Have you played over all your old lessons o' the virginals?
Yes, you are a dull maid alate, methinks you had need have somewhat to quicken your green sickness; do you weep? A husband. Had not such a piece of flesh been ordained, what had us wives been good for? To make salads, or else cried up and down for samphire. To see the difference of these seasons! When I was of your youth, I was lightsome, and quick, two years before I was married. You fit for a knight's bed--drowsy-browed, dull-eyed, drossy-spirited! I hold my life you have forgot your dancing: when was the dancer with you?
The last week.
Last week? When I was of your bord, he missed me not a night, I was kept at it; I took delight to learn, and he to teach me, pretty brown gentleman, he took pleasure in my company; but you are dull, nothing comes nimbly from you, you dance like a plumber's daughter, and deserve two thousand pounds in lead to your marriage, and not in goldsmith's ware.
Now what's the din betwixt mother and daughter, ha?
Faith, small, telling your daughter Mary of her errors.
Errors! Nay, the city cannot hold you, wife, but you must needs fetch words from Westminster; I ha' done, i'faith. Has no attorney's clerk been here alate and changed his half-crown-piece his mother sent him, or rather cozened you with a gilded twopence, to bring the word in fashion for her faults or cracks in duty and obedience, term 'em e'en so, sweet wife? As there is no woman made without a flaw, your purest lawns have frays, and cambrics bracks.
But 'tis a husband solders up all cracks.
What is he come, sir?
Sir Walter's come.
He was met at Holborn Bridge, and in his company
A proper fair young gentlewoman, which I guess
By her red hair, and other rank descriptions,
To be his landed niece brought out of Wales,
Which Tim our son (the Cambridge boy) must marry.
'Tis a match of Sir Walter's own making
To bind us to him, and our heirs for ever.
We are honoured then, if this baggage would be humble,
And kiss him with devotion when he enters.
I cannot get her for my life
To instruct her hand thus, before and after,
Which a knight will look for, before and after.
I have told her still, 'tis the waving of a woman
Does often move a man, and prevails strongly.
But sweet, ha' you sent to Cambridge,
Has Tim word on't?
Had word just the day after when you sent him the silver spoon to eat his broth in the hall, amongst the gentlemen commoners.
O, 'twas timely.
A letter from a gentleman in Cambridge.
O, one of Hobson's porters, thou art welcome. I told thee, Maud, we should hear from Tim. [Reads letter] Amantissimis charissimisque ambobus parentibus patri et matri.
What's the matter?
Nay, by my troth, I know not, ask not me, he's grown too verbal; this learning is a great witch.
Pray, let me see it, I was wont to understand him. Amantissimus charissimus, he has sent the carrier's man, he says; ambobus parentibus, for a pair of boots; patri et matri, pay the porter, or it makes no matter.
Yes, by my faith, mistress, there's no true construction in that, I have took a great deal of pains, and come from the Bell sweating. Let me come to't, for I was a scholar forty years ago; 'tis thus, I warrant you: Matri, it makes no matter: ambobus parentibus, for a pair of boots; patri, pay the porter; amantissimis charissimis, he's the carrier's man, and his name is Sims, and there he says true, forsooth, my name is Sims indeed; I have not forgot all my learning. A money matter, I thought I should hit on't.
Go, thou art an old fox, there's a tester for thee.
If I see your worship at Goose Fair, I have a dish of birds for you.
Why, dost dwell at Bow?
All my lifetime, sir; I could ever say "Bo" to a goose. Farewell to your worship.
A merry porter.
How can he choose but be so, coming with Cambridge letters from our son Tim?
What's here? [Reads] Maximus diligo. Faith, I must to my learned counsel with this gear, 'twill ne'er be discerned else.
Go to my cousin then, at Inns of Court.
Fie, they are all for French, they speak no Latin.
The parson then will do it.
Enter a Gentleman with a chain.
Nay, he disclaims it, calls Latin Papistry, he will not deal with it. What is't you lack, gentleman?
Pray, weigh this chain.
Enter Sir Walter Whorehound, Welsh Gentlewoman and Davy [Dahumma].
Now, wench, thou art welcome to the heart of the city of London.
Dugat a whee.
You can thank me in English if you list.
I can, sir, simply.
'Twill serve to pass, wench; 'twas strange that I should lie with thee so often, to leave thee without English: that were unnatural. I bring thee up to turn thee into gold, wench, and make thy fortune shine like your bright trade. A goldsmith's shop sets out a city maid. Davy [Dahumma], not a word.
Mum, mum, sir.
Here you must pass for a pure virgin.
[Aside] Pure Welsh virgin, she lost her maidenhead in Brecknockshire.
I hear you mumble, Davy.
I have teeth, sir, I need not mumble yet this forty years.
The knave bites plaguily.
What's your price, sir?
A hundred pound, sir.
A hundred marks the utmost, 'tis not for me else.
What, Sir Walter Whorehound?
Why, daughter; faith, the baggage,
A bashful girl, sir; these young things are shamefast.
Besides, you have a presence, sweet Sir Walter,
Able to daunt a maid brought up i' the city;
A brave court spirit makes our virgins quiver,
And kiss with trembling thighs. Yet see, she comes, sir.
Why, how now, pretty mistress, now I have caught you. What, can you injure so your time to stray thus from your faithful servant?
Pish, stop your words, good knight, 'twill make her blush else, which wound too high for the daughters of the freedom. "Honour," and "faithful servant," they are compliments for the worthies of Whitehall, or Greenwich. E'en plain, sufficient subsidy words serves us, sir. And is this gentlewoman your worthy niece?
You may be bold with her on these terms, 'tis she, sir, heir to some nineteen mountains.
Bless us all, you overwhelm me, sir, with love and riches.
And all as high as Paul's.
Here's work, i'faith.
How sayst thou, Davy?
Higher, sir, by far: you cannot see the top of 'em.
What, man? Maudlin, salute this gentlewoman, our daughter if things hit right.
Enter Touchwood Junior.
[Aside] My knight with a brace of footmen
Is come and brought up his ewe mutton
To find a ram at London; I must hasten it,
Or else pick a' famine; her blood's mine,
And that's the surest. Well, knight, that choice [spoil]
Is only kept for me.
[Aside to Touchwood Junior] Sir?
[To Moll, hands her note] Turn not to me till thou mayst lawfully,
It but whets my stomach, which is too sharp
Set already. Read that note carefully,
Keep me from suspicion still, nor know
My zeal but in thy heart:
Read and send but thy liking in three words,
I'll be at hand to take it.
O, turn, sir, turn.
A poor plain boy, an university man,
Proceeds next Lent to a Bachelor of Art;
He will be called Sir Yellowhammer then
Over all Cambridge, and that's half a knight.
Please you draw near, and taste the welcome of the city, sir?
Come, good Sir Walter, and your virtuous niece here.
'Tis manners to take kindness.
Lead 'em in, wife.
Your company, sir.
I'll give't you instantly.
[Aside] How strangely busy is the devil and riches;
Poor soul kept in too hard, her mother's eye
Is cruel toward her, being to him.
'Twere a good mirth now to set him a-work
To make her wedding ring. I must about it.
Rather than the game should fall to a stranger,
'Twas honesty in me to enrich my father.
[Aside] The girl is wondrous peevish; I fear nothing
But that she's taken with some other love,
Then all's quite dashed; that must be narrowly looked to;
We cannot be too wary in our children.--
What is't you lack?
O, nothing now, all that I wish is present. I would have a wedding ring made for a gentlewoman, with all speed that may be.
Of what weight, sir?
Of some half ounce, stand fair and comely, with the spark of a diamond. Sir, 'twere pity to lose the least grace.
Pray, let's see it; indeed, sir, 'tis a pure one.
So is the mistress.
Have you the wideness of her finger, sir?
Yes, sure I think I have her measure about me.
[Searches for a paper] Good faith, 'tis down, I cannot show't you,
I must pull too many things out to be certain.
Let me see: long, and slender, and neatly jointed,
Just such another gentlewoman that's your daughter, sir.
And therefore, sir, no gentlewoman.
I protest I never saw two maids handed more alike;
I'll ne'er seek farther, if you'll give me leave, sir.
If you dare venture by her finger, sir.
Ay, and I'll bide all loss, sir.
Say you so, sir; let's see hither, girl.
Shall I make bold with your finger, gentlewoman?
Your pleasure, sir.
That fits her to a hair, sir.
What's your posy now, sir?
Mass, that's true, posy, i'faith; e'en thus, sir:
"Love that's wise, blinds parents' eyes."
How, how? If I may speak without offence, sir,
I hold my life--
Go to, you'll pardon me?
Will you, i'faith?
Yes, faith, I will.
You'll steal away some man's daughter, am I near you?
Do you turn aside? You gentlemen are mad wags;
I wonder things can be so warily carried,
And parents blinded so, but they're served right
That have two eyes, and were so dull a sight.
[Aside] Thy doom take hold of thee.
Tomorrow noon shall show your ring well done.
Being so, 'tis soon; thanks, and your leave sweet gentlewoman.
Sir, you are welcome.
[Aside] O, were I made of wishes, I went with thee.
Come, now we'll see how the rules go within.
That robs my joy, there I lose all I win.
[I.ii. Allwit's house.]
Enter Davy and Allwit severally.
Honesty wash my eyes, I have spied a wittol.
What, Davy [Dahumma]? Welcome from North Wales,
I'faith, and is Sir Walter come?
New come to town, sir.
Into the maids, sweet Davy, and give order his chamber be made ready instantly; my wife's as great as she can wallow, Davy, and longs for nothing but pickled cucumbers, and his coming, and now she shall ha't, boy.
She's sure of them, sir.
Thy very [sight] will hold my wife in pleasure, till the knight come himself. Go in, in, in, Davy.
The founder's come to town; I am like a man
Finding a table furnished to his hand,
As mine is still to me, prays for the founder;
Bless the right worshipful, the good founder's life.
I thank him, h'as maintained my house this ten years,
Not only keeps my wife, but 'a keeps me,
And all my family; I am at his table,
He gets me all my children, and pays the nurse,
Monthly, or weekly, puts me to nothing,
Rent, nor church duties, not so much as the scavenger:
The happiest state that ever man was born to.
I walk out in a morning, come to breakfast,
Find excellent cheer, a good fire in winter,
Look in my coal house about midsummer eve,
That's full, five or six chaldron, new laid up;
Look in my back yard, I shall find a steeple
Made up with Kentish faggots, which o'erlooks
The waterhouse and the windmills; I say nothing
But smile, and pin the door. When she lies in,
As now she's even upon the point of grunting,
A lady lies not in like her; there's her embossings,
Embroiderings, spanglings, and I know not what,
As if she lay with all the gaudy shops
In Gresham's Burse about her; then her restoratives,
Able to set up a young 'pothecary,
And richly stock the foreman of a drug shop;
Her sugar by whole loaves, her wines by rundlets.
I see these things, but like a happy man,
I pay for none at all, yet fools think's mine;
I have the name, and in his gold I shine.
And where some merchants would in soul kiss hell,
To buy a paradise for their wives, and dye
Their conscience in the bloods of prodigal heirs
To deck their night-piece, yet all this being done,
Eaten with jealousy to the inmost bone--
As what affliction nature more constrains,
Than feed the wife plump for another's veins?--
These torments stand I freed of, I am as clear
From jealousy of a wife as from the charge.
O, two miraculous blessings; 'tis the knight
Hath took that labour all out of my hands;
I may sit still and play; he's jealous for me--
Watches her steps, sets spies--I live at ease;
He has both the cost and torment; when the strings
Of his heart [fret], I feed, laugh, or sing,
"La dildo, dildo la dildo, la dildo dildo de dildo."
Enter two Servants.
What has he got a-singing in his head now?
Now he's out of work he falls to making dildoes.
Now, sirs, Sir Walter's come.
Is our master come?
Your master? What am I?
Do not you know, sir?
Pray, am not I your master?
O, you are but our mistress's husband.
Enter Sir Walter and Davy.
Ergo, knave, your master.
Negatur argumentum. Here comes Sir Walter.
[Allwit takes off his hat.]
[Aside to Second Servant] Now 'a stands bare as well as we; make the most of him, he's but one peep above a serving-man, and so much his horns make him.
How dost, Jack?
Proud of your worship's health, sir.
How does your wife?
E'en after your own making, sir,
She's a tumbler, i'faith, the nose and belly meets.
They'll part in time again.
At the good hour, they will, and please your worship.
Here, sirrah, pull off my boots. Put on, put on, Jack.
I thank your kind worship, sir.
Slippers! Heart, you are sleepy.
[Aside] The game begins already.
Pish, put on, Jack.
[Aside] Now I must do it, or he'll be as angry now as if I had put it on at first bidding; 'tis but observing, 'tis but observing a man's humour once, and he may ha' him by the nose all his life. [Puts his hat back on]
What entertainment has lain open here?
No strangers in my absence?
Sure, sir, not any.
[Aside] His jealousy begins, am not I happy now
That can laugh inward whilst his marrow melts?
How do you satisfy me?
Good sir, be patient.
For two months' absence I'll be satisfied.
No living creature entered--
Entered? Come, swear--
You will not hear me out, sir--
Yes, I'll hear't out, sir.
Sir, he can tell himself.
Heart, he can tell!
Do you think I'll trust him? As a usurer
With forfeited lordships. Him? O monstrous injury!
Believe him? Can the devil speak ill of darkness?
What can you say, sir?
Of my soul and conscience,
Sir, she's a wife as honest of her body
To me as any lord's proud lady can be.
Yet, by your leave, I heard you were once offering
To go to bed to her.
No, I protest, sir.
Heart, if you do, you shall take all--I'll marry.
O, I beseech you, sir--
That wakes the slave,
And keeps his flesh in awe.
[Aside] I'll stop that gap
Where'er I find it open; I have poisoned
His hopes in marriage already--
Some old rich widows, and some landed virgins--
Enter two children[, Wat and Nick].
And I'll fall to work still before I'll lose him,
He's yet too sweet to part from.
Ha, villain, peace.
[Aside] Should he hear 'em! These are two foolish children,
They do not know the gentleman that sits there.
Oh Wat, how dost, Nick? Go to school,
Ply your books, boys, ha?
[Exeunt Wat and Nick.]
[Aside] Where's your legs, whoresons?
They should kneel indeed if they could say their prayers.
[Aside] Let me see, stay,
How shall I dispose of these two brats now
When I am married, for they must not mingle
Amongst my children that I get in wedlock,
'Twill make foul work that, and raise many storms.
I'll bind Wat prentice to a goldsmith, my father Yellowhammer;
As fit as can be. Nick with some vintner; good, goldsmith
And vintner; there will be wine in bowls, i'faith.
Enter Allwit's Wife.
Welcome; I have all my longings now in town,
Now well-come the good hour.
How cheers my mistress?
Made lightsome, e'en by him that made me heavy.
Methinks she shows gallantly, like a moon at full, sir.
True, and if she bear a male child, there's the man in the moon, sir.
'Tis but the boy in the moon yet, goodman calf.
There was a man; the boy had never been there else.
It shall be yours, sir.
[Exeunt Mistress Allwit and Sir Walter.]
No, by my troth,
I'll swear it's none of mine, let him that got it
Keep it. Thus do I rid myself of fear,
Lie soft, sleep hard, drink wine, and eat good cheer.
II.[i. A street.]
Enter Touchwood Senior and his Wife.
'Twill be so tedious, sir, to live from you,
But that necessity must be obeyed.
I would it might not, wife; the tediousness
Will be the most part mine, that understand
The blessings I have in thee; so to part,
That drives the torment to a knowing heart;
But as thou sayst, we must give way to need
And live awhile asunder, our desires
Are both too fruitful for our barren fortunes.
How adverse runs the destiny of some creatures--
Some only can get riches and no children,
We only can get children and no riches;
Then 'tis the [prudent'st] part to check our wills,
And till our state rise, make our bloods lie still.
Life, every year a child, and some years two,
Besides drinkings abroad, that's never reckoned;
This gear will not hold out.
Sir, for a time, I'll take the courtesy of my uncle's house
If you be pleased to like on't, till prosperity
Look with a friendly eye upon our states.
Honest wife, I thank thee; I ne'er knew
The perfect treasure thou brought'st with thee more
Than at this instant minute. A man's happy
When he's at poorest that has matched his soul
As rightly as his body. Had I married
A sensual fool now, as 'tis hard to 'scape it
'Mongst gentlewomen of our time, she would ha' hanged
About my neck, and never left her hold
Till she had kissed me into wanton businesses,
Which at the waking of my better judgment
I should have cursed most bitterly,
And laid a thicker vengeance on my act
Than misery of the birth, which were enough
If it were born to greatness, whereas mine
Is sure of beggary, though it were got in wine.
Fulness of joy showeth the goodness in thee,
Thou art a matchless wife; farewell, my joy.
I shall not want your sight?
I'll see thee often,
Talk in mirth, and play at kisses with thee,
Anything, wench, but what may beget beggars;
There I give o'er the set, throw down the cards,
And dare not take them up.
Your will be mine, sir.
This does not only make her honesty perfect,
But her discretion, and approves her judgment.
Had her desire[s] been wanton, they'd been blameless
In being lawful ever, but of all creatures
I hold that wife a most unmatched treasure
That can unto her fortunes fix her pleasure,
And not unto her blood--this is like wedlock;
The feast of marriage is not lust but love,
And care of the estate. When I please blood,
Merely I sing, and suck out others'; then,
'Tis many a wise man's fault; but of all men
I am the most unfortunate in that game
That ever pleased both genders, I ne'er played yet
Under a bastard; the poor wenches curse me
To the pit where'er I come; they were ne'er served so,
But used to have more words than one to a bargain.
I have such a fatal finger in such business
I must forth with't, chiefly for country wenches,
For every harvest I shall hinder hay-making;
Enter a Wench with a child.
I had no less than seven lay in last progress,
Within three weeks of one another's time.
O Snaphance, have I found you?
Do you see your workmanship?
Nay, turn not from it, nor offer to escape, for if you do,
I'll cry it through the streets, and follow you.
Your name may well be called Touchwood, a pox on you,
You do but touch and take; thou hast undone me;
I was a maid before, I can bring a certificate for it,
From both the churchwardens.
I'll have the parson's hand, too, or I'll not yield to't.
Thou shalt have more, thou villain; nothing grieves me, but Ellen, my poor cousin in Derbyshire, thou hast cracked her marriage quite; she'll have a bout with thee.
Faith, when she will I'll have a bout with her.
A law bout, sir, I mean.
True, lawyers use such bouts as other men do,
And if that be all thy grief, I'll tender her a husband;
I keep of purpose two or three gulls in pickle
To eat such mutton with, and she shall choose one.
Do but in courtesy, faith, wench, excuse me
Of this half yard of flesh, in which I think it wants
A nail or two.
No, thou shalt find, villain
It hath right shape, and all the nails it should have.
Faith, I am poor; do a charitable deed, wench,
I am a younger brother, and have nothing.
Nothing! Thou hast too much, thou lying villain
Unless thou wert more thankful.
I have no dwelling,
I brake up house but this morning; pray thee, pity me,
I am a good fellow, faith, have been too kind
To people of your gender; if I ha't
Without my belly, none of your sex shall want it.
[Aside] That word has been of force to move a woman.--
There's tricks enough to rid thy hand on't, wench,
Some rich man's porch, tomorrow before day,
Or else anon i' the evening, twenty devices;
Here's all I have, i'faith, take purse and all.
[Aside] And would I were rid of all the ware i' the shop so.
Where I find manly dealings I am pitiful,
This shall not trouble you.
And I protest, wench,
The next I'll keep myself.
Soft, let it be got first.
This is the fifth; if e'er I venture more
Where I now go for a maid, may I ride for a whore.
What shift she'll make now with this piece of flesh
In this strict time of Lent, I cannot imagine;
Flesh dare not peep abroad now; I have known
This city now above this seven years,
But I protest in better state of government
I never knew it yet, nor ever heard of;
There has been more religious wholesome laws
In the half circle of a year erected
For common good, than memory ever knew of,
Enter Sir Oliver Kix and his Lady.
Setting apart corruption of promoters,
And other poisonous officers that infect
And with a venomous breath taint every goodness.
O, that e'er I was begot, or bred, or born.
Be content, sweet wife.
What's here to do now?
I hold my life she's in deep passion
For the imprisonment of veal and mutton
Now kept in garrets, weeps for some calf's head now;
Methinks her husband's head might serve with bacon.
Enter Touchwood Junior.
Patience, sweet wife.
Brother, I have sought you strangely.
Why, what's the business?
With all speed thou canst,
Procure a licence for me.
How, a licence?
Cud's foot, she's lost else, I shall miss her ever.
Nay, sure thou shalt not miss so fair a mark
For thirteen shillings fourpence.
Thanks by hundreds.
Exit [with Touchwood Senior].
Nay, pray thee cease, I'll be at more cost yet,
Thou know'st we are rich enough.
All but in blessings,
And there the beggar goes beyond us. O, O, O,
To be seven years a wife and not a child, O, not a child!
Sweet wife, have patience.
Can any woman have a greater cut?
I know 'tis great, but what of that, wife?
I cannot do withal; there's things making
By thine own doctor's advice at 'pothecary's;
I spare for nothing, wife, no, if the price
Were forty marks a spoonful,
I'd give a thousand pound to purchase fruitfulness;
'Tis but bating so many good works
In the erecting of Bridewells and spital-houses,
And so fetch it up again, for having none
I mean to make good deeds my children.
Give me but those good deeds, and I'll find children.
Hang thee, thou hast had too many.
Thou li'st, brevity.
O horrible, dar'st thou call me brevity?
Dar'st thou be so short with me?
Thou deservest worse.
Think but upon the goodly lands and livings
That's kept back through want on't.
Talk not on't, pray thee,
Thou'lt make me play the woman and weep too.
'Tis our dry barrenness puffs up Sir Walter--
None gets by your not-getting, but that knight;
He's made by th' means, and fats his fortune shortly
In a great dowry with a goldsmith's daughter.
They may all be deceived,
Be but you patient, wife.
I have suffered a long time.
Suffer thy heart out; a pox suffer thee!
Nay, thee, thou desertless slave!
Come, come, I ha' done;
You'll to the gossiping of Mr. Allwit's child?
Yes, to my much joy;
Everyone gets before me--there's my sister
Was married but at Bartholomew eve last,
And she can have two children at a birth;
O, one of them, one of them would ha' served my turn.
Sorrow consume thee, thou art still crossing me,
And know'st my nature.
Enter a Maid.
[Aside] O mistress, weeping or railing,
That's our house harmony.
What sayst, Jugg?
The sweetest news.
What is't, wench?
Throw down your doctor's drugs,
They're all but heretics; I bring certain remedy
That has been taught, and proved, and never failed.
O that, that, that or nothing.
There's a gentleman,
I haply have his name, too, that has got
Nine children by one water that he useth;
It never misses, they come so fast upon him,
He was fain to give it over.
His name, sweet Jugg?
One Mr. Touchwood, a fine gentleman,
But run behind hand much with getting children.
Why, sir, he'll undertake
Using that water, within fifteen year,
For all your wealth, to make you a poor man,
You shall so swarm with children.
I'll venture that, i'faith.
That shall you, husband.
But I must tell you first, he's very dear.
No matter, what serves wealth for?
True, sweet husband,
There's land to come; put case his water stands me
In some five hundred pound a pint,
'Twill fetch a thousand, and a Kersten soul,
And that's worth all, sweet husband.
I'll about it.
[II.ii. Another street.]
I'll go bid gossips presently myself,
That's all the work I'll do, nor need I stir,
But that it is my pleasure to walk forth
And air myself a little; I am tied to nothing
In this business, what I do is merely recreation,
Here's running to and fro, nurse upon nurse,
Three charwomen, besides maids and neighbours' children.
Fie, what a trouble I have rid my hands on;
It makes me sweat to think on't.
Enter Sir Walter Whorehound.
How now, Jack?
I am going to bid gossips for your worship's child, sir,
A goodly girl, i'faith, give you joy on her,
She looks as if she had two thousand pound
To her portion, and run away with a tailor;
A fine, plump, black-eyed slut, under correction, sir,
I take delight to see her: Nurse!
[Enter a Dry Nurse.]
Do you call, sir?
I call not you, I call the wet nurse hither,
Give me the wet nurse.
Exit [Dry Nurse]. Enter a Wet Nurse [carrying a baby].
Ay, 'tis thou,
Come hither, come hither,
Let's see her once again; I cannot choose
But buss her thrice an hour.
You may be proud on't, sir,
'Tis the best piece of work that e'er you did.
Think'st thou so, Nurse? What sayst to Wat and Nick?
They're pretty children both, but here's a wench
Will be a knocker.
Pup--sayst thou me so? Pup, little countess;
Faith, sir, I thank your worship for this girl,
Ten thousand times, and upward.
I am glad
I have her for you, sir.
Here, take her in, Nurse,
Wipe her, and give her spoonmeat.
[Aside] Wipe your mouth, sir.
And now about these gossips.
Get but two,
I'll stand for one myself.
To your own child, sir?
The better policy, it prevents suspicion,
'Tis good to play with rumour at all weapons.
Troth, I commend your care, sir, 'tis a thing
That I should ne'er have thought on.
[Aside] The more slave;
When man turns base, out goes his soul's pure flame,
The fat of ease o'erthrows the eyes of shame.
I am studying who to get for godmother
Suitable to your worship: now I ha' thought on't.
I'll ease you of that care, and please myself in't.
[Aside] My love, the goldsmith's daughter, if I send,
Her father will command her.--Davy Dahumma!
I'll fit your worship then with a male partner.
What is he?
A kind, proper gentleman,
Brother to Mr. Touchwood.
I know Touchwood,
Has he a brother living?
A neat bachelor.
Now we know him we'll make shift with him.
Dispatch, the time draws near. Come hither, Davy.
Exit [with Davy].
In troth, I pity him, he ne'er stands still.
Poor knight, what pains he takes--sends this way one,
That way another, has not an hour's leisure--
I would not have thy toil, for all thy pleasure.
Enter two Promoters.
Ha, how now, what are these that stand so close
At the street corner, pricking up their ears,
And snuffing up their noses, like rich men's dogs
When the first course goes in? By the mass, promoters,
'Tis so, I hold my life, and planted there
To arrest the dead corps of poor calves and sheep,
Like ravenous creditors that will not suffer
The bodies of their poor departed debtors
To go to th' grave, but e'en in death to vex
And stay the corps, with bills of Middlesex.
This Lent will fat the whoresons up with sweetbreads
And lard their whores with lamb-stones; what their golls
Can clutch goes presently to their Molls and Dolls.
The bawds will be so fat with what they earn
Their chins will hang like udders by Easter eve,
And being stroked, will give the milk of witches.
How did the mongrels hear my wife lies in?
Well, I may baffle 'em gallantly.--By your favour, gentlemen,
I am a stranger both unto the city
And to her carnal strictness.
Good; your will, sir?
Pray tell me where one dwells that kills this Lent.
How, kills? [Aside to Second Promoter] Come hither, Dick, a bird, a bird.
What is't that you would have?
Faith, any flesh,
But I long especially for veal and green sauce.
[Aside] Green goose, you shall be sauced.
I have half a scornful stomach,
No fish will be admitted.
Not this Lent, sir?
Lent, what cares colon here for Lent?
You say well, sir;
Good reason that the colon of a gentleman,
As you were lately pleased to term your worship, sir,
Should be fulfilled with answerable food,
To sharpen blood, delight health, and tickle nature.
Were you directed hither to this street, sir?
That I was, ay, marry.
And the butcher belike
Should kill and sell close in some upper room?
Some apple loft as I take it, or a coal house,
I know not which, i'faith.
Either will serve.
[Aside] This butcher shall kiss Newgate, 'less he turn up
The bottom of the pocket of his apron.--
You go to seek him?
Where you shall not find him;
I'll buy, walk by your noses with my flesh,
Sheep-biting mongrels, hand basket freebooters!
My wife lies in; a foutra for promoters!
That shall not serve your turn! What a rogue's this;
How cunningly he came over us!
Enter a Man with meat in a basket.
Husht, stand close.
I have 'scaped well thus far; they say the knaves
Are wondrous hot and busy.
By your leave sir,
We must see what you have under your cloak there.
Have? I have nothing.
No, do you tell us that?
What makes this lump stick out then; we must see, sir.
What will you see, sir--a pair of sheets, and two
Of my wife's foul smocks, going to the washers?
O, we love that sight well, you cannot please us better.
[He takes the basket and opens it.]
What, do you gull us? Call you these shirts and smocks?
Now a pox choke you!
You have cozened me and five of my wife's kindred
Of a good dinner; we must make it up now
With herrings and milk pottage.
'Tis all veal.
All veal? Pox, the worse luck; I promised faithfully to send this morning a fat quarter of lamb to a kind gentlewoman in Turnbull Street that longs, and how I'm crossed.
Let's share this, and see what hap comes next then.
Enter another with a basket.
Agreed, stand close again; another booty.
Sir, by your favour.
Meaning me, sir?
Good Mr. Oliver, cry thee mercy, i'faith.
What has thou there?
A rack of mutton, sir,
And half a lamb; you know my mistress's diet.
Go, go, we see thee not; away, keep close,
Heart, let him pass, thou'lt never have the wit
To know our benefactors.
[Exit Second Man.]
I have forgot him.
'Tis Mr. Beggarland's man, the wealthy merchant
That is in fee with us.
Now I have a feeling of him.
You know he purchased the whole Lent together,
Gave us ten groats apiece on Ash Wednesday.
Enter a Wench with a basket, and a child in it under a loin of mutton.
Why then, stand close indeed.
[Aside] Women had need of wit, if they'll shift here,
And she that hath wit may shift anywhere.
Look, look, poor fool,
She has left the rump uncovered too,
More to betray her; this is like a murderer
That will outface the deed with a bloody band.
[Taking her basket] What time of the year is't, sister?
O sweet gentlemen, I am a poor servant,
Let me go.
You shall, wench, but this must stay with us.
O, you undo me, sir;
'Tis for a wealthy gentlewoman that takes physic, sir,
The doctor does allow my mistress mutton.
O, as you tender the dear life of a gentlewoman,
I'll bring my master to you, he shall show you
A true authority from the higher powers,
And I'll run every foot.
Well, leave your basket
Then, and run and spare not.
Will you swear then
To me to keep it till I come?
This light, I will.
What say you, gentleman?
What a strange wench 'tis. Would we might perish else.
Nay then, I run, sir.
And ne'er return I hope.
A politic baggage, she makes us swear to keep it;
I prithee, look what market she hath made.
Imprimis, sir, a good fat loin of mutton;
What comes next under this cloth?
Now for a quarter of lamb.
Now for a shoulder
Why done, sir?
By the mass,
I feel I have lost, 'tis of more weight, i'faith.
Some loin of veal?
No, faith, here's a lamb's head,
I feel that plainly, why yet I'll win my wager.
'Swounds, what's here?
A pox of all dissembling, cunning whores!
Here's an unlucky breakfast.
What shall's do?
The quean made us swear to keep it, too.
We might leave it else.
Life, had she none to gull but poor promoters
That watch hard for a living?
Half our gettings
Must run in sugar-sops and nurses' wages
Now, besides many a pound of soap and tallow;
We have need to get loins of mutton still,
To save suet to change for candles.
Mads me but this was a lamb's head with you,
You felt it; she has made calves' heads of us.
Prithee no more on't, there's time to get it up;
It is not come to mid-Lent Sunday yet.
I am so angry, I'll watch no more today.
Faith, nor I neither.
Why then I'll make a motion.
Well, what is't?
Let's e'en go to the Checker
At Queenhive and roast the loin of mutton
Till young flood; then send the child to Branford.
[II.iii. A hall in Allwit's house.]
Enter Allwit in one of Sir Walter's suits, and Davy trussing
'Tis a busy day at our house, Davy.
Always the kursning day, sir.
Truss, truss me, Davy.
[Aside] No matter and you were hanged, sir.
How does this suit fit me, Davy?
Excellent neatly; my master's things were ever fit for you, sir, e'en to a hair, you know.
Thou has hit it right, Davy,
We ever jumped in one this ten years, Davy.
Enter a Servant with a box.
So, well said; what art thou?
Your comfit-maker's man, sir.
O sweet youth, into the nurse quick,
Quick, 'tis time, i'faith; your mistress will be here?
She was setting forth, sir.
[Exit Third Servant.] Enter two Puritans.
Here comes our gossips now;
O, I shall have such kissing work today;
Sweet Mistress Underman, welcome, i'faith.
Give you joy of your fine girl, sir,
Grant that her education may be pure,
And become one of the faithful.
Thanks to your sisterly wishes, Mistress Underman.
Are any of the brethren's wives yet come?
There are some wives within, and some at home.
Verily thanks, sir.
Verily you are an ass, forsooth;
I must fit all these times, or there's no music.
Enter two Gossips.
Here comes a friendly and familiar pair,
Now I like these wenches well.
How dost, sirrah?
Faith, well, I thank you, neighbour, and how dost thou?
Want nothing, but such getting, sir, as thine.
My gettings, wench, they are poor.
Fie that thou'lt say so,
Th'ast as fine children as a man can get.
[Aside] Ay, as a man can get, and that's my master.
They are pretty foolish things,
Put to making in minutes;
I ne'er stand long about 'em,
Will you walk in wenches?
[Exeunt Gossips.] Enter Touchwood Junior and Moll.
The happiest meeting that our souls could wish for.
Here's the ring ready; I am beholding
Unto your father's haste, h'as kept his hour.
He never kept it better.
Enter Sir Walter Whorehound.
Back, be silent.
Mistress and partner, I will put you both
Into one cup.
[Aside] Into one cup, most proper,
A fitting compliment for a goldsmith's daughter.
Yes, sir, that's he must be your worship's partner
In this day's business, Mr. Touchwood's brother.
I embrace your acquaintance, sir.
It vows your service, sir.
It's near high time; come, Mr. Allwit.
Will't please you walk?
Sir, I obey your time.
[II.iv. The street outside Allwit's house.]
Enter Midwife with the child, [Maudlin] and the Gossips to
Good Mrs. Yellowhammer.
In faith, I will not.
Indeed, it shall be yours.
I have sworn, i'faith.
I'll stand still then.
So will you let the child go without company and make me forsworn.
You are such another creature.
Before me? I pray come down a little.
Not a whit; I hope I know my place.
Your place? Great wonder sure! Are you any better than a comfit-maker's wife?
And that's as good at all times as a 'pothecary's.
Ye lie, yet I forbear you, too.
Come, sweet sister, we go in unity, and show the fruits of peace like children of the spirit.
I love lowliness.
True, so say I, though they strive more,
There comes as proud behind as goes before.
Every inch, i'faith.
III.[i. A church.]
Enter Touchwood Junior and a Parson.
O sir, if ever you felt the force of love, pity it in me.
Yes, though I ne'er was married, sir,
I have felt the force of love from good men's daughters,
And some that will be maids yet three years hence.
Have you got a licence?
Here, 'tis ready, sir.
The ring and all things perfect, she'll steal hither.
She shall be welcome sir; I'll not be long
A-clapping you together.
Enter Moll and Touchwood Senior.
O, here she's come, sir.
My honest brother.
Quick, make haste, sirs.
You must dispatch with all the speed you can,
For I shall be missed straight; I made hard shift
For this small time I have.
Then I'll not linger,
Place that ring upon her finger,
This the finger plays the part,
Whose master vein shoots from the heart;
Now join hands--
Enter Yellowhammer and Sir Walter.
Which I will sever,
And so ne'er again meet, never.
O, we are betrayed!
I am struck with wonder.
Was this the politic fetch, thou mystical baggage,
Thou disobedient strumpet? [To Sir Walter] And were
So wise to send for her to such an end?
Now I disclaim the end, you'll make me mad.
And what are you, sir?
And you cannot see
With those two glasses, put on a pair more.
I dreamt of anger still, here take your ring, sir;
Ha, this? Life, 'tis the same: abominable!
Did not I sell this ring?
I think you did,
You received money for it.
Heart, hark you, knight,
Here's no inconscionable villainy--
Set me a-work to make the wedding ring,
And come with an intent to steal my daughter;
Did ever runaway match it?
This your brother, sir?
He can tell that as well as I.
The very posy mocks me to my face:
"Love that's wise, blinds parents' eyes."
I thank your wisdom, sir, for blinding of us;
We have good hope to recover our sight shortly,
In the meantime I will lock up this baggage,
As carefully as my gold; she shall see as little sun
If a close room or so can keep her from the light on't.
O sweet father, for love's sake pity me!
Farewell, sir, all content bless thee,
And take this for comfort,
Though violence keep me, thou canst lose me never,
I am ever thine although we part for ever.
Ay, we shall part you, minx.
Exit [Yellowhammer with Moll].
Your acquaintance, sir,
Came very lately, yet it came too soon;
I must hereafter know you for no friend,
But one that I must shun like pestilence,
Or the disease of lust.
Like enough, sir,
You ha' ta'en me at the worst time for words
That e'er ye picked out; faith, do not wrong me, sir.
Look after him and spare not; there he walks
That never yet received baffling; you're blessed
More than e'er I knew. Go take your rest.
I pardon you, you are both losers.
[III.ii. Allwit's house.]
A bed thrust out upon the stage, Allwit's Wife in it. Enter
all the Gossips [including Maudlin and Lady Kix].
How is't, woman? We have brought you home
A kursen soul.
Ay, I thank your pains.
And verily well kursened, i' the right way,
Without idolatry or superstition,
After the pure manner of Amsterdam.
Sit down, good neighbours; Nurse!
[Enter Wet Nurse.]
At hand, forsooth.
Look they have all low stools.
They have, forsooth.
Bring the child hither, Nurse;
How say you now, Gossip,
Is't not a chopping girl, so like the father?
As if it had been spit out of his mouth,
Eyed, nosed and browed as like a girl can be,
Only indeed it has the mother's mouth.
The mother's mouth up and down, up and down.
'Tis a large child, she's but a little woman.
No, believe me, a very spiny creature, but all heart,
Well mettled, like the faithful to endure
Her tribulation here, and raise up seed.
She had a sore labour on't, I warrant you, you can tell, neighbour.
O, she had great speed; we were afraid once,
But she made us all have joyful hearts again;
'Tis a good soul, i'faith;
The midwife found her a most cheerful daughter.
'Tis the spirit, the sisters are all like her.
Enter Sir Walter with two spoons and plate and Allwit.
O, here comes the chief gossip, neighbours.
The fatness of your wishes to you all, ladies.
O dear sweet gentleman, what fine words he has--
The fatness of our wishes.
Calls us all ladies.
I promise you a fine gentleman, and a courteous.
Methinks her husband shows like a clown to him.
I would not care what clown my husband were too, so I had such fine children.
She's all fine children, gossip.
Ay, and see how fast they come.
Children are blessings, if they be got with zeal,
By the brethren, as I have five at home.
The worst is past, I hope, now, gossip.
So I hope too, good sir.
Why then so hope I too for company,
I have nothing to do else.
[Giving Mrs. Allwit a cup and spoons] A poor remembrance, lady!
To the love of the babe; I pray accept of it.
O, you are at too much charge, sir.
Look, look, what has he given her, what is't, gossip?
Now by my faith, a fair high standing cup, and two great postle spoons, one of them gilt.
Sure that was Judas then with the red beard.
I would not feed my daughter with that spoon
For all the world, for fear of colouring her hair;
Red hair the brethren like not, it consumes them much,
'Tis not the sisters' colour.
Enter Nurse with comfits and wine.
Well said, Nurse;
About, about with them amongst the gossips:
Now out comes all the tasseled handkerchers,
They are spread abroad between their knees already;
Now in goes the long fingers that are washed
Some thrice a day in urine--my wife uses it--
Now we shall have such pocketing;
See how they lurch at the lower end.
Come hither, Nurse.
Again! She has taken twice already.
I had forgot a sister's child that's sick.
A pox, it seems your purity loves sweet things well that puts in thrice together. Had this been all my cost now I had been beggared. These women have no consciences at sweetmeats, where'er they come; see and they have not culled out all the long plums, too--they have left nothing here but short riggle-tail comfits, not worth mouthing; no mar'l I heard a citizen complain once that his wife's belly only broke his back: mine had been all in fitters seven years since, but for this worthy knight that with a prop upholds my wife and me, and all my estate buried in Bucklersbury.
Here, Mistress Yellowhammer, and neighbours,
To you all that have taken pains with me,
All the good wives at once.
I'll answer for them;
They wish all health and strength,
And that you may courageously go forward,
To perform the like and many such,
Like a true sister with motherly bearing.
Now the cups troll about to wet the gossips' whistles;
It pours down, i'faith: they never think of payment.
Fill again, Nurse.
Now bless thee, two at once; I'll stay no longer;
It would kill me and if I paid for't.
Will it please you to walk down and leave the women?
With all my heart, Jack.
Troth, I cannot blame you.
Sit you all, merry ladies.
Thank your worship, sir.
Thank your worship, sir.
A pox twice tipple ye, you are last and lowest.
Exit [Allwit with Sir Walter].
Bring hither that same cup, Nurse, I would fain drive away this (hup!) anti-Christian grief.
See, gossip, and she lies not in like a countess;
Would I had such a husband for my daughter.
Is not she toward marriage?
O no, sweet gossip.
Why, she's nineteen!
Ay, that she was last Lammas,
But she has a fault gossip, a secret fault.
A fault, what is't?
I'll tell you when I have drunk.
Wine can do that, I see, that friendship cannot.
And now I'll tell you, gossip--she's too free.
O ay, she cannot lie dry in her bed.
What, and nineteen?
'Tis as I tell you, gossip.
[Enter Dry Nurse and speaks to Maudlin.]
Speak with me, Nurse? Who is't?
From Cambridge, I think it be your son, forsooth.
'Tis my son Tim, i'faith, prithee call him up
Among the women, 'twill embolden him well,
For he wants nothing but audacity;
Would the Welsh gentlewoman at home were here now.
Is your son come, forsooth!
Yes, from the university, forsooth.
'Tis a great joy on ye.
There's a great marriage
Towards for him.
A huge heir in Wales, at least to nineteen mountains,
Besides her goods and cattle.
O, I'm betrayed.
What gone again? Run after him, good Nurse;
[Exit Dry Nurse.]
He's so bashful, that's the spoil of youth;
In the university they're kept still to men,
And ne'er trained up to women's company.
'Tis a great spoil of youth indeed.
Enter [Dry] Nurse and Tim.
Your mother will have it so.
Why son, why Tim,
What, must I rise and fetch you? For shame, son.
Mother, you do intreat like a freshwoman;
'Tis against the laws of the university
For any that has answered under bachelor to thrust
'Mongst married wives.
Come, we'll excuse you here.
Call up my tutor, mother, and I care not.
What, is your tutor come, have you brought him up?
I ha' not brought him up, he stands at door,
Negatur, there's logic to begin with you, mother.
Run, call the gentleman, Nurse, he's my son's tutor;
Here, eat some plums.
[Exit Dry Nurse.]
Come I from Cambridge,
And offer me six plums?
Why, how now, Tim,
Will not your old tricks yet be left?
Served like a child,
When I have answered under bachelor?
You'll never lin till I make your tutor whip you;
You know how I served you once at the free school
In Paul's churchyard?
O monstrous absurdity!
Ne'er was the like in Cambridge since my time;
Life, whip a bachelor? You'd be laughed at
Soundly; let not my tutor hear you, 'twould be
A jest through the whole university;
No more words, mother.
Is this your tutor Tim?
Yes, surely, lady, I am the man that brought him
In league with logic, and read the Dunces to him.
That did he, mother, but now I have 'em all
In my own pate, and can as well read 'em to others.
That can he, mistress, for they flow naturally from him.
I'm the more beholding to your pains, sir.
Non ideo sane.
True, he was an idiot indeed
When he went out of London, but now he's well mended;
Did you receive the two goose pies I sent you?
And eat them heartily, thanks to your worship.
'Tis my son Tim, I pray bid him welcome, gentlewomen.
Tim? Hark you, Timotheus, mother, Timotheus.
How, shall I deny your name? "Timotheus" quoth he?
Faith, there's a name, 'tis my son Tim, forsooth.
You're welcome, Mr. Tim.
O, this is horrible, she wets as she kisses;
Your handkercher, sweet tutor, to wipe them off,
As fast as they come on.
Welcome from Cambridge.
This is intolerable! This woman has a villainous sweet breath, did she not stink of comfits; help me, sweet tutor, or I shall rub my lips off.
I'll go kiss the lower end the whilst.
Perhaps that's the sweeter,
And we shall dispatch the sooner.
Let me come next.
Welcome from the wellspring of discipline
That waters all the brethren.
Reels and falls.
Hoist, I beseech thee!
O, bless the woman--Mistress Underman!
'Tis but the common affliction of the faithful,
We must embrace our falls.
I'm glad I 'scaped it,
It was some rotten kiss sure,
It dropped down before it came at me.
Enter Allwit and Davy.
Here's a noise, not parted yet? [Heyday],
A looking glass; they have drunk so hard in plate,
That some of them had need of other vessels.
Yonder's the bravest show.
Where? Where, sir?
Come along presently by the Pissing Conduit,
With two brave drums and a standard bearer.
Farewell, sweet gossip.
I thank you all for your pains.
Feed and grow strong.
[Exeunt all but Allwit and Davy.]
You had more need to sleep than eat;
Go, take a nap with some of the brethren, go,
And rise up a well-edified, boldified sister;
O, here's a day of toil well passed o'er,
Able to make a citizen hare-mad;
How hot they have made the room with their thick bums,
Dost not feel it, Davy?
Monstrous strong, sir.
What's here under the stools?
Nothing but wet, sir,
Some wine spilt here belike.
Is't no worse thinkst thou?
Fair needlework stools cost nothing with them, Davy.
[Aside] Nor you neither, i'faith.
Look how they have laid them,
E'en as they lie themselves, with their heels up;
How they have shuffled up the rushes, too, Davy,
With their short, figging, little, shittle-cork heels;
These women can let nothing stand as they find it;
But what's the secret thou'st about to tell me,
My honest Davy?
If you should disclose it, sir--
Life, rip my belly up to the throat then, Davy.
My master's upon marriage.
Send me to hanging rather.
[Aside] I have stung him.
When, where, what is she, Davy?
E'en the same was gossip, and gave the spoon.
I have no time to stay, nor scarce can speak,
I'll stop those wheels, or all the work will break.
I knew 'twould prick. Thus do I fashion still
All mine own ends by him and his rank toil;
'Tis my desire to keep him still from marriage;
Being his poor nearest kinsman, I may fare
The better at his death, there my hopes build
Since my Lady Kix is dry, and hath no child.
[III.iii. Sir Oliver's house.]
Enter both the Touchwoods.
Y'are in the happiest way to enrich yourself,
And pleasure me, brother, as man's feet can tread in,
For though she be locked up, her vow is fixed
Only to me; then time shall never grieve me,
For by that vow, e'en absent [I] enjoy her,
Assuredly confirmed that none else shall,
Which will make tedious years seem gameful to me.
In the mean space lose you no time, sweet brother;
You have the means to strike at this knight's fortunes
And lay him level with his bankrout merit;
Get but his wife with child, perch at tree top,
And shake the golden fruit into her lap.
About it, before she weep herself to a dry ground,
And whine out all her goodness.
I find a too much aptness in my blood
For such a business without provocation;
You might well spared this banquet of eringoes,
Artichokes, potatoes, and your buttered crab,
They were fitter kept for your own wedding dinner.
Nay, and you'll follow my suit, and save my purse, too,
Fortune dotes on me; he's in happy case
Finds such an honest friend i' the common place.
Life, what makes thee so merry? Thou hast no cause
That I could hear of lately since thy crosses,
Unless there be news come, with new additions.
Why there thou hast it right, I look for her
This evening, brother.
How's that, look for her?
I will deliver you of the wonder straight, brother:
By the firm secrecy and kind assistance
Of a good wench i' the house, who, made of pity,
Weighing the case her own, she's led through gutters,
Strange hidden ways, which none but love could find,
Or ha' the heart to venture; I expect her
Where you would little think.
I care not where,
So she be safe, and yours.
Hope tells me so,
But from your love and time my peace must grow.
You know the worst then, brother; now to my Kix,
The barren he and she, they're i' the next room,
But to say which of their two humours hold them
Now at this instant, I cannot say truly.
Kix to his Lady within.
Thou liest, barrenness.
O, is't that time of day? Give you joy of your tongue,
There's nothing else good in you; this their life
The whole day from eyes open to eyes shut,
Kissing or scolding, and then must be made friends,
Then rail the second part of the first fit out,
And then be pleased again, no man knows which way,
Fall out like giants, and fall in like children--
Their fruit can witness as much.
Enter Sir Oliver Kix and his Lady.
'Tis thy fault.
Mine, drouth and coldness?
Thine, 'tis thou art barren.
I barren! O life, that I durst but speak now,
In mine own justice, in mine own right--I barren!
'Twas otherways with me when I was at court,
I was ne'er called so till I was married.
I'll be divorced.
Be hanged! I need not wish it,
That will come too soon to thee: I may say,
Marriage and hanging goes by destiny,
For all the goodness I can find in't yet.
I'll give up house, and keep some fruitful whore,
Like an old bachelor in a tradesman's chamber;
She and her children shall have all.
Where be they?
When there are friendlier courses took for you
To get and multiply within your house,
At your own proper costs in spite of censure,
Methinks an honest peace might be established.
What with her? Never.
You work all in vain.
Then he doth all like thee.
Let me intreat, sir.
Singleness confound her,
I took her with one smock.
But indeed you came not so single,
When you came from shipboard.
Heart, she bit sore there; prithee, make's friends.
Is't come to that? The peal begins to cease.
I'll sell all at an outcry.
Do thy worst, slave;
Good sweet sir, bring us into love again.
Some would think this impossible to compass;
Pray, let this storm fly over.
Good sir, pardon me, I'm master of this house,
Which I'll sell presently, I'll clap up bills this evening.
Lady, friends? Come.
If e'er ye loved woman, talk not on't, sir;
What, friends with him? Good faith, do you think I'm mad?
With one that's scarce the hinder quarter of a man?
Thou art nothing of a woman.
Would I were less than nothing.
Nay, prithee what dost mean?
I cannot please you.
I'faith, thou art a good soul, he lies that says it;
Buss, buss, pretty rogue.
You care not for me.
Can any man tell now which way they came in?
By this light, I'll be hanged then.
Is the drink come?
Here's a little vial of almond-milk--
[Aside] That stood me in some three pence.
I hope to see thee, wench, within these few years,
Circled with children, pranking up a girl,
And putting jewels in their little ears;
Fine sport, i'faith.
Ay, had you been aught, husband,
It had been done ere this time.
Had been aught, hang thee, hadst thou been aught;
But a cross thing I ever found thee.
Thou art a grub to say so.
A pox on thee.
By this light, they are out again at the same door,
And no man can tell which way;
Come here's your drink, sir.
I will not take it now, sir,
And I were sure to get three boys ere midnight.
Why there thou show'st now of what breed thou com'st;
To hinder generation! O thou villain,
That knows how crookedly the world goes with us
For want of heirs, yet put by all good fortune.
Hang, strumpet, I will take it now in spite.
Then you must ride upon't five hours.
I mean so.
Enter a Servant.
Saddle the white mare,
I'll take a whore along, and ride to Ware.
Ride to the devil.
I'll plague you every way;
Look ye, do you see, 'tis gone.
A pox go with it.
I curse and spare not now.
Stir up and down, sir,
You must not stand.
Nay, I'm not given to standing.
So much the better, sir, for the--
I never could stand long in one place yet,
I learnt it of my father, ever figient;
How if I crossed this, sir?
O, passing good, sir,
And would show well a-horseback; when you come
To your inn, if you leapt over a joint-stool or two
'Twere not amiss--[Aside] although you brake your neck, sir.
What say you to a table thus high, sir?
Nothing better, sir, if it be furnished
With good victuals. You remember how
The bargain runs about this business?
Or else I had a bad head: you must receive, sir,
Four hundred pounds of me at four several payments:
One hundred pound now in hand.
Right, that I have, sir.
Another hundred when my wife is quick,
The third when she's brought to bed, and the last hundred
When the child cries; for if it should be stillborn,
It doth no good, sir.
All this is even still;
A little faster, sir.
Not a whit, sir,
I'm in an excellent pace for any physic.
Enter a Servant.
Your white mare's ready.
I shall up presently:
One kiss, and farewell.
Thou shalt have two, love.
Expect me about three.
With all my heart, sweet.
By this light, they have forgot their anger since,
And are as far in again as e'er they were;
Which way the devil came they? Heart, I saw 'em not,
Their ways are beyond finding out. Come, sweet lady.
How must I take mine, sir?
Yours must be taken lying.
Abed, or where you will for your own ease;
Your coach will serve.
The physic must needs please.
IV.[i. Yellowhammer's house.]
Enter Tim and Tutor.
Negatur argumentum, tutor.
Probo tibi, pupil, stultus non est animal rationale.
Quaeso ut taceas; probo tibi.
Quomodo probas, domine?
Stultus non habet rationem, ergo non est animal rationale.
Sic argumentaris, domine: stultus non habet rationem, ergo non est animal rationale. Negatur argumentum again, tutor.
Argumentum iterum probo tibi, domine: qui non participat de ratione nullo modo potest vocari rationalibus, but stultus non participat de ratione, ergo stultus nullo modo potest dicere rationali.
Sic disputus, qui participat quomodo participate.
Ut homo; probabo tibi in syllogismo.
Sic probo, domine: stultus est homo sicut tu et ego sum; homo est animal rationale, sicut stultus est animal rationale.
Here's nothing but disputing all the day long with 'em.
Sic disputus, stultus est homo sicut tu et ego sum; homo est animal rationale, sicut stultus est animal rationale.
Your reasons are both good, whate'er they be;
Pray give them o'er, faith, you'll tire yourselves,
What's the matter between you?
Nothing but reasoning about a fool, mother.
About a fool, son? Alas, what need you trouble your heads about that, none of us all but knows what a fool is.
Why, what's a fool, mother? I come to you now.
Why, one that's married before he has wit.
'Tis pretty, i'faith, and well guessed of a woman never brought up at the university: but bring forth what fool you will, mother, I'll prove him to be as reasonable a creature, as myself or my tutor here.
Fie, 'tis impossible.
Nay, he shall do't, forsooth.
'Tis the easiest thing to prove a fool by logic,
By logic I'll prove anything.
What thou wilt not?
I'll prove a whore to be an honest woman.
Nay, by my faith, she must prove that herself,
Or logic will never do't.
'Twill do't, I tell you.
Some in this street would give a thousand pounds
That you could prove their wives so.
Faith, I can,
And all their daughters, too, though they had three bastards.
When comes your tailor hither?
Why, what of him?
By logic I'll prove him to be a man,
Let him come when he will.
How hard at first was learning to him? Truly, sir, I thought he would never a took the Latin tongue. How many accidences do you think he wore out ere he came to his grammar?
Some three or four.
Believe me, sir, some four and thirty.
Pish, I made haberdins of 'em in church porches.
He was eight years in his grammar, and stuck horribly at a foolish place there called as in presenti.
Pox, I have it here now.
He so shamed me once before an honest gentleman that knew me when I was a maid.
These women must have all out.
Quid est grammatica? says the gentleman to him--I shall remember by a sweet, sweet token--but nothing could he answer.
How now, pupil, ha, quid est grammatica?
Grammatica? Ha, ha, ha.
Nay, do not laugh, son, but let me hear you say it now: there was one word went so prettily off the gentleman's tongue, I shall remember it the longest day of my life.
Come, quid est grammatica?
Are you not ashamed, tutor? Grammatica? Why, recte scribendi atque loquendi ars, sir-reverence of my mother.
That was it, i'faith: why now, son, I see you are a deep scholar; and master tutor, a word, I pray, let us withdraw a little into my husband's chamber. I'll send in the North Wales gentlewoman to him, she looks for wooing: I'll put together both, and lock the door.
I give great approbation to your conclusion.
Exit [with Maudlin].
I mar'l what this gentlewoman should be
That I should have in marriage, she's a stranger to me:
I wonder what my parents mean, i'faith,
To match me with a stranger so:
A maid that's neither kiff nor kin to me:
Life, do they think I have no more care of my body,
Than to lie with one that I ne'er knew,
A mere stranger,
One that ne'er went to school with me neither,
Nor ever playfellows together;
They're mightily o'erseen in't methinks;
They say she has mountains to her marriage,
She's full of cattle, some two thousand runts;
Now what the meaning of these runts should be,
My tutor cannot tell me;
I have looked in Rider's dictionary for the letter R,
And there I can hear no tidings of these runts neither;
Unless they should be Rumford hogs,
I know them not,
Enter Welsh Gentlewoman.
And here she comes.
If I know what to say to her now
In the way of marriage, I'm no graduate;
Methinks, i'faith, 'tis boldly done of her
To come into my chamber being but a stranger;
She shall not say I'm so proud yet, but I'll speak to her:
Marry, as I will order it,
She shall take no hold of my words I'll warrant her;
She looks and makes a curtsey--
[To her] Salve tu quoque puella pulcherrima,
Quid vis nescio nec sane curo--
Tully's own phrase to a heart.
[Aside] I know not what he means; a suitor, quotha?
I hold my life he understands no English.
Ferter me hercule tu virgo,
Wallia ut opibus abundis maximis.
[Aside] What's this ferter and abundundis?
He mocks me sure, and calls me a bundle of farts.
[Aside] I have no Latin word now for their runts; I'll make some shift or other.--Iterum, dico opibus abundat maximis montibus et fontibus et, ut ita dicam, rontibus; attamen, vero, homanculus ego sum natura, simule arte bachalarius, lecto profecto non parata.
[Aside] This is most strange; may be he can speak Welsh--
Avedera whee comrage? Derdue cog foginis?
[Aside] Cog foggin? I scorn to cog with her, I'll tell her so, too, in a word near her own language.--Ego non cogo.
Rhegosin a whiggin harle ron corid ambre.
[Aside] By my faith, she's a good scholar, I see that already;
She has the tongues plain, I hold my life she has travelled;
What will folks say? There goes the learned couple;
Faith, if the truth were known, she hath proceeded.
How now, how speeds your business?
I'm glad my mother's come to part us.
How do you agree, forsooth?
As well as e'er we did before we met.
You put me to a man I understand not;
Your son's no English man methinks.
No English man, bless my boy,
And born i' the heart of London?
I ha' been long enough in the chamber with him,
And I find neither Welsh nor English in him.
Why, Tim, how have you used the gentlewoman?
As well as a man might do, mother, in modest Latin.
And she recoiled in Hebrew.
In Hebrew, fool? 'Tis Welsh.
All comes to one, mother.
She can speak English, too.
Who told me so much?
Heart, and she can speak English, I'll clap to her,
I thought you'd marry me to a stranger.
You must forgive him, he's so inured to Latin,
He and his tutor, that he hath quite forgot
To use the Protestant tongue.
'Tis quickly pardoned, forsooth.
Tim, make amends and kiss her,
He makes towards you, forsooth.
[He kisses her.]
O, delicious, one may discover her country by her kissing. 'Tis a true saying, there's nothing tastes so sweet as your Welsh mutton: it was reported you could sing.
O, rarely, Tim, the sweetest British songs.
And 'tis my mind, I swear, before I marry
I would see all my wife's good parts at once,
To view how rich I were.
Thou shalt hear sweet music, Tim. Pray, forsooth.
Music and Welsh song.
Enter Yellowhammer and Allwit [in disguise].
Why, well said, Tim, the bells go merrily,
I love such peals, a' life; wife, lead them in a while,
Here's a strange gentleman desires private conference.
[Exeunt Maudlin, Tim and Welsh Gentlewoman.]
You're welcome, sir, the more for your name's sake.
Good Master Yellowhammer, I love my name well,
And which o' the Yellowhammers take you descent from,
If I may be so bold with you, which, I pray?
The Yellowhammers in Oxfordshire, near Abbington.
And those are the best Yellowhammers, and truest bred: I came from thence myself, though now a citizen. I'll be bold with you: you are most welcome.
I hope the zeal I bring with me shall deserve it.
I hope no less; what is your will, sir?
I understand by rumours, you have a daughter,
Which my bold love shall henceforth title "cousin."
I thank you for her, sir.
I heard of her virtues,
And other confirmed graces.
A plaguy girl, sir.
Fame sets her out with richer ornaments
Than you are pleased to boast of; 'tis done modestly;
I hear she's towards marriage.
You hear truth, sir.
And with a knight in town, Sir Walter Whorehound.
The very same, sir.
I am the sorrier for't.
The sorrier? Why, cousin?
'Tis not too far past, is't? It may be yet recalled?
Recalled? Why, good sir?
Resolve me in that point, ye shall hear from me.
There's no contract passed.
I am very joyful, sir.
But he's the man must bed her.
By no means, coz, she's quite undone then,
And you'll curse the time that e'er you made the match;
He's an arrant whoremaster, consumes his time and state--
Whom in my knowledge he hath kept this seven years,
Nay, coz, another man's wife, too.
Maintains the whole house, apparels the husband,
Pays servants' wages, not so much, but--
Worse and worse, and doth the husband know this?
Knows? Ay, and glad he may too, 'tis his living;
As other trades thrive, butchers by selling flesh,
Poulters by venting conies, or the like, coz.
What an incomparable wittol's this?
Tush, what cares he for that, believe me, coz,
No more than I do.
What a base slave is that?
All's one to him; he feeds and takes his ease,
Was ne'er the man that ever broke his sleep
To get a child yet by his own confession,
And yet his wife has seven.
What, by Sir Walter?
Sir Walter's like to keep 'em, and maintain 'em,
In excellent fashion, he dares do no less, sir.
Life, has he children too?
Children? Boys thus high,
In their Cato and Cordelius.
What, you jest, sir!
Why, one can make a verse,
And is now at Eton College.
O, this news has cut into my heart, coz.
It had eaten nearer if it had not been prevented.
One Allwit's wife.
Allwit? Foot, I have heard of him,
He had a girl kursened lately?
Ay, that work did cost the knight above a hundred mark.
I'll mark him for a knave and villain for't,
A thousand thanks and blessings, I have done with him.
[Aside] Ha, ha, ha, this knight will stick by my ribs still,
I shall not lose him yet, no wife will come,
Where'er he woos, I find him still at home, ha, ha!
Well, grant all this, say now his deeds are black,
Pray, what serves marriage, but to call him back;
I have kept a whore myself, and had a bastard,
By Mistress Anne, in Anno [ ].
I care not who knows it; he's now a jolly fellow,
H'as been twice warden, so may his fruit be,
They were but base begot, and so was he;
The knight is rich, he shall be my son-in-law,
No matter so the whore he keeps be wholesome,
My daughter takes no hurt then, so let them wed,
I'll have him sweat well e'er they go to bed.
O husband, husband.
How now, Maudlin?
We are all undone, she's gone, she's gone.
Again? Death, which way?
Over the houses:
Lay the waterside, she's gone forever else.
O venturous baggage!
Exit [with Maudlin]. Enter Tim and Tutor.
Thieves, thieves, my sister's stolen, some thief hath got her:
O, how miraculously did my father's plate 'scape,
'Twas all left out, tutor.
Besides three chains of pearl and a box of coral.
My sister's gone, let's look at Trig stairs for her;
My mother's gone to lay the Common stairs
At Puddle wharf, and at the dock below
Stands my poor silly father. Run, sweet tutor, run.
Exit [with Tutor].
[IV.ii. A bank of the Thames.]
Enter both the Touchwoods.
I had been taken, brother, by eight sergeants,
But for the honest watermen; I am bound to them,
They are the most requiteful'st people living,
For as they get their means by gentlemen,
They are still the forwardest to help gentlemen.
You heard how one 'scaped out of the Blackfriars
But a while since from two or three varlets
Came into the house with all their rapiers drawn,
As if they'd dance the sword dance on the stage,
With candles in their hands like chandlers' ghosts,
Whilst the poor gentleman so pursued and banded
Was by an honest pair of oars safely landed.
I love them with my heart for't.
Enter three or four Watermen.
Your first man, sir.
Shall I carry you gentlemen with a pair of oars?
These be the honest fellows; take one pair,
And leave the rest for her.
No more, brother.
Your first man.
Shall I carry your worship?
Go, and you honest watermen that stay,
Here's a French crown for you;
There comes a maid with all speed to take water,
Row her lustily to Barn Elms after me.
To Barn Elms, good sir. Make ready the boat, Sam.
We'll wait below.
Exit [with First Waterman]. Enter Moll.
What made you stay so long?
I found the way more dangerous than I looked for.
Away quick, there's a boat waits for you,
And I'll take water at Paul's wharf, and overtake you.
Good sir, do, we cannot be too safe.
[Exeunt.] Enter Sir Walter, Yellowhammer, Tim and Tutor.
Life, call you this close keeping?
She was kept
Under a double lock.
A double devil.
That's a buff sergeant, tutor, he'll ne'er wear out.
How would you have women locked?
With padlocks, father, the Venetian uses it,
My tutor reads it.
Heart, if she were so locked up, how got she out?
There was a little hole looked into the gutter,
But who would have dreamt of that?
A wiser man would.
He says true, father, a wise man for love will seek every hole: my tutor knows it.
Verum poeta dicit.
Dicit Virgilius, father.
Prithee, talk of thy gills somewhere else, she's played the gill with me: where's your wise mother now?
Run mad I think, I thought she would have drowned herself; she would not stay for oars, but took a smelt boat: sure I think she be gone a-fishing for her.
She'll catch a goodly dish of gudgeons now,
Will serve us all to supper.
Enter Maudlin drawing Moll by the hair, and Watermen.
I'll tug thee home by the hair.
Good mistress, spare her.
Tend your own business.
You are a cruel mother.
O, my heart dies!
I'll make thee an example
For all the neighbours' daughters.
You that have tricks can counterfeit.
Hold, hold, Maudlin.
I have brought your jewel by the hair.
She's here, knight.
[To Yellowhammer and Maudlin] Forbear or I'll grow worse.
Look on her, tutor, she hath brought her from the water like a mermaid; she's but half my sister now, as far as the flesh goes, the rest may be sold to fishwives.
Dissembling, cunning baggage!
Either give over both, or I'll give over:
Why have you used me thus, unkind mistress?
Wherein have I deserved?
You talk too fondly, sir,
We'll take another course and prevent all;
We might have done't Iong since; we'll lose no time now,
Nor trust to't any longer: tomorrow morn as early
As sunrise we'll have you joined.
O, bring me death tonight, love-pitying Fates,
Let me not see tomorrow up upon the world.
Are you content, sir, till then she shall be watched?
Baggage, you shall.
Exit [with Moll and Yellowhammer].
Why, father, my tutor and I will both watch in armour.
How shall we do for weapons?
Take you no care for that, if need be I can send for conquering metal, tutor, ne'er lost day yet; 'tis but at Westminster. I am acquainted with him that keeps the monuments; I can borrow Harry the Fifth's sword, 't will serve us both to watch with.
Exit [with Tutor].
I never was so near my wish, as this chance
Makes me; ere tomorrow noon,
I shall receive two thousand pound in gold,
And a sweet maidenhead
Enter Touchwood Junior with a Waterman.
O, thy news splits me.
Half drowned, she cruelly tugged her by the hair,
Forced her disgracefully, not like a mother.
Enough, leave me like my joys.
Sir, saw you not a wretched maid pass this way?
Heart, villain, is it thou?
Yes, slave, 'tis I.
Both draw and fight.
I must break through thee then, there is no stop
That checks my tongue and all my hopeful fortunes,
That breast excepted, and I must have way.
Sir, I believe 'twill hold your life in play.
Sir, you'll gain the heart in my breast at first?
There is no dealing then, think on the dowry
For two thousand pounds.
O, now 'tis quit, sir.
[Wounds Sir Walter.]
And being of even hand, I'll play no longer.
No longer, slave?
I have certain things to think on,
Before I dare go further.
But one bout?
I'll follow thee to death, but ha't out.
V.[i. Allwit's house.]
Enter Allwit, his Wife, and Davy Dahumma.
A misery of a house.
What shall become of us?
I think his wound be mortal.
Think'st thou so, Davy?
Then am I mortal too, but a dead man, Davy;
This is no world for me, whene'er he goes,
I must e'en truss up all, and after him, Davy,
A sheet with two knots, and away.
Enter Sir Walter led in hurt.
O see, sir,
How faint he goes, two of my fellows lead him.
Heyday, my wife's laid down, too, here's like to be
A good house kept, when we are altogether down;
Take pains with her, good Davy, cheer her up there,
Let me come to his worship, let me come.
Touch me not, villain, my wound aches at thee,
Thou poison to my heart.
He raves already,
His senses are quite gone, he knows me not;
Look up, an't like your worship, heave those eyes,
Call me to mind, is your remembrance lost?
Look in my face, who am I, an't like your worship?
If any thing be worse than slave or villain,
Thou art the man.
Alas his poor worship's weakness,
He will begin to know me by little and little.
No devil can be like thee.
Ah, poor gentleman,
Methinks the pain that thou endurest.
Thou know'st me to be wicked, for thy baseness
Kept the eyes open still on all my sins,
None knew the dear account my soul stood charged with
So well as thou, yet like Hell's flattering angel
Would'st thou never tell me on't, let'st me go on,
And join with death in sleep, that if I had not waked
Now by chance, even by a stranger's pity,
I had everlastingly slept out all hope
Of grace and mercy.
Now he is worse and worse,
Wife, to him wife, thou wast wont to do good on him.
How is't with you, sir?
Not as with you,
Thou loathsome strumpet: some good pitying man
Remove my sins out of my sight a little;
I tremble to behold her, she keeps back
All comfort while she stays; is this a time,
Unconscionable woman, to see thee?
Art thou so cruel to the peace of man,
Not to give liberty now? The devil himself
Shows a far fairer reverence and respect
To goodness than thyself; he dares not do this,
But part in time of penitence, hides his face;
When man withdraws from him, he leaves the place;
Hast thou less manners, and more impudence,
Than thy instructor? Prithee show thy modesty,
If the least grain be left, and get thee from me.
Thou should'st be rather locked many rooms hence,
From the poor miserable sight of me,
If either love or grace had part in thee.
He is lost for ever.
Run, sweet Davy, quickly,
And fetch the children hither--sight of them
Will make him cheerful straight.
O death! Is this
A place for you to weep? What tears are those?
Get you away with them, I shall fare the worse
As long as they are a-weeping; they work against me;
There's nothing but thy appetite in that sorrow,
Thou weep'st for lust, I feel it in the slackness
Of comforts coming towards me;
I was well till thou began'st to undo me;
This shows like the fruitless sorrow of a careless mother
That brings her son with dalliance to the gallows,
And then stands by, and weeps to see him suffer.
Enter Davy with the Children.
There are the children, sir, an't like your worship,
Your last fine girl, in troth, she smiles,
Look, look, in faith, sir.
O my vengeance,
Let me forever hide my cursed face
From sight of those that darken all my hopes,
And stand between me and the sight of Heaven;
Who sees me now, [he] too, and those so near me,
May rightly say, I am o'ergrown with sin;
O how my offences wrestle with my repentance,
It hath scarce breath--
Still my adulterous guilt hovers aloft,
And with her black wings beats down all my prayers
Ere they be half way up; what's he knows now
How long I have to live? O, what comes then?
My taste grows bitter, the round world all gall now,
Her pleasing pleasures now hath poisoned me,
Which I exchanged my soul for;
Make way a hundred sighs at once for me.
Speak to him, Nick.
I dare not, I am afraid.
Tell him he hurts his wounds, Wat, with making moan.
Wretched, death of seven!
Come, let's be talking somewhat to keep him alive.
Ah, sirrah Wat, and did my lord bestow that jewel on thee,
For an epistle thou mad'st in Latin?
Thou art a good forward boy, there's great joy on thee.
Heart, will nothing comfort him?
If he be so far gone, 'tis time to moan;
Here's pen, and ink, and paper, and all things ready,
Will't please your worship for to make your will?
My will? Yes, yes, what else? Who writes apace now?
That can your man Davy, an't like your worship,
A fair, fast, legible hand.
Set it down then:
Imprimis, I bequeath to yonder wittol,
Three times his weight in curses--
All plagues of body and of mind--
Write them not down, Davy.
It is his will, I must.
With such a sickness, ten days ere his death.
There's a sweet legacy,
I am almost choked with't.
Next I bequeath to that foul whore, his wife,
All barrenness of joy, a drouth of virtue,
And dearth of all repentance: for her end,
The common misery of an English strumpet,
In French and Dutch, beholding ere she dies
Confusion of her brats before her eyes,
And never shed a tear for it.
Enter a Servant.
Where's the knight?
O sir, the gentleman you wounded is newly departed.
Dead? Lift, lift, who helps me?
Let the law lift you now, that must have all,
I have done lifting on you, and my wife, too.
You were best lock yourself close.
Not in my house, sir,
I'll harbour no such persons as men-slayers,
Lock yourself where you will.
I know what I do, wife.
You cannot tell yet;
For having killed the man in his defence,
Neither his life, nor estate will be touched, husband.
Away, wife, hear a fool, his lands will hang him.
Am I denied a chamber? What say you, forsooth?
Alas, sir, I am one that would have all well,
But must obey my husband. Prithee, love,
Let the poor gentleman stay, being so sore wounded,
There's a close chamber at one end of the garret
We never use, let him have that, I prithee.
We never use? You forget sickness then,
And physic times: is't not a place for easement?
Enter a Servant.
O death! Do I hear this with part
Of former life in me? What's the news now?
Troth, worse and worse, you're like to lose your land
If the law save your life, sir, or the surgeon.
Hark you there, wife.
Why, how, sir?
Sir Oliver Kix's wife is new quickened;
That child undoes you, sir.
All ill at once.
I wonder what he makes here with his consorts?
Cannot our house be private to ourselves,
But we must have such guests? I pray depart, sirs,
And take your murderer along with you--
Good he were apprehended ere he go,
He's killed some honest gentleman; send for officers.
I'll soon save you that labour.
I must tell you, sir,
You have been somewhat bolder in my house
Than I could well like of; I suffered you
Till it stuck here at my heart; I tell you truly
I thought you had been familiar with my wife once.
With me? I'll see him hanged first; I defy him,
And all such gentlemen in the like extremity.
If ever eyes were open, these are they;
Gamesters, farewell, I have nothing left to play.
And therefore get you gone, sir.
Of all wittols,
Be thou the head. Thou, the grand whore of spitals.
Exit [with Servants].
So, since he's like now to be rid of all,
I am right glad I am so well rid of him.
I knew he durst not stay, when you named officers.
That stopped his spirits straight;
What shall we do now, wife?
As we were wont to do.
We are richly furnished wife, with household stuff.
Let's let out lodgings then,
And take a house in the Strand.
In troth, a match, wench:
We are simply stocked with cloth of tissue cushions,
To furnish out bay windows: push, what not that's quaint
And costly, from the top to the bottom.
Life, for furniture, we may lodge a countess:
There's a closestool of tawny velvet, too,
Now I think on't, wife.
There's that should be, sir;
Your nose must be in everything.
I have done, wench;
And let this stand in every gallant's chamber:
There no gamester like a politic sinner,
For whoe'er games, the box is sure a winner.
Exit [with Mistress Allwit].
[V.ii. Yellowhammer's house.]
Enter Yellowhammer and his Wife.
O husband, husband, she will die, she will die,
There is no sign but death.
'Twill be our shame then.
O, how she's changed in compass of an hour.
Ah, my poor girl! Good faith, thou wert too cruel
To drag her by the hair.
You would have done
As much, sir, to curb her of her humour.
'Tis curbed sweetly, she catched her bane o' th' water.
How now, Tim?
Faith, busy, mother, about an epitaph
Upon my sister's death.
Death! She is not dead, I hope?
No: but she means to be, and that's as good,
And when a thing's done, 'tis done,
You taught me that, mother.
What is your tutor doing?
Making one too, in principal pure Latin,
Culled out of Ovid de Tristibus.
How does your sister look, is she not changed?
Changed? Gold into white money was never so changed,
As is my sister's colour into paleness.
O, here she's brought, see how she looks like death.
Looks she like death, and ne'er a word made yet?
I must go beat my brains against a bed post,
And get before my tutor.
Speak, how dost thou?
I hope I shall be well, for I am as sick
At heart as I can be.
'Las my poor girl,
The doctor's making a most sovereign drink for thee,
The worst [ingredients], dissolved pearl and amber;
We spare no cost, girl.
Your love comes too late,
Yet timely thanks reward it. What is comfort,
When the poor patient's heart is past relief?
It is no doctor's art can cure my grief.
All is cast away then;
Prithee, look upon me cheerfully.
Sing but a strain or two, thou wilt not think
How 'twill revive thy spirits: strive with thy fit,
Prithee, sweet Moll.
You shall have my good will, Mother.
Why, well said, wench.
[Sings] Weep eyes, break heart,
My love and I must part;
Cruel fates true love do soonest sever,
O, I shall see thee, never, never, never.
O, happy is the maid whose life takes end,
Ere it knows parent's frown, or loss of friend.
Weep eyes, break heart,
My love and I must part.
Enter Touchwood Senior with a letter.
O, I could die with music: well sung, girl.
If you call it so, it was.
She plays the swan,
And sings herself to death.
By your leave, sir.
What are you, sir? Or what's your business, pray?
I may be admitted, though the brother
Of him your hate pursued, it spreads no further;
Your malice sets in death, does it not, sir?
He's dead: 'twas a dear love to him,
It cost him but his life, that was all, sir:
He paid enough, poor gentleman, for his love.
[Aside] There's all our ill removed, if she were well now.--
Impute not, sir, his end to any hate
That sprung from us; he had a fair wound brought that.
That helped him forward, I must needs confess:
But the restraint of love, and your unkindness,
Those were the wounds that from his heart drew blood;
But being past help, let words forget it, too:
Scarcely three minutes ere his eyelids closed
And too eternal leave of this world's light,
He wrote this letter, which by oath he bound me,
To give to her own hands; that's all my business.
You may perform it then, there she sits.
O, with a following look.
Ay, trust me, sir,
I think she'll follow him quickly.
Here's some gold
He willed me to distribute faithfully
Amongst your servants.
'Las, what doth he mean, sir?
How cheer you, mistress?
I must learn of you, sir.
Here's a letter from a friend of yours,
And where that fails, in satisfaction
I have a sad tongue ready to supply.
How does he, ere I look on't?
H'as a contented health now.
I am most glad on't.
He is. Now, wife, let's but get the girl
Upon her legs again, and to church
Roundly with her.
O, sick to death he tells me:
How does he after this?
Faith, feels no pain
At all, he's dead, sweet mistress.
Peace close mine eyes. [Swoons.]
The girl, look to the girl, wife.
Sweet girl, speak, look but once up, thou shalt have
All the wishes of thy heart that wealth can purchase.
O, she's gone forever, that letter broke her heart.
As good now, then, as let her lie in torment,
And then break it.
O Susan, she thou lovedst so dear is gone.
O sweet maid!
This is she that helped her still,
I've a reward here for thee.
Take her in,
Remove her from our sight, our shame, and sorrow.
Stay, let me help thee, 'tis the last cold kindness
I can perform for my sweet brother's sake.
[Exeunt Touchwood Senior and Susan, carrying Moll].
All the whole street will hate us, and the world
Point me out cruel: it is our best course, wife,
After we have given order for the funeral,
To absent ourselves, till she be laid in ground.
Where shall we spend that time?
I'll tell thee where, wench,
Go to some private church, and marry Tim
To the rich Brecknock gentlewoman.
Mass, a match,
We'll not lose all at once, somewhat we'll catch.
Exit [with Yellowhammer].
[V.iii. Sir Oliver's house.]
Enter Sir Oliver and Servants.
Ho, my wife's quickened, I am a man forever,
I think I have bestirred my stumps, i'faith:
Run, get your fellows all together instantly,
Then to the parish church, and ring the bells.
It shall be done, sir.
Upon my love I charge you, villain, that you make a bonfire before the door at night.
A bonfire, sir?
A thwacking one, I charge you.
[Aside] This is monstrous.
Run, tell a hundred pound out for the gentleman
That gave my wife the drink, the first thing you do.
A hundred pounds, sir?
A bargain, as our [joy] grows,
We must remember still from whence it flows,
Or else we prove ungrateful multipliers:
The child is coming, and the land comes after;
The news of this will make a poor Sir Walter.
I have struck it home, i'faith.
That you have, marry, sir.
But will not your worship go to the funeral
Of both these lovers?
Both, go both together?
Ay, sir, the gentleman's brother will have it so,
'Twill be the pitifullest sight; there's such running,
Such rumours, and such throngs, a pair of lovers
Had never more spectators, more men's pities,
Or women's wet eyes.
My wife helps the number then?
There's such a drawing out of handkerchers,
And those that have no handkerchers, lift up aprons.
Her parents may have joyful hearts at this,
I would not have my cruelty so talked on,
To any child of mine, for a monopoly.
I believe you, sir.
'Tis cast so, too, that both their coffins meet,
Which will be lamentable.
Come, we'll see't.
[V.iv. A church.]
Recorders dolefully playing. Enter at one door the coffin
of the gentleman [Touchwood Junior], solemnly decked, his sword
upon it, attended by many in black [including Sir Oliver, Allwit,
and a Parson], his brother [Touchwood Senior] being the chief
mourner. At the other door, the coffin of the virgin [Moll],
with a garland of flowers, with epitaphs pinned on it, attended
by maids and women [including Lady Kix, Mistress Allwit, and Susan].
Then set them down one right over against the other, while all
the company seem to weep and mourn; there is a sad song in the
Never could death boast of a richer prize
From the first parent, let the world bring forth
A pair of truer hearts; to speak but truth
Of this departed gentleman, in a brother,
Might by hard censure be called flattery,
Which makes me rather silent in his right
Than so to be delivered to the thoughts
Of any envious hearer starved in virtue,
And therefore pining to hear others thrive.
But for this maid, whom envy cannot hurt
With all her poisons, having left to ages
The true, chaste monuments of her living name,
Which no time can deface, I say of her
The full truth freely, without fear of censure;
What nature could there shine, that might redeem
Perfection home to woman, but in her
Was fully glorious; beauty set in goodness
Speaks what she was, that jewel so infixed;
There was no want of anything of life,
To make these virtuous precedents man and wife.
Great pity of their deaths.
Ne'er more pity.
It makes a hundred weeping eyes, sweet gossip.
I cannot think, there's anyone amongst you,
In this full fair assembly, maid, man, or wife,
Whose heart would not have sprung with joy and gladness
To have seen their marriage day?
It would have made a thousand joyful hearts.
Up then apace, and take your fortunes,
Make these joyful hearts, here's none but friends.
[Moll and Touchwood Junior rise from their coffins.]
Alive, sir? O sweet, dear couple.
Nay, do not hinder 'em now, stand from about 'em,
If she be caught again, and have this time,
I'll ne'er plot further for 'em, nor this honest chambermaid
That helped all at a push.
Good sir, apace.
Hands join now, but hearts for ever,
Which no parent's mood shall sever.
You shall forsake all widows, wives, and maids:
You, lords, knights, gentlemen, and men of trades:
And if in haste, any article misses,
Go interline it with a brace of kisses.
Here's a thing trolled nimbly. Give you joy, brother,
Were't not better thou should'st have her,
Than the maid should die?
To you, sweet mistress bride.
Joy, joy to you both.
Here be your wedding sheets you brought along with you, you may both go to bed, when you please [to].
My joy wants utterance.
Utter all at night then, brother.
I am silent with delight.
Sister, delight will silence any woman,
But you'll find your tongue again among maidservants,
Now you keep house, sister.
Never was hour so filled with joy and wonder.
To tell you the full story of this chambermaid,
And of her kindness in this business to us,
'Twould ask an hour's discourse. In brief, 'twas she
That wrought it to this purpose cunningly.
We shall all love her for't.
Enter Yellowhammer and his Wife.
See who comes here now.
A storm, a storm, but we are sheltered for it.
I will prevent you all, and mock you thus,
You, and your expectations; I stand happy,
Both in your lives, and your hearts' combination.
Here's a strange day again.
The knight's proved villain,
All's come out now, his niece an arrant baggage;
My poor boy Tim is cast away this morning,
Even before breakfast: married a whore
Next to his heart.
His niece, forsooth.
I think we rid our hands in good time of him.
I knew he was past the best, when I gave him over.
What is become of him, pray, sir?
Who, the knight?
He lies i' th' knight's ward now. [To Lady Kix] Your belly, lady,
Begins to blossom, there's no peace for him,
His creditors are so greedy.
Mr. Touchwood, hear'st thou this news?
I am so endeared to thee for my wife's fruitfulness,
That I charge you both, your wife and thee,
To live no more asunder for the world's frowns;
I have purse, and bed, and board for you:
Be not afraid to go to your business roundly,
Get children, and I'll keep them.
Say you so, sir?
Prove me, with three at a birth, and thou dar'st now.
Take heed how you dare a man, while you live, sir,
That has good skill at his weapon.
Enter Tim[, Tutor,] and Welsh Gentlewoman.
Foot, I dare you, sir.
Look, gentlemen, if ever you say the picture
Of the unfortunate marriage, yonder 'tis.
Nay, good sweet, Tim.
Come from the university,
To marry a whore in London, with my tutor, too?
O tempora! O mors!
Prithee, Tim, be patient.
I bought a jade at Cambridge,
I'll let her out to execution, tutor,
For eighteen pence a day, or Brainford horse races;
She'll serve to carry seven miles out of town well.
Where be these mountains? I was promised mountains,
But there's such a mist, I can see none of 'em.
What are become of those two thousand runts?
Let's have about with them in the meantime.
A vengeance runt thee.
Good sweet Tim, have patience.
Flectere si [nequeo] superos, Acheronta [movebo], mother.
I think you have married her in logic, Tim.
You told me once, by logic you would prove
A whore an honest woman, prove her so, Tim,
And take her for thy labour.
Troth, I thank you.
I grant you I may prove another man's wife so,
But not mine own.
There's no remedy now, Tim,
You must prove her so as well as you may.
Why then my tutor and I will about her,
As well as we can.
Uxor non est meretrix, ergo falacis.
Sir, if your logic cannot prove me honest,
There's a thing called marriage, and that makes me honest.
O, there's a trick beyond your logic, Tim.
I perceive then a woman may be honest according to the English print, when she is a whore in the Latin. So much for marriage and logic. I'll love her for her wit, I'll pick out my runts there: and for my mountains, I'll mount upon--
So fortune seldom deals two marriages
With one hand, and both lucky: the best is,
One feast will serve them both: marry, for room
I'll have the dinner kept in Goldsmiths' Hall,
To which, kind gallants, I invite you all.
The quarto dates from 1630. There are numerous editions of this play, and I have consulted the following:
1) A.H. Bullen's of 1885.
2) Alan Brissenden's for the New Mermaids series (1968): modernized but "lightly punctuated" in an attempt to capture the "original vitality," which makes reading occasionally difficult
3) Charles Barber's for the University of California Press (1969): an old-spelling edition
4) R.B. Parker's for Methuen's Revels series (1969): rather heavily emended, but the most readable
In putting the play together for myself, I have tried to strike a balance between Brissenden and Parker, between faithfulness to the original and readability. For example, I have not shied away from Middleton's method of punctuating with commas except when their absence or their substitution for other marks interrupts the flow of speech by confusing the reader, however briefly. The three twentieth-century editions contain sound critical discussions and various appended material.
Jacobean audiences would have taken "a chaste maid in Cheapside" as an oxymoron.
Geographical references abound in this play, which the map below locates. 1. Fleet Ditch flowing north from the Thames, 2. Holborn Bridge (to the west is the law district and the inns of court), 3. Bridewell, 4. Blackfriars Theater, 5. from west to east, Blackfriars Stairs, Puddle Wharf, Common Stairs, Dung Wharf, Paul's Stairs, 6. St. Paul's, 7. Trig Lane stairs (directly to the east are the waterhouse and Broken Wharf), 8. Goldsmith's Hall, 9. Goldsmith's Row (stretching west to east directly above is Westcheap), 10. Queenhithe, 11. St. Mary's le Bow, behind which is Goose Lane, 12. Poultry Counter, 13. Pissing Conduit, 14. Royal Exchange ("Gresham's Burse"), 15. Eastcheap, 16. the Tower, 17. Bread Street Counter, 18. Bell Inn, 19. Bull Inn, to the north of which is Bishopsgate (the Roman wall is the dark line nearby, running down to Blackfriars to the west and to the Tower to the east), 20. Bethlehem Hospital ("Bedlam"), 21. Spital Fields, with Finsbury Fields to the west. Upstream on the Thames is Whitehall, Westminster, and beyond, Barn Elms and Brentford; Greenwich is downstream. On the southern bank were many of the theaters, including the Globe, Rose, Hope, and Swan Theaters.
Mr.: a contraction of "Master;" "Mister" came into general use later in the 17th century.
Yellowhammer: 1) describing a goldsmith's occupation, 2) a species of bunting, 3) a fool, 4) a gold coin
Kix: a variant of "kex," a dry, hollow plant stalk; fig., a "sapless" person
[Lady Kix]: (Q) uses "WIFE" as the speech prefixes for Lady Kix, Mistress Allwit, and Mistress Touchwood thoughout.
Allwit: an inversion of "wittol," a contented cuckold
Welsh Gentlewoman: Middleton often does not assign proper names to his characters in order to emphasize their "type;" the Welsh were traditionally linked with social pretension and comic lechery.
Dahumma: dewch yma (Welsh) = come hither
Touchwood: 1) tinder, esp. used to ignite the touchhole of a musket, with the sexual innuendo (cf. More Dissemblers Besides Women III.i), 2) an irascible or passionate person
decayed: fallen from prosperity
Promoters: informers, here those who spied on butchers who sold meat during Lent
Watermen: boatmen paid for transporting people up and down the Thames
Servants: Other editions (when they specify) call for different numbers of extras (such as servants, nurses, and so on), and this is because Middleton himself was not overly concerned about minor speech prefixes and other points of "bookkeeping," as Barber puts it. My rule of thumb (from the inherent necessities of staging Shakespeare for community theater) is to assign the fewest speaking roles possible which the text will allow (although to convey the hustle and bustle of the street scenes, non-speaking characters should be added for "stage dressing"). Sir Oliver's three speaking servants appear at the same time; Allwit has at least three because the third is the comfit-maker's man in II.iii, obviously not one of the two appearing earlier. The imprecise number of "three or four" watermen is in (Q), although only two need to be speaking roles. The dry and wet nurses can appear later in the Christening Party scene as the unspecified nurses in (Q), although a third non-speaking nurse is needed to serve the refreshments.
Gossips: strictly speaking, godparents, but extended to mean friends invited to the christening
virginals: a musical instrument resembling a spinet, with the sexual innuendo
green sickness: chlorosis, an anemic disease affecting young women in puberty; Elizabethans attributed it to love-sickness
samphire: a plant growing on rocks by the sea, used to make salads
To see the difference of these seasons: I.e., how different the present age is from the last.
dancing: a genteel accomplishment, with the sexual innuendo
bord: capacity, quality, from a corruption of "bore" (the caliber of a gun); here, size or age
Westminster: the legal center of London; Yellowhammer is saying, “Has a lawyer’s clerk been here to bribe you into using a high-sounding word (‘errors’) for Moll’s disobedience?” Below, Hollar's 1647 etching of Westminster ("Civitatis Westmonasteriensis"), showing St. Stephen's ("Parliament House"), Westminster Hall, and the Abbey.
lawns: fine linen or clothing made from it, so called because it was bleached on a lawn instead of the ordinary bleaching ground
cambrics: a kind of fine white linen, originally made at Cambray, France, or the clothing made from it
bracks: cracks, flaws, faults; Maudlin quibbles on the bawdy. Cf. No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's I.i.
Holborn Bridge: an ancient bridge of London, over the Fleet Ditch
rank: 1) richly dressed, 2) lustful
To instruct her hand thus, before and after: how Moll's gestures should be genteel, one hand forward and the other back, with the sexual innuendo
gentlemen commoners: wealthy university undergraduates who enjoyed superior status and privileges, like separate dining tables; Tim is social-climbing.
Hobson: Thomas Hobson (1544?-1631), the Cambridge carrier who never allowed his customers to select their horses, but let out the animals to hire in succession, from whence we get "Hobson's choice."
Amantissimis charissimisque ambobus parentibus patri et matri: To my two most loving and dearest parents, father and mother; Tim's Latin is faulty at times, which most likely Middleton intended.
Goose Fair: an annual event at Stratford-le-Bow, then outside London to the northeast
"Bo" to a goose: proverbial; Goose Street ran
behind St. Mary's le Bow in West Cheap. Below, an engraving c. 1680 of St. Mary-le-Bow as seen from the main thoroughfare. The magnificent steeple was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and houses the famous Bow Bells -- you're a true Cockney only if you're born within the sound of Bow Bells, they say.
Maximus diligo: I esteem you most highly.
Inns of Court: houses of law students, e.g., Lincoln's Inn, Gray's Inn, and the Inner Temple
French: "Law French" was used until abolished in 1731.
[Dahumma]: Dahanna (Q)
Dugat a whee: from Duw cadw chwi (Welsh) = God bless you
[Dahumma]: Dahanna (Q)
Brecknockshire: a county in Wales. "Nock" was slang for the female genitals; cf. A Fair Quarrel V.i.
shamefast: bashful, modest
[Moll]: Mary (Q)
the freedom: the city of London
Whitehall: a royal palace east of Westminster; to the right, "A View toward Whitehall from St. James's Park" (1668) by Hendrik Danckaerts
Greenwich: an ancient royal palace on the South Bank, birthplace of Henry VIII, Mary, and Elizabeth I
ewe mutton: old strumpet
pick a' famine: Porter emends to "peak o' famine" meaning "waste away from hunger." Brissenden retains the (Q) reading and opts for the more prosaic "choose a famine." My only emendation is to add the apostrophe to signal "a'" = "of". If "pick" is taken as a variant of "peak" then Touchwood Junior can be saying, "wasting away from hunger." This is Barber's solution as well.
[spoil]: spoy (Q)
Sir Yellowhammer: Graduates were given the title "sir" and considered members of the gentry.
being to him: being in support of Sir Walter. Barker's suggestion that some adjective has been dropped is attractive due to the missing foot, although, as we'll see, Middleton's meter is very irregular.
down: i.e., at the bottom of his pocket, lost
posy: a short inscription or motto, such as on a coin or ring
Mass: by the Mass, an oath
were: Some editors emend to "wear"
rules: sports, riotous behavior
[Dahumma]: Dahanna (Q)
pickled cucumbers: because of her pregnancy
[sight]: fight (Q)
scavenger: officer who employed the poor as street sweepers
chaldron: dry measure of thirty-six bushels of coal
Kentish faggots: bundles of brushwood; Kent supplied much of London with firewood
waterhouse and the windmills: built by Bevis Bulmer in 1594 near Broken Wharf to pump water from the Thames to the houses in Cheapside; it was mounted with a windmill.
Gresham's Burse: the Royal Exchange built by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1566-68, opened by Elizabeth I in 1570; it had many shops and was famous for draperies and silks. Below, Hollar's 1644 engraving of the Royal Exchange.
think's: think it is
paradise: with the sexual innuendo (paradise = vagina)
dye...heirs: i.e., by cheating spendthrift country heirs; cf. Michaelmas Term
night-piece: a printing depicting a night scene, but here a "painted" mistress or bedfellow
[fret]: frets (Q). 1) the emotional stress that broke the strings with which the hart was supposed to have been braced, 2) a ring on the fingerboard of a stringed instrument which regulates fingering. Hamlet makes the same pun.
La dildo: a chorus refrain, with the sexual innuendo
a-singing in his head: a reference to the cuckold's horns; cf. Women Beware Women IV.ii.
work: sexual activity
Negatur argumentum: I deny your argument.
peep: pip, degree; pips were the spots on playing cards.
Put on: I.e., put on your hat, which Allwit has taken off in deference.
marrow melts: i.e., by the heat of his jealousy
forfeited lordships: a jibe at the low value of knighthood. Almost immediately after he was crowned, James I began conferring many new knighthoods, considered lavish and undiscriminating by those who felt that these "carpet knights" cheapened the rank.
[Wat]: 1 Boy (Q)
God-den: Good evening
[Nick]: 2 Boy (Q)
legs: bow; cf. The Revenger's Tragedy IV.ii, "makes legs"
heavy: 1) sad, 2) with child
calf: fool; Brissenden sees a subtle irony in mooncalf = false pregnancy
[prudent'st]: prudents (Q)
bloods: sexual desires
Life: By God's life; an act of 1606 forbade mentioning the name of God on stage
drinkings abroad: affairs with other women
gear: 1) business, 2) genitals
set: match or game, as in tennis
The feast...estate.: cf. The Phoenix II.ii; No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's V.i, Women Beware Women I.iii, III.i.
sing: have sexual intercourse
more words than one to a bargain: more to say about the matter, i.e., they are not used to becoming pregnant after just one sexual encounter.
lay in: brought to bed with child
progress: annual royal visit to various parts of the country
Snaphance: flintlock igniting the touchwood (see note on touchwood)
certificate: here, a certificate of chastity
churchwardens: businessmen appointed to fine those who had not paid their religious obligations and to collect the poor tax, among other duties
in pickle: 1) in reserve, like pickled vegetables, 2) poxed
nail: 1) a cloth measure of 2", 2) syphilitics' children sometimes were born without nails, hence the Wench's reply
Without my belly: without true desire; cf. Touchwood Junior's "sharp-set stomach" in I.i.
ware: slang for the female genitals, often used by Middleton; cf. The Family of Love II.i; The Roaring Girl II.i, IV.ii; and No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's I.i.
ride: be carted as a whore through the streets to prison
Setting apart: except for
calf's head: fool
strangely: extremely, i.e., I've been looking hard for you.
Cud's foot: a corruption of "God's foot!"; cf. The Phoenix V.i, "Cuds me."
Exit [with Touchwood Senior].: Parker points out the apparent inconsistency between Touchwood Senior not staying to hear about the Kixes's infertility problem and the Maid's entering soon after with the plot for him to cheat Sir Oliver. Although T.S. need not exit until after he learns of the Kixes's problem, the (Q) consistently substitutes "Exit" for "Exeunt."
cut: 1) setback, 2) female genitals, 3) gelding
cannot do withal: cannot help it, with the sexual innuendo
Bridewells: Originally a palace given by Edward VI as a workhouse for the poor, Bridewell had degenerated into a prison for prostitutes. Below, an early 19th-century imaginary reconstruction of Bridewell Palace c. 1660, showing the entrance to the Fleet River.
spital-houses: Originally houses for lepers and victims of other diseases, it came to mean a hospital specifically for venereal disease.
Think but...want on't.: During the rest of this scene we learn an important plot point: "Goodly lands" that would otherwise come to the Kixes's first child stand to be inherited by Sir Walter, who has borrowed money against them.
by th' means: by thy infertility
gossiping: christening feast
Bartholomew eve: August 23; as it is now Lent, the twins were conceived out of wedlock.
Jugg: a familiar substitute for Joan, commonly used as a name for servants
water: 1) medicine, 2) semen, a frequent pun in Middleton; cf. The Family of Love V.i, A Fair Quarrel II.ii, The Roaring Girl IV.ii, The Changeling IV.iii.
put case: suppose; case = vagina
stands me/In: costs me
run away with a tailor: because her clothes are fine
knocker: a strikingly attractive person
pup: an exclamation; cf. A Mad World, My Masters II.vii; A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii.
bills of Middlesex: Writs of arrest on fictitious charges within Middlesex, which contained London north of the Thames, and whose juries were noted for their ruthlessness; these writs allowed the King's Bench to also try the defendant for an actual crime, but one that was committed outside its jurisdiction.
sweetbreads: pancreas of a lamb
lamb-stones: testicles of a lamb, regarded as an aphrodisiac
Molls and Dolls: Traditionally the names of "low women"; cf. A Yorkshire Tragedy i.
chins: A double chin was supposedly a distinguishing mark of a bawd.
milk of witches: Witches were believed to give suck to the devil.
baffle: publicly disgrace
veal and green sauce: To get what one deserves, i.e., to be cheated. Allwit is deliberately drawing the promoters out to unmask them. Green sauce was made with vinegar and was held to be an antidote for raw meat.
Green goose: gosling, here a fool
sauced: made to pay dearly
kiss Newgate: go to prison. Newgate, one of the gates of ancient London, became its chief prison and was demolished in 1777.
turn up/The bottom of the pocket of his apron: pay a bribe
hand basket freebooters: pirates who ransack hand baskets
My wife lies in: Pregnant women, the sick, and foreign ambassadors were exempted from the ban on eating meat during Lent.
foutra: an oath, from foutre (Fr.) = fuck
Turnbull Street: a corruption of Turnmill Street, which ran by Clerkenwell Green and was frequented by thieves and prostitutes. It is called Townbull Street in No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's II.i.
in fee: in league
band: ruff, collar
politic: crafty, cunning
Imprimis: in the first place
sugar-sops: slices of bread steeped in sugar water
suet: Suet (animal fat) provided the tallow for candles, which will be needed when the baby requires attention in the night.
Queenhive: Queenhithe, a large quay, mentioned later as the headquarters of the watermen.
young flood: i.e., when the tide begins to flow up the river; cf. The Roaring Girl II.i, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's II.ii.
Branford: Brentford, eight miles upstream of Cheapside, was a place of resort for the citizenry and had numerous prostitutes. It is also spelled Brainford (cf. the "Witch of Brainford" in The Merry Wives of Windsor).
trussing: tying the points of the hose to the doublet, with the pun (truss = hang)
No matter and: it would not matter if
hair: with the pun on heir
jumped in one: agreed, with the sexual pun
comfit: a candy made of sugar and the pulp of cooked fruit
I must fit all these times, or there's no music: I.e., "I must act cordially to keep us in harmony."
Into one cup: i.e., he pledges both in one toast
Good Mrs. Yellowhammer: The women are arguing over the order of who follows the baby from Allwit's house to the church.
come down a little: be socially humbler
There comes as proud behind as goes before: proverbial, with the pun on proud (= sexually excited) in the next line
made hard shift: contrived with difficulty
master vein shoots from the heart: Popular superstition held that a vein ran from the wedding ring finger to the heart.
mystical: secret, concealed
two glasses: spectacles
close: confined, shut up
you're blessed: i.e., not to have been challenged or assaulted outright by Touchwood Junior
Amsterdam: meeting place and refuge for Puritanism; cf. The Witch I.i.
chopping: vigorous, strapping; cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's I.i.
spiny: thin, spare; cf. A Mad World, My Masters III.ii.
mettled: 1) courageous, 2) tipsy
She's: She has
zeal: 1) religious zeal, 2) sexual zeal
standing cup: stemmed goblet; cf. The Family of Love I.iii.
postle spoon: spoon whose handle ends in the figure of an apostle, often given by sponsors at christenings
Judas then with the red beard: Judas traditionally had a red beard (cf. As You Like It III.iv.); red beards were associated with licentiousness, hence the Second Puritan's fears (cf. Doctor Glister in The Family of Love V.i.).
consumes: eats up, with the sexual innuendo
Well said: well done
urine: used as a cosmetic lotion
lurch: filch, cheat
only: alone; the implication of the phrase is that she made him overwork to satisfy her not only economically but also sexually.
Bucklersbury: a section of London to the east filled with grocers and apothecaries
troll: pass, circulate
countess: one of the many references in the play to the popular fascination with the extravagance of the Countess of Salisbury's child-bed in late January 1613
Lammas: August 1, the harvest festival of the English church
still: always; for the social awkwardness of university students, cf. The Family of Love II.iv, Your Five Gallants II.i.
freshwoman: Tim's nonsense word, derived from freshman
Dunces: the writings of John Duns Scotus (1265?-1308?) and his followers, with the pun on idiots
naturally: 1) without effort, 2) half-wittedly
Non ideo sane: "Not for that (reason) indeed."
goose pies: with the reference to Tim's foolishness
wellspring of discipline: Cambridge was the international center of Puritanism at this time.
We must embrace our falls: an allusion to Calvinist doctrine of accepting the Fall of Man
[Heyday]: Hyda (Q)
looking glass: chamber pot
Pissing Conduit: at the western end of Cheapside, named merely for the slenderness of its stream of water
take a nap with some of the brethren: The Anabaptists contended that any man and woman could lie together if they were asleep.
hare-mad: Hares grow wilder around March, the breeding season.
rushes: straw was used to cover the floors; cf. Blurt, Master Constable I.i, Romeo and Juliet IV.i.
figging: moving briskly and restlessly
shittle-cork: Cork heels were fashionable; shittle-cork = shuttle-cock, slang for a whore.
perch...lap: cf. Your Five Gallants IV.viii; No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's I.i; Women Beware Women II.ii; The Spanish Gypsy III.ii.
eringoes...crab: All thought to be aphrodisiacs. Eringoes were candied fruit of the sea holly; potatoes = sweet potatoes or yams.
common place: court of common pleas in Westminster; cf. A Mad World, My Masters I.i.
fit: 1) section of song or poem, 2) struggle, 3) paroxysm
Fall out like giants, and fall in like children: quarrel and make up, with the sexual innuendo; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One I.i, Troilus and Cressida III.i.
censure: mutual recrimination
one smock: i.e., very little property
you came...sore there: The implication is that Sir Oliver was infested with lice.
presently: at once
clap up bills: put up advertisements for the auction
stood me in: cost me
pranking up: dressing finely
Ware: 20 miles north of London, a trysting place for lovers
for the--: The dash and lacuna in (Q) indicates either censored material, an opportunity for the actor to improvise, or an opportunity for the audience to supply the obvious inference.
crossed: jumped across
bad head: an ironic reference to his impending cuckolding
a little faster: Sir Oliver is still capering and jumping.
coach: By the early 17th century, coaches were popular places for love-making: "close caroaches were made running bawdy-houses" (Dekker, The Owl's Almanac, 1618). Cf. The Roaring Girl III.i.
Negatur argumentum: The following exchange in (sometimes
incorrect) Latin is as follows:
Tim: Your evidence is denied, tutor.
Tutor: I put it to you, pupil, a fool is not a rational animal.
Tim: Surely you will be mistaken.
Tutor: I ask you to be silent; I put it to you.
Tim: How do you prove it, master?
Tutor: A fool does not have reason, therefore he is not a rational animal.
Tim: Thus you argue, master: a fool does not have reason, therefore he is not a rational animal. Your evidence is denied again, tutor.
Tutor: Again, I put the argument to you, sir: he who does not partake of reason in no way is able to be called rational, but a fool does not partake of reason, therefore a fool in no way can be said to be rational.
Tim: He does partake.
Tutor: Thus you argue; who partakes, how does he partake?
Tim: As a man; I will prove it to you in syllogism.
Tutor: Prove it.
Tim: Thus I prove it, master: a fool is a man just as you and I are; a man is a rational animal, thus a fool is a rational animal.
I'll prove him to be a man: Tailors were considered unmanly.
accidences: books with rules for inflections, as opposed to "grammars," books with rules for syntax
haberdins: dried salted codfish. During Lent, an effigy called a Jack-a-Lent was set up; Parker cites E. K. Chambers's The English Folk Play, which describes the Jack-a-Lent's "foolscap decorated with...paper emblems of redherring." As it ties into the Lenten season of the play, this is the best explanation for an otherwise obscure passage.
as in presenti: "as in the present tense," an introductory phrase in A Short Introduction to Grammar, 1549; with the pun on "ass."
have all out: tell everything
Quid est grammatica?: "What is grammar?"
the longest day of my life: as long as I live
recte scribendi atque loquendi ars: "the act of writing and speaking correctly," with the pun on "arse." Cf. Your Five Gallants II.i.
sir-reverence: 1) apologies (a corruption of "save your reverence"), 2) excrement
to her marriage: i.e., as dowry
runts: a small breed of ox or cow of Wales and Highland Scotland
Rider's dictionary: a 1589 English-Latin and Latin-English dictionary by the Bishop of Killaloe, John Rider; Parker points out that Rider's does not, in fact, have a listing for "runts."
Rumford hogs: Romford, 12 miles northeast of London in Essex, famous for its hog market; cf. The Roaring Girl V.i.
Salve...curo: "Save thee, too, most beautiful maid; what you want I do not know, indeed, nor do I care."
Ferter...maximis: "It is said, by Hercules, that Wales abounds with great wealth."
Iterum...parata: "Again, I say it abound in a great wealth of mountains and fountains and, as I might say, runts; nevertheless, in truth, I am a little man by nature, and at the same time a bachelor by training [but also by fraud], really not prepared for the bed."
Avedera...foginis: The first question is, "Can
you speak Welsh?" The second question is difficult to translate
due to Middleton's entirely phonetic and bastardized Welsh; it
might be, "For God's sake, is he [or are you] pretending
cog: cheat, deceive
Ego non cogo: "I do not gel [with you]"; cogo = thicken or constrict, an odd verb to use here
Rhegosin...ambre: Again, difficult to decipher; perhaps, "Some cheese and whey after taking a walk." Welshmen supposedly craved cheese; cf. Anything for a Quiet Life IV.i, and Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
travelled: with the pun on travailed
proceeded: 1) taken a degree, 2) lost her virginity (though Tim makes the pun unknowingly)
clap: 1) stick close to (cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i), 2) catch gonorrhea (again, Tim is unaware of the pun)
sing: have sexual intercourse
Welsh song: The first stanza also appears in More Dissemblers Besides Women.
crests: cuckold's horns
lips: with the bawdy double entendre
To one's pleasure, leisures are but waste: I.e., to one looking for pleasure, to be leisurely is a waste of time.
And lose it ere we find it: The rhyming line is missing.
in my own lodging: in my own right
a' life: by my life
a strange gentleman: It seems odd that Maudlin should know the Allwits but her husband does not. I'm sure Allwit was intended to be in disguise here.
Abbington: Abingdon, five miles south of Oxford on the Thames, actually the capital of Berkshire
passed: past (Q)
time and state--: A dash and lacuna are here and a few lines later in (Q).
Poulters: 1) poulterers, 2) pimps
conies: 1) rabbits, 2) whores
wittol: contented cuckold
Cato and Cordelius: Dionysius Cato's Disticha de Moribus and Marthurin Cordier's Colloquia scholastica, popular textbooks of the time
call him back: reform him
Anno [ ].: The next to last lacuna, although here there is no dash in (Q). The case for the line(s) here having been censored is not as strong here as it is with the other lacunae; that is, Anno/Anne pun is less likely to have given rise to bawdiness and more likely to have necessitated a flexibility in the dating of Yellowhammer's affair.
warden: 1) a member of a governing body of a guild, 2) a kind of pear, hence the pun on fruit
wholesome: free of venereal disease
sweat well: to cure venereal disease
Trig: A trig is a narrow path.
stairs: steps leading from the wharf to the water
requiteful'st: most eager to return favors; Parker gives an interesting discussion about the play's generous attitude toward the watermen.
Blackfriars: the second private theater, used by boys' companies 1600-08 and by the King's Men 1608-42. Blackfriars was an indoor theater and therefore lit by candles.
candles in their hands: Actors would carry candles on-stage to indicate they were playing ghosts.
banded: bandied, knocked about
Your first man: I.e., my boat is next in line for hire.
Barn Elms: a manor house and park up the Thames on the south bank in the southwest corner of St. James's Park, a favorite resort of lovers and duelists
buff: durable, off-white ox-hide leather worn by sergeants (arresting officers)
the Venetian uses it: for the supposed looseness of Venetian women and cruelty of Venetian men, cf. A Mad World, My Masters I.ii and Women Beware Women I.i.
Verum poeta dicit: The poet speaks truth
Dicit Virgilius: Virgil says so
smelt: any small, easily-caught fish, therefore a fool
gudgeons: any small, easily-caught fish, therefore a fool
mermaid: whore; cf. The Roaring Girl I.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv.
fishwives: 1) women who sell fish, 2) termagants, women who use coarse and abusive language, 3) poss. a pun on fishmonger (= pimp). Tim's lines here encapsulate well the play's juxtaposition of spirituality and physicality, of Lenten forbearance and expiation on the one hand, and fallen Man's weakness and indulgence on the other. Despite the imagery's ambiguity here, Middleton is implying that symbolically Moll has to some extent achieved salvation or apotheosis. She is half flesh (or "meat" in terms of both standard Jacobean imagery and the Lenten dichotomy--cf. the Wench's baby whom the Promoters mistake for a piece of meat!); but Moll is also half fish, i.e., that which "may be sold to fishwives" by the fishermen who catch them. Just as Christ is the fisher of souls, Moll as heroine has been sanctified; her example may be taken up by ("sold to") sinful women (fishwives as termagants), who, having repented (as they do at the mock funeral later), in turn would proclaim and spread the influence of her virtues (read fishwives as brides of Christ, i.e., nuns): Maudlin says as much, albeit ironically.
give over both, or I'll give over: leave Moll alone or I'll call of the marriage
in armour: made bold by drink
Harry the Fifth's sword: The joke is that Henry V's sword is not in Westminster Abbey.
Worth forty: referring to Moll's market value as a virgin
'twill hold your life in play: gaming imagery, as with "even hand" later; cf. Women Beware Women II.ii.
sheet: a winding sheet, shroud; cf. Women Beware Women I.i.
Methinks: here, "I think of" or "I imagine"
do: with the sexual innuendo
[he]: ho (Q); "he" refers to "who"
seven: the number of Sir Walter's bastards
French: a reference to syphilis, the "French disease"; cf. A Fair Quarrel IV.iv. and Blurt, Master Constable I.ii.
Dutch: for a connection to bawdiness, cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One III.iii.
lifting: stealing, with the sexual innuendo
hear a fool: you speak nonsense
his lands will hang him: As a convicted murderer, Sir Walter's lands will be turned over to the Crown, and bereft of land, he will be hanged.
place for easement: privy
quickened: made pregnant
consorts: Sir Oliver's servants
Gamesters: gamblers and lechers; cf. Your Five Gallants II.iii; No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's II.iii; Wit at Several Weapons II.i.
Strand: the most fashionable part of London, notorious for courtesans; cf. Hengist, King of Kent III.i.
bay windows: used by prostitutes to display themselves; cf. Women Beware Women III.i.
quaint: costly, fashionable
closestool: a box with a seat or lid, a chamberpot
Your nose must be in everything: cf. The Roaring Girl III.ii.
box: referring to the box which collected the cover charge from gamesters; Allwit is saying that he can't lose, regardless of which role he plays, wittol or keeper of a high-class brothel; 2) coffin
Ovid de Tristibus: Ovid's Tristia, a popular Latin textbook
white money: silver
get: beget (a poem)
[ingredients]: Ingredience (Q)
dissolved pearl and amber: believed to have great medicinal powers: cf. A Mad World, My Masters II.vi.
strive with thy fit: 1) struggle with your melancholy, 2) endure by singing a verse, a common Elizabethan remedy
swan: Swans supposedly sang before they died, from whence we get "swan song."
sets: subsides; cf. A Fair Quarrel III.i.
following: as if she would follow Touchwood Junior in death
bestirred my stumps: with the sexual innuendo
ring the bells...make a bonfire: to announce important news
thwacking: large, impressive
[joy]: ioyes (Q)
multipliers: with the ironic sexual innuendo
struck it home: dealt a winning blow, with the sexual innuendo
monopoly: a reference to the unpopular custom of the Crown selling monopolies, from which patentees were often made extremely rich
From the first parent: since the time of Adam
redeem/Perfection home to woman: redeem Eve's original sin; cf. Women Beware Women III.ii.
Speaks: shows, expresses
at a push: i.e., when push came to shove
article: a statement in the wedding ceremony
interline: insert between lines of text
brace: 1) pair, 2) support
Here be your wedding sheets: their shrouds; cf. The Widow I.ii, The Changeling V.iii, and Women Beware Women I.i.
[to]: too (Q)
Utter: 1) speak, 2) ejaculate, sexually
knight's ward: Counters were debtors' prisons (in London were the Poultry Counter and the Woodstreet Counter), and they were divided into four wards. The master's was for the richest and provided the best accommodations; then came the knight's, the twopenny, and finally the Hole for the most poor. Cf. The Phoenix II.iii and IV.iii, Michaelmas Term III.iv., The Roaring Girl III.iii.
roundly: thoroughly, with the pun round = pregnant
say: (obs.) past tense of "see"
O tempora! O mors!: "O times! O death!" Tim means to say, "O mores!" ("O manners!"), from Cicero's Cataline.
jade: 1) broken-down horse, 2) whore; cf. The Roaring Girl II.i, Much Ado about Nothing I.i.
execution: riding; Tim plans to become the Welsh Gentlewoman's pimp. Cf. Your Five Gallants III.ii.
Flectere...[movebo]: If I cannot persuade the gods, I will turn to Acheron (the river in Hades), from Virgil's Aeneas; nequeo = neguro (Q), movebo = mourbo (Q), neither of which errors I believe Middleton intended.
for thy labour: for the pains you have taken, with the sexual innuendo; cf. King Lear IV.vi.
about: deal with
Uxor non est meretrix, ergo falacis: A wife is not a whore, therefore it is a fallacy.
There's a thing called marriage, and that makes me honest: cf. the plot resolutions in 1 The Honest Whore, A Trick to Catch the Old One, A Mad World, My Masters, Anything for a Quiet Life.