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Every Man In His Humour by Ben Jonson

Part 2 out of 5

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Confusedly through every sensive part,
Till not a thought or motion in the mind
Be free from the black poison of suspect.
Ah, but what error is it to know this,
And want the free election of the soul
In such extremes! well, I will once more strive
(Even in despite of hell) myself to be,
And shake this fever off that thus shakes me.




MUS. 'Sblood, I cannot choose but laugh to see myself translated
thus, from a poor creature to a creator; for now must I create an
intolerable sort of lies, or else my profession loses his grace,
and yet the lie to a man of my coat is as ominous as the Fico, oh,
sir, it holds for good policy to have that outwardly in vilest
estimation, that inwardly is most dear to us: So much for my
borrowed shape. Well, the troth is, my master intends to follow
his son dry-foot to Florence, this morning: now I, knowing of this
conspiracy, and the rather to insinuate with my young master, (for
so must we that are blue waiters, or men of service do, or else
perhaps we may wear motley at the year's end, and who wears motley
you know:) I have got me afore in this disguise, determining here
to lie in ambuscado, and intercept him in the midway; if I can but
get his cloak, his purse, his hat, nay, any thing so I can stay his
journey, Rex Regum, I am made for ever, i'faith: well, now must
I practise to get the true garb of one of these Lance-knights; my
arm here, and my -- God's so, young master and his cousin.

LOR. JU. So, sir, and how then?


STEP. God's foot, I have lost my purse, I think.

LOR. JU. How? lost your purse? where? when had you it?

STEP. I cannot tell, stay.

MUS. 'Slid, I am afraid they will know me, would I could get by

LOR. JU. What! have you it?

STEP. No, I think I was bewitched, I.

LOR. JU. Nay, do not weep, a pox on it, hang it, let it go.

STEP. Oh, it's here; nay, an it had been lost, I had not cared but
for a jet ring Marina sent me.

LOR. JU. A jet ring! oh, the poesie, the poesie!

STEP. Fine, i'faith: "Though fancy sleep, my love is deep":
meaning that though I did not fancy her, yet she loved me dearly.

LOR. JU. Most excellent.

STEP. And then I sent her another, and my poesie was:
"The deeper the sweeter, I'll be judged by Saint Peter."

LOR. JU. How, by St. Peter? I do not conceive that.

STEP. Marry, St. Peter to make up the metre.

LOR JU. Well, you are beholding to that Saint, he help'd you at
your need; thank him, thank him.

MUS. I will venture, come what will: Gentlemen, please you change
a few crowns for a very excellent good blade here; I am a poor
gentleman, a soldier, one that (in the better state of my fortunes)
scorned so mean a refuge, but now it's the humour of necessity to
have it so: you seem to be, gentlemen, well affected to martial
men, else I should rather die with silence, than live with shame:
howe'er, vouchsafe to remember it is my want speaks, not myself:
this condition agrees not with my spirit.

LOR. JU. Where hast thou served?

MUS. May it please you, Signior, in all the provinces of Bohemia,
Hungaria, Dalmatia, Poland, where not? I have been a poor servitor
by sea and land, any time this xiiij. years, and follow'd the
fortunes of the best Commanders in Christendom. I was twice shot
at the taking of Aleppo, once at the relief of Vienna; I have been
at America in the galleys thrice, where I was most dangerously shot
in the head, through both the thighs, and yet, being thus maim'd,
I am void of maintenance, nothing left me but my scars, the noted
marks of my resolution.

STEP. How will you sell this rapier, friend?

MUS. Faith, Signior, I refer it to your own judgment; you are a
gentleman, give me what you please.

STEP. True, I am a gentleman, I know that; but what though, I pray
you say, what would you ask?

MUS. I assure you the blade may become the side of the best prince
in Europe.

LOR. JU. Ay, with a velvet scabbard.

STEP. Nay, an't be mine it shall have a velvet scabbard, that is
flat, I'd not wear it as 'tis an you would give me an angel.

MUS. At your pleasure, Signior, nay, it's a most pure Toledo.

STEP. I had rather it were a Spaniard: but tell me, what shall I
give you for it? an it had a silver hilt --

LOR. JU. Come, come, you shall not buy it; hold, there's a
shilling, friend, take thy rapier.

STEP. Why, but I will buy it now, because you say so: what, shall
I go without a rapier?

LOR. JU. You may buy one in the city.

STEP. Tut, I'll buy this, so I will; tell me your lowest price.

LOR. JU. You shall not, I say.

STEP. By God's lid, but I will, though I give more than 'tis

LOR. JU. Come away, you are a fool.

STEP. Friend, I'll have it for that word: follow me.

MUS. At your service, Signior.




LOR. SE. My labouring spirit being late opprest
With my son's folly, can embrace no rest
Till it hath plotted by advice and skill,
How to reduce him from affected will
To reason's manage; which while I intend,
My troubled soul begins to apprehend
A farther secret, and to meditate
Upon the difference of man's estate:
Where is decipher'd to true judgment's eye
A deep, conceal'd, and precious mystery.
Yet can I not but worthily admire
At nature's art: who (when she did inspire
This heat of life) placed Reason (as a king)
Here in the head, to have the marshalling
Of our affections: and with sovereignty
To sway the state of our weak empery.
But as in divers commonwealths we see,
The form of government to disagree:
Even so in man, who searcheth soon shall find
As much or more variety of mind.
Some men's affections like a sullen wife,
Is with her husband reason still at strife.
Others (like proud arch-traitors that rebel
Against their sovereign) practise to expel
Their liege Lord Reason, and not shame to tread
Upon his holy and anointed head.
But as that land or nation best doth thrive,
Which to smooth-fronted peace is most proclive,
So doth that mind, whose fair affections ranged
By reason's rules, stand constant and unchanged,
Else, if the power of reason be not such,
Why do we attribute to him so much?
Or why are we obsequious to his law,
If he want spirit our affects to awe?
Oh no, I argue weakly, he is strong,
Albeit my son have done him too much wrong.


MUS. My master: nay, faith, have at you: I am flesh'd now
I have sped so well: Gentleman, I beseech you respect the
estate of a poor soldier; I am ashamed of this base course of
life, (God's my comfort) but extremity provokes me to't; what

LOR. SE. I have not for you now.

MUS. By the faith I bear unto God, gentleman, it is no ordinary
custom, but only to preserve manhood. I protest to you, a man I
have been, a man I may be, by your sweet bounty.

LOR. SE. I pray thee, good friend, be satisfied.

MUS. Good Signior: by Jesu, you may do the part of a kind
gentleman, in lending a poor soldier the price of two cans of beer,
a matter of small value, the King of heaven shall pay you, and I
shall rest thankful: sweet Signior --

LOR. SE. Nay, an you be so importunate --

MUS. O Lord, sir, need will have his course: I was not made to
this vile use; well, the edge of the enemy could not have abated me
so much: it's hard when a man hath served in his Prince's cause
and be thus. Signior, let me derive a small piece of silver from
you, it shall not be given in the course of time, by this good
ground, I was fain to pawn my rapier last night for a poor supper,
I am a Pagan else: sweet Signior --

LOR. SE. Believe me, I am rapt with admiration,
To think a man of thy exterior presence
Should (in the constitution of the mind)
Be so degenerate, infirm, and base.
Art thou a man? and sham'st thou not to beg?
To practise such a servile kind of life?
Why, were thy education ne'er so mean,
Having thy limbs: a thousand fairer courses
Offer themselves to thy election.
Nay, there the wars might still supply thy wants,
Or service of some virtuous gentleman,
Or honest labour; nay, what can I name,
But would become thee better than to beg?
But men of your condition feed on sloth,
As doth the Scarab on the dung she breeds in,
Not caring how the temper of your spirits
Is eaten with the rust of idleness.
Now, afore God, whate'er he be that should
Relieve a person of thy quality,
While you insist in this loose desperate course,
I would esteem the sin not thine, but his.

MUS. Faith, Signior, I would gladly find some other course,
if so.

LOR. SE. Ay, you'd gladly find it, but you will not seek it.

MUS. Alas, sir, where should a man seek? in the wars, there's
no ascent by desert in these days, but -- and for service,
would it were as soon purchased as wish'd for, (God's my
comfort) I know what I would say.

LOR. SE. What's thy name?

MUS. Please you: Portensio.

LOR. SE. Portensio?
Say that a man should entertain thee now,
Would thou be honest, humble, just, and true?

MUS. Signior: by the place and honour of a soldier --

LOR. SE. Nay, nay, I like not these affected oaths;
Speak plainly, man: what thinkst thou of my words?

MUS. Nothing, Signior, but wish my fortunes were as happy as
my service should be honest.

LOR. SE. Well, follow me, I'll prove thee, if thy deeds
Will carry a proportion to thy words.


MUS. Yes, sir, straight, I'll but garter my hose; oh, that
my belly were hoop'd now, for I am ready to burst with
laughing. 'Slid, was there ever seen a fox in years to
betray himself thus? now shall I be possest of all his
determinations, and consequently my young master; well, he
is resolved to prove my honesty: faith, and I am resolved
to prove his patience: oh, I shall abuse him intolerably:
this small piece of service will bring him clean out of
love with the soldier for ever. It's no matter, let the
world think me a bad counterfeit, if I cannot give him the
slip at an instant; why, this is better than to have stayed
his journey by half: well, I'll follow him. Oh, how I long
to be employed.




MAT. Yes, faith, sir, we were at your lodging to seek
you too.

PROS. Oh, I came not there to-night.

BOB. Your brother delivered us as much.

PROS. Who, Giuliano?

BOB. Giuliano. Signior Prospero, I know not in what kind
you value me, but let me tell you this: as sure as God, I
do hold it so much out of mine honour and reputation, if I
should but cast the least regard upon such a dunghill of
flesh; I protest to you (as I have a soul to be saved) I
ne'er saw any gentlemanlike part in him: an there were no
more men living upon the face of the earth, I should not
fancy him, by Phoebus.

MAT. Troth, nor I, he is of a rustical cut, I know not how:
he doth not carry himself like a gentleman.

PROS. Oh, Signior Matheo, that's a grace peculiar but to a
few; "quos aequus amavit Jupiter."

MAT. I understand you, sir.


PROS. No question you do, sir: Lorenzo! now on my soul,
welcome; how dost thou, sweet rascal? my Genius! 'Sblood,
I shall love Apollo and the mad Thespian girls the better
while I live for this; my dear villain, now I see there's
some spirit in thee: Sirrah, these be they two I writ to
thee of, nay, what a drowsy humour is this now? why dost
thou not speak?

LOR. JU. Oh, you are a fine gallant, you sent me a rare

PROS. Why, was't not rare?

LOR. JU. Yes, I'll be sworn I was ne'er guilty of reading
the like, match it in all Pliny's familiar Epistles, and
I'll have my judgment burn'd in the ear for a rogue, make
much of thy vein, for it is inimitable. But I marle what
camel it was, that had the carriage of it? for doubtless
he was no ordinary beast that brought it.

PROS. Why?

LOR. JU. Why, sayest thou? why, dost thou think that any
reasonable creature, especially in the morning, (the sober
time of the day too) would have ta'en my father for me?

PROS. 'Sblood, you jest, I hope?

LOR. JU. Indeed, the best use we can turn it to, is
to make a jest on't now: but I'll assure you, my father
had the proving of your copy some hour before I saw it.

PROS. What a dull slave was this! But, sirrah, what
said he to it, i'faith?

LOR. JU. Nay, I know not what he said. But I have a
shrewd guess what he thought.

PRO. What? what?

LOR. JU. Marry, that thou are a damn'd dissolute villain,
And I some grain or two better, in keeping thee company.

PROS. Tut, that thought is like the moon in the last
quarter, 'twill change shortly: but, sirrah, I pray thee
be acquainted with my two Zanies here, thou wilt take
exceeding pleasure in them if thou hear'st them once, but
what strange piece of silence is this? the sign of the
dumb man?

LOR. JU. Oh, sir, a kinsman of mine, one that may
make our music the fuller, an he please, he hath his
humour, sir.

PROS. Oh, what is't? what is't?

LOR. JU. Nay, I'll neither do thy judgment nor his
folly that wrong, as to prepare thy apprehension: I'll
leave him to the mercy of the time, if you can take him:

PROS. Well, Signior Bobadilla, Signior Matheo: I pray
you know this gentleman here, he is a friend of mine, and
one that will well deserve your affection, I know not
your name, Signior, but I shall be glad of any good
occasion to be more familiar with you.

STEP. My name is Signior Stephano, sir, I am this
gentleman's cousin, sir, his father is mine uncle; sir,
I am somewhat melancholy, but you shall command me, sir,
in whatsoever is incident to a gentleman.

BOB. Signior, I must tell you this, I am no general
man, embrace it as a most high favour, for (by the
host of Egypt) but that I conceive you to be a gentleman
of some parts, I love few words: you have wit: imagine.

STEP. Ay, truly, sir, I am mightily given to melancholy.

MAT. O Lord, sir, it's your only best humour, sir,
your true melancholy breeds your perfect fine wit, sir:
I am melancholy myself divers times, sir, and then do I
no more but take your pen and paper presently, and write
you your half score or your dozen of sonnets at a sitting.

LOR. JU. Mass, then he utters them by the gross.

STEP. Truly, sir, and I love such things out of measure.

LOR. JU. I'faith, as well as in measure.

MAT. Why, I pray you, Signior, make use of my study,
it's at your service.

STEP. I thank you, sir, I shall be bold, I warrant
you, have you a close stool there?

MAT. Faith, sir, I have some papers there, toys of
mine own doing at idle hours, that you'll say there's
some sparks of wit in them, when you shall see them.

PROS. Would they were kindled once, and a good fire
made, I might see self-love burn'd for her heresy.

STEP. Cousin, is it well? am I melancholy enough?

LOR. JU. Oh, ay, excellent.

PROS. Signior Bobadilla, why muse you so?

LOR. JU. He is melancholy too.

BOB. Faith, sir, I was thinking of a most honourable
piece of service was perform'd to-morrow, being St.
Mark's day, shall be some ten years.

LOR. JU. In what place was that service, I pray you,

BOB. Why, at the beleaguering of Ghibelletto, where,
in less than two hours, seven hundred resolute gentlemen,
as any were in Europe, lost their lives upon the breach:
I'll tell you, gentlemen, it was the first, but the best
leaguer that ever I beheld with these eyes, except the
taking in of Tortosa last year by the Genoways, but that
(of all other) was the most fatal and dangerous exploit
that ever I was ranged in, since I first bore arms before
the face of the enemy, as I am a gentleman and a soldier.

STEP. So, I had as lief as an angel I could swear as
well as that gentleman.

LOR. JU. Then you were a servitor at both, it seems.

BOB. O Lord, sir: by Phaeton, I was the first man that
entered the breach, and had I not effected it with
resolution, I had been slain if I had had a million of

LOR. JU. Indeed, sir?

STEP. Nay, an you heard him discourse you would
say so: how like you him?

BOB. I assure you (upon my salvation) 'tis true,
and yourself shall confess.

PROS. You must bring him to the rack first.

BOB. Observe me judicially, sweet Signior: they had
planted me a demi-culverin just in the mouth of the
breach; now, sir, (as we were to ascend), their master
gunner (a man of no mean skill and courage, you must
think,) confronts me with his linstock ready to give
fire; I spying his intendment, discharged my petronel
in his bosom, and with this instrument, my poor rapier,
ran violently upon the Moors that guarded the ordnance,
and put them pell-mell to the sword.

PROS. To the sword? to the rapier, Signior.

LOR. JU. Oh, it was a good figure observed, sir: but
did you all this, Signior, without hurting your blade?

BOB. Without any impeach on the earth: you shall
perceive, sir, it is the most fortunate weapon that
ever rid on a poor gentleman's thigh: shall I tell you,
sir? you talk of Morglay, Excalibur, Durindana, or so:
tut, I lend no credit to that is reported of them, I
know the virtue of mine own, and therefore I dare the
boldlier maintain it.

STEP. I marle whether it be a Toledo or no?

BOB. A most perfect Toledo, I assure you, Signior.

STEP. I have a countryman of his here.

MAT. Pray you let's see, sir: yes, faith, it is.

BOB. This a Toledo? pish!

STEP. Why do you pish, Signior?

BOB. A Fleming, by Phoebus! I'll buy them for a
guilder a piece, an I'll have a thousand of them.

LOR. JU. How say you, cousin? I told you thus much.

PROS. Where bought you it, Signior?

STEP. Of a scurvy rogue soldier, a pox of God on
him, he swore it was a Toledo.

BOB. A provant rapier, no better.

MAT. Mass, I think it be indeed.

LOR. JU. Tut, now it's too late to look on it, put it
up, put it up.

STEP. Well, I will not put it up, but by God's foot,
an ever I meet him --

PROS. Oh, it is past remedy now, sir, you must have

STEP. Whoreson, coney-catching rascal; oh, I could
eat the very hilts for anger.

LOR. JU. A sign you have a good ostrich stomach, cousin.

STEP. A stomach? would I had him here, you should see
an I had a stomach.

PROS. It's better as 'tis: come, gentlemen, shall we go?

LOR. JU. A miracle, cousin, look here, look here.


STEP. Oh, God's lid, by your leave, do you know me, sir?

MUS. Ay, sir, I know you by sight.

STEP. You sold me a rapier, did you not?

MUS. Yes, marry did I, sir.

STEP. You said it was a Toledo, ha?

MUS. True, I did so.

STEP. But it is none.

MUS. No, sir, I confess it, it is none.

STEP. Gentlemen, bear witness, he has confest it.
By God's lid, an you had not confest it --

LOR. JU. Oh, cousin, forbear, forbear.

STEP. Nay, I have done, cousin.

PROS. Why, you have done like a gentleman, he has
confest it, what would you more?

LOR. JU. Sirrah, how dost thou like him?

PROS. Oh, it's a precious good fool, make much on him:
I can compare him to nothing more happily than a barber's
virginals; for every one may play upon him.

MUS. Gentleman, shall I intreat a word with you?

LOR. JU. With all my heart, sir, you have not another
Toledo to sell, have you?

MUS. You are pleasant, your name is Signior Lorenzo,
as I take it?

LOR. JU. You are in the right: 'Sblood, he means to
catechise me, I think.

MUS. No, sir, I leave that to the Curate, I am none of
that coat.

LOR. JU. And yet of as bare a coat; well, say, sir.

MUS. Faith, Signior, I am but servant to God Mars
extraordinary, and indeed (this brass varnish being
washed off, and three or four other tricks sublated)
I appear yours in reversion, after the decease of
your good father, Musco.

LOR. JU. Musco, 'sblood, what wind hath blown thee
hither in this shape?

MUS. Your easterly wind, sir, the same that blew
your father hither.

LOR. JU. My father?

MUS. Nay, never start, it's true, he is come to town
of purpose to seek you.

LOR. JU. Sirrah Prospero, what shall we do, sirrah?
my father is come to the city.

PROS. Thy father: where is he?

MUS. At a gentleman's house yonder by St. Anthony's,
where he but stays my return; and then --

PROS. Who's this? Musco?

MUS. The same, sir.

PROS. Why, how com'st thou transmuted thus?

MUS. Faith, a device, a device, nay, for the love of God,
stand not here, gentlemen, house yourselves, and I'll tell
you all.

LOR. JU. But art thou sure he will stay thy return?

MUS. Do I live, sir? what a question is that!

PROS. Well, we'll prorogue his expectation a little:
Musco, thou shalt go with us: Come on, gentlemen: nay,
I pray thee, (good rascal) droop not, 'sheart, an our
wits be so gouty, that one old plodding brain can outstrip
us all. Lord, I beseech thee, may they lie and starve
in some miserable spittle, where they may never see the
face of any true spirit again, but be perpetually haunted
with some church-yard hobgoblin in seculo seculorum.

MUS. Amen, Amen.




PIS. He will expect you, sir, within this half hour.

THO. Why, what's a clock?

PIS. New stricken ten.

THO. Hath he the money ready, can you tell?

PIS. Yes, sir, Baptista brought it yesternight.

THO. Oh, that's well: fetch me my cloak.
Stay, let me see; an hour to go and come,
Ay, that will be the least: and then 'twill be
An hour before I can dispatch with him;
Or very near: well, I will say two hours;
Two hours? ha! things never dreamt of yet
May be contrived, ay, and effected too,
In two hours' absence: well, I will not go.
Two hours; no, fleering opportunity,
I will not give your treachery that scope.
Who will not judge him worthy to be robb'd,
That sets his doors wide open to a thief,
And shews the felon where his treasure lies?
Again, what earthy spirit but will attempt
To taste the fruit of beauty's golden tree,
When leaden sleep seals up the dragon's eyes?
Oh, beauty is a project of some power,
Chiefly when opportunity attends her:
She will infuse true motion in a stone,
Put glowing fire in an icy soul,
Stuff peasants' bosoms with proud Caesar's spleen,
Pour rich device into an empty brain:
Bring youth to folly's gate: there train him in,
And after all, extenuate his sin.
Well, I will not go, I am resolved for that.
Go, carry it again: yet stay: yet do too,
I will defer it till some other time.


PIS. Sir, Signior Platano will meet you there with
the bond.

THO. That's true: by Jesu, I had clean forgot it.
I must go, what's a clock?

PIS. Past ten, sir.

THO. 'Heart, then will Prospero presently be here too,
With one or other of his loose consorts.
I am a Jew if I know what to say,
What course to take, or which way to resolve.
My brain (methinks) is like an hour-glass,
And my imaginations like the sands
Run dribbling forth to fill the mouth of time,
Still changed with turning in the ventricle.
What were I best to do? it shall be so.
Nay, I dare build upon his secrecy. Piso.

PIS. Sir.

THO. Yet now I have bethought me too, I will not.
Is Cob within?

PIS. I think he be, sir.

THO. But he'll prate too, there's no talk of him.
No, there were no course upon the earth to this,
If I durst trust him; tut, I were secure,
But there's the question now, if he should prove,
Rimarum plenus, then, 'sblood, I were rook'd.
The state that he hath stood in till this present
Doth promise no such change: what should I fear then?
Well, come what will, I'll tempt my fortune once.
Piso, thou mayest deceive me, but I think thou lovest
me, Piso.

PIS. Sir, if a servant's zeal and humble duty may
be term'd love, you are possest of it.

THO. I have a matter to impart to thee, but thou must
be secret, Piso.

PIS. Sir, for that --

THO. Nay, hear me, man; think I esteem thee well,
To let thee in thus to my private thoughts;
Piso, it is a thing sits nearer to my crest,
Than thou art 'ware of; if thou should'st reveal it --

PIS. Reveal it, sir?

THO. Nay, I do not think thou would'st, but if thou
should'st --

PIS. Sir, then I were a villain:
Disclaim in me for ever if I do.

THO. He will not swear: he has some meaning, sure,
Else (being urged so much) how should he choose,
But lend an oath to all this protestation?
He is no puritan, that I am certain of.
What should I think of it? urge him again,
And in some other form: I will do so.
Well, Piso, thou has sworn not to disclose; ay, you
did swear?

PIS. Not yet, sir, but I will, so please you.

THO. Nay, I dare take thy word.
But if thou wilt swear, do as you think good,
I am resolved without such circumstance.

PIS. By my soul's safety, sir, I here protest,
My tongue shall ne'er take knowledge of a word
Deliver'd me in compass of your trust.

THO. Enough, enough, these ceremonies need not,
I know thy faith to be as firm as brass.
Piso, come hither: nay, we must be close
In managing these actions: So it is,
(Now he has sworn I dare the safelier speak;)
I have of late by divers observations --
But, whether his oath be lawful, yea, or no? ha!
I will ask counsel ere I do proceed:
Piso, it will be now too long to stay,
We'll spy some fitter time soon, or to-morrow.

PIS. At your pleasure, sir.

THO. I pray you search the books 'gainst I return
For the receipts 'twixt me and Platano.

PIS. I will, sir.

THO. And hear you: if my brother Prospero
Chance to bring hither any gentlemen
Ere I come back, let one straight bring me word.

PIS. Very well, sir.

THO. Forget it not, nor be not you out of the way.

PIS. I will not, sir.

THO. Or whether he come or no, if any other,
Stranger or else: fail not to send me word.

PIS. Yes, sir.

THO. Have care, I pray you, and remember it.

PIS. I warrant you, sir.

THO. But, Piso, this is not the secret I told thee of.

PIS. No, sir, I suppose so.

THO. Nay, believe me, it is not.

PIS. I do believe you, sir.

THO. By heaven it is not, that's enough.
Marry, I would not thou should'st utter it to any
creature living,
Yet I care not.
Well, I must hence: Piso, conceive thus much,
No ordinary person could have drawn
So deep a secret from me; I mean not this,
But that I have to tell thee: this is nothing, this.
Piso, remember, silence, buried here:
No greater hell than to be slave to fear.


PIS. Piso, remember, silence, buried here:
When should this flow of passion (trow) take head? ha!
Faith, I'll dream no longer of this running humour,
For fear I sink, the violence of the stream
Already hath transported me so far
That I can feel no ground at all: but soft,
Oh, it's our water-bearer: somewhat has crost him now.

COB. Fasting days: what tell you me of your fasting days?
would they were all on a light fire for me: they say the
world shall be consumed with fire and brimstone in the
latter day: but I would we had these ember weeks and these
villainous Fridays burnt in the mean time, and then --

PIS. Why, how now, Cob! what moves thee to this choler, ha?

COB. Collar, sir? 'swounds, I scorn your collar, I, sir,
am no collier's horse, sir, never ride me with your collar,
an you do, I'll shew you a jade's trick.

PIS. Oh, you'll slip your head out of the collar: why, Cob,
you mistake me.

COB. Nay, I have my rheum, and I be angry as well as
another, sir.

PIE. Thy rheum? thy humour, man, thou mistakest.

COB. Humour? mack, I think it be so indeed: what is
this humour? it's some rare thing, I warrant.

PIS. Marry, I'll tell thee what it is (as 'tis generally
received in these days): it is a monster bred in a man by
self-love and affectation, and fed by folly.

COB. How? must it be fed?

PIS. Oh ay, humour is nothing if it be not fed, why,
didst thou never hear of that? it's a common phrase,
"Feed my humour."

COB. I'll none on it: humour, avaunt, I know you not,
be gone. Let who will make hungry meals for you, it shall
not be I: Feed you, quoth he? 'sblood, I have much ado to
feed myself, especially on these lean rascal days too,
an't had been any other day but a fasting day: a plague on
them all for me: by this light, one might have done God
good service and have drown'd them all in the flood two or
three hundred thousand years ago, oh, I do stomach them
hugely: I have a maw now, an't were for Sir Bevis's horse.

PIS. Nay, but I pray thee, Cob, what makes thee so out of
love with fasting days?

COB. Marry, that that will make any man out of love with
them, I think: their bad conditions, an you will needs know:
First, they are of a Flemish breed, I am sure on't, for
they raven up more butter than all the days of the week
beside: next, they stink of fish miserably: thirdly, they'll
keep a man devoutly hungry all day, and at night send him
supperless to bed.

PIS. Indeed, these are faults, Cob.

COB. Nay, an this were all, 'twere something, but they
are the only known enemies to my generation. A fasting
day no sooner comes, but my lineage goes to rack, poor
Cobs, they smoke for it, they melt in passion, and your
maids too know this, and yet would have me turn Hannibal,
and eat my own fish and blood: my princely coz,
[PULLS OUT A RED HERRING.] fear nothing;
I have not the heart to devour you, an I might be made
as rich as Golias: oh, that I had room for my tears, I
could weep salt water enough now to preserve the lives
of ten thousand of my kin: but I may curse none but
these filthy Almanacks, for an 'twere not for them, these
days of persecution would ne'er be known. I'll be hang'd
an some fishmonger's son do not make on them, and puts in
more fasting days than he should do, because he would
utter his father's dried stockfish.

PIS. 'Soul, peace, thou'lt be beaten like a stockfish
else: here is Signior Matheo.


Now must I look out for a messenger to my master.



PROS. Beshrew me, but it was an absolute good jest, and
exceedingly well carried.

LOR. JU. Ay, and our ignorance maintain'd it as well,
did it not?

PROS. Yes, faith, but was't possible thou should'st not
know him?

LOR. JU. 'Fore God, not I, an I might have been join'd
patten with one of the nine worthies for knowing him.
'Sblood, man, he had so writhen himself into the habit of
one of your poor Disparview's here, your decayed, ruinous,
worm-eaten gentlemen of the round: such as have vowed to
sit on the skirts of the city, let your Provost and his
half dozen of halberdiers do what they can; and have
translated begging out of the old hackney pace, to a fine
easy amble, and made it run as smooth off the tongue as a
shove-groat shilling, into the likeness of one of these
lean Pirgo's, had he moulded himself so perfectly, observing
every trick of their action, as varying the accent: swearing
with an emphasis. Indeed, all with so special and exquisite
a grace, that (hadst thou seen him) thou would'st have sworn
he might have been the Tamberlane, or the Agamemnon on the

PROS. Why, Musco, who would have thought thou hadst been
such a gallant?

LOR. JU. I cannot tell, but (unless a man had juggled
begging all his life time, and been a weaver of phrases
from his infancy, for the apparelling of it) I think
the world cannot produce his rival.

PROS. Where got'st thou this coat, I marle?

MUS. Faith, sir, I had it of one of the devil's near
kinsmen, a broker.

PROS. That cannot be, if the proverb hold, a crafty
knave needs no broker.

MUS. True, sir, but I need a broker, ergo, no crafty

PROS. Well put off, well put off.

LOR. JU. Tut, he has more of these shifts.

MUS. And yet where I have one, the broker has ten, sir.


PIS. Francisco, Martino, ne'er a one to be found now:
what a spite's this?

PROS. How now, Piso? is my brother within?

PIS. No, sir, my master went forth e'en now, but Signior
Giuliano is within. Cob, what, Cob! Is he gone too?

PROS. Whither went thy master? Piso, canst thou tell?

PIS. I know not, to Doctor Clement's, I think, sir. Cob.


LOR. JU. Doctor Clement, what's he? I have heard much
speech of him.

PROS. Why, dost thou not know him? he is the Gonfaloniere
of the state here, an excellent rare civilian, and a great
scholar, but the only mad merry old fellow in Europe: I
shewed him you the other day.

LOR. JU. Oh, I remember him now; Good faith, and he hath
a very strange presence, methinks, it shews as if he stood
out of the rank from other men. I have heard many of his
jests in Padua; they say he will commit a man for taking
the wall of his horse.

PROS. Ay, or wearing his cloak on one shoulder, or any
thing indeed, if it come in the way of his humour.

PIS. Gaspar, Martino, Cob: 'Sheart, where should they be,


BOB. Signior Thorello's man, I pray thee vouchsafe
us the lighting of this match.

PIS. A pox on your match, no time but now to vouchsafe?
Francisco, Cob.


BOB. Body of me: here's the remainder of seven pound,
since yesterday was sevennight. It's your right Trinidado:
did you never take any, signior?

STEP. No, truly, sir; but I'll learn to take it now, since
you commend it so.

BOB. Signior, believe me (upon my relation) for what I
tell you, the world shall not improve. I have been in the
Indies, (where this herb grows) where neither myself nor a
dozen gentlemen more (of my knowledge) have received the
taste of any other nutriment in the world, for the space
of one and twenty weeks, but tobacco only. Therefore it
cannot be but 'tis most divine. Further, take it in the
nature, in the true kind, so, it makes an antidote, that had
you taken the most deadly poisonous simple in all Florence it
should expel it, and clarify you with as much ease as I speak.
And for your green wound, your Balsamum, and your -- are all
mere gulleries, and trash to it, especially your Trinidado:
your Nicotian is good too: I could say what I know of the
virtue of it, for the exposing of rheums, raw humours,
crudities, obstructions, with a thousand of this kind; but I
profess myself no quack-salver. Only thus much; by Hercules,
I do hold it, and will affirm it (before any Prince in
Europe) to be the most sovereign and precious herb that ever
the earth tendered to the use of man.

LOR. JU. Oh, this speech would have done rare in an
apothecary's mouth.


PIS. Ay; close by Saint Anthony's: Doctor Clement's.

COB. Oh, oh.

BOB. Where's the match I gave thee?

PIS. 'Sblood, would his match, and he, and pipe, and
all, were at Sancto Domingo.


COB. By God's deins, I marle what pleasure or felicity
they have in taking this roguish tobacco; it's good for
nothing but to choke a man, and fill him full of smoke
and embers: there were four died out of one house last
week with taking of it, and two more the bell went for
yesternight, one of them (they say) will ne'er escape it,
he voided a bushel of soot yesterday, upward and downward.
By the stocks, an there were no wiser men than I, I'd
have it present death, man or woman, that should but deal
with a tobacco pipe; why, it will stifle them all in the
end as many as use it; it's little better than rat's-bane.


ALL. Oh, good Signior; hold, hold.

BOB. You base cullion, you.

PIS. Sir, here's your match; come, thou must needs be
talking too.

COB. Nay, he will not meddle with his match, I warrant
you; well, it shall be a dear beating, an I live.

BOB. Do you prate?

LOR. JU. Nay, good Signior, will you regard the humour
of a fool? Away, knave.

PROS. Piso, get him away.


BOB. A whoreson filthy slave, a turd, an excrement.
Body of Caesar, but that I scorn to let forth so mean a
spirit, I'd have stabb'd him to the earth.

PROS. Marry, God forbid, sir.

BOB. By this fair heaven, I would have done it.

STEP. Oh, he swears admirably; (by this fair heaven!)
Body of Caesar: I shall never do it, sure (upon my salvation).
No, I have not the right grace.

MAT. Signior, will you any? By this air, the most divine
tobacco as ever I drunk.

LOR. JU. I thank you, sir.

STEP. Oh, this gentleman doth it rarely too, but nothing
like the other. By this air, as I am a gentleman: By Phoebus.


MUS. Master, glance, glance: Signior Prospero.

STEP. As I have a soul to be saved, I do protest --

PROS. That you are a fool.

LOR. JU. Cousin, will you any tobacco?

STEP. Ay, sir: upon my salvation.

LOR. JU. How now, cousin?

STEP. I protest, as I am a gentleman, but no soldier indeed.

PROS. No, Signior, as I remember, you served on a great horse,
last general muster.

STEP. Ay, sir, that's true, cousin, may I swear as I am a
soldier, by that?

LOR. JU. Oh yes, that you may.

STEP. Then as I am a gentleman, and a soldier, it is divine

PROS. But soft, where's Signior Matheo? gone?

MUS. No, sir, they went in here.

PROS. Oh, let's follow them: Signior Matheo is gone to
salute his mistress, sirrah, now thou shalt hear some of
his verses, for he never comes hither without some shreds
of poetry: Come, Signior Stephano. Musco.

STEP. Musco? where? Is this Musco?

LOR. JU. Ay; but peace, cousin, no words of it at any hand.

STEP. Not I, by this fair heaven, as I have a soul to be
saved, by Phoebus.

PROS. Oh rare! your cousin's discourse is simply suited,
all in oaths.

LOR. JU. Ay, he lacks nothing but a little light stuff,
to draw them out withal, and he were rarely fitted to the




THO. Ha, how many are there, sayest thou?

COB. Marry, sir, your brother, Signior Prospero.

THO. Tut, beside him: what strangers are there, man?

COB. Strangers? let me see, one, two; mass, I know not well,
there's so many.

THO. How? so many?

COB. Ay, there's some five or six of them at the most.

THO. A swarm, a swarm?
Spite of the devil, how they sting my heart!
How long hast thou been coming hither, Cob?

COB. But a little while, sir.

THO. Didst thou come running?

COB. No, sir.

THO. Tut, then I am familiar with thy haste.
Ban to my fortunes: what meant I to marry?
I that before was rank'd in such content,
My mind attired in smooth silken peace,
Being free master of mine own free thoughts,
And now become a slave? what, never sigh,
Be of good cheer, man: for thou art a cuckold,
'Tis done, 'tis done: nay, when such flowing store,
Plenty itself falls in my wife's lap,
The Cornucopiae will be mine, I know. But, Cob,
What entertainment had they? I am sure
My sister and my wife would bid them welcome, ha?

COB. Like enough: yet I heard not a word of welcome.

THO. No, their lips were seal'd with kisses, and the voice
Drown'd in a flood of joy at their arrival,
Had lost her motion, state, and faculty.
Cob, which of them was't that first kiss'd my wife?
(My sister, I should say,) my wife, alas,
I fear not her: ha? who was it, say'st thou?

COB. By my troth, sir, will you have the truth of it?

THO. Oh ay, good Cob: I pray thee.

COB. God's my judge, I saw nobody to be kiss'd, unless
they would have kiss'd the post in the middle of the
warehouse; for there I left them all, at their tobacco,
with a pox.

THO. How? were they not gone in then ere thou cam'st?

COB. Oh no, sir.

THO. Spite of the devil, what do I stay here then?
Cob, follow me.


COB. Nay, soft and fair, I have eggs on the spit; I cannot
go yet sir: now am I for some divers reasons hammering,
hammering revenge: oh, for three or four gallons of vinegar,
to sharpen my wits: Revenge, vinegar revenge, russet revenge;
nay, an he had not lien in my house, 'twould never have
grieved me; but being my guest, one that I'll be sworn my
wife has lent him her smock off her back, while his own shirt
has been at washing: pawned her neckerchers for clean bands
for him: sold almost all my platters to buy him tobacco;
and yet to see an ingratitude wretch strike his host;
well, I hope to raise up an host of furies for't: here
comes M. Doctor.


CLEM. What's Signior Thorello gone?

PET. Ay, sir.

CLEM. Heart of me, what made him leave us so abruptly?
How now, sirrah; what make you here? what would you
have, ha?

COB. An't please your worship, I am a poor neighbour of
your worship's.

CLEM. A neighbour of mine, knave?

COB. Ay, sir, at the sign of the Water-tankard, hard by
the Green Lattice: I have paid scot and lot there any
time this eighteen years.

CLEM. What, at the Green Lattice?

COB. No sir: to the parish: marry, I have seldom scaped
scot-free at the Lattice.

CLEM. So: but what business hath my neighbour?

COB. An't like your worship, I am come to crave the
peace of your worship.

CLEM. Of me, knave? peace of me, knave? did I e'er
hurt thee? did I ever threaten thee? or wrong thee? ha?

COB. No, God's my comfort, I mean your worship's warrant,
for one that hath wrong'd me, sir: his arms are at too much
liberty, I would fain have them bound to a treaty of peace,
an I could by any means compass it.

LOR. Why, dost thou go in danger of thy life for him?

COB. No, sir; but I go in danger of my death every hour by
his means; an I die within a twelve-month and a day, I may
swear, by the laws of the land, that he kill'd me.

CLEM. How? how, knave? swear he kill'd thee? what pretext?
what colour hast thou for that?

COB. Marry, sir, both black and blue, colour enough, I
warrant you, I have it here to shew your worship.

CLEM. What is he that gave you this, sirrah?

COB. A gentleman in the city, sir.

CLEM. A gentleman? what call you him?

COB. Signior Bobadilla.

CLEM. Good: But wherefore did he beat you, sirrah?
how began the quarrel 'twixt you? ha: speak truly,
knave, I advise you.

COB. Marry, sir, because I spake against their vagrant
tobacco, as I came by them: for nothing else.

CLEM. Ha, you speak against tobacco? Peto, his name.

PET. What's your name, sirrah?

COB. Oliver Cob, sir, set Oliver Cob, sir.

CLEM. Tell Oliver Cob he shall go to the jail.

PET. Oliver Cob, master Doctor says you shall go to the jail.

COB. Oh, I beseech your worship, for God's love, dear master

CLEM. Nay, God's precious! an such drunken knaves as you are
come to dispute of tobacco once, I have done: away with him.

COB. Oh, good master Doctor, sweet gentleman.

LOR. SE. Sweet Oliver, would I could do thee any good; master
Doctor, let me intreat, sir.

CLEM. What? a tankard-bearer, a thread-bare rascal, a beggar,
a slave that never drunk out of better than piss-pot metal in
his life, and he to deprave and abuse the virtue of an herb so
generally received in the courts of princes, the chambers of
nobles, the bowers of sweet ladies, the cabins of soldiers:
Peto, away with him, by God's passion, I say, go to.

COB. Dear master Doctor.

LOR. SE. Alas, poor Oliver.

CLEM. Peto: ay: and make him a warrant, he shall not go,
I but fear the knave.

COB. O divine Doctor, thanks, noble Doctor, most dainty
Doctor, delicious Doctor.


CLEM. Signior Lorenzo: God's pity, man,
Be merry, be merry, leave these dumps.

LOR. SE. Troth, would I could, sir: but enforced mirth
(In my weak judgment) has no happy birth.
The mind, being once a prisoner unto cares,
The more it dreams on joy, the worse it fares.
A smiling look is to a heavy soul
As a gilt bias to a leaden bowl,
Which (in itself) appears most vile, being spent
To no true use; but only for ostent.

CLEM. Nay, but, good Signior, hear me a word, hear me a word,
your cares are nothing; they are like my cap, soon put on,
and as soon put off. What? your son is old enough to govern
himself; let him run his course, it's the only way to make
him a staid man: if he were an unthrift, a ruffian, a
drunkard, or a licentious liver, then you had reason: you had
reason to take care: but being none of these, God's passion,
an I had twice so many cares as you have, I'd drown them all
in a cup of sack: come, come, I muse your parcel of a soldier
returns not all this while.




GIU. Well, sister, I tell you true: and you'll find
it so in the end.

BIA. Alas, brother, what would you have me to do?
I cannot help it; you see, my brother Prospero he brings
them in here, they are his friends.

GIU. His friends? his friends? 'sblood, they do nothing
but haunt him up and down like a sort of unlucky sprites,
and tempt him to all manner of villainy that can be thought
of; well, by this light, a little thing would make me play
the devil with some of them; an't were not more for your
husband's sake than any thing else, I'd make the house too
hot for them; they should say and swear, hell were broken
loose, ere they went. But by God's bread, 'tis nobody's
fault but yours; for an you had done as you might have done,
they should have been damn'd ere they should have come
in, e'er a one of them.

BIA. God's my life; did you ever hear the like? what a
strange man is this! could I keep out all them, think you?
I should put myself against half a dozen men, should I?
Good faith, you'd mad the patient'st body in the world,
to hear you talk so, without any sense or reason.


HESP. Servant, (in troth) you are too prodigal of your
wits' treasure, thus to pour it forth upon so mean a
subject as my worth.

MAT. You say well, you say well.

GIU. Hoyday, here is stuff.

LOR. JU. Oh now stand close; pray God she can get
him to read it.

PROS. Tut, fear not: I warrant thee he will do it of
himself with much impudency.

HES. Servant, what is that same, I pray you?

MAT. Marry, an Elegy, an Elegy, an odd toy.

GIU. Ay, to mock an ape withal. O Jesu.

BIA. Sister, I pray you let's hear it.

MAT. Mistress, I'll read it, if you please.

HES. I pray you do, servant.

GIU. Oh, here's no foppery. 'Sblood, it frets me to the
gall to think on it.


PROS. Oh ay, it is his condition, peace: we are fairly
rid of him.

MAT. Faith, I did it in an humour: I know not how it is,
but please you come near, signior: this gentleman hath
judgment, he knows how to censure of a -- I pray you, sir,
you can judge.

STEP. Not I, sir: as I have a soul to be saved, as I am a

LOR. JU. Nay, it's well; so long as he doth not forswear

BOB. Signior, you abuse the excellency of your mistress and
her fair sister. Fie, while you live avoid this prolixity.

MAT. I shall, sir; well, incipere dulce.

LOR. JU. How, incipere dulce? a sweet thing to be a fool

PROS. What, do you take incipere in that sense?

LOR. JU. You do not, you? 'Sblood, this was your villainy
to gull him with a motte.

PROS. Oh, the benchers' phrase: pauca verba, pauca verba.

MAT. "Rare creature, let me speak without offence,
Would God my rude words had the influence
To rule thy thoughts, as thy fair looks do mine,
Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine."

LOR. JU. 'Sheart, this is in Hero and Leander!

PROS. Oh ay: peace, we shall have more of this.

MAT. "Be not unkind and fair: misshapen stuff
Is of behaviour boisterous and rough":
How like you that, Signior? 'sblood, he shakes his head
like a bottle, to feel an there be any brain in it.

MAT. But observe the catastrophe now,
"And I in duty will exceed all other,
As you in beauty do excel love's mother."

LOR. JU. Well, I'll have him free of the brokers, for
he utters nothing but stolen remnants.

PROS. Nay, good critic, forbear.

LOR. JU. A pox on him, hang him, filching rogue, steal
from the dead? it's worse than sacrilege.

PROS. Sister, what have you here? verses? I pray you
let's see.

BIA. Do you let them go so lightly, sister?

HES. Yes, faith, when they come lightly.

BIA. Ay, but if your servant should hear you, he would
take it heavily.

HES. No matter, he is able to bear.

BIA. So are asses.

HES. So is he.

PROS. Signior Matheo, who made these verses? they are
excellent good.

MAT. O God, sir, it's your pleasure to say so, sir.
Faith, I made them extempore this morning.

PROS. How extempore?

MAT. Ay, would I might be damn'd else; ask Signior Bobadilla.
He saw me write them, at the -- (pox on it) the Mitre yonder.

MUS. Well, an the Pope knew he cursed the Mitre it were
enough to have him excommunicated all the taverns in the town.

STEP. Cousin, how do you like this gentleman's verses?

LOR. JU. Oh, admirable, the best that ever I heard.

STEP. By this fair heavens, they are admirable,
The best that ever I heard.


GIU. I am vext I can hold never a bone of me still,
'Sblood, I think they mean to build a Tabernacle here, well?

PROS. Sister, you have a simple servant here, that crowns
your beauty with such encomiums and devices, you may see what
it is to be the mistress of a wit that can make your
perfections so transparent, that every blear eye may look
through them, and see him drowned over head and ears in the
deep well of desire. Sister Biancha, I marvel you get you
not a servant that can rhyme and do tricks too.

GIU. O monster! impudence itself! tricks!

BIA. Tricks, brother? what tricks?

HES. Nay, speak, I pray you, what tricks?

BIA. Ay, never spare any body here: but say, what tricks?

HES. Passion of my heart! do tricks?

PROS. 'Sblood, here's a trick vied, and revied: why, you
monkeys, you! what a cater-wauling do you keep! has he not
given you rhymes, and verses, and tricks?

GIU. Oh, see the devil!

PROS. Nay, you lamp of virginity, that take it in snuff so:
come and cherish this tame poetical fury in your servant,
you'll be begg'd else shortly for a concealment: go to,
reward his muse, you cannot give him less than a shilling in
conscience, for the book he had it out of cost him a teston
at the least. How now gallants, Lorenzo, Signior Bobadilla!
what, all sons of silence? no spirit.

GIU. Come, you might practise your ruffian tricks somewhere
else, and not here, I wiss: this is no tavern, nor no place
for such exploits.

PROS. 'Sheart, how now!

GIU. Nay, boy, never look askance at me for the matter;
I'll tell you of it, by God's bread, ay, and you and your
companions mend yourselves when I have done.

PROS. My companions?

GIU. Ay, your companions, sir, so I say! 'Sblood, I am not
afraid of you nor them neither, you must have your poets,
and your cavaliers, and your fools follow you up and down
the city, and here they must come to domineer and swagger?
sirrah, you ballad-singer, and slops, your fellow there,
get you out; get you out: or (by the will of God) I'll cut
off your ears, go to.

PROS. 'Sblood, stay, let's see what he dare do: cut off his
ears; you are an ass, touch any man here, and by the Lord
I'll run my rapier to the hilts in thee.

GIU. Yea, that would I fain see, boy.

BIA. O Jesu! Piso! Matheo! murder!

HES. Help, help, Piso!


LOR. JU. Gentlemen, Prospero, forbear, I pray you.

BOB. Well, sirrah, you Holofernes: by my hand, I will pink
thy flesh full of holes with my rapier for this, I will, by
this good heaven: nay, let him come, let him come,
gentlemen, by the body of St. George, I'll not kill him.


PIS. Hold, hold, forbear.

GIU. You whoreson, bragging coistril.


THO. Why, how now? what's the matter? what stir is here?
Whence springs this quarrel? Piso, where is he?
Put up your weapons, and put off this rage.
My wife and sister, they are cause of this.
What, Piso? where is this knave?

PIS. Here, sir.

PROS. Come, let's go: this is one of my brother's ancient
humours, this.

STEP. I am glad nobody was hurt by this ancient humour.


THO. Why, how now, brother, who enforced this brawl?

GIU. A sort of lewd rake-hells, that care neither for God
nor the devil. And they must come here to read ballads and
roguery, and trash. I'll mar the knot of them ere I sleep,
perhaps; especially Signior Pithagoras, he that's all
manner of shapes: and songs and sonnets, his fellow there.

HES. Brother, indeed you are too violent,
Too sudden in your courses, and you know
My brother Prospero's temper will not bear
Any reproof, chiefly in such a presence,
Where every slight disgrace he should receive,
Would wound him in opinion and respect.

GIU. Respect? what talk you of respect 'mongst such
As had neither spark of manhood nor good manners?
By God I am ashamed to hear you: respect?


HES. Yes, there was one a civil gentleman,
And very worthily demeaned himself.

THO. Oh, that was some love of yours, sister.

HES. A love of mine? i'faith, I would he were
No other's love but mine.

BIA. Indeed, he seem'd to be a gentleman of an exceeding
fair disposition, and of very excellent good parts.


THO. Her love, by Jesu: my wife's minion,
Fair disposition? excellent good parts?
'Sheart, these phrases are intolerable,
Good parts? how should she know his parts? well, well,
It is too plain, too clear: Piso, come hither.
What, are they gone?

PIS. Ay, sir, they went in.

THO. Are any of the gallants within?

PIS. No sir, they are all gone.

THO. Art thou sure of it?

PIS. Ay, sir, I can assure you.

THO. Piso, what gentleman was that they praised so?

PISO. One they call him Signior Lorenzo, a fair young
gentleman, sir.

THO. Ay, I thought so: my mind gave me as much:
'Sblood, I'll be hang'd if they have not hid him in the house,
Some where, I'll go search, Piso, go with me,
Be true to me and thou shalt find me bountiful.




COB. What, Tib, Tib, I say.

TIB. How now, what cuckold is that knocks so hard?
Oh, husband, is't you? What's the news?

COB. Nay, you have stunn'd me, i'faith; you have given me
a knock on the forehead will stick by me: cuckold?
'Swounds, cuckold?

TIB. Away, you fool, did I know it was you that knock'd?
Come, come, you may call me as bad when you list.

COB. May I? 'swounds, Tib, you are a whore.

TIB. 'Sheart, you lie in your throat.

COB. How, the lie? and in my throat too? do you long to
be stabb'd, ha?

TIB. Why, you are no soldier?

COB. Mass, that's true, when was Bobadilla here? that
rogue, that slave, that fencing Burgullion? I'll tickle
him, i'faith.

TIB. Why, what's the matter?

COB. Oh, he hath basted me rarely, sumptuously: but I have
it here will sauce him, oh, the doctor, the honestest old
Trojan in all Italy, I do honour the very flea of his dog:
a plague on him, he put me once in a villainous filthy fear:
marry, it vanish'd away like the smoke of tobacco: but I was
smok'd soundly first, I thank the devil, and his good angel
my guest: well, wife, or Tib, (which you will) get you in,
and lock the door, I charge you; let nobody into you, not
Bobadilla himself, nor the devil in his likeness; you are a
woman; you have flesh and blood enough in you; therefore be
not tempted; keep the door shut upon all comers.

TIB. I warrant you there shall nobody enter here without my

COB. Nor with your consent, sweet Tib, and so I leave you.

TIB. It's more than you know, whether you leave me so.

COB. How?

TIB. Why, sweet.

COB. Tut, sweet or sour, thou art a flower.
Keep close thy door, I ask no more.




LOR JU. Well, Musco, perform this business happily,
And thou makest a conquest of my love for ever.

PROS. I'faith, now let thy spirits put on their best habit,
But at any hand remember thy message to my brother,
For there's no other means to start him.

MUS. I warrant you, sir, fear nothing; I have a nimble soul
that hath waked all my imaginative forces by this time, and
put them in true motion: what you have possest me withal,
I'll discharge it amply, sir. Make no question.


PROS. That's well said, Musco: faith, sirrah, how dost thou
approve my wit in this device?

LOR JU. Troth, well, howsoever; but excellent if it take.

PROS. Take, man: why, it cannot choose but take, if the
circumstances miscarry not, but tell me zealously: dost thou
affect my sister Hesperida, as thou pretendest?

LOR JU. Prospero, by Jesu.

PROS. Come, do not protest, I believe thee: i'faith, she is
a virgin of good ornament, and much modesty, unless I
conceived very worthily of her, thou shouldest not have her.

LOR JU. Nay, I think it a question whether I shall have her
for all that.

PROS. 'Sblood, thou shalt have her, by this light, thou shalt!

LOR JU. Nay, do not swear.

PROS. By St. Mark, thou shalt have her: I'll go fetch her
presently, 'point but where to meet, and by this hand,
I'll bring her!

LOR JU. Hold, hold, what, all policy dead? no prevention of
mischiefs stirring.

PROS. Why, by -- what shall I swear by? thou shalt have her,
by my soul.

LOR. JU. I pray thee have patience, I am satisfied: Prospero,
omit no offered occasion that may make my desires complete, I
beseech thee.

PROS. I warrant thee.




PETO. Was your man a soldier, sir?

LOR. SE. Ay, a knave, I took him up begging upon the way,
This morning as I was coming to the city.
Oh! here he is; come on, you make fair speed:
Why, where in God's name have you been so long?

MUS. Marry, (God's my comfort) where I thought I should
have had little comfort of your worship's service.

LOR. SE. How so?

MUS. O God, sir! your coming to the city, and your
entertainment of men, and your sending me to watch;
indeed, all the circumstances are as open to your son as
to yourself.

LOR. SE. How should that be? Unless that villain Musco
Have told him of the letter, and discovered
All that I strictly charged him to conceal? 'tis so.

MUS. I'faith, you have hit it: 'tis so indeed.

LOR. SE. But how should he know thee to be my man?

MUS. Nay, sir, I cannot tell; unless it were by the
black art? is not your son a scholar, sir?

LOR. SE. Yes; but I hope his soul is not allied
To such a devilish practice: if it were,
I had just cause to weep my part in him.
And curse the time of his creation.
But where didst thou find them, Portensio?

MUS. Nay, sir, rather you should ask where they found me?
for I'll be sworn I was going along in the street,
thinking nothing, when (of a sudden) one calls, "Signior
Lorenzo's man": another, he cries "soldier": and thus half
a dozen of them, till they had got me within doors, where
I no sooner came, but out flies their rapiers and all bent
against my breast, they swore some two or three hundred
oaths, and all to tell me I was but a dead man, if I did
not confess where you were, and how I was employed, and
about what; which, when they could not get out of me, (as
God's my judge, they should have kill'd me first,) they
lock'd me up into a room in the top of a house, where, by
great miracle, (having a light heart) I slid down by a
bottom of packthread into the street, and so scaped: but,
master, thus much I can assure you, for I heard it while I
was lock'd up: there were a great many merchants and rich
citizens' wives with them at a banquet, and your son,
Signior Lorenzo, has 'pointed one of them to meet anon at
one Cob's house, a water-bearer's, that dwells by the wall:
now there you shall be sure to take him: for fail he will not.

LOR. SE. Nor will I fail to break this match, I doubt not;
Well, go thou along with master Doctor's man,
And stay there for me; at one Cob's house, say'st thou?


MUS. Ay, sir, there you shall have him: when can you tell?
Much wench, or much son: 'sblood, when he has stay'd there
three or four hours, travelling with the expectation of
somewhat; and at the length be delivered of nothing: oh,
the sport that I should then take to look on him if I durst;
but now I mean to appear no more afore him in this shape:
I have another trick to act yet; oh, that I were so happy
as to light upon an ounce now of this Doctor's clerk:
God save you, sir.

PETO. I thank you, good sir.

MUS. I have made you stay somewhat long, sir.

PETO. Not a whit, sir, I pray you what, sir, do you mean?
you have been lately in the wars, sir, it seems.

MUS. Ay, marry have I, sir.

PETO. Troth, sir, I would be glad to bestow a bottle of
wine on you, if it please you to accept it.

MUS. O Lord, sir.

PETO. But to hear the manner of your services, and your
devices in the wars, they say they be very strange, and
not like those a man reads in the Roman histories.

MUS. O God, no, sir, why, at any time when it please you,
I shall be ready to discourse to you what I know: and more
too somewhat.

PETO. No better time than now, sir, we'll go to the
Mermaid: there we shall have a cup of neat wine,
I pray you, sir, let me request you.

MUS. I'll follow you, sir, he is mine own, i'faith.



MAT. Signior, did you ever see the like clown of him where
we were to-day: Signior Prospero's brother?
I think the whole earth cannot shew his like, by Jesu.

LOR. JU. We were now speaking of him, Signior Bobadillo
tells me he is fallen foul of you too.

MAT. Oh ay, sir, he threatened me with the bastinado.

BOB. Ay, but I think I taught you a trick this morning for
that. You shall kill him without all question, if you be
so minded.

MAT. Indeed, it is a most excellent trick.

BOB. Oh, you do not give spirit enough to your motion; you
are too dull, too tardy: oh, it must be done like lightning,

MAT. Oh, rare.

BOB. Tut, 'tis nothing an't be not done in a --

LOR. JU. Signior, did you never play with any of our
masters here?

MAT. Oh, good sir.

BOB. Nay, for a more instance of their preposterous humour,
there came three or four of them to me, at a gentleman's house,
where it was my chance to be resident at that time, to intreat
my presence at their schools, and withal so much importuned me,
that (I protest to you as I am a gentleman) I was ashamed of
their rude demeanour out of all measure: well, I told them
that to come to a public school they should pardon me, it was
opposite to my humour, but if so they would attend me at my
lodging, I protested to do them what right or favour I could,
as I was a gentleman, etc.

LOR. JU. So sir, then you tried their skill.

BOB. Alas, soon tried: you shall hear, sir, within two
or three days after they came, and by Jesu, good Signior,
believe me, I graced them exceedingly, shewed them some
two or three tricks of prevention hath got them since
admirable credit, they cannot deny this; and yet now
they hate me, and why? because I am excellent, and for
no other reason on the earth.

LOR. JU. This is strange and vile as ever I heard.

BOB. I will tell you, sir, upon my first coming to the city,
they assaulted me some three, four, five, six of them
together, as I have walk'd alone in divers places of the
city; as upon the Exchange, at my lodging, and at my
ordinary, where I have driven them afore me the whole length
of a street, in the open view of all our gallants, pitying
to hurt them, believe me; yet all this lenity will not
depress their spleen; they will be doing with the pismire,
raising a hill a man may spurn abroad with his foot at
pleasure: by my soul, I could have slain them all, but I
delight not in murder: I am loth to bear any other but a
bastinado for them, and yet I hold it good policy not to go
disarm'd, for though I be skilful, I may be suppressed with

LOR. JU. Ay, by Jesu, may you, sir, and (in my conceit) our
whole nation should sustain the loss by it, if it were so.

BOB. Alas, no: what's a peculiar man to a nation? not seen.

LOR. JU. Ay, but your skill, sir.

BOB. Indeed, that might be some loss, but who respects it?
I will tell you, Signior, (in private) I am a gentleman,
and live here obscure, and to myself; but were I known to
the Duke (observe me) I would undertake (upon my head and
life) for the public benefit of the state, not only to
spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to
save the one half, nay, three parts of his yearly charges,
in holding wars generally against all his enemies; and how
will I do it, think you?

LOR. JU. Nay, I know not, nor can I conceive.

BOB. Marry, thus, I would select nineteen more to myself,
throughout the land, gentlemen they should be of good spirit;
strong and able constitution, I would choose them by an

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