A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV.

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Tapio Riikonen and PG Distributed Proofreaders A COLLECTION OF OLD ENGLISH PLAYS, VOL. IV In Four Volumes Edited by A.H. BULLEN 1882-89. CONTENTS: Preface Two Tragedies in One. By Robert Yarington The Captives, or the Lost Recovered. By Thomas Heywood The Costlie Whore. Everie Woman in her Humor. Appendix Index Footnotes
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  • 1882
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Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Tapio Riikonen and PG Distributed Proofreaders


In Four Volumes

Edited by




Two Tragedies in One. By Robert Yarington The Captives, or the Lost Recovered. By Thomas Heywood The Costlie Whore.
Everie Woman in her Humor.


The fourth and final volume of this Collection of Old Plays ought to have been issued many months ago. I dare not attempt to offer any excuses for the wholly unwarrantable delay.

In the preface to the third volume I stated that I hoped to be able to procure a transcript of an unpublished play (preserved in Eg. MS. 1,994) of Thomas Heywood. It affords me no slight pleasure to include this play in the present volume. Mr. JEAVES, of the Manuscript Department of the British Museum, undertook the labour of transcription and persevered to the end. As I have elsewhere stated, the play is written in a detestable hand; and few can appreciate the immense trouble that it cost Mr. JEAVES to make his transcript. Where Mr. JEAVES’ labours ended mine began; I spent many days in minutely comparing the transcript with the original. There are still left passages that neither of us could decipher, but they are not numerous.

I may be pardoned for regarding the Collection with some pride. Six of the sixteen plays are absolutely new, printed for the first time; and I am speaking within bounds when I declare that no addition so substantial has been made to the Jacobean drama since the days of Humphrey Moseley and Francis Kirkman. _Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt_ has been styled by Mr. Swinburne a “noble poem.” Professor Delius urged that it should be translated into German; and I understand that an accomplished scholar, Dr. Gelbeke of St. Petersburg, has just completed an admirable translation. Meanwhile the English edition[1] has been reproduced in Holland.

In the original announcement of this Collection I promised a reprint of _Arden of Feversham_ from the quarto of 1592; I also proposed to include plays by Davenport, William Rowley, and Nabbes. After I had transcribed _Arden of Feversham_ I determined not to include it in the present series. It occurred to me that I should enhance the value of these volumes by excluding such plays as were already accessible in modern editions. Accordingly I rejected _Arden of Feversham, Sir John Oldcastle, Patient Grissel_, and _The Yorkshire Tragedy_. The plays of Davenport, William Rowley, and Nabbes were excluded on other grounds. Several correspondents suggested to me that I should issue separately the complete works of each of these three dramatists; and, not without some misgivings, I adopted this suggestion.

I acknowledge with regret that the printing has not been as accurate as I should have desired. There have been too many misprints, especially in the first two volumes;[2] but in the eyes of generous and competent readers these blemishes (trivial for the most part) will not detract from the solid value of the Collection.

It remains that I should thank Mr. BERNARD QUARITCH, the most famous bibliopole of our age (or any age), for the kind interest that he has shewn in the progress of my undertaking. Of his own accord Mr. QUARITCH offered to subscribe for one third of the impression,–an offer which I gratefully accepted. I have to thank Mr. FLEAY for looking over the proof-sheets of a great part of the present volume and for aiding me with suggestions and corrections. To Dr. KOeHLER, librarian to the Grand Duke of Weimar, I am indebted for the true solution (see _Appendix_) of the rebus at the end of _The Distracted Emperor_. Mr. EBSWORTH, with his usual kindness, helped me to identify some of the songs mentioned in _Everie Woman in Her Humor_ (see _Appendix_).


_8th October, 1885_.


Of Robert Yarington, the author of _Two Tragedies in One_ absolutely nothing is known. There is no mention of him in Henslowe’s Diary, and none of his contemporaries (so far as I can discover) make the slightest allusion to him. The _Two Tragedies_ is of the highest rarity and has never been reprinted before.

There are two distinct plots in the present play. The one relates to the murder of Robert Beech, a chandler of Thames Street, and his boy, by a tavern-keeper named Thomas Merry; and the other is founded on a story which bears some resemblance to the well-known ballad of _The Babes in the Wood_. I have not been able to discover the source from which the playwright drew his account of the Thames Street murder. Holinshed and Stow are silent; and I have consulted without avail Antony Munday’s “View of Sundry Examples,” 1580, and “Sundry strange and inhumaine Murthers lately committed,” 1591 (an excessively rare, if not unique, tract preserved at Lambeth). Yet the murder must have created some stir and was not lightly forgotten. From Henslowe’s Diary[3] (ed. Collier, pp. 92-3) we learn that in 1599 Haughton and Day wrote a tragedy on the subject,–“the Tragedy of Thomas Merrye.” The second plot was derived, I suppose, from some Italian story; and it is not improbable that the ballad of the _Babes in the Wood_ (which was entered in the Stationers’ Books in 1595, tho’ the earliest printed copy extant is the black-letter broadside–circ. 1640?–in the Roxburghe Collection) was adapted from Yarington’s play.

Although not published until 1601, the _Two Tragedies_ would seem from internal evidence to have been written some years earlier. The language has a bald, antiquated look, and the stage-directions are amusingly simple. I once entertained a theory (which I cannot bring myself to wholly discard) that _Arden of Feversham_, 1592, _Warning for Fair Women_, 1599, and _Two Tragedies in One_, 1601, are all by the same hand; that the _Warning_ and _Two Tragedies_, though published later, were early essays by the author whose genius displayed its full power in _Arden of Feversham_. A reader who will take the trouble to read the three plays together will discover many points of similarity between them. _Arden_ is far more powerful than the two other plays; but I venture to think that the superiority lies rather in single scenes and detached passages than in general dramatic treatment. The noble scene of the quarrel and reconciliation between Alice Arden and Mosbie is incomparably finer than any scene in the _Warning_ or _Two Tragedies_; but I am not sure that Arden contains another scene which can be definitely pronounced to be beyond Yarington’s ability, though there are many scattered passages displaying such poetry as we find nowhere in the _Two Tragedies_. That Yarington could write vigorously is shown in the scene where Fallerio hires the two murderers (who remind us of Shagbag and Black Will in _Arden_) to murder his nephew; and again in the quarrel between these two ruffians. Allenso’s affection for his little cousin and solicitude at their parting are tenderly portrayed with homely touches of quiet pathos. The diction of the _Two Tragedies_ is plain and unadorned. In reading _Arden_ we sometimes feel that the simplicity of language has been deliberately adopted for artistic purposes; that the author held plenty of strength in reserve, and would not have been wanting if the argument had demanded a loftier style. In Yarington’s case we have no such feeling. He seems to be giving us the best that he had to give; and it must be confessed that he is intolerably flat at times. It is difficult to resist a smile when the compassionate Neighbour (in his shirt), discovering poor Thomas Winchester with the hammer sticking in his head, delivers himself after this fashion:–

“What cruell hand hath done so foule a deede, Thus to bemangle a distressed youth
Without all pittie or a due remorse! See how the hammer sticketh in his head Wherewith this honest youth is done to death! Speak, honest _Thomas_, if any speach remaine: What cruell hand hath done this villanie?”

Merry’s “last dying speech and confession” is as nasty as such things usually are.

In the introduction to _Arden of Feversham_ I intend to return to the consideration of Yarington’s _Two Tragedies_.

Two Lamentable Tragedies.

The one, of the Murther of _Maister_ Beech A _Chaundler in_ Thames-streete, and his boye, done by _Thomas Merry_.

_The other of a Young childe murthered_ in a Wood by two Ruffins, _with the consent of his Vnckle_.



Printed for _Mathew Lawe, and are to be solde at _his Shop in Paules Church-yarde neere vnto S. Austines Gate, at the signe of the Foxe_. 1601.

Two Tragedies in One.

_Enter Homicide, solus_.

I have in vaine past through each stately streete, And blinde-fold turning of this happie towne, For wealth, for peace, and goodlie government, Yet can I not finde out a minde, a heart For blood and causelesse death to harbour in; They all are bent with vertuous gainefull trade, To get their needmentes for this mortall life, And will not soile their well-addicted harts With rape, extortion, murther, or the death Of friend or foe, to gaine an Empery.
I cannot glut my blood-delighted eye With mangled bodies which do gaspe and grone, Readie to passe to faire Elizium,
Nor bath my greedie handes in reeking blood Of fathers by their children murthered:
When all men else do weepe, lament and waile, The sad exploites of fearefull tragedies, It glads me so, that it delightes my heart, To ad new tormentes to their bleeding smartes.

_Enter Avarice_.

But here comes _Avarice_, as if he sought, Some busie worke for his pernicious thought: Whether so fast, all-griping _Avarice_?

_Ava_. Why, what carst thou? I seeke for one I misse.

_Ho_. I may supplie the man you wish to have.

_Ava_. Thou seemes to be a bold audatious knave; I doe not like intruding companie,
That seeke to undermine my secrecie.

_Ho_. Mistrust me not; I am thy faithfull friend.

_Ava_. Many say so, that prove false in the end.

_Ho_. But turne about and thou wilt know my face.

_Ava_. It may be so, and know thy want of grace. What! _Homicide_? thou art the man I seeke: I reconcile me thus upon thy cheeke. [_Kisse, imbrace_. Hadst thou nam’d blood and damn’d iniquitie, I had forborne to bight so bitterlie.

_Hom_. Knowst thou a hart wide open to receive, A plot of horred desolation?
Tell me of this, thou art my cheefest good, And I will quaffe thy health in bowles of blood.

_Ava_. I know two men, that seem two innocents, Whose lookes, surveied with iuditiall eyes, Would seeme to beare the markes of honestie; But snakes finde harbour mongst the fairest flowers, Then never credit outward semblaunces.

_Enter[4] Trueth_.

I know their harts relentlesse, mercilesse, And will performe through hope of benefit: More dreadfull things then can be thought upon.

_Hom_. If gaine will draw, I prethy then allure Their hungrie harts with hope of recompence, But tye dispaire unto those mooving hopes, Unleast a deed of murther farther it,
Then blood on blood, shall overtake them all, And we will make a bloodie feastivall.

_Cove_. The plots are laide, the keyes of golden coine, Hath op’d the secret closets of their harts. Inter [_sic_], insult, make captive at thy will, Themselves, and friends, with deedes of damned ill: Yonder is _Truth_, she commeth to bewaile, The times and parties that we worke upon.

_Hom_. Why, let her weepe, lament and morne for me, We are right bred of damn’d iniquitie,
And will go make a two-folde Tragedie. [_Exeunt_.

_Truth_. Goe you disturbers of a quiet soule, Sad, greedy, gaping, hungrie _Canibals_, That ioy to practise others miseries.
Gentles, prepare your teare-bedecked eyes, To see two shewes of lamentation,
Besprinckled every where with guiltlesse blood, Of harmlesse youth, and pretie innocents. Our Stage doth weare habilliments of woe, _Truth_ rues to tell the truth of these laments: The one was done in famous London late,
Within that streete whose side the River Thames Doth strive to wash from all impuritie:
But yet that silver stream can never wash, The sad remembrance of that cursed deede, Perform’d by cruell _Merry_ on iust _Beech_, And his true boye poore _Thomas Winchester_. The most here present, know this to be true: Would _Truth_ were false, so this were but a tale! The other further off, but yet too neere, To those that felt and did the crueltie: Neere _Padua_ this wicked deed was done, By a false Uncle, on his brothers sonne, Left to his carefull education
By dying Parents, with as strict a charge As ever yet death-breathing brother gave. Looke for no mirth, unlesse you take delight, In mangled bodies, and in gaping wounds, Bloodily made by mercy-wanting hands.
Truth will not faine, but yet doth grieve to showe, This deed of ruthe and miserable woe.




_Enter Merry_.

I live in meane and discontented state, But wherefore should I think of discontent? I am belov’d, I have a pretty house,
A loving sister, and a carefull man, That doe not thinke their dayes worke well at end, Except it bring me in some benefit:
And well frequented is my little house With many guestes and honest passengers,

_Enter Beech and a friend_.

Which may in time advance my humble state To greater wealth and reputation.
And here comes friends to drinke some beare or ale; [_Sit in his Shop_. They are my neighbours, they shall have the best.

_Ne_. Come neighbour _Beech_, lets have our mornings draught And wele go drinke it at yong _Merries_ house: They say he hath the best in all this towne, Besides they say he is an honest man,
And keepes good rule and orders in his house.

_Beech_. He’s so indeede; his conversation Is full of honest harmlesse curtesie:
I dare presume, if that he be within, Hele serve us well, and keepe us company. See where he is, go in, ile follow you; [_Strive curtesies_. Nay straine no curtesie, you shall goe before.

_Mer_. Your welcome, neighbour, you are welcome, sir; I praie sit downe, your verie welcome both.

_Beech_. We thanke you for it, and we thinke no lesse. Now fill two cans of your ould strongest beare; That make so manie loose their little wits, And make indentures as they go along.

_Mer_. Hoe, sister _Rachell_!

_Rach_. I come presently,

_Enter Rachell_.

_Mer_. Goe draw these gentlemen two cans of beare. Your negligence that cannot tend the shop, Will make our customers forsake the house. Wheres _Harry Williams_ that he staies not here?

_Rach_. My selfe was busie dressing up the house: As for your man he is not verie well,
But sitteth sleeping by the kitchen fier.

_Mer_. If you are busie, get you up againe; [_Exit_. Ile draw my neighbours then their drinke my selfe, Ile warrant you as good as any mans,–
And yet no better; many have the like. [_Exit for Beare_.

_Neigh_. This showes him for a plain and honest man, That will not flatter with too many wordes; Some shriltong’d fellowes would have cogd and faind, Saying, ile draw the best in Christendome.

_Beech_. Hees none of those, but beares an honest minde, And shames to utter what he cannot prove.

_Enter Merry_.

But here he comes: is that the best you have?

_Mer_. It is the best upon mine honest worde.

_Beech_. Then drinke to us.

_Mer_. I drinke unto you both.

_Nei_. _Beech_. We pledge you both, and thanke you hartelie.

_Beech_. Heres to you sir.

_Neigh_. I thank you.

[_Maister Beech drinkes; drinke Neighbour_.

_Neigh_. Tis good indeed and I had rather drinke Such beare as this as any _Gascoine_ Wine: But tis our _English_ manner to affect
Strange things, and price them at a greater rate, Then home-bred things of better consequence.

_Mer_. Tis true indeede; if all were of your mind, My poore estate would sooner be advanc’d, And our French Marchants seeke some other trade.

_Beech_. Your poore estate! nay, neighbour, say not so, For God be thanked you are well to live.

_Mer_. Not so good neighbour, but a poore young man, That would live better if I had the meanes: But as I am I can content myselfe,
Till God amend my poore abilitie.

_Neigh_. In time no doubt; why, man, you are but young, And God, assure your selfe, hath wealth in store, If you awaight his will with patience.

_Beech_. Thankes be to God I live contentedlie, And yet I cannot boast of mightie wealth: But yet Gods blessings have beene infinit, And farre beyond my expectations.
My shop is stor’d, I am not much in debt; And here I speake it where I may be bold, I have a score of poundes to helpe my neede, If God should stretch his hand to visit me With sicknesse or such like adversity.

_Neigh_. Enough for this; now, neighbour, whats to pay?

_Mer_. Two pence, good sir.

_Beech_. Nay, pray, sir, forbeare; Ile pay this reckoning, for it is but small.

_Neigh_. I will not strive since yee will have it so.

_Beech_. Neighbour, farewell.

[_Exit Beech and Neigh_.

_Mer_. Farewell unto you both.
His shop is stor’d, he is not much in debt, He hath a score of poundes to helpe his neede: I and a score too if the trueth were known. I would I had a shop so stor’d with wares, And fortie poundes to buy a bargain with, When as occasion should be offered me;
Ide live as merrie as the wealthiest man That hath his being within London walles. I cannot buy my beare, my bread, my meate, My fagots, coales, and such like necessaries, At the best hand, because I want the coine, That manie misers cofer up in bagges,
Having enough to serve their turnes besides. Ah for a tricke to make this _Beeches_ trash Forsake his cofer and to rest in mine!
I, marrie, sir, how may that tricke be done? Marrie, with ease and great facilitie.
I will invent some new-found stratagem, To bring his coyne to my possession.
What though his death relieve my povertie? Gaine waites on courage, losse on cowardice.



_Enter Pandino and Armenia sicke on a bed, Pertillo their Sonne, Falleria his Brother, Sostrato his Wife, Alinso their Sonne, and a Scrivener with a Will, &c_.

_Pan_. Brother and sister, pray you both drawe neere, And heere my will which you have promised Shall be performde with wished providence. This little Orphant I must leave behinde, By your direction to be governed.
As for my wife and I, we do awaite
The blessed houre when it shall please the Lord, To take us to the iust _Ierusalem_.
Our chiefest care is for that tender boye, Which we should leave discomfortlesse behinde, But that we do assure us of your love
And care to guide his weake unhable youth In pathes of knowledge, grace, and godlinesse. As for the riches of this mortall life,
We leave enough; foure hundreth pounds a yeare, Besides two thousand pounds to make a stocke, In money, iewels, plate, and houshold stuffe,– Which yearly rents and goods we leave to you, To be surrendered into his hands,
When he attaines to yeeres of discreation. My Will imports thus much, which you shall heare; And you shall be my sole Executor.

_Fall_. Brother and sister, how my hart laments To see your weake and sicke afflicted limmes Neere overcome with dyrefull malladies,
The God of heaven can truly testifie,– Which, to speake plaine, is nere a whit at all– [_To the people_.
Which knowes the secret corners of my heart; But for the care you do impose on me,
For the tuition of your little sonne, Thinke, my kinde brother, I will meditate, Both day and night, how I may best fulfill, The care and trust, reposed in your Will,– And see him posted quickly after you. [_To the people_.

_Arm_. Enough, kinde brother; we assure us so, Else would we seeke another friend abroade, To do our willes and dying Testament.
Nature and love will have a double care To bring him up with carefull diligence, As best beseemes one of such parentage.

_Fall_. Assure your selfe, the safest course I can, Shall be provided for your little sonne,– He shall be sent unto the King of Heaven. [_To the people_.

_Sostr_. Feare not, good brother, and my loving sister, But we will have as tender care of him
As if he were our owne ten thousand times: God will be father of the fatherlesse,
And keepe him from all care and wretchednesse.

_Allenso_. Unckle and Aunt take comfort, I will see My little coozen have no injurie.

_Pan_. _Ar_. We thanke you all, come let the Will be read,

_Fall_.–If it were seald, I would you both were dead.

_Scrive_. Then give attention, I will read the Will. _Reade the Will.
In the name of God. Amen.–I, &c_.

_Pan_. Thus, if my Sonne miscarry, my deare brother, You and your sonne shall then enjoy the land And all the goods which he should have possess’d.

_Fall_. If he miscarry, brother! God forbid! God blesse mine Nephew, that thine eyes may see Thy childrens children with prosperity!
I had rather see the little urchin hang’d [_To the people_. Then he should live and I forgoe the land.

_Ar_. Thankes, gentle brother; husband seale the will.

_Pand_. Give me a Pen and Inke first to subscribe; I write so ill through very feeblenesse, That I can scarcely know this hand for mine, But that you all can witnesse that it is.

_Scri_. Give me the seale: I pray, sir, take it of. This you deliver for your latest will,
And do confirme it for your Testament?

_Pand_. With all my hart; here, brother, keepe my Will, And I referre me to the will of God,
Praying him deale as well with you and yours, As you no doubt will deale with my poore child. Come, my _Pertillo_, let me blesse thee, boy, And lay my halfe-dead hand upon thy head. God graunt those days that are cut off in me, With ioy and peace may multiply in thee. Be slowe to wrath, obey thy Unckle still, Submit thy selfe unto Gods holy will,
In deede and word see thou be ever true; So brother, childe, and kinsfolkes, all adue. [_He dyeth_.

_Per_. Ah my deere Mother, is my father dead?

_Ar_. I, my sweete boye, his soule to heaven is fled, But I shall after him immediatly.
Then take my latest blessing ere I dye: Come, let me kisse thy little tender lips, Cold death hath tane possession of thy mother; Let me imbrace thee in my dying armes,
And pray the Lord protect thee from al harmes. Brother, I feare, this Child when I am gone, Wil have great cause of griefe and hideous feare: You will protect him, but I prophecie,
His share will be of woe and misery: But mothers feares do make these cares arise; Come, boye, and close thy mothers dying eyes. Brother and sister, here [_sic_] the latest words, That your dead sister leaves for memory: If you deale ill with this distressed boye, God will revenge poore orphants iniuries, If you deale well, as I do hope you will, God will defend both you and yours from ill. Farewell, farewell, now let me breath my last, Into his dearest mouth, that wanteth breath, And as we lov’d in life imbrace in death. Brother and sister this is all I pray,
Tender my boye when we are laide in clay. [_Dyeth_.

_Allen_. Gods holy Angell guide your loving soules Unto a place of endlesse happinesse.

_Sostr_. Amen, Amen. Ah, what a care she had Of her small Orphant! She did dying pray, To love her Childe when she was laide in claye.

_Scr_. Ah blame her not although she held it deare; She left him yonge, the greater cause of feare.

_Fall_. Knew she my mind, it would recall her life, [_To the people_. And like a staring Commet she would moove Our harts to think of desolation.–
Scrivenor, have you certified the Will?

_Scri_. I have.

_Fall_. Then theres two Duckets for your paines.

_Scri_. Thankes, gentle sir, and for this time farewell. [_Exit_.

_Sost_. Come pretty coozen, cozened by grim death Of thy most carefull parents all too soone; Weepe not, sweete boye, thou shalt have cause to say, Thy Aunt was kinde, though parents lye in claye.

_Pert_. But give me leave first to lament the losse, Of my deere parents, nature bindeth me,
To waile the death of those that gave me life, And if I live untill I be a man,
I will erect a sumptuous monument,
And leave remembrance to ensuing times Of kind _Pandino_ and _Armenia_.

_Allen_. That shall not neede; my father will erect That sad memoriall of their timeles[5] death, And at that tombe we will lament and say Soft lye the bones of faire _Armenia_.

_Fall_. Surcease,_ Allenso_; thats a booteless cost, The Will imports no such iniunction:
I will not spend my little Nephewes wealth, In such vaine toyes; they shall have funerall, But with no stately ceremoniall pompe,
Thats good for nought but fooles to gase uppon. Live thou in hope to have thine unckles land.

_Allen_. His land! why, father, you have land enough, And more by much then I do know to use:
I would his vertues would in me survive, So should my Unckle seeme in me alive.
But to your will I doe submit my selfe; Do what you please concerning funeralls.

_Fall_. Come then, away, that we may take in hand, To have possession of my brothers land,
His goods and all untill he come of age To rule and governe such possessions.–
That shalbe never, or ile misse my marke, Till I surrender up my life to death:
And then my Sonne shalbe his fathers heire, And mount aloft to honors happy chaire.

[_Exeunt omnes_.


_Enter Merry, solus_.

_Beech_ hath a score of pounds to helpe his neede, And I may starve ere he will lend it me: But in dispight ile have it ere I sleepe, Although I send him to eternall rest.
But, shallow foole, thou talkst of mighty things, And canst not compasse what thou dost conceive. Stay, let me see, ile fetch him to my house, And in my garret quickly murther him:
The night conceales all in her pitchie cloake, And none can open what I meane to hide.
But then his boy will say I fetcht him foorth: I am resolv’d he shall be murthered to [_sic_]; This toole shall write, subscribe, and seale their death And send them safely to another world.
But then my sister, and my man at home, Will not conceale it when the deede is done. Tush, one for love, the other for reward, Will never tell the world my close intent. My conscience saith it is a damned deede To traine one foorth, and slay him privily. Peace, conscience, peace, thou art too scripulous [_sic_]; Gaine doth attend[6] this resolution.
Hence, dastard feare! I must, I can, I will, Kill my best friend to get a bag of gold. They shall dye both, had they a thousand lives; And therefore I will place this hammer here, And take it as I follow _Beech_ up staires, That suddenlie, before he is aware,
I may with blowes dash out his hatefull braines.– Hoe, _Rachell_, bring my cloake; look to the house, I will returne againe immediately.

_Rach_. Here it is brother, I pray you stay not long; Guesse[7] will come in, ’tis almost supper time. [_Ex. Ra_.

_Mer_. Let others suppe, ile make a bloudier feast Then ever yet was drest in _Merryes_ house. Be like thy selfe then, have a merrie hart, Thou shalt have gold to mend thy povertie, And after this live ever wealthilie.

_Then Merry must passe to Beeches shoppe, who must sit in his shop, and Winchester his boy stand by: Beech reading_.

What, neighbour _Beech_, so godly occupied?

_Beech_. I, maister _Merry_; it were better reade, Then meditate on idle fantasies.

_Mer_. You speake the trueth; there is a friend or two Of yours making merry in my house,
And would desire to have your company.

_Beech_. Know you their names?

_Mer_. No truely, nor the men.
I never stoode to question them of that, But they desire your presence earnestlie.

_Beech_. I pray you tell them that I cannot come, Tis supper time, and many will resort
For ware at this time, above all other times; Tis Friday night besides, and Bartholomew eve, Therefore good neighbour make my just excuse.

_Mer_. In trueth they told me that you should not stay, Goe but to drinke, you may come quick againe,– But not and if my hand and hammer hold. [_(To the) people_.

_Beech_. I am unwilling, but I do not care, And if I go to see the Company.

_Mer_. Come quickly then, they think we stay too long.

_Beech_. Ile cut a peece of cheese to drink withall.

_Mer_. I, take the farewell of your cutting knife, Here is a hand shall helpe to cut your throate, And give my selfe a fairing[8] from your chest.– What are you ready, will you goe along?

_Beech_. I, now I am; boy, looke you tend the shoppe; If any aske, come for me to the _Bull_.
I wonder who they are that aske for me.

_Mer_. I know not that, you shall see presentlie. Goe up those staires, your friends do stay above.– Here is that friend shall shake you by the head, And make you stagger ere he speake to you.

_Then being in the upper Rome Merry strickes him in the head fifteene times_.

Now you are safe, I would the boy were so; But wherefore wish I, for he shall not live? For if he doe, I shall not live myselfe.

[_Merry wiped [sic] his face from blood_.

Lets see what mony he hath in his purse. Masse heres ten groates, heres something for my pains. But I must be rewarded better yet.

_Enter Rachell and Harry Williams_.

_Wil_. Who was it, _Rachell_, that went up the staires?

_Rach_. It was my brother, and a little man Of black complexion, but I know him not.

_Wil_. Why do you not then carry up a light, But suffer them to tarry in the darke?

_Rach_. I had forgot, but I will beare one up. [_Exit up_.

_Wil_. Do so, I prethee; he will chide anon. [_Exit_.

[_Rachell speaketh to her Brother_.

_Rach_. Oh brother, brother, what have you done?

_Mer_. Why, murtherd one that would have murtherd me.

_Rach_. We are undone, brother, we are undone. What shall I say, for we are quite undone?

_Mer_. Quiet thy selfe, sister; all shalbe well. But see in any case you do not tell,
This deede to _Williams_ nor to any one.

_Rach_. No, no, I will not; was’t not maister _Beech_?

_Mer_. It was, it is, and I will kill his man, [_Exit Rach_. Or in attempting doe the best I can.

_Enter Williams and Rachell_.

_Wil_. What was the matter that you cride so lowde?

_Rach_. I must not tell you, but we are undone.

_Wil_. You must not tell me, but we are undone! Ile know the cause wherefore we are undone. [_Exit up_.

_Rach_. Oh would the thing were but to doe againe! The thought thereof doth rent my hart in twaine. [_She goes up_.

_Williams to Merry above_.

_Wil_. Oh maister, maister, what have you done?

_Mer_. Why slaine a knave that would have murtherd me; Better to kill, then to be kild my selfe.

_Wil_. With what? wherewith? how have you slaine the man?

_Mer_. Why, with this hammer I knockt out his braines.

_Wil_. Oh it was beastly so to butcher him. If any quarrell were twixt him and you,
You should have bad him meete you in the field, Not like a coward under your owne roofe
To knock him downe as he had bin an oxe, Or silly sheepe prepard for slaughter house. The Lord is just, and will revenge his blood, On you and yours for this extremitie.
I will not stay an hower within your house, It is the wickedst deed that ere was done.

_Mer_. Oh, sir, content your selfe, all shall be well; Whats done already cannot be undone.

_Rach_. Oh would to God, the deed were now to do, And I were privie to your ill intent,
You should not do it then for all the world. But prethie, _Harry_, do not leave the house, For then suspition will arise thereof,
And if the thing be knowne we are undone.

_Wil_. Forsake the house! I will not stay all night, Though you will give the wealth of Christendome.

_Mer_. But yet conceale it, for the love of God; If otherwise, I know not what to do.

_Wil_. Here is my hand, ile never utter it; Assure your selfe of that, and so farewell.

_Mer_. But sweare to me, as God shall help thy soule, Thou wilt not tell it unto any one.

_Wil_. I will not sweare, but take my honest worde, And so farewell. My soule assureth me [_Exit Merry and Rach_. God will revenge this damn’d iniquitie.
What shall become of me unhappie wretch? I dare not lodge within my Maisters house, For feare his murthrous hand should kill me too. I will go walke and wander up and downe, And seeke some rest, untill the day appeare. At the _Three Cranes_,[9] in some Haye loft ile lye, And waile my maisters comming miserie.



_Enter Fallerio solus_.

_Fall_. I have possession of my brothers goods; His tennants pay me rent, acknowledge me To be their Landlord; they frequent my house, With Turkeys, Capons, Pigeons, Pigges and Geese, And all to game my favour and goodwill.
His plate, his iewels, hangings, household stuffe, May well beseeme to fit a demie King;
His stately buildings, his delightfull walkes, His fertile meadowes, and rich ploughed lands, His well-growne woods and stor’d fishing ponds, Brings endlesse wealth, besides continuall helpe, To keepe a good and hospitable house:
And shall I ioy these pleasures but a time? Nay brother, sister, all shall pardon me, Before ile sell my selfe to penurie.
The world doth know thy brother but resigned The lands and goods untill his sonne attain’de To riper years to weld [_sic_] and governe them. Then openly thou canst not do him wrong, He living: theres the burthen of the song. Call it a burthen, for it seemes so great And heavie burthen, that the boy should live And thrust me from this height of happinesse, That I will not indure so heavie waight, But shake it off, and live at libertie,
Free from the yoake of such subjection. The boy shall dye, were he my fathers sonne, Before ile part with my possession.
Ile call my sonne, and aske his good advice, How I may best dispatch this serious cause.– Hoe, sir, _Allenso_!

_Alle_. Father.

_Fall_. Hearken, sonne.
I must intreate your furtherance and advise About a thing that doth concerne us neere. First tell me how thou doost affect in heart Little _Pertillo_, thy dead Unckles sonne.

_Allen_. So well, good father, that I cannot tell, Whether I love him dearer then my selfe; And yet if that my heart were calde to count, I thinke it would surrender me to death, Ere young _Pertillo_ should sustain a wrong.

_Fall_. How got his safetie such a deepe regarde Within your heart, that you affect it so?

_Allen_. Nature gave roote; love, and the dying charge, Of his dead father, gives such store of sap Unto this tree of my affection
That it will never wither till I dye.

_Fall_. But nature, love, and reason, tells thee thus, Thy selfe must yet be neerest to thyselfe.

_Allen_. His love dooth not estrange me from my selfe, But doth confirme my strength with multitudes Of benefits his love will yeelde to me.

_Fall_. Beware to foster such pernicious snakes Within thy bosome, which will poyson thee.

_Allen_. He is a Dove, a childe, an innocent, And cannot poyson, father, though he would.

_Fall_. I will be plainer: know, _Pertillos_ life, Which thou doost call a dove, an innocent, A harmlesse childe, and, and I know not what, Will harm thee more, than any Serpent can, I, then the very sight of Basiliskes.

_Allen_. Father you tell me of a strange discourse. How can his life produce such detriment, As Basiliskes, whose only sight is death?

_Fall_. Hearken to me, and I will tell thee how; Thou knowst his fathers goods, his houses, lands, Have much advaunc’d our reputation,
In having but their usage for a time. If the boy live, then like to sencelesse beasts, Like longd-eard Asses and riche-laden Mules, We must resign these treasures to a boye, And we like Asses feede on simple haye:
Make him away, they shall continue ours By vertue of his fathers Testament,–
The iewels, castles, medowes, houses, lands, Which thy small cozen should defeate thee of, Be still thine owne, and thou advance thy selfe, Above the height of all thine Auncestours.

_Allen_. But if I mount by murther and deceite, Iustice will thrust aspiring thoughts belowe, And make me caper for to breake my neck, After some wofull lamentation
Of my obedience to unlawfulnesse.
I tell you plaine, I would not have him dye, Might I enjoy the _Soldans_ Emperie.

_Fall_. What, wilt thou barre thy selfe of happinesse? Stop the large streame of pleasures which would flowe, And still attend on thee like Servingmen? Preferre the life of him that loves thee not Before thine owne and my felicitie?

_Allen_. Ide rather choose to feede on carefulnesse, To ditche, to delve, and labour for my bread, Nay rather choose to begge from doore to doore, Then condiscend to offer violence
To young _Pertillo_ in his innocence. I know you speake, to sound what mightie share _Pertillo_ hath in my affection.

_Fall_. In faith I do not; therefore, prethie, say, Wilt thou consent to have him made away?

_Allen_. Why, then in faithe I am ashamde to think, I had my being from so foule a lumpe
Of adulation and unthankfulnesse.
Ah, had their dying praiers no availe Within your hart? no, damnd extorcion
Hath left no roome for grace to harbor in! Audacious sinne, how canst thou make him say Consent to make my brothers sonne away?

_Fall_. Nay if you ginne to brawle, withdrawe your selfe, But utter not the motion[10] that I made, As you love me, or do regarde your life.

_Allen_. And as you love my safetie and your soule, Let grace and feare of God, such thoughts controule.

_Fall_. Still pratling! let your grace and feare alone, And leave me quickly to my private thoughts, Or with my sword ile open wide a gate,
For wrath and bloudie death to enter in.

_Allen_. Better you gave me death and buriall, Then such foule deeds should overthrow us all.

_Fall_. Still are you wagging that rebellious tounge! Ile dig it out for Crowes to feede upon, If thou continue longer in my sight. [_Exit Allenso_. He loves him better then he loves his life! Heres repetition of my brothers care,
Of sisters chardge, of grace, and feare of God. Feare dastards, cowards, faint hart runawayes! Ile feare no coulours[11] to obteine my will, Though all the fiends in hell were opposite. Ide rather loose mine eye, my hand, my foote, Be blinde, wante senses, and be ever lame, Then be tormented with such discontent
This resignation would afflict me with. Be blithe, my boy, thy life shall sure be done, Before the setting of the morrowe sunne. [_Exit_.

_Enter Avarice and Homicide bloody_.

_Hom_. Make hast, runne headlong to destruction! I like thy temper that canst change a heart From yeelding flesh to Flinte and Adamant. Thou hitst it home, where thou doost fasten holde; Nothing can separate the love of golde.

_Ava_. Feare no relenting, I dare pawne my soule, (And thats no gadge, it is the divels due) He shall imbrew his greedie griping hands In the dead bosome of the bloodie boy,
And winde himselfe, his sonne, and harmlesse wife, In endlesse foldes of sure destruction.
Now, _Homicide_, thy lookes are like thyselfe, For blood and death are thy companions.
Let my confounding plots but goe before, And thou shalt wade up to the chin in gore.

_Homi_. I finde it true, for where thou art let in, There is no scruple made of any sinne;
The world may see thou art the roote of ill, For but for thee poore _Beech_ had lived still.




_Enter Rachell and Merry_.

_Rach_. Oh my deare brother, what a heap of woe, Your rashnesse hath powrd downe upon your head! Where shall we hide this trumpet of your shame, This timelesse ougly map of crueltie?
Brother, if _Williams_ do reveale the truth, Then brother, then, begins our sceane of ruthe.

_Mer_. I feare not _Williams_, but I feare the boy, Who knew I fetcht his maister to my house.

_Rach_. What, doth the boy know whereabouts you dwell?

_Mer_. I, that tormentes me worse than panges of hell:– He must be slaine to, else hele utter all.

_Rach_. Harke, brother, harke, me thinkes I here on[12] call.

_Mer_. Go downe and see; pray God my man keep close; If he prove long-tongd then my daies are done. The boy must die, there is no helpe at all; For on his life my verie life dependes.
Besides I cannot compasse what I would, Unlesse the boy be quicklie made away.
This that abridgde his haplesse maisters daies, Shall leave such sound memorials one [_sic_] his head, That he shall quite forget who did him harme, Or train’d his master to this bloodie feast.– Why, how now, _Rachell_? who did call below?

_Enter Rachell_.

_Rach_. A maide that came to have a pennie loafe.

_Mer_. I would a pennie loafe cost me a pound, Provided _Beeches_ boy had eate his last.

_Rach_. Perchance the boy doth not remember you.

_Mer_. It may be so,–but ile remember him. [_To people_. And send him quicklie with a bloodie scrowle, To greete his maister in another world.

_Rach_. Ile go to _Beeches_ on a faind excuse, To see if he will ask me for his maister.

_Mer_. No, get you up, you shall not stir abroade, And when I call, come quicklie to the dore.

_Rach_. Brother, or that, or any thing beside, To please your mind, or ease your miserie. [_Exit_.

_Mer_. I am knee-deepe, ile wade up to the wast, To end my hart of feare, and to atteine
The hoped end of my intention.
But I maie see, if I have eyes to see, And if my understanding be not blind,
How manie dangers do alreadie waight, Upon my steppes of bold securitie.
_Williams_ is fled, perchaunce to utter all; Thats but perchance, naie rather flatlie no. But should he tell, I can but die a death; Should he conceale, the boy would utter it; The boy must die, there is no remedie.

[_The boy sitting at his maisters dore_.

_Win_. I wonder that my maister staies so long; He had not wont to be abroade so late.
Yonder comes one; I thinke that same is he.

_Mer_. I see the boye sits at his maisters doore. Or now, or never; _Merry_, stir thy selfe, And rid thy hart from feare and jealousie.– _Thomas Winchester_, go quicklie to your shoppe: What, sit you still? your maister is at hand.

[_When the boy goeth into the shoppe Merrie striketh six blowes on his head & with the seaventh leaves the hammer sticking in his head; the boy groaning must be heard by a maide who must crye to her Maister.
[Merrie flieth_.

_Mai_. Oh God I thinke theres theeves in _Beeches_ shop.

_Enter one in his shirt and a maide, and comming to Beeches shop findes the boy murthered_.

_Nei_. What cruell hand hath done so foule a deede, Thus to bemangle a distressed youth
Without all pittie or a due remorse! See how the hammer sticketh in his head, Wherewith this honest youth is done to death! Speak, honest _Thomas_, if any speach remaine: What cruell hand hath done this villanie? He cannot speake, his senses are bereft. Hoe, neighbour _Loney_! pray come downe with speede, Your tennant _Beeches_ man is murthered.

_Loney sleeping_. What, would you have some mustard?

_Nei_. Your tennant _Beeches_ man, is murthered.

_Lo_. Whose smothered, I thinke you lack your wit What, neighbor? what make[13] you here so late? [_Out at a window_.

_Nei_. I was affrighted by a sodaine crie, And comming downe saw maister _Beeches_ man, Thus with a hammer sticking in his head. [_Comes to win_.

_Loney_. Ah wo is me for _Thomas Winchester_, The truest soule that ever maister had!
Wheres maister _Beech_?

_Neigh_. Nay, no body can tell:
Did you see any running from the dore, When you lookt out and heard the youngman crie?

_Maid_. Yes I saw two trulie to my thinking, but they ranne away as fast as their hands could beare them.–By my troth twas so darke I could see no bodie.–[_To people_. Praie God Maister _Beech_ hath not hurt his boy in his patience and if he have he must be hangd in his choller.

_Lo_. I dare be sworne he would not strike him thus, Praie God his Maister be not slaine himselfe. The night growes late, and we will have this course Be watch’d all night; to morrow we shall see Whence sprang this strange uncivill crueltie.

_Nei_. Neighbour good night.

_Lon_. Neighbors all good night.

_Ma_. Praie God I never see so sad a sight.

[_Exeunt omnes_.

_Enter Merry knocking at the doore, and Rachell comes downe_.

_Mer_. Oh sister, sister, now I am pursu’d! The mightie clamour that the boy did make, Hath raisde the neighbours round about the street: So that I know not where to hide my selfe.

_Ra_. What, brother! have you kild _Beeches_ boy?

_Mer_. No, no, not I, but yet another hath. Come, come to bed, for feare we be descri’d: The fearfullest night that ever _Merry_ knew!



_Enter Falleria and two Ruffaines_.

_Fall_. Seeme it not strange, resolved gentlemen,[14] That I thus privatelie have severed you, To open secret furrowes of my hart.
Think not I do intend to undermine, Your passed lives, although you know I am A man to whom the true unpartiall sworde, Of equall justice is delivered.
Therefore sweare both, as you respect your soules, At the last dreadfull sessions held in heaven, First to conceale, and next to execute,
What I reveale, and shall enioyne you to.

_Both_. So you rewarde us, whatsoever it be, We vowe performance, and true secrecie.

_Fall_. There go aside, yee seeming semblances, Of equall justice, and true pietie,
And lay my hearts corrupted Cytadell Wide open to your thoughts to look into. Know I am named _Fallerio_ to deceive
The world with shew of truth and honestie, But yet nor truth, nor honestie abides
Within my thoughts, but falshood, crueltie, Blood-sucking _Avarice_, and all the sinnes, That hale men on to bloodie stratagems,
Like to your selves, which care not how you gaine, By blood, extorcion, falshood, periurie, So you may have a pleasing recompence: [_They start_. Start not aside, depart not from your selves, I know your composition is as mine,
Of bloud, extortion, falshood, periurie, True-branded with the marke of wickednesse.

1 _Ruffin_. Be not so bitter; we are they indeede, That would deprive our fathers of their lives, So we were sure to have a benefit:
I way no more the murthring of a child, Drag’d from the sucking bosome of his mother, Then I respect to quaffe a boule of wine, Unto his health, that dearely loveth me.

2 _Ruff_. Where golde rewardeth, were apparent death, Before mine eyes, bolde, hartie, visible, Ide wrastle with him for a deadly fall,
Or I would loose my guerdon promised. Ide hang my brother for to wear his coate, That all that saw me might have cause to say, There is a hart more firme then Adamant, To practise execrable butcheries.

_Fall_. I know that well, for were I not assur’d Of your performance in this enterprice,
I would not ope the closet of my brest, To let you know my close intention.
There is a little boy, an urchin lad, That stands betweene me and the glorious rayes, Of my soule-wishing sunne of happinesse. There is a thicket ten miles from this place, Whose secret ambush and unused wayes
Doth seeme to ioyne with our conspiracie: There murther him, and when the deed is done, Cast his dead body in some durtie ditch, And leave him for the fowles to feed upon. Do this, here is two hundreth markes in golde, To harten on your resolution:
Two hundreth more, after the deed is done, Ile pay you more for satisfaction.

1 _Ruff_. Swones her’s rewards would make one kill himselfe, To leave his progenie so rich a prize!
Were twentie lives engadged for this coine, Ide end them all, to have the money mine.

2 _Ruff_. Who would not hazard life nay soule and all, For such a franke and bounteous pay-maister? Sblood! what labor is’t to kill a boy?
It is but thus, and then the taske is done. It grieves me most, that when this taske is past, I have no more to occupie my selfe.
Two hundred markes to give a paltrie stab! I am impatient till I see the brat.

_Fall_. That must be done with cunning secrecie, I have devisde to send the boye abroade, With this excuse, to have him fostered,
In better manners than this place affoords. My wife, though loath indeed to part with him, Yet for his good, she will forgoe her joy, With hope in time to have more firme delights, Which she expects from young _Pertillos_ life.

2 _Ruff_. Call you him _Pertillo_, faith leave out the _T_.

_Fall_. Why so?

_Ruff_. Because _Perillo_ will remaine, For he shall surely perish if I live.
What do you call the father of the child?

_Fall_. Why man, he hath no father left alive.

1 _Ruff_.–Yes, such a father, that doth see and know, How we do plot this little infants woe. [_To the people_.

2 _Ruff_. Why, then his little sonne is much to blame, That doth not keepe his father company.
When shall we have deliverie of the boy?

_Fall_. To morrow morning by the breake of day: And you must sweare youle see him safely brought, Unto the place that I do send him to.

2 _Ruff_. That may we safely, for you meane to send Him to the wood and there his journey end.[15] Both soule and limbes shall have a place to rest, In earth the last, the first in _Abrams_ brest.

_Fall_. Come gentlemen, this night go rest with me, To morrow end _Pertillos_ tragedie.

[_Exeunt omnes_.


_Enter Merry and Rachell_.

_Mer_. Sister, now all my golde-expected hopes Of future good is plainely vanished,
And in her stead grim-visadged dispaire, Hath tane possession of my guiltie heart. Desire to gaine began this desperate acte; Now plaine apparance of destruction,
Of soule and body, waights upon my sinne. Although we hide our sinnes from mortall men, Whose glasse of knowledge is the face of man, The eye of heaven beholdes our wickednesse, And will no doubt revenge the innocent,

_Rach_. Ah, do not so disconsolate your selfe, Nor adde new streames of sorrow to your griefe, Which like a spring tide over-swels the bankes, Least you do make an inundation
And so be borne away with swiftest tides Of ugly feare and strong dispairing thoughts. I am your sister; though a silly Maide,
Ile be your true and faithfull comforter.

_Mer_. _Rachell_, I see thy love is infinite, And sorrow hath so borne my thoughts away, That I had almost quite forgot my selfe. Helpe me, deare sister, to convey from hence The spectacle of inhumanitie.

_Rach_. Whether would you convey this lumpe of dust Untimely murthered by your lucklesse hand?

_Mer_. To the lowe roome, where we will cover it, With Fagots, till the evening doe approche: In the meane time I will bethinke my selfe, How I may best convey it foorth of doores; For if we keepe it longer in the house,
The savour will be felt throughout the streete, Which will betray us to destruction.
Oh what a horror brings this beastlinesse, This chiefe of sinnes, this self-accusing crime Of murther! now I shame to know my selfe, That am estrang’d so much from that I was, True, harmlesse, honest, full of curtesie, Now false, deceitfull, full of injurie.
Hould thou his heeles, ile bear his wounded head: Would he did live, so I myself were dead!

[_Bring down the body, and cover it over with Faggots himselfe_.

_Rach_. Those little stickes, do hide the murthred course, But stickes, nor ought besides, can hide the sinne. He sits on high, whose quick all-seeing eye, Cannot be blinded by mans subtilties.

_Mer_. Look every where, can you discerne him now?

_Rach_. Not with mine eye, but with my heart I can.

_Mer_. That is because thou knowest I laide him there: To guiltinesse each thought begetteth feare. But go, my true, though wofull comforter, Wipe up the blood in every place above,
So that no drop be found about the house: I know all houses will be searcht anon.
Then burne the clothes, with which you wipe the ground That no apparant signe of blood be found.

_Rach_. I will, I will; oh, would to God I could As cleerely wash your conscience from the deed As I can cleanse the house from least suspect Of murthrous deed, and beastly crueltie!

_Mer_. Cease to wish vainely, let us seeke to save Our names, our fames, our lives and all we have.



_Enter three or foure neighbours together_.

1 _Neigh_. Neighbours, tis bruted all about the towne That _Robert Beech_, a honest Chaundelor, Had his man deadly wounded yester night, At twelve a clock, when all men were a sleepe.

2. Where was his maister, when the deed was done?

3. No man can tell, for he is missing to, Some men suspect that he hath done the fact, And that for feare the man is fled away; Others, that knew his honest harmlesse life, Feare that himselfe is likewise made away.

4. Then let commaundement every where be given, That sinkes and gutters, privies, crevises, And every place where blood may be conceald, Be throughly searcht, swept, washt, and neerely sought, To see if we can finde the murther out.
And least that _Beech_ be throwne into the _Thames_, Let charge be given unto the watermen
That, if they see the body of a man, Floting in any place about the _Thames_, That straight they bring it unto _Lambert Hill_, Where _Beech_ did dwell when he did live in health.

1 _Neigh_. Ile see this charge performd immediatly.

4. Now let us go to Maister _Beeches_ shop, [_Exit_. To see if that the boy can give us light, Of those suspitions which this cause doth yeeld.

2. This is the house; call Maister _Loney_ forth.

3. Hoe, Maister _Loney_! doth the boy yet live?

_Enter Loney_.

Or can he utter who hath done him wrong.

_Lo_. He is not dead but hath a dying life, For neither speech, nor any sense at all, Abideth in the poore unhappie youth.

4. Here [_sic_] you of anie where his Maister is?

_Lo_. No, would we could; we all, that knew his life, Suspect him not for any such offence.

4. Bring forth the boy, that we may see his wounds.

[_Bringes him forth in a chaire with a hammer sticking in his head_.

What say the Surgeons to the youngmans woundes?

_Lo_. They give him over, saying everie wound, Of sixe, whereof theres seav’n in his head, Are mortall woundes and all incurable.

[_They survey his woundes_.

_Enter Merrie and Williams_.

_Mer_. How now, good _Harry_, hast thou hid my fault? The boy that knew I train’d his Maister forth, Lies speechlesse, and even at the point of death. If you prove true, I hope to scape the brunt.

_Will_. Whie, feare not me, I have conceal’d it yet, And will conceale it, have no doubt of me.

_Mer_. Thanks, gentle _Harry_, thou shalt never lacke; But thou and I will live as faithfull friendes, And what I have, shalbe thine owne to use. There is some monie for to spend to-day, I know you meane to goe and see the faire.

_Will_. I faine would go, but that I want a cloake.

_Mer_. Thou shalt not want a cloake, or ought beside, So thou wilt promise to be secret. [_Gives him his cloake_. Here, take my Cloake, ile weare my best my selfe. But where did you lie this last night?

_Wil_. At the _three Cranes_, in a Carmans hay loft, But ile have better lodging soone at night.

_Mer_. Thou wilt be secret. I will go and see, [_Exit Willi_. What stir they keepe about _Beeches_ shop, Because I would avoyde suspition. [_Go to them_. God save you, Gentlemen! is this the boy That is reported to be murthered?

4. He is not dead outright, but pleas’d it God, Twere better he had left this wicked world, Then to live thus in this extremitie.

_Mer_. A cruell hand no doubt that did the deede. Whie pull you not the hammer from his head?

4. That must not be before the youth be dead, Because the crowner and his quest may see, The manner how he did receive his death. Beare hence the bodie, and endevor all,
To finde them out that did the villanie.

[_Exeunt omnes: manet Merrie_.

_Mer_. Do what you can, cast all your wits about, Rake kennells, gutters, seeke in everie place, Yet I will overgoe your cunning heads,
If _Williams_ and my sister hold their tongues. My neighbours holdes not me in least suspect, Weighing of my former conversation.
Were _Beeches_ boy well conveid awaie, Ide hope to overblow this stormie day.



_Enter Falleria, Sostrata, Allenso, Pertillo, and two Murtherers booted_.

_Fall_. Now little cooze, you are content to goe, From me your Unckle and your loving Aunt, Your faithfull cozen, and your dearest friendes: And all to come to be a skilfull man,
In learned artes and happy sciences?

_Per_, I am content, because it pleaseth you. My father bid I should obey your will,
And yeelde my selfe to your discretion: Besides my cozen gave me yesternight,
A prettie nag to ride to _Padua_.
Of all my friends _Allenso_ loves me best.

_Fall_. I thinke thou art inspir’d with prophesie: [_To the people_. He loves thee better then I would he did.– Why, wherefore think you so, my prettie Nephew?

_Per_. Because he taught me how to say my prayers, To ride a horse, to start the fearfull hare. He gave this dagger to me yester night,
This little Ring, and many pretie things; For which, kind cooze, I rest your true debtor, And one day I will make you recompence.

_Fall_. I, with thy lands and goods thou leav’st behinde.

_Allen_. Pray, father, let me go along with him.– Now, by the Saviour of my sinfull soule, [_To the people_. I do not like those fellowes countenance.

_Fall_. Sonne be content, weele go a seavenight hence, And see him in his universitie weedes.
These will conduct him safely to the place; Be well assured they’l have a care of him– That you shall never see _Pertillo_ more. [_To the people_.

_Allen_. Father, I pray you to withdraw your selfe, Ide have a word or two in secresie.

[_They speake together_.

_Sost_. Come living image of thy dead mother, And take my loving farewell, ere we part. I love thee dearly for thy fathers sake, But for thy mothers dote with jealousie. Oh I do feare, before I see thy face,
Or thou or I shall taste of bitternesse. Kisse me, sweete boy, and, kissing, folde thine Aunte Within the circle of thy little armes.
I neede not feare, death cannot offer wrong; The majestie of thy presaging face,
Would vanquish him, though nere so terrible. The angry Lionesse that is bereav’d
Of her imperious crew of forrest kings, Would leave her furie, and defend thee safe From Wolves, from Panthers, Leopards, and Shee Beares, That live by rapine, stealth and crueltie. Therefore to God I do commend thy state, Who will be sure to guard thee tenderly. And now to you, that carry hence this wealth, This precious Jewell, this unprized good, Have a regarde to use him carefully,
When he is parted from that serious care, Which was imployde for his securitie.
I urge it not, that I misdoubt your truth; I hope his Unckle doth perswade himselfe You will be courteous, kinde, and affable. Ther’s some rewarde for hoped carefulnesse.

_Allen_. Now by my soule I do suspect the men, Especially the lower of the two:
See, what a hollow discontented looke He casts, which brings apparant cause of feare: The other, though he seeme more courteous, Yet dooth his lookes presadge this thought in me. As if he scorn’d to thinke on courtesie.

_Fall_. Upon my life, my sonne you are to blame, The gentlemen are honest, vertuous,
And will protect _Pertillo_ happily. These thoughts proceed out of aboundant love, Because you grieve to leave his company. If ought betide him otherwise then well, Let God require due vengaunce on my head, And cut my hopes from all prosperitie.

_Allen_. A heavie sentence, full of wondrous feare: I cannot choose but credit such a vowe.
Come hether then, my joy, my chiefest hopes, My second selfe, my earthly happinesse,
Lend me thy little prety cherry lip, To kisse me, cozen; lay thy little hand
Upon my cheeke, and hug me tenderly. Would the cleere rayes of thy two glorious sunnes Could penetrate the corners of my heart, That thou might see how much I tender thee. My friends, beholde, within this little bulke Two perfect bodyes are incorporate;
His life holdes mine, his heart conteines my hart, His every lim containes my every part;
Without his being I can never be,
He being dead, prepare to bury me.
Oh thou immortall mover of the spheares Within their circled revolusions,
Whose glorious image this small orphant beares, Wrought by thy all-sufficient majestie,
Oh never suffer any wicked hand
To harme this heavenly workmanship of thine, But let him live, great God, to honor thee With vertuous life and spotlesse pietie!

_Per_. Cease, my kind cooze; I cannot choose but weepe, To see your care of my securitie.

_Allen_.–Knewst thou my reason, that perswades my hart, Thou wouldst not wonder, why I grieve to part: But yet I would suspect my fathers vowe, Did any other make it by your leave.

_Fall_. What have you done? this lothnesse to depart, Seemes you were trained up in tediousnesse, Thou knowst not when and where to make an end. Take him my friends, I know you will discharge The hope and trust that I repose in you.

_Both_. Assure your selfe, in every circumstance.

_Fall_. Then to your horses quicklie, speedily, Else we shall put our fingers in the eye, And weepe for kindnesse till tomorrow morne.

_Per_. Farewell good Unckle, Aunt, and loving cooze.

[_Sostratus [sic] kisseth the boy weeping_.

_Allen_. Farewell.–I fear me everlastinglie.

[_Exeunt Sostratus and Allenso_.

[_One of the Murtherers takes Falleria by the sleeve_.

1 _mu_. You meane not now to have him murthered?

_Fall_. Not murthered, what else? kill him, I say: But wherefore makes thou question of my will?

_Mur_. Because you wisht that God should be revenged, If any ill betide the innocent.

_Fall_. Oh that was nothing but to blind the eyes Of my fond sonne, which loves him too too well.

_Mer_. It is enough, it shall be surely done.

[_Exeunt om_.


_Enter Merry and Rachel with a bag_.

_Mer_. What, hast thou sped? have you bought the bag?

_Rach_. I, brother, here it is; what is’t to do?

_Mer_. To beare hence _Beeches_ body in the night.

_Rach_. You cannot beare so great a waight your selfe, And tis no trusting of another man.

_Mer_. Yes well enough, as I will order it. Ile cut him peece-meale; first his head and legs Will be one burthen; then the mangled rest, Will be another, which I will transport, Beyond the water in a Ferryboate,
And throw it into _Paris-garden_ ditch,[16] Fetch me the chopping knife, and in the meane Ile move the fagots that do cover him.
[_Remove the Fagots_.

_Rach_. Oh can you finde in hart to cut and carve, His stone-colde flesh, and rob the greedy grave, Of his dissevered blood-besprinkled lims?

_Mer_. I, mary can I:–fetch the chopping knife.

_Rach_. This deed is worse, then when you took his life. [_Exit_.

_Mer_. But worse, or better, now it must be so, Better do thus than feele a greater woe.

_Enter Rach_.

Here is the knife, I cannot stay to see This barbarous deed of inhumanitie. [_Exit Rachel_.

[_Merry begins to cut the body, and bindes the armes behinde his back with Beeches garters; leaves out the body, covers the head and legs againe_.

_Enter Truth_.

Yee glorious beames of that bright-shining lampe That lights the starre-bespangled firmament, And dimnes the glimmering shadowes of the night, Why doost thou lend assistance to this wretch, To shamble forth with bold audacitie
His lims, that beares thy makers semblance! All you the sad spectators of this Acte, Whose harts do taste a feeling pensivenesse Of this unheard of, savadge massacre,
Oh be farre of to harbour such a thought As this audacious murtherer put in ure![17] I see your sorrowes flowe up to the brim, And overflowe your cheekes with brinish teares, But though this sight bring surfet to the eye, Delight your eares with pleasing harmonie,[18] That eares may counterchecke your eyes, and say, Why shed you teares, this deede is but a playe? His worke is done, he seekes to hide his sinne; Ile waile his woe before his woe begin. [_Exit Trueth_.

_Mer_. Now will I high me to the water side, And fling this heavie burthen in a ditche, Whereof my soule doth feele so great a waight That it doth almost presse me downe with feare.



_Enter Rachell_.

Harke, _Rachell_, I will crosse the water straight And fling this middle mention of a man
Into some ditch; then high me home againe, To rid my house of that is left behinde.

_Rach_. Where have you laid the legs & battered head?

_Mer_. Under the fagots where it lay before. Helpe me to put this trunk into the bag.

_Rach_. My heart will not endure to handle it, The sight hereof doth make me quake for feare,

_Mer_. Ile do’t my selfe; onely drie up the blood, And burne the clothes as you have done before. [_Exit_.

_Rach_. I feare thy soule will burne in flames of hell, Unless repentance wash wash away thy sinne With clensing teares of true contrition. Ah, did not nature oversway my will,
The world should know this plot of damned ill.



_Enter two Murtherers with Pertillo_.

_Per_. I am so wearie in this combrous wood, That I must needes go sit me downe and rest.

1 _Mur_. What were we best? to kill him unawares, Or give him notice what we doe intend?

2 _Mur_. Whie then belike you meane to do your charge, And feel no tast of pittie in your hart.

1 _Mur_. Of pittie, man! that never enters heere, And if it should, Ide threat my craven heart To stab it home for harbouring such a thought. I see no reason whie I should relent;
It is a charitable vertuous deede,
To end this princkocke[19] from this sinfull world.

2 _Mur_. Such charitie will never have reward, Unlesse it be with sting of conscience;
And thats a torment worse than Sisipus, That rowles a restlesse stone against the hill.

1 _Mur_. My conscience is not prickt with such conceit.

2 _Mur_. That shews thee further off from hoped grace.

1 _Mur_. Grace me no graces, I respect no grace, But with a grace, to give a gracelesse stab; To chop folkes legges and armes off by the stumpes, To see what shift theile make to scramble home; Pick out mens eyes, and tell them thats the sport Of hood-man-blinde, without all sportivenesse. If with a grace I can perform such pranckes, My hart will give mine agents many thankes.

2 _Mur_. Then God forbid I should consort my selfe With one so far from grace and pietie,
Least being found within thy companie, I should be partner of thy punishment.

1 _Mur_. When wee have done what we have vowed to do, My hart desires to have no fellowship
With those that talk of grace or godlinesse. I nam’d not God, unleast twere with an othe, Sence the first hour that I could walk alone; And you that make so much of conscience, By heaven thou art a damned hipocrite,
For thou hast vow’d to kill that sleeping boy, And all to gaine two hundreth markes in gold. I know this purenesse comes of pure deceit, To draw me from from the murthering of the child, That you alone might have the benefit.
You are too shallow; if you gull me so, Chop of my head to make a Sowsing-tub,
And fill it full of tripes and chitterlinges.

2 _Mur_. That thou shalt see my hart is far from fraud, Or vaine illusion in this enterprize,
Which doth import the safetie of our soules, There take my earnest of impietie. [_Give him his mony_. Onely forbeare to lay thy ruder handes
Upon the poore mistrustlesse tender child. As for our vowes, feare not their violence; God will forgive on hartie penitence.

1 _Mur_. Thou Eunuch, Capon, Dastard, fast and loose, Thou weathercocke of mutabilitie,
White-livered Paisant, wilt thou vowe and sweare, Face and make semblance with thy bagpipe othes Of that thou never meanst to execute?
Pure cowardice, for feare to cracke thy necke With the huge Caos of thy bodies waight, Hath sure begot this true contrition.
Then fast and pray, and see if thou canst winne, A goodlie pardon for thy hainous sinne.
As for the boy, this fatall instrument Was mark’d by heaven to cut his line[20] of life, And must supplie the knife of _Atropos_, And if it doe not, let this maister-piece (Which nature lent the world to wonder at) Be slit in Carbonadoes[21] for the jawes Of some men-eating hungrie Canniball.
By heaven ile kill him onely for this cause, For that he came of vertuous Auncestors.

2 _m_. But by that God which made that wondrous globe, Wherein is seene his powerfull dietie,[22] Thou shalt not kill him maugre all thy spight. Sweare, and forsweare thyselfe ten thousand times. Awake _Pertillo_, for thou art betrai’d; This bloody slave intends to murther thee. [_Draw both_.

1 _mur_. Both him, and all, that dare to rescue him.

_Per_. Wherefore? because I slept without your leave? Forgive my fault, ile never sleepe againe.

2 _Mur_. No Child, thy wicked Unckle hath suborn’d Both him and me to take thy life away,
Which I would save, but that this hellish impe Will not content to spare thy guiltlesse blood.

_Per_. Why should _Falleria_ seeke to have my life?

2 _mur_. The lands and goods, thy father left his sonne, Do hale thee on to thy destruction.

_Per_. Oh needy treasure, harme-begetting good! That safety[23] should procure the losse of blood!

2 _mur_. Those lands and goods, thy father got with paine, Are swords wherewith his little sonne is slaine.

1 _mu_. Then let our swords let out his guiltlesse life.

_Per_. Sweete, sowre, kinde, cruell, hold thy murthering knife, And here [_sic_] me speake, before you murther me.

2 _mu_. Feare not, sweet child, he shall not murther thee.

1 _mu_. No, but my sword shall let his puddings forth.

_Per_. First here me speake, thou map of Butcherie: Tis but my goods and lands my Unckle seekes; Having that safely, he desires no more.
I do protest by my dead parents soules, By the deare love of false _Fallerios_ sonne, Whose heart, my heart assures me, will be griev’d To heare his fathers inhumanitie,