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                SCENE I.-Coleman Street.
            A Hall in Justice CLEMENT'S House.

                   COB, and Servants.

Step. Why then let him do his worst, I am resolute.

Clem. Nay, but stay, stay, give me leave: my chair, sirrah. You, master Knowell, say you went thither to meet your son?

Know. Ay, sir.

Clem. But who directed you thither? Know. That did mine own man, sir.

Clem. Where is he?

Know. Nay, I know not now; I left him with your clerk, and appointed him to stay here for me.

Clem. My clerk! about what time was this?

Know. Marry, between one and two, as I take it.

Clem. And what time came my man with the false message to you, master Kitely?

Kit. After two, sir.

Clem. Very good: but, mistress Kitely, how chance that you were at Cob's, ha?

Dame K. An't please you, sir, I'll tell you: my brother Wellbred told me, that Cob's house was a suspected place--

Clem. So it appears, methinks: but on.

Dame K. And that my husband used thither daily.

Clem. No matter, so he used himself well, mistress.

Dame K. True, sir: but you know what grows by such haunts oftentimes.

Clem. I see rank fruits of a jealous brain, mistress Kitely: but did you find your husband there, in that case as you suspected?

Kit. I found her there, sir.

Clem. Did you, so! that alters the case. Who gave you knowledge of your wife's being there?

Kit. Marry, that did my brother Wellbred.

Clem. How, Wellbred first tell her; then tell you after! Where is Wellbred?

Kit. Gone with my sister, sir, I know not whither.

Clem. Why this is a mere trick, a device; you are gull'd in this most grossly all. Alas, poor wench! wert thou beaten for this?

Tib. Yell, most pitifully, an't please you.

Cob. And worthily, I hope, if it shall prove so.

Clem. Ay, that's like, and a piece of a sentence.--
                              [Enter a Servant.

How now, sir! what's the matter?

Serv. Sir, there's a gentleman in the court without, desires to speak with your worship.

Clem. A gentleman! what is he?

Serv. A soldier, sir, he says.

Clem. A soldier! take down my armour, my sword quickly. A soldier speak with me! Why, when, knaves? Come on, come on; [arms himself] hold my cap there, so; give me my gorget, my sword: stand by, I will end your matters anon.--Let the soldier enter.
                                            [Exit Servant.
           Enter BOBADILL, followed by MATHEW.

Now, sir, what have you to say to me? Bob. By your worship's favour--

Clem. Nay, keep out, sir; I know not your pretence. You send me word, sir, you are a soldier: why, sir, you shall be answer'd here: here be them that have been amongst soldiers. Sir, your pleasure.

Bob. Faith, sir, so it is, this gentleman and myself have been most uncivilly wrong'd and beaten by one Downright, a coarse fellow, about the town here; and for mine own part, I protest, being a man in no sort given to this filthy humour of quarrelling, he hath assaulted me in the way of my peace, despoiled me of mine honour, disarmed me of my weapons, and rudely laid me along in the open streets, when I not so much as once offered to resist him.

Clem. O, God's precious! is this the soldier? Here, take my armour off quickly, 'twill make him swoon, I fear; he is not fit to look on't, that will put up a blow.

Mat. An't please your worship, he was bound to the peace.

Clem. Why, an he were, sir, his hands were not bound, were they?
                                        [Re-enter Servant.

Serv. There's one of the varlets of the city, sir, has brought two gentlemen here; one, upon your worship's warrant.

Clem. My warrant!

Serv. Yes, sir; the officer says, procured by these two.

Clem. Bid him come in. [Exit Servant.] Set by this picture.
       [Enter DOWNRIGHT, STEPHEN, and BRAINWORM, disguised as before.

What, Master Downright! are you brought in at Mr. Freshwater's suit here?

Dow. I'faith, sir, and here's another brought at my suit.

Clem. What are you, sir?

Step. A gentleman, sir. O, uncle!

Clem. Uncle! who, Master Knowell?

Know. Ay, sir; this is a wise kinsman of mine.

Step. God's my witness, uncle, I am wrong'd here monstrously, he charges me with stealing of his cloak, and would I might never stir, if I did not find it in the street by chance.

Dow. O, did you find it now? You said you bought it erestwhile.

Step. And you said, I stole it: nay, now my uncle is here, I'll do well enough with you.

Clem. Well, let this breathe awhile. You that have cause to complain there, stand forth: Had you my warrant for this gentleman's apprehension?

Bob. Ay, an't please your worship.

Clem. Nay, do not speak in passion so: where had you it?

Bob. Of your clerk, sir.

Clem. That's well! an my clerk can make warrants, and my hand not at them! Where is the warrant-officer, have you it?

Brai. No, sir; your worship's man, Master Formal, bid me do it for these gentlemen, and he would be my discharge.

Clem. Why, Master Downright, are you such a novice, to be ser'ved and never see the warrant?

Dow. Sir, he did not serve it on me.

Clem. No! how then?

Dow. Marry, sir, he came to me, and said he must serve it, and he would use me kindly, and so--

Clem. O, God's pity, was it so, sir? He must serve it! Give me my long sword there, and help me off. So, come on, sir varlet, I must cut off your legs, sirrah; [Brainworm kneels.] nay, stand up, I'll use you kindly, I must cut off your legs, I say.
                      [Flourishes over him with his long sword.

Brai. O, good sir, I beseech you; nay, good master justice!

Clem. I must do it, there is no remedy; I must cut off your legs, sirrrah, I must cut off your ears, you rascal, I must do it: I must cut off your nose, I must cut off your head.

Brai. O, good your worship!

Clem. Well, rise; how dost thou do now? dost thou feel thyself well? hast thou no harm?

Brai. No, I thank your good worship, sir.

Clem. Why so! I said I must cut off thy legs, and I must cut off thy arms, and I must cut off thy head; but I did not do it: so you said you must serve this gentleman with my warrant, but you did not serve him. You knave, you slave, you rogue, do you say you must, sirrah! away with him to the jail; I'll teach you a trick for your must, sir.

Brai. Good sir, I beseech you, be good to me.

Clem. Tell him he shall to the jail; away with him, I say.

Brai. Nay, sir, if you will commit me, it shall be for committing more than this: I will not lose by my travail any grain of my fame, certain.
               [Throws off his serjeant's gown.

Clem. How is this?

Know. My man Brainworm!

Step. O, yes, uncle; Brainworm has been with my cousin Edward and I all this day.

Clem. I told you all there was some device.

Brai. Nay, excellent justice, since I have laid myself thus open to you, now stand strong for me; both with your sword and your balance.

Clem. Body O' me, a merry knave! give me a bowl of sack: if he belong to you, Master Knowell, I bespeak your patience.

Brai. That is it I have most need of; Sir, if you'll pardon me, only, I'll glory in all the rest of my exploits.

Know. Sir, you know I love not to have my favours come hard from me. You have your pardon, though I suspect you shrewdly for being of counsel with my son against me.

Brai. Yes, faith, I have, sir, though you retain'd me doubly this morning for yourself: first as Brainworm; after, as Fitz-Sword. I was your reform'd soldier, sir. 'Twas I sent you to Cob's upon the errand without end.

Know. Is it possible? or that thou should'st disguise thy language so as I should not know thee?

Brai. O, sir, this has been the day of my metamorphosis. It is not that shape alone that I have run through to-day. I brought this gentleman, master Kitely, a message too, in the form of master Justice's man here, to draw him out O' the way, as well as your worship, while master Wellbred might make a conveyance of mistress Bridget to my young master.

Kit. How! My sister stolen away? Know. My son is not married, I hope.

Brai. Faith, Sir, they are both as sure as love, a priest, and three thousand pound, which is her portion, can make them; and by this time are ready to bespeak their wedding-supper at the Windmill, except some friend here prevent them, and invite them home.

Clem. Marry, that will I; I thank thee for putting me in mind on't. Sirrah, go you and fetch them hither upon my warrant. [Exit Servant.] Neither's friends have cause to be sorry, if I know the young couple aright. Here, I drink to thee for thy good news. But I pray thee, what hast thou done with my man, Formal?

Brai. Faith, sir, after some ceremony past, as making him drunk, first with story, and then with wine, (but all in kindness,) and stripping him to his shirt, I left him in that cool vein; departed, sold your worship's warrant to these two, pawn'd his livery for that varlet's gown, to serve it in; and thus have brought myself by my activity to your worship's consideration.

Clem. And I will consider thee in another cup of sack. Here's to thee, which having drunk off this my sentence: Pledge me. Thou hast done, or assisted to nothing, in my judgment, but deserves to be pardon'd for the wit of the offence. If thy master, or any man here, be angry with thee, I shall suspect his ingine, while I know him, for't. How now, what noise is that?

                           Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, it is Roger is come home.

Clem. Bring him in, bring him in.
                        [Enter FORMAL in a suit of armour.

What! drunk? in arms against me? your reason, your reason for this?

Form. I beseech your worship to pardon me; I happened into ill company by chance, that cast me into a sleep, and stript me of all my clothes.

Clem. Well, tell him I am Justice Clement, and do pardon him: but what is this to your armour? what may that signify?

Form. An't please you, sir, it hung up in the room where I was stript; and I borrow'd it of one of the drawers to come home in, because I was loth to do penance through the street in my shirt.

Clem. Well, stand by a while.
                        Enter E. KNOWELL, WELLBRED, and BRIDGET.

Who be these? O, the young company; welcome, welcome! Give you joy. Nay, mistress Bridget, blush not; you are not so fresh a bride, but the news of it is come hither afore you. Master bridegroom, I have made your peace, give me your hand: so will I for all the rest ere you forsake my roof.

E. Know. We are the more bound to your humanity, sir.

Clem. Only these two have so little of man in them, they are no part of my care.

Wel. Yes, sir, let me pray you for this gentleman, he belongs to my sister the bride.

Clem. In what place, sir?

Wel. Of her delight, sir, below the stairs, and in public: her poet, sir.

Clem. A poet! I will challenge him myself presently at extempore.

    Mount up thy Phlegon, Muse, and testify,
      How Saturn, sitting in an ebon cloud,
    Disrobed his podex, white as ivory,
      And through the welkin thunder'd all aloud.

Wel. He is not for extempore, sir: he is all for the pocket muse; please you command a sight of it.

Clem. Yes, yes, search him for a taste of his vein. [They search Mathew's pockets.

Wel. You must not deny the queen's justice, sir, under a writ of rebellion.

Clem. What! all this verse? body O' me, he carries a whole realm, a commonwealth of paper in his hose: let us see some of his subjects.

    Unto the boundless ocean of thy face,
    Runs this poor river, charg'd with streams of eyes.

How! this is stolen.

E. Know. A parody! a parody! with a kind of miraculous gift, to make it absurder than it was.

Clem. Is all the rest of this batch? bring me a torch; lay it together, and give fire. Cleanse the air. [Sets the papers on fire.] Here was enough to have infected the whole city, if it had not been taken in time. See, see, how our poet's glory shines! brighter and brighter! still it increases! O, now it is at the highest; and now it declines as fast. You may see, sic transit gloria mundi!

Know. There's an emblem for you, son, and your studies.

Clem. Nay, no speech or act of mine be drawn against such as profess it worthily. They are not born every year, as an alderman. There goes more to the making of a good poet, than a sheriff. Master Kitely, you look upon me!--though I live in the city here, amongst you, I will do more reverence to him, when I meet him, than I will to the mayor out of his year. But these paper-pedlars! these ink-dabblers! they cannot expect reprehension or reproach; they have it with the fact,

E. Know. Sir, you have saved me the labour of a defence.

Clem. It shall be discourse for supper between your father and me, if he dare undertake me. But to dispatch away these, you sign O' the soldier, and picture of the poet, (but both so false, I will not have you hanged out at my door till midnight,) while we are at supper, you two shall penitently fast it out in my court without; and, if you will, you may pray there that we may be so merry within as to forgive or forget you when we come out. Here's a third, because we tender your safety, shall watch you, he is provided for the purpose. Look to your charge, sir.

Step. And what shall I do?

Clem. O! I had lost a sheep an he had not bleated: why, sir, you shall give master Downright his cloak; and I will intreat him to take it. A trencher and a napkin you shall have in the buttery, and keep Cob and his wife company here; whom I will intreat first to be reconciled; and you to endeavour with your wit to keep them so.

Step. I'll do my best.

Cob. Why, now I see thou art honest, Tib, I receive thee as my dear and mortal wife again.

Tib. And I you, as my loving and obedient husband.

Clem. Good compliment! It will be their bridal night too. They are married anew. Come, I conjure the rest to put off all discontent. You, master Downright, your anger; you, master Knowell, your cares; Master Kitely and his wife, their jealousy.

 For, I must tell you both, while that is fed,
 Horns in the mind are worse than on the head.

Kit. Sir. thus they go from me; kiss me, sweetheart.

    See what a drove of horns fly in the air,
    Wing'd with my cleansed and my credulous breath!
    Watch' em suspicious eyes, watch where they fall.
    See, see! on heads that think they have none at all!
    O, what a plenteous world of this will come!
    When air rains horns, all may be sure of some!

I have learn'd so much verse out of a jealous man's part in a play.

Clem. 'Tis well, 'tis well! This night we'll dedicate to friendship. love, and laughter. Master bridegroom, take your bride and lead; every one a fellow. Here is my mistress, Brainworm! to whom all my addresses of courtship shall have their reference: whose adventures this day, when our grandchildren shall hear to be made a fable, I doubt not but it shall find both spectators and applause.