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The Puritain Widow
by William Shakespeare [Apocrypha]
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THE PURITAINE WIDDOW

THE ACTORS NAME In the Play Intitled The Puritan Widow.

The Scene London.

Lady Plus, a Citizens Widow. Frances, Moll, her two Daughters. Sir Godfrey, Brother-in-Law to the Widow Plus. Master Edmond, Son to the Widow Plus. George Pye-boord, a Scholar and a Citizen. Peter Skirmish, an old Soldier. Captain Idle, a Highway-man. Corporal Oath, a vain-glorious Fellow. Nichols St. Antlings, Simon St. Mary Overies, Frailty, Serving-men to the Lady Plus. Sir Oliver Muck-hill, a Suitor to the Lady Plus. Sir John Penny-Dub, a Suitor to Moll. Sir Andrew Tipstaff, a Suitor to Frances. The Sheriff of London. Puttock, Ravenshaw, Two of the Sheriffs Sergeants. Dogson, a Yeoman. A Noble-man. A Gentleman Citizen. Officers.

ACTUS PRIMUS.

Scene I. A Garden behind the widow's house.

[Enter the Lady Widdow-Plus, her two daughters Frank and Moll, her husband's Brother an old Knight Sir Godfrey, with her Son and heir Master Edmond, all in mourning apparel, Edmond in a Cyrpess Hat. The Widdow wringing her hands, and bursting out Into passion, as newly come from the Burial of her husband.

WIDOW. Oh, that ever I was borne, that ever I was borne!

SIR GODFREY. Nay, good Sister, dear sister, sweet sister, be of good comfort; show your self a woman, now or never.

WIDOW. Oh, I have lost the dearest man, I have buried the sweetest husband that ever lay by woman.

SIR GODFREY. Nay, give him his due, he was indeed an honest, virtuous, Discreet, wise man,—he was my Brother, as right as right.

WIDOW. O, I shall never forget him, never forget him; he was a man so well given to a woman—oh!

SIR GODFREY. Nay, but, kind Sister, I could weep as much as any woman, but, alas, our tears cannot call him again: me thinks you are well read, Sister, and know that death is as common as Homo, a common name to all men:—a man shall be taken when he's making water.—Nay, did not the learned Parson, Master Pigman, tell us e'en now, that all Flesh is frail, we are borne to die, Man ha's but a time: with such like deep and profound persuasions, as he is a rare fellow, you know, and an excellent Reader: and for example, (as there are examples aboundance,) did not Sir Humfrey Bubble die tother day? There's a lusty Widdow; why, she cried not above half an hour—for shame, for shame! Then followed him old Master Fulsome, the Usurer: there's a wise Widdow; why, she cried ne'er a whit at all.

WIDOW. O, rank not me with those wicked women: I had a husband Out-shined 'em all.

SIR GODFREY. Aye, that he did, yfaith: he out-shined 'em all.

WIDOW. Doost thou stand there and see us all weep, and not once shed a tear for thy father's death? oh, thou ungratious son and heir, thou!

EDMOND. Troth, Mother, I should not weep, I'm sure; I am past a child, I hope, to make all my old School fellows laugh at me; I should be mocked, so I should. Pray, let one of my Sisters weep for me. I'll laugh as much for her another time.

WIDOW. Oh, thou past-Grace, thou! out of my sight, thou graceless imp, thou grievest me more than the death of thy Father! oh, thou stubborn only son! hadst thou such an honest man to thy Father—that would deceive all the world to get riches for thee—and canst thou not afford a little salt water? he that so wisely did quite over-throw the right heir of those lands, which now you respect not: up every morning betwixt four and five; so duly at Westminster Hall every Term-Time, with all his Cards and writings, for thee, thou wicked Absolon— oh, dear husband!

EDMOND. Weep, quotha? I protest I am glad he's Churched; for now he's gone, I shall spend in quiet.

FRANCES. Dear mother, pray cease; half your Tears suffice. Tis time for you to take truce with your eyes; Let me weep now.

WIDOW. Oh, such a dear knight! such a sweet husband have I lost, have I lost!—If Blessed be the coarse the rain rains upon, he had it pouring down.

SIR GODFREY. Sister, be of good cheer, we are all mortal our selves. I come upon you freshly. I near speak without comfort, hear me what I shall say:—my brother ha's left you wealthy, y'are rich.

WIDOW. Oh!

SIR GODFREY. I say y'are rich: you are also fair.

WIDOW. Oh!

SIR GODFREY. Go to, y'are fair, you cannot smother it; beauty will come to light; nor are your years so far enter'd with you, but that you will be sought after, and may very well answer another husband; the world is full of fine Gallants, choice enow, Sister,—for what should we do with all our Knights, I pray, but to marry rich widows, wealthy Citizens' widows, lusty fair-browed Ladies? go to, be of good comfort, I say: leave snobbing and weeping—Yet my Brother was a kind hearted man—I would not have the Elf see me now!—Come, pluck up a woman's heart—here stands your Daughters, who be well estated, and at maturity will also be enquir'd after with good husbands, so all these tears shall be soon dried up and a better world than ever—What, Woman? you must not weep still; he's dead, he's buried—yet I cannot choose but weep for him!

WIDOW. Marry again! no! let me be buried quick then! And that same part of Quire whereon I tread To such intent, O may it be my grave; And that the priest may turn his wedding prayers, E'en with a breath, to funeral dust and ashes! Oh, out of a million of millions, I should ne'er find such a husband; he was unmatchable,—unmatchable! nothing was too hot, nor too dear for me, I could not speak of that one thing, that I had not: beside I had keys of all, kept all, receiv'd all, had money in my purse, spent what I would, came home when I would, and did all what I would. Oh, my sweet husband! I shall never have the like.

SIR GODFREY. Sister, ne'er say so; he was an honest brother of mine, and so, and you may light upon one as honest again, or one as honest again may light upon you: that's the properer phrase, indeed.

WIDOW. Never! Oh, if you love me, urge it not.

[Kneels.]

Oh may I be the by-word of the world, The common talk at Table in the mouth Of every Groom and Waiter, if e'er more I entertain the carnal suite of Man!

MOLL. I must kneel down for fashion too.

FRANCES. And I, whom never man as yet hath scald, E'ev in this depth of general sorrow, vow Never to marry, to sustain such loss As a dear husband seems to be, once dead.

MOLL. I lov'd my father well, too; but to say, Nay, vow, I would not marry for his death— Sure, I should speak false Latin, should I not? I'd as soon vow never to come in Bed. Tut! Women must live by th' quick, and not by th' dead.

WIDOW. Dar Copy of my husband, oh let me kiss thee. How like is this Model! This brief Picture

[Drawing out her husband's Picture.]

Quickens my tears: my sorrows are renew'd At this fresh sight.

SIR GODFREY. Sister—

WIDOW. Away, All honesty with him is turn'd to clay. Oh my sweet husband, oh—

FRANCES. My dear father!

[Exeunt mother and Frances.]

MOLL. Here's a pulling, indeed! I think my Mother weeps for all the women that ever buried husbands; for if from time to time all the Widowers' tears in England had been bottled up, I do not think all would have filled a three-half-penny Bottle. Alas, a small matter bucks a hand-kercher,—and sometimes the spittle stands to nie Saint Thomas a Watrings. Well, I can mourn in good sober sort as well as another; but where I spend one tear for a dead Father, I could give twenty kisses for a quick husband.

[Exit Moll.]

SIR GODFREY. Well, go thy ways, old Sir Godfrey, and thou mayest be proud on't, thou hast a kind loving sister-in-law; how constant! how passionate! how full of April the poor soul's eyes are! Well, I would my Brother knew on't, he would then know what a kind wife he had left behind him: truth, and twere not for shame that the Neighbours at th' next garden should hear me, between joy and grief I should e'en cry out-right!

[Exit Sir Godfrey.]

EDMOND. So, a fair riddance! My father's laid in dust; his Coffin and he is like a whole-meat-pye, and the worms will cut him up shortly. Farewell, old Dad, farewell. I'll be curb'd in no more. I perceived a son and heir may quickly be made a fool, and he will be one, but I'll take another order.—Now she would have me weep for him, for-sooth, and why? because he cozn'd the right heir, being a fool, and bestow'd those Lands upon me his eldest Son; and therefore I must weep for him, ha, ha. Why, all the world knows, as long as twas his pleasure to get me, twas his duty to get for me: I know the law in that point; no Attorney can gull me. Well, my Uncle is an old Ass, and an Admirable Cockscomb. I'll rule the Roast my self. I'll be kept under no more; I know what I may do well enough by my Father's Copy: the Law's in mine own hands now: nay, now I know my strength, I'll be strong enough for my Mother, I warrant you.

[Exit.]

SCENE II. A street.

[Enter George Pye-board, a scholar and a Citizen, and unto him an old soldier, Peter Skirmish.]

PYE. What's to be done now, old Lad of War? thou that wert wont to be as hot as a turn-spit, as nimble as a fencer, and as lousy as a school-master; now thou art put to silence like a Sectary.—War sits now like a Justice of peace, and does nothing. Where be your Muskets, Caleiuers and Hotshots? in Long-lane, at Pawn, at Pawn.—Now keys are your only Guns, Key-guns, Key-guns, and Bawds the Gunners, who are your Sentinels in peace, and stand ready charg'd to give warning, with hems, hums, and pockey-coffs; only your Chambers are licenc'st to play upon you, and Drabs enow to give fire to 'em.

SKIRMISH. Well, I cannot tell, but I am sure it goes wrong with me, for since the cessure of the wars, I have spent above a hundred crowns out a purse. I have been a soldier any time this forty years, and now I perceive an old soldier and an old Courtier have both one destiny, and in the end turn both into hob-nails.

PYE. Pretty mystery for a begger, for indeed a hob-nail is the true emblem of a begger's shoe-sole.

SKIRMISH. I will not say but that war is a blood-sucker, and so; but, in my conscience, (as there is no soldier but has a piece of one, though it be full of holes like a shot Antient; no matter, twill serve to swear by) in my conscience, I think some kind of Peace has more hidden oppressions, and violent heady sins, (though looking of a gentle nature) then a profest war.

PYE. Troth, and for mine own part, I am a poor Gentleman, and a Scholar: I have been matriculated in the University, wore out six Gowns there, seen some fools, and some Scholars, some of the City, and some of the Country, kept order, went bare- headed over the Quadrangle, eat my Commons with a good stomach, and Battled with Discretion; at last, having done many slights and tricks to maintain my wit in use (as my brain would never endure me to be idle,) I was expeld the University, only for stealing a Cheese out of Jesus College.

SKIRMISH. Ist possible?

PYE. Oh! there was one Welshman (God forgive him) pursued it hard; and never left, till I turned my staff toward London, where when I came, all my friends were pitt-hold, gone to Graves, (as indeed there was but a few left before.) Then was I turned to my wits, to shift in the world, to tower among Sons and Heirs, and Fools, and Gulls, and Lady's eldest Sons, to work upon nothing, to feed out of Flint, and ever since has my belly been much beholding to my brain. But, now, to return to you, old Skirmish: I say as you say, and for my part wish a Turbulency in the world, for I have nothing to lose but my wits, and I think they are as mad as they will be: and to strengthen your Argument the more, I say an honest war is better than a bawdy peace, as touching my profession. The multiplicity of Scholars, hatcht and nourisht in the idle Calms of peace, makes 'em like Fishes one devour another; and the community of Learning has so played upon affections, and thereby almost Religion is come about to Phantasy, and discredited by being too much spoken off-in so many and mean mouths, I my self, being a Scholar and a Graduate, have no other comfort by my learning, but the Affection of my words, to know how Scholar-like to name what I want, and can call my self a Begger both in Greek and Latin: and therefore, not to cog with Peace, I'll not be afraid to say, 'tis a great Breeder, but a barren Nourisher: a great getter of Children, which mus either be Thieves or Rich-men, Knaves or Beggers.

SKIRMISH. Well, would I had been born a Knave then, when I was born a Begger; for if the truth were known, I think I was begot when my Father had never a penny in his purse.

PYE. Puh, faint not, old Skirmish; let this warrant thee, Facilis Descensus Averni, 'tis an easy journey to a Knave; thou mayest be a Knave when thou wilt; and Peace is a good Madam to all other professions, and an arrant Drab to us, let us handle her accordingly, and by our wits thrive in despite of her; for since the law lives by quarrels, the Courtier by smooth God-morrows; and every profession makes it self greater by imperfections, why not we then by shifts, wiles, and forgeries? and seeing our brains are our only Patrimonies, let's spend with judgment, not like a desperate son and heir, but like a sober and discreet Templar,—one that will never march beyond the bounds of his allowance. And for our thriving means, thus: I my self will put on the Deceit of a Fortune-teller.

SKIRMISH. A Fortune-teller? Very proper.

PYE. And you of a figure-caster, or a Conjurer.

SKIRMISH. A Conjurer?

PYE. Let me alone; I'll instruct you, and teach you to deceive all eyes, but the Devil's.

SKIRMISH. Oh aye, for I would not deceive him, and I could choose, of all others.

PYE. Fear not, I warrant you; and so by those means we shall help one another to Patients, as the condition of the age affords creatures enow for cunning to work upon.

SKIRMISH. Oh wondrous! new fools and fresh Asses.

PYE. Oh, fit, fit! excellent.

SKIRMISH. What, in the name of Conjuring?

PYE. My memory greets me happily with an admirable subject to gaze upon: The Lady-Widdow, who of late I saw weeping in her Garden for the death of her Husband; sure she 'as but a watrish soul, and half on't by this time is dropt out of her Eyes: device well managed may do good upon her: it stands firm, my first practise shall be there.

SKIRMISH. You have my voice, George.

PYE. Sh'as a gray Gull to her Brother, a fool to her only son, and an Ape to her youngest Daughter.—I overheard 'em severally, and from their words I'll derive my device; and thou, old Peter Skirmish, shall be my second in all slights.

SKIRMISH. Ne'er doubt me, George Pye-board,—only you must teach me to conjure.

[Enter Captain Idle, pinioned, and with a guard of Officers passeth over the Stage.]

PYE. Puh, I'll perfect thee, Peter.—How now? what's he?

SKIRMISH. Oh George! this sight kills me. Tis my sworn Brother, Captain Idle.

PYE. Captain Idle!

SKIRMISH. Apprehended for some felonious act or other. He has started out, h'as made a Night on't, lackt silver. I cannot but commend his resolution; he would not pawn his Buff-Jerkin. I would either some of us were employed, or might pitch our Tents at Usurers' doors, to kill the slaves as they peep out at the Wicket.

PYE. Indeed, those are our ancient Enemies; they keep our money in their hands, and make us to be hangd for robbing of 'em. But, come, let's follow after to the Prison, and know the Nature of his offence; and what we can steed him in, he shall be sure of; and I'll uphold it still, that a charitable Knave is better then a soothing Puritain.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE III. A Street.

[Enter at one door Corporal Oath, a Vain-glorious fellow; and at the other, three of the Widdow Puritain's Servingmen, Nicholas Saint-Tantlings, Simon Saint-Mary-Overaries, and Frailty, in black scurvy mourning coats, and Books at their Girdles, as coming from Church. They meet.]

NICHOLAS. What, Corporal Oath? I am sorry we have met with you, next our hearts; you are the man that we are forbidden to keep company withall. We must not swear I can tell you, and you have the name for swearing.

SIMON. Aye, Corporal Oath, I would you would do so much as forsake us, sir; we cannot abide you, we must not be seen in your company.

FRAILTY. There is none of us, I can tell you, but shall be soundly whipt for swearing.

CORPORAL. Why, how now, we three? Puritanical Scrape-shoes, Flesh a good Fridays! a hand.

ALL. Oh!

CORPORAL. Why, Nicholas Saint-Tantlings, Simon Saint Mary Ovaries, ha's the De'el possest you, that you swear no better? you half-Christned Catomites, you ungod-mothered Varlets, do's the first lesson teach you to be proud, and the second to be Cocks-combs? proud Cocks-combs! not once to do duty to a man of Mark!

FRAILTY. A man of Mark, quatha! I do not think he can shew a Begger's Noble.

CORPORAL. A Corporal, a Commander, one of spirit, that is able to blow you up all dry with your Books at your Girdles.

SIMON. We are not taught to believe that, sir, for we know the breath of man is weak.

[Corporal breathes upon Frailty.]

FRAILTY. Foh, you lie, Nicholas; for here's one strong enough. Blow us up, quatha: he may well blow me above twelve-score off an him. I warrant, if the wind stood right, a man might smell him from the top of Newgate, to the Leads of Ludgate.

CORPORAL. Sirrah, thou Hollow-Book of Max-candle—

NICHOLAS. Aye, you may say what you will, so you swear not.

CORPORAL. I swear by the—

NICHOLAS. Hold, hold, good Corporal Oath; for if you swear once, we shall all fall down in a swoon presently.

CORPORAL. I must and will swear: you quivering Cocks-combs, my Captain is imprisoned, and by Vulcan's Leather Cod-piece point—

NICHOLAS. O Simon, what an oath was there.

FRAILTY. If he should chance to break it, the poor man's Breeches would fall down about his heels, for Venus allows him but one point to his hose.

CORPORAL. With these my Bully-Feet I will thump ope the Prison doors, and brain the Keeper with the begging Box, but I'll see my honest sweet Captain Idle at liberty.

NICHOLAS. How, Captain Idle? my old Aunt's son, my dear Kinsman, in Capadochio?

CORPORAL. Aye, thou Church-peeling, thou Holy-paring, religious outside, thou! if thou hadst any grace in thee, thou would'st visit him, relieve him, swear to get him out.

NICHOLAS. Assure you, Corporal, indeed-lam tis the first time I heard on't.

CORPORAL. Why do't now, then, Marmaset: bring forth thy yearly-wages, let not a Commander perish!

SIMON. But, if he be one of the wicked, he shall perish.

NICHOLAS. Well, Corporal, I'll e'en them along with you, to visit my Kinsman: if I can do him any good, I will,—but I have nothing for him. Simon Saint Mary Ovaries and Frailty, pray make a lie for me to the Knight my Master, old Sir Godfrey.

CORPORAL. A lie? may you lie then?

FRAILTY. O, aye, we may lie, but we must not swear.

SIMON. True, we may lie with our Neighbor's wife, but we must not swear wedid so.

CORPORAL. Oh, an excellent Tag of religion!

NICHOLAS. Oh Simon, I have thought upon a sound excuse; it will go currant: say that I am gone to a Fast.

SIMON. To a Fast? very good.

NICHOLAS. Aye, to a Fast, say, with Master Fullbelly the Minister.

SIMON. Master Fullbelly? an honest man: he feeds the flock well, for he's an excellent feeder.

[Exit Corporal, Nicholas.]

FRAILTY. Oh, aye, I have seen him eat up a whole Pig, and afterward fall to the pittitoes.

[Exit Simon and Frailty.]

SCENE IV.

The Prison, Marshalsea.

[Enter Captain Idle at one door, and later Pye-board and old soldier at the other. George Pye-board, speaking within.]

PYE. Pray turn the key.

SKIRMISH. Turn the key, I pray.

CAPTAIN. Who should those be? I almost know their voices.— O my friends!

[Entering.]

Ya're welcome to a smelling Room here. You newly took leave of the air; ist not a strange savour?

PYE. As all prisons have: smells of sundry wretches, Who, tho departed, leave their scents behind 'em. By Gold, Captain, I am sincerely sorry for thee.

CAPTAIN. By my troth, George, I thank thee; but pish,—what must be, must be.

SKIRMISH. Captain, what do you lie in for? ist great? what's your offence?

CAPTAIN. Faith, my offence is ordinary,—common: A High-way; and I fear me my penalty will be ordinary and common too: a halter.

PYE. Nay, prophecy not so ill; it shall go heard, But I'll shift for thy life.

CAPTAIN. Whether I live or die, thou'art an honest George. I'll tell you—silver flowed not with me, as it had done, (for now the tide runs to Bawds and flatterers.) I had a start out, and by chance set upon a fat steward, thinking his purse had been as pursey as his body; and the slave had about him but the poor purchase of ten groats: notwithstanding, being descried, pursued, and taken, I know the Law is so grim, in respect of many desperate, unsettled soldiers, that I fear me I shall dance after their pipe for't.

SKIRMISH. I am twice sorry for you, Captain: first that your purchase was so small, and now that your danger is so great.

CAPTAIN. Push, the worst is but death,—ha you a pipe of Tobacco about you?

SKIRMISH. I think I have there abouts about me.

[Captain blows a pipe.]

CAPTAIN. Here's a clean Gentleman, too, to receive.

PYE. Well, I must cast about some happy slight. Work brain, that ever didst thy Master right!

CAPTAIN. Keeper! let the key be turn'd!

[Corporal and Nicholas within.]

NICHOLAS. Aye, I pray, Master keeper, give's a cast of your office.

CAPTAIN. How now? more Visitants?—what, Corporal Oath?

PYE. Corporal?

SKIRMISH. Corporal?

CORPORAL. In prison, honest Captain? this must not be.

NICHOLAS. How do you, Captain Kinsman>

CAPTAIN. Good Cocks-comb! what makes that pure, starch'd fool here?

NICHOLAS. You see, Kinsman, I am somewhat bold to call in, and see how you do. I heard you were safe enough, and I was very glad on't that it was no worse.

CAPTAIN. This is a double torture now,—this fool by'th book Do's vex me more than my imprisonment. What meant you, Corporal, to hook him hither?

CORPORAL. Who, he? he shall relieve thee, and supply thee; I'll make him do 't.

CAPTAIN. [Aside, to Oath.] Fie, what vain breath you spend! he supply? I'll sooner expect mercy from a Usurer when my bond's Forfeited, sooner kindness from a Layer when my money's spent: Nay, sooner charity from the devil, than good from a Puritan! I'll look for relief from him, when Lucifer is restor'd to his blood, and in Heaven again.

NICHOLAS. I warrant, my Kinsman's talking of me, for my left ear burns most tyrannically.

PYE. Captain Idle, what's he there? he looks like a Monkey upward, and a Crane down-ward.

CAPTAIN. Pshaw, a foolish Cousin of mine; I must thank God for him.

PYE. Why, the better subject to work a scape upon; thou shalt o'en change clothes with him, and leave him here, and so—

CAPTAIN. Push, I publish't him e'en now to my Corporal: he will be damned, ere he do me so much good; why, I know a more proper, a more handsome device than that, if the slave would be sociable. Now, goodman Fleer-face.

NICHOLAS. Oh, my Cousin begins to speak to me now: I shall be acquainted with him again, I hope.

SKIRMISH. Look what ridiculous Raptures take hold of his wrinkles.

PYE. Then, what say you to this device? a happy one, Captain?

CAPTAIN. Speak low, George; Prison Rats have wider ears than those in Malt-lofts.

NICHOLAS. Cousin, if it lay in my power, as they say—to—do—

CAPTAIN. Twould do me an exceeding pleasure, indeed, that, but ne'er talk forder on't: the fool will be hang'd, ere he do't.

[To the Corporal.]

CORPORAL. Pax, I'll thump 'im to't.

PYE. Why, do but try the Fopster, and break it to him bluntly.

CAPTAIN. And so my disgrace will dwell in his Jaws, and the slave slaver out our purpose to his Master, for would I were but as sure on't as I am sure he will deny to do't.

NICHOLAS. I would be heartily glad, Cousin, if any of my friendships, as they say, might—stand—ah—

PYE. Why, you see he offers his friendship foolishly to you already.

CAPTAIN. Aye, that's the hell on't, I would he would offer it wisely.

NICHOLAS. Verily, and indeed la, Cousin—

CAPTAIN. I have took note of thy fleers a good while: if thou art minded to do me good—as thou gapst upon me comfortably, and giv'st me charitable faces, which indeed is but a fashion in you all that are Puritains—wilt soon at night steal me thy Master's chain?

NICHOLAS. Oh, I shall swoon!

PYE. Corporal, he starts already.

CAPTAIN. I know it to be worth three hundred Crowns, and with the half of that I can buy my life at a Brokers, at second hand, which now lies in pawn to th' Law: if this thou refuse to do, being easy and nothing dangerous, in that thou art held in good opinion of thy Master, why tis a palpable Argument thou holdst my life at no price, and these thy broken and unioynted offers are but only created in thy lip, now borne, and now buried, foolish breath only. What, woult do't? shall I look for happiness in thy answer?

NICHOLAS. Steal my Master's chain, qu'the? no, it shall ne'er be said, that Nicholas Saint Tantlings committed Bird-lime!

CAPTAIN. Nay, I told you as much; did I not? tho he be a Puritain, yet he will be a true man.

NICHOLAS. Why, Cousin, you know tis written, thou shalt not steal.

CAPTAIN. Why, and fool, thou shalt love thy Neighbour, and help him in extremities.

NICHOLAS. Mass, I think it be, indeed: in what Chapter's that, Cousin?

CAPTAIN. Why, in the first of Charity, the 2. Verse.

NICHOLAS. The first of Charity, quatha! that's a good jest; there's no such Chapter in my book!

CAPTAIN. No, I knew twas torn out of thy Book, and that makes so little in thy heart.

PYE. Come, let me tell you, ya're too unkind a Kinsman, yfaith; the Captain loving you so dearly, aye, like the Pomwater of his eye, and you to be so uncomfortable: fie, fie.

NICHOLAS. Pray, do not wish me to be hangd: any thing else that I can do, had it been to rob, I would ha don't; but I must not steal: that's the word, the literal, thou shalt not steal; and would you wish me to steal, then?

PYE. No, faith, that were too much, to speak truth: why, woult thou nim it from him?

NICHOLAS. That I will!

PYE. Why, ynough, bully; he shall be content with that, or he shall ha none; let me alone with him now! Captain, I ha dealt with your Kins-man in a Corner; a good, kind-natured fellow, me thinks: go to, you shall not have all your own asking, you shall bate somewhat on't: he is not contented absolutely, as you would say, to steal the chain from him,— but to do you a pleasure, he will nim it from him.

NICHOLAS. Aye, that I will, Cousin.

CAPTAIN. Well, seeing he will do no more, as far as I see, I must be contented with that.

CORPORAL. Here's no notable gullery!

PYE. Nay, I'll come nearer to you, Gentleman: because we'll have only but a help and a mirth on't, the knight shall not lose his chain neither, but it shall be only laid out of the way some one or two days.

NICHOLAS. Aye, that would be good indeed, Kinsman.

PYE. For I have a farder reach to profit us better by the missing on't only, than if we had it out-right, as my discourse shall make it known to you.—When thou hast the chain, do but convey it out at back-door into the Garden, and there hang it close in the Rosemary bank but for a small season; and by that harmless device, I know how to wind Captain Idle out of prison: the Knight thy Master shall get his pardon and release him, and he satisfy thy Master with his own chain, and wondrous thanks on both hands.

NICHOLAS. That were rare indeed, la: pray, let me know how.

PYE. Nay, tis very necessary thou shouldst know, because thou must be employed as an Actor.

NICHOLAS. An Actor? O no, that's a Player; and our Parson rails again Players mightily, I can tell you, because they brought him drunk up'oth Stage once,—as he will be horribly drunk.

CORPORAL. Mass, I cannot blame him then, poor Church-spout.

PYE. Why, as an Intermedler, then?

NICHOLAS. Aye, that, that.

PYE. Give me Audience, then: when the old Knight thy Master has raged his fill for the loss of the chain, tell him thou hast a Kinsman in prison, of such exquisite Art, that the devil himself is French Lackey to him, and runs bare-headed by his horse-belly (when he has one) whom he will cause with most Irish Dexterity to fetch his chain, tho twere hid under a mine of sea-coal, and ne'er make Spade or Pickaxe his instruments: tell him but this, with farder instructions thou shalt receive from me, and thou shoust thy self a Kinsman indeed.

CORPORAL. A dainty Bully.

SKIRMISH. An honest Book-keeper.

CAPTAIN. And my three times thrice honey Cousin.

NICHOLAS. Nay, grace of God, I'll rob him on't suddenly, and hang it in the Rosemary bank; but I bear that mind, Cousin, I would not steal any thing, me thinks, for mine own Father.

SKIRMISH. He bears a good mind in that, Captain!

PYE. Why, well said; he begins to be an honest felow, faith.

CORPORAL. In troth, he does.

NICHOLAS. You see, Cousin, I am willing to do you any kindness, always saving my self harmless.

[Exit Nicholas.]

CAPTAIN. Why, I thank thee; fare thee well, I shall requite it.

CORPORAL. Twill be good for thee, Captain, that thou has such an egregious Ass to thy Cousin.

CAPTAIN. Aye, is he not a fine fool, Corporal? But, George, thou talkst of Art and Conjuring; How shall that be?

PYE. Puh, be't not in your care: Leave that to me and my directions. Well, Captain, doubt not thy delivery now, E'en with the vantage, man, to gain by prison, As my thoughts prompt me: hold on, brain and plot! I aim at many cunning far events, All which I doubt not but to hit at length. I'll to the Widdow with a quaint assault. Captain, be merry.

CAPTAIN. Who, I? Kerrie, merry, Buff-Jerkin.

PYE. Oh, I am happy in more slights, and one will knit strong in another.—Corporal Oath.

CORPORAL. Hoh, Bully?

PYE. And thou, old Peter Skirmish; I have a necessary task for you Both.

SKIRMISH. Lay't upon, George Pye-board.

CORPORAL. What ere it be, we'll manage it.

PYE. I would have you two maintain a quarrel before the Lady Widdow's door, and draw your swords i'th edge of the Evening; clash a little, clash, clash.

CORPORAL. Fuh! Let us alone to make our Blades ring noon, Tho it be after Supper.

PYE. I know you can. And out of that false fire, I doubt not but to raise strange belief—And, Captain, to countenance my device the better, and grace my words to the Widdow, I have a good plain Satin suit, that I had of a young Reveller t'other night: for words pass not regarded now a days, unless they come from a good suit of clothes, which the Fates and my wits have bestowed upon me. Well, Captain Idle, if I did not highly love thee, I would ne'er be seen within twelve score of a prison, for I protest at this instant, I walk in great danger of small debts; I owe money to several Hostesses, and you know such Jills will quickly be upon a man's Jack.

CAPTAIN. True, George.

PYE. Fare thee well, Captain. Come, Corporal and Ancient! thou Shalt hear more news next time we greet thee.

CORPORAL. More news! Aye, by yon Bear at Bridge-Foot in heaven shalt thou.

[Exeunt Pye-board, Skirmish, and Oath.]

CAPTAIN. Enough: my friends, farewell. This prison shows as if Ghosts did part in Hell.

ACT II.

SCENE I. A room in the widow's house.

[Enter Moll youngest Daughter to the Widdow: alone.]

MOLL. Not Marry? forswear Marriage? why, all women know 'tis as honorable a thing as to lie with a man; and I to spite my Sisters vow the more, have entertained a suitor already, a fine gallant Knight of the last Feather: he says he will Coach me too, and well appoint me, allow me money to Dice with-all, and many such pleasing protestations he sticks upon my lips; indeed, his short-winded Father ith' Country is wondrous wealthy, a most abominable Farmer, and therefore he may doote in time: troth, I'll venture upon him. Women are not without ways enow to help them-selves: if he prove wise and good as his word, why, I shall love him, and use him kindly: and if he prove an Ass, why, in a quarter of an hour's warning I can transform him into an Ox;—there comes in my Relief again.

[Enter Frailty.]

FRAILTY. O, Mistress Moll, Mistress Moll.

MOLL. How now? what's the news?

FRAILTY. The Knight your suitor, sir John Penny-Dub—

MOLL. Sir John Penny-Dub? where? where?

FRAILTY. He's walking in the Gallery.

MOLL. Has my Mother seen him yet?

FRAILTY. O no, she's—spitting in the Kitchen.

MOLL. Direct him hither softly, good Frailty,— I'll meet him half way.

FRAILTY. That's just like running a Tilt; but I hope he'll break nothing this time.

[Exit.]

[Enter Sir John Penny-Dub.]

MOLL. 'Tis happiness my Mother saw him not: O welcome, good Sir John.

PENNY-DUB. I thank you, faith.—Nay, you must stand me, till I kiss you: 'tis the fashion every where, I-faith, and I came from Court enow.

MOLL. Nay, the Fates forfend that I should anger the fashion!

PENNY-DUB. Then, not forgetting the sweet of new ceremonies, I first fall back, then recovering my self, make my honour to your lip thus: and then accost it.

MOLL. Trust me, very pretty, and moving; y'are worthy on't, sir.

[Kissing: Enter Widdow and Sir Godfrey.]

O, my Mother, my Mother! now she's here, we'll steal into the Gallery.

[Exeunt.]

SIR GODFREY. Nay, Sister, let Reason rule you, do not play the fool; stand not in your own light. You have wealthy offers, large tendrings; do not with-stand your good fortune: who comes a wooing to you, I pray? no small fool; a rich Knight ath City, Sir Oliver Muck-Hill—no small fool I can tell you: and Furthermore, as I heard late by your Maid-servants, (as your Maid-servants will say to me any thing, I thank 'em) both your Daughters are not without Suitors, aye, and worthy ones too! one a Brisk Courtier, Sir Andrew Tip-Staff, suitor a far off to your eldest Daughter, and the third a huge-wealthy Farmer's son, a fine young Country Knight, they call him Sir John Penny-Dub: a good name, marry; he may have it coined when he lacks money. What blessings are these, Sister!

WIDDOW. Tempt me not, Satan.

SIR GODFREY. Satan? do I look like Satan? I hope the Devil's not so old as I, I tro.

WIDDOW. You wound my senses, Brother, when you name A suitor to me:—oh, I cannot abide it, I take in poison, when I hear one nam'd.

[Enter Simon.]

How now, Simon? where's my son Edmund?

SIMON. Verily Madame, he is at vain Exercise, dripping in the Tennis-court.

WIDDOW. At Tennis-court? oh, now his father's gone, I shall have no rule with him; oh, wicked Edmond, I might well compare this with the Prophecy in the Chronicle, tho far inferior: as Harry of Monmouth won all, and Harry of Windsor lost all; so Edmund of Bristow, that was the Father, got all, and Edmond of London, that's his son now, will spend all.

SIR GODFREY. Peace, Sister, we'll have him reformed, there's hope on him yet, tho it be but a little.

[Enter Frailty.]

FRAILTY. Forsooth, Madam, there are two or three Archers at door would very gladly speak with your Ladyship.

WIDDOW. Archers?

SIR GODFREY. Your husband's Fletcher, I warrant.

WIDDOW. Oh! Let them come near, they bring home things of his. Troth, I should ha forgot 'em. How now, Villain? Which be those Archers?

[Enter the suitors Sir Andrew Tip-staff, Sir Oliver Muck-hill, and Penny-dub.]

FRAILTY. Why, do you not see 'em before you? are not these Archers? what do you call 'em? Shooters: Shooters and Archers are all one, I hope.

WIDDOW. Out, ignorant slave.

MUCK-HILL. Nay, pray be patient, Lady, We come in way of honorable love.

TIP-STAFF. We do.

PENNY-DUB. We do.

MUCK-HILL. To you.

TIP-STAFF. And to your Daughters.

PENNY-DUB. And to your Daughters.

WIDDOW. O, why will you offer me this Gentlemen? indeed I will not look upon you—when the Tears are scarce out of mine Eyes, not yet washt off from my Cheeks, and my deer husband's body scarce so cold as the Coffin, what reason have you to offer it? I am not like some of your Widdows that will bury one in the Evening, and be sure to another ere morning. Pray, away; pray, take your answers, good Knights, and you be sweet Knights. I have vow'd never to marry;—and so have my daughters too!

PENNY-DUB. Aye, two of you have, but the third's a good wench!

MUCK-HILL. Lady, a shrewd answer, marry; the best is, tis but the first, and he's a blunt wooer, that will leave for one sharp answer.

TIP-STAFF. Where be your daughters, Lady? I hope they'll give us better encouragements.

WIDDOW. Indeed, they'll answer you so; tak't a my word, they'll give you the very same answer Verbatim, truly la.

PENNY-DUB. Mum: Moll's a good wench still, I know what she'll do.

MUCK-HILL. Well, Lady, for this time we'll take our leaves, hoping for better comfort.

WIDDOW. O never, never! and I live these thousand years! and you be good Knights, do not hope; twill be all Vain, Vain,—look you, put off all your suits, and you come to me again.

[Exeunt Sir John and Sir Andrew.]

FRAILTY. Put off all their suits, quatha? Aye, that's the best wooing of a Widdow, indeed, when a man's Nonsuited; that is, when he's a bed with her.

[Going out, Muck-hill and Sir Godfrey.]

MUCK-HILL. Sir Godfrey, here's twenty Angels more: work hard for me; there's life int yet.

[Exit Muck-hill.]

SIR GODFREY. Fear not, Sir Oliver Muck-hill, I'll stick close for you; leave all with me.

[Enter George Pye-board, the scholar.]

PYE. By your leave, Lady Widdow.

WIDDOW. What, another suitor now?

PYE. A suitor! no, I protest, Lady, if you'd give me your self, I'd not be troubled with you.

WIDDOW. Say you so, Sir? then you're the better welcome, sir.

PYE. Nay, Heaven bless me from a Widdow, unless I were sure to bury her speedily!

WIDDOW. Good bluntness: well, your business, sir?

PYE. Very needful; if you were in private once.

WIDDOW. Needful? brother, pray leave us; and you, sir.

FRAILTY. I should laugh now, if this blunt fellow should put 'em all by side the stirrup, and vault into the saddle himself. I have seen as mad a trick.

[Exit Frailty.]

[Enter Daughters.]

WIDDOW. Now Sir?—here's none but we—Daughters, forbear.

PYE. O no, pray, let 'em stay, for what I have to speak importeth equally to them as to you.

WIDDOW. Then you may stay.

PYE. I pray bestow on me a serious ear, For what I speak is full of weight and fear.

WIDDOW. Fear?

PYE. Aye, ift pass unregarded, and uneffected; Else peace and joy:—I pray, Attention. Widdow, I have been a mere stranger for these parts that you live in, nor did I ever know the Husband of you, and Father of them, but I truly know by certain spiritual Intelligence, that he is in Purgatory.

WIDDOW. Purgatory? tuh; that word deserves to be spit upon. I wonder that a man of sober tongue, as you seem to be, should have the folly to believe there's such a place.

PYE. Well, Lady, in cold blood I speak it; I assure you that there is a Purgatory, in which place I know your husband to reside, and wherein he is like to remain, till the dissolution of the world, till the last general Bon-fire, when all the earth shall melt into nothing and the Seas scald their finny labourers; so long is his abidance, unless you alter the property of your purpose, together with each of your Daughters theirs; that is, the purpose of single life in your self and your eldest Daughter, and the speedy determination of marriage in your youngest.

MOLL. How knows he that? what, has some Devil told him?

WIDDOW. Strange he should know our thoughts:—Why, but, Daughter, have you purposed speedy Marriage?

PYE. You see she tells you aye, for she says nothing. Nay, give me credit as you please. I am a stranger to you, and yet you see I know your determinations, which must come to me Metaphysically, and by a super-natural intelligence.

WIDDOW. This puts Amazement on me.

FRANCES. Know our secrets!

MOLL. I'd thought to steal a marriage: would his tongue Had dropt out when be blabbed it!

WIDDOW. But, sir, my husband was too honest a dealing man to be now in any purgatories—

PYE. O, Do not load your conscience with untruths; Tis but mere folly now to gild him o'er, That has past but for Copper. Praises here Cannot unbind him there: confess but truth. I know he got his wealth with a hard grip: Oh hardly, hardly.

WIDDOW. This is most strange of all: how knows he that?

PYE. He would eat fools and ignorant heirs clean up; And had his drink from many a poor man's brow, E'en as their labour brewed it. He would scrape riches to him most unjustly; The very dirt between his nails was Ill-got, And not his own,—oh, I groan to speak on't, The thought makes me shudder—shudder!

WIDDOW. It quakes me too, now I think on't.—Sir, I am much grieved, that you, a stranger, should so deeply wrong my dead husband!

PYE. Oh!

WIDDOW. A man that would keep Church so duly; rise early, before his servants, and e'en for Religious hast, go ungartered, unbuttoned, nay, sir Reverence, untrust, to Morning Prayer.

PYE. Oh, uff.

WIDDOW. Dine quickly upon high-days, and when I had great guests, would e'en shame me and rise from the Table, to get a good seat at an after-noon Sermon.

PYE. There's the devil, there's the devil! true, he thought it Sactity enough, if he had killed a man, so tad been done in a Pew, or undone his Neighbour, so ta'd been near enough to th' Preacher. Oh,—a Sermon's a fine short cloak of an hour long, and will hide the upper-part of a dissembler.—Church! Aye, he seemed all Church, and his conscience was as hard as the Pulpit!

WIDDOW. I can no more endure this.

PYE. Nor I, widdow, endure to flatter.

WIDDOW. Is this all your business with me?

PYE. No, Lady, tis but the induction too'te. You may believe my strains, I strike all true, And if your conscience would leap up to your tongue, your self would affirm it: and that you shall perceive I know of things to come as well as I do of what is present, a Brother of your husband's shall shortly have a loss.

WIDDOW. A loss; marry, heaven for-fend! Sir Godfrey, my brother?

PYE. Nay, keep in your wonders, will I have told you the fortunes of you all; which are more fearful, if not happily prevented: —for your part and your daughters, if there be not once this day some blood-shed before your door, whereof the human creature dies, two of you—the elder—shall run mad.

MOTHER AND FRANCES. Oh!

MOLL. That's not I yet!

PYE. And with most impudent prostitution show your naked bodies to the view of all beholders.

WIDDOW. Our naked bodies? fie, for shame!

PYE. Attend me: and your younger daughter be strocken dumb.

MOLL. Dumb? out, alas: tis the worst pain of all for a Woman. I'd rather be mad, or run naked, or any thing: dumb?

PYE. Give ear: ere the evening fall upon Hill, Bog, and Meadow, this my speech shall have past probation, and then shall I be believed accordingly.

WIDDOW. If this be true, we are all shamed, all undone.

MOLL. Dumb? I'll speak as much as ever I can possible before evening!

PYE. But if it so come to pass (as for your fair sakes I wish it may) that this presage of your strange fortunes be prevented by that accident of death and blood-shedding which I before told you of: take heed upon your lives that two of you, which have vow'd never to marry, seek you out husbands with all present speed, and you, the third, that have such a desire to out-strip chastity, look you meddle not with a husband.

MOLL. A double torment.

PYE. The breach of this keeps your father in Purgatory, and the punishments that shall follow you in this world would with horror kill the Ear should hear 'em related.

WIDDOW. Marry? why I vowed never to marry.

FRANCES. And so did I.

MOLL. And I vowed never to be such an Ass, but to marry: what a cross Fortune's this!

PYE. Ladies, tho I be a Fortune-teller, I cannot better Fortunes; you have 'em from me as they are revealed to me: I would they were to your tempers, and fellows with your bloods, that's all the bitterness I would you.

WIDDOW. Oh, 'tis a just vengeance for my husband's hard purchases.

PYE. I wish you to be-think your selves, and leave 'em.

WIDDOW. I'll to Sir Godfrey, my Brother, and acquaint him with these fearful presages.

FRANCES. For, Mother, they portend losses to him.

WIDDOW. Oh, aye, they do, they do. If any happy issue crown thy words, I will reward thy cunning.

PYE. 'Tis enough Lady; I wish no higher.

[Exit Widdow and Frances.]

MOLL. Dumb! and not marry, worse! Neither to speak, nor kiss, a double curse.

[Exit.]

PYE. So all this comes well about yet. I play the Fortune-teller as well as if I had had a Witch to my Grannam: for by good happiness, being in my Hostesses' Garden, which neighbours the Orchard o the Widdow, I laid the hole of mine ear to a hole in the wall, and heard 'em make these vows, and speak those words upon which I wrought these advantages; and to encourage my forgery the more, I may now perceive in 'em a natural simplicity which will easily swallow an abuse, if any covering be over it: and to confirm my former presage to the Widdow, I have advised old Peter Skirmish, the Soldier, to hurt Corporal Oath upon the Leg; and in that hurry I'll rush amongst 'em, and in stead of giving the Corporal some Cordial to comfort him, I'll power into his mouth a potion of a sleepy Nature, to make him seem as dead; for the which the old soldier being apprehended, and ready to be born to execution, I'll step in, and take upon me the cure of the dead man, upon pain of dying the condemned's death: the Corporal will wake at his minute, when the sleepy force has wrought it self, and so shall I get my self into a most admired opinion, and under the pretext of that cunning, beguile as I see occasion: and if that foolish Nicholas Saint Tantlings keep true time with the chain, my plot will be sound, the Captain delivered, and my wits applauded among scholars and soldiers for ever.

[Exit Pye-board.]

SCENE II. A Garden.

[Enter Nicholas Saint Tantlings with the chain.]

NICHOLAS. Oh, I have found an excellent advantage to take away the chain: my Master put it off e'en now to say on a new Doublet, and I sneak't it away by little and little most Puritanically. We shall have good sport anon when ha's missed it about my Cousin the Conjurer. The world shall see I'm an honest man of my word, for now I'm going to hang it between Heaven and Earth among the Rosemary branches.

[Exit Nicholas.]

ACTUS 3.

SCENE I. The street before the Widow's house.

[Enter Simon Saint Mary-Ovaries and Frailty.]

FRAILTY. Sirrah Simon Saint Mary-Ovaries, my Mistress sends away all her suitors and puts fleas in their ears.

SIMON. Frailty, she does like an honest, chaste, and virtuous woman; for widdows ought not to wallow in the puddle of iniquity.

FRAILTY. Yet, Simon, many widdows will do't, what so comes on't.

SIMON. True, Frailty, their filthy flesh desires a Conjunction Copulative. What strangers are within, Frailty?

FRAILTY. There's none, Simon, but Master Pilfer the Tailor: he's above with Sir Godfrey praising of a Doublet: and I must trudge anon to fetch Master Suds, the Barber.

SIMON. Master Suds,—a good man; he washes the sins of the Beard clean.

[Enter old Skirmish the soldier.]

SKIRMISH. How now, creatures? what's a clock?

FRAILTY. Why, do you take us to be Jack ath' Clock-house?

SKIRMISH. I say again to you what's a clock.

SIMON. Truly la, we go by the clock our conscience: all worldly Clocks, we know, go false, and are set by drunken Sextons.

SKIRMISH. Then what's a clock in your conscience?—oh, I must break off, here comes the corporal—hum, hum!—what's a clock?

[Enter Corporal.]

CORPORAL. A clock? why, past seventeen.

FRAILTY. Past seventeen? nay, ha's met with his match now, Corporal Oath will fit him.

SKIRMISH. Thou doost not bawk or baffle me, doost thou? I am a Soldier—past seventeen!

CORPORAL. Aye, thou art not angry with the figures, art thou? I will prove it unto thee: 12. and 1. is thirteen, I hope, 2. fourteen, 3. fifteen, 4. sixteen, and 5. Seventeen; then past seventeen: I will take the Dials part in a just cause.

SKIRMISH. I say 'tis but past five, then.

CORPORAL. I'll swear 'tis past seventeen, then: doost thou not know numbers? Canst thou not cast?

SKIRMISH. Cast? dost thou speak of my casting ith' street?

CORPORAL. Aye, and in the Market place.

SIMON. Clubs, clubs, clubs!

[Simon runs in.]

FRAILTY. Aye, I knew by their shuffling, Clubs would be Trump; mass, here's the Knave, and he can do any good upon 'em: Clubs, clubs, clubs.

[Enter Pye-board.]

CORPORAL. O villain, thou hast opened a vein in my leg.

PYE. How no! for shame, for shame; put up, put up.

CORPORAL. By yon blue Welkin, 'twas out of my part, George, to be hurt on the leg.

[Enter Officers.]

PYE. Oh peace now—I have a Cordial here to comfort thee.

OFFICER. Down with 'em, down with em; lay hands upon the villain.

SKIRMISH. Lay hands on me?

PYE. I'll not be seen among em now.

[Exit Pye-board.]

CORPORAL. I'm hurt, and had more need have Surgeons Lay hands upon me then rough Officers.

OFFICER. Go, carry him to be dressed then.

[Exeunt some of the Sheriff's Officers with Corporal Oath.]

This mutinous Soldier shall along with me to prison.

SKIRMISH. To prison? where's George?

OFFICER. Away with him.

[Exeunt with Skirmish.]

[Re-enter Pye-board.]

PYE. So. All lights as I would wish. The amazed widdow Will plant me strongly now in her belief, And wonder at the virtue of my words: For the event turns those presages from em Of being mad and dumb, and begets joy Mingled with admiration. These empty creatures, Soldier and Corporal, were but ordained As instruments for me to work upon. Now to my patient; here's his potion.

[Exit Pye-board.]

SCENE II. An apartment in the Widow's house.]

[Enter the Widdow with her two Daughters.]

WIDDOW. O wondrous happiness, beyond our thoughts: O lucky fair event! I think our fortunes, Were blest e'en in our Cradles: we are quitted Of all those shameful violent presages By this rash bleeding chance. Go, Frailty, run, and know, Whether he be yet living, or yet dead, That here before my door received his hurt.

FRAILTY. Madam, he was carried to the superiour, but if he had no money when he came there, I warrant he's dead by this time.

[Exit Frailty.]

FRANCES. Sure, that man is a rare fortune-teller; never looked upon our hands, nor upon any mark about us: a wondrous fellow, surely.

MOLL. I am glad, I have the use of my tongue yet: tho of nothing else. I shall find the way to marry too, I hope, shortly.

WIDDOW. O where's my Brother, Sir Godfrey? I would he were here, that I might relate to him how prophetically the cunning Gentleman spoke in all things.

[Enter Sir Godfrey in a rage.]

SIR GODFREY. O my Chain, my Chain! I have lost my Chain. Where be these Villains, Varlets?

WIDDOW. Oh! has lost his Chain.

SIR GODFREY. My Chain, my chain!

WIDDOW. Brother, be patient, hear me speak: you know I told you that a cunning man told me that you should have a loss, and he has prophecied so true.

SIR GODFREY. Out, he's a villain, to prophecy of the loss of my chain: twas worth above three hundred Crowns,—besides, twas my Fathers, my fathers fathers, my Grand-fathers huge grant- fathers. I had as lieve ha lost my Neck, as the chain that hung about it. O, my chain, my chain!

WIDDOW. Oh, brother, who can be against a misfortune! tis happy twas no more.

SIR GODFREY. No, more! O goodly godly sister, would you had me lost more? my best gown, too, with the cloth of gold-lace? my holiday Gascoines, and my Jerkin set with pearl? No more!

WIDDOW. Oh, Brother! you can read—

SIR GODFREY. But I cannot read where my chain is.—What strangers have been here? you let in strangers, Thieves, and Catch-poles; how comes it gone? there was none above with me but my Tailor; and my Tailor will not—steal, I hope?

MOLL. No, he's afraid of a chain!

[Enter Frailty.]

WIDDOW. How now, sirrah? the news?

FRAILTY. O Mistress, he may well be called a Corporal now, for his corps are as dead as a cole Capons.

WIDDOW. More happiness.

SIR GODFREY. Sirrah, what's this to my chain? where's my chain, knave?

FRAILTY. Your chain, sir?

SIR GODFREY. My chain is lost, villain.

FRAILTY. I would he were hang'd in chains that has it then for me. Alas, sir, I saw none of your chain, since you were hung with it your self.

SIR GODFREY. Out, varlet! it had full three thousand Links. I have oft told it over at my prayers: Over and over, full three thousand Links.

FRAILTY. Had it so, sir: sure, it cannot be lost then; I'll put you in that comfort.

SIR GODFREY. Why, why?

FRAILTY. Why, if your chain had so many Links, it cannot choose but come to light.

[Enter Nicholas.]

SIR GODFREY. Delusion! now, long Nicholas, where's my chain?

NICHOLAS. Why, about your Neck, ist not, sir?

SIR GODFREY. About my neck, Varlet! My chain is lost. Tis stole away, I'm robbed.

WIDDOW. Nay, Brother, show your self a man.

NICHOLAS. Aye, if it be lost or stole, if he would be patient, Mistress, I could bring him to a Cunning Kinsman of mine that would fetcht again with a Sesarara.

SIR GODFREY. Canst thou? I will be patient: say, where dwells he?

NICHOLAS. Marry, he dwells now, Sir, where he would not dwell, and he could choose: in the Marshalsea, sir; but he's a exlent fellow if he were out; has traveled all the world o'er, he, and been in the seven and twenty Provinces; why, he would make it be fetcht, Sir, if twere rid a thousand mile out of town.

SIR GODFREY. An admirable fellow: what lies he for?

NICHOLAS. Why, he did but rob a Steward of ten groats tother Night, as any man would ha done, and there he lies fort.

SIR GODFREY. I'll make his peace: a Trifle! I'll get his pardon, Beside a bountiful reward. I'll about it. But see the Clerks, the Justice will do much. I will about it straight: good sister, pardon me. All will be well, I hope, and turn to good, The name of Conjurer has laid my blood.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE III. A street.

[Enter two servants with Yeoman Dogson to arrest the Scholar, George Pye-board.]

PUT. His Hostess where he lies will trust him no longer: she has feed me to arrest him; and if you will accompany me, because I know not of what Nature the Scholar is, whether desperate or swift, you shall share with me, Servant Raven- shaw. I have the good Angell to arrest him.

RAVEN. Troth, I'll take part with thee, then, Sergeant, not for the sake of the money so much, as for the hate I bear to a Scholar: why, Sergeant, tis Natural in us, you know, to hate Scholars, natural: besides, the will publish our imperfections, Knaveries, and Convayances upon Scaffolds and Stages.

PUT. Aye, and spitefully, too; troth, I have wondered how the slaves could see into our breasts so much, when our doublets are buttoned with Pewter.

RAVEN. Aye, and so close without yielding; oh, they're parlous fellows, they will search more with their wits than a Constable with all his officers.

PUT. Whist, whist, whist! Yeoman Dogson Yeoman Dogson.

DOGSON. Ha, what says Sergeant?

PUT. Is he in the Pothecaries shop still?

DOGSON. Aye, aye.

PUT. Have an eye, have an eye.

RAVEN. The best is, Sergeant, if he be a true Scholar, he wears no weapon, I think.

PUT. No, no, he wears no weapon.

RAVEN. Mass, I am right glad of that: 'tas put me in better heart. Nay, if I clutch him once, let me alone to drag him if he be stiff-necked. I have been one of the six my self, that has dragged as tall men of their hands, when their weapons have been gone, as ever bastinadoed a Sergeant—I have done, I can tell you.

DOGSON. Sergeant Puttock, Sergeant Puttock.

PUT. Hoh.

DOGSON. He's coming out single.

PUT. Peace, peace, be not too greedy; let him play a little, let him play a litle: we'll jerk him up of a sudden. I ha fished in my time.

RAVEN. Aye, and caught many a fool, Sergeant.

[Enter Pye-board.]

PYE. I parted now from Nicholas: the chain's couched, And the old Knight has spent his rage upont; The widdow holds me in great Admiration For cunning Art: mongst joys I am 'een lost, For my device can no way now be crossed. And now I must to prison to the captain, And there—

PUT. I arrest you, sir.

PYE. Oh—I spoke truer then I was a ware, I must to prison indeed.

PUT. They say you're a scholar: nay, sir—Yeoman Dogson, have care to his arms—you'll rail again Sergeants, and stage 'em! you tickle their vices!

PYE. Nay, use me like a Gentleman, I'm little less.

PUT. You a Gentleman? That's a good Jest, ifaith; can a Scholar be a Gentleman,—when a Gentleman will not be a Scholar? look upon your wealthy Citizen's sons, whether they be Scholars or no, that are Gentlemen by their father's trades: a Scholar a Gentleman!

PYE. Nay, let Fortune drive all her stings into me, she cannot hurt that in me: a Gentleman is Accidens Inseperable to my blood.

RAVEN. A rablement, nay, you shall have a bloody rablement upon you, I warrant you.

PUT. Go, Yeoman Dogson, before, and Enter the Action 'ith Counter.

PYE. Pray do not hand me Cruelly, I'll go,

[Exit Dogson.]

Whether you please to have me.

PUT. Oh, he's tame; let him loose, sergeant.

PYE. Pray, at whose suit is this?

PUT. Why at your Hostesses suit where you lie, Mistress Cunnyburrow, for bed and board, the sum four pound five shillings and five pence.

PYE. I know the sum too true, yet I presumed Upon a farder day; well, tis my stars And I must bear it now, tho never harder. I swear now, my device is crossed indeed. Captain must lie bite: this is Deceit's seed.

PUT. Come, come away.

PYE. Pray, give me so much time as to knit my garter, and I'll a way with you.

PUT. Well, we must be paid for this waiting upon you, this is no pains to attend thus.

[Pye-board making to tie his garter.]

PYE. I am now wretched and miserable. I shall ne'er recover of this disease: hot Iron gnaw their fists! they have struck a Fever into my shoulder, which I shall ne'er shake out again, I fear me, till with a true Habeas Corpus the Sexton remove me. Oh, if I take prison once, I shall be pressed to death with Actions, but not so happy as speedily; perhaps I may be forty year a pressing, till I be a thin old man; That, looking through the grates, men may look through me. All my means is confounded: what shall I do? has my wits served me so long, and now give me the slip (like a Trained servant) when I have most need of 'em? no device to keep my poor carcass fro these Puttocks?—yes, happiness! have I a paper about me now? yes, too! I'll try it, it may hit: Extremity is Touch-stone unto wit. Aye, aye.

PUT. Sfoot, how many yards are in thy Garters, that thou art so long a tying on them? come away, sir.

PYE. Troth, Sergeant, I protest, you could never ha took me at a worse time; for now at this instant I have no lawful picture about me.

PUT. Slid, how shall we come by our fees then?

RAVEN. We must have fees, Sirra.

PYE. I could ha wisht, ifaith, that you had took me half an hour hence for your own sake; for I protest, if you had not crossed me, I was going in great joy to receive five pound of a Gentleman, for the Device of a Mask here, drawn in this paper. But now, come, I must be contented: tis but so much lost, and answerable to the rest of my fortunes.

PUT. Why, how far hence dwells that Gentleman?

RAVEN. Aye, well said, sergeant, tis good to cast about for money.

PUT. Speak; if it be not far—

PYE. We are but a little past it, the next street behind us.

PUT. Slid, w have waited upon you grievously already: if you'll say you'll be liberal when you hate, give us double fees, and spend upon's, why we'll show you that kindness, and go along with you to the Gentleman.

RAVEN. Aye, well said still, sergeant, urge that.

PYE. Troth, if it will suffice, it shall be all among you; for my part I'll not pocket a penny: my hostess shall have her four pound five shillings, and bate me the five pence, and the other fifteen shillings I'll spend upon you.

RAVEN. Why, now thou art a good Scholar.

PUT. An excellent Scholar, ifaith; has proceeded very well alate; come, we'll along with you.

[Exeunt with him: passing in they knock at the door with a Knocker withinside.]

SCENE IV. A gallery in a gentleman's house.

[Enter a servant.]

SERVANT. Who knocks? who's at door? we had need of a Porter.

PYE. A few friends here:—pray, is the Gentleman your master within?

SERVANT. Yes, is your business to him?

PYE. Aye, he knows it, when he see's me: I pray you, have you forgot me?

SERVANT. Aye, by my troth, sir. Pray come near; I'll in and tell him of you: please you to walk here in the Gallery till he comes.

PYE. We will attend his worship.—Worship, I think, for so much the Posts at his door should signify, and the fair coming in, and the wicket; else I neither knew him nor his worship, but 'tis happiness he is within doors, what so ere he be; if he be not too much a formal Citizen, he may do me good.— Sergeant and Yeoman, how do you like this house? ist not most wholesomely plotted?

RAVEN. Troth, prisoner, an exceeding fine house.

PYE. Yet I wonder how he should forget me,—for he ne'er knew me.—No matter, what is forgot in you will be remembered in your Master. A pretty comfortable room this, me thinks: You have no such rooms in prison now?

PUT. Oh, dog-holes toote.

PYE. Dog-holes, indeed. I can tell you, I have great hope to have my Chamber here shortly, nay, and diet too, for he's the most free-heartedst Gentleman where he takes: you would little think it! and what a fine Gallery were here for me to walk and study, and make verses.

PUT. O, it stands very pleasantly for a Scholar.

[Enter Gentleman.]

PYE. Look what maps, and pictures, and devices, and things: neatly, delicately—mass, here he comes: he should be a Gentleman; I like his Beard well.—All happiness to your worship.

GENTLEMAN. You're kindly welcome, sir.

PUT. A simple salutation.

RAVEN. Mass, it seems the Gentleman makes great account of him.

PYE. I have the thing here for you, sir. I beseech you conceal me, sir, I'm undone else,—I have the Mask here for you, sir, Look you, sir.—I beseech your worship first to pardon my rudeness, for my extremes makes me bolder than I would be. I am a poor Gentleman and a Scholar, and now most unfortunately fallen into the Fangs of unmerciful officers, arrested for debt, which tho small, I am not able to compass, by reason I'm destitute of lands, money, and friends; so that if I fall into the hungry swallow of the prison, I am like utterly to perish, and with fees and extortions be pincht clean to the bone. Now, if ever pity had interest in the blood of a Gentleman, I beseech you vouchsafe but to favour that means of my escape, which I have already thought upon.

GENTLEMAN. Go forward.

PUT. I warrant he likes it rarely.

PYE. In the plundge of my extremities, being giddy, and doubtful what to do, at least it was put into my labouring thoughts, to make happy use of this paper; and to blear their unlettered eyes, I told them there was a Device for a Mask drawn int', and that (but for their interception,) I was going to a Gentleman to receive my reward for't: they, greedy at this word, and hoping to make purchase of me, offered their attendance, to go along with me. My hap was to make bold with your door, Sir, which my thoughts showed me the most fairest and comfortablest entrance, and I hope I have happened right upon understanding and pity: may it please your good Worship, then, but to uphold my Device, which is to let one of your men put me out at back-door, and I shall be bound to your worship for ever.

GENTLEMAN. By my troth, an excellent device.

PUT. An excellent device, he says; he likes it wonderfully.

GENTLEMAN. A my faith, I never heard a better.

RAVEN. Hark, he swears he never heard a better, Sergeant.

PUT. O, there's no talk on't, he's an excellent Scholar, and especially for a Mask.

GENTLEMAN. Give me your Paper, your Device; I was never better pleased in all my life: good wit, brave wit, finely wrought! come in, sir, and receive your money, sir.

PYE. I'll follow your good Worship.— You heard how he liked it now?

PUT. Puh, we know he could not choose but like it: go thy ways; thou art a witty fine fellow, ifaith, thou shalt discourse it to us at Tavern anon, wilt thou?

pye. Aye, aye, that I will. Look, Sergeants, here are Maps, and pretty toys: be doing in the mean time. I shall quickly have told out the money, you know.

PUT. Go, go, little villain, fetch thy chinck. I begin to love thee; I'll be drunk to night in thy company.

PYE. [Aside.] This Gentleman I may well call a part Of my salvation, in these earthly evils, For he has saved me from three hungry Devils.

[Exit George.]

PUT. Sirrah Sergeant, these Maps are pretty painted things, but I could ne'er fancy 'em yet: me thinks they're too busy, and full of Circles and Conjurations; they say all the world's in one of them, but I could ne'er find the Counter in the Poultry.

RAVEN. I think so: how could you find it? for you know, it stands behind the houses.

DOGSON. Mass, that's true; then we must look ath' back-side fort. Sfoot, here's nothing, all's bare.

RAVEN. I warrant thee, that stands for the Counter, for you know there's a company of bare fellows there.

PUT. Faith, like enough, Sergeant; I never marked so much before. Sirrah Sergeant, and Yeoman, I should love these Maps out a cry now, if we could see men peep out of door in em: oh, we might have em in a morning to our Break-fast so finely, and ne'er knock our heels to the ground a whole day for em.

RAVEN. Aye, marry, sir, I'd buy one then my self. But this talk is by the way: where shall's sup to night? Five pound receiv'd! let's talk of that. I have a trick worth all: you two shall bear him to 'th Tavern, whilst I go close with his Hostess, and work out of her. I know she would be glad of the sum to finger money, because she knows tis but a desperate debt, and full of hazard. What will you say, if I bring it to pass that the Hostess shall be contented with one half for all; and we to share tother fifty-shillings, bullies?

PUT. Why, I would call thee King of Sergeants, and thou shouldst be Chronicled in the Counter book for ever.

RAVEN. Well, put it to me, we'll make a Night on't, yfaith.

DOGSON. Sfoot, I think he receives a more money, he stays so long.

PUT. He tarries long, indeed: may be, I can tell you, upon the good liking ont the Gentleman may prove more bountiful.

RAVEN. That would be rare; we'll search him.

PUT. Nay, be sure of it, we'll search him! and make him light enough.

[Enter the Gentleman.]

RAVEN. Oh, here comes the Gentleman. By your leave, sir.

GENTLEMAN. God you god den, sirs,—would you speak with me?

PUT. No, not with your worship, sir; only we are bold to stay for a friend of ours that went in with your worship.

GENTLEMAN. Who? not the scholar?

PUT. Yes, e'en he, and it please your worship.

GENTLEMAN. Did he make you stay for him? he did you wrong, then: why, I can assure you he's gone above an hour ago.

RAVEN. How, sir?

GENTLEMAN. I paid him his money, and my man told me he went out at back-door.

PUT. Back-door?

GENTLEMAN. Why, what's the matter?

PUT. He was our prisoner, sir; we did arrest him.

GENTLEMAN. What! he was not! you the Sheriff's Officers! You were to blame then. Why did you no make known to me as much? I could have kept him for you: I protest he received all of me in Britain Gold of the last coining.

RAVEN. Vengeance dog him with't!

PUT. Sfott, has he guiled us so?

DOGSON. Where shall we sup now Sergeant?

PUT. Sup, Simon, now! eat Porridge for a month. Well, we cannot impute it to any lack of good-will in your Worship,—you did but as another would have done: twas our hard fortunes to miss the purchase, but if e'er we clutch him again, the Counter shall charm him.

RAVEN. The hole shall rot him.

DOGSON. Amen

[Exeunt.]

GENTLEMAN. So, Vex out your Lungs without doors. I am proud, It was my hap to help him; it fell fit. He went not empty neither for his wit. Alas, poor wretch, I could not blame his brain To labour his delivery, to be free From their unpitying fangs—I'm glad it stood Within my power to do a Scholar good.

[Exit.]

SCENE V. A room in the Marshalsea prison.

[Enter in the Prison, meeting, George and Captain, George coming in muffled.]

CAPTAIN. How now, who's that? what are you?

PYE. The same that I should be, Captain.

CAPTAIN. George Pye-board, honest George? why camst thou in half fac'd, muffled so?

PYE. Oh, Captain, I thought we should ne'er ha laught again, never spent frolick hour again.

CAPTAIN. Why? why?

PYE. I coming to prepare thee, and with news As happy as thy quick delivery, Was trac'd out by the sent, arrested, Captain.

CAPTAIN. Arrested, George!

PYE. Arrested: gesse, gesse; how many Dogs do you think I'd upon me?

CAPTAIN. Dogs? I say? I know not.

PYE. Almost as many as George Stone the Bear: Three at once, three at once.

CAPTAIN. How didst thou shake 'em off, then?

PYE. The time is busy, and calls upon out wits. Let it suffice, Here I stand safe, and scapt by miracle. Some other hour shall tell thee, when we'll steep Our eyes in laughter. Captain, my device Leans to thy happiness, for ere the day Be spent toth' Girdle, thou shalt be set free. The Corporal's in his first sleep, the Chain is missed, Thy Kinsman has exprest thee, and the old Knight With Palsey-hams now labours thy release: What rests is all in thee, to Conjure, Captain.

CAPTAIN. Conjure! sfoot, George, you know the devil a conjuring I can conjure.

PYE. The Devil of conjuring? Nay, by my fay, I'd not have thee do so much, Captain, as the Devil a conjuring: look here, I ha brought thee a circle ready charactered and all.

CAPTAIN. Sfoot, George, art in thy right wits? doost know what thou sayest? why doost talk to a Captain of conjuring? didst thou ever hear of a Captain conjure in thy life? doost cal't a Circle? tis too wide a thing, me thinks: had it been a lesser Circle, then I knew what to have done.

PYE. Why, every fool knows that, Captain: nay, then, I'll not cog with you, Captain; if you'll stay and hang the next Sessions, you may.

CAPTAIN. No, by my faith, George: come, come, let's to conjuring, let's to conjuring.

PYE. But if you look to be released—as my wits have took pain to work it, and all means wrought to farther it— besides to put crowns in your purse, to make you a man of better hopes, and whereas before you were a Captain or poor Soldier, to make you now a Commander of rich fools, (which is truly the only best purchase peace can allow you) safer then High-ways, Heath, or Cunny-groves, and yet a far better booty; for your greatest thieves are never hangd, never hangd, for, why, they're wise, and cheat within doors: and we geld fools of more money in one night, then your false tailed Gelding will purchase in a twelve-month's running; which confirms the old Beldam saying, he's wisest, that keeps himself warmest; that is, he that robs by a good fire—

CAPTAIN. Well opened, yfaith, George; thou has pulled that saying out of the husk.

PYE. Captain Idle, tis no time now to delude or delay: the old Knight will be here suddenly. I'll perfect you, direct you, tell you the trick on't: tis nothing.

CAPTAIN. Sfoot, George, I know not what to say toot: conjure? I shall be hand ere I conjure.

PYE. Nay, tell not me of that, Captain; you'll ne'er conjure after you're hangd, I warrant you. Look you, sir, a parlous matter, sure! First, to spread your circle upon the ground, then, with a little conjuring ceremony, as I'll have an Hackney-man's wand silvered ore a purpose for you,—then arriving in the circle, with a huge word, and a great trample, as for instance:—have you never seen a stalking- stamping Player, that will raise a tempest with his tongue, and thunder with his heels?

CAPTAIN. O yes, yes, yes: often, often.

PYE. Why, be like such a one, for any thing will blear the old Knight's eyes: for you must note that he'll ne'er dare to venture into the room, only perhaps peep fearfully through the Key hold, to see how the Play goes forward.

CAPTAIN. Well, I may go about it when I will, but mark the end ont: I shall but shame my self, ifaith, George. Speak big words, and stamp and stare, and he look in at Key-hold! why, the very thought of that would make me laugh out-right, and spoil all: nay, I'll tell thee, George, when I apprehend a thing once, I am of such a laxative laughter, that if the Devil him-self stood by, I should laugh in his face.

PYE. Puh, that's but the babe of a man, and may easily be husht; as to think upon some disaster, some sad misfortune, as the death of thy Father ithe Country!

CAPTAIN. Sfoot, that would be the more to drive me into such an extasy, that I should ne'er lin laughing.

PYE. Why, then, think upon going to hanging else.

CAPTAIN. Mass, that's well remembred; now I'll do well, I warrant thee, ne'er fear me now: but how shall I do, George, for boisterous words, and horrible names?

PYE. Puh, any fustian invocations, Captain, will serve as well as the best, so you rant them out well; or you may go to a Pothecaries shop, and take all the words from the Boxes.

CAPTAIN. Troth, and you say true, George; there's strange words enow to raise a hundred Quack-salvers, tho they be ne'er so poor when they begin. But here lies the fear on't, how if in this false conjuration, a true Devil should pop up indeed?

PYE. A true Devil, Captain? why there was ne'er such a one: nay, faith, he that has this place is as false a Knave as our last Church-warden.

CAPTAIN. Then he's false enough a conscience, ifaith, George.

[The Crie at Marshalsea.]

CRIE PRISONERS. Good Gentlemen over the way, send your relief. Good Gentlemen over the way,—Good sir Godfrey!

PYE. He's come, he's come.

NICHOLAS. Master, that's my Kinsman yonder in the Buff-jerkin—Kinsman, that's my Master yonder ith' Taffetie Hat—pray salute him entirely!

[They salute: and Pye-board salutes Master Edmond.]

SIR GODFREY. Now, my friend.

PYE. May I pertake your name, sir?

EDMOND. My name is Master Edmond.

PYE. Master Edmond?—are you not a Welshman, sir?

EDMOND. A Welshman? why?

PYE. Because Master is your Christian name, and Edmond your sir name.

EDMOND. O no; I have more names at home: Master Edmond Plus is my full name at length.

PYE. O, cry you mercy, sir. [Whispering]

CAPTAIN. I understand that you are my Kinsman's good Master, and in regard of that, the best of my skill is at your service: but had you fortuned a mere stranger, and made no means to me by acquaintance, I should have utterly denied to have been the man; both by reason of the act past in Parliament against Conjurers and Witches, as also, because I would not have my Art vulgar, trite, and common.

SIR GODFREY. I much commend your care therein, good Captain Conjurer, and that I will be sure to have it private enough, you shall doot in my Sister's house,—mine own house, I may call it, for both our charges therein are proportioned.

CAPTAIN. Very good, sir—what may I call your loss, sir?

SIR GODFREY. O you may call't a great loss, sir, a grievous loss, sir; as goodly a Chain of gold, tho I say it, that wore it: how sayest thou, Nicholas?

NICHOLAS. O 'twas as delicious a Chain a Gold! Kinsman, you know,—

SIR GODFREY. You know? did you know't, Captain?

CAPTAIN. Trust a fool with secrets!—Sir, he may say I know: his meaning is, because my Art is such, that by it I may gather a knowledge of all things.

SIR GODFREY. Aye, very true.

CAPTAIN. A pax of all fools—the excuse struck upon my tongue like Ship-pitch upon a Mariner's gown, not to come off in haste— Ber-lady, Knight, to loose such a fair Chain a gold were a foul loss. Well, I can put you in this good comfort on't: if it be between Heaven and Earth, Knight, I'll ha't for you.

SIR GODFREY. A wonderful Conjurer!—O, aye, tis between heaven and earth, I warrant you; it cannot go out of the realm.—I know tis some-where above the earth.

CAPTAIN. Aye, nigher the earth then thou wotst on.

SIR GODFREY. For, first, my Chain was rich, and no rich thing shall enter into heaven, you know.

NICHOLAS. And as for the Devil, Master, he has no need on't, for you know he ha's a great chain of his own.

SIR GODFREY. Thou sayest true, Nicholas, but he has put off that now; that lies by him.

CAPTAIN. Faith, Knight, in few words, I presume so much upon the power of my Art; that I could warrant your Chain again.

SIR GODFREY. O dainty Captain!

CAPTAIN. Marry, it will cost me much sweat; I were better go to sixteen whot-houses.

SIR GODFREY. Aye, good man, I warrant thee.

CAPTAIN. Beside great vexation of Kidney and Liver.

NICHOLAS. O, twill tickle you here-abouts, Coozen, because you have not been used toot.

SIR GODFREY. No? have you not been used too't, Captain?

CAPTAIN. Plague of all fools still!—Indeed, Knight, I have not used it a good while, and therefore twill strain me so much the more, you know.

SIR GODFREY. Oh, it will, it will.

CAPTAIN. What plunges he puts me to! were not this Knight a fool, I had been twice spoiled now; that Captain's worse than accurst that has an ass to his Kinsman. Sfoot, I fear he will drivell't out before I come toot.—Now, sir—to come to the point in deed—you see I stick here in the jaw of the Marshalsea, and cannot doo't.

SIR GODFREY. Tut, tut, I know thy meaning; thou wouldst say thou'rt a prisoner. I tell thee thou'rt none.

CAPTAIN. How none? why, is not this the Marshallsea?

SIR GODFREY. Woult hear me speak? I hard of thy rare conjuring; My chain was lost; I sweat for thy release, As thou shalt do the like at home for me. Keeper.

[Enter Keeper.]

KEEPER. Sir.

SIR GODFREY. Speak, is not this man free?

KEEPER. Yes, at his pleasure, sir, the fee's discharged.

SIR GODFREY. Go, go, I'll discharge them I.

KEEPER. I thank your worship.

[Exit Keeper.]

CAPTAIN. Now, trust me, yar a dear Knight. Kindness unexpected! oh, there's nothing to a free Gentle man.—I will conjure for you, sir, till Froth come through my Buff-jerkin!

SIR GODFREY, Nay, then thou shalt not pass with so little a bounty, for at the first sight of my chain again, Forty fine Angells shall appear unto thee.

CAPTAIN. Twil be a glorious show, ifaith, Knight, a very fine show; but are all these of your own house? are you sure of that, sir?

SIR GODFREY. Aye, aye—no, no, what's he yonder, talking with my wild Nephew? pray heaven, he give him good counsel.

CAPTAIN. Who, he? he's a rare friend of mine, an admirable fellow, Knight, the finest fortune-teller.

SIR GODFREY. Oh, tis he indeed that came to my Lady sister, and foretold the loss of my chain. I am not angry with him now, for I see twas my fortune to loose it.—By your leave, Master Fortune-teller, I had a glimpse on you at home at my Sisters the Widdows, there you prophesied of the loss of a chain:—simply tho I stand here, I was he that lost it.

PYE. Was it you, sir?

EDMOND. A my troth, Nuckle, he's the rarest fellow: has told me my fortune so right; I find it so right to my nature.

SIR GODFREY. What ist? God send it a good one!

EDMOND. O, tis a passing good one, Nuncle: for he says I shall prove such an excellent gamester in my time, that I shall spend all faster then my father got it.

SIR GODFREY. There's a fortune, in deed!

EDMOND. Nay, it hits my humour so pat.

SIR GODFREY. Aye, that will be the end ont: will the Curse of the beggar prevail so much, that the son shall consume that foolishly, which the father got craftily? Aye, aye, aye; twill, twill, twill.

PYE. Stay, stay, stay.

[Pye-board with an Almanack and the Captain.]

CAPTAIN. Turn over, George.

PYE. June—July: here, July; that's this month. Sunday thirteen, yester day forteen, to day fifteen.

CAPTAIN. Look quickly for the fifteen day:—if within the compass of these two days there would be some Boystrous storm or other, it would be the best, I'd defer him off till then: some tempest, and it be thy will.

PYE. Here's the fifteen day—hot and fair.

CAPTAIN. Puh, would t'ad been hot and foul.

PYE. The sixteen day; that's to morrow: the morning for the most part fair and pleasant—

CAPTAIN. No luck.

PYE. But about high-noon, lightning and thunder.

CAPTAIN. Lightning and thunder! admirable, best of all: I'll conjure to morrow just at high noon, George.

PYE. Happen but true to morrow, Almanack, and I'll give thee leave to lie all the year after.

CAPTAIN. Sir, I must crave your patience, to bestow this day upon me, that I may furnish my self strongly. I sent a spirit into Lancashire tother day, to fetch back a knave Drover, and I look for his return this evening. To morrow morning my friend here and I will come and break-fast with you.

SIR GODFREY. Oh, you shall be both most welcome.

CAPTAIN. And about Noon, without fail, I purpose to conjure.

SIR GODFREY. Mid noon will be a fine time for you.

EDMOND. Conjuring! do you mean to conjure at our house to morrow, sir?

CAPTAIN. Marry, do I, sir: tis my intent, young Gentleman.

EDMOND. By my troth, I'll love you while I live fort. O rare, Nicholas, we shall have conjuring to morrow.

NICHOLAS. Puh! Aye, I could ha told you of that.

CAPTAIN. Law, he could ha told him of that! fool, cockscomb, could ye?

EDMOND. Do you hear me, sir? I desire more acquaintance on you: you shall earn some money of me, now I know you can conjure; but can you fetch any that is lost?

CAPTAIN. Oh, any thing that's lost.

EDMOND. Why, look you, sir, I tel't you as a friend and a Conjurer, I should marry a Poticaries daughter, and twas told me she lost her maidenhead at Stonie-stratford; now if you'll do but so much as conjure fort, and make all whole again—

CAPTAIN. That I will, sir.

EDMOND. By my troth, I thanks you, la.

CAPTAIN. A little merry with your sister's son, sir.

SIR GODFREY. Oh, a simple young man, very simple: come, Captain, and you, sir, we'll e'en part with a gallon of wine till to morrow break-fast.

PYE AND CAPTAIN. Troth, agreed, sir.

NICHOLAS. Kinsman—Scholar?

PYE. Why, now thou art a good Knave, worth a hundred Brownists.

NICHOLAS. Am I indeed, la? I thank you truly, la.

[Exeunt.]

ACTUS 4.

SCENE I. An apartment in the Widow's house.

[Enter Moll, and Sir John Penny-dub.]

PENNY. But I hope you will not serve a Knight so, Gentlewoman, will you? to cashier him, and cast him off at your pleasure? what, do you thiunk I was dubbed for nothing? no, by my faith, Ladies daughter.

MOLL. Pray, Sir John Pennydub, let it be deferred awhile. I have as big a heart to marry as you can have; but as the Fortune- teller told me—

PENNY. Pax a'th Fortune-teller! would Derecke had been his fortune seven year ago, to cross my love thus! did he know what case I was in? why, this is able to make a man drown himself in's Father's fish-pond.

MOLL. And then he told me more-over, Sir John, that the breach of it kept my Father in Purgatory.

PENNY. In Purgatory? why let him purge out his heart there, what have we to do with that? there's Philistions enow there to cast his water: is that any matter to us? how can he hinder our love? why, let him be hangd now he's dead!—Well, have I rid my post day and night, to bring you merry news of my father's death, and now—

MOLL. Thy Father's death? is the old Faarmer dead?

PENNY. As dead as his Barn door, Moll.

MOLL. And you'll keep your word with me now, Sir John, that I shall have my Coach and my Coach-man?

PENNY. Aye, faith.

MOLL. And two white Horses with black Feathers to draw it?

PENNY. Too.

MOLL. A guarded Lackey to run befor't, and pied liveries to come trashing after't.

PENNY. Thou shalt, Moll.

MOLL. And to let me have money in my purse to go whether I will.

PENNY. All this.

MOLL. Then come what so ere comes on't, we'll be made sure together before the Maids a' the Kitchen.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. A room in the Widow's house, with a door at the side, leading to another apartment.

[Enter Widdow, with her eldest Daughter Frances and Frailty.]

WIDOW. How now? where's my Brother, Sir Godfrey? went he forth this morning?

FRAILTY. O no, Madame, he's above at break-fast, with, sir reverence, a Conjurer.

WIDOW. A Conjurer? what manner a fellow is he?

FRAILTY. Oh, a wondrous rare fellow, Mistress, very strongly made upward, for he goes in a Buff-jerkin: he says he will fetch Sir Godfrey's Chain again, if it hang between heaven and earth.

WIDOW. What, he will not? then he's an exlent fellow, I warrant. How happy were that woman to be blest with such a Husband! a man a cunning! how do's he look, Frailty? very swartly, I warrant, with black beard, scorcht cheeks, and smoky eyebrows.

FRAILTY. Fooh, he's neither smoke-dried, nor scorcht, nor black, nor nothing. I tell you, Madame, he looks as fair to see to, as one of us; I do not think but if you saw him once, you'd take him to be a Christian.

FRANCES. So fair, and yet so cunning: that's to be wonderd at, Mother.

[Enter Sir Oliver Muck-hill, and Sir Andrew Tip-staff.]

MUCK. Bless you, sweet Lady.

TIP. And you, fair Mistress.

[Exit Frailty.]

WIDOW. Coades? what do you mean, Gentlemen? fie, did I not give you your answers?

MUCK. Sweet Lady.

WIDOW. Well, I will not stick with you now for a kiss. Daughter, kiss the Gentleman for once.

FRANCES. Yes, forsooth.

TIP. I'm proud of such a favour.

WIDOW. Truly la, sir Oliver, y'are much to blame to come again, when you know my mind, so well deliverd as a Widdow could deliver a thing.

MUCK. But I expect a farther comfort, Lady.

WIDOW. Why la you now, did I not desire you to put off your suit quite and clean, when you came to me again? how say you? did I not?

MUCK. But the sincere love which my heart bears you—

WIDOW. Go to, I'll cut you off: and Sir Oliver, to put you in comfort a far off, my fortune is read me: I must marry again.

MUCK. O blest fortune!

WIDOW. But not as long as I can choose;—nay, I'll hold out well.

MUCK. Yet are my hopes now fairer.

[Enter Frailty.]

FRAILTY. O Madam, Madam.

WIDOW. How now, what's the haste?

[In her ear.]

TIP. Faith, Mistress Frances, I'll maintain you gallantly. I'll bring you to Court, wean you among the fair society of ladies, poor Kinswomen of mine, in cloth of silver: beside, you shall have your Monkey, your Parrot, your Muskrat, and your pisse, pisse, pisse.

FRANCES. It will do very well.

WIDOW. What, dos he mean to conjure here then? how shall I do be rid of these Knights?—Please you, Gentlemen, to walk a while ith Garden: go gather a pink, or a Lily-flower.

BOTH. With all our hearts, Lady, and court us favourd.

[Exit. Within Sir Godfrey.]

SIR GODFREY. Step in, Nicholas; look, is the coast clear.

NICHOLAS. Oh, as clear as a Cat's eye, sir.

SIR GODFREY. Then enter, Captain Conjurer:—now—how like you your Room, sir?

[Enter Sir Godfrey, Captain Pye-board, Edmond, Nicholas.]

CAPTAIN. O, wonderful convenient.

EDMOND. I can tell you, Captain, simply tho it lies here, tis the fairest Room in my Mother's house: as dainty a Room to Conjure in, me thinks—why, you may bid, I cannot tell how many devils welcome in't; my Father has had twenty here at once.

PYE. What, devils?

EDMOND. Devils? no, Deputies, and the wealthiest men he could get.

SIR GODFREY. Nay, put by your chats now, fall to your business roundly: the feskewe of the Dial is upon the Chrisse-crosse of Noon, but oh, hear me, Captain, a qualm comes ore my stomach.

CAPTAIN. Why, what's the matter, sir?

SIR GODFREY. Oh, how if the devil should prove a knave, and tear the hangings?

CAPTAIN. Fuh, I warrant you, Sir Godfrey.

EDMOND. Aye, Nuncle, or spit fire up'oth ceiling!

SIR GODFREY. Very true, too, for tis but thin plastered, and twill quickly take hold a the laths, and if he chance to spit downward too, he will burn all the boards.

CAPTAIN. My life for yours, Sir Godfrey.

SIR GODFREY. My Sister is very curious and dainty ore this Room, I can tell, and therefore if he must needs spit, I pray desire him to spit ith Chimney.

PYE. Why, assure you, Sir Godfrey, he shall not be brought up with so little manners to spit and spaul a'th flower.

SIR GODFREY. Why, I thank you, good Captain; pray have a care. Aye, fall to your Circle; we'll not trouble you, I warrant you: come, we'll in to the next Room, and be cause we'll be sure to keep him out there, we'll bar up the door with some of the Godlies zealous work.

EDMOND. That will be a find device, Nuncle, and because the ground shall be as holy as the door, I'll tear two or three rosaries in pieces, and strew the leaves about the Chamber.

[Thunders.]

Oh, the devil already.

[Runs in.]

PYE. Sfoot, Captain, speak somewhat for shame; it lightens and thunders before thou wilt begin: why, when?

CAPTAIN. Pray, peace, George,—thou'lt make me laugh anon and spoil all.

PYE. Oh, now it begins again: now, now, now, Captain.

CAPTAIN. Rumbos—ragdayon, pur, pur, colucundrion, Hois-Plois.

SIR GODFREY. Oh admirable Conurer! has fetcht Thunder already:

[Sir Godfrey through the keyhole; within.]

PYE. Hark, hark! again, Captain!

CAPTAIN. Benjamino,—gaspois—kay—gosgothoteron—umbrois.

SIR GODFREY. Oh, I would the devil would come away quickly, he has no conscience to put a man to such pain.

PYE. Again!

CAPTAIN. Floste—Kakopumpos—dragone—Leloomenos—hodge—podge.

PYE. Well said, Captain.

SIR GODFREY. So long a coming? oh, would I had ne'er begun't now, for I fear me these roaring tempests will destroy all the fruits of the earth, and tread upon my corn—oh!—ith Country.

CAPTAIN. Gog de gog, hobgoblin, huncks, hounslow, hockley te coome parke.

WIDOW. [At the door.] O brother, brother, what a tempests ith Garden: sure there's some conjuration abroad.

SIR GODFREY. Tis at home, sister!

PYE. By and by, I'll step in, Captain.

CAPTAIN. Nunck—Nunck—Rip—Gascoynes, Ipis, Drip—Dropite.

SIR GODFREY. He drips and drops, poor man! alas, alas.

PYE. Now I come.

CAPTAIN. O Sulphure Sooteface—

PYE. Arch-conjurer, what wouldst thou with me?

SIR GODFREY. O the devil, sister, ith dining Chamber! sing, Sister, I warrant you that will keep him out: quickly, quickly, quickly.

[Goes in.]

PYE. So, so, so, I'll release thee: ynough, Captain, ynough; allow us some time to laugh a little: they're shuddering and shaking by this time, as if an Earth-quake were in their kidneys.

CAPTAIN. Sirrah, Goerge, how wast, how wast? did I doo't well ynough?

PYE. Woult believe me, Captain? better then any Conjurer, for here was no harm in this, and yet their horrible expectation satisfied well. You were much beholding to thunder and lightning at this time: it gracst you well I can tell you.

CAPTAIN. I must needs say so, George. Sirrah, if we could ha convoid hither cleanly a cracker or a fire-wheel t'ad been admirable.

PYE. Blurt, blurt! there's nothing remains to put thee to pain now, Captain.

CAPTAIN. Pain? I protest, George, my heels are sorer, then a Whitson Morris-dancer.

PYE. All's past now,—only to reveal that the chains ith Garden where thou knowst it has lain these two days.

CAPTAIN. But I fear that fox Nicholas has revealed it already.

PYE. Fear not, Captain, you must put it to'th venture now. Nay, tis time: call upon e'm, take pity on e'm, for I believe some of 'em are in a pitiful case by this time.

CAPTAIN. Sir Godfrey? Nicholas, Kinsman—Sfoot, they're fast at it still, George. Sir Godfrey!

SIR GODFREY. Oh, is that the devil's voice? how comes he to know my name?

CAPTAIN. Fear not, Sir Godfrey, all's quieted.

SIR GODFREY. What, is he laid?

CAPTAIN. Laid; and has newly dropt your chain ith Garden.

SIR GODFREY. Ith Garden! in our Garden?

CAPTAIN. Your Garden.

SIR GODFREY. O sweet Conjurer! where abouts there?

CAPTAIN. Look well about a bank of Rosemary.

SIR GODFREY. Sister, the Rosemary bank! come, come, there's my chain, he says.

WIDOW. Oh happiness! run, run.

[Supposed to go.]

EDMOND. Captain Conjurer?

[Edmond at keyhole.]

CAPTAIN. Who? Master Edmond?

EDMOND. Aye, Master Edmond: may I come in safely, without danger, think you?

CAPTAIN. Fuh, long ago: tis all as twas at first. Fear nothing, pray come near—how now, man?

EDMOND. Oh this Room's mightily hot, ifaith: slid, my shirt sticks to my Belly already. What a steam the Rogue has left behind him! foh, this room must be aired, Gentlemen; it smells horribly of Brimstone—let's open the windows.

PYE. Faith, master Edmond, tis but your conceit.

EDMOND. I would you could make me believe that, ifaith. Why, do you think I cannot smell his savour from another? yet I take it kindly from you, because you would not put me in a fear, ifaith; a my troth, I shall love you for this the longest day of my life.

CAPTAIN. Puh, tis nothing, sir: love me when you see more.

EDMOND. Mass, now I remember, I'll look whether he has singed the hangings or no.

PYE. Captain, to entertain a little sport till they come, make him believe you'll charm him invisible: he's apt to admire any thing, you see. Let him alone to give force too'te.

CAPTAIN. Go, retire to yonder end then.

EDMOND. I protest you are a rare fellow, are you not?

CAPTAIN. O master Edmond, you know but the least part of me yet: why, now at this instant I could but florish my wand thrice o'er your head, and charm you invisible.

EDMOND. What, you could not? make me walk invisible, man! I should laugh at that, ifaith; troth, I'll requite your kindness and you'll do't, good Captain conjurer.

CAPTAIN. Nay, I should hardly deny you such a small kindness, Master Edmond Plus: why, look you, sir, tis no more but this and thus and again, and now yar invisible!

EDMOND. Am I, ifaith? who would think it?

CAPTAIN. You see the fortune-teller yonder at farder end ath chamber: go toward him, do what you will with him; he shall ne'er find you.

EDMOND. Say you so? I'll try that, ifaith,—

[Justles him.]

PYE. How now? Captain, who's that justled me?

CAPTAIN. Justled you? I saw no body.

EDMOND. Ha, ha, ha!—say twas a spirit.

CAPTAIN. Shall I?—may be some spirit that haunts the circle.

[Edmond pulls him by the Nose.]

PYE. O my nose again! pray conjure then, Captain.

EDMOND. Troth, this is exlent; I may do any knavery now and never be Seen,—and now I remember me, Sir Godfrey my Uncle abused me Tother day, and told tales of me to my Mother—Troth, now I'm Invisible, I'll hit him a sound wherrit ath' ear, when he comes out ath' garden.—I may be revengd on him now finely.

[Enter Sir Godfrey, Widdow, Frances, Nicholas with the Chain.]

SIR GODFREY. I have my Chain again, my Chain's found again. O sweet Captain, O admirable Conjurer. [Edmond strikes him.] Oh! what mean you by that, Nephew?

EDMOND. Nephew? I hope you do not know me, Uncle?

WIDOW. Why did you strike your Uncle, sir?

EDMOND. Why, Captain, am I not invisible?

CAPTAIN. A good jest, George!—not now you are not, Sir. Why, did you not see me when I did uncharm you?

EDMOND. Not I by my troth, Captain. Then pray you pardon me, Uncle; I thought I'd been invisible when I struck you.

SIR GODFREY. So, you would doo't? go,—y'are a foolish Boy, And were I not o'er-come with greater joy, I'd make you taste correction.

EDMOND. Correction, push!—no, neither you nor my Mother shall think to whip me as you have done.

SIR GODFREY. Captain, my joy is such, I know not how to thank you: let me embrace you, hug you. O my sweet Chain! Gladness 'een makes me giddy. Rare man! twas as just ith' Rosemary bank, as if one should ha' laid it there—oh, cunning, cunning!

WIDOW. Well, seeing my fortune tells me I must marry, let me marry a man of wit, a man of parts. Here's a worthy Captain, and 'tis a fine Title truly la to be a Captain's Wife. A Captain's Wife, it goes very finely; beside all the world knows that a worthy Captain is a fit Companion to any Lord, then why not a sweet bed-fellow for any Lady,—I'll have it so—

[Enter Frailty.]

FRAILTY. O Mistress, Gentlemen, there's the bravest sight coming along this way.

WIDOW. What brave sight?

FRAILTY. Oh, one going to burying, & another going to hanging.

WIDOW. A rueful sight.

PYE. Sfoot, Captain, I'll pawn my life the Corporal's confined, and old Skirmish the soldier going to execution, and 'tis now full about the time of his waking; hold out a little longer, sleepy potion, and we shall have exlent admiration; for I'll take upon me the cure of him.

SCENE III. The street before the Widow's house.

[Enter the Coffin of the Corporal, the soldier bound, and lead by Officers, the Sheriff there. From the house, Sir Godfrey, the Widow, Idle, Pyeboard, Edmond, Frailty, and Nicholas.]

FRAILTY. Oh here they come, here they come!

PYE. Now must I close secretly with the Soldier, prevent his impatience, or else all's discovered.

WIDOW. O lamentable seeing! these were those Brothers, that fought and bled before our door.

SIR GODFREY. What, they were not, Sister?

SKIRMISH. George, look toot, I'll peach at Tyburn else.

PYE. Mum,—Gentles all, vouchsafe me audience, and you especially, Master Sheriff: Yon man is bound to execution, Because he wounded this that now lies coffined?

SHERIFF. True, true; he shall have the law,—and I know the law.

PYE. But under favour, Master Sheriff, if this man had been cured and safe again, he should have been released then?

SHERIFF. Why make you question of that, Sir?

PYE. Then I release him freely, and will take upon me the death that he should die, if within a little season, I do not cure him to his proper health again.

SHERIFF. How Sir? recover a dead man? That were most strange of all.

[Frances comes to him.]

FRANCES. Sweet Sir, I love you dearly, and could wish my best part yours,—oh do not undertake such an impossible venture.

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