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Epicoene: Or, The Silent Woman by Ben Jonson

Part 3 out of 5

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served?

TRUE: Yes, sir, but these are but notes of female kindness, sir;
certain tokens that she has a voice, sir.

MOR: O, is it so? Come, an't be no otherwise--What say you?

EPI: How do you feel yourself, sir?

MOR: Again that!

TRUE: Nay, look you, sir: you would be friends with your wife upon
unconscionable terms; her silence--

EPI: They say you are run mad, sir.

MOR: Not for love, I assure you, of you; do you see?

EPI: O lord, gentlemen! lay hold on him, for God's sake. What
shall I do? who's his physician, can you tell, that knows the
state of his body best, that I might send for him? Good sir,
speak; I'll send for one of my doctors else.

MOR: What, to poison me, that I might die intestate, and leave
you possest of all?

EPI: Lord, how idly he talks, and how his eyes sparkle! he looks
green about the temples! do you see what blue spots he has?

TRUE: Ay, 'tis melancholy.

EPI: Gentlemen, for Heaven's sake, counsel me. Ladies;--servant,
you have read Pliny and Paracelsus; ne'er a word now to comfort a
poor gentlewoman? Ay me, what fortune had I, to marry a distracted
man!

DAW: I will tell you, mistress--

TRUE: How rarely she holds it up!
[ASIDE TO CLER.]

MOR: What mean you, gentlemen?

EPI: What will you tell me, servant?

DAW: The disease in Greek is called mania, in Latin insania,
furor, vel ecstasis melancholica, that is, egressio, when a
man ex melancholico evadit fanaticus.

MOR: Shall I have a lecture read upon me alive?

DAW: But he may be but phreneticus yet, mistress? and phrenetis
is only delirium, or so.

EPI: Ay, that is for the disease, servant: but what is this to
the cure? we are sure enough of the disease.

MOR: Let me go.

TRUE: Why, we'll entreat her to hold her peace, sir.

MOR: O no, labour not to stop her. She is like a conduit-pipe,
that will gush out with more force when she opens again.

HAU: I will tell you, Morose, you must talk divinity to him
altogether, or moral philosophy.

LA-F: Ay, and there's an excellent book of moral philosophy,
madam, of Raynard the fox, and all the beasts, called Doni's
Philosophy.

CEN: There is, indeed, sir Amorous La-Foole.

MOR: O misery!

LA-F: I have read it, my lady Centaure, all over, to my cousin,
here.

MRS. OTT: Ay, and 'tis a very good book as any is, of the moderns.

DAW: Tut, he must have Seneca read to him, and Plutarch, and the
ancients; the moderns are not for this disease.

CLER: Why, you discommended them too, to-day, sir John.

DAW: Ay, in some cases: but in these they are best, and Aristotle's
ethics.

MAV: Say you so sir John? I think you are decived: you took it upon
trust.

HAU: Where's Trusty, my woman? I'll end this difference. I prithee,
Otter, call her. Her father and mother were both mad, when they put
her to me.

MOR: I think so. Nay, gentlemen, I am tame. This is but an exercise,
I know, a marriage ceremony, which I must endure.

HAU: And one of them, I know not which, was cur'd with the Sick
Man's Salve; and the other with Green's Groat's-worth of Wit.

TRUE: A very cheap cure, madam.

[ENTER TRUSTY.]

HAU: Ay, 'tis very feasible.

MRS. OTT: My lady call'd for you, mistress Trusty: you must decide a
controversy.

HAU: O, Trusty, which was it you said, your father, or your mother,
that was cured with the Sick Man's Salve?

TRUS: My mother, madam, with the Salve.

TRUE: Then it was the sick woman's salve?

TRUS: And my father with the Groat's-worth of Wit. But there was
other means used: we had a preacher that would preach folk asleep
still; and so they were prescribed to go to church, by an old woman
that was their physician, thrice a week--

EPI: To sleep?

TRUS: Yes, forsooth: and every night they read themselves asleep on
those books.

EPI: Good faith, it stands with great reason. I would I knew where
to procure those books.

MOR: Oh!

LA-F: I can help you with one of them, mistress Morose, the
Groat's-worth of Wit.

EPI: But I shall disfurnish you, sir Amorous: can you spare it?

LA-F: O, yes, for a week, or so; I'll read it myself to him.

EPI: No, I must do that, sir: that must be my office.

MOR: Oh, oh!

EPI: Sure he would do well enough, if he could sleep.

MOR: No, I should do well enough, if you could sleep. Have I no
friend that will make her drunk? or give her a little laudanum?
or opium?

TRUE: Why, sir, she talks ten times worse in her sleep.

MOR: How!

CLER: Do you not know that, sir? never ceases all night.

TRUE: And snores like a porpoise.

MOR: O, redeem me, fate; redeem me, fate! For how many causes may
a man be divorced, nephew?

DAUP: I know not, truly, sir.

TRUE: Some divine must resolve you in that, sir, or canon-lawyer.

MOR: I will not rest, I will not think of any other hope or comfort,
till I know.

[EXIT WITH DAUPHINE.]

CLER: Alas, poor man!

TRUE: You'll make him mad indeed, ladies, if you pursue this.

HAU: No, we'll let him breathe now, a quarter of an hour or so.

CLER: By my faith, a large truce!

HAU: Is that his keeper, that is gone with him?

DAW: It is his nephew, madam.

LA-F: Sir Dauphine Eugenie.

HAU: He looks like a very pitiful knight--

DAW: As can be. This marriage has put him out of all.

LA-F: He has not a penny in his purse, madam.

DAW: He is ready to cry all this day.

LA-F: A very shark; he set me in the nick t'other night at
Primero.

TRUE: How these swabbers talk!

CLER: Ay, Otter's wine has swell'd their humours above a spring-tide.

HAU: Good Morose, let us go in again. I like your couches exceeding
well; we will go lie and talk there.

[EXEUNT HAU., CEN., MAV., TRUS., LA-FOOLE, AND DAW.]

EPI [FOLLOWING THEM.]: I wait on you, madam.

TRUE [STOPPING HER.]: 'Slight, I will have them as silent as
signs, and their post too, ere I have done. Do you hear, lady-bride?
I pray thee now, as thou art a noble wench, continue this discourse
of Dauphine within; but praise him exceedingly: magnify him with all
the height of affection thou canst;--I have some purpose in't: and
but beat off these two rooks, Jack Daw and his fellow, with any
discontentment, hither, and I'll honour thee for ever.

EPI: I was about it here. It angered me to the soul, to hear them
begin to talk so malepert.

TRUE: Pray thee perform it, and thou winn'st me an idolater to
thee everlasting.

EPI: Will you go in and hear me do't?

TRUE: No, I'll stay here. Drive them out of your company, 'tis all
I ask; which cannot be any way better done, than by extolling
Dauphine, whom they have so slighted.

EPI: I warrant you; you shall expect one of them presently.

[EXIT.]

CLER: What a cast of kestrils are these, to hawk after ladies,
thus!

TRUE: Ay, and strike at such an eagle as Dauphine.

CLER: He will be mad when we tell him. Here he comes.

[RE-ENTER DAUPHINE.]

CLER: O sir, you are welcome.

TRUE: Where's thine uncle?

DAUP: Run out of doors in his night-caps, to talk with a casuist
about his divorce. It works admirably.

TRUE: Thou wouldst have said so, if thou hadst been here! The
ladies have laugh'd at thee most comically, since thou went'st,
Dauphine.

CLER: And ask'd, if thou wert thine uncle's keeper.

TRUE: And the brace of baboons answer'd, Yes; and said thou wert
a pitiful poor fellow, and didst live upon posts: and hadst
nothing but three suits of apparel, and some few benevolences that
lords gave thee to fool to them, and swagger.

DAUP: Let me not live, I will beat them: I'll bind them both to
grand-madam's bed-posts, and have them baited with monkies.

TRUE: Thou shalt not need, they shall be beaten to thy hand,
Dauphine. I have an execution to serve upon them, I warrant thee,
shall serve; trust my plot.

DAUP: Ay, you have many plots! so you had one to make all the
wenches in love with me.

TRUE: Why, if I do not yet afore night, as near as 'tis; and
that they do not every one invite thee, and be ready to scratch
for thee, take the mortgage of my wit.

CLER: 'Fore God, I'll be his witness thou shalt have it,
Dauphine: thou shalt be his fool for ever, if thou doest not.

TRUE: Agreed. Perhaps 'twill be the better estate. Do you observe
this gallery, or rather lobby, indeed? Here are a couple of
studies, at each end one: here will I act such a tragi-comedy
between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, Daw and La-Foole--which
of them comes out first, will I seize on:--you two shall be the
chorus behind the arras, and whip out between the acts and
speak--If I do not make them keep the peace for this remnant of
the day, if not of the year, I have failed once--I hear Daw
coming: hide,
[THEY WITHDRAW]
and do not laugh, for God's sake.

[RE-ENTER DAW.]

DAW: Which is the way into the garden trow?

TRUE: O, Jack Daw! I am glad I have met with you. In good faith,
I must have this matter go no further between you. I must have it
taken up.

DAW: What matter, sir? between whom?

TRUE: Come, you disguise it: sir Amorous and you. If you love me,
Jack, you shall make use of your philosophy now, for this once,
and deliver me your sword. This is not the wedding the Centaurs
were at, though there be a she one here.
[TAKES HIS SWORD.]
The bride has entreated me I will see no blood shed at her bridal,
you saw her whisper me erewhile.

DAW: As I hope to finish Tacitus, I intend no murder.

TRUE: Do you not wait for sir Amorous?

DAW: Not I, by my knighthood.

TRUE: And your scholarship too?

DAW: And my scholarship too.

TRUE: Go to, then I return you your sword, and ask you mercy; but
put it not up, for you will be assaulted. I understood that you
had apprehended it, and walked here to brave him: and that you
had held your life contemptible, in regard of your honour.

DAW: No, no; no such thing, I assure you. He and I parted now,
as good friends as could be.

TRUE: Trust not you to that visor. I saw him since dinner with
another face: I have known many men in my time vex'd with losses,
with deaths, and with abuses; but so offended a wight as sir
Amorous, did I never see, or read of. For taking away his guests,
sir, to-day, that's the cause: and he declares it behind your back
with such threatenings and contempts--He said to Dauphine, you
were the arrant'st ass--

DAW: Ay, he may say his pleasure.

TRUE: And swears you are so protested a coward, that he knows you
will never do him any manly or single right, and therefore he will
take his course.

DAW: I'll give him any satisfaction, sir--but fighting.

TRUE: Ay, sir: but who knows what satisfaction he'll take? blood
he thirsts for, and blood he will have: and whereabouts on you he
will have it, who knows but himself?

DAW: I pray you, master Truewit, be you a mediator.

TRUE: Well, sir, conceal yourself then in this study till I
return.
[PUTS HIM INTO THE STUDY.]
Nay, you must be content to be lock'd in: for, for mine own
reputation, I would not have you seen to receive a public
disgrace, while I have the matter in managing. Ods so, here he
comes; keep your breath close, that he do not hear you sigh.
In good faith, sir Amorous, he is not this way; I pray you be
merciful, do not murder him; he is a Christian, as good as you:
you are arm'd as if you sought revenge on all his race. Good
Dauphine, get him away from this place. I never knew a man's
choler so high, but he would speak to his friends, he would hear
reason.--Jack Daw, Jack! asleep!

DAW [within]: Is he gone, master Truewit?

TRUE: Ay; did you hear him?

DAW: O lord! yes.

TRUE: What a quick ear fear has!

DAW [COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET.]: But is he so arm'd, as you say?

TRUE: Arm'd? did you ever see a fellow set out to take possession?

DAW: Ay, sir.

TRUE: That may give you some light to conceive of him: but 'tis
nothing to the principal. Some false brother in the house has
furnish'd him strangely; or, if it were out of the house, it was
Tom Otter.

DAW: Indeed he's a captain, and his wife is his kinswoman.

TRUE: He has got some body's old two-hand sword, to mow you off
at the knees; and that sword hath spawn'd such a dagger!--But
then he is so hung with pikes, halberds, petronels, calivers and
muskets, that he looks like a justice of peace's hall: a man of
two thousand a-year, is not cess'd at so many weapons as he has on.
There was never fencer challenged at so many several foils. You
would think he meant to murder all Saint Pulchre parish. If he
could but victual himself for half a year in his breeches, he is
sufficiently arm'd to over-run a country.

DAW: Good lord! what means he, sir? I pray you, master Truewit, be
you a mediator.

TRUE: Well, I 'll try if he will be appeased with a leg or an arm;
if not you must die once.

DAW: I would be loth to lose my right arm, for writing madrigals.

TRUE: Why, if he will be satisfied with a thumb or a little finger,
all's one to me. You must think, I will do my best.

[SHUTS HIM UP AGAIN.]

DAW: Good sir, do.

[CLERIMONT AND DAUPHINE COME FORWARD.]

CLER: What hast thou done?

TRUE: He will let me do nothing, he does all afore; he offers
his left arm.

CLER: His left wing for a Jack Daw.

DAUP: Take it, by all means.

TRUE: How! maim a man for ever, for a jest? What a conscience hast
thou!

DAUP: 'Tis no loss to him; he has no employment for his arms, but
to eat spoon-meat. Beside, as good maim his body as his reputation.

TRUE: He is a scholar, and a wit, and yet he does not think so.
But he loses no reputation with us; for we all resolved him an ass
before. To your places again.

CLER: I pray thee, let me be in at the other a little.

TRUE: Look, you'll spoil all: these be ever your tricks.

CLER: No, but I could hit of some things that thou wilt miss, and
thou wilt say are good ones.

TRUE: I warrant you. I pray forbear, I will leave it off, else.

DAUP: Come away, Clerimont.

[DAUP. AND CLER. WITHDRAW AS BEFORE.]

[ENTER LA-FOOLE.]

TRUE: Sir Amorous!

LA-F: Master Truewit.

TRUE: Whither were you going?

LA-F: Down into the court to make water.

TRUE: By no means, sir; you shall rather tempt your breeches.

LA-F: Why, sir?

TRUE: Enter here, if you love your life.

[OPENING THE DOOR OF THE OTHER STUDY.]

LA-F: Why? why?

TRUE: Question till you throat be cut, do: dally till the enraged
soul find you.

LA-F: Who is that?

TRUE: Daw it is: will you in?

LA-F: Ay, ay, I will in: what's the matter?

TRUE: Nay, if he had been cool enough to tell us that, there had
been some hope to atone you, but he seems so implacably enraged!

LA-F: 'Slight, let him rage! I'll hide myself.

TRUE: Do, good sir. But what have you done to him within, that
should provoke him thus? You have broke some jest upon him, afore
the ladies.

LA-F: Not I, never in my life, broke jest upon any man. The bride
was praising sir Dauphine, and he went away in snuff, and I
followed him, unless he took offence at me in his drink erewhile,
that I would not pledge all the horse full.

TRUE: By my faith, and that may be, you remember well: but he walks
the round up and down, through every room o' the house, with a
towel in his hand, crying, Where's La-Foole? Who saw La-Foole?
and when Dauphine and I demanded the cause, we can force no
answer from him, but--O revenge, how sweet art thou! I will
strangle him in this towel--which leads us to conjecture that the
main cause of his fury is, for bringing your meat to-day, with a
towel about you, to his discredit.

LA-F: Like enough. Why, if he be angry for that, I'll stay here
till his anger be blown over.

TRUE: A good becoming resolution, sir; if you can put it on o'
the sudden.

LA-F: Yes, I can put it on: or, I'll away into the country
presently.

TRUE: How will you get out of the house, sir? he knows you are in
the house, and he will watch you this se'ennight, but he'll have
you. He'll outwait a serjeant for you.

LA-F: Why, then I'll stay here.

TRUE: You must think how to victual yourself in time then.

LA-F: Why, sweet master Truewit, will you entreat my cousin Otter
to send me a cold venison pasty, a bottle or two of wine, and a
chamber-pot?

TRUE: A stool were better, sir, of sir Ajax his invention.

LA-F: Ay, that will be better, indeed; and a pallet to lie on.

TRUE: O, I would not advise you to sleep by any means.

LA-F: Would you not, sir? why, then I will not.

TRUE: Yet, there's another fear--

LA-F: Is there! what is't?

TRUE: No, he cannot break open this door with his foot, sure.

LA-F: I'll set my back against it, sir. I have a good back.

TRUE: But then if he should batter.

LA-F: Batter! if he dare, I'll have an action of battery against
him.

TRUE: Cast you the worst. He has sent for powder already, and what
he will do with it, no man knows: perhaps blow up the corner of
the house where he suspects you are. Here he comes; in quickly.
[THRUSTS IN LA-FOOLE AND SHUTS THE DOOR.]
I protest, sir John Daw, he is not this way: what will you do?
before God, you shall hang no petard here. I'll die rather. Will
you not take my word? I never knew one but would be satisfied.--
Sir Amorous,
[SPEAKS THROUGH THE KEY-HOLE,]
there's no standing out: He has made a petard of an old brass
pot, to force your door. Think upon some satisfaction, or terms
to offer him.

LA-F [WITHIN.]: Sir, I will give him any satisfaction: I dare
give any terms.

TRUE: You'll leave it to me, then?

LA-F: Ay, sir. I'll stand to any conditions.

TRUE [BECKONING FORWARD CLERIMONT AND DAUPHINE.]: How now, what
think you, sirs? were't not a difficult thing to determine
which of these two fear'd most.

CLER: Yes, but this fears the bravest: the other a whiniling
dastard, Jack Daw! But La-Foole, a brave heroic coward! and is
afraid in a great look and a stout accent; I like him rarely.

TRUE: Had it not been pity these two should have been concealed?

CLER: Shall I make a motion?

TRUE: Briefly: For I must strike while 'tis hot.

CLER: Shall I go fetch the ladies to the catastrophe?

TRUE: Umph! ay, by my troth.

DAUP: By no mortal means. Let them continue in the state of
ignorance, and err still; think them wits and fine fellows, as
they have done. 'Twere sin to reform them.

TRUE: Well, I will have them fetch'd, now I think on't, for a
private purpose of mine: do, Clerimont, fetch them, and discourse
to them all that's past, and bring them into the gallery here.

DAUP: This is thy extreme vanity, now: thou think'st thou wert
undone, if every jest thou mak'st were not publish'd.

TRUE: Thou shalt see how unjust thou art presently. Clerimont, say
it was Dauphine's plot.
[EXIT CLERIMONT.]
Trust me not, if the whole drift be not for thy good. There is a
carpet in the next room, put it on, with this scarf over thy face,
and a cushion on thy head, and be ready when I call Amorous.
Away!
[EXIT DAUP.]
John Daw!
[GOES TO DAW'S CLOSET AND BRINGS HIM OUT.]

DAW: What good news, sir?

TRUE: Faith, I have followed and argued with him hard for you. I
told him you were a knight, and a scholar, and that you knew
fortitude did consist magis patiendo quam faciendo, magis ferendo
quam feriendo.

DAW: It doth so indeed, sir.

TRUE: And that you would suffer, I told him: so at first he
demanded by my troth, in my conceit, too much.

DAW: What was it, sir.

TRUE: Your upper lip, and six of your fore-teeth.

DAW: 'Twas unreasonable.

TRUE: Nay, I told him plainly, you could not spare them all.
So after long argument pro et con as you know, I brought him
down to your two butter-teeth, and them he would have.

DAW: O, did you so? Why, he shall have them.

TRUE: But he shall not, sir, by your leave. The conclusion is this,
sir: because you shall be very good friends hereafter, and this
never to be remembered or upbraided; besides, that he may not
boast he has done any such thing to you in his own person: he is
to come here in disguise, give you five kicks in private, sir, take
your sword from you, and lock you up in that study during pleasure:
which will be but a little while, we'll get it released presently.

DAW: Five kicks! he shall have six, sir, to be friends.

TRUE: Believe me, you shall not over-shoot yourself, to send him
that word by me.

DAW: Deliver it, sir: he shall have it with all my heart, to be
friends.

TRUE: Friends! Nay, an he should not be so, and heartily too, upon
these terms, he shall have me to enemy while I live. Come, sir, bear
it bravely.

DAW: O lord, sir, 'tis nothing.

TRUE: True: what's six kicks to a man that reads Seneca?

DAW: I have had a hundred, sir.

TRUE: Sir Amorous!
[RE-ENTER DAUPHINE, DISGUISED.]
No speaking one to another, or rehearsing old matters.

DAW [AS DAUPHINE KICKS HIM.]: One, two, three, four, five. I
protest, sir Amorous, you shall have six.

TRUE: Nay, I told you, you should not talk. Come give him six,
an he will needs.
[DAUPHINE KICKS HIM AGAIN.]
--Your sword.
[TAKES HIS SWORD.]
Now return to your safe custody: you shall presently meet
afore the ladies, and be the dearest friends one to another.
[PUTS DAW INTO THE STUDY.]
--Give me the scarf now, thou shalt beat the other bare-faced.
Stand by:
[DAUPHINE RETIRES, AND TRUEWIT GOES TO THE OTHER CLOSET, AND
RELEASES LA-FOOLE.]
--Sir Amorous!

LA-F: What's here? A sword?

TRUE: I cannot help it, without I should take the quarrel upon
myself. Here he has sent you his sword--

LA-F: I will receive none on't.

TRUE: And he wills you to fasten it against a wall, and break
your head in some few several places against the hilts.

LA-F: I will not: tell him roundly. I cannot endure to shed my
own blood.

TRUE: Will you not?

LA-F: No. I'll beat it against a fair flat wall, if that will
satisfy him: if not, he shall beat it himself, for Amorous.

TRUE: Why, this is strange starting off, when a man undertakes
for you! I offer'd him another condition; will you stand to that?

LA-F: Ay, what is't.

TRUE: That you will be beaten in private.

LA-F: Yes, I am content, at the blunt.

[ENTER, ABOVE, HAUGHTY, CENTAURE, MAVIS, MISTRESS OTTER,
EPICOENE, AND TRUSTY.]

TRUE: Then you must submit yourself to be hoodwinked in this
scarf, and be led to him, where he will take your sword from
you, and make you bear a blow over the mouth, gules, and tweaks
by the nose, sans nombre.

LA-F: I am content. But why must I be blinded?

TRUE: That's for your good, sir: because, if he should grow
insolent upon this, and publish it hereafter to your disgrace,
(which I hope he will not do,) you might swear safely, and
protest, he never beat you, to your knowledge.

LA-F: O, I conceive.

TRUE: I do not doubt but you will be perfect good friends upon't,
and not dare to utter an ill thought one of another in future.

LA-F: Not I, as God help me, of him.

TRUE: Nor he of you, sir. If he should
[BLINDS HIS EYES.]
--Come, sir.
[LEADS HIM FORWARD.]
--All hid, sir John.

[ENTER DAUPHINE, AND TWEAKS HIM BY THE NOSE.]

LA-F: O, sir John, sir John! Oh, o--o--o--o--o--Oh--

TRUE: Good, sir John, leave tweaking, you'll blow his nose off.
'Tis sir John's pleasure, you should retire into the study.
[PUTS HIM UP AGAIN.]
--Why, now you are friends. All bitterness between you, I hope,
is buried; you shall come forth by and by, Damon and Pythias
upon't, and embrace with all the rankness of friendship that can
be. I trust, we shall have them tamer in their language hereafter.
Dauphine, I worship thee.--Gods will the ladies have surprised us!

[ENTER HAUGHTY, CENTAURE, MAVIS, MISTRESS OTTER, EPICOENE,
AND TRUSTY, BEHIND.]

HAU: Centaure, how our judgments were imposed on by these
adulterate knights!

Nay, madam, Mavis was more deceived than we, 'twas her
commendation utter'd them in the college.

MAV: I commended but their wits, madam, and their braveries.
I never look'd toward their valours.

HAU: Sir Dauphine is valiant, and a wit too, it seems.

MAV: And a bravery too.

HAU: Was this his project?

MRS. OTT: So master Clerimont intimates, madam.

HAU: Good Morose, when you come to the college, will you bring
him with you? he seems a very perfect gentleman.

EPI: He is so, madam, believe it.

CEN: But when will you come, Morose?

EPI: Three or four days hence, madam, when I have got me a coach
and horses.

HAU: No, to-morrow, good Morose; Centaure shall send you her coach.

MAV: Yes faith, do, and bring sir Dauphine with you.

HAU: She has promised that, Mavis.

MAV: He is a very worthy gentleman in his exteriors, madam.

HAU: Ay, he shews he is judicial in his clothes.

CEN: And yet not so superlatively neat as some, madam, that have
their faces set in a brake.

HAU: Ay, and have every hair in form!

MAV: That wear purer linen then ourselves, and profess more
neatness than the French hermaphrodite!

EPI: Ay, ladies, they, what they tell one of us, have told a
thousand; and are the only thieves of our fame: that think to
take us with that perfume, or with that lace, and laugh at us
unconscionably when they have done.

HAU: But, sir Dauphine's carelessness becomes him.

CEN: I could love a man for such a nose.

MAV: Or such a leg!

CEN: He has an exceeding good eye, madam.

MAV: And a very good lock.

CEN: Good Morose, bring him to my chamber first.

MRS. OTT: Please your honours to meet at my house, madam.

TRUE: See how they eye thee, man! they are taken, I warrant thee.

[HAUGHTY COMES FORWARD.]

HAU: You have unbraced our brace of knights here, master Truewit.

TRUE: Not I, madam; it was sir Dauphine's ingine: who, if he have
disfurnish'd your ladyship of any guard or service by it, is able
to make the place good again, in himself.

HAU: There is no suspicion of that, sir.

CEN: God so, Mavis, Haughty is kissing.

MAV: Let us go too, and take part.

[THEY COME FORWARD.]

HAU: But I am glad of the fortune (beside the discovery of two
such empty caskets) to gain the knowledge of so rich a mine of
virtue as sir Dauphine.

CEN: We would be all glad to style him of our friendship, and see
him at the college.

MAV: He cannot mix with a sweeter society, I'll prophesy; and
I hope he himself will think so.

DAUP: I should be rude to imagine otherwise, lady.

TRUE: Did not I tell thee, Dauphine? Why, all their actions are
governed by crude opinion, without reason or cause; they know not
why they do any thing: but, as they are inform'd, believe, judge,
praise, condemn, love, hate, and in emulation one of another, do
all these things alike. Only they have a natural inclination sways
them generally to the worst, when they are left to themselves.
But pursue it, now thou hast them.

HAU: Shall we go in again, Morose?

EPI: Yes, madam.

CEN: We'll entreat sir Dauphine's company.

TRUE: Stay, good madam, the interview of the two friends, Pylades
and Orestes: I'll fetch them out to you straight.

HAU: Will you, master Truewit?

DAUP: Ay, but noble ladies, do not confess in your countenance,
or outward bearing to them, any discovery of their follies, that
we may see how they will bear up again, with what assurance and
erection.

HAU: We will not, sir Dauphine.

CEN. MAV: Upon our honours, sir Dauphine.

TRUE [GOES TO THE FIRST CLOSET.]: Sir Amorous, sir Amorous!
The ladies are here.

LA-F [WITHIN.]: Are they?

TRUE: Yes; but slip out by and by, as their backs are turn'd,
and meet sir John here, as by chance, when I call you.
[goes to the other.]
--Jack Daw.

DAW: What say you, sir?

TRUE: Whip out behind me suddenly, and no anger in your looks to
your adversary. Now, now!

[LA-FOOLE AND DAW SLIP OUT OF THEIR RESPECTIVE CLOSETS, AND
SALUTE EACH OTHER.]

LA-F: Noble sir John Daw, where have you been?

DAW: To seek you, sir Amorous.

LA-F: Me! I honour you.

DAW: I prevent you, sir.

CLER: They have forgot their rapiers.

TRUE: O, they meet in peace, man.

DAUP: Where's your sword, sir John?

CLER: And yours, sir Amorous?

DAW: Mine! my boy had it forth to mend the handle, e'en now.

LA-F: And my gold handle was broke too, and my boy had it forth.

DAUP: Indeed, sir!--How their excuses meet!

CLER: What a consent there is in the handles!

TRUE: Nay, there is so in the points too, I warrant you.

[ENTER MOROSE, WITH THE TWO SWORDS, DRAWN IN HIS HANDS.]

MRS. OTT: O me! madam, he comes again, the madman! Away!

[LADIES, DAW, AND LA-FOOLE, RUN OFF.]

MOR: What make these naked weapons here, gentlemen?

TRUE: O sir! here hath like to have been murder since you went;
a couple of knights fallen out about the bride's favours! We were
fain to take away their weapons; your house had been begg'd by
this time else.

MOR: For what?

CLER: For manslaughter, sir, as being accessary.

MOR: And for her favours?

TRUE: Ay, sir, heretofore, not present--Clerimont, carry them
their swords, now. They have done all the hurt they will do.

[EXIT CLER. WITH THE TWO SWORDS.]

DAUP: Have you spoke with the lawyer, sir?

MOR: O, no! there is such a noise in the court, that they have
frighted me home with more violence then I went! such speaking
and counter-speaking, with their several voices of citations,
appellations, allegations, certificates, attachments,
intergatories, references, convictions, and afflictions indeed,
among the doctors and proctors, that the noise here is silence
to't! a kind of calm midnight!

TRUE: Why, sir, if you would be resolved indeed, I can bring you
hither a very sufficient lawyer, and a learned divine, that shall
enquire into every least scruple for you.

MOR: Can you, master Truewit?

TRUE: Yes, and are very sober, grave persons, that will dispatch
it in a chamber, with a whisper or two.

MOR: Good sir, shall I hope this benefit from you, and trust myself
into your hands?

TRUE: Alas, sir! your nephew and I have been ashamed and oft-times
mad, since you went, to think how you are abused. Go in, good sir,
and lock yourself up till we call you; we'll tell you more anon,
sir.

MOR: Do your pleasure with me gentlemen; I believe in you: and that
deserves no delusion.

[EXIT.]

TRUE: You shall find none, sir: but heap'd, heap'd plenty of
vexation.

DAUP: What wilt thou do now, Wit?

TRUE: Recover me hither Otter and the barber, if you can, by any
means, presently.

DAUP: Why? to what purpose?

TRUE: O, I'll make the deepest divine, and gravest lawyer, out
of them two for him--

DAUP: Thou canst not, man; these are waking dreams.

TRUE: Do not fear me. Clap but a civil gown with a welt on the
one; and a canonical cloak with sleeves on the other: and give
them a few terms in their mouths, if there come not forth as able
a doctor, and complete a parson, for this turn, as may be wish'd,
trust not my election: and, I hope, without wronging the dignity
of either profession, since they are but persons put on, and for
mirth's sake, to torment him. The barber smatters Latin, I
remember.

DAUP: Yes, and Otter too.

TRUE: Well then, if I make them not wrangle out this case to his
no comfort, let me be thought a Jack Daw or La-Foole or anything
worse. Go you to your ladies, but first send for them.

DAUP: I will.

[EXEUNT.]

ACT 5. SCENE 5.1.

A ROOM IN MOROSE'S HOUSE.

ENTER LA-FOOLE, CLERIMONT, AND DAW.

LA-F: Where had you our swords, master Clerimont?

CLER: Why, Dauphine took them from the madman.

LA-F: And he took them from our boys, I warrant you.

CLER: Very like, sir.

LA-F: Thank you, good master Clerimont. Sir John Daw and I are
both beholden to you.

CLER: Would I knew how to make you so, gentlemen!

DAW: Sir Amorous and I are your servants, sir.

[ENTER MAVIS.]

MAV: Gentlemen, have any of you a pen and ink? I would fain write
out a riddle in Italian, for sir Dauphine, to translate.

CLER: Not I, in troth lady; I am no scrivener.

DAW: I can furnish you, I think, lady.

[EXEUNT DAW AND MAVIS.]

CLER: He has it in the haft of a knife, I believe.

LA-F: No, he has his box of instruments.

CLER: Like a surgeon!

LA-F: For the mathematics: his square, his compasses, his brass
pens, and black-lead, to draw maps of every place and person
where he comes.

CLER: How, maps of persons!

LA-F: Yes, sir, of Nomentack when he was here, and of the Prince of
Moldavia, and of his mistress, mistress Epicoene.

[RE-ENTER DAW.]

CLER: Away! he hath not found out her latitude, I hope.

LA-F: You are a pleasant gentleman, sir.

CLER: Faith, now we are in private, let's wanton it a little, and
talk waggishly.--Sir John, I am telling sir Amorous here, that you
two govern the ladies wherever you come; you carry the feminine
gender afore you.

DAW: They shall rather carry us afore them, if they will, sir.

CLER: Nay, I believe that they do, withal--but that you are the
prime men in their affections, and direct all their actions--

DAW: Not I: sir Amorous is.

LA-F: I protest, sir John is.

DAW: As I hope to rise in the state, sir Amorous, you have the
person.

LA-F: Sir John, you have the person, and the discourse too.

DAW: Not I, sir. I have no discourse--and then you have activity
beside.

LA-F: I protest, sir John, you come as high from Tripoly as I do,
every whit: and lift as many join'd stools, and leap over them,
if you would use it.

CLER: Well, agree on't together knights; for between you, you
divide the kingdom or commonwealth of ladies' affections: I see
it, and can perceive a little how they observe you, and fear you,
indeed. You could tell strange stories, my masters, if you would,
I know.

DAW: Faith, we have seen somewhat, sir.

LA-F: That we have--velvet petticoats, and wrought smocks, or so.

DAW: Ay, and--

CLER: Nay, out with it, sir John: do not envy your friend the
pleasure of hearing, when you have had the delight of tasting.

DAW: Why--a--do you speak, sir Amorous.

LA-F: No, do you, sir John Daw.

DAW: I'faith, you shall.

LA-F: I'faith, you shall.

DAW: Why, we have been--

LA-F: In the great bed at Ware together in our time. On, sir
John.

DAW: Nay, do you, sir Amorous.

CLER: And these ladies with you, knights?

LA-F: No, excuse us, sir.

DAW: We must not wound reputation.

LA-F: No matter--they were these, or others. Our bath cost us
fifteen pound when we came home.

CLER: Do you hear, sir John? You shall tell me but one thing
truly, as you love me.

DAW: If I can, I will, sir.

CLER: You lay in the same house with the bride, here?

DAW: Yes, and conversed with her hourly, sir.

CLER: And what humour is she of? Is she coming, and open, free?

DAW: O, exceeding open, sir. I was her servant, and sir Amorous was
to be.

CLER: Come, you have both had favours from her: I know, and have
heard so much.

DAW: O no, sir.

LA-F: You shall excuse us, sir: we must not wound reputation.

CLER: Tut, she is married now, and you cannot hurt her with any
report; and therefore speak plainly: how many times, i'faith?
which of you led first? ha!

LA-F: Sir John had her maidenhead, indeed.

DAW: O, it pleases him to say so, sir, but sir Amorous knows what
is what, as well.

CLER: Dost thou i'faith, Amorous?

LA-F: In a manner, sir.

CLER: Why, I commend you lads. Little knows don Bridegroom of
this. Nor shall he, for me.

DAW: Hang him, mad ox!

CLER: Speak softly: here comes his nephew, with the lady Haughty.
He'll get the ladies from you, sirs, if you look not to him in
time.

LA-F: Why, if he do, we'll fetch them home again, I warrant you.

[EXIT WITH DAW. CLER. WALKS ASIDE.]

[ENTER DAUPHINE AND HAUGHTY.]

HAU: I assure you, sir Dauphine, it is the price and estimation
of your virtue only, that hath embark'd me to this adventure; and
I could not but make out to tell you so; nor can I repent me of
the act, since it is always an argument of some virtue in our
selves, that we love and affect it so in others.

DAUP: Your ladyship sets too high a price on my weakness.

HAU: Sir, I can distinguish gems from pebbles--

DAUP [ASIDE.]: Are you so skilful in stones?

HAU: And howsover I may suffer in such a judgment as yours, by
admitting equality of rank or society with Centaure or Mavis--

DAUP: You do not, madam; I perceive they are your mere foils.

HAU: Then, are you a friend to truth, sir; it makes me love you
the more. It is not the outward, but the inward man that I affect.
They are not apprehensive of an eminent perfection, but love flat,
and dully.

CEN [within.]: Where are you, my lady Haughty?

HAU: I come presently, Centaure.--My chamber, sir, my page shall
shew you; and Trusty, my woman, shall be ever awake for you: you
need not fear to communicate any thing with her, for she is a
Fidelia. I pray you wear this jewel for my sake, sir Dauphine.--
[ENTER CENTAURE.]
Where is Mavis, Centaure?

CEN: Within, madam, a writing. I'll follow you presently:
[EXIT HAU.]
I'll but speak a word with sir Dauphine.

DAUP: With me, madam?

CEN: Good sir Dauphine, do not trust Haughty, nor make any credit
to her, whatever you do besides. Sir Dauphine, I give you this
caution, she is a perfect courtier, and loves nobody but for her
uses: and for her uses she loves all. Besides, her physicians give
her out to be none o' the clearest, whether she pay them or no,
heaven knows: and she's above fifty too, and pargets! See her in
a forenoon. Here comes Mavis, a worse face then she! you would
not like this, by candle-light.
[RE-ENTER MAVIS.]
If you'll come to my chamber one o' these mornings early, or late
in an evening, I will tell you more. Where's Haughty, Mavis?

MAV: Within, Centaure.

CEN: What have you, there?

MAV: An Italian riddle for sir Dauphine,--you shall not see it
i'faith, Centaure.--
[EXIT CEN.]
Good sir Dauphine, solve it for me. I'll call for it anon.

[EXIT.]

CLER [COMING FORWARD.]: How now, Dauphine! how dost thou quit
thyself of these females?

DAUP: 'Slight, they haunt me like fairies, and give me jewels
here; I cannot be rid of them.

CLER: O, you must not tell though.

DAUP: Mass, I forgot that: I was never so assaulted. One loves
for virtue, and bribes me with this;
[SHEWS THE JEWEL.]
--another loves me with caution, and so would possess me; a
third brings me a riddle here: and all are jealous: and rail each
at other.

CLER: A riddle! pray let me see it.
[READS.]
Sir Dauphine, I chose this way of intimation for privacy. The
ladies here, I know, have both hope and purpose to make a
collegiate and servant of you. If I might be so honoured, as to
appear at any end of so noble a work, I would enter into a fame
of taking physic to-morrow, and continue it four or five days,
or longer, for your visitation. Mavis.
By my faith, a subtle one! Call you this a riddle? what's their
plain dealing, trow?

DAUP: We lack Truewit to tell us that.

CLER: We lack him for somewhat else too: his knights reformadoes
are wound up as high and insolent as ever they were.

DAUP: You jest.

CLER: No drunkards, either with wine or vanity, ever confess'd
such stories of themselves. I would not give a fly's leg, in
balance against all the womens' reputations here, if they could
be but thought to speak truth: and for the bride, they have made
their affidavit against her directly--

DAUP: What, that they have lain with her?

CLER: Yes; and tell times and circumstances, with the cause why,
and the place where. I had almost brought them to affirm that they
had done it to-day.

DAUP: Not both of them?

CLER: Yes, faith: with a sooth or two more I had effected it.
They would have set it down under their hands.

DAUP: Why, they will be our sport, I see, still, whether we will
or no.

[ENTER TRUEWIT.]

TRUE: O, are you here? Come, Dauphine; go call your uncle
presently: I have fitted my divine, and my canonist, dyed
their beards and all. The knaves do not know themselves, they
are so exalted and altered. Preferment changes any man. Thou
shalt keep one door and I another, and then Clerimont in the
midst, that he may have no means of escape from their cavilling,
when they grow hot once again. And then the women, as I have
given the bride her instructions, to break in upon him in the
l'enuoy. O, 'twill be full and twanging! Away! fetch him.
[EXIT DAUPHINE.]
[ENTER OTTER DISGUISED AS A DIVINE, AND CUTBEARD AS A CANON
LAWYER.]
Come, master doctor, and master parson, look to your parts now,
and discharge them bravely: you are well set forth, perform it
as well. If you chance to be out, do not confess it with standing
still, or humming, or gaping one at another: but go on, and talk
aloud and eagerly; use vehement action, and only remember your
terms, and you are safe. Let the matter go where it will: you
have many will do so. But at first be very solemn, and grave like
your garments, though you loose your selves after, and skip out
like a brace of jugglers on a table. Here he comes: set your
faces, and look superciliously, while I present you.

[RE-ENTER DAUPHINE WITH MOROSE.]

MOR: Are these the two learned men?

TRUE: Yes, sir; please you salute them.

MOR: Salute them! I had rather do any thing, than wear out time so
unfruitfully, sir. I wonder how these common forms, as God save
you, and You are welcome, are come to be a habit in our lives:
or, I am glad to see you! when I cannot see what the profit can
be of these words, so long as it is no whit better with him whose
affairs are sad and grievous, that he hears this salutation.

TRUE: 'Tis true, sir; we'll go to the matter then.--Gentlemen,
master doctor, and master parson, I have acquainted you
sufficiently with the business for which you are come hither; and
you are not now to inform yourselves in the state of the question,
I know. This is the gentleman who expects your resolution, and
therefore, when you please, begin.

OTT: Please you, master doctor.

CUT: Please you, good master parson.

OTT: I would hear the canon-law speak first.

CUT: It must give place to positive divinity, sir.

MOR: Nay, good gentlemen, do not throw me into circumstances. Let
your comforts arrive quickly at me, those that are. Be swift in
affording me my peace, if so I shall hope any. I love not your
disputations, or your court-tumults. And that it be not strange to
you, I will tell you: My father, in my education, was wont to
advise me, that I should always collect and contain my mind, not
suffering it to flow loosely; that I should look to what things
were necessary to the carriage of my life, and what not; embracing
the one and eschewing the other: in short, that I should endear
myself to rest, and avoid turmoil: which now is grown to be
another nature to me. So that I come not to your public pleadings,
or your places of noise; not that I neglect those things that make
for the dignity of the commonwealth: but for the mere avoiding
of clamours and impertinencies of orators, that know not how to be
silent. And for the cause of noise, am I now a suitor to you. You
do not know in what a misery I have been exercised this day, what
a torrent of evil! my very house turns round with the tumult! I
dwell in a windmill: The perpetual motion is here, and not at
Eltham.

TRUE: Well, good master doctor, will you break the ice? master
parson will wade after.

CUT: Sir, though unworthy, and the weaker, I will presume.

OTT: 'Tis no presumption, domine doctor.

MOR: Yet again!

CUT: Your question is, For how many causes a man may have
divortium legitimum, a lawful divorce? First, you must understand
the nature of the word, divorce, a divertendo--

MOR: No excursions upon words, good doctor, to the question briefly.

CUT: I answer then, the canon-law affords divorce but in a few
cases; and the principal is in the common case, the adulterous
case: But there are duodecim impedimenta, twelve impediments, as
we call them, all which do not dirimere contractum, but irritum
reddere matrimonium, as we say in the canon-law, not take away the
bond, but cause a nullity therein.

MOR: I understood you before: good sir, avoid your impertinency of
translation.

OTT: He cannot open this too much, sir, by your favour.

MOR: Yet more!

TRUE: O, you must give the learned men leave, sir.--To your
impediments, master Doctor.

CUT: The first is impedimentum erroris.

OTT: Of which there are several species.

CUT: Ay, as error personae.

OTT: If you contract yourself to one person, thinking her another.

CUT: Then, error fortunae.

OTT: If she be a begger, and you thought her rich.

CUT: Then, error qualitatis.

OTT: If she prove stubborn or head-strong, that you thought
obedient.

MOR: How! is that, sir, a lawful impediment? One at once, I pray
you gentlemen.

OTT: Ay, ante copulam, but not post copulam, sir.

CUT: Master Parson says right. Nec post nuptiarum benedictionem.
It doth indeed but irrita reddere sponsalia, annul the contract:
after marriage it is of no obstancy.

TRUE: Alas, sir, what a hope are we fallen from by this time!

CUT: The next is conditio: if you thought her free born, and she
prove a bond-woman, there is impediment of estate and condition.

OTT: Ay, but, master doctor, those servitudes are sublatae now,
among us Christians.

CUT: By your favour, master parson--

OTT: You shall give me leave, master doctor.

MOR: Nay, gentlemen, quarrel not in that question; it concerns not
my case: pass to the third.

CUT: Well then, the third is votum: if either party have made a
vow of chastity. But that practice, as master parson said of the
other, is taken away among us, thanks be to discipline. The fourth
is cognatio: if the persons be of kin within the degrees.

OTT: Ay: do you know what the degrees are, sir?

MOR: No, nor I care not, sir: they offer me no comfort in the
question, I am sure.

CUT: But there is a branch of this impediment may, which is
cognatio spiritualis: if you were her godfather, sir, then the
marriage is incestuous.

OTT: That comment is absurd and superstitious, master doctor: I
cannot endure it. Are we not all brothers and sisters, and as much
akin in that, as godfathers and god-daughters?

MOR: O me! to end the controversy, I never was a godfather, I
never was a godfather in my life, sir. Pass to the next.

CUT: The fifth is crimen adulterii; the known case. The sixth,
cultus disparitas, difference of religion: have you ever examined
her, what religion she is of?

MOR: No, I would rather she were of none, than be put to the
trouble of it!

OTT: You may have it done for you, sir.

MOR: By no means, good sir; on to the rest: shall you ever come
to an end, think you?

TRUE: Yes, he has done half, sir. On, to the rest.--Be patient,
and expect, sir.

CUT: The seventh is, vis: if it were upon compulsion or force.

MOR: O no, it was too voluntary, mine; too voluntary.

CUT: The eight is, ordo; if ever she have taken holy orders.

OTT: That's supersitious too.

MOR: No matter, master parson: Would she would go into a nunnery
yet.

CUT: The ninth is, ligamen; if you were bound, sir, to any other
before.

MOR: I thrust myself too soon into these fetters.

CUT: The tenth is, publica honestas: which is inchoata quaedam
affinitas.

OTT: Ay, or affinitas orta ex sponsalibus; and is but leve
impedimentum.

MOR: I feel no air of comfort blowing to me, in all this.

CUT: The eleventh is, affinitas ex fornicatione.

OTT: Which is no less vera affinitas, than the other, master
doctor.

CUT: True, quae oritur ex legitimo matrimonio.

OTT: You say right, venerable doctor: and, nascitur ex eo, quod
per conjugium duae personae efficiuntur una caro--

MOR: Hey-day, now they begin!

CUT: I conceive you, master parson: ita per fornicationem aeque
est verus pater, qui sic generat--

OTT: Et vere filius qui sic generatur--

MOR: What's all this to me?

CLER: Now it grows warm.

CUT: The twelfth, and last is, si forte coire nequibis.

OTT: Ay, that is impedimentum gravissimum: it doth utterly annul,
and annihilate, that. If you have manifestam frigiditatem, you
are well, sir.

TRUE: Why, there is comfort come at length, sir. Confess yourself
but a man unable, and she will sue to be divorced first.

OTT: Ay, or if there be morbus perpetuus, et insanabilis; as
paralysis, elephantiasis, or so--

DAUP: O, but frigiditas is the fairer way, gentlemen.

OTT: You say troth, sir, and as it is in the canon, master
doctor--

CUT: I conceive you, sir.

CLER: Before he speaks!

OTT: That a boy, or child, under years, is not fit for marriage,
because he cannot reddere debitum. So your omnipotentes--

TRUE [ASIDE TO OTT.]: Your impotentes, you whoreson lobster!

OTT: Your impotentes, I should say, are minime apti ad
contrahenda matrimonium.

TRUE: Matrimonium! we shall have most unmatrimonial Latin with
you: matrimonia, and be hang'd.

DAUP: You put them out, man.

CUT: But then there will arise a doubt, master parson, in our
case, post matrimonium: that frigiditate praeditus--do you
conceive me, sir?

OTT: Very well, sir.

CUT: Who cannot uti uxore pro uxore, may habere eam pro sorore.

OTT: Absurd, absurd, absurd, and merely apostatical!

CUT: You shall pardon me, master parson, I can prove it.

OTT: You can prove a will, master doctor, you can prove nothing
else. Does not the verse of your own canon say,
Haec socianda vetant connubia, facta retractant?

CUT: I grant you; but how do they retractare, master parson?

MOR: O, this was it I feared.

OTT: In aeternum, sir.

CUT: That's false in divinity, by your favour.

OTT: 'Tis false in humanity to say so. Is he not prorsus inutilis
ad thorum? Can he praestare fidem datam? I would fain know.

CUT: Yes; how if he do convalere?

OTT: He cannot convalere, it is impossible.

TRUE: Nay, good sir, attend the learned men, they will think you
neglect them else.

CUT: Or, if he do simulare himself frigidum, odio uxoris, or so?

OTT: I say, he is adulter manifestus then.

DAUP: They dispute it very learnedly, i'faith.

OTT: And prostitutor uxoris; and this is positive.

MOR: Good sir, let me escape.

TRUE: You will not do me that wrong, sir?

OTT: And, therefore, if he be manifeste frigidus, sir--

CUT: Ay, if he be manifeste frigidus, I grant you--

OTT: Why, that was my conclusion.

CUT: And mine too.

TRUE: Nay, hear the conclusion, sir.

OTT: Then, frigiditatis causa--

CUT: Yes, causa frigiditatis--

MOR: O, mine ears!

OTT: She may have libellum divortii against you.

CUT: Ay, divortii libellum she will sure have.

MOR: Good echoes, forbear.

OTT: If you confess it.

CUT: Which I would do, sir--

MOR: I will do any thing.

OTT: And clear myself in foro conscientiae--

CUT: Because you want indeed--

MOR: Yet more?

OTT: Exercendi potestate.

[EPICOENE RUSHES IN, FOLLOWED BY HAUGHTY, CENTAURE, MAVIS,
MISTRESS OTTER, DAW, AND LA-FOOLE.]

EPI: I will not endure it any longer. Ladies, I beseech you,
help me. This is such a wrong as never was offered to poor
bride before: upon her marriage day, to have her husband
conspire against her, and a couple of mercenary companions
to be brought in for form's sake, to persuade a separation!
If you had blood or virtue in you, gentlemen, you would not
suffer such ear-wigs about a husband, or scorpions to creep
between man and wife.

MOR: O the variety and changes of my torment!

HAU: Let them be cudgell'd out of doors, by our grooms.

CEN: I'll lend you my foot-man.

MAV: We'll have our men blanket them in the hall.

MRS. OTT: As there was one at our house, madam, for peeping
in at the door.

DAW: Content, i'faith.

TRUE: Stay, ladies and gentlemen; you'll hear, before you proceed?

MAV: I'd have the bridegroom blanketted too.

CEN: Begin with him first.

HAU: Yes, by my troth.

MOR: O mankind generation!

DAUP: Ladies, for my sake forbear.

HAU: Yes, for sir Dauphine's sake.

CEN: He shall command us.

LA-F: He is as fine a gentleman of his inches, madam, as any
is about the town, and wears as good colours when he listS.

TRUE: Be brief, sir, and confess your infirmity, she'll be a-fire
to be quit of you, if she but hear that namEd once, you shall not
entreat her to stay: she'll fly you like one that had the marks
upon him.

MOR: Ladies, I must crave all your pardons--

TRUE: Silence, ladies.

MOR: For a wrong I have done to your whole sex, in marrying this
fair, and virtuous gentlewoman--

CLER: Hear him, good ladies.

MOR: Being guilty of an infirmity, which, before I conferred
with these learned men, I thought I might have concealed--

TRUE: But now being better informed in his conscience by them,
he is to declare it, and give satisfaction, by asking your public
forgiveness.

MOR: I am no man, ladies.

ALL: How!

MOR: Utterly unabled in nature, by reason of frigidity, to
perform the duties, or any the least office of a husband.

MAV: Now out upon him, prodigious creature!

CEN: Bridegroom uncarnate!

HAU: And would you offer it to a young gentlewoman?

MRS. OTT: A lady of her longings?

EPI: Tut, a device, a device, this, it smells rankly, ladies.
A mere comment of his own.

TRUE: Why, if you suspect that, ladies, you may have him
search'd--

DAW: As the custom is, by a jury of physicians.

LA-F: Yes faith, 'twill be brave.

MOR: O me, must I undergo that?

MRS. OTT: No, let women search him, madam: we can do it
ourselves.

MOR: Out on me! worse.

EPI: No, ladies, you shall not need, I will take him with all
his faults.

MOR: Worst of all!

CLER: Why then, 'tis no divorce, doctor, if she consent not?

CUT: No, if the man be frigidus, it is de parte uxoris, that we
grant libellum divortii, in the law.

OTT: Ay, it is the same in theology.

MOR: Worse, worse than worst!

TRUE: Nay, sir, be not utterly disheartened; we have yet a
small relic of hope left, as near as our comfort is blown
out. Clerimont, produce your brace of knights. What was that,
master parson, you told me in errore qualitatis, e'en now?--
[ASIDE.]
Dauphine, whisper the bride, that she carry it as if she were
guilty, and ashamed.

OTT: Marry, sir, in errore qualitatis (which master doctor did
forbear to urge,) if she be found corrupta, that is, vitiated or
broken up, that was pro virgine desponsa, espoused for a maid--

MOR: What then, sir?

OTT: It doth dirimere contractum, and irritum reddere too.

TRUE: If this be true, we are happy again, sir, once more. Here
are an honourable brace of knights, that shall affirm so much.

DAW: Pardon us, good master Clerimont.

LA-F: You shall excuse us, master Clerimont.

CLER: Nay, you must make it good now, knights, there is no remedy;
I'll eat no words for you, nor no men: you know you spoke it to
me.

DAW: Is this gentleman-like, sir?

TRUE [ASIDE TO DAW.]: Jack Daw, he's worse then sir Amorous;
fiercer a great deal.
[ASIDE TO LA-FOOLE.]--Sir Amorous, beware, there be ten Daws in
this Clerimont.

LA-F: I'll confess it, sir.

DAW: Will you, sir Amorous, will you wound reputation?

LA-F: I am resolvEd.

TRUE: So should you be too, Jack Daw: what should keep you off?
she's but a woman, and in disgrace: he'll be glad on't.

DAW: Will he? I thought he would have been angry.

CLER: You will dispatch, knights, it must be done, i'faith.

TRUE: Why, an it must, it shall, sir, they say: they'll ne'er
go back.
[ASIDE TO THEM.]
--Do not tempt his patience.

DAW: It is true indeed, sir?

LA-F: Yes, I assure you, sir.

MOR: What is true gentlemen? what do you assure me?

DAW: That we have known your bride, sir--

LA-F: In good fashion. She was our mistress, or so--

CLER: Nay, you must be plain, knights, as you were to me.

OTT: Ay, the question is, if you have carnaliter, or no?

LA-F: Carnaliter! what else, sir?

OTT: It is enough: a plain nullity.

EPI: I am undone, I am undone!

MOR: O, let me worship and adore you, gentlemen!

EPI [WEEPS.]: I am undone!

MOR: Yes, to my hand, I thank these knights.
Master parson, let me thank you otherwise. [GIVES HIM MONEY.]

HAU: And have they confess'd?

MAV: Now out upon them, informers!

TRUE: You see what creatures you may bestow your favours
on, madams.

HAU: I would except against them as beaten knights, wench,
and not good witnesses in law.

MRS. OTT: Poor gentlewoman, how she takes it!

HAU: Be comforted, Morose, I love you the better for't.

CEN: so do I, I protest.

CUT: But, gentlemen, you have not known her since matrimonium?

DAW: Not to-day, master doctor.

LA-F: No, sir, not to-day.

CUT: Why, then I say, for any act before, the matrimonium is good
and perfect: unless the worshipful bridegroom did precisely,
before witness, demand, if she were virgo ante nuptias.

EPI: No, that he did not, I assure you, master doctor.

CUT: If he cannot prove that, it is ratum conjugium,
notwithstanding the premisSes. And they do no way impedire. And
this is my sentence, this I pronounce.

OTT: I am of master doctor's resolution too, sir: if you made
not that demand, ante nuptias.

MOR: O my heart! wilt thou break? wilt thou break? this is worst
of all worst worsts that hell could have devised! Marry a whore,
and so much noise!

DAUP: Come, I see now plain confederacy in this doctor and this
parson, to abuse a gentleman. You study his affliction. I pray
be gone companions.--And, gentlemen, I begin to suspect you for
having parts with them.--Sir, will it please you hear me?

MOR: O do not talk to me, take not from me the pleasure of dying
in silence, nephew.

DAUP: Sir, I must speak to you. I have been long your poor
despised kinsman, and many a hard thought has strengthened
you against me: but now it shall appear if either I love you
or your peace, and prefer them to all the world beside. I will
not be long or grievous to you, sir. If I free you of this
unhappy match absolutely, and instantly, after all this
trouble, and almost in your despair, now--

MOR: It cannot be.

DAUP: Sir, that you be never troubled with a murmur of it more,
what shall I hope for, or deserve of you?

MOR: O, what thou wilt, nephew! thou shalt deserve me, and have
me.

DAUP: Shall I have your favour perfect to me, and love hereafter?

MOR: That, and any thing beside. Make thine own conditions. My
whole estate is thine; manage it, I will become thy ward.

DAUP: Nay, sir, I will not be so unreasonable.

EPI: Will sir Dauphine be mine enemy too?

DAUP: You know I have been long a suitor to you, uncle, that
out of your estate, which is fifteen hundred a-year, you
would allow me but five hundred during life, and assure the
rest upon me after: to which I have often, by myself and
friends tendered you a writing to sign, which you would never
consent or incline to. If you please but to effect it now--

MOR: Thou shalt have it, nephew: I will do it, and more.

DAUP: If I quit you not presently, and for ever of this
cumber, you shall have power instantly, afore all these, to
revoke your act, and I will become whose slave you will give
me to, for ever.

MOR: Where is the writing? I will seal to it, that, or to a
blank, and write thine own conditions.

EPI: O me, most unfortunate, wretched gentlewoman!

HAU: Will sir Dauphine do this?

EPI: Good sir, have some compassion on me.

MOR: O, my nephew knows you, belike; away, crocodile!

HAU: He does it not sure without good ground.

DAUP: Here, sir. [GIVES HIM THE PARCHMENTS.]

MOR: Come, nephew, give me the pen. I will subscribe to any
thing, and seal to what thou wilt, for my deliverance. Thou
art my restorer. Here, I deliver it thee as my deed. If there
be a word in it lacking, or writ with false orthography, I
protest before [heaven] I will not take the advantage.
[RETURNS THE WRITINGS.]

DAUP: Then here is your release, sir.
[TAKES OFF EPICOENE'S PERUKE AND OTHER DISGUISES.]
You have married a boy, a gentleman's son, that I have
brought up this half year at my great charges, and for this
composition, which I have now made with you.--What say you,
master doctor? This is justum impedimentum, I hope, error
personae?

OTT: Yes sir, in primo gradu.

CUT: In primo gradu.

DAUP: I thank you, good doctor Cutbeard, and parson Otter.
[PULLS THEIR FALSE BEARDS AND GOWNS OFF.]
You are beholden to them, sir, that have taken this pains for
you; and my friend, master Truewit, who enabled them for the
business. Now you may go in and rest; be as private as you
will, sir.
[EXIT MOROSE.]
I'll not trouble you, till you trouble me with your funeral,
which I care not how soon it come.
--Cutbeard, I'll make your lease good. "Thank me not, but with
your leg, Cutbeard." And Tom Otter, your princess shall be
reconciled to you.--How now, gentlemen, do you look at me?

CLER: A boy!

DAUP: Yes, mistress Epicoene.

TRUE: Well, Dauphine, you have lurch'd your friends of the
better half of the garland, by concealing this part of the
plot: but much good do it thee, thou deserv'st it, lad. And,
Clerimont, for thy unexpected bringing these two to
confession, wear my part of it freely. Nay, sir Daw, and sir
La-Foole, you see the gentlewoman that has done you the
favours! we are all thankful to you, and so should the
woman-kind here, specially for lying on her, though not
with her! you meant so, I am sure? But that we have stuck it
upon you to-day, in your own imagined persons, and so lately,
this Amazon, the champion of the sex, should beat you now
thriftily, for the common slanders which ladies receive from
such cuckoos as you are. You are they that, when no merit or
fortune can make you hope to enjoy their bodies, will yet
lie with their reputations, and make their fame suffer. Away,
you common moths of these, and all ladies' honours. Go,
travel to make legs and faces, and come home with some new
matter to be laugh'd at: you deserve to live in an air as
corrupted as that wherewith you feed rumour.
[EXEUNT DAW AND LA-FOOLE.]
Madams, you are mute, upon this new metamorphosis! But here
stands she that has vindicated your fames. Take heed of such
insectae hereafter. And let it not trouble you, that you
have discovered any mysteries to this young gentleman: he is
almost of years, and will make a good visitant within this
twelvemonth. In the mean time, we'll all undertake for his
secrecy, that can speak so well of his silence.
[COMING FORWARD.]
--Spectators, if you like this comedy, rise cheerfully, and
now Morose is gone in, clap your hands. It may be, that noise
will cure him, at least please him.
[EXEUNT.]

----------------------------

GLOSSARY

ABATE, cast down, subdue.

ABHORRING, repugnant (to), at variance.

ABJECT, base, degraded thing, outcast.

ABRASE, smooth, blank.

ABSOLUTE(LY), faultless(ly).

ABSTRACTED, abstract, abstruse.

ABUSE, deceive, insult, dishonour, make ill use of.

ACATER, caterer.

ACATES, cates.

ACCEPTIVE, willing, ready to accept, receive.

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