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4 RUST. How comes this?

2 RUST. One has executed himself, contrary to order of law, and by my consent he shall answer it.

5 RUST. Would he were in case to answer it!

1 RUST. Stand by, he recovers, give him breath.


5 RUST. Mass, ’twas well you went the footway, neighbour.

1 RUST. Ay, an I had not cut the halter —

SORD. How! cut the halter! ah me, I am undone, I am undone!

2 RUST. Marry, if you had not been undone, you had been hang’d. I can tell you.

SORD. You thread-bare, horse-bread-eating rascals, if you would needs have been meddling, could you not have untied it, but you must cut it; and in the midst too! ah me!

1 RUST. Out on me, ’tis the caterpillar Sordido! how curst are the poor, that the viper was blest with this good fortune!

2 RUST. Nay, how accurst art thou, that art cause to the curse of the poor?

3 RUST. Ay, and to save so wretched a caitiff?

4 RUST. Curst be thy fingers that loos’d him!

2 RUST. Some desperate fury possess thee, that thou may’st hang thyself too!

5 RUST. Never may’st thou be saved, that saved so damn’d a monster!

SORD. What curses breathe these men! how have my deeds Made my looks differ from another man’s, That they should thus detest and loath my life! Out on my wretched humour! it is that
Makes me thus monstrous in true humane eyes. Pardon me, gentle friends, I’ll make fair ‘mends For my foul errors past, and twenty-fold Restore to all men, what with wrong I robb’d them: My barns and garners shall stand open still To all the poor that come, and my best grain Be made alms-bread, to feed half-famish’d mouths. Though hitherto amongst you I have lived, Like an unsavoury muck-hill to myself,
Yet now my gather’d heaps being spread abroad, Shall turn to better and more fruitful uses. Bless then this man, curse him no more for the saving My life and soul together. O how deeply
The bitter curses of the poor do pierce! I am by wonder changed; come in with me
And witness my repentance: now I prove, No life is blest, that is not graced with love. [EXIT.

2 RUST. O miracle! see when a man has grace!

3 RUST. Had it not been pity so good a man should have been cast away?

2 RUST. Well, I’ll get our clerk put his conversion in the ‘Acts and Monuments’.

4 RUST. Do, for I warrant him he’s a martyr.

2 RUST. O God, how he wept, if you mark’d it! did you see how the tears trill’d?

5 RUST. Yes, believe me, like master vicar’s bowls upon the green, for all the world.

3 RUST. O neighbour, God’s blessing o’ your heart, neighbour, ’twas a good grateful deed.

COR. How now, Mitis! what’s that you consider so seriously?

MIT. Troth, that which doth essentially please me, the warping condition of this green and soggy multitude; but in good faith, signior, your author hath largely outstript my expectation in this scene, I will liberally confess it. For when I saw Sordido so desperately intended, I thought I had had a hand of him, then.

COR. What! you supposed he should have hung himself indeed?

MIT. I did, and had framed my objection to it ready, which may yet be very fitly urged, and with some necessity; for though his purposed violence lost the effect, and extended not to death, yet the intent and horror of the object was more than the nature of a comedy will in any sort admit.

COR. Ay! what think you of Plautus, in his comedy called ‘Cistellaria’? there, where he brings in Alcesimarchus with a drum sword ready to kill himself, and as he is e’en fixing his breast upon it, to be restrained from his resolved outrage, by Silenium and the bawd? Is not his authority of power to give our scene approbation?

MIT. Sir, I have this only evasion left me, to say, I think it be so indeed; your memory is happier than mine: but I wonder, what engine he will use to bring the rest out of their humours!

COR. That will appear anon, never pre-occupy your imagination withal. Let your mind keep company with the scene still, which now removes itself from the country to the court. Here comes Macilente, and signior Brisk freshly suited; lose not yourself, for now the epitasis, or busy part of our subject, is an act.



FAST. Well, now signior Macilente, you are not only welcome to the court, but also to my mistress’s withdrawing chamber — Boy, get me some tobacco. I’ll but go in, and shew I am here, and come to you presently, sir. [EXIT.

MACI. What’s that he said? by heaven, I mark’d him not: My thoughts and I were of another world. I was admiring mine own outside here,
To think what privilege and palm it bears Here, in the court! be a man ne’er so vile, In wit, in judgment, manners, or what else; If he can purchase but a silken cover,
He shall not only pass, but pass regarded: Whereas, let him be poor, and meanly clad, Though ne’er so richly parted, you shall have A fellow that knows nothing but his beef, Or how to rince his clammy guts in beer, Will take him by the shoulders, or the throat, And kick him down the stairs. Such is the state Of virtue in bad clothes! — ha, ha, ha, ha! That raiment should be in such high request! How long should I be, ere I should put off To the lord chancellor’s tomb, or the shrives’ poste? By heav’n, I think, a thousand, thousand year. His gravity, his wisdom, and his faith
To my dread sovereign, graces that survive him, These I could well endure to reverence,
But not his tomb; no more than I’d commend The chapel organ for the gilt without,
Or this base-viol, for the varnish’d face.

FAST. I fear I have made you stay somewhat long, sir; but is my tobacco ready, boy?

CIN. Ay, sir.

FAST. Give me; my mistress is upon coming, you shall see her presently, sir. [PUFFS.] You’ll say you never accosted a more piercing wit. — This tobacco is not dried, boy, or else the pipe is defective. — Oh, your wits of Italy are nothing comparable to her: her brain’s a very quiver of jests, and she does dart them abroad with that sweet, loose, and judicial aim, that you would — here she comes, sir. [SAVIOLINA LOOKS IN, AND DRAWS BACK AGAIN.

MACI. ‘Twas time, his invention had been bogged else.

SAV. [WITHIN.] Give me my fan there.

MACI. How now, monsieur Brisk?

FAST. A kind of affectionate reverence strikes me with a cold shivering, methinks.

MACI. I like such tempers well, as stand before their mistresses with fear and trembling; and before their Maker, like impudent mountains!

FAST. By this hand, I’d spend twenty pound my vaulting horse stood here now, she might see do but one trick.

MACI. Why, does she love activity?

CIN. Or, if you had but your long stockings on, to be dancing a galliard as she comes by.

FAST. Ay, either. O, these stirring humours make ladies mad with desire; she comes. My good genius embolden me: boy, the pipe quickly.

MACI. What! will he give her music?

FAST. A second good morrow to my fair mistress.

SAV. Fair servant, I’ll thank you a day hence, when the date of your salutation comes forth.

FAST. How like you that answer? is’t not admirable?

MACI. I were a simple courtier, if I could not admire trifles, sir.

FAST. [TALKS AND TAKES TOBACCO BETWEEN THE BREAKS.] Troth, sweet lady, I shall [PUFFS] — be prepared to give you thanks for those thanks, and — study more officious, and obsequious regards — to your fair beauties. — Mend the pipe, boy.

MACI. I never knew tobacco taken as a parenthesis before.

FAST. ‘Fore God, sweet lady, believe it, I do honour the meanest rush in this chamber for your love.

SAV. Ay, you need not tell me that, sir; I do think you do prize a rush before my love.

MACI. Is this the wonder of nations!

FAST. O, by this air, pardon me, I said ‘for’ your love, by this light: but it is the accustomed sharpness of your ingenuity, sweet mistress, to [TAKES DOWNTHE VIOL, AND PLAYS] — mass, your viol’s new strung, methinks.

MACI. Ingenuity! I see his ignorance will not suffer him to slander her, which he had done notably, if he had said wit for ingenuity, as he meant it.

FAST. By the soul of music, lady — HUM, HUM.

SAV. Would we might hear it once.

FAST. I do more adore and admire your — HUM, HUM — predominant perfections, than — HUM, HUM — ever I shall have power and faculty to express — HUM.

SAV. Upon the viol de gambo, you mean?

FAST. It’s miserably out of tune, by this hand.

SAV. Nay, rather by the fingers.

MACI. It makes good harmony with her wit.

FAST. Sweet lady, tune it. [SAVIOLINA TUNES THE VIOL.] — Boy, some tobacco.

MACI. Tobacco again! he does court his mistress with very exceeding good changes.

FAST. Signior Macilente, you take none, sir?

MACI. No, unless I had a mistress, signior, it were a great indecorum for me to take tobacco.

FAST. How like you her wit?

MACI. Her ingenuity is excellent, sir.

FAST. You see the subject of her sweet fingers there — Oh, she tickles it so, that — She makes it laugh most divinely; — I’ll tell you a good jest now, and yourself shall say it’s a good one: I have wished myself to be that instrument, I think, a thousand times, and not so few, by heaven! —

MACI. Not unlike, sir; but how? to be cased up and hung by on the wall?

FAST. O, no, sir, to be in use, I assure you; as your judicious eyes may testify. —

SAV. Here, servant, if you will play, come.

FAST. Instantly, sweet lady. — In good faith, here’s most divine tobacco!

SAV. Nay, I cannot stay to dance after your pipe.

FAST. Good! Nay, dear lady, stay; by this sweet smoke, I think your wit be all fire. —

MACI. And he’s the salamander belongs to it.

SAV. Is your tobacco perfumed, servant, that you swear by the sweet smoke?

FAST. Still more excellent! Before heaven, and these bright lights, I think — you are made of ingenuity, I —

MACI. True, as your discourse is. O abominable!

FAST. Will your ladyship take any?

SAV. O peace, I pray you; I love not the breath of a woodcock’s head.

FAST. Meaning my head, lady?

SAV. Not altogether so, sir; but, as it were fatal to their follies that think to grace themselves with taking tobacco, when they want better entertainment, you see your pipe bears the true form of a woodcock’s head.

FAST. O admirable simile!

AV. ‘Tis best leaving of you in admiration, sir. [EXIT.

MACI. Are these the admired lady-wits, that having so good a plain song, can run no better division upon it? All her jests are of the stamp March was fifteen years ago. Is this the comet, monsieur Fastidious, that your gallants wonder at so?

FAST. Heart of a gentleman, to neglect me afore the presence thus! Sweet sir, I beseech you be silent in my disgrace. By the muses, I was never in so vile a humour in my life, and her wit was at the flood too! Report it not for a million, good sir: let me be so far endeared to your love. [EXEUNT.

MIT. What follows next, signior Cordatus? this gallant’s humour is almost spent; methinks it ebbs apace, with this contrary breath of his mistress.

COR. O, but it will flow again for all this, till there come a general drought of humour among our actors, and then I fear not but his will fall as low as any. See who presents himself here!

MIT. What, in the old case?

COR. Ay, faith, which makes it the more pitiful; you understand where the scene is?

———————————————- ACT IV



FAL. Why are you so melancholy, brother?

FUNG. I am not melancholy, I thank you, sister.

FAL. Why are you not merry then? there are but two of us in all the world, and if we should not be comforts one to another, God help us!

FUNG. Faith, I cannot tell, sister; but if a man had any true melancholy in him, it would make him melancholy to see his yeomanly father cut his neighbours’ throats, to make his son a gentleman; and yet, when he has cut them, he will see his son’s throat cut too, ere he make him a true gentleman indeed, before death cut his own throat. I must be the first head of our house, and yet he will not give me the head till I be made so. Is any man termed a gentleman, that is not always in the fashion? I would know but that.

FAL. If you be melancholy for that, brother, I think I have as much cause to be melancholy as any one: for I’ll be sworn, I live as little in the fashion as any woman in London. By the faith of a gentlewoman, beast that I am to say it! I have not one friend in the world besides my husband. When saw you master Fastidious Brisk, brother?

FUNG. But a while since, sister, I think: I know not well in truth. By this hand I could fight with all my heart, methinks.

FAL. Nay, good brother, be not resolute.

FUNG. I sent him a letter, and he writes me no answer neither.

FAL. Oh, sweet Fastidious Brisk! O fine courtier! thou are he makest me sigh, and say, how blessed is that woman that hath a courtier to her husband, and how miserable a dame she is, that hath neither husband, nor friend in the court! O sweet Fastidious! O fine courtier! How comely he bows him in his court’sy! how full he hits a woman between the lips when he kisses! how upright he sits at the table! how daintily he carves! how sweetly he talks, and tells news of this lord and of that lady! how cleanly he wipes his spoon at every spoonful of any whitemeat he eats! and what a neat case of pick-tooths he carries about him still! O sweet Fastidious! O fine courtier!

ENTER DELIRO AT A DISTANCE, WITH MUSICIANS. DELI. See, yonder she is, gentlemen. Now, as ever you’ll bear the name of musicians, touch your instruments sweetly; she has a delicate ear, I tell you: play not a false note, I beseech you.

MUSI. Fear not, signior Deliro.

DELI. O, begin, begin, some sprightly thing: lord, how my imagination labours with the success of it! [THEY STRIKE UP A LIVELY TUNE.] Well said, good i’faith! Heaven grant it please her. I’ll not be seen, for then she’ll be sure to dislike it.

FAL. Hey — da! this is excellent! I’ll lay my life this is my husband’s dotage. I thought so; nay, never play bo-peep with me; I know you do nothing but study how to anger me, sir.

DELI. [COMING FORWARD.] Anger thee, sweet wife! why, didst thou not send for musicians at supper last night thyself?

FAL. To supper, sir! now, come up to supper, I beseech you: as though there were no difference between supper-time, when folks should be merry, and this time when they should be melancholy. I would never take upon me to take a wife, if I had no more judgment to please her.

DELI. Be pleased, sweet wife, and they shall have done; and would to fate my life were done, if I can never please thee! [EXEUNT MUSICIANS.

MACI. Save you lady; where is master Deliro?

DELI. Here, master Macilente: you are welcome from court, sir; no doubt you have been graced exceedingly of master Brisk’s mistress, and the rest of the ladies for his sake.

MACI. Alas, the poor fantastic! he’s scarce known To any lady there; and those that know him, Know him the simplest man of all they know: Deride, and play upon his amorous humours, Though he but apishly doth imitate
The gallant’st courtiers, kissing ladies’ pumps, Holding the cloth for them, praising their wits, And servilely observing every one
May do them pleasure: fearful to be seen With any man, though he be ne’er so worthy, That’s not in grace with some that are the greatest. Thus courtiers do, and these he counterfeits, But sets no such a sightly carriage
Upon their vanities, as they themselves; And therefore they despise him: for indeed He’s like the zany to a tumbler,
That tries tricks after him, to make men laugh.

FAL. Here’s an unthankful spiteful wretch! the good gentleman vouchsafed to make him his companion, because my husband put him into a few rags, and now see how the unrude rascal backbites him! [ASIDE.

DELI. Is he no more graced amongst them then, say you?

MACI. Faith, like a pawn at chess: fills up a room, that’s all.

FAL. O monster of men! can the earth bear such an envious caitiff? [ASIDE.

DELI. Well, I repent me I ever credited him so much: but now I see what he is, and that his masking vizor is off, I’ll forbear him no longer. All his lands are mortgaged to me, and forfeited; besides, I have bonds of his in my hand, for the receipt of now fifty pounds now a hundred, now two hundred; still, as he has had a fan but wagged at him, he would be in a new suit. Well, I’ll salute him by a serjeant, the next time I see him i’faith, I’ll suit him.

MACI. Why, you may soon see him sir, for he is to meet signior Puntarvolo at a notary’s by the Exchange, presently; where he meant to take up, upon return.

FAL. Now, out upon thee, Judas! canst thou not be content to backbite thy friend, but thou must betray him! Wilt thou seek the undoing of any man? and of such a man too? and will you, sir, get your living by the counsel of traitors?

DELI. Dear wife, have patience.

FAL. The house will fall, the ground will open and swallow us: I’ll not bide here for all the gold and silver in heaven. [EXIT WITH FUNGOSO.

DELI. O, good Macilente, let’s follow and appease her, or the peace of my life is at an end.

MACI. Now pease, and not peace, feed that life, whose head hangs so heavily over a woman’s manger!


FAL. Help me, brother! Ods body, an you come here I’ll do myself a mischief.

DELI. [WITHIN.] Nay, hear me, sweet wife; unless thou wilt have me go, I will not go.

FAL. Tut, you shall never have that vantage of me, to say, you are undone by me. I’ll not bid you stay, I. Brother, sweet brother, here’s four angels, I’ll give you towards your suit: for the love of gentry, and as ever you came of Christian creature, make haste to the water side, (you know where master Fastidious uses to land,) and give him warning of my husband’s malicious intent; and tell him of that lean rascal’s treachery. O heavens, how my flesh rises at him! Nay, sweet brother, make haste: you may say, I would have writ to him, but that the necessity of the time would not permit. He cannot choose but take it extraordinarily from me: and commend me to him, good brother; say, I sent you. [EXIT.

FUNG. Let me see, these four angels, and then forty shillings more I can borrow on my gown in Fetter Lane. — Well, I will go presently, say on my suit, pay as much money as I have, and swear myself into credit with my tailor for the rest.



DELI. O, on my soul you wrong her, Macilente. Though she be froward, yet I know she is honest.

MACI. Well, then have I no judgment. Would any woman, but one that were wild in her affections, have broke out into that immodest and violent passion against her husband? or is’t possible —

DELI. If you love me, forbear; all the arguments i’ the world shall never wrest my heart to believe it.

COR. How like you the deciphering of his dotage?

MIT. O, strangely: an of the other’s envy too, that labours so seriously to set debate betwixt a man and his wife. Stay, here comes the knight adventurer.

COR. Ay, and his scrivener with him.



PUNT. I wonder monsieur Fastidious comes not! But, notary, if thou please to draw the indentures the while, I will give thee thy instructions.

NOT. With all my heart, sir; and I’ll fall in hand with them presently.

PUNT. Well then, first the sum is to be understood.

NOT. [WRITES.] Good, sir.

PUNT. Next, our several appellations, and character of my dog and cat, must be known. Shew him the cat, sirrah.

NOT. So, sir.

PUNT. Then, that the intended bound is the Turk’s court in Constantinople; the time limited for our return, a year; and that if either of us miscarry, the whole venture is lost. These are general, conceiv’st thou? or if either of us turn Turk.

NOT. Ay, sir.

PUNT. Now, for particulars: that I may make my travels by sea or land, to my best liking; and that hiring a coach for myself, it shall be lawful for my dog or cat, or both, to ride with me in the said coach.

NOT. Very good, sir.

PUNT. That I may choose to give my dog or cat, fish, for fear of bones; or any other nutriment that, by the judgment of the most authentical physicians where I travel, shall be thought dangerous.

NOT. Well, sir.

PUNT. That, after the receipt of his money, he shall neither, in his own person, nor any other, either by direct or indirect means, as magic, witchcraft, or other such exotic arts, attempt, practise, or complot any thing to the prejudice of me, my dog, or my cat: neither shall I use the help of any such sorceries or enchantments, as unctions to make our skins impenetrable, or to travel invisible by virtue of a powder, or a ring, or to hang any three-forked charm about my dog’s neck, secretly conveyed into his collar; (understand you?) but that all be performed sincerely, without fraud or imposture.

NOT. So, sir.

PUNT. That, for testimony of the performance, myself am to bring thence a Turk’s mustachio, my dog a Grecian hare’s lips, and my cat the train or tail of a Thracian rat.

NOT. [WRITES.] ‘Tis done, sir.

PUNT. ‘Tis said, sir; not done, sir. But forward; that, upon my return, and landing on the Tower-wharf, with the aforesaid testimony, I am to receive five for one, according to the proportion of the sums put forth.

NOT. Well, sir.

PUNT. Provided, that if before our departure, or setting forth, either myself or these be visited with sickness, or any other casual event, so that the whole course of the adventure be hindered thereby, that then he is to return, and I am to receive the prenominated proportion upon fair and equal terms.

NOT. Very good, sir; is this all?

PUNT. It is all, sir; and dispatch them, good notary.

NOT. As fast as is possible, sir.

PUNT. O Carlo! welcome: saw you monsieur Brisk?

CAR. Not I: did he appoint you to meet here?

PUNT. Ay, and I muse he should be so tardy; he is to take an hundred pounds of me in venture, if he maintain his promise.

CAR. Is his hour past?

PUNT. Not yet, but it comes on apace.

CAR. Tut, be not jealous of him; he will sooner break all the commandments, than his hour; upon my life, in such a case trust him.

PUNT. Methinks, Carlo, you look very smooth, ha!

CAR. Why, I came but now from a hot-house; I must needs look smooth.

PUNT. From a hot-house!

CAR. Ay, do you make a wonder on’t? why, it is your only physic. Let a man sweat once a week in a hot-house, and be well rubb’d, and froted, with a good plump juicy wench, and sweet linen, he shall ne’er have the pox.

PUNT. What, the French pox?

CAR. The French pox! out pox: we have them in as good a form as they, man; what?

PUNT. Let me perish, but thou art a salt one! was your new-created gallant there with you, Sogliardo?

CAR. O porpoise! hang him, no: he’s a leiger at Horn’s ordinary, yonder; his villainous Ganymede and he have been droning a tobacco-pipe there ever since yesterday noon.

PUNT. Who? signior Tripartite, that would give my dog the whiffe?

CAR. Ay, he. They have hired a chamber and all, private, to practise in, for the making of the patoun, the receipt reciprocal, and a number of other mysteries not yet extant. I brought some dozen or twenty gallants this morning to view them, as you’d do a piece of perspective, in at a key-hole; and there we might see Sogliardo sit in a chair, holding his snout up like a sow under an apple-tree, while the other open’d his nostrils with a poking-stick, to give the smoke a more free delivery. They had spit some three or fourscore ounces between ’em, afore we came away.

PUNT. How! spit three or fourscore ounces?

CAR. Ay, and preserv’d it in porrengers, as a barber does his blood, when he opens a vein.

PUNT. Out, pagan! how dost thou open the vein of thy friend?

CAR. Friend! is there any such foolish thing in the world, ha? ‘slid I never relished it yet.

PUNT. Thy humour is the more dangerous.

CAR. No, not a whit, signior. Tut, a man must keep time in all; I can oil my tongue when I meet him next, and look with a good sleek forehead; ’twill take away all soil of suspicion, and that’s enough: what Lynceus can see my heart? Pish, the title of a friend! it’s a vain, idle thing, only venerable among fools; you shall not have one that has any opinion of wit affect it.

DELI. Save you, good sir Puntarvolo.

PUNT. Signior Deliro! welcome.

DELI. Pray you, sir, did you see master Fastidious Brisk? I heard he was to meet your worship here.

PUNT. You heard no figment, sir; I do expect him at every pulse of my watch.

DELI. In good time, sir.

CAR. There’s a fellow now looks like one of the patricians of Sparta; marry, his wit’s after ten i’ the hundred: a good bloodhound, a close-mouthed dog, he follows the scent well; marry, he’s at fault now, methinks.

PUNT. I should wonder at that creature is free from the danger of thy tongue.

CAR. O, I cannot abide these limbs of satin, or rather Satan indeed, that will walk, like the children of darkness, all day in a melancholy shop, with their pockets full of blanks, ready to swallow up as many poor unthrifts as come within the verge.

PUNT. So! and what hast thou for him that is with him, now?

CAR. O, d–n me! immortality! I’ll not meddle with him; the pure element of fire, all spirit, extraction.

PUNT. How, Carlo! ha, what is he, man?

CAR. A scholar, Macilente; do you not know him? a rank, raw-boned anatomy, he walks up and down like a charged musket, no man dares encounter him: that’s his rest there.

PUNT. His rest! why, has he a forked head?

CAR. Pardon me, that’s to be suspended; you are too quick, too apprehensive.

DELI. Troth, now I think on’t, I’ll defer it till some other time.

MACI. Not by any means, signior, you shall not lose this opportunity, he will be here presently now.

DELI. Yes, faith, Macilente, ’tis best. For, look you, sir, I shall so exceedingly offend my wife in’t, that —

MACI. Your wife! now for shame lose these thoughts, and become the master of your own spirits. Should I, if I had a wife, suffer myself to be thus passionately carried to and fro with the stream of her humour, and neglect my deepest affairs, to serve her affections? ‘Slight, I would geld myself first.

DELI. O, but signior, had you such a wife as mine is, you would —

MACI. Such a wife! Now hate me, sir, if ever I discern’d any wonder in your wife yet, with all the speculation I have: I have seen some that have been thought fairer than she, in my time; and I have seen those, have not been altogether so tall, esteem’d properer women; and I have seen less noses grow upon sweeter faces, that have done very well too, in my judgment. But in good faith, signior, for all this, the gentlewoman is a good, pretty, proud, hard-favour’d thing, marry not so peerlessly to be doted upon, I must confess: nay, be not angry.

DELI. Well, sir, however you please to forget yourself, I have not deserv’d to be thus played upon; but henceforth, pray you forbear my house, for I can but faintly endure the savour of his breath, at my table, that shall thus jade me for my courtesies.

MACI. Nay, then, signior, let me tell you, your wife is no proper woman, and by my life, I suspect her honesty, that’s more, which you may likewise suspect, if you please, do you see? I’ll urge you to nothing against your appetite, but if you please, you may suspect it.

DELI. Good sir.

MACI. Good, sir! now horn upon horn pursue thee, thou blind, egregious dotard!

CAR. O, you shall hear him speak like envy. — Signior Macilente, you saw monsieur Brisk lately: I heard you were with him at court.

MACI. Ay, Buffone, I was with him.

CAR. And how is he respected there? I know you’ll deal ingenuously with us; is he made much of amongst the sweeter sort of gallants?

MACI. Faith, ay; his civet and his casting-glass Have helpt him to a place amongst the rest: And there, his seniors give him good slight looks, After their garb, smile, and salute in French With some new compliment.

CAR. What, is this all?

MACI. Why say, that they should shew the frothy fool Such grace as they pretend comes from the heart, He had a mighty windfall out of doubt!
Why, all their graces are not to do grace To virtue or desert; but to ride both
With their gilt spurs quite breathless, from themselves. ‘Tis now esteem’d precisianism in wit,
And a disease in nature, to be kind Toward desert, to love or seek good names. Who feeds with a good name? who thrives with loving? Who can provide feast for his own desires, With serving others? — ha, ha, ha!
‘Tis folly, by our wisest worldlings proved, If not to gain by love, to be beloved.

CAR. How like you him? is’t not a good spiteful slave, ha?

PUNT. Shrewd, shrewd.

CAR. D–n me! I could eat his flesh now; divine sweet villain!

MACI. Nay, prithee leave: What’s he there?

CAR. Who? this in the starched beard? it’s the dull stiff knight Puntarvolo, man; he’s to travel now presently: he has a good knotty wit; marry, he carries little on’t out of the land with him.

MACI. How then?

CAR. He puts it forth in venture, as he does his money upon the return of a dog and cat.

MACI. Is this he?

CAR. Ay, this is he; a good tough gentleman: he looks like a shield of brawn at Shrove-tide, out of date, and ready to take his leave; or a dry pole of ling upon Easter-eve, that has furnish’d the table all Lent, as he has done the city this last vacation.

MACI. Come, you’ll never leave your stabbing similes: I shall have you aiming at me with ’em by and by; but —

CAR. O, renounce me then! pure, honest, good devil, I love thee above the love of women: I could e’en melt in admiration of thee, now. Ods so, look here, man; Sir Dagonet and his squire!

SOG. Save you, my dear gallantos: nay, come, approach, good cavalier: prithee, sweet knight, know this gentleman, he’s one that it pleases me to use as my good friend and companion; and therefore do him good offices: I beseech you, gentles, know him, I know him all over.

PUNT. Sir, for signior Sogliardo’s sake, let it suffice, I know you.

SOG. Why, as I am a gentleman, I thank you, knight, and it shall suffice. Hark you, sir Puntarvolo, you’d little think it; he’s as resolute a piece of flesh as any in the world.

PUNT. Indeed, sir!

SOG. Upon my gentility, sir: Carlo, a word with you; do you see that same fellow, there?

CAR. What, cavalier Shirt?

SOG. O, you know him; cry you mercy: before me, I think him the tallest man living within the walls of Europe.

CAR. The walls of Europe! take heed what you say, signior, Europe’s a huge thing within the walls.

SOG. ‘Tut, an ’twere as huge again, I’d justify what I speak. ‘Slid, he swagger’d even now in a place where we were — I never saw a man do it more resolute.

CAR. Nay, indeed, swaggering is a good argument of resolution. Do you hear this, signior?

MACI. Ay, to my grief. O, that such muddy flags, For every drunken flourish should achieve The name of manhood, whilst true perfect valour, Hating to shew itself, goes by despised! Heart! I do know now, in a fair just cause, I dare do more than he, a thousand times; Why should not they take knowledge of this, ha! And give my worth allowance before his?
Because I cannot swagger. — Now, the pox Light on your Pickt-hatch prowess!

SOG. Why, I tell you, sir; he has been the only ‘Bid-stand’ that ever kept New-market, Salisbury-plain, Hockley i’ the Hole, Gadshill, and all the high places of any request: he has had his mares and his geldings, he, have been worth forty, threescore, a hundred pound a horse, would ha’ sprung you over the hedge and ditch like your greyhound: he has done five hundred robberies in his time, more or less, I assure you.

PUNT. What, and scaped?

SOG. Scaped! i’faith, ay: he has broken the gaol when he has been in irons and irons; and been out and in again; and out, and in; forty times, and not so few, he.

MACI. A fit trumpet, to proclaim such a person.

CAR. But can this be possible?

SHIFT. Pardon me, my dear Orestes; causes have their quiddits, and ’tis ill jesting with bell-ropes.

CAR. How! Pylades and Orestes?

SOG. Ay, he is my Pylades, and I am his Orestes: how like you the conceit?

CAR. O, ’tis an old stale interlude device; no, I’ll give you names myself, look you; he shall be your Judas, and you shall be his elder-tree to hang on.

MACI. Nay, rather let him be captain Pod, and this his motion: for he does nothing but shew him.

CAR. Excellent: or thus; you shall be Holden, and he your camel.

SHIFT. You do not mean to ride, gentlemen?

PUNT. Faith, let me end it for you, gallants: you shall be his Countenance, and he your Resolution.

SOG. Troth, that’s pretty: how say you, cavalier, shall it be so?

CAR. Ay, ay, most voices.

SHIFT. Faith, I am easily yielding to any good impressions.

SOG. Then give hands, good Resolution.

CAR. Mass, he cannot say, good Countenance, now, properly, to him again.

PUNT. Yes, by an irony.

MACI. O, sir, the countenance of Resolution should, as he is, be altogether grim and unpleasant.

FAST. Good hours make music with your mirth, gentlemen, and keep time to your humours! — How now, Carlo?

PUNT. Monsieur Brisk? many a long look have I extended for you, sir.

FAST. Good faith, I must crave pardon: I was invited this morning, ere I was out of my bed, by a bevy of ladies, to a banquet: whence it was almost one of Hercules’s labours for me to come away, but that the respect of my promise did so prevail with me. I know they’ll take it very ill, especially one, that gave me this bracelet of her hair but over night, and this pearl another gave me from her forehead, marry she — what! are the writings ready?

PUNT. I will send my man to know. Sirrah, go you to the notary’s, and learn if he be ready: leave the dog, sir. [EXIT SERVANT.

FAST. And how does my rare qualified friend, Sogliardo? Oh, signior Macilente! by these eyes, I saw you not; I had saluted you sooner else, o’ my troth. I hope, sir, I may presume upon you, that you will not divulge my late check, or disgrace, indeed, sir.

MACI. You may, sir.

CAR. He knows some notorious jest by this gull, that he hath him so obsequious.

SOG. Monsieur Fastidious, do you see this fellow there? does he not look like a clown? would you think there were any thing in him?

FAST. Any thing in him! beshrew me, ay; the fellow hath a good ingenious face.

SOG. By this element he is as ingenious a tall man as ever swagger’d about London: he, and I, call Countenance and Resolution; but his name is cavalier Shift.

PUNT. Cavalier, you knew signior Clog, that was hang’d for the robbery at Harrow on the hill?

SOG. Knew him, sir! why, ’twas he gave all the directions for the action.

PUNT. How! was it your project, sir?

SHIFT. Pardon me, Countenance, you do me some wrong to make occasions public, which I imparted to you in private.

SOG. God’s will! here are none but friends, Resolution.

SHIFT. That’s all one; things of consequence must have their respects; where, how, and to whom. — Yes, sir, he shewed himself a true Clog in the coherence of that affair, sir; for, if he had managed matters as they were corroborated to him, it had been better for him by a forty or fifty score of pounds, sir; and he himself might have lived, in despight of fates, to have fed on woodcocks, with the rest: but it was his heavy fortune to sink, poor Clog! and therefore talk no more of him.

PUNT. Why, had he more aiders then?

SOG. O lord, sir! ay, there were some present there, that were the Nine Worthies to him, i’faith.

SHIFT. Ay, sir, I can satisfy you at more convenient conference: but, for mine own part, I have now reconciled myself to other courses, and profess a living out of my other qualities.

SOG. Nay, he has left all now, I assure you, and is able to live like a gentleman, by his qualities. By this dog, he has the most rare gift in tobacco that ever you knew.

CAR. He keeps more ado with this monster, than ever Banks did with his horse, or the fellow with the elephant.

MACI. He will hang out his picture shortly, in a cloth, you shall see.

SOG. O, he does manage a quarrel the best that ever you saw, for terms and circumstances.

FAST. Good faith, signior, now you speak of a quarrel, I’ll acquaint you with a difference that happened between a gallant and myself; sir Puntarvolo, you know him if I should name him signior Luculento.

PUNT. Luculento! what inauspicious chance interposed itself to your two loves?

FAST. Faith, sir, the same that sundered Agamemnon and great Thetis’ son; but let the cause escape, sir: he sent me a challenge, mixt with some few braves, which I restored, and in fine we met. Now, indeed, sir, I must tell you, he did offer at first very desperately, but without judgment: for, look you, sir, I cast myself into this figure; now he comes violently on, and withal advancing his rapier to strike, I thought to have took his arm, for he had left his whole body to my election, and I was sure he could not recover his guard. Sir, I mist my purpose in his arm, rash’d his doublet-sleeve, ran him close by the left cheek, and through his hair. He again lights me here, — I had on a gold cable hatband, then new come up, which I wore about a murey French hat I had, — cuts my hatband, and yet it was massy goldsmith’s work, cuts my brims, which by good fortune, being thick embroidered with gold twist and spangles, disappointed the force of the blow: nevertheless, it grazed on my shoulder, takes me away six purls of an Italian cut-work band I wore, cost me three pound in the Exchange but three days before.

PUNT. This was a strange encounter.

FAST. Nay, you shall hear, sir: with this we both fell out, and breath’d. Now, upon the second sign of his assault, I betook me to the former manner of my defence; he, on the other side, abandon’d his body to the same danger as before, and follows me still with blows: but I being loth to take the deadly advantage that lay before me of his left side, made a kind of stramazoun, ran him up to the hilts through the doublet, through the shirt, and yet miss’d the skin. He, making a reverse blow, — falls upon my emboss’d girdle, I had thrown off the hangers a little before — strikes off a skirt of a thick-laced satin doublet I had, lined with four taffatas, cuts off two panes embroidered with pearl, rends through the drawings-out of tissue, enters the linings, and skips the flesh.

CAR. I wonder he speaks not of his wrought shirt.

FAST. Here, in the opinion of mutual damage, we paused; but, ere I proceed, I must tell you, signior, that, in this last encounter, not having leisure to put off my silver spurs, one of the rowels catch’d hold of the ruffle of my boot, and, being Spanish leather, and subject to tear, overthrows me, rends me two pair of silk stockings, that I put on, being somewhat a raw morning, a peach colour and another, and strikes me some half inch deep into the side of the calf: he, seeing the blood come, presently takes horse, and away: I, having bound up my wound with a piece of my wrought shirt —

CAR. O! comes it in there?

FAST. Rid after him, and, lighting at the court gate both together, embraced, and march’dhand in hand up into the presence. Was not this business well carried?

MACI. Well! yes, and by this we can guess what apparel the gentleman wore.

PUNT. ‘Fore valour, it was a designment begun with much resolution, maintain’d with as much prowess, and ended with more humanity. — RE-ENTER SERVANT.
How now, what says the notary?

SERV. He says, he is ready, sir; he stays but your worship’s pleasure.

PUNT. Come, we will go to him, monsieur. Gentlemen, shall we entreat you to be witnesses?

SOG. You shall entreat me, sir. — Come, Resolution.

SHIFT. I follow you, good Countenance.

CAR. Come, signior, come, come.

MACI. O, that there should be fortune To clothe these men, so naked in desert! And that the just storm of a wretched life Beats them not ragged for their wretched souls, And, since as fruitless, even as black, as coals! [EXIT.

MIT. Why, but signior, how comes it that Fungoso appeared not with his sister’s intelligence to Brisk?

COR. Marry, long of the evil angels that she gave him, who have indeed tempted the good simple youth to follow the tail of the fashion, and neglect the imposition of his friends. Behold, here he comes, very worshipfully attended, and with good variety.



FUNG. Gramercy, good shoemaker, I’ll put to strings myself.. [EXIT SHOEMAKER.] — Now, sir, let me see, what must you have for this hat?

HABE. Here’s the bill, sir.

FUNG. How does it become me, well?

TAI. Excellent, sir, as ever you had any hat in your life.

FUNG. Nay, you’ll say so all.

HABE. In faith, sir, the hat’s as good as any man in this town can serve you, and will maintain fashion as long; never trust me for a groat else.

FUNG. Does it apply well to my suit?

TAI. Exceeding well, sir.

FUNG. How lik’st thou my suit, haberdasher?

HABE. By my troth, sir, ’tis very rarely well made; I never saw a suit sit better, I can tell on.

TAI. Nay, we have no art to please our friends, we!

FUNG. Here, haberdasher, tell this same. [GIVES HIM MONEY.

HABE. Good faith, sir, it makes you have an excellent body.

FUNG. Nay, believe me, I think I have as good a body in clothes as another.

TAI. You lack points to bring your apparel together, sir.

FUNG. I’ll have points anon. How now! Is’t right?

HABE. Faith, sir, ’tis too little’ but upon farther hopes — Good morrow to you, sir.

FUNG. Farewell, good haberdasher. Well now, master Snip, let me see your bill.

MIT. Me thinks he discharges his followers too thick.

COR. O, therein he saucily imitates some great man. I warrant you, though he turns off them, he keeps this tailor, in place of a page, to follow him still.

FUNG. This bill is very reasonable, in faith: hark you, master Snip — Troth, sir, I am not altogether so well furnished at this present, as I could wish I were; but — if you’ll do me the favour to take part in hand, you shall have all I have, by this hand.

TAI. Sir —

FUNG. And but give me credit for the rest, till the beginning of the next term.

TAI. O lord, sir —

FUNG. ‘Fore God, and by this light, I’ll pay you to the utmost, and acknowledge myself very deeply engaged to you by the courtesy.

TAI. Why, how much have you there, sir?

FUNG. Marry, I have here four angels, and fifteen shillings of white money: it’s all I have, as I hope to be blest

TAI. You will not fail me at the next term with the rest?

FUNG. No, an I do, pray heaven I be hang’d. Let me never breathe again upon this mortal stage, as the philosopher calls it! By this air, and as I am a gentleman, I’ll hold.

COR. He were an iron-hearted fellow, in my judgment, that would not credit him upon this volley of oaths.

TAI. Well, sir, I’ll not stick with any gentleman for a trifle: you know what ’tis remains?

FUNG. Ay, sir, and I give you thanks in good faith. O fate, how happy I am made in this good fortune! Well, now I’ll go seek out monsieur Brisk. ‘Ods so, I have forgot riband for my shoes, and points. ‘Slid, what luck’s this! how shall I do? Master Snip, pray let me reduct some two or three shillings for points and ribands: as I am an honest man, I have utterly disfurnished myself, in the default of memory; pray let me be beholding to you; it shall come home in the bill, believe me.

TAI. Faith, sir, I can hardly depart with ready money; but I’ll take up, and send you some by my boy presently. What coloured riband would you have?

FUNG. What you shall think meet in your judgment, sir, to my suit.

TAI. Well, I’ll send you some presently.

FUNG. And points too, sir?

TAI. And points too, sir.

FUNG. Good lord, how shall I study to deserve this kindness of you sir! Pray let your youth make haste, for I should have done a business an hour since, that I doubt I shall come too late. [EXIT TAILOR.]
Now, in good faith, I am exceeding proud of my suit.

COR. Do you observe the plunges that this poor gallant is put to, signior, to purchase the fashion?

MIT. Ay, and to be still a fashion behind with the world, that’s the sport.

COR. Stay: O, here they come from seal’d and deliver’d.



PUNT. Well, now my whole venture is forth, I will resolve to depart shortly.

FAST. Faith, sir Puntarvolo, go to the court, and take leave of the ladies first.

PUNT. I care not, if it be this afternoon’s labour. Where is Carlo?

FAST. Here he comes.


CAR. Faith, gallants, I am persuading this gentleman [POINTS TO SOGLIARDO] to turn courtier. He is a man of fair revenue, and his estate will bear the charge well. Besides, for his other gifts of the mind, or so, why they are as nature lent him them, pure, simple, without any artificial drug or mixture of these two threadbare beggarly qualities, learning and knowledge, and therefore the more accommodate and genuine. Now, for the life itself —

FAST. O, the most celestial, and full of wonder and delight, that can be imagined, signior, beyond thought and apprehension of pleasure! A man lives there in that divine rapture, that he will think himself i’ the ninth heaven for the time, and lose all sense of mortality whatsoever, when he shall behold such glorious, and almost immortal beauties; hear such angelical and harmonious voices, discourse with such flowing and ambrosial spirits, whose wits are as sudden as lightning, and humorous as nectar; oh, it makes a man all quintessence and flame, and lifts him up, in a moment, to the very crystal crown of the sky, where, hovering in the strength of his imagination, he shall behold all the delights of the Hesperides, the Insulae Fortunatae, Adonis’ Gardens, Tempe, or what else, confined within the amplest verge of poesy, to be mere umbrae, and imperfect figures, conferred with the most essential felicity of your court.

MACI. Well, this ecomium was not extemporal, it came too perfectly off.

CAR. Besides, sir, you shall never need to go to a hot-house, you shall sweat there with courting your mistress, or losing your money at primero, as well as in all the stoves in Sweden. Marry, this, sir, you must ever be sure to carry a good strong perfume about you, that your mistress’s dog may smell you out amongst the rest; and, in making love to her, never fear to be out; for you may have a pipe of tobacco, or a bass viol shall hang o’ the wall, of purpose, will put you in presently. The tricks your Resolution has taught you in tobacco, the whiffe, and those sleights, will stand you in very good ornament there.

FAST. Ay, to some, perhaps; but, an he should come to my mistress with tobacco (this gentleman knows) she’d reply upon him, i’faith. O, by this bright sun, she has the most acute, ready, and facetious wit that — tut, there’s no spirit able to stand her. You can report it, signior, you have seen her.

PUNT. Then can he report no less, out of his judgment, I assure him.

MACI. Troth, I like her well enough, but she’s too self-conceited, methinks.

FAST. Ay, indeed, she’s a little too self-conceited; an ’twere not for that humour, she were the most-to-be-admired lady in the world.

PUNT. Indeed, it is a humour that takes from her other excellences.

MACI. Why, it may easily be made to forsake her, in my thought.

FAST. Easily, sir! then are all impossibilities easy.

MACI. You conclude too quick upon me, signior. What will you say, if I make it so perspicuously appear now, that yourself shall confess nothing more possible?

FAST. Marry, I will say, I will both applaud and admire you for it.

PUNT. And I will second him in the admiration.

MACI. Why, I’ll show you, gentlemen. — Carlo, come hither. [MACI., CAR., PUNT., AND FAST. WHISPER TOGETHER.

SOG. Good faith, I have a great humour to the court. What thinks my Resolution? shall I adventure?

SHIFT. Troth, Countenance, as you please; the place is a place of good reputation and capacity.

SOG. O, my tricks in tobacco, as Carlo says, will show excellent there.

SHIFT. Why, you may go with these gentlemen now, and see fashions; and after, as you shall see correspondence.

SOG. You say true. You will go with me, Resolution?

SHIFT. I will meet you, Countenance, about three or four o’clock; but, to say to go with you, I cannot; for, as I am Apple-John, I am to go before the cockatrice you saw this morning, and therefore pray, present me excused, good Countenance.

SOG. Farewell, good Resolution, but fail not to meet.

SHIFT. As I live.

PUNT. Admirably excellent!

MACI. If you can but persuade Sogliardo to court, there’s all now.

CAR. O, let me alone, that’s my task. [GOES TO SOGLIARDO.

FAST. Now, by wit, Macilente, it’s above measure excellent; ’twill be the only court-exploit that ever proved courtier ingenious.

PUNT. Upon my soul, it puts the lady quite out of her humour, and we shall laugh with judgment.

CAR. Come, the gentleman was of himself resolved to go with you, afore I moved it.

MACI. Why, then, gallants, you two and Carlo go afore to prepare the jest; Sogliardo and I will come some while after you.

CAR. Pardon me, I am not for the court.

PUNT. That’s true; Carlo comes not at court, indeed. Well, you shall leave it to the faculty of monsieur Brisk, and myself; upon our lives, we will manage it happily. Carlo shall bespeak supper at the Mitre, against we come back: where we will meet and dimple our cheeks with laughter at the success.

CAR. Ay, but will you promise to come?

PUNT. Myself shall undertake for them; he that fails, let his reputation lie under the lash of thy tongue.

CAR. Ods so, look who comes here!


SOG. What, nephew!

FUNG. Uncle, God save you; did you see a gentleman, one monsieur Brisk, a courtier? he goes in such a suit as I do.

SOG. Here is the gentleman, nephew, but not in such a suit.

FUNG. Another suit!

SOG. How now, nephew?

FAST. Would you speak with me, sir?

CAR. Ay, when he has recovered himself, poor Poll!

PUNT. Some rosa-solis.

MACI. How now, signior?

FUNG. I am not well, sir.

MACI. Why, this it is to dog the fashion.

CAR. Nay, come, gentlemen, remember your affairs; his disease is nothing but the flux of apparel.

PUNT. Sirs, return to the lodging, keep the cat safe; I’ll be the dog’s guardian myself.

SOG. Nephew, will you go to court with us? these gentlemen and I are for the court; nay, be not so melancholy.

FUNG. ‘Slid, I think no man in Christendom has that rascally fortune that I have.

MACI. Faith, you suit is well enough, signior.

FUNG. Nay, not for that, I protest; but I had an errand to monsieur Fastidious, and I have forgot it.

MACI. Why, go along to court with us, and remember it; come, gentlemen, you three take one boat, and Sogliardo and I will take another; we shall be there instantly.

FAST. Content: good sir, vouchsafe us your pleasance.

PUNT. Farewell, Carlo: remember.

CAR. I warrant you: would I had one of Kemp’s shoes to throw after you.

PUNT. Good fortune will close the eyes of our jest, fear not; and we shall frolick.

MIT. This Macilente, signior, begins to be more sociable on a sudden, methinks, than he was before: there’s some portent in it, I believe.

COR. O, he’s a fellow of a strange nature. Now does he, in this calm of his humour, plot, and store up a world of malicious thoughts in his brain, till he is so full with them, that you shall see the very torrent of his envy break forth like a land-flood: and, against the course of all their affections, oppose itself so violently, that you will almost have wonder to think, how ’tis possible the current of their dispositions shall receive so quick and strong an alteration.

MIT. Ay, marry, sir, this is that, on which my expectation has dwelt all this while; for I must tell you, signior, though I was loth to interrupt the scene, yet I made it a question in mine own private discourse, how he should properly call it “Every Man out of his Humour”, when I saw all his actors so strongly pursue, and continue their humours?

COR. Why, therein his art appears most full of lustre, and approacheth nearest the life; especially when in the flame and height of their humours, they are laid flat, it fills the eye better, and with more contentment. How tedious a sight were it to behold a proud exalted tree kept and cut down by degrees, when it might be fell’d in a moment! and to set the axe to it before it came to that pride and fulness, were, as not to have it grow.

MIT. Well, I shall long till I see this fall, you talk of.

COR. To help your longing, signior, let your imagination be swifter than a pair of oars: and by this, suppose Puntarvolo, Brisk, Fungoso, and the dog, arrived at the court-gate, and going up to the great chamber. Macilente and Sogliardo, we’ll leave them on the water, till possibility and natural means may land them. Here come the gallants, now prepare your expectations.





PUNT. Come, gentles, Signior, you are sufficiently instructed.

FAST. Who, I, sir?

PUNT. No, this gentleman. But stay, I take thought how to bestow my dog; he is no competent attendant for the presence.

FAST. Mass, that’s true, indeed, knight; you must not carry him into the presence.

PUNT. I know it, and I, like a dull beast, forgot to bring one of my cormorants to attend me.

FAST. Why, you were best leave him at the porter’s lodge.

PUNT. Not so; his worth is too well known amongst them, to be forth-coming.

FAST. ‘Slight, how will you do then?

PUNT. I must leave him with one that is ignorant of his quality, if I will have him to be safe. And see! here comes one that will carry coals, ergo, will hold my dog.
My honest friend, may I commit the tuition of this dog to thy prudent care?

GROOM. You may, if you please, sir.

PUNT. Pray thee let me find thee here at my return; it shall not be long, till I will ease thee of thy employment, and please thee. Forth, gentles.

FAST. Why, but will you leave him with so slight command, and infuse no more charge upon the fellow?

PUNT. Charge! no; there were no policy in that; that were to let him know the value of the gem he holds, and so to tempt frail nature against her disposition. No, pray thee let thy honesty be sweet, as it shall be short.

GROOM. Yes, sir.

PUNT. But hark you, gallants, and chiefly monsieur Brisk: when we come in eye-shot, or presence of this lady, let not other matters carry us from our project; but, if we can, single her forth to some place —

FAST. I warrant you.

PUNT. And be not too sudden, but let the device induce itself with good circumstance. On.

FUNG. Is this the way? good truth, here be fine hangings. [EXEUNT PUNT., FAST., AND FUNGOSO.

GROOM. Honesty! sweet, and short! Marry, it shall, sir, doubt you not; for even at this instant if one would give me twenty pounds, I would not deliver him; there’s for the sweet: but now, if any man come offer me but two-pence, he shall have him; there’s for the short now. ‘Slid, what a mad humorous gentleman is this to leave his dog with me! I could run away with him now, an he were worth any thing.

MACI. Come on, signior, now prepare to court this all-witted lady, most naturally, and like yourself.

SOG. Faith, an you say the word, I’ll begin to her in tobacco.

MACI. O, fie on’t! no; you shall begin with, “How does my sweet lady”, or, “Why are you so melancholy, madam?” though she be very merry, it’s all one. Be sure to kiss your hand often enough; pray for her health, and tell her, how “More than most fair she is”. Screw your face at one side thus, and protest: let her fleer, and look askance, and hide her teeth with her fan, when she laughs a fit, to bring her into more matter, that’s nothing: you must talk forward, (though it be without sense, so it be without blushing,) ’tis most court-like and well.

SOG. But shall I not use tobacco at all?

MACI. O, by no means; ’twill but make your breath suspected, and that you use it only to confound the rankness of that.

SOG. Nay, I’ll be advised, sir, by my friends.

MACI. Od’s my life, see where sir Puntarvolo’s dog is.

GROOM. I would the gentleman would return for his follower here, I’ll leave him to his fortunes else.

MACI. ‘Twere the only true jest in the world to poison him now; ha! by this hand I’ll do it, if I could but get him of the fellow. [ASIDE.] Signior Sogliardo, walk aside, and think upon some device to entertain the lady with.

SOG. So I do, sir.

MACI. How now, mine honest friend! whose dog-keeper art thou?

GROOM. Dog-keeper, sir! I hope I scorn that, i’faith.

MACI. Why, dost thou not keep a dog?

GROOM. Sir, now I do, and now I do not: [THROWS OFF THE DOG.] I think this be sweet and short. Make me his dog-keeper! [EXIT.

MACI. This is excellent, above expectation! nay, stay, sir; [SEIZING THE DOG.] you’d be travelling; but I’ll give you a dram shall shorten your voyage, here. [GIVES HIM POISON.] So, sir, I’ll be bold to take my leave of you. Now to the Turk’s court in the devil’s name, for you shall never go o’ God’s name. [KICKS HIM OUT.] — Sogliardo, come.

SOG. I have it i’faith now, will sting it.

MACI. Take heed you leese it not signior, ere you come there; preserve it. [EXEUNT.

COR. How like you this first exploit of his?

MIT. O, a piece of true envy; but I expect the issue of the other device.

COR. Here they come will make it appear.



SAV. Why, I thought, sir Puntarvolo, you had been gone your voyage?

PUNT. Dear and most amiable lady, your divine beauties do bind me to those offices, that I cannot depart when I would.

SAV. ‘Tis most court-like spoken, sir; but how might we do to have a sight of your dog and cat?

FAST. His dog is in the court, lady.

SAV. And not your cat? how dare you trust her behind you, sir.

PUNT. Troth, madam, she hath sore eyes, and she doth keep her chamber; marry, I have left her under sufficient guard there are two of my followers to attend her.

SAV. I’ll give you some water for her eyes. When do you go, sir?

PUNT. Certes, sweet lady, I know not.

FAST. He doth stay the rather, madam, to present your acute judgment with so courtly and well parted a gentleman as yet your ladyship hath never seen.

SAV. What is he, gentle monsieur Brisk? not that gentleman? [POINTS TO FUNGOSO.

FAST. No, lady, this is a kinsman to justice Silence.

PUNT. Pray, sir, give me leave to report him. He’s a gentleman, lady, of that rare and admirable faculty, as, I protest, I know not his like in Europe; he is exceedingly valiant, an excellent scholar, and so exactly travelled, that he is able, in discourse, to deliver you a model of any prince’s court in the world; speaks the languages with that purity of phrase, and facility of accent, that it breeds astonishment; his wit, the most exuberant, and, above wonder, pleasant, of all that ever entered the concave of this ear.

FAST. ‘Tis most true, lady; marry, he is no such excellent proper man.

PUNT. His travels have changed his complexion, madam.

SAV. O, sir Puntarvolo, you must think every man was not born to have my servant Brisk’s feature.

PUNT. But that which transcends all, lady; he doth so peerlessly imitate any manner of person for gesture, action, passion, or whatever —

FAST. Ay, especially a rustic or a clown, madam, that it is not possible for the sharpest-sighted wit in the world to discern any sparks of the gentleman in him, when he does it.

SAV. O, monsieur Brisk, be not so tyrannous to confine all wits within the compass of your own; not find the sparks of a gentleman in him, if he be a gentleman!

FUNG. No, in truth, sweet lady, I believe you cannot.

SAV. Do you believe so? why, I can find sparks of a gentleman in you, sir.

PUNT. Ay, he is a gentleman, madam, and a reveller.

FUNG. Indeed, I think I have seen your ladyship at our revels.

SAV. Like enough, sir; but would I might see this wonder you talk of; may one have a sight of him for any reasonable sum?

PUNT. Yes, madam, he will arrive presently.

SAV. What, and shall we see him clown it?

FAST. I’faith, sweet lady, that you shall; see, here he comes.

PUNT. This is he! pray observe him, lady.

SAV. Beshrew me, he clowns it properly indeed.

PUNT. Nay, mark his courtship.

SOG. How does my sweet lady? hot and moist? beautiful and lusty? ha!

SAV. Beautiful, an it please you, sir, but not lusty.

SOG. O ho, lady, it pleases you to say so, in truth: And how does my sweet lady? in health? ‘Bonaroba, quaeso, que novelles? que novelles?’ sweet creature!

SAV. O excellent! why, gallants, is this he that cannot be deciphered? they were very blear-witted, i’faith, that could not discern the gentleman in him.

PUNT. But you do, in earnest, lady?

SAV. Do I sir! why, if you had any true court-judgment in the carriage of his eye, and that inward power that forms his countenance, you might perceive his counterfeiting as clear as the noon-day; alas — nay, if you would have tried my wit, indeed, you should never have told me he was a gentleman, but presented him for a true clown indeed; and then have seen if I could have deciphered him.

FAST. ‘Fore God, her ladyship says true, knight: but does he not affect the clown most naturally, mistress?

PUNT. O, she cannot but affirm that, out of the bounty of her judgment.

SAV. Nay, out of doubt he does well, for a gentleman to imitate: but I warrant you, he becomes his natural carriage of the gentleman, much better than his clownery.

FAST. ‘Tis strange, in truth, her ladyship should see so far into him!

PUNT. Ay, is it not?

SAV. Faith, as easily as may be; not decipher him, quoth you!

FUNG. Good sadness, I wonder at it

MACI. Why, has she deciphered him, gentlemen?

PUNT. O, most miraculously, and beyond admiration.

MACI. Is it possible?

FAST. She hath gather’d most infallible signs of the gentleman in him, that’s certain.

SAV. Why, gallants, let me laugh at you a little: was this your device, to try my judgment in a gentleman?

MACI. Nay, lady, do not scorn us, though you have this gift of perspicacy above others. What if he should be no gentleman now, but a clown indeed, lady?

PUNT. How think you of that? would not your ladyship be Out of your Humour?

FAST. O, but she knows it is not so.

SAV. What if he were not a man, ye may as well say? Nay, if your worships could gull me so, indeed, you were wiser than you are taken for.

MACI. In good faith, lady, he is a very perfect clown, both by father and mother; that I’ll assure you.

SAV. O, sir, you are very pleasurable.

MACI. Nay, do but look on his hand, and that shall resolve you; look you, lady, what a palm here is.

SOG. Tut, that was with holding the plough.

MACI. The plough! did you discern any such thing in him, madam?

FAST. Faith no, she saw the gentleman as bright as noon-day, she; she deciphered him at first.

MACI. Troth, I am sorry your ladyship’s sight should be so suddenly struck.

SAV. O, you are goodly beagles!

FAST. What, is she gone?

SOG. Nay, stay, sweet lady: ‘que novelles? que novelles?’

SAV. Out, you fool, you!

FUNG. She’s Out of her Humour, i’faith.

FAST. Nay, let’s follow it while ’tis hot, gentlemen.

PUNT. Come, on mine honour we shall make her blush in the presence; my spleen is great with laughter.

MACI. Your laughter will be a child of a feeble life, I believe, sir. [ASIDE.] — Come, signior, your looks are too dejected, methinks; why mix you not mirth with the rest?

FUNG. Od’s will, this suit frets me at the soul. I’ll have it alter’d to-morrow, sure.



SHIFT. I am come to the court, to meet with my Countenance, Sogliardo; poor men must be glad of such countenance, when they can get no better. Well, need may insult upon a man, but it shall never make him despair of consequence. The world will say, ’tis base: tush, base! ’tis base to live under the earth, not base to live above it by any means.

ENTER FASTIDIOUS, PUNTARVOLO, SOGLIARDO, FUNGOSO, AND MACILENTE. FAST. The poor lady is most miserably out of her humour, i’faith.

PUNT. There was never so witty a jest broken, at the tilt of all the court wits christen’d.

MACI. O, this applause taints it foully.

SOG. I think I did my part in courting. — O, Resolution!

PUNT. Ay me, my dog!

MACI. Where is he?

FAST. ‘Sprecious, go seek for the fellow, good signior [EXIT FUNGOSO.

PUNT. Here, here I left him.

MACI. Why, none was here when we came in now, but cavalier Shirt; enquire of him.

FAST. Did you see sir Puntarvolo’s dog here, cavalier, since you came?

SHIFT. His dog, sir! he may look his dog, sir; I saw none of his dog, sir.

MACI. Upon my life, he has stolen your dog, sir, and been hired to it by some that have ventured with you; you may guess by his peremptory answers.

PUNT. Not unlike; for he hath been a notorious thief by his own confession. Sirrah, where is my dog?

SHIFT. Charge me with your dog, sir! I have none of your dog, sir.

PUNT. Villain, thou liest.

SHIFT. Lie, sir! s’blood, — you are but a man, sir.

PUNT. Rogue and thief, restore him.

SOG. Take heed, sir Puntarvolo, what you do; he’ll bear no coals, I can tell you, o’ my word.

MACI. This is rare.

SOG. It’s marle he stabs you not: By this light, he hath stabbed forty, for forty times less matter, I can tell you of my knowledge.

PUNT. I will make thee stoop, thou abject.

SOG. Make him stoop, sir! Gentlemen, pacify him, or he’ll be kill’d.

MACI. Is he so tall a man?

SOG. Tall a man! if you love his life, stand betwixt them. Make him stoop!

PUNT. My dog, villain, or I will hang thee; thou hast confest robberies, and other felonious acts, to this gentleman, thy Countenance —

SOG. I’ll bear no witness.

PUNT. And without my dog, I will hang thee, for them. [SHIFT KNEELS.

SOG. What! kneel to thine enemies!

SHIFT. Pardon me, good sir; God is my witness, I never did robbery in all my life.

FUNG. O, sir Puntarvolo, your dog lies giving up the ghost in the wood-yard.

MACI. Heart, is he not dead yet!

PUNT. O, my dog, born to disastrous fortune! pray you conduct me, sir. [EXIT WITH FUNGOSO.

SOG. How! did you never do any robbery in your life?

MACI. O, this is good! so he swore, sir.

SOG. Ay, I heard him: and did you swear true, sir?

SHIFT. Ay, as I hope to be forgiven, sir, I never robbed any man; I never stood by the highwayside, sir, but only said so, because I would get myself a name, and be counted a tall man.

SOG. Now out, base viliaco! thou my Resolution! I thy Countenance! By this light, gentlemen, he hath confest to me the most inexorable company of robberies, and damn’d himself that he did ’em: you never heard the like. Out, scoundrel, out! follow me no more, I command thee; out of my sight, go, hence, speak not; I will not hear thee: away, camouccio! [EXIT SHIFT.

MACI. O, how I do feed upon this now, and fat myself! here were a couple unexpectedly dishumour’d. Well, by this time, I hope, sir Puntarvolo and his dog are both out of humour to travel. [ASIDE.] — Nay, gentlemen, why do you not seek out the knight, and comfort him? our supper at the Mitre must of necessity hold to-night, if you love your reputations.

FAST. ‘Fore God, I am so melancholy for his dog’s disaster — but I’ll go.

SOG. Faith, and I may go too, but I know I shall be so melancholy.

MACI. Tush, melancholy! you must forget that now, and remember you lie at the mercy of a fury: Carlo will rack your sinews asunder, and rail you to dust, if you come not.

MIT. O, then their fear of Carlo, belike, makes them hold their meeting.

COR. Ay, here he comes; conceive him but to be enter’d the Mitre, and ’tis enough.


CAR. Holla! where be these shot-sharks?


DRAW. By and by; you are welcome, good master Buffone.

CAR. Where’s George? call me George hither, quickly.

DRAW. What wine please you have, sir? I’ll draw you that’s neat, master Buffone.

CAR. Away, neophite, do as I bid thee, bring my dear George to me: — ENTER GEORGE.
Mass, here he comes.

GEORGE. Welcome, master Carlo.

CAR. What, is supper ready, George?

GEORGE. Ay, sir, almost: Will you have the cloth laid, master Carlo?

CAR. O, what else? Are none of the gallants come yet?

GEORGE. None yet, sir.

CAR. Stay, take me with you, George; let me have a good fat loin of pork laid to the fire, presently.

GEORGE. It shall, sir.

CAR. And withal, hear you, draw me the biggest shaft you have out of the butt you wot of; away, you know my meaning, George; quick!

GEORGE. Done, sir.

CAR. I never hungered so much for anything in my life, as I do to know our gallants’ success at court; now is that lean, bald-rib Macilente, that salt villain, plotting some mischievous device, and lies a soaking in their frothy humours like a dry crust, till he has drunk ’em all up: Could the pummice but hold up his eyes at other men’s happiness, in any reasonable proportion, ‘slid, the slave were to be loved next heaven, above honour, wealth, rich fare, apparel, wenches, all the delights of the belly and the groin, whatever.


CAR. Is it right, boy?

GEORGE. Ay, sir, I assure you ’tis right.

CAR. Well said, my dear George, depart: [EXIT GEORGE.] — Come, my small gimblet, you in the false scabbard, away, so! [PUTS FORTH THE DRAWER, AND SHUTS THE DOOR.] Now to you, sir Burgomaster, let’s taste of your bounty.

MIT. What, will he deal upon such quantities of wine, alone?

COR. You will perceive that, sir.

CAR. [DRINKS.] Ay, marry, sir, here’s purity; O, George — I could bite off his nose for this now, sweet rogue, he has drawn nectar, the very soul of the grape! I’ll wash my temples with some on’t presently, and drink some half a score draughts; ’twill heat the brain, kindle my imagination, I shall talk nothing but crackers and fire-works to-night. So, sir! please you to be here, sir, and I here: so.

COR. This is worth the observation, signior.

CAR. 1 CUP. Now, sir, here’s to you; and I present you with so much of my love.

2 CUP. I take it kindly from you, sir. [DRINKS], and will return you the like proportion; but withal, sir, remembering the merry night we had at the countess’s, you know where, sir.

1 CUP. By heaven, you put me in mind now of a very necessary office, which I will propose in your pledge, sir; the health of that honourable countess, and the sweet lady that sat by her, sir.

2 CUP. I do vail to it with reverence [DRINKS]. And now, signior, with these ladies, I’ll be bold to mix the health of your divine mistress.

1 CUP. Do you know her, sir?

2 CUP. O lord, sir, ay; and in the respectful memory and mention of her, I could wish this wine were the most precious drug in the world.

1 CUP. Good faith, sir, you do honour me in’t exceedingly. [DRINKS.]

MIT. Whom should he personate in this, signior?

COR. Faith, I know not, sir; observe, observe him.

2 CUP. If it were the basest filth, or mud that runs in the channel, I am bound to pledge it respectively, sir. [DRINKS.] And now, sir, here is a replenish’d bowl, which I will reciprocally turn upon you, to the health of the count Frugale.

1 CUP. The count Frugale’s health, sir? I’ll pledge it on my knees, by this light.

2 CUP. Nay, do me right, sir.

1 CUP. So I do, in faith.

2 CUP. Good faith you do not; mine was fuller.

1 CUP. Why, believe me, it was not.

2 CUP. Believe me it was; and you do lie.

1 CUP. Lie, sir!

2 CUP. Ay, sir.

1 CUP. ‘Swounds! you rascal!

2 CUP. O, come, stab if you have a mind to it.

1 CUP. Stab! dost thou think I dare not?

CAR. [SPEAKS IN HIS OWN PERSON.] Nay, I beseech you, gentlemen, what means this? nay, look, for shame respect your reputations. [OVERTURNS WINE, POT, CUPS, AND ALL.

MACI. Why, how now, Carlo! what humour’s this?

CAR. O, my good mischief! art thou come? where are the rest, where are the rest?

MACI. Faith, three of our ordnance are burst.

CAR. Burst! how comes that?

MACI. Faith, overcharged, overcharged.

CAR. But did not the train hold?

MACI. O, yes, and the poor lady is irrecoverably blown up.

CAR. Why, but which of the munition is miscarried, ha?

MACI. Imprimis, sir Puntarvolo; next, the Countenance and Resolution.

CAR. How, how, for the love of wit?