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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!

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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,
and do not laugh, for God’s sake.


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.
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.


DAW: Good sir, do.


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.



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.


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,
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.
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!
John Daw!

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!
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.
–Your 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:
–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.


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.
–All hid, sir John.


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!


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.


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.


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-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.


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


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.


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.


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.


ACT 5. SCENE 5.1.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.
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.–
Good sir Dauphine, solve it for me. I’ll call for it anon.


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;
–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.
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.


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.]
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.


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.


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.
–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.


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.
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.



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.