Dragon_,
Small _Neptune_, that controlls the rich Canaries,
When he Comaunds the Tritons of his cellar
'Skud, and bring wine, you varlotts, with a flavour
For my Nobilitie.' Wee were conspiring
To goe to'th taverne.

_Cou_. Ile make one, gentlemen, to wash away some melancholy.

_Cap_. Spoke boldlie, like an _Argonaute_.

_Cou_. I am not now in _London_,
Upon a hall day marching with the puisnes,
Twenty on's in a teame, to _Westminster_
In our torne gownes, embroiderd with _Strand_ dirt,
To heare the Law.

_Cap_. Is not thy father dead, thou talkst so well?
How I was cosend in thee: come away.

_Enter Thomas_.

_Un_. Here's my man _Thomas_.

_Cap_. Now the Newes, Sir _Tristram_.

_Tho_. Oh the Gentleman is mad.

_Un_. What gentleman?

_Tho_. Why, Mr. Engine that did faint last night.

_Un_. With feare of being hang'd for his projections.

_Cou_. My Uncle told me of him.

_Cap. Let him to _Bedlam_ then; what makes he here?
Clean straw and a good whip are held restoratives.

_Tho_. He walkes and talkes the madliest; twenty midwives
Are nothing to him, he drownes all their noise.
His tongue is twenty ring of Bells, and yett
He seemes so merry.

_Enter Engine_.

_En_. Save you, gentlemen, gallants, Cavalliers. How farre travell you:
me thinkes you are very finely accomodated. Are you a Doctor, sir?

_Cap_. No, but I can tell you how to purge, and please you.

_En_. You say very well. Troth, gentlemen you must pardon me: cry you
mercy, your name is Captaine _Underwit_.

_Un_. Yes, sir, but my mother came of the _Over-muches_ by the _Peake_.
She broke my father's hart, and Sir _Richard_ buried her: things must be
as please the starres.

_En_. What thinke you of the blazeing starre in _Germany_? according to
_Ptolmy_ tis very strange. Does the race hold at _Newmarket_ for the
Cup[254]? When is the Cocking, gentlemen? There are a parcell of rare
Jewells to be sold now, and a man had money. I doe meane to build a very
fine house next summer and fish ponds. What did you heare of the new
play. I am afraid the witts are broke; there be men will make affidavit
that [they] have not heard a good jest since _Tarleton_[255] dyed. Pray,
may I crave your name, sir?

_Cou_. My name is _Courtwell_, sir.

_En_. In your eare; I have a cast of the best Marlins[256] in England,
but I am resolv'd to goe no more by water but in my Coach. Did you ever
see the great ship?[257]

_Cap_. I have been one of twenty that have dind in her lanterne.

_En_. It may be so; she is a good sailer. But ile tell you one thing: I
intend to have the best pack of hounds in _Europe_; Sir Richard loves
the sport well. And then if I can but find out the reason of the
loadstone I were happie and would write _Non Ultra_.

_Cap_. The philosophers stone were better in my opinion. Have you no
project to gett that?

_Cou_. That has startled him: I doubt this fellow does but counterfeit.

_Un_. What thinke you of the Dromedary that was to be seene at the back
side[258] of the _Bell_.

_En_. I have seene a stranger beast.

_Cap_. So have I; I have seene you before now, sir.

_En_. Why then, ile tell you: the strangest beast that ever I saw was an
Ostridge that eate up the Iron mynes. But now you talke of birds I saw
an Elephant beat a Taylor in the fenceing schoole at his owne weapon.

_Tho_. The _Spanish_ needle?

_En_. He did out eat him in bread, and that was miraculous. I have seene
a Catamountaine[259] once; but all was nothing to the wench that turnd
round and thred needles.

_Cou_. Troth, sir, I thinke you have turnd round, too, and are not
setled yet.

_En_. Now you talke of setling I knew a gentleman, that was borne to a
good fortune, sold all his land, went to sea in a _Hollander_, was taken
by the _Dunkirke_; at seaven yeares end stole away in an _English_
botome; after that saw both the _Indies_; for all this was taken by a
_Turks_ man of warre, put into the Gallies, and for ought I heare by
credible report is not setled yet.

_Tho_. Sure he is a great scholler; a man cannot understand him.

_Un_. His braines are out of tune.

_En_. Now you talke of Musick theres no man in the world loves musick
better then I, - ile give you the reason: I have been deafe almost this
halfe yeare, and it came with a cold sitting up a primero.

_Co_. Now you talke of the cold it puts me in mind of the new device of
fire for brewing and bakeing. Had you no hand in the project?

_Cap_. Againe hees startled: come, he shall to taverne with us and
confess all. If he do not strip his soule stark naked to us, say I am no
fortune teller. - Please you to honour our society: we are going to
indulge at the taverne hard by.

_En_. You shall comand me, sir. Oh the Neats tongues and partargoes that
I have eaten at Stillyard, but of all things in the world I do not love
a black catt: next a brewers cart, there's nothing will stay a man so
much in the night as a Constables. One word before you go, and I beseech
you give me your opinion cleerely: was not the _Morocco_ Ambasadour a
very fine gentleman for a pagan?

_Cap_. Yes, surely, and the lead mines in _Darbishire_ hold still for
the Allom businesses. But come; will you walke, Sir?

_En_. I do use to goe a foote sometymes but when I ride; and then I must
confesse there is no striving with the streame. You were in _London_
lately: they say the people are more affected to beare baiting then in
former tyme.

_Cap_. There are some a late are drawne like beares to the stake; but
for your owne part the gout and the grand pox are all one to you. What
price beare[s] meat in the shambles?

_En_. Flesh rises and falls as it us'd to doe, sir; but a Countrey life
is the best when all's done. What thinke you of a bridg from _Lion_ key
to _Flaunders_? You may guess I talke at randum, gentlemen; but you must
not interpret all foolish discourse a distemper of the braine: Lords
would take it for a _Scandalum Magnatum_ and your Ladies would bee angry
too.

_Enter Sir Francis and Lady_.

Now you talke of Ladies -

_Cap_. By no meanes, Mr. _Engin_; that gentleman loves you not. Come,
ile bring up the rere. Where's _Thomas_?

[_Exeunt Underwit, Captain, Courtwell and Engine_.

_Tho_. Ile follow, sir. - I would give my fower marks a yeare that I
could talke like that mad gentleman. Hee's here and there and
everywhere. How will his tongue run when his Coggs are oild; theile
drench him! [_Exit_.

_Fra_. Although I mist a happines, I applaud
Your nimble wit that securd both our honours.
You have an excellent Instrument too o' your gentlewoman.

_La_. Oh she deliver'd to the life how you
Were troubled with the Stone. At first I did
Beleev't my selfe, and thinke of the sad consequence.
But tyme is pretious now: although our Starres
Have not been yet propitious to our meeting
Ile try my art to night to make 'em shine.
With happie influence on our Loves.

_Fra_. Most excellent Madam, how?

_La_. Ile not engage
Your visit to my chamber, since the first
Prov'd so unfortunate, but come to youres.

_Fra_. This night? wonot your husband be at home.

_La_. Yes.

_Fra_. You enjoy but one bed.

_La_. Without witchcraft, sir,
I have a stratageme to delude my husband
And all his jealous waking eyes, a plott
That cannot faile if you dare but expect me.

_Fra_. I grow immortall with my hopes and fancie
More than the worlds most pretious Empire in
Our first embrace. I should runne back into
An Infant once agen, and by degrees
And tyme grow up to meet so vast a happines.
Ages in expectation spent were poore
And easy sufferings weigh'd against this triumph!
Methinkes I am not man but something of
A more exalted essence: humane nature
Hath not capacity to understand
And owne theis spatious blessings.

_La_. No more rapture;
But with the confidence of a lover spread
Your equall thoughts, and in your heart and armes
Prepare an entertainement for that guest
That hath no life or name but what you give.
A kisse! and leave our soules to thinke upon
The joyes this night attend us.

_Fra_. Sullen day,
Do not tire now; tis downehill all the way.

[_Exeunt severally_.




_Act the Fourth_.

[SCENE 1.[260]]


[_Captain,[261] Underwit, Courtwell and Musicians,
discovered in the Tavern_.]

_Capt_. Come, my _Apollos_, my _Orpheuses_ or my _Bacchus_ his
Minst[rels], which, to leave poeticall expressions, in broader phrase
is Taverne fidlers, some of your new tunes, my Masters; doe you heare?

1. Do you meane Mr. _Adson_'s[262] new ayres, Sir?

_Cap_. I, Sir; but they are such phantasticall ayres as it putts a Poet
out of his witts to rhime to them; but let mee heare.

1 _Play_.

_Capt_. No, I doe not like that.

1 _Play againe_.

_Capt_. Nor that. (_Play againe_) - No, no, no, neither.

1. An't please your Worship, Mr. _Capt_., our Boyes can singe songs
to these.

_Cap_. No, no, saveing your presence, your Boyes have nothing,
sarreverence,[263] but Love songs, and I hate those monstruously, to
make thinges appeare better then they are, and that is but _deceptio
Visus_, which after some embraceings the parties see presently what
it is.
_The Musique Playes_.

(_Hee sings and reeks and fillips all the time
with his finger, then sayees_:)

_Cap_. I, I, this thumping tune I like a life; a Song, a Song to it!

_One Singes.
This Song.

_The Juice of Spanish squeez'd Grapes is It
That makes a dull Braine so full of witt;
The Lemonades cleere sparkling wine
The grosser witts too, doth much refine.
Then to bee foxd[264] it is no crime,
Since thickest and dull Braines It makes sublime.
The Stillyards Reanish wine and Divells white,
Who doth not in them sometimes take delight?
If with Mimique Gestures you'le keep you from sadnes,
Then drinke lusty Clarett twill put you in Madnes;
And then to settle you no hopes in Beer
But wholesome Potts of Scotch ale though its deere_.

_Cap_. But looke you, Child, you say the Divells white in your Song. You
have beene ill catechiz'd, Boy, for a _White Divell_ is but a poeticall
fiction[265]; for the Divell, God bless us, Child, is blacke.

_Boy_. No, Captaine, I say white wine at the Divell.

_Cap_. That's true; thats a good Boy, indeed. _Underwit_, lend mee a
Peice to give these harmonious men there. And now begon, my Masters,
without noise, for I will have no more fiddle-faddle for my money, no
tunes of supererrogation after the Musicall Bill is paid.

[_Exeunt[266] omnes_.



[SCENE 2.]


_Enter Thomas_.

_Tho_. They are all drunke already, and such Confusion in their heads
and tongues, my master kisses the next man and calls him Mistres
_Dorothy_; Mr. _Courtwell_, possest with the spiritt of defiance to
_Cupid_, is ready to beat him for being in love; my Projector dead drunk
in a Chaire, and the Captaine peepeing into his mouth like a tooth
drawer and powring downe sack which he feeles not, but his chapps shut
againe like a spring lock till he returne with a key to open his teeth,
to poure in the next health.

_Enter Courtwell_.

_Cou_. My Cloake and sword, Drawer.

_Tho_. Tis here, sir.

_Cou_. Thou art a pretty fellow; here's half a Crowne, say I am
gone _Thomas_.

_Tho_. You are pretty well.

_Enter Captaine and Underwit_.

_Un_. What shalls doe with him; this Engine burnes like _Etna_.

_Cap_. Throw him into the River.

_Un_. Hee's able to mull the _Thames_ well, for my owne part would
Mistresse _Dorothy_ were here to open her files.

_Cou_. Did you not name a woman. I will have no mention of any thing
that's female.

_Un_. May not a man talke of Sack?

_Cap_. Sack is a soveraigne medicine.

_Un_. Oh very Soveraigne.

_Cap_. Is it not _hic et hec_ sack, both for he and she. Stay, is my
Countryman gone? come hither, _Thomas_; do you thinke I am drunke?

_Tho_. Truly, Captaine, I cannot tell.

_Cap_. You cannot tell? there's your ignorance. Drink is a vice I am as


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