Howe'er th' intents and appetites of men
Are different as their faces, how and when
T' employ their actions, yet all without strife
Meet in this point: Anything for a Quiet Life.
Nor is there one, I think, that's hither come
For his delight, but would find peace at home
On any terms. The lawyer does not cease
To talk himself into a sweat without pain,
And so his fees buy quiet, 'tis his gain:
The poor man does endure the scorching sun,
And feels no weariness, his day-labour done,
So his wife entertain him with a smile,
And thank his travail, though she slept the while.
This being in men of all conditions true,
Does give our play a name; and if to you
It yield content, and usual delight,
For our parts we shall sleep secure tonight.
I.[i. Sir Francis Cressingham's house]
Enter the Lord Beaufort and Sir Francis Cressingham.
Away, I am asham'd of your proceedings,
And, seriously, you have in this one act
Overthrown the reputation the world
Held of your wisdom.
Can you not see
Your error? That having buried so good a wife
Not a month since, one that--to speak the truth,
Had all those excellencies which our books
Have only feign'd to make a complete wife,
Most exactly in her in practice--and to marry
A girl of fifteen, one bred up i' th' court,
That by all consonancy of reason, is like
To cross your estate. Why, one new gown of hers,
When 'tis paid for, will eat you out of the keeping
Of a bountiful Christmas. I am asham'd of you,
For you shall make too dear a proof of it,
I fear, that in the election of a wife,
As in a project of war, to err but once
Is to be undone forever.
Good my lord,
I do beseech you let your better judgment
Go along with your reprehension.
So it does,
And can find nought to extenuate your fault,
But your dotage: you are a man well sunk in years,
And to graft such a young blossom into your stock,
Is the next way to make every carnal eye
Bespeak your injury. Troth, I pity her too;
She was not made to wither and go out
By painted fires, that yields her no more heat
Than to be lodg'd in some bleak banqueting house
I' th' dead of winter. And what follows then?
Your shame, and the ruin of your children, and there's
The end of a rash bargain.
With your pardon,
That she is young is true; but that discretion
Has gone beyond her years, and overta'en
Those of maturer age, does more improve
Her goodness. I confess she was bred at court,
But so retiredly, that as still the best
In some place is to be learnt there, so her life
Did rectify itself more by the court chapel
Than by the office of the revels; best of all virtues
Are to be found at court, and where you meet
With writings contrary to this known truth,
They are framed by men that never were so happy
To be planted there to know it: for the difference
Between her youth and mine, if you will read
A matron's sober staidness in her eye,
And all the other grave demeanour fitting
The governess of a house, you'll then confess
There's no disparity between us.
Enter Master Water Chamlet.
Come, come, you read
What you would her to be, not what she is.
Oh, Master Water Chamlet, you are welcome.
I thank your lordship.
And what news stirring in Cheapside?
Nothing new there, my lord, but the Standard.
Oh, that's a monument your wives take great delight in; I do hear you are grown a mighty purchaser. I hope shortly to find you a continual resident upon the north aisle of the Exchange.
Where? With the Scotchmen?
No, sir, with the aldermen.
Believe it, I am a poor commoner.
Come, you are warm, and blest with a fair wife.
There's it: her going brave has the only virtue to improve my credit in the subsidy book.
But I pray, how thrives your new plantation of silkworms, those I saw last summer at your garden?
They are remov'd, sir.
This winter my wife has remov'd them home to a fair chamber, where diverse courtiers use to come and see them, and my wife carries them up; I think shortly, what with the store of visitants, they'll prove as chargeable to me as the morrow after Simon and Jude, only excepting the taking down and setting up again of my glass windows.
That a man of your estate should be so gripple-minded, and repining at his wife's bounty!
There are no such ridiculous things i' th' world as those love money better than themselves; for though they have understanding to know riches, a mind to seek them, and a wit to find them, and policy to keep them, and long life to possess them, yet commonly they have withal such a false sight, such blear'd eyes, all their wealth when it lies before them does seem poverty, and such a one are you.
Good Sir Francis, you have had sore eyes too: you have been a gamester, but you have given it o'er, and to redeem the vice belong'd to't, now you entertain certain [parcels] of silenc'd ministers, which I think will equally undo you. Yet should these waste you but lenitively, your devising new watermill[s] for recovery of drown'd land, and certain dreams you have in alchemy to find the philosopher's stone, will certainly draw you to th' bottom. I speak freely, sir, and would not have you angry, for I love you.
I am deeply in your books for furnishing my late wedding. Have you brought a note of the particulars?
No, sir; at more leisure.
What comes the sum to?
For tissue, cloth of gold, velvets and silks, about fifteen hundred pounds.
Your money is ready.
Sir, I thank you.
And how does my two young children, whom I have put to board with you?
Have you put forth two of your children already?
'Twas my wife's discretion to have it so.
Come, 'tis the first principle in a mother-in-law's chop-logic to divide the family, to remove from forth your sight the object[s] that her cunning knows would dull her insinuation. Had you been a kind father, it would have been your practice every day to have preach'd to these two young ones carefully your late wife's funeral sermon. 'Las, poor souls, are they turn'd so soon a-grazing?
Enter George Cressingham and Franklin.
My lord, they are plac'd where they shall be respected as mine own.
I make no question of it, good Master Chamlet.
[To Sir Francis] See here your eldest son, [George] Cressingham.
You have displeas'd and griev'd your mother-in-law,
And till you have made submission and procur'd
Her pardon, I'll not know you for my son.
I have wrought her no offense, sir. The difference
Grew about certain jewels which my mother,
By your consent, lying upon her deathbed,
Bequeath'd to her three children; these I demanded,
And being denied these, thought this sin of hers,
To violate so gentle a request
Of her predecessor, was an ill foregoing
Of a mother-in-law's harsh nature.
My will mov'd in her denial: you have jewels,
To pawn or sell them. Sirrah, I will have you
As obedient to this woman as to myself;
Till then, you are none of mine.
Oh, Master George,
Be rul'd, do anything for a quiet life!
Your father's peace of life moves in it too.
I have a wife: when she is in the sullens,
Like a cook's dog that you see turn a wheel,
She will be sure to go and hide herself
Out of the way dinner and supper, and in
These fits Bow Bell is a still organ to her.
When we were married first, I well remember,
Her railing did appear but a vision,
Till certain scratches on my hand and face
Assur'd me it was substantial. She's a creature
Uses to waylay my faults, and more desires
To find them out than to have them amended.
She has a book, which I may truly nominate
Her Black Book, for she remembers in it
In short items all my misdemeanours,
As: Item, such a day I was got fox'd with foolish metheglin in the company of certain Welsh chapmen; item, such a day being at the Artillery Garden, one of my neighbours in courtesy to salute me with his musket, set afire my fustian-and-apes breeches; such a day I lost fifty pound in hugger-mugger at dice in the quest-house; item, I lent money to a sea captain on his bare "Confound him, he would pay me again the next morning," and such like,
For which she rail'd upon me when I should sleep,
And that's, you know, intolerable, for indeed
'Twill tame an elephant.
'Tis a shrewd vexation,
But your discretion, sir, does bear it out
With a month's sufferance.
Yes, and I would wish you
To follow mine example.
Here's small comfort,
George, from your father: here's a lord whom I
Have long depended upon for employment; I will see
If my suit will thrive better. [To Beaufort] Please your lordship,
You know I am a younger brother, and my fate,
Throwing me upon the late ill-starr'd voyage
To Guiana, failing of our golden hopes,
I and my ship address'd ourselves to serve
The duke of Florence.
Yes, I understood it so.
Who gave me both encouragement and means
To do him some small service 'gainst the Turk;
Being settled there, both in his pay and trust,
Your lordship, minding to rig forth a ship
To trade for the East Indies, sent for me,
And what your promise was, if I would leave
So great a fortune to become your servant,
Your letters yet can witness.
Yes, what follows?
That for aught I perceive, your former purpose
Is quite forgotten: I have stayed here two months
And find your intended voyage but a dream,
And the ship you talk of as imaginary,
As that the astronomers point at in the clouds.
I have spent two thousand ducats since my arrival;
Men that have command, my lord, at sea cannot live
Ashore without money.
Know, sir, a late purchase
Which cost me a great sum has diverted me
From my former purpose; besides, suits in law
Do every term so trouble me by land,
I have forgot going by water. If you please
To rank yourself among my followers,
You shall be welcome, and I'll make your means
Better than any gentleman's I keep.
Some twenty mark a year! Will that maintain
Scarlet and gold lace, play at th' ordinary,
And bevers at the tavern?
I had thought
To prefer you to have been captain of a ship
That's bound for the Red Sea.
What hinders it?
Why, certainly, the merchants are possess'd
You have been a pirate.
Say I were one still,
If I were past the Line once, why methinks
I should do them better service.
Here's a gentleman whose business
Must engross me wholly.
[Cressingham takes Franklin aside as Beaufort and Knavesbee talk.]
What's he? Dost thou know him?
A pox upon him! A very knave and rascal
That goes a-hunting with the penal statutes;
And good for nought but to persuade their lords
To rack their rents, and give o'er housekeeping.
Such caterpillars may hang at their lord's ears
When better men are neglected.
What's his name?
One that deals in a tenth share
About projections: he and his partners, when
They have got a suit once past the seal, will so
Wrangle about partition, and sometimes
They fall to th' ears about it, like your fencers,
That cudgel one another by patent; you shall see him
So terribly bedash'd in a Michaelmas term
Coming from Westminster, that you would swear
He were lighted from a horse race. Hang him, hang him!
He's a scurvy informer; h'as more cozenage in him
Than is in five travelling lotteries.
To feed a kite with the carrion of this knave
When he's dead, and reclaim her, oh, she would prove
An excellent hawk for talon! H'as a fair creature
To his wife too, and a witty rogue it is,
And some men think this knave will wink at small faults.
But, honest George, what shall become of us now?
Faith, I am resolv'd to set up my rest
For the Low Countries.
To serve there?
There's thin commons; besides, they have added one day
More to th' week than was in the creation.
Art thou valiant? Art thou valiant, George?
I may be, and I be put [to]'t.
O never fear that;
Thou canst not live two hours after thy landing
Without a quarrel. Thou must resolve to fight,
Or, like a sumner, thou'lt be bastanado'd
At every town's end. You shall have gallants there
As ragged as the fall o' th' leaf, that live
In Holland, where the finest linen's made,
And yet wear ne'er a shirt. These will not only
Quarrel with a newcomer when they are drunk,
But they will quarrel with any man has means
To be drunk afore them. Follow my council, George,
Thou shalt not go o'er; we'll live here i' th' city.
How? Why, as other gallants do
That feed high, and play copiously, yet brag
They have but nine pound a year to live on. These have wit
To turn rich fools and gulls into quarter-days,
That bring them in certain payment. I have a project
Reflects upon yon merchant, Master Chamlet,
Shall put us into money.
I will not stale it aforehand; 'tis a new one.
Nor cheating amongst gallants may seem strange;
Why, a reaching wit goes current on th' Exchange.
Exeunt George Cressingham and Franklin.
O my lord, I remember you and I were students together at Cambridge; but believe me, you went far beyond me.
When I studied there, I had so fantastical a brain, that like a felfare, frighted in winter by a birding-piece, I could settle nowhere: here and there a little of every several art, and away.
Now my wit, though it were more dull, yet I went slowly on, and as diverse others, when I could not prove an excellent scholar, by a plodding patience I attain'd to be a petty lawyer; and I thank my dullness for't. You may stamp in lead any figure, but in oil or quicksilver nothing can be imprinted, for they keep no certain station.
O, you tax me well of irresolution; but say, worthy friend, how thrives my weighty suit which I have trusted to your friendly bosom? Is there any hope to make me happy?
'Tis yet questionable, for I have not broke the ice to her; an hour hence come to my house, and if it lie in man, be sure, as the law phrase says, I will create you lord paramount of your wishes.
O my best friend, and one that takes the hardest course i' th' world to make himself so!
Sir, now I'll take my leave.
Nay, good my lord; my wife is coming down.
Enter Lady Cressingham and Saunder.
Pray, pardon me, I have business so importunes me o' th' sudden, I cannot stay; deliver mine excuse, and in your ear this: let not a fair woman make you forget your children.
What? Are you taking leave too?
Yes, good madam.
The rich stuff[s] which my husband bought of you, the works of them are too common. I have got a Dutch painter to draw patterns, which I'll have sent to your factors, as in Italy, at Florence and Ragusa, where these stuffs are woven, to have pieces made for mine own wearing of a new invention.
You may, lady, but 'twill be somewhat chargeable.
Chargeable! What of that? If I live another year, I'll have my agents shall lie for me at Paris, and at Venice, and at Valladolid in Spain, for intelligence of all new fashions.
Do, sweetest; thou deserv'st to be exquisite in all things.
The two children to which you are mother-in-law would be repaired too; 'tis time they had new clothing.
I pray, sir, do not trouble me with them;
They have a father indulgent and careful of them.
I am sorry you made the motion to her.
I have done.
[Aside] He has run himself into a pretty dotage.--
Madam, with your leave.
[Aside] He's tied to a new law and a new wife,
Yet to my old proverb, "Anything for a Quiet Life."
Good friend, I have a suit to you.
Dearest self, you most powerfully sway me.
That you would give o'er this fruitless, if I may not say this idle, study of alchemy; why, half your house looks like a glass-house.
And the smoke you make is a worse enemy to good housekeeping than tobacco.
Should one of your glasses break, it might bring you to a dead palsy.
My lord, your quicksilver has made all your more solid gold and silver fly in fume.
I'll be rul'd by you in anything.
Go, Saunder, break all the glasses.
I fly to't.
Why, noble friend, would you find the true philosopher's stone indeed, my good housewifery should do it. You understand I was bred up with a great courtly lady; do not think all women mind gay clothes and riot: there are some widows living have improv'd both their own fortunes and their children's. Would you take my counsel, I'd advise you to sell your land.
Yes, and the manor house upon't: 'tis rotten. Oh, the new-fashion'd buildings brought from the Hague: 'tis stately! I have intelligence of a purchase, and the title sound, will for half the money you may sell yours for, bring you in more rent than yours now yields you.
If it be so good a pennyworth, I need not sell my land to purchase it: I'll procure money to do it.
Why, I'll take it up at interest.
Never did any man thrive that purchas'd with use-money.
How come you to know these thrifty principles?
How? Why, my father was a lawyer, and died in the commission, and may not I by a natural instinct have a reaching that way? There are, on mine own knowledge, some divines' daughters infinitely affected with reading controversies, and that, some think, has been a means to bring so many suits into the spiritual court. Pray, be advised, sell your land, and purchase more: I knew a peddlar by being merchant this way, is become lord of many manors. We should look to lengthen our estates as we do our lives;
And though I am young, yet I am confident
Your able constitution of body
When you are past fourscore, shall keep you fresh
Till I arrive at the neglected year
That I am past childbearing, and yet [even] there
Quick'ning our faint heats in a soft embrace,
And kindling divine flames in fervent prayers,
We may both go out together, and one tomb
Quit our executors the rites of two.
Oh, you are so wise and so good in everything:
I move by your direction.
[Aside] She has caught him!
II.[i. Knavesbee's house]
Enter Knavesbee and his wife [Sib]. Table.
Have you drunk the eggs and muscadine I sent you?
No, they are too fulsome.
Away, y'are a fool!
[Aside] How shall I begin to break the matter to her?--
I do long, wife.
Sit down; there is a penitential motion in me,
Which if thou wilt but second, I shall be
One of the happiest men in Europe.
What might that be?
I had last night one of the strangest dreams;
Methought I was thy confessor, thou mine,
And we reveal'd between us privately
How often we had wrong'd each other's bed
Since we were married.
Came you drunk to bed?
There was a dream with a witness!
No, no witness.
I dreamt nobody heard it but we two.
This dream, wife, do I long to put in act:
Let us confess each other, and I vow
Whatever thou hast done with that sweet corpse
In the way of natural frailty, I protest
Most freely I will pardon.
Go sleep again!
Was there ever such a motion?
Nay, sweet woman,
And thou wilt not have me run mad with my desire,
Be persuaded to't.
Well, be it your pleasure.
But to answer truly.
O, most sincerely!
Begin then: examine me first.
Why, I know not what to ask you.
Let me see. Your father was a captain: demand of me how many dead pays I am to answer for in the muster-book of wedlock, by the martial fault of borrowing from my neighbours.
Troth, I can ask no such foolish questions.
Why then, open confession I hope, dear wife, will merit freer pardon: I sinn'd twice with my laundress, and last circuit there was at Banbury a she-chamberlain that had a spice of purity, but at last I prevailed over her.
O, you are an ungracious husband!
I have made a vow never to ride abroad but in thy company. Oh, a little drink makes me clamber like a monkey! Now, sweet wife, you have been an outlier too: which is best feed, in the forest or in the purlieus?
A foolish mind of you i' this!
Nay, sweet love, confess freely; I have given you the example.
Why, you know I went last year to [Sturbridge] Fair.
And being in Cambridge, a handsome scholar, one of [Emmanuel] College, fell in love with me.
O, you sweet-breath'd monkey!
Go hang, you are so boisterous!
But did this scholar show thee his chamber?
And didst thou like him?
Like him! Oh, he had the most enticing'st straw-colour'd beard, a woman with black eyes would have lov'd him like jet! He was the finest man, with a formal wit; and he had a fine dog that sure was whelp'd i' th' college, for he understood Latin.
Pooh waw! This is nothing till I know what he did in's chamber.
He burnt wormwood in't to kill the fleas i' th' rushes.
But what did he to thee there?
Some five-and-twenty years hence I may chance tell you. Fie upon you! What tricks, what crotchets are these? Have you plac'd anybody behind the arras to hear my confession? I heard one in England got a divorce from's wife by such a trick; were I dispos'd now, I would make you as mad. You shall see me play the changeling.
No, no, wife, you shall see me play the changeling: hadst thou confess'd, this other suit I'll now prefer to thee would have been dispatch'd in a trice.
And what's that, sir?
Thou wilt wonder at it four-and-twenty years longer than nine days.
I would very fain hear it.
There is a lord o' th' court, upon my credit, a most dear, honourable friend of mine, that must lie with thee. Do you laugh? 'Tis not come to that; you'll laugh when you know who 'tis.
Are you stark mad?
On my religion, I have past my word for't.
'Tis the Lord Beaufort: thou art made happy forever!
The generous and bountiful Lord Beaufort!
You being both so excellent, 'twere pity
If such rare pieces should not be conferred
And sampled together.
Do you mean seriously?
As I hope for preferment.
And can you lose me thus?
Lose you! I shall love you the better! Why, what's the viewing any wardrobe or jewel-house without a companion to confer their likings? Yet now I view thee well, methinks thou art a rare monopoly, and great pity one man should enjoy thee.
This is pretty!
Let's divorce ourselves so long, or think I am gone to th' Indies, or lie with him when I am asleep, for some Familists of Amsterdam will tell you [it] may be done with a safe conscience. Come, you wanton, what hurt can this do to you? I protest nothing so much as to keep company with an old woman has sore eyes: no more wrong than I do my beaver when I try it thus. [He rubs it against the fur, then smoothes it.] Look, this is all: smooth, and keeps fashion still.
You are one of the basest fellows.
I look'd for chiding;
I do make this a kind of fortitude
The Romans never dreamt of: and 'twere known,
I should be spoke and writ of when I am rotten,
For 'tis beyond example.
But, I pray, resolve me:
Suppose this done, could you ever love me after?
I protest I never thought so well of thee
Till I knew he took a fancy to thee, like one
That has variety of choice meat before him,
Yet has no stomach to't until he hear
Hark, my lord is coming.
And my preferment comes along with him. Be wise, mind your good, and to confute all reason in the world which thou canst urge against it. When 'tis done, we will be married again, wife, which some say is the only supersedeas about Limehouse to remove cuckoldry.
Come, are you ready to attend me to the court?
Yes, my lord.
Is this fair one your wife?
At your lordship's service. I will look up some writings and return presently.
[Aside] To see and the base fellow do not leave's alone too!
'Tis an excellent habit this. Where were you born, sweet?
I am a Suffolk woman, my lord.
Believe it, every [county] you breathe on is the sweeter for you. Let me see your hand. [Attempting to take her hand from her glove] The case is loath to part with the jewel! Fairest one, I have skill in palmistry.
Good my lord, what do you find there?
In good earnest, I do find written here all my good fortune lies in your hand.
You'll keep a very bad house then; you may see by the smallness of the table.
Who is your sweetheart?
Yes, come, I must sift you to know it.
I am a sieve too [coarse] for your lordship's manchet.
Nay, pray you tell me, for I see your husband is an unhandsome fellow.
Oh, my lord, I took him by weight, not fashion. Goldsmiths' wives taught me that way of bargain, and some ladies swerve not to follow the example.
But will you not tell me who is your private friend?
Yes, and you'll tell me who is yours.
Shall I show you her?
Yes. When will you?
Instantly. [He hands her a mirror.] Look, there you may see her.
I'll break the glass; 'tis now worth nothing.
You have made it a flattering one.
I have a summer-house for you: a fine place to flatter solitariness. Will you come and lie there?
No, my lord.
Your husband has promis'd me. Will you not?
I must wink, I tell you, or say nothing.
So, I'll kiss you and wink too. [He kisses her.] Midnight is Cupid's holiday.
[Aside] By this time 'tis concluded.--Will you go, my lord?
[To Sib] I leave with you my best wishes till I see you.
This now, if I may borrow our lawyer's phrase, is my wife's imparlance; at her next appearance she must answer your declaration.
You follow it well, sir.
Exeunt Beaufort and Knavesbee.
Did I not know my husband
Of so base, contemptible nature, I should think
'Twere but a trick to try me; but it seems
They are both in wicked earnest, and methinks
Upon the sudden I have a great mind to loathe
This scurvy, unhandsome way my lord has ta'en
To compass me. Why, 'tis for all the world
As if he should come to steal some apricocks
My husband kept for's own tooth, and climb up
Upon his head and shoulders. I'll go to him;
He will put me into brave clothes and rich jewels:
'Twere a very ill part in me not to go,
His mercer and his goldsmith else might curse me.
And what I'll do here, a' my troth yet I know not.
Women, though puzzl'd with these subtle deeds,
May, as i' th' spring, pick physic out of weeds.
[II.ii. Chamlet's shop]
Enter (a shop being discover'd) Water Chamlet, two prentices George and Ralph.
What is't you lack, you lack, you lack?
Stuffs for the belly or the back?
Silk grogans, satins, velvet fine,
The rosy-colour'd carnadine,
Your nutmeg hue, or gingerline,
Cloth of tissue, or [tabine],
That like beaten gold will shine
In your amorous ladies' eyne,
Whilst you their softer silks do twine:
What is't you lack, you lack, you lack?
I do lack content, sir, content I lack: have you or your worshipful master here any content to sell?
If content be a stuff to be sold by the yard, you may have content at home and never go abroad for't.
Do, cut me three yards; I'll pay for 'em.
There's all we have i' th' shop; we must know what you'll give for 'em first.
Why, Rachel, sweet Rachel, my bosom Rachel,
How didst thou get forth? Thou wert here, sweet Rac,
Within this hour, even in my very heart!
Away! Or stay still, I'll away from thee;
One bed shall never hold us both again,
Nor one roof cover us: didst thou bring home--
What is't you lack, you lack, you lack?
Bandog, give me leave to speak, or I'll--
Shall I not follow my trade? I'm bound to't,
And my master bound to bring me up in't.
Peace, good George, give her anger leave;
Thy mistress will be quiet presently.
Quiet? I defy thee and quiet too.
Quiet thy bastards thou hast brought home!
GEORGE AND RALPH
What is't you lack, you lack? Etc.
Death, give me an ell! Has one bawling cur
Rais'd up another? Two dogs upon me!
And the old bearward will not succour me,
I'll stave 'em off myself. Give me an ell, I say!
Give her not an inch, master; she'll take two ells if you do.
Peace, George and Ralph; no more words, I charge you.
And Rachel, sweet wife, be more temperate.
I know your tongue speaks not by the rule
And guidance of your heart, when you proclaim
The pretty children of my virtuous
And noble kinswoman, whom in life you knew
Above my praise's reach, to be my bastards.
This is not well, although your anger did it;
Pray, chide your anger for it.
Sir, sir, your gloss
Of kinswoman cannot serve turn; 'tis stale
And smells too rank. Though your shop-wares you vent
With your deceiving lights, yet your chamber stuff
Shall not pass so with me, I say, and I will prove--
Enter two children [Maria and Edward Cressingham].
What is't you lack?
Enter two children [Maria and Edward Cressingham].
Why, George, I say!
Lecher, I say, I'll be divorc'd from thee;
I'll prove 'em thy bastards, and thou insufficient.
What said my angry cousin to you, sir?
That we were bastards?
I hope she meant not us.
My pretty cousin, she meant George and Ralph;
Rage will speak anything, but they are ne'er the worse.
Yes, indeed, forsooth, she spoke to us, but chiefly to Ralph, because she knows he has but one stone.
No more of that if you love me, George; this is not the way to keep a quiet house.
Truly, sir, I would not, for more treasure
Than ever I saw yet, be in your house
A cause of discord.
And do you think I would, sister?
No, indeed, Ned.
Enter Franklin [disguised as a gentleman] and young Cressingham disguis'd [as his tailor].
Why did you not speak for me with you then,
And said we could not have done so?
No more, sweet cousins, now. Speak, George: customers approach.
[Aside to Franklin] Is the barber prepar'd?
[Aside to Cressingham] With ignorance enough to go through with it. So near I am to him, we must call cousins: would thou wert as sure to hit the tailor.
[Aside to Franklin] If I do not steal away handsomely, let me never play the tailor again.
What is't you lack? Etc.
Good satins, sir.
The best in Europe, sir. Here's a piece worth a piece every yard of him; the King of Naples wears no better silk. Mark his gloss; he dazzles the eye to look upon him.
Is he not gumm'd?
Gumm'd! He has neither mouth nor tooth, how can he be gumm'd?
An especial good piece of silk; the worm never spun a finer thread, believe it, sir.
[To Cressingham] Gascoyn, you have some skill in it.
Your tailor, sir?
A good piece, sir; but let's see more choice.
[Aside to Cressingham] Tailor, drive through; you know your bribes!
[Aside to Ralph] Mum: he bestows forty pounds if I say the word.
[Aside to Cressingham] Strike through; there's poundage for you then.
Ay, marry; I like this better. What sayst thou, Gascoyn?
A good piece indeed, sir.
The great Turk has worse satin at's elbow than this, sir.
Look on the mark, George.
[Aside to Chamlet] O, souse and P, by my facks, sir.
The best sort then: sixteen a yard, nothing to be bated.
Fie, sir, fifteen's too high! Yet so. [To Cressingham] How many yards will service for my suit, sirrah?
Nine yards; you can have no less, Sir Andrew.
But I can, sir, if you please to steal less; I had but eight in my last suit.
You pinch us too near, in faith, Sir Andrew.
Yet can you pinch out a false pair of sleeves to a frizado doublet?
No, sir, some purses and pin-pillows perhaps; a tailor pays for his kissing that ways.
[To Chamlet] Well, sir, eight yards; eight fifteens I give, and cut it.
I cannot, truly, sir.
My master must be no subsidy-man, sir, if he take such fifteens.
I am at highest, sir, if you can take money.
Well, sir, I'll give you the buying once; I hope to gain it in your custom. Want you nothing else, sir?
Not at this time, sir.
Indeed, but you do, Sir Andrew. I must needs deliver my lady's message to you; she enjoin'd me by oath to do it: she commanded me to move you for a new gown.
Sirrah, I'll break your head if you motion it again.
I must endanger myself for my lady, sir; you know she's to go to my Lady Trenchmore's wedding, and to be seen there without a new gown! She'll have ne'er an eye to be seen there, for her fingers in 'em. Nay, by my fack, sir, I do not think she'll go, and then, the cause known, what a discredit 'twill be to you!
Not a word more, goodman snipsnapper, for your ears! What comes this to, sir?
Six pound, sir.
[Giving him money] There's your money. [To Cressingham] Will you take this and be gone, and about your business presently?
Troth, sir, I'll see some stuffs for my lady first. I'll tell her at least I did my good will. [To George] A fair piece of cloth of silver, pray you now.
Or cloth of gold if you please, sir, as rich as ever the sophy wore.
You are the arrantest villain of a tailor that ever sat cross-legg'd! What do you think a gown of this stuff will come to?
Why, say it be forty pound, sir: what's that to you? Three thousand a year I hope will maintain it.
It will, sir; very good. You were best be my overseer! Say I be not furnish'd with money, how then?
A very fine excuse in you! Which place of ten now will you send me for a hundred pound to bring it presently?
Sir, sir, your tailor persuades you well; 'tis for your credit, and the great content of your lady.
'Tis for your content, sir, and my charges. [To Cressingham] Never think, goodman falsestitch, to come to the mercers with me again. Pray, will you see if my cousin Sweetball the barber, he's nearest hand, be furnish'd, and bring me word instantly.
I fly, sir.
You may fly, sir; you have clipt somebody's wings for it to piece out your own. An arrant thief you are.
Indeed, he speaks honestly and justly, sir.
You expect some gain, sir: there's your cause of love.
Surely I do a little, sir.
And what might be the price of this?
This is thirty a yard; but if you'll go to forty, here's a nonpareil.
So, there's a matter of forty pound for a gown cloth.
Thereabouts, sir. Why, sir, there are far short of your means that wear the like.
Do you know my means, sir?
By overhearing your tailor, sir, three thousand a year; but if you'd have a petticoat for your lady, here's a stuff.
Are you another tailor, sirrah? Here's a knave! What are you?
You are such another gentleman. But for the stuff, sir, 'tis [L. s. and d.]; for the turn stripp'd a' purpose, a yard and a quarter broad too, which is the just depth of a woman's petticoat.
And why stripp'd for a petticoat?
Because if they abuse their petticoats, there are abuses stripp'd, then 'tis taking them up, and they may be stripp'd and whipp'd too.
Then it is likewise stripp'd standing, between which is discover'd the open part, which is now call'd the placket.
Why, was it ever call'd otherwise?
Yes; while the word remain'd pure in his original, the Latin tongue, who have no K's, it was call'd the placet, a placendo, a thing or place to please.
Better and worse still.
Enter young Cressingham.
Now, sir, you come in haste; what says my cousin?
Protest, sir, he's half angry that either you should think him unfurnish'd, or not furnish'd for your use. There's a hundred pound ready for you; he desires you to pardon his coming: his folks are busy and his wife trimming a gentleman, but at your first approach the money wants but telling.
He would not trust you with it. I con him thanks for that: he knows what trade you are of. [To Chamlet] Well, sir, pray, cut him patterns; he may in the meantime know my lady's liking. Let your man take the pieces whole with the lowest prices, and walk with me to my cousin's.
With all my heart, sir. Ralph, your cloak, and go with the gentleman; look you give good measure.
Look you, carry a good yard with you.
The best i' th' shop, sir, yet we have none bad. You'll have the stuff for the petticoat too?
No, sir, the gown only.
By all means, sir. Not the petticoat? That were holiday upon working-day, i'faith.
You are so forward for a knave, sir!
'Tis for your credit and my lady's both I do it, sir.
[To Chamlet] Your man is trusty, sir?
O sir, we keep none but those we dare trust, sir! [Aside to Ralph] Ralph, have a care of light gold.
[Aside to Chamlet] I warrant you, sir, I'll take none.
Come, sirrah. Fare you well.
Pray, know my shop another time, sir.
That I shall, sir, from all the shops i' th' town. 'Tis the Lamb in Lombard Street.
Exeunt Franklin, Cressingham, Ralph.
A good morning's work, sir. If this custom would but last long, you might shut up your shop and live privately.
O George, but here's a grief that takes away all the gains and joy of all my thrift!
What's that, sir?
Thy mistress, George; her frowardness sours all my comfort.
Alas, sir, they are but squibs and crackers; they'll soon die: you know her flashes of old.
But they fly so near me that they burn me, George; they are as ill as muskets charged with bullets.
She has discharg'd herself now, sir; you need not fear her.
No man can [live] without his affliction, George.
As you cannot without my mistress.
Right, right, there's harmony in discords: this lamp of love while any oil is left can never be extinct; it may, like a snuff, wink and seem to die, but up he will again and show his head. I cannot be quiet, George, without my wife at home.
And when she's at home, you're never quiet, I'm sure; a fine life you have on't. Well, sir, I'll do my best to find her and bring her back if I can.
Do, honest George, at Knavesbee's house, that varlet's--
There's her haunt and harbour--who enforces
A kinsman on her and [she] calls him cousin.
Restore her, George, to ease this heart that's vex'd;
The best new suit that e'er thou worest is next.
I thank you aforehand, sir.
[II.iii. Outside Sweetball's house]
Enter Franklin [and] young Cressingham [disguised] as before, Ralph [carrying the stuffs], [Sweetball the] Barber, Boy.
Were it of greater moment than you speak of, noble sir, I hope you think me sufficient, and it shall be effectually performed.
I could wish your wife did not know it, coz. Women's tongues are not always tuneable; I may many ways requite it.
Believe me, she shall not, sir, which will be the hardest thing of all.
Pray you, dispatch him then.
With the celerity a man tells gold to him.
[Aside] He hits a good comparison! [To Ralph] Give my waste-good your stuffs and go with my cousin, sir; he'll presently dispatch you.
Come with me, youth; I am ready for you in my more private chamber.
Exeunt Barber and Ralph.
Sirrah, go you show your lady the stuffs, and let her choose her colour. Away; you know whither. Boy, prithee lend me a brush i' th' meantime. Do you tarry all day now?
That I will, sir, and all night too ere I come again.
Exit young Cressingham [with the stuffs].
Here's a brush, sir.
A good child!
Why, when, goodman picklock?
I must attend my master, sir. I come!
Do, pretty lad.
So, take water at Cole Harbour.
An easy mercer and an innocent barber!
Exit Franklin [with the brush].
[II.iv. A chamber in Sweetball's house]
Enter Barber, Ralph, Boy.
So, friend, I'll now dispatch you presently. Boy, reach me my dismembering instrument and let my [cauterizer] be ready, and, hark you, snip snap!
See if my [lixivium], my fomentation be provided first, and get my rollers, bolsters, and pledgets arm'd.
Nay, good sir, dispatch my business first; I should not stay from my shop.
You must have a little patience, sir, when you are a patient; if [praeputium] be not too much perish'd, you shall lose but little by it, believe my art for that.
What's that, sir?
Marry, if there be exulceration between [praeputium] and glans, by my faith, the whole penis may be endanger'd as far as os [pubis].
What's this you talk on, sir?
If they be gangren'd once, testiculi, vesica, and all may run to mortification.
What a pox does this barber talk on?
O fie, youth, pox is no word of art: morbus Gallicus, or Neopolitamus had been well. Come, friend, you must not be nice; open your griefs freely to me.
Why, sir, I open my grief to you: I want my money.
Take you no care for that: your worthy cousin has given me part in hand, and the rest I know he will upon your recovery, and I dare take his word.
'Sdeath, where's my ware?
Ware! That was well: the word is cleanly, though not artful. Your ware is that I must see.
My [tabine] and cloth of tissue!
You will neither have tissue nor issue if you linger in your malady; better a member cut off than endanger the whole microcosm.
Barber, you are not mad?
I do begin to fear you are subject to subeth, unkindly sleeps, which have bred oppilations in your brain. Take heed, the symptoma will follow, and this may come to frenzy: begin with the first cause, which is the pain of your member.
Do you see my yard, barber?
Now you come to the purpose; 'tis that I must see indeed.
You shall feel it, sir. Death, give me my fifty pounds or my ware again, or I'll measure out your anatomy by the yard!
Boy, my cauterizing iron red-hot!
Exit Boy [and re-enter with iron].
'Tis here, sir.
If you go further, I take my dismembering knife.
Where's the knight, your cousin? The thief! And the tailor with my cloth of gold and tissue?
The gentleman that sent away his man with the stuffs is gone a pretty while since; he has carried away our new brush.
O, that brush hurts my heart's side! Cheated! Cheated! He told me that your virga had a burning-fever.
A pox on your virga, barber!
And that you would be bashful and asham'd to show your head.
I shall so hereafter, but here it is; you see yet my head, my hair, and my wit, and here are my heels that I must show to my master if the cheaters be not found. And barber, provide thee plasters: I will break thy head with every basin under the pole!
Cool the [lixivium] and quench the cauterizer;
I am partly out of my wits and partly mad.
My razor's at my heart: these storms will make
My sweetballs stink, my harmless basins shake.
III.[i. Lord Beaufort's house]
Enter [Mistress George Cressingham disguised as] Selenger, [Sib].
You're welcome, mistress, as I may speak it,
But my lord will give it a sweeter emphasis.
I'll give him knowledge of you.
Good sir, stay.
Methinks it sounds sweetest upon your tongue:
I'll wish you to go no further for my welcome.
Mine! It seems you never heard good music
That commend a bagpipe. Hear his harmony.
Nay, good now, let me borrow of your patience;
I'll pay you again before I rise tomorrow.
If it please you--
What would you, forsooth?
Your company, sir.
My attendance you should have, mistress, but that my lord expects it, and 'tis his due.
And must be paid upon the hour? That's too strict; any time of the day will serve.
Alas, 'tis due every minute, and paid, 'tis due again, or else I forfeit my recognisance, the cloth I wear of his.
Come, come, pay it double at another time, and 'twill be quitted; I have a little use of you.
Of me, forsooth! Small use can be made of me: if you have suit to my lord, none can speak better for you than you may yourself.
Oh, but I am bashful.
So am I, in troth, mistress.
Now I remember me: I have a toy to deliver your lord that's yet unfinish'd, and you may further me. Pray you, your hands, while I unwind this skein of gold from you; 'twill not detain you long.
[She unwinds the skein around her wrists.]
You wind me into your service prettily; with all the haste you can, I beseech you.
If it tangle not, I shall soon have done.
No, it shall not tangle if I can help it, forsooth.
If it do, I can help it. Fear not this thing of long length; you shall see I can bring you to a bottom.
I think so too: if it be not bottomless, this length will reach it.
It becomes you finely, but I forewarn you, and remember it, your enemy gain not this advantage of you: you are his prisoner then, for look you, you are mine now, my captive manacled; I have your hands in bondage.
Grasps the skein between [her] hands.
'Tis a good lesson, mistress, and I am perfect in it; another time I'll take out this, and learn another. Pray you, release me now.
I could kiss you now, spite of your teeth, if it please me.
But you could not, for I could bite you with the spite of my teeth, if it pleases me.
Well, I'll not tempt you so far; I show it but for rudiment.
When I go a-wooing, I'll think on't again.
In such an hour I learnt it. Say I should,
In recompense of your hands' courtesy,
Make you a fine wrist-favour of this gold,
With all the letters of your name emboss'd
On a soft tress of hair, which I shall cut
From mine own fillet, whose ends should meet and close
In a fast true-love knot: would you wear it
For my sake, sir?
I think not, truly, mistress:
My wrists have enough of this gold already;
Would they were rid on't. Yet, pray you, have done;
In troth, I'm weary.
And what a virtue
Is here express'd in you, which had lain hid
But for this trial. Weary of gold, sir?
Oh, that the close engrossers of this treasure
Could be so free to put it off of hand,
What a new-mended world would here be!
It shows a generous condition in you;
In sooth, I think I shall love you dearly for't.
But if they were in prison, as I am,
They would be glad to buy their freedom with it.
Surely no: there are that, rather than release
This dear companion, do lie in prison with it;
Yes, and will die in prison too.
'Twere pity but the hangman did enfranchise both.
Selenger, where are you?
E'en here, my lord. Mistress, pray you, my liberty; you hinder my duty to my lord.
Beaufort puts off his hat.
Nay, sir, one courtesy shall serve us both at this time. You're busy, I perceive; when your leisure next serves you, I would employ you.
You must pardon me, my lord; you see I am entangled here. Mistress, I protest I'll break prison if you free me not; take you no notice?
Oh, cry your honour mercy! You are now at liberty, sir.
[She takes the skein off her wrists.]
[Aside] And I'm glad on't; I'll ne'er give both my hands at once again to a woman's command; I'll put one finger in a hole rather.
Free leave have you, my lord. [Aside] So I think you may have: filthy beauty, what a white witch thou art!
Exit [Mistress Cressingham].
Lady, y'are welcome.
I did believe it from your page, my lord.
Your husband sent you to me.
He did, my lord,
With duty and commends unto your honour,
Beseeching you to use me very kindly,
By the same token your lordship gave him grant
Of a new lease of threescore pound a year,
Which he and his should forty years enjoy.
The token's true, and for your sake, lady
'Tis likely to be better'd, not alone the lease,
But the fee-simple may be his and yours.
I have a suit unto your lordship too
Only myself concerns.
'Twill be granted, sure,
Tho' it out-value thy husband's.
Nay, 'tis small charge:
Only your good will and good word, my lord.
The first is thine confirm'd; the second then
Cannot stay long behind.
I love your page, sir.
Love him! For what?
Oh, the great wisdoms that
Our grandsires had! Do you ask me reason for't?
I love him because I like him, sir.
In mine eye he's a most delicate youth,
But in my heart a thing that it would bleed for.
Either your eye is blinded or your remembrance broken:
Call to mind wherefore you came hither, lady.
I do, my lord: for love, and I am in profoundly.
You trifle, sure. Do you long for unripe fruit?
'Twill breed diseases in you.
Nothing but worms
In my belly, and there's a seed to expel them;
In mellow, falling fruit I find no relish.
'Tis true, the youngest vines yield the most clusters,
But the old ever the sweetest grapes.
I can taste of both, sir,
But with the old I am the soonest cloy'd:
The green keep still an edge on appetite.
Sure you are a common creature.
Did you doubt it?
Wherefore came I hither else? Did you think
That honesty only had been immur'd for you,
And I should bring it as an offertory
Unto your shrine of lust? As it was, my lord,
'Twas meant to you, had not the slippery wheel
Of fancy turn'd when I beheld your page.
Nay, had I seen another before him
In mine eyes better [graced], he had been forestall'd.
But as it is--all my strength cannot help--
Beseech you, your good will and good word, my lord;
You may command him, sir, if not affection,
Yet his body, and I desire but that; do't
And I'll command myself your prostitute.
Y'are a base strumpet! I succeed my page?
Oh, that's no wonder, my lord; the servant oft
Tastes to his master of the daintiest dish
He brings to him. Beseech you, my lord.
Y'are a bold mischief. And to make me your spokesman,
Your procurer to my servant!
Do you shrink at that?
Why, you have done worse without the sense of ill
With a full free conscience of a libertine.
Judge your own sin:
Was it not worse with a damn'd broking-fee
To corrupt [a] husband, state him a pander
To his own wife, by virtue of a lease
Made to him and your bastard issue, could you get 'em?
What a degree of baseness call you this?
'Tis a poor sheep-steal[er] provok'd by want
Compar'd unto a capital traitor; the master
To his servant may be recompens'd, but the husband
To his wife never.
Your husband shall smart for this!
Hang him, do; you have brought him to deserve it:
Bring him to the punishment; there I'll join with you.
I loathe him to the gallows! Hang your page too;
One mourning gown shall serve for both of them.
This trick hath kept mine honesty secure;
Best soldiers use policy: the lion's skin
Becomes not the body when 'tis too great,
But then the fox's may sit close and neat.
[III.ii. A street outside a tavern]
Enter Fleshhook, Counterbuff, and Sweetball the Barber.
Now, Fleshhook, use thy talon, set upon his right shoulder; thy sergeant Counterbuff at the left, grasp in his jugulars; and then let me alone to tickle his diaphragma.
You are sure he has no protection, sir?
A protection to cheat and cozen! There was never any granted to that purpose.
I grant you that too, sir, but that use has been made of 'em.
Marry, has there, sir. How could else so many broken bankrupts play up and down by their creditors' noses, and we dare not touch 'em?
That's another case, Counterbuff; there's privilege to cozen: but here cozenage went before, and there's no privilege for that. To him boldly! I will spend all the scissors in my shop, but I'll have him snapp'd.
Well, sir, if he come within the length of large mace once, we'll teach him to cozen.
Marry, hang him, teach him no more cozenage; he's too perfect in't already. Go gingerly about it, lay your mace on gingerly, and spice him soundly.
He's at the tavern, you say?
At the Man in the Moon, above stairs. So soon as he comes down, and the bush left at his back, Ralph is the dog behind him: he watches to give us notice; be ready then, my dear bloodhounds. You shall deliver him to Newgate, from thence to the hangman; his body I will beg of the sheriffs, for at the next lecture I am likely to be the master of my anatomy. Then will I vex every vein about him; I will find where his disease of cozenage lay, whether in the vertebrae, or in [os coxendix]: but I guess I shall find it descend from humore, through the [thorax], and lie just at his fingers' ends.
Be in readiness, for he's coming this way, alone too. Stand to't like gentleman and yeoman: so soon as he is in sight, I'll go fetch my master.
I have had a [conquassation] in my cerebrum ever since the disaster, and now it takes me again: if it turn to a [megrim], I shall hardly abide the sight of him.
My action of defamation shall be clapp'd on him too; I will make him appear to't in the shape of a white sheet all embroidered over with peccavis.
Look about; I'll go fetch my master.
I arrest you, sir.
[Counterbuff and Fleshhook grab Franklin.]
Ha! Qui va là? Que pensez-vous faire, messieurs? Me voulez-vous dérober? Je n'ai point d'argent: je suis un pauvre gentilhomme français.
Whoop! Pray you, sir, speak English. You did when you bought cloth of gold at six nihils a yard, when Ralph's praeputium was exulcerated.
Que voulez-vous? Me voulez-vous tuer? Le[s] Français ne sont point ennemis. [Giving them his purse] Voilà ma bourse; que voulez-vous d'avantage?
Is not your name Franklin, sir?
Je n'ai point de joyaux que cestui-ci, et c'est à monsieur l'ambassadeur. Il m'envoie à [ses] affaires, et vous empêchez mon service.
Sir, we are mistaken, for aught I perceive.
Enter Chamlet and Ralph hastily.
So, so, you have caught him; that's well. How do you, sir?
Vous semblez être un homme courtois; je vous prie entendez mes affaires: il y a ici deux ou [trois] canailles qui m'ont [assiégé], un pauvre étranger qui ne leur ai fait nul mal, ni donné mauvaise parole, ni tiré mon épée. L'un me prend par une épaule, et me frappe deux livre pesant; l'autre me tire par le bras, il parle je ne sais quoi. Je leur ai donné ma bourse, et [s'ils] ne me veulent point laisser aller; que ferai-je monsieur?
This is a Frenchman it seems, sirs.
We can find no other in him, sir, and what that is we know not.
He's very like the man we seek for, else my lights go false.
In your shop they may, sir, but here they go true: this is he.
The very same, sir, as sure as I am Ralph: this is the rascal.
Sir, unless you will absolutely challenge him the man, we dare not proceed further.
I fear we are too far already.
I know not what to say to't.
Enter Margarita, a French bawd.
Bon jour, bon jour, gentilhommes.
How now! More news from France?
Cette femme ici est de mon pays. Madame, je vous prie leur dire mon pays; il m'ont [retardé], je ne sais pourquoi.
Etes-vous de France, monsieur?
Madame, [vrai] est que je les ai trompés, et suis arrête, et n'ai nul moyen d'échapper [qu'en changeant] mon langage. Aidez-moi en cette affaire. Je vous connois bien, où vous tenez un bordeau; vous et les votres en serez de mieux.
Laissez faire à moi. Etes-vous de Lyons, dites-vous?
De Lyons, ma chère dame.
Embrace and complement.
[Mon] cousin! Je suis bien aise de vous voir en bonne disposition.
This is a Frenchman, sure.
If he be, 'tis the likest an Englishman that ever I saw; all his dimensions, proportions! Had I but the dissecting of his heart, in capsula cordis could I find it now, for a Frenchman's heart is more [quassative] and subject to tremor than an Englishman's.
Stay, we'll further enquire of this gentlewoman. Mistress, if you have so much English to help us with, as I think you have, for I have long seen you about London, pray, tell us, and truly tell us, is this gentleman a natural Frenchman or no?
Ey, begar, de Frenchman, born à Lyons, my cozin.
Your cousin? If he be not your cousin, he's my cousin, sure!
Ey conosh his père, what you call his fadre? He sell poissons.
Sell poisons? His father was a 'pothecary then.
No, no, poissons, what you call fish, fish.
Oh, he was a fishmonger.
Well, well, we are mistaken, I see; pray you, so tell him, and request him not to be offended. An honest man may look like a knave, and be ne'er the worse for't. The error was in our eyes, and now we find it in his tongue.
J'essayerai encore une fois, monsieur cousin, pour votre sauveté. Allez-vous en; votre liberté est suffisante. Je gagnerai le reste pour mon devoir, et vous aurez votre part à mon école. J'ai une fille qui parle un peu Français; elle conversera avec vous à la Fleur-de-Lis en Turnbull Street. Mon cousin, ayez soin de vous-même, et trompez ces ignorans.
Cousine, pour l'amour de vous, et principalement pour moi, je suis content de m'en aller. Je trouverai votre école, et si vos écoliers me sont agréables, je tirerai à l'épée seule, et si d'aventure je la rompe, je payerai dix sous. Et pour ce vieux fol, [et ces] deux canailles, ce poulain Snipsnap, et l'autre bonnet rond, je les verrai pendre premier que je les vois.
So, so, she has got him off; but I perceive much anger in his countenance still. And what says he, madam?
Moosh, moosh anger, but ey conosh heer lodging shall cool him very well. Dere is a kinswomans can moosh allay heer heat and heer spleen; she shall do for my saka, and he no trobla you.
[Giving her money] Look, there is earnest, but thy reward's behind. Come to my shop, the Holy Lamb in Lombard Street; thou hast one friend more than e'er thou hadst.
Tank u, monsieur; shall visit u. Ey make all pacifie; à votre service très [humblement], tree, four, five fool of u.
What's to be done now?
To pay us for our pains, sir, and better reward us, that we may be provided against further danger that may come upon's for false imprisonment.
All goes false, I think. What do you, neighbour Sweetball?
I must phlebotomise, sir, but my almanac says the sign is in Taurus. I dare not cut my own throat, but if I find any [precedent] that ever barber hang'd himself, I'll be the second example.
This was your ill [lixivium], barber, to cause all to be cheated.
What say you to us, sir?
Good friends, come to me at a calmer hour;
My sorrows lie in heaps upon me now.
What you have, keep; if further trouble follow,
I'll take it on me: I would be press'd to death.
Well, sir, for this time we'll leave you.
I will go with you, officers; I will walk with you in the open street though it be a scandal to me, for now I have no care of my credit. A cacokenny is run all over me.
Exeunt [Barber, Fleshhook, Counterbuff]. Enter George.
What shall we do now, Ralph?
Faith, I know not, sir. Here comes George; it may be he can tell you.
And there I look for more disaster still;
Yet George appears in a smiling countenance.
Ralph, home to the shop; leave George and I together.
I am gone, sir.
Now, George, what better news eastward? All goes ill the tother way.
I bring you the best news that ever came about your ears in your life, sir.
Thou putst me in good comfort, George.
My mistress, you wife, will never trouble you more.
Ha? Never trouble me more? Of this, George, may be made a sad construction; that phrase we sometimes use when death makes the separation. I hope it is not so with her, George?
No, sir, but she vows she'll never come home again to you, so you shall live quietly, and this I took to be very good news, sir.
The worst that could be, this [candied] poison.
I love her, George, and I am bound to do so.
The tongue's bitterness must not separate
United souls: 'twere base and cowardly
For all to yield to the small tongue's assault;
The whole building must not be taken down
For the repairing of a broken window.
Ay, but this is a principal, sir. The truth is, she will be divorc'd, she says, and is labouring with her cousin Knave-- What do you call him? I have forgotten the latter end of his name.
Ay, Knave or Knavesbee; one I took it to be.
Why, neither rage nor envy can make a cause, George.
Yes, sir, not only at your person, but she shoots at your shop too; she says you vent ware that is not warrantable, braided ware, and that you give not London measure. Women, you know, look for more than a bare yard. And then you keep children in the name of your own, which she suspects came not in at the right door.
She may as well suspect immaculate truth
To be cursed falsehood.
Ay, but if she will, she will: she's a woman, sir.
'Tis most true, George. Well, that shall be redress'd:
My cousin Cressingham must yield me pardon;
The children shall home again, and thou shalt conduct 'em, George.
That done, I'll be bold to venter once more for her recovery, since you cannot live at liberty; but because you are a rich citizen, you will have your chain about your neck. I think I have a device will bring you together by th' ears again, and then look to 'em as well as you can.
Oh George, amongst all my heavy troubles, this
Is the groaning weight! But restore my wife.
Although you ne'er lead hour of quiet life?
I will endeavour 't, George. I'll lend her will
A power and rule to keep all hush'd and still.
Eat we all sweetmeats, we are soonest rotten.
A sentence! Pity 't should have been forgotten.
IV.[i. Sir Francis's house]
Enter Sir Francis Cressingham and a Surveyor [at different doors].
Where's master steward?
Within. What are you, sir?
A surveyor, sir.
And an almanac-maker, I take it. Can you tell me what foul weather is toward?
Marry, the foulest weather is, that your land is flying away.
A most terrible prognostication! All the resort, all the business to my house is to my lady and master steward, whilst Sir Francis stands for a cipher. I have made away myself and my power as if I had done it by deed of gift. Here comes the comptroller of the game.
What, are you yet resolved to translate this unnecessary land into ready money?
The conveyances are drawn and the money ready. My lady sent me to you to know directly if you meant to go through in the sale; if not, she resolves of another course.
Thou speakest this cheerfully, methinks, whereas faithful servants were wont to mourn when they beheld the lord that fed and cherish'd them, [as] by curst enchantments remov'd into another blood. Cressingham of Cressingham has continued for many years, and must the name sink now?
All this is nothing to my lady's resolution; it must be done or she'll not stay in England. She would know whether your son be sent for that must likewise set his hand to th' sale; for otherwise the lawyers say there cannot be a sure conveyance made to the buyer.
Yes, I have sent for him; but I pray thee, think what a hard task 'twill be for a father to persuade his son and heir to make away his inheritance.
Nay, for that use your own logic: I have heard you talk at the sessions terribly against deer-stealers, and that kept you from being put out of the commission.
Exit Saunder. Enter young Cressingham.
I do live to see two miseries, one to be commanded by my wife, the other to be censured by my slave.
[Kneeling] That which I have wanted long, and has been cause of my irregular courses, I beseech you let raise me from the ground.
[Raising him and giving him money] Rise, George: there's a hundred pounds for you, and my blessing; with these, your mother's favour. But I [hear] your studies are become too licentious of late.
[Aside] H'as heard of my cozenage.
What's that you're writing?
Sir, not anything.
Come, I hear there's something coming forth of yours will be your undoing.
Yes, of your writing; somewhat you should write will be dangerous to you. I have a suit to you.
Sir, my obedience makes you commander in all things.
I pray, suppose I had committed some fault,
For which my life and sole estate were forfeit
To the law, and that some great man near the king
Should labour to get my pardon, on condition
He might enjoy my lordship: could you prize
Your father's life above the grievous loss
Of your inheritance?
Yes, and my own life
At stake too.
You promise fair; I come now
To make trial of it. You know I have married
One whom I hold so dear that my whole life
Is nothing but a mere estate depending
Upon her will and her affections to me.
She deserves so well, I cannot longer merit
Than durante [beneplacito]: 'tis her pleasure,
And her wisdom moves in't too, of which I'll give you
Ample satisfaction hereafter, that I sell
The land my father left me. You change colour!
I have promis'd her to do't, and should I fail,
I must expect the remainder of my life
As full of trouble and vexation
As the suit for a divorce; it lies in you
By setting of your hand unto the sale
To add length to his life that gave you yours.
Sir, I do now ingeniously perceive
Why you said lately somewhat I should write
Would be my undoing, meaning, as I take it,
Setting my hand to this assurance. Oh, good sir,
Shall I pass away my birthright? Oh, remember
There is a malediction denounc'd against it
In holy writ! Will you, for her pleasure,
The inheritance of desolation leave
To your posterity? Think how compassionate
The creatures of the field, that only live
On the wild benefits of nature, are
Unto their young ones; think likewise you may
Have more children by this woman, and by this act
You undo them too. 'Tis a strange [precedent] this,
To see an obedient son labouring good counsel
To the father! But know, sir, that the spirits
Of my great-grandfather and your father move
At this present in me, and what they bequeath'd you
On [their] deathbed they charge you not to give away
In the dalliance of a woman's bed. Good sir,
Let it not be thought presumption in me
That I have continued my speech unto this length:
The cause, sir, is urgent and, believe it, you
Shall find her beauty as malevolent unto you
As a red morning that doth still foretell
A foul day to follow. Oh, sir, keep your land!
Keep that to keep your name immortal, and you shall see
All that her malice and proud will procures,
Shall show her ugly heart, but hurt not yours.
Oh, I am distracted, and my very soul
Sends blushes into my cheeks.
Enter George with the two children [Maria and Edward].
See here an object
To beget more compassion.
O Sir Francis, we have a most lamentable house at home! Nothing to be heard in't but separation and divorces, and such a noise of the spiritual court as if it were a tenement upon London Bridge and built upon the arches.
What's the matter?
All about boarding your children: my mistress is departed.
In a sort she is, and laid out too, for she is run away from my master.
Seven miles off, into Essex: she vow'd never to leave Barking while she liv'd till these were brought home again.
Oh, they shall not offend her. I am sorry for't.
I am glad we are come home, sir, for we liv'd in the unquietest house!
The angry woman methought grutch'd us our victuals: our new mother is a good soul, and loves us, and does not frown so like a vixen as she does.
I am at home now, and in heaven methinks: what a comfort 'tis to be under your wing!
Indeed, my mother was wont to call me your nestle-cock, and I love you as well as she did.
You are my pretty souls.
Does not the prattle of these move you?
Enter Saunder, Knavesbee, and Surveyor.
Look you, sir, here's the conveyance and my lady's solicitor: pray, resolve what to do; my lady is coming down. How now, George? How does thy mistress that sits in a wainscot gown, like a citizen's lure to draw in customers? Oh, she's a pretty mousetrap!
She's ill-baited though to take a Welshman; she cannot away with cheese.
And what must I do now?
Acknowledge a fine and recovery of the land; then for possession the course is common.
Carry back the writings, sir; my mind in chang'd.
Chang'd! Do not you mean to seal?
Enter Lady Cressingham.
No, sir, the tide's turn'd.
[Aside] You must temper him like wax or he'll not seal.
Are you come back again? How now, have you done?
How do you, lady mother?
You are good children. Bid my woman give them some sweetmeats.
Indeed, I thank you. Is not this a kind mother?
Poor fools, you know not how dear you shall pay for this sugar.
[Exeunt George, Maria and Edward.]
What, ha'n't you dispatch'd?
No, sweetest, I am dissuaded by my son
From the sale o' th' land.
Dissuaded by your son!
I cannot get his hand to't.
Where's our steward?
Cause presently that all my beds and hangings
Be taken down; provide carts, pack them up:
I'll to my house i' th' country. Have I studied
The way to your preferment and your children's,
And do you cool i' th' upshot?
With your pardon,
I cannot understand this course a way
To any preferment, rather a direct path
To our ruin.
Oh sir, you are young-sighted!
Show them the project of the land I mean
To buy in Ireland, that shall outvalue yours
Three thousand in a year.
[Knavesbee shows them a] map.
Look you, sir: here is Clangibbon, a fruitful country, and well-wooded.
What's this? Marsh-ground?
No, these are bogs, but a little cost will drain them. This upper part that runs by the black water is the [Cussacks'] land, a spacious country, and yields excellent profit by the salmon and fishing for herring. Here runs the Kernesdale, admirable feed for cattle, and hereabout is St. Patrick's Purgatory.
Purgatory! Shall we purchase that too?
Come, come, will you dispatch th' other business?
We may go through with this?
My son's unwilling.
Upon my soul, sir, I'll never bed with you
Till you have seal'd.
Thou hear'st her: on thy blessing
Follow me to th' court and seal.
Sir, were it my death,
Wer't to th' loss of my estate, I vow
To obey you in all things; yet with it remember
There are two young ones living that may curse you.
I pray, dispose part of the money on their
Fear [not] you, sir.
The carouche there! When you have dispatch'd
You shall find me at the scrivener's, where I shall
Receive the money.
She'll devour that mass too.
How likest thou my power over him?
This is the height of a great lady's sway,
When her night-service makes her rule i' th' day.
[IV.ii. Before Knavesbee's house]
Not yet, Sib? My lord keeps thee so long, th'art welcome, I see, then. And pays sweetly too: a good wench, Sib, th'art, to obey thy husband.
She's come: a hundred mark a year, how fine and easy it comes into mine arms now! Welcome home; what says my lord, Sib?
My lord says you are a cuckold.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, I thank him for that bob, i'faith! I'll afford it him again at the same price a month hence, and let the commodity grow as scarce as it will. Cuckold, says his lordship! Ha, ha, I shall burst my sides with laughing, that's the worst! Name not a hundred [a] year, for then I burst! It smarts not so much as a fillip on the forehead by five parts: what has his dalliance taken from thy lips? 'Tis as sweet as [e'er] 'twas; let me try else: buss me, sugar-candy.
Forbear; you presume to a lord's pleasure!
How's that? Not I, Sib.
Never touch me more;
I'll keep the noble stamp upon my lip,
No under baseness shall deface it now.
You taught me the way; now I am in, I'll keep it.
I have kiss'd ambition, and I love it;
I loathe the memory of every touch
My lip hath tasted from thee!
Nay, but sweet Sib,
You do forget yourself.
I will forget
All that I ever was, and nourish new [thoughts]:
Sirrah, I am a lady.
Lord bless us, madam!
I have enjoy'd a lord, that's real possession,
And daily shall, the which all ladies have
Not with their lords.
But with your patience, madam,
Who was it that prefer'd you to this ladyship?
'Tis all I am beholding to thee for:
Th'ast brought me out of ignorance into light.
Simple as I was, I thought thee a man
Till I found the difference by a man: thou art
A beast, a horned beast, an ox!
For thy pander's fee,
It shall be laid under the candlestick;
Look for't, I'll leave it for thee.
A little lower,
Good your ladyship: my cousin Chamlet
Is in the house; let these things go no further.
'Tis for mine own credit if I forebear,
Not thine, thou bugle-brow'd beast, thou!
Enter George with rolls of paper.
Bidden, bidden, bidden, bidden! So, all these are past; but here's as large a walk to come. If I do not get it up at the feast, I shall be leaner for bidding the guests, I'm sure.
How now! Who's this?
[Reading] "Doctor Glister et--" What word's this? Fuxor? Oh, uxor! "The doctor and his wife. Master Body et uxor of Bow Lane. Master Knavesbee et uxor."
Ha, we are in, whatsoever the matter is.
Here's forty couple more in this quarter, but there, the provision bringing in, that puzzles me most. One ox: that will hardly serve for beef too. Five muttons, ten lambs: poor innocents, they'll be devoured too. Three gross of capons--
Mercy upon us! What a slaughterhouse is here!
Two bushels of small birds, plovers, snipes, woodcocks, partridge, larks. Then for bak'd meats--
George, George, what feast is this? 'Tis not for St. George's Day?
Cry you mercy, sir, you and your wife are in my roll: my master invites you his guests tomorrow dinner.
Dinner say'st thou? He means to feast a month sure.
Nay, sir, you make up but a hundred couple.
Why, what ship has brought an India home to him that he's so bountiful? Or what friend dead, unknown to us, has so much left to him of arable land, that he means to turn to pasture thus?
Nay, 'tis a vessel, sir; a good estate comes all in one bottom to him, and 'tis a question whether ever he find the bottom or no: a thousand a year, that's the uppermost.
A thousand a year!
To go no further about the bush, sir, now the bird is caught: my master is tomorrow to be married, and amongst the rest invites you a guest at his wedding dinner the second.
There is no other remedy for flesh and blood: that will have leave to play whether we will or no, or wander into forbidden pastures.
Married! Why, he is married, man! His wife is in my house now; thy mistress is alive, George!
That she was, it may be, sir, but dead to him. She play'd a little too rough with him, and he has discarded her; he's divorc'd, sir.
He divorc'd! Then is her labour sav'd, for she was labouring a divorce from him.
They are well parted then, sir.
But wilt thou not speak with her? I'faith, invite her to't.
'Tis not my commission, I dare not. Fare you well, sir; I have much business in hand, and the time is short.
Nay, but George, I prithee stay. May I report this to her for a certain truth?
Wherefore am I employ'd in this invitation, sir?
Prithee what is she, his second choice?
Truly a goodly presence, likely to bear great children, and great store; she never saw five-and-thirty summers together in her life by her appearance, and comes in her French hood. By my fecks, a great match 'tis like to be; I am sorry for my old mistress but cannot help it. Pray you, excuse me now, sir, for all the business goes through my hands, none employ'd but myself.
Why, here is news that no man will believe but he that sees.
This and your cuckoldry will be digestion throughout the city dinners and suppers for a month together, there will need no cheese.
No more of that, Sib. I'll call my cousin Chamlet and make her partaker of this sport.
She's come already. Cousin, take't at once, y'are a free woman; your late husband's to be married tomorrow.
Married! To whom?
To a French hood, byrlakins, as I understand; great cheer prepar'd, and great guests invited, so far I know.
What a curst wretch was I to pare my nails today, a Friday too! I look'd for some mischief.
Why, I did think this had accorded with your best liking; you sought for him what he has sought for you: a separation, and by divorce too.
I'll divorce 'em! Is he to be married to a French hood? I'll dress it the English fashion; ne'er a coach to be had with six horses to strike fire i' th' streets as we go?
Will you go home then?
Good cousin, help me to whet one of my knives while I sharp the tother; give me a sour apple to set my teeth on edge. I would give five pound for the paring of my nails again! Have you e'er a bird-spit i' th' house? I'll dress one dish to the wedding.
This violence hurts yourself the most.
I care not who I hurt. Oh my heart, how it beats a' both sides! Will you run with me for a wager into Lombard Street now?
I'll walk with you, cousin, a sufficient pace; Sib shall come softly after. I'll bring you through Bearbinder Lane.
Bearbinder Lane cannot hold me; I'll the nearest way over St. Mildred's church. If I meet any French hoods by the way, I'll make black patches enow for the rheum.
Exeunt [Knavesbee and Rachel].
So, 'tis to my wish. Master Knavesbee,
Help to make peace abroad; here you'll find wars:
I'll have a divorce too, with locks and bars.
[IV.iii. Chamlet's shop]
Enter George, Margarita.
Madam, but stay here a little, my master comes instantly. I heard him say he did owe you a good turn, and now's the time to take it. I'll warrant you a sound reward e'er you go.
Ey tank u de bon coure, monsieur.
Look, he's here already. [Aside] Now would a skillful navigator take in his sails, for sure there is a storm towards.
Oh, madam, I perceive in your countenance I am beholding to you. All is peace?
All quiet, goor friendsheep; ey mooch a-do, ey strive wid him, give goor worda for you. No more speak a de matra, all es undone, u no more trobla.
Enter [Rachel] and Knavesbee.
[Giving her money] Look, there's the price of a fair pair of gloves, and wear 'em for my sake.
Oh, oh, oh, my heart's broke out of my ribs!
Nay, a little patience.
Ey tank u artely, shall no bestow en gloves; shall put moosh more to dees, an bestow your shop. Regard dess stof [a] my petticoat. U no soosh anodre; shall deal wid u for moosh: take in your hand.
I see it, mistress; 'tis good stuff indeed. 'Tis a silk rash; I can pattern it.
Shall he take up her coats before my face? Oh, beastly creature! [Coming forward] French hood, French hood, I will make your hair grow thorough!
My wife returned! Oh, welcome home, sweet Rachel!
I forbid the banes, lecher! And strumpet, thou shalt bear children without noses!
[She beats Margarita.]
O pardonnez-moi, by my trat ey mean u no hurta! Wat u meant by dees?
I will have thine eyes out, and thy bastards shall be as blind as puppies!
Sweet Rachel! Good cousin, help to pacify.
I forbid the banes, adulterer!
What means she by that, sir?
[Restraining her] Good cousin, forbid your rage a while; unless you hear, by what sense will you receive satisfaction?
By my hands and my teeth, sir, give me leave! Will you bind me whiles mine enemy kills me?
Here all are your friends, sweet wife.
Wilt have two wives? Do and [be] hang'd, fornicator! I forbid the banes! Give me the French hood; I'll tread it under feet in a pair of pantofles!
Begar, shall save hood, head, and all; shall come no more heer, ey warran u.
Sir, the truth is, report spoke it for truth
You were tomorrow to be married.
I forbid the banes!
Mercy deliver me,
If my grave embrace me in the bed of death,
I would to church with willing ceremony;
But for my wedlock-fellow, here she is:
The first and last that e'er my thoughts look'd on.
Why, la, you, cousin! This was nought but error or an assault of mischief.
Whose report was it?
Your man George's, who invited me to the wedding.
George? And was he sober? Good sir, call him.
It needs not, sir; I am here already.
Did you report this, George?
Yes, sir, I did.
And wherefore did you so?
For a new suit that you promised me, sir, if I could bring home my mistress; and I think she's come, with a mischief.
Give me that villain's ears!
I would give ear, if I could hear you talk wisely.
Let me cut off his ears!
I shall hear worse of you hereafter then; limb for limb, one of my ears for one of your tongues, and I'll lay out for my master.
'Twas knavery with a good purpose in't;
Sweet Rachel, this was e'en George's meaning:
A second marriage, 'twixt thyself and me.
And now I woo [thee] to't; a quiet night
Will make the sun, like a fresh bridegroom, rise
And kiss the chaste cheek of the rosy morn
Which we will imitate, and like him create
Fresh buds of love, fresh spreading arms, fresh fruit,
Fresh wedding robes, and George's fresh new suit.
This is fine stuff; have you much on't to see?
A remnant of a yard.
Come, come, all's well.
Sir, you must sup, instead of tomorrow's dinner.
I follow you.
Exeunt [all but Knavesbee].
No, 'tis another way;
My lord's reward calls me to better cheer:
Many good meals, a hundred marks a year.
My wife's transform'd a lady. Tush, she'll come
To her shape again; my lord rides the circuit:
If I [ride] along with him, what need I grutch?
I can as easy, sir, and speed as much.
V.[i. Before Sir Francis's house]
Enter Old Franklin in mourning, young Cressingham with young Franklin disguis'd like an old serving-man.
Sir, your son's death, which has apparell'd you
In this darker wearing, is a loss wherein
I have ample share: he was my friend.
He was my nearest and dearest enemy,
And the perpetual fear of a worse end,
Had he continued his former dissolute course,
Makes me weigh his death the lighter.
With your pardon, if you value him every way
As he deserv'd, it will appear your scanting
Of his means, and the Lord Beaufort's most
Unlordly breach of promise to him, made
Him fall upon some courses, to which his nature
And mine own, made desperate likewise by the cruelty
Of a mother-in-law, would else have been as strange
As insolent greatness is to distress'd virtue.
Yes, I have heard of that too, your defeat
Made upon a mercer: I style 't modestly,
The law intends it plain cozenage.
'Twas no less,
But my penitence and restitution may
Come fairly off from't: it was no impeachment
To the glory won at Agincourt's great battle
That the achiever of it in his youth
Had been a purse-taker; this with all reverence
To th' great example. Now to my business,
Wherein you have made such noble trial of
Your worth, that in a world so dull as this,
Where faith is almost grown to be a miracle,
I have found a friend so worthy as yourself
To purchase all the land my father sold
At the persuasion of a riotous woman,
And charitable to reserve it for his use
And the good of his three children; this I say
Is such a deed shall style you our preserver,
And owe the memory of your worth, and pay it
To all posterity.
Sir, what I have done
Looks to the end of the good deed itself,
No other way i' th' world.
But would you please
Out of a friendly reprehension
To make him sensible of the weighty wrong
He has done his children? Yet I would not have it
Too bitter, for he undergoes already
Such torment in a woman's naughty pride,
Too harsh reproof would kill him.
Leave you that
To my discretion: I have made myself
My son's executor, and am come up
On purpose to collect his creditors,
And where I find his pennyworth conscionable,
I'll make them in part satisfaction.
Oh, this fellow was born near me, and his trading here i' th' city may bring me to the knowledge of the men my son ought money to.
Your worship's welcome to London. And I pray, how does all our good friends i' th' country?
They are well, George. How thou art shot up since I saw thee! What, I think thou art almost out of thy time?
I am out of my wits, sir; I have liv'd in a kind of Bedlam these four years: how can I be mine own man then?
Why, what's the matter?
I may turn soap-boiler, I have a loose body: I am turn'd away from my master.
How! Turn'd away?
I am gone, sir, not in drink, and yet you may behold my indentures.
[He shows his] indenture.
Oh, the wicked wit of woman! For the good turn I did bringing her home, she ne'er left sucking my master's breath like a cat, kissing him, I mean, till I was turn'd away!
I have heard she's a terrible woman.
Yes, and the miserablest! Her sparing in housekeeping has cost him somewhat, the Dagger-pies can testify. She has stood in's light most miserably, like your fasting days before red letters in the almanac; saying, the pinching of our bellies would be a mean to make him wear scarlet the sooner. She had once persuaded him to have bought spectacles for all his servants, that they might have worn 'em dinner and supper.
To what purpose?
Marry, to have made our victuals seem bigger than 'twas. She shows from whence she came; that my wind-colic can witness.
Why, whence came she?
Marry, from a courtier, and an officer too, that was up and down I know not how often.
Had he any great place?
Yes, a very high one, but he got little by it; he was one that blew the organ in the court chapel: our puritans, especially your puritans in Scotland, could ne'er away with him.
Is she one of the sect?
Faith, I think not, for I am certain she denies her husband the supremacy.
Well, George, your difference may be reconcil'd. I am now to use your help in a business that concerns me: here's a note of men's names here i' th' city unto whom my son ought money, but I do not know their dwelling.
[Taking the note from him] Let me see, sir. [Reading] "Fifty pound ta'en up at use of Master Waterthin the brewer."
An obstinate fellow, and one that denied payment of the groats till he lay by th' heels for't; I know him. [Reading] "Item, fourscore pair of provant breeches a' th' new fashion, to Pinchbuttock, a hosier in Birchen Lane, so much."
What the devil did he with so many pair of breeches?
Supply a captain, sir; a friend of his went over to the Palatinate.
[Reading] "Item, to my tailor Master Weatherwise, by St. Clement's church."
Who should that be? It may be 'tis the new prophet, the astrological tailor.
No, no, no, sir; we have nothing to do with him.
Well, I'll read no further; leave the note to my discretion: do not fear but I'll inquire them all.
Why, I thank thee, George. [To Cressingham] Sir, rest assur'd I shall in all your business be faithful to you, and at better leisure find time to imprint deeply in your father the wrong he has done you.
You are worthy in all things.
Exeunt Old Franklin, George and young Franklin. Enter Saunder.
Is my father stirring?
Yes, sir. My lady wonders you are thus chargeable to your father, and will not direct yourself unto some gainful study may quit him of your dependence.
Why, the law, that law that takes up most a' th' wits i' th' kingdom, not for most good, but most gain. Or divinity: I have heard you talk well, and I do not think but you'd prove a singular fine churchman.
I should prove a plural better, if I could attain to fine benefices.
My lady, now she has money, is studying to do good works. She talk'd last night what a goodly act it was of a countess--Northamptonshire breed, belike, or thereabouts--that to make Coventry a corporation, rode through the city naked, and by daylight.
I do not think but you have ladies living would discover as much in private, to advance but some member of a corporation.
Enter Sir Francis Cressingham.
Well, sir, your wit is still goring at my lady's projects. Here's your father.
Thou com'st to chide me, hearing how like a ward I am handled since the sale of my land.
No, sir, but to turn your eyes into your own bosom.
Why, I am become my wife's pensioner, am confin'd to a hundred mark a year, t' one suit, and one man to attend me?
And is not that enough for a private gentleman?
Peace, sirrah; there is nothing but knave speaks in thee. And my two poor children must be put forth to prentice!
Ha! To prentice? Sir, I do not come to grieve you,
But to show how wretched your estate was,
That you could not come to see order
Until foul disorder pointed the way to't:
So inconsiderate, yet so fruitful still
Is dotage to beget its own destruction.
Surely I am nothing, and desire to be so.
Pray thee, fellow, entreat her only to be quiet;
I have given her all my estate on that condition.
Yes, sir; her coffers are well lin'd, believe me.
And yet she is not contented; we observe
The moon is ne'er so pleasant and so clear
As when she is at the full.
You did no use
My mother with this observance. You are like
The frogs who, weary of their quiet king,
Consented to the election of the stork,
Who in the end devour'd them.
You may see
How apt man is to forfeit all his judgment
Upon the instant of his fall.
Look up, sir.
O, my heart's broke! Weighty are injuries
That come from an enemy, but those are deadly
That come from a friend, for we see commonly
Those are ta'en most to heart.
Enter the Lady Cressingham.
What a terrible eye she darts on us!
Oh, most natural for lightning to go before the thunder.
What? Are you in council? Are ye levying faction against us?
Sir, sir, pray, come hither. There is winter in your looks, a latter winter. Do you complain to your kindred? I'll make you fear extremely to show you have any cause to fear. Are the bonds seal'd for the six thousand pounds I put forth to use?
The bonds were made in my uncle's name?
'Tis strange though.
Nothing strange; you'll think the allowance I have put you to as strange, but your judgment cannot reach the aim I have in't. You were prick'd last year to be high sheriff, and what it would have cost you I understand now. All this charge and the other by the sale of your land, and the money at my dispose, and your pension so small, will settle you in quiet, make you master of a retir'd life. And our great ones may think you a politic man, and that you are aiming at some strange business, having made all over.
I must leave you. Man is never truly awake till he be dead!
Exeunt [Sir Francis] Cressingham and Saunder.
What a dream have you made of my father!
Let him be so, and keep the proper place of dream, his bed, until I raise him.
Raise him! Not likely! 'Tis you have ruin'd him!
You do not come to quarrel?
No, certain, but to persuade you to a thing that in the virtue of it nobly carries its own commendation, and you shall gain much honour by it, which is the recompense of all virtuous actions: to use my father kindly.
Why? Does he complain to you, sir?
Complain? Why should a king complain for anything but for his sins to heaven? The prerogative of husband is like to his over his wife.
I am full of business, sir, and will not mind you.
I must not leave you thus; I tell you, mother,
'Tis dangerous to a woman: when her mind
Raises her to such height, it makes her only
Capable of her own merit, nothing of duty!
Oh, 'twas a strange unfortunate o'erprising
Your beauty brought him, otherwise discreet,
Into the fatal neglect of his poor children.
What will you give us of the late sum you receiv'd?
Not a penny. Away, you are troublesome and saucy!
You are too cruel; denials even from princes,
Who may do what they list, should be supplied
With a gracious verbal usage, that though they
Do not cure the sore, they may abate the sense of't.
The wealth you seem to command over is his,
And he I hope will dispose of't to our use.
When he can command my will.
Have you made him
So miserable that he must take a law from his wife?
Have you not had some lawyers forc'd to groan
Under the burden?
Oh, but the greater the women
The more visible are their vices.
Sir, you have been so bold. By all can bind
An oath, and I'll not break it, I will not be
The woman to you hereafter you expected.
Be not; be not yourself, be not my father's wife,
Be not my Lady Cressingham, and then
I'll thus speak to you, but you must not answer
In your own person.
A fine puppet-play!
Good madam, please you pity the mistress
Of a poor gentleman that is undone
By a cruel mother-in-law; you do not know her,
Nor does she deserve the knowledge of any good one,
For she does not know herself. You would sigh for
That e'er she took [your] sex, if you but heard
This is a fine crotchet.
Envy and pride flow in her painted breasts,
She gives no other suck; all her attendants
Do not belong to her husband, his money is hers:
Marry, his debts are his own. She bears such sway
She will not suffer his religion be his own
But what she please to turn it to.
And all this while,
I am the woman you libel against.
Ere the land was sold you talk'd of going to Ireland,
But should you touch there, you would die presently.
The country brooks no poison: go,
You'll find how difficult a thing it is
To make a settled or assur'd estate
Of things ill-gotten. When my father's dead,
The curse of lust and riot follow you!
Marry some young gallant that may rifle you,
Yet add one blessing to your needy age,
That you may die full of repentance.
Ha, ha, ha!
Oh, she is lost to any kind of goodness!
[V.ii. A street outside Lord Beaufort's house]
Enter Lord Beaufort and Knavesbee.
Sirrah, be gone; y'are base!
Base, my good lord?
'Tis a ground part in music: trebles, means,
All is but [fiddling]. Your honour bore a part
As my wife says, my lord.
Your wife's a strumpet!
Ah ha, is she so? I am glad to hear it:
Open confession, open payment.
The wager's mine then, a hundred a year, my lord;
I said so before, and stak'd my head against it.
Thus after darksome night, the day is come, my lord.
Hence, hide thy branded head; let no day see thee,
Nor thou any but thy execution day!
That's the day after washing day; once a week
I see't at home, my lord.
Go home and see
Thy prostituted wife, for sure 'tis so,
Now folded in a boy's adultery,
My page, on whom the hot-[rein'd] harlot dotes.
This night he hath been her attendant. My house
He's fled from, and must no more return. Go,
And make haste, sir, lest your reward be lost
For want of looking to.
My reward lost!
Is there nothing due for what is past, my lord?
[Beating him] Yes, pander, wittol, macrio, basest of knaves!
Thou bolster-bawd to thine own infamy!
Go, I have no more about me at this time;
When I am better stor'd thou shalt have more
Where'er I meet thee.
[Aside] Pander, wittol, macrio, base knave, bolster-bawd! Here is but five mark toward a hundred a year; this is poor payment. If lords may be trusted no better than thus, I will go home and cut my wife's nose off. I will turn over a new leaf and hang up the page. Lastly, I will put on a large pair of wet-leather boots and drown myself; I will sink at Queenhive and rise again at Charing Cross, contrary to the statute in Edwardo primo.
Exit. Enter Old Franklin, his son [Franklin disguised] as before, George, three or four citizens [as] Creditors.
Good health to your lordship.
Master Franklin, I heard of your arrival and the cause of this your sad appearance.
And 'tis no more than as your honour says, indeed, appearance: it has more form than feeling sorrow, sir, I must confess. There's none of these gentlemen, though aliens in bonds, but have as large cause of grief as I.
No, by your favour, sir, we are well satisfied. There was in his life a greater hope, but less assurance.
Sir, I wish all my debts of no better promise to pay me thus; fifty in the hundred comes fairly homewards.
Considering hard bargains and dead commodities, sir.
Thou sayst true, friend, and from a dead debtor too.
And so you have compounded and agreed all your son's riotous debts?
That's behind but one cause of worse condition; that done, he may sleep quietly.
Yes, sure, my lord, this gentleman is come a wonder to us all, that so fairly with half a loss could satisfy those debts were dead, even with his son, and from whom we could have nothing claim'd.
I showed my reason; I would have a good name live after him because he bore my name.
May his tongue perish first, and that will spoil his trade, that first gives him a syllable of ill.
Why, this is friendly.
Master Chamlet, very welcome.
Master Franklin, I take it. These gentlemen I know well: good Pennystone, Master Phillip, Master Cheyney! I am glad I shall take my leave of so many of my good friends at once. [Shaking their hands] Your hand first, my lord; fare you well, sir. Nay, I must have all your hands to my pass.
Will you have mine too, sir?
Yes, thy two hands, George, and I think two honest hands of a tradesman, George, as any between Cornhill and Lombard Street.
Take heed what you say, sir; there's Birchen Lane between 'em.
But what's the cause of this, Master Chamlet?
I have the cause in handling now, my lord: George, honest George is the cause, yet no cause of George's. George is [turn'd] away one way, and I must go another.
And whither is your way, sir?
[E'en] to seek out a quiet life, my lord: I do hear of a fine peaceable island.
Why, 'tis the same you live in.
No, 'tis so fam'd,
But we th' inhabitants find it not so.
The place I speak of has been keep with thunder,
With frightful lightnings, amazing noises,
But now, th' enchantment broke, 'tis the land of peace,
Where hogs and tobacco yield fair increase.
This is a little wild, methinks.
Gentlemen, fare you well; I am for the Bermudas.
Nay, good sir, stay. And is that your only cause, the loss of George?
The loss of George, my lord! Make you that no cause? Why, but examine, would it not break the stout heart of a nobleman to lose his George, much more the tender bosom of a citizen?
Fie, fie, I'm sorry your gravity should run back to lightness thus. You go to the Bermothes!
Better to Ireland, sir.
The land of ire? That's too near home; my wife will be heard from Hellbree to Divelin.
Sir, I must of necessity a while detain you. I must acquaint you with a benefit that's coming towards you. You were cheated of some goods of late; come, I'm a cunning man and will help you to the most part again, or some reasonable satisfaction.
That's another cause of my unquiet life, sir. Can you do that, I may chance stay another tide or two.
My wife! I must speak more private with you. By forty foot, pain of death, I dare not reach her. No words of me, sweet gentlemen!
Slips behind the arras.
I had need hide too.
[He follows Chamlet.]
Oh, my lord, I have scarce tongue enough yet to tell you; my husband, my husband's gone from me. Your warrant, good my lord, I never had such need of your warrant; my husband's gone from me!
Going he is, 'tis true; h'as ta'en his leave of me, and all these gentlemen, and 'tis your sharp tongue that whips him forward.
A warrant, good my lord!
You turn away his servants, such on whom his estate depends, he says, who know his books, his debts, his customers; the form and order of all his affairs you make orderless. Chiefly, his George you have banish'd from him.
My lord, I will call George again.
Call George again!
Why, hark you, how high-voic'd you are that raise an echo from my cellarage, which we with modest loudness cannot.
My lord, do you think I speak too loud?
Why hark, your own tongue answers you, and reverberates your words into your teeth.
I will speak lower all the days of my life: I never found the fault in myself till now. Your warrant, good my lord, to stay my husband!
Well, well, it shall o'ertake him ere he pass Gravesend, provided that he meet his quietness at home; else, he's gone again.
And withal to call George again.
I will call George again.
Call George again.
See, you are raised again, the echo tells you.
I did forget myself indeed, my lord: this is my last fault; I will go make a silent inquiry after George. I will whisper half a score porters in the ear that shall run softly up and down the city to seek him. [Be wi'] ye, my lord; [bye] all, gentlemen.
Exit. [Chamlet and George come forward.]
George, your way lies before you now: cross the street and come into her eyes; your master's journey will be stay'd.
I'll warrant you bring it to better subjection yet.
These are fine flashes; how now, Master Chamlet?
I had one ear lent to you-ward, my lord,
And this o' th' tother side; both sounded sweetly:
I have whole recovered my late losses, sir;
Th'one half paid, the tother is forgiven.
Then your journey is stay'd?
Alas, my lord,
That was a trick of age, for I had left
Never a trick of youth like it to succour me.
Enter Barber and Knavesbee.
How now? What new object's here?
[To Knavesbee] The next man we meet shall judge us.
[To Barber] Content, though he be but a common councilman.
The one's a knave; I could know him at twelvescore distance.
And tother's a barber-surgeon, my lord.
I'll go no further; here is the honourable lord that I know will grant my request. My lord--
Peace, I will make it plain to his lordship. My lord, a covenant by jus jurandum is between us: he is to suffocate my respiration by his capistrum, and I to make incision so far as mortification by his jugulars.
This is not altogether so plain neither, sir.
I can speak no plainer, my lord, unless I wrong mine art.
I can, my lord; I know some part of the law. I am to take him in this place where I find him, and lead him from hence to the place of execution, and there to hang him till he dies. He in equal courtesy is to cut my throat with his razor, and there's an end of both on's.
There is the end, my lord, but we want the beginning. I stand upon it to be strangled first before I touch either his gula or cervix.
I am against it, for how shall I be sure to have my throat cut after he's hang'd?
Is this a condition betwixt you?
A firm covenant, sign'd and seal'd by oath and handfast, and wants nothing but agreement.
A little pause: what might be the cause on either part?
My passions are grown to putrefaction, and my griefs are gangren'd; Master Chamlet has scarified me all over, besides the loss of my new brush.
I am kept out of mine own castle; my wife keeps the hold against me. Your page, my lord, is her champion; I summon'd a parle at the window, was answered with defiance. They confess they have lain together, but what they have done else I know not.
Thou canst have no wrong that deserves pity, thou art thyself so bad.
I thank your honour for that; let me have my throat cut then.
Sir, I can give you a better remedy than his capistrum; your ear a little. [Whispers to Beaufort.]
Enter [Mistress Cressingham] as a woman, and [Sib].
I come with a bold innocence to answer
The best and worst that can accuse me here.
He's the worst, I dare his worst.
Your page, your page.
We lay together in bed,
It is confess'd; you and your ends of law
Make worser of it: I did it for reward.
I'll hear no more of this. Come, gentlemen, will you walk?
Enter young Cressingham.
My lord, a little stay; you'll see a sight
That neighbour amity will be much pleas'd with.
'Tis come already: my father, sir.
Enter [Sir Francis, finely dressed].
There must be cause, certain, for this good change.
Sir, you are bravely met;
This is at the best I ever saw you.
My lord, I am amazement to myself;
I slept in poverty, and am awake
Into this wonder. How I [came] thus brave,
My dreams did not so much as tell me of.
I am of my kind son's new making up;
It exceeds the pension much that yesternight
Allow'd me, and my pockets centupled,
But I am my son's child, sir: he knows of me
More than I do myself.
Sir, you yet have
But earnest of your happiness, a pinnace
Foreriding a goodly vessel by this near anchor,
Bulk'd like a castle, and with jewels fraught,
Joys above jewels, sir, from deck to keel.
Make way for the receipt, empty your bosom
Of all griefs and troubles, leave not a sigh
To beat her back again; she is so stor'd
Ye'ad need have room enough to take her lading.
If one commodity be wanting now,
All this is nothing.
Tush, that must out too.
There must be no remembrance, not the thought
That ever youth in woman did abuse you,
That [e'er] your children had a stepmother,
That you sold lands to please your punishment,
That you were circumscrib'd and taken in,
Abridg'd the large extendure of your grounds,
And put into the pinfold that belong'd to't,
That your son did cheat for want of maintenance;
That he did beg, you shall remember only,
For I have begg'd off all these troubles from you.
This was a good week's labour.
Not an hour's,
My lord, but 'twas a happy one. See, sir,
A new day shines on you.
Enter Lady Cressingham in civil habit, Saunder, and children [Maria and Edward dressed] very gallant.
Oh, sir, your son
Has robb'd me!
Ha! That way I instructed?
Nay, hear her, sir.
Of my good purpose, sir;
He hath forc'd out of me what lay conceal'd,
Ripen'd my pity with his dews of duty.
Forgive me, sir, and but keep the number
Of every grief that I have pain'd you with;
I'll tenfold pay with fresh obedience.
Oh, that my wife were here to learn this lesson!
Your state is not abated; what was yours
Is still your own, and take the cause withal
Of my harsh-seeming usage. It was to reclaim
Faults in yourself, the swift consumption
Of many large revenues, gaming, that
Of not much less speed, burning up house and land,
Not casual but cunning fire, which though
It keeps the chimney and outward shows
Like hospitality, is only devourer on't,
Consuming chemistry. There I have made you
A flat bankrout; all your stillatories
And labouring minerals are demolish'd:
That part of hell in your house is extinct.
Put out your desire with them, and then these feet
Shall level with my hands, until you raise
My stoop'd humility to higher grace,
To warm these lips with love and duty do
To every silver hair: each one shall be
A senator to my obedience.
All this I [knew] before: whoever of you
That had but one ill thought of this good woman,
You owe a knee to her, and she is merciful
If she forgive you.
That shall be private penance, sir; we'll joy in public with you.
Enter George and [Rachel].
On the conditions I tell you, not else.
Sweet George, dear George, any conditions.
Peace, George is bringing her to conditions.
Good ones, good George.
You shall never talk your voice above the key sol, sol, sol.
Sol, sol, sol; ay, George.
Say, "Welcome home, honest George," in that pitch.
Welcome home, honest George.
Why, this is well now.
That's well indeed, George.
"Rogue" nor "rascal" must never come out of your mouth.
They shall never come in, honest George.
Nor I will not have you call my master plain husband, that's too [coarse]; but as your gentlewomen in the country use and your [parsons'] wives in the town, 'tis comely and shall be customed in the city, call him Master Chamlet at every word.
At every word, honest George.
Look you, there he is: salute him then.
Welcome home, good Master Chamlet.
Thanks and a thousand, sweet. "Wife," I may say, honest George?
Yes, sir, or "bird," or "chuck," or "heart's ease," or plain "Rachel;" but call her "Rac" no more, as long as she is quiet.
God-a-mercy, sha't have thy new suit a' Sunday, George.
George shall have two new suits, Master Chamlet.
God-a-mercy, i'faith, chuck!
Master Chamlet, you and I are friends, all even betwixt us?
I do acquit thee, neighbour Sweetball.
I will not be hang'd then; Knavesbee, do thy worst, nor I will not cut thy throat.
I must do't myself.
If thou com'st to my shop and usurp'st my chair of maintenance, I will go as near as I can, but I will not do't.
No, 'tis I must cut Knavesbee's throat, for slandering a modest gentlewoman, and my wife, in the shape of your page, my lord. In her own I durst not place her so near your lordship.
No more of that, sir; if your ends have acquir'd their own events, crown 'em with your own joy.
Down a' your knees, Knavesbee, to your wife: she's too honest for you.
Down, down, before you are hang'd; 'twill be [too] late afterwards, and long thou canst not 'scape it.
Knavesbee kneels [and Sib holds the Barber's razor to his throat].
You'll play the pander no more, will you?
Oh, that's an inch into my throat!
And let out your wife for [hire]?
Oh sweet wife, go no deeper!
Dare any be bail for your better behaviour?
Yes, yes, I dare; he will mend one day.
And be worse the next.
Hang me the third then, dear merciful wife;
I will do anything for a quiet life!
All then is reconcil'd.
Only my brush is lost. My dear new brush!
I will help you to satisfaction for that too, sir.
Oh, [spermaceti], I feel it heal already!
Gentlemen, I have fully satisfied my dead son's debts?
All pleas'd, all paid, sir.
Then once more here I bring him back to life:
From my servant to my son.
[He removes Franklin's disguise.]
Nay, wonder not.
I have not dealt by fallacy with any;
My son was dead: whoe'er outlives his virtues
Is a dead man, for when you hear of spirits
That walk in real bodies to the amaze
And cold astonishment of such as meet 'em
And all would shun, those are men of vices,
Who nothing have but what is visible,
And so by consequence they have no souls.
But if the soul return, he lives again,
Created newly; such my son appears,
By my blessing rooted, growing by his tears.
You have beguil'd us honestly, sir.
And you shall have your brush again.
My basins shall all ring for joy.
Why, this deserves a triumph, and my cost
Shall begin a feast to't, to which I do
Invite you all. Such happy reconcilements
Must not be past without a health of joy:
Discorded friends aton'd, men and their wives,
This hope proclaims your after quiet lives.
I am sent t'inquire your censure, and to know
How you stand affected; [whether] we do owe
Our service to your favours, or must strike
Our sails, though full of hope, to your dislike.
Howe'er, be pleas'd to think we purpos'd well,
And from my fellows thus much I must tell:
Instruct us but in what we went astray,
And to redeem it, we'll take any way.
Lucas was anything but impressed with AQL, and he seems to have enjoyed his own vituperative comments more ("Not much can be said for this play, except that Swinburne praised it: and that, I am afraid, is not saying much..."); even though I'm not so ready to entirely write the play off, it does have its deficiencies. The Selenger masquerade is unnecessary: it undermines any power Sib might have in terms of amorous revenge, and trades the tragedy of her victimization for the potential comedy of mistaken identity that is never at all realized (cf. my comment on Selenger's exit line below). And Lucas's remark about the revelation of Lady Cressingham's true character is particularly valid: "We are presented with a young woman who treats her elderly husband with all the outrages of a minx and a harpy: at the end of Act v. we are suddenly told that she is really a patient Griselda in disguise, who did all for the best--to cure him of his expensive addiction to gambling and alchemy. (Lady Cressingham's explanation...is quite inadequate. Her conduct throughout has been a glaring satire on the domineering of great ladies: here all is suddenly unsaid.... Was Webster for some reason...hiding his dagger in his sleeve? Or merely aiming at a cheap coup de théâtre? The second, one fears, is more li kely...)." But all the subplots do more or less cohere, and Middleton's contribution is relatively solid; the highlights of the play are the early cozening scenes, which by this time he had perfected.
Master: Mr. (Q); this contraction for "master" ("mister" came later in the 17th century) occurs throughout.
Water CHAMLET: Camlet (obs. chamlet, chamlett) is the name originally applied to some beautiful and costly Eastern fabric, supposedly a mixture of silk and camel's hair, and afterwards to various imitations and inferior substitutes. (At this time the fabric often included the hair of an angora goat.) A water (or watered) camlet is a camlet with a wavy or watered surface. Lucas remarks that "water" suggests the proper name "Walter;" Bullen uses the hyphenated surname Water-Camlet.
Sweetball: a ball of a perfumed or aromatic substance; cf. Blurt, Master Constable II.i.
BARBER: Barbering and surgery, as well as other services such as dentistry and blood-letting, were all performed by the same man; medical practices were quite barbarous by today's standards (as we'll hear about in Sweetball's chamber), and barber-surgeons were not looked on kindly. They were also thought to use technical jargon merely to impress patients, a popular view which Middleton exploits. Cf. the Surgeon in A Fair Quarrel, Your Five Gallants IV.iv.
FLESHHOOK: A flesh-hook is used to remove meat from a pot.
COUNTERBUFF: a blow in the contrary direction, or a blow given in return. There is a pun on "buff," the durable, off-white ox-hide leather garment worn by officers; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside IV.ii.
Phillip, and Cheyney: 1) "Philip and Cheyney" was a kind of worsted material, 2) "Philip, Hob, and Cheyney" = "Tom, Dick, and Harry"
MISTRESS CRESSINGHAM: Q does not divulge that Selenger is in fact George Cressingham's wife in disguise, thus its readers are just as taken aback as if they were in the audience. Lucas follows Q, but Dyce and Bullen are up front from the beginning, a textual decision David Holmes (The Art of Thomas Middleton) seems to criticize for spoiling the surprise.
Bespeak your injury: attempt to cuckold you
painted fires: referring to Sir Francis's age, and possibly implying he uses cosmetics for a younger appearance, like Lisander in The Old Law
retiredly: in a retired or secluded manner; privately
office of the revels: an office in the royal household in charge of the Christmas and May revels and other festivities
Standard: A water conduit in Cheapside in the shape of a pillar and a figure of Fame blowing a trumpet on its domed top. Beaufort notes its phallic attraction for the women of London.
Exchange: The Royal Exchange built by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1566-68; it had many shops and was famous for its silks and draperies; cf. "Gresham's Burse" in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.ii.
her going brave...subsidy book: the only virtue to her dressing well is that it shows I pay higher taxes
my wife has remov'd...carries them up: cf. The Fair Maid of the Inn II.ii, where Bianca is accused of being a "pretty lure" in a similar way.
morrow after Simon and Jude: October 29th, Lord Mayor's Day
gamester: gambler and/or lecher; cf. The Witch II.i, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside V.i, Your Five Gallants II.iv, Wit at Several Weapons II.i, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's II.iii.
[parcels]: packs; farcels (Q)
silenc'd: i.e., stripped of authority because of their nonconformity
lenitively: gently, leniently, usually referring to medicines
devising new watermill[s] for recovery of drown'd land: Cf. Jonson's satire on schemes for draining the fens in The Devil Is an Ass II.i.
philosopher's stone: A substance believed by alchemists to have the power to change baser metals into gold or silver. According to some, it had the power of prolonging life indefinitely and of curing all wounds and diseases.
cloth of gold: a tissue consisting of threads, wires or strips of gold, generally interwoven with silk or wool (and so later with cloth of silver)
[George]: Franck (Q)
Bow Bell: housed in St. Mary's le Bow in West Cheap; you're a true Cockney only if you're born within the sound of Bow Bells, they say.
Artillery Garden: A bricked-in practice field near Finsbury Fields to the north, just outside Bishopsgate; cf. Webster's The White Devil V.vi. Illustration: citizens shoot toward an earthen butt, to which their target would be attached, and to their right, archers in Spital Fields
fustian-and-apes: a popular corruption of "fustian a Naples," or cotton velvet
in hugger-mugger: secretly
quest-house: The house at which the inquests in a ward or parish were commonly held. Bullen glosses as "the parish watch-house," but Lucas wonders if this was some particular London building. I think there is some connection with money: cf. The Family of Love V.i questary (= profitable, from the Latin quaetus).
late ill-starr'd voyage/To Guiana: the last voyage of Sir Walter Raleigh, 1617-18, to the gold mines in Guiana
Turk: a frequent allusion in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, an image of pagan cruelty, but here with specific allusion. Lucas writes, "For English ships serving the Grand Duke against the Turk, cf. Clement Edmondes to Sir T. Edmondes, March 6th 1605-6: 'One Cockaine sent out a ship called "The Merchant Royal", this last summer, and go her to be entertained of [hired by] the Duke of Florence to go against the Turks, in which service she took a great galleon of Constantinople of 1200 ton, called the "Sultana", and belonging to their queen-mother, richly laden at Alexandria with inestimable wealth...For which piece of service our merchants stand in doubt to lose all their goods in Turkey, and to be debarred of their trade in those parts: and Cockaine in the mean time lieth in the Fleet (prison)'. Which both illustrates the impecuniousness of such adventurers, and makes it even more intelligible that the Merchants should regard Franklin with no kindly eye."
As that the astronomers point at in the clouds: the constellation Argo
ordinary: eating-house; cf. The Witch V.i, The Phoenix IV.ii, A Trick to Catch the Old One I.i, and Your Five Gallants II.i and III.ii.
bevers: 1) liquor, 2) times for drinking, 3) snacks between meals
the Line: the equinoctial line, the equator; "cf. the current saying (used, as it happens, by Raleigh during this very voyage to Guiana...)--'No peace beyond the line'. On Raleigh's return Count Gondomar...sought audience of the King; and 'when he came before him, he said only, Pirates, Pirates, Pirates, and so departed'" (Lucas).
rack their rents: rent at an excessively high rate; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One I.i, The Family of Love I.ii.
projections: business speculations
partition: In law, a division of real property, especially of lands, by which co-tenancy or co-ownership is abolished and individual interests in the land are separated.
That cudgel one another by patent: whose business it is to attack each other
bedash'd: spattered with mud; cf. the "dashed" lawyer Harry Dampit in A Trick to Catch the Old One I.iv.
Michaelmas term: Law courts were in session during four terms: Hilary Term, Easter Term, Trinity Term, and Michaelmas Term; Michaelmas is September 29. Cf. my notes to Michaelmas Term, The Family of Love I.ii.
Westminster: Westminster Hall was a center for the legal profession; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One I.iv, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.i.
cozenage: trickery; cf. Your Five Gallants II.iv, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.i, A Yorkshire Tragedy ix, Blurt, Master Constable I.ii.
reclaim: tame (a term in falconry)
rest: in the card game primero, a player's final stake, his last reserve
thin commons: sparse community provisions (i.e., poor ground for cozening)
they have added...in the creation: "This idea seems to be, as Dyce suggests, an old joke on the unpunctuality of soldiers' pay. Cf. Witch of Edmonton, III.i: 'Ask any soldier that ever received his pay but in the Low Countries, and he'll tell thee there are eight days in the week there, hard by'". (Lucas in a note to The Fair Maid of the Inn IV.ii).
sumner: petty officer who notified people when they were to appear in court; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i.
bastanado'd: beaten or caned, especially on the soles of the feet
quarter-days: The four days fixed by custom as marking off the quarters of the year, on which tenancy of houses usually begins and ends, and the payment of rent and other quarterly charges falls due. In England and Ireland the quarter-days are Lady Day (March 25), Midsummer Day (June 24), Michaelmas (Sept. 29), and Christmas (Dec. 25). The name is also sometimes applied to the Scottish terms of Candlemas (Feb. 2), Whit-sunday (May 15), Lammas (Aug. 1), and Martinmas (Nov. 11).
stale it: deprive of freshness
goes current: 1) moves swiftly and easily, 2) has value; cf. Blurt, Master Constable II.i.
felfare: fieldfare, a species of thrush
birding-piece: firearm used for hunting game fowl
lord paramount: the supreme lord of lands with feudatories beneath him but no sovereign above
Ragusa: now Dubrovnik on the coast of the former Yugoslavia
Valladolid: City to the northeast of Madrid; as the major European economic power, Spain set the fashion trends in the middle of the sixteenth century, and still influenced fashion after the defeat of the Armada in 1588.
study of alchemy: Lucas sites a letter of 1638 to a similar gentleman alchemist: "Sir,--I hear that you begin to blow the coal, and offer sacrifice to Demogorgon, the God of minerals. Be well advis'd before you engage yourself too deep; chemistry I know, by a little experience is wonderful pleasing...but withal 'tis costly, and an enchanting kind of thing; for it hath melted many a fair manor in crucibles, and turn'd them to smoke."
use-money: premium on money lent to another; interest, usury
in the commission: as justice of the peace
spiritual court: the ecclesiastical courts, which had jurisdiction in matrimonial cases (called the "bawdy court" in The Family of Love V.i).
[even]: ever (Q)
Table: evidence of marginal notes in the prompt-copy, according to Lucas
eggs and muscadine: Muscadine is a rich, sweet-smelling white muscatel wine and was taken with eggs as an aphrodisiac; cf. The Family of Love V.i, A Trick to Catch the Old One III.i.
[Sib]: WIFE (Q) throughout scene
with a witness: without a doubt (said ironically)
dead pays: soldiers continuing to receive pay even though they are no longer in active service, or the payment itself (which was frequently pocketed by dishonest officers)
circuit: the journey of those in the legal profession through certain appointed areas for legal proceedings at various places in succession
Banbury: heavily inhabited by Puritans
outlier: one who lies out in the open air, with the sexual inference
purlieus: tracts of land on the fringe of a forest
[Sturbridge] Fair: between Cambridge and Chesterton, one of the chief fairs in England; Sturbidge (Q)
[Emmanuel]: Emanuel (Q)
rushes: straw, which was used to cover the floors; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside III.ii, Your Five Gallants V.ii, Blurt, Master Constable I.i, Romeo and Juliet IV.i.
crotchets: whimsical fancies, perverse conceits, or peculiar notions
I heard one in England got a divorce from's wife by such a trick: "The daughter of Sir Thomas Lake had married Lord Roos, grandson of the Earl of Exeter. There was a family quarrel about property and Lady Lake accused Lord Roos of incest with his step-grandmother, the young Countess of Exeter. She maintained that the Countess had even read and signed a confession of her own guilt in a room at Wimbledon, as could be witnessed by Lady Lake's maid, Sarah Swarton, who had been hidden behind the arras. The bottom fell out of this pleasant tale, however, when James I, with one of his flashes of Sancho Panzan shrewdness, insisted on seeing the room and discovered that the said arras did not reach to within two feet of the floor..." (Lucas, in notes to The Devil's Law-Case, Works vol. 2). The Lake-Roos trial lasted from January 1618 to February 1619. This is just one historical event that in the late teens and early twenties brought about an increase in popular sentiment against what was perceived as the "domineering woman," a sentiment that fuels much of this play. Many playwrights took advantage of this trend, and Middleton was no exception (the most well-known examples being The Changeling and, of course, Women Beware Women).
as mad: as mad as can be
changeling: 1) a fickle or inconstant person, 2) idiot; for other meanings, cf. my notes to The Changeling
conferred and sampled: brought together and matched
lose: loose (Q), which does fit the context, but "lose" was frequently spelled the same way and is a preferable reading
methinks thou art...enjoy thee: cf. Leantio's jewel in the casket imagery in Women Beware Women I.i.
Familists of Amsterdam...safe conscience: Amsterdam was a meeting place and refuge for Puritanism; cf. The Witch I.i, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside III.ii. For the particular sect known as the Familists and their alleged "free love" morals, cf. my notes to The Family of Love.
beaver: a hat made of beaver fur; cf. Your Five Gallants I.i.
the Romans: Lucas sees an allusion to Cato the Younger's loan of his wife Marcia to Hortensius.
like one/That has...another praise: Lucas cites the first book of Sidney's Arcadia: "It might fall out in him, as it doth in some that have delightful meat before them and have no stomach to it before other folks praise it."
Possible!: i.e., Is it possible that you are so cruel?
supersedeas: a writ to stay or forbear legal proceedings; cf. The Phoenix I.iv.
Limehouse: This suburb to the east of London had over 2000 people by this time. About half its working population were mariners, and had a reputation of being coarse and promiscuous.
service: with the bawdy double meaning
[county]: Countrey (Q); the comparison makes more sense with the specific mention of Suffolk
table: with a pun on the palmistry term for the area between the lines in the center of the palm
sift: subject to close questioning
manchet: finest wheaten flour
imparlance: the action of speaking together upon a matter, esp. before taking action (obs.); in law, an extension of time to put in a response in pleading a case, on the (real or fictitious) ground of a desire to negotiate for an amicable settlement.
declaration: the plaintiff's first procedure in a legal action; cf. The Phoenix I.iv.
silk grogans: coarse silk of mohair and wool
carnadine: carnation-colored fabric
gingerline: ginger-colored fabric
[tabine]: a watered fabric of silk and wool resembling poplin, chiefly associated with Ireland; Tobine (Q), so throughout
[Enter Rachel.]: enters at the top of the scene in Q
yard: with the bawdy pun on penis, which occurs throughout the play
bandog: a dog tied or chained up, either to guard a house, or on account of its ferocity
Etc.: an invitation to the actors to improvise
ell: a measure of length (in England, 45 inches), chiefly used in measuring cloth; Rachel is referring to an ell-wand, the bolt of cloth which she'll use as a cudgel. Cf. The Old Law IV.i, 2 Honest Whore II.ii.
bearward: the keeper of a bear, who leads it about for public exhibition of its tricks
rank: awful, with the innuendo of lustful; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.i
deceiving lights: a popular charge against tradesmen of keeping the light low to disguise shoddy merchandise; cf. the draper Quomodo (whose henchmen are Falselight and Shortyard) in Michaelmas Term, The Duchess of Malfi I.i.
What is't you lack?/Enter two children: The children's entrance as George cries, "What is't you lack?" may be a subtle implication of Chamlet's disastrous marriage.
insufficient: impotent (a charge which George applies to Ralph a few lines later)
So near I am to him: we look so much alike
gumm'd: applied to make inferior velvets and silks stiffer and glossier
drive through: drive a hard bargain (with "Sir Andrew")
strike through: continue
souse and P: Souse is in general a small coin or sum (from French sou); p. = penny. For this exchange to make sense, George's reply has to be an aside to Chamlet, telling him it is not much at all; Chamlet then greatly inflates the price for "Sir Andrew."
facks: fay (faith) + kins (a diminutive ending)
How: for how (Q)
frizado: Freezado (Q); a fine variety of frieze (coarse woollen cloth)
subsidy-man: a person liable to pay subsidy; hence, a man of means or substance
sophy: the shah of Persia
[L. s. and d.]: L. SS. and K (Q); I'm not aware of any monetary (or any other) meaning associated with the Q reading, and so I assume this is an error for the abbreviation for pounds, shillings, and pence, or in general, "money." Bullen and Lucas retain the (Q) reading but do not offer comment.
stripp'd and whipp'd: Lucas notes an allusion to Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613) by George Wither (1588-1667).
placket: an opening in a skirt, hence slang for vagina; cf. The Family of Love IV.ii.
Protest: as in "I protest"; Protest[s] (Lucas)
trimming: 1) clipping his hair and probably fashionably adorning it with ribbons, 2) cheating
con him thanks: return him thanks
light gold: i.e., counterfeit
Lamb: the Holy Lamb was the emblem of the Merchant Tailors
Lombard Street: a major street in the merchant/banking district, named for the Lombard merchants who settled there in the twelfth century. For the geographical reference, jump to the map in the notes section of A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and locate the Royal Exchange, which is on Cornhill (a reference appearing later in AQL). Lombard is the street below it, both of them fanning out from the area of the Pissing Conduit. Jump to http://ac.dal.ca/~warmcn/sketch.html for some history in this area a hundred years later.
squibs and crackers: firecrackers; cf. Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster ii.
[live]: love (Q), a reading which Lucas notes does not fit with the next line
enforces/A kinsman on her: asserts that he is her relative
[she]: Q omits; the line may also be emended to read "calls [her] cousin," but the present traditional emendation acknowledges Rachel's acceptance of Knavesbee's insistence.
Cole Harbour: A corruption of Cold Harbour, a mansion by the Thames above London Bridge, later tenements where debtors and vagabonds found sanctuary from the law (a cole = a cheat, sharper); it burned down in the Great Fire of 1666. Cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i, III.i, IV.i. Illustration: Cold Harbour.
A chamber: Lucas does not mark the change in scene.
[cauterizer]: Cauterize (Q)
[lixivium]: a solution of alkaline salts, used as lotion; Luxinium (Q, so throughout)
fomentation: the application either of flannels soaked in hot water or of any other warm, soft, medicinal substance.
bolsters: surgical pads used to prevent chafing or to pad out hollows or deficiencies
pledgets: small compress or flattened masses of lint or other soft absorbent material for applying over a wound
[praeputium]: foreskin; Prepuium (Q)
exulceration: ulcer, or disease in general
os [pubis]: the portion of the innominate bone which forms the anterior wall of the pelvis; Os pubs (Q)
morbus Gallicus: the pox, the "French disease," Lues Venerea; Neopolitamus is yet another term.
ware: merchandise, commodity, which Sweetball takes in the bawdy sense (a favorite Middleton pun); cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside II.i, The Family of Love II.i; The Roaring Girl II.i, IV.ii; and No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's I.i, The Witch I.ii.
subeth: lethargy, unhealthy sleep
yard: again, the pun
virga: penis (Lat. rod)
head: with the bawdy pun
pole: pun on (North/South) Pole, and possibly one more pun on penis
[Sib]: Mris. Knaves-bee (Q), and so for the remainder of the play
[MISTRESS CRESSINGHAM]: Again, the s.p. and s.d. here identify her as Selenger.
Exiturus: exiting (Lat.)
recognisance: duty or bond; the cloth refers to the serving-man's livery (cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i, The Old Law II.i).
toy: trifle; cf. The Witch II.i.
bottom: 1) conclusion, 2) ball of thread; cf. similar punning on Bottom the Weaver's name in A Midsummer Night's Dream
[her]: his (Q)
fillet: a ribbon, string, or narrow band of any material used for binding the hair, or worn round the head to keep the headdress in position, or simply for ornament
engrossers: those who monopolize or obtain exclusive possession of
enfranchise: give freedom to; cf. The Old Law V.i.
put one finger in a hole rather: a rather uncharacteristically bawdy comment for someone like Mistress Cressingham to make, one of the several reasons which lead me to believe that when this scene was originally written, Selenger was actually a male page and not Mistress Cressingham in disguise
fee-simple: ownership of land with the right to sell or give it to anyone; cf. Your Five Gallants I.i.
[graced]: grace (Q)
corrupt [a]: a corrupt (Q)
state: : to constitute, to give (a person) the status of
lion's skin...close and neat: cunning may work when strength fails; from Plutarch's Lysander
tickle: have arrested (as well as the more common definition) ; cf. Your Five Gallants IV.viii, Blurt, Master Constable I.ii, passim.
protection: writing from the king providing immunity from arrest; Lucas cites from a letter of 1612, "We have many bankrupts daily, and as many protections, which doth marvelously hinder all manner of commerce."
mace: A Sergeant of the Mace was an inferior executive officer carrying a mace as a badge of office; cf. A Mad World, My Masters III.ii, The Old Law V.i
spice him soundly: playing on mace and ginger
Man in the Moon: 1) the name of a tavern in Cheapside, 2) the Man in the Moon was represented as having a lantern, a thornbush and a dog; cf. Blurt, Master Constable IV.iii, A Midsummer Night's Dream V.i.
bush: 1) the Man in the Moon's bush, 2) the bush that was customary hung outside vintners' doors, 3) ambush
Newgate: one of the gates of ancient London and its chief prison, demolished in 1777; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside II.ii, Your Five Gallants III.v.
[os coxendix]: hip-bone; Oscox Index (Q)
[thorax]: Thoric (Q)
[conquassation]: severe shaking; agitation, concussion; Conquasstion (Q)
[megrim]: migraine; Megrm (Q)
peccavis: acknowledgements of guilt (Lat. I have sinned)
Qui va là...François.: Who goes there? What do you think you're doing, sirs? Do you want to rob me? I don't have any silver: I am a poor French gentleman. [Lucas maintains the Q spelling of the French.]
nihils: nothings, things of no worth
Que voulez-vous...d'avantage?: What do you want? Do you want to kill me? The French are not at all your enemies. Here is my purse; how much do you want?
Je n'ai point...mon service.: I keep no jewels in here, and this is to monsieur the ambassador. He sent me on his affairs, and you hinder my service.
[assiégé]: asseige (Q)
[s'ils]: si (Q)
Vous semblez...monsieur?: You seem to be a courteous man; I want you to understand my affairs: there are here two or three rogues who have besieged me, a poor stranger who had done no wrong to them, nor given a bad word, nor drawn my weapon. The one seized me by the shoulder, and struck me two pounds in weight; the other pulled me by the arm, he said I know not what. I have given them my purse, and they will not allow me to leave; what will I do, sir?
frappe: frapper = 1) to strike, smite, 2) to mint, 3) to impose, levy (a tax)
[vrai]: vay (Q)
[qu'en changeant]: quan chansant (Q)
news from France: Lucas notes similar titles in Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters, e.g., "News from Spain," "News from Rome."
[retardé]: retarge (Q)
Cette femme ici...disposition.: F: This woman here is from my country. Madame, I pray you tell them my country; he has detained me I know not why. M: Are you from France, sir? F: Madame, truth is that I have tricked them, and am arrested, and I have no other way to escape but changing my language. Help me in this affair. I know you well, where you keep a brothel; you and yours will make out the better. M: Leave it to me. You are from Lyons, you say? F: From Lyons, my dear madame. M: My cousin! I am very glad to see you in a good disposition. [There is the popular cousin/cozen pun; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One IV.ii, The Merry Wives of Windsor IV.v, Richard III IV.iv.]
complement: in staging, this courtesy might go a bit beyond the traditional kiss of the cheeks
[Mon]: Ma (Q)
[Ma]: Man (Q)
capsula cordis: chamber of the heart
[quassative]: inclined to shake; quasstive (Q)
begar: stage French for "by God;" cf. Dr. Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor
fishmonger: with the pun on pimp or old lecher; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii, Hamlet II.ii.
J'essayerai encore...je les vois.: M: I will try one more time, monsieur cousin, for your safe conduct. Come away; your liberty is assured. I will earn the rest for my duty, and you will have a part in my school. I have a girl who speaks a little French; she will talk with you in the Fleur-de-Lis on Turnbull Street. My cousin, you will have a care of yourself, and cozen the ignorant. F: Cousin, for your love, and principally for mine, I am content to be off. I will find your school, and if your students are agreeable to me, I will draw my one weapon, and if in the adventure I break her [i.e., she proves to have been a virgin], I will pay ten sous. And for this old fool, and these two rogues, this curtal Snipsnap, and the other round cap, I will hang them the first time I see them. [Poulain = colt, but the sense is better conveyed by curtal, a castrated horse. The round cap, I assume, refers to Ralph's status as a tradesman's apprentice.]
Turnbull Street: a corruption of Turnmill Street (from the Fleet River or Turnmill Brook), between Clerkenwell Green and Cowcross Street, and was frequented by thieves and prostitutes. It is called Townbull Street in No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's II.i, and Turnball Street in Webster's A Cure for a Cuckold IV.i; also cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside II.ii.
spleen: regarded as the seat of passions, here sexual desire (as in The Old Law III.iii), elsewhere melancholy (as in The Witch I.i).
à votre service très [humblement]: in your service most humbly [again, the bawdy pun on service]
[humblement]: humbement (Q)
phlebotomise: let blood
my almanac says the sign is in Taurus: "According to the directions for bleeding in old almanacs, blood was to be taken from particular parts under particular planets" (Dyce). Cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii, Northward Ho! III.i.
[precedent]: predent (Q)
press'd to death: as Lucas notes, the punishment for those who refused to plead guilty or not guilty (such as Walter Calverley: cf. A Yorkshire Tragedy). An interesting choice of words in the context of the line: Chamlet has Rachel in mind ("sorrows lie in heaps"), but refuses to take responsibility for their marriage (in modern terminology, he is an "enabler").
cacokenny: cacochymy, an unhealthy state of the "humours," or bodily fluids
All goes ill the tother way: going westward = going to Tyburn, the place of public execution in London until 1783. Illustration: a detail from an engraving by Hogarth (1747), showing the triangular gallows, from which 21 people could be hanged at once. This detail also shows just a portion of the crowds who usually thronged to this very popular public spectacle.
[candied]: candid (Q)
United: The united (Q)
a principal: 1) the main message, 2) a main rafter, post, or brace in the wooden framework of a building, which supports the chief strain
braided: soiled, tarnished
London measure: London drapers customarily gave a little more than the exact measure.
bare yard: once again, the bawdy pun
came not in at the right door: are illegitimate
venter: venture, wager; cf. The Old Law passim, The Phoenix II.i ("venturer").
because you are a rich citizen, you will have your chain about your neck: 1) Rachel, 2) a chain of office, e.g., one worn by the lord mayor or an alderman, 3) an ornamental chain, worn particularly by rich merchants
ears: years (Q)
toward: at hand
[as]: is (Q)
durante [beneplacito]: (Lat.) during (her) pleasure; bene placita (Q)
Sir, I do now ingeniously perceive: Q was printed almost entirely in prose, no doubt to save space, and editors have variously reconstructed what was obviously meant to be verse. I'm still not entirely satisfied with the versification of this speech.
wild benefits of nature: Dyce notes a reference to Book IV of Sidney's Arcadia; cf. The Duchess of Malfi III.v.
[precedent]: predent (Q)
[their]: your (Q)
tenement upon London Bridge: This illustration shows London Bridge as it appeared in 1616. The houses built upon it remained until they were torn down in 1762. The detail shows the southern entrance and the heads of traitors on poles; the historical head count includes William Wallace (1305), Jack Cade (1450), Thomas More (1535), Thomas Cromwell (1540), and the practice was finally stopped with the Restoration.
arches: "with a quibble on the Court of Arches, the provincial Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which would be an appeal-court for matrimonial suits" (Lucas).
leave Barking: Barking, in Essex, lies east of the Roding River above the Thames; it was primarily a fishing community. There is the pun on "cease barking."
[MARIA]: I CHILDE (Q)
[EDWARD]: 2 CHILDE (Q)
nestle-cock: the last-hatched bird or weakling of a brood; hence, a mother's pet
How does thy mistress...mousetrap: Dyce suggests "waistcoat-gown." Lucas glosses as "yellow like old wainscot. The epithet is applied to the complexions of old women and gypsies." "Wainscot gown" sets up the mousetrap reference, which in turn sets up the popular belief of the Welsh's love of cheese; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside IV.i, Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1 Henry IV III.i. Lucas suggests that Saunder might be Welsh.
fine and recovery: the procedure of gaining possession of property by a judgment of the court; cf. The Phoenix II.iii.
upshot: a final shot in an archery match; cf. The Family of Love V.iii.
Clangibbon: "in Munster, once the land of Edmund Fitzgibbon, the White Knight, and granted on his death to Sir Patrick Murray (March 1613)" (Lucas).
black water: Lucas has Blackwater, arguing "it is sufficient to realize that Clangibbon is in County Cork and look at a map, to see that the change is needed." Still, the Q reading is not unreasonable.
[Cussacks']: Cossacks (Q); "But what should Cossacks be doing in Ireland? Cusack or Cussack is a well-known Irish name. Sir T. Cusack (1490-1571) was Lord Chancellor of Ireland and performed important services in Munster" (Lucas).
St. Patrick's Purgatory: a cavern on Lough Derg, south of Donegal in Ulster
[not]: no (Q)
[Enter]: manet (Q), marking no new scene, and Knaves-bee's Wife entering before he speaks
bob: 1) taunt, bitter jest, 2) shilling (Knavesbee gets richer with every "insult")
fillip: a stroke or tap given by bending the last joint of a finger against the thumb and suddenly releasing it; the reference is, of course, to cuckoldry
by five parts: with the four fingers and thumb
[thoughts]: missing in Q, Dyce's insertion
A little lower: i.e., speak more softly
bugle: wild ox, from whence the name of the instrument originally made from its horns
Doctor Glister: Dr. Glister is a major character in The Family of Love, although this reference is probably not specific but rather an stock "joke name" because glister = enema; also cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii, The Old Law III.ii.
Fuxor: the bawdy homonym
bak'd meats: bake-meat = pastry, pie; cf. The Witch II.i.
St. George's Day: April 23, observed in honor of the patron saint of England; cf. Your Five Gallants III.v. Illustration: St. George slaying the dragon.
my master is tomorrow to be married: For whatever reason, George's scheme seems not to accord with the strict divorce laws of the time. During Elizabeth's reign, the English Church (and therefore the law) held that marriage was not indissoluble, and many new marriages were freely contracted after divorce; but after 1603, divorce with remarriage became impossible, even under circumstances that were lawfully valid before the lenient Elizabethan period, circumstances such as pre-contract, differences in spiritual affinity, conjugal faithlessness, desertion or cruelty. Chamlet could win a judicial separation "from bed and board" (a mensa et thoro) on the basis of these last items--Rachel has supposedly had affairs in the silkworm chamber, and has forsworn his bed and deserted him--but he could not remarry as one in his situation could have before 1603. (Cf. Alan Macfarlane's Marriage and Love in England: Models of Reproduction 1300-1840.)
French hood: a head-dress worn by women in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly when they were punished for unchastity
fecks: a corruption of "faith"
[Rachel]: Mris Chamlet (Q), here and for the remainder of the play
byrlakins: a contraction of "by our Ladykin, or little Lady;" cf. The Nice Valour III.i, A Trick to Catch the Old One IV.ii ("Berlady"), A Midsummer Night's Dream III.i.
Bearbinder Lane: running from St. Swithin's Lane to Lombard Street
St. Mildred's church: north of the Poultry (cf. the Cheapside map); first mentioned in 1175, it burned down in the Great Fire of 1666.
black patches enow for the rheum: black patches were fashionable, and often hid blemishes such as rheum and scabs; cf. Blurt, Master Constable III.iii. The black patches Rachel refers to are the bruises she'll inflict on "the French hood."
bestow: spend in (referring to the coins he gave her)
stof [a]: stofa (Q)
silk rash: an inferior silk fabric
hair grow thorough: Dyce cites as an explanation of this proverbial allusion, "His hair grown through his hood--He is very poor, his hood is full of holes."
banes: banns, a notice given three separate times in church or some other public place of a certain marriage
[be]: by (Q)
pantofles: slippers; cf. Blurt, Master Constable IV.ii ("pantaples")
lay out: spend one of my ears
[ride]: rid (Q)
intends: legally considers
it was no impeachment...purse-taker: cf. the Gadshill scene in 1 Henry IV II.ii.
pennyworth conscionable: debts valid
out of thy time: i.e., years of apprenticeship
Bedlam: Bethlehem Hospital, a lunatic asylum; cf. Your Five Gallants II.ii. For its location, consult the map in the notes for A Chaste Maid in Cheapside.
soap-boiler: soap was used for suppositories
sucking my master's breath like a cat: from the popular belief that cats were witches' familiars; cf. The Witch
Dagger-pies: Two taverns (in Cheapside and Holborn) called The Dagger were noted for their pies; George is saying he eats out a lot.
fasting days before red letters in the almanac: red letters were used to indicate saints' days and church festivals on the ecclesiastical calendar; cf. The Family of Love III.ii.
wear scarlet: as alderman
wind-colic: here George passes wind as a sign of disrespect; cf. The Family of Love V.i.
courtier: Like Lady Cressingham's past, Rachel's past is a jab at the court; the specifics George provides about Rachel's father (e.g., his being up and down often, i.e., in and out of favor) seems to indicate this is an allusion to an actual member of the court.
blew the organ: George is probably continuing his flatulence. The correlation does exist in Overbury (whose character sketches Lucas often cites as allusions within this play): in "The Puritan," he writes, "A pair of organs blow him out o' the parish, and are the only glister-pipes to cool him." Glister-pipes, as noted above, was the name for enemas, but also for organ pipes.
groats: a groat was fourpence
lay by th' heels for't: arrested and chained
provant breeches: breeches not owned by the soldiers but supplied to them
Birchen Lane: ran from Cornhill to Lombard Street, known for fripperers, dealers in old clothes, such as Frippery in Your Five Gallants.
Palatinate: In July 1620, Sir Horace Vere left England
with volunteers to defend the Palatine, a region in Germany west
of the Rhine, and counter the forces of the Marquis Ambrosio Spinola
and Spain. This militaristic fervor was stirred up by two things.
First, King Ferdinand II was deposed and replaced by the Elector Palantine Frederick V, a Protestant, against whom Catholic
forces in the region were mobilized. Added to the religious element
was the fact that Frederick was married to Elizabeth, the daughter
of James I. James, however, did not want to intervene, and ultimately
had to be convinced by certain nobles to allow volunteers to go
(Clements Markham, The Fighting Veres). I mention James's
hesitancy because his pro-Catholic positions, particularly his
plan to marry his son Charles to the Infanta of Spain, may inform
some of the religious and military imagery in AQL, as examined
by A. A. Bromham and Zara Bruzzi in their book The Changeling and the
Years of Crisis, 1619-1624. Their contention is that the
play, disguised as innocent domestic comedy, can be seen as a
political warning to the throne against complacency and appeasement:
the authors (and Middleton's anti-Catholic position is quite explicit
in A Game at Chess) were calling attention to the dangers
of James's foreign policy by way of the "dangerous"
domestic policies of weak heads of households like Sir Francis
and Water Chamlet. To the right, an engraved portrait by Renold Elstrack, c. 1631, of Frederick V (1596-1632), the Elector Palatine, and his bride Princess Elizabeth (1596-1662).
St. Clement's church: in Eastcheap, first mentioned in the 11th century, but destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666
astrological tailor: a reference to a Puritan tailor named Ball, who prophesied and wagered that James would be crowned in the Pope's throne. Weatherwise is the gull who follows astrology in No Wit, No Help like a Woman's, but as with Dr. Glister above, this is probably not a specific reference but a stock "joke name," weatherwise indicating an allegiance to almanacs, which tied natural science to superstitions. Cf. the top of IV.i.
I should prove a plural better, if I could attain to fine benefices: a reference to ecclesiastical abuses of priests holding a plurality of benefices; cf. The Devil's Law-Case III.iii.
what a goodly act...by daylight: An allusion to the legendary tale of Lady Godiva. Leofric, ealdorman of Mercia and one of Edward the Confessor's earls, imposed a tax on the people of Coventry, which his wife demanded he remit. He promised he would do so only if she rode through the streets naked at noon; she complied, asking the people of Coventry to stay inside and close their windows. It seems as if this tale has been fused with a more recent event involving Coventry's incorporation, but I am unaware of this reference. George Cressingham provides the bawdy pun in his rejoinder.
frogs, who, weary...devour'd them: For an illustrated version of Aesop's fable, click here.
lightning to go before the thunder: Lucas conjectures an allusion to Socrates's comment after his shrewish wife Xanthippe berated him, then doused him with a bucket of water, "Did I not say that the thunder would be followed by rain?"
prick'd: i.e., his name marked off on the list of eligible candidates
I raise him: with the bawdy innuendo
discreet: judicious, prudent
some lawyers forc'd to groan/Under the burden: an allusion to another historical event that incited reaction against outspoken women, the open quarrelling of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and his wife. In 1617, Sir Edward had wanted their daughter to marry the Duke of Buckingham's brother, but Lady Coke disagreed and carried her off. When Sir Edward recovered her by force, there was a scandal and trial in the Star Chamber, the highest civil court, composed of the King's Council. James reconciled them, but in December 1621 Lady Coke was suspected again of a plot to ruin her husband in the Star Chamber.
puppet-play: clever rhetoric
[your]: you (Q)
The country brooks no poison: alluding to the legend that St. Patrick cast all the venomous creatures in Ireland into the sea
A street outside Lord Beaufort's house: Dyce and Bullen divide Act V into three locations, although only two scenes: V.i a street and then Sir Francis's house at Saunder's entrance, and V.ii a room, presumably in Lord Beaufort's house, at this point. Lucas does not split Act V at all, citing "If we imagine the place just outside [Sir Francis] Cressingham's house-door, in a courtyard or in the street, the appearance of the various characters who all converge in this scene, ceases to be incomprehensible. Cf. where two of them agree to be judged by the next man they "meet", as if walking out of doors. Dyce is worried by the fact that, in spite of this, Water Chamlet hides "behind the arras", as if indoors. But the arras refers to the stage-hangings (it is only mentioned in the stage directions), and an Elizabethan audience would hardly have troubled further; though the inner stage might represent at need a room off the courtyard." I agree with his observations about the arras, but that isn't what struck me as curious. When George speaks from behind the arras, Lord Beaufort claims it is an echo from his cellar. Of course he could be using hyperbole, but the simple fact that he explicitly refers to it indicates that we're to assume we're now near his house and not Sir Francis's. Ultimately, however, and as Lucas's comment implies, this issue was not as important for 17th-century audiences as it is for us with our more modern concern for realism.
base: the musical punning begins with this pun on bass, as opposed to soprano (trebles), and alto and tenor (means)
ground: the musical phrase upon which variations were made
is but [fiddling]: his but sidling (Q); with the pun on 1) taking sexual liberties, 2) cheating, swindling (cf. 1 The Honest Whore)
stak'd my head: again, the cuckold allusion
That's the day after washing day: "is the meaning that executions (i.e. seizures of goods for debt) were made on the clean linen every week in Knaves-bee's house?" (Lucas).
[rein'd]: rin'd (Q)
wittol: contented cuckold; cf. Allwit (an inversion of "wittol") in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, The Phoenix I.iv.
macrio: from the French maquerteau, pander
stor'd: i.e., better winded for more beatings
five mark: 1) a bruise for every time he was hit, one for every epithet, 2) mark = 13s 4d.
I will turn over a new leaf and hang up the page: with the bibliopuns on leaf and page
wet-leather boots: waterproof boots (?)
I will sink at Queenhive...primo: Queenhithe was a large quay just west of Southwark Bridge (cf. the map in the notes for A Chaste Maid in Cheapside). According to legend, Eleanor of Castille, wife of Edward I, after denying the murder of the Mayoress of London and praying the earth might swallow her up if she lied, sank into the ground at Charing Cross and rose from the Thames at Queenhithe. Knavesbee will be contrary to Eleanor's example by sinking at Queenhithe and resurfacing at Charing Cross. In reality, Queenhithe was so-named because King John gave it to his mother Elinor, and Charing Cross was because the hamlet of Charing was the last place in Eleanor's funeral cortege where Edward had crosses erected in her honor. Cf. The Witch I.i.
Edwardo primo: Edward the First; Knavesbee uses the legal Latin because he refers to Eleanor's example as a statute; cf. The Old Law I.i, "Evandri primo."
dead commodities: i.e., unsalable
[turn'd]: tu'd (Q)
[E'en]: E' (Q)
thunder,/With frightful lightnings, amazing noises: cf. The Tempest I.ii ("still-vex'd Bermoothes"), The Duchess of Malfi III.ii
hogs: Lucas cites an account of Sir George Somers's famous shipwreck of 1609: "The country afforded such an abundance of hogs, that Sir George Somers brought in thirty-two at one time," "These islands of the Bermudos have ever been accounted as an enchanted pile of rocks, and a desert inhabitation for devils; but all the fairies of the rocks were but flocks of birds, and all the devils that haunted the woods were but herds of swine" (A Discovery of the Bermudas, 1610). Cf. The Devil's Law-Case III.i.
George: a jeweled figure of St. George, pendant of the collar of the Order of the Garter
Bermothes: an old form of the name, but also the name applied to a neighborhood of thieves and prostitutes near Covent Garden
Hellbree: an island in the Dee between Cheshire and Flintshire
cunning man: a cunning-man was a fortune-teller or wizard, and who would sometimes use supernatural means to recover stolen property; cf. 2 Henry VI IV.i.
Gravesend: at the mouth of the Thames, on the southern bank
[Be wi']: Bewy (Q)
[bye]: buoy' (Q)
common councilman: a member of the Common Council, the lowest level of London's governing body after the Lord Mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen.
jus jurandum: oath
capistrum: (Lat.) throttling
cervix: neck, especially the back of the neck
scarified: covered with scratches
parle: parley; cf. A Fair Quarrel I.i.
[Mistress Cressingham]: Selenger (Q)
you and your ends of law/Make worser of it: I did it for reward: Lucas conjectures, "You with your odds and ends of legal pedantry will regard it as an even worse offence that I did it for gain." It may mean, "I did it for purely selfish reasons, just as you do when you practice law."
[came]: can (Q)
pinnace: a small light vessel, often in attendance on a larger vessel; cf. Blurt, Master Constable II.ii, The Merry Wives of Windsor I.iii, 2 Henry VI IV.i.
extendure: extension, reach
pinfold: a place for confining stray livestock
[knew]: know (Q)
[coarse]: corse (Q)
[parsons']: persons' (Q)
chair of maintenance: an amalgam of "cap of maintenance" [a cap borne as one of the insignia of office before the sovereign of England at the coronation] and "chair of state"
[too]: to (Q)
[hire]: her (Q)
[spermaceti]: Sperma (Q); the fatty substance of the sperm whale, used for bruises
[CREDITORS]: OMNES (Q)
triumph: a public show; Middleton himself wrote The Triumphs of Truth, The Triumphs of Honour and Industry, The Triumphs of Health and Prosperity, and The Triumphs of Honour and Virtue.
censure: judgment; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside V.iv, Your Five Gallants II.i, A Trick to Catch the Old One III.i, The Family of Love Preface.
[whether]: whther (Q)