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Beaumont & Fletcher's Works (1 of 10) - The Custom of the Country by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Part 3 out of 3

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_Rut._ I thank you friend, I would speak with your Lady.

_Ser._ I'le let her understand.

_Rut._ It shall befit you.
How do I look Sir, in this handsome trim? [_Exit_ Servant.
Me thinks I am wondrous brave.

_Duar._ You are very decent.

_Rut._ These by themselves, without more helps of nature,
Would set a woman hard; I know 'em all,
And where their first aims light; I'le lay my head on't,
I'le take her eye, as soon as she looks on me,
And if I come to speak once, woe be to her,
I have her in a nooze, she cannot scape me;
I have their several lasts.

_Dua._ You are throughly studied,
But tell me Sir, being unacquainted with her,
As you confess you are--

_Rut._ That's not an hours work,
I'le make a Nun forget her beads in two hours.

_Dua._ She being set in years, next none of those lusters
Appearing in her eye, that warm the fancy;
Nor nothing in her face, but handsom ruines.

_Rut._ I love old stories: those live believ'd, Authentique,
When 20. of your modern faces are call'd in,
For new opinion, paintings, and corruptions;
Give me an old confirm'd face; besides she sav'd me,
She sav'd my life, have I not cause to love her?
She's rich and of a constant state, a fair one,
Have I not cause to wooe her? I have tryed sufficient
All your young Phillies, I think this back has try'd 'em,
And smarted for it too: they run away with me,
Take bitt between the teeth, and play the Devils;
A staied pace now becomes my years; a sure one,
Where I may sit and crack no girths.

_Dua._ How miserable,
If my Mother should confirm, what I suspect now,
Beyond all humane cure were my condition!
Then I shall wish, this body had been so too.
Here comes the Lady Sir.

_Enter_ Guiomar.

_Rut._ Excellent Lady,
To shew I am a creature, bound to your service,
And only yours--

_Guio._ Keep at that distance Sir;
For if you stir--

_Rut._ I am obedient.
She has found already, I am for her turn;
With what a greedy hawks eye she beholds me!
Mark how she musters all my parts.

_Guio._ A goodly Gentleman,
Of a more manly set, I never look'd on.

_Rut._ Mark, mark her eyes still; mark but the carriage of 'em.

_Guio._ How happy am I now, since my Son fell,
He fell not by a base unnoble hand!
As that still troubled me; how far more happy
Shall my revenge be, since the Sacrifice,
I offer to his grave, shall be both worthy
A Sons untimely loss, and a Mothers sorrow!

_Rut._ Sir, I am made believe it; she is mine own,
I told you what a spell I carried with me,
All this time does she spend in contemplation
Of that unmatch'd delight: I shall be thankfull to ye;
And if you please to know my house, to use it;
To take it for your own.

_Guio._ Who waits without there?

_Enter_ Guard, _and_ Servants, _they seize upon_ Rut. _and bind him._

_Rut._ How now? what means this, Lady?

_Guio._ Bind him fast.

_Rut._ Are these the bride-laces you prepare for me?
The colours that you give?

_Dua._ Fye Gentle Lady,
This is not noble dealing.

_Guio._ Be you satisfied,
I[t] seems you are a stranger to this meaning,
You shall not be so long.

_Rut._ Do you call this wooing--Is there no end of womens persecutions?
Must I needs fool into mine own destruction?
Have I not had fair warnings, and enough too?
Still pick the Devils teeth? you are not mad Lady;
Do I come fairly, and like a Gentleman,
To offer you that honour?

_Guio._ You are deceiv'd Sir,
You come besotted, to your own destruction:
I sent not for you; what honour can ye add to me,
That brake that staff of honour, my age lean'd on?
That rob'd me of that right, made me a Mother?
Hear me thou wretched man, hear me with terrour,
And let thine own bold folly shake thy Soul,
Hear me pronounce thy death, that now hangs o're thee,
Thou desperate fool; who bad thee seek this ruine?
What mad unmanly fate, made thee discover
Thy cursed face to me again? was't not enough
To have the fair protection of my house,
When misery and justice close pursued thee?
When thine own bloudy sword, cryed out against thee,
Hatcht in the life of him? yet I forgave thee.
My hospitable word, even when I saw
The goodliest branch of all my blood lopt from me,
Did I not seal still to thee?

_Rut._ I am gone.

_Guio._ And when thou went'st, to Imp thy miserie,
Did I not give thee means? but hark ungratefull,
Was it not thus? to hide thy face and fly me?
To keep thy name for ever from my memory?
Thy cursed blood and kindred? did I not swear then,
If ever, (in this wretched life thou hast left me,
Short and unfortunate,) I saw thee again,
Or came but to the knowledge, where thou wandredst,
To call my vow back, and pursue with vengeance
With all the miseries a Mother suffers?

_Rut._ I was born to be hang'd, there's no avoiding it.

_Guio._ And dar'st thou with this impudence appear here?
Walk like the winding sheet my Son was put in,
Stand with those wounds?

_Dua._ I am happy now again;
Happy the hour I fell, to find a Mother,
So pious, good, and excellent in sorrows.

_Enter a_ Servant.

_Ser._ The Governour's come in.

_Guio._ O let him enter.

_Rut._ I have fool'd my self a fair thred of all my fortunes,
This strikes me most; not that I fear to perish,
But that this unmannerly boldness has brought me to it.

_Enter_ Governour, Clodio, Charino.

_Gov._ Are these fit preparations for a wedding Lady?
I came prepar'd a guest.

_Guio._ O give me justice;
As ever you will leave a vertuous name,
Do justice, justice, Sir.

_Gove._ You need not ask it,
I am bound to it.

_Guio._ Justice upon this man
That kill'd my Son.

_Gove._ Do you confess the act?

_Rut._ Yes Sir.

_Clod._ _Rutilio_?

_Char._ 'Tis the same.

_Clod._ How fell he thus?
Here will be sorrow for the good _Arnoldo_.

_Gove._ Take heed Sir what you say.

_Rut._ I have weigh'd it well,
I am the man, nor is it life I start at;
Only I am unhappy I am poor,
Poor in expence of lives, there I am wretched,
That I have not two lives lent me for his sacrifice;
One for her Son, another for her sorrows.
Excellent Lady, now rejoyce again,
For though I cannot think, y'are pleas'd in blood,
Nor with that greedy thirst pursue your vengeance;
The tenderness, even in those tears denies that;
Yet let the world believe, you lov'd _Duarte_;
The unmatcht courtesies you have done my miseries;
Without this forfeit to the law, would charge me
To tender you this life, and proud 'twould please you.

_Guio._ Shall I have justice?

_Gover._ Yes.

_Rut._ I'le ask it for ye,
I'le follow it my self, against my self.
Sir, 'Tis most fit I dye; dispatch it quickly,
The monstrous burthen of that grief she labours with
Will kill her else, then blood on blood lyes on me;
Had I a thousand lives, I'd give 'em all,
Before I would draw one tear more from that vertue.

_Guio._ Be not too cruel Sir, and yet his bold sword--
But his life cannot restore that, he's a man too--
Of a fair promise, but alas my Son's dead;
If I have justice, must it kill him?

_Gov._ Yes.

_Guio._ If I have not, it kills me, strong and goodly!
Why should he perish too?

_Gover._ It lies in your power,
You only may accuse him, or may quit him.

_Clod._ Be there no other witnesses?

_Guio._ Not any.
And if I save him, will not the world proclaim,
I have forgot a Son, to save a murderer?
And yet he looks not like one, he looks manly.

_Hip._ Pity so brave a Gentleman should perish.
She cannot be so hard, so cruel hearted.

_Guio._ Will you pronounce? yet stay a little Sir.

_Rut._ Rid your self, Lady, of this misery;
And let me go, I do but breed more tempests,
With which you are already too much shaken.

_Guio._ Do now, pronounce; I will not hear.

_Dua._ You shall not,
Yet turn and see good Madam.

_Gove._ Do not wonder.
'Tis he, restor'd again, thank the good Doctor,
Pray do not stand amaz'd, it is _Duarte_;
Is well, is safe again.

_Guio._ O my sweet Son,
I will not press my wonder now with questions--
Sir, I am sorry for that cruelty,
I urg'd against you.

_Rut._ Madam, it was but justice.

_Dua._ 'Tis [t]rue, the Doctor heal'd this body again,
But this man heal'd my soul, made my minde perfect,
The good sharp lessons his sword read to me, sav'd me;
For which, if you lov'd me, dear Mother,
Honour and love this man.

_Guio._ You sent this letter?

_Rut._ My boldness makes me blush now.

_Guio._ I'le wipe off that,
And with this kiss, I take you for my husband,
Your wooing's done Sir; I believe you love me,
And that's the wealth I look for now.

_Rut._ You have it.

_Dua._ You have ended my desire to all my wishes.

_Gov._ Now 'tis a wedding again. And if _Hippolyta_
Make good, what with the hazard of her life,
She undertook, the evening will set clear

_Enter_ Hippolyta, _leading_ Leopold, Arnoldo, Zenocia, _in either hand_,
Zabulon, Sulpitia.

After a stormy day.

_Char._ Here comes the Lady.

_Clod._ With fair _Zenocia_,
Health with life again
Restor'd unto her.

_Zen._ The gift of her goodness.

_Rut._ Let us embrace, I am of your order too,
And though I once despair'd of women, now
I find they relish much of Scorpions,
For both have stings, and both can hurt, and cure too;
But what have been your fortunes?

_Arn._ Wee'l defer
Our story, and at time more fit, relate it.
Now all that reverence vertue, and in that
_Zenocias_ constancy, and perfect love,
Or for her sake _Arnoldo_, join with us
In th' honour of this Lady.

_Char._ She deserves it.

_Hip._ _Hippolytas_ life shall make that good hereafter,
Nor will I alone better my self but others:
For these whose wants perhaps have made their actions
Not altogether innocent, shall from me
Be so supplied, that need shall not compel them,
To any course of life, but what the law
Shall give allowance to.

_Zab._ _Sulpitia_, Your Ladiships creatures.

_Rut._ Be so, and no more you man-huckster.

_Hip._ And worthy _Leopold_, you that with such fervour,
So long have sought me, and in that deserv'd me,
Shall now find full reward for all your travels,
Which you have made more dear by patient sufferance.
And though my violent dotage did transport me,
Beyond those bounds, my modesty should have kept in,
Though my desires were loose, from unchast art
Heaven knows I am free.

_Leop._ The thought of that's dead to me;
I gladly take your offer.

_Rut._ Do so Sir,
A piece of crackt gold ever will weigh down
Silver that's whole.

_Gov._ You shall be all my guests,
I must not be denyed.

_Arn._ Come my _Zenocia_.
Our bark at length has found a quiet harbour;
And the unspotted progress of our loves
Ends not alone in safety, but reward,
To instruct others, by our fair example;
That though good purposes are long withstood,
The hand of Heaven still guides such as are good.

[_Ex. omnes._

* * * * *

The Prologue.

_So free this work is, Gentlemen, from offence,
That we are confident, it needs no defence
From us, or from the Poets--we dare look
On any man, that brings his Table-book
To write down, what again he may repeat
At some great Table, to deserve his meat.
Let such come swell'd with malice, to apply
What is mirth here, there for an injurie.
Nor Lord, nor Lady we have tax'd; nor State,
Nor any private person, their poor hate
Will be starved here, for envy shall not finde
One touch that may be wrested to her minde.
And yet despair not, Gentlemen, The play
Is quick and witty; so the Poets say,
And we believe them; the plot neat, and new,
Fashion'd like those, that are approv'd by you.
Only 'twill crave attention, in the most;
Because one point unmarked, the whole is lost.
Hear first then, and judge after, and be free,
And as our cause is, let our censure be._


_Why there should be an Epilogue to a play,
I know no cause: the old and usuall way,
For which they were made, was to entreat the grace
Of such as were spectators in this place,
And time, 'tis to no purpose; for I know
What you resolve already to bestow,
Will not be alter'd, what so e're I say,
In the behalf of us, and of the Play;
Only to quit our doubts, if you think fit,
You may, or cry it up, or silence it._

Another Prologue for the Custom of the Country.

_We wish, if it were possible, you knew
What we would give for this nights look, if new.
It being our ambition to delight
Our kind spectators with what's good, and right.
Yet so far know, and credit me, 'twas made
By such, as were held work-men in their Trade,
At a time too, when they as I divine,
Were truly merrie, and drank lusty wine,
The nectar of the Muses; Some are here
I dare presume, to whom it did appear
A well-drawn piece, which gave a lawfull birth
To passionate Scenes mixt with no vulgar mirth.
But unto such to whom 'tis known by fame
From others, perhaps only by the name,
I am a suitor, that they would prepare
Sound palats, and then judge their bill of fare.
It were injustice to decry this now
For being like'd before, you may allow
(Your candor safe) what's taught in the old schools,
All such as liv'd before you, were not fools._

The Epilogue.

_I spake much in the Prologue for the Play,
To its desert I hope, yet you might say
Should I change now from that, which then was meant,
Or in a syllable grow less confident,
I were weak-hearted. I am still the same
In my opinion, and forbear to frame
Qualification, or excuse: If you
Concur with me, and hold my judgement true,
Shew it with any sign, and from this place,
Or send me off exploded, or with grace._


A = The First Folio.

p. 302,
l. 2. A _omits_ Lists of Persons Represented in the Play
and of principal Actors.
l. 49. Second Folio _misprints_] Arnolda.

p. 303,
l. 5. A] And that.
l. 17. A] a conscience.
l. 21. A] Customes.
l. 24. A] In the world.

p. 304,
l. 25. A] it can.
l. 36. A] I A dainty wench.
l. 37. A _omits_] I.

p. 305,
l. 3. Second Folio _misprints_] yon.
l. 11. A] wilde minde.
l. 24. A] a heritage.

p. 306,
l. 14. A] De'e doubt tis day now.
l. 15. A] pulses.

p. 307,
l. 32. A] This rogue that breaks.

p. 308,
l. 7. A] speake.

p. 311,
l. 31. A] alarums.

p. 312,
l. 14. A] this marring.
l. 15. A] sheckles.
ll. 26-28. A adds in the margin] _Boy ready for the songs._

p. 313,
l. 13. A] But such a ransome.
ll. 28 and 29. A _adds_ marginal stage-direction]
_Bowle of wine ready._
l. 31. A] And blushing and unloose.

p. 314,
l. 39. A] alarums.
ll. 7 and 9. Second Folio] Arn.

p. 316,
l. 2. A] Pompean.
l. 19. A] Ile ha' your life.
l. 20. A prints this line as part of Charino's speech.

p. 317,
l. 8. A _omits_] A.
l. 23. A _omits_] o're.

p. 319,
l. 8. A] Lisborne.

p. 321,
l. 21. A] renders.
l. 35. A] Lisborne.

p. 322,
l. 14. A] aboord.
l. 15. A] Yet my disguise.
l. 30. A] the contempt.

p. 325,
l. 10. A] And he in Lisbon.
ll. 22-26. This speech is printed in A as a continuation of

p. 326,
ll. 18 and 19. A _adds_ in the margin] Tapers ready.
l. 20. A] so, like a Turke.
l. 26. Second Folio _misprints_] Of what.
l. 34. Second Folio _misprints_] embace.

p. 327,
ll. 2-10. A gives all these lines to Rutilio.

p. 328,
ll. 5 and 6. A _adds_ in margin] Lights ready.
l. 33. A _omits_] Fight.
l. 35. A _omits_] Falls.
l. 38. Second Folio _misprints_] Governous.

p. 329,
l. 4. A _omits_] 1.

p. 331,
l. 30. A prints marginal direction] Hold a purse ready.

p. 333,
l. 14. In A the words 'my state would rather ask a curse'
are printed by mistake between ll. 16 and 17.
l. 23. A] sight.
l. 30. A] her Chamber.

p. 334.
l. 17. A] but to a fortune.
l. 21. A] bucket.
l. 39. A prints the marginal direction (Musicke)
at the end of the following line.

p. 335,
l. 1. A _omits_] 1.
l. 19. A] strike indeed.

p. 336,
l. 1. A] attend her.

p. 341,
ll. 14-16. A by mistake gives these lines as a continuation of
Sulpicia's speech.
l. 33. A] beaten off.

p. 342,
l. 23. A] blow that part.

p. 344,
l. 12. A] affection.

p. 345,
l. 33. A] give that.

p. 346,
l. 4. A] may cease.

p. 350,
l. 18. A] a larum.

p. 352,
l. 5. A] had.
l. 13. Second Folio _misprints_] Portual.

p. 353,
l. 29. A _omits_] will.

p. 354,
l. 25. Second Folio] comanded.

p. 358,
l. 31. A] angers.

p. 359,
l. 13. Second Folio] you.
l. 25 and 26. A transposes these lines.
l. 26. A _omits_] not.

p. 361,
l. 10. A] hopes. Lords againe.
l. 38. A _omits_] and.

p. 365,
l. 27. A] it will not hold.
l. 33. A] lost me an.
l. 34. Second Folio _misprints_] strengthing.
l. 39. A] a dores.

p. 367,
l. 4. A] adventure.
1. 20. Second Folio _misprints_] unwhosom.

p. 368,
l. 38. Second Folio _misprints_] To may you.

p. 369,
l. 27. A _omits_] do.
l. 28. A] maugre.

p. 371,
l. 9. A] sorrowes.
l. 27. A _omits_] and.

p. 372,
l. 18. A] visitance.

p. 373,
l. 3. A] but to read.

p. 375,
l. 11. A] Gives.

p. 376,
l. 2. A] banding.

p. 379,
l. 1. A] a foote.
l. 9. A] stick.
l. 23. A] welcome home, Gentlemen.

p. 380,
l. 36. A] eye.

p. 381,
l. 19. Second Folio] If.

p. 383,
l. 13. A] Doore in.

p. 384,
l. 25. Second Folio _misprints_] rrue.

P. 387,
l. 13. A _adds_] For my Soune Clarke.



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