The Persons in the Play

BLAZEn1444a herald paintern1445
JOYLESSan old country gentleman
[DOCTOR] Hughballn1446a doctor of physic
BARBARAn1447wife to Blaze
MARTHAn1448wife to Peregrine
LETOYn1449a fantastic lord
QUAILPIPEn1450his curate
PEREGRINEson to Joyless
DIANAn1451wife to Joyless
BYPLAYn1452a conceitedn1453 servant to Letoy
TRUELOCKn1454a close friend to Letoy
Followersn1455 of the Lord Letoywho are actors in the byplay

The Prologue.

[Enter the PROLOGUEn4463.]

2PrologueOpiniongg551, which our author cannot court,
        (For the dear daintinessgg552 of it) has of lategs83
        From the old way of plays possessedgg553 a sortgg554
        Only to run to those that carry state
        In scene magnificentn1456 and language high,gs84
        And clothes worth all the rest, except the action.
        And such are only good, those leaders cry;
        And into that belief draw on a faction
        That must despise all sportive,gg555 merry wit,
        Because some such great play had none in it.

        But it is known (peace to their memories!)
        The poets late sublimèdgg556 from our agen1457,
        Who best could understand, and best devise
        Works that must ever live upon the stage,
        Did well approve, and lead this humble way,
        Which we are bound to traveln1458 in tonight;
        And, though it be not tracedgs85 so well as they
        Discovered it by true Phoebeann1459 light,
        Pardon our just ambition yet that strive
        To keep the weakest branchn1460 o’ th’ stage alive.

        I mean the weakest in their great esteem,
        That count all slightgg558 that’s under us or nighgg559;
        And only those for worthy subjects deem,
        Fetched or reached at (at least) from far or high,
        When low and home-bred subjects have their use,
        As well as those fetched from on high or far;
        And ’tis as hard a labour for the musegg560
        To move the earth as to dislodge a star.
        See yet those glorious plays; and let their sight
        Your admirationgg561 move; these, your delight.[The PROLOGUE exits.]
[Enter] BLAZE [and] JOYLESS.

3Blazen9883To me, and to the City, sir, you are welcome,
        And so are all about you: we have long
        Suffered in wantn1461 of such fair company.
        But now that time’s calamityn1462 has given way,
        Thanks to highgs86 providence, to your kinder visits,
        We are (like half-pinedgg562 wretches, that have lain
        Long on the planks of sorrow, strictly tied
        To a forced abstinence, fromgs237 the sight of friends)
        The sweetlier filled with Joyless.

4JoylessAlas, I bring
        Sorrow too much with me to fill one house,
        In the sad number of my family.

5BlazeBe comforted, good sir. My house, which now
        You may be pleased to call your own, is large
        Enough to hold you all; and for your sorrows,
        You came to lose ’em; and I hope the means
        Is readily at hand: the doctor’s coming,
        Who, as by letters I advertisedgg563 you,
        Is the most promising man to cure your son
        The kingdom yields; it will astonish you
        To hear the marvels he hath done in cures
        Of such distracted ones, as is your son,
        And not so much by bodily physic (no!
        He sends few recipesgg564 to th’ apothecariesgg565n1463)
        As medicine of the mind, which he infuses
        So skilfully, yet by familiar ways,
        That it begets both wonder and delight
        In his observers, while the stupidgg566 patient
        Finds health at unawares.

6JoylessYou speak well of him:
        Yet I may fear, my son’s long-grown disease
        Is such he hath not met with.

7BlazeThen I’ll tell you, sir,
        He cured a country gentleman that fell mad
        For spending of his land before he sold it
        (That is: ’twas sold to pay his debts). All went
        That way, for a dead horsen1464, as one would say!
        He had not money left to buy his dinner
        Upon that whole-sale day. This was a cause
        Might make a gentleman mad, you’ll say; and him
        It did, as mad as landless squire could be;
        This doctor by his art removed his madness,
        And mingled so much wit among his brains
        That, by the over-flowing of it merely,
        He gets and spends five-hundred pound a year now,
        As merrily as any gentleman
        In Derbyshire; I name no man. But this
        Was pretty well, you’ll say.

8JoylessMy son’s disease
        Grows not that way.

9BlazeThere was a lady mad
        (I name no lady) but starkgg3180 mad she was,
        As any in the country, city, or almost
        In court could be.

10JoylessHow fell she mad?

11BlazeWith study,
        Tedious and painful study. And for what
        Now, can you think?

12JoylessFor paintinggg568, or new fashions.
        I cannot think for the philosopher’s stonen1465.

13BlazeNo, ’twas to find a way to love her husband,
        Because she did not, and her friends rebuked her.

14JoylessWas that so hard to find, if she desired it?

15BlazeShe was seven years in search of it and could not,
        Though she consumed his whole estate by it.

16Joyless’Twas he was mad then.

17BlazeNo: he was not born
        With wit enough to lose. But mad was she
        Until this doctor took her into cure,
        And now she lies as lovingly on a flockbedgg569
        With her own knight, as she had done on downgg570
        With many others (but I name no parties).
        Yet this was well, you’ll say.

18JoylessWould all were well!

19BlazeThen, sir, of officers and men of place,gg571n1466
        Whose senses were so numbed, they understood not
        Bribes from due fees, and fell on praemuniresgg572,
        He has cured diversn5538 that can now distinguish,
        And know both when and how to take of both,
        And grow most safely rich by’t. T’other day
        He set the brains of an attorneygg573 right,
        That were quite topsy-turvy overturned
        In a pitch o’er the barn1467, so that (poor man)
        For many moonsgs87 he knew not whether he
        Went on his heels or’s head, till he was brought
        To this rare doctor; now he walk’stn690 again,
        As upright in his calling, as the boldest
        Amongst ’em. This was well, you’ll say.

20Joyless’Tis much.

21BlazeAnd then for horn-madgg575 citizens, my neighbours,
        He cures them by the dozens, and we live
        As gently with our wives as rams with ewes.

22Joyless"We", do you say? Were you one of his patients?

23Blaze   [Aside]n1468    ’Slidgg576, he has almost catchedgg577 me!   [To JOYLESS]   No sir, no.
        I name no parties, I! But wish you merry;
        I straingg3181 to make you so, and could tell forty
        Notable cures of his to pass the time
        Until he comes.

24JoylessBut pray, has he the art
        To cure a husband’s jealousy?

25BlazeMine, sir, he did.    [Aside]    ’Sfoot!gg578 I am catched again.n1469

26JoylessBut still you name no party! Pray, how long,
        Good Master Blaze, has this so famous doctor,
        Whom you so well set out,gg1347 been a professor?

27BlazeNever in public, nor enduresgg579 the namegs119
        Of doctor, though I call him so, but lives
        With an oddgg488 lord in town, that looks like no lord.
        My doctor goesgg580 more like a lord than he.
Enter DOCTOR [Hughball].n1470

        O welcome sir! I sent mine own wife for you:
        Ha’ you brought her home again?

28DoctorShe’s in your house,
        With gentlewomen, who seem to lodge here.

29BlazeYes, sir: this gentleman's wife, and his son’s wife:
        They all ailgg581 something, but his son (’tis thought)
        Is falling into madness, and is brought
        Up by his carefulgs88 father to the town here
        To be your patient. Speak with him about it.

30DoctorHow do you find him, sir? Does his disease
        Take him by fits, or is it constantly
        And at all times the same?

31JoylessFor the most part
        It is only inclining stillgg410 to worse,
        As he grows more in daysn4108. By all the best
        Conjecturesgg582 we have met with in the country,
        ’Tis found a most deep melancholygg583.

32DoctorOf what years is he?

33JoylessOf five and twenty, sir.

34DoctorWas it born with him? Is it naturalgg584,
        Or accidentalgg585? Have you or his mother
        Been so at any time affected?

        Not she unto her grave; nor I, till then,
        Knew what a sadness meant, though since I have
        In my son’s sad condition, and some crossesgg586
        In my late marriage, which at further time
        I may acquaint you with.

36Blaze   [Aside]n5523   The old man’s jealous
        Of his young wife! I find him by the question
        He put me to erewhilegg3182.

37DoctorIs your son married?

38JoylessDiversn4109 years since; for we had hope a wife
        Might have restrained his travelling thoughts, and so
        Have been a means to cure him; but it failedgg587 us.

39DoctorWhat has he in his younger years been most
        Addicted to? What studygg589 or what practicegg588?

40JoylessYou have now, sir, found the question, which I think
        Will lead you to the ground of his distempergg590.

41DoctorThat’s the nextgg591 way to the cure. Come. Quickly, quickly.

42JoylessIn tender years he always loved to read
        Reports of travelsn1471 and of voyages;
        And whengg592 young boys like him would tire themselves
        With sports and pastimes and restore their spirits
        Again by meat and sleep, he would whole days
        And nights (sometimes by stealth) be on such books
        As might convey his fancy round the world.

43DoctorVery good. Ongg593.

44JoylessWhen he grew up towards twenty,
        His mind was all on fire to be abroad;
        Nothing but travel still was all his aimgg786;
        There was no voyage or foreign expedition
        Be said to be in handn895, but he made suitn896
        To be made one in it. His mother and
        Myself opposed him still in all, and strongly
        Against his will, still held him inn897; and won
        Him into marriage, hoping that would callgs543
        Ingg791 his extravagantgg792 thoughts, but all prevailed not,
        Nor stayed him (though at home) from travelling
        So far beyond himself that now, too late,
        I wish he had gone abroad to meet his fate.

45DoctorWell, sir, upon good terms I’ll undertaken898gg793
        Your son: let’s see him.

46JoylessYet there’s more: his wife, sir.

47DoctorI’ll undertake her too. Is she mad too?

48BlazeThey’ll ha’ mad children then!

49DoctorHold you your peace.

50JoylessAlas, the danger is they will have none:
        He takes no joy in her; and she no comfort
        In him: for though they have been three years wed,
        They are yet ignorant of the marriage-bed.

51DoctorI shall find her the madder of the two then.

52JoylessIndeed, she’s full of passionn1472, which she uttersgg796
        By the effects, as diversely as severalgg798
        Objects reflect upon her wand’ring fancy,
        Sometimes in extreme weepings, and anongg236
        In vehementgg805 laughter; now in sullen silence,
        And presentlygg103 in loudest exclamations.

53DoctorCome, let me see ’em, sir. I’ll undertake
        Her too. Ha’ you any more? How does your wife?

54JoylessSome other time for her.

55DoctorI’ll undertake
        Her too; and you yourself, sir, by your favourgs102
        And some few yellow spotsn899 which I perceive
        About your templesn1473, may require some counselgg817.
Enter BARBARA.n4097

56Blaze   [Aside]n5524   So, he has foundgg3186 him.

57JoylessBut my son, my son, sir?n1474

58BlazeNow, Bab, what news?

59BarbaraThere’s news too much within,
        For any home-bred Christian understanding.

60JoylessHow doesgg3187 my son?

61BarbaraHe is in travailn900gg822, sir.

62JoylessHis fit’s upon him?

63BarbaraYes. Pray, Doctor Hughball,
        Play the man-midwife, and deliver him
        Of his huge tympanygg827 of news: of monsters,
        Pygmiesn4112, and giants, apes, and elephants,
        Gryphons and crocodiles, men upon women
        And women upon men, the strangest doings!n1475
        As far beyond all Christendomn902 as ’tis to’t.

64DoctorHow, how?

65BarbaraBeyond the moon and stars, I think,
        Or Mount in Cornwalln1476 either.

66Blaze   [Aside]n5525   How prettilygg855 like a foolgg856 she talks?
        Andgg857 she were not mine own wife, I could be
        So taken with her.

67Doctor’Tis most wondrous strange.

68BarbaraHe talks much of the kingdom of Cathayan1477,
        Of one Great Khan, and goodmangg858 Prester Johnn1478,
        (Whate’er they be) and says that Khan’s a clown
        Unto the John he speaks of. And that John
        Dwells up almost at Paradisen1479. But sure his mind
        Is in a wilderness, for there he says
        Are geese that have two heads apiecen1480, and hens
        That bear more wooln1481 upon their backs than sheep.

69DoctorO Mandeville! Let's to him. Leadn5516 the way, sir.

70BarbaraAnd men with heads like houndsn1482.

71DoctorEnough, enough.

72BarbaraYou’ll find enough within, I warrantgg859 ye.[DOCTOR, BLAZE and JOYLESS exit.]n4098
           [Aside to audience]n5526   And here comes the poor mad gentleman’s wife,n9835
Ent[er] MAR[THA].n1483

        Almost as mad as he: she haunts me all
        About the house to impart something to me.
        Poor heart, I guess her grief and pity her.
        To keep a maidenhead three years after marriage
        Under wed-lock and key!n1484 Insufferable! Monstrous!
        It turns into a wolfgg860 within the flesh,
        Not to be fed with chickens and tame pigeons.
        I could wish maids be warned by’t not to marry
        Before they have wit to lose their maiden-heads
        For fear they match with men whose witsgg861 are past it.
        What a sad look, and what a sigh was there!
           [To MARTHA]   Sweet Mistress Joyless, how is’t with you now?

73MarthaWhen I shall know, I’ll tell. Pray tell me first,
        How long have you been married?

74Barbara   [Aside]n5527   Now she is on it.
           [To MARTHA]n5528   Three years, forsoothgg862.

75MarthaAnd truly so have I;
        We shall agree I see.

76BarbaraIf you’ll be merry.

77MarthaNo woman merrier, now I have met with one
        Of my condition. Three years married, say you? Ha, ha, ha!

78Barbara   [Aside]n5529   What ails she, trow?gs104

79MarthaThree years married. Ha, ha, ha.

80BarbaraIs that a laughing matter?

81Martha’Tis just my story.
        And you have had no child; that’s still my story. Ha, ha, ha!

82BarbaraNay, I have had two children.

83MarthaAre you sure on’t?n9836
        Or does your husband only tell you so?
        Take heed o’that, for husbands are deceitful.

84BarbaraBut I am o’the surer side: I am sure
        I groaned for mine and bore ’em, when at best
        He but believes he got ’em.

85MarthaYet both he
        And you may be deceived, for now I’ll tell you,
        My husband told me, fac’d me downgg863 and stoodgs105 on’t,
        We had three sons, and all great travellers,
        That one had shook the Great Turkn1485 by the beard.
        I never saw ’em, nor am I such a foolgg856
        To think that children can be gotgg1531 and born,
        Trainedn903 up to men, and then sent out to travel,
        And the poor mother never know nor feel
        Any such matter. There’s a dream indeed!

86BarbaraNow you speak reason, and ’tis nothing but
        Your husband’s madness that would put that dream
        Into you.

87MarthaHe may put dreams into me, but
        He ne’er put child, nor any thingn4113 towards it yet,
        To me to making.   [She] weep[s].n3897   Something,n9698 sure, belongs
        To such a work; for I am past a child
        Myself to think they are found in parsley beds,
        Strawberry banks or rosemary bushes, though
        I must confess I have sought and searched such places,
        Because I would faingg715 have had one.

88Barbara   [Aside]n5530   ’Las, poor fool!

89MarthaPray tell me, for I think nobody hears us,
        How came you by your babes? I cannot think
        Your husband got them you.

90Barbara   [Aside]n5531   Fool, did I say?
        She is a witch, I think.   [To MARTHA]n5532   Why not my husband?
        Pray can you chargegg864 me with another man?n1486

91MarthaNor with him neither. Be not angry, pray now.
        For were I now to die, I cannot guess
        What a man does in child-getting. I remember
        A wantongs542 maid once lay with me, and kissed
        And clippedgg865, and clappedgg73 me strangely, and then wished
        That I had been a man to have got her with child.
        What must I then ha’ done, or (good now, tell me)
        What has your husband done to you?

92Barbara   [Aside]n5533   Was ever
        Such a poor piecegs106 of innocence! Three years married?
           [To MARTHA]n5532   Does not your husband use togg866 lie with you?

93MarthaYes, he does use to lie with me, but he does not
        Lie with me to usegg868 me as hen9884 should, I fear,
        Nor do I know to teach him. Will you tell me?
        I’ll lie with you and practise, if you please.
        Pray take me for a night or two: or take
        My husband and instruct him. But one night.n1487
        Our country folks will say, you London wives
        Do not lie every night with your own husbands.

94BarbaraYour country folks should have done well to ha’ sent
        Some news by you; but I trust none told you there
        We use togg866 leave our fools to lie with madmen.

95MarthaNay, now again you’re angry.

96BarbaraNo, not I,
        But rather pity your simplicity.
        Come, I’ll take charge and care of you.

97MarthaI thank you.

98BarbaraAnd wage my skill, against my doctor’s artgg873,
        Sooner to easegg870 you of these dangerous fits,
        Than he shall rectifygg876 your husband’s wits.[BARBARA exits, followed by MARTHA, who speaks as she leaves.]

99MarthaIndeed, indeed, I thank you.
[Enter] LETOYn4447 [and] BLAZE.n3899

100LetoyWhyn1488 brought’st thou not mine armsgg878 and pedigreegg880
        Home with thee, Blaze, mine honest herald’s paintern904?

101BlazeI have not yet, my lord, but all’s in readiness,
        According to the herald’s full directions.

102LetoyBut has he gone to the rootn1489? Has he derived me
        Ex origine, ab antiquon1490? Has he fetchedgs107 me
        Far enoughn3926, Blaze?

103BlazeFull four descentsgg888 beyond
        The conquestn1491, my good lord, and finds that one
        Of your French ancestry came in with the Conqueror.

104LetoyJeffrey Letoy, ’twas he from whom the English
        Letoys have our descent; and here have took
        Such footinggg889, that we’ll never outgg892 while France
        Is France, and England England,
        And the sea passable to transport a fashion.
        My ancestors and I have been beginners
        Of all new fashions in the court of England
        From before Primo Ricardi Secundin1492
        Until this day.

105BlazeI cannot think, my lord,
        They’ll follow you in this though.

106LetoyMark the endn1493,
        I am without a precedent for my humourn1494.
        But is it spread and talked of in the town?

107BlazeIt is, my lord, and laughed at by a many.

108[Letoy]n5517I am more beholdinggg894 to them than all the rest:
        Their laughter makes me merry; others’ mirth,
        And not mine own it is that feeds me, that
        Battensgg895 me as poor men’s costn1495 does usurers.
        But tell me, Blaze, what say they of me, ha?

109BlazeThey say, my lord, you look more like a pedlar
        Than like a lord, and live more like an emperor.

110LetoyWhy there they ha’ me right. Let others shine
        Abroadgg896 in cloth o’bodkingg897; my broadclothn5519gg898
        Pleases mine eye as well, my body better.
        Besides, I’m sure ’tis paid for (to their envy).
        I buy with ready money; and at home here
        With as good meat, as much magnificencegg899,
        As costly pleasures, and as rare delights,
        Can satisfy my appetite and senses,
        As they with all their public showsgg900 and braveries.gg41
        They run at ringn910, and tiltgg901 ’gainst one another;
        I and my men can play a match at football,
        Wrestle a handsomegs109 fall, and pitchgg902 the bargg903
        And crack the cudgelsn915, and a pategg904 sometimes.
        ’Twould do you good to see’t.

111BlazeMore than to feel’t.n5534

112LetoyThey hunt the deer, the hare, the fox, the otter,
        Polecatsgg905 or harlots, what they please, whilst I
        And my mad grigs,gg906 my men, can run at basegs198,
        And breathegg908 our selves at barley-breakgg909 and dancing.

113BlazeYes, my lord, i’the country when you are there.

114LetoyAnd now I am here i’th’ city, sir, I hope
        I please myself with more choicegg910 home delights,
        Than most men of my rank.

115BlazeI know, my lord,
        Your house in substancegg912 is an amphitheatregg911
        Of exercise and pleasure.

116LetoySir, I have
        For exercises, fencing, dancing, vaulting,
        And for delight, music of all best kinds;
        Stage plays and masquesn1496 are nightly my pastimes.
        And all within myself: my own men are
        My music, and my actors; I keep not
        A man or boy but is of qualitygg917;
        The worst can sing or play his part o’th’ violsgg913,
        And act his part too in a comedy,
        For which I lay my braverygg41 on their backs;
        And where another lord undoesgg914 his followers,
        I maintain mine like lords. And there’s my braverygs110.
Hautboys.gg155 A service, as for dinner,gs111 passes over the stage, borne by
many servitors, richly apparelled, doing honourn5518 to LETOY as they pass.

[All exit]

        Now tell me, Blaze, look these like pedlar’s men?

117BlazeRather an emperor’s, my lord.

118LetoyI tell thee,
        These lads can act the emperors’ lives all over,
        And Shakespeare’s chronicled historiesn1498to bootgg915,
        And were that Caesarn1499, or that English Earln1500
        That loved a Play and Player so well, now living,
        I would not be outviedgg916 in my delights.

119BlazeMy lord, ’tis well.

120LetoyI love the qualitygg917n9885
        Of playing, I; I love a play with all
        My heart, a good one: and a player that’sn9886
        A good one too, withaln9887. As for the Poets,
        No men love them, I think, and therefore
        I write all my plays myself, and make no doubt
        Some of the courtn3914 will follow
        Me in that too. Let my fine lords
        Talk o’ their horse-tricksgg918 and their jockeys, that
        Can out-talk them. Let the gallants boast
        Their May-gamesgg919, play-gamesgg3177, and their mistresses;
        I love a play in my plain clothes, I,
        And laugh upon the actors in their bravegs112 ones.
Ent[er] QUAILP[IPE].

121Quailpipen5520My lord, your dinner stays preparedgg920.

122LetoyWell, well,
        Be you as ready with your gracegs113n1501 as I
        Am for my meat, and all is well.   QUAIL[PIPE exits].n3915   Blaze, we have rambled
        From the main point this while: it seems by his lettern5521,
        My doctor's busy at thy house. I know who’s there,
        Beside. Give him this ring. Tell him it wantsgg921
        A finger. Farewell, good Blaze.n4089[LETOY exits.]n4088

123BlazeTell him it wants a finger! My small wit
        Already finds what finger it must fit.[BLAZE exits.]
Enter DOCTOR, PEREGRINE, [with] a book in his hand, JOYLESS [and] DIANA.

124DoctorSir, I applaud your noble disposition,
        And even adore the spirit of travel in you,
        And purpose to wait ongg1348 it through the world,
        In which I shall but tread again the steps
        I heretofore have gone.

125PeregrineAll the world o’er
        Ha’ you been already?

126DoctorOver and under too.

127PeregrineIn the Antipodes?

128DoctorYes, through and through:
        No isle nor anglegg922 in that nether world,
        But I have made discovery of. Pray, sir, sit.
           [Aside to JOYLESS]   And, sir, be you attentive: I will warrant
        His speedy cure without the help of Gallen,
        Hippocrates, Avicen, or Dioscorides.n1502

129DianaA rare man! Husband, truly I like his person
        As well as his rare skill.

130JoylessInto your chamber!
        I do not like your liking of men’s persons.

131DoctorNay, lady, you may stay. Hear and admire,
        If you so please, but make no interruptions.

132Joyless   [Aside to DIANA]   And let no looser words, or wandering look
        Bewraygg923 an intimation of the slight
        Regard you bear your husband, lest I send you
        Upon a further pilgrimage than he
        Feigns to convey my son.

133DianaOh, jealousy!

134DoctorDo you think, sir, to th’ Antipodes such a journey?

135PeregrineI think there’s none beyond it; and that Mandeville,
        Whose excellent work this is, was th’ only man
        That e’er came near it.

136DoctorMandeville went far.

137PeregrineBeyond all English legs that I can read of.

138DoctorWhat think you, sir, of Draken1503, our famous countryman?

139PeregrineDrake was a didappern987 to Mandeville.
        Candish, and Hawkins, Frobishern1504, all our voyagers
        Went short of Mandeville. But had he reached
        To this place here—yes, here—this wilderness,
        And seen the trees of the Sun and Moon, that speak,
        And told King Alexander of his death,n1505 he then
        Had left a passage opegg924 for travellers,
        That now is kept and guarded by wild beasts,
        Dragons and serpents, elephants, white and blue,
        Unicorns, and lions of many colours,
        And monsters more as numberless as nameless.

140DoctorStay there.

141PeregrineRead here elsen988. Can you read?
        Is it not true?

142DoctorNo truer than I ha’ seen’t.

143DianaHa’ you been there, sir? Ha’ you seen those trees?

144DoctorAnd talked with ’em, and tasted of their fruit.

145PeregrineRead here again then: it is written here,
        That you may live four or five hundred year.

146DianaBrought you none of that fruit home with you, sir?

147JoylessYou would have some of’t would you, to have hope
        T’outlive your husband by’t.

148DianaI’dn5522 ha’t for you,
        In hope you might out-live your jealousy.

149DoctorYour patience both, I pray: I know the grief
        You both do labour with, and how to cure it.

150JoylessWould I had given you half my land ’twere done.n1507

151DianaWould I had given him half my loven5535 to settle
        The t’other half free from encumbrancesgg925
        Upon my husband.

152DoctorDo not think it strange, sir:
        I’ll make your eyes witnesses of more
        Than I relate, if you’ll butgs29 travel with me.
        You hear me not deny that all is true
        That Mandeville delivers of his travels,
        Yet I myself may be as well believed.

153PeregrineSince you speak reverently of him, say on.

154DoctorOf Europe I’ll not speak, ’tis too near home:n9837
        Who’s not familiar with the Spanish garb,gg926
        Th’ Italian shrug, French cringe,and German hug?n1508
        Nor will I trouble you with my observations
        Fetched from Arabia, Paphlagonian4119,
        Mesopotamian4120, Mauritanian4121,
        Syria, Thessalian4122, Persia, India,
        All still is too near home, though I have touched
        The clouds upon the Pyrenean mountainsn4123,
        And been on Paphos islen1509, where I have kissed
        The image of bright Venus. All is still
        Too near home to be boastedgg927.

155Diana   [Aside]n5536   That I like
        Well in him too, he will not boast of kissing
        A woman too near home.

156DoctorThese things in me
        Are poorgg928: they sound in a far traveller’s ear
        Like the reports of those that begginglygg929
        Have put out gs114, on returnsgg930 from Edinburgh,
        Paris, or Venice, or perhaps Madrid,
        Whither a millinergg931 may with half a nosen1510
        Smell out his way; and is not near so difficult,
        As for some man in debt, and unprotectedn989,
        To walk from Charing Cross to th’ old Exchangen1511.
        No, I will pitchgs115 no nearer than th’ Antipodes,
        That which is farthest distant, foot to footn1512
        Against our regiongg932.

157DianaWhat with their heels upwards?
        Bless us! How ’scape they breaking o’ their necks?

158DoctorThey walk upon firm earth, as we do here,
        And have the firmamentgg979 over their heads,
        As we have here.

159DianaAnd yet just under us!
        Where is hell then? If they whose feet are towards us
        At the lower part of the world have heaven too
        Beyond their heads, where’s hell?

160JoylessYou may findgg1278 that
        Without inquiry. Cease your idle questions.

161DianaSure hell’s above ground then in jealous husbands.

162PeregrineWhat people, sir, (I pray proceed) what people
        Are they of the Antipodes? Are they not such
        As Mandeville writes of, without heads or necks,
        Having their eyes placed on their shoulders, and
        Their mouths amidst their breasts?n1513

163DianaAy, so indeed;
        Though heels go upwards ann1514 their feet should slip,
        They have no necks to break.

164DoctorSilence, sweet Lady.
        Pray give the gentleman leave to understand me.
        The people through the whole world of Antipodes,
        In outward feature, language, and religion,
        Resemble those to whom they are suppositegg980:
        They under Spain appear like Spaniards,
        Under France, French men, under England, English,
        To the exterior show: but in their mannersgg981,
        Their carriagegg982 and condition of life,
        Extremely contrary. To come closegg983 to you:
        What part o’ th’ world’s Antipodes shall I now
        Deciphergg984 to you, or would you travel to?

165PeregrineThe furthest off.

166DoctorThat is the Antipodes of England.
        The people there are contrary to us.
        As thus: here (heaven be praised!) the magistrates
        Govern the people; there the people rule
        The magistrates.

167DianaThere’s preciousgg985 bribing then.

168JoylessYou’ll hold your peace.

169DoctorNay, lady, ’tis by nature,
        Here generally men govern the women.

170JoylessI would they could else!gg986

171DianaYou will hold your peace.

172DoctorBut there the women over-rule the men.
        If some men fail here in their powern1118, some women
        Slip their holdsgs120 there. As parents here and masters
        Command, there they obey the child and servantn5539.

173DianaBut pray, sir, is’t by nature or by art
        That wives o’erswaygg987 their husbands there?

174DoctorBy nature.

175DianaThen art’s above nature, as they are under us.

176DoctorIn brief, sir, all
        Degrees of people, both in sex and quality,gs121
        Deportgg988 themselves in life and conversation
        Quite contrary to us.

177DianaWhy then the women
        Do get the men with child, and put the poor fools
        To grievous pain, I warrant you, in bearing.

178JoylessInto your chamber! Get you in, I charge you.

179DoctorBy no means, as you tendergg989 your son’s good.
        No, lady, no: that were to make men women,
        And women men. But there the maids do woo
        The bachelors and, ’tis most probable,
        The wives lie uppermost.

180DianaThat is a trimgg990
        Upside-down Antipodian trick indeed.

181DoctorAnd then at christenings and gossips’gg991 feastsn1119,
        A woman is not seen, the men do all
        The tittle-tattlegg992 duties, while the women
        Hunt, hawk and take their pleasure.

182PeregrineHa’ they good game, I pray, sir?

        But by the contraries to ours, for where
        We hawk at pheasant, partridge, mallard, heron,
        With goshawkgg993, tercelgg994, falcon, laneretgg995,
        Our hawks become their game, our game their hawks,
        And so the like in hunting. There the deer
        Pursue the hounds, and (which you may think strange)
        I ha’ seen one sheep worry a dozen foxes.
        By moonshine, in a morning before day,
        They hunt train-scentsgg996 with oxen, and plough with dogs.

184Peregrine   [Laughs]   Hugh, hugh, hugh!n1515

185DianaAre not their swans all blackn1516 and ravens white?

186DoctorYes, indeed are they; and their parrots teach
        Their mistresses to talk.

187DianaThat’s very strange.

188DoctorThey keep their cats in cages
        From mice that would devour them else;gs122 and birds
        Teach ’em to whistle and cry "Beware the rats, Puss".
        But these are frivolous nothings. I have known
        Great ladies ride great horses, run at tiltgs123,
        At ring,gg997 races, and hunting matches, while
        Their lords at home have paintedgg998, pawned their plate
        And jewels to feast their honourable servantsgg999,
        And there the merchants’ wives do deal abroad
        Beyond seas, while their husbands cuckoldgg1331 them
        At home.

189DianaThen there are cuckolds too, it seems,
        As well as here.

190JoylessThen you conclude here are.

191DianaBy hearsay, sir, I am not wise enough
        To speak it on my knowledge yet.

192JoylessNot yet!

193DoctorPatience, good sir.

194Peregrine   [Laughs]   Hugh, hugh, hugh!

195DoctorWhat, do you laugh that there is cuckold-making
        In the Antipodes? I tell you, sir,
        It is not so abhorred here as ’tis held
        In reputation there: all your old men
        Do marry girls, and old women boys,
        Asgg1000 generationgg1001 were to be maintained
        Only by cuckold-making.


197DoctorPray, your patience.
        There’s no such honest men there in their world,
        As are their lawyers: they give away
        Their practice, and t’enable ’em to do so,
        Being all handicraftsgg1003, or labouring men,
        They work (poor hearts, full hard) in the vacationsgg1004
        To give their law for nothing in the term timesgg1005.
        No fees are taken, which makes their divinesgg1006,
        Being generally covetous, the greatest wranglersgg1007
        In lawsuits of a kingdom. You have not there
        A gentleman in debt, though citizens
        Haunt them with cap in hand to take their wares
        On credit.

198DianaWhat fine sport would that be here now!

199DoctorAll wit and mirth and good society
        Is there among the hirelings,gg1008 clownsgg1009 and tradesmen,
        And all their poets are puritans.

200DianaHa' they poets?

201DoctorAnd players too. But they are all the soberest
        Precisestgg1010 peoplen1517 picked out of a nation.

202DianaI never saw a play.

203DoctorLady, you shall.

204JoylessShe shall not.

205DoctorShe must, if you can hope for any cure.
        Be governed, sir: your jealousy will grow
        A worse disease than your son’s madness else.
        You are content I take the coursegs544 I told you of
        To cure the gentleman?

206JoylessI must be, sir.

207DoctorSay, Master Peregrine, will you travel now
        With me to the Antipodes, or has not
        The journey wearied you in the description?

208PeregrineNo, I could hear you a whole fortnight, but
        Let’s lose no time. Pray talk on as we pass.
A bowl on the table.n1518

209DoctorFirst, sir, a health to auspicategg1011 our travels,
        And we’ll away.
[Doctor offers bowl of wine to PEREGRINE]

210PeregrineGi’ me’t.   Ent[er] BLA[ZE]n4090   What’s he? One sent
        I fear, from my dead mother to make stop
        Of our intended voyage.n1519

211DoctorNo sir: drink.

212Blaze   [Aside to DOCTOR]n4093   My lord, sir, understands the coursegs544 you’re in,
        By your letters, he tells me; and badgg3178 me gi’ you
        This ring, which wantsgg921 a finger here, he says.

213PeregrineWe’ll not be stayedgg1012?n4092

214DoctorNo, sir, he brings me word
        The mariner calls away; the wind and tide
        Are fair, and they are ready to weigh anchor,
        Hoist sails, and only staygg328 for us. Pray drink, sir.

215PeregrineA health then to the willing winds and seas
        And all that steer towards th’ Antipodes.
[He drinks the wine]n4091

216JoylessHe has not drunk so deep a draughtgg1013 this twelvemonth.

217Doctor’Tis a deep draught indeed; and now ’tis down,n1520
        And carries him down to the Antipodes?n1520
        I mean but in a dream.n1520

218JoylessAlas, I fear!
        See, he begins to sink.

219DoctorTrust to my skilln5537.
        Pray take an arm, and see him in his cabin.
        Good lady, savegg1014 my ring that’s fallen there.

220DianaIn soothgg1015, a marvellous neat and costly one!

221Blaze   [Aside]n5531   So, so, the ring has found a finger.

222DoctorCome sir, aboard, aboard, aboard, aboardn4124.[DOCTOR and JOYLESS exit with PEREGRINE,
while DIANA follows at a distance.]

223BlazeTo bed, to bed, to bed!n4125 I know your voyage,
        And my dear lord’s dear plot I understand,
        Whose ring hath past here by your sleight of hand.n1522[BLAZE exits.]n3917

Edited by Richard Cave

n1444   BLAZE A complex name derived from a number of appropriate nuances of the words, ‘blaze’ and ‘blazon’, all of which define the character’s work, temperament and function within the drama. ‘Blaze’ as noun may carry the sense of a brilliant display, while, used as a verb, it conveys the action of proclaiming aloud, to trumpet abroad, to make known. ‘Blazon’ is a heraldic term, meaning, as a noun, a shield or coat of arms displaying armorial bearings and, as verb, to describe in set heraldic language and iconography. Blaze as a character is an effervescent talker, who presents the credentials and achievements of Doctor Hughball in appropriate ways to attract Joyless’s custom. [go to text]

n1445   a herald painter one who paints coats of arms and armorial bearings [go to text]

n1446   [DOCTOR] Hughball The name is derived from ‘bolus’, ‘bole’ or ‘ball’, all related medical terms for a large pill. [go to text]

n1447   BARBARA From the Latin, meaning ‘barbarous things’, but also used as a mnemonic term, designating in logic a universal, affirmative proposition. An actor might make much of this seeming contrast, since the role offers a woman whose ideas and behaviour are challenging at times for their nonconformity but who is always life-affirming. [go to text]

n1448   MARTHA The name is emblematic of domestic efficiency, deriving from the contrast of Lazarus’s sisters in the New Testament, where Mary follows spiritual pursuits while Martha (somewhat begrudgingly) runs the household. The term is used here ironically, since this Martha is denied the possibility of fulfilling her domestic ideal as mother. [go to text]

n1449   LETOY The use of the French article ‘le’ allows for the character’s French lineage, which is made much of in his first scene, but the real force of the name is contained in ‘toy’ in two of the many senses of the word as noun and verb: game, amusement, plaything, entertainment, play; and then to wanton, flirt, dally amorously. These are the character’s traits and his functions in the drama. [go to text]

n1450   QUAILPIPE A pipe that emits a note akin to that produced by the female quail (the smallest member of the partridge family of game birds) which was designed to attract the birds into a net for capture. Scott Kastan and Proudfoot cite Dekker’s Wonderful Year (1603), where a Justice squeezes his nose between fore-finger and thumb to produce a high nasal whine, which is described as ‘that quaile-pipe voice’. The character is by profession a curate and the name indicates to the actor what kind of voice he should deploy in the role. [go to text]

n1451   DIANA The name of the moon-goddess, emblem of chastity. Jonson (in the Hymn that opens 5.6. of Cynthia's Revels) describes her as ‘huntress, chaste and fair’, bringing into one phrase the range of her attributes. The name was frequently applied to Elizabeth I, as virgin queen, so was popularly known, even by the date of Brome’s play. It would alert the wary and informed spectator about the likely resolution of the plot, despite much of the character’s behaviour earlier in the play. [go to text]

n1452   BYPLAY A theatrical term used to describe a plot, effect or situation developed alongside the main action, just as the character so named enjoys attracting attention through his brilliant ability at improvisation often at the expense of the rest of the cast and their efforts, hence his conceit at always upstaging his colleagues. [go to text]

n1453   conceited Here both senses are applicable to the character as represented: vain or ingenious and witty. [go to text]

n1454   TRUELOCK The associations of the word are complex. Like a true-love-knot, the true-lock was a tress of hair given as a token of fidelity in love, as emblem of trustworthiness. Appropriately given Letoy’s longstanding friendship with Truelock, the term indicates too a bond of trust and affection, while the final component of the word, ‘lock’, indicates the enduring secrecy involved in the particular bond between these two men, a locking away in the breast or heart of information given in absolute confidence. [go to text]

n1455   Followers Servants, members of a retinue attending an aristocrat [go to text]

n4463   PROLOGUE Q does not designate a particular character from within the play to speak the prologue, nor is the speaker of the Prologue in any way characterised independently of the drama but thematically or symbolically allied to it, as the speakers of Jonson's prologues and inductions often are. Named characters from within the play are to speak the Epilogue, stepping out of the action to do so, while still staying very much "in character". Given the weighty tenor of the three stanzas as a defence of the art of comedy, it is conceivable that a senior member of the company might have given the opening address to the audience, such as the actor playing Letoy, though that is pure speculation. [go to text]

gg551   Opinion fashionable taste (a snide use of the word as meaning an expert judgement) [go to text]

gg552   daintiness preciousness, fastidiousness [go to text]

gs83   of late in the adverbial phrase, "of late": recently [go to text]

gg553   possessed influenced, dominated [go to text]

gg554   sort group, clique (or, more appropriately in the theatrical context, claque) [go to text]

n1456   scene magnificent Exactly contemporary with the writing of The Antipodes, dramatists such as Strode, Cartwright and Suckling were staging plays demanding expensive and elaborate scenic effects and costuming after the fashion of the court masques. Suckling, for example, had put on his first play Aglaura at Court and at the Blackfriars Theatre in the winter of 1637-38 at his own expense. Spectators such as George Gerrard estimated that the staging cost several hundred pounds. It is conceivably this production that Brome had in mind here (but that would depend on the first performance of The Antipodes following Suckling's play, and the precise date of that first staging of Brome's comedy is difficult to determine). [go to text]

gs84   high, elevated, rhetorical [go to text]

gg555   sportive, playful, light and lively [go to text]

n1457   poets late sublimèd from our age Chapman and Dekker had respectively died three and five years earlier. Ben Jonson was ailing fast during the period when Brome was completing his comedy; he died on August 6, 1637 and was buried in Westminster Abbey three days later. As the theatres were closed on account of a severe outbreak of plague for nearly seventeen months from May 1636, the earliest date that the play might have been performed was October 1637 when performances were again allowed; the title page of the quarto text, however, gives 1638 as the date of the play's staging. All three recently deceased playwrights were noted exponents of the art of comedy, ‘the weakest branch o’ th’ stage’ (see the final line of this second stanza of the Prologue). [go to text]

gg556   sublimèd translated to heaven (that is, deceased) [go to text]

n1458   travel the play abounds in puns on the words ‘travel’ and ‘travail’ (in the sense of exerting one’s self, labouring intensively) and it is difficult to convey this through any modernisation of the original spelling. Both senses are deployed here: the play takes spectators and cast on a journey but one that requires considerable effort on the part of the actors involved. [go to text]

gs85   traced followed (in the sense of tracked or pursued) but, within the terms of Brome’s metaphor about writing, there is too the sense of ‘imitated’ [go to text]

n1459   Phoebean The epithet derives from the full title of the Greek deity, Phoebus Apollo, who was god of the sun (‘light’). [go to text]

n1460   weakest branch That is: unpretentious, traditional comedies in the Jonsonian style as distinct from current fads and fashions for tragicomedy accompanied with scenic spectacle. [go to text]

gg558   slight mean, insubstantial, lowly, small, trifling [go to text]

gg559   nigh near; nearly [go to text]

gg560   muse (n) poetic inspiration [go to text]

gg561   admiration awe [go to text]

n6173   1.1 The four episodes which comprise the opening scene are a masterly exercise in dramatic exposition. Spectators are not only introduced to the main characters but also in a variety of subtle ways to the main themes that the comedy will develop and examine. The very first speech by Blaze establishes that we are in Brome’s own contemporary London close to the time of the play’s composition: reference is made to the recent plague that had kept the theatres closed for over a year; visitors like Joyless and his family are steadily returning to London. We learn that the family’s visit is in quest of a cure for Joyless’s son’s seeming madness at the hands of a doctor whom the ever expansive Blaze extols as both highly successful and unique in his methods. Blaze proffers numerous instances of Doctor Hughball’s successes in curing varying degrees of folly, distraction and eccentricity. The social range of these examples gives Brome occasion for some pithy comic satire, which subtly teaches the audience how they should read the ensuing scenes and acts as having a decided contemporary relevance. Blaze unwittingly lets slip in the conversation that he has himself been a patient of Hughball’s in quest of a cure for jealousy and a desperate fear of being cuckolded. The Doctor joins them and the focus of the dialogue changes to the history and nature of Peregrine’s particular madness, as Hughball questions Joyless over his son’s condition. Peregrine lives in a fantasy world fed by his reading of travel books, and not even marriage to the comely Martha can restore to him a proper sense of reality. The whole family is found to be dysfunctional: Martha, denied sexual fulfilment, is gravely disturbed, while Joyless himself, newly wed to a much younger woman, Diana, is as possessed with jealousy as Blaze had once been. Significantly there are, however, no indications that Diana has been affected to any degree by the various passionate manias that bedevil the house into which she has married. The Doctor with brusque efficiency promises a general cure to all before Blaze’s wife, Barbara, joins them, who is clearly troubled by Peregrine’s antics and his obsession with Mandeville, whose book of travels has become his personal Bible. The men hurry off to cope with Peregrine’s “fit”, leaving Barbara to calm the distraught Martha, who now joins her. The young wife is subject to endlessly conflicting emotions, not knowing what role is expected of her in being both bride and maid. This is the first enacted portrayal of madness we have seen (as distinct from its being described to us) in the play and Barbara’s attempts to relate to and finally engage sympathetically with Martha show that compassion rather than shock or laughter bring the girl some measure of solace and inner peace. “Care”, as verb and noun, and the related “careful” (here deployed in the sense of caring) noticeably recur within the dialogue of the scene, referring to both Joyless’s attitude to Peregrine and Barbara’s to Martha; but Brome does not otherwise directly control an audience’s responses to what they watch. Joyless expressed amusement at catching out Blaze in an admission of his one-time jealousy, but within minutes of the playing time, he is himself revealed as a sufferer of the same condition. What gave Joyless the right to take a superior stance with Blaze? As in much of Jonson’s comedy writing, dramaturgical strategies make it difficult for spectators to adopt a precise or easy response to what they observe on the stage. [go to text]

n9883   Blaze Q gives no speech prefix, assuming that a reader will infer that the first speech is to be delivered by the first character to enter and, in the preceding stage direction, that is Blaze. G.P. Baker in an edition of 1914 was the first to assign a precise speech prefix here. [go to text]

n1461   Suffered in want longed for, but been denied [go to text]

n1462   time’s calamity London endured sustained and virulent plague for nearly seventeen months dating from May 1636 to early October 1637, during which period the theatres were closed. The ensuing image of half-pined wretches stretched out on planks intimates the horror of a city in the grip of plague. [go to text]

gs86   high divine, heavenly [go to text]

gg562   half-pined half-starved, famished [go to text]

gs237   from away from [go to text]

gg563   advertised informed, made known [go to text]

n1463   recipes to th’ apothecaries The reign of Charles I and the ensuing period of Civil War was one in which there was a contest for superior power and authority between physicians and pharmacists (what now would be termed doctors and chemists, the makers of medicine). For a time their several fortunes fluctuated but gradually the College of Physicians gained the ascendancy. Nicholas Culpepper has tended to be viewed as the popular figurehead of the pharmacists, Sir William Harvey as the champion of the physicians. See Benjamin Woolley, The Herbalist (London: HarperCollins, 2004). [go to text]

gg564   recipes prescriptions (in 1638 these often comprised a list of ingredients and instructions about their combining as a medicine) [go to text]

gg565   apothecaries early professional term for a pharmacist, but generally applied in the seventeenth century and earlier to any seller of spices, drugs, preserves, tobacco [go to text]

gg566   stupid stunned (from ‘stupefied’), amazed [go to text]

n1464   for a dead horse ‘To flog a dead horse’ is a proverbial expression for pointless endeavour or fruitless effort. [go to text]

gg3180   stark utterly, thorough, out-and-out (an intensive, generally used to qualify an unfavourable epithet) [go to text]

gg568   painting facial make-up [go to text]

n1465   philosopher’s stone One objective of the pursuit of alchemy (in Brome’s period, one of the branches of philosophy) was the discovery or creation of a solid substance endowed with the power to turn all forms of baser metal into gold, to promote longevity or even immortality, and to cure all known ailments. This bizarre pursuit is satirised in terms of its social consequences in Ben Jonson’s comedy, The Alchemist (1610). Later thinkers, such as Carl Jung, have considered that the surviving alchemical recipes for the transmuting of substances relate more to developing spiritual than material states. [go to text]

gg569   flockbed a bed bearing a mattress stuffed with coarse woollen or cotton tufts [go to text]

gg570   down soft (usually breast) feathers; a feather-filled mattress [go to text]

n1466   officers and men of place, The drift of this passage is that these individuals in positions of responsibility were deemed mad because they could not properly distinguish between licit and underhand practices, between moral and immoral behaviour. [go to text]

gg571   place, rank, position, office [go to text]

gg572   praemunires writs served against individuals, usually professionals, suspected of illegal practice [go to text]

n5538   divers ] diver?e, (Q) [go to text]

gg573   attorney a legal advocate, qualified to practice in the courts of Common Law [go to text]

n1467   a pitch o’er the bar The O.E.D. defines ‘bar’ with reference to the Inns of Court as 'a partition separating the seats of the benchers from the rest of the hall, to which students, after they had attained a certain standing, were called'. The meaning of the phrase is that this attorney fell headfirst (‘pitch’) or flat on his face instead of being elevated. That is, he suffered the disgrace of being de-barred and so lost his wits. A similar phrasing occurs in A Jovial Crew, when one of the beggars who has fallen on hard times is described as "an Attorney, till he was pitched over the bar" [JC 1.1.speech89]. [go to text]

gs87   moons moons: figurative for ‘months’ but madness was believed formerly to be influenced by the waxing and waning of the moon, hence lunatic or moonstruck [go to text]

n690   walk’st The original text reads 'walkets'. This adds an additional, unnecessary syllable to the line and so may be a misprint for 'walk'st' as offered in the modernised text. However, the OED does offer 'walkit' as one spelling of the past tense or participle of 'walk'. [go to text]

gg575   horn-mad mad with jealousy or with fear of being cuckolded [go to text]

n1468   [Aside] Clearly the first sentence in this speech has to be an aside, since Blaze is determined that Joyless will not penetrate his secret. An actor must decide throughout Blaze’s role in this scene to what extent the asides will be played as inward musing, and to what extent be given as direct address to the audience. [go to text]

gg576   ’Slid a common seventeenth-century oath derived from an abbreviation of ‘God’s eyelid’ and the idea of the deity’s all-seeing eye [go to text]

gg577   catched caught out, tricked, entrapped [go to text]

gg3181   strain make every effort, strive vigorously (OED v1, 19) [go to text]

n1469   [Aside] ’Sfoot! I am catched again. This could be played as an aside as indicated in this edition but one that has to be delivered in a manner that communicates Blaze's total embarrassment to Joyless. Or it could be played aloud, comically exposing Blaze all the more. Either way Joyless’s tart response, which toys sarcastically with one of Blaze’s catch-phrases, will raise a laugh. [go to text]

gg578   ’Sfoot! an oath, short for ‘God’s foot’ [go to text]

gg1347   set out, describe [go to text]

gg579   endures tolerates [go to text]

gs119   name title [go to text]

gg488   odd eccentric [go to text]

gg580   goes habitually to appear, be ordinarily dressed in a particular manner [go to text]

n1470   Enter DOCTOR [Hughball]. Q places what is clearly an inaccurate stage direction ("Ex. Doctor")in the right margin alongside the previous line of Blaze's speech; the direction should instead mark the Doctor’s entrance as in the (revised) modern text. Q then inserts a scene break and a relisting of all the characters to be found onstage on an independent line immediately after the close of Blaze's speech ("Act I. Scen. 2. Blaze, Doctor, Ioylesse.") [go to text]

gg581   ail are troubled, are afflicted with [go to text]

gs88   careful concerned, anxious [go to text]

gg410   still always; continually; ever; on every occasion [go to text]

n4108   grows more in days That is: daily, as he grows older. [go to text]

gg582   Conjectures medical opinions (but with the suggestion that they lack sufficient authority) [go to text]

gg583   melancholy a depressive illness, which in the seventeenth century was thought to be caused by an excess of ‘black bile’, one of the four humours controlling the well-being of the body and the mind [go to text]

gg584   natural innate, inherited [go to text]

gg585   accidental occurring by chance [go to text]

gg586   crosses (n) trial of one’s patience, because it crosses (thwarts) one’s purposes or intentions [go to text]

n5523   [Aside] This edition. The whole speech is to be so delivered. [go to text]

gg3182   erewhile a short time ago; recently; but now [go to text]

n4109   Divers Q reads "Diverse" here but the meaning, "differing, varied or various" does not make sense in the context. "Divers" meaning "some or several" is a more apt reading, hence the emendation in this edition. [go to text]

gg587   failed disappoint, fall short of expectation [go to text]

gg589   study employment, interest [go to text]

gg588   practice habit or exercise; carrying out of a profession (OED n, 1) [go to text]

gg590   distemper disaffection, disorder [go to text]

gg591   next quickest [go to text]

n1471   travels Consistently the quarto text spells "travel" as "travail", which in a neat visual pun for readers embraces both the idea of a journey and the physical effort involved in such endeavour. [go to text]

gg592   when at a time when; an abbreviation for 'when as', where modern usage would deploy 'whereas'. [go to text]

gg593   On proceed, continue [go to text]

gg786   aim ambition, objective [go to text]

n895   in hand in preparation (a development of the meaning 'in process') [go to text]

n896   made suit petitioned [go to text]

n897   held him in reined him back, controlled him [go to text]

gs543   call stopped (but also in context with the punning suggestion of "steadied" (mentally) [go to text]

gg791   In "to withdraw...from free action" (OED v, 29b) [go to text]

gg792   extravagant wandering, but also carrying the sense of excessive, improper, extreme [go to text]

gg793   undertake to take in hand, take on a case (but often as here with the additional sense of making a pledge or promise) [go to text]

n898   undertake 'Take in hand' is the prime meaning here; but in the ensuing lines the word comes increasingly to take on sexual implications with reference to Barbara and Diana’s starved affections. [go to text]

n1472   Indeed, she’s full of passion This whole speech gives the actress soon to appear as Martha a wealth of information about how to play the role in the forthcoming scene with Barbara, and how to interpret the means by which in his text Brome indicates which of these emotional extremes is being suffered by Martha at any given moment. [go to text]

gg796   utters discloses, shows [go to text]

gg798   several various [go to text]

gg236   anon soon; immediately; in good time [go to text]

gg805   vehement 'performed with unusual force or violence' (a usage which the OED dates as current from 1531) [go to text]

gg103   presently immediately (OED adv, 3); without delay [go to text]

gs102   favour facial appearance [go to text]

n899   yellow spots signs of jealousy [go to text]

n1473   temples That the signs of jealousy are located in the forehead links that emotional state with its likely consequence, that the sufferer will be betrayed or cuckolded by his frustrated spouse. According to the OED, up until c.1822 the standard emblem of cuckoldry was the appearance of horns on the man’s brows. However the iconography is confused, since the appearance of antlers on the stag’s head in the rutting season is a symbol of potency. But the image may derive more from the depiction of devils, where the underlying idea would be that, in losing his wife, the man, like the devil, has lost his entry to paradise. [go to text]

gg817   counsel advice, direction [go to text]

n4097   Enter BARBARA. Q indicates the start of a new scene with Barbara's entrance ("Act I. Scene 3.") but, as the action is continuous within the playing space, this edition does not observe this direction. [go to text]

n5524   [Aside] This edition. One would suppose that these asides for Blaze would best be played direct to the audience, since they would steadily highlight for spectators the issue of jealousy in married men, which increasingly begins to emerge as one of the main themes in the play. [go to text]

gg3186   found discovered, hit upon (a weakness) [go to text]

n1474   sir? The question mark clearly printed in Q indicates the tone of anxious enquiry that the actor playing Joyless should adopt here. It is important for the actor to establish early in the action the depth of care the father feels for his son in his infirmity and his desperate longing that Peregrine be cured. This is necessary to give some degree of motivation to explain for the audience Joyless’s continual choosing to stay throughout the play-within-the-play, despite being endlessly the butt of Diana and Letoy’s jokes and jeers. [go to text]

gg3187   does fares, is [go to text]

gg822   travail suffering [go to text]

n900   travail In addition to the ongoing use of this word as punning with and pronounced in the same way as travel, the word here carries intimations of labour pains (the context develops this vein of imagery). [go to text]

gg827   tympany swelling (often relating to pregnancy); figuratively may mean inflated, puffed up, bursting with (ideas or information) [go to text]

n4112   Pygmies People of very short stature, who in Manderville's time were thought to inhabit Ethiopia and parts of India but who are now known to live in parts of Africa and South East Asia. [go to text]

n1475   strangest doings! The foregoing outburst is an apt summary of how and why people in the 1630s still read Mandeville’s Travels, though it recounts the adventures of its author (some real, some fictitious, some based on literary expectation and precedent) in the mid-fourteenth century. Written originally in French and not published till 1496, the travelogue had rapidly undergone translation into Latin and most early modern European languages, works that expanded, contracted or reordered episodes in the telling at the whim of the individual translator. All the material contained in Barbara’s tight summary of Peregrine’s outpouring has a precise reference to Mandeville’s book, which recounts a visit through Europe to the Holy Land and Egypt, the near-East, India, China and Mongolia and varieties of minor territories en route and back. The geography, once deemed fantastic, is akin to that of the Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral, where in schematised form the Holy Land and Jerusalem are placed in the exact centre while, to the south, Europe is divided from Africa by the Mediterranean into which flow from West and East respectively the Don (Danube) and the Nile, effectively dividing Asia off from the rest of the known world; the three separate land-masses of Europe, Africa and Asia are surrounded by an Ocean. Once Mandeville gets to the Andaman Islands (Chapter 22 in many versions) there follows a terse account of ‘the many different kinds of people in these isles’, which include ‘giants, foul and horrible to look at [who] have one eye only in the middle of their foreheads’; ‘people of small stature, like dwarfs, a little bigger than pygmies [who] have no mouth, but instead a little hole, and so when they must eat they suck their food through a reed or pipe’; and ‘people [who] are hermaphrodite, having the parts of each sex, and each has a breast on one side. When they use the male member, they beget children; and when they use the female, they bear children’ (‘men upon women, /And women upon men’). See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005), p.137. Pygmies, seen on the way to Cathay, appear ‘very handsome and well proportioned for their size’; they scorn big men and ‘do marvellous work in silk and cotton’ (p.140). The elephants and their use in war when ‘castles’ bearing soldiers are tied on their backs are described in the previous chapter (p.133); the gryphons are described as having ‘the foreparts of an eagle and the hindparts of a lion’ and prodigiously strong talons (p.167); while the crocodile, ‘a kind of snake, brown on top of the back, with four feet and short legs and two great eyes’, is twice referred to, once in terms of a general description, once in terms of its habits in water and on land (pp.135 and 176). Most of the creatures described here are depicted in medieval bestiaries. What is of interest here is how small a range of pages from Mandeville is involved in the references; this suggests we are to suppose that Barbara has overheard Peregrine reading aloud out of his copy. [go to text]

n902   Christendom The term refers to the countries of the world professing Christianity, though in this context it would appear to refer more precisely to the Holy Land, since in Mandeville’s Travels the wonders listed here are largely to be found in lands further to the East or to the South of Jerusalem. [go to text]

n1476   Mount in Cornwall St Michael’s Mount [go to text]

n5525   [Aside] This edition. Clearly an aside, since it relates to no development in the dialogue to either side of the remark. Arguably there is more fun to be had from the speech if the actor plays it direct to the audience in a confidential manner rather than inwardly to himself. [go to text]

gg855   prettily wittily, artfully [go to text]

gg856   fool child, a silly (often used as a term of endearment, OED n, 1c) [go to text]

gg857   And if [go to text]

n1477   Cathaya The ancient name for China, which is described over numerous chapters telling of the organisation of the court of the Great Khan (the Emperor). [go to text]

gg858   goodman a man of substance, a leader (often with the implication of a moral leader) [go to text]

n1478   Prester John The mythical Priest-King of Ethiopia, who wields terrific but benign authority, is a devout Christian but is allied through marriage with the Great Khan. Bejewelled crosses are borne before him when he goes to battle. [go to text]

n1479   Paradise Barbara in her innocence has misinterpreted what she has heard, presumably confused by reference to Paradise and its biblical associations. In Mandeville, there is a lord in a neighbouring island to Prester John’s kingdom, who develops a band of trusty assassins by introducing young men when drugged into a garden of great magnificence which he calls Paradise, offering it to them for eternity if they will obey his every command, which usually involves their killing one of the lord’s enemies. He is eventually overthrown and the garden razed. See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005), pp.171-172. [go to text]

n1480   geese that have two heads apiece It is thought that the reference is to hornbills, where the idea of their bearing two heads would appear to have arisen on account of the excessive proportions of the birds’ beaks. See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005), p.135. [go to text]

n1481   wool ‘In this land there are white hens without feathers, but they have white wool on them like sheep do in our country.’ See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005), p.138. [go to text]

n5516   him. Lead ] him Lead (Q) [go to text]

n1482   men with heads like hounds These dog-headed peoples live in Natumeran (the Nicobar Islands) and ‘are called Cynocephales’. Interestingly Mandeville goes out of his way to stress how devout they are according to their particular creed and how rational they are in their social behaviour. See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005), pp.134-135. [go to text]

gg859   warrant assure, promise [go to text]

n4098   [DOCTOR, BLAZE and JOYLESS exit.] Q offers the terse direction "Ex. 3." and does not follow the format of starting a new scene with the entrance of a new character when Martha appears. In each case the direction in Q is placed in the right margin alongside respectively the first and second lines of Barbara's speech. No scene break is offered in this edition, since the action is continuous with the previous episode and Barbara's comments neatly cover both the men's departure and Martha's arrival. G.P. Baker was the first to give a full direction instead of Q's reading in his edition of 1914. [go to text]

n5526   [Aside to audience] This edition. It would be difficult for an actor to sustain this long and often descriptive speech as a private aside. The speech is interesting in drawing spectators' close attention to how Martha is behaving. Audience and actor become spectators at the play of Martha's suffering, attempting to find a degree of understanding and an appropriate response. [go to text]

n9835   And here comes the poor mad gentleman’s wife, Video The following sequence poses a considerable challenge to the actor playing Martha: her nature has already been described at some length by Joyless when he was talking with the Doctor, and so the audience have some expectations of how she will present herself. She has been rather crudely judged as mad (noticeably by the three men in that earlier scene) and Joyless has justified his view by recounting how she is “full of passion”, possesses a “wand’ring fancy” and is prone to violent mood-swings, veering between “extreme weepings”, “vehement laughter”, “sullen silence” and “loudest exclamations” [AN 1.1.speech52]. Details in the ensuing encounter with Barbara indicate that such mood-swings prevail still in Martha. This raises the issue of an appropriate tone in the performance and the kinds of impact different tones will have on spectators. The scene begins with a long solo speech from Barbara as she watches Martha: it is noticeable that, though she too inclines to the view that Peregrine’s wife is “mad”, she qualifies that alienating term with the epithet, “poor”, indicating a measure of sympathy not shown by the men. We learn that Martha has been continuously pursuing Barbara, as if anxious for some kind of contact. For the director and the performers in the workshop, this posed the question of how intimate the scene should be or become as it progresses and the difficulty of establishing such intimacy while Martha is subject to her endlessly changing temperament. Beyond the question of intimacy was the further question: what degree of comedy should obtain? How funny should the scene be?

The relative positions of the two women within the playing space was initially explored, starting with the idea of keeping Barbara still throughout her speech so that the audience join her in watching Martha. At first Beth Vyse as Barbara was situated still at centre-stage and Hannah Watkins as Martha was encouraged to use all the rest of the stage. But how soon into the sequence does Martha become aware of Barbara watching her? Hannah suggested that an individual lost in herself would be too distracted to observe others in her vicinity; and the director asked her to develop this level of distraction. Some discussion ensued about the degree to which Barbara is speaking through direct address to spectators, when (as one of the actors pointed out) the convention is that such a speaker is momentarily in a world apart from the other characters in the play. If, he (Adam Kay) argued, this convention were exploited with Beth engaging directly with the audience, then Hannah as Martha would be free to use the whole stage area without necessarily becoming aware of Barbara till the latter suddenly chooses to speak to her. It was decided to begin with this set of premises and Beth was repositioned downstage to allow her freer and closer contact with the audience, although Brian Woolland as director asked her to focus her comments in such a way as not to try and take in the entire audience at once but to address small groups in front and to her sides in turn, so that her own movements in contrast with Martha’s would be relatively small and contained.

This established a divided focus for spectators between the two women (deployment of such a device runs throughout the play and is a particular feature of Brome’s dramaturgy): Beth’s eye-contact with spectators invited the focus on to her while the greater amount of activity evolved by Hannah demanded attention too, and spectators admitted to finding the imposed choice of focus so early in the scene too demanding (just as the camera in recording the workshop noticeably at this point cannot settle but shifts to and fro between performers). However it was decided to continue in order to see what impact this had on the move into contact between the two women, particularly when Martha’s mood-swings had an outlet. How loud, how “big” in performance terms, should those mood-swings be?

It is noticeable how the nature of Barbara’s looks to the audience now change and take on an air akin to desperation, as if she were looking for a way out of a difficult situation or for at the least some support, which it was agreed began to bring the audience into the predicament of Martha’s condition; consequently its social impact on others was now being explored. From this insight, it was decided to go back to the beginning and play the scene again with Barbara now still at centre-stage and Martha entering to her, intent on making contact but having difficulty in enunciating what she wants to say. The director instructed Beth to leave Martha space to speak but not long enough at first for her to gather her wandering wits to enable her actually to speak out of her misery.

This created the required divided focus while bringing the women into closer physical (though not psychological) proximity, but it left Hannah little room to establish the mood-swings which are the material of Barbara’s speech. As she had her back to much of the audience, the situation dictated that most spectators had to imagine how she was behaving from Barbara’s responses. Hannah admitted to finding it difficult to motivate being continually on the point of speaking while some inner impulse holds her back from doing so. However audience and director liked the overall effect of Martha being out of control but aware of the fact and seemingly trying to keep herself in control. This certainly gave impetus to Barbara’s comments about the “monstrous” nature of Martha’s condition. When Beth admitted to having difficulty with the transition in her long speech from factual description into the imagery of “the wolf within the flesh”, Liz Schafer suggested that Hannah as Martha provide her with the means to effect the transition by actually howling in her distraction and incapacity to communicate. While Hannah acquiesced in this, she felt this too would need motivating for her as an actress (even allowing for the character’s precarious levels of self-control). This was explored in discussion and the decision reached that Beth deliver the early part of her speech out of feminine sympathy for Martha and that this sudden access to compassion in another woman (“I guess her grief”) provoked in Martha a howl of relief and horror at the sudden offering of an opening to communicate her pain.

Steadily levels of the text were now beginning to have a connection and a purpose within the performance and the particular colouring of vocal tone was increasingly becoming a defining medium; but the interpretation had come a long way from the initial decision to play Barbara’s opening speech as direct address to spectators. However, Richard Cave and other editors felt that as the psychological implications deepened so the handling was getting altogether too sombre for a comedy. He proposed that the cast revert to the idea of Beth as Barbara being stationary in the centre of the playing space, leaving virtually the whole stage free for Martha to just take over as her own; and that it should be Barbara who is trying to bridge the gap between them. Further discussion led to the idea of Martha instead endeavouring to reach out to spectators but lacking the words to establish significant contact. In other words, she would appear to be attempting to establish direct address but repeatedly failing. This would be to put the audience in a similar relation to the character of Martha as Barbara’s. Brian Woolland instructed Hannah to use this new situation to disconcert the audience (“play right out with no holds barred”, he suggested) and keep the action on a cusp between the funny and the disturbing.

Martha’s performance here became to some degree a parody of what Barbara was saying about her, as if she were sitting in judgement on the excesses of her own behaviour and on anyone sympathising with her, while still not being able to restrain those excesses when they frustrated her attempts to make social contact. Brian Woolland next suggested that Hannah go wholly along with the idea that she is playacting here: that she should embody people’s expectations of her as “mad” out of desperation at having any other impact on them. This version began to give a new dynamic to the scene and a wholly unexpected outburst of passion in Martha once she did establish a measure of contact with Barbara. At first perhaps in this reading Martha’s disconcerting relation with spectators (her threatening to invade their space) detracted from the impact of Barbara’s words; but that opening gave considerable momentum to the dialogue once contact with Barbara was established and it brought especially to Martha’s words a level of anger at all that her life lacked which her adult body and her intelligence knew she lacked in her marriage. Barbara speaks of Martha’s innocence but Martha deeply resents being locked into that state by being forcibly deprived of sexual experience with her husband. The performance was beginning to acknowledge both the absurdity of Martha’s predicament in being made to live out Peregrine’s fantasy and the pain of that condition. Having uncovered such layers in the text through performance, the group decided to move on further into the scene to the point where a relationship begins to be established between the two women. This commentary on the workshop continues from Martha's line, "Are you sure on't?" [AN 1.1.speech83].
[go to text]

n1483   Ent[er] MAR[THA]. The length of Barbara's speech would allow the actress playing Martha considerable stage time in which to depict some of the strangely erratic behaviour which Joyless has earlier described as characteristic of her hysterical state. A long piece of mime here might accompany Barbara's growing sympathy to excite a similar response in spectators, so that speech and action would complement each other neatly. But see the longer discussion of this episode in the commentary accompanying the video recording of the workshop on this scene. [go to text]

n1484   wed-lock and key! This is an interestingly fanciful play on words: ‘wedlock’ refers conventionally to the state of matrimony, of being wedded, by taking the required oath of obligation. Brome then by a pattern of association adds to this idea (in a compressed form) the phrase ‘lock and key’. The required ‘key’ to unlock the wife’s virginity was the husband’s penis; but Martha, though technically a wife, still retains her virginity. Behind the wordplay may lie some reference to the chastity belt, which locked by the husband, who retained the key, prevented the wife from commiting any adulterous acts. Martha is figuratively imprisoned in such a belt. The bizarre situation leads logically to the use of the words ‘insufferable’ and ‘monstrous’ and then to the image of the self-devouring ‘wolf’. [go to text]

gg860   wolf term for a cancerous sore or erosive disease; the term survives medically in the name for the energy-sapping condition known as ‘lupus’ (the Latin word for wolf). The prevailing medical treatment of such a condition in Brome’s day was to apply raw meat to the site of the cancer in the belief that by its feeding on such flesh it would cease to consume the surrounding flesh or organs of the patient. [go to text]

gg861   wits abilities [go to text]

n5527   [Aside] This edition. [go to text]

n5528   [To MARTHA] This edition. [go to text]

gg862   forsooth truly [go to text]

n5529   [Aside] This edition [go to text]

gs104   trow? do you suppose? [go to text]

n9836   Are you sure on’t? Video The workshop continued by exploring the kind of relationship that is established between Barbara and Martha, while losing none of the passion and anger that had been found in Martha’s sensing that she is the victim of Peregrine’s fantasising. Brian Woolland, the director, wished to explore this ambiguity in Martha between an almost childish innocence and a knowing insight taught her by her body and senses, which are those of an adult woman. What the cast and the assembled audience of editors next discussed was the level of bawdy that begins to seep into the dialogue (the references to “something” and “anything” involved in the getting of children) and the degree to which this should be played up. As the two women become more intimate so they resort more to sharing personal experiences in relation to “women’s matters”, to child-getting, to sexuality and to erotic experience. Interestingly it is Martha’s direct questioning and open expression of her fraught experience that pushes the dialogue into discussions with a potential for bawdy. It was decided, chiefly by Hannah Watkins as Martha, not to articulate the bawdy archly or knowingly (a sharing of a joke between actress and spectator at the expense of the character) but to play for innocence and allow the audience to register the potential for bawdy in her words as indicating the exact difference between her perception and theirs. Similarly the talk of searching for babies under rosemary bushes may be the mark of Martha’s innocence in the audience’s eyes but it is also the measure of her private anguish. A crucial factor in this decision was Brome’s stage direction that at this point in the dialogue Martha should suddenly “weep”.

This extract from the workshop neatly establishes the growing intimacy between the women and, even more interestingly, that it is Martha who is proactive in moving their dialogue into ever more private matters. Noticeably, she is capable of distinguishing between the anger she feels at Peregrine and the confidence she feels with Barbara as another woman, and this awareness allows her to open herself to reveal what social proprieties would conventionally at the time have required her to suppress. To represent such growing insight and complexity of thinking in Martha, Brome resorts to some highly concise syntax, which on occasion catches the actress out. It is a syntax that deploys echoes, repetitions and internal rhymes as if Brome is trying to find a grammatical correlative for his character’s thought patterns. The break in the performance has been kept in here to illustrate this difficulty for the performer and the need for precision in delivery if spectators are to keep pace with where Martha’s erratic mind may be leading her. What next surfaces is her recollection of a “wanton maid”, who made pressing sexual advances on the young Martha and affected her “strangely”. This, it emerges, is Martha’s only erotic experience to date , and out of this recollection she suggests that she now “lie with” Barbara to repeat and develop her sexual awareness.

Brian Woolland next asked the actresses fully to play out the implications of the confidentiality, the secrecy of the sharing, but at the same time to find ways of bringing the audience into that intimacy by looking at specific spectators where the text appeared to allow such address. He also suggested that Martha, having established that level of engagement with Barbara, should become quite tactile, particularly after her memory of the wanton maid and as her scheme either to lie with Barbara or to encourage Peregrine to do so as a form of sexual therapy matures in her imagination. There was some debate between practitioners and editors about the precise significance of the word “strangely” and the precise degree of erotic experience that it intimates as having taken place. (“Strange” in the period often carries overtones of the foreign as if one were alienated from oneself, while in Jonson’s poems and masques it often signifies the wondrous, the out-of-the-ordinary.) Hannah Watkins as Martha was therefore asked to play that whole speech as if the memory grew more and more exciting in its recall, which then propels her into suggesting that she repeat the experience or something like it with Barbara. As Liz Schafer pointed out in the general discussion, this was to reverse the power structure in the scene, giving Martha a new status since she is proposing sex with another woman to Barbara of which Martha herself actually has experience but Barbara has not. The performers were encouraged to experiment with whether or not to look out to the audience through the sequence or to keep the whole scene inward to the two of them alone, fast enclosed in their own intimacy. The objective was to explore what tone would result from this handling and what kind of spectator-response would be provoked. The intention was to carry the scene through to its ending and the women’s exit. A trial run was disrupted several times by the cast asking for explanations about language and rhythm and so is not shown here. What happened was that Hannah, after Martha’s line “I think nobody hears us”, spoken softly as she glanced round the “auditorium”, never engaged again with spectators but focused her whole dialogue on Barbara, whose stage space she began increasingly to invade. Beth Vyse as Barbara found herself, as Martha’s schemes became wilder and wilder, continually looking out to the audience as if for some hold on commonsense and reassurance. She looked completely out of her depth. The problem with the sequence in that first attempt was that it was highly static with the two women simply facing each other until the exit. Building on this idea of Barbara’s growing reliance on the audience which she was asked to develop further, Brian Woolland suggested that as Martha became more tactile so Barbara should retreat from where her approaches might be leading. This degree of movement ensured that all members of the audience would see the proceedings from a variety of changing perspectives.

What became apparent from this experiment was how much funnier this final sequence became when the audience were invited to be involved through Barbara’s looks expressive of increasing alarm. There was no verbal direct address involved in this just very telling looks, which contrasted neatly with Martha’s exclusion of the audience from her private compact with Barbara, her confidentiality, her openness and her power to get her way. She was wholly focused on her intent to the point of obsession and oblivious of Barbara’s discomfort. Once sexual tensions entered the scene, it became genuinely humorous. What impressed about this last attempt was how the comedy had come to reside in Barbara and not in Martha: madness per se was not held up to ridicule. In a full rehearsal situation a cast would go back to the opening half of the scene to rework that in the light of this discovery; but work on the episode has been left here in two sections to highlight the shift of status and power within the scene, when Martha as one-time object of pity becomes a force to control events. Both characters undergo a carefully mapped transition as the scene progresses: having entered the scene as very separate individuals, they leave it as a pair. However, as Helen Ostovich pointed out in the ensuing discussion, the word “ease” in Barbara’s last lines is one that often in the Caroline period and earlier carried sexual connotations. The finality of her couplet is expressive of Barbara’s commitment to caring for Martha and her sexual education. The actress’s final backward glance at the audience from whom she had previously sought support carried more than a hint of dubiety at what precisely she was committing herself to, which subverted the confidence implicit in the couplet to hilarious effect. It was she and her glance not the forward-advancing Martha that won the last laugh.
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gg863   fac’d me down confront [go to text]

gs105   stood insisted [go to text]

n1485   Great Turk This could refer generally to any all-powerful emperor of the Turkish people; but Haaker specifies the reigning monarch, Murad IV (his rule covered the period, 1623-1640), who possessed a reputation for being decidedly sadistic, bloody and cruel. [go to text]

gg856   fool child, a silly (often used as a term of endearment, OED n, 1c) [go to text]

gg1531   got begotten, conceived [go to text]

n903   Trained brought up to manhood [go to text]

n4113   any thing In her innocence Martha simply means "anything" here; but an audience are likely to infer the more bawdy intimation, where "thing" clearly relates to a "penis" in the context of child-getting. The complex tone of this is somewhat subverted (and a good joke missed in consequence) by Haaker's silent compression of two words into one ("anything"). Kastan, Proudfoot and Parr all follow her example, making no passing reference to the serious emendation they have made. None of these earlier editors seem prepared to honour Brome's presentation in Martha of a young woman with the experience of an innocent child but the desires of an adult. She speaks bawdy but is quite oblivious of the import of what she is saying. It was in workshopping this scene that the detail and subtle artistry of Brome's characterisation fully emerged; the point is discussed in the notes attached to the video recordings accompanying this episode. OED cites the use of "thing" as referring to the genitalia, male and female, as dating back to Chaucer; the example they give of such usage from the seventeenth century is from Ben Jonson's The Alchemist (5.1.24) and Lovewit's reference to "The boy of six years old with the great thing" (he fears his house in his absence has become a showplace for freaks). [go to text]

n3897   [She] weep[s]. In Q, this direction is placed by the compositor in the right margin at the end of this line in Martha's speech. This edition moves the direction to the sentence break where it more aptly belongs in terms of playing the role: Martha states the precise facts about her continuing virginity and immediately bursts into tears at the implication of what she has said. But then doubts take over and she seeks reassurance that it is not wrong of her to long for sexual union with Peregrine. The emotional fluctuations in the speech exactly depict Martha's innocence, the pain of her longing to conceive, and her uncertainty over how to go about finding instruction to remedy her plight. By placing the weeping precisely here in the speech, Brome undercuts the potential absurdity of Martha's predicament by rousing pathos in spectators before they may be inclined to laugh. [go to text]

n9698   Something, This is how the original printed text reads: with one word not two. It is tempting to emend this to read "Some thing" to parallel the bawdy use of "any thing" in the previous line, but the original rendering has been respected. [go to text]

gg715   fain gladly, willingly, eagerly [go to text]

n5530   [Aside] This edition. Arguably the line could be delivered to Martha as an expression of sympathy, where "fool" could carry the meaning "child" or "innocent". [go to text]

n5531   [Aside] This edition [go to text]

n5532   [To MARTHA] This edition [go to text]

n1486   Pray can you charge me with another man? This and similar passages, together with Barbara’s rather pert and flirtatious manner when in Letoy’s presence, suggest to Scott Kastan and Proudfoot that the lord may have in fact fathered her children and not Blaze and that this was the cure for Blaze's jealousy. There would appear to be some basis for such an interpretation, particularly given Barbara's remarkable outburst of sarcasm and rancour in the final act, when she supposes that Diana has replaced her in Letoy's regard [AN 5.2.speeches1071-1074]. But Brome does not develop the potential of such inferences into a clearly defined subplot. Adultery as a cure for jealousy is propounded by Letoy in the final act, but at that moment he is tempting Diana to break away from Joyless; the idea is not put into practice, though he forcefully presses his suit. Much of the action turns on the dangers that may attend an overly suspicious mind: Letoy, Blaze and Joyless are all seen as being guilty of holding such an attitude at some point in their lives; and it may be that Brome is to some degree challenging his audience to view what they watch as openly as possible. Suspicion has been a destructive agent in Letoy's marriage and looks like to be so in Joyless's. Blaze has learned to be accepting; his scenes with Barbara are woven through with affection and trust to a degree where they can jointly joke about his one-time fear of being cuckolded. That trust gives Barbara a freedom and independence of mind within their marriage that is surprisingly modern in its tenor and her flirtatiousness might be played as symptomatic of that freedom. Performers and director must explore this aspect of the play inventively in rehearsal and opt either to pursue consistency of characterisation for Barbara (and Letoy in his scenes with her) or to embrace the ambiguities consciously and leave their audiences guessing. It is noticeable that the presentation of Letoy's character darkens as the play develops and the vicious tone of his and Barbara's final remarks to each other may be a further subverting of his autocratic and patriarchal stance. [go to text]

gg864   charge (v) accuse [go to text]

gs542   wanton impetuous; reckless; sportive; unrestrained; skittish; amorous [go to text]

gg865   clipped hug, embrace, clasp with the arms [go to text]

gg73   clapped (v) to pat as a mark of endearment, 'to pat fondly' (OED v, 9a) [go to text]

n5533   [Aside] This edition [go to text]

gs106   piece example [go to text]

n5532   [To MARTHA] This edition [go to text]

gg866   use to usually, habitually [go to text]

gg868   use have sex with [go to text]

n9884   he ] she (G.P. Baker in his edition of 1914 was the first to make this emendation, which subsequent editors have followed. This makes perfect sense; but to a post-Freudian reader the slip might be interpreted as indicating that Martha's mind is still preoccupied with memories of her encounter with the "wanton maid".) [go to text]

n1487   instruct him. But one night. Q places a comma in this line after both 'him' and 'night'. Connecting the phrase 'but one night' with the following grammatical sentence, renders it absurd. Logic suggests it should be linked to the previous sentence. The first comma might be omitted (Haaker’s emendation) so that the passage reads: "...or take /My husband and instruct him but one night". This avoids the absurdity but it also avoids the potential drama of the phrasing. An alternative emendation might be to retain the first comma and replace the second by a full stop (so that the passage reads: "...or take /My husband and instruct him, but one night."); this would allow an actress playing Martha to react to a shocked response from Barbara by limiting the duration of the sexual therapy. Alternatively, Martha could herself realise the implications of what she was asking and decisively limit the period of instruction. There is potential for character-play here, if the punctuation allows for more than flat statement. Scott Kastan and Proudfoot build on the drama of the moment by deploying a dash rather than a comma after "instruct him", which intimates that Martha fears the consequences of too long a time of intimacy with an enthusiastic Barbara. This edition substitutes full stops for both commas to make the potential for dramatic interplay between the women even stronger. [go to text]

gg866   use to usually, habitually [go to text]

gg873   art trained, professional ability, skill [go to text]

gg870   ease relieve, cure [go to text]

gg876   rectify set right, reform, remedy [go to text]

n3898   1.2 Given the format followed in Q of introducing a new scene whenever a new character enters the stage, that text here reads "Act. 1. Scene. 5." and a clear division is marked by placing this information and the stage direction that follows in italics centrally in the column of text. This is not the only instance in the play where the compositor of Q gets his scene numbering confused. To date only three scenes have been recorded in Act One. Perhaps a fourth scene should have been noted with the entrance of Martha to Barbara, but no new scene division is made at that point. Had the format over scene divisions been consistently deployed, then scene four should have commenced with Martha's entrance. This new scene set in Letoy's mansion would then properly have been scene five. Following the format of this modernised edition, because there is a notional change of location following the emptying of the playing space when Barbara and Martha make their exit, the start of the second scene of the act is marked here. [go to text]

n6174   1.2 The second scene introduces us to Letoy in circumstances that at first appear to have no relation to what has occurred previously; the whole episode is a kind of interlude focused on a precise and detailed character study, appropriate for the man who will steadily emerge as the chief personage in the play. Letoy is a flamboyant aristocrat whose title is of longstanding (the opening dialogue about his pedigree and heraldic status establishes as much). Though of French descent, he is a wholly English eccentric: he is a lord who chooses to dress down in simple, plain garb while dressing his servants “bravely”; he possesses town and country mansions but, rather than delighting in displaying his wealth in the courtly and fashionable worlds, he and his men enjoy rural sports and pastimes in the country and in the town devote themselves to the arts of music and theatre. Letoy possesses a theatre company and a stage within his home and, we learn, writes his own plays to be staged under his direction, though he also delights in the fact that his actors are expert in the art of improvisation. Though his attitudes and values run counter to the time, he could not care a fig for his critics. To prove the point about his particular priorities, a sumptuous feast is presented to him as his men in neat and expensive livery carry it to table. Only in the last few moments of playing time are we informed that the Doctor too is in Letoy’s employ, that the lord is well aware of who is residing in Blaze’s house and why, and that Letoy intends to have a controlling hand in what goes on there. To that end he gives Blaze a ring to convey to Hughball. While the significance of Letoy’s cryptic accompanying message that the ring “wants a finger” is immediately clear to Blaze, it whets the audience’s curiosity for the complications that will ensue when it is eventually bestowed. [go to text]

n3899   LETOY [and] BLAZE. ] Letoy, Blaze. Q [go to text]

n4447   LETOY Haaker adds the description "shabbily dressed" to anticipate Letoy's long description about why he prefers in Caroline London to create a new fashion by not wearing what is currently fashionable dress. There will be a number of jokes throughout the play where first Diana and later Peregrine cannot believe that Letoy is a lord, given his understated clothes. [go to text]

n1488   Why Scott Kastan and Proudfoot follow Haarker and insert a comma after the initial ‘Why,’ of this sentence. Most extant copies of the quarto have no such comma and so none has been inserted here by way of emendation. Its insertion would change the rhythm of the verse line and would turn the ‘Why’ into more of an assertion than a question. Grammatically either reading is possible and an actor might well experiment with the two versions to find the one that most readily appeals in delivery. [go to text]

gg878   arms coat of arms, heraldic insignia [go to text]

gg880   pedigree genealogical tree, one’s line of ancestors [go to text]

n904   herald’s painter That is: one who paints coats of arms and armorial bearings. [go to text]

n1489   root The image is derived from the concept of a family tree. [go to text]

n1490   Ex origine, ab antiquo That is: from the ancient origins (of my family). [go to text]

gs107   fetched sought out (in the sense of "researched"); derived [go to text]

n3926   Far enough That is: from far enough back in time (in determining Letoy's family tree). [go to text]

gg888   descents generations [go to text]

n1491   conquest This refers to the conquest of Saxon Britain by the Normans after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William (subsequently called the Conqueror) defeated King Harold. The reference establishes Letoy as of French descent. [go to text]

gg889   footing secure foothold [go to text]

gg892   out leave [go to text]

n1492   Primo Ricardi Secundi From the first year of the reign of Richard II (that is, 1377). [go to text]

n1493   end This neatly embraces two meanings: ‘listen to the end of what I am saying’; and ‘note in me the end of that long (dynastic) line’. [go to text]

n1494   humour The term here is taken from Jonson and his theories of the comic humours, the varying temperaments, casts of mind and eccentricities brought about when the four chief fluids of the body (blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy) were out of balance. [go to text]

n5517   [Letoy] In Q this speech (108) appears as a continuation of Blaze's speech (107); but clearly it is not to be assigned to him but to Letoy as his genial response to Blaze's comment about Letoy being a subject for universal laughter. All previous editors following Pearson's edition of 1873 have made this change by inserting a new speech prefix. [go to text]

gg894   beholding indebted [go to text]

gg895   Battens fattens [go to text]

n1495   cost Letoy likens the effect of being the butt of others’ laughter to the way that the payment of interest by needy folk supports the wellbeing of usurers. [go to text]

gg896   Abroad out and about [go to text]

gg897   bodkin common abbreviation or perversion of the term, baldachin, a costly brocade made of silk and gold thread [go to text]

gg898   broadcloth plain-woven, black cloth, used chiefly for men's apparel [go to text]

n5519   broadcloth The contrast between the elaborate clothing worn by most persons of aristocratic rank and Letoy's dark, simple apparel would have had particular significance in the late 1630s. Letoy would have appeared to an original spectator's view as more like a Puritan than a Lord. This adds to the sense of him as not only eccentric by contemporary standards but also potentially radical and subversive of the mores of his class. [go to text]

gg899   magnificence splendour, sumptuousness (with a suggestion of munificence too) [go to text]

gg900   shows ostentatious display [go to text]

gg41   braveries. 'finery, fine clothes' (OED 3b); showy attire (worn with an air of bravado) [go to text]

n910   run at ring The "ring" was a metal circle suspended from a post, which riders competed to carry off on the tip of a lance. [go to text]

gg901   tilt to engage in a combat, for exercise or sport, in a manner where two armed men on horseback with lances ride on opposite sides of a barrier and score by attaints [hits to the body] and the number of lances broken [go to text]

gs109   handsome dextrous, skilful [go to text]

gg902   pitch throw, toss a heavy object in competitive sport [go to text]

gg903   bar a lengthy log of wood or spar of metal like the Scottish caber [go to text]

n915   crack the cudgels fight with a thick stick or club [go to text]

gg904   pate head [go to text]

n5534   More than to feel’t. This could be delivered as a cheeky aside or as a joke to be shared with Letoy. [go to text]

gg905   Polecats a wild, predatory cat (applied contemptuously to a prostitute) [go to text]

gg906   grigs, wild and merry youths (a meaning derived from the term used to define slippery eels) [go to text]

gs198   base (n) a term used in children’s games to define a particular territory, outside which anyone can be taken captive [go to text]

gg908   breathe exercise but at a brisk pace to stimulate the heartbeat and increase the pace of breathing [go to text]

gg909   barley-break a country game akin to tag but livelier, since it was played in pairs [go to text]

gg910   choice select, sophisticated [go to text]

gg912   in substance essentially, fundamentally [go to text]

gg911   amphitheatre arena [go to text]

n1496   masques These were elaborate performances, perfected in the Stuart period, involving moving scenery, music, singing and dancing; those at court were extremely costly, which explains Letoy’s proud claim ‘all within myself’ (that is, of his own devising and at his own expense). The observation would be loaded for a Caroline audience, who knew the extent to which such royal pastimes were bankrupting the state. [go to text]

gg917   quality a word with multiple possible meanings including profession and professional standing or ability (when reference is to actors); also referring to class and social standing (OED 3a [pertaining to class]; OED 1b and 2b [pertaining to ability]) [go to text]

gg913   viols early forms of stringed instruments played with a bow that came in different pitches akin to the modern violin, viola or cello [go to text]

gg41   bravery 'finery, fine clothes' (OED 3b); showy attire (worn with an air of bravado) [go to text]

gg914   undoes ruins [go to text]

gs110   bravery boast, daring (with overtones appropriate to The Antipodes of a calculated inversion of values) [go to text]

n1497   Hautboys. A service, as for dinner, passes over the stage, borne bymany servitors, richly apparelled, doing honour to LETOY as they pass. The nature and function of this elaborate procession has been spelt out in the preceding dialogue. The servants should all be richly dressed to point the contrast with the simplicity of dress of their employer, Letoy; the food should be impressively rich in its variety and presentation; the servants should move in orderly file and each should bow gracefully (‘doing honour’) in passing before their lord. There should be nothing skimped or hurried about the way the procession is staged, since it evokes the orderliness of Letoy’s household, which is in marked contrast to the topsy-turvy world that his imagination furnishes forth in the play-within-the-play. [go to text]

gg155   Hautboys. wooden double-reed wind instrument, analogous to the modern oboe, though rather more raucous; hoboys were also known as shawms [go to text]

gs111   service, as for dinner, a set of cooked or prepared dishes and the utensils required for serving a particular meal (OED 28a) [go to text]

n5518   doing honour That is, each man bows to Letoy as he passes and may present his particular platter or dish of food for his master's inspection. The sequence should be staged as a disciplined ritual to draw an ironic parallel with the same men's squabbling arrival into Letoy's presence when they are dressing as actors (see 2.1.). [go to text]

n1498   Shakespeare’s chronicled histories The reference is to Shakespeare’s two tetralogies: the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III; Richard II, the two parts of Henry IV and Henry V, all of which drew for their material on the Chronicles of writers such as Holinshed. Lucy Munro has suggested that 1HenryIV was revived by the King's Men in their 1634-1635 season, if John Greene's reference to seeing "ffalstaffe" on April 9, 1635 refers to Shakespeare's play. [go to text]

gg915   to boot also [go to text]

n1499   Caesar The Roman emperor, Nero, delighted in theatrical performance and is reputed to have acted on occasion himself. [go to text]

n1500   English Earl The reference is presumed by earlier editors to be to the Earl of Leicester, favourite of Elizabeth I, under whose patronage a company of actors (Leicester's Men) was first established in London in the 1570s. However the Lord Admiral's Men and Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, were also under aristocratic patronage (Charles Howard, Baron of Effingham, and Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon respectively) in the later decades of Elizabeth's reign. [go to text]

gg916   outvied out-rivalled, beaten in competition [go to text]

n9885   I love the quality The lineation of this and the next line is a vexed issue. Q starts a whole new verse line with these words, leaving Blaze's preceding half-line isolated by itself and creating a very unmetrical line that runs: "I love the quality of playing, I, I love a play with all". If these opening words of Letoy's speech are seen as the completion of a verse line begun by Blaze, then a far more regular patterning of pentameters ensues from this change. This edition follows Parr in making this emendation. Haarker follows Q exactly; Kastan and Proudfoot prefer "I love the quality of playing, I", which is neatly metrical, but it creates problems for them later in the speech. Parr's emendation does not require extensive adjustment of subsequent lines (as Kastan and Proudfoot's reading does), but quickly returns to Q's lineation. [go to text]

gg917   quality a word with multiple possible meanings including profession and professional standing or ability (when reference is to actors); also referring to class and social standing (OED 3a [pertaining to class]; OED 1b and 2b [pertaining to ability]) [go to text]

n9886   that’s ] that is (In this emendation I am following the example of Kastan and Proudfoot.) [go to text]

n9887   withal ] with all my heart (Parr is surely right to make this emendation, which I have followed. What makes it increasingly difficult to sustain pentameters in this and the surrounding lines is that protracted and repetitive phrase. Parr argues that the compositor was "lulled into repetition by the second occurence of 'withall' in the MS" (p.236). [go to text]

n3914   Some of the court The precise targets of this barb are not known, but the most likely dramatists so curtly dismissed are William Davenant and Walter Montagu. Davenant penned several masques for court performance, including The Temple of Love (1635), while Montagu wrote The Shepherds' Paradise (1632-33), which Queen Henrietta Maria commissioned and in which she herself performed. In the Epilogue to The Court Beggar, a later play of 1640, Brome describes himself as "no dandling on a courtly lap" and then repeated the jibe and at greater length, characterising his rival upperclass playwrights as in all likelihood prone to purchasing plays from impecunious university scholars and so "only show their own wits in owning other men's" (CB 5.1.speech1144). [go to text]

gg918   horse-tricks performing horses [go to text]

gg919   May-games merry-making, foolery (with intimations of triviality and, in the context, licentiousness) [go to text]

gg3177   play-games dicing; gambling; frivolous diversions [go to text]

gs112   brave ostentatious [go to text]

n5520   Quailpipe ] Re. (Q). The stage directions specify that it is Quailpipe who enters here. Q's speech prefix, Re. is to be explained by the fact that Quailpipe is elsewhere referred to as "My Lord's reader", even though he is described in the opening list of Persons in the Play as Letoy's "curate". A curate's duties at this date would have included reading aloud church services in his lord's private chapel and perhaps too reading at various times, such as during dinner, to entertain his master. G.P. Baker was the first to effect this emendation. [go to text]

gg920   stays prepared is served at table, is ready [go to text]

n1501   ready with your grace As Letoy’s chaplain (he is designated Letoy’s "curate" in the Dramatis Personae) Quailpipe would be expected to offer a blessing ("grace") before any meal commenced. [go to text]

gs113   grace the blessing of the food ('meat') [go to text]

n3915   QUAIL[PIPE exits]. Q positions an abbreviated direction "Ex. Quail." in the right margin beside Letoy's previous line. This edition has re-situated the direction in part to avoid breaking up the syntactical flow of Letoy's witty observation. Placed where this exit is in Q and coming so soon after Quailpipe's entrance (only some two lines previously) suggests that in performance the actor rapidly moved across the playing space, following in the direction taken by the servants bearing in the dinner and pausing only to make his announcement. [go to text]

n5521   letter No stage direction is included in the scene indicating that a letter be handed to Letoy. A director will have to decide, therefore, when it is to appear onstage. A logical place would be for Quailpipe to hand a letter to his master while announcing that his dinner is served. Another possible placing would be at the very opening of the scene when it might be handed over by Blaze to motivate Letoy's first question about why Blaze has not brought his "pedegree" which he anxiously awaits (rather than a mere missive). Audiences would however have to wait a considerable passage of stage time before the action required the letter to be opened and read. The first suggestion would therefore seem preferable. [go to text]

gg921   wants is without, lacks, is lacking (something) [go to text]

n4089   A finger. Farewell, good Blaze. The line is incomplete metrically. (Blaze's final two lines are a distinct couplet and need to be presented as such textually.) There are various ways in which a cast might handle this. Blaze might leave a long pause, watching Letoy quit the stage before taking the audience into his confidence for the final couplet. Or Letoy could dwell on a pregnant pause after "finger", waiting to see if Blaze (and the audience too) is quick-witted enough to catch his drift. It might too easily be assumed by spectators that Peregrine and Martha are solely to be the object of the Doctor and Letoy's attentions. Increasingly it is to become apparent that the marriage of Joyless and Diana is equally to be an object of their shared endeavour. This is the first indication Brome gives his audience that Diana's role in the proceedings is to be the focus of Letoy's interest. Why this should be so is not to be revealed till the final act, but Brome prepares the grounds for that revelation with meticulous dramaturgical care and inventive skill. [go to text]

n4088   [LETOY exits.] Q gives no direction here, but clearly Letoy should depart as his final words indicate, leaving the stage to Blaze as he utters his final teasing couplet, challenging the audience to guess who is to be in receipt of the ring. [go to text]

n4099   1.3 Q appropriately reads "Act. 1. Scene 6." in accordance with the format and the numbering established there. Interestingly despite that format there is no scene break in Q to mark Quailpipe's entrance (at line 439), possibly because he there performs a messenger's function and his intrusion into the scene is consequently very brief. [go to text]

n6175   1.3 The third scene returns the audience to Blaze’s house and introduces two new characters, who have been discussed but not yet seen. Initially the focus is on Peregrine and his obsession with travel, not within lands by that date accessible to English travellers in Europe, but to the mythical lands of the East and Africa ventured into only by the intrepid likes of Marco Polo and made famous in stories, largely fictional, by Mandeville. To feed his fantasies, the Doctor pretends to have journeyed there already himself, hoping thereby to win Peregrine’s trust as well as his admiration. Invited to choose anywhere on the globe to travel to, Peregrine settles on the Antipodes as being far further south than any voyage that Mandeville accomplished; and Hughball agrees to arrange for their instant departure. The doctor is rather a showman, as was evident from his first appearance in Scene One, and he has expressly desired Joyless and his wife, Diana, to be present at his meeting with Peregrine. This is partly to display his absolute command of both the situation and his patient; and partly, given the suspicion with which medicine and medics were still viewed by many in the 1630s, to be fitting witnesses of his skills in healing sick minds by means that in no way engage with magic, chicanery, or a dubious brutality (such as was often in the seventeenth-century meted out to persons judged insane). Again Brome shows his dramaturgical expertise in the way he continually brings father and step-mother into the dialogue and within the orbit of the audience’s attention. What enables him to do this is his superb portrayal of Diana, as a young, feisty woman, alert to all that is new in her experience in visiting London. She is a marvellously vivacious creation, full of enquiry and a keen intellect, who spars wittily with both her husband and Hughball, to a point where Joyless’s jealousy is provoked and the Doctor has to use his wits repeatedly to keep Diana from being dispatched to her room. What this ensures is that the twin themes of madness and jealousy (itself a form of madness, as the play steadily depicts it) are developed in a balanced fashion alongside each other with neither being privileged in a spectator’s awareness. Meticulously the dramaturgy shifts one’s interest back and forth between Peregrine and Diana; Joyless and the Doctor are cast at times as observers, the viewpoint and judgement of the former being influenced by his prevailing suspicion of Diana’s fidelity, while the latter creatively plays up to both Peregrine and Diana, encouraging their developing self-expression. The scene is at once comic and tense, especially once Diana’s imagination is released into the possibility of a world turned upside down where everything is the exact reverse of what may be experienced in England and in London. Quickly Diana perceives the ramifications of that concept and the impact it might have in terms of morals, social relations, politics and, most importantly, gender. She seems especially fascinated by the potential latent in reversals of gender-stereotyping. What horrifies Joyless is to Diana a source of intellectual and imaginative excitement, which her husband feels he must quell with patriarchal insistence. Hughball has noted Joyless’s profound care for his son’s welfare (which is continually brought to an audience’s attention) and uses this factor to keep Diana present, on the grounds that they must both stay with Peregrine as observers of the progress of the cure, if it is to be truly efficacious. But just exactly whose cure is being effected begins to be a crucial question. With Peregrine keen to start instantly on his travels, the Doctor proposes a toast to the success of their venture (the goblet contains a drug to send Peregrine into a deep sleep). Blaze meanwhile has arrived with the ring, which the Doctor contrives to drop near Diana, asking her to retrieve it. The scene ends with Peregrine seemingly encouraged in his mania and with Diana in possession of what the audience know to be Letoy’s ring. That various forms of comic chaos will ensue seems certain. Through Diana’s witty and flirtatious banter with Hughball about the nature of life in the Antipodes, Brome has begun confidently to develop the social satirical edge of his comedy, which he established in the opening scene and enhanced next through his portrayal of Letoy. Fantasy may increasingly be the play’s means, but satire of contemporary society seems with increasing certainty to be Brome’s end. [go to text]

gg1348   wait on to attend as a servant (but also perhaps with overtones of the older sense of the word as meaning to 'watch over carefully', though OED lists this usage as obsolete after c.1500) [go to text]

gg922   angle nook, corner [go to text]

n1502   Gallen Hippocrates, Avicen, or Dioscorides. All but Avicen were Greek philosophers and physicians, who through their writings and practice helped establish medicine as a science in the ancient world. Avicen is a poor Anglicisation of the Arab name Ibn Sina (980-1037 A.D.); he was the most renowned of Muslim philosophers and physicians. Much medical practice in the late medieval and early modern periods was still influenced by these four authorities, though by the mid to late seventeenth century their views were beginning to be challenged by the likes of William Harvey, doctor to Charles I. [go to text]

gg923   Bewray betray, reveal [go to text]

n1503   Drake Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. The voyage took from December 1577 till September 1580 (in marked contrast with Peregrine's fantastic travels). [go to text]

n987   didapper dabchick, a minute aquatic bird (the word was often applied derisively to a person, as here where the usage invites the sensing of a pun on Drake’s surname) [go to text]

n1504   Candish, and Hawkins, Frobisher The reference is to Thomas Cavendish (1560-1592), who, following after Drake, was the second Englishman to circumnavigate the globe in a voyage lasting from June 1586 to September 1588. He died while making a second attempt (1591-1592). Sir John Hawkins also tried to circumnavigate the globe, but died near Porto Rico in the attempt. The reference here may be either to Sir John (1532-1595) or to his son, Sir Richard Hawkins (c.1560-1622): both were devoted explorers especially of the seas off South America. Sir Martin Frobisher (c.1535-1594) was an Arctic explorer, who tried unsuccessfully in three separate voyages to find a way to Asia via the North West Passage in the 1570s. He was knighted for his role in the campaign against the Spanish Armada in 1588. [go to text]

n1505   this wilderness And seen the trees of the Sun and Moon, that speak, And told King Alexander of his death, Brome is virtually offering a paraphrase of Mandeville’s text in these lines and the subsequent dialogue between the Doctor and Diana: ‘Here there is a great river, two miles broad; it is called Wymare. Beyond that river there is a great wilderness, so I was told; I saw it not, nor did I cross the river. But men living near the river told us that in those deserts are the Trees of the Sun and Moon, which spoke to King Alexander and told him of his death. Some say that the people who look after those trees eat the fruit of them and the balm that grows there, and live four or five hundred years through the virtue of that fruit and that balm. For there there grows plenty of balm, as in no other place I could hear of, except in Egypt next to Babylon, as I told you before. My companions and I would gladly have gone there; but, as we were told, a hundred thousand men at arms would hardly be able to cross that wilderness because of the great numbers of wild beasts that there are in that wilderness, like dragons and different kinds of serpents and other ravening beasts, which kill and eat all they can get. In this land I have just mentioned there are many elephants, all white; some are blue, and of other colours, quite numberless. There are also many unicorns and lions and other hideous beasts.’ (See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley [Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983], p.181.) Peregrine’s point is that if Mandeville had had the courage to find a means of crossing the fearsome desert, others would have benefited by his experience to follow in his wake and perhaps have journeyed further in that same direction and so discovered the Antipodes. [go to text]

gg924   ope open [go to text]

n988   else This is an idiomatic usage meaning 'if it is not believed' or more appropriately for the context, 'if you do not believe me'. [go to text]

n5522   I’d ] Y'd (Q). (All editors have emended Q's reading of "Y'd", since "you'd" would not make sense in the context.) [go to text]

n1507   Would I had given you half my land ’twere done. Would that I had given you half my land to ensure that the cure had been achieved by now! [go to text]

n5535   Would I had given him half my love It is arguable whether this speech is best delivered in performance as an aside to the audience, since Diana clearly does not address her words to the Doctor in the way that Joyless directs his. But Diana's reference to "my husband" rather than "you" does not immediately indicate that her speech is addressed to Joyless as continuing what has been established by now in the scene as an insistent level of angry banter between the two of them. Performer and director must experiment here and make a decision. [go to text]

gg925   encumbrances burdens [go to text]

gs29   but only [go to text]

n9837   Of Europe I’ll not speak, ’tis too near home: Video What attracted us to workshopping this scene (from this line of the Doctor’s through to Diana’s “That is a trim, /Upside down, Antipodean trick indeed!” in speech 180) was Brome’s manipulation throughout of a sharply divided focus. The doctor is trying to win Peregrine’s confidence to the point where the younger man will trust him sufficiently to go travelling abroad under his instruction. But the doctor is a showman and has brought Joyless and his wife to watch the progress of the cure that Hughball is working on Peregrine: he wants an audience for his activities. The doctor begins to divide his attentions between his patient and Diana. This immediately establishes a metatheatrical situation where there is both an onstage and a theatre audience with the former watching the play of Peregrine and Hughball and the latter watching both that play and its onstage spectators. But the dividing line between actors and audience begins to be confused as Diana becomes increasingly involved imaginatively in the terms of the cure, once the doctor starts to conjure up by power of rhetoric the idea of a world beneath this one that is situated in the Antipodes, a world where everything runs contrary to what happens currently in seventeenth-century England. As Diana becomes more and more excited intellectually and imaginatively by the concept of an antipodean way of living, she poses the doctor innumerable questions to the point where Hughball has to divide his attentions between his patient and his intrusive onstage spectator. Joyless finds his wife’s behaviour intolerably forward. There is a need to find, therefore, a way of placing the characters within the playing space that allows the theatre audience a good view of both focal points of interest and to sustain interest in one focus when the immediate action embraces the other for a period of time. This is particularly the case with handling Peregrine: he is the occasion for bringing everyone into the space, yet continually and more pressingly as the action develops it is Diana who commands the doctor’s attention. Something, cast and director decided, had to engross Peregrine’s interest credibly and in a manner that did not marginalise him in the spectators’ awareness while the dialogue between Diana and Hughball took place. The opening stage direction for the scene prescribes that Peregrine should enter carrying a book; given the emphasis in the early parts of this scene on travel to the limits of the known world, it seemed to cast and director a strong possibility that the book would be some form of atlas. (It could be argued that the book is a copy of Mandeville's Travels, but as Anthony Parr in the introduction to his edition of Brome's comedy observes: "By 1599 [...] imported Dutch atlases were - at a price - available to armchair travellers (p.1)".) The complications involved in holding scripts and a book were such that the cast opted instead for an onstage globe (such were available in the seventeenth century). Later in the workshop Adam Kay as Hughball began to improvise also with the idea of a large wall map. The globe became an object of intense fascination for Peregrine who, retreating into his own world, emerged only to request more information from the doctor. This left Adam Kay, the actor playing the doctor, free to move between both centres of action as the text demanded. The following extract shows how this dynamic was quickly established.

What began to emerge as is evident in that extract is the degree to which the doctor’s growing preoccupation with Diana and hers with Hughball’s ideas excites Joyless’s jealousy. Adam chanced to steady himself when kneeling beside Beth Vyse who is playing Diana and placed his arm around her on the back of her chair, which Eleanor Lowe (Joyless) spontaneously pushed away. The laughter this provoked encouraged the three actors to build on the possibilities of this. What was becoming steadily clearer through performance was how Brome was using the scene and his divided focus of action to instruct audiences to realise that his play overall was to explore two separate, though linked plots: one centred on Peregrine (as most of the action till now has indicated), the other on Diana (a plot-line that only on this, her first appearance, starts to emerge). The decision to build on the conflicting relationships between Diana and Joyless and between Diana and the doctor not only established a new theme relating to jealousy within marriage but actively encouraged the cast to find levels of subtlety in Diana’s characterisation. In the next extract Beth’s first response as Diana to the doctor’s accounts of life in the Antipodes is one of sceptical disbelief which promptly changes into a genuine curiosity, as he proffers more details of the way of life in that new world. Brian Woolland, the director, intrudes into the playing with the suggestion that she play the line “Sure hell’s above ground then, in jealous husbands (speech 161)” not with her initial asperity to Joyless but wittily as an aside to Hughball, thus establishing a new level of intimacy with him.

The doctor’s role is now taking on greater complexity as he divides his time between his original agenda involving Peregrine and his new interest in Diana, even while keeping the theatre audience and his onstage spectators alert to the information about the Antipodes that he is giving them on which the comedy of the next three acts will be based. Though the diagonal placing of the onstage audience had been found almost by chance (with Joyless and Diana to rear stage right and Peregrine at front stage left), it was now found to yield a central area or aisle of clear space which Adam as Hughball could dominate when he faced the need to impart those essential premises about a world of inversions which are to fuel the ensuing scenes of social satire. When in this space he commanded attention as if he were more a choric figure: he is indeed to become the learned guide on the proposed visit to this underworld. The cast was asked at this point to engage in a run-through that placed all these discoveries within the wider contexts of the scene. Growing familiarity with the text allowed Adam to run through his account of his travels with false modesty as if it were nothing, which endowed what on the page looks like straight narrative with character-interest, and the group of four began to find how to pace moments in ways that allowed them to register those moments as significant but in an unforced way (significant because the performance would build on them). A good example of this is the group’s treatment of Beth’s lines, “That I like well in him, too: he will not /Boast of kissing a woman too near home” (speech 155). She addresses them light-heartedly as a passing joke to Joyless who, instead of laughing, manifests shock at the implications of what she has just said; Adam paused before continuing with the doctor’s next speech just long enough to suggest he was registering Diana’s words in terms of how he might use them to his advantage; Peregrine hardly heard what Diana said, being more interested in Hughballs’ tale of having visited Cyprus and what he had seen there. This passage comes immediately before that treated in the earlier video extracts and one can therefore watch, as the more familiar sequences begin, just how the cast have established the grounds here for the comedy of character that ensues as the scene develops.

This has its rough edges, misreadings, forgotten and quickly recovered directions and losings of place in the text, but a shape for the scene has emerged. Peregrine’s fanaticism is so intense that, though the dialogue may move the focus away from him, he is never marginalised, chiefly because Adam has begun to see that he holds the key to the shift of focus here and chooses never quite to lose contact or involvement with Peregrine even as his attraction to Diana is being given its head. What is noticeable is how the text allows the actor to establish two quite different qualities of intimacy: that with Peregrine is quite distinct from his way with Diana. Hughball may be Brome’s means to establish the mechanism of his comic inversions, but the dialogue through which he does this does not neglect to endow him with psychological interest, if the actor wishes to develop its rich implications. A new comedy of physical displacement has begun to emerge when the focus shifts to Joyless and Diana, as the doctor finds ways to intrude between the married pair, however Joyless tries to move into a position where he can assert a protective and possessive relation to his wife. By the end Diana is finding the means to show her independence and has successfully displaced Joyless to a distance beyond her and Hughball. (This within the context of the whole play would beautifully prepare the ground for Joyless’s irascible comment about his wife in 2.1 (speech 286): “The air of London /Hath tainted her obedience already”.) We are being made aware of the grounds on which Joyless’s jealousy as an old man with a much younger wife may be founded. While his characterisation at this stage falls within a recognisable stage type, Diana’s is altogether more enigmatic. Is she innocently joyous (rather than fulfilling her husband’s expectation that she be like him: joyless) as she responds to the mental stimulus of life in London, to the doctor’s debonair account of his travels, and to his subtle control of the situation? Is she being flirtatious and open (in the pejorative sense of inviting men’s interest and exciting their ardour)? Beth contrives to work within these judgemental extremes, allowing both possibilities the potential to grow as the play advances. Though the camera does not do justice perhaps to this aspect of the playing, Hannah Watkins as Peregrine was throughout showing how a player in the role might sustain audience interest by developing a complex mime involving the tracing of the line of the intended journey as indicated on the globe or map, measuring the distance from the known position of London, thinking through the implications of a world that lives “by contraries”. Peregrine should never become “absent” to the audience’s awareness. As often in Brome as in Jonson, a silent character is not without power within the stage picture and Peregrine throughout this scene is an excellent instance of a role that must not be “forgotten”. A final run-through of the later stages of the scene worked on contrasting this with the intended marginalisation of Joyless.

What may seem a workmanlike sequence on the page (a matter of Brome setting up the parameters of his comic vision) emerged through the workshops as having the potential within the writing for much more subtle effects. Nothing within the sequence proved redundant and all four roles carried material for deepening psychological interest as well as deploying different styles of verbal and physical comic playing. Most importantly the workshop established how crucial the scene is in awakening spectators’ awareness to the fact that the comedy is to feature Joyless and Diana as much as Peregrine and his cure. Deftly Brome brings Diana in particular to the fore as a complex figure for whom an audience might suppose it could predict a future pattern of events in which seduction leads to adultery and the cuckolding of her boorish husband. To what degree within Brome’s dramaturgy Diana will be circumscribed by a conventional typology remains open to question and further exploration. Neatly Brome has developed a second plot-line while elaborating his first. This double focus of interest will fuel some intricate dramatic structuring within the following acts, as the playwright’s strategy involving a play-within-a-play begins to unfold. Even on that level this sequence has prepared the audience in the sense of teaching them how to balance and control their ways of engaging with shifting focal points: Brome has shown his spectators that his ensuing dramaturgy will require them to watch both the action and its impact on an onstage group of spectators who watch that action closely rather than participate. He will be requiring his audience to engage actively and experientially in discriminating between affect and effect.
[go to text]

gg926   garb, distinctive fashion, though the OED records that until 1702 the meaning could be extended to include 'a person’s outward bearing', which would seem relevant here to fall in line with the other foreign idiosyncratic mannerisms listed [go to text]

n1508   the Spanish garb, Th’ Italian shrug, French cringe,and German hug? The Doctor reels off a series of caricature images of foreigners and their stereotypical gestures from those parts of Europe where English travellers now ventured. (Visitors from these countries were relatively familiar sights on the streets of London during the Caroline period, else the jokes here would fall flat.) These places and persons, Hughball implies, are commonplace experiences (‘too near home’) compared with the sights he has witnessed. [go to text]

n4119   Paphlagonia The country that is modern Anatolia in Turkey. [go to text]

n4120   Mesopotamia The name means "land between two rivers", generally applied from biblical times to the country situated between the rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, which amounts to what is modern Iraq but inclusive also of parts of Syria, Turkey and Iran. [go to text]

n4121   Mauritania An Islamic country in North West Africa. [go to text]

n4122   Thessalia A country to the north of mainland Greece, bordering Macedonia, which was known as Aeolia in ancient times. [go to text]

n4123   Pyrenean mountains A range dividing South West France from North Eastern Spain. [go to text]

n1509   Paphos isle Paphos, centre of the cult of Venus (or in Greek mythology, Aphrodite), goddess of love and beauty, was situated in the island of Cyprus. [go to text]

gg927   boasted bragged about [go to text]

n5536   [Aside] This edition. However, it would be possible in performance to direct the speech provocatively at Joyless. [go to text]

gg928   poor insignificant [go to text]

gg929   beggingly earnestly pleaded [go to text]

gs114   put out ‘lay out (money) to profit’ (The usage here relates to sponsoring trading expeditions to relatively safe venues or to the practice of betting on one's safe return from private journeys to equally safe destinations. Both were likely to be lucrative returns on one's money. The OED (put v, 43j) gives as an instance of 1599: 'I am determined to put forth some five thousand pound, to be paid me five for one, upon the return of myself, my wife, and my dog from the Turk's court'. [See Ben Jonson, Every Man Out Of His Humour in Wilkes, Volume 1, 2.3.219-222].) [go to text]

gg930   returns yield, interest or profit [go to text]

gg931   milliner seller of fancy goods and apparel, particularly hats [go to text]

n1510   half a nose The implication is that the man is suffering from syphilis, the advanced symptoms of which often involved the collapse or erosion of the nose. [go to text]

n989   unprotected without being accompanied by a guard to ward off creditors seeking to have him arrested [go to text]

n1511   old Exchange The reference is to the Royal Exchange founded in the city by Gresham in 1567. [go to text]

gs115   pitch decide, settle or fix on an objective [go to text]

n1512   foot to foot In Brome’s imaginary geography, the Antipodes are supposedly situated beyond the furthest reaches of Prester John’s kingdom, through which one needed to travel to reach the wilderness and the trees of the sun and moon referred to earlier in the scene as marking the way to the Antipodean regions. Haaker in her edition of the play (p.29) in glossing this reference cites a version of Mandeville’s Travels which in the title to the relevant chapter describes Prester John’s land as lying ‘foote againe foote to England’. But the phrase is also a literal translation of the Latinate word, Antipodes, where ‘anti’ means ‘against’ and ‘podes’ means ‘feet’. [go to text]

gg932   region land, country (in the sense of a distinct realm) [go to text]

gg979   firmament the heavens or sky [go to text]

gg1278   find discover, understand [go to text]

n1513   without heads or necks Having their eyes placed on their shoulders, and Their mouths amidst their breasts? Among the many strange inhabitants of Dundeya (the Andaman Islands) are ‘ugly folk without heads, who have eyes in each shoulder; their mouths are round, like a horseshoe, in the middle of their chest’. (See The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005), p.137.) This was an image that fuelled the early modern imagination; there were many attempts to illustrate such people; they are to be seen recorded amongst the murals in the great map room of the Doge’s palace in Venice, where they are situated in central Africa; and they are referred to by Shakespeare when Othello lists them amongst the many marvels with which in the telling he won Desdemona for his wife: ‘The Anthropaphagi, and men whose heads /Do grow beneath their shoulders’ (1.3.143-144). [go to text]

n1514   an I have followed Scott Kastan and Proudfoot in abbreviating the ‘and’ of the quarto to ‘an’ meaning ‘if’, which improves the grammatical sense of Diana’s speech overall. But I have retained the Quarto’s comma after ‘slip’, which they do not, to separate the conditional sub-clause clearly from the main clause. [go to text]

gg980   supposite opposed, placed directly underneath (supposite a, 1a, where OED cites this as the only known usage of the word) [go to text]

gg981   manners habits, conduct, rules of behaviour (morals) [go to text]

gg982   carriage deportment, bearing [go to text]

gg983   come close be intimate, confidential [go to text]

gg984   Decipher make known, represent [go to text]

gg985   precious costly, though it may also be used here as an intensifier, colloquially meaning out-and-out (OED a. 4a) [go to text]

gg986   else! in actual fact (ironic) [go to text]

n1118   If some men fail here in their power That is: if some men lose their (patriarchal) authority over their wives. ("Power" may of course also carry sexual overtones.) [go to text]

gs120   holds fastenings, reins (meaning the women's matriarchal control and authority) [go to text]

n5539   there they obey the child and servant Brome had already explored this idea in The Late Lancashire Witches, his collaboration with Heywood that was staged in 1634, in the scenes involving the Seeley household, where the father is dictated to by his son, while both are subject to their manservant. In this earlier play the inversions are the consequence of the witches' craft and malicious humour. [go to text]

gg987   o’ersway over-rule, control [go to text]

gs121   quality, rank, station, status (OED n, 3a) [go to text]

gg988   Deport behave [go to text]

gg989   tender value, prize, have a tender regard to (OED v2, 3) [go to text]

gg990   trim fine, neat, smart (clever) [go to text]

gg991   gossips’ godparents (but more particularly the godmothers) [go to text]

n1119   feasts These were often an excuse for wild behaviour, one such is represented by Middleton in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside to celebrate the birth of the latest of Mrs. Allwit's bastards (3.2.). [go to text]

gg992   tittle-tattle idle chattering [go to text]

gg993   goshawk the largest, round-winged hawk in Europe, generally deployed in hunting minor game [go to text]

gg994   tercel the male of any kind of falcon, especially the peregrine [go to text]

gg995   laneret the lanner, a Mediterranean species of hawk, is lengthier than a peregrine falcon but less compact and powerful; the lanneret is the male of the species (so called because it is smaller than the female) [go to text]

gg996   train-scents a method of training hounds for the hunt by trailing some strongly smelling object over distances along the ground for them to follow [go to text]

n1515   [Laughs]Hugh, hugh, hugh! At various points in the dialogue, Brome experiments with finding a phonetic rendering of a particular quality of laughter. What is required of the actor here is a rich belly laugh or guffaw. [go to text]

n1516   swans all black Brome is pursuing the logic of his concept of a world that is the exact inverse of his known world with its particular flora, fauna and habitats; he could not have known at this date that swans in Australia indeed bear black plumage. [go to text]

gs122   else; otherwise [go to text]

gs123   run at tilt compete with lances (used with sexual innuendo) [go to text]

gg997   At ring, a competition to try to penetrate and carry off on the lance-tip a metal circle suspended from a pole (used with bawdy implication) [go to text]

gg998   painted used make-up [go to text]

gg999   servants professed lover, one attentive to the desires of a beloved [go to text]

gg1331   cuckold man with an unfaithful wife, traditionally thought of as having horns on his head [go to text]

gg1000   As as if [go to text]

gg1001   generation continuing propagation of the species [go to text]

gg1002   Monstrous! unnatural, outrageous, horrible; the word in part carries the implication of the modern term, ‘outrageous’; but also in the seventeenth century as earlier, 'monstrous' carried distinct connotations of being 'against nature' (though ‘nature’ in this period was chiefly a masculinist and patriarchal construct) [go to text]

gg1003   handicrafts handicraftsman, artisans, men skilled in manual trades [go to text]

gg1004   vacations periods between terms when the law courts are closed [go to text]

gg1005   term times there were four terms a year when the law courts sat (functioned professionally): Michaelmas, Easter, Trinity and Hilary [go to text]

gg1006   divines clergymen, priests [go to text]

gg1007   wranglers quarrelsome arguers (in the context: highly litigious individuals) [go to text]

gg1008   hirelings, hired servants or workers, particularly used of rural employment [go to text]

gg1009   clowns countryfolk [go to text]

n1517   players too. But they are all the soberest Precisest people This is a neat inversion of the legal status of actors in England in the mid-seventeenth century when they were classed amongst rogues and vagabonds and generally held to be of suspect or questionable character. [go to text]

gg1010   Precisest highly punctilious, fastidious or puritanical (OED a, 3a) [go to text]

gs544   course line (course) of action, procedure (but with the suggestion too of a planned series of actions or medical prescriptions to effect a cure) [go to text]

n1518   A bowl on the table. The appearance of the bowl at the moment that it is required by the action has a rather offhand quality about it. The direction may indicate that the quarto was set from Brome’s rough papers, where he jotted into the margin his sudden need for the bowl containing the soporific drink, even as the idea struck him. Directions for crucial stage properties do not usually appear so late in a scene in printed texts set from prompt copies: since it would be necessary within the bustle of stage practice to have good notice of necessary props, reference to them tends to occur at the start of the scene and for them to be involved in the action quickly, since their presence on an otherwise bare stage would endow them with a degree of interest for spectators, which in this instance would not be satisfied for a long period of stage time, given the lengthy dialogue that has here preceded the need for the bowl of drugged wine. Nowadays directors and their casts may wish to experiment with possibilities: the Doctor might indicate that the bowl should be brought by a servant, who then enters, or alternatively Blaze might enter bearing it, which would draw attention to his presence in a way that alarms Peregrine as the text requires. If the bowl is present onstage throughout the scene, then the actor playing Hughball might find ways of showing how Peregrine’s drinking its contents is the ultimate objective of the Doctor’s persuasions, since Peregrine needs to be drugged before the ‘cure’ can properly begin. Kastan and Proudfoot move the direction to the start of the scene. [go to text]

gg1011   auspicate to give a fortunate [auspicious] start to (OED auspicate v, 3) [go to text]

n4090   Ent[er] BLA[ZE] Q marks a new scene here ("Act. I. Scene.7") with the entrance of Blaze which is also indicated (" Ent. Bla."). The combined direction is compressed into the right margin alongside the first line of Peregrine's speech. This is inconsistent with the textual layout of scene divisions so far in Q, which have been centrally sited within the column of text. This edition places the entrance in mid-line to heighten the dramatic contrast of Peregrine's mood-swing from joyful acceptance of the wine as toast for success in the forthcoming voyage to deep fear and suspicion at the appearance of a stranger, who may be about to frustrate his plans to travel, as happened so often in his past. [go to text]

n1519   One sent I fear, from my dead mother to make stop Of our intended voyage. The fear Peregrine shows here neatly relates back to Joyless’s awareness, voiced in the opening scene, that his son’s madness may in all likelihood have been exacerbated by his parents’ constant interference in his life, which frustrated his every attempt to be his own man. Brome’s attention to details of plotting in this manner is exemplary. [go to text]

n4093   [Aside to DOCTOR] Q does not mark this speech as an aside, but clearly its being delivered to the Doctor "apart" is necessary to rouse Peregrine's suspicion that all is not well, which is indicated by his next line. [go to text]

gs544   course line (course) of action, procedure (but with the suggestion too of a planned series of actions or medical prescriptions to effect a cure) [go to text]

gg3178   bad (bade) instructed [go to text]

gg921   wants is without, lacks, is lacking (something) [go to text]

n4092   stayed? Q ends Peregrine's sentence with a full stop, but this edition follows previous editors in converting the period to a question mark. This is more in character with Peregrine at this moment in the action: Blaze's appearance has frightened him into supposing his travel plans are once again to be terminated. A fearful interrogative tone would seem more apt than petulant insistence on getting his way. [go to text]

gg1012   stayed held up, delayed [go to text]

gg328   stay (v) await, wait for [go to text]

n4091   [He drinks the wine] Q offers no direction here, but the lines require a complementary action. [go to text]

gg1013   draught a quantity of liquid to be consumed, often in a single mouthful [go to text]

n1520   ’Tis a deep draught indeed; and now ’tis down, Note here how Brome has the doctor seem to engage sympathetically with the old man so as to alleviate Joyless’s fears that the drug may be a fatal poison when it so rapidly takes effect; he then instructs him to assist in leading Peregrine from the stage to his ‘cabin’. This cunningly distracts Joyless’s attention with the business of supporting his son physically, and allows Hughball time and the necessary stage space in which to drop Letoy’s ring where Diana can retrieve it. [go to text]

n1520   And carries him down to the Antipodes? Note here how Brome has the doctor seem to engage sympathetically with the old man so as to alleviate Joyless’s fears that the drug may be a fatal poison when it so rapidly takes effect; he then instructs him to assist in leading Peregrine from the stage to his ‘cabin’. This cunningly distracts Joyless’s attention with the business of supporting his son physically, and allows Hughball time and the necessary stage space in which to drop Letoy’s ring where Diana can retrieve it. [go to text]

n1520   I mean but in a dream. Note here how Brome has the doctor seem to engage sympathetically with the old man so as to alleviate Joyless’s fears that the drug may be a fatal poison when it so rapidly takes effect; he then instructs him to assist in leading Peregrine from the stage to his ‘cabin’. This cunningly distracts Joyless’s attention with the business of supporting his son physically, and allows Hughball time and the necessary stage space in which to drop Letoy’s ring where Diana can retrieve it. [go to text]

n5537   skill ] sk ll (Q). [go to text]

gg1014   save recover or retrieve (but also take care of, guard) [go to text]

gg1015   In sooth truly [go to text]

n5531   [Aside] This edition [go to text]

n4124   aboard, aboard, aboard, aboard There are various ways for the actor to treat this line. He may fussily get everyone else moving, or he may express impatience to get on with the cure. Alternatively the repetitions may be treated hynotically, as if the doctor is trying to influence Peregrine at a deep subconscious level. [go to text]

n3916   [DOCTOR and JOYLESS exit with PEREGRINE,while DIANA follows at a distance.] As Q gives no direction about when or in what order characters leave the stage at the close of the act, it has been necessary to create one. The dialogue conveys what is required: Joyless and the doctor lead out the drugged Peregrine, while Diana follows them at a short distance, musing on the ring. Presumably Blaze will address the audience the moment the others have started to depart, following his instruction that they take themselves "to bed". [go to text]

n4125   To bed, to bed, to bed! Blaze's neat echo of the doctor's reiterated "Aboard" firmly insists on the reality of the situation: that the drugged Peregrine is to be put "abed". This realism prepares for the teasing but earthy challenge Blaze poses spectators in his final couplet. [go to text]

n1522   I know your voyage, And my dear lord’s dear plot I understand, Whose ring hath past here by your sleight of hand. The punctuation in Q at this line is somewhat confusing: the phrase ‘I understand’ is isolated from the rest of the sentence by commas. Haarker (p35) emends this by placing a full stop after 'plot' so that 'I understand...' initiates a sentence that structurally and grammatically parallels that starting with ‘I know’. Parr follows this emendation. But this throws too much emphasis on 'I understand /Whose ring...' which is absurd, since Blaze knows who is the owner of the ring which he has carried from Letoy (though he has not known till now the identity of who was intended to receive it). Scott Kastan and Proudfoot emend the line differently by omitting the initial comma after 'plot' while retaining that following 'understand' to read: 'I know your voyage, /And my dear Lord’s dear plot I understand, /Whose ring hath pass'd here by your sleight of hand' (p.32). Plot becomes the direct object of the verb ‘understand’, which leaves the final line of Blaze’s speech as an appositional clause that reminds spectators that the ring is the one sent by Letoy. This change is dramatically more alert, since it indicates that Blaze has understood the significance of what has happened between Hughball and Diana; the speech in consequence becomes a celebration of how doctor and lord work with a total complicity and insight into each other’s intentions. As such, it becomes more than merely a summary of what has just occurred onstage. I have followed Scott Kastan and Proudfoot’s example. [go to text]

n3917   [BLAZE exits.] In the absence of a direction here in Q, I have added an instruction for Blaze to exit at the end of his speech, which the start of a new act immediately thereafter implies. [go to text]