SCENE I.---A Street.
Enter KNOWELL, at the door of his house.
Know. A goodly day toward, and a fresh morning.-Brainworm!
Brai. I will, sir, presently.
Know. But hear you, sirrah,
Brai. Very good, sir.
Step. Nothing, but e'en come to see how you do, unclo.
Know. That's kindly done; you are welcome, coz.
Step. Ay, I know that, sir; I would not have come else.
Know. O, well, coz; go in and see; I doubt he be scarce stirring yet.
Step. Uncle, afore I go in, can you tell me, an he have e'er a book of the science of hawking and hunting; I would fain borrow it.
Know. Why, I hope you will not a hawking now, will you?
Step. No, wusse; but I'll practise against next year, uncle. I have bought me a hawk, and a hood, and bells. and all; I lack nothing but a book to keep it by.
Know. Oh, most ridiculous!
Step. Nay, look you now, you are angry, uncle:--Why, you know an a man have not skill in the hawking and hunting languages now-a-days, I'll not give a rush for him: they are more studied than the Greek, or the Latin. He is for no gallant's company without them; and by gadslid I scorn it, I, so I do, to be a consort for every humdrum: hang them, scroyles! there's nothing in them i' the world. What do you talk on it? Because I dwell at Hogsden, I shall keep company with none but the archers of Finsbury, or the citizens that come a ducking to Islington ponds! A fine jest, i' faith! 'Slid, a gentleman mun shew himself like a gentleman. Uncle, I pray you be not angry; I know what I have to do, I trow. I am no novice.
Step. What would you ha' me do?
Serv. Save you, gentlemen!
Step. Nay, we do not stand much on our gentility, friend; yet you are welcome: and I assure you mine uncle here is a man of a thousand a year, Middlesex land. He has but one son in all the world, I am his next heir, at the common law, master Stephen, as simple as I stand here, if my cousin die, as there's hope he will: I have a pretty living O' mine own too, beside, hard by here.
Serv. In good time, sir.
Step. In good time, sir! why, and in very good time, sir! You do not flout, friend, do you?
Serv. Not I, sir.
Step. Not you, sir! you were best not, sir; an you should; here be them can perceive it, and that quickly too; go to: and they can give it again soundly too, an need be.
Serv. Why, sir, let this satisfy you; good faith, I had no such intent.
Step. Sir, an I thought you had, I would talk with you, and that presently.
Serv. Good master Stephen, so you may, sir, at your pleasure.
Step. And so I would, sir, good my saucy companion! an you were out O' mine uncle's ground, I can tell you; though I do not stand upon my gentility neither, in't.
Know. Cousin, cousin, will this ne'er be left?
Step. Whoreson, basefellow! a mechanical serving-man! By this cudgel, an 'twere not for shame, I would--
Serv. I pray, sir, is this master Knowell's house?
Know. Yes, marry is it, sir.
Serv. I should inquire for a gentleman here, one master Edward
Know. I should forget myself else, sir.
Serv. Are you the gentleman? cry you mercy, sir: I was required by a gentleman in the city, as I rode out at this end O' the town, to deliver you this letter, sir.
Know. To me, sir! What do you mean? pray you remember your court'sy. [Reads.] To his most selected friend, master Edward Knowell. What might the gentleman's name be, sir, that sent it? Nay, pray you be covered.
Serv. One master Wellbred, sir.
Know. Master Wellbred! a young gentleman, is he not?
Serv. The same, sir; master Kitely married his sister; the rich merchant in the Old Jewry.
Know. You say very true.---Brainworm! [Enter Brainworm.
Know. Make this honest friend drink here: pray you, go in.
Why, Ned, I beseech thee, hast thou forsworn all thy friends in the Old Jewry? or dost thou think us all Jews that inhabit there? yet, if thou dost, come over, and but see our frippery; change an old shirt for a whole smock with us: do not conceive that antipathy between us and Hogsden, as was between Jews and hogs-flesh. Leave thy vigilant father alone, to number over his green apricots, evening and morning, on the north-west wall: an I had been his son, I had saved him the labour long since, if taking in all the young wenches that pass by at the back-door, and codling every kernel of the fruit for them, would have served, But, pr'ythee, come over to me quickly this morning; I have such a present for thee!--our Turkey company never sent the like to the Grand Signior. One is a rhymer, sir, of your own batch, your own leaven; but doth think himself poet-major of the town, willing to be shewn, and worthy to be seen. The other--I will not venture his description with you, till you come, because I would have you make hither with an appetite. If the worst of 'em be not worth your journey draw your bill of charges, as unconscionable as any Guildhall verdict will give it you, and you shall be allowed your viaticum.
From the Windmill.
From the Bordello it might come as well,
Know. Is the fellow gone that brought this letter?
Brai. Yea, sir, a pretty while since.
Know. And where is your young master?
Brai. In his chamber, sir.
Know. He spake not with the fellow, did he?
Brai. No, sir, he saw him not.
Know. Take you this letter, and deliver it my son;
Brai. O Lord, sir! that were a jest indeed. [Exit.
E. Know. Did he open it, say'st thou?
Brai. Yes, O' my word, sir, and read the contents.
E. Know. That scarce contents me. What countenance, prithee, made he in the reading of it? was he angry, or pleased?
Brai. Nay, sir, I saw him not read it, nor open it, I assure your worship.
E. Know. No! how know'st thou then that he did either?
Brai. Marry, sir, because he charged me, on my life, to tell nobody that he open'd it; which, unless he had done, he would never fear to have it revealed.
E. Know. That's true: well, I thank thee, Brainworm.
Step. O, Brainworm, didst thou not see a fellow here in what-sha-call-him doublet? he brought mine uncle a letter e'en now.
Brai. Yes, master Stephen; what of him?
Step. O, I have such a mind to beat him--where is he, canst thou tell?
Brai. Faith, he is not of that mind: he is gone, master Stephen.
Step. Gone! which way? when went he? how long since?
Brai. He is rid hence; he took horse at the street-door.
Step. And I staid in the fields! Whoreson scanderbag rogue! O that I had but a horse to fetch him back again!
Brai. Why, you may have my master's gelding, to save your longing, sir.
Step. But I have no boots, that's the spite on't.
Brai. Why, a fine wisp of hay, roll'd hard, master Stephen.
Step. No, faith, it's no boot to follow him now: let him e'en go and hang. Prithee, help to truss me a little: he does so vex me--
Brai. You'll be worse vexed when you are trussed, master Stephen. Best keep unbraced, and walk yourself till you be cold; your choler may founder you else.
Step. By my faith, and so I will, now thou tell'st me on't: how dost thou like my leg, Brainworm?
Brai. A very good leg, master Stephen; but the woollen stocking does not commend it so well.
Step. Foh! the stockings be good enough, now summer is coming on, for the dust: I'll have a pair of silk against winter, that I go to dwell in the town. I think my leg would shew in a silk hose--
Brai. Believe me, master Stephen, rarely well.
Step. In sadness, I think it would: I have a reasonable good leg.
Brai. You have an excellent good leg, master Stephen; but I can not stay to praise it longer now, and I am very sorry for it.
E. Know. Ha, ha, ha.
Step. 'Slid, I hope he laughs not at me; an he do--
E. Know. Here was a letter indeed, to be intercepted by a man's father, and do him good with him! He cannot but think most virtuously, both of me, and the sender, sure, that make the careful costermonger of him in our familiar epistles. Well, if he read this with patience I'll be gelt, and troll ballads for master John Trundle yonder, the rest of my mortality. It is true, and likely, my father may have as much patience as another man, for he takes much physic; and oft taking physic makes a man very patient. But would your packet, master Wellbred, had arrived at him in such a minute of his patience! then we had known the end of it, which now is doubtful, and threatens--[Sees Master Stephen.] What, my wise cousin! nay, then I'll furnish our feast with one gull more toward the mess. He writes to me of a brace, and here's one, that's three: oh, for a fourth, Fortune, if ever thou' It use thine eyes, I entreat thee--
Step. Oh, now I see who he laughed at: he laughed at somebody in that letter. By this good light, an he had laughed at me--
E. Know. How now, cousin Stephen, melancholy?
Step. Yes, a little: I thought you had laughed at me, cousin.
E. Know. Why, what an I had, coz? what would you have done?
Step. By this light, I would have told mine uncle.
E. Know. Nay, if you would have told your uncle, I did laugh at you, coz.
Step. Did you, indeed?
E. Know. Yes, indeed.
Step. Why then
E. Know. What then?
Step. I am satisfied; it is sufficient.
E. Know. Why, be so, gentle coz: and, I pray you, let me entreat a courtesy of you. I am sent for this morning by a friend in the Old Jewry, to come to him; it is but crossing over the fields to Moorgate: Will you bear me company? I protest it is not to draw you into bond or any plot against the state, coz.
Step. Sir, that's all one an it were; you shall command me twice so far as Moorgate, to do you good in such a matter. Do you think I would leave you? I protest--
E. Know. No, no, you shall not protest, coz.
Step. By my fackings, but I will, by your leave:--I'll protest more to my friend, than I'll speak of at this time.
E. Know. You speak very well, coz.
Step. Nay, not so neither, you shall pardon me: but I speak to serve my turn.
E. Know. Your turn, coz! do you know what you say? A gentleman of your sorts, parts, carriage, and estimation, to talk of your turn in this company, and to me alone, like a tankard-bearer at a conduit! fie! A wight that, hitherto, his every step hath left the stamp of a great foot behind him, as every word the savour of a strong spirit, and he! this man! so graced, gilded, or, to use a more fit metaphor, so tenfold by nature, as not ten housewives' pewter, again a good time, shews more bright to the world than he! and he! (as I said last, so I say again, and still shall say it) this man! to conceal such real ornaments as these, and shadow their glory, as a milliner's wife does her wrought stomacher, with a smoaky lawn, or a black cyprus! O, coz! it cannot be answered; go not about it: Drake's old ship at Deptford may sooner circle the world again. Come, wrong not the quality of your desert, with looking downward, coz; but hold up your head, so: and let the idea of what you are be portrayed in your face, that men may read in your physnomy, here within this place is to be seen the true, rare, and accomplished monster, or miracle of nature, which is all one. What think you of this, coz?
Step. Why, I do think of it: and I will be more proud, and melancholy, and gentlemanlike, than I have been, I'll insure you.
E. Know. Why, that's resolute, master Stephen!--Now, if I can but hold him up to his height, as it is happily begun, it will do well for a suburb humour: we may hap have a match with the city, and play him for forty pound.--Come, coz.
Step. I'll follow you.
E. Know. Follow me! you must go before.
Step. Nay, an I must, I will. Pray you shew me, good cousin.
SCENE III.-The Lane before Cob's House.
Mat. I think this be the house: what ho!
Mat. What, Cob! how dost thou, good Cob? dost thou inhabit here, Cob?
Cob. Ay, sir, I and my lineage have kept a poor house here, in Our days.
Mat. Thy lineage, monsieur Cob! what lineage, what lineage?
Cob. Why, sir, an ancient lineage, and a princely. Mine ance'try came from a king's belly, no worse man; and yet no man either, by your worship's leave, I did lie in that, but herring, the king of fish (from his belly I proceed), one of the monarchs of the world, I assure you. The first red herring that was broiled in Adam and Eve's kitchen, do I fetch my pedigree from, by the harrot's book. His cob was my great, great, mighty great grandfather.
Mat. Why mighty, why mighty, I pray thee?
Cob. O, it was a mighty while ago, sir, and a mighty great cob.
Mat. How know'st thou that?
Cob. How know I! why, I smell his ghost ever and anon.
Mat. Smell a ghost! O unsavoury jest! and the ghost of a herring cob?
Cob. Ay, sir: With favour of your worship's nose, master Mathew, why not the ghost of a herring cob, as well as the ghost of Rasher Bacon?
Mat. Roger Bacon, thou would'st say.
Cob. I say Rasher Bacon. They were both broiled on the coals; and a man may smell broiled meat, I hope! you are a scholar, upsolve me that now.
Mat. O raw ignorance!--Cob, canst thou shew me of a gentleman, one captain Bobadill, where his lodging is?
Cob. O, my guest, sir, you mean.
Mat. Thy guest! alas, ha, ha, ha!
Cob. Why do you laugh, sir? do you not mean captain Bobadill?
Mat. Cob, pray thee advise thyself well; do not wrong the gentleman, and thyself too. I dare be sworn, he scorns thy house; he! he lodge in such a base obscure place as thy house! Tut, I know his disposition so well, he would not lie in thy bed if thou'dst give it him.
Cob. I will not give it him though, sir. Mass, I thought somewhat was in it, we could not get him to bed all night: Well, sir, though he lie not on my bed, he lies on my bench: an't please you to go up, sir, you shall find him with two cushions under his head, and his cloak wrapped about him, as though he had neither won nor lost, and yet, I warrant, he ne'er cast better in his life, than he has done to-night.
Mat. Why, was he drunk?
Cob. Drunk, sir! you hear not me say so: perhaps he swallowed a tavern-token, or some such device, sir, I have nothing to do withal. I deal with water and not with wine--Give me my tankard there, ho!--God be wi' you, sir. It's six o'clock: I should have carried two turns by this. What ho! my stopple! come.
Cob. What, Tib; shew this gentleman up to the captain.[Exit Tib with Master Mathew.] Oh, an my house were the Brazen-head now! faith it would e'en speak Moe fools yet. You should have some now would take this master Mathew to be a gentleman, at the least. His father's an honest man, a worshipful fishmonger, and so forth; and now does he creep and wriggle into acquaintance with all the brave gallants about the town, such as my guest is (O, my guest is a fine man!), and they flout him invincibly. He useth every day to a merchant's house where I serve water, one master Kitely's, in the Old Jewry; and here's the jest, he is in love with my master's sister, Mrs. Bridget, and calls her mistress; and there he will sit you a whole afternoon sometimes, reading of these same abominable, vile (a pox on 'em! I cannot abide them), rascally verses, poetrie, poetrie, and speaking of interludes; 'twill make a man burst to hear him. And the wenches, they do so jeer, and ti-he at him--Well, should they do so much to me, I'd forswear them all, by the foot of Pharaoh! There's an oath! How many water-bearers shall you hear swear such an oath? O, I have a guest--he teaches me-he does swear the legiblest of any man christened: By St. George! the foot of Pharaoh! the body of me! as I am a gentleman and a soldier! such dainty oaths! and withal he does take this same filthy roguish tobacco, the finest and cleanliest! it would do a man good to see the fumes come forth at's tonnels.--Well, he owes me forty shillings, my wife lent him out of her purse, by sixpence at a time, besides his lodging: I would I had it! I shall have it, he says, the next action. Helterskelter, hang sorrow, care'll kill a cat, up-tails all, and a louse for the hangman.
SCENE IV.-A Room in COB'S House.
Bob. Hostess, hostess!
Bob. A cup of thy small beer, sweet hostess.
Tib. Sir, there's a gentleman below would speak with you.
Bob. A gentleman! 'odso, I am not within.
Tib. My husband told him you were, sir.
Bob. What a plague-what meant he?
Mat. [below.] Captain Bobadill!
Bob. Who's there!-Take away the bason, good hostess;--Come up, sir.
Tib. He would desire you to come up, cleanly house, here!
Bob. Gentle master Mathew! Is it you, sir? down.
Mat. Thank you, good captain; you may see I am somewhat audacious.
Bob. Not so, sir. I was requested to supper last night by a sort of gallants, where you were wished for, and drunk to, I assure you.
Mat. Vouchsafe me, by whom, good captain?
Bob. Marry, by young Wellbred, and others.--Why, hostess, stool here for this gentleman.
Mat. No haste, sir, 'tis very well.
Bob. Body O' me! it was so late ere we parted last night, I can scarce open my eyes yet; I was but new risen, as you came; how passes the day abroad, sir? you can tell.
Mat. Faith, some half hour to seven; Now, trust me, you have an exceeding fine lodging here, very neat, and private.
Bob. Ay, sir: sit down, I pray you. Master Mathew, in any case possess no gentlemen of our acquaintance with notice of my lodging.
Mat. Who? I, sir; no.
Bob. Not that I need to care who know it, for the cabin is convenient; but in regard I would not be too popular, and generally visited, as some are.
Mat. True, captain, I conceive you.
Bob. For, do you see, sir, by the heart of valour in me, except it be to some peculiar and choice spirits, to whom I am extraordinarily engaged, as yourself, or so, I could not extend thus far.
Mat. O Lord, sir! I resolve so.
Bob. I confess I love a cleanly and quiet privacy, above all the tumult and roar of fortune. What new book have you there? What! Go by, Hieronymo?
Mat. Ay: did you ever see it acted? Is't not well penned?
Bob. Well penned! I would fain see all the poets of these times pen such another play as that was: they'll prate and swagger, and keep a stir of art and devices, when, as I am a gentleman, read 'em, they are the most shallow, pitiful, barren fellows, that live upon the: face of the earth again.
Mat. Indeed here are a number of fine speeches in this book. O eyes, no eyes, but fountains fraught with tears! there's a conceit! fountains fraught with tears! O life, no life, but lively form of death! another. O world, no world, but mass of public wrongs! a third. Confused and fill'd with murder and misdeeds! a fourth. O, the muses! Is't not excellent? Is't not simply the best that ever you heard, captain? Ha! how do you like it?
Bob. 'Tis good.
Bob. Nay, proceed, proceed. Where's this?
Mat. This, sir! a toy of mine own, in my non-age; the infancy of my muses. But when will you come and see my study? good faith, I can shew you some very good things I have done of late.--That boot becomes your leg passing well, captain, methinks.
Bob. So, so; it's the fashion gentlemen now use.
Mat. Troth, captain, and now you speak of the fashion, master Wellbred's elder brother and I are fallen out exceedingly: This other day, I happened to enter into some discourse of a hanger, which, I assure you, both for fashion and workmanship, was most peremptory beautiful and gentlemanlike: yet he condemned, and cried it down for the most pied and ridiculous that ever he saw.
Bob. Squire Downright, the half brother, was't not?
Mat. Ay, sir, he.
Bob. Hang him, rook! he! why he-has no more judgment than a malt horse: By St. George, I wonder you'd lose a thought upon such an animal; the most peremptory absurd clown of Christendom, this day, he is holden. I protest to you, as I am a gentleman and a soldier, I ne'er changed with his like. By his discourse, he should eat nothing but hay; he was born for the manger, pannier, or pack-saddle. He has not so much as a good phrase in his belly, but all old iron and rusty proverbs: a good commodity for some smith to make hob-nails of.
Mat. Ay, and he thinks to carry it away with his manhood still, where he comes: he brags he will give me the bastinado, as I hear.
Bob. How! he the bastinado! how came he by that word, trow?
Mat. Nay, indeed, he said cudgel me; I termed it so, for my more grace.
Bob. That may be: for I was sure it was none of his word; but when, when said he so?
Mat. Faith, yesterday, they say; a young gallant, a friend of mine, told me so.
Bob. By the foot of Pharaoh, an 'twere my case now, I should send him a chartel presently. The bastinado! a most proper and sufficient dependence, warranted by the great Caranza. Come hither, you shall chartel him; I'll shew you a trick or two you shall kill him with at pleasure; the first stoccata, if you will, by this air.
Mat. Indeed, you have absolute knowledge in the mystery, I have heard, sir.
Bob. Of whom, of whom, have you heard it, I beseech you?
Mat. Troth, I have heard it spoken of divers, that you have very rare, and un-in-one-breath-utterable skill, sir.
Bob. By heaven, no, not I; no skill in the earth; some small rudiments in the science, as to know my time, distance, or so. I have professed it more for noblemen and gentlemen's use, than mine own practice, I assure you.--Hostess, accommodate us with another bed-staff here quickly. Lend us another bed-staff--the woman does not understand the words of action.--Look you, sir: exalt not your point above this state, at any hand, and let your poniard maintain your defence, thus:--give it the gentleman, and leave us. [Exit Tib.] So, sir. Come on: O, twine your body more about, that you may fall to a more sweet, comely, gentlemanlike guard; so! indifferent: hollow your body more, sir, thus: now, stand fast O' your left leg, note your distance, keep your due pro. portion of time--oh, you disorder your point most i rregularly.
Mat. How is the bearing of it now, sir?
Bob. O, out of measure ill: a well-experienced hand would pass upon you at pleasure.
Mat. How mean you, sir, pass upon me?
Bob. Why, thus, sir,--make a thrust at me--[Master Mathew pushes at Bobadill] come in upon the answer, control your point, and make a full career at the body: The best-practised gallants of the time name it the passado; a most desperate thrust, believe it.
Mat. Well, come, sir.
Bob. Why, you do not manage your weapon with any facility or grace to invite me. I have no spirit to play with you; your dearth of judgment renders you tedious.
Mat. But one venue, sir.
Bob. Venue! fie; the most gross denomination as ever I heard: O, the stoccata, while you live, sir; note that.--Come, put on your cloke, and we'll go to some private place where you are acquainted; some tavern, or so--and have a bit. I'll send for one of these fencers, and he shall breathe you, by my direction; and then I will teach you your trick: you shall kill him with it at the first, if you please. Why, I will learn you, by the true judgment of the eye, hand, and foot, to control any enemy's point in the world. Should your adversary confront you with a pistol, 'twere nothing, by this hand! you should, by the same rule, control his bullet, in a line, except it were hail shot, and spread. What money have you about you, master Mathew?
Mat. Faith, I have not past a two shilling or so.
Bob. 'Tis somewhat with the least; but come; we will have a bunch of radish and salt to taste our wine, and a pipe of tobacco to close the orifice of the stomach: and then we'll call upon young Wellbred: perhaps we shall meet the Corydon his brother there, and put him to the question.