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Title: The Knight of the Burning Pestle
Author: Beaumont, Francis (1584-1616)
Author: Fletcher, John (1579-1625)
Editor: Moorman, Frederic William (1872-1919)
Date of first publication: 1898 [this edition] 1613 [original play]
Edition used as base for this ebook: London: J. M. Dent, 1913 [The Temple Dramatists]
Date first posted: 13 January 2011
Date last updated: 13 January 2011
Project Gutenberg Canada ebook #698

This ebook was produced by Delphine Lettau & the Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net








Click to ENLARGE
From the view of London by Hollar, circa 1620.

1. The Swan Theatre. 3. The Hope Theatre. 5. Winchester House. 7. Old St. Paul's.
2. The Bear Gardens. 4. The Globe Theatre. 6. The Temple. 8. The Guildhall.







A Play written by

Edited with Introduction, Notes
and Glossary by


First Edition of this Issue of
The Knight of the Burning Pestle,
printed 1898. Reprinted 1909, 1913




Literary History. The first edition of The Knight of the Burning Pestle appeared in quarto form in 1613. The title-page gives no clue as to authorship, but states merely that the play, entitled "The famous Historie of the Knight of the Burning Pestle," was "printed for Walter Burre, and is to be sold at the signe of the Crane in Paules Church-yard." This first edition, however, contains the dedication of the play to Robert Keysar, and thus throws some light upon the date of composition.

The play seems not to have been a success on the stage at its first appearance; perhaps its playful satire may have given offence to the London citizen. A revival, however, took place in 1635, and the play was acted at the court of Queen Henrietta. In Sir Henry Herbert's MSS. we read, "The 28 Feb. [1636] The Knight of the Burning Pestle playd by the Q[een's] men at St James."

Two quarto editions appeared in 1635, and from their title-pages we learn that it was "acted by her Majesties Servants at the Private House in Drury Lane. The authors' names were now given:

 {Francis Beaumont}
Written byandGent."
 John Fletcher 

The appearance of two editions in the same year suggests that the play found favour on its revival. This, as Weber pointed out, is further attested by a passage in Richard Brome's Sparagus Garden, which was first acted in 1635.

"Rebecca. I long to see a play, and above all playes, The Knight of the Burning—— What dee' call't?

Monylacke. The Knight of the Burning Pestle.

Rebecca. Pestle, is it? I thought of another thing; but I would faine see it. They say there's a grocer's boy kills a Gyant in it, and another little boy that does a Citizen's wife the daintielist—but I would faine see their best actor doe me: I would so put him too't; they should find another thing in handling of mee, I warrant 'em."

Date of Composition. The letter of the publisher, Walter Burre, to Robert Keysar, which precedes the edition of 1613, and in which Burre, speaking of the play, declares, "I have fostered it privately in my bosom these two years," points to the year 1611 as the latest possible time at which it could have been written, and suggests the year 1610-11 as the probable date of composition. We learn from the dedication to Robert Keysar that the play was produced in eight days, a fact which in itself points to its double authorship, and discountenances the idea that it is the work of Beaumont alone. Mr Macaulay's arguments in favour of its having been written as a protest against the poor reception accorded to the performance of Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess are inconclusive. Still more so are those of Mr Boyle, who tries to show that the play was written in 1607. (Englische Studien, vol. xiii.)

Sources. There can be little doubt that The Knight of the Burning Pestle owes direct literary allegiance to Don Quixote. The spirit of Cervantes' romance is seen in the conception of Ralph, and follows him through all his adventures. More especially is the influence of Cervantes to be traced in Ralph's overthrow of the Surgeon-barber in III. iv., which was in all probability suggested by the victory of Don Quixote over the barber with the enchanted helmet in the first part of Don Quixote. In like manner, Ralph's arrival at, and conduct in, the Bell Inn, which he takes for a castle, recalls the adventures of Don Quixote in the inn at the outset of his chivalrous career. May we not also detect in Susan, the Cobbler's daughter of Milk Street, a reminiscence of the immortal Donna Dulcinea del Toboso, so skilful in salting hams? Further, in the Spanish romance and the English play we have the same playful satire, directed against the high-flown and extravagant books of chivalric adventure. Don Quixote, the first part of which was first published in 1605, was not translated into English till Shelton's version appeared in 1612, but this in no wise precludes the possibility of Beaumont and Fletcher's acquaintance with the romance. The dramas of Beaumont and Fletcher are specially characterised by their frequent borrowings from the Spanish drama and the Spanish romance, and point clearly to the fact, that at least one of the two dramatists was well acquainted with the Spanish language.

The title, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, seems to have been taken from that of a play which is mentioned in the list of those acted at the Court revels in 1579: "The Historie of the Knight in the Burning Rock, shewen at Whitehall on Shrove Sondaie at night, enacted by the Earle of Warwick's Servaunts." Of this play the title alone has come down to our times, but it is extremely doubtful whether Beaumont and Fletcher borrowed from it anything else.

The device of introducing the comments of the spectators on the development of the play is to be found in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, though here the remarks made serve to express the author's own ideas of dramatic criticism, and no satiric humour is intended. In the character of Puntarvolo in the same work of Jonson's, we see an early sketch of the fantastic knight-errant, and a forerunner not only of the prentice Ralph, but of the Knight of La Mancha as well. Of the class of plays dealing with extravagant adventure which The Knight of the Burning Pestle burlesques, it is Heywood's Four Prentices of London which Beaumont and Fletcher single out for the special butt of their ridicule. It deals with the impossible adventures of the four apprentices, who join Robert Duke of Normandy on his crusade, and who are wrecked at sea and cast upon different shores. One of the four brothers, Eustace, is a grocer's apprentice, and declares on setting out on his adventurous career:

"For my Trades sake, if good success I have,
 The Grocer's Arms shall in my ensign wave."

The adventures of Ralph at the Court of Moldavia are a burlesque upon the very similar adventures of Eustace's brother Guy at the court of the King of France. Plays of this sort must have won favour with the citizens of London, and above all with their apprentices, so that the satire of The Knight of the Burning Pestle is directed against the public that favoured such plays, as well as against the dramatists that wrote them. Here and there the satire seems to be levelled at Shakespeare himself. Thus Ralph's quotation in the Induction from Hotspur's well-known speech in 1 Henry IV., Act I. Sc. iii., is of this nature, and the authors seem to have overlooked the fact that Shakespeare himself intended this speech to be mere bluster. Further, Humphrey's words in Act II. Sc. i., as Prof. Köppel points out,

"Good-night, twenty good-nights, and twenty more,
 And twenty more good-nights—that makes three score";

are very much like a parody on the words of Romeo:

"Good-night, good-night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
 That I shall say good-night till it be morrow."
Rom. and Jul., II. ii.

Authorship. The problem of determining exactly what share must be allotted to Beaumont and Fletcher respectively in the composition of the dramas which go under their joint names is still one of peculiar difficulty, in spite of the fact that so much of Fletcher's work was undertaken after Beaumont had ceased to write. Most critics agree in assigning to Beaumont the chief share in The Knight of the Burning Pestle. As Mr Macaulay points out, the burlesque element, which plays so important a part in the play, is wholly wanting in the works of Fletcher, but of frequent occurrence in The Woman Hater (1607), and also found in The Triumph of Honour, a play which tradition has allotted to Beaumont alone. Moreover, the sparkling humour with which our play abounds seems to have been as essentially the gift of Beaumont as the wit of repartee was characteristic of Fletcher. The usual verse tests—regularity of the verse, comparative rarity of double-endings, and frequent use of prose—all point, further, to the workmanship of Beaumont. But while we allow Beaumont the chief part in the work, it is certainly rash to deny altogether, as Oliphant and Macaulay have done, Fletcher's collaboration, till we know exactly in what way the two dramatists combined in the production of a play. The theme of the romantic comedy setting forth the love adventures of Jasper and Luce points to Fletcher's share in the conception of the plot, if not in its execution. The fact, too, that the play was written in eight days suggests, as was pointed out above, joint authorship. The character of the laughter-loving and laughter-working Merrythought, who has very little in common with the Matthew Merrygreek of Udall's Ralph Roister Doister, is almost certainly the creation of Beaumont.

Its place in the Elizabethan Drama. In its happy blending of pure comedy with the mock-heroic and the burlesque, The Knight of the Burning Pestle holds a unique place in the field of the English drama, though in the combination of romance, fairy-tale, and burlesque of the Midsummer Night's Dream we may trace a possible forerunner. Our English burlesque literature, though it starts with Chaucer's Rime of Sir Thopas, has been of slow and uncertain growth, and has flourished best in our own nineteenth century. Beaumont and Fletcher's interweaving of burlesque with pure comedy finds a model too in Don Quixote, where the mock-heroic adventures of the knight are broken in upon by episodes of pure romance. The adventures of Ralph, however, are, up to a certain point, not merely episodes imbedded in the central plot and serving as a foil to the main scenes, but are actually interwoven with the main thread of the play. With the adventure in the barber's shop, however, the connection becomes lost, and the fortunes of the two heroes, Jasper and Ralph, become divergent. In the trenchant, though genial satire of the play we see a double-edged sword at work, dealing blows at one moment at the extravagant romantic plays of Heywood and his fellows; at another, at the tyranny exercised upon playwrights by the dunce-critics of the London shops. The literature of the period is full of references to the habit adopted by court-gallants of taking up seats upon the stage itself at the time of a performance, and of interrupting the course of the play by untimely remarks. From the drama before us it would seem that the wealthy London citizen had also begun to claim this privilege (which might be procured for an extra sixpence), and threatened to exert a tyranny over the stage-representations of the time. It was with the purpose of checking this abuse that the authors now held up to ridicule the Citizen and his Wife. Their total lack of appreciation, their ill-judged sympathies and grotesque demands become in turn the object of scathing satire, and though from references in the Prologue to the printed editions of 1635 it would seem that the London citizens resented this satire, yet it doubtless had a salutary effect.

In the use of satire, Beaumont—if we allow him to be sole author of these mock-heroic scenes—reminds us of Cervantes rather than of the author of Hudibras. Piercing and trenchant as it is, Beaumont's satire is genial and kindly, the outcome of good humour, and not of bitterness of soul.

But our interest is not wholly in the satire of the play; the romantic parts are admirably constructed, giving us a plot, which in mastery of execution challenges Ben Jonson's best, while the character of Merrythought, with his blithe, careless laughter, gives to the play all the joyousness and light-heartedness of youth.

The influence of The Knight of the Burning Pestle is seen two generations later in Elkanah Settle's City Ramble, or a Play-house Wedding. The plot is closely modelled on the earlier work, and we see the same interruptions on the part of the Citizen and his Wife. The first two speeches of Settle's two characters, Don Garcia and Carlo his apprentice, are borrowed word for word from the opening speeches of Venturewell and Jasper.

In Kirkstall's farce, The Encounter (1672), we see Ralph's adventure with the surgeon-barber directly imitated.

Bibliography. The text of this edition of The Knight of the Burning Pestle follows, with one or two deviations, that of Dyce's scholarly and painstaking edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's works, 1843. I am also very largely indebted to Dyce for the notes. Mention may also be made here of the following works and articles which offer criticism of the play:

G. C. Macaulay: Francis Beaumont, A Critical Study, 1883.

E. Köppel: Quellen-Studien zu den Dramen Ben Jonson's, John Marston's, und Beaumont's und Fletcher's, 1895.

R. Boyle: Articles in the Englische Studien, vols. v.-x., and xiii.

B. Leonhardt: Article in Englische Studien, vol. xii.




By sitting on the stage you have a signd patent to engrosse the whole commodity of Censure; may lawfully presume to be a Girder; and stand at the helme to steere the passage of scaenes; yet no man shall once offer to hinder you from obtaining the title of an insolent over-weening Coxcombe…. If you know not ye author, you may raile against him, and peradventure so behave your selfe, that you may enforce the author to know you.

Dekker: The Gull's Horn-Book,








This unfortunate child, who, in eight days (as lately I have learned) was begot and born, soon after was by his parents (perhaps because he was so unlike his brethren) exposed to the wide world, who, for want of judgment, or not understanding the privy mark of irony about it (which shewed it was no offspring of any vulgar brain), utterly rejected it; so that, for want of acceptance, it was even ready to give up the ghost, and was in danger to have been smothered in perpetual oblivion, if you (out of your direct antipathy to ingratitude), had not been moved both to relieve and cherish it: wherein I must needs commend both your judgment, understanding, and singular love to good wits. You afterwards sent it to me, yet being an infant and somewhat ragged: I have fostered it privately in my bosom these two years; and now, to shew my love, return it to you, clad in good lasting clothes, which scarce memory will wear out, and able to speak for itself; and withal, as it telleth me, desirous to try his fortune in the world, where, if yet it be welcome, father, foster-father, nurse, and child all have their desired end. If it be slighted or traduced, it hopes his father will beget him a younger brother, who shall revenge his quarrel, and challenge the world either of fond and merely literal interpretation or illiterate misprision. Perhaps it will be thought to be of the race of Don Quixote; we both may confidently swear it his elder above a year; and therefore may (by virtue of his birthright) challenge the wall of him. I doubt not but they will meet in their adventures, and I hope the breaking of one staff will make them friends; and perhaps they will combine themselves, and travel through the world to seek their adventures. So I commit him to his good fortune, and myself to your love. Your assured friend,

W. B[URRE]. 






The world is so nice in these our times, that for apparel there is no fashion; for music (which is a rare art, though now slighted) no instrument; for diet, none but the French kickshaws that are delicate; and for plays, no invention but that which now runneth an invective way, touching some particular persons, or else it is contemned before it is thoroughly understood. This is all that I have to say: that the author had no intent to wrong any one in this comedy; but, as a merry passage, here and there interlaced it with delight, which he hopes will please all, and be hurtful to none.






Where the bee can suck no honey, she leaves her sting behind; and where the bear cannot find origanum to heal his grief, he blasteth all other leaves with his breath. We fear it is like to fare so with us; that, seeing you cannot draw from our labours sweet content, you leave behind you a sour mislike, and with open reproach blame our good meaning, because you cannot reap the wonted mirth. Our intent was at this time to move inward delight, not outward lightness; and to breed (if it might be) soft smiling, not loud laughing; knowing it, to the wise, to be a great pleasure to hear counsel mixed with wit, as to the foolish, to have sport mingled with rudeness. They were banished the theatre of Athens, and from Rome hissed, that brought parasites on the stage with apish actions, or fools with uncivil habits, or courtezans with immodest words. We have endeavoured to be as far from unseemly speeches, to make your ears glow, as we hope you will be free from unkind reports, or mistaking the authors' intention, (who never aimed at any one particular in this play,) to make our cheeks blush. And thus I leave it, and thee to thine own censure, to like or dislike.—Vale.





Speaker of the Prologue.
A Citizen.
His Wife.
Ralph, his Apprentice.
Venturewell, a Merchant.
Jasper,} His Sons.
Tim,} Apprentices.
Three Men, supposed captives.
William Hammerton.
George Greengoose.
Soldiers, and Attendants.
Luce, Daughter of Venturewell.
Mistress Merrythought.
Woman, supposed a captive.
Pompiona, Daughter of the King of Moldavia.
Scene: London and the neighbouring Country, excepting
Act IV. Scene ii., where it is in Moldavia.



The Knight of the Burning Pestle.


Several Gentlemen sitting on Stools upon the Stage. The
Citizen, his Wife, and Ralph sitting below among the
Enter Speaker of the Prologue.
S. of Prol. "From all that's near the court, from all that's great,
 Within the compass of the city-walls,
 We now have brought our scene——"
Citizen leaps on the Stage.
Cit. Hold your peace, goodman boy!
S. of Prol. What do you mean, sir?
Cit. That you have no good meaning: this seven
 years there hath been plays at this house, I
 have observed it, you have still girds at citizens;
 and now you call your play "The London
 Merchant." Down with your title, boy!10
 down with your title!
S. of Prol. Are you a member of the noble city?
Cit. I am.
S. of Prol. And a freeman?
Cit. Yea, and a grocer.
S. of Prol. So, grocer, then, by your sweet favour,
 we intend no abuse to the city.
Cit. No, sir! yes, sir: if you were not resolved to
 play the Jacks, what need you study for new
 subjects, purposely to abuse your betters? why20
 could not you be contented, as well as others,
 with "The legend of Whittington," or "The
 Life and Death of Sir Thomas Gresham, with
 the building of the Royal Exchange," or "The
 story of Queen Eleanor, with the rearing of
 London Bridge upon woolsacks?"
S. of Prol. You seem to be an understanding man:
 what would you have us do, sir?
Cit. Why, present something notably in honour of
 the commons of the city.30
S. of Prol. Why, what do you say to "The Life
 and Death of fat Drake, or the Repairing of
Cit. I do not like that; but I will have a citizen,
 and he shall be of my own trade.
S. of Prol. Oh, you should have told us your mind
 a month since; our play is ready to begin
Cit. 'Tis all one for that; I will have a grocer, and
 he shall do admirable things.40
S. of Prol. What will you have him do?
Cit. Marry, I will have him——
Wife. [below.] Husband, husband!
Ralph. [below.] Peace, mistress.
Wife. [below.] Hold thy peace, Ralph; I know
 what I do, I warrant ye.—Husband, husband!
Cit. What sayest thou, cony?
Wife. [below.] Let him kill a lion with a pestle,
 husband! let him kill a lion with a pestle!
Cit. So he shall.—I'll have him kill a lion with a50
Wife. [below.] Husband! shall I come up, husband?
Cit. Ay, cony.—Ralph, help your mistress this
 way.—Pray, gentlemen, make her a little room.
 —I pray you, sir, lend me your hand to help
 up my wife: I thank you, sir.—So.
[Wife comes on the Stage. 
Wife. By your leave, gentlemen all; I'm something
 troublesome: I'm a stranger here; I was
 ne'er at one of these plays, as they say, before;
 but I should have seen "Jane Shore" once;60
 and my husband hath promised me, any time
 this twelvemonth, to carry me to "The Bold
 Beauchamps," but in truth he did not. I
 pray you, bear with me.
Cit. Boy, let my wife and I have a couple of stools
 and then begin; and let the grocer do rare
[Stools are brought. 
S. of Prol. But, sir, we have never a boy to play
 him: every one hath a part already.
Wife. Husband, husband, for God's sake, let Ralph70
 play him! beshrew me, if I do not think he
 will go beyond them all.
Cit. Well remembered, wife.—Come up, Ralph.—
 I'll tell you, gentlemen; let them but lend
 him a suit of reparel and necessaries, and, by
 gad, if any of them all blow wind in the tail
 on him, I'll be hanged.
[Ralph comes on the Stage. 
Wife. I pray you, youth, let him have a suit of
 reparel!—I'll be sworn, gentlemen, my
 husband tells you true: he will act you sometimes80
 at our house, that all the neighbours cry
 out on him; he will fetch you up a couraging
 part so in the garret, that we are all as feared,
 I warrant you, that we quake again: we'll
 fear our children with him; if they be never
 so unruly, do but cry, "Ralph comes, Ralph
 comes!" to them, and they'll be as quiet as
 lambs.—Hold up thy head, Ralph; show the
 gentlemen what thou canst do; speak a huffing
 part; I warrant you, the gentlemen will accept90
 of it.
Cit. Do, Ralph, do.
Ralph. "By Heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap
 To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon;
 Or dive into the bottom of the sea,
 Where never fathom-line touched any ground,
 And pluck up drowned honour from the lake of hell."
Cit. How say you, gentlemen, is it not as I told
Wife. Nay, gentlemen, he hath played before, my100
 husband says, Mucedorus, before the wardens
 of our company.
Cit. Ay, and he should have played Jeronimo with
 a shoemaker for a wager.
S. of Prol. He shall have a suit of apparel, if he
 will go in.
Cit. In, Ralph, in, Ralph; and set out the grocery
 in their kind, if thou lovest me.
[Exit Ralph. 
Wife. I warrant, our Ralph will look finely when
 he's dressed.110
S. of Prol. But what will you have it called?
Cit. "The Grocer's Honour."
S. of Prol. Methinks "The Knight of the Burning
 Pestle" were better.
Wife. I'll be sworn, husband, that's as good a
 name as can be.
Cit. Let it be so.—Begin, begin; my wife and I
 will sit down.
S. of Prol. I pray you, do.
Cit. What stately music have you? you have120
S. of Prol. Shawms! no.
Cit. No! I'm a thief, if my mind did not give me
 so. Ralph plays a stately part, and he must
 needs have shawms: I'll be at the charge of
 them myself, rather than we'll be without
S. of Prol. So you are like to be.
Cit. Why, and so I will be: there's two shillings;
 —[Gives money.]—let's have the waits of130
 Southwark; they are as rare fellows as any are
 in England; and that will fetch them all o'er
 the water with a vengeance, as if they were
S. of Prol. You shall have them. Will you sit
 down, then?
Cit. Ay.—Come, wife.
Wife. Sit you merry all, gentlemen; I'm bold to
 sit amongst you for my ease.
[Citizen and Wife sit down. 
S. of Prol. "From all that's near the court, from all that's great,140
 Within the compass of the city-walls,
 We now have brought our scene. Fly far from hence
 All private taxes, immodest phrases,
 Whatever may but show like vicious!
 For wicked mirth never true pleasure brings,
 But honest minds are pleased with honest things."—
 Thus much for that we do; but for Ralph's
 part you must answer for yourself.
Cit. Take you no care for Ralph; he'll discharge
 himself, I warrant you.
[Exit Speaker of Prologue. 
Wife. I'faith, gentlemen, I'll give my word for  151


Act First.

Scene I.

A Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Venturewell and Jasper.
Vent. Sirrah, I'll make you know you are my prentice,
 And whom my charitable love redeemed
 Even from the fall of fortune; gave thee heat
 And growth, to be what now thou art, new-cast thee;
 Adding the trust of all I have, at home,
 In foreign staples, or upon the sea,
 To thy direction; tied the good opinions
 Both of myself and friends to thy endeavours;
 So fair were thy beginnings. But with these,
 As I remember, you had never charge10
 To love your master's daughter, and even then
 When I had found a wealthy husband for her;
 I take it, sir, you had not: but, however,
 I'll break the neck of that commission,
 And make you know you are but a merchant's factor.
Jasp. Sir, I do liberally confess I am yours,
 Bound both by love and duty to your service,
 In which my labour hath been all my profit:
 I have not lost in bargain, nor delighted
 To wear your honest gains upon my back;20
 Nor have I given a pension to my blood,
 Or lavishly in play consumed your stock;
 These, and the miseries that do attend them,
 I dare with innocence proclaim are strangers
 To all my temperate actions. For your daughter,
 If there be any love to my deservings
 Borne by her virtuous self, I cannot stop it;
 Nor am I able to refrain her wishes,
 She's private to herself, and best of knowledge
 Whom she will make so happy as to sigh for:30
 Besides, I cannot think you mean to match her
 Unto a fellow of so lame a presence,
 One that hath little left of nature in him.
Vent. 'Tis very well, sir: I can tell your wisdom
 How all this shall be cured.
Jasp. Your care becomes you.
Vent. And thus it shall be, sir: I here discharge you
 My house and service; take your liberty;
 And when I want a son, I'll send for you.
Jasp. These be the fair rewards of them that love!
 Oh, you that live in freedom, never prove40
 The travail of a mind led by desire!
Enter Luce.
Luce. Why, how now, friend? struck with my father's thunder!
Jasp. Struck, and struck dead, unless the remedy
 Be full of speed and virtue; I am now,
 What I expected long, no more your father's.
Luce. But mine.
Jasp. But yours, and only yours, I am;
 That's all I have to keep me from the statute.
 You dare be constant still?
Luce. Oh, fear me not!
 In this I dare be better than a woman:
 Nor shall his anger nor his offers move me,50
 Were they both equal to a prince's power.
Jasp. You know my rival!
Luce. Yes, and love him dearly;
 Even as I love an ague or foul weather:
 I prithee, Jasper, fear him not.
Jasp. Oh, no!
 I do not mean to do him so much kindness.
 But to our own desires: you know the plot
 We both agreed on?
Luce. Yes, and will perform
 My part exactly.
Jasp. I desire no more.
 Farewell, and keep my heart; 'tis yours.
Luce. I take it;
 He must do miracles makes me forsake it.60
[Exeunt severally. 
[Cit. Fie upon 'em, little infidels! what a matter's
 here now! Well, I'll be hanged for a halfpenny,
 if there be not some abomination
 knavery in this play. Well; let 'em look
 to't; Ralph must come, and if there be any
 tricks a-brewing——
Wife. Let 'em brew and bake too, husband, a'
 God's name; Ralph will find all out, I
 warrant you, an they were older than they
 are.—[Enter Boy.]—I pray, my pretty70
 youth, is Ralph ready?
Boy. He will be presently.
Wife. Now, I pray you, make my commendations
 unto him, and withal carry him this stick of
 liquorice: tell him his mistress sent it to him;
 and bid him bite a piece; 'twill open his pipes
 the better, say.]
[Exit Boy. 

Scene II.

Another Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Venturewell and Humphrey.
Vent. Come, sir, she's yours; upon my faith, she's yours;
 You have my hand: for other idle lets
 Between your hopes and her, thus with a wind
 They are scattered and no more. My wanton prentice,
 That like a bladder blew himself with love,
 I have let out, and sent him to discover
 New masters yet unknown.
Hum. I thank you, sir,
 Indeed, I thank you, sir; and, ere I stir,
 It shall be known, however you do deem,
 I am of gentle blood, and gentle seem.10
Vent. Oh, sir, I know it certain.
Hum. Sir, my friend,
 Although, as writers say, all things have end,
 And that we call a pudding hath his two,
 Oh, let it not seem strange, I pray, to you,
 If in this bloody simile I put
 My love, more endless than frail things or gut!
[Wife. Husband, I prithee, sweet lamb, tell me one
 thing; but tell me truly.—Stay, youths, I
 beseech you, till I question my husband.
Cit. What is it, mouse?20
Wife. Sirrah, didst thou ever see a prettier child?
 how it behaves itself, I warrant ye, and speaks
 and looks, and perts up the head!—I pray you,
 brother, with your favour, were you never none
 of Master Moncaster's scholars?
Cit. Chicken, I prithee heartily, contain thyself: the
 childer are pretty childer; but when Ralph
 comes, lamb——
Wife. Ay, when Ralph comes, cony!—Well, my
 youth, you may proceed.]30
Vent. Well, sir, you know my love, and rest, I hope,
 Assured of my consent; get but my daughter's,
 And wed her when you please. You must be bold,
 And clap in close unto her: come, I know
 You have language good enough to win a wench.
[Wife. A whoreson tyrant! h'as been an old stringer
 in's days, I warrant him.]
Hum. I take your gentle offer, and withal
 Yield love again for love reciprocal.
Vent. What, Luce! within there!40
Enter Luce.
Luce. Called you, sir?
Vent. I did:
 Give entertainment to this gentleman;
 And see you be not froward.—To her, sir:
 My presence will but be an eye-sore to you.
Hum. Fair Mistress Luce, how do you? are you well?
 Give me your hand, and then I pray you tell
 How doth your little sister and your brother;
 And whether you love me or any other.
Luce. Sir, these are quickly answered.
Hum. So they are,
 Where women are not cruel. But how far
 Is it now distant from the place we are in,50
 Unto that blessèd place, your father's warren?
Luce. What makes you think of that, sir?
Hum. Even that face;
 For, stealing rabbits whilom in that place,
 God Cupid, or the keeper, I know not whether,
 Unto my cost and charges brought you thither,
 And there began——
Luce. Your game, sir.
Hum. Let no game,
 Or any thing that tendeth to the same,
 Be ever more remembered, thou fair killer,
 For whom I sate me down, and brake my tiller.
[Wife. There's a kind gentleman, I warrant you:60
 when will you do as much for me, George?]
Luce. Beshrew me, sir, I am sorry for your losses,
 But, as the proverb says, I cannot cry:
 I would you had not seen me!
Hum. So would I,
 Unless you had more maw to do me good.
Luce. Why, cannot this strange passion be withstood;
 Send for a constable, and raise the town.
Hum. Oh, no! my valiant love will batter down
 Millions of constables, and put to flight
 Even that great watch of Midsummer-day at night.
Luce. Beshrew me, sir, 'twere good I yielded, then;71
 Weak women cannot hope, where valiant men
 Have no resistance.
Hum. Yield, then; I am full
 Of pity, though I say it, and can pull
 Out of my pocket thus a pair of gloves.
 Look, Lucé, look; the dog's tooth nor the dove's
 Are not so white as these; and sweet they be,
 And whipt about with silk, as you may see.
 If you desire the price, shoot from your eye
 A beam to this place, and you shall espy80
 F S, which is to say, my sweetest honey,
 They cost me three and twopence, or no money.
Luce. Well, sir, I take them kindly, and I thank you:
 What would you more?
Hum. Nothing.
Luce. Why, then, farewell.
Hum. Nor so, nor so; for, lady, I must tell,
 Before we part, for what we met together:
 God grant me time and patience and fair weather!
Luce. Speak, and declare your mind in terms so brief.
Hum. I shall: then, first and foremost, for relief
 I call to you, if that you can afford it;90
 I care not at what price, for, on my word, it
 Shall be repaid again, although it cost me
 More than I'll speak of now; for love hath tost me
 In furious blanket like a tennis-ball,
 And now I rise aloft, and now I fall.
Luce. Alas, good gentleman, alas the day!
Hum. I thank you heartily; and, as I say,
 Thus do I still continue without rest,
 I' the morning like a man, at night a beast,
 Roaring and bellowing mine own disquiet,100
 That much I fear, forsaking of my diet
 Will bring me presently to that quandary,
 I shall bid all adieu.
Luce. Now, by St Mary,
 That were great pity!
Hum. So it were, beshrew me;
 Then, ease me, lusty Luce, and pity show me.
Luce. Why, sir, you know my will is nothing worth
 Without my father's grant; get his consent,
 And then you may with assurance try me.
Hum. The worshipful your sire will not deny me;
 For I have asked him, and he hath replied,110
 "Sweet Master Humphrey, Luce shall be thy bride."
Luce. Sweet Master Humphrey, then I am content.
Hum. And so am I, in truth.
Luce. Yet take me with you;
 There is another clause must be annexed,
 And this it is: I swore, and will perform it,
 No man shall ever joy me as his wife
 But he that stole me hence. If you dare venture,
 I am yours (you need not fear; my father loves you);
 If not, farewell for ever!
Hum. Stay, nymph, stay:
 I have a double gelding, coloured bay,120
 Sprung by his father from Barbarian kind;
 Another for myself, though somewhat blind,
 Yet true as trusty tree.
Luce. I am satisfied;
 And so I give my hand. Our course must lie
 Through Waltham-forest, where I have a friend
 Will entertain us. So, farewell, Sir Humphrey,
 And think upon your business.
Hum. Though I die,
 I am resolved to venture life and limb
 For one so young, so fair, so kind, so trim.
[Wife. By my faith and troth, George, and as I am130
 virtuous, it is e'en the kindest young man that
 ever trod on shoe-leather.—Well, go thy ways;
 if thou hast her not, 'tis not thy fault, i'faith.
Cit. I prithee, mouse, be patient; 'a shall have her,
 or I'll make some of 'em smoke for't.
Wife. That's my good lamb, George.—Fie, this
 stinking tobacco kills me! would there were
 none in England!—Now, I pray, gentlemen,
 what good does this stinking tobacco do you?
 nothing, I warrant you: make chimneys o'140
 your faces!]

Scene III.

A Grocer's Shop.
Enter Ralph, as a Grocer, reading Palmerin of England,
with Tim and George.
[Wife. Oh, husband, husband, now, now! there's
 Ralph, there's Ralph.
Cit. Peace, fool! let Ralph alone.—Hark you,
 Ralph; do not strain yourself too much at
 the first.—Peace!—Begin, Ralph.]
Ralph. [Reads.] Then Palmerin and Trineus,
 snatching their lances from their dwarfs, and
 clasping their helmets galloped amain after the
 giant; and Palmerin, having gotten a sight of
 him, came posting amain, saying, 'Stay, traitorous10
 thief! for thou mayst not so carry away
 her, that is worth the greatest lord in the
 world;' and, with these words, gave him a
 blow on the shoulder, that he struck him besides
 his elephant. And Trineus, coming to
 the knight that had Agricola behind him, set
 him soon besides his horse, with his neck
 broken in the fall; so that the princess,
 getting out of the throng, between joy and
 grief, said, "All happy knight, the mirror of20
 all such as follow arms, now may I be well
 assured of the love thou bearest me." I
 wonder why the kings do not raise an army
 of fourteen or fifteen hundred thousand men,
 as big as the army that the Prince of Portigo
 brought against Rosicleer, and destroy these
 giants; they do much hurt to wandering
 damsels, that go in quest of their knights.
[Wife. Faith, husband, and Ralph says true; for
 they say the King of Portugal cannot sit at30
 his meat, but the giants and the ettins will
 come and snatch it from him.
Cit. Hold thy tongue.—On, Ralph!]
Ralph. And certainly those knights are much to be
 commended, who, neglecting their possessions,
 wander with a squire and a dwarf through the
 deserts to relieve poor ladies.
[Wife. Ay, by my faith, are they, Ralph; let 'em
 say what they will, they are indeed. Our
 knights neglect their possessions well enough,40
 but they do not the rest.]
Ralph. There are no such courteous and fair well-spoken
 knights in this age: they will call one
 "the son of a whore," that Palmerin of
 England would have called "fair sir;" and
 one that Rosicleer would have called "right
 beauteous damsel," they will call "damned
[Wife. I'll be sworn will they, Ralph; they have
 called me so an hundred times about a scurvy50
 pipe of tobacco.]
Ralph. But what brave spirit could be content to sit
 in his shop, with a flappet of wood, and a blue
 apron before him, selling mithridatum and
 dragon's-water to visited houses, that might
 pursue feats of arms, and, through his noble
 achievements, procure such a famous history
 to be written of his heroic prowess?
[Cit. Well said, Ralph; some more of those words,
Wife. They go finely, by my troth.]
Ralph. Why should not I, then, pursue this course,
 both for the credit of myself and our company?
 for amongst all the worthy books of achievements,
 I do not call to mind that I yet read
 of a grocer-errant: I will be the said knight.
 —Have you heard of any that hath wandered
 unfurnished of his squire and dwarf? My elder
 prentice Tim shall be my trusty squire, and little
 George my dwarf. Hence, my blue apron!70
 Yet, in remembrance of my former trade, upon
 my shield shall be portrayed a Burning Pestle,
 and I will be called the Knight of the Burning
[Wife. Nay, I dare swear thou wilt not forget thy
 old trade; thou wert ever meek.]
Ralph. Tim!
Tim. Anon.
Ralph. My beloved squire, and George my dwarf,
 I charge you that from henceforth you never80
 call me by any other name but "the right
 courteous and valiant Knight of the Burning
 Pestle;" and that you never call any female
 by the name of a woman or wench, but
 "fair lady," if she have her desires, if not,
 "distressed damsel;" that you call all
 forests and heaths "deserts," and all horses
[Wife. This is very fine, faith.—Do the gentlemen
 like Ralph, think you, husband?90
Cit. Ay, I warrant thee; the players would give all
 the shoes in their shop for him.]
Ralph. My beloved squire Tim, stand out. Admit
 this were a desert, and over it a knight-errant
 pricking, and I should bid you inquire of his
 intents, what would you say?
Tim. Sir, my master sent me to know whither you
 are riding?
Ralph. No, thus: "Fair sir, the right courteous
 and valiant Knight of the Burning Pestle100
 commanded me to inquire upon what adventure
 you are bound, whether to relieve some distressed
 damsel, or otherwise."
[Cit. Whoreson blockhead, cannot remember!
Wife. I'faith, and Ralph told him on't before: all
 the gentlemen heard him.—Did he not, gentlemen?
 did not Ralph tell him on't?]
George. Right courteous and valiant Knight of the
 Burning Pestle, here is a distressed damsel to
 have a halfpenny-worth of pepper.110
[Wife. That's a good boy! see, the little boy can
 hit it; by my troth, it's a fine child.]
Ralph. Relieve her, with all courteous language.
 Now shut up shop; no more my prentices, but
 my trusty squire and dwarf. I must bespeak
 my shield and arming pestle.
[Exeunt Tim and George. 
[Cit. Go thy ways, Ralph! As I'm a true man,
 thou art the best on 'em all.
Wife. Ralph, Ralph!
Ralph. What say you, mistress?120
Wife. I prithee, come again quickly, sweet Ralph.
Ralph. By and by.]

Scene IV.

A Room in Merrythought's House.
Enter Mistress Merrythought and Jasper.
Mist. Mer. Give thee my blessing! no, I'll ne'er
 give thee my blessing; I'll see thee hanged
 first; it shall ne'er be said I gave thee my
 blessing. Thou art thy father's own son, of
 the right blood of the Merrythoughts. I may
 curse the time that e'er I knew thy father; he
 hath spent all his own and mine too; and when
 I tell him of it, he laughs, and dances, and
 sings, and cries, "A merry heart lives long-a."
 And thou art a wastethrift, and art run away10
 from thy master that loved thee well, and art
 come to me; and I have laid up a little for
 my younger son Michael, and thou thinkest to
 bezzle that, but thou shalt never be able to do
 it.—Come hither, Michael!
Enter Michael.
 Come, Michael, down on thy knees; thou shalt
 have my blessing.
Mich. [Kneels.] I pray you, mother, pray to God
 to bless me.
Mist. Mer. God bless thee! but Jasper shall never20
 have my blessing; he shall be hanged first:
 shall he not, Michael? how sayest thou?
Mich. Yes, forsooth, mother, and grace of God.
Mist. Mer. That's a good boy!
[Wife. I'faith, it's a fine-spoken child.]
Jasp. Mother, though you forget a parent's love
 I must preserve the duty of a child.
 I ran not from my master, nor return
 To have your stock maintain my idleness.
[Wife. Ungracious child, I warrant him; hark,30
 how he chops logic with his mother!—Thou
 hadst best tell her she lies; do, tell her she
Cit. If he were my son, I would hang him up by
 the heels, and flay him, and salt him, whoreson
Jasp. My coming only is to beg your love,
 Which I must ever, though I never gain it;
 And, howsoever you esteem of me,
 There is no drop of blood hid in these veins40
 But, I remember well, belongs to you
 That brought me forth, and would be glad for you
 To rip them all again, and let it out.
Mist. Mer. I'faith, I had sorrow enough for thee,
 God knows; but I'll hamper thee well enough.
 Get thee in, thou vagabond, get thee in, and
 learn of thy brother Michael.
[Exeunt Jasper and Michael. 
Mer. [Singing within.]
 Nose, nose, jolly red nose,
 And who gave thee this jolly red nose?
Mist. Mer. Hark, my husband! he's singing and50
 hoiting; and I'm fain to cark and care, and
 all little enough.—Husband! Charles! Charles
Enter Merrythought.
Mer. [Sings.]
 Nutmegs and ginger, cinnamon and cloves;
 And they gave me this jolly red nose.
Mist. Mer. If you would consider your state, you
 would have little list to sing, i-wis.
Mer. It should never be considered, while it were
 an estate, if I thought it would spoil my singing.
Mist. Mer. But how wilt thou do, Charles? thou60
 art an old man, and thou canst not work, and
 thou hast not forty shillings left, and thou
 eatest good meat, and drinkest good drink, and
Mer. And will do.
Mist. Mer. But how wilt thou come by it, Charles?
Mer. How! why, how have I done hitherto these
 forty years? I never came into my dining
 room, but, at eleven and six o'clock, I found
 excellent meat and drink o' the table; my70
 clothes were never worn out, but next morning
 a tailor brought me a new suit: and without
 question it will be so ever; use makes perfectness.
 If all should fail, it is but a little straining
 myself extraordinary, and laugh myself to
[Wife. It's a foolish old man this; is not he,
Cit. Yes, cony.
Wife. Give me a penny i' the purse while I live,80
Cit. Ay, by lady, cony, hold thee there.]
Mist. Mer. Well, Charles; you promised to provide
 for Jasper, and I have laid up for Michael.
 I pray you, pay Jasper his portion: he's come
 home, and he shall not consume Michael's
 stock; he says his master turned him away,
 but, I promise you truly, I think he ran
[Wife. No, indeed, Mistress Merrythought; though90
 he be a notable gallows, yet I'll assure you his
 master did turn him away, even in this place;
 'twas, i'faith, within this half-hour, about his
 daughter; my husband was by.
Cit. Hang him, rogue! he served him well enough:
 love his master's daughter! By my troth,
 cony, if there were a thousand boys, thou
 wouldst spoil them all with taking their parts;
 let his mother alone with him.
Wife. Ay, George; but yet truth is truth.]100
Mer. Where is Jasper? he's welcome, however.
 Call him in; he shall have his portion. Is he
Mist. Mer. Ah, foul chive him, he is too merry!
 —Jasper! Michael!
Re-enter Jasper and Michael.
Mer. Welcome, Jasper! though thou runnest away,
 welcome! God bless thee! 'Tis thy mother's
 mind thou shouldst receive thy portion; thou
 hast been abroad, and I hope hast learned experience
 enough to govern it; thou art of110
 sufficient years; hold thy hand—one, two,
 three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, there
 is ten shillings for thee.
[Gives money.] 
 Thrust thyself into the world with that, and
 take some settled course: if fortune cross thee,
 thou hast a retiring place; come home to me;
 I have twenty shillings left. Be a good
 husband; that is, wear ordinary clothes, eat
 the best meat, and drink the best drink; be
 merry, and give to the poor, and, believe me,120
 thou hast no end of thy goods.
Jasp. Long may you live free from all thought of ill,
 And long have cause to be thus merry still!
 But, father——
Mer. No more words, Jasper; get thee gone.
 Thou hast my blessing; thy father's spirit upon
 thee! Farewell, Jasper!
 But yet, or ere you part (oh, cruel!)
 Kiss me, kiss me, sweeting, mine own dear jewel!
 So, now begone; no words.130
[Exit Jasper. 
Mist. Mer. So, Michael, now get thee gone too.
Mich. Yes, forsooth, mother; but I'll have my
 father's blessing first.
Mist. Mer. No, Michael; 'tis no matter for his
 blessing; thou hast my blessing; begone. I'll
 fetch my money and jewels, and follow thee;
 I'll stay no longer with him, I warrant thee.
 [Exit Michael.]—Truly, Charles, I'll be
 gone too.
Mer. What! you will not?140
Mist. Mer. Yes, indeed will I.
Mer. [Sings.]
 Heigh-ho, farewell, Nan!
 I'll never trust wench more again, if I can.
Mist. Mer. You shall not think, when all your own
 is gone, to spend that I have been scraping up
 for Michael.
Mer. Farewell, good wife; I expect it not: all I
 have to do in this world, is to be merry;
 which I shall, if the ground be not taken from
 me; and if it be,150
 When earth and seas from me are reft,
 The skies aloft for me are left.
[Exeunt severally. 
[Wife. I'll be sworn he's a merry old gentleman
 for all that. [Music.] Hark, hark, husband,
 hark! fiddles, fiddles! now surely they go
 finely. They say 'tis present death for these
 fiddlers, to tune their rebecks before the great
 Turk's grace; it's not, George? [Enter a
 Boy and dances.] But, look, look! here's a
 youth dances!—Now, good youth, do a turn160
 o' the toe.—Sweetheart, i'faith, I'll have Ralph
 come and do some of his gambols.—He'll ride
 the wild mare, gentlemen, 'twould do your hearts
 good to see him.—I thank you, kind youth;
 pray, bid Ralph come.
Cit. Peace, cony!—Sirrah, you scurvy boy, bid the
 players send Ralph; or, by God's——an they
 do not, I'll tear some of their periwigs beside
 their heads: this is all riff-raff.]
[Exit Boy. 




Act Second.

Scene I.

A Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Venturewell and Humphrey.
Vent. And how, faith, how goes it now, son Humphrey?
Hum. Right worshipful, and my belovèd friend
 And father dear, this matter's at an end.
Vent. 'Tis well: it should be so: I'm glad the girl
 Is found so tractable.
Hum. Nay, she must whirl
 From hence (and you must wink; for so, I say,
 The story tells,) to-morrow before day.
[Wife. George, dost thou think in thy conscience
 now 'twill be a match? tell me but what thou
 thinkest, sweet rogue. Thou seest the poor10
 gentleman, dear heart, how it labours and throbs,
 I warrant you, to be at rest! I'll go move the
 father for't.
Cit. No, no; I prithee, sit still, honeysuckle; thou'lt
 spoil all. If he deny him, I'll bring half-a-dozen
 good fellows myself, and in the shutting
 of an evening, knock't up, and there's an
Wife. I'll buss thee for that, i'faith, boy. Well,
 George, well, you have been a wag in your20
 days, I warrant you; but God forgive you,
 and I do with all my heart.]
Vent. How was it, son? you told me that to-morrow
 Before day-break, you must convey her hence.
Hum. I must, I must; and thus it is agreed:
 Your daughter rides upon a brown-bay steed,
 I on a sorrel, which I bought of Brian,
 The honest host of the Red roaring Lion,
 In Waltham situate. Then, if you may,
 Consent in seemly sort; lest, by delay,30
 The Fatal Sisters come, and do the office,
 And then you'll sing another song.
Vent. Alas,
 Why should you be thus full of grief to me,
 That do as willing as yourself agree
 To any thing, so it be good and fair?
 Then, steal her when you will, if such a pleasure
 Content you both; I'll sleep and never see it,
 To make your joys more full. But tell me why
 You may not here perform your marriage?
[Wife. God's blessing o' thy soul, old man! i'faith,40
 thou art loath to part true hearts. I see 'a has
 her, George; and I'm as glad on't!—Well, go
 thy ways, Humphrey, for a fair-spoken man;
 I believe thou hast not thy fellow within the
 walls of London; an I should say the suburbs
 too, I should not lie.—Why dost not rejoice
 with me, George?
Cit. If I could but see Ralph again, I were as merry
 as mine host, i'faith.]
Hum. The cause you seem to ask, I thus declare—50
 Help me, O Muses nine! Your daughter sware
 A foolish oath, and more it was the pity;
 Yet no one but myself within this city
 Shall dare to say so, but a bold defiance
 Shall meet him, were he of the noble science;
 And yet she sware, and yet why did she sware?
 Truly, I cannot tell, unless it were
 For her own ease; for, sure, sometimes an oath,
 Being sworn thereafter, is like cordial broth;
 And this it was she swore, never to marry60
 But such a one whose mighty arm could carry
 (As meaning me, for I am such a one)
 Her bodily away, through stick and stone,
 Till both of us arrive, at her request,
 Some ten miles off, in the wild Waltham-forest.
Vent. If this be all, you shall not need to fear
 Any denial in your love: proceed;
 I'll neither follow, nor repent the deed.68
Hum. Good night, twenty good nights, and twenty more,
 And twenty more good nights,—that makes three score!
[Exeunt severally.

Scene II.

Waltham Forest.
Enter Mistress Merrythought and Michael.
Mist. Mer. Come, Michael; art thou not weary,
Mich. No, forsooth, mother, not I.
Mist. Mer. Where be we now, child?
Mich. Indeed, forsooth, mother, I cannot tell, unless
 we be at Mile-End: Is not all the world Mile-End,
Mist. Mer. No, Michael, not all the world, boy;
 but I can assure thee, Michael, Mile-End is a
 goodly matter: there has been a pitchfield, my10
 child, between the naughty Spaniels and the
 Englishmen; and the Spaniels ran away,
 Michael, and the Englishmen followed: my
 neighbour Coxstone was there, boy, and killed
 them all with a birding-piece.
Mich. Mother, forsooth—
Mist. Mer. What says my white boy?
Mich. Shall not my father go with us too?
Mist. Mer. No, Michael, let thy father go snick up;
 he shall never come between a pair of20
 sheets with me again while he lives; let him
 stay at home, and sing for his supper, boy.
 Come, child, sit down, and I'll show my boy
 fine knacks, indeed. [They sit down: and
 she takes out a casket.] Look here, Michael;
 here's a ring, and here's a brooch, and here's
 a bracelet, and here's two rings more, and here's
 money and gold by th'eye, my boy.
Mich. Shall I have all this, mother?
Mist. Mer. Ay, Michael, thou shalt have all, Michael.30
[Cit. How likest thou this, wench?
Wife. I cannot tell; I would have Ralph, George;
 I'll see no more else, indeed, la; and I pray
 you, let the youths understand so much by
 word of mouth; for, I tell you truly, I'm
 afraid o' my boy. Come, come, George, let's
 be merry and wise: the child's a fatherless
 child; and say they should put him into a
 strait pair of gaskins, 'twere worse than knot-grass;
 he would never grow after it.]40
Enter Ralph, Tim and George.
[Cit. Here's Ralph, here's Ralph!
Wife. How do you do, Ralph? you are welcome,
 Ralph, as I may say; it's a good boy, hold up
 thy head, and be not afraid; we are thy friends,
 Ralph; the gentlemen will praise thee, Ralph,
 if thou playest thy part with audacity. Begin,
 Ralph, a' God's name!]
Ralph. My trusty squire, unlace my helm: give me my hat.
 Where are we, or what desert may this be?
George. Mirror of knighthood, this is, as I take50
 it, the perilous Waltham-down; in whose
 bottom stands the enchanted valley.
Mist. Mer. Oh, Michael, we are betrayed, we are
 betrayed! here be giants! Fly, boy! fly,
 boy, fly!
[Exit with Michael leaving the casket.
Ralph. Lace on my helm again. What noise is this?
 A gentle lady, flying the embrace
 Of some uncourteous knight! I will relieve her.
 Go, squire, and say, the Knight, that wears this Pestle
 In honour of all ladies, swears revenge60
 Upon that recreant coward that pursues her;
 Go, comfort her, and that same gentle squire
 That bears her company.
Tim. I go, brave knight.
Ralph. My trusty dwarf and friend, reach me my shield;
 And hold it while I swear. First, by my knighthood;
 Then by the soul of Amadis de Gaul,
 My famous ancestor; then by my sword
 The beauteous Brionella girt about me;
 By this bright burning Pestle, of mine honour
 The living trophy; and by all respect70
 Due to distressèd damsels; here I vow
 Never to end the quest of this fair lady
 And that forsaken squire till by my valour
 I gain their liberty!
George. Heaven bless the knight
 That thus relieves poor errant gentlewomen!
[Wife. Ay, marry, Ralph, this has some savour
 in't; I would see the proudest of them all
 offer to carry his books after him. But,
 George, I will not have him go away so soon;
 I shall be sick if he go away, that I shall:80
 call Ralph again, George, call Ralph again;
 I prithee, sweetheart, let him come fight before
 me, and let's ha' some drums and some
 trumpets, and let him kill all that comes near
 him, an thou lovest me, George!
Cit. Peace a little, bird: he shall kill them all, an
 they were twenty more on 'em than there are.]
Enter Jasper.
Jasp. Now, Fortune, if thou be'st not only ill,
 Show me thy better face, and bring about
 Thy desperate wheel, that I may climb at length,90
 And stand. This is our place of meeting,
 If love have any constancy. Oh, age,
 Where only wealthy men are counted happy!
 How shall I please thee, how deserve thy smiles,
 When I am only rich in misery?
 My father's blessing and this little coin
 Is my inheritance; a strong revénue!
 From earth thou art, and to the earth I give thee:
[Throws away the money.
 There grow and multiply, whilst fresher air
 Breeds me a fresher fortune.—How! illusion?100
[Sees the casket.
 What, hath the devil coined himself before me?
 'Tis metal good, it rings well; I am waking,
 And taking too, I hope. Now, God's dear blessing
 Upon his heart that left it here! 'tis mine;
 These pearls, I take it, were not left for swine.
[Exit with the casket.
[Wife. I do not like that this unthrifty youth should
 embezzle away the money; the poor gentlewoman
 his mother will have a heavy heart for
 it, God knows.]
Cit. And reason good, sweetheart.110
Wife. But let him go; I'll tell Ralph a tale in's
 ear shall fetch him again with a wanion, I
 warrant him, if he be above ground; and
 besides, George, here are a number of sufficient
 gentlemen can witness, and myself, and yourself,
 and the musicians, if we be called in

Scene III.

Another part of the Forest.
Enter Ralph and George.
 But here comes Ralph, George; thou shalt
 hear him speak as he were an emperal.]
Ralph. Comes not sir squire again?
George. Right courteous knight,
 Your squire doth come, and with him comes the lady,
 For and the Squire of Damsels, as I take it.
Enter Tim, Mistress Merrythought and Michael.
Ralph. Madam, if any service or devoir
 Of a poor errant knight may right your wrongs,
 Command it; I am prest to give you succour;
 For to that holy end I bear my armour.
Mist. Mer. Alas, sir, I am a poor gentlewoman,10
 and I have lost my money in this forest!
Ralph. Desert, you would say, lady; and not lost
 Whilst I have sword and lance. Dry up your tears,
 Which ill befit the beauty of that face,
 And tell the story, if I may request it,
 Of your disastrous fortune.
Mist. Mer. Out, alas! I left a thousand pound,
 a thousand pound, e'en all the money I had
 laid up for this youth, upon the sight of your
 mastership; you looked so grim, and, as I may20
 say it, saving your presence, more like a giant
 than a mortal man.
Ralph. I am as you are, lady; so are they;
 All mortal. But why weeps this gentle squire?
Mist. Mer. Has he not cause to weep, do you
 think, when he hath lost his inheritance?
Ralph. Young hope of valour, weep not; I am here
 That will confound thy foe, and pay it dear
 Upon his coward head, that dares deny
 Distressèd squires and ladies equity.30
 I have but one horse, on which shall ride
 This fair lady behind me, and before
 This courteous squire: fortune will give us more
 Upon our next adventure. Fairly speed
 Beside us, squire and dwarf, to do us need!
[Cit. Did not I tell you, Nell, what your man
 would do? by the faith of my body, wench,
 for clean action and good delivery, they may
 all cast their caps at him.
Wife. And so they may, i'faith; for I dare speak.40
 it boldly, the twelve companies of London
 cannot match him, timber for timber. Well,
 George, an he be not inveigled by some of
 these paltry players, I ha' much marvel: but,
 George, we ha' done our parts, if the boy
 have any grace to be thankful.
Cit. Yes, I warrant thee, duckling.]

Scene IV.

Another part of the Forest.
Enter Humphrey and Luce.
Hum. Good Mistress Luce, however I in fault am
 For your lame horse, you're welcome unto Waltham;
 But which way now to go, or what to say,
 I know not truly, till it be broad day.
Luce. Oh, fear not, Master Humphrey; I am guide
 For this place good enough.
Hum. Then, up and ride;
 Or, if it please you, walk, for your repose,
 Or sit, or, if you will, go pluck a rose;
 Either of which shall be indifferent9
 To your good friend and Humphrey, whose consent
 Is so entangled ever to your will,
 As the poor harmless horse is to the mill.
Luce. Faith, an you say the word, we'll e'en sit down,
 And take a nap.
Hum. 'Tis better in the town,
 Where we may nap together; for, believe me,
 To sleep without a snatch would mickle grieve me.
Luce. You're merry, Master Humphrey.
Hum. So I am,
 And have been ever merry from my dam.
Luce. Your nurse had the less labour.
Hum. Faith, it may be,
 Unless it were by chance I did beray me.20
Enter Jasper.
Jasp. Luce! dear friend Luce!
Luce. Here, Jasper.
Jasp. You are mine.
Hum. If it be so, my friend, you use me fine:
 What do you think I am?
Jasp. An arrant noddy.
Hum. A word of obloquy! Now, by God's body,
 I'll tell thy master; for I know thee well.
Jasp. Nay, an you be so forward for to tell,
 Take that, and that; and tell him, sir, I gave it:
 And say, I paid you well.
[Beats him.
Hum. Oh, sir, I have it,
 And do confess the payment! Pray, be quiet.
Jasp. Go, get you to your night-cap and the diet,30
 To cure your beaten bones.
Luce. Alas, poor Humphrey;
 Get thee some wholesome broth, with sage and comfrey;
 A little oil of roses and a feather
 To 'noint thy back withal.
Hum. When I came hither,
 Would I had gone to Paris with John Dory!
Luce. Farewell, my pretty nump; I am very sorry
 I cannot bear thee company.
Hum. Farewell:
 The devil's dam was ne'er so banged in hell.
[Exeunt Luce and Jasper.
[Wife. This young Jasper will prove me another
 thing, o' my conscience, an he may be suffered.40
 George, dost not see, George, how 'a swaggers,
 and flies at the very heads o' folks, as he were
 a dragon? Well, if I do not do his lesson for
 wronging the poor gentleman, I am no true
 woman. His friends that brought him up
 might have been better occupied, i-wis, than
 have taught him these fegaries: he's e'en in
 the high way to the gallows, God bless him!
Cit. You're too bitter, cony; the young man may
 do well enough for all this.50
Wife. Come hither, Master Humphrey; has he
 hurt you? now, beshrew his fingers for't! Here
 sweetheart, here's some green ginger for thee.
 Now, beshrew my heart, but 'a has peppernel
 in's head, as big as a pullet's egg! Alas,
 sweet lamb, how thy temples beat! Take
 the peace on him, sweetheart, take the peace
 on him.
Cit. No, no; you talk like a foolish woman: I'll
 ha' Ralph fight with him, and swinge him up60
 well-favouredly.—Sirrah boy, come hither.
 [Enter Boy.] Let Ralph come in and fight
 with Jasper.
Wife. Ay, and beat him well; he's an unhappy
Boy. Sir, you must pardon; the plot of our play
 lies contrary; and 'twill hazard the spoiling of
 our play.
Cit. Plot me no plots! I'll ha' Ralph come
 out; I'll make your house too hot for you70
Boy. Why, sir, he shall; but if any thing fall out of
 order, the gentlemen must pardon us.
Cit. Go your ways, goodman boy!
[Exit Boy.]
 I'll hold him a penny, he shall have his bellyful
 of fighting now. Ho, here comes Ralph!
 no more!]

Scene V.

Another part of the Forest.
Enter Ralph, Mistress Merrythought, Michael,
Tim and George.
Ralph. What knight is that, squire? ask him if he keep
 The passage, bound by love of lady fair,
 Or else but prickant.
Hum. Sir, I am no knight,
 But a poor gentleman, that this same night
 Had stolen from me, on yonder green,
 My lovely wife, and suffered (to be seen
 Yet extant on my shoulders) such a greeting,
 That whilst I live I shall think of that meeting.
[Wife. Ay, Ralph, he beat him unmercifully,
 Ralph; an thou sparest him, Ralph, I would10
 thou wert hanged.
Cit. No more, wife, no more.]
Ralph. Where is the caitiff-wretch hath done this deed?
 Lady, your pardon; that I may proceed;
 Upon the quest of this injurious knight.—
 And thou, fair squire, repute me not the worse,
 In leaving the great venture of the purse
 And the rich casket, till some better leisure.
Hum. Here comes the broker hath purloined my treasure.
Enter Jasper and Luce.
Ralph. Go, squire, and tell him I am here,20
 An errant knight-at-arms, to crave delivery
 Of that fair lady to her own knight's arms.
 If he deny, bid him take choice of ground,
 And so defy him.
Tim. From the Knight that bears
 The Golden Pestle, I defy thee, knight,
 Unless thou make fair restitution
 Of that bright lady.
Jasp. Tell the knight that sent thee,
 He is an ass; and I will keep the wench,
 And knock his head-piece.
Ralph. Knight, thou art but dead,
 If thou recall not thy uncourteous terms.30
[Wife. Break 's pate, Ralph; break 's pate, Ralph,
Jasp. Come, knight; I am ready for you. Now your Pestle
[Snatches away his pestle.
 Shall try what temper, sir, your mortar's of.
 With that he stood upright in his stirrups, and
 gave the Knight of the calf-skin such a knock
 [Knocks Ralph down.] that he forsook his
 horse, and down he fell; and then he leaped
 upon him, and plucking off his helmet——
Hum. Nay, an my noble knight be down so soon,40
 Though I can scarcely go, I needs must run.
[Wife. Run, Ralph, run, Ralph; run for thy life,
 boy; Jasper comes, Jasper comes!]
[Exit Ralph.
Jasp. Come Luce, we must have other arms for you:
 Humphrey, and Golden Pestle, both adieu!
[Wife. Sure the devil (God bless us!) is in this
 springald! Why, George, didst ever see such
 a fire-drake? I am afraid my boy's miscarried:
 if he be, though he were Master
 Merrythought's son a thousand times, if50
 there be any law in England, I'll make some
 of them smart for't.
Cit. No, no; I have found out the matter, sweetheart;
 as sure as we are here, he is enchanted:
 he could no more have stood in Ralph's hands
 than I can in my lord mayor's. I'll have a
 ring to discover all enchantments, and Ralph
 shall beat him yet: be no more vexed, for it
 shall be so.]

Scene VI.

Before the Bell-Inn, Waltham.
Enter Ralph, Mistress Merrythought,
Michael, Tim and George.
[Wife. Oh, husband, here's Ralph again!—Stay,
 Ralph again, let me speak with thee. How
 dost thou, Ralph? art thou not shrewdly
 hurt? the foul great lungies laid unmercifully
 on thee: there's some sugar-candy for thee.
 Proceed; thou shalt have another bout with
Cit. If Ralph had him at the fencing-school, if he
 did not make a puppy of him, and drive him
 up and down the school, he should ne'er come10
 in my shop more.]
Mist. Mer. Truly Master Knight of the Burning
 Pestle, I am weary.
Mich. Indeed, la, mother, and I am very hungry.
Ralph. Take comfort, gentle dame, and you, fair squire;
 For in this desert there must needs be placed
 Many strong castles, held by courteous knights;
 And till I bring you safe to one of those,
 I swear by this my order ne'er to leave you.
[Wife. Well said, Ralph!—George, Ralph was20
 ever comfortable, was he not?
Cit. Yes, duck.
Wife. I shall ne'er forget him. When he had lost
 our child, (you know it was strayed almost
 alone to Puddle-Wharf, and the criers were
 abroad for it, and there it had drowned itself
 but for a sculler,) Ralph was the most comfortablest
 to me: "Peace, mistress," says he, "let
 it go; I'll get you another as good." Did he
 not, George, did he not say so?30
Cit. Yes, indeed did he, mouse.]
George. I would we had a mess of pottage and a pot
 of drink, squire, and were going to bed!
Tim. Why, we are at Waltham-town's end, and
 that's the Bell-Inn.
George. Take courage, valiant knight, damsel, and squire!
 I have discovered, not a stone's cast off,
 An ancient castle, held by the old knight
 Of the most holy order of the Bell,
 Who gives to all knights-errant entertain:40
 There plenty is of food, and all prepared
 By the white hands of his own lady dear.
 He hath three squires that welcome all his guests;
 The first, hight Chamberlino, who will see
 Our beds prepared, and bring us snowy sheets,
 Where never footman stretched his buttered hams;
 The second, hight Tapstero, who will see
 Our pots full filled, and no froth therein;
 The third, a gentle squire, Ostlero hight,
 Who will our palfreys slick with wisps of straw,50
 And in the manger put them oats enough,
 And never grease their teeth with candle-snuff.
[Wife. That same dwarf's a pretty boy, but the
 squire's a groutnol.]
Ralph. Knock at the gates, my squire, with stately lance.
[Tim knocks at the door.
Enter Tapster.
Tap. Who's there?—You're welcome, gentlemen:
 will you see a room?
George. Right courteous and valiant Knight of the
 Burning Pestle, this is the Squire Tapstero.
Ralph. Fair Squire Tapstero, I a wandering knight,60
 Hight of the Burning Pestle, in the quest
 Of this fair lady's casket and wrought purse,
 Losing myself in this vast wilderness,
 Am to this castle well by fortune brought;
 Where, hearing of the goodly entertain
 Your knight of holy order of the Bell
 Gives to all damsels and all errant knights,
 I thought to knock, and now am bold to enter.
Tap. An't please you see a chamber, you are very
[Wife. George, I would have something done, and
 I cannot tell what it is.
Cit. What is it, Nell?
Wife. Why, George, shall Ralph beat nobody again?
 prithee, sweetheart, let him.
Cit. So he shall, Nell; and if I join with him,
 we'll knock them all.]

Scene VII.

A Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Humphrey and Venturewell.
[Wife. Oh, George, here's Master Humphrey again
 now that lost Mistress Luce, and Mistress
 Luce's father. Master Humphrey will do
 somebody's errand, I warrant him.]
Hum. Father, it's true in arms I ne'er shall clasp her;
 For she is stoln away by your man Jasper.
[Wife. I thought he would tell him.]
Vent. Unhappy that I am, to lose my child!
 Now I begin to think on Jasper's words,
 Who oft hath urged to me thy foolishness:10
 Why didst thou let her go? thou lov'st her not,
 That wouldst bring home thy life, and not bring her.
Hum. Father, forgive me. Shall I tell you true?
 Look on my shoulders, they are black and blue:
 Whilst to and fro fair Luce and I were winding,
 He came and basted me with a hedge-binding.
Vent. Get men and horses straight: we will be there
 Within this hour. You know the place again!
Hum. I know the place where he my loins did swaddle;
 I'll get six horses, and to each a saddle.20
Vent. Meantime I will go talk with Jasper's father.
[Exeunt severally.
[Wife. George, what wilt thou lay with me now,
 that Master Humphrey has not Mistress Luce
 yet? speak, George, what wilt thou lay with
Cit. No, Nell; I warrant thee, Jasper is at
 Puckeridge with her by this.
Wife. Nay, George, you must consider Mistress
 Luce's feet are tender; and besides 'tis dark;
 and, I promise you truly, I do not see how he30
 should get out of Waltham-forest with her
Cit. Nay, cony, what wilt thou lay with me, that
 Ralph has her not yet?
Wife. I will not lay against Ralph, honey, because
 I have not spoken with him.]

Scene VIII.

A Room in Merrythought's House.
Enter Merrythought.
[Wife. But look, George, peace! here comes the
 merry old gentleman again.]
Mer. [Sings.]
 When it was grown to dark midnight,
 And all were fast asleep,
 In came Margaret's grimly ghost,
 And stood at William's feet.
 I have money, and meat, and drink beforehand,
 till to-morrow at noon; why should I be sad?
 methinks I have half-a-dozen jovial spirits
 within me!10
 [Sings.] I am three merry men, and three merry men!
 To what end should any man be sad in this
 world? give me a man that when he goes to
 hanging cries,
 Troul the black bowl to me!
 and a woman that will sing a catch in her
 travail! I have seen a man come by my door
 with a serious face, in a black cloak, without
 a hat-band, carrying his head as if he looked
 for pins in the street; I have looked out of my20
 window half a year after, and have spied that
 man's head upon London-bridge. 'Tis vile:
 never trust a tailor that does not sing at his
 work; his mind is of nothing but filching.
[Wife. Mark this, George; 'tis worth noting;
 Godfrey my tailor, you know, never sings, and
 he had fourteen yards to make this gown: and
 I'll be sworn, Mistress Penistone the draper's
 wife had one made with twelve.]
Mer. [Sings.]
 'Tis mirth that fills the veins with blood,30
 More than wine, or sleep, or food;
 Let each man keep his heart at ease
 No man dies of that disease.
 He that would his body keep
 From diseases, must not weep;
 But whoever laughs and sings,
 Never he his body brings
 Into fevers, gouts, or rheums,
 Or lingeringly his lungs consumes,
 Or meets with achès in the bone,40
 Or catarrhs or griping stone;
 But contented lives for aye;
 The more he laughs, the more he may.
[Wife. Look, George; how sayst thou by this,
 George? is't not a fine old man?—Now,
 God's blessing o' thy sweet lips!—When wilt
 thou be so merry, George? faith, thou art the
 frowningest little thing, when thou art angry,
 in a country.
Cit. Peace, cony; thou shalt see him taken down50
 too, I warrant thee.
Enter Venturewell.
 Here's Luce's father come now.]
Mer. [Sings.]
 As you came from Walsingham,
 From that holy land,
 There met you not with my true love
 By the way as you came?
Vent. Oh, Master Merrythought, my daughter's gone!
 This mirth becomes you not; my daughter's gone!
Mer. [Sings.]
 Why, an if she be, what care I?
 Or let her come, or go, or tarry.60
Vent. Mock not my misery; it is your son
 (Whom I have made my own, when all forsook him)
 Has stoln my only joy, my child, away.
Mer. [Sings.]
 He set her on a milk-white steed,
 And himself upon a grey;
 He never turned his face again,
 But he bore her quite away.
Vent. Unworthy of the kindness I have shown
 To thee and thine! too late I well perceive
 Thou art consenting to my daughter's loss.70
Mer. Your daughter! what a stir's here wi' your
 daughter? Let her go, think no more on her,
 but sing loud. If both my sons were on the
 gallows, I would sing,
 Down, down, down they fall;
 Down, and arise they never shall.
Vent. Oh, might I behold her once again,
 And she once more embrace her aged sire!
Mer. Fie, how scurvily this goes! "And she once
 more embrace her aged sire?" You'll make80
 a dog on her, will ye? she cares much for her
 aged sire, I warrant you.
 She cares not for her daddy, nor
 She cares not for her mammy,
 For she is, she is, she is, she is
 My lord of Lowgave's lassy.
Vent. For this thy scorn I will pursue that son
 Of thine to death.
Mer. Do; and when you ha' killed him,[Sings.
 Give him flowers enow, palmer, give him flowers enow;90
 Give him red, and white, and blue, green, and yellow.
Vent. I'll fetch my daughter——
Mer. I'll hear no more o' your daughter; it spoils
 my mirth.
Vent. I say, I'll fetch my daughter.
Mer. [Sings.]
 Was never man for lady's sake,
 Down, down,
 Tormented as I poor Sir Guy,
 De derry down,
 For Lucy's sake, that lady bright,100
 Down, down,
 As ever men beheld with eye,
 De derry down.
Vent. I'll be revenged, by Heaven!
[Exeunt severally.
[Wife. How dost thou like this, George?
Cit. Why, this is well, cony; but if Ralph were
 hot once, thou shouldst see more.[Music.
Wife. The fiddlers go again, husband.
Cit. Ay, Nell; but this is scurvy music. I gave
 the whoreson gallows money, and I think he110
 has not got me the waits of Southwark: if I
 hear 'em not anon, I'll twinge him by the
 ears.—You musicians, play Baloo!
Wife. No, good George, let's ha' Lachrymæ!
Cit. Why, this is it, cony.
Wife. It's all the better, George. Now, sweet
 lamb, what story is that painted upon the cloth?
 the Confutation of St Paul?
Cit. No, lamb; that's Ralph and Lucrece.
Wife. Ralph and Lucrece! which Ralph? our120
Cit. No, mouse; that was a Tartarian.
Wife. A Tartarian! Well, I would the fiddlers had
 done, that we might see our Ralph again!]


Act Third.

Scene I.

Enter Jasper and Luce.
Jasp. Come, my dear dear; though we have lost our way
 We have not lost ourselves. Are you not weary
 With this night's wandering, broken from your rest,
 And frighted with the terror that attends
 The darkness of this wild unpeopled place?
Luce. No, my best friend; I cannot either fear,
 Or entertain a weary thought, whilst you
 (The end of all my full desires) stand by me:
 Let them that lose their hopes, and live to languish
 Amongst the number of forsaken lovers,10
 Tell the long weary steps, and number time,
 Start at a shadow, and shrink up their blood,
 Whilst I (possessed with all content and quiet)
 Thus take my pretty love, and thus embrace him.
Jasp. You have caught me, Luce, so fast, that, whilst I live,
 I shall become your faithful prisoner,
 And wear these chains for ever. Come, sit down,
 And rest your body, too, too delicate
 For these disturbances.—[They sit down] So: will you sleep?
 Come, do not be more able than you are;20
 I know you are not skilful in these watches,
 For women are no soldiers: be not nice,
 But take it; sleep, I say.
Luce. I cannot sleep;
 Indeed, I cannot, friend.
Jasp. Why, then, we'll sing,
 And try how that will work upon our senses.
Luce. I'll sing, or say, or any thing but sleep.
Jasp. Come, little mermaid, rob me of my heart
 With that enchanting voice.
Luce. You mock me, Jasper.
[They sing.
Jasp. Tell me, dearest, what is love?
Luce. 'Tis a lightning from above;30
 'Tis an arrow, 'tis a fire,
 'Tis a boy they call Desire;
 'Tis a smile
 Doth beguile
Jasp. The poor hearts of men that prove.
 Tell me more, are women true?
Luce. Some love change, and so do you.
Jasp. Are they fair and never kind?
Luce. Yes, when men turn with the wind.
Jasp.  Are they froward?40
Luce.  Ever toward
 Those that love, to love anew.
Jasp. Dissemble it no more; I see the god
 Of heavy sleep lay on his heavy mace
 Upon your eyelids.
Luce. I am very heavy.
Jasp. Sleep, sleep; and quiet rest crown thy sweet thoughts!
 Keep from her fair blood distempers, startings,
 Horrors, and fearful shapes! let all her dreams
 Be joys, and chaste delights, embraces, wishes,
 And such new pleasures as the ravished soul50
 Gives to the senses!—So; my charms have took.—
 Keep her, you powers divine, whilst I contemplate
 Upon the wealth and beauty of her mind!
 She is only fair and constant, only kind,
 And only to thee, Jasper. Oh, my joys!
 Whither will you transport me? let not fulness
 Of my poor buried hopes come up together
 And overcharge my spirits! I am weak.
 Some say (however ill) the sea and women
 Are governed by the moon; both ebb and flow,60
 Both full of changes; yet to them that know,
 And truly judge, these but opinions are,
 And heresies, to bring on pleasing war
 Between our tempers, that without these were
 Both void of after-love and present fear,
 Which are the best of Cupid. Oh, thou child
 Bred from despair, I dare not entertain thee,
 Having a love without the faults of women,
 And greater in her perfect goods than men!
 Which to make good, and please myself the stronger,70
 Though certainly I am certain of her love,
 I'll try her, that the world and memory
 May sing to after-times her constancy.—
[Draws his sword.
 Luce! Luce! awake!
Luce. Why do you fright me, friend,
 With those distempered looks? what makes your sword
 Drawn in your hand? who hath offended you?
 I prithee, Jasper, sleep; thou art wild with watching.
Jasp. Come, make your way to Heaven, and bid the world,
 With all the villanies that stick upon it,
 Farewell; you're for another life.80
Luce. Oh, Jasper,
 How have my tender years committed evil,
 Especially against the man I love,
 Thus to be cropped untimely?
Jasp. Foolish girl,
 Canst thou imagine I could love his daughter
 That flung me from my fortune into nothing?
 Dischargèd me his service, shut the doors
 Upon my poverty, and scorned my prayers,
 Sending me, like a boat without a mast,
 To sink or swim? Come; by this hand you die;
 I must have life and blood, to satisfy90
 Your father's wrongs.
[Wife. Away, George, away! raise the watch at
 Ludgate, and bring a mittimus from the justice
 for this desperate villain!—Now, I charge you,
 gentlemen, see the king's peace kept!—Oh,
 my heart, what a varlet's this, to offer manslaughter
 upon the harmless gentlewoman!
Cit. I warrant thee, sweetheart, we'll have him
Luce. Oh, Jasper, be not cruel!100
 If thou wilt kill me, smile, and do it quickly,
 And let not many deaths appear before me;
 I am a woman, made of fear and love,
 A weak, weak woman; kill not with thy eyes,
 They shoot me through and through: strike, I am ready;
 And, dying, still I love thee.
Enter Venturewell, Humphrey and Attendants.
Vent. Whereabouts?
Jasp. No more of this; now to myself again.[Aside.
Hum. There, there he stands, with sword, like martial knight,
 Drawn in his hand; therefore beware the fight,
 You that be wise; for, were I good Sir Bevis,110
 I would not stay his coming, by your leavès.
Vent. Sirrah, restore my daughter!
Jasp. Sirrah, no.
Vent. Upon him, then!
[They attack Jasper, and force Luce from him.
[Wife. So; down with him, down with him, down
 with him! cut him i' the leg, boys, cut him i'
 the leg!]
Vent. Come your ways, minion: I'll provide a cage
 For you, you're grown so tame.—Horse her away.
Hum. Truly, I'm glad your forces have the day.
[Exeunt all except Jasper.
Jasp. They are gone, and I am hurt; my love is lost,
 Never to get again. Oh, me unhappy!121
 Bleed, bleed and die! I cannot. Oh, my folly,
 Thou hast betrayed me! Hope, where art thou fled?
 Tell me, if thou be'st any where remaining,
 Shall I but see my love again? Oh, no!
 She will not deign to look upon her butcher,
 Nor is it fit she should; yet I must venture.
 Oh, Chance, or Fortune, or whate'er thou art,
 That men adore for powerful, hear my cry,
 And let me loving live, or losing die!130
[Wife. Is 'a gone, George?
Cit. Ay, cony.
Wife. Marry, and let him go, sweetheart. By the
 faith o' my body, 'a has put me into such a
 fright, that I tremble (as they say) as 'twere an
 aspen-leaf. Look o' my little finger, George,
 how it shakes. Now, in truth, every member of
 my body is the worse for't.
Cit. Come, hug in mine arms, sweet mouse; he shall
 not fright thee any more. Alas, mine own dear140
 heart, how it quivers!]

Scene II.

A Room in the Bell-Inn, Waltham.
Enter Mistress Merrythought, Ralph, Michael, Tim,
George, Host and Tapster.
[Wife. Oh, Ralph! how dost thou, Ralph? How
 hast thou slept to-night? has the knight used
 thee well?
Cit. Peace, Nell; let Ralph alone.]
Tap. Master, the reckoning is not paid.
Ralph. Right courteous knight, who, for the order's sake
 Which thou hast ta'en, hang'st out the holy Bell,
 As I this flaming Pestle bear about,
 We render thanks to your puissant self,
 Your beauteous lady, and your gentle squires,10
 For thus refreshing of our wearied limbs,
 Stiffened with hard achievements in wild desert.
Tap. Sir, there is twelve shillings to pay.
Ralph. Thou merry Squire Tapstero, thanks to thee
 For comforting our souls with double jug:
 And, if adventurous fortune prick thee forth,
 Thou jovial squire, to follow feats of arms,
 Take heed thou tender every lady's cause,
 Every true knight, and every damsel fair;
 But spill the blood of treacherous Saracens,20
 And false enchanters that with magic spells
 Have done to death full many a noble knight.
Host. Thou valiant Knight of the Burning Pestle,
 give ear to me; there is twelve shillings to pay,
 and, as I am a true knight, I will not bate a
[Wife. George, I prithee, tell me, must Ralph pay
 twelve shillings now?
Cit. No, Nell, no; nothing but the old knight is
 merry with Ralph.30
Wife. Oh, is't nothing else? Ralph will be as merry
 as he.]
Ralph. Sir Knight, this mirth of yours becomes you well;
 But, to requite this liberal courtesy,
 If any of your squires will follow arms,
 He shall receive from my heroic hand
 A knighthood, by the virtue of this Pestle.
Host. Fair knight, I thank you for your noble offer:
 Therefore, gentle knight,
 Twelve shillings you must pay, or I must cap you.40
[Wife. Look, George! did not I tell thee as
 much? the knight of the Bell is in earnest.
 Ralph shall not be beholding to him: give him
 his money, George, and let him go snick up.
Cit. Cap Ralph! no.—Hold your hand, Sir
 Knight of the Bell; there's your money [gives
 money]: have you any thing to say to Ralph
 now? Cap Ralph!
Wife. I would you should know it, Ralph has
 friends that will not suffer him to be capt for50
 ten times so much, and ten times to the end of
 that.—Now take thy course, Ralph.]
Mist. Mer. Come, Michael; thou and I will go
 home to thy father; he hath enough left to
 keep us a day or two, and we'll set fellows
 abroad to cry our purse and our casket: shall
 we, Michael?
Mich. Ay, I pray, mother; in truth my feet are
 full of chilblains with travelling.
[Wife. Faith, and those chilblains are a foul trouble.60
 Mistress Merrythought, when your youth comes
 home, let him rub all the soles of his feet, and
 his heels, and his ancles with a mouse-skin;
 or, if none of your people can catch a mouse,
 when he goes to bed, let him roll his feet in
 the warm embers, and, I warrant you, he shall
 be well; and you may make him put his fingers
 between his toes, and smell to them; it's very
 sovereign for his head, if he be costive.]
Mist. Mer. Master Knight of the Burning Pestle,70
 my son Michael and I bid you farewell: I
 thank your worship heartily for your kindness.
Ralph. Farewell, fair lady, and your tender squire.
 If pricking through these deserts, I do hear
 Of any traitorous knight, who through his guile
 Hath light upon your casket and your purse,
 I will despoil him of them, and restore them.
Mist. Mer. I thank your worship.
[Exit with Michael.
Ralph. Dwarf, bear my shield; squire, elevate my lance:—
 And now farewell, you Knight of holy Bell.80
[Cit. Ay, ay, Ralph, all is paid.]
Ralph. But yet, before I go, speak, worthy knight,
 Of aught you do of sad adventures know,
 Where errant knight may through his prowess win
 Eternal fame, and free some gentle souls
 From endless bonds of steel and lingering pain.
Host. Sirrah, go to Nick the barber, and bid him
 prepare himself, as I told you before, quickly.
Tap. I am gone, sir.
Host. Sir Knight, this wilderness affordeth none90
 But the great venture, where full many a knight
 Hath tried his prowess, and come off with shame;
 And where I would not have you lose your life
 Against no man, but furious fiend of hell.
Ralph. Speak on, Sir Knight; tell what he is and where:
 For here I vow, upon my blazing badge,
 Never to blaze a day in quietness,
 But bread and water will I only eat,
 And the green herb and rock shall be my couch,
 Till I have quelled that man, or beast, or fiend,100
 That works such damage to all errant knights.
Host. Not far from hence, near to a craggy cliff,
 At the north end of this distressèd town,
 There doth stand a lowly house,
 Ruggedly builded, and in it a cave
 In which an ugly giant now doth won,
 Ycleped Barbarossa: in his hand
 He shakes a naked lance of purest steel,
 With sleeves turned up; and him before he wears
 A motly garment, to preserve his clothes110
 From blood of those knights which he massacres
 And ladies gent: without his door doth hang
 A copper basin on a prickant spear;
 At which no sooner gentle knights can knock,
 But the shrill sound fierce Barbarossa hears,
 And rushing forth, brings in the errant knight,
 And sets him down in an enchanted chair;
 Then with an engine, which he hath prepared,
 With forty teeth, he claws his courtly crown;
 Next makes him wink, and underneath his chin120
 He plants a brazen piece of mighty bord,
 And knocks his bullets round about his cheeks;
 Whilst with his fingers, and an instrument
 With which he snaps his hair off, he doth fill
 The wretch's ears with a most hideous noise:
 Thus every knight-adventurer he doth trim,
 And now no creature dares encounter him.
Ralph. In God's name, I will fight with him. Kind sir,
 Go but before me to this dismal cave,
 Where this huge giant Barbarossa dwells,130
 And, by that virtue that brave Rosicleer
 That damnèd brood of ugly giants slew,
 And Palmerin Frannarco overthrew,
 I doubt not but to curb this traitor foul,
 And to the devil send his guilty soul.
Host. Brave-sprighted knight, thus far I will perform
 This your request; I'll bring you within sight
 Of this most loathsome place, inhabited
 By a more loathsome man; but dare not stay,
 For his main force swoops all he sees away.140
Ralph. Saint George, set on before! march squire and page!
[Wife. George, dost think Ralph will confound the
Cit. I hold my cap to a farthing he does: why,
 Nell, I saw him wrestle with the great Dutchman,
 and hurl him.
Wife. Faith, and that Dutchman was a goodly man,
 if all things were answerable to his bigness.
 And yet they say there was a Scotchman higher
 than he, and that they two and a knight met,150
 and saw one another for nothing. But of all
 the sights that ever were in London, since I
 was married, methinks the little child that was
 so fair grown about the members was the
 prettiest; that and the hermaphrodite.
Cit. Nay, by your leave, Nell, Ninivie was better.
Wife. Ninivie! oh, that was the story of Jone and
 the wall, was it not, George?
Cit. Yes, lamb.]

Scene III.

The Street before Merrythought's House.
Enter Mrs Merrythought.
[Wife. Look, George, here comes Mistress Merrythought
 again! and I would have Ralph come
 and fight with the giant; I tell you true, I long
 to see't.
Cit. Good Mistress Merrythought, begone, I pray
 you, for my sake; I pray you, forbear a little;
 you shall have audience presently; I have a
 little business.
Wife. Mistress Merrythought, if it please you to
 refrain your passion a little, till Ralph have10
 despatched the giant out of the way, we shall
 think ourselves much bound to you. [Exit
 Mistress Merrythought.] I thank you, good
 Mistress Merrythought.
Cit. Boy, come hither. [Enter Boy.] Send away
 Ralph and this whoreson giant quickly.
Boy. In good faith, sir, we cannot; you'll utterly
 spoil our play, and make it to be hissed; and
 it cost money; you will not suffer us to go on
 with our plot.—I pray, gentlemen, rule him.20
Cit. Let him come now and despatch this, and I'll
 trouble you no more.
Boy. Will you give me your hand of that?
Wife. Give him thy hand, George, do; and I'll kiss
 him. I warrant thee, the youth means plainly.
Boy. I'll send him to you presently.
Wife. [Kissing him.] I thank you, little youth.
 [Exit Boy.] Faith, the child hath a sweet
 breath, George; but I think it be troubled
 with the worms; carduus benedictus and30
 mare's milk were the only thing in the
 world for't.

Scene IV.

Before a Barber's Shop, Waltham.
Enter Ralph, Host, Tim, and George.
Wife. Oh, Ralph's here, George!—God send thee
 good luck, Ralph!]
Host. Puissant knight, yonder his mansion is.
 Lo, where the spear and copper basin are!
 Behold that string, on which hangs many a tooth,
 Drawn from the gentle jaw of wandering knights!
 I dare not stay to sound; he will appear.
Ralph. Oh, faint not, heart! Susan, my lady dear,
 The cobbler's maid in Milk-street, for whose sake
 I take these arms, oh, let the thought of thee10
 Carry thy knight through all adventurous deeds;
 And, in the honour of thy beauteous self,
 May I destroy this monster Barbarossa!—
 Knock, squire, upon the basin, till it break
 With the shrill strokes, or till the giant speak.
[Tim knocks upon the basin.
Enter Barber.
[Wife. Oh, George, the giant, the giant!—Now,
 Ralph for thy life!]
Bar. What fond unknowing wight is this, that dares
 So rudely knock at Barbarossa's cell,
 Where no man comes but leaves his fleece behind?20
Ralph. I, traitorous caitiff, who am sent by fate
 To punish all the sad enormities
 Thou hast committed against ladies gent
 And errant knights. Traitor to God and men,
 Prepare thyself; this is the dismal hour
 Appointed for thee to give strict account
 Of all thy beastly treacherous villanies.
Bar. Fool-hardy knight, full soon thou shalt aby
 This fond reproach: thy body will I bang;
[Takes down his pole.
 And, lo, upon that string thy teeth shall hang!30
 Prepare thyself, for dead soon shalt thou be.
Ralph. Saint George for me!
[They fight.
Bar. Gargantua for me!
[Wife. To him, Ralph, to him! hold up the giant;
 set out thy leg before, Ralph!
Cit. Falsify a blow, Ralph, falsify a blow! the
 giant lies open on the left side.
Wife. Bear't off, bear't off still! there, boy!—
 Oh, Ralph's almost down, Ralph's almost down!]
Ralph. Susan, inspire me! now have up again.
[Wife. Up, up, up, up, up! so, Ralph! down with40
 him, down with him, Ralph!
Cit. Fetch him o'er the hip, boy!
[Ralph knocks down the Barber.
Wife. There, boy! kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, Ralph!
Cit. No, Ralph; get all out of him first.]
Ralph. Presumptuous man, see to what desperate end
 Thy treachery hath brought thee! The just gods,
 Who never prosper those that do despise them,
 For all the villanies which thou hast done
 To knights and ladies, now have paid thee home
 By my stiff arm, a knight adventurous.50
 But say, vile wretch, before I send thy soul
 To sad Avernus, (whither it must go)
 What captives holdst thou in thy sable cave?
Bar. Go in, and free them all; thou hast the day.
Ralph. Go, squire and dwarf, search in this dreadful cave,
 And free the wretched prisoners from their bonds.
[Exeunt Tim and George.
Bar. I crave for mercy, as thou art a knight,
 And scorn'st to spill the blood of those that beg.
Ralph. Thou show'd'st no mercy, nor shalt thou have any;
 Prepare thyself, for thou shalt surely die.60
Re-enter Tim leading a Man winking, with a Basin
under his Chin.
Tim. Behold, brave knight, here is one prisoner,
 Whom this vile man hath usèd as you see.
[Wife. This is the first wise word I heard the
 squire speak.]
Ralph. Speak what thou art, and how thou hast been used,
 That I may give him condign punishment.
Man. I am a knight that took my journey post
 Northward from London; and in courteous wise
 This giant trained me to his loathsome den,
 Under pretence of killing of the itch;70
 And all my body with a powder strewed,
 That smarts and stings; and cut away my beard,
 And my curled locks wherein were ribands tied;
 And with a water washed my tender eyes,
 (Whilst up and down about me still he skipt,)
 Whose virtue is, that, till my eyes be wiped
 With a dry cloth, for this my foul disgrace,
 I shall not dare to look a dog i' the face.
[Wife. Alas, poor knight!—Relieve him, Ralph;
 relieve poor knights, whilst you live.]80
 Ralph. My trusty squire, convey him to the town,
 Where he may find relief.—Adieu, fair knight.
[Exeunt Man with Tim, who presently re-enters.
Re-enter George, leading a second Man, with a patch
over his nose.
George. Puissant Knight, of the Burning Pestle hight,
 See here another wretch, whom this foul beast
 Hath scotched and scored in this inhuman wise.
Ralph. Speak me thy name, and eke thy place of birth,
 And what hath been thy usage in this cave.
2nd Man. I am a knight, Sir Pockhole is my name,
 And by my birth I am a Londoner,
 Free by my copy, but my ancestors90
 Were Frenchmen all; and riding hard this way
 Upon a trotting horse, my bones did ache;
 And I, faint knight, to ease my weary limbs,
 Light at this cave; when straight this furious fiend,
 With sharpest instrument of purest steel,
 Did cut the gristle of my nose away,
 And in the place this velvet plaster stands:
 Relieve me, gentle knight, out of his hands!
[Wife. Good Ralph, relieve Sir Pockhole, and
 send him away; for in truth his breath stinks.]100
Ralph. Convey him straight after the other knight.—
 Sir Pockhole, fare you well.
2nd Man. Kind sir, good night.
[Exit with George, who presently re-enters.
3rd Man [within]. Deliver us!
[Cries within.
Woman [within]. Deliver us!
[Wife. Hark, George, what a woeful cry there is!
 I think some woman lies-in there.]
3rd Man [within]. Deliver us!
Women [within]. Deliver us!
Ralph. What ghastly noise is this? Speak, Barbarossa,
 Or, by this blazing steel, thy head goes off!110
Bar. Prisoners of mine, whom I in diet keep.
 Send lower down into the cave,
 And in a tub that's heated smoking hot,
 There may they find them, and deliver them.
Ralph. Run, squire and dwarf; deliver them with speed.
[Exeunt Tim and George.
[Wife. But will not Ralph kill this giant? Surely
 I am afraid, if he let him go, he will do as
 much hurt as ever he did.
Cit. Not so, mouse, neither, if he could convert
Wife. Ay, George, if he could convert him; but a
 giant is not so soon converted as one of us
 ordinary people. There's a pretty tale of a
 witch, that had the devil's mark about her,
 (God bless us!) that had a giant to her son,
 that was called Lob-lie-by-the-fire; didst
 never hear it, George?
Cit. Peace, Nell, here comes the prisoners.]
Re-enter Tim, leading a third Man, with a glass of lotion
in his hand, and George leading a Woman, with diet-bread
and drink in her hand.
George. Here be these pinèd wretches, manful knight,
 That for this six weeks have not seen a wight.130
Ralph. Deliver what you are, and how you came
 To this sad cave, and what your usage was?
3rd Man. I am an errant knight that followed arms
 With spear and shield; and in my tender years
 I stricken was with Cupid's fiery shaft,
 And fell in love with this my lady dear,
 And stole her from her friends in Turnbull-street,
 And bore her up and down from town to town,
 Where we did eat and drink, and music hear;
 Till at the length at this unhappy town140
 We did arrive, and coming to this cave,
 This beast us caught, and put us in a tub,
 Where we this two months sweat, and should have done
 Another month, if you had not relieved us.
Woman. This bread and water hath our diet been,
 Together with a rib cut from a neck
 Of burned mutton; hard hath been our fare:
 Release us from this ugly giant's snare!
3rd Man. This hath been all the food we have received;
 But only twice a-day, for novelty,150
 He gave a spoonful of this hearty broth
 To each of us, through this same slender quill.
[Pulls out a syringe.
Ralph. From this infernal monster you shall go,
 That useth knights and gentle ladies so!—
 Convey them hence.
[3rd Man and Woman are led off by Tim and
George, who presently re-enter.
[Cit. Cony, I can tell thee, the gentlemen like Ralph.
Wife. Ay, George, I see it well enough.—Gentlemen,
 I thank you all heartily for gracing my
 man Ralph; and I promise you, you shall see
 him oftener.]160
Bar. Mercy, great knight! I do recant my ill,
 And henceforth never gentle blood will spill.
Ralph. I give thee mercy; but yet shalt thou swear
 Upon my Burning Pestle, to perform
 Thy promise utterèd.
Bar. I swear and kiss.
[Kisses the Pestle.
Ralph. Depart, then, and amend.—
[Exit Barber.
 Come, squire and dwarf; the sun grows towards his set,
 And we have many more adventures yet.
[Cit. Now Ralph is in this humour, I know he
 would ha' beaten all the boys in the house, if
 they had been set on him.170
Wife. Ay, George, but it is well as it is: I warrant
 you, the gentlemen do consider what it is to
 overthrow a giant.]

Scene V.

The Street before Merrythought's House.
Enter Mistress Merrythought and Michael.
[Wife. But, look, George; here comes Mistress
 Merrythought, and her son Michael.—Now
 you are welcome, Mistress Merrythought; now
 Ralph has done, you may go on.]
Mist. Mer. Mick, my boy—
Mich. Ay, forsooth, mother.
Mist. Mer. Be merry, Mick; we are at home now;
 where, I warrant you, you shall find the house
 flung out of the windows.
[Music within.]
 Hark! hey, dogs, hey! this is the old world,10
 i'faith, with my husband. If I get in among
 them, I'll play them such a lesson, that they
 shall have little list to come scraping hither
 again—Why, Master Merrythought! husband!
 Charles Merrythought!
Mer. [Appearing above, and singing.]
 If you will sing, and dance, and laugh,
 And hollow, and laugh again,
 And then cry, "there, boys, there!" why, then,
 One, two, three, and four,
 We shall be merry within this hour.20
Mist. Mer. Why, Charles, do you not know your
 own natural wife? I say, open the door, and
 turn me out those mangy companions; 'tis more
 than time that they were fellow and fellow-like
 with you. You are a gentleman, Charles, and
 an old man, and father of two children; and I
 myself, (though I say it) by my mother's side
 niece to a worshipful gentleman and a conductor;
 he has been three times in his majesty's service
 at Chester, and is now the fourth time, God30
 bless him and his charge, upon his journey.
Mer. [Sings.]
 Go from my window, love, go;
 Go from my window, my dear!
 The wind and the rain
 Will drive you back again;
 You cannot be lodged here.
Hark you, Mistress Merrythought, you that
 walk upon adventures, and forsake your husband,
 because he sings with never a penny in his purse;
 what, shall I think myself the worse? Faith,40
 no, I'll be merry. You come not here; here's
 none but lads of mettle, lives of a hundred years
 and upwards; care never drunk their bloods,
 nor want made them warble "Heigh-ho, my
 heart is heavy."
Mist. Mer. Why, Master Merrythought, what am
 I, that you should laugh me to scorn thus
 abruptly? am I not your fellow-feeler, as we
 may say, in all our miseries? your comforter in
 health and sickness? have I not brought you50
 children? are they not like you, Charles? look
 upon thine own image, hard-hearted man! and
 yet for all this——
Mer. [Sings.]
 Begone, begone, my juggy, my puggy,
 Begone, my love, my dear!
 The weather is warm,
 'Twill do thee no harm:
 Thou canst not be lodged here.—
 Be merry, boys! some light music, and more
[Exit above.
[Wife. He's not in earnest, I hope, George, is he?
Cit. What if he be, sweetheart?
Wife. Marry, if he be, George, I'll make bold to
 tell him he's an ingrant old man to use his bed-fellow
 so scurvily.
Cit. What! how does he use her, honey?
Wife. Marry, come up, sir saucebox! I think you'll
 take his part, will you not? Lord, how hot
 you have grown! you are a fine man, an' you
 had a fine dog; it becomes you sweetly!70
Cit. Nay, prithee, Nell, chide not; for, as I am an
 honest man and a true Christian grocer, I do not
 like his doings.
Wife. I cry you mercy, then, George! you know
 we are all frail and full of infirmities.—D'ye
 hear, Master Merrythought? may I crave a
 word with you?]
Mer. [Appearing above.] Strike up lively, lads!
[Wife. I had not thought, in truth, Master Merrythought,
 that a man of your age and discretion,80
 as I may say, being a gentleman, and therefore
 known by your gentle conditions, could have
 used so little respect to the weakness of his
 wife; for your wife is your own flesh, the
 staff of your age, your yoke-fellow, with
 whose help you draw through the mire of
 this transitory world; nay, she's your own rib:
 and again——]
Mer. [Sings.]
 I came not hither for thee to teach,
 I have no pulpit for thee to preach,90
 I would thou hadst kissed me under the breech,
 As thou art a lady gay.
[Wife. Marry, with a vengeance! I am heartily sorry
 for the poor gentlewoman: but if I were thy
 wife, i'faith, greybeard, i'faith——
Cit. I prithee, sweet honeysuckle, be content.
Wife. Give me such words, that am a gentlewoman
 born! hang him, hoary rascal! Get me some
 drink, George; I am almost molten with
 fretting: now, beshrew his knave's heart for100
[Exit Citizen.
Mer. Play me a light lavolta. Come, be frolic.
 Fill the good fellows wine.
Mist. Mer. Why, Master Merrythought, are you
 disposed to make me wait here? You'll open,
 I hope; I'll fetch them that shall open else.
Mer. Good woman, if you will sing, I'll give you
 something; if not——
[Sings.] You are no love for me, Margaret,
 I am no love for you.—110
 Come aloft, boys, aloft!
[Exit above.
Mist. Mer. Now a churl's fart in your teeth, sir!—
 Come, Mick, we'll not trouble him; 'a shall
 not ding us i' the teeth with his bread and his
 broth, that he shall not. Come, boy; I'll
 provide for thee, I warrant thee. We'll go to
 Master Venturewell's, the merchant: I'll get
 his letter to mine host of the Bell in Waltham;
 there I'll place thee with the tapster: will not
 that do well for thee, Mick? and let me alone120
 for that old cuckoldly knave your father; I'll
 use him in his kind, I warrant ye.
Re-enter Citizen with Beer.
[Wife. Come, George, where's the beer?
Cit. Here, love.
Wife. This old fornicating fellow will not out of my
 mind yet.—Gentlemen, I'll begin to you all;
 and I desire more of your acquaintance with
 all my heart. [Drinks.] Fill the gentlemen
 some beer, George. [Enter Boy.] Look,
 George, the little boy's come again: methinks130
 he looks something like the Prince of Orange
 in his long stocking, if he had a little harness
 about his neck. George, I will have him
 dance fading.—Fading is a fine jig, I'll
 assure you, gentlemen.—Begin, brother. [Boy
 dances.] Now 'a capers, sweetheart!—Now a
 turn o' the toe, and then tumble! cannot you
 tumble, youth?
Boy. No, indeed, forsooth.
Wife. Nor eat fire?140
Boy. Neither.
Wife. Why, then, I thank you heartily; there's
 twopence to buy you points withal.]


Act Fourth.

Scene I.

A Street.
Enter Jasper and Boy.
Jasp. There, boy, deliver this; but do it well.
 Hast thou provided me four lusty fellows,
[Gives a letter.
 Able to carry me? and art thou perfect
 In all thy business?
Boy. Sir, you need not fear;
 I have my lesson here, and cannot miss it:
 The men are ready for you, and what else
 Pertains to this employment.
Jasp. There, my boy;
 Take it, but buy no land.
[Gives money.
Boy. Faith, sir, 'twere rare
 To see so young a purchaser. I fly,
 And on my wings carry your destiny.10
Jasp. Go, and be happy! [Exit Boy.] Now, my latest hope,
 Forsake me not, but fling thy anchor out,
 And let it hold! Stand fixed, thou rolling stone,
 Till I enjoy my dearest! Hear me, all
 You powers, that rule in men, celestial!
[Wife. Go thy ways; thou art as crooked a sprig
 as ever grew in London. I warrant him, he'll
 come to some naughty end or other; for his
 looks say no less: besides, his father (you
 know, George) is none of the best; you heard20
 him take me up like a flirt-gill, and sing
 bawdy songs upon me; but, i'faith, if I live,
Cit. Let me alone, sweetheart: I have a trick in
 my head shall lodge him in the Arches for one
 year, and make him sing peccavi ere I leave
 him; and yet he shall never know who hurt
 him neither.
Wife. Do, my good George, do!
Cit. What shall we have Ralph do now, boy?30
Boy. You shall have what you will, sir.
Cit. Why, so, sir; go and fetch me him then, and
 let the Sophy of Persia come and christen him
 a child.
Boy. Believe me, sir, that will not do so well; 'tis
 stale; it has been had before at the Red Bull.
Wife. George, let Ralph travel over great hills, and
 let him be very weary, and come to the King
 of Cracovia's house, covered with black velvet;
 and there let the king's daughter stand in her40
 window, all in beaten gold, combing her golden
 locks with a comb of ivory; and let her spy
 Ralph, and fall in love with him, and come
 down to him, and carry him into her father's
 house; and then let Ralph talk with her.
Cit. Well said, Nell; it shall be so.—Boy, let's
 ha't done quickly.
Boy. Sir, if you will imagine all this to be done
 already, you shall hear them talk together; but
 we cannot present a house covered with black50
 velvet, and a lady in beaten gold.
Cit. Sir boy, let's ha't as you can, then.
Boy. Besides, it will show ill-favouredly to have a
 grocer's prentice to court a king's daughter.
Cit. Will it so, sir? you are well read in histories!
 I pray you, what was Sir Dagonet? was not he
 prentice to a grocer in London? Read the
 play of "The Four Prentices of London,"
 where they toss their pikes so. I pray you,
 fetch him in, sir, fetch him in.60
Boy. It shall be done.—It is not our fault, gentlemen.
Wife. Now we shall see fine doings, I warrant ye,

Scene II.

A Hall in the King of Moldavia's Court.
Enter Pompiona, Ralph, Tim, and George.
[Wife. Oh, here they come! how prettily the King
 of Cracovia's daughter is dressed!
Cit. Ay, Nell, it is the fashion of that country, I
 warrant ye.]
Pomp. Welcome, Sir Knight, unto my father's court,
 King of Moldavia; unto me Pompiona,
 His daughter dear! But, sure, you do not like
 Your entertainment, that will stay with us
 No longer but a night.
Ralph. Damsel right fair,
 I am on many sad adventures bound,10
 That call me forth into the wilderness;
 Besides, my horse's back is something galled,
 Which will enforce me ride a sober pace.
 But many thanks, fair lady, be to you
 For using errant knight with courtesy!
Pomp. But say, brave knight, what is your name and birth?
Ralph. My name is Ralph; I am an Englishman,
 (As true as steel, a hearty Englishman,)
 And prentice to a grocer in the Strand
 By deed indent, of which I have one part:20
 But fortune calling me to follow arms,
 On me this only order I did take
 Of Burning Pestle, which in all men's eyes
 I bear, confounding ladies' enemies.
Pomp. Oft have I heard of your brave countrymen,
 And fertile soil and store of wholesome food;
 My father oft will tell me of a drink
 In England found, and nipitato called,
 Which driveth all the sorrow from your hearts.
Ralph. Lady, 'tis true; you need not lay your lips30
 To better nipitato than there is.
Pomp. And of a wild fowl he will often speak,
 Which powdered-beef-and-mustard callèd is:
 For there have been great wars 'twixt us and you;
 But truly, Ralph, it was not 'long of me.
 Tell me then, Ralph, could you contented be
 To wear a lady's favour in your shield?
Ralph. I am a knight of a religious order,
 And will not wear a favour of a lady
 That trusts in Antichrist and false traditions.40
[Cit. Well said, Ralph! convert her, if thou canst.]
Ralph. Besides, I have a lady of my own
 In merry England, for whose virtuous sake
 I took these arms; and Susan is her name,
 A cobbler's maid in Milk Street; whom I vow
 Ne'er to forsake whilst life and Pestle last.
Pomp. Happy that cobbling dame, whoe'er she be,
 That for her own, dear Ralph, hath gotten thee!
 Unhappy I, that ne'er shall see the day
 To see thee more, that bear'st my heart away!50
Ralph. Lady, farewell; I needs must take my leave.
Pomp. Hard-hearted Ralph, that ladies dost deceive!
[Cit. Hark thee, Ralph: there's money for thee
 [Gives money]; give something in the King of
 Cracovia's house; be not beholding to him.]
Ralph. Lady, before I go, I must remember
 Your father's officers, who truth to tell,
 Have been about me very diligent:
 Hold up thy snowy hand, thou princely maid!
 There's twelve-pence for your father's chamberlain;
 And another shilling for his cook,61
 For, by my troth, the goose was roasted well;
 And twelve-pence for your father's horse-keeper,
 For 'nointing my horse-back, and for his butter
 There is another shilling; to the maid
 That washed my boot-hose there's an English groat
 And two-pence to the boy that wiped my boots;
 And last, fair lady, there is for yourself
 Three-pence, to buy you pins at Bumbo-fair.
Pomp. Full many thanks; and I will keep them safe70
 Till all the heads be off, for thy sake, Ralph.
Ralph. Advance, my squire and dwarf! I cannot stay.
Pomp. Thou kill'st my heart in passing thus away.
[Wife. I commend Ralph yet, that he will not stoop
 to a Cracovian; there's properer women in
 London than any are there, I-wis.

Scene III.

A Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Venturewell, Humphrey, Luce, and Boy.
[Wife. But here comes Master Humphrey and his
 love again now, George.
Cit. Ay, cony; peace.]
Vent. Go, get you up; I will not be entreated;
 And, gossip mine, I'll keep you sure hereafter
 From gadding out again with boys and unthrifts:
 Come, they are women's tears; I know your fashion.—
 Go, sirrah, lock her in, and keep the key
 Safe as you love your life.
[Exeunt Luce and Boy.
 Now, my son Humphrey,
 You may both rest assurèd of my love10
 In this, and reap your own desire.
Hum. I see this love you speak of, through your daughter,
 Although the hole be little; and hereafter
 Will yield the like in all I may or can,
 Fitting a Christian and a gentleman.
Vent. I do believe you, my good son, and thank you;
 For 'twere an impudence to think you flattered.
Hum. It were, indeed; but shall I tell you why?
 I have been beaten twice about the lie.
Vent. Well, son, no more of compliment. My daughter
 Is yours again: appoint the time and take her;21
 We'll have no stealing for it; I myself
 And some few of our friends will see you married.
Hum. I would you would, i'faith! for, be it known,
 I ever was afraid to lie alone.
Vent. Some three days hence, then.
Hum. Three days! let me see:
 'Tis somewhat of the most; yet I agree,
 Because I mean against the appointed day
 To visit all my friends in new array.
Enter Servant.
Serv. Sir, there's a gentlewoman without would speak30
 with your worship.
Vent. What is she?
Serv. Sir, I asked her not.
Vent. Bid her come in.[Exit Servant.
Enter Mistress Merrythought and Michael.
Mist. Mer. Peace be to your worship! I come as a
 poor suitor to you, sir, in the behalf of this child.
Vent. Are you not wife to Merrythought?
Mist. Mer. Yes, truly. Would I had ne'er seen
 his eyes! he has undone me and himself and his
 children; and there he lives at home, and sings40
 and hoits and revels among his drunken companions!
 but, I warrant you, where to get a penny
 to put bread in his mouth he knows not: and
 therefore, if it like your worship, I would entreat
 your letter to the honest host of the Bell
 in Waltham, that I may place my child under
 the protection of his tapster, in some settled
 course of life.
Vent. I'm glad the heavens have heard my prayers. Thy husband,
 When I was ripe in sorrows, laughed at me;50
 Thy son, like an unthankful wretch, I having
 Redeemed him from his fall, and made him mine,
 To show his love again, first stole my daughter,
 Then wronged this gentleman, and, last of all,
 Gave me that grief had almost brought me down
 Unto my grave, had not a stronger hand
 Relieved my sorrows. Go, and weep as I did,
 And be unpitied; for I here profess
 An everlasting hate to all thy name.
Mist. Mer. Will you so, sir? how say you by60
 that?—Come, Mick; let him keep his wind
 to cool his pottage. We'll go to thy nurse's,
 Mick: she knits silk stockings, boy; and we'll
 knit too, boy, and be beholding to none of
 them all.
[Exit with Michael.
Enter Boy.
Boy. Sir, I take it you are the master of this house.
Vent. How then, boy!
Boy. Then to yourself, sir, comes this letter.
[Gives letter.
Vent. From whom, my pretty boy?
Boy. From him that was your servant; but no more70
 Shall that name ever be, for he is dead:
 Grief of your purchased anger broke his heart.
 I saw him die, and from his hand received
 This paper, with a charge to bring it hither:
 Read it, and satisfy yourself in all.
Vent. [Reads.] Sir, that I have wronged your love
 I must confess; in which I have purchased
 to myself, besides mine own undoing, the ill
 opinion of my friends. Let not your anger,
 good sir, outlive me, but suffer me to rest in80
 peace with your forgiveness: let my body (if
 a dying man may so much prevail with you)
 be brought to your daughter, that she may
 truly know my hot flames are now buried, and
 withal receive a testimony of the zeal I bore
 her virtue. Farewell for ever, and be ever
 happy! Jasper.
 God's hand is great in this: I do forgive him;
 Yet I am glad he's quiet, where I hope
 He will not bite again.—Boy, bring the body,90
 And let him have his will, if that be all.
Boy. 'Tis here without, sir.
Vent. So, sir; if you please,
 You may conduct it in; I do not fear it.
Hum. I'll be your usher, boy; for, though I say it,
 He owed me something once, and well did pay it.

Scene IV.

Another Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Luce.
Luce. If there be any punishment inflicted
 Upon the miserable, more than yet I feel,
 Let it together seize me, and at once
 Press down my soul! I cannot bear the pain
 Of these delaying tortures.—Thou that art
 The end of all, and the sweet rest of all,
 Come, come, oh, Death! bring me to thy peace,
 And blot out all the memory I nourish
 Both of my father and my cruel friend!—
 Oh, wretched maid, still living to be wretched,10
 To be a say to Fortune in her changes,
 And grow to number times and woes together!
 How happy had I been, if, being born,
 My grave had been my cradle!
Enter Servant.
Serv. By your leave,
 Young mistress; here's a boy hath brought a coffin:
 What 'a would say, I know not; but your father
 Charged me to give you notice. Here they come.
Enter Boy, and two Men bearing a Coffin.
Luce. For me I hope 'tis come, and 'tis most welcome.
Boy. Fair mistress, let me not add greater grief
 To that great store you have already. Jasper20
 (That whilst he lived was yours, now dead
 And here enclosed) commanded me to bring
 His body hither, and to crave a tear
 From those fair eyes, (though he deserved not pity,)
 To deck his funeral; for so he bid me
 Tell her for whom he died.
Luce. He shall have many.—
 Good friends, depart a little, whilst I take
 My leave of this dead man, that once I loved.
[Exeunt Boy and Men.
 Hold yet a little, life! and then I give thee
 To thy first heavenly being. Oh, my friend!30
 Hast thou deceived me thus, and got before me?
 I shall not long be after. But, believe me,
 Thou wert too cruel, Jasper, 'gainst thyself,
 In punishing the fault I could have pardoned,
 With so untimely death: thou didst not wrong me,
 But ever wert most kind, most true, most loving;
 And I the most unkind, most false, most cruel!
 Didst thou but ask a tear? I'll give thee all,
 Even all my eyes can pour down, all my sighs,
 And all myself, before thou goest from me:40
 These are but sparing rites; but if thy soul
 Be yet about this place, and can behold
 And see what I prepare to deck thee with,
 It shall go up, borne on the wings of peace,
 And satisfied. First will I sing thy dirge,
 Then kiss thy pale lips, and then die myself,
 And fill one coffin and one grave together.
 Come, you whose loves are dead,
 And, whiles I sing,
 Weep, and wring50
 Every hand, and every head
 Bind with cypress and sad yew;
 Ribands black and candles blue
 For him that was of men most true!
 Come with heavy moaning,
 And on his grave
 Let him have
 Sacrifice of sighs and groaning;
 Let him have fair flowers enow,
 White and purple, green and yellow,60
 For him that was of men most true!
 Thou sable cloth, sad cover of my joys,
 I lift thee up, and thus I meet with death.
[Removes the Cloth, and Jasper rises
out of the Coffin.
Jasp. And thus you meet the living.
Luce. Save me, Heaven!
Jasp. Nay, do not fly me, fair: I am no spirit:
 Look better on me; do you know me yet?
Luce. Oh, thou dear shadow of my friend!
Jasp. Dear substance;
 I swear I am no shadow; feel my hand,
 It is the same it was; I am your Jasper,
 Your Jasper that's yet living, and yet loving.70
 Pardon my rash attempt, my foolish proof
 I put in practice of your constancy;
 For sooner should my sword have drunk my blood,
 And set my soul at liberty, than drawn
 The least drop from that body: for which boldness
 Doom me to any thing; if death, I take it,
 And willingly.
Luce. This death I'll give you for it;
[Kisses him.
 So, now I am satisfied you are no spirit,
 But my own truest, truest, truest friend:
 Why do you come thus to me?80
Jasp. First, to see you;
 Then to convey you hence.
Luce. It cannot be;
 For I am locked up here, and watched at all hours,
 That 'tis impossible for me to scape.
Jasp. Nothing more possible. Within this coffin
 Do you convey yourself: let me alone,
 I have the wits of twenty men about me;
 Only I crave the shelter of your closet
 A little, and then fear me not. Creep in,
 That they may presently convey you hence:
 Fear nothing, dearest love; I'll be your second;90
[Luce lies down in the Coffin, and Jasper
covers her with the cloth.
 Lie close: so; all goes well yet.—Boy!
Re-enter Boy and Men.
Boy. At hand, sir.
Jasp. Convey away the coffin, and be wary.
Boy. 'Tis done already.
[Exeunt Men with the Coffin.
Jasp. Now must I go conjure.
[Exit into a Closet.
Enter Venturewell.
Vent. Boy, boy!
Boy. Your servant, sir.
Vent. Do me this kindness, boy; (hold, here's a crown;)
 Before thou bury the body of this fellow,
 Carry it to his old merry father, and salute him
 From me, and bid him sing; he hath cause.
Boy. I will, sir.
Vent. And then bring me word what tune he is in,100
 And have another crown; but do it truly.
 I have fitted him a bargain now will vex him.
Boy. God bless your worship's health, sir!
Vent. Farewell, boy!
[Exeunt severally.

Scene V.

A Street before Merrythought's House.
Enter Merrythought.
[Wife. Ah, old Merrythought, art thou there again?
 let's hear some of thy songs.]
 Mer. [Sings.]
 Who can sing a merrier note
 Than he that cannot change a groat?
 Not a denier left, and yet my heart leaps: I do
 wonder yet, as old as I am, that any man will
 follow a trade, or serve, that may sing and laugh,
 and walk the streets. My wife and both my
 sons are I know not where; I have nothing
 left, nor know I how to come by meat to supper;10
 yet am I merry still, for I know I shall find it
 upon the table at six o'clock; therefore, hang
 I would not be a serving-man
 To carry the cloak-bag still,
 Nor would I be a falconer
 The greedy hawks to fill;
 But I would be in a good house,
 And have a good master too;
 But I would eat and drink of the best,20
 And no work would I do.
 This it is that keeps life and soul together,
 mirth; this is the philosopher's stone that they
 write so much on, that keeps a man ever
Enter Boy.
Boy. Sir, they say they know all your money is
 gone, and they will trust you for no more drink.
Mer. Will they not? let 'em choose! The best is,
 I have mirth at home, and need not send abroad
 for that; let them keep their drink to themselves.30
 For Julian of Berry, she dwells on a hill,
 And she hath good beer and ale to sell,
 And of good fellows she thinks no ill;
 And thither will we go now, now, now,
 And thither will we go now.
 And when you have made a little stay,
 You need not ask what is to pay,
 But kiss your hostess, and go your way;
 And thither will we go now, now, now,40
 And thither will we go now.
Enter another Boy.
2nd Boy. Sir, I can get no bread for supper.
Mer. Hang bread and supper! let's preserve our
 mirth, and we shall never feel hunger, I'll
 warrant you. Let's have a catch, boys;
 follow me, come.[They sing.
 Ho, ho, nobody at home!
 Meat, nor drink, nor money ha' we none.
 Fill the pot, Eedy,
 Never more need I.50
Mer. So, boys; enough. Follow me: Let's change
 our place, and we shall laugh afresh.
[Wife. Let him go, George; 'a shall not have any
 countenance from us, nor a good word from
 any i' the company, if I may strike stroke
Cit. No more 'a sha'not, love. But, Nell, I will
 have Ralph do a very notable matter now, to
 the eternal honour and glory of all grocers.—
 Sirrah! you there, boy! Can none of you60
Enter Boy.
Boy. Sir, your pleasure?
Cit. Let Ralph come out on May-day in the morning,
 and speak upon a conduit, with all his
 scarfs about him, and his feathers, and his rings,
 and his knacks.
Boy. Why, sir, you do not think of our plot; what
 will become of that, then?
Cit. Why, sir, I care not what become on't: I'll
 have him come out, or I'll fetch him out myself;70
 I'll have something done in honour of
 the city: besides, he hath been long enough
 upon adventures. Bring him out quickly; or,
 if I come in amongst you——
Boy. Well, sir, he shall come out, but if our play
 miscarry, sir, you are like to pay for't.
Cit. Bring him away then!
[Exit Boy.
Wife. This will be brave, i'faith! George, shall
 not he dance the morris too, for the credit of
 the Strand?80
Cit. No, sweetheart, it will be too much for the boy.
 Oh, there he is, Nell! he's reasonable well in
 reparel: but he has not rings enough.]
Ralph. London, to thee I do present the merry month
 of May;
 Let each true subject be content to hear me what
 I say:
 For from the top of conduit-head, as plainly
 may appear,
 I will both tell my name to you, and wherefore I
 came here.
 My name is Ralph, by due descent though not
 ignoble I
 Yet far inferior to the stock of gracious grocery;
 And by the common counsel of my fellows in the
 With gilded staff and crossèd scarf, the May-lord
 here I stand.
 Rejoice, oh, English hearts, rejoice! rejoice, oh,
 lovers dear!
 Rejoice, oh, city, town, and country! rejoice,
 eke every shere!
 For now the fragrant flowers do spring and sprout
 in seemly sort,
 The little birds do sit and sing, the lambs do make
 fine sport;
 And now the birchen-tree doth bud, that makes the
 schoolboy cry;
 The morris rings, while hobby-horse doth foot it
 The lords and ladies now abroad, for their disport
 and play,
 Do kiss sometimes upon the grass, and sometimes in
 the hay;
 Now butter with a leaf of sage is good to purge the
 Fly Venus and phlebotomy, for they are neither
 Now little fish on tender stone begin to cast their
 And sluggish snails, that erst were mewed, do creep
 out of their shellies;
 The rumbling rivers now do warm, for little boys to
 The sturdy steed now goes to grass, and up they
 hang his saddle;
 The heavy hart, the bellowing buck, the rascal, and
 the pricket,
 Are now among the yeoman's peas, and leave the
 fearful thicket:
 And be like them, oh, you, I say, of this same noble
 And lift aloft your velvet heads, and slipping off
 your gown,
 With bells on legs, and napkins clean unto your
 shoulders tied,
 With scarfs and garters as you please, and "Hey for
 our town!" cried.
 March out, and show your willing minds, by twenty
 and by twenty,
 To Hogsdon or to Newington, where ale and cakes
 are plenty;
 And let it ne'er be said for shame, that we the
 youths of London
 Lay thrumming of our caps at home, and left our
 custom undone.
 Up, then, I say, both young and old, both man and
 maid a-maying,
 With drums, and guns that bounce aloud, and merry
 tabor playing!
 Which to prolong, God save our king, and send his
 country peace,
 And root out treason from the land! and so, my
 friends, I cease.

Act Fifth.

Scene I.

A Room in the House of Venturewell.
Enter Venturewell.
Vent. I will have no great store of company at the
 wedding; a couple of neighbours and their
 wives; and we will have a capon in stewed
 broth, with marrow, and a good piece of beef
 stuck with rosemary.
Enter Jasper, with his Face mealed.
Jasp. Forbear thy pains, fond man! it is too late.
Vent. Heaven bless me! Jasper!
Jasp. Ay, I am his ghost,
 Whom thou hast injured for his constant love;
 Fond worldly wretch! who dost not understand10
 In death that true hearts cannot parted be.
 First know, thy daughter is quite borne away
 On wings of angels, through the liquid air,
 To far out of thy reach, and never more
 Shalt thou behold her face: but she and I
 Will in another world enjoy our loves;
 Where neither father's anger, poverty,
 Nor any cross that troubles earthly men,
 Shall make us sever our united hearts.
 And never shalt thou sit or be alone20
 In any place, but I will visit thee
 With ghastly looks, and put into thy mind
 The great offences which thou didst to me:
 When thou art at thy table with thy friends,
 Merry in heart, and filled with swelling wine,
 I'll come in midst of all thy pride and mirth,
 Invisible to all men but thyself,
 And whisper such a sad tale in thine ear
 Shall make thee let the cup fall from thy hand,
 And stand as mute and pale as death itself.30
Vent. Forgive me, Jasper! Oh, what might I do,
 Tell me, to satisfy thy troubled ghost?
Jasp. There is no means; too late thou think'st of this.
Vent. But tell me what were best for me to do?
Jasp. Repent thy deed, and satisfy my father,
 And beat fond Humphrey out of thy doors.
[Wife. Look, George; his very ghost would have
 folks beaten.]
Enter Humphrey.
Hum. Father, my bride is gone, fair Mistress Luce:39
 My soul's the fount of vengeance, mischief's sluice.
Vent. Hence, fool, out of my sight with thy fond passion!
 Thou hast undone me.
[Beats him.
Hum. Hold, my father dear,
 For Luce thy daughter's sake, that had no peer!
Vent. Thy father, fool! there's some blows more; begone.—
[Beats him.
 Jasper, I hope thy ghost be well appeased
 To see thy will performed. Now will I go
 To satisfy thy father for thy wrongs.
[Aside and exit.
Hum. What shall I do? I have been beaten twice,
 And Mistress Luce is gone. Help me, device!50
 Since my true love is gone, I never more,
 Whilst I do live, upon the sky will pore;
 But in the dark will wear out my shoe-soles
 In passion in Saint Faith's church under Paul's.
[Wife. George, call Ralph hither; if you love me,
 call Ralph hither: I have the bravest thing for
 him to do, George; prithee, call him quickly.
Cit. Ralph! why, Ralph, boy!
Enter Ralph.
Ralph. Here, sir.
Cit. Come hither, Ralph; come to thy mistress, boy.60
Wife. Ralph, I would have thee call all the youths
 together in battle-ray, with drums, and guns,
 and flags, and march to Mile-End in pompous
 fashion, and there exhort your soldiers to be
 merry and wise, and to keep their beards from
 burning, Ralph; and then skirmish, and let
 your flags fly, and cry, "Kill, kill, kill!"
 My husband shall lend you his jerkin, Ralph,
 and there's a scarf; for the rest, the house shall
 furnish you, and we'll pay for't. Do it bravely,70
 Ralph; and think before whom you perform,
 and what person you represent.
Ralph. I warrant you, mistress; if I do it not, for
 the honour of the city and the credit of my
 master, let me never hope for freedom!
Wife. 'Tis well spoken, i'faith. Go thy ways;
 thou art a spark indeed.
Cit. Ralph, Ralph, double your files bravely,
Ralph. I warrant you, sir.80
Cit. Let him look narrowly to his service; I shall
 take him else. I was there myself a pikeman
 once, in the hottest of the day, wench; had
 my feather shot sheer away, the fringe of my
 pike burnt off with powder, my pate broken
 with a scouring-stick, and yet, I thank God,
 I am here.[Drums within.
Wife. Hark, George, the drums!
Cit. Ran, tan, tan, tan, tan, tan! Oh, wench, an
 thou hadst but seen little Ned of Aldgate,90
 Drum-Ned, how he made it roar again, and
 laid on like a tyrant, and then struck softly till
 the ward came up, and then thundered again,
 and together we go! "Sa, sa, sa, bounce!"
 quoth the guns; "Courage, my hearts!" quoth
 the captains; "Saint George!" quoth the
 pikemen; and withal, here they lay: and there
 they lay: and yet for all this I am here,
Wife. Be thankful for it, George; for indeed 'tis100

Scene II.

A Street (and afterwards Mile-End).
Enter Ralph and Company of Soldiers (among whom are
William Hammerton, and George Greengoose),
with drums and colours..
Ralph. March fair, my hearts! Lieutenant, beat
 the rear up.—Ancient, let your colours fly;
 but have a great care of the butcher's hooks at
 Whitechapel; they have been the death of many
 a fair ancient.—Open your files, that I may take
 a view both of your persons and munition.—Sergeant,
 call a muster.
Serg. A stand!—William Hammerton, pewterer!
Ham. Here, captain!
Ralph. A corselet and a Spanish pike; 'tis well:10
 can you shake it with a terror?
Ham. I hope so, captain.
Ralph. Charge upon me. [He charges on Ralph.]
 —'Tis with the weakest: but more strength,
 William Hammerton, more strength. As you
 were again!—Proceed, Sergeant.
Serg. George Greengoose, poulterer!
Green. Here!
Ralph. Let me see your piece, neighbour Greengoose:
 when was she shot in?20
Green. An't like you, master captain, I made a shot
 even now, partly to scour her, and partly for
Ralph. It should seem so certainly, for her breath is
 yet inflamed; besides, there is a main fault in
 the touch-hole, it runs and stinketh; and I tell
 you moreover, and believe it, ten such touch-holes
 would breed the pox in the army. Get
 you a feather, neighbour, get you a feather,
 sweet oil, and paper, and your piece may do30
 well enough yet. Where's your powder?
Green. Here.
Ralph. What, in a paper! as I am a soldier and a
 gentleman, it craves a martial court! you ought
 to die for't. Where's your horn? answer me
 to that.
Green. An't like you, sir, I was oblivious.
Ralph. It likes me not you should be so; 'tis a
 shame for you, and a scandal to all our
 neighbours, being a man of worth and estimation,40
 to leave your horn behind you: I am
 afraid 'twill breed example. But let me
 tell you no more on't.—Stand, till I view
 you all.—What's become o' the nose of your
1st Sold. Indeed, la, captain, 'twas blown away with
Ralph. Put on a new one at the city's charge.—
 Where's the stone of this piece?
2nd Sold. The drummer took it out to light tobacco.50
Ralph. 'Tis a fault, my friend; put it in again.—
 You want a nose,—and you a stone.—Sergeant,
 take a note on't, for I mean to stop it in
 the pay.—Remove, and march! [They
 march.] Soft and fair, gentlemen, soft and
 fair! double your files! as you were! faces
 about! Now, you with the sodden face, keep
 in there! Look to your match, sirrah, it will
 be in your fellow's flask anon. So; make a
 crescent now; advance your pikes; stand and60
 give ear!—Gentlemen, countrymen, friends,
 and my fellow-soldiers, I have brought you
 this day, from the shops of security and the
 counters of content, to measure out in these
 furious fields honour by the ell, and prowess
 by the pound. Let it not, oh, let it not, I say,
 be told hereafter, the noble issue of this city
 fainted; but bear yourselves in this fair action
 like men, valiant men, and free men! Fear
 not the face of the enemy, nor the noise of the70
 guns, for, believe me, brethren, the rude rumbling
 of a brewer's cart is far more terrible, of
 which you have a daily experience; neither
 let the stink of powder offend you, since a
 more valiant stink is nightly with you.
 To a resolvèd mind his home is everywhere:
 I speak not this to take away
 The hope of your return; for you shall see
 (I do not doubt it) and that very shortly
 Your loving wives again and your sweet children,80
 Whose care doth bear you company in baskets.
 Remember, then, whose cause you have in hand,
 And, like a sort of true-born scavengers,
 Scour me this famous realm of enemies.
 I have no more to say but this: stand to your
 tacklings, lads, and show to the world you can
 as well brandish a sword as shake an apron.
 Saint George, and on, my hearts!
All. Saint George, Saint George!
[Wife. 'Twas well done, Ralph! I'll send thee90
 a cold capon a-field and a bottle of March
 beer; and, it may be, come myself to see thee.
Cit. Nell, the boy hath deceived me much; I did
 not think it had been in him. He has performed
 such a matter, wench, that, if I live, next
 year I'll have him captain of the galley-foist,
 or I'll want my will.]

Scene III.

A Room in Merrythought's House.
Enter Merrythought.
Mer. Yet, I thank God, I break not a wrinkle more
 than I had. Not a stoop, boys? Care, live
 with cats: I defy thee! My heart is as sound
 as an oak; and though I want drink to wet
 my whistle, I can sing;
 Come no more there, boys, come no more there;
 For we shall never whilst we live come any more there.
Enter Boy, and two Men bearing a Coffin.
Boy. God save you, sir!
Mer. It's a brave boy. Canst thou sing?
Boy. Yes, sir, I can sing; but 'tis not so necessary10
 at this time.
Mer. [Sings.] Sing we, and chant it;
 Whilst love doth grant it.
Boy. Sir, sir, if you knew what I have brought you,
 you would have little list to sing.
Mer. [Sings.] Oh, the Mimon round,
 Full long I have thee sought,
 And now I have thee found,
 And what hast thou here brought?
Boy. A coffin, sir, and your dead son Jasper in it.20
[Exit with Men.
Mer. Dead! [Sings.]
Why, farewell he!
Thou wast a bonny boy,
And I did love thee.
Enter Jasper.
Jasp. Then, I pray you, sir, do so still.
Mer. Jasper's ghost![Sings.
 Thou art welcome from Stygian lake so soon;
 Declare to me what wondrous things in Pluto's court
 are done.
Jasp. By my troth, sir, I ne'er came there; 'tis too
 hot for me, sir.30
Mer. A merry ghost, a very merry ghost![Sings.
 And where is your true love? Oh, where is yours?
Jasp. Marry, look you, sir!
[Removes the cloth, and Luce rises out of the Coffin.
Mer. Ah, ha! art thou good at that, i'faith?
 With hey, trixy, terlery-whiskin,
 The world it runs on wheels:
 When the young man's ——,
 Up goes the maiden's heels.
Mistress Merrythought and Michael within.
Mist. Mer. [within.] What, Master Merrythought!
 will you not let's in? what do you think shall40
 become of us?
Mer. [Sings.]
 What voice is that that calleth at our door?
Mist. Mer. [within.] You know me well enough;
 I am sure I have not been such a stranger to
Mer. [Sings.]
 And some they whistled, and some they sung,
 Hey, down, down!
 And some did loudly say,
 Ever as the Lord Barnet's horn blew,
 Away, Musgrave, away!50
Mist. Mer. [within.] You will not have us starve
 here, will you, Master Merrythought?
Jasp. Nay, good sir, be persuaded; she is my mother:
 If her offences have been great against you,
 Let your own love remember she is yours,
 And so forgive her.
Luce. Good Master Merrythought,
 Let me entreat you; I will not be denied.
Mist. Mer. [within.] Why, Master Merrythought,
 will you be a vexed thing still?60
Mer. Woman, I take you to my love again; but
 you shall sing before you enter; therefore
 despatch your song and so come in.
Mist. Mer. [within.] Well, you must have your
 will, when all's done.—Mick, what song canst
 thou sing, boy?
Mich. [within.] I can sing none, forsooth, but 'A
 Lady's Daughter, of Paris properly,'
[Sings within.
It was a lady's daughter, &c.
Merrythought opens the Door; enter Mistress
Merrythought and Michael.
Mer. Come, you're welcome home again.70
 If such danger be in playing,
 And jest must to earnest turn,
 You shall go no more a-maying——
Vent. [within.] Are you within, sir? Master
Jasp. It is my master's voice: good sir, go hold him
 In talk, whilst we convey ourselves into
 Some inward room.
[Exit with Luce.
Mer. What are you? are you merry?
 You must be very merry, if you enter.80
Vent. [within.] I am, sir.
Mer. Sing, then.
Vent. [within.] Nay, good sir, open to me.
Mer. Sing, I say,
 Or, by the merry heart, you come not in!
Vent. [within.] Well, sir, I'll sing.
Fortune, my foe, &c.
Merrythought opens the Door: Enter Venturewell.
Mer. You are welcome, sir, you are welcome: you
 see your entertainment; pray you, be merry.
Vent. Oh, Master Merrythought, I'm come to ask you90
 Forgiveness for the wrongs I offered you,
 And your most virtuous son! they're infinite;
 Yet my contrition shall be more than they:
 I do confess my hardness broke his heart,
 For which just Heaven hath given me punishment
 More than my age can carry; his wandering spirit,
 Nor yet at rest, pursues me every where,
 Crying, "I'll haunt thee for thy cruelty."
 My daughter, she is gone, I know not how,
 Taken invisible, and whether living100
 Or in the grave, 'tis yet uncertain to me.
 Oh, Master Merrythought, these are the weights
 Will sink me to my grave! forgive me, sir.
Mer. Why, sir, I do forgive you; and be merry;
 And if the wag in's lifetime played the knave,
 Can you forgive him too?
Vent. With all my heart, sir.
Mer. Speak it again, and heartily.
Vent. I do, sir;
 Now, by my soul, I do.110
Re-enter Luce and Jasper.
Mer. [Sings.]
 With that came out his paramour;
 She was as white as the lily flower:
 Hey, troul, troly, loly!
 With that came out her own dear knight;
 He was as true as ever did fight, &c.
 Sir, if you will forgive 'em, clap their hands together;
 there's no more to be said i' the matter.
Vent. I do, I do.
[Cit. I do not like this. Peace, boys! Hear me,
 one of you: every body's part is come to an120
 end but Ralph's, and he's left out.
Boy. 'Tis 'long of yourself, sir; we have nothing
 to do with his part.
Cit. Ralph, come away!—Make an end on him, as
 you have done of the rest, boys; come.
Wife. Now, good husband, let him come out and
Cit. He shall, Nell.—Ralph, come away quickly,
 and die, boy!
Boy. 'Twill be very unfit he should die, sir, upon130
 no occasion—and in a comedy too.
Cit. Take you no care of that, sir boy; is not his
 part at an end, think you, when he's dead?—
 Come away, Ralph!]
Enter Ralph, with a forked Arrow through his Head.
Ralph. When I was mortal, this my costive corps
 Did lap up figs and raisins in the Strand;
 Where sitting, I espied a lovely dame,
 Whose master wrought with lingel and with awl,
 And underground he vampèd many a boot.
 Straight did her love prick forth me, tender sprig,
 To follow feats of arms in warlike wise141
 Through Waltham-desert; where I did perform
 Many achievements, and did lay on ground
 Huge Barbarossa, that insulting giant,
 And all his captives soon set at liberty.
 Then honour pricked me from my native soil
 Into Moldavia, where I gained the love
 Of Pompiona, his belovèd daughter;
 But yet proved constant to the black thumbed maid
 Susan, and scornèd Pompiona's love;150
 Yet liberal I was, and gave her pins,
 And money for her father's officers.
 I then returnèd home, and thrust myself
 In action, and by all men chosen was
 Lord of the May, where I did flourish it,
 With scarfs and rings, and posy in my hand.
 After this action I preferrèd was,
 And chosen city-captain at Mile-End,
 With hat and feather, and with leading-staff,
 And trained my men, and brought them all off clear,
 Save one man that berayed him with the noise.161
 But all these things I Ralph did undertake
 Only for my belovèd Susan's sake.
 Then coming home, and sitting in my shop
 With apron blue, Death came into my stall
 To cheapen aquavitæ; but ere I
 Could take the bottle down and fill a taste,
 Death caught a pound of pepper in his hand,
 And sprinkled all my face and body o'er
 And in an instant vanishèd away.170
[Cit. 'Tis a pretty fiction, i'faith.]
Ralph. Then took I up my bow and shaft in hand,
 And walked into Moorfields to cool myself:
 But there grim cruel Death met me again,
 And shot this forkèd arrow through my head;
 And now I faint; therefore be warned by me,
 My fellows every one, of forkèd heads!
 Farewell, all you good boys in merry London!
 Ne'er shall we more upon Shrove-Tuesday meet,
 And pluck down houses of iniquity;—180
 My pain increaseth;—I shall never more
 Hold open, whilst another pumps both legs,
 Nor daub a satin gown with rotten eggs;
 Set up a stake, oh, never more I shall!
 I die! fly, fly, my soul, to Grocers' Hall!
 Oh, oh, oh, &c.
[Wife. Well said, Ralph! do your obeisance to
 the gentlemen, and go your ways: well said,
[Ralph rises, makes obeisance, and exit
Mer. Methinks all we, thus kindly and unexpectedly190
 reconciled, should not depart without a song.
Vent. A good motion.
Mer. Strike up, then!
 Better music ne'er was known
 Than a quire of hearts in one.
 Let each other, that hath been
 Troubled with the gall or spleen,
 Learn of us to keep his brow
 Smooth and plain, as ours are now:
 Sing, though before the hour of dying;200
 He shall rise, and then be crying,
 "Hey, ho, 'tis nought but mirth
 That keeps the body from the earth!"
Cit. Come, Nell, shall we go? the play's done.
Wife. Nay, by my faith, George, I have more
 manners than so; I'll speak to these gentlemen
 first.—I thank you all, gentlemen, for your
 patience and countenance to Ralph, a poor
 fatherless child; and if I might see you at my
 house, it should go hard but I would have a210
 bottle of wine and a pipe of tobacco for you:
 for, truly, I hope you do like the youth, but I
 would be glad to know the truth; I refer it to
 your own discretions, whether you will applaud
 him or no; for I will wink, and whilst you
 shall do what you will. I thank you with all
 my heart. God give you good night!—Come,





A', on, in; passim.
A', he; passim.
Able, vigorous, active; III. i. 20.
Aby, pay, atone for; III. iv. 28.
Admirable, wonderful; Induction, 40.
After-love, future love; III. i. 65.
An, if; passim.
Ancient, ensign; V. ii. 2.
Aquavitæ, brandy; V. iii. 166.


Baste, beat; II. vii. 16.
Bate, deduct; III. ii. 25.
Battle-ray, battle-array; V. i. 62.
Beholding, beholden, indebted; III. ii. 43.
Beray, befoul; II. iv. 20.
Beshrew me, a mild imprecation; Induction, 71.
Besides, by the side of; I. iii. 14.
Bezzle, squander; I. iv. 14.
Birding-piece, fowling-piece; II. ii. 15.
Blaze, be resplendent, III. ii. 97.
Blazing badge, i.e., the burning Pestle; III. ii. 96.
Blow wind in the tail of, speak disparagingly of; Induction, 76.
Bord, border, circumference; III. ii. 121.
Bounce, sound; IV. v. 117.
Birchen-tree, birch-tree; IV. v. 96.
Buss, kiss; II. i. 19.


Cap, arrest; III. ii. 40.
Carduus benedictus, the Blessed Thistle; III. iii. 30.
Care, watchful regard; I. i. 35.
Cark, care; I. iv. 51.
Cast their caps at him, salute him as a superior; II. iii. 39.
Cast their bellies, spawn; IV. v. 102.
Challenge the wall of, claim seniority over; Dedication.
Chive, see foul chive.
Chuse, choose; II. iii. 16.
Clap in, strike in, lay siege to; I. ii. 34.
Cloth, the drop-scene; II. viii. 117.
Come aloft, tumble about; III. v. 111.
Comfortable, comforting; II. vi. 21.
Commons, common people; Induction, 30.
Conditions, qualities; III. v. 82.
Contain, restrain; I. ii. 26.
Cony, a term of endearment; Induction, 47.
Copy, tenure, charter; III. iv. 90.
Cordial, reviving the spirits; II. i. 59.
Corps, living body; V. iii. 135.
Couraging, courageous, heroic; Induction, 82.
Cross, thwart; I. iv. 115.
Comfrey, a healing plant; II. iv. 32.


Deliver, state; III. iv. 131.
Denier, an old French coin, the twelfth part of a halfpenny; IV. v. 5.
Devoir, duty, service; II. iii. 6.
Distempered, disordered, wild; III. i. 75.
Do his lesson, teach him; II. iv. 43.
Dragon's water, dragon's blood, a red vegetable dye; I. iii. 55.
Drum, drummer-boy; V. i. 91.


Eke, also; III. iv. 76.
Emperal, emperor; II. iii. 2.
Entertain, entertainment; II. vi. 40.
Ettins, giants; I. ii. 31.
Even, especially, precisely; I. i. 11.


Factor, agent; I. i. 15.
Fatal sisters, the Fates; II. i. 31.
Fear, frighten; Induction, 85.
Fear me not, fear not for me; IV. iv. 88; I. i. 48.
Feateously, nimbly; IV. v. 97.
Fegaries, vagaries, whimsical freaks; II. iv. 47.
Fire-drake, fiery dragon; II. v. 48.
Flappet, strip; I. iii. 53.
Flirt-gill, flirt, loose woman; gill=Gillian=Juliana; IV. i. 21.
Fond, foolish; III. iv. 10.
For and, together with; II. iii. 5.
Foul chive him, evil come to him; I. iv. 104.
Frolic, frolicsome; III. v. 102.


Galley-foist, Lord Mayor's barge; V. ii. 96.
Gallows, gallows-bird; I. iv. 91.
Gaskins, breeches; II. ii. 39.
Gent, gentle; III. ii. 112.
Gentle, noble, nobly born; I. ii. 10.
Girds, jeers, witticisms; Induction, 8.
Give, tell; Induction, 123.
Goodman, gaffer, familiar form of address; Induction, 4.
Goods, virtues, gifts; III. i. 69.
Gossip, girl; IV. iii. 5.
Grimly, grim; II. viii. 5.
Groutnol, blockhead; II. vi. 54.


Halter-sack, gallows-bird; I. iv. 36.
Harness, armour; II. v. 35.
Hearty, strengthening; III. iv. 151.
Hobby-horse, one of the dancers in the old morris-dance, represented by the figure of a horse fastened round the waist of a man (Keltie); IV. v. 97.
Hoit, revel; IV. iii. 41.
Hold, wager; II. ii. 144.
Huffing, swaggering; Induction, 89.


Idle, vain, useless; I. ii. 2.
Indent, agreed upon, contracted; IV. ii. 20.
Ingrant, ingrate, ungrateful; III. v. 64.
I-wis, in truth; II. iv. 46.


Jacks, worthless fellows; Induction, 19.
Joy, enjoy; I. ii. 116.
Juggy, a familiar term of endearment, perhaps diminutive of Joan; III. v. 54.


Kickshaws, trifling dishes; To the Readers.
Kind, nature; "use him with his kind," meet him with his own weapons; III. v. 122; "in their kind," according to their character; Induction, 108.
Knacks, knick-knacks, trumpery; IV. v. 66.
Knot-grass, a weed supposed to hinder growth; II. ii. 39.


Lame, defective, poor; I. i. 32.
Lavolta, a whirling dance for two persons; III. v. 102.
Lay, wager; II. vii. 22.
Lets, hindrances; I. ii. 2.
Liberally, freely; I. i. 16.
Light, alight; III. iv. 94.
Light upon, come upon, discover; III. ii. 76.
Lingel, shoemaker's thread; V. iii. 138.
List, pleasure, desire; I. iii. 13.
'Long of, along of, on account of; IV. ii. 35.
Lungies, lout, lubber; II. vi. 4.


Manful, manly; III. iv. 154.
Martial-court, court-martial; V. ii. 34.
Maw, stomach, inclination; I. ii. 65.
Mewed, shut up, enclosed; IV. iv. 103.
Mickle, much, greatly; II. iv. 16.
Miscarry, come to grief; II. v. 48.
Mislike, disapproval; Prologue.
Mithridatum, an antidote against poisons; I. iii. 54.
Mittimus, warrant for arrest; III. i. 93.
Morris, a rustic dance of Moorish origin; IV. v. 97.
Mouse, a term of endearment; I. ii. 20.


New-cast, to form anew; I. i. 4.
Nice, fastidious; To the Readers.
Nipitato, strong ale; IV. ii. 28.
Noble Science, fencing; II. i. 55.
Noddy, simpleton, fool; II. iv. 23.
Notably, excellently; Induction, 29.
Nump, blockhead; II. iv. 36.


On, of; II. viii. 16.
Only, merely, nothing but, absolutely; III. i. 54.
Origanum, marjoram, an aromatic herb; Prologue.
Or ere, ere, before; I. iii. 128.
Open his pipes, cause him to speak; I. i. 76.


Passion, sorrow; V. i. 54.
Peppernel, a swelling; II. iv. 54.
Perts-up, erects; I. ii. 23.
Pined, tortured; III. iv. 129.
Pitch-field, field of battle; II. ii. 10.
Plainly, honestly; III. iii. 25.
Points, tagged laces for holding up breeches; III. v. 143.
Pompous, magnificent; V. i. 63.
Posy, motto inscribed in a ring; V. iii. 156.
Presence, personality; I. i. 32.
Present, immediate; I. iv. 156.
Presently, forthwith; IV. iv. 89.
Prest, ready; II. iii. 8.
Prick, incite; III. ii. 16.
Prickant, spurring, riding; II. v. 3.
Pricket, a buck in its second year; IV. v. 107.
Pricking, riding; I. iii. 95.
Private, secret; I. i. 29.
Private taxes, reproaches cast upon individuals; Induction, 143.
Proper, handsome; IV. ii. 75.
Prosper, bring prosperity to; III. iv. 47.
Purchased, assumed, acquired; IV. iii. 72.


Quandary, perplexity; I. ii. 102.
Quelled, slain; III. ii. 100.


Rascal, a lean deer; IV. v. 106.
Rebeck, a three-stringed fiddle; I. iv. 157.
Relief, assistance; I. ii. 89.
Reparel, apparel; Induction, 75.
Ride the wild mare, play at seesaw; I. iv. 162.
Riff-raff, twaddle, trash; I. iv. 169.
Right, true; I. iv. 5.


Sad, earnest, serious; III. ii. 83.
Say, subject for experiments; IV. iv. 11.
Scotch, cut, hack; III. iv. 85.
Sculler, boatman; II. vi. 27.
Second, helper; IV. iv. 90.
Set, setting; III. iv. 167.
Shawms, a wind-instrument, similar in form to the hautboy or clarionet; Induction, 121.
Shere, shire; IV. v. 93.
Shrewdly, badly; II. vi. 3.
Shutting, close; II. i. 16.
Slick, fatten; II. vi. 50.
Smoke, suffer; I. ii. 135.
Snatch, sc. of food; II. iv. 16.
Snick up, hang; II. ii. 19.
Sodden, heavy, stupid; V. ii. 57.
Sophy, Shah of Persia; IV. i. 33.
Sorrel, a red horse; II. i. 27.
Sort, band; V. ii. 83.
Spaniels, Spanish; II. ii. 11.
Speed, good fortune; I. i. 44.
Sprig, shoot, youngster; IV. i. 16.
Springald, youngster; II. v. 47.
Staples, markets; I. i. 6.
Stay, wait for; III. i. 111.
Still, ever, always; Induction, 8.
Stone, flint; V. ii. 49.
Stoop, a drinking-vessel; V. iii. 2.
Strike stroke, have one's say; IV. v. 55.
Stringer, rake; I. ii. 36.
Study for, devise; Induction, 19.
Sufficient, reliable; II. ii. 114.
Swaddle, swathe, beat; II. vii. 19.
Sweeting, darling; I. iv. 129.
Swinge, beat; II. iv. 60.


Tacklings, gear, weapons; V. ii. 86.
Take it, give way, acquiesce; III. i. 23, cf. Hamlet, II. ii.
Take the peace on him, appease, conciliate him; II. iv. 56.
Taxes, accusations; Induction, 143.
Thrum, to finger; IV. v. 115.
Tiller, cross-bow; I. ii. 59.
Timber for timber, man for man; II. iii. 42.
Took, had effect; III. i. 51.
Trained, wiled, allured; III. iv. 69.
Tree, wood; I. ii. 123.
Troul, pass round; II. viii. 15.


Unhappy, wicked; II. ii. 93.
Unthrifts, wasters, spendthrifts; IV. iii. 6.
Untimely, before the right time; III. i. 83.


Vale, farewell; Prologue.
Valiant, powerful; V. ii. 75.
Vamped, patched; V. iii. 139.
Visited, sc. with the plague; I. iii. 55.


Wanion (with a), with a vengeance; II. ii. 112.
Want, fail in; V. ii. 97.
Ward, guard; V. i. 85.
Wastethrift, spendthrift; I. iv. 10.
Whilst, meanwhile; V. iii. 31.
Whipt, brocaded; I. ii. 78.
White, innocent; II. ii. 17.
Whoreson, rascally; III. iii. 16.
Won, dwell; III. ii. 106.


Ycleped, called; III. ii. 107.




Dedication: Master Robert Keysar. This dedication occurs only in the first 4to of 1613. It gives us no definite clue to the authorship of the play, for it speaks in the one case of its 'parents,' in the other of its 'father.' The 'foster-father' and 'nurse' referred to are doubtless Keysar and the publisher Burre.

Don Quixote. The first part of Cervantes' great romance appeared in 1605. What is alluded to here, however, is not the Spanish original, but the English translation by John Shelton, published in 1612.

To the Readers of this Comedy. This Address, like the Prologue which follows, appears in all the early editions, except the first 4to.

The Author had no intent to wrong any one in this Comedy. This statement, when taken in connection with several others of a similar character, points to the fact that 'the privy mark of irony' stamped upon the drama had given offence at the time of its first production. In all probability the offended persons were to be found among the class of London citizens and apprentices.

Prologue. The Prologue, as Dyce pointed out, is borrowed directly from Lyly's Court Comedy, Sapho and Phao (1584). The reference at the end to the impersonal character of the satire is the only part of the Prologue which is not found in Lyly. The euphuistic style is apparent throughout.

Induction: The London Merchant. A drama by Ford, never printed. The MS. was one of those destroyed by Warburton's cook.

The Legend of Whittington. Entered on the Stationers' Books, February 8th, 1604, but never printed. Author unknown.

The Life and Death of Sir Thomas Gresham. The play referred to is the Second Part of Heywood's If you know not me you know nobody, with the building of the Royall Exchange, and the famous victory of Queen Elizabeth, Anno 1588. Printed in 1606.

The Story of Queen Eleanor. The play in question is Peele's Famous Chronicle of King Edward the First. Dyce explains the addition, with the rearing of London Bridge upon woolsacks, as an added jest, and regards in the same light the play which follows: The Life and Death of fat Drake.

Kill a lion with a pestle. Dyce points to Heywood's Four Prentices of London: "Since first I bore this shield, I quarter'd it with this Red Lion, whom I singly once slew in the forest."

Jane Shore. A drama no longer extant; but referred to by Henslowe. It is possible, however, that Heywood's Edward IV. is meant.

The Bold Beauchamps. Another lost drama, probably by Heywood; referred to in the spurious Second Part of Hudibras (1663).

By heaven, methinks…. This speech is copied almost verbatim from that of Hotspur in 1 Henry IV., Act I. sc. iii.

Mucedorus. The hero of an early Elizabethan drama, entitled, A most pleasant Comedie of Mucedorus, the King's sonne of Valentia. First printed in 1598; reprinted 1606.

Jeronimo. A second title to 'sporting Kyd's' great drama, The Spanish Tragedy, first printed in 1599.

What stately music have you? Dance music with dancing was introduced between the several acts. See the end of Act I.

I. i. 29. She's private to herself… She is her own mistress, and knows best, etc.

I. ii. 25. Master Moncaster's scholars. Richard Mulcaster was the first head master of the Merchant Taylors' School. He held the post from 1561 to 1586.

I. ii. 70. Watch of Midsummer-day at night. This was 'an annual military muster' of the citizens of London, led by the great trade-companies.

I. ii. 79. Shoot from your eye. The early editions read 'sute.'

I. ii. 81. F S. Is this the tradesman's secret mark to denote the price?

I. ii. 113. Yet take me with you. But hear me to the end.

I. iii. 6. Palmerin of England. This formed the sequel to the famous Spanish romance of Luis Hurtado, entitled Palmerin d'Oliva, which gained so wide a fame throughout Christendom. Both Palmerin d'Oliva and Palmerin of England were translated into English by Anthony Munday, the former in 1588, the latter in 1596. Ralph's quotation is from Palmerin d'Oliva and not from Palmerin of England.

I. iii. 25. Prince of Portigo … Rosicleer. Characters in a romance of Spanish origin entitled Espeio de Caballerias, and translated into English in 1579 under the title, The Mirrour of Princely deedes and Knighthood.

I. iii. 31. The giants and the ettins will come and snatch it away. We may compare with this the behaviour of the invisible Faustus at the feast of the Pope; Marlowe's Doctor Faustus Sc. vii.

I. iii. 72. Shall be portrayed a Burning Pestle. Eustace in Heywood's Four Prentices bears the grocers' arms upon his shield.

I. iv. 9. A merry heart lives long-a. The song of Autolycus in The Winter's Tale.

I. iv. 48. Nose, nose, jolly red nose. Taken from a song in Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia, 1609.

I. iv. 69. At eleven and six o'clock. Dinner and supper time.

I. iv. 128. But yet, or ere you part. A variation of a song in Dowland's collection of Songs and Airs, published in 1597.

II. ii. 10. Mile-End … pitchfield. A reference to some mock fight which took place at Mile-End in the East of London; cf. the ballad entitled The Landing of the Spaniards at Bow, with the Bloody Battle of Mile-End, cited in Beaumont and Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas (III. iii.).

II. iii. 2. As he were an emperal. First 4to reads 'an.'

II. iv. 35. John Dory. A popular song contained in Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia, 1609.

II. v. 35. With that he stood upright, etc. Doubtless a quotation from some extravagant romance of chivalry.

II. vi. 15. You fair squire. This is the reading of the first 4to; later editions read 'your.'

II. vi. 44. Where never footman, etc. An allusion to the practice of greasing the legs of footmen.

II vi. 46. Hight Chamberlino. All the early editions read 'high.'

II. vi. 52. And never grease their teeth. A trick adopted to prevent the horses eating too much.

II. viii. 3. When it was grown. From the ballad of Fair Margaret and Sweet William, contained in Percy's Reliques.

II. viii. 11. I am three merry men. Doubtless an old ballad, familiar to Shakespeare; cf. "Three merry men be we" in Twelfth Night, II. iii.

II. viii. 15. Troul the black bowl. From Ravenscroft's Pammelia, a musical miscellany, published in 1609.

II. viii. 53. As you came from Walsingham. A ballad in Percy's Reliques.

II. viii. 64. He set her on a milk-white steed. A narration of the ballad entitled The Douglas Tragedy, included in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. A similar stanza is found in the ballad The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter (Percy's Reliques).

II. viii. 75. Down, down they fall. Taken from an unprinted Masque, presented on Candlemas-night at Cole-Overton.

II. viii. 96. Was never man for lady's sake. A variation of the ballad entitled The Legend of Sir Guy (Percy's Reliques).

II. viii. 113. Baloo. The reference is to the song, Lady Anne Bothwell's Lamentation (Percy's Reliques), where the following couplet serves as a refrain:

"Balow, my babe, be stil and sleipe!
 It grieves me sair to see thee weepe."

II. viii. 114. Lachrymae. A tune composed by the Elizabethan musician, Dowland.

II. viii. 122. A Tartarian. 'Tartarian' was a cant term for thief.

III. i. 29. Tell me, dearest. This song, with a third stanza added, reappears in The Captain (II. ii.)

III. i. 110. Sir Bevis. Bevis of Hampton is the title of a famous English medieval romance.

III. ii. 131. Rosicleer. See Note to I. iii.

III. ii. 133. Palmerin Frannarco. Characters in Palmerin d'Oliva. See Note to I. iii.

III. ii. 145. The great Dutchman. Probably one of the two gigantic Dutchmen referred to by Stow in his Annals, p. 694, ed. 1615.

III. ii. 156. Ninivie. The puppet-show of Ninivie, a popular exhibition.

III. ii. 157. Jone and the Wall. Jonah and the Whale.

III. iv. 5. Behold that string. The barber at this period did the work of barber, surgeon, and dentist. The stringing together of the extracted teeth was a common practice, and served as an advertisement.

III. iv. 32. Gargantua. The hero of Rabelais' romance.

III. iv. 113. A tub that's heated. A form of cure for the venereal disease.

III. iv. 137. Turnbull Street. A London street of very ill repute.

III. v. 32. Go from the window. Taken from a popular song, and again quoted in Monsieur Thomas (III. iii.). The fragment Begone, begone, etc., which follows, is also from the same song.

III. v. 134. Fading is a fine jig. A dance which took its name from the burden of an Irish song. Cf. Jonson's Irish Masque at Court: "and daunsh a fading at te vedding."

IV. i. 33. Sophy of Persia. The reference is to a play by Day, Rowley, and Wilkins, entitled The Travailes of the three English Brothers, Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, Mr Robert Shirley (1607). In this play Mr Robert Shirley marries the Sophy's daughter, and the Sophy stands as godfather at the christening.

IV. i. 36. Red Bull. A play-house in St John's Street.

IV. i. 37. George, let Ralph, etc. The citizen's wife has in mind, doubtless, one of the extravagantly romantic plays of the school of Heywood.

IV. i. 56. Sir Dagonet. This is not, as the grocer blunderingly supposes, a character in Heywood's Four Prentices, but one of the heroes of Malory's Morte d'Arthur.

IV. ii. 6. King of Moldavia. Jonson refers to The Prince of Moldavia in his Silent Woman (V. i.). Moldavia is a province in northern Roumania.

IV. iii. 62. Pottage. First 4to, and one of the 4to's of 1635, read 'porrage.' In the speech of George in II. vi. all read 'pottage.'

IV. v. 3. Who can sing a merrier note. This is taken from Ravenscroft's Pammelia, 1609, the song being entitled A Round or Catch for ten or eleven voices.

IV. v. 47. Ho, ho, nobody at Home. From Ravenscroft's Pammelia.

IV. v. 63. May-day. Cf. The Four Prentices:

"He will not let me see a mustering,
 Nor in a May-day morning fetch in May."

For May-day customs, see Brand's Popular Antiquities.

IV. v. 89. Stock. The old editions read 'flocke.'

IV. v. 103. Mewed. Old editions read mute; altered to mewed by Sympson.

IV. v. 110. With bells on legs and napkins clean, etc. This was the dress of the morris-dancers.

V. i. 63. Mile-End. The military training-ground for London citizens.

V. iii. 12. Sing we and chant it. Taken from the fourth song in Morley's First Booke of Ballets, 1600.

V. iii. 46. And some they whistled From the ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard (Percy's Reliques).

V. iii. 69. It was a lady's daughter. From Evans' Old Ballads.

V. iii. 86. Fortune, my foe. An old ballad to which reference is again made in The Custom of the Country.

V. iii. 135. When I was mortal. This speech of Ralph's is a parody on that of the ghost of Andrea in Kyd's Spanish Tragedy, beginning:

"When this eternal substance of my soul
  Did live imprison'd in my wanton flesh."

V. iii. 179. Shrove-Tuesday. In Dekker's Seven Deadly Sinnes of London, 1606, we read: "They presently (like Prentices upon Shrove-Tuesday) take the lawe into their owne handes, and doe what they list."








Both spelling and hyphenation are inconsistent in the original and have been left unchanged. In a very few instances, missing punctuation has been added.

The following change was made to the text (Act V, sc. 1, lines 73 & 74):

fo the honour of the city for the honour of the city

In the brief bibliography at the end of the Introduction, the German spelling and punctuation of the second title have been corrected in keeping with common usage and other instances in the literature.

[End of The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Beaumont & Fletcher, edited by F. W. Moorman]