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Epicoene - Or, The Silent Woman
by Ben Jonson
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DAUP: Nay, gentlemen, 'tis well now. Do you two entertain sir John Daw with discourse, while I send her away with instructions.

TRUE: I will be acquainted with her first, by your favour.

CLER: Master True-wit, lady, a friend of ours.

TRUE: I am sorry I have not known you sooner, lady, to celebrate this rare virtue of your silence.

[EXEUNT DAUP., EPI., AND CUTBEARD.]

CLER: Faith, an you had come sooner, you should have seen and heard her well celebrated in sir John Daw's madrigals.

TRUE [ADVANCES TO DAW.]: Jack Daw, God save you! when saw you La-Foole?

DAW: Not since last night, master Truewit.

TRUE: That's a miracle! I thought you two had been inseparable.

DAW: He is gone to invite his guests.

TRUE: 'Odso! 'tis true! What a false memory have I towards that man! I am one: I met him even now, upon that he calls his delicate fine black horse, rid into a foam, with posting from place to place, and person to person, to give them the cue—

CLER: Lest they should forget?

TRUE: Yes: There was never poor captain took more pains at a muster to shew men, than he, at this meal, to shew friends.

DAW: It is his quarter-feast, sir.

CLER: What! do you say so, sir John?

TRUE: Nay, Jack Daw will not be out, at the best friends he has, to the talent of his wit: Where's his mistress, to hear and applaud him? is she gone?

DAW: Is mistress Epicoene gone?

CLER: Gone afore, with sir Dauphine, I warrant, to the place.

TRUE: Gone afore! that were a manifest injury; a disgrace and a half: to refuse him at such a festival-time as this, being a bravery, and a wit too!

CLER: Tut, he'll swallow it like cream: he's better read in Jure civili, than to esteem any thing a disgrace, is offer'd him from a mistress.

DAW: Nay, let her e'en go; she shall sit alone, and be dumb in her chamber a week together, for John Daw, I warrant her. Does she refuse me?

CLER: No, sir, do not take it so to heart; she does not refuse you, but a little neglects you. Good faith, Truewit, you were to blame, to put it into his head, that she does refuse him.

TRUE: Sir, she does refuse him palpably, however you mince it. An I were as he, I would swear to speak ne'er a word to her to-day for't.

DAW: By this light, no more I will not.

TRUE: Nor to any body else, sir.

DAW: Nay, I will not say so, gentlemen.

CLER: It had been an excellent happy condition for the company, if you could have drawn him to it. [ASIDE.]

DAW: I'll be very melancholY, i'faith.

CLER: As a dog, if I were as you, sir John.

TRUE: Or a snail, or a hog-louse: I would roll myself up for this day, in troth, they should not unwind me.

DAW: By this pick-tooth, so I will.

CLER: 'Tis well done: He begins already to be angry with his teeth.

DAW: Will you go, gentlemen?

CLER: Nay, you must walk alone, if you be right melancholy, sir John.

TRUE: Yes, sir, we'll dog you, we'll follow you afar off.

[EXIT DAW.]

CLER: Was there ever such a two yards of knighthood measured out by time, to be sold to laughter?

TRUE: A mere talking mole, hang him! no mushroom was ever so fresh. A fellow so utterly nothing, as he knows not what he would be.

CLER: Let's follow him: but first, let's go to Dauphine, he's hovering about the house to hear what news.

TRUE: Content.

[EXEUNT.]

SCENE 2.3.

A ROOM IN MOROSE'S HOUSE.

ENTER MOROSE AND MUTE, FOLLOWED BY CUTBEARD WITH EPICOENE.

MOR: Welcome Cutbeard! draw near with your fair charge: and in her ear softly entreat her to unmasthey. [EPI. TAKES OFF HER MASK.] —So! Is the door shut? [MUTE MAKES A LEG.] —Enough. Now, Cutbeard, with the same discipline I use to my family, I will question you. As I conceive, Cutbeard, this gentlewoman is she you have provided, and brought, in hope she will fit me in the place and person of a wife? Answer me not, but with your leg, unless it be otherwise: [CUT. MAKES A LEG.] —Very well done, Cutbeard. I conceive, besides, Cutbeard, you have been pre-acquainted with her birth, education, and qualities, or else you would not prefer her to my acceptance, in the weighty consequence of marriage. [CUT. MAKES A LEG.] —This I conceive, Cutbeard. Answer me not but with your leg, unless it be otherwise. [CUT. BOWS AGAIN.] —Very well done, Cutbeard. Give aside now a little, and leave me to examine her condition, and aptitude to my affection. [HE GOES ABOUT HER, AND VIEWS HER.] —She is exceeding fair, and of a special good favour; a sweet composition or harmony of limbs: her temper of beauty has the true height of my blood. The knave hath exceedingly well fitted me without: I will now try her within. Come near, fair gentlewoman: let not my behaviour seem rude, though unto you, being rare, it may haply appear strange. [EPICOENE CURTSIES.] —Nay, lady, you may speak, though Cutbeard and my man, might not; for, of all sounds, only the sweet voice of a fair lady has the just length of mine ears. I beseech you, say, lady; out of the first fire of meeting eyes, they say, love is stricken: do you feel any such motion suddenly shot into you, from any part you see in me? ha, lady? [EPICOENE CURTSIES.] —Alas, lady, these answers by silent curtsies from you are too courtless and simple. I have ever had my breeding in court: and she that shall be my wife, must be accomplished with courtly and audacious ornaments. Can you speak, lady?

EPI: [softly.] Judge you, forsooth.

MOR: What say you, lady? speak out, I beseech you.

EPI: Judge you, forsooth.

MOR: On my judgment, a divine softness! But can you naturally, lady, as I enjoin these by doctrine and industry, refer yourself to the search of my judgment, and, not taking pleasure in your tongue, which is a woman's chiefest pleasure, think it plausible to answer me by silent gestures, so long as my speeches jump right with what you conceive? [EPI. CURTSIES.] —Excellent! divine! if it were possible she should hold out thus! Peace, Cutbeard, thou art made for ever, as thou hast made me, if this felicity have lasting: but I will try her further. Dear lady, I am courtly, I tell you, and I must have mine ears banqueted with pleasant and witty conferences, pretty girls, scoffs, and dalliance in her that I mean to choose for my bed-phere. The ladies in court think it a most desperate impair to their quickness of wit, and good carriage, if they cannot give occasion for a man to court 'em; and when an amorous discourse is set on foot, minister as good matter to continue it, as himself: And do you alone so much differ from all them, that what they, with so much circumstance, affect and toil for, to seem learn'd, to seem judicious, to seem sharp and conceited, you can bury in yourself with silence, and rather trust your graces to the fair conscience of virtue, than to the world's or your own proclamation?

EPI [SOFTLY]: I should be sorry else.

MOR: What say you lady? good lady, speak out.

EPI: I should be sorry else.

MOR: That sorrow doth fill me with gladness. O Morose, thou art happy above mankind! pray that thou mayest contain thyself. I will only put her to it once more, and it shall be with the utmost touch and test of their sex. But hear me, fair lady; I do also love to see her whom I shall choose for my heifer, to be the first and principal in all fashions; precede all the dames at court by a fortnight; have council of tailors, lineners, lace-women, embroiderers, and sit with them sometimes twice a day upon French intelligences; and then come forth varied like nature, or oftener than she, and better by the help of art, her emulous servant. This do I affect: and how will you be able, lady, with this frugality of speech, to give the manifold but necessary instructions, for that bodice, these sleeves, those skirts, this cut, that stitch, this embroidery, that lace, this wire, those knots, that ruff, those roses, this girdle, that fanne, the t'other scarf, these gloves? Ha! what say you, lady?

EPI [SOFTLY]: I'll leave it to you, sir.

MOR: How, lady? pray you rise a note.

EPI: I leave it to wisdom and you, sir.

MOR: Admirable creature! I will trouble you no more: I will not sin against so sweet a simplicity. Let me now be bold to print on those divine lips the seal of being mine.—Cutbeard, I give thee the lease of thy house free: thank me not but with thy leg [CUTBEARD SHAKES HIS HEAD.] —I know what thou wouldst say, she's poor, and her friends deceased. She has brought a wealthy dowry in her silence, Cutbeard; and in respect of her poverty, Cutbeard, I shall have her more loving and obedient, Cutbeard. Go thy ways, and get me a minister presently, with a soft low voice, to marry us; and pray him he will not be impertinent, but brief as he can; away: softly, [EXIT CUTBEARD.] —Sirrah, conduct your mistress into the dining-room, your now mistress. [EXIT MUTE, FOLLOWED BY EPI.] —O my felicity! how I shall be revenged on mine insolent kinsman, and his plots to fright me from marrying! This night I will get an heir, and thrust him out of my blood, like a stranger; he would be knighted, forsooth, and thought by that means to reign over me; his title must do it: No, kinsman, I will now make you bring me the tenth lord's and the sixteenth lady's letter, kinsman; and it shall do you no good, kinsman. Your knighthood itself shall come on its knees, and it shall be rejected; it shall be sued for its fees to execution, and not be redeem'd; it shall cheat at the twelvepenny ordinary, it knighthood, for its diet, all the term- time, and tell tales for it in the vacation to the hostess; or it knighthood shall do worse, take sanctuary in Cole-harbour, and fast. It shall fright all its friends with borrowing letters; and when one of the fourscore hath brought it knighthood ten shillings, it knighthood shall go to the Cranes, or the Bear at the Bridge-foot, and be drunk in fear: it shall not have money to discharge one tavern-reckoning, to invite the old creditors to forbear it knighthood, or the new, that should be, to trust it knighthood. It shall be the tenth name in the bond to take up the commodity of pipkins and stone jugs: and the part thereof shall not furnish it knighthood forth for the attempting of a baker's widow, a brown baker's widow. It shall give it knighthood's name, for a stallion, to all gamesome citizens' wives, and be refused; when the master of a dancing school, or how do you call him, the worst reveller in the town is taken: it shall want clothes, and by reason of that, wit, to fool to lawyers. It shall not have hope to repair itself by Constantinople, Ireland, or Virginia; but the best and last fortune to it knighthood shall be to make Dol Tear-Sheet, or Kate Common a lady: and so it knighthood may eat.

[EXIT.]

SCENE 2.4.

A LANE, NEAR MOROSE'S HOUSE.

ENTER TRUEWIT, DAUPHINE,AND CLERIMONT.

TRUE: Are you sure he is not gone by?

DAUP: No, I staid in the shop ever since.

CLER: But he may take the other end of the lane.

DAUP: No, I told him I would be here at this end: I appointed him hither.

TRUE: What a barbarian it is to stay then!

DAUP: Yonder he comes.

CLER: And his charge left behind him, which is a very good sign, Dauphine.

[ENTER CUTBEARD.]

DAUP: How now Cutbeard! succeeds it, or no?

CUT: Past imagination, sir, omnia secunda; you could not have pray'd to have had it so well. Saltat senex, as it is in the proverb; he does triumph in his felicity, admires the party! he has given me the lease of my house too! and I am now going for a silent minister to marry them, and away.

TRUE: 'Slight, get one of the silenced ministers, a zealous brother would torment him purely.

CUT: Cum privilegio, sir.

DAUP: O, by no means, let's do nothing to hinder it now: when it is done and finished, I am for you, for any device of vexation.

CUT: And that shall be within this half hour, upon my dexterity, gentlemen. Contrive what you can in the mean time, bonis avibus.

[EXIT.]

CLER: How the slave doth Latin it!

TRUE: It would be made a jest to posterity, sirs, this day's mirth, if ye will.

CLER: Beshrew his heart that will not, I pronounce.

DAUP: And for my part. What is it?

TRUE: To translate all La-Foole's company, and his feast thither, to-day, to celebrate this bride-ale.

DAUP: Ay marry; but how will't be done?

TRUE: I'll undertake the directing of all the lady-guests thither, and then the meat must follow.

CLER: For God's sake, let's effect it: it will be an excellent comedy of affliction, so many several noises.

DAUP: But are they not at the other place already, think you?

TRUE: I'll warrant you for the college-honours: one of their faces has not the priming colour laid on yet, nor the other her smock sleek'd.

CLER: O, but they'll rise earlier then ordinary, to a feast.

TRUE: Best go see, and assure ourselves.

CLER: Who knows the house?

TRUE: I will lead you: Were you never there yet?

DAUP: Not I.

CLER: Nor I.

TRUE: Where have you lived then? not know Tom Otter!

CLER: No: for God's sake, what is he?

TRUE: An excellent animal, equal with your Daw or La-Foole, if not transcendant; and does Latin it as much as your barber: He is his wife's subject, he calls her princess, and at such times as these follows her up and down the house like a page, with his hat off, partly for heat, partly for reverence. At this instant he is marshalling of his bull, bear, and horse.

DAUP: What be those, in the name of Sphynx?

TRUE: Why, sir, he has been a great man at the Bear-garden in his time; and from that subtle sport, has ta'en the witty denomination of his chief carousing cups. One he calls his bull, another his bear, another his horse. And then he has his lesser glasses, that he calls his deer and his ape; and several degrees of them too; and never is well, nor thinks any entertainment perfect, till these be brought out, and set on the cupboard.

CLER: For God's love!—we should miss this, if we should not go.

TRUE: Nay, he has a thousand things as good, that will speak him all day. He will rail on his wife, with certain common places, behind her back; and to her face—

DAUP: No more of him. Let's go see him, I petition you.

[EXEUNT.]



ACT 3.

SCENE 3.1.

A ROOM IN OTTER'S HOUSE.

ENTER CAPTAIN OTTER WITH HIS CUPS, AND MISTRESS OTTER.

OTT: Nay, good princess, hear me pauca verba.

MRS. OTT: By that light, I'll have you chain'd up, with your bull-dogs, and bear-dogs, if you be not civil the sooner. I will send you to kennel, i'faith. You were best bait me with your bull, bear, and horse! Never a time that the courtiers or collegiates come to the house, but you make it a Shrove-tuesday! I would have you get your Whitsuntide velvet cap, and your staff in your hand, to entertain them: yes, in troth, do.

OTT: Not so, princess, neither; but under correction, sweet princess, give me leave.—These things I am known to the courtiers by: It is reported to them for my humour, and they receive it so, and do expect it. Tom Otter's bull, bear, and horse is known all over England, in rerum natura.

MRS. OTT: 'Fore me, I will na-ture them over to Paris-garden, and na-ture you thither too, if you pronounce them again. Is a bear a fit beast, or a bull, to mix in society with great ladies? think in your discretion, in any good policy.

OTT: The horse then, good princess.

MRS. OTT: Well, I am contented for the horse: they love to be well horsed, I know. I love it myself.

OTT: And it is a delicate fine horse this. Poetarum Pegasus. Under correction, princess, Jupiter did turn himself into a—taurus, or bull, under correction, good princess.

[ENTER TRUEWIT, CLERIMONT, AND DAUPHINE, BEHIND.]

MRS. OTT: By my integrity, I will send you over to the Bank-side, I will commit you to the master of the Garden, if I hear but a syllable more. Must my house or my roof be polluted with the scent of bears and bulls, when it is perfumed for great ladies? Is this according to the instrument, when I married you? that I would be princess, and reign in mine own house: and you would be my subject, and obey me? What did you bring me, should make you thus peremptory? do I allow you your half-crown a day, to spend where you will, among your gamsters, to vex and torment me at such times as these? Who gives you your maintenance, I pray you? who allows you your horse-meat and man's meat? your three suits of apparel a year? your four pair of stockings, one silk, three worsted? your clean linen, your bands and cuffs, when I can get you to wear them?—'tis marle you have them on now.—Who graces you with courtiers or great personages, to speak to you out of their coaches, and come home to your house? Were you ever so much as look'd upon by a lord or a lady, before I married you, but on the Easter or Whitsun-holidays? and then out at the banquetting-house window, when Ned Whiting or George Stone were at the stake?

TRUE: For Gods sake, let's go stave her off him.

MRS. OTT: Answer me to that. And did not I take you up from thence, in an old greasy buff-doublet, with points, and green velvet sleeves, out at the elbows? you forget this.

TRUE: She'll worry him, if we help not in time.

[THEY COME FORWARD.]

MRS. OTT: O, here are some of the gallants! Go to, behave yourself distinctly, and with good morality: or, I protest, I will take away your exhibition.

TRUE: By your leave, fair mistress Otter, I will be bold to enter these gentlemen in your acquaintance.

MRS. OTT: It shall not be obnoxious, or difficil, sir.

TRUE: How does my noble captain? is the bull, bear, and horse in rerum natura still?

OTT: Sir, sic visum superis.

MRS. OTT: I would you would but intimate them, do. Go your ways in, and get toasts and butter made for the woodcocks. That's a fit province for you.

[DRIVES HIM OFF.]

CLER: Alas, what a tyranny is this poor fellow married to!

TRUE: O, but the sport will be anon, when we get him loose.

DAUP: Dares he ever speak?

TRUE: No Anabaptist ever rail'd with the like license: but mark her language in the mean time, I beseech you.

MRS. OTT: Gentlemen, you are very aptly come. My cousin, sir Amorous, will be here briefly.

TRUE: In good time lady. Was not sir John Daw here, to ask for him, and the company?

MRS. OTT: I cannot assure you, master Truewit. Here was a very melancholy knight in a ruff, that demanded my subject for somebody, a gentleman, I think.

CLER: Ay, that was he, lady.

MRS. OTT: But he departed straight, I can resolve you.

DAUP: What an excellent choice phrase this lady expresses in.

TRUE: O, sir, she is the only authentical courtier, that is not naturally bred one, in the city.

MRS. OTT: You have taken that report upon trust, gentlemen.

TRUE: No, I assure you, the court governs it so, lady, in your behalf.

MRS. OTT: I am the servant of the court and courtiers, sir.

TRUE: They are rather your idolaters.

MRS. OTT: Not so, sir.

[ENTER CUTBEARD.]

DAUP: How now, Cutbeard? any cross?

CUT: O, no, sir, omnia bene. 'Twas never better on the hinges; all's sure. I have so pleased him with a curate, that he's gone to't almost with the delight he hopes for soon.

DAUP: What is he for a vicar?

CUT: One that has catch'd a cold, sir, and can scarce be heard six inches off; as if he spoke out of a bulrush that were not pick'd, or his throat were full of pith: a fine quick fellow, and an excellent barber of prayers. I came to tell you, sir, that you might omnem movere lapidem, as they say, be ready with your vexation.

DAUP: Gramercy, honest Cutbeard! be thereabouts with thy key, to let us in.

CUT: I will not fail you, sir: ad manum.

[EXIT.]

TRUE: Well, I'll go watch my coaches.

CLER: Do; and we'll send Daw to you, if you meet him not.

[EXIT TRUEWIT.]

MRS. OTT: Is master Truewit gone?

DAUP: Yes, lady, there is some unfortunate business fallen out.

MRS. OTT: So I adjudged by the physiognomy of the fellow that came in; and I had a dream last night too of a new pageant, and my lady mayoress, which is always very ominous to me. I told it my lady Haughty t'other day; when her honour came hither to see some China stuffs: and she expounded it out of Artemidorus, and I have found it since very true. It has done me many affronts.

CLER: Your dream, lady?

MRS. OTT: Yes, sir, any thing I do but dream of the city. It stain'd me a damasque table-cloth, cost me eighteen pound, at one time; and burnt me a black satin gown, as I stood by the fire, at my lady Centaure's chamber in the college, another time. A third time, at the lord's masque, it dropt all my wire and my ruff with wax candle, that I could not go up to the banquet. A fourth time, as I was taking coach to go to Ware, to meet a friend, it dash'd me a new suit all over (a crimson satin doublet, and black velvet skirts) with a brewer's horse, that I was fain to go in and shift me, and kept my chamber a leash of days for the anguish of it.

DAUP: These were dire mischances, lady.

CLER: I would not dwell in the city, an 'twere so fatal to me.

MRS. OTT: Yes sir, but I do take advice of my doctor to dream of it as little as I can.

DAUP: You do well, mistress Otter.

MRS. OTT: Will it please you to enter the house farther, gentlemen?

DAUP: And your favour, lady: but we stay to speak with a knight, sir John Daw, who is here come. We shall follow you, lady.

MRS. OTT: At your own time, sir. It is my cousin sir Amorous his feast—

DAUP: I know it, lady.

MRS. OTT: And mine together. But it is for his honour, and therefore I take no name of it, more than of the place.

DAUP: You are a bounteous kinswoman.

MRS. OTT: Your servant, sir.

[EXIT.]

CLER [COMING FORWARD WITH DAW.]: Why, do not you know it, sir John Daw?

DAW: No, I am a rook if I do.

CLER: I'll tell you then, she's married by this time. And, whereas you were put in the head, that she was gone with sir Dauphine, I assure you, sir Dauphine has been the noblest, honestest friend to you, that ever gentleman of your quality could boast of. He has discover'd the whole plot, and made your mistress so acknowledging, and indeed so ashamed of her injury to you, that she desires you to forgive her, and but grace her wedding with your presence to-day—She is to be married to a very good fortune, she says, his uncle, old Morose: and she will'd me in private to tell you, that she shall be able to do you more favours, and with more security now, than before.

DAW: Did she say so, i'faith?

CLER: Why, what do you think of me, sir John? ask sir Dauphine.

DAUP: Nay, I believe you.—Good sir Dauphine, did she desire me to forgive her?

CLER: I assure you, sir John, she did.

DAW: Nay, then, I do with all my heart, and I'll be jovial.

CLER: Yes, for look you, sir, this was the injury to you. La-Foole intended this feast to honour her bridal day, and made you the property to invite the college ladies, and promise to bring her: and then at the time she should have appear'd, as his friend, to have given you the dor. Whereas now, Sir Dauphine has brought her to a feeling of it, with this kind of satisfaction, that you shall bring all the ladies to the place where she is, and be very jovial; and there, she will have a dinner, which shall be in your name: and so disappoint La-Foole, to make you good again, and, as it were, a saver in the main.

DAW: As I am a knight, I honour her; and forgive her heartily.

CLER: About it then presently. Truewit is gone before to confront the coaches, and to acquaint you with so much, if he meet you. Join with him, and 'tis well.— [ENTER SIR AMOROUS LAFOOLE.] See; here comes your antagonist, but take you no notice, but be very jovial.

LA-F: Are the ladies come, sir John Daw, and your mistress? [EXIT DAW.] —Sir Dauphine! you are exceeding welcome, and honest master Clerimont. Where's my cousin? did you see no collegiates, gentlemen?

DAUP: Collegiates! do you not hear, sir Amorous, how you are abus'd?

LA-F: How, sir!

CLER: Will you speak so kindly to sir John Daw, that has done you such an affront?

LA-F: Wherein, gentlemen? let me be a suitor to you to know, I beseech you!

CLER: Why, sir, his mistress is married to-day to sir Dauphine's uncle, your cousin's neighbour, and he has diverted all the ladies, and all your company thither, to frustrate your provision, and stick a disgrace upon you. He was here now to have enticed us away from you too: but we told him his own, I think.

LA-F: Has sir John Daw wrong'd me so inhumanly?

DAUP: He has done it, sir Amorous, most maliciously and treacherously: but, if youll be ruled by us, you shall quit him, i'faith.

LA-F: Good gentlemen, I'll make one, believe it. How, I pray?

DAUP: Marry sir, get me your pheasants, and your godwits, and your best meat, and dish it in silver dishes of your cousin's presently, and say nothing, but clap me a clean towel about you, like a sewer; and bare-headed, march afore it with a good confidence, ('tis but over the way, hard by,) and we'll second you, where you shall set it on the board, and bid them welcome to't, which shall shew 'tis yours, and disgrace his preparation utterly: and, for your cousin, whereas she should be troubled here at home with care of making and giving welcome, she shall transfer all that labour thither, and be a principal guest herself, sit rank'd with the college-honours, and be honour'd, and have her health drunk as often, as bare and as loud as the best of them.

LA-F: I'll go tell her presently. It shall be done, that's resolved.

[EXIT.]

CLER: I thought he would not hear it out, but 'twould take him.

DAUP: Well, there be guests and meat now; how shall we do for music?

CLER: The smell of the venison, going through the street, will invite one noise of fiddlers or other.

DAUP: I would it would call the trumpeters hither!

CLER: Faith, there is hope: they have intelligence of all feasts. There's good correspondence betwixt them and the London cooks: 'tis twenty to one but we have them.

DAUP: 'Twill be a most solemn day for my uncle, and an excellent fit of mirth for us.

CLER: Ay, if we can hold up the emulation betwixt Foole and Daw, and never bring them to expostulate.

DAUP: Tut, flatter them both, as Truewit says, and you may take their understandings in a purse-net. They'll believe themselves to be just such men as we make them, neither more nor less. They have nothing, not the use of their senses, but by tradition.

[RE-ENTER LA-FOOLE, LIKE A SEWER.]

CLER: See! sir Amorous has his towel on already. Have you persuaded your cousin?

LA-F: Yes, 'tis very feasible: she'll do any thing she says, rather than the La-Fooles shall be disgraced.

DAUP: She is a noble kinswoman. It will be such a pestling device, sir Amorous; it will pound all your enemy's practices to powder, and blow him up with his own mine, his own train.

LA-F: Nay, we'll give fire, I warrant you.

CLER: But you must carry it privately, without any noise, and take no notice by any means—

[RE-ENTER CAPTAIN OTTER.]

OTT: Gentlemen, my princess says you shall have all her silver dishes, festinate: and she's gone to alter her tire a little, and go with you—

CLER: And yourself too, captain Otter?

DAUP: By any means, sir.

OTT: Yes, sir, I do mean it: but I would entreat my cousin sir Amorous, and you, gentlemen, to be suitors to my princess, that I may carry my bull and my bear, as well as my horse.

CLER: That you shall do, captain Otter.

LA-F: My cousin will never consent, gentlemen.

DAUP: She must consent, sir Amorous, to reason.

LA-F: Why, she says they are no decorum among ladies.

OTT: But they are decora, and that's better, sir.

CLER: Ay, she must hear argument. Did not Pasiphae, who was a queen, love a bull? and was not Calisto, the mother of Arcas, turn'd into a bear, and made a star, mistress Ursula, in the heavens?

OTT: O lord! that I could have said as much! I will have these stories painted in the Bear-garden, ex Ovidii metamorphosi.

DAUP: Where is your princess, captain? pray, be our leader.

OTT: That I shall, sir.

CLER: Make haste, good sir Amorous.

[EXEUNT.]

SCENE 3.2.

A ROOM IN MOROSE'S HOUSE.

ENTER MOROSE, EPICOENE, PARSON, AND CUTBEARD.

MOR: Sir, there is an angel for yourself, and a brace of angels for your cold. Muse not at this manage of my bounty. It is fit we should thank fortune, double to nature, for any benefit she confers upon us; besides, it is your imperfection, but my solace.

PAR [SPEAKS AS HAVING A COLD.] I thank your worship; so is it mine, now.

MOR: What says he, Cutbeard?

CUT: He says, praesto, sir, whensoever your worship needs him, he can be ready with the like. He got this cold with sitting up late, and singing catches with cloth-workers.

MOR: No more. I thank him.

PAR: God keep your worship, and give you much joy with your fair spouse.—[COUGHS.] uh! uh! uh!

MOR: O, O! stay Cutbeard! let him give me five shillings of my money back. As it is bounty to reward benefits, so is it equity to mulct injuries. I will have it. What says he?

CUT: He cannot change it, sir.

MOR: It must be changed.

CUT [ASIDE TO PARSON.]: Cough again.

MOR: What says he?

CUT: He will cough out the rest, sir.

PAR: Uh, uh, uh!

MOR: Away, away with him! stop his mouth! away! I forgive it.—

[EXIT CUT. THRUSTING OUT THE PAR.]

EPI: Fie, master Morose, that you will use this violence to a man of the church.

MOR: How!

EPI: It does not become your gravity, or breeding, as you pretend, in court, to have offer'd this outrage on a waterman, or any more boisterous creature, much less on a man of his civil coat.

MOR: You can speak then!

EPI: Yes, sir.

MOR: Speak out, I mean.

EPI: Ay, sir. Why, did you think you had married a statue, or a motion, only? one of the French puppets, with the eyes turn'd with a wire? or some innocent out of the hospital, that would stand with her hands thus, and a plaise mouth, and look upon you?

MOR: O immodesty! a manifest woman! What, Cutbeard!

EPI: Nay, never quarrel with Cutbeard, sir; it is too late now. I confess it doth bate somewhat of the modesty I had, when I writ simply maid: but I hope, I shall make it a stock still competent to the estate and dignity of your wife.

MOR: She can talk!

EPI: Yes, indeed, sir.

[ENTER MUTE.]

MOR: What sirrah! None of my knaves there? where is this impostor, Cutbeard?

[MUTE MAKES SIGNS.]

EPI: Speak to him, fellow, speak to him! I'll have none of this coacted, unnatural dumbness in my house, in a family where I govern.

[EXIT MUTE.]

MOR: She is my regent already! I have married a Penthesilea, a Semiramis, sold my liberty to a distaff.

[ENTER TRUEWIT.]

TRUE: Where's master Morose?

MOR: Is he come again! Lord have mercy upon me!

TRUE: I wish you all joy, mistress Epicoene, with your grave and honourable match.

EPI: I return you the thanks, master Truewit, so friendly a wish deserves.

MOR: She has acquaintance, too!

TRUE: God save you, sir, and give you all contentment in your fair choice, here! Before, I was the bird of night to you, the owl; but now I am the messenger of peace, a dove, and bring you the glad wishes of many friends to the celebration of this good hour.

MOR: What hour, sir?

TRUE: Your marriage hour, sir. I commend your resolution, that, notwithstanding all the dangers I laid afore you, in the voice of a night-crow, would yet go on, and be yourself. It shews you are a man constant to your own ends, and upright to your purposes, that would not be put off with left-handed cries.

MOR: How should you arrive at the knowledge of so much!

TRUE: Why, did you ever hope, sir, committing the secrecy of it to a barber, that less then the whole town should know it? you might as well have told it the conduit, or the bake-house, or the infantry that follow the court, and with more security. Could your gravity forget so old and noted a remnant, as lippis et tonsoribus notum? Well, sir, forgive it yourself now, the fault, and be communicable with your friends. Here will be three or four fashionable ladies from the college to visit you presently, and their train of minions and followers.

MOR: Bar my doors! bar my doors! Where are all my eaters? my mouths now?— [ENTER SERVANTS.] Bar up my doors, you varlets!

EPI: He is a varlet that stirs to such an office. Let them stand open. I would see him that dares move his eyes toward it. Shall I have a barricado made against my friends, to be barr'd of any pleasure they can bring in to me with their honourable visitation?

[EXEUNT SER.]

MOR: O Amazonian impudence!

TRUE: Nay, faith, in this, sir, she speaks but reason: and, methinks, is more continent than you. Would you go to bed so presently, sir, afore noon? a man of your head and hair should owe more to that reverend ceremony, and not mount the marriage-bed like a town-bull, or a mountain-goat; but stay the due season; and ascend it then with religion and fear. Those delights are to be steeped in the humour and silence of the night; and give the day to other open pleasures, and jollities of feasting, of music, of revels, of discourse: we'll have all, sir, that may make your Hymen high and happy.

MOR: O, my torment, my torment!

TRUE: Nay, if you endure the first half hour, sir, so tediously, and with this irksomness; what comfort or hope can this fair gentlewoman make to herself hereafter, in the consideration of so many years as are to come—

MOR: Of my affliction. Good sir, depart, and let her do it alone.

TRUE: I have done, sir.

MOR: That cursed barber.

TRUE: Yes, faith, a cursed wretch indeed, sir.

MOR: I have married his cittern, that's common to all men. Some plague above the plague—

TRUE: All Egypt's ten plagues.

MOR: Revenge me on him!

TRUE: 'Tis very well, sir. If you laid on a curse or two more, I'll assure you he'll bear them. As, that he may get the pox with seeking to cure it, sir; or, that while he is curling another man's hair, his own may drop off; or, for burning some male-bawd's lock, he may have his brain beat out with the curling-iron.

MOR: No, let the wretch live wretched. May he get the itch, and his shop so lousy, as no man dare come at him, nor he come at no man!

TRUE: Ay, and if he would swallow all his balls for pills, let not them purge him.

MOR: Let his warming pan be ever cold.

TRUE: A perpetual frost underneath it, sir.

MOR: Let him never hope to see fire again.

TRUE: But in hell, sir.

MOR: His chairs be always empty, his scissors rust, and his combs mould in their cases.

TRUE: Very dreadful that! And may he lose the invention, sir, of carving lanterns in paper.

MOR: Let there be no bawd carted that year, to employ a bason of his: but let him be glad to eat his sponge for bread.

TRUE: And drink lotium to it, and much good do him.

MOR: Or, for want of bread—

TRUE: Eat ear-wax, sir. I'll help you. Or, draw his own teeth, and add them to the lute-string.

MOR: No, beat the old ones to powder, and make bread of them.

TRUE: Yes, make meal of the mill-stones.

MOR: May all the botches and burns that he has cured on others break out upon him.

TRUE: And he now forget the cure of them in himself, sir: or, if he do remember it, let him have scraped all his linen into lint for't, and have not a rag left him to set up with.

MOR: Let him never set up again, but have the gout in his hands for ever! Now, no more, sir.

TRUE: O, that last was too high set; you might go less with him, i'faith, and be revenged enough: as, that he be never able to new-paint his pole—

MOR: Good sir, no more, I forgot myself.

TRUE: Or, want credit to take up with a comb-maker—

MOR: No more, sir.

TRUE: Or, having broken his glass in a former despair, fall now into a much greater, of ever getting another—

MOR: I beseech you, no more.

TRUE: Or, that he never be trusted with trimming of any but chimney-sweepers—

MOR: Sir—

TRUE: Or, may he cut a collier's throat with his razor, by chance-medley, and yet be hanged for't.

MOR: I will forgive him, rather than hear any more. I beseech you, sir.

[ENTER DAW, INTRODUCING LADY HAUGHTY, CENTAURE, MAVIS, AND TRUSTY.]

DAW: This way, madam.

MOR: O, the sea breaks in upon me! another flood! an inundation! I shall be overwhelmed with noise. It beats already at my shores. I feel an earthquake in my self for't.

DAW: 'Give you joy, mistress.

MOR: Has she servants too!

DAW: I have brought some ladies here to see and know you. My lady Haughty— [AS HE PRESENTS THEM SEVERALLY, EPI. KISSES THEM.] this my lady Centaure—mistress Dol Mavis—mistress Trusty, my lady Haughty's woman. Where's your husband? let's see him: can he endure no noise? let me come to him.

MOR: What nomenclator is this!

TRUE: Sir John Daw, sir, your wife's servant, this.

MOR: A Daw, and her servant! O, 'tis decreed, 'tis decreed of me, an she have such servants.

TRUE: Nay sir, you must kiss the ladies; you must not go away, now: they come toward you to seek you out.

HAU: I'faith, master Morose, would you steal a marriage thus, in the midst of so many friends, and not acquaint us? Well, I'll kiss you, notwithstanding the justice of my quarrel: you shall give me leave, mistress, to use a becoming familiarity with your husband.

EPI: Your ladyship does me an honour in it, to let me know he is so worthy your favour: as you have done both him and me grace to visit so unprepared a pair to entertain you.

MOR: Compliment! compliment!

EPI: But I must lay the burden of that upon my servant here.

HAU: It shall not need, mistress Morose, we will all bear, rather than one shall be opprest.

MOR: I know it: and you will teach her the faculty, if she be to learn it.

[WALKS ASIDE WHILE THE REST TALK APART.]

HAU: Is this the silent woman?

CEN: Nay, she has found her tongue since she was married, master Truewit says.

HAU: O, master Truewit! 'save you. What kind of creature is your bride here? she speaks, methinks!

TRUE: Yes, madam, believe it, she is a gentlewoman of very absolute behaviour, and of a good race.

HAU: And Jack Daw told us she could not speak!

TRUE: So it was carried in plot, madam, to put her upon this old fellow, by sir Dauphine, his nephew, and one or two more of us: but she is a woman of an excellent assurance, and an extraordinary happy wit and tongue. You shall see her make rare sport with Daw ere night.

HAU: And he brought us to laugh at her!

TRUE: That falls out often, madam, that he that thinks himself the master-wit, is the master-fool. I assure your ladyship, ye cannot laugh at her.

HAU: No, we'll have her to the college: An she have wit, she shall be one of us, shall she not Centaure? we'll make her a collegiate.

CEN: Yes faith, madam, and mistress Mavis and she will set up a side.

TRUE: Believe it, madam, and mistress Mavis she will sustain her part.

MAV: I'll tell you that, when I have talk'd with her, and tried her.

HAU: Use her very civilly, Mavis.

MAV: So I will, madam.

[WHISPERS HER.]

MOR: Blessed minute! that they would whisper thus ever!

[ASIDE.]

TRUE: In the mean time, madam, would but your ladyship help to vex him a little: you know his disease, talk to him about the wedding ceremonies, or call for your gloves, or—

HAU: Let me alone. Centaure, help me. Master bridegroom, where are you?

MOR: O, it was too miraculously good to last!

[ASIDE.]

HAU: We see no ensigns of a wedding here; no character of a bride-ale: where be our scarves and our gloves? I pray you, give them us. Let us know your bride's colours, and yours at least.

CEN: Alas, madam, he has provided none.

MOR: Had I known your ladyship's painter, I would.

HAU: He has given it you, Centaure, i'faith. But do you hear, master Morose? a jest will not absolve you in this manner. You that have suck'd the milk of the court, and from thence have been brought up to the very strong meats and wine, of it; been a courtier from the biggen to the night-cap, as we may say, and you to offend in such a high point of ceremony as this, and let your nuptials want all marks of solemnity! How much plate have you lost to-day, (if you had but regarded your profit,) what gifts, what friends, through your mere rusticity!

MOR: Madam—

HAU: Pardon me, sir, I must insinuate your errors to you; no gloves? no garters? no scarves? no epithalamium? no masque?

DAW: Yes, madam, I'll make an epithalamium, I promise my mistress; I have begun it already: will you ladyship hear it?

HAU: Ay, good Jack Daw.

MOR: Will it please your ladyship command a chamber, and be private with your friend? you shall have your choice of rooms to retire to after: my whole house is yours. I know it hath been your ladyship's errand into the city at other times, however now you have been unhappily diverted upon me: but I shall be loth to break any honourable custom of your ladyship's. And therefore, good madam—

EPI: Come, you are a rude bridegroom, to entertain ladies of honour in this fashion.

CEN: He is a rude groom indeed.

TRUE: By that light you deserve to be grafted, and have your horns reach from one side of the island, to the other. Do not mistake me, sir; I but speak this to give the ladies some heart again, not for any malice to you.

MOR: Is this your bravo, ladies?

TRUE: As God [shall] help me, if you utter such another word, I'll take mistress bride in, and begin to you in a very sad cup; do you see? Go to, know your friends, and such as love you.

[ENTER CLERIMONT, FOLLOWED BY A NUMBER OF MUSICIANS.]

CLER: By your leave, ladies. Do you want any music? I have brought you variety of noises. Play, sirs, all of you.

[ASIDE TO THE MUSICIANS, WHO STRIKE UP ALL TOGETHER.]

MOR: O, a plot, a plot, a plot, a plot, upon me! this day I shall be their anvil to work on, they will grate me asunder. 'Tis worse then the noise of a saw.

CLER: No, they are hair, rosin, and guts. I can give you the receipt.

TRUE: Peace, boys!

CLER: Play! I say.

TRUE: Peace, rascals! You see who's your friend now, sir: take courage, put on a martyr's resolution. Mock down all their attemptings with patience: 'tis but a day, and I would suffer heroically. Should an ass exceed me in fortitude? no. You betray your infirmity with your hanging dull ears, and make them insult: bear up bravely, and constantly. [LA-FOOLE PASSES OVER THE STAGE AS A SEWER, FOLLOWED BY SERVANTS CARRYING DISHES, AND MISTRESS OTTER.] —Look you here, sir, what honour is done you unexpected, by your nephew; a wedding-dinner come, and a knight-sewer before it, for the more reputation: and fine mistress Otter, your neighbour, in the rump, or tail of it.

MOR: Is that Gorgon, that Medusa come! hide me, hide me.

TRUE: I warrant you, sir, she will not transform you. Look upon her with a good courage. Pray you entertain her, and conduct your guests in. No!—Mistress bride, will you entreat in the ladies? your bride-groom is so shame-faced, here.

EPI: Will it please your ladyship, madam?

HAU: With the benefit of your company, mistress.

EPI: Servant, pray you perform your duties.

DAW: And glad to be commanded, mistress.

CEN: How like you her wit, Mavis?

MAV: Very prettily, absolutely well.

MRS. OTT: 'Tis my place.

MAV: You shall pardon me, mistress Otter.

MRS. OTT: Why, I am a collegiate.

MAV: But not in ordinary.

MRS. OTT: But I am.

MAV: We'll dispute that within.

[EXEUNT LADIES.]

CLER: Would this had lasted a little longer.

TRUE: And that they had sent for the heralds. [ENTER CAPTAIN OTTER.] —Captain Otter! what news?

OTT: I have brought my bull, bear, and horse, in private, and yonder are the trumpeters without, and the drum, gentlemen.

[THE DRUM AND TRUMPETS SOUND WITHIN.]

MOR: O, O, O!

OTT: And we will have a rouse in each of them, anon, for bold Britons, i'faith.

[THEY SOUND AGAIN.]

MOR: O, O, O! [EXIT HASTILY.]

OMNES: Follow, follow, follow!



ACT 4.

SCENE 4.1.

A ROOM IN MOROSE'S HOUSE.

ENTER TRUEWIT AND CLERIMONT.

TRUE: Was there ever poor bridegroom so tormented? or man, indeed?

CLER: I have not read of the like in the chronicles of the land.

TRUE: Sure, he cannot but go to a place of rest, after all this purgatory.

CLER: He may presume it, I think.

TRUE: The spitting, the coughing, the laughter, the neezing, the farting, dancing, noise of the music, and her masculine and loud commanding, and urging the whole family, makes him think he has married a fury.

CLER: And she carries it up bravely.

TRUE: Ay, she takes any occasion to speak: that is the height on't.

CLER: And how soberly Dauphine labours to satisfy him, that it was none of his plot!

TRUE: And has almost brought him to the faith, in the article. Here he comes. [ENTER SIR DAUPHINE.] —Where is he now? what's become of him, Dauphine?

DAUP: O, hold me up a little, I shall go away in the jest else. He has got on his whole nest of night-caps, and lock'd himself up in the top of the house, as high as ever he can climb from the noise. I peep'd in at a cranny, and saw him sitting over a cross-beam of the roof, like him on the sadler's horse in Fleet-street, upright: and he will sleep there.

CLER: But where are your collegiates?

DAUP: Withdrawn with the bride in private.

TRUE: O, they are instructing her in the college-grammar. If she have grace with them, she knows all their secrets instantly.

CLER: Methinks the lady Haughty looks well to-day, for all my dispraise of her in the morning. I think, I shall come about to thee again, Truewit.

TRUE: Believe it, I told you right. Women ought to repair the losses time and years have made in their features, with dressings. And an intelligent woman, if she know by herself the least defect, will be most curious to hide it: and it becomes her. If she be short, let her sit much, lest, when she stands, she be thought to sit. If she have an ill foot, let her wear her gown the longer, and her shoe the thinner. If a fat hand, and scald nails, let her carve the less, and act in gloves. If a sour breath, let her never discourse fasting, and always talk at her distance. If she have black and rugged teeth, let her offer the less at laughter, especially if she laugh wide and open.

CLER: O, you shall have some women, when they laugh, you would think they brayed, it is so rude, and—

TRUE: Ay, and others, that will stalk in their gait like an estrich, and take huge strides. I cannot endure such a sight. I love measure in the feet, and number in the voice: they are gentlenesses, that oftentimes draw no less than the face.

DAUP: How camest thou to study these creatures so exactly? I would thou would'st make me a proficient.

TRUE: Yes, but you must leave to live in your chamber, then, a month together upon Amadis de Gaul, or Don Quixote, as you are wont; and come abroad where the matter is frequent, to court, to tiltings, public shows and feasts, to plays, and church sometimes: thither they come to shew their new tires too, to see, and to be seen. In these places a man shall find whom to love, whom to play with, whom to touch once, whom to hold ever. The variety arrests his judgment. A wench to please a man comes not down dropping from the ceiling, as he lies on his back droning a tobacco pipe. He must go where she is.

DAUP: Yes, and be never the nearer.

TRUE: Out, heretic! That diffidence makes thee worthy it should be so.

CLER: He says true to you, Dauphine.

DAUP: Why?

TRUE: A man should not doubt to overcome any woman. Think he can vanquish them, and he shall: for though they deny, their desire is to be tempted. Penelope herself cannot hold out long. Ostend, you saw, was taken at last. You must persever, and hold to your purpose. They would solicit us, but that they are afraid. Howsoever, they wish in their hearts we should solicit them. Praise them, flatter them, you shall never want eloquence or trust: even the chastest delight to feel themselves that way rubb'd. With praises you must mix kisses too: if they take them, they'll take more—though they strive, they would be overcome.

CLER: O, but a man must beware of force.

TRUE: It is to them an acceptable violence, and has oft-times the place of the greatest courtesy. She that might have been forced, and you let her go free without touching, though then she seem to thank you, will ever hate you after; and glad in the face, is assuredly sad at the heart.

CLER: But all women are not to be taken all ways.

TRUE: 'Tis true; no more than all birds, or all fishes. If you appear learned to an ignorant wench, or jocund to a sad, or witty to a foolish, why she presently begins to mistrust herself. You must approach them in their own height, their own line: for the contrary makes many, that fear to commit themselves to noble and worthy fellows, run into the embraces of a rascal. If she love wit, give verses, though you borrow them of a friend, or buy them, to have good. If valour, talk of your sword, and be frequent in the mention of quarrels, though you be staunch in fighting. If activity, be seen on your barbary often, or leaping over stools, for the credit of your back. If she love good clothes or dressing, have your learned council about you every morning, your French tailor, barber, linener, etc. Let your powder, your glass, and your comb be your dearest acquaintance. Take more care for the ornament of your head, than the safety: and wish the commonwealth rather troubled, than a hair about you. That will take her. Then, if she be covetous and craving, do you promise any thing, and perform sparingly; so shall you keep her in appetite still. Seem as you would give, but be like a barren field, that yields little, or unlucky dice to foolish and hoping gamesters. Let your gifts be slight and dainty, rather than precious. Let cunning be above cost. Give cherries at time of year, or apricots; and say they were sent you out of the country, though you bought them in Cheapside. Admire her tires: like her in all fashions; compare her in every habit to some deity; invent excellent dreams to flatter her, and riddles; or, if she be a great one, perform always the second parts to her: like what she likes, praise whom she praises, and fail not to make the household and servants yours, yea the whole family, and salute them by their names: ('tis but light cost if you can purchase them so,) and make her physician your pensioner, and her chief woman. Nor will it be out of your gain to make love to her too, so she follow, not usher her lady's pleasure. All blabbing is taken away, when she comes to be a part of the crime.

DAUP: On what courtly lap hast thou late slept, to come forth so sudden and absolute a courtling?

TRUE: Good faith, I should rather question you, that are so harkening after these mysteries. I begin to suspect your diligence, Dauphine. Speak, art thou in love in earnest?

DAUP: Yes, by my troth am I: 'twere ill dissembling before thee.

TRUE: With which of them, I prithee?

DAUP: With all the collegiates.

CLER: Out on thee! We'll keep you at home, believe it, in the stable, if you be such a stallion.

TRUE: No; I like him well. Men should love wisely, and all women; some one for the face, and let her please the eye; another for the skin, and let her please the touch; a third for the voice, and let her please the ear; and where the objects mix, let the senses so too. Thou would'st think it strange, if I should make them all in love with thee afore night!

DAUP: I would say, thou had'st the best philtre in the world, and couldst do more than madam Medea, or doctor Foreman.

TRUE: If I do not, let me play the mountebank for my meat, while I live, and the bawd for my drink.

DAUP: So be it, I say.

[ENTER OTTER, WITH HIS THREE CUPS, DAW, AND LA-FOOLE.]

OTT: O Lord, gentlemen, how my knights and I have mist you here!

CLER: Why, captain, what service? what service?

OTT: To see me bring up my bull, bear, and horse to fight.

DAW: Yes, faith, the captain says we shall be his dogs to bait them.

DAUP: A good employment.

TRUE: Come on, let's see a course, then.

LA-F: I am afraid my cousin will be offended, if she come.

OTT: Be afraid of nothing. Gentlemen, I have placed the drum and the trumpets, and one to give them the sign when you are ready. Here's my bull for myself, and my bear for sir John Daw, and my horse for sir Amorous. Now set your foot to mine, and yours to his, and—

LA-F: Pray God my cousin come not.

OTT: Saint George, and saint Andrew, fear no cousins. Come, sound, sound. [DRUM AND TRUMPETS SOUND.] Et rauco strepuerunt cornua cantu.

[THEY DRINK.]

TRUE: Well said, captain, i'faith: well fought at the bull.

CLER: Well held at the bear.

TRUE: Low, low! captain.

DAUP: O, the horse has kick'd off his dog already.

LA-F: I cannot drink it, as I am a knight.

TRUE: Ods so! off with his spurs, somebody.

LA-F: It goes against my conscience. My cousin will be angry with it.

DAW: I have done mine.

TRUE: You fought high and fair, sir John.

CLER: At the head.

DAUP: Like an excellent bear-dog.

CLER: You take no notice of the business, I hope?

DAW: Not a word, sir; you see we are jovial.

OTT: Sir Amorous, you must not equivocate. It must be pull'd down, for all my cousin.

CLER: 'Sfoot, if you take not your drink, they will think you are discontented with something: you'll betray all, if you take the least notice.

LA-F: Not I; I'll both drink and talk then.

OTT: You must pull the horse on his knees, sir Amorous: fear no cousins. Jacta est alea.

TRUE: O, now he's in his vein, and bold. The least hint given him of his wife now, will make him rail desperately.

CLER: Speak to him of her.

TRUE: Do you, and I will fetch her to the hearing of it.

[EXIT.]

DAUP: Captain He-Otter, your She-Otter is coming, your wife.

OTT: Wife! buz! titivilitium! There's no such thing in nature. I confess, gentlemen, I have a cook, a laundress, a house-drudge, that serves my necessary turns, and goes under that title: but he's an ass that will be so uxorious to tie his affections to one circle. Come, the name dulls appetite. Here, replenish again: another bout. [FILLS THE CUPS AGAIN.] Wives are nasty sluttish animalls.

DAUP: O, captain.

OTT: As ever the earth bare, tribus verbis. Where's master Truewit?

DAW: He's slipt aside, sir.

CLER: But you must drink, and be jovial.

DAW: Yes, give it me.

LA-F: And me too.

DAW: Let's be jovial.

LA-F: As jovial as you will.

OTT: Agreed. Now you shall have the bear, cousin, and sir John Daw the horse, and I will have the bull still. Sound, Tritons of the Thames. [DRUM AND TRUMPETS SOUND AGAIN.] Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero—

MOR [ABOVE]: Villains, murderers, sons of the earth, and traitors, what do you there?

CLER: O, now the trumpets have waked him, we shall have his company.

OTT: A wife is a scurvy clogdogdo, an unlucky thing, a very foresaid bear-whelp, without any good fashion or breeding: mala bestia.

[RE-ENTER TRUEWIT BEHIND, WITH MISTRESS OTTER.]

DAUP: Why did you marry one then, captain?

OTT: A pox!—I married with six thousand pound, I. I was in love with that. I have not kissed my Fury these forty weeks.

CLER: The more to blame you, captain.

TRUE: Nay, mistress Otter, hear him a little first.

OTT: She has a breath worse than my grandmother's, profecto.

MRS. OTT: O treacherous liar! kiss me, sweet master Truewit, and prove him a slandering knave.

TRUE: I will rather believe you, lady.

OTT: And she has a peruke that's like a pound of hemp, made up in shoe-threads.

MRS. OTT: O viper, mandrake!

OTT: A most vile face! and yet she spends me forty pound a year in mercury and hogs-bones. All her teeth were made in the Black-Friars, both her eyebrows in the Strand, and her hair in Silver-street. Every part of the town owns a piece of her.

MRS. OTT [COMES FORWARD.]: I cannot hold.

OTT: She takes herself asunder still when she goes to bed, into some twenty boxes; and about next day noon is put together again, like a great German clock: and so comes forth, and rings a tedious larum to the whole house, and then is quiet again for an hour, but for her quarters. Have you done me right, gentlemen?

MRS. OTT [FALLS UPON HIM, AND BEATS HIM.]: No, sir, I will do you right with my quarters, with my quarters.

OTT: O, hold, good princess.

TRUE: Sound, sound!

[DRUM AND TRUMPETS SOUND.]

CLER: A battle, a battle!

MRS. OTT: You notorious stinkardly bearward, does my breath smell?

OTT: Under correction, dear princess: look to my bear, and my horse, gentlemen.

MRS. OTT: Do I want teeth, and eyebrows, thou bull-dog?

TRUE: Sound, sound still.

[THEY SOUND AGAIN.]

OTT: No, I protest, under correction—

MRS. OTT: Ay, now you are under correction, you protest: but you did not protest before correction, sir. Thou Judas, to offer to betray thy princess! I will make thee an example— [BEATS HIM.]

[ENTER MOROSE WITH HIS LONG SWORD.]

MOR: I will have no such examples in my house, lady Otter.

MRS. OTT: Ah!—

[MRS. OTTER, DAW, AND LA-FOOLE RUN OFF.]

OTT: Mistress Mary Ambree, your examples are dangerous. Rogues, hell-hounds, Stentors! out of my doors, you sons of noise and tumult, begot on an ill May-day, or when the galley-foist is afloat to Westminster! [DRIVES OUT THE MUSICIANS.] A trumpeter could not be conceived but then!

DAUP: What ails you, sir?

MOR: They have rent my roof, walls, and all my windows asunder, with their brazen throats. [EXIT.]

TRUE: Best follow him, Dauphine.

DAUP: So I will. [EXIT.]

CLER: Where's Daw and La-Foole?

OTT: They are both run away, sir. Good gentlemen, help to pacify my princess, and speak to the great ladies for me. Now must I go lie with the bears this fortnight, and keep out of the way, till my peace be made, for this scandal she has taken. Did you not see my bull-head, gentlemen?

CLER: Is't not on, captain?

TRUE: No; but he may make a new one, by that is on.

OTT: O, here it is. An you come over, gentlemen, and ask for Tom Otter, we'll go down to Ratcliff, and have a course i'faith, for all these disasters. There is bona spes left.

TRUE: Away, captain, get off while you are well.

[EXIT OTTER.]

CLER: I am glad we are rid of him.

TRUE: You had never been, unless we had put his wife upon him. His humour is as tedious at last, as it was ridiculous at first.

[EXEUNT.]

SCENE 4.2.

A LONG OPEN GALLERY IN THE SAME.

ENTER LADY HAUGHTY, MISTRESS OTTER, MAVIS, DAW, LAFOOLE, CENTAURE, AND EPICOENE.

HAU: We wonder'd why you shriek'd so, mistress Otter?

MRS. OTT: O lord, madam, he came down with a huge long naked weapon in both his hands, and look'd so dreadfully! sure he's beside himself.

HAU: Why, what made you there, mistress Otter?

MRS. OTT: Alas, mistress Mavis, I was chastising my subject, and thought nothing of him.

DAW: Faith, mistress, you must do so too: learn to chastise. Mistress Otter corrects her husband so, he dares not speak but under correction.

LA-F: And with his hat off to her: 'twould do you good to see.

HAU: In sadness, 'tis good and mature counsel: practise it, Morose. I'll call you Morose still now, as I call Centaure and Mavis; we four will be all one.

CEN: And you will come to the college, and live with us?

HAU: Make him give milk and honey.

MAV: Look how you manage him at first, you shall have him ever after.

CEN: Let him allow you your coach, and four horses, your woman, your chamber-maid, your page, your gentleman-usher, your French cook, and four grooms.

HAU: And go with us to Bedlam, to the china-houses, and to the Exchange.

CEN: It will open the gate to your fame.

HAU: Here's Centaure has immortalised herself, with taming of her wild male.

MAV: Ay, she has done the miracle of the kingdom.

[ENTER CLERIMONT AND TRUEWIT.]

EPI: But, ladies, do you count it lawful to have such plurality of servants, and do them all graces?

HAU: Why not? why should women deny their favours to men? are they the poorer or the worse?

DAW: Is the Thames the less for the dyer's water, mistress?

LA-F: Or a torch for lighting many torches?

TRUE: Well said, La-Foole; what a new one he has got!

CEN: They are empty losses women fear in this kind.

HAU: Besides, ladies should be mindful of the approach of age, and let no time want his due use. The best of our days pass first.

MAV: We are rivers, that cannot be call'd back, madam: she that now excludes her lovers, may live to lie a forsaken beldame, in a frozen bed.

CEN: 'Tis true, Mavis: and who will wait on us to coach then? or write, or tell us the news then, make anagrams of our names, and invite us to the Cockpit, and kiss our hands all the play-time, and draw their weapons for our honours?

HAU: Not one.

DAW: Nay, my mistress is not altogether unintelligent of these things; here be in presence have tasted of her favours.

CLER: What a neighing hobby-horse is this!

EPI: But not with intent to boast them again, servant. And have you those excellent receipts, madam, to keep yourselves from bearing of children?

HAU: O yes, Morose: how should we maintain our youth and beauty else? Many births of a woman make her old, as many crops make the earth barren.

[ENTER MOROSE AND DAUPHINE.]

MOR: O my cursed angel, that instructed me to this fate!

DAUP: Why, sir?

MOR: That I should be seduced by so foolish a devil as a barber will make!

DAUP: I would I had been worthy, sir, to have partaken your counsel; you should never have trusted it to such a minister.

MOR: Would I could redeem it with the loss of an eye, nephew, a hand, or any other member.

DAUP: Marry, God forbid, sir, that you should geld yourself, to anger your wife.

MOR: So it would rid me of her! and, that I did supererogatory penance in a belfry, at Westminster-hall, in the Cock-pit, at the fall of a stag; the Tower-wharf (what place is there else?)— London-bridge, Paris-garden, Billinsgate, when the noises are at their height, and loudest. Nay, I would sit out a play, that were nothing but fights at sea, drum, trumpet, and target.

DAUP: I hope there shall be no such need, sir. Take patience, good uncle. This is but a day, and 'tis well worn too now.

MOR: O, 'twill be so for ever, nephew, I foresee it, for ever. Strife and tumult are the dowry that comes with a wife.

TRUE: I told you so, sir, and you would not believe me.

MOR: Alas, do not rub those wounds, master Truewit, to blood again: 'twas my negligence. Add not affliction to affliction. I have perceived the effect of it, too late, in madam Otter.

EPI: How do you, sir?

MOR: Did you ever hear a more unnecessary question? as if she did not see! Why, I do as you see, empress, empress.

EPI: You are not well, sir; you look very ill; something has distemper'd you.

MOR: O horrible, monstrous impertinencies! would not one of these have served, do you think, sir? would not one of these have served?

TRUE: Yes, sir, but these are but notes of female kindness, sir; certain tokens that she has a voice, sir.

MOR: O, is it so? Come, an't be no otherwise—What say you?

EPI: How do you feel yourself, sir?

MOR: Again that!

TRUE: Nay, look you, sir: you would be friends with your wife upon unconscionable terms; her silence—

EPI: They say you are run mad, sir.

MOR: Not for love, I assure you, of you; do you see?

EPI: O lord, gentlemen! lay hold on him, for God's sake. What shall I do? who's his physician, can you tell, that knows the state of his body best, that I might send for him? Good sir, speak; I'll send for one of my doctors else.

MOR: What, to poison me, that I might die intestate, and leave you possest of all?

EPI: Lord, how idly he talks, and how his eyes sparkle! he looks green about the temples! do you see what blue spots he has?

TRUE: Ay, 'tis melancholy.

EPI: Gentlemen, for Heaven's sake, counsel me. Ladies;—servant, you have read Pliny and Paracelsus; ne'er a word now to comfort a poor gentlewoman? Ay me, what fortune had I, to marry a distracted man!

DAW: I will tell you, mistress—

TRUE: How rarely she holds it up! [ASIDE TO CLER.]

MOR: What mean you, gentlemen?

EPI: What will you tell me, servant?

DAW: The disease in Greek is called mania, in Latin insania, furor, vel ecstasis melancholica, that is, egressio, when a man ex melancholico evadit fanaticus.

MOR: Shall I have a lecture read upon me alive?

DAW: But he may be but phreneticus yet, mistress? and phrenetis is only delirium, or so.

EPI: Ay, that is for the disease, servant: but what is this to the cure? we are sure enough of the disease.

MOR: Let me go.

TRUE: Why, we'll entreat her to hold her peace, sir.

MOR: O no, labour not to stop her. She is like a conduit-pipe, that will gush out with more force when she opens again.

HAU: I will tell you, Morose, you must talk divinity to him altogether, or moral philosophy.

LA-F: Ay, and there's an excellent book of moral philosophy, madam, of Raynard the fox, and all the beasts, called Doni's Philosophy.

CEN: There is, indeed, sir Amorous La-Foole.

MOR: O misery!

LA-F: I have read it, my lady Centaure, all over, to my cousin, here.

MRS. OTT: Ay, and 'tis a very good book as any is, of the moderns.

DAW: Tut, he must have Seneca read to him, and Plutarch, and the ancients; the moderns are not for this disease.

CLER: Why, you discommended them too, to-day, sir John.

DAW: Ay, in some cases: but in these they are best, and Aristotle's ethics.

MAV: Say you so sir John? I think you are decived: you took it upon trust.

HAU: Where's Trusty, my woman? I'll end this difference. I prithee, Otter, call her. Her father and mother were both mad, when they put her to me.

MOR: I think so. Nay, gentlemen, I am tame. This is but an exercise, I know, a marriage ceremony, which I must endure.

HAU: And one of them, I know not which, was cur'd with the Sick Man's Salve; and the other with Green's Groat's-worth of Wit.

TRUE: A very cheap cure, madam.

[ENTER TRUSTY.]

HAU: Ay, 'tis very feasible.

MRS. OTT: My lady call'd for you, mistress Trusty: you must decide a controversy.

HAU: O, Trusty, which was it you said, your father, or your mother, that was cured with the Sick Man's Salve?

TRUS: My mother, madam, with the Salve.

TRUE: Then it was the sick woman's salve?

TRUS: And my father with the Groat's-worth of Wit. But there was other means used: we had a preacher that would preach folk asleep still; and so they were prescribed to go to church, by an old woman that was their physician, thrice a week—

EPI: To sleep?

TRUS: Yes, forsooth: and every night they read themselves asleep on those books.

EPI: Good faith, it stands with great reason. I would I knew where to procure those books.

MOR: Oh!

LA-F: I can help you with one of them, mistress Morose, the Groat's-worth of Wit.

EPI: But I shall disfurnish you, sir Amorous: can you spare it?

LA-F: O, yes, for a week, or so; I'll read it myself to him.

EPI: No, I must do that, sir: that must be my office.

MOR: Oh, oh!

EPI: Sure he would do well enough, if he could sleep.

MOR: No, I should do well enough, if you could sleep. Have I no friend that will make her drunk? or give her a little laudanum? or opium?

TRUE: Why, sir, she talks ten times worse in her sleep.

MOR: How!

CLER: Do you not know that, sir? never ceases all night.

TRUE: And snores like a porpoise.

MOR: O, redeem me, fate; redeem me, fate! For how many causes may a man be divorced, nephew?

DAUP: I know not, truly, sir.

TRUE: Some divine must resolve you in that, sir, or canon-lawyer.

MOR: I will not rest, I will not think of any other hope or comfort, till I know.

[EXIT WITH DAUPHINE.]

CLER: Alas, poor man!

TRUE: You'll make him mad indeed, ladies, if you pursue this.

HAU: No, we'll let him breathe now, a quarter of an hour or so.

CLER: By my faith, a large truce!

HAU: Is that his keeper, that is gone with him?

DAW: It is his nephew, madam.

LA-F: Sir Dauphine Eugenie.

HAU: He looks like a very pitiful knight—

DAW: As can be. This marriage has put him out of all.

LA-F: He has not a penny in his purse, madam.

DAW: He is ready to cry all this day.

LA-F: A very shark; he set me in the nick t'other night at Primero.

TRUE: How these swabbers talk!

CLER: Ay, Otter's wine has swell'd their humours above a spring-tide.

HAU: Good Morose, let us go in again. I like your couches exceeding well; we will go lie and talk there.

[EXEUNT HAU., CEN., MAV., TRUS., LA-FOOLE, AND DAW.]

EPI [FOLLOWING THEM.]: I wait on you, madam.

TRUE [STOPPING HER.]: 'Slight, I will have them as silent as signs, and their post too, ere I have done. Do you hear, lady-bride? I pray thee now, as thou art a noble wench, continue this discourse of Dauphine within; but praise him exceedingly: magnify him with all the height of affection thou canst;—I have some purpose in't: and but beat off these two rooks, Jack Daw and his fellow, with any discontentment, hither, and I'll honour thee for ever.

EPI: I was about it here. It angered me to the soul, to hear them begin to talk so malepert.

TRUE: Pray thee perform it, and thou winn'st me an idolater to thee everlasting.

EPI: Will you go in and hear me do't?

TRUE: No, I'll stay here. Drive them out of your company, 'tis all I ask; which cannot be any way better done, than by extolling Dauphine, whom they have so slighted.

EPI: I warrant you; you shall expect one of them presently.

[EXIT.]

CLER: What a cast of kestrils are these, to hawk after ladies, thus!

TRUE: Ay, and strike at such an eagle as Dauphine.

CLER: He will be mad when we tell him. Here he comes.

[RE-ENTER DAUPHINE.]

CLER: O sir, you are welcome.

TRUE: Where's thine uncle?

DAUP: Run out of doors in his night-caps, to talk with a casuist about his divorce. It works admirably.

TRUE: Thou wouldst have said so, if thou hadst been here! The ladies have laugh'd at thee most comically, since thou went'st, Dauphine.

CLER: And ask'd, if thou wert thine uncle's keeper.

TRUE: And the brace of baboons answer'd, Yes; and said thou wert a pitiful poor fellow, and didst live upon posts: and hadst nothing but three suits of apparel, and some few benevolences that lords gave thee to fool to them, and swagger.

DAUP: Let me not live, I will beat them: I'll bind them both to grand-madam's bed-posts, and have them baited with monkies.

TRUE: Thou shalt not need, they shall be beaten to thy hand, Dauphine. I have an execution to serve upon them, I warrant thee, shall serve; trust my plot.

DAUP: Ay, you have many plots! so you had one to make all the wenches in love with me.

TRUE: Why, if I do not yet afore night, as near as 'tis; and that they do not every one invite thee, and be ready to scratch for thee, take the mortgage of my wit.

CLER: 'Fore God, I'll be his witness thou shalt have it, Dauphine: thou shalt be his fool for ever, if thou doest not.

TRUE: Agreed. Perhaps 'twill be the better estate. Do you observe this gallery, or rather lobby, indeed? Here are a couple of studies, at each end one: here will I act such a tragi-comedy between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, Daw and La-Foole—which of them comes out first, will I seize on:—you two shall be the chorus behind the arras, and whip out between the acts and speak—If I do not make them keep the peace for this remnant of the day, if not of the year, I have failed once—I hear Daw coming: hide, [THEY WITHDRAW] and do not laugh, for God's sake.

[RE-ENTER DAW.]

DAW: Which is the way into the garden trow?

TRUE: O, Jack Daw! I am glad I have met with you. In good faith, I must have this matter go no further between you. I must have it taken up.

DAW: What matter, sir? between whom?

TRUE: Come, you disguise it: sir Amorous and you. If you love me, Jack, you shall make use of your philosophy now, for this once, and deliver me your sword. This is not the wedding the Centaurs were at, though there be a she one here. [TAKES HIS SWORD.] The bride has entreated me I will see no blood shed at her bridal, you saw her whisper me erewhile.

DAW: As I hope to finish Tacitus, I intend no murder.

TRUE: Do you not wait for sir Amorous?

DAW: Not I, by my knighthood.

TRUE: And your scholarship too?

DAW: And my scholarship too.

TRUE: Go to, then I return you your sword, and ask you mercy; but put it not up, for you will be assaulted. I understood that you had apprehended it, and walked here to brave him: and that you had held your life contemptible, in regard of your honour.

DAW: No, no; no such thing, I assure you. He and I parted now, as good friends as could be.

TRUE: Trust not you to that visor. I saw him since dinner with another face: I have known many men in my time vex'd with losses, with deaths, and with abuses; but so offended a wight as sir Amorous, did I never see, or read of. For taking away his guests, sir, to-day, that's the cause: and he declares it behind your back with such threatenings and contempts—He said to Dauphine, you were the arrant'st ass—

DAW: Ay, he may say his pleasure.

TRUE: And swears you are so protested a coward, that he knows you will never do him any manly or single right, and therefore he will take his course.

DAW: I'll give him any satisfaction, sir—but fighting.

TRUE: Ay, sir: but who knows what satisfaction he'll take? blood he thirsts for, and blood he will have: and whereabouts on you he will have it, who knows but himself?

DAW: I pray you, master Truewit, be you a mediator.

TRUE: Well, sir, conceal yourself then in this study till I return. [PUTS HIM INTO THE STUDY.] Nay, you must be content to be lock'd in: for, for mine own reputation, I would not have you seen to receive a public disgrace, while I have the matter in managing. Ods so, here he comes; keep your breath close, that he do not hear you sigh. In good faith, sir Amorous, he is not this way; I pray you be merciful, do not murder him; he is a Christian, as good as you: you are arm'd as if you sought revenge on all his race. Good Dauphine, get him away from this place. I never knew a man's choler so high, but he would speak to his friends, he would hear reason.—Jack Daw, Jack! asleep!

DAW [within]: Is he gone, master Truewit?

TRUE: Ay; did you hear him?

DAW: O lord! yes.

TRUE: What a quick ear fear has!

DAW [COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET.]: But is he so arm'd, as you say?

TRUE: Arm'd? did you ever see a fellow set out to take possession?

DAW: Ay, sir.

TRUE: That may give you some light to conceive of him: but 'tis nothing to the principal. Some false brother in the house has furnish'd him strangely; or, if it were out of the house, it was Tom Otter.

DAW: Indeed he's a captain, and his wife is his kinswoman.

TRUE: He has got some body's old two-hand sword, to mow you off at the knees; and that sword hath spawn'd such a dagger!—But then he is so hung with pikes, halberds, petronels, calivers and muskets, that he looks like a justice of peace's hall: a man of two thousand a-year, is not cess'd at so many weapons as he has on. There was never fencer challenged at so many several foils. You would think he meant to murder all Saint Pulchre parish. If he could but victual himself for half a year in his breeches, he is sufficiently arm'd to over-run a country.

DAW: Good lord! what means he, sir? I pray you, master Truewit, be you a mediator.

TRUE: Well, I 'll try if he will be appeased with a leg or an arm; if not you must die once.

DAW: I would be loth to lose my right arm, for writing madrigals.

TRUE: Why, if he will be satisfied with a thumb or a little finger, all's one to me. You must think, I will do my best.

[SHUTS HIM UP AGAIN.]

DAW: Good sir, do.

[CLERIMONT AND DAUPHINE COME FORWARD.]

CLER: What hast thou done?

TRUE: He will let me do nothing, he does all afore; he offers his left arm.

CLER: His left wing for a Jack Daw.

DAUP: Take it, by all means.

TRUE: How! maim a man for ever, for a jest? What a conscience hast thou!

DAUP: 'Tis no loss to him; he has no employment for his arms, but to eat spoon-meat. Beside, as good maim his body as his reputation.

TRUE: He is a scholar, and a wit, and yet he does not think so. But he loses no reputation with us; for we all resolved him an ass before. To your places again.

CLER: I pray thee, let me be in at the other a little.

TRUE: Look, you'll spoil all: these be ever your tricks.

CLER: No, but I could hit of some things that thou wilt miss, and thou wilt say are good ones.

TRUE: I warrant you. I pray forbear, I will leave it off, else.

DAUP: Come away, Clerimont.

[DAUP. AND CLER. WITHDRAW AS BEFORE.]

[ENTER LA-FOOLE.]

TRUE: Sir Amorous!

LA-F: Master Truewit.

TRUE: Whither were you going?

LA-F: Down into the court to make water.

TRUE: By no means, sir; you shall rather tempt your breeches.

LA-F: Why, sir?

TRUE: Enter here, if you love your life.

[OPENING THE DOOR OF THE OTHER STUDY.]

LA-F: Why? why?

TRUE: Question till you throat be cut, do: dally till the enraged soul find you.

LA-F: Who is that?

TRUE: Daw it is: will you in?

LA-F: Ay, ay, I will in: what's the matter?

TRUE: Nay, if he had been cool enough to tell us that, there had been some hope to atone you, but he seems so implacably enraged!

LA-F: 'Slight, let him rage! I'll hide myself.

TRUE: Do, good sir. But what have you done to him within, that should provoke him thus? You have broke some jest upon him, afore the ladies.

LA-F: Not I, never in my life, broke jest upon any man. The bride was praising sir Dauphine, and he went away in snuff, and I followed him, unless he took offence at me in his drink erewhile, that I would not pledge all the horse full.

TRUE: By my faith, and that may be, you remember well: but he walks the round up and down, through every room o' the house, with a towel in his hand, crying, Where's La-Foole? Who saw La-Foole? and when Dauphine and I demanded the cause, we can force no answer from him, but—O revenge, how sweet art thou! I will strangle him in this towel—which leads us to conjecture that the main cause of his fury is, for bringing your meat to-day, with a towel about you, to his discredit.

LA-F: Like enough. Why, if he be angry for that, I'll stay here till his anger be blown over.

TRUE: A good becoming resolution, sir; if you can put it on o' the sudden.

LA-F: Yes, I can put it on: or, I'll away into the country presently.

TRUE: How will you get out of the house, sir? he knows you are in the house, and he will watch you this se'ennight, but he'll have you. He'll outwait a serjeant for you.

LA-F: Why, then I'll stay here.

TRUE: You must think how to victual yourself in time then.

LA-F: Why, sweet master Truewit, will you entreat my cousin Otter to send me a cold venison pasty, a bottle or two of wine, and a chamber-pot?

TRUE: A stool were better, sir, of sir Ajax his invention.

LA-F: Ay, that will be better, indeed; and a pallet to lie on.

TRUE: O, I would not advise you to sleep by any means.

LA-F: Would you not, sir? why, then I will not.

TRUE: Yet, there's another fear—

LA-F: Is there! what is't?

TRUE: No, he cannot break open this door with his foot, sure.

LA-F: I'll set my back against it, sir. I have a good back.

TRUE: But then if he should batter.

LA-F: Batter! if he dare, I'll have an action of battery against him.

TRUE: Cast you the worst. He has sent for powder already, and what he will do with it, no man knows: perhaps blow up the corner of the house where he suspects you are. Here he comes; in quickly. [THRUSTS IN LA-FOOLE AND SHUTS THE DOOR.] I protest, sir John Daw, he is not this way: what will you do? before God, you shall hang no petard here. I'll die rather. Will you not take my word? I never knew one but would be satisfied.— Sir Amorous, [SPEAKS THROUGH THE KEY-HOLE,] there's no standing out: He has made a petard of an old brass pot, to force your door. Think upon some satisfaction, or terms to offer him.

LA-F [WITHIN.]: Sir, I will give him any satisfaction: I dare give any terms.

TRUE: You'll leave it to me, then?

LA-F: Ay, sir. I'll stand to any conditions.

TRUE [BECKONING FORWARD CLERIMONT AND DAUPHINE.]: How now, what think you, sirs? were't not a difficult thing to determine which of these two fear'd most.

CLER: Yes, but this fears the bravest: the other a whiniling dastard, Jack Daw! But La-Foole, a brave heroic coward! and is afraid in a great look and a stout accent; I like him rarely.

TRUE: Had it not been pity these two should have been concealed?

CLER: Shall I make a motion?

TRUE: Briefly: For I must strike while 'tis hot.

CLER: Shall I go fetch the ladies to the catastrophe?

TRUE: Umph! ay, by my troth.

DAUP: By no mortal means. Let them continue in the state of ignorance, and err still; think them wits and fine fellows, as they have done. 'Twere sin to reform them.

TRUE: Well, I will have them fetch'd, now I think on't, for a private purpose of mine: do, Clerimont, fetch them, and discourse to them all that's past, and bring them into the gallery here.

DAUP: This is thy extreme vanity, now: thou think'st thou wert undone, if every jest thou mak'st were not publish'd.

TRUE: Thou shalt see how unjust thou art presently. Clerimont, say it was Dauphine's plot. [EXIT CLERIMONT.] Trust me not, if the whole drift be not for thy good. There is a carpet in the next room, put it on, with this scarf over thy face, and a cushion on thy head, and be ready when I call Amorous. Away! [EXIT DAUP.] John Daw! [GOES TO DAW'S CLOSET AND BRINGS HIM OUT.]

DAW: What good news, sir?

TRUE: Faith, I have followed and argued with him hard for you. I told him you were a knight, and a scholar, and that you knew fortitude did consist magis patiendo quam faciendo, magis ferendo quam feriendo.

DAW: It doth so indeed, sir.

TRUE: And that you would suffer, I told him: so at first he demanded by my troth, in my conceit, too much.

DAW: What was it, sir.

TRUE: Your upper lip, and six of your fore-teeth.

DAW: 'Twas unreasonable.

TRUE: Nay, I told him plainly, you could not spare them all. So after long argument pro et con as you know, I brought him down to your two butter-teeth, and them he would have.

DAW: O, did you so? Why, he shall have them.

TRUE: But he shall not, sir, by your leave. The conclusion is this, sir: because you shall be very good friends hereafter, and this never to be remembered or upbraided; besides, that he may not boast he has done any such thing to you in his own person: he is to come here in disguise, give you five kicks in private, sir, take your sword from you, and lock you up in that study during pleasure: which will be but a little while, we'll get it released presently.

DAW: Five kicks! he shall have six, sir, to be friends.

TRUE: Believe me, you shall not over-shoot yourself, to send him that word by me.

DAW: Deliver it, sir: he shall have it with all my heart, to be friends.

TRUE: Friends! Nay, an he should not be so, and heartily too, upon these terms, he shall have me to enemy while I live. Come, sir, bear it bravely.

DAW: O lord, sir, 'tis nothing.

TRUE: True: what's six kicks to a man that reads Seneca?

DAW: I have had a hundred, sir.

TRUE: Sir Amorous! [RE-ENTER DAUPHINE, DISGUISED.] No speaking one to another, or rehearsing old matters.

DAW [AS DAUPHINE KICKS HIM.]: One, two, three, four, five. I protest, sir Amorous, you shall have six.

TRUE: Nay, I told you, you should not talk. Come give him six, an he will needs. [DAUPHINE KICKS HIM AGAIN.] —Your sword. [TAKES HIS SWORD.] Now return to your safe custody: you shall presently meet afore the ladies, and be the dearest friends one to another. [PUTS DAW INTO THE STUDY.] —Give me the scarf now, thou shalt beat the other bare-faced. Stand by: [DAUPHINE RETIRES, AND TRUEWIT GOES TO THE OTHER CLOSET, AND RELEASES LA-FOOLE.] —Sir Amorous!

LA-F: What's here? A sword?

TRUE: I cannot help it, without I should take the quarrel upon myself. Here he has sent you his sword—

LA-F: I will receive none on't.

TRUE: And he wills you to fasten it against a wall, and break your head in some few several places against the hilts.

LA-F: I will not: tell him roundly. I cannot endure to shed my own blood.

TRUE: Will you not?

LA-F: No. I'll beat it against a fair flat wall, if that will satisfy him: if not, he shall beat it himself, for Amorous.

TRUE: Why, this is strange starting off, when a man undertakes for you! I offer'd him another condition; will you stand to that?

LA-F: Ay, what is't.

TRUE: That you will be beaten in private.

LA-F: Yes, I am content, at the blunt.

[ENTER, ABOVE, HAUGHTY, CENTAURE, MAVIS, MISTRESS OTTER, EPICOENE, AND TRUSTY.]

TRUE: Then you must submit yourself to be hoodwinked in this scarf, and be led to him, where he will take your sword from you, and make you bear a blow over the mouth, gules, and tweaks by the nose, sans nombre.

LA-F: I am content. But why must I be blinded?

TRUE: That's for your good, sir: because, if he should grow insolent upon this, and publish it hereafter to your disgrace, (which I hope he will not do,) you might swear safely, and protest, he never beat you, to your knowledge.

LA-F: O, I conceive.

TRUE: I do not doubt but you will be perfect good friends upon't, and not dare to utter an ill thought one of another in future.

LA-F: Not I, as God help me, of him.

TRUE: Nor he of you, sir. If he should [BLINDS HIS EYES.] —Come, sir. [LEADS HIM FORWARD.] —All hid, sir John.

[ENTER DAUPHINE, AND TWEAKS HIM BY THE NOSE.]

LA-F: O, sir John, sir John! Oh, o—o—o—o—o—Oh—

TRUE: Good, sir John, leave tweaking, you'll blow his nose off. 'Tis sir John's pleasure, you should retire into the study. [PUTS HIM UP AGAIN.] —Why, now you are friends. All bitterness between you, I hope, is buried; you shall come forth by and by, Damon and Pythias upon't, and embrace with all the rankness of friendship that can be. I trust, we shall have them tamer in their language hereafter. Dauphine, I worship thee.—Gods will the ladies have surprised us!

[ENTER HAUGHTY, CENTAURE, MAVIS, MISTRESS OTTER, EPICOENE, AND TRUSTY, BEHIND.]

HAU: Centaure, how our judgments were imposed on by these adulterate knights!

Nay, madam, Mavis was more deceived than we, 'twas her commendation utter'd them in the college.

MAV: I commended but their wits, madam, and their braveries. I never look'd toward their valours.

HAU: Sir Dauphine is valiant, and a wit too, it seems.

MAV: And a bravery too.

HAU: Was this his project?

MRS. OTT: So master Clerimont intimates, madam.

HAU: Good Morose, when you come to the college, will you bring him with you? he seems a very perfect gentleman.

EPI: He is so, madam, believe it.

CEN: But when will you come, Morose?

EPI: Three or four days hence, madam, when I have got me a coach and horses.

HAU: No, to-morrow, good Morose; Centaure shall send you her coach.

MAV: Yes faith, do, and bring sir Dauphine with you.

HAU: She has promised that, Mavis.

MAV: He is a very worthy gentleman in his exteriors, madam.

HAU: Ay, he shews he is judicial in his clothes.

CEN: And yet not so superlatively neat as some, madam, that have their faces set in a brake.

HAU: Ay, and have every hair in form!

MAV: That wear purer linen then ourselves, and profess more neatness than the French hermaphrodite!

EPI: Ay, ladies, they, what they tell one of us, have told a thousand; and are the only thieves of our fame: that think to take us with that perfume, or with that lace, and laugh at us unconscionably when they have done.

HAU: But, sir Dauphine's carelessness becomes him.

CEN: I could love a man for such a nose.

MAV: Or such a leg!

CEN: He has an exceeding good eye, madam.

MAV: And a very good lock.

CEN: Good Morose, bring him to my chamber first.

MRS. OTT: Please your honours to meet at my house, madam.

TRUE: See how they eye thee, man! they are taken, I warrant thee.

[HAUGHTY COMES FORWARD.]

HAU: You have unbraced our brace of knights here, master Truewit.

TRUE: Not I, madam; it was sir Dauphine's ingine: who, if he have disfurnish'd your ladyship of any guard or service by it, is able to make the place good again, in himself.

HAU: There is no suspicion of that, sir.

CEN: God so, Mavis, Haughty is kissing.

MAV: Let us go too, and take part.

[THEY COME FORWARD.]

HAU: But I am glad of the fortune (beside the discovery of two such empty caskets) to gain the knowledge of so rich a mine of virtue as sir Dauphine.

CEN: We would be all glad to style him of our friendship, and see him at the college.

MAV: He cannot mix with a sweeter society, I'll prophesy; and I hope he himself will think so.

DAUP: I should be rude to imagine otherwise, lady.

TRUE: Did not I tell thee, Dauphine? Why, all their actions are governed by crude opinion, without reason or cause; they know not why they do any thing: but, as they are inform'd, believe, judge, praise, condemn, love, hate, and in emulation one of another, do all these things alike. Only they have a natural inclination sways them generally to the worst, when they are left to themselves. But pursue it, now thou hast them.

HAU: Shall we go in again, Morose?

EPI: Yes, madam.

CEN: We'll entreat sir Dauphine's company.

TRUE: Stay, good madam, the interview of the two friends, Pylades and Orestes: I'll fetch them out to you straight.

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