SCENE I. -- THE PALACE STAIRS.
ENTER PUNTARVOLO, WITH HIS DOG, FOLLOWED BY FASTIDIOUS BRISK AND FUNGOSO.
PUNT. Come, gentles, Signior, you are sufficiently instructed.
FAST. Who, I, sir?
PUNT. No, this gentleman. But stay, I take thought how to bestow my dog; he is no competent attendant for the presence.
FAST. Mass, that's true, indeed, knight; you must not carry him into the presence.
PUNT. I know it, and I, like a dull beast, forgot to bring one of my cormorants to attend me.
FAST. Why, you were best leave him at the porter's lodge.
PUNT. Not so; his worth is too well known amongst them, to be forth-coming.
FAST. 'Slight, how will you do then?
PUNT. I must leave him with one that is ignorant of his quality, if I will have him to be safe. And see! here comes one that will carry coals, ergo, will hold my dog.
GROOM. You may, if you please, sir.
PUNT. Pray thee let me find thee here at my return; it shall not be long, till I will ease thee of thy employment, and please thee. Forth, gentles.
FAST. Why, but will you leave him with so slight command, and infuse no more charge upon the fellow?
PUNT. Charge! no; there were no policy in that; that were to let him know the value of the gem he holds, and so to tempt frail nature against her disposition. No, pray thee let thy honesty be sweet, as it shall be short.
GROOM. Yes, sir.
PUNT. But hark you, gallants, and chiefly monsieur Brisk: when we come in eye-shot, or presence of this lady, let not other matters carry us from our project; but, if we can, single her forth to some place --
FAST. I warrant you.
PUNT. And be not too sudden, but let the device induce itself with good circumstance. On.
FUNG. Is this the way? good truth, here be fine hangings.
GROOM. Honesty! sweet, and short! Marry, it shall, sir, doubt you not; for even at this instant if one would give me twenty pounds, I would not deliver him; there's for the sweet: but now, if any man come offer me but two-pence, he shall have him; there's for the short now. 'Slid, what a mad humorous gentleman is this to leave his dog with me! I could run away with him now, an he were worth any thing.
ENTER MACILENTE AND SOGLIARDO.
SOG. Faith, an you say the word, I'll begin to her in tobacco.
MACI. O, fie on't! no; you shall begin with, "How does my sweet lady", or, "Why are you so melancholy, madam?" though she be very merry, it's all one. Be sure to kiss your hand often enough; pray for her health, and tell her, how "More than most fair she is". Screw your face at one side thus, and protest: let her fleer, and look askance, and hide her teeth with her fan, when she laughs a fit, to bring her into more matter, that's nothing: you must talk forward, (though it be without sense, so it be without blushing,) 'tis most court-like and well.
SOG. But shall I not use tobacco at all?
MACI. O, by no means; 'twill but make your breath suspected, and that you use it only to confound the rankness of that.
SOG. Nay, I'll be advised, sir, by my friends.
MACI. Od's my life, see where sir Puntarvolo's dog is.
GROOM. I would the gentleman would return for his follower here, I'll leave him to his fortunes else.
MACI. 'Twere the only true jest in the world to poison him now; ha! by this hand I'll do it, if I could but get him of the fellow. [ASIDE.] Signior Sogliardo, walk aside, and think upon some device to entertain the lady with.
SOG. So I do, sir.
MACI. How now, mine honest friend! whose dog-keeper art thou?
GROOM. Dog-keeper, sir! I hope I scorn that, i'faith.
MACI. Why, dost thou not keep a dog?
GROOM. Sir, now I do, and now I do not: [THROWS OFF THE DOG.] I think this be sweet and short. Make me his dog-keeper!
MACI. This is excellent, above expectation! nay, stay, sir; [SEIZING THE DOG.] you'd be travelling; but I'll give you a dram shall shorten your voyage, here. [GIVES HIM POISON.] So, sir, I'll be bold to take my leave of you. Now to the Turk's court in the devil's name, for you shall never go o' God's name. [KICKS HIM OUT.] -- Sogliardo, come.
SOG. I have it i'faith now, will sting it.
MACI. Take heed you leese it not signior, ere you come there; preserve it.
COR. How like you this first exploit of his?
MIT. O, a piece of true envy; but I expect the issue of the other device.
COR. Here they come will make it appear.
SCENE II. -- AN APARTMENT IN THE PALACE.
ENTER SAVIOLINA, PUNTARVOLO, FASTIDIOUS BRISK, AND FUNGOSO.
SAV. Why, I thought, sir Puntarvolo, you had been gone your voyage?
PUNT. Dear and most amiable lady, your divine beauties do bind me to those offices, that I cannot depart when I would.
SAV. 'Tis most court-like spoken, sir; but how might we do to have a sight of your dog and cat?
FAST. His dog is in the court, lady.
SAV. And not your cat? how dare you trust her behind you, sir.
PUNT. Troth, madam, she hath sore eyes, and she doth keep her chamber; marry, I have left her under sufficient guard there are two of my followers to attend her.
SAV. I'll give you some water for her eyes. When do you go, sir?
PUNT. Certes, sweet lady, I know not.
FAST. He doth stay the rather, madam, to present your acute judgment with so courtly and well parted a gentleman as yet your ladyship hath never seen.
SAV. What is he, gentle monsieur Brisk? not that gentleman?
FAST. No, lady, this is a kinsman to justice Silence.
PUNT. Pray, sir, give me leave to report him. He's a gentleman, lady, of that rare and admirable faculty, as, I protest, I know not his like in Europe; he is exceedingly valiant, an excellent scholar, and so exactly travelled, that he is able, in discourse, to deliver you a model of any prince's court in the world; speaks the languages with that purity of phrase, and facility of accent, that it breeds astonishment; his wit, the most exuberant, and, above wonder, pleasant, of all that ever entered the concave of this ear.
FAST. 'Tis most true, lady; marry, he is no such excellent proper man.
PUNT. His travels have changed his complexion, madam.
SAV. O, sir Puntarvolo, you must think every man was not born to have my servant Brisk's feature.
PUNT. But that which transcends all, lady; he doth so peerlessly imitate any manner of person for gesture, action, passion, or whatever --
FAST. Ay, especially a rustic or a clown, madam, that it is not possible for the sharpest-sighted wit in the world to discern any sparks of the gentleman in him, when he does it.
SAV. O, monsieur Brisk, be not so tyrannous to confine all wits within the compass of your own; not find the sparks of a gentleman in him, if he be a gentleman!
FUNG. No, in truth, sweet lady, I believe you cannot.
SAV. Do you believe so? why, I can find sparks of a gentleman in you, sir.
PUNT. Ay, he is a gentleman, madam, and a reveller.
FUNG. Indeed, I think I have seen your ladyship at our revels.
SAV. Like enough, sir; but would I might see this wonder you talk of; may one have a sight of him for any reasonable sum?
PUNT. Yes, madam, he will arrive presently.
SAV. What, and shall we see him clown it?
FAST. I'faith, sweet lady, that you shall; see, here he comes.
ENTER MACILENTE AND SOGLIARDO.
SAV. Beshrew me, he clowns it properly indeed.
PUNT. Nay, mark his courtship.
SOG. How does my sweet lady? hot and moist? beautiful and lusty? ha!
SAV. Beautiful, an it please you, sir, but not lusty.
SOG. O ho, lady, it pleases you to say so, in truth: And how does my sweet lady? in health? 'Bonaroba, quaeso, que novelles? que novelles?' sweet creature!
SAV. O excellent! why, gallants, is this he that cannot be deciphered? they were very blear-witted, i'faith, that could not discern the gentleman in him.
PUNT. But you do, in earnest, lady?
SAV. Do I sir! why, if you had any true court-judgment in the carriage of his eye, and that inward power that forms his countenance, you might perceive his counterfeiting as clear as the noon-day; alas -- nay, if you would have tried my wit, indeed, you should never have told me he was a gentleman, but presented him for a true clown indeed; and then have seen if I could have deciphered him.
FAST. 'Fore God, her ladyship says true, knight: but does he not affect the clown most naturally, mistress?
PUNT. O, she cannot but affirm that, out of the bounty of her judgment.
SAV. Nay, out of doubt he does well, for a gentleman to imitate: but I warrant you, he becomes his natural carriage of the gentleman, much better than his clownery.
FAST. 'Tis strange, in truth, her ladyship should see so far into him!
PUNT. Ay, is it not?
SAV. Faith, as easily as may be; not decipher him, quoth you!
FUNG. Good sadness, I wonder at it
MACI. Why, has she deciphered him, gentlemen?
PUNT. O, most miraculously, and beyond admiration.
MACI. Is it possible?
FAST. She hath gather'd most infallible signs of the gentleman in him, that's certain.
SAV. Why, gallants, let me laugh at you a little: was this your device, to try my judgment in a gentleman?
MACI. Nay, lady, do not scorn us, though you have this gift of perspicacy above others. What if he should be no gentleman now, but a clown indeed, lady?
PUNT. How think you of that? would not your ladyship be Out of your Humour?
FAST. O, but she knows it is not so.
SAV. What if he were not a man, ye may as well say? Nay, if your worships could gull me so, indeed, you were wiser than you are taken for.
MACI. In good faith, lady, he is a very perfect clown, both by father and mother; that I'll assure you.
SAV. O, sir, you are very pleasurable.
MACI. Nay, do but look on his hand, and that shall resolve you; look you, lady, what a palm here is.
SOG. Tut, that was with holding the plough.
MACI. The plough! did you discern any such thing in him, madam?
FAST. Faith no, she saw the gentleman as bright as noon-day, she; she deciphered him at first.
MACI. Troth, I am sorry your ladyship's sight should be so suddenly struck.
SAV. O, you are goodly beagles!
FAST. What, is she gone?
SOG. Nay, stay, sweet lady: 'que novelles? que novelles?'
SAV. Out, you fool, you!
FUNG. She's Out of her Humour, i'faith.
FAST. Nay, let's follow it while 'tis hot, gentlemen.
PUNT. Come, on mine honour we shall make her blush in the presence; my spleen is great with laughter.
MACI. Your laughter will be a child of a feeble life, I believe, sir.
FUNG. Od's will, this suit frets me at the soul. I'll have it alter'd to-morrow, sure.
SCENE III. -- THE PALACE STAIRS.
SHIFT. I am come to the court, to meet with my Countenance, Sogliardo; poor men must be glad of such countenance, when they can get no better. Well, need may insult upon a man, but it shall never make him despair of consequence. The world will say, 'tis base: tush, base! 'tis base to live under the earth, not base to live above it by any means.
ENTER FASTIDIOUS, PUNTARVOLO, SOGLIARDO, FUNGOSO, AND MACILENTE.
PUNT. There was never so witty a jest broken, at the tilt of all the court wits christen'd.
MACI. O, this applause taints it foully.
SOG. I think I did my part in courting. -- O, Resolution!
PUNT. Ay me, my dog!
MACI. Where is he?
FAST. 'Sprecious, go seek for the fellow, good signior
PUNT. Here, here I left him.
MACI. Why, none was here when we came in now, but cavalier Shirt; enquire of him.
FAST. Did you see sir Puntarvolo's dog here, cavalier, since you came?
SHIFT. His dog, sir! he may look his dog, sir; I saw none of his dog, sir.
MACI. Upon my life, he has stolen your dog, sir, and been hired to it by some that have ventured with you; you may guess by his peremptory answers.
PUNT. Not unlike; for he hath been a notorious thief by his own confession. Sirrah, where is my dog?
SHIFT. Charge me with your dog, sir! I have none of your dog, sir.
PUNT. Villain, thou liest.
SHIFT. Lie, sir! s'blood, -- you are but a man, sir.
PUNT. Rogue and thief, restore him.
SOG. Take heed, sir Puntarvolo, what you do; he'll bear no coals, I can tell you, o' my word.
MACI. This is rare.
SOG. It's marle he stabs you not: By this light, he hath stabbed forty, for forty times less matter, I can tell you of my knowledge.
PUNT. I will make thee stoop, thou abject.
SOG. Make him stoop, sir! Gentlemen, pacify him, or he'll be kill'd.
MACI. Is he so tall a man?
SOG. Tall a man! if you love his life, stand betwixt them. Make him stoop!
PUNT. My dog, villain, or I will hang thee; thou hast confest robberies, and other felonious acts, to this gentleman, thy Countenance --
SOG. I'll bear no witness.
PUNT. And without my dog, I will hang thee, for them.
SOG. What! kneel to thine enemies!
SHIFT. Pardon me, good sir; God is my witness, I never did robbery in all my life.
MACI. Heart, is he not dead yet!
PUNT. O, my dog, born to disastrous fortune! pray you conduct me, sir.
SOG. How! did you never do any robbery in your life?
MACI. O, this is good! so he swore, sir.
SOG. Ay, I heard him: and did you swear true, sir?
SHIFT. Ay, as I hope to be forgiven, sir, I never robbed any man; I never stood by the highwayside, sir, but only said so, because I would get myself a name, and be counted a tall man.
SOG. Now out, base viliaco! thou my Resolution! I thy Countenance! By this light, gentlemen, he hath confest to me the most inexorable company of robberies, and damn'd himself that he did 'em: you never heard the like. Out, scoundrel, out! follow me no more, I command thee; out of my sight, go, hence, speak not; I will not hear thee: away, camouccio!
MACI. O, how I do feed upon this now, and fat myself! here were a couple unexpectedly dishumour'd. Well, by this time, I hope, sir Puntarvolo and his dog are both out of humour to travel. [ASIDE.] -- Nay, gentlemen, why do you not seek out the knight, and comfort him? our supper at the Mitre must of necessity hold to-night, if you love your reputations.
FAST. 'Fore God, I am so melancholy for his dog's disaster -- but I'll go.
SOG. Faith, and I may go too, but I know I shall be so melancholy.
MACI. Tush, melancholy! you must forget that now, and remember you lie at the mercy of a fury: Carlo will rack your sinews asunder, and rail you to dust, if you come not.
MIT. O, then their fear of Carlo, belike, makes them hold their meeting.
COR. Ay, here he comes; conceive him but to be enter'd the Mitre, and 'tis enough.
SCENE IV. -- A ROOM AT THE MITRE.
DRAW. By and by; you are welcome, good master Buffone.
CAR. Where's George? call me George hither, quickly.
DRAW. What wine please you have, sir? I'll draw you that's neat, master Buffone.
CAR. Away, neophite, do as I bid thee, bring my dear George to me: --
GEORGE. Welcome, master Carlo.
CAR. What, is supper ready, George?
GEORGE. Ay, sir, almost: Will you have the cloth laid, master Carlo?
CAR. O, what else? Are none of the gallants come yet?
GEORGE. None yet, sir.
CAR. Stay, take me with you, George; let me have a good fat loin of pork laid to the fire, presently.
GEORGE. It shall, sir.
CAR. And withal, hear you, draw me the biggest shaft you have out of the butt you wot of; away, you know my meaning, George; quick!
GEORGE. Done, sir.
CAR. I never hungered so much for anything in my life, as I do to know our gallants' success at court; now is that lean, bald-rib Macilente, that salt villain, plotting some mischievous device, and lies a soaking in their frothy humours like a dry crust, till he has drunk 'em all up: Could the pummice but hold up his eyes at other men's happiness, in any reasonable proportion, 'slid, the slave were to be loved next heaven, above honour, wealth, rich fare, apparel, wenches, all the delights of the belly and the groin, whatever.
RE-ENTER GEORGE WITH TWO JUGS OF WINE.
CAR. Is it right, boy?
GEORGE. Ay, sir, I assure you 'tis right.
CAR. Well said, my dear George, depart: [EXIT GEORGE.] -- Come, my small
MIT. What, will he deal upon such quantities of wine, alone?
COR. You will perceive that, sir.
CAR. [DRINKS.] Ay, marry, sir, here's purity; O, George -- I could bite
COR. This is worth the observation, signior.
CAR. 1 CUP. Now, sir, here's to you; and I present you with so much of my love.
2 CUP. I take it kindly from you, sir. [DRINKS], and will return you the like proportion; but withal, sir, remembering the merry night we had at the countess's, you know where, sir.
1 CUP. By heaven, you put me in mind now of a very necessary office, which I will propose in your pledge, sir; the health of that honourable countess, and the sweet lady that sat by her, sir.
2 CUP. I do vail to it with reverence [DRINKS]. And now, signior, with these ladies, I'll be bold to mix the health of your divine mistress.
1 CUP. Do you know her, sir?
2 CUP. O lord, sir, ay; and in the respectful memory and mention of her, I could wish this wine were the most precious drug in the world.
1 CUP. Good faith, sir, you do honour me in't exceedingly. [DRINKS.]
MIT. Whom should he personate in this, signior?
COR. Faith, I know not, sir; observe, observe him.
2 CUP. If it were the basest filth, or mud that runs in the channel, I am bound to pledge it respectively, sir. [DRINKS.] And now, sir, here is a replenish'd bowl, which I will reciprocally turn upon you, to the health of the count Frugale.
1 CUP. The count Frugale's health, sir? I'll pledge it on my knees, by this light.
2 CUP. Nay, do me right, sir.
1 CUP. So I do, in faith.
2 CUP. Good faith you do not; mine was fuller.
1 CUP. Why, believe me, it was not.
2 CUP. Believe me it was; and you do lie.
1 CUP. Lie, sir!
2 CUP. Ay, sir.
1 CUP. 'Swounds! you rascal!
2 CUP. O, come, stab if you have a mind to it.
1 CUP. Stab! dost thou think I dare not?
CAR. [SPEAKS IN HIS OWN PERSON.] Nay, I beseech you, gentlemen, what means this? nay, look, for shame respect your reputations.
CAR. O, my good mischief! art thou come? where are the rest, where are the rest?
MACI. Faith, three of our ordnance are burst.
CAR. Burst! how comes that?
MACI. Faith, overcharged, overcharged.
CAR. But did not the train hold?
MACI. O, yes, and the poor lady is irrecoverably blown up.
CAR. Why, but which of the munition is miscarried, ha?
MACI. Imprimis, sir Puntarvolo; next, the Countenance and Resolution.
CAR. How, how, for the love of wit?
MACI. Troth, the Resolution is proved recreant; the Countenance hath changed his copy; and the passionate knight is shedding funeral tears over his departed dog.
CAR. What! is his dog dead?
MACI. Poison'd, 'tis thought; marry, how, or by whom, that's left for some cunning woman here o' the Bank-side to resolve. For my part, I know nothing more than that we are like to have an exceeding melancholy supper of it.
CAR. 'Slife, and I had purposed to be extraordinarily merry, I had drunk off a good preparative of old sack here; but will they come, will they come?
MACI. They will assuredly come; marry, Carlo, as thou lov'st me, run over 'em all freely to-night, and especially the knight; spare no sulphurous jest that may come out of that sweaty forge of thine; but ply them with all manner of shot, minion, saker, culverin, or anything, what thou wilt.
CAR. I warrant thee, my dear case of petrionels; so I stand not in dread of thee, but that thou'lt second me.
MACI. Why, my good German tapster, I will.
CAR. What George! Lomtero, Lomtero, etc.
CAR. More nectar, George: Lomtero, etc.
GEORGE. Your meat's ready, sir, an your company were come.
CAR. Is the loin pork enough?
GEORGE. Ay, sir, it is enough.
MACI. Pork! heart, what dost thou with such a greasy dish? I think thou dost varnish thy face with the fat on't, it looks so like a glue-pot.
CAR. True, my raw-boned rogue, and if thou wouldst farce thy lean ribs with it too, they would not, like ragged laths, rub out so many doublets as they do; but thou know'st not a good dish, thou. O, it's the only nourishing meat in the world. No marvel though that saucy, stubborn generation, the Jews, were forbidden it; for what would they have done, well pamper'd with fat pork, that durst murmur at their Maker out of garlick and onions? 'Slight! fed with it, the whoreson strummel-patch'd, goggle-eyed grumble-dories, would have gigantomachised --
MIT. This savours too much of profanation.
COR. O -- -- Servetur ad imum,
CAR. "'Tis an axiom in natural philosophy, what comes nearest the nature of that it feeds, converts quicker to nourishment, and doth sooner essentiate." Now nothing in flesh and entrails assimilates or resembles man more than a hog or swine.
MACI. True; and he, to requite their courtesy, oftentimes doffeth his own nature, and puts on theirs; as when he becomes as churlish as a hog, or as drunk as a sow; but to your conclusion.
CAR. Marry, I say, nothing resembling man more than a swine, it follows, nothing can be more nourishing; for indeed (but that it abhors from our nice nature) if we fed upon one another, we should shoot up a great deal faster, and thrive much better; I refer me to your usurous cannibals, or such like; but since it is so contrary, pork, pork, is your only feed.
MACI. I take it, your devil be of the same diet; he would never have desired to have been incorporated into swine else. -- O, here comes the melancholy mess; upon 'em, Carlo, charge, charge!
ENTER PUNTARVOLO, FASTIDIOUS BRISK, SOGLIARDO, AND FUNGOSO.
PUNT. Sir, I would request you be silent.
MACI. Nay, to him again.
CAR. Take comfort, good knight, if your cat have recovered her catarrh, fear nothing; your dog's mischance may be holpen.
FAST. Say how, sweet Carlo; for, so God mend me, the poor knight's moans draw me into fellowship of his misfortunes. But be not discouraged, good sir Puntarvolo, I am content your adventure shall be performed upon your cat.
MACI. I believe you, musk-cod, I believe you; for rather than thou would'st make present repayment, thou would'st take it upon his own bare return from Calais
CAR. Nay, 'slife, he'd be content, so he were well rid out of his company, to pay him five for one, at his next meeting him in Paul's. [ASIDE TO MACILENTE.] -- But for your dog, sir Puntarvolo, if he be not out-right dead, there is a friend of mine, a quack-salver, shall put life in him again, that's certain.
FUNG. O, no, that comes too late.
MACI. 'Sprecious! knight, will you suffer this?
PUNT. Drawer, get me a candle and hard wax presently.
SOG. Ay, and bring up supper; for I am so melancholy.
CAR. O, signior, where's your Resolution?
SOG. Resolution! hang him, rascal: O, Carlo, if you love me, do not mention him.
CAR. Why, how so?
SOG. O, the arrantest crocodile that ever Christian was acquainted with. By my gentry, I shall think the worse of tobacco while I live, for his sake: I did think him to be as tall a man --
MACI. Nay, Buffone, the knight, the knight
CAR. 'Slud, he looks like an image carved out of box, full of knots; his face is, for all the world, like a Dutch purse, with the mouth downward, his beard the tassels; and he walks -- let me see -- as melancholy as one o' the master's side in the Counter. -- Do you hear, sir Puntarvolo?
PUNT. Sir, I do entreat you, no more, but enjoin you to silence, as you affect your peace.
CAR. Nay, but dear knight, understand here are none but friends, and such as wish you well, I would have you do this now; flay me your dog presently (but in any case keep the head) and stuff his skin well with straw, as you see these dead monsters at Bartholomew fair.
PUNT. I shall be sudden, I tell you.
CAR. O, if you like not that, sir, get me somewhat a less dog, and clap into the skin; here's a slave about the town here, a Jew, one Yohan: or a fellow that makes perukes will glue it on artificially, it shall never be discern'd; besides, 'twill be so much the warmer for the hound to travel in, you know.
MACI. Sir Puntarvolo, death, can you be so patient!
CAR. Or thus, sir; you may have, as you come through Germany, a familiar for little or nothing, shall turn itself into the shape of your dog, or any thing, what you will, for certain hours -- [PUNTARVOLO STRIKES HIM] -- Ods my life, knight, what do you mean? you'll offer no violence, will you? hold, hold!
RE-ENTER GEORGE, WITH WAX, AND A LIGHTED CANDLE.
CAR. As you love wit, stay the enraged knight, gentlemen.
PUNT. By my knighthood, he that stirs in his rescue, dies. -- Drawer, begone!
CAR. Murder, murder, murder!
PUNT. Ay, are you howling, you wolf? -- Gentlemen, as you tender your lives, suffer no man to enter till my revenge be perfect. Sirrah, Buffone, lie down; make no exclamations, but down; down, you cur, or I will make thy blood flow on my rapier hilts.
CAR. Sweet knight, hold in thy fury, and 'fore heaven I'll honour thee more than the Turk does Mahomet.
PUNT. Down, I say! [CARLO LIES DOWN.] -- Who's there?
CONS. [WITHIN.] Here's the constable, open the doors.
CAR. Good Macilente --
PUNT. Open no door; if the Adalantado of Spain were here he should not enter: one help me with the light, gentlemen; you knock in vain, sir officer.
CAR. 'Et tu, Brute!'
PUNT. Sirrah, close your lips, or I will drop it in thine eyes, by heaven.
CAR. O! O!
CONS. [WITHIN] Open the door, or I will break it open.
MACI. Nay, good constable, have patience a little; you shall come in presently; we have almost done.
PUNT. So, now, are you Out of your Humour, sir? Shift, gentlemen
ENTER CONSTABLE AND OFFICERS, AND SEIZE FASTIDIOUS AS HE IS RUSHING BY.
FAST. Lay hold on me, sir, for what?
CONS. Marry, for your riot here, sir, with the rest of your companions.
FAST. My riot! master constable, take heed what you do. Carlo, did I offer any violence?
CONS. O, sir, you see he is not in case to answer you, and that makes you so peremptory.
RE-ENTER GEORGE AND DRAWER.
GEORGE. They are all gone, there's none of them will be laid any hold on.
CONS. Well, sir, you are like to answer till the rest can be found out.
FAST. 'Slid, I appeal to George here.
CONS. Tut, George was not here: away with him to the Counter, sirs. -- Come, sir, you were best get yourself drest somewhere.
GEORGE. Good lord, that master Carlo could not take heed, and knowing what a gentleman the knight is, if he be angry.
DRAWER. A pox on 'em, they have left all the meat on our hands; would they were choaked with it for me!
GEORGE. O, here's master Macilente.
MACI. [POINTING TO FUNGOSO.] Sirrah, George, do you see that concealment there, that napkin under the table?
GEORGE. 'Ods so, signior Fungoso!
MACI. He's good pawn for the reckoning; be sure you keep him here, and let him not go away till I come again, though he offer to discharge all; I'll return presently.
GEORGE. Sirrah, we have a pawn for the reckoning.
DRAW. What, of Macilente?
GEORGE. No; look under the table.
FUNG. [CREEPING OUT.] I hope all be quiet now; if I can get but forth of this street, I care not: masters, I pray you tell me, is the constable gone?
GEORGE. What, master Fungoso!
FUNG. Was't not a good device this same of me, sirs?
GEORGE. Yes, faith; have you been here all this while?
FUNG. O lord, ay; good sir, look an the coast be clear, I'd fain be going.
GEORGE. All's clear, sir, but the reckoning; and that you must clear and pay before you go, I assure you.
FUNG. I pay! 'Slight, I eat not a bit since I came into the house, yet.
DRAW. Why, you may when you please, 'tis all ready below that was bespoken.
FUNG. Bespoken! not by me, I hope?
GEORGE. By you, sir! I know not that; but 'twas for you and your company, I am sure.
FUNG. My company! 'Slid, I was an invited guest, so I was.
DRAW. Faith we have nothing to do with that, sir: they are all gone but you, and we must be answered; that's the short and the long on't.
FUNG. Nay, if you will grow to extremities, my masters, then would this pot, cup, and all were in my belly, if I have a cross about me.
GEORGE. What, and have such apparel! do not say so, signior; that mightily discredits your clothes.
FUNG. As I am an honest man, my tailor had all my money this morning, and yet I must be fain to alter my suit too. Good sirs, let me go, 'tis Friday night, and in good truth I have no stomach in the world to eat any thing.
DRAW. That's no matter, so you pay, sir.
FUNG. 'Slight, with what conscience can you ask me to pay that I never drank for?
GEORGE. Yes, sir, I did see you drink once.
FUNG. By this cup, which is silver, but you did not; you do me infinite wrong: I looked in the pot once, indeed, but I did not drink.
DRAW. Well, sir, if you can satisfy our master, it shall be all one to us.
GEORGE. By and by.
COR. Lose not yourself now, signior
SCENE V. -- A ROOM IN DELIRO'S HOUSE.
ENTER MACILENTE AND DELIRO.
MACI. Tut, sir, you did bear too hard a conceit of me in that; but I will not make my love to you most transparent, in spite of any dust of suspicion that may be raised to cloud it; and henceforth, since I see it is so against your humour, I will never labour to persuade you.
DELI. Why, I thank you, signior; but what is that you tell me may concern my peace so much?
MACI. Faith, sir, 'tist hus. Your wife's brother, signior Fungoso, being at supper to-night at a tavern, with a sort of gallants, there happened some division amongst them, and he is left in pawn for the reckoning. Now, if ever you look that time shall present you with an happy occasion to do your wife some gracious and acceptable service, take hold of this opportunity, and presently go and redeem him; for, being her brother, and his credit so amply engaged as now it is, when she shall hear, (as he cannot himself, but he must out of extremity report it,) that you came, and offered y ourself so kindly, and with that respect of his reputation; why, the benefit cannot but make her dote, and grow mad of your affections.
DELI. Now, by heaven, Macilente, I acknowledge myself exceedingly indebted to you, by this kind tender of your love; and I am sorry to remember that I was ever so rude, to neglect a friend of your importance. -- Bring me shoes and a cloak here. -- I was going to bed, if you had not come. What tavern is it?
MACI. The Mitre, sir.
DELI. O! Why, Fido! my shoes. -- Good faith, it cannot but please her exceedingly.
DELI. O, sweet wife, speak lower, I would not he should hear thee for a world --
FAL. Hang him, rascal, I cannot abide him for his treachery, with his wild quick-set beard there. Whither go you now with him?
DELI. No, whither with him, dear wife; I go alone to a place, from whence I will return instantly. -- Good Macilente, acquaint not her with it by any means, it may come so much the more accepted; frame some other answer. -- I'll come back immediately.
FAL. Nay, an I be not worthy to know whither you go, stay till I take knowledge of your coming back.
MACI. Hear you, mistress Deliro.
FAL. So, sir, and what say you?
MACI. Faith, lady, my intents will not deserve this slight respect, when you shall know them.
FAL. Your intents! why, what may your intents be, for God's sake?
MACI. Troth, the time allows no circumstance, lady, therefore know this was but a device to remove your husband hence, and bestow him securely, whilst, with more conveniency, I might report to you a misfortune that hath happened to monsieur Brisk -- Nay, comfort, sweet lady. This night, being at supper, a sort of young gallants committed a riot, for the which he only is apprehended and carried to the Counter, where, if your husband, and other creditors, should but have knowledge of him, the poor gentleman were undone for ever.
FAL. Ah me! that he were.
MACI. Now, therefore, if you can think upon any present means for his delivery, do not foreslow it. A bribe to the officer that committed him will do it.
FAL. O lord, sir! he shall not want for a bribe; pray you, will you commend me to him, and say I'll visit him presently.
MACI. No, lady, I shall do you better service, in protracting your husband's return, that you may go with more safety.
FAL. Good truth, so you may; farewell, good sir. [EXIT MACI.] -- Lord, how a woman may be mistaken in a man! I would have sworn upon all the Testaments in the world he had not loved master Brisk. Bring me my keys there, maid. Alas, good gentleman, if all I have in this earthly world will pleasure him, it shall be at his service.
MIT. How Macilente sweats in this business, if you mark him!
COR. Ay, you shall see the true picture of spite, anon: here comes the pawn and his redeemer.
SCENE VI. -- A ROOM AT THE MITRE.
ENTER DELIRO, FUNGOSO, AND GEORGE.
DELI. Come, brother, be not discouraged for this, man; what!
FUNG. No, truly, I am not discouraged; but I protest to you, brother, I have done imitating any more gallants either in purse or apparel, but as shall become a gentleman, for good carriage, or so.
DELI. You say well. -- This is all in the bill here, is it not?
GEORGE. Ay, sir.
DELI. There's your money, tell it: and, brother, I am glad I met with so good occasion to shew my love to you.
FUNG. I will study to deserve it in good truth an I live.
DELI. What, is it right?
GEORGE. Ay, sir, and I thank you.
FUNG. Let me have a capon's leg saved, now the reckoning is paid.
GEORGE. You shall, sir
DELI. Here, Macilente.
MACI. Hark you, sir, have you dispatch'd this same?
DELI. Ay, marry have I.
MACI. Well then, I can tell you news; Brisk is in the Counter.
DELI. In the Counter!
MACI. 'Tis true, sir, committed for the stir here to-night. Now would I have you send your brother home afore him, with the report of this your kindness done him, to his sister, which will so pleasingly possess her, and out of his mouth too, that in the meantime you may clap your action on Brisk, and your wife, being in so happy a mood, cannot entertain it ill, by any means.
DELI. 'Tis very true, she cannot, indeed, I think.
MACI. Think! why 'tis past thought; you shall never meet the like opportunity, I assure you.
DELI. I will do it. -- Brother, pray you go home afore (this gentleman and I have some private business), and tell my sweet wife I'll come presently.
FUNG. I will, brother.
MACI. And, signior, acquaint your sister, how liberally, and out of his bounty, your brother has used you (do you see?), made you a man of good reckoning; redeem'd that you never were possest of, credit; gave you as gentlemanlike terms as might be; found no fault with your coming behind the fashion; nor nothing.
FUNG. Nay, I am out of those humours now.
MACI. Well, if you be out, keep your distance, and be not made a shot-clog any more. -- Come, signior, let's make haste.
SCENE VII. -- THE COUNTER.
ENTER FALLACE AND FASTIDIOUS BRISK.
FAL. O, master Fastidious, what pity is it to see so sweet a man as you are, in so sour a place!
COR. As upon her lips, does she mean?
MIT. O, this is to be imagined the Counter, belike.
FAST. Troth, fair lady, 'tis first the pleasure of the fates, and next of the constable, to have it so: but I am patient, and indeed comforted the more in your kind visit.
FAL. Nay, you shall be comforted in me more than this, if you please, sir. I sent you word by my brother, sir, that my husband laid to 'rest you this morning; I know now whether you received it or no.
FAST. No, believe it, sweet creature, your brother gave me no such intelligence.
FAL. O, the lord!
FAST. But has your husband any such purpose?
FAL. O, sweet master Brisk, yes: and therefore be presently discharged, for if he come with his actions upon you, Lord deliver you! you are in for one half-a-score year; he kept a poor man in Ludgate once twelve year for sixteen shillings. Where's your keeper? for love's sake call him, let him take a bribe, and despatch you. Lord, how my heart trembles! here are no spies, are there?
FAST. No, sweet mistress. Why are you in this passion?
FAL. O lord, master Fastidious, if you knew how I took up my husband to-day, when he said he would arrest you; and how I railed at him that persuaded him to it, the scholar there (who, on my conscience, loves you now), and what care I took to send you intelligence by my brother; and how I gave him four sovereigns for his pains: and now, how I came running out hither without man or boy with me, so soon as I heard on't; you'd say I were in a passion indeed. Your keeper, for God's sake! O, master Brisk, as 'tis in 'Euphues', 'Hard is the choice, when one is compelled either by silence to die with grief, or by speaking to live with shame'.
FAST. Fair lady, I conceive you, and may this kiss assure you, that where adversity hath, as it were, contracted, prosperity shall not -- Od's me! your husband.
ENTER DELIRO AND MACILENTE.
DELI. Ay! Is it thus?
MACI. Why, how now, signior Deliro! has the wolf seen you, ha? Hath Gorgon's head made marble of you?
DELI. Some planet strike me dead!
MACI. Why, look you, sir, I told you, you might have suspected this long afore, had you pleased, and have saved this labour of admiration now, and passion, and such extremities as this frail lump of flesh is subject unto. Nay, why do you not doat now, signior? methinks you should say it were some enchantment, 'deceptio visus', or so, ha! If you could persuade yourself it were a dream now, 'twere excellent: faith, try what you can do, signior: it may be your imagination will be brought to it in time; there's nothing impossible.
FAL. Sweet husband!
DELI. Out, lascivious strumpet!
MACI. What! did you see how ill that stale vein became him afore, of 'sweet wife', and 'dear heart'; and are you fallen just into the same now, with 'sweet husband'! Away, follow him, go, keep state: what! remember you are a woman, turn impudent; give him not the head, though you give him the horns. Away. And yet, methinks, you should take your leave of 'enfant perdu' here, your forlorn hope. [EXIT FAL.] -- How now, monsieur Brisk? what! Friday night, and in affliction too, and yet your pulpamenta, your delicate morsels! I perceive the affection of ladies and gentlewomen pursues you wheresoever you go, monsieur.
FAST. Now, in good faith, and as I am gentle, there could not have come a thing in this world to have distracted me more, than the wrinkled fortunes of this poor dame.
MACI. O yes, sir; I can tell you a think will distract you much better, believe it: Signior Deliro has entered three actions against you, three actions, monsieur! marry, one of them (I'll put you in comfort) is but three thousand, and the other two, some five thousand pound together: trifles, trifles.
FAST. O, I am undone.
MACI. Nay, not altogether so, sir; the knight must have his hundred pound repaid, that will help too; and then six score pounds for a diamond, you know where. These be things will weigh, monsieur, they will weigh.
FAST. O heaven!
MACI. What! do you sigh? this is to 'kiss the hand of a countess', to 'have her coach sent for you', to 'hang poniards in ladies' garters', to 'wear bracelets of their hair', and for every one of these great favours to 'give some slight jewel of five hundred crowns, or so'; why, 'tis nothing. Now, monsieur, you see the plague that treads on the heels o' your foppery: well, go your ways in, remove yourself to the two-penny ward quickly, to save charges, and there set up your rest to spend sir Puntarvolo's hundred pound for him. Away, good pomander, go!
COR. Nay, we have done censuring now.
MIT. Yes, faith.
MACI. How so?
COR. Marry, because we'll imitate your actors, and be out of our humours. Besides, here are those round about you of more ability in censure than we, whose judgments can give it a more satisfying allowance; we'll refer you to them.
MACI. [COMING FORWARD.] Ay, is it even so? -- Well, gentlemen, I should have gone in, and return'd to you as I was Asper at the first; but by reason the shift would have been somewhat long, and we are loth to draw your patience farther, we'll entreat you to imagine it. And now, that you may see I will be out of humour for company, I stand wholly to your kind approbation, and indeed am nothing so peremptory as I was in the beginning: marry, I will not do as Plautus in his 'Amphytrio', for all this, 'summi Jovis causa plaudite'; beg a plaudite for God's sake; but if you, out of the bounty of your good-liking, will bestow it, why, you may in time make lean Macilente as fat as sir John Falstaff.
AT THE PRESENTATION BEFORE QUEEN ELIZABETH
Never till now did object greet mine eyes