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A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. by Editor: A.H. Bullen

Part 3 out of 9

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Lyke to a ritche and pretious Jewell lost,
Fownd shyninge on a doonge-hill, yet the gemme
No wyse disparadged of his former worthe
Nor bated of his glory; out of this fyre
Of lust and black temptation sheis [_sic_] returned
Lyke gold repur'd and tryde.

_Treadway_. Of what byrthe is shee?

_Raphael_. Unknwne to mee or any: shee protests,
Neye to her self; what neede I question that?
Sure sutche sweete features, goodnes, modesty
Such gentlenes, such vertue cannot bee
Deryvd from base and obscure parentadge.

_Treadway_. Whats then your end and purpose?

_Raphael_. To redeeme her
Out of this gayle of sinne and leprosye,
This mart of all diseases, where shee lyves
Still under the comande and Tyrany
Of a most base hee-bawde: about which busines
Wee have allready traffict.

_Treadway_. Well, if so,
And to dispose her elsewhere to her goodd,
Provided still that vertue be your ayme,
I cannot but commende your charity
And to my power I'l seeke to further it.

_Raphael_. You so intyre mee to you. Within theire!

_Enter the Clowne_.

_Clowne_. Within theire is nowe without heare: your worshipps pleasure?

_Raphael_. Hye to the next key and inquire for one cald Seignior
_Mildewe_ and resolve him from mee that I have kept apointment: the
somms redy and present to bee tendred.

_Clowne_. Who? the _Frenshe_ monster,[48] _Neapolitan_ Seignor, the
man-makarel[49] and marchant of madens-fleshe that deales altogether
in flawed ware and crackt comodityes? the bawdy broker, I meanes,
where a man for his dollers may have choyse of diseases, and som tymes
the pox too, if hee will leeve beehind him a good pawne for it.

_Raphael_. How thou drummst.

_Clowne_. Marry qothe hee. So I may happen to bringe it awaye in my
nose. Well I smell some bawdy business or other in hand. They call this
place _Marcellis_ Roade, the cheiff haven towne in _France_, but hee
keepes a road[50] in his oune howse wherein have ridd and bin ridd more
leakinge vessayles, more panderly pinks,[51] pimps and punkes, more
rotten bottoms ballanst, more fly-boates[52] laden and unladen every
morninge and evenning tyde then weare able to fill the huge greate baye
of _Portingall_. Is this all, syr?

_Raphael_. Yes all, and heares the somme.

_Clowne_. A small somme of that is worthe all the busines that I am
sent about, for the all in all on't is I am afrayde that all will
proove woorthe nothinge.

_Treadway_. And yet mee thinkes ere folly you conclude
You should a little stagger.

_Raphael_. Should? wherein?

_Treadway_. For many reasons: Il alleadge som fewe.
Who knwes but this your fayre and seeminge saynt,
Thoughe disposd well and in her owne condition
Of promisinge goodnes, yet livinge in the seminary
Of all libidinous actions, spectars, sights,
Even in the open market where sinne's sould
Where lust and all uncleanes are commerst
As freely as comodityes are vended
Amongst the noblest marchants,--who I saye
So confident that dare presume a virgin
Of such a soft and maiden temperature,
Deyly and howerly still sollicited
By gallants of all nations, all degrees,
Allmost all ages, even from upright youth
To the stoopinge and decrepitt--

_Raphael_. Heare mee nowe.

_Treadway_. Two woords and I have doone: the place considered,
The basenes of the person under whome
Shee lyves opprest, a slave of sordid lyfe,
Conditiond with the devill, temptinge still
Sometymes by fayre means, then againe by foul,
To prostitute her for his servyle gaynes;
And next the dissolute crewe with which shees hows'd
Ech night, ech deye perswedinge boathe with toonge
And lewde example; all these circonstances
Duly considered, I shoold dowbt at least,
If not presume, the woorst.

_Raphael_. Oh you have pleasd mee,
And in proposinge all these difficultyes
Given of her graces ample testimony.
Shee is that miracle, that only one
That cann doo these; wear't comon in the sexe
Twold not appeare to mee so admirable;
It is for these I love her.

_Treadway_. You are resolvd
And I'l not staye your purpose.

_Enter the Clowne with Mildewe and Sarleboys his
guest and frende_.

_Clowne_. I have brought this flesh-fly whome as soone as the butchers
wyves sawe comminge throwghe the shambles, they all of them stood with
theire flapps in theire hands like fanns. I, demandinge the reason itt
was answerd me againe itt was to keepe away his infectious breath least
it should fill theire meate with fly-blowes.

_Raphael_. Well, mett, good Mr. _Mildewe_.

_Mildewe_. My returne
Of your salutes I cast belowe your feete.

_Raphael_. Syr, I am yours to treade on. You will then
Stand to your former bargen?

_Mildewe_. I weare else
Not woorthy to bee stil'd what I am tearmd,
A trewe venereall broaker.

_Clowne_. That's in _Italian_
A damnable hee bawde.

_Mildewe_ Y'have such a bargen
Marcellis, nor all France, shall yeild the like.
Tis such a deynty peece of purity
Such a coy thinge that[53] hee unto whose lott
She shall hereafter fall may boast himself
To bee a happy husband. For our trade
Shees out at that: neather promises, rewards,
Example or Intreaty, fayre, fowle meanes,
Gaine present or the hope of future goodd,
Can force from her a presens; then much lesse
A frendly prostitution.

_Raphael_. Hearst thou this?

_Treadway_. Yes[54] and comende it in her, if that toonge,
Even from his fyrst of speakinge traind to lye,
Can now at lengthe speake truth.

_Clowne_. Ay theres the dowbt.

_Sarly_. This too yeares I have quested to his howse,
And knwe all this most certeine.

_Raphael_. Witnes too.

_Mildewe_. I doo protest she spoyles my family
And rather growne a hyndrance to my trade
Then benefitt; so that, if not to losse,
I wishe that I were clerly ridd of her,
For shee hathe gott a trick to[55] my whores;
And such as of themselves are impudent,
When shee but coms in presens she makes blushe,
As if ashamd of what they late had doon
Or are about to doo.

_Clowne_. Well sayde, ould sinner.

_Raphael_. See, heeres the sum, 3 hundred crownes.

_Mildewe_. O'th somme.

_Raphael_. All currant and full weight.

_Mildewe_. I'l fetch my doughter
That hath no lightnes in her, currant too
As any lasse i'th cittye.

_Raphael_. _Mildewe_, staye.

_Clowne_. Staye, oh thou father of fornication and marchant of nothinge
but mesteryes and mischeife; whele about, thou dung[c]art of diseases;
sayle this way thoue galley foyst[56] of galls and garbadge! Dost not
heare my master? staye!

_Mildewe_. Why, did his worshippe call?

_Clowne_. Didst thou not heare him call, and mee cry out upon thee?

_Mildewe_. His pleasure then?

_Raphael_. I have bethought mee better nowe to keepe
This business secrett, least it chance to arryve
To th'eares of some of my most noble frends;
And not to make it publicke and this honest
Purpose of myne by that meanes misreated,[57]
Heare lett her stay till night bycause I am loath
In th'eye of day to move her through the streetes.

_Mildewe_. Good, syr.

_Raphael_. Nwe [Now] in the villaige by, that fronts the sea,
Som halff league off where stands the monastery,
I have bespoake a place to sojorn her.
There I this evening do intend[58] a feast
Where only wee and som fewe private frends
Have purpost to bee jhoviall. To that place
I prithee, with what pryvacy thou canst,
Conduct her and so add unto our guests.

_Mildewe_. The place I knwe, the tyme is perfect with mee,
And for the feast you saye you have prepared
I shall provyde a stomacke.

_Raphael_. Her caskett, and such other necessaryes
Included in our bargen, bring alonge
Or lett her mayde do'ot for thee.

_Mildewe_. I'l not bate her
A ruff or ragge; no pinne that's usefull too her
Will I keepe backe.

_Raphael_. To this you are witnes, frend.

_Treadway_. I am, Syr.

_Mildewe_. So's my guest.

_Clowne_. And lookes as if with me
Hee only could write witlesse.

_Raphael_. Supper tyme
You will remember, _Mildewe_.

_Mildewe_. Possible
I should forgett to eate of others' cost?
It never was my custom.

_Clowne_. Choake you for't.

_Raphael_. Come, frend, mee thinks I have doone a deede this day
Crownes all my better actions, for I have raised
An Innocent from the hands of an Infidell agent.

_Clowne_. Farewell, rott, farewell murreine, adiewe.

_Mildewe_. Farewell till soone.

[_Exeunt Raphael, Treadway, and Clowne_.

_Sarleb_. And do you meane to keepe your promisse then,
And doo as you have sayde?

_Mildewe_. Why not, I prithee?
What else canst thou advyse mee?

_Sarleb_. Are not wee
Boathe of a rotten conscience, men debosht,
Secluded from the company of such
As either are or else would stryve to bee
Reputed honest? wherefore then should wee
Keepe tutche with any that professe themselves
Not to bee of our ranke?

_Mildewe_. Proceede, good frend:
Thou hast putt project in my brayne allredy,
Small tyme woold better fashion.

_Sarleb_. What if I
Laye such a plotte that you shall gayne these crownes
These full three hundred to your proper use,
And of these peevishe harletryes at home
Make a much greater market?

_Mildewe_. Marry, syr,
That were a tale worth listeninge.

_Sarleb_. These crowns
Are all your owne in your possession,
So are the maydes. I knowe you ritche besydes
In coyne and jewells; heere you lyve despysed,
And whats this clime to us of more esteme
Then any forreine region? whores and bawdes
May lyve in every corner of the woorld,
We knowe tis full of sinners. This, this day
Letts hyre a bark; wee dwell upon the haven,
And instantly 'tis done. Shipp all your goods
With these shee-chatteyles; putt this night to sea--
England they saye is full of whormasters;
There will bee vent for such comoditye,
There strompett them where they (you saye) weare born,
Else you in _Spayne_ may sell them to the stewes,
_Venyce_ or any place of _Italy_;
They are everywhere good chaffer. If not these,
What saye you to _Morocho, Fesse, Algiers_?
Faith these are wares in all parts vendible,
No matter thoughe to _Turke_ and infidell,
So itt bringe gayne and profitt.

_Mildewe_. Lett me hugg thee
For this, deare frend; heareafter I will style thee
My better genius; thou hast monied mee in this,
Nay landed me, made me thy braynes executor,
And putt mee in a lardge possession.
Go hyre a barke.

_Sarlab_. I shall.

_Mildewe_. And instantly.

_Sarlab_. I shall.

_Mildewe_. Ere night wee'l putt into a sea
No larger then our full stretcht consciences.
Lett mee once more Imbrace thee.
[_Exeunt_.

SCENA 2.

_Enter an Abbot with his covent[59] of Fryars, amongst
them Fryar Jhon, and Fryar Ritchard_.

_Abbot_. As I have heare priority of place,
Boathe by our patrons favour and your voyce,
So give me leave to arbitrate amongst you.

_Fr. Jhon_. Without respect of person wee acknowledge you.
Our prince and cheiff.

_Fr. Rich_. And to your fatherly
And grave advyse humbly submitt our selves.

_Abbot_. Knwe then in this small covent, which consysts
Only of 12 in nomber, fryars I meane
And us the Abbat, I have fownde amongst you
Many and grosse abuses; yet for the present
I will insist on fewe. Quarrells, debates,
Whisperinge, supplantinges, private calumnyes,
These ought not bee in such a brotherhood.
Of these Fryar _Jhon_ and thou Fryar _Richard_ are
Accused to bee most guilty, ever jarring
And opposite to peace.

_Fr. Jhon_. The faults in him.

_Fr. Rich_. As in all other thinges, so even in this
Hee still is apt to wronge mee.

_Fr. Jhon_. Hee that fyrst gives th'occation, fyrst complaines:
It ever was his fashion.

_Fr. Rich_. Never myne:
I appeale to the whole covent.

_Abbot_. Mallyce rooted,
I finde, is woondrous hard to bee supprest.
But knwe where consell and advise preveyle not,
The fayrest meanes that I can wourk your peace,
I'l take upon mee my authority,
And where I finde in you the least contempt
I shall severely punishe.

_Fr. Jhon_. I submitt.

_Fr. Rich_. I yeeld myself to your grave fatherhood.

_Abbot_. Consider, sonnes, this cloystered place of ours
Is but newe reared; the founder, hee still lyves,
A souldier once and eminent in the feild,
And after many battayles nowe retyrd
In peace to lyve a lyff contemplative.
Mongst many other charitable deedes,
Unto religion hee hathe vowed this howse,
Next to his owne fayre mantion that adjoynes
And parted only by a slender wall.
Who knwes but that hee neighboring us so neare
And havinge doone this unto pious ends,
May carry over us and our behavioures
An austere eye of censure?

_Fr. Jhon_. Fitt therefore
Wee should bee in our actions cautelous.[60]

_Fr. Rich_. And carefull least wee may incurr displeasure
Of such a noble patron.

_Abbot_. Well observ'd.
His bewtious Lady--

_Fr. Jhon_. A sweete soule indeede.

_Fr. Rich_. On whom Fryar _Jhon_ casts many a leering eye:
I have observd that too.

_Abbot_. Boath for her outward feature
And for her inward graces excellent
Beyond compare, shee lykewyse is to us
A worthy benefactor.

_Fr. Rich_. Tis confest.

_Fr. Jhon_. Would I might com to bee her confessor:
It is a fayre sweete lady.

_Fr. Rich_.[61] Howe the lecher
Hugges at the very name.

_Abbot_. Morninge and eveninge
They deyly com to mattens and to evensonge;
Such and so greate is theire devotion.
That, if not crasd or feylinge in theire healthe,
They do not misse us any hower of prayer;
And therefore it behooves us all in generall
To sett a carefull watche upon our deedes,
Least we that are proffest religious
Bee in the least deffective.

_Fr. Richard_. Noate, Fryar _Jhon_,
Howe hee makes anticke faces and in scorne
Of this your reverent counsell.

_Fr. Jhon_. I, alas?
A weaknes from my childhood, I confesse,
I ever had and cannott helpe it nowe,
To have a trobled countenance. I make mouthes?
This (most observed father) but approoves
My innosens and his envye. Markt you that?
Fryar _Richard_ bent his fyst and threatned mee.
I call all these to witnesse.

_Fr. Rich_. No such thinge.
I have a crampe oft takes me in this hand
And makes mee weare clutcht ringers, and that passion
Now came upon mee; but for meanacinge him
It ever was farr from mee. This but showes
His owld inveterate mallice, which in charity
I wishe might heare lye buried.--Syrrah, anon
I'l have you by the eares.

_Fr. Jhon_. Doo if thou darst;
We'll tugge it out by the teeth.

_Fr. Rich_. Meete me i'th orchard
Just after even song.

_Fr. Jhon_. I will make short prayers
Bycause I'l keepe appointment.

_Abbot_. I am playne
And breife with all: eather betwixt you too [_sic_]
Make frendly reconsilement, and in presence
Of this your brotherhood (for what is fryar
But _frater_, and that's brother?), or my selfe
Out of my power will putt you to a penance
Shall make you in one weeke fyve fasting-dayes.

_Fr. Jhon_. Oh terrible!

_Abbot_. Or, if that will not tame you,
I will complayne to'th fownder of your loosenes,
Your riotts, and disorders, and petition
That you, as sowers off seditious hatred[62]
And sole disturbers of our common peace,
Maye bee excluded this society,
Banisht by common barre-law, and shutt out
To publick shame and beggerye.

_Fr. Rich_. Horrible!

_Fr. Jhon_. Fyrst then to showe my submisse willingnes
And forwardnes withall: with as much charity
As any new reformed man maye doo,
I with a zeale and hart new reconsiled
Thus humbly begge his love.
(Y'are a rogue, _Ritchard_.)

_Fr. Rich_. To meete his trewe
And most unfeigned affection, heare in face
And viewe of this our holly brotherhoode,
As if in open coort with this mi[63] breath
I heare confine all hatred.
(_Jhon_, y'are a Jack sauce, I meane a sawcye Jacke.)

_Fr. Jhon_. The orchard.

_Fr. Rich_. Theare.

_Abbot_. Why, this is as it should bee, and becomes
A trew religious order. Such as are sequestred
And vowed unto a strict monasticke lyfe,
Ought to putt off these grosse and prophane sinnes
Most frequent amongst laye-men. Unity,
Due conformation and fraternall love.
Devotion, hott zeale, and obediens; these
Are vertues that become a cloyster best.
Nowe lett's retyre unto our oresons
And p[r]eye for our good fownders; may they still
Grow to our wishe and thryve to theire owne will.

[_Exeunt all but Friar Jhon_.

_Fr. Jhon_. More then I woold to have my wishe on thee,
_Richard_, though I have a good stomacke too't,
Ey, and to baste thee sowndly, I woold nowe
To have my will one her. Tis a sweete creature;
Our patron owld, shee younge; som hope in that.
Besydes, shee's woondrous kind and affable;
And when we duck or congee, smiles as if
Shee tooke som pleasure in our shaven crownes.
I am the fyrst that every morninge, when
Shee passes through the cloyster to her prayers,
Attend her with good morrowe, pray for her health.
For her content and pleasure, such as canott bee
Hop't or expected from her husband's age;
And these my frendly wishes she returnes
Not only in kind language but sweete smiles,
The least of which breede som Incoradgement.
I will, if shee persist to proove thus kind,
If not to speeke my thoughts, to wryte my mynd.

[_Exit_.

SCENA TERTIA.

_Thunder_.

_Enter after a greate Tempestuous storme Mr. Ashburne
an Englishe marchant and his man Godfrey_.

_Ashburne_. Was ever knowne such a tempestuous night
Of thunder, hayle, wynd, lightninge! Twas as if
The fower seditious brothers threatned warr
And weare but nowe at battayle.

_Godfrey_. The fower winds you meane; blusteringe fellowes they are.
Preye God all be well at sea, for I am sure the roofes tyles and
ridges have payde for it a shewer.[64]

_Ashb_. The very rafters of the howses bend;
Some breake and are demolisht; barnes blowne downe;
The very chimneyes rattle ore our heads;
The strongest buildinges tremble just as if
Theire is above a tempest, so belowe
There weare a fearefull earth-quake.

_Godfrey_. All our howses
Are nothinge nowe but windowes, broad bay windowes
So spatious that carts laded may drive throughe
And neather loush oth' topp or eathere syde.
Lights every where, we shall have lightnes inoughe:
Heares stupid woork for daubers!

_Ashburne_. We are forct
All to forsake the villaige and to fly
Unto the feilds for succor.

_Godfrey_. Syr, it putt me
In minde of the greate King _Agathocles_,
Who was, as I have heard you oft relate,
Brain'd with a Tyle. Why may not meaner men
Then feare the fall of brick batts?

_Enter Raphael, Treadway, and the Clowne_.

_Treadway_. A strange night
And full of terror; yet, thanks heaven, well past.

_Raphael_. Oh, but I feare the greater storms to come,
A gust that will more shake mee.

_Clowne_. More, quothe hee; I can scarce see howe that well can bee,
for I can assure you the garrett that I laye in putt mee in mind of
myne infancye, for I lye all the night longe as if I had bin rockt
in a cradle.

_Raphael_. Oh, frend, I feare this false and perjur'd slave,
That hathe not kept apointment, hath deceiv'd mee
Boathe of my coyne and pretious marchandyse.

_Clowne_. Did you ever looke for better from a Judas [?] of his
he[yre]?[65]

_Raphael_. Which if hee have--

_Clowne_. Why then hee hathe, and the mends is in y'r owne hands:
that's all that I can say too't.

_Raphael_. Hee hathe undone mee dubly.

_Treadway_. Hope the best.
Perhapps the threatninge weather kept him backe:
Itt was a trobled skye, the soon set blusheing,
The rack cam swiftly rushing from the west;
And these presadges of a future storme,
Unwillinge for to trust her tendernes
Unto such feares, might make him fayle his hower;
And yet with purpose what hee slack't last night
Howe to make goodd this morninge.

_Raphael_. Oh you tent[66]
My woonds too gently, dally with my dowbts
And flutter my trewe feares: the even was calme,
The skye untrobled, and the soon went downe
Without disturbance in a temperate ayr.
No, not the least conjecture coold be made
Of such a suddeine storme, of which the woorld
Till after midnight was not sensible.
His hower was supper, and in faylinge that--

_Clowne_. Ey, nowe begin I to feare too for thee. Breake his woord if
it bee to com to dinner or supper! I'l never trust his bond for the
valewe of a threepenny ordenarye after.

_Raphael_. Post you back to the citty; make inquiries
And most strickt search to find that _Mildewe_ out;
Whom if you meete, fyrst rate his last neclect,
Then hasten his repayer. Heare you shall finde mee
Or in the waye home; for in all this villaige
I woll not leave a howse, a place unsearcht.
If where hee dwells you misse him, then demande
Att every bey what shippinge late went out.
If any vowed love still remane betwixt us,
Make it appear nowe in your present care
And expedition.

_Treadw_. I'l be your _Mercury_,
Not fayle you in the least.

_Raphael_. And so betwixt us
Increase a frendshipp that was never flawed.

[_Exit[67] Treadway_.

_Ashburne_. This gentleman, itt seemes, hathe in this tempest
Sustein'd som losse, he appears so much disturb'd.

_Clowne_. See, syr, heare are some it may bee beelonge to this
villadge; you had best aske of them.

_Raphael_. And well advysed. Hayle, father!

_Godfrey_. No more hayle if you love mee; we had too much of that
last night.

_Ashburne_. Of what sexe are you that you call me so?
I have bene father of a doughter once,
Though not these many yeares blest with her sight,
But of a soone yet never.

_Raphael_. What you have lost
May you in som most fayer and fortunate hower
Againe find to your comfort.

_Ashburne_. You wishe well.

_Raphael_. Sawe you not bowte this villadge late last night,
Or early now i'th morninge, a short fellowe
Thin heyred, flat nosed, sand-bearded and squint eyde?

_Clowne_. The mapp of misfortune and very picture of ill luck.

_Raphael_. Grosse-wasted, gowty-legg'd.

_Clowne_. Whose face is puft up like a bladder and whose belly
lyke a toonne.

_Raphael_. Owld, graye and hoary.

_Clowne_. And withall cheatinge, cousininge, and crafty; a remarkable
raskall, a damnable deceiver, and a most substantiall cinner.

_Ashburne_. By such I have much suffred in my state,
Opprest almost to utmost penury
In my once better fortune; but so late
I sawe not any such.

_Raphael_. Hee was expected
To bee attended by too [_sic_] handsome gurles,
Boathe younge, boathe fayre, but th'one unparreld [_sic_];
Neather of which by computation
Hathe told so hye as twenty.

_Ashb_. If such I chance to meete by accident
I'l send you notyce. Please you leave your name
And place of your abode.

_Raphael_. _Raphael_ I am cald,
A marchant in _Marcellis_, and my lodginge
Is at the _Parratt_ in the markett-place;
There you shall finde mee knowne.

_Ashb_. And by that name
Presume I'l not forgett you.

_Raph_. For which curtesy,
Fare you well, syr;
You shall oblighe mee to you. If not heare
Weele seeke her further; _France_ shall not conteine them
But I will finde theire start-holes.

_Ashb_. Good speede with you.

_Clowne_. If I weare a dogge nowe and coold hunt dry foote[68]
I could smell them out presently.

[_Exeunt[69] Raphael and Clown_.

_Ashb_. Come lett us mount ourselfes upon these rockes
And, havinge feelinge of our hurts at land,
Letts see what shyppes have ben distrest at sea,
If any shaken in this storme or wreckt;
And though wee cannot help the miserable
Yet lett them taste our pittye.

_Godfrey_. Sir, content; but I hope your fishermen have not putt to
sea this night. If they have I sweare they have showed themselves
much madder then the tempest.

_Ashb_. I hope they have bin more discreate and wyse
Then with the hazard of my boates and netts
To indanger theire owne lyves.

_Godfr_. See: do you see, Syr?

_Ashb_. What?

_Godfr_. Why, yonder.

_Ashb_. Where?

_Godfr_. There towards yon shore.

_Ashb_. A shipp laboringe for liffe
Nowe cast upon the rocks, nowe splitt, nowe sinkinge,
Nowe dasht to peeces.

_Godfr_. I see all mischeifes do not com by land,
Som's doone upon the water.

_Ashb_. Though theire goodes perishe,
Yet in thy mercy, heaven, protect theire lyves.
Som sitt upon the planks, som on the masts,
Som hange upon the cables, and som few
Have only gott the cock-boat; others swimme.
Oh that wee shoold beehold theire misery
And want power to assiste them!

_Godfr_. Sure, syr, it was som shipp of passengers,
For see you not too women? daynty ducks!
Would they coold swime as ducks can, see how they spread
And cast theire legges abroad lyke naked frogges!
See howe they spread theire armes and stryve for lyfe!
I[70] would I weare som Dolphin or some whayle
That they might sitt astryde upon my backe
To beare them safe ashore; but I as yet
Could neare indure still water. See yet still,
Still theire coates beare them upp, keepe them aloft;
The modest ayer not willinge to discover
That which the bawdy waves shame not belowe
Rudely to lifte and handle.

_Ashb_. Blesse them heaven!
The wind and tyde still beate them towards the shore,
But oh that cursed billowe hath devyded
And parted them asunder. Yet all's well;
They still beare upp. If they but scape the next
There may bee hope of safetye.

_Godfr_. One's driven this way,
The tother that; the men shift for themselves,
Howe shall we save thes women?

_Ashb_. No meanes unlesse we leape downe from the rockes,
And that's meare desperation. Yet to showe
Our charityes to wretches thus extreame,
Lett's see if wee can find the least descent
And hasten to theire suckor.

_Godfr_. By your favour,
I had rather they with brine shoold break their bellys
Then I my neck with clamberinge.

_Explicit Actus primus_.

_Actus 2_.

SCENA PRIMA.

_Storme continewed. Enter Palestra all well, as newly
shipwreckd and escapt the fury of the seas_.

_Palestra_.[71] Is this then the reward of Innocense,
Of goodness to our selfes, namely chast lyfe,
Pietye to our parents, love to all,
And above all our Christian zeale towardes heaven?
But why shoold wee poore wretches thus contest
Against the powers above us, when even they
That are the best amongst us are servd badd?
Alas, I never yet wrongd man or child,
Woman or babe; never supplanted frend
Or sought revendge upon an enemy.
You see yet howe we suffer; howe shall they then
That false their faythes, that are of uncleane lyfe
And then not only sinne unto them selves
But tempt and persuade others? what shall I thinke
Becoms of my base guardian? though the waves
Have spared the guiltles, sure his putrid s[oule][72]
Cannot escape heavens justyce! wee poor wretches
Are punishe [_sic_] for his grosse impietyes,
They mov'd heavens wrathe, who stir'd the winds and waves
Stryvinge whose fury should destroy us fyrst.
These boathe conspyringe in our ruinne, th'one
Beate us belowe the billowes whilst the other
Swallowed boathe shippe and goodes; [amongst] the rest
A[73] budget or portmantau which includes
All the bawdes wealth. But that weare nothinge to mee
Though he had vowed and sworne to make mee his heyer;
The losse I so lament is a small caskett
Kept by him from my childhood, and packt up
Amongst his treasure; and that perishinge,
I forfett the longe expectation
Ever to knowe my parents, therefore wishe
With it I had i'th sea been buried.

_Enter Scribonia_.

_Scrib_. With perill of oft fallinge and the danger
Of second deathe, having new scapt the fyrst,
I have with feare and terror clim'd these rocks,
And these too past I feare to meete a thyrd.
I spy no howse, no harbor, meete no creature
To point mee to some shelter; therefore heare
Must starve by famine or expire by could.
O'th sea the whystlinge winds still threaten wreckes,
And flyinge nowe for refuge to the lande
Find nought save desolation. Thoughe these three,
Three dreadfull deaths all spare mee, yeat a fowerth,
I cannot shoone [shun] in my _Palestras_ losse,
More[74] deare to mee then all the world besides,
For the best blood of myne runns in her veynes,
This lyfe breath in her bosom. Oh my _Palestra_!

_Palestr_. Numnes and feare, hungar and sollitude,
Besydes my casket, my _Scribonia's_ losse,
All these at once afflict mee.

_Scrib_. Notheinge mee
More than _Palestra's_ deathe. Ha, who's that spake?
Suer twas som womans voyce! if my _Palestra_
Only for her sake I coulde wishe to live.

_Pal_. Then lyve, my deere _Scribonia_, synce I am only
Spar'd to partake with thee newe miseryes.

_Scrib_. Scarce can I bee perswaded you are shee:
But, bee yt but her shadowe, give mee leave
For her remembrance to imbrace it thus.

_Palest_. These armes at once locke all my lyvinge hopes
In my restored _Scribonia_.

_Scrib_. Nowe I perceave
My comfort is not meare imaginary
But reall and effectuall. Lyve you then?

_Pal_. To triumphe in your safety.

_Scrib_. Possible
That mongst these desert unfrequented rocks
Thou can imadgine such a thing can be
As that which you call safety?

_Pal_. Yes, _Scribonia_,
And comfort too; for, see, I spy a villadge,
A maner and a fayre built monastery,
Just at the foott of this descendeinge hill.
And where, if not amongst religious men,
Shoold we find that's calld charity?

_Scrib_. Thether, then:
Lett[75] us make hast with all the speede we can:
Fyre at the least I hope it [is?] well assured,
Besydes releiffe and harbor.

_Pal_. Can you begge?

_Scrib_. What will not rude necessity compell
Distressed folke to doo? We'll not doo't basely,
For beinge brought upp to musick and to sing,
Demandinge in that kind there charity,
And they perceivinge us much better bred
Then these our present fortunes might deserve,
May move in them compassions.

_Pal_. Lett's retyre
To the backe gate then, there complane our wants
And that which others doo with impudence
Lett us in shame and blushes.

_Scrib_. Som sweete echo
Speake from these walls and answer to our wants,
And eather lend som comfort to our grieffs
Or send us hence dispayringe and asham'd.

[_They go in_.

_Pal_. _Oh charity where art thou fled,
And nowe how longe hast thou been dead?

Answer within. Oh many many many hundred yeares

Scrib. In villadge, borrough, towne or citty
Remaines there yet no grace, no pitty?

Answ. Not in sighes, not in want, not in teares.

Pal. Cold comfort in this answer; but proceede.

Above. we see a threatninge skye.

Answ. Beelowe the winds and gusts blowe hye,
And all all to fright hence this same juell.

Scrib. The lightninges blast, the thunders cracke,
The billows menace nought save wracke.

Answ. And yet man is then these much more crewell.

Pal. Unless my judgment quite miscarry,
Shee may lyve in som monastery.

Answ. Tis a place too that was fyrst assigned her.

Scrib. If not amongst religious men,
Yett where, where shall wee seeks her then?

Answ. Yet even there, there, you scarce scarce can find her.

Pal. If chastity and Innocens tryde
Have boathe escaped wind and tyde--

Answ. Yet oh why should the land, land these cherish?

Scrib. Of whome even billowes have a care,
Whom seas preserve, whom tempests spare--

Answ. Yet these these amongst men may perishe._

_Pal_. Uncharitable echo! from a place
Of pure devotion canst thou answer that?
If not in these religious monasteries,
In what place can we find could charity?

_Scrib_. Where ere wee meete her shee is lyke our selfes,
Bare, without harbor, weake and comfortles.

_Enter Fryer John_.

_Fr. Jhon_. What singeinge beggers were those at the gate
That would so early rowse our charity,
Before it was half styrringe or awake?

_Enter Fryer Richard_.

I thinke I answerd them in such a way
As I beleeve scarce pleas'd them.

_Fr. Rich_. What sweete musick
Was that at the back gate hath cald mee upp
Somwhat before my hower?

_Fr. Jhon_. Morrow, fryar _Richard_:
Howe did you lyke our last night's buffetinge?
Whilst all the rest of our fraternity
In feare of that greate tempest weare att prayers,
Wee too pickt out that tyme of least suspition
And in the orchard hand to hand weare att it.

_Fr. Rich_. Tis trew for blooddy noses; and, Fryar _Jhon_,
As you lyke that which is allredy past
So chalendge mee hereafter. But whence cam
Those sweete and delicate voyces?

_Fr. Jhon_. I bare part
In theire sadd quire though none of these yet knw't.
But peace: our Father Abbat.

_Enter the Abbot with other fryars_.

_Abbott_. Morrow, soonns,
An early blessinge on you, if as the larke
Rysen beetymes still to salute the soon,
So your devotion pluckes you from your bedds
Beefore your hower unto your orisons.
Did you not heare a musicall complaynt
Of women that in sadd and mournefull tones
Bewayld theire late disasters, harshly answerd
By a churlish echo?

_Fr. Jhon_. Som such thinge wee heard.

_Fr. Rich_. The noates still persist with mee.

_Pal_. There appeares
In his grave lookes bothe zeele and charity;
Letts to his sight boldly expose ourselfes.
Hayle, reverent father!

_Abbot_. What are you poore soules
Thus wett and wether-bitt?

_Scrib_. Ere you demand
Further from us, letts tast your Christian charity,
Som fyare, som harbor, least ere our sadd tale
Bee fully tould wee perishe.

_Abbot_. Why, whence came you?

_Pal_. From sea; our shipp last night in the great storme
Cast on these rocks and split; this the fyrst place
Exposed unto our eyes to begge releiff.
But oh I faynt.

_Abbot_. Some[76] faggotts instantly:
Hott brothes, hott water for them, and warme cloathes.
Whome the high powers miraculously preserve,
Whome even the merciles waves have borne ashore,
Shall we soe sinke a land? Even wee our selfes
That lyve and eate by others charity,
To others shall not wee bee charitable?
All succor, all supply that can be given,
They from our hands shall tast.

_Fr. Jhon_. Shall we remove them
Into the cloyster?

_Fr. Rich_. Tis agaynst our oath
On any, though the great'st, extremity
To addmitt women thether.

_Abbot_. That I knowe:
Yet in som out-office see them chear'd,
Want nothinge that the cloyster can affourd.
Theire bewtyes, though my eye be bleynd at them,
Deserve no lesse; I looke on theire distresse
And that I pitty. Ech one lend a hand
To take off from theire present misery
And ease theire tender shoulders; when they are cheer'd
And better comforted, I'l finde occatione
To enquire further from them.

_Pal_. Heaven be as kind
To you as you to us!

_Abb_. Feare not fayre damselles:
This place, though not within the monastery,
Yet stands within the cloysters previledge
And shallbee unto you a sanctuary.

_Scrib_. No other wee expect it.

_Abb_. Guide them in: [_Bell ring_.
Bewty and youthe to pitty 'tis no sinne.

_The bell ringes to mattens. Enter the Lord de Averne
and his Lady. Dennis and others_.

_Fr. Jhon_. Harke, the bell ringes to mattens.

_Fr. Rich_. See withall
Our noble patron with his lovely lady
Prepare for theire devotion. Nowe, Friar _Jhon_,
Your letcherous eye is conninge.

_Fr. Jhon_. I knowe my place.

_Abbott_. Way for our noble founder!

_L. Aberne_. Morrowe, father;
So to the rest of all the brotherhood.

[_The quire and musick; the fryars make a lane
with ducks and obeysance_.

_Voyces. Te tuosque semper, oh semper beamus,
Et salvos vos venisse, o venisse gaudeamus._

_Fr. Jhon_. Good daye to our fayre foundresse!

_Lady_. Mercy, Fryar _Jhon_;
Above the rest you are still dutifull,
For which wee kindly thanke you.

[_Exeunt: manet Jhon_.

_Fr. Jhon_. Kindly thanke you!
Nay, smyld withall! allthough that I have more
Then a monthes mind[77] to these younge harletryes
Yet heares the grownd on which I fyrst must build
And ryse my fortunes many steepes[78] hye.
Nay, I perhapps, ere they can drye there smocks,
Will putt th'affayre in motion, whyle these are
Att solleme mattens. I'l take pen and wryte,
And sett my mind downe in so quaint a strayne
Shall make her laughe and tickle, whylst I laughe
And tickle with the thought on't, still presuminge
These lookes, these smyles, these favours, this sweete language
Could never breathe, butt have theire byrthe from love.
But how to ha'tt delivered? there's the dowbt.
Tush I have plott for that too; hee, no questione,
That sett mee on to compasse this my will,
May when the up-shoote comes assist mee still.

[_Exit_.

SCENA 2.

[_Tempest. Thunder_.

_Enter 2 Fishermen_.

_1st Fish_. The trobled sea is yet scarce navigable
Synce the last tempest: yet wee that only lyv
By our owne sweatt and labour, nor cann eate
Beffore[79] wee fetch our foode out of the sea,
Must ventur thoughe with daunger or bee suer
With empty stomakes go unsupt to bed.

_2nd Fish_. And so it often happens.

_1 Fish_. See the cordaige
Be stronge and tight, the netts with all theire stringes,
Plometts, and corks, well plac't for hookes and bates,
This daye wee shall have little use of them:
The wind's still hye, beare but a gentle sayle
And hazard not the channele. Keepe alonge
Close by the shoare, the rocks will shelter us
And may perhapps affoord us lobsters, praunes,
Shrimps, crabbes, and such lyke shell fishe; hence[80] we may
Hunt the sea urchen, and with safety too;
There's many holde hime for a dayntye fishe,
Hee sells well in the markett. That poore men
Are forct too, for a slender competens,
A little to prolonge a wretched lyfe!

_2 Fish_. Com then lett us weighe anchor and aboord:
The soone is upp allredy.

_Enter the Clowne_.

_Clowne_. If ever menn weare madd then suer my master is not well in his
witts, and all about this wenshe; here's such sendeinge and seekeinge,
hurriinge and posteinge, and all to no purpose. I have nowe some thyrty
errands to deliver and knowe not to whome nor where, what nor to which
place fyrst; hee's gone on to the citty and sent mee back to the
villaige, whither his frend travelled[81] one waye, hee another, and I
a thyrd contrary from them boathe; he cannott beleeve his inquiry to be
well doone but hee must send me to doo't over againe. I have asked all
I mett and demanded of all I have seene.[82] But what are theese? these
should bee fishermen. Good morrowe, you sea theeves.[83]

_1 Fish_. You call us theeves that may proove honester
Than many goe for trewe[84] men on the shore.

_Clowne_. Sawe[85] you not passe this [way] an ould bald fellowe
hutch-shoolderd, crooked nos'd, beetle browd, with a visadge lowreing
and a looke skowlinge; one that heaven hates and every good man
abhors; a cheatinge raskall and an ugly slave,--did note such passe
you?

_1 Fish_. If such a one as you describe you inquire for,
Mee thinks, my frend, thou hast mistooke thy way;
Thou shouldst have sought him at the gallowes rather,
There such are soonest fownd.

_Clowne_. Byrlady, worst answered of a playne fellowe; but that you may
knowe him the better, hee had too handsome streete-singing-fact lasses
in his companye.

_2 Fish_. And for such creatures y'had best search the stewes
O'th citty; this our villadge yields none such.
This fellowe doth but flowte us; letts aboord.

_1 Fish_. Inquire for us of wenshes? tush, wee fishe
For no such perewinkles; farewell flesh mongere.

[_Ex. Fish_.

_Clowne_. No wonder these fellowes pretend to be witty; for
understandinge, so manye have lost there witts as ... they have fisht
for it and in som drawenett or other have caught it. But where might
these lost shrewes bee? I suspect this pestiferous _Je vous prie_ hathe
putt some slovenly tricke or other to cheate my mayster boathe of his
ware and mony.

_Enter Scribonia with an empty pale to y'e Clow_.

_Scribon_. Thus beinge chered with warmth, and change of clothes,
With all such comforts as the cloyster yeelds,
I am dyrected to a neighbours by
For water to refreshe and wash our selves.
And this shoold bee the howse.

_Clowne_. What! not _Scribonia_,
One of the flock that's missing?

_Scrib_. Oh sweete _Jayms_,
Where is your noble maister?

_Clowne_. Nay, sweete rogue,
Where is his bewteous mystresse?

_Scrib_. Heare within.

_Clowne_. In this place joyninge to the monastery?
And _Mildewe_ too?

_Scrib_. Rott on that villeyne! no.

_Clowne_. Hee promist to bringe you too alonge and meete with my master
and som others of his frends att supper.

_Scrib_. Can such men, ever false unto theire God,
Keepe faythe with men at any tyme?

_Clowne. _But staye, staye, there's one riddle I cannot expound: howe
com thou so suddenly to lepp out of a howse of roguery into a howse of
religion, from a stewes to a cloyster, from beastleness to blessednes
and from a sacrilegious place to a sanctuary?

_Scrib_. Such was the grace heaven sent us, who from perill,
Danger of lyfe, the extreamest of all extreames
Hathe brought us to the happy patronage
Of this most reverent abbott.

_Clowne_. What dangers? what extreames?

_Scrib_. From the sea's fury, drowneing; for last night
Our shipp was splitt, wee cast upon these rocks.

_Clowne_. Sayd in a jest, in deede! Shipwreck by land![86] I perceive
you tooke the woodden waggen for a ship and the violent rayne for the
sea, and by cause some one of the wheeles broake and you cast into some
water plashe, you thought the shipp had splitt and you had bene in
danger of drowneinge.

_Scrib_. Are you then ignorant how, late in the even,
With purpose to make better sale of us
And to defraude thy maister, hee shipt us
With all the gold and jewels that hee had,
All which save wee are perisht?

_Clowne_. But that caterpiller, that ould catamiting cankerworme,
what's become of him?

_Scrib_. Dead I hope, with drinkinge of salte water.

_Clowne_. I would all of his profession had pledged him the same
healthe. But how doth _Palestra_ take this?

_Scrib_. Gladd to bee rid of such a slavery,
Yet sadly weepinge for her casket's losse,
That which included ample testimony
Bothe of her name and parents.

_Clowne_. All her ill luck go with it![87]--Heere will be simple newes
to bringe to my mayster when hee hears shee hath bene shippwreckt! Il
make him beleeve I went a fishinge for her to sea and eather drewe her
ashore in my netts, or batinge my hooke strooke her and drewe her upp
by the gills with myne angle. Make you hast for I'l staye till you
come back. [_Exit_.

_Scrib_. But this delaye had allmost putt me from
What I was sent about; yes this is the place.
[_Knocks_.

_Enter Godfrey_.

[_Godf_.] Whoes that that offers violens to these gates
That never yet offended? What want you?

_Scrib_. That which the earthe
Dothe forebidd none, and freely yelds to all,
A little fayre springe water.

_Godfr_.--One of those giurles
Beelyke this morninge shippwrackt and now scapt?
A dainty peece of maydes fleshe. Such sweete bitts
Are not heare often swallowed, and my mouth
Waters at this fine morsell.

_Scrib_. Water, frend;
Tis that I crave for heaven's sake.

_Godfr_. Wee have none
Of guift, unless you by't.

_Scrib_. Will you sell that
The earthe affourds you gratis, and sett pryse
Of what a foe would yeeld an enemy?

_Godfr_. Not, pretty lasse, so thou'lt afford mee that,
Freely and without bargen, which not only
One frend will to another but oft tymes
A stranger to a stranger.

_Scrib_. What's that, prithee?

_Godfr_. Only a kisse, sweete wensh.

_Scrib_. Ye are too familiar,
I'l by none at that pryse: or fill my pale
Or I'l returne back empty.

_Godfr_. Well for once
I will not greatly stand out, yet in hope,
That what att our fyrst meetinge you'l not grant
You'l not denye at partinge; reatch thy pale.

_Scrib_. Quick as you love mee.

_Godfr_. As you love mee! right:
Who[88] ever lov'd that lov'd not att fyrst sight?
The poet's excellent sayeinge.
[_Exit[89] to draw water_.

_Scrib_. What shall I saye or howe shall I excuse
This my longe staye? but nowe I cast myne eyes
Backe on the roughe yet unappeased seas,
I quake to thinke upon our dangers past.
But see the fearefull object of a death
More menacinge and affrightfull, a sea monster
Cast from the deepes to swallow us ashore!
Malevolent fate and black desaster still
Pursues us to all places, but of all
_Enter Myldew and Sarlaboys to her_.
This, this the greatest, and to this one compard
All that are past but trifles. Oh that grand maister
Of mechall[90] lusts, that bulke of brothelree,
That stillary of all infectious sinnes,
Hath scapt the wrack, and with his fellowe guest
And partner in corruption makes this waye,
And with no tarde pace. Where shall I hyde mee!
Whether shall I fly to _Palestra_ back
And with this sadd relation kill her quite
That's scarce recovered! rather, you hy powers,
Then to prolonge our griefes, shorten our howers.
[_Exit_.

_Godfr_. Where[91] is my daynty damosella? where?
Mee thought the water mett mee the half way
And lept up full three stepps to meete my pale.
This 'tis when as a man goes willingly
About his busines. Howe fresh a kisse will tast
From her whyte lipps! and every part besydes
From head to toe have bin so lately duckt
And rincht in the salt water. Wheres my sweete?
Not heare? no where? why, hoe, my whytinge mopp[92]
Late scapt from feedinge haddocks! ha, what, gone?
Nay then, go thou too that shee sent mee for,
To him that next shall find thee! yet not so:
This learned pale instructs mee by these letters
That it beelonges unto this monastery.
And iff it shoold be lost by my default
I may be chardged with theft or sacriledge.
No, I'l deliver it to the owners suer,[93]
And this the place.

_Enter the Bawde Mildewe and Sarlaboyse_.

_Mild_. Hee that woold stoody to bee miserable
Lett him forsake the land and putt to sea.
What widgeing,[94] that hath any voyce at all,
Would trust his safety to a rotten planke
That hath on earthe sounde footinge!

_Sarlab_. None but madmen.

_Mild_. Why thou of none, thrifty and well advised,
Stryvest thou to make mee such, where's now the gayne
And proffitt promist? the riche marchandyse
Of lust and whooringe? the greate usury
Got by the sale of wantons? these cursed jewelryes
With all the wealthe and treasure that I had,[95]
All perisht in one bottom, and all, all,
Through thy malicious counsell.

_Sarlab_. Curse thy selfe.
The trusty bark, ore laden with thy sinnes,
Baudryes, grosse lyes, thy theft and perjuryes
Beesydes the burdene of thy ill gott gooddes,
Not able to indure so greate a weight
Was forct to sinke beneathe them.[96]

_Mild_. Out, dogge!

_Sarl_. Out, devill!

_Mild_. By thee I am made nothinge. Oh my giurles
You sweete and never faylinge marchandyse,
Comodityes in all coasts, worthy coyne,
Christiane or heathen! by whom in distresses
I coold have raysed a fortune! more undoone
That I should loose you thus!

_Sarl_. I knowe hee had rather
See halfe a hundred of them burnt[97] a land
Then one destroyde by water. But, oh _Neptune_,
I feare I have supt so much of thy salt brothe
Twill bringe mee to a feavour.

_Mild_. Oh my _Palestra_
And fayre _Scribonia_, weare but you too safe,
Yet som hope weare reserved me.

_Sarl_. I praye, _Mildewe_,
When you so early to the bottom dyv'd,
For whom weare you a fishinge?

_Mild_. Marry, for maydens;
Woold I knewe howe to catch them. But my gutts,
Howe they are sweld with sea brine!

_Sarl_. Tis good phisick
To cure thee of the mangy.

_Mild_. Wretched man!
That have no more left of a magazine
Then these wett cloathes upon mee, nay the woorst
Of all I had and purposely put on
Only to lyv a shipp-board.

_Sarl_. Once to-day
Thou wert in wealthe above mee, nowe the seas have
Left us an equall portion.

_Mild_. In all the wourld
I vowe I am not woorthe a lighted faggott
Or a poore pan of charcoale.

_Sarl_. Justly punisht
Thou that hast all thy lyfe tyme dealt in fyre-woorks,
Stoves and hott bathes to sweet in, nowe to have
Thy teethe to falter in thy head for could
Nimbler then virginall Jacks.[98]

_Mild_. Th'art a sweete guest.

_Sarl_. Too good for such an host, better to have bin
Lodgd in som spittle; or, if possible,
To bee imprisoned in som surgeon's box
That smells of salves and plasters.

_Mild_. Nowe what sharke
Or wyde-mouth'd whale shall swallowe upp my budgett,
May it at th'instant choake him!

_Sarl_. Cursedly twas got,
And nowe thy curse goes with it.

_Mild_. But those giurles!
Nought so much greives mee as to part with them
Before they lost theire maiden-headds. Had they lyvd
Till I had seen them women, and oth' trade,
My tast and care bestowed to bringe them upp
I should have thought well spent, which nowe with them
Is meerely cast away.

_Enter Godfrey_.

_Sarlab_. Peace now your pratinge and heare another spirit.

_Godfr_.[99] The pale religious, which was the pledge
Of a kisse lascivious, I have given backe,
Ey, and to boote the water; but within
There's such a coyle betwixt the 2 young giurles
Such quakinge, shakinge, quiveringe, shiveringe
Such cryeinge, and such talk of flyinge, then of hyding,
And that there's no abydinge; one cryes out and calls,
The others redy to breake downe the walls;
Then weepinge they whisper together,
And saye they woold roone if they knew whither,
And are indeede putt to such strange affrights
That I was afrayde they weare hunted with sprights,
And therefore cam and left them: lass, poor giurles,
They are in piteous feare.

_Mild_. Hee talkt of guerles: why may not these bee they,
Escapt as wee? staye, younge man, good frend, staye.

_Godf_. Too ould drown'd ratts: I'l have som sport with them,
And though I pitty those I'l play with these.

_Mild_. What gurles weare those thou spakest of?

_Sarl_. Tell us fyrst
Where wee might finde som comfort.

_Godf_. Lett us oh lett us bee advys'd
And living still to all men,
So though wee bee but midle sizd
Wee shalbe held no small men.

_Mild_. Concerning these fayre damosels, speake of that.

_Sarl_. Which now concernes us most, where may wee meete
With warmth, with foode, and shelter?

_Godf_. Oh thou that dost demand of mee
Som fyre, som meate and harbor,
I see thou lately hast ben washt,
Hath _Neptune_ ben thy barbor?

_Sarl_. This fellowe mearely flowtes our misery,
And laughs att our distresses.

_Mild_. But, kind frende,
Concerninge these yonge women, are they fayre?

_Godf_. Fayre flesh and cleane they bothe appeare
And not lyke gypsies umber'd.

_Mild_. How many?

_Godf_. Just as thou and I when wee are
Once but number'd.

_Mild_. Oh, _Sarleboys_, there's comfort in these woords;
They have allredy warmed my hart within,
Why may not these bee they?

_Sarl_. Bee they or not,
I had rather see one caudell downe my throate,
To wash downe this salt-water, than bee mayster
Of all the wenshes lyveinge.

_Mild_. Oh where, where,
Where might I see too such?

_Godf_. Thou that goest sydewayes lyke a crabb, gapst on mee
lyke an oyster,
Followe thy flat nose and smell them there, in th'out part of
this cloyster.

_Mild_. Oh maye this peece of earthe proove happy to mee
As hath the sea bin fatall.

_Sarl_. I'l followe and coold wish
Boath cloyster and whole villadge weare a fyre
Only to dry my clothes by.

_Godf_. Marry hange you
You that so late scaped drowning for I take you
For too pestiferous rascalls.

_Exeunt_.

Explicit Actus 2.

_Act 3_.

SCENE 1.

_Enter the Lady de Averne with a letter in her hand
readinge, and with her mayde_.

_Lady_. And howe came you by this?

_Mayde_. Followinge you to th'chappell
And I protest not thinking anythinge,
Fryar _Jhon_ o'th suddeine pluckt mee by the sleeve
And whisperd in myne eare to give that to you,
But privatly, bycause it was a thinge
Only toweard your person.

_Lady_. Twas well doonne;
But prithee do no more so, for this tyme
Tak't for a warninge.

_Mayde_. Madam I am skool'd.

_Lady_. Doo so, or ever loose me. Heeres[100] sweet stuffe!
Can this be in a vowed monastick lyfe
Or to be fownd in churchmen? 'tis a question
Whether to smyle or vex, to laughe or storme,
Bycause in this I finde the cause of boathe.
What might this sawcy fellowe spy in mee
To incorradge such a boldnes? yes this letter
Instructs mee what: he seythe my affability
And modest smiles, still gracinge his salutes,
Moovd him to wryte. Oh what a chary care then
Had womene neede have boathe of lipps and eyes
When every fayre woord's censur'd liberty,
And every kind looke meere licensiousnes!
I have bin hitherto so greate a stranger
To these unus'd temptations that in truthe
I knowe not howe to take this. Sylly fryar!
Madnes or folly, one of these't must bee.
If th'one I pity, at the other laughe,
And so no more reguard it.

_Maid_. Madam, if ought bee in that letter ill,
Mee thinks 'tis good [that] you can tak't so well.

_Lady_. Peace you; a braineles weake, besotted fellowe!
But lett mee better recollect myself.
Madnes nor folly, and add lust to them,
Durst not in fury, heate, or Ignorans,
Have tempted my unquestioned chastity
Without a fowrth abetter, jealousy.
The more I ponder that, I more suspect
By that my Lord should have a hand in this,
And,[101] knowinge there's such difference in our yeares,
To proove my feythe might putt this triall on mee.
Else how durst such a poore penurious fryar
Oppose such an unheard of Impudens
Gaynst my incensed fury and revendge?
My best is therefore, as I am innocent,
To stooddy myne owne safety, showe this letter,
Which one [?] my charity woold have conceiled,
And rather give him upp a sacrifice
To my lord's just incensement then indanger
Myne owne unblemisht truthe and loyalty
By incurringe his displeasure; heare hee coms.

_Enter the Lord de Averne with som followers;
his man Denis_

_L. Averne_. Howe, Lady? reading?

_Lady_. Yes, a letter, sir.

_L. Averne_. Imparts it any newes?

_Lady_. Yes, syr, strange newes,
And scarce to bee beleaved.

_Lord Av_. Forreyne.

_Lady_. Nay, domestick,
Tis howsehould busines all.

_Lord Av_. May I impart it?

_Lady_. Oh, syr, in any case,
As one it most concernes; but I intreate you,
Reade it with patiens; the simplicity
Of him that writte it will afford you mirthe,
Or else his mallice spleane.--Nowe by his temper
And change of countenance I shall easily find
Whose hand was cheife in this.

_Lord Av_. All leave the place.

_Denis_. We shall, syr.

_Lord Av_. Possible
That this shoold bee in man, nay in man vowed
Unto a strickt abstemious chastity!
From my owne creature and from one I feede,
Nay from a place built in my holiest vowes,
Establisht in my purpose in my lyfe,
Maintayn'd from my revenue, after death
Firm'd and assur'd to all posterityes--
That that shoold breede such vipers!

_Lady_. Patiens, syr; the fellowe suer is madd.

_Lord Av_. I can be madd as hee too and I will.
Thus to abuse my goodnes! in a deede
Som woold hold meritorious, att the least
Intended for an act of piety,
To suffer in my zeale! nay to bee mockt
In my devotion, by these empty drones
That feede upon the honey of my hyve!
To invert my good intentements, turne this nest
[_Ink: paper ready_.
I built for prayer unto a bedd of sinnes!
Which thus I'l punish; this religious place,
Once vowed to sanctity, I'l undermyne
And in one instant blowe the structure upp
With all th'unhallowed covent.

_Lady_. Praye, no extreames:
Where one offends shall for his heighnous fact
So many suffer? there's no justyce in't.

_Lord Av_. Som justyce I would showe them heare on earthe
Before they finde it multiplyed in heaven.

_Lady_. For my sake, syr, do not for one man's error
Destroy a woorke of perpetuity,
By which your name shall lyve. One man offends;
Lett the delinquent suffer.

_Lord Av_. So't shallbe,
And thou hast well advysed. Som pen and Inke theire!

_Lady_. What purpose you?

_Lord Av_. That's soly to my selfe
And in my fyxt thoughts stands irreproovable.

_Enter Dennis with pen, inke, and paper_.

Syr, heares pen inke and paper.

_Lord Av_. To his letter
My self will give him answer. (_writes_)

_Denis_. Suer all's not well that on the suddane thus
My lord is so distempered.

_Lady_. I have, I feare,
Styr'd such a heate, that nought save blood will quensh:
But wish my teares might doo't; hee's full of storme,
And that in him will not bee easily calmd.
His rage and troble both pronounce him guiltles
Of this attempt, which makes mee rather doubt
Hee may proove too seveare in his revendge,
Which I with all indevour will prevent
Yet to the most censorious I appeale,
What coold I lesse have doone to save myne honor
From suffringe beneathe skandall?

_Lord Av_. See, heare's all:
'Tis short and sweete, wryte this in your own hand
Without exchange of the least sillable.
Insert in copiinge no suspitious dash,
No doubtfull comma; then subscribe your name,
Seal't then with your own signet and dispatche it
As I will have dyrected; doo't, I charge you,
Without the least demurre or fallacy.
By dooinge this you shall prevent distrust
Or future breach beetwixt us; you shall further
Expresse a just obediens.

_Lady_. Syr, I shall,
What ere your concealed purpose bee, I shall.

_Lord Av_. Provyde mee horses, I will ryde.

_Denis_. When, syr?

_Lord Av_. Instantly, after dinner, and gie't out
I am not to returne till three dayes hence,
So spreade it throughe the howse.

_Denis_. What followers, Syr,
Meane you to take alonge?

_Lord Av_. Thyself, no more,
For 'tis a private busines, and withall;
Provyde mee,--harke thyne eare.

_Denis_. A stronge one, Syrr.

_Lord Av_. One that will howld; withall give pryvate order
At night the guarden gates may bee left open,
By whiche wee may returne unknowne to any.
What I intend lyes heare.

_Denis_. All wee servants
Are bownd to doo, but not examine what;
That's out of our comission.

_Lord Av_. 'Twixt us too
I shall resolve thee further.

_Denis_. I am gone, Syr.

_Lord Av_. Nowe, sweete ladye, have you doon?

_Lady_. As you commanded.

_Lord Av_. Itt wants nothinge nowe
But seale and superscription; I'l see't doone.
And marke mee nowe; at evensonge, passinge through
The cloyster to the chappell, when the fryar
Amongst the rest bowes with his wonted duckes,
Add rather then deminish from your smiles
And wonted favours. Let this shee post then
Conveigh this letter to the fryar's close fist,
Who no dowbt gapes for answer.

_Lady_. All shall bee
As you instructe; but punishe, syr, with pitty;
Putt him to payne or shame, but deathe, alas,
Is too seveare.

_Lord Av_. Tush, wyfe, feare not; think'st thou Ile
quale[102] a churchman?
[_Exeunt_.

SCENE 2.

_Enter after a great noyse within, the Clowne,
meetinge with Ashburne and Godfrey_.

_Clowne_. If this villadge bee inhabited with men as this place within
is with monsters; if with men that have eyes and can distinguishe bewty,
or that have hartes and therfore saver of pitty; if you bee fathers and
know what belonges to children, or christians and therefore what is ment
by charity; if husbandmen and have hope of your harvest, or marchants of
your trade's increase; if fishermen that would thryve by your labours,
or any of all these that would be knowne by your honesty--

_Ashburne_. Many of those thou namest have place in us,
Great'st part if not all.

_Clowne_. Then lend your helpeinge hands to succor, releive, defend,
deliver, save, serve, patronadge, abett and mynteyn--

_Ashb_. Whom, what?

_Clowne_. Bewty, vertue, purity, syncerity, softnes, sweetenes,
innocens, and chastity.

_Ashb_. Gainst what? gainst whome?

_Cl_. Oppression, frawde, rudenes, reproch, synn, shame, debate,
discourse, theft, rapine, contempt of religion and breach of sanctury,
against a magazine of misdemeanors and a whole monopoly of mischeif.

_Godf_. I knowe the busines, syr, if in that place
These are the too distressed wrecks at sea
We sawe this morninge floatinge, sweeter guerles
I never yet sett ey on, and opprest
By too ill lookeinge raskells that to warme them
Wisht all the towne a bonefire--

_Ashb_. Miscreant slaves!
For one younge damsell's sake I once cald daughter,
And in the absens of there greater frends,
I'l stand betwixt them and these injuryes.

_Clowne_. These are they after whome I have been seeking, and my mayster
was enquiringe. If you will but secure them heare in the villadge whilst
I carry woord to my mayster in the citty, you shall doo me a curtesye
and him a most noble offyce.[103]

_Ashb_. It was no more then promisse, and I shoold
Fayle in my goodnes not to see that doone.
Post to thy mayster, bid him meete us heare:
Mean tyme my menn shall rayse the villagers
Boathe in the reskewe of these innocent maydes
And in defens of holly priveledge.

_Clowne_. I fly lyke the winds.

_Godf_. And I'l go call the pesants
To rayse another tempest.

[_Exeunt[104] Clown and Godfrey_.

_Ashb_. Hasten boathe
And till ayde com I'l laye myne eare and listen
To heare what further coyle is kept within:
All's silent on the sudden.
_Musick_.

[_Song within_.]

(1) Helpe, Helpe, oh ayde a wretched mayde
or els we are undoon then.

(2) And have I caught, and have I caught you?
in vayne it is to roonne then.

(1) Som reskewe then[105] from gods or men
redeeme us from these crosses!

(2) Tis all in vayne, since nowe I gaine
part of my former losses.

(1) Oh heaven, defend! what, yet no end
of these our strange desasters?

(2) No favour's knowne, no pittye's showne
to them that fly there maysters.

(1) Why to defame, reproch, and shame
poor innocents thus dragge yee?

(2) With[106] your offens there's no dispence:
away then! wherefore lagge yee?

_A tumult within and sudden noyse. Enter at one doore
Godfrey with country fellowes for there reskewe, at the
other Mildewe, Sarlaboys, Palestra, Scribonia_.

_Palest_. Where, in what place shall wee bestowe our selfes
From this injust man's fury?

_Scrib_. If compeld
And dragg'd from sanctuary by prophane hands,
Where shall we flye to safety?

_Ashb_. Wheither, if
Not unto us? wee often see the gods
Give and bequeathe there justyce unto men,
Which wee as fythefully [_sic_] will see performed.

_All_. Downe with these saucy companyons!

_Godf_. Downe with these sacraligious silsepaereales [?], these
unsanctified _Sarlaboyses_ that woold make a very seralia of the
sanctuary, and are meare renegadoes to all religion!

_Mild_. Stay, hold, are you bandetty? rovers, theives,
And wayte you heare to robb and pilladge us
The sea so late hathe ryfled? these are myne,
My chattells and my goodes, nor can you cease them
As wrecks; I appeale unto the admirall.

_Ash_. His power I in his absens will supply,
And cease yee all as forfett; these as goodds
You as superfluous ladinge, till that coort
Shall compremise betwixt us.

_Mild_. I'the meanetyme
Lett mee possesse myne owne; these are my slaves
My utensills, my mooveables, and bought
With myne owne private coyne.

_Sarl_. To which I am witnes.

_Mild_. And by the heyre I'l dragge them as myne owne,
Wear't from the holly alter.

_Pal_. Succor!

_Scrib_. Helpe!

_Ashb_. Are they not Christians?

_Mild_. Yes.

_Ash_. What nation?

_Mild_. _Englishe_.

_Ashb_. In myne owne country borne and shall not I
Stand as theire champion then? I tell thee, pesant,
_England_'s, no broode for slaves.

_Pal_. Oh Syr to you
Wee fly as to a father.

_Ashb_. And I'l guard you
As weare you myne owne children.

_Mild_. Gainst there lord,
Owner and mayster?

_Ashb_. None is lordd with us
But such as are freeborne; our Christian lawes
Do not allowe such to bee bought or sould
For any Bawde or pander to hyre such
To comon prostitution. Heere they stand:
Tutch but a garment, nay a heyre of theres
With thy least finger, thy bald head I'l sinke
Belowe thy gowtye foote.

_Mild_. I am opprest,
Is theire no lawe in _France_?

_Ashb_. Yes, Syr, to punish
These chastityes seducers.

_Mild_. Give me fyar,
I will not leive of all this monastery
Of you or these, of what's combustible,
Naye of my self, one moiety unconsumed.

_Godf_. His frend before him wisht the towne a fyre,
Now hee would burne the cloyster: too arch-pillers![107]

_Ashb_. And lyke such
Our purpose is to use them. Dare not, miscreant,
But to give these a menace whom thou calst thyne,

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