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A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI by Robert Dodsley

Part 5 out of 9

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by the year;
But if it were to let now, I would let it more dear.

LUCRE.
Indeed, 'tis but a trifle; it makes no matter:
I force not greatly, being but for a quarter.

MERCATORE.
Madonna, me tell ye vat you shall do; let dem to stranger,
dat are content
To dwell in a little room, and to pay much rent:
For you know da Frenchmans and Flemings in dis country be many,
So dat they make shift to dwell ten houses in one very gladly;
And be content a for pay fifty or threescore pound a year
For dat which da Englishmans say twenty mark is too dear.

LUCRE.
Why, Signor Mercatore, think you not that I
Have infinite numbers in London that my want doth supply?
Beside in Bristow, Northampton, Norwich, Westchester, Canterbury,
Dover, Sandwich, Eye, Porchmouth, Plymouth, and many mo,
That great rents upon little room do bestow?
Yes, I warrant you; and truly I may thank the strangers for this,
That they have made houses so dear, whereby I live in bliss.
But, Signor Mercatore, dare you to travel undertake,
And go amongst the Moors, Turks and Pagans for my sake?

MERCATORE.
Madonna, me dare go to de Turks, Moors, Pagans, and more too:
What do me care, and me go to da great devil for you?
Command a me, madam, and you shall see plain,
Dat a for your sake me refuse a no pain.

LUCRE.
Then, Signor Mercatore, I am forthwith to send ye,
From hence to search for some new toys in Barbary and in Turkey;
Such trifles as you think will please wantons best,
For you know in this country 'tis their chiefest request.

MERCATORE.
Indeed, de gentlewomans here buy so much vain toys,
Dat we strangers laugh a to tink wherein day have their joys.
Fait', Madonna, me will search all da strange countries me can tell,
But me will have sush tings dat please dese gentlewomans vell.

LUCRE.
Why, then, let us provide things ready to haste you away.

MERCATORE.
A vostro commandamento, Madonna, me obey.
[_Exeunt_.

_Enter_ SIMONY _and_ PETER PLEASEMAN, _like a parson_.[186]

SIMONY.
Now proceed with your tale, and I'll hear thee.

PETER.
And so, sir, as I was about to tell you,
This same Presco and this same Cracko be both my parishioners now;
And, sir, they fell out marvellously together about you:
This same Cracko took your part, and said that the clergy
Was upholden by you, and maintained very worshipfully.
So, sir, Presco he would not grant that in no case,
But said that you did corrupt the clergy, and dishonour that holy place.
Now, sir, I was weary to hear them at such great strife,
For I love to please men, so long as I have life:
Therefore I beseech your mastership to speak to Lady Lucre,
That I may be her chaplain, or else to serve her.

SIMONY.
What is your name?

PETER.
Sir Peter.

SIMONY.
What more?

PETER.
Forsooth, Pleaseman.

SIMONY.
Then, your name is Sir Peter Pleaseman?

PETER.
Ay, forsooth.

SIMONY.
And please-woman too, now and then?

PETER.
You know that _homo_ is indifferent.[187]

SIMONY.
Now, surely, a good scholar in my judgment!
I pray, at what university were ye?

PETER.
Of no university, truly. Marry, I have gone
To school in a college, where I have studied two or three places
of divinity.
And all for Lady Lucre's sake, sir, you may steadfastly believe me.

SIMONY.
Nay. I believe ye. But of what religion are you, can ye tell?

PETER.
Marry, sir, of all religions: I know not myself very well.

SIMONY.
You are a Protestant now, and I think to that you will grant?

PETER.
Indeed I have been a Catholic: marry, now for the most part, a Protestant.
But, and if my service may please her--hark in your ear, sir--
I warrant you my religion shall not offend her.

SIMONY.
You say well; but if I help you to such great preferment,
Would you be willing that for my pain
I shall have yearly half the gain?
For it is reason, you know, that if I help you to a living,
That you should unto me be somewhat beholding.

PETER.
Ay, sir; and reason good; I'll be as your mastership please:
I care not what you do, so I may live at ease.

SIMONY.
Then, this man is answered. Sir Peter Pleaseman, come in with me,
And I'll prefer you straightway to my lady.

PETER.
O sir, I thank ye.
[_Exeunt_.

_Enter_ SIMPLICITY, _with a basket on his arm_.

SIMPLICITY.
You think I am going to market to buy roast meat, do ye not?
I thought so; but you are deceived, for I wot what I wot.
I am neither going to the butcher's to buy veal, mutton, or beef,
But I am going to a bloodsucker; and who is it? faith, Usury, that thief.
Why, sirs, 'twas no marcle[188] he undid my father, that was called
Plain-Dealing,
When he has undone my lady and Conscience too with his usuring.
I'll tell ye, sirs, trust him not, for he'll flatter bonfacion[189]
and sore,
Till he has gotten the baker vantage; then he'll turn you out of door.

_Enter_ DISSIMULATION.

DISSIMULATION.
Simplicity, now of my honesty, very heartily well-met.

SIMPLICITY.
What, Semblation, swear not; for thou swearest by that thou couldst
not get.
Thou have honesty now? thy honesty is quite gone:
Marry, thou hadst honesty at eleven of the clock, and went from you
at noon.
Why, how canst thou have honesty, when it dare not come nigh thee?
I warrant, Semblation, he that has less honesty than thou may defy thee.
Thou hast honesty, sir reverence! come out, dog, where art thou?
Even as much[190] honesty as had my mother's great hoggish sow.
No, faith, thou must put out my eye with honesty, and thou hadst it here:
Hast not left it at the alehouse in gage for a pot of strong beer?

DISSIMULATION.
Pray thee, leave prating, Simplicity, and tell me what thou hast there.

SIMPLICITY.
Why, 'tis nothing for thee: thou dost not deal with such kind of ware.
Sirrah, there is no deceit in a bag-pudding, is there? nor in a plain
pudding-pie?
But there is deceit, and knavery too, in thy fellow that is called
Usury.[191]
Sirrah, I'll tell thee; I won[192] not tell thee; and yet I'll tell
thee, now I 'member me, too.
Canst tell, or wouldst know whither with this parliament I go?[193]
Faith, even to Suck-Swill, thy fellow Usury, I am sent
With my Lady Love's gown, and Lady Conscience' too, for a quarter's rent.

DISSIMULATION.
Alas! poor Lady Love, art thou driven so low?
Some little pittance on thee I'll bestow.
Hold, Simplicity: carry her three or four ducats from me,
And commend me to her even very heartily.

SIMPLICITY.
Duck-eggs? yes, I'll carry 'em, and 'twere as many as this would hold.

DISSIMULATION.
Tush! thou knowest not what I mean: take this, 'tis gold.

SIMPLICITY.
Mass, 'tis gold indeed: why, wilt thou send away thy gold? hast no
more need?
I think thou art grown plaguy rich with thy dissembling trade.
But I'll carry my lady the gold, for this will make her well apaid.

DISSIMULATION.
And, sirrah, carry Lady Love's gown back again; for my fellow Usury
Shall not have her gown: I am sure so much he will befriend me.

SIMPLICITY.
But what shall Conscience' gown do? shall I carry it back again too?

DISSIMULATION.
Nay, let Conscience' gown and skin to Usury go.
If nobody cared for Conscience more than I,
They would hang her up like bacon in a chimney to dry.

SIMPLICITY.
Faith, I told thee thou caredst not for Conscience nor honesty:
I think, indeed, it will never be the death of thee.
But I'll go conspatch my errand so soon as I can, I tell ye,
For now I ha' gold, I would fain have some good meat in my belly.
[_Exit_.

DISSIMULATION.
Nay, I'll hie me after, that I may send back Lady Love's gown,
For I would not have Love bought quite out of town.
Marry, for Conscience, tut, I care not two straws:
Why I should take care for her, I know no kind of cause.
[_Exit_.

_Enter_ HOSPITALITY.

HOSPITALITY.
O, what shall I say? Usury hath undone me, and now he hates me
to the death,
And seeks by all means possible for to bereave me of breath.
I cannot rest in any place, but he hunts and follows me everywhere,
That I know no place to abide, I live so much in fear.
But, out alas! here comes he that will shorten my days.

_Enter_ USURY.

USURY.
O, have I caught your old grey beard? you be the man whom the people
so praise:
You are a frank gentleman, and full of liberality.
Why, who had all the praise in London or England, but Master Hospitality?
But I'll master you now, I'll hold you a groat.

HOSPITALITY.
What, will you kill me?

USURY.
No; I'll do nothing but cut thy throat.

HOSPITALITY.
O help, help, help for God's sake!

_Enter_ CONSCIENCE, _running apace_.

CONSCIENCE.
What lamentable cry was that I heard one make?

HOSPITALITY.
O Lady Conscience! now or never help me.

CONSCIENCE.
Why, what wilt thou do with him, Usury?

USURY.
What will I do with him? marry, cut his throat, and then no more.

CONSCIENCE.
O, dost thou not consider, that thou shalt dearly answer
For Hospitality, that good member? refrain it therefore.

USURY.
Refrain me no refraining, nor answer me no answering:
The matter is answered well enough in this thing.

CONSCIENCE.
For God's sake, spare him! for country-sake, spare him; for pity-sake,
spare him;
For love-sake, spare him; for Conscience-sake, forbear him!

USURY.
Let country, pity, love, Conscience, and all go in respect of myself,
He shall die. Come, ye feeble wretch, I'll dress ye like an elf.

CONSCIENCE.
But yet, Usury, consider the lamentable cry of the poor:
For lack of Hospitality fatherless children are turned out of door.
Consider again the complaint of the sick, blind, and lame,
That will cry unto the Lord for vengeance on thy head in his name.
Is the fear of God so far from thee that thou hast no feeling at all?
O, repent, Usury! leave Hospitality, and for mercy at the Lord's
hand call.

USURY.
Leave prating, Conscience: thou canst not mollify my heart.
He shall, in spite of thee and all other, feel his deadly smart.
Yet I'll not commit the murder openly,
But hale the villain into a corner, and so kill him secretly.
Come, ye miserable drudge, and receive thy death.

HOSPITALITY.
Help, good lady, help! he will stop my breath.

CONSCIENCE.
Alas! I would help thee, but I have not the power.

HOSPITALITY.
Farewell, Lady Conscience: you shall have Hospitality in London
nor England no more.
[_Hale him in_.[194]

CONSCIENCE.
O help! help, help, some good body!

_Enter_ DISSIMULATION _and_ SIMPLICITY _hastily_.

DISSIMULATION.
Who is that calls for help so lustily?[195]

CONSCIENCE.
Out, alas! thy fellow Usury hath killed Hospitality.

SIMPLICITY.
Now, God's blessing on his heart: why, 'twas time that he was dead:
He was an old churl, with never a good tooth in his head.
And he ne'er kept no good cheer that I could see;
For if one had not come at dinner-time, he should have gone away hungry.
I could never get my belly-full of meat;
He had nothing but beef, bread, and cheese for me to eat.
Now I would have had some pies, or bag-puddings with great lumps of fat;
But, I warrant ye,[196] he did keep my mouth well enough from that.
Faith, and he be dead, he is dead: let him go to the devil, and he will;
Or if he will not go thither, let him even lie there still.
I'll ne'er make wamentation for an old churl,
For he has been a great while, and now 'tis time that he were out
of the worl'.

_Enter_ LUCRE.

LUCRE.
What, Conscience, thou look'st like a poor pigeon, pull'd of late.

CONSCIENCE.
What, Lucre, thou lookest like a whore, full of deadly hate.

LUCRE.
Alas! Lucre, I am sorry for thee, but I cannot weep.[197]

CONSCIENCE.
Alas! Lucre, I am sorry for thee that thou canst no honesty keep:
But such as thou art, such are the[198] attenders on thee,
As appears by thy servant Usury, that hath killed that good member
Hospitality.

SIMPLICITY.
Faith, Hospitality is killed, and hath made his will,
And hath given Dissimulation three trees upon an high hill.

LUCRE.
Come hither, Dissimulation, and hie you hence, so fast as you may,
And help thy fellow Usury to convey himself out of the way:
Further will the justices, if they chance to see him, not to know him,
Or know[ing] him, not by any means to hinder him;
And they shall command thrice so much at my hand.
Go trudge, run; out, away: how? dost thou stand!

DISSIMULATION.
Nay, good lady, send my fellow Simony;
For I have an earnest suit to ye.

LUCRE.
Then, Simony, go, do what I have will'd.

SIMONY.
I run, Madam: your mind shall be fulfilled.
[_Exit_.

CONSCIENCE.
Well, well, Lucre, _Audeo et taceo_: I see and say nothing;
But I fear the plague of God on thy head it will bring.

DISSIMULATION.
Good lady, grant that love be your waiting-maid.
For I think, being brought so low, she will be well apaid.

LUCRE.
Speakest thou in good earnest, or dost thou but dissemble?
I know not how to have thee, thou art so variable.

DISSIMULATION.
Lady, though my name be Dissimulation, yet I speak _bon fide_ now.
If it please you my petitions to allow.

_Enter_ SIMONY.

LUCRE.
Stand by: I'll answer thee anon. What news, Simony,
Bringest thou of thy fellow Usury?

SIMONY.
Marry, madam, good news; for Usury lies close,
Hid in a rich man's house, that will not let him loose,
Until they see the matter brought to a good end;
For Usury in this country hath many a good friend:
And late I saw Hospitality carried to burying.

LUCRE.
I pray thee, tell me who were they that followed him?

SIMONY.
There were many of the clergy, and many of the nobility,
And many right worshipful rich citizens,
Substantial graziers,[199] and very wealthy farmers:
But to see how the poor followed him, it was a wonder;
Never yet at any burial I have seen such a number.

LUCRE.
But what say the people of the murder?

SIMONY.
Many are sorry, and say 'tis great pity that he was slain.
But who be they? the poor beggarly people that so complain.
As for the other, they say 'twas a cruel, bloody fact,
But I perceive none will hinder the murderer for this cruel act.

LUCRE.
'Tis well: I am glad of it. Now, Dissimulation, if you can get
Love's good-will,
I am contented with all my heart to grant there-until.

DISSIMULATION.
I thank you, good lady, and I doubt not but she
With a little entreaty will thereto agree.

SIMPLICITY.
Now I have it in my breeches, and very well can tell,
That I and my lady with Mistress Lucre shall dwell;
But if I be her serving-fellow, and dwell there,
I must learn to cog, lie, foist, and swear;
And surely I shall never learn: marry, and 'twere to lie abed all day,
I know to that kind of living I should give a good 'ssay:[200]
Or if 'twere to eat one's meat, then I knew what I had to do.
How say ye, sirrah, can I not? I'll be judg'd[201] by you.

LUCRE.
Now to you, little mouse: did I not tell you before,
That I should, ere 'twere long, turn you both out of door?
How say you, pretty soul, is't come to pass, yea or no?
I think I have pull'd your peacock's plumes somewhat low.
And yet you be so stout as though you felt no grief;
But I know, ere it be long, you will come puling to me for relief.

CONSCIENCE.
Well, Lucre, well: you know pride will have a fall.
What avantageth[202] it thee to win the world, and lose thy soul withal?
Yet better it is to live with little, and keep a conscience clear,
Which is to God a sacrifice, and accounted of most dear.

LUCRE.
Nay, Conscience, and you be bookish, I mean to leave ye;
And the cold ground to comfort your feet I bequeath ye;
Methink, you being so deeply learned may do well to keep a school.
Why, I have seen so cunning a clerk in time to prove a fool.

[_Exeunt_ LUCRE _and_ SIMONY.

SIMPLICITY.
Sirrah, if thou shouldst marry my lady, thou wouldst keep her brave,
For I think now thou art a plaguy rich knave.

DISSIMULATION.
Rich I am, but as for knave, keep [that] to thyself.
Come, give me my lady's gown, thou ass-headed elf.

SIMPLICITY.
Why, I'll go with thee, for I must dwell with my lady.

DISSIMULATION.
Pack hence away, [or] Jack Drum's entertainment:[203] she will
none of thee.
[_Exit_.

SIMPLICITY.
This is as my cousin and I went to Master Nemo's house:
There was nobody to bid a dog drink, or to change a man a louse.
But Lady Conscience--nay, who there?--scratch that name away!
Can she be a lady that is turned out of all her beray?[204]
Do not be call'd more lady, and if you be wise,
For everybody will mock you, and say you be not worth two butterflies.

CONSCIENCE.
What remedy, Simplicity? I cannot do withal.
But what shall we go do? or whereto shall we fall?

SIMPLICITY.
Why, to our victuals: I know nothing else we have to do?
And mark, if I cannot eat twenty times as much as you.

CONSCIENCE.
If I go lie in an inn, I shall be sore grieved to see
The deceit of the ostler, the polling of the tapster, as in most
houses of lodging they be.
If in a brewer's house, at the over-plenty of water and the scarceness
of malt I should grieve,
Whereby to enrich themselves all other with unsavoury thin drink
they deceive:
If in a tanner's house, with his great deceit in tanning;
If in a weaver's house, with his great cosening in weaving.
If in a baker's house, with light bread and very evil working;
If in a chandler's, with deceitful weights, false measures, selling
for a halfpenny that is scant worth a farthing;
And if in an alehouse, with the great resort of poor unthrifts,
that with swearing at the cards consume their lives,
Having greater delight to spend a shilling that way, than a groat
at home to sustain their needy children and wives.
For which I judge it best for me to get some solitary place,
Where I may with patience this my heavy cross embrace,
And learn to sell[220] broom, whereby to get my living,
Using that as a quiet mean to keep myself from begging.--
Wherefore, Simplicity, if thou wilt do the like,
Settle thyself to it, and with true labour thy living do seek.
[_Exit_ CONSCIENCE.

SIMPLICITY.
No, faith, Mistress Conscience, I'll not; for, and I should
sell[205] broom,
The maids would cosen me to competually with their old shoon.
And, too, I cannot work, and you would hang me out of the way;
For when I was a miller, Will did grind the meal, while I did play.
Therefore I'll have as easy an occupation as I had when my father
was alive.
Faith, I'll go even a-begging: why, 'tis a good trade; a man shall be
sure to thrive;
For I am sure my prayers will get bread and cheese, and my singing will
get me drink.
Then shall not I do better than Mistress Conscience? tell me as
you think.
Therefore god Pan in the kitchen, and god Pot in the buttery,
Come and resist me, that I may sing with the more meliosity.
But, sirs, mark my cauled countenance, when I begin.
But yonder is a fellow[206] that gapes to bite me, or else to eat that
which I sing.
Why, thou art a fool; canst thou not keep thy mouth strait together?
And when it comes, snap at it, as my father's dog would do at a liver.
But thou art so greedy,
That thou thinkest to eat it before it comes nigh thee.

SIMPLICITY _sings_.

_Simplicity sings it, and 'sperience doth prove,
No biding in London for Conscience and Love.
The country hath no peer,
Where Conscience comes not once a year;
And Love so welcome to every town,
As wind that blows the houses down.
Sing down adown, down, down, down.
Simplicity sings it, and 'sperience doth prove,
No dwelling in London, no biding in London, for Conscience and Love_.

SIMPLICITY.
Now, sirrah, hast eaten up my song? and ye have, ye shall eat
no more to-day,
For everybody may see your belly is grown bigger with eating up our play.
He has fill'd his belly, but I am never a whit the better,
Therefore I'll go seek some victuals; and 'member, for eating up
my song you shall be my debtor.
[_Exit_ SIMPLICITY.

_Enter_ MERCATORE, _the Merchant, and_ GERONTUS, _a Jew_.

GERONTUS.
But, Signor Mercatore, tell me, did ye serve me well or no,
That having gotten my money would seem the country to forego?
You know I lent you two thousand ducats for three months' space,
And, ere the time came, you got another thousand by flattery and
thy smooth face.
So, when the time came that I should have received my money,
You were not to be found, but was fled out of the country.
Surely, if we that be Jews should deal so one with another,
We should not be trusted again of our own brother;
But many of you Christians make no conscience to falsify your faith,
and break your day.
I should have been paid at three[207] months' end, and now it is
two years you have been away.
Well, I am glad you be come again to Turkey; now I trust I shall
receive the interest of you, so well as the principal.

MERCATORE.
Ah, good Master Geronto! pray heartily, bear a me a little while,
And me shall pay ye all without any deceit or guile:
Me have much business for my pretty knacks to send to England.
Good sir, bear a me for five days, me'll despatch your money
out of hand.[208]

GERONTUS.
Signor Mercatore, I know no reason why because you have dealt
with me so ill:
Sure, you did it not for need, but of set purpose and will;
And, I tell ye,[209] to bear with ye four or five days goes sore
against my mind,
Lest you should steal away, and forget to leave my money behind.

MERCATORE.
Pray heartily, do tink a no such ting, my good friend, a me.
Be my trot' and fait', me pay you all, every penny.

GERONTUS.
Well, I'll take your faith and troth once more, and trust to
your honesty,
In hope that for my long tarrying you will deal well with me.
Tell me what ware you would buy for England, such necessaries
as they lack?[210]

MERCATORE.
O no, lack some pretty fine toy, or some fantastic new knack;
For da gentlewomans in England buy much tings for fantasy.
You pleasure a me, sir, vat me mean a dere buy?

GERONTUS.
I understand you, sir: but keep touch with me, and I'll bring you
to great store,
Such as I perceive you came to this country for;
As musk, amber, sweet powders, fine odours, pleasant perfumes,
and many such toys,
Wherein I perceive consisteth that country gentlewomen's joys.
Besides, I have diamonds, rubies, emerands, sapphires, smaradines,
opals, onacles, jacinths, agates, turquoise, and almost of all
kind of precious stones,
And many mo fit things to suck away money from such green-headed wantons.

MERCATORE.
Faith-a, my good friend, me tank you most heartly alway.
Me shall a content your debt within this two or tree day.

GERONTUS.
Well, look you do keep your promise, and another time you shall
command me.
Come, go we home, where our commodities you may at pleasure see.

[_Exeunt_.

_Enter_ CONSCIENCE, _with brooms at her back, singing as followeth:

New brooms,[211] green brooms, will you buy any?
Come, maidens, come quickly, let me take a penny.

My brooms are not steeped,
But very well-bound:
My brooms be not crooked,
But smooth-cut and round.
I wish it should please you
To buy of my broom,
Then would it well ease me,
If market were done.

Have you any old boots,
Or any old shoon;
Pouch-rings or buskins
To cope for new broom?

If so you have, maidens,
I pray you bring hither,
That you and I friendly
May bargain together.

New brooms, green brooms, will you buy any?
Come, maidens, come quickly, let me take a penny_.

CONSCIENCE _speaketh_.
Thus am I driven to make a virtue of necessity;
And, seeing God almighty will have it so, I embrace it thankfully,
Desiring God to mollify and lessen[212] Usury's hard heart,
That the poor people feel not the like penury and smart.
But Usury is made tolerable amongst Christians, as a necessary thing,
So that, going beyond the limits of our law, they extort, and many
to misery bring.
But if we should follow God's law, we should not receive above that
we lend;
For if we lend for reward, how can we say we are our neighbours' friend?
O, how blessed shall that man be, that lends without abuse,
But thrice accursed shall he be, that greatly covets use;
For he that covets over-much, insatiate is his mind,
So that to perjury and cruelty he wholly is inclin'd:
Wherewith they sore oppress the poor by divers sundry ways,
Which makes them cry unto the Lord to shorten cutthroats' days.
Paul calleth them thieves that doth not give the needy of their store,
And thrice accurs'd are they that take one penny from the poor.
But while I stand reasoning thus, I forget my market clean;
And sith God hath ordained this way, I am to use the mean.

_Sing again.

Have ye any old shoes, or have ye any boots? have ye any buskins,
or will ye buy any broom?
Who bargains or chops with Conscience? What, will no customer come?_

_Enter_ USURY.

USURY.
Who is it that cries brooms? What, Conscience, selling brooms
about the street?

CONSCIENCE.
What, Usury, it is great pity thou art unhanged yet.

USURY.
Believe me, Conscience, it grieves me thou art brought so low.

CONSCIENCE.
Believe me, Usury, it grieves me thou wast not hanged long ago;
For if thou hadst been hanged, before thou slewest Hospitality,
Thou hadst not made me and thousands more to feel like poverty.

_Enter_ LUCRE.

LUCRE.
Methought I heard one cry brooms along the door.

USURY.
Ay, marry, madam; it was Conscience, who seems to be offended
at me very sore.

LUCRE.
Alas, Conscience! art thou become a poor broom-wife?

CONSCIENCE.
Alas, Lucre! wilt thou continue a harlot all [the] days of thy life?

LUCRE.
Alas! I think it is a grief to thee that thou art so poor.

CONSCIENCE.
Alas, Lucre! I think it is no pain to thee, that thou still
playest the whore.

LUCRE.
Well, well, Conscience, that sharp tongue of thine hath not been
thy furtherance:
If thou hadst kept thy tongue, thou hadst kept thy friend, and not
have had such hindrance.
But wottest thou who shall be married tomorrow?
Love with my Dissimulation;
For, I think, to bid the guests they are by this time wellnigh gone;
And having occasion to buy brooms, I care not if I buy them all.

CONSCIENCE.
Then, give me a shilling, and with a goodwill have them you shall.

LUCRE.
Usury, carry in these brooms, and give them to the maid,
For I know of such store she will be well apaid.

[_Exit_ USURY _with the brooms_.

Hold, Conscience; though thy brooms be not worth a quarter so much,
Yet to give thee a piece of gold I do it not grutch;
And if thou wouldst follow my mind, thou shouldst not live in such sort,
But pass thy days with pleasure, store of every kind of sport.

CONSCIENCE.
I think you lead the world in a string, for everybody follows you:
And sith every one doth it, why may not I do it too?
For that I see your free heart and great liberality,
I marvel not that all people are so willing to follow ye.

LUCRE.
Then, sweet soul, mark what I would have thee do for me.
That is, to deck up thy poor cottage handsomely;
And for that purpose I have five thousand crowns in store,
And when it is spent, thou shalt have twice as much more.
But only see thy rooms be neat, when I shall thither resort,
With familiar friends to play, and[213] pass the time in sport;
For the deputy, constable and spiteful neighbours do spy, pry,
and eye about my house,
That I dare not be once merry within, but still mute like a mouse.

CONSCIENCE.
My good Lady Lucre, I will fulfil your mind in every kind of thing,
So that you shall be welcome at all hours, whomsoever you do bring:
And all the dogs in the town shall not bark at your doings, I trow;
For your full pretence and intent I do throughly know,
Even so well as if you had opened the very secrets of your heart,
For which I doubt not but to rest in your favour by my desert.
But here comes your man, Usury.

_Enter_ USURY.

LUCRE.
I'll send him home for the money--Usury, step in,
And bring me the box of all abhomination, that stands in the window:
It is little and round, painted with divers colours, and is pretty
to the show.

USURY.
Madam, is there any superscription thereon?

LUCRE.
Have I not told you the name? for shame; get you gone.

[_Exit_ USURY.]

Well, my wench, I doubt not but our pleasures shall excel,
Seeing thou hast got a corner fit, where few neighbours dwell,
And they be of the poorest sort, which fits our turn so right,
Because they dare not speak against our sports and sweet delight:
And if they should, alas! their words would nought at all be weigh'd,
And for to speak before my face they will be all afraid.

_Enter_ USURY, _with a painted box of ink in his hand_.

USURY.
Madam, I deem this same to be it, so far as I can guess.

LUCRE.
Thou sayest the truth; 'tis it indeed: the outside shows no less,
But, Usury, I think Dissimulation hath not seen you since your
coming home;
Therefore go see him: he will rejoice, when to him you are shown.
It is a busy time with him: help to further him, if you can.

USURY.
You may command me to attend at board to be his man.
[_Exit_ USURY.

_Here let_ LUCRE _open the box, and dip her finger in it,
and spot_ CONSCIENCE' _face, saying as followeth_.

LUCRE.
Hold here, my sweet; and then over to see if any want.
The more I do behold this face, the more my mind doth vaunt.
This face is of favour, these cheeks are reddy and white;
These lips are cherry-red, and full of deep delight:
Quick-rolling eyes, her temples high, and forehead white as snow;
Her eyebrows seemly set in frame, with dimpled chin below.
O, how beauty hath adorned thee with every seemly hue,
In limbs, in looks, with all the rest proportion keeping due.
Sure, I have not seen a finer soul in every kind of part:
I cannot choose but kiss thee with my lips, that love thee
with my heart.

CONSCIENCE.
I have told the crowns, and here are just so many as you to me did say.

LUCRE.
Then, when thou wilt, thou may'st depart, and homewards take thy way.
And I pray thee, make haste in decking of thy room,
That I may find thy lodging fine, when with my friend I come.

CONSCIENCE.
I'll make speed; and where I have with brooms ofttimes been roaming,
I mean henceforth not to be seen, but sit to watch your coming.
[_Exit_ CONSCIENCE.

LUCRE.
O, how joyful may I be that such success do find!
No marvel, for poverty and desire of Lucre do force them follow my mind.
Now may I rejoice in full contentation,
That shall marry Love with Dissimulation:
And I have spotted Conscience with all abhomination.
But I forget myself, for I must to the wedding,
Both vauntingly and flauntingly, although I had no bidding.
[_Exit_ LUCRE.

_Enter_ DISSIMULATION _and_ COGGING _his man, and_ SIMONY.

COGGING.
Sir, although you be my master, I would not have you to upbraid my name,
But I would have you use the right skill and title of the same:
For my name is neither scogging[214] nor scragging, but ancient Cogging.
Sir, my ancestors were five of the four worthies,
And yourself are of my near kin.

DISSIMULATION.
Indeed thou say'st true, for Cogging is a kinsman to Dissimulation.
But, tell me, have you taken the names of the guests?

COGGING.
Yea, sir.

DISSIMULATION.
Let me hear after what fashion.

_The names of the guests told by_ COGGING.

COGGING.
There is, first and foremost, Master Forgery and Master Flattery,
Master Perjury and Master Injury:
Master Cruelty and Master Pickery, Master Bribery and Master Treachery;
Master Wink-at-wrong and Master Headstrong, Mistress Privy-theft
And Master Deep-deceit, Master Abomination and Mistress Fornication
his wife, Ferdinando False-weight and Frisset False-measure his wife.

DISSIMULATION.
Stay: Fornication and Frisset False-measure are often familiar with
my Lady Lucre, and one of them she accounts her friend.
Therefore they shall sit with the bride in the middest, and the men
at each end.
Let me see; there are sixteen, even as many as well near is able
To dine in the summer-parlour at the playing-table;
Beside my fellow Fraud, and you, fellow Simony;
But I shall have a great miss of my fellow Usury.

SIMONY.
Take no care for that; he came home yesterday even, no longer:
His pardon was quickly begged, and that by a courtier.
But, sirrah, since he came home, he had like to have slain
Good Neighbourhood and Liberality,
Had not True Friendship stepp'd between them very suddenly.
But, sirrah, he hit True Friendship such a blow on the ear,
That he keeps out of all men's sight, I think[215] for shame or for fear.

DISSIMULATION.
Now, of my troth, it is a pretty jest: hath he made True Friendship
hide his head?
Sure, if it be so, Good Neighbourhood and Liberality for fear are fled.

SIMONY.
But, fellow Dissimulation, tell me what priest shall marry ye!

DISSIMULATION.
Marry, that shall an old friend of mine, Master Doctor Hypocrisy.

SIMONY.
Why, will you not have Sir Peter Pleaseman to supply that want?

DISSIMULATION.
Indeed, Sir Peter is a good priest, but Doctor Hypocrisy is most ancient.
But, Cousin Cogging, I pray you go to invite the guests,
And tell them that they need not disturb their quietness:
Desire them to come at dinner-time, and it shall suffice,
Because I know they will be loth so early to rise.
But at any hand will Doctor Hypocrisy,
That he meet us at the church very early;
For I would not have all the world to wonder at our match:
It is an old proverb: 'Tis good having a hatch before the door,
but I'll have a door before the hatch.

COGGING.
Sir, I will about it as fast as I can hie.
I'll first to that scald bald-knave Doctor Hypocrisy. [_Aside_.
[_Exit_ COGGING.

SIMONY.
But, fellow Dissimulation, how darest thou marry with Love,
bearing no love at all?
For thou dost nothing but dissemble: then thy love must needs be small.
Thou canst not love but from the teeth forward.
Sure the wife that marries thee shall highly be preferr'd.

DISSIMULATION.
Tush, tush! you are a merry man: I warrant you I know what I do,
And can yield a good reason for it, I may say unto you.
What, and if the world should change, and run all on her side,
Then might I by her means still in good credit abide.
Thou knowest Love is ancient, and lives peaceably without any strife;
Then sure the people will think well of me, because she is my wife.

SIMONY.
Trust me, thou art as crafty, to have an eye to the main-chance.
As the tailor, that out of seven yards stole one and a half
of durance.[216]
He served at that time the devil in the likeness of Saint Katherine:
Such tailors will thrive, that out of a doublet and a pair of
hose can steal their wife an apron.
The doublet-sleeves three fingers were too short;
The Venetians[217] came nothing near the knee.

DISSIMULATION.
Then, for to make them long enough, I pray thee what did he?

SIMONY.
Two pieces set an handful broad, to lengthen them withal;
Yet for all that below the knee by no means they could fall:
He, seeing that, desired the party to buy as much to make another pair:
The party did: yet, for all that, he stole a quarter there.

DISSIMULATION.
Now, sure, I can him thank, he could his occupation.
My fellow Fraud would laugh to hear one dress'd of such a fashion.
But, fellow Simony, I thank you heartily, for comparing the tailor to me.
As who should say his knavery and my policy did agree.[218]

SIMONY.
Not so; but I was the willinger to tell thee, because I know it
to be a true tale;
And to see how artificers do extol Fraud, by whom they bear their sale.
But come, let us walk, and talk no more of this:
Your policy was very good, and so, no doubt, was his.

[_Exeunt_.

_Enter_ MERCATORE _reading a letter to himself; and let_
GERONTUS _the Jew follow him, and speak as followeth_.

GERONTUS.
Signor Mercatore, why do you not pay me? think you, I will be
mock'd in this sort?
This is three times you have flouted me: it seems you make
thereat a sport.
Truly pay me my money, and that even now presently,
Or by mighty Mahomet I swear I will forthwith arrest ye.

MERCATORE.
Ha, pray a bare wit me tree or four days: me have much business in hand:
Me be troubled with letters, you see here, dat comes from England.

GERONTUS.
Tush, this is not my matter: I have nothing therewith to do.
Pay me my money, or I'll make you, before to your lodging you go.
I have officers stand watching for you, so that you cannot pass by;
Therefore you were best to pay me, or else in prison you shall lie.

MERCATORE.
Arrest me, dou seal knave? marry, do, and if thou dare;
Me will not pay de one penny: arrest me, do, me do not care.
Me will be a Turk; me came heder for dat cause:
Derefore me care not de so mush as two straws.

GERONTUS.
This is but your words, because you would defeat me:
I cannot think you will forsake your faith so lightly.
But seeing you drive me to doubt, I'll try your honesty;
Therefore be sure of this, I'll go about it presently.
[_Exit_.

MERCATORE.
Marry, farewell and be hang'd, sitten, scald, drunken Jew.
I warrant ye me shall be able very well to pay you.
My Lady Lucre have sent me here dis letter,
Praying me to cosen de Jew for love a her.
Derefore me'll go to get a some Turk apparel,
Dat me may cosen de Jew, and end dis quarrel.
[_Exit_.

_Enter three beggars; that is to say_, TOM BEGGAR,
WILY WILL, _and_ SIMPLICITY, _singing_.

THE SONG.

_To the wedding, to the wedding, to the wedding go we:
To the wedding a-begging, a-begging all three.

Tom Beggar shall brave it, and Wily Will too,
Simplicity shall knave it, wherever we go:
With lustly bravado, take care that care will,
To catch it and snatch it we have the brave skill.

Our fingers are lime-twigs, and barbers we be,
To catch sheets from hedges most pleasant to see:
Then to the alewife roundly we set them to sale,
And spend the money merrily upon her good ale.

To the wedding, to the wedding, to the wedding go we:
To the wedding a-begging, a-begging all three_.

FINIS.

TOM.
Now truly, my masters, of all occupations under the sun,
begging is the best;
For when a man is weary, then he may lay him down to rest.
Tell me, is it not a lord's life in summer to louse one under a hedge,
And then, leaving that game, may go clip and coll his Madge?
Or else may walk to take the wholesome air abroad for his delight,
When he may tumble on the grass, have sweet smells, and see
many a pretty sight?
Why, an emperor for all his wealth can have but his pleasure,
And surely I would not lose my charter of liberty for all
the king's treasure.

WILL.
Shall I tell thee, Tom Beggar, by the faith of a gentleman,
this ancient freedom I would not forego,
If I might have whole mines of money at my will to bestow.
Then, a man's mind should be troubled to keep that he had;
And you know it were not for me: it would make my valiant mind mad.
For now we neither pay Church-money, subsidies, fifteens, scot nor lot:
All the payings we pay is to pay the good ale-pot.

SIMPLICITY.
But, fellow beggars, you cosen me, and take away all the best meat,
And leave me nothing but brown bread or fin of fish to eat.
When you be at the alehouse, you drink up the strong ale,
and give me small beer:
You tell me 'tis better than the strong to make me sing clear.
Indeed, you know, with my singing I get twice so much as ye,
But, and you serve me so, you shall sing yourselves, and beg
alone for me.

TOM.
We stand prating here: come, let us go to the gate.
Mass, I am greatly afraid we are come somewhat too late.
Good gentle Master Porter, your reward do bestow
On a poor lame man, that hath but a pair of legs to go.

WILL.
For the honour of God, good Master Porter, give somewhat to the blind,
That the way to the alehouse in his sleep cannot find.

TOM.
For the good Lord's sake, take compassion on the poor.

_Enter_ FRAUD, _with a basket of meat on his arm_.

FRAUD.
How now, sirs! you are vengeance hasty: can ye not tarry,
But stand bawling so at my lady's door?
Here, take it amongst you; yet 'twere a good alms-deed to give
you nothing,
Because you were so hasty, and kept such a calling.

TOM.
I beseech ye not so, sir, for we were very hungry:
That made us so earnest, but we are sorry we troubled ye.

SIMPLICITY (_aside_).
Look how greedy they be, like dogs that fall a snatching.
You shall see that I shall have the greatest alms, because
I said nothing.
Fraud knows me, therefore he'll be my friend; I am sure of that.
They have nothing but lean beef, ye shall see I shall have a piece
that is fat.
Master Fraud, you have forgot me: pray ye, let me have my share.

FRAUD.
Faith, all is gone; thou com'st too late: thou seest to all
is given there.
By the faith of a gentleman, I have it not: I would I were able
to give thee more.

SIMPLICITY.
O sir, I saw your arms hang out of a stable-door.[219]

FRAUD.
Indeed, my arms are at the painter's; belike, lie hung them out to dry.
I pray thee, tell me what they were, if thou canst them descry.

SIMPLICITY.
Marry, there was never a scutcheon, but there was two trees rampant,
And then over them lay a sour tree passant,
With a man like you in a green field pendant,
Having a hempen halter about his neck, with a knot under the left ear,
because you are a younger brother.
Then, sir, there stands on each side, holding up the cres',
A worthy ostler's hand in a dish of grease.
Besides all this, on the helmet stands the hangman's hand,
Ready to turn the ladder, whereon your picture did stand:
Then under the helmet hung cables I like chains, and for what
they are I cannot devise,
Except it be to make you hang fast, that the crows might pick
out your eyes.

FRAUD.
What a swad is this? I had been better to have sent him to the back-door,
To have gotten some alms amongst the rest of the poor. [_Aside_.
Thou prat'st thou canst not tell what, or else art not well in thy wit:
I am sure my arms are not blas'd so far abroad as yet.

SIMPLICITY.
O yes, sir, your arms were known a great while ago,
For your elder brother Deceit did give those arms too.
Marry, the difference is all, which is the knot under the left ear.
The painter says, when he is hung, you may put out the knot without fear.
I am sure they were arms, for there was written in Roman letters
round about the hempen collar:
Given by the worthy valiant captain, Master Fraud, the ostler.
Now, God be wi' ye, sir; I'll get me even close to the back-door.
Farewell, Tom Beggar and Wily Will; I'll beg with you no more.
[_Exit_.

TOM.
O farewell, Simplicity: we are very loth to lose thy company.

FRAUD.
Now he is gone, give ear to me. You seem to be sound men in every
joint and limb,
And can ye live in this sort to go up and down the country a-begging?
O base minds! I trow I had rather hack it out by the highway-side,
Than such misery and penury still to abide.
Sirs, if you will be rul'd by me, and do what I shall say,
I'll bring ye where we shall have a notable fine prey.
It is so, sirs, that a merchant, one Mercatore, is coming from Turkey,
And it is my lady's pleasure that he robbed should be:
She hath sworn that we shall be all sharers alike,
And upon that willed me some such companions as you be to seek.

TOM.
O worthy Captain Fraud, you have won my noble heart:
You shall see how manfully I can play my part.
And here's Wily Will, as good a fellow as your heart can wish,
To go a-fishing with a crank through a window, or to set limetwigs
to catch a pan, pot or dish.

WILL.
He says true; for I tell you, I am one that will not give back
Not for a double shot out of a black Jack.
O sir, you bring us a-bed, when ye talk of this gear.
Come, shall we go, worthy Captain? I long, till we be there.

FRAUD.
Ay, let us about it, to provide our weapons ready,
And when the time serves, I myself will conduct ye.

TOM.
O, valiantly spoken! Come, Wily Will, two pots of ale we'll bestow
On our captain courageously for a parting blow.

[_Exeunt_.

_Enter the Judge of Turkey with_ GERONTUS _and_ MERCATORE.

[JUDGE.]
Sir Gerontus, because you are the plaintiff, you first your
mind shall say.
Declare the cause you did arrest this merchant yesterday.

GERONTUS.
Then, learned judge, attend. This Mercatore, whom you see in place,
Did borrow two thousand ducats of me but for a five weeks' space:
Then, sir, before the day came, by his flattery he obtained one
thousand more,
And promis'd me at two[221] months' end I should receive my store:
But before the time expired, he was closely fled away,
So that I never heard of him at least this two years' day,
Till at the last I met with him, and my money did demand,
Who sware to me at five days' end he would pay me out of hand.
The five days came, and three days more, then one day he requested:
I, perceiving that he flouted me, have got him thus arrested.
And now he comes in Turkish weeds to defeat me of my money,
But, I trow, he will not forsake his faith: I deem he hath more honesty.

JUDGE.
Sir Gerontus, you know, if any man forsake his faith, king, country,
and become a Mahomet,
All debts are paid: 'tis the law of our realm, and you may not
gainsay it.

GERONTUS.
Most true, reverend judge, we may not; nor I will not against our
laws grudge.

JUDGE.
Signor Mercatore, is this true that Gerontus doth tell?

MERCATORE.
My lord judge, de matter and de circumstance be true, me know well;
But me will be a Turk, and for dat cause me came here.

JUDGE.
Then, it is but folly to make many words.--Signor Mercatore, draw near:
Lay your hand upon this book, and say after me.

MERCATORE.
With a good will, my lord judge; me be all ready.

GERONTUS.
Not for any devotion, but for Lucre's sake of my money.

JUDGE. [MERCATORE _repeating after him_.]
Say: I, Mercatore, do utterly renounce before all the world my duty to
my Prince, my honour to my parents, and my good-will to my country.--
Furthermore, I protest and swear to be true to this country during life,
and thereupon I forsake my Christian faith----

GERONTUS.
Stay there, most puissant judge.--Signor Mercatore, consider what you do:
Pay me the principal; as for the interest, I forgive it you.
And yet the interest is allowed amongst you Christians, as well as
in Turkey:
Therefore, respect your faith, and do not seek[222] to deceive me.

MERCATORE.
No point da interest, no point da principal.[223]

GERONTUS.
Then pay me the one half, if you will not pay me all.

MERCATORE.
No point da half, no point denier: me will be a Turk, I say.
Me be weary of my Christ's religion, and for dat me come away.

GERONTUS.
Well, seeing it is so, I would be loth to hear the people say,
it was 'long of me
Thou forsakest thy faith: wherefore I forgive thee frank and free;
Protesting before the judge and all the world never to demand penny
nor halfpenny.

MERCATORE.
O sir Gerontus, me take a your proffer, and tank you most heartily.

JUDGE.
But, Signor Mercatore, I trow, ye will be a Turk for all this.

MERCATORE.
Signor, no: not for all da good in da world me forsake a my Christ.

JUDGE.
Why, then, it is as sir Gerontus said; you did more for the greediness
of the money
Than for any zeal or goodwill you bear to Turkey.

MERCATORE.
O sir, you make a great offence: You must not judge a my conscience.

JUDGE.
One may judge and speak truth, as appears by this;
Jews seek to excel in Christianity and Christians in Jewishness.
[_Exit_.

MERCATORE.
Vell, vell; but me tank you, Sir Gerontus, with all my very heart.

GERONTUS.
Much good may it do you, sir; I repent it not for my part.
But yet I would not have this bolden you to serve another so:
Seek to pay, and keep day with me, so a good name on you will go.
[_Exit_.

MERCATORE.
You say vel, sir; it does me good dat me have cosen'd de Jew.
Faith, I would my Lady Lucre de whole matter now knew:
What is dat me will not do for her sweet sake?
But now me will provide my journey toward England to take.
Me be a Turk? no: it will make my Lady Lucre to smile,
When she knows how me did da scal' Jew beguile.
[_Exit_.

_Enter_ LUCRE, _and_ LOVE _with a vizard, behind_.

LUCRE.
Mistress Love, I marvel not a little what coy conceit is crept
into your head,
That you seem so sad and sorrowful, since the time you first did wed.
Tell me, sweet wench, what thou ailest, and if I can ease thy grief,
I will be prest to pleasure thee in yielding of relief.
Sure, thou makest me for to think something has chanc'd amiss.
I pray thee, tell me what thou ailest, and what the matter is.

LOVE.
My grief, alas! I shame to show, because my bad intent
Hath brought on me a just reward and eke a strange event.
Shall I be counted Love? nay, rather lascivious Lust,
Because unto Dissimulation I did repose such trust.
But now I moan too late, and blush my hap to tell.
My head in monstrous sort, alas! doth more and more still swell.

LUCRE.
Is your head then swollen, good Mistress Love? I pray you let me see.
Of troth it is, behold a face that seems to smile on me:
It is fair and well-favoured, with a countenance smooth and good;
Wonder is the worst,[224] to see two faces in a hood.
Come, let's go, we'll find some sports to spurn away such toys.

LOVE.
Were it not for Lucre, sure, Love had lost all her joys.
[_Exeunt_.

_Enter_ SERVICEABLE DILIGENCE, _the Constable, and_ SIMPLICITY,
_with an Officer to whip him, or two, if you can_.

SIMPLICITY.
Why, but must I be whipp'd, Master Constable, indeed?
You may save your labour, for I have no need.

DILIGENCE.
I must needs see thee punished; there is no remedy,
Except thou wilt confess, and tell me,
Where thy fellows are become, that did the robbery.

SIMPLICITY.
Indeed, Master Constable, I do not know of their stealing,
For I did not see them, since we went together a-begging.
Therefore pray ye, sir, be miserable[225] to me, and let me go,
For I labour to get my living with begging, you know.

DILIGENCE.
Thou wast seen in their company a little before the deed was done;
Therefore it is most likely thou knowest where they are become.

SIMPLICITY.
Why, Master Constable, if a sheep go among wolves all day,
Shall the sheep be blam'd if they steal anything away?

DILIGENCE.
Ay, marry, shall he; for it is a great presumption
That, keeping them company, he is of like profession--
But despatch, sirs; strip him and whip him:
Stand not to reason the question.

SIMPLICITY.
Indeed, 'twas Fraud, so it was, it was not I;
And here he comes himself: ask him, if I lie.

_Enter_ FRAUD.

DILIGENCE.
What sayest thou, villain? I would advise thee hold thy tongue:
I know him to be a wealthy man and a burgess of the town.--
Sir, and it please your mastership, here one slanders you with felony:
He saith you were the chief doer of a robbery.

FRAUD.
What says the rascal? But you know,
It standeth not with my credit to brawl;
But, good Master Constable, for his slanderous report
Pay him double, and in a greater matter command me you shall.
[_Exit_.

SIMPLICITY.
Master Constable, must the countenance carry out the knave?
Why, then, if one will face folks out, some fine repariment he must have.

[BEADLE _put off his clothes_.

BEADLE.
Come, sir Jack-sauce, make quick despatch at once:
You shall see how finely we will fetch the skin from your bones.

SIMPLICITY
Nay, but tell me whether you be right-handed or no?

BEADLE.
What is that to thee? why wouldst thou so fain know?

SIMPLICITY.
Marry, if you should be both right-handed, the one would
hinder the other:
Then it would not[226] be done finely, according to order;
For if I be not whipp'd with credit, it is not worth a pin.
Therefore, I pray, Master Constable, let me be whipp'd upon my skin.

DILIGENCE.
Whereon dost thou think they would whip thee, I pray thee declare,
That thou puttest us in mind, and takest such great care?

SIMPLICITY.
I was afraid you would have worn out my clothes with whipping;
Then afterward, I should go naked a-begging.

BEADLE.
Have no doubt of that; we will favour thy clothes:
Thou shalt judge that thyself by fueling the blows.

[_Lead him once or twice about, whipping him, and so exit_.

_Enter_ JUDGE NEMO, _the_ CLERK _of the 'size, the_ CRIER, _and_
SERVICEABLE DILIGENCE: _the_ JUDGE _and_ CLERK _being set, the_
CRIER _shall sound three times_.

JUDGE.
Serviceable Diligence, bring hither such prisoners as are in custody.

DILIGENCE.
My diligence shall be applied very willingly.
Pleaseth it you, there are but three prisoners, so far as I know,
Which are Lucre and Conscience, with a deformed creature much like
Bifrons,[227] the base daughter of Juno.

JUDGE.
No! where is that wretch Dissimulation?

DILIGENCE.
He hath transformed himself after a strange fashion.

JUDGE.
Fraud! where is he become?

DILIGENCE.
He was seen in the streets, walking in a citizen's gown.

JUDGE.
What is become of Usury!

DILIGENCE.
He was seen at the Exchange very lately.

JUDGE.
Tell me, when have you heard of Simony?

DILIGENCE.
He was seen this day walking in Paul's, having conference and very
great familiarity with some of the clergy.

JUDGE.
Fetch Lucre and Conscience to the bar.

DILIGENCE.
Behold, worthy judge, here ready they are.

_Enter_ LUCRE _and_ CONSCIENCE.

JUDGE.
Stand forth. Diligence, divide them asunder.

CLERK.
Lucre, thou art indicted by the name of Lucre,
To have committed adultery with Mercatore the merchant and
Creticus the lawyer.
Thou art also indicted for the robbery of Mercatore:
Lastly and chiefly, for the consenting to the murder of Hospitality.
What sayest thou, art thou guilty or not in these causes?

LUCRE.
Not guilty. Where are mine accusers? they may shame to show their faces:
I warrant you, none comes, nor dare, to discredit my name.
In despite of the teeth of them that dare, I speak in disdain.

JUDGE.
Impudent! canst thou deny deeds so manifestly known?

LUCRE.
In denial stands trial: I shame not; let them be shown.
It grinds my gall they should slander me on this sort:
They are some old-cankered currish corrupt carls, that gave
me this report.
My soul craves revenge on such my secret[228] foes,
And revengement I will have, if body and soul I lose.

JUDGE.
Thy hateful heart declares thy wicked life:
In the abundance of thy abhomination all evils are rife,--
But what sayest thou, Conscience, to thy accusation,
That art accused to have been bawd unto Lucre, and spotted with
all abhomination?

CONSCIENCE.
What should I say; nay, what would I say in this our naughty living?

LUCRE.
Good Conscience, if thou love me, say nothing. [_Aside_.

CLERK.
Diligence, suffer her not to stand prating.
[_Let him put her aside_.

JUDGE.
What letter is that in thy bosom, Conscience?
Diligence, reach it hither. [_Make as though he[229] read it_.
Conscience, speak on; let me hear what thou canst say,
For I know in singleness thou wilt a truth bewray.

CONSCIENCE.
My good lord, I have no way to excuse myself:
She hath corrupted me by flattery and her accursed pelf.
What need further trial, sith I, Conscience, am a thousand witnesses?
I cannot choose but condemn us all in living amiss.
Such terror doth affright me, that living I wish to die:
I am afraid there is no spark left for me of God's mercy.

JUDGE.
Conscience, where hadst thou this letter?

CONSCIENCE.
It was put into my bosom by Lucre,
Willing me to keep secret our lascivious living.
I cannot but condemn us all in this thing.

JUDGE.
How now, malapert; stand you still in defence or no?
This letter declares thy guilty Conscience: how sayest thou,
is it not so?
Tell me, why standest thou in a maze? speak quickly.
Hadst thou thy tongue so liberal, and now stand to study?

LUCRE.
O Conscience! thou hast kill'd me; by thee I am overthrown.

JUDGE.
It is happy that by Conscience thy abhomination is known:
Wherefore I pronounce judgment against thee on this wise:
Thou shalt pass to the place of darkness, where thou shalt hear
fearful cries;
Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and torment without end;
Burning in the lake of fire and brimstone, because thou canst not amend.
Wherefore, Diligence, convey her hence: throw her down to the lowest hell,
Where the infernal sprites and damned ghosts do dwell;
And bring forth Love!
[_Exit_ LUCRE _and_ DILIGENCE.

_Let_ LUCRE _make ready for_ LOVE _quickly, and come with_ DILIGENCE.

Declare the cause, Conscience, at large how thou comest so spotted,
Whereby many by thee hath been greatly infected;
For under the colour of Conscience thou deceived'st many,
Causing them to defile the temple of God, which is man's body.
A clean conscience is a sacrifice, God's own resting-place:
Why wast thou then corrupted so, and spotted on thy face?

CONSCIENCE.
When Hospitality had his throat cut by Usury,
He oppressed me with cruelty and brought me to beggary,
Turning me out of house and home; and in the end
My gown to pay my rent to him I did send.
So, driven to that extremity, I have fallen to that you see;
Yet after judgment I hope of God's mercy.

JUDGE.
O Conscience, shall cankered coin corrupt thy heart?
Or shall want in this world cause thee to feel everlasting smart?
O Conscience, what a small time thou hast on earth to live:
Why dost thou not, then, to God all honour give?
Considering the time is everlasting that thou shalt live in bliss,
If by thy life thou rise from death to judgment, mercy, and forgiveness.

_Enter_ LOVE _with_ DILIGENCE.

Stand aside, Conscience. Bring Love to the bar.
What sayest thou to thy deformity: who was the cause.

LOVE.
Lady Lucre----

JUDGE.
Did Lucre choke thee so, that thou gavest thyself over unto Lust?
And did prodigal expenses cause thee in Dissimulation to trust?
Thou wast pure (Love), and art thou become a monster,
Bolstering thyself upon the lasciviousness of Lucre?
Love, answer for thyself: speak in thy defence.

LOVE.
I cannot choose but yield, confounded by Conscience.

JUDGE.
Then judgment I pronounce on thee, because thou followed Lucre,
Whereby thou hast sold thy soul, to feel like torment with her
Which torments comprehended are in the worm of Conscience,
Who raging still shall ne'er have end, a plague for thine offence.
Care shall be thy comfort, and sorrow thy life sustain,
Thou shalt be dying, yet never dead, but pining still in endless pain.
Diligence, convey her to Lucre: let that be her reward.
Because unto her cankered coin she gave her whole regard.
But as for Conscience, carry her to prison,
There to remain until the day of the general session.
Thus we make an end--
Knowing that the best of us all may amend:
Which God grant to his goodwill and pleasure,
That we be not corrupted with the unsatiate desire of vanishing
earthly treasure;
For covetousness is the cause of 'resting man's conscience:
Therefore restrain thy lust, and thou shalt shun the offence.

FINIS.

THE THREE LORDS & THREE LADIES OF LONDON

_EDITION

The pleasant and Stately Morall of the three Lordes and three Ladies
of London. With the great Joy and Pompe, Solemnized at their Mariages:
Commically interlaced with much honest Mirth, for pleasure and
recreation, among many Morall observations, and other important matters
of due Regard. By R.W. London, Printed by R. Thones, at the Rose and
Crowne neere Holburne Bridge_. 1590. 4. Black letter. With an engraving
on the title.

_Enter, for the Preface, a Lady very richly attired,
representing London, having two Angels before her,
and two after her, with bright rapiers in their hands_.

LONDON _speaketh_.

Lo, gentles, thus the Lord doth London guard,
Not for my sake, but for his own delight;
For all in vain the sentinels watch and ward,
Except he keep the city day and night.
Now may my foes in vain both spurn and spite,
My foes, I mean, that London represent,
Guarded from heaven by angels excellent.

This blessing is not my sole benefit:
All England is, and so preserv'd hath been,
Not by man's strength, his policy and wit.
But by a power and Providence unseen;
Even for the love wherewith God loves our Queen,
In whom, for whom, by whom we do possess
More grace, more good, than London can express.

And that hath bred our plenty and our peace,
And they do breed the sports you come to see;
And joy it is that I enjoy increase.
My former fruits were lovely Ladies three;[230]
Now of three Lords to talk is London's glee:
Whose deeds I wish may to your liking frame,
For London bids you welcome to the same.

FINIS.

THE ACTORS' NAMES.

POLICY, |
POMP, | _The three Lords of London_.
PLEASURE, |

WIT, |
WEALTH, | _Their Pages_.
WILL, |

NEMO, _a grave old man_.

LOVE, |
LUCRE, | _Three Ladies of London_.
CONSCIENCE, |

HONEST INDUSTRY, |
PURE ZEAL, | _Three Sages_.
SINCERITY, |

PRIDE, |
AMBITION, | _Three Lords of Spain_.
TYRANNY, |

SHAME, |
TREACHERY, | _Their Pages_.
TERROR, |

DESIRE, |
DELIGHT, | _Three Lords of Lincoln_.
DEVOTION, |

SORROW, _a Jailor_.
SIMPLICITY, _a poor Freeman of London_.
PAINFUL PENURY, _his Wife_.
DILIGENCE, _a Post or an Officer_.

FEALTY, | _Two Heralds-at-Arms_.
SHEALTY, |

FRAUD, |
USURY, | _Four Gallants_.
DISSIMULATION, |
SIMONY, |

FALSEHOOD, | _Two that belong to_ FRAUD _and_ DISSIMULATION.
DOUBLE-DEALING. |

THE PLEASANT AND STATELY MORAL

OF

THE THREE LORDS OF LONDON.

_Enter the three Lords and their Pages: first_ POLICY, _with
his Page_ WIT _before him, bearing a shield; the impress a
tortoise, the word_ Providens securus: _next_ POMP, _with his
Page_ WEALTH _bearing his shield, the word_ Glory sans peere;
_the impress a lily; last_, PLEASURE, _his Page_ WILL, _his
impress a falcon; the word_ Pour Temps. POLICY _attired in
black_, POMP _in rich robes, and_ PLEASURE _in colours_.

POLICY
Here I advance my shield and hang it up,
To challenge him who ever dare deny
That one of those three London ladies rare
Ought not of right be match'd with Policy,
A London lord, the which I represent.

POMP.
And Pomp provides his challenge in his word,
_Glory sans peere_, claiming the one of them,
Not by compulsion, but by common right.
Yet, maugre men, my shield is here advanc'd
For one matchless. A London lady best
Beseemeth Pomp, a London lord, to have.

PLEASURE.
Pleasure hath soar'd, as doth his impress show,
To look aloof on earthly ladies all.
And never could my curious eye discern
A dame of worth for London Pleasure's love,
But one, and she doth shine as silver dove.
Of self-bred soil, of London is her race;
For whom in challenge I my shield advance.

POLICY.
Thus each in honour of his mistress,
And in regard of his well-daring mind,
Hath here empris'd the challenge of his right.
But, lordships both and brethren bred and sworn,
A caution must be had in this conceit,
That all our thoughts aspire not to one heaven,
Nor all our ships do sail for one self haven;
I mean, that all our suits and services
We tend and tender to one only dame,
All choosing one, refusing th'other two.

POMP.
A great mislike amongst us that might breed.

PLEASURE.
I seek but one, and her unto myself.

POMP.
And one I wish sans partner of my love.

POLICY.
It stands with honour to be sole or none.

POMP.
Whom lovest thou, Pleasure?

PLEASURE.
Hark ye. [_Whisper in his ear_.

POMP.
Tush! ye lie.

WILL.
If my master were a soldier, that word would have the stab.

WIT.
Well, Will, still you'll be a saucy scab.

POMP.
Why, Pleasure, hath Pomp[231] chosen Lucre's love?

PLEASURE.
Why, Pomp, but [because] Pleasure honours Lucre most.

POLICY.
And Policy may Lady Lucre gain
Before you both, but let us not contend.
For Nemo doth the ladies prisoners keep,
Though they were slandered late with liberty,
And marriage to three far-born foreigners.
Then, first it fits we practise their release,
And see them, and by sight our liking please;[232]
For yet we love, as gossips tell their tales,
By hearsay: fame, not favour, hath us yet inflam'd.

POMP.
Lord Policy with reason hath discuss'd;
Pleasure, consent; and so our love shall hold.

PLEASURE.
Ye never found that London's Pleasure err'd
From reason, or from Pomp and Policy.

POLICY.
Come on, sir boy, attend you well your charge: [_To his Page_ WIT.
Wait in this place to watch and ward this shield.
If any man, in honour of his love,
So hardy he with stroke of sword to attaint
This shield, and challenge him that hereby challengeth,
Say for thy lord, as should a trusty page,
That Policy doth dare him to perform
A hardier task than common challengers.
If he demand what Policy may be,
A lord of London, say--one of the three.

POMP.
And you, sir boy, for Pomp perform the like; [_To_ WEALTH.
Bid him, that dare his impress batter once,
Be well advis'd he be no beggar's brat,
Nor base of courage, nor of bad conceit,
To match himself with such magnificence,
As fits Lord Pomp of London for his love:
Call, if he come that can encounter me,
[F]or move me not for each envious swad.

PLEASURE.
Will, be not wanton, nor of wayward mood: [_To_ WILL.
Wait as do these; use faith and diligence,
And mark him well that dare disdain this shield,
Which London's lord, that Pleasure hath to name,
Hath here advanc'd in honour of his dame.
I bid thee mark him well, whate'er he be,
That London's Pleasure doth in malice scorn,
For he's a rascal or a stranger born.
Good boy, mark well his gesture and his look,
His eye, his gait, his weapon, and attire,
And dog him to his lodging or his den,
For I will make him scum and scorn of men.
No better boy than Will, when Will is pleas'd
Be pleas'd, my boy, and so be my good Will.

POLICY.
And so, good boys, farewell; look to your charge.
Watch well, good Wit, who scorneth London's Policy;
Be wary, Wit, for thou canst well discern.

POMP.
Wealth, watch for Pomp, for thou canst well defend.

PLEASURE.
Will can do something too, when pleaseth him.

[_Exeunt the three Lords_.

WIT.
Will is a good boy, where better is none.

WILL.
Nay, Wit were the best boy, if Will were gone.

WEALTH.
Nay, Wealth is the best boy, sirs: let that alone.

WIT.
I-wis he say'th true, Will: this Wealth's a gay lad.

WILL.
I care not for him, curmudgeonly swad.

WEALTH.
Well, miss me awhile, and you'll go near to be sad.

WIT.
Will, ye are Will-fool, if of him ye be not glad.

WILL.
Nay, Wit, if thou want him, thou'lt go near to be mad.

WEALTH.
To keep us still quiet I would other talk we had.

WIT.
I hope we'll not fall out, being none but three.

WEALTH.
If Wealth were away, Wit and Will would agree.

WILL.
Nay, Wit and Will are at strife, when there's nobody but me.

WIT.
Let pass, and of our shields, sirs, let's make a little glee.
Will, what gives thy master here? a buzzard or a kite?

WILL.
Wit, you show yourself a gentleman by guessing so right.
A buzzard? thou buzzard! Wit, hast no more skill,
Than take a falcon for a buzzard?

WIT.
O be quiet, good Will:
It was but for sport, for I know the bird else.

WEALTH.
Thou mightest see it was no buzzard, man, by the bells.[233]

WIT.
What's the reason of this falcon? I pray thee, Will, show.

WILL.
Thou knowest that a falcon soars high, and stoops low:
So doth Pleasure.

WIT.
But what's the word?

WILL.
_Pour temps_, for time.

WIT.
A very pretty one: I would it were in rhyme.

WEALTH.
In rhyme, Wit! why so?

WIT.
Because it wants reason.

WILL.
Look for my fist, Wit, if ye rap out such treason.

WIT.
Treason to what, boy?

WILL.
To my master's bird.

WIT.
Now, Will, my thumb wags: it was but to his word.

WILL.
'Tis a pleasant gentleman, this young Master Wit.
Your master hath something too: I pray ye, what's it?

WIT.

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