[A room in ROOKSBILL’s house]n1052
CROSSWILL enters alonegg3138n7350.

1010CrosswillWhat has this coxscomb Cockbrain writ me here?n1053 That he desires his absence be excused. What have I to do with him? When I send for him, let him come to me. That he is upon a point of discovery in a most excellent project for the weeding of this garden? What garden? What project? A project he says here for the good of the republic – repudding! This fellow has, instead of brains, a cobweb in his noddle, with little straws, feathers, and wings of dead butterflies hanging in it, that having motion by his airy fancy, there dance and keep a racket. ’Tis to teach women silence, or some such foolish impossibility. He is ambitious to be called into authorityn3860 by notice taken of some special service he is able to do the state aforehand. But what great service he is able to do it, or which way to undertake it, falls not in the reach of my imaginationn7355. But good Master Crosswill, by your favour now, what reason have you to slight or wrangle at this man?n7352 This honest Cockbrain, that has always been a constant friend to you, and officious in many good ways, and is a gentleman, not only of good descent and estate, but of a good disposition. And you two, Master Crosswill, by your leave, have always agreed like neighbours’ children. Aye, the devil was in’t, and now he vexes me again: we agreed in one point so well that we have undone a couple of our children by it, and hindered the getting of I know not how many more. His son and my daughter should have married. And on a sudden he and I both consented to a dislike of the match and broke it, and have both repented it an hundred times since. We agree very well in that point; and now is his son irrecoverably lost, and my daughter resolutely bent to be an ape-leader in Limbon1054. But what’s all this to the affliction I suffer in my sons, now? That one of them from a riotous boy, should grow into a puritanical woodcockn1881; and the tother from a civil, well-qualified fellow, turned absolute ruffian. There, there, aye there’s the devil in’t. I could beat myself for getting such children.n7353
Enter BELTn7351

1011[Belt]n3284   [Aside]   See, see, my master, for want of other company fallen out with himself.   [Aloud]   And it please you, sir?

1012CrosswillIt does not please me, nor thou pleasest me, nor anything pleases me. The world’s bent to cross me, and thou shalt feel it.n7356[CROSSWILL beats BELT]n7354

1013BeltO, good sir!

1014CrosswillIs it not so, sir, was not that dunce Gabriel a most notorious wild thing before he steered a religious course? But then he run so full a sail that he passedgg1718 and was beyond the line of religion before he was aware; and as he passed it under the torrid Zone of Zeal, the calenturegg1073 took him o’the pate, that he is mad with it, and as far beyond religion now as it is to it.

1015BeltSir, there’s hope that he may be fetched half way back again by your fatherly advisement, and become a sound man.

1016CrosswillAnd then was not Mihil so civil, that he made me even sick to see him? And now is he flown out as far into riot t’other way.

1017BeltBut he, sir, will appear a present comfort to you, he is reclaimed already; you shall never see such a reformation in a gentleman.

1018CrosswillWhat’s this you tell me? Ha!

1019BeltHe has cast off his long-curled hair and all.

1020CrosswillHe had been better have cut his head off! Where is he?

1021BeltBelow, sir, and a gentlewoman with him, but very much afraid to appear to you. I never saw a man so timorsomegg3139.

1022CrosswillDo you think it fit that I should go down to him, or he come up to me, sir, ha?

1023BeltI’ll fetch him.   [Aside]   Here’s a life!Exit

1024CrosswillI charged he should not come at this house too, for fear he might be catched with this mechanic fellow’s daughter, though her portion be a roundgg3140 one. And let him take heed he look not at her.
Enter MIHIL,[ in a short-haired wig,] and MARGERY

Bless me! What changeling is this? He’s in his brother’s cutgg1977n3861.

1025MihilSir, – Sir –

1026CrosswillWould you speak with any here, sir, do you know me? I know not you, I assure you.

1027MihilThe sense of your late displeasure, sir, has so humbled me into the knowledge of myself, that on the wings of true obedience, I flew after you to make a child’s submission at your feet, to crave your pardon for my riotous transgression, and to ask your blessing.

1028CrosswillA delicate speech, pray take it for fashion's sake. But if I know how to look towards thee –

1029MihilPray, sir, bestow it really upon me.

1030CrosswillGod bless thee, I say, and so much many honest men bestow daily on sons that are none of their own. If thou be’st mine, how camest thou thus like a fellow that had narrowly scaped the pillorygg3141, and bragged in the publication of his ears? Not an hair left to hide themn1058.

1031MihilTo show my readiness to reform my life, sir. And yet a willingness withal to live, as well, as civilly, in which I am in all humility to prefer a suit to you. You know, sir, I am but a younger brothern1060.

1032CrosswillWhat will this come to?

1033MihilHere is a widown1566, sir, a gentlewoman of great estate, and of a well-known life. Ancient she is, and has had husbands. How many?

1034MargeryFour, truly, sir.

1035MihilFour, sir, I would not lie. Of which the worst spoke well of her on’s deathbed.

1036[Crosswill]n3155What’s that to me or thee? Come to the point.

1037MihilI have all wooed and won her, sir, and crave but your goodwill to marry her. I have brought a churchman and a kinsman to givegg2009 her.n1564

1038CrosswillWhy so, what needs two words then? Do you think I can deny you?

1039Mihil   [Aside]   If he does grant it, ’tis the first request that e’er he granted in his life. Sure the old match-maker, the devil, thinks I am in earnest to marry this beast. And puts a readiness in his handn1061 to forward it.

1040CrosswillWidow, you are welcome.   [To MIHIL]   Why call you not your priest? Or tarry, sir, let me question you but a little. Do you think seriously you love this widow?n1062

1041MihilBetter than many men love their wives, I am persuaded.

1042Crosswill’Tis very well. What children have you, widow?

1043MargeryNever had any, sir.

1044CrosswillVery well still.

1045MihilNor ever like to have any, sir, that’s the comfort. We shall live at the less chargegg113.n3862

1046CrosswillThou art a covetous and a preposterous knave! Wouldst thou bury up thy youth in barren ground? Dost seek after wealth, and not after issue? Dost love to feed on other men’s leavings? Or travel only in a beaten path? Ha!

1047MihilA man goes certainest on his journey so, sir, and less trouble it is, you know, to go in at a great gate, than a narrow wicketn1064.

1048CrosswillYou have said enough, sir, and delight to cross me; but I’ll cross you for once, and lay a cross upon you, shall perhaps carry you to your grave.n3863 Go, fetch your priest.

1049Mihil   [Aside]   I’ll face it as far as I dare. I hope I shall have the grace to pull my hand from the bookn3864 when it comes so far.Exit

1050CrosswillWidow, you are resolved to have him too?

1051MargeryBefore all men i’ th’ world, by your fair leave, sir.

1052CrosswillYou shall not have him.

1053MargeryWithout your free consent, I will not.

1054Crosswill   [Aside]   I am resolv’d I’ll do it. And ’twill be the best cross trick that e’er I did in my life.   [Aloud]   Pray let me speak in some more private with you.

1055Margery   [Aside]   If I but ’scape Bridewelln3865, I care not.n1065[CROSSWILL and MARGERY] exit
[Another room in ROOKSBILL’s house]

1056MihilNow, Tony, she is thine own. Now, sister Kate, he’s thine. The priest has pronounced it. I say, Amen to ’t. And heaven give you joy.

1057KatherineNow you have done the best brotherly office that ever made a sister happy.

1058AnthonyAnd the friendliest to a friend. We have been casting for it, sweet, this twelve month and, Heaven pardon me, I vowed never to take acquaintance of my father till ’twere effected. Although I know of late he has been willing.

1059KatherineAnd so is mine, I know, but yet he swore that I should match myself before he knew ’t, or I should never marry.

1060MihilYou’ll find him of another mind towards me, and force me into wedlock presently.

1061KatherineYou have ta’en the likeliest course that could be. But what is your disguised woman, brother?

1062MihilWhat you shall never know, sister, I hope.

1063CrosswillCome, sir, I have broken off the match with your widow; and she’s content to leave you as she found you. And now take me this pretty, simpering, plump-lipped, ruddy-cheeked, white-necked, long-fingered virgin in handn1066, or I will swingegg2010 you, sirrah, look to ’t. If you cannot live civilly with a young wife, you cannot but be mad with an old, I think. Besides, she’s a friend’s daughter of mine, and prepared by her discreet father here to love you. Come, and kiss her, quickly, sirrah.

1064MihilI cannot do ’t for all the wealth in the world.

1065CrosswillHow’s that?

1066MihilKiss a maid I never saw above twice in my life?

1067CrosswillHe will have me think him a bastard, do I what I can. Canst thou see a maid twice and not kiss her?

1068MihilYes, twenty times, sir, and not kiss her, or if once, not above, sir.

1069CrosswillBut you shall kiss her above and belown1067, sir, and in every room o’ th’ house, sir, before you part. Stand fair, pretty one.

1070LucyI know not how to do ’t.

1071RooksbillYou were not best let me instruct you. I can be angry too.

1072LucyHis back side’s towards me.

1073CrosswillTurn yourself, sirrah, or I’ll turn you. Go to, bend your body a little and be hanged.   [MIHIL and LUCY kiss]   So, now come your way, and say after your little Sir Johngg3170 here, "I, Mihil, take thee, Lucy,” &c. As learning shall enable him to proceed without bookn4267.

1074RooksbillPray let ’em do it in the next chamber, they are too bashful afore us. There are witnesses enough. Go all in, I pray you.

1075MihilWidow, will you give me leave to obey my father?

1076MargeryWith all my heart, and say Amen to the marriage.[Exit all but CROSSWILL and ROOKSBILL]n7357

1077CrosswillI think I shall have my will at last upon one of my rebellious offspring.

1078RooksbillAnd now, pray give me leave, sir, to let you know how happy I do hold myself in this marriage. I did like this son better than the other before. And now I like him better then I did at my former view of him, by some reformation that I do observe in him. And I do not a little rejoice in the honour I may have to call you brothern1069.

1079Crosswill   [Aside]   That very word brother out of his mouth has turned my stomachn2996. I must pull all in pieces again. And yet, let me see these young bloods when they are set on ’t; if they do not marry, they will do worse. Let ’em e’en go on now.

1080RooksbillYou may easily conceive, sir, what a comfort it will be unto me that, I now growing old, and having, I give praise for ’t, wealth enough, and no child that I make account of but this one daughter, may, before I die, see grandchildren that I may have by her sufficiently provided for. Be they more or less in number, they may have enough.n1070

1081Crosswill   [Aside]   There he is again, he calls my grandchildren that shall be, his grandchildren. Am I a gentleman, and can hear this? If it be not too late, I’ll spoil the getting of your grandchildren.
Enter all again.

1082All.Heaven give you joy. Heaven give you joy.

1083CrosswillWhat, are you married?

1084ParsonI do pronounce them man and wife.

1086CrosswillWhat remedy?

1087Mihil and LucyWe are, and crave your blessings.

1088Crosswill and RooksbillAll blessings be upon you.[All greet each other in celebration]n1071

1089CrosswillBut you, sir, Master Bridegroom.

1090MihilI’ll only gratifygg245 the minister.

1091CrosswillDo so, and pay him well. It is, perhaps, for the dearest fault that e’er thou didst.

1092Mihil   [Gives money to the PARSON]   There’s for your pains, sir. Madge, there’s for you.   [Gives money to MARGERY]   Enough to purchase thee a licence to sell ale, tobacco, and strong-watern3393 again in Codpiece Rown455, for here will be no dwelling for thee, I see that. Now, brothern1073 Anthony, go you all back to the company we left, and see that my instructions be followed concerning my brother Gabriel, Nick, and his Dammy.

1093AnthonyAll, all.

1094KatherineShall he go from me?

1095MihilYes, but you shall follow him presently, trust to me, sister. Go, take no leave of ’em. I’ll bring ’em upon you presently.[Exit ANTHONY, MARGERY, KATHERINE, and the PARSON]

1096CrosswillAre you at leisure now, sir, to tell me of your brother?

1097MihilYes, to my grief, sir, praying you may have patience.

1098CrosswillTo your grief, sir? He is not dead then? Younger brothers seldom grieve for their elders’ death.

1099MihilPray bear it as you may, sir. I left him in an heavy plight. And let me speak it with sorrow, he lay speechless.

1100RooksbillAlack-a-day, good gentleman.   [Aside]   My son-in-law, perhaps, is heir already.

1101CrosswillAnd hast thou been here all this while fooling or wiving, all’s a matter,n1074 and left thy brother in danger? Ha!

1102MihilHe’s well attended, sir, and looked unto.n3156
        Nor would I wish you see his weak estate.
It can but grieve you, sir. My wife and sister, together with myself, will go. Or, if it please, my father Rooksbill here, because his power in this quarter is available.

1103CrosswillGo, show the way. I’ll go in person, I. My son’s my son.

1104MihilNay, pray, sir.

1105CrosswillYes, ’cause you have a wife, you shall control me. Will you go on, sir?

1106MihilWell, I’ll bring you to him, sir.

1107LucyWhat was your widow, sir? She stunk of aquavitaegg484 fearfully.

1108MihilI’ll tell thee as we go. Kiss.n1076All exit
[At the Paris Tavern]

1109NicholasWhat a drunken sot was I, that knew thee not all this while? I vow, thy story pities me. I’ll marry thee, and turnn1077 thee to thy friends, for I am sure I have none that will keep thee for my sake.

1110DorcasI ask no further satisfaction of you, than to be honested by marriage. I’ll work for a poor living.

1111NicholasPrithee, Mun, seek me a priest.

1112ClotpollI have no acquaintance in their function, I.

1113DorcasMy cousin Mihil said he would bring or send one.

1114Nicholas   [Aside]   There’s no startingn1078. That Mihil has a fist over men3866. I vow, and thou wert not his kinswoman, thou should to the Commonn1080 yet.
[Enter Captain DRIBLOW]

1115ClotpollFather, how come you hither?

1116DriblowDid not the company send for me?

1117NicholasI vow, not we.

1118DriblowThe City-mouth, that pecked us at my lodging last night, came to me with an abominable scratched face, and warned me on a businessn1081 hither.

1119NicholasI smell some trick.

1120ClotpollSome treachery upon the Brotherhood, perhaps.n8827

1121NicholasTimorous thing! What, in our own quarter?

1122DriblowIf you doubt any thing, ’tis best remove. The fellow was sorely handled.

1123NicholasI would but see the carcass of authority prance in our quarter, and we not cut his legs offn3867.   Enter ANTHONY, PARSON[, KATHERINE, and MARGERY]   n1082Welcome, Tony. What, hast thou brought the word here to pass for the reckoningn1083?

1124AnthonyCome, you must make a wedding-night on’t, Nick; Mihil will go no less.

1125NicholasMy vow is passed, and before you, sir, I confirm it. This is my wife. Anon, you shall perform the holy ceremony.

1126Anthony’Tis well. Pray, sir, retire yourself to the next room there awhile, and stay you with him, lady.   [Exit PARSON and DORCAS]   But what do you with Gabriel? Is it not time to wake him yet?

1127Clotpoll’Tis now upon the point, h’ as slept two hours.

1128NicholasFather, you’ll see a brave experiment upon a gentleman that has been a youth.

1129ClotpollAnd of the Philoblathici, as we are now.

1130NicholasAnd since was grown one of the reformed, and we are now in practice to retrieve, and bring him back to his first condition.

1131AnthonyHave you followed all Mihil’s directions?

1132NicholasHitherto we have. First, you saw he was laid defunct in sack; next, in his sleep we have accoutred him in martial habiliments; and now we mean to wake him with alarms shall affright the silly humour out of him, and rendergg3142 him his warlike faculty, or our art fails.

1133AnthonyWhere be the wenches?

1134ClotpollThe Sisters of the Scabbard, there’s the sport on’t. They have their parts to playn1084 upon him too. But for his drink now when he wakes, you said you would have a bottle of the woman’s what do you cal’t yonder? The Medea.n3353

1135DriblowWhat? The charmed liquor that Medea brewed to make old father Aeson young again? Must that renew his youthful spirit in him?n1085

1136NicholasNo, sack will do better. When he wakes he will be very dry, then a quart-draught of good Canary will so screwgg3143 him up. ’Tis time ’twere now in practice. So, softly, softly. We must but half wake him at first.
A bed [brought on] with GABRIEL on it, BETTY and FRANCISCA [accompanying]n3285

1137GabrielO, some small drink.

1138NicholasHere, drink it off, sir.[GABRIEL] drinks
Drum and trumpet [heard sounding] an alarm.n3157

1139GabrielSurprised by th’ enemy, whilest we have played the sluggard in our tents!n1086[GABRIEL lays about him]

1140Driblow, Nicholas, and ClotpollHold, Captain, hold, we are your soldiers.

1141GabrielY’ are mutineers, and have disturbed my rest. And I’ll do martial justice on you all.

1142NicholasI vow, hold, are you mad?

1143GabrielKnow you not discipline? Or are you grown rebellious in the camp. I’ll teach you warfare.

1144DriblowYou have conjured a fury into him to beat us into fittersgg1261.

1145ClotpollMy pategg904 bleeds for’t, I protest.

1146GabrielI’ll make you know command.

1147AnthonyNoble Commander, hold thy furious hand,n1088
        And hear thy soldiers speak.

1148GabrielWhat, have we women for our martial music?

1149ClotpollNone but the she-trumpet, a neighbour here, and her sister, that was drum-major to my country Amazons, that pulled up the enclosures to lie all in Commonn1089.

1150GabrielIs the enemy i’th’ field?

1151NicholasUpon their march, Captain, and we your officersn3158
        But roused you up to be in readiness.

1152GabrielYou are my lieutenant, you my ancientgg2798, and you two my sergeants; and you must know the commander you serve under to be none of those letter-carriersn3868 that know not so much as the terms of discipline, what a flankergg2786 is, nor a ravelingg2787 is. Nor a petardgg2788 is. Nor a curtaingg2789 is. Nor a bulwarkgg3144 is. Nor a bastilegg2790 is. Nor a counterscarpgg2791 is. Nor a casemategg2792 is. A gabiongg2793 is. Nor any leastn1091 word of fortification. How can such fresh-water captainsn3869 command?

1153All.Right noble Colonel. He shall be our Colonel.

1154ClotpollOne soldier made up of sack is worth as many as would drink a fresh water river dry.

1155GabrielI knew men of abilities should at last be put in action.n1092
        Valiant men and wise,
        Are only fit for weighty enterprise.

1156All.O noble Colonel.

1157GabrielWhat would an upstart militastergg3145 now, that knew no rudiments of discipline, nor art of war, do in a sudden service? Or say, when I know how to have my ordnancegg3146 planted here, my cavalry mounted here, my battery-discoverergg3147 on such a point, my trenches cut thus, my mine carried thus, my gabionsgg2793 raised thus. Here my parapet, there my pallisadogg2794 o’th’ top of that. The enemy made saultablegg3148 six hundred paces there. And I draw out my musketeers to flank ’em in their trenches here, while my pikes and targeteersgg3149 advance to the breachgg3150 there. What would Captain My-Lord’s-Man, or Sergeant-Major My-Lady’s Kinsmann3870, sent in by honourable favour, do or say in such an expedition?gg3151

1158All.Braver and braver still.

1159ClotpollThis goes beyond the Blade and the Battoon.

1160GabrielOr how would their brains lie in their breeches, when the able captain leads up his men in the head of a troop bravely, charges with his shotgg3152, makes a stand with his pikes, does execution with his sword, the cannon playing, the drum beating, the shot thumping, the ensigns waving, the arms clashing, the air rending, dust and smoke clouding, blood raining? And then to bring up such a division to fight, make good such a ground, relieve such a squadron, fetch off such a loss, reinforce the ranks that are broken? March on, come off. Beat the bessognesgg2795 that lie hid in the carriagesgg3153. O, the renowned life of a worthy commander!

1161NicholasSound drum and trumpet.n2225

1162All.A Colonel, a Colonel.

1163CrosswillWhither hast thou brought me? Does thy brother lie speechless in this house? Ha! What in the name of tumult can these be?

1164MihilPray, sir, attend, you will be pleased anon.

1165GabrielA still march now. So, I have lost a great many of my men. But courage yet, you poor remainder of my scattered troops. Stand. Qui va lagg3154? An ambuscadogg3155 of the enemy. Alarm! Lieutenant, charge in with your shot. Now, gentlemen, for the honour of Covent Garden, make a stand with your pikes; in to the short sword; well fought, take prisoners. Sound a retreat now. Fairgg2190, fair i’ th’ coming offgg3156. So, ’twas bravely performedn1093.

1166ClotpollMust we not fall to riflinggg2807n3888 now, Colonel?

1167MihilPart fair on all sides, gentlemen.

1168GabrielWhat’s this, a vision? Sure, I do ail somethinggg3157.

1169CrosswillIs’t possible it is thou? Art thou run mad as far as hell the tother way now?

1170RooksbillMy wicked, caitiffgg2796, reprobate son is here too. Pray, let me flee. I am but a dead man elsen1094.

1171MihilYou shall receive no harm, sir. Lay by your arms, my masters. I bring none but friends.

1172NicholasThou canst not make that good, my father’s there.

1173MihilI’ll make him friends with thee. Go and dispatchn1095 within.

1174AnthonyI’ll see it done, and take our new made brides with us for witnesses.Exit NICHOLAS, ANTHONY, KATHERINE, and LUCY

1175RooksbillHas his shame yet taught him to shun my sight.

1176MihilAnd shall return him instantly your comfort.

1177RooksbillImpossible, impossible.

1178MihilAttend the event.

1179CrosswillI rather thought I should have found you, sir,n3871
        Disputing with the pastors, and the elders;
        Yet to say truth, this is the better madness.
        What can this mean? How came he thus translated?
        What charms or what enchantments are upon him?

1180GabrielWhat Babelgg3158 was a-building in my brains?n3872
        But now it turns, and I can recollect
        The knowledge of a father, brother, sister,
        And that a thousand vain imaginations,n3873
        Like scatterings of light things upon the earth,
        Rushes, loose leaves, sprigs, straws, and dust
        Contracted by a whirlwind, were blown up,
        And lodged in the rich seat of contemplation,
        Usurping there the room of virtuous thoughts.
        Honour awake me from this lethargy.

1181CrosswillWhat can those womenn3874 that appear like furies be in this action?

1182MihilThey were but used as propertiesn3875 to give new motion to this mortifiedgg3159 conditionn3876.

1183CrosswillI know not what to say to anything; there is some spell upon me too. My anger has forsook me. What are those men that bear a countenance as if they stood indifferently affected to Bedlamgg3160 and Bridewelln3865n3877?

1184ClotpollMeaning by us, sir? If our sight offend you,
        Know we are men that dare forbear the place.n1096

1185DriblowAye, son, let’s go, our stay is dangerous.
        They look like peace-maintainers. We’ll fall off.

1186VintnerO tarry, gentlemen, we are all undone else. If you make not your peace before you stir, both you and I must suffer.

1187DriblowWhat’s the matter?

1188VintnerThe magistrates and officers with their bill-mengg261 have ta’en us by surprise. They are i’ th’ house.

1189BettyO me! The Blue Gown Collegen1098!

1190FranciscaWheels and whips!n4599 I feel what we must go to. Did not I say our stay was dangerous?

1191ClotpollDid not I say there was some subtle practice upon the Philoblathici? And that we were betrayed hither?

1192VintnerThere’s no escaping forth. And gentlemen, it will but breed more scandal on my house, and the whole plantationgg3161n3878 here, if now you make rebellious uproar. Yield your weapons, and welcome justice but like subjects new, and peace will follow.n2174

1193ClotpollBut where’s Nick? Where’s Tony?

1194MihilThey shall yield up their weapons. So do you.

1195DriblowYes, yes, ’tis best.

1196ClotpollShall we, sir, shall we?

1197MihilYes, sir, you shall.

1198ClotpollSo, sir, I will then, not the Blade alone, but for your more security, the Battoon. There see my arms forthcoming.[CLOTPOLL surrenders his sword and battoon]Exit [Captain DRIBLOW and CLOTPOLL]n3286

1199Mihil   To the VINTNER   Say they shall have fair welcome.Exit [VINTNER]n3159

   [To ANTHONY]   What, are they married?

1200AnthonyYes, as fast as trothn3879 and holy words can bind ’em.

1201Mihil’Tis well.   To ROOKSBILL   Now sir, let me entreat your favour.
        ’Tis my first suit to you since I was your son.
        That before others' entrances distract our troubled
        Scenen1100, these may be reconciled. Down, brother Nicholas.n3160

1202Nicholas   [NICHOLAS kneels]   Even unto the earth, sir, and, humbled with as true a penitence as son can be for wronging of a father, I beg your pardon and blessing.

1203CrosswillGive it him, brother Rooksbill, I dare say ’twill make him a good man.

1204RooksbillHeaven make him so. My blessing and my prayers shall not be wanting.

1205CrosswillWhat? My niece Dorcas made an honest woman?

1206GabrielWas that the man that wronged my cousin Dorcas?

1207MihilYes, and has now made ample recompence.
Enter COCKBRAIN, CITIZEN[, members of the] Watchn4268, MARGERY[, DRIBLOW, and CLOTPOLL].n2228

1208CitizenHere they are altogether, sir.

1209CockbrainLay hands on all. First on that old ruffiann1101, the incendiary, that sets the youthful bloods on fire here with his infernal discipline. Next, take his sons, there’s onen1102, that young blade there. Have I now got within ye, gentlemen? Will you have songs ex tempore? Know ye me now? Ah ha! I’ll be called the Weeder of this Garden. Take up those she-weeds there. I have the rank one here. I took her stragglinggg3162 in my roundgg3163 e’en now.

1210RooksbillMy tenant, I take it, Mistress Margery Howletn3891.

1211Crosswill   [To MIHIL]   Your widow, sir, I think.

1212Mihil   [To CROSSWILL]   But for a shiftgg3164, sir, now you know my aim.

1213MargeryO good your worship, as you came of a woman –

1214CockbrainPeace, Circen3890n1103, cease thy charms. What clustergg3165 have we here, now? O, here’s another of the sons of noise.

1215RooksbillThat’s my son nown1104, sir, by your leave, and I’ll bail him.

1216CockbrainWhat, Master Rooksbill, are you here? What woman’s this?

1217CrosswillMy niece, sir, his son’s wife. And I’ll bail her.

1218CockbrainWhat, Master Crosswill, you among this ginggg3116 too? How will you ’scape commitmentgg3166?

1219CrosswillWhy, Master Cockbrain? How his brains crow now.

1220CockbrainWho’s here? Your daughters too? But what are these?

1221CrosswillI hope they’ll prove my sons, and be indifferent menn1106 in time, sir, by that time their hair may grow, or be reduced to an indifferent length.

1222Mihil   [MIHIL removes his short–haired wig]n1107   That’s done on me already, sir.

1223CrosswillNow he looks as like a rogue as e’er he did again.

1224GabrielAnd, sir, for me, now that my cousin is restored, and the wild fury of my wine abated, I do you the obedience of a son, acknowledging my former formal habitn4600 was more of stubborness than true devotion. For which I beg your pardon.

1225CrosswillThere’s more deceit under these half footballs than in whole pudding-bagsgg3167n3880. Well, boys, be you indifferent sons, neither too hot nor too cold. I have found a fault in myself, I confess. I will reform it, and be an indifferent father.

1226CockbrainO, here’s the man I sought, whom, I confess, I am half sorry to commit with the rest, because I found him civiller.

1227Anthony   [Removes his disguise]   Hoping you will not slakegg3168 that good opinion, I’ll now come nearer to you. And since here is such a convention of love and joy, I hope my offering of a son’s true duty may find indulgency.

1228CockbrainWhat? My son Anthony?

1229CrosswillHow? How? Your son that should have had my daughter? Come hither, Kate. Now, if thou lov’st him, take him. Are you content, friend Cockbrain?

1230CockbrainO, sir, most happily.

1231CrosswillWhy run you not together?

1232AnthonyIt is too late, or needless now for me to marry her.

1233CrosswillIs’t come to that? And if I do not swingegg2010 him – Are you too good, sir, for my daughter?

1234AnthonyI do not say so, sir.

1235CrosswillHousewife, do you like him?

1236KatherineNo more than he does me, sir.

1237CrosswillGet you together, or I’ll swaddlegg3169 you both into one, you perverse fools.

1238AnthonySir, the truth is, we are married already.

1239Katherine’Tis so, indeed, sir.

1240CrosswillHeyday! Who am I, trow? How durst you do it without my consent?

1241KatherineI had your consent, sir: you commanded me to take my choice in whom I pleased before you would take notice.

1242CrosswillI cannot abide this wrangling. Give you joy.

1243CockbrainJoy and my blessing on you. Why, I know not whom to commit now.

1244CrosswillYou have done the Commonwealth a special piece of service the while with your state-brains. But let us make a night of this, I pray.

1245CitizenSir, the parties have given me satisfaction, and I am content they be released.n1108

1246CrosswillThere’s an honest fellow now, and looks like one that would be beaten every day for ready money.   [To DRIBLOW, CLOTPOLL, BETTY, FRANCISCA, and MARGERY]   Go now, while ye are well, and be seen no more in this precinctgg2405.

1247Driblow, Clotpoll, Betty, Francisca, and MargeryNever, and ’t please your worships, never.

1248Crosswill’Twas built for no such vermin. Hence, away,
        And may the place be purged so every day
        ’Til no unworthy member may be found,
        To pester or to vilify this ground;
        That as it was intended, it may be
        A scene for virtue and nobility.


1249Epilogue’Tis not the poet’s art, nor all that wen3893
        By life of action can present on ’t, ye
        Can, or ought make us, presume a play
        Is good; ’tis you approve’t. Which that you may,
        It can not misbecome us, since our gains
        Come by your favour more than all our pains.
        Thus to submit us unto your commands,
        And humbly ask the favour at your hands.

Another [Epilogue].

1250Epilogue’Tis done. And now that poets can divinen3894,
        Observe with what nobility doth shine
        Fair Covent Garden. And as that improves,
        May we find like improvement in your loves.

F I N I S.

Edited by Michael Leslie

n2236   ACT FIVE Act Five has three scenes. In the first, Crosswill begins with a soliloquy in which he takes stock of those around him and the situation that he has created with his own children. There is no speech like this in the rest of the play and the challenge for the actor is to display an entirely different Crosswill from any seen before. Hitherto he has shown remarkably little self-consciousness or reflection about his arbitrary and dictatorial behaviour; here he registers all too powerfully his responsibility for the apparent collapse of his family's relationships, conduct, and hopes for future happiness. As perhaps in Act Three, Scene Two, the servant Belt has a crucial role in the audience's perception and reception of this speech. Towards the end, Belt comes onstage and comments on Crosswill's condition in a brief but telling aside to the audience. In the remainder of the scene, Mihil attempts to manipulate his father into permitting him to marry Lucy Rooksbill. He does this by posing as a reformed, shorthaired puritan, now proposing to marry Madge, who is disguised as a rich and much-married widow. Crosswill recognizes to some degree that he is being played; he acquiesces temporarily to the marriage, to Mihil's alarm and dismay.
In scene two, Mihil has secured the services of a minister as instructed by his father and has used the minister to achieve the offstage marriage of his sister Katherine and Anthony Cockbrain. That done, Crosswill, Rooksbill, Lucy, and Madge arrive, Crosswill having decided not to permit the marriage of Mihil and the supposed widow. To prevent that, he seeks to compel Mihil to marry Lucy. After a show of reluctance on both sides, Lucy and Mihil go offstage with the minister and complete the marriage, just before Crosswill can change his mind again. That achieved, Mihil sends Anthony away to the Paris Tavern to look after Gabriel but equally importantly to complete the forced marriage of Nick and Dorcas.
The play's final scene takes place in the Paris Tavern. Nick has now recognized Dorcas and also recognized that Mihil can now compel him to marry her for fear of losing all financial support. Gradually most of the play's characters assemble in the Tavern, Nick and Dorcas marry, and Gabriel, in a drunken stupor, is brought back on stage on a bed, accompanied by the two prostitutes. They wake him with martial music, so that he re-adopts his pre-Puritan character as a roisterer and an enthusiast for militia performances. All is going well when Crosswill, Rooksbill, Lucy, and Mihil arrive, and a scene of general recognition and disclosure takes place. Nick, having reluctantly married Dorcas, is reconciled to his father but in the meantime Cockbrain, accompanied by the hypocritical citizen and the Watch, arrives to apprehend everyone involved in the bad behaviour. At this point Cockbrain has the wind taken out of his sails as he recognizes Rooksbill and Crosswill and they identify the young men as their sons and now, one son-in-law and one husband to a 'niece'. Mihil comforts his father by removing his shorthaired, puritanical wig; Anthony greets his father by removing his disguise, and Gabriel admits his Puritanism was a pretence to aggravate his father. The other members of the lowlife group - Captain Driblow, Clotpoll, Madge, Bettie, and Frank - are all dismissed from Covent Garden, the citizen having accepted a bribe to drop all charges. The play concludes with Crosswill speaking now in verse to confirm the cleansing of Covent Garden.
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n1052   [A room in ROOKSBILL’s house] Rooksbill’s house. Crosswill fears Mihil’s visiting him there might throw his son in the way of Lucy Rooksbill.
In terms of the play’s resolution, it is significant that Crosswill has taken up residence in Rooksbill’s house and appears alone here on the stage to set the scene for the conclusion. Crosswill has come to inhabit Rooksbill's space -- it is almost a metaphor for the uneasy transformations taking place in contemporary English society. Is the now-landless Crosswill becoming Rooksbill, a creature of the world of money alone? Can Crosswill's assumption of dominance and authority be sustained despite this change? Will others, including his own children, refuse to bow to the will of a man now outside the traditional authority structures of land and gentry? All of these questions are embodied in the as-yet unclassifiable phenomenon of Covent Garden itself, and Crosswill's queasy residence within it: a temporary tenant of a speculative leaseholder in a half-built development.
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n7350   CROSSWILL enters alone Video The final movement towards the play's conclusion begins with the only real soliloquy in the play. Crosswill's long and complex speech gathers up many of the family-conflict themes and indicates the way towards reconciliation through the play's leading character. Crosswill will also speak the final lines of the act and play, banishing the embodiments of riot from the cleansed Covent Garden; and his standing to act as this kind of moral spokesman seems to have a great deal to do with the journey he undertakes in this speech.
Working with Robert Lister and Brian Woolland, as well as other editors and actors, revealed the speech as both rich in meaning and emotional resonance, and also difficult in tone and pace. Lister's performance elicited an intense discussion of, in particular, the self-recognition and self-loathing Crosswill can, by this stage, express in private and the eruption of violence and anger when he is then surprised by the arrival of his servant Belt.
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gg3138   alone Latin, alone [go to text]

n1053   What has this coxscomb Cockbrain writ me here? Video Crosswill’s speech begins with two sentences of ten syllables, falling into something close to pentameter verse; after a short expostulation - 'What have I to do with him?' - the next sentence is 10 syllables also. The speech is clearly important for its revelation of a change in Crosswill’s views and for its concentration on issues of freedom, family, regulation, law and authority. It may be that Brome signals the speech by introducing it with a certain formality, through the echo of pentameter in the prose.
One of the questions exposed by the development of a workshop performance of this speech was when and to what extent Crosswill should address the audience. How internal should this soliloquy be? Robert Lister experimented with acknowledging the audience only two-thirds of the way into the speech (beginning with the sentence 'His son and my daughter should have married'); but he realised that this was unsustainable and that he had to address the audience from the outset.
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n3860   called into authority Cockbrain wishes to be made a magistrate as a result of a notable success in reforming Covent Garden. The phrase is vaguely ecclesiastical and Pauline, though it does not occur in exactly this form in Paul's Epistles. The self-aggrandizing diction no doubt contributes to Crosswill's irritation. [go to text]

n7355   imagination Video As Marion O'Connor pointed out, the word 'imagination' may be a key to what traps Crosswill into these flights of angry judgement and the gleeful humiliation of others. Crosswill has in the lines before this indulged himself with an extended portrait of Cockbrain as a madman; but in the course of this he has lost all sense of proportion and sight of Cockbrain's essentially benign character. [go to text]

n7352   But good Master Crosswill, by your favour now, what reason have you to slight or wrangle at this man? Video Exploration of the speech raised the question of the location of the various emotional turning-points and, in particular, what triggers Crosswill's turn to introspection and painful self-consciousness. Robert Lister and Brian Woolland found that Crosswill has to overreach himself and discover, to his chagrin, that he has done so yet again. Crosswill delights in his extreme judgemental outbursts, but he is surrendering in this speech to the recognition that these moments can be disproportionately destructive.
At this point in the speech Crosswill turns from speaking aloud to having a conversation with himself, addressing and questioning himself in the third person. Hitherto he has almost been showing off to the audience, but he realises that -- not for the first time -- this has led him into a self-indulgent destructiveness.
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n1054   ape-leader in Limbo This is a variant of the common proverb, 'They that die maids lead apes in hell', found in Shakespeare and Donne and many other early modern texts. It is first found in George Gascoigne's The Adventures of Master F.J. (1572) and is still going strong in London jests: or, A collection of the choicest joques and repartees in 1685: 'A merry Fellow told an Old Batchelor of a strange Dream he had of him, the night before, for says he, I thought you was Dead and I thought I saw you behind Hell door, leading of a great Ape, and that Lucifer, coming in, and seeing you, did ask what that Old Fellow did there? To whom the Devil that attended you, told, you were an old Batchelor, and had never lost your Maiden-head: to whom Beelzebub said, Turn him ont [sic] again, thou dost him wrong, dost not see his Son in his hand there, that is so like him, that any one may know who was the Father of him (pp. 141-2, Joke 118).
The phrase and the jokes appear to be symptoms of the growing hostility to the unmarried state (particularly for women) in newly-Protestant England. The implications seem to be that unmarried women are 'leading men on' and teasing them sexually; and that the unmarried may be unchaste, given the contemporary lewd associations of the figure of the ape. When Brome uses the proverb in Jovial Crew, however, it is less negative: Meriel says that she 'will rather hazard my being one of the Devil's / Ape-leaders, than to marry while he is melancholy' (2.1).
Here, Limbo is substituted for Hell (I have not found another instance outside this play). Protestant denominations were more ambivalent or hostile to the concept of Limbo (Jean Calvin denied it outright) than Catholics. Crosswill's substitution seems to indicate that he cannot bring himself to condemn his daughter to eternal punishment, even in imagination or proverb, however irritated he is by her behaviour.
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n7353   But what’s all this to the affliction I suffer in my sons, now? That one of them from a riotous boy, should grow into a puritanical woodcock; and the tother from a civil, well-qualified fellow, turned absolute ruffian. There, there, aye there’s the devil in’t. I could beat myself for getting such children. Video In a series of readings, Robert Lister performed Crosswill's final lines as revealing different degrees of self-knowledge, consciousness of his faults and responsibility, self-pity, vulnerability, and desolation. In these video extracts, the mood darkens.
In a full production, the darker versions would in all likelihood be rejected, as over-balancing the play. However, Robert Lister's performance of Crosswill's despair showed what has to lie behind an actor's more comedic presentation.
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n1881   woodcock A woodcock was an easily caught bird and hence the term became a common insult in the early modern period. [go to text]

n7351   Enter BELT Video Belt's entry and presence on the stage were crucial to the emotional tone of the end of the speech. Such moments -- the entry of a servant in particular -- are frequent in Brome's plays.
David Broughton-Davies first came in as Belt where the stage-direction indicates ; but in a second run-through of the end of the speech came on a few lines earlier . He explained that he did so to give the character time to observe his master in a moment of highly uncharacteristic introspection and vulnerability. Belt then turns to the audience and confirms what they have just seen: Crosswill in despair.
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n3284   [Belt] 1659 has no Speech Prefix here. [go to text]

n7356   It does not please me, nor thou pleasest me, nor anything pleases me. The world’s bent to cross me, and thou shalt feel it. Video This speech is crucial to the beginning of the play's conclusion and depicts its central character undergoing a remarkable journey. It is well worth seeing Robert Lister perform the speech in its entirety, with excerpts from different readings. [go to text]

n7354   [CROSSWILL beats BELT] Video As Helen Ostovich pointed out, by now Belt's arrival is understood by the audience to mean that he is about to be beaten. Crosswill can externalise once more, taking his frustration and anger out on the servant. [go to text]

gg1718   passed a nautical term: to go beyond a defined point [go to text]

gg1073   calenture a disease incident to sailors within the tropics, characterized by delirium in which the patient, it is said, fancies the sea to be green fields, and desires to leap into it: used figuratively (OED 2) [go to text]

gg3139   timorsome subject to or characterized by fear; timorous, timid (OED adj. 1) [go to text]

gg3140   round of a sum of money: large, considerable in amount (OED 8a) [go to text]

n3861   in his brother’s cut Mihil's wig gives him the appearance of having had his long hair cut in the style associated with Puritans. [go to text]

gg1977   cut fashion (OED n2. III 17a) [go to text]

n1058   a fellow that had narrowly scaped the pillory, and bragged in the publication of his ears? Not an hair left to hide them Crosswill teases Mihil about his short hair, in the fashion of the Puritans and his brother Gabriel. He also suggests that he looks like somone who has escaped worse possible punishments, including having his ears cut. The most famous case of this, close to contemporary with this play, is that of William Prynne (1600-1669), whose ears were lightly cut (the removal was more thorough when he was again punished in 1637) on 7 May 1634, while he stood in the pillory, for criticising women's participation in acting and by implication that of Queen Henrietta Maria. Crosswill says his son looks like someone who has had his hair cut short so that people can see his ears are intact.
The resemblances to Prynne's punishment could indicate a topical reference and so date the play to after May 1634. This seems late for first composition, but it is always possible that lines were added to take advantage of a much talked-about event. On the other hand, the modern fame of Prynne's case should not suggest that others were not subject to mutilation. Dr. Alexander Leighton (c.1570-1649) had one of his ears removed, as well as his nose slit, for sedition in 1630. His portrait print by Wenceslas Hollar (1641) proudly shows the profile with the removed ear.
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gg3141   pillory a device for punishment, usually consisting of a wooden framework mounted on a post, with holes or rings for trapping the head and hands, in which an offender was confined so as to be subjected to public ridicule, abuse, assault, etc.; punishment of this kind (OED 1) [go to text]

n1060   a younger brother Mihil has no hopes of inheriting an adequate estate while his elder brother, Gabriel, is alive. It is his responsibility to earn or, a better solution, marry money. By the end of the century, the choice to enter commercial life, particularly in overseas trading, would be more acceptable. Mihil has instead been admitted to one of the Inns of Court, technically embarking on a professional career in the law, though we have seen Crosswill recoil at the decline in status that would mean even for his younger son. But Mihil seems ahead of his father here in adapting to social change: he may not work in commerce, but he aims to marry commercial money. See Susan E. Whyman, 'Land and Trade Revisited: The Case of John Verney, London Merchant and Baronet, 1660-1720' London Journal 22 (1997)16-32. The possibility that Gabriel may die and Mihil inherit is lost on no-one, a situation commonly contemplated in the period (Whyman, p. 18). Though Whyman's study is principally concerned with the post-Restoration period, this play clearly shows the same issues to be present in the 1630s, with some of the same solutions, at least in embryo. See also Joan Thirsk, 'Younger Sons in the Seventeenth Century' History 54 (1969), 358-377, whose emphasis on sibling tension is qualified by Linda Pollock in 'Younger Sons in Tudor and Stuart England' History Today 39 (1989), 23-29. [go to text]

n1566   widow Mihil follows the cynical suggestion of John Earle in Micro-cosmographie. Or, A peece of the world discouered in essayes and characters (1628), in the character of the Younger Brother: 'The only thing that may better his fortunes, is an art he has to make a Gentlewoman, wherewith he baits now and then some rich widow, that is hungry after his blood' (C5r). [go to text]

n3155   [Crosswill] 1659 misassigns this speech to Madge. The annotator of Folger Shakespeare Library B4872 also makes this emendation. [go to text]

n1564   I have brought a churchman and a kinsman to give her. Neither this threatened marriage nor any of those that do take place among the play’s characters is celebrated onstage. Nor are any held in a church following the officially-approved pattern of banns. All are 'private' or 'clandestine'. Such marriages were more prevalent in London than the rest of England, relying on licences from the ecclesiastical authorities, and rapidly increased in number in the years before the outbreak of the Civil Wars. Jeremy Boulton summarises possible reasons for this, a number of which could apply to the marrying couples in this play: 'This increasing taste for private weddings suggests that significant sociological changes may have been taking place within metropolitan society. Resort to private or secret weddings has been linked to a wish to thwart parental or parish opposition to intended unions, to attempts to conceal bridal pregnancy, to a wish to save on the costs of wedding feasts and other ancillary 'charges' and to avoid a public ceremony not being 'willing to have their affairs declar'd to all the world in a public place, when for a guinea they may do it snug and without noise'. Marriages by licence enabled couples to marry quickly, to conceal large discrepancies in age, to marry in times prohibites by the Anglican church, such as Lent or Advent and it has even been argued that by avoiding a public wedding couples could avoid having embarrassing surnames read out in church' ('Itching after Private Marryings? Marriage Customs in Seventeenth-century London' London Journal 16 (1991), 15-34; p. 26). [go to text]

gg2009   give give away in marriage [go to text]

n1061   puts a readiness in his hand See OED put v1: Where a person (or thing) is put to some condition 25a a. To place in, bring into, or reduce (a person or thing) to some state or condition; as,...readiness [go to text]

n1062   Do you think seriously you love this widow? Mihil challenges his father by appearing unconcernedly to opt for marriage without affection, basing his choice solely on financial advantage. See the introduction for the transition in this period towards marital alliances being based on the desire of the partners and on affection. [go to text]

n3862   Nor ever like to have any, sir, that’s the comfort. We shall live at the less charge. Mihil provocatively matches his father's perversity, turning the common idea that children are the comfort of age into the assertion that his prospective wife's infertility will be a comfort, because children would be expensive.
Mihil's motive was known and reprehended in this period. The religious writer William Gouge explicitly condemns as 'a very evil disposition' those who choose not to have children: 'It is to be discontent at Gods blessing'. In Gouge's list of those who are so discontented, the second is 'Others for that end marry such as are past Child-bearing' (A learned and very useful commentary on the whole epistle to the Hebrews [Book 3], p. 43 [Ffff 2r].
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gg113   charge trouble, expense, responsibility (OED n. 11) [go to text]

n1064   to go in at a great gate, than a narrow wicket Mihil’s metaphor has a crude, physical application. Again, he is challenging his father by the stark light this language throws on the choices being made. [go to text]

n3863   You have said enough, sir, and delight to cross me; but I’ll cross you for once, and lay a cross upon you, shall perhaps carry you to your grave. Crosswill plays on the first syllable of his own name and on the many meanings of cross (here principally to counter or thwart; to place something in opposition, to 'lay a cross'), recognising that Mihil is attempting to manipulate his father through his perverse nature and determining to respond in kind. [go to text]

n3864   to pull my hand from the book Mihil hopes that he will refuse to marry Madge at the last minute, removing his hand from the prayerbook and not uttering the binding vow. But he is not sure he has the courage that would require. [go to text]

n1065   If I but ’scape Bridewell, I care not. This may be an aside or direct address to the audience. [go to text]

n3865   Bridewell Bridewell, originally a royal palace, was given by Edward VI to the City of London as a 'hospital' or place of refuge. It became known especially as a prison for prostitutes (and, because they were concentrated there, a red light district). Prostitutes were sometimes called 'Bridewell birds' in this period. The term 'Bridewell' was increasingly used figuratively to mean prison in general, like Clink, originally the prison in Southwark; but here Madge probably means she hopes to avoid detention in the original Bridewell. [go to text]

n7358   Enter CROSSWILL, ROOKSBILL, LUCY, and MARGERY Video The editor was by no means sure how this fast scene could be performed successfully, with its rapid changes of pace and mood. In the barest of staged readings, however, it was revealed as splendidly funny and entirely comprehensible, with audience response carrying the scene through any difficulties. The broad comedy of Mihil and Lucy's pretended bashfulness was joined by the fathers' performing entirely typically: Crosswill responds with lusty vehemence, Rooksbill pathetically attempts to emulate Crosswill's dominance. Left alone on stage, the fathers show that they have learnt little. Rooksbill preens, brags about his wealth, and relishes his upward social mobility through his daughter's marriage, thus antagonising Crosswill thoughtlessly; Crosswill responds with irascible and irresponsible changefulness. Mihil and Lucy are saved by the bell, or at least a strategically-placed parson. [go to text]

n1066   this pretty, simpering, plump-lipped, ruddy-cheeked, white-necked, long-fingered virgin in hand Video Crosswill once more appears to be more excited by his son’s bride than is entirely comfortable. The character's delight in verbalising his appreciation of Lucy's body was splendidly caught in the workshop reading. [go to text]

gg2010   swinge (v) beat [go to text]

n1067   kiss her above and below Video Again, Crosswill is on the verge of obscenity, commanding Mihil to kiss Lucy 'above and below'. The phrase continues, 'in every room of the house', but the audience has already responded to a bawdier meaning: cunnilingus. This became readily apparent in the workshop reading of the scene
This may seem anachronistic. Oral sex is hard to document in periods before the present and the greater explicitness of the age of the internet. Oral sex is traditionally frowned upon in the West and condemned as sinful; and cunnilingus does not even appear in the most famous early modern works of pornography, such as Aretino's I modi. But Brome's master, Ben Jonson, shows considerable interest (evidenced in his marginalia) in the vocabulary of oral sex found in Martial's poems (see Lowenstein); and John Donne's 'Love's Progress' is close to explicit about kissing 'another forest', though editors rarely, if ever, explicate the passage. Donne notes that 'going down' from the beloved's head may lead to 'shipwreck': one may 'no further get'. So the lover is advised to start from the feet and progress upwards towards a woman's other 'mouth':
Rich nature hath in women wisely made
Two purses, and their mouths aversely laid.
On Donne and other poets' references to oral sex, see David Renaker.
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gg3170   Sir John a familiar or contemptuous appellation for a priest: from SIR as rendering the Latin word, dominus, at the Universities (OED John n, 3) [go to text]

n4267   book This is close to being a clandestine marriage and it may be that the Parson has come without a book or other items usual to the marriage ceremony in order to avoid detection. [go to text]

n7357   [Exit all but CROSSWILL and ROOKSBILL] There is no stage direction here, but a few lines later the 1659 text has 'Enter all again'. Immediately before this inserted stage direction, Rooksbill has said, 'Go all in, I pray you', indicating that all will take part in the marriage offstage as witnesses.
One of the most striking effects here, as Liz Shafer pointed out during the workshop, is the rapid emptying of the crowded stage space, leaving Crosswill and Rooksbill alone. Their isolation and confrontation are rendered all the more powerful by the contrast, as the young people depart taking the noise and energy with them.
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n1069   the honour I may have to call you brother Rooksbill's unfortunate comment, pointing out that he and Crosswill are now allied through their children’s marriage, continues the joking about different versions of fraternity. [go to text]

n2996   That very word brother out of his mouth has turned my stomach Crosswill again shows his kinship with the roistering young men. His vehement reaction to terms that express family relationship -- he calls his daughter a 'she-thing' in the first scene -- suggests a profound alienation. Like Clotpoll and Nick, there is something sociopathic here. [go to text]

n1070   You may easily conceive, sir, what a comfort it will be unto me that, I now growing old, and having, I give praise for ’t, wealth enough, and no child that I make account of but this one daughter, may, before I die, see grandchildren that I may have by her sufficiently provided for. Be they more or less in number, they may have enough. Rooksbill is usually so taciturn, so short of sentence. Here, emotion and enthusiasm tempt him to try a long speech; he becomes completely tied up in subordinate clauses. [go to text]

n1071   [All greet each other in celebration] 1659: (all salute). This is set as part of Crosswill and Rooksbill's shared speech, but is a Stage Direction. See OED Salute v. 2: To greet with some gesture or visible action conventionally expressive of respect or courteous recognition. [go to text]

gg245   gratify reward; give a gratuity, especially as a reward, payment or bribe; to pay for services (OED v. 2) [go to text]

n3393   a licence to sell ale, tobacco, and strong-water Kaufmann (p. 70) uses this line to date the writing of the play to before Oxtober 1633, 'for on that date a royal proclamation was issued "for preventing abuses growing by the unordered retailing of tobacco ..."'. [go to text]

n455   Codpiece Row Southwark was notorious from the fourteenth century on as the location for a thriving sex trade. It was outside the complete control of the London city authorities, on land controlled by the Bishops of Winchester. Codpiece Row, however, was in Whitechapel and was a notorious street for brothels. It appears in Thomas Middleton's Middle Temple Masque (1619), in Dr. Almanac's censure of Shrovetuesday (a day on which apprentices attacked brothels and other places of entertainment): 'Tis in your charge to pull downe Bawdyhouses, To set your Tribe aworke, cause spoyle in Shorditch, And make Dangerous Leake there, deface Turnbul, And tickle Codpiece Rowe, ruine the Cockpit, the Poore Players ne're thriud in't, a my Co[n]science some Queane pist vpon the first Bricke.' See Jerzy Limon, 'A silenc'st bricke-layer': an allusion to Ben Jonson in Thomas Middleton's 'Masque' Notes and Queries, Dec 1994 v41 n4 p512(3) [go to text]

n1073   brother Mihil and Anthony are now, in addition to being members of the fraternity of the Philoblathici, brothers-in-law through the marriage of Katherine and Anthony. [go to text]

n1074   , all’s a matter, All’s the same, it makes no difference [go to text]

n3156   He’s well attended, sir, and looked unto. Mihil's speech seems to change from clearly-audible iambic pentameter for the first two lines, to something more prosaic for the remainder. When he is sympathetically describing Gabriel's state, the rhythms have a sonorousness; when he returns to manipulation, the poetic quality disappears. In the 1659 text the compositors seem to wrestle with the latter part of the speech, not knowing whether to set as verse; McClure sets the entire speech as verse. [go to text]

gg484   aquavitae a term from alchemy to refer to unrefined alcohol [go to text]

n1076   Kiss. Here, this is set as an imperative, spoken by Mihil to his new wife. It could be a Stage Direction, meaning that Mihil is to kiss Lucy. Possibly, he could be intended to kiss his father Crosswill in reconciliation; but his attention is on Lucy and her question as they leave the stage about Madge's identity. In 1659, as here, it forms part of Mihil's speech; McClure sets it as a Stage Direction. [go to text]

n4273   5.3 In this scene, again, Brome makes use of changes between verse and prose, and different kinds of rhythms, to communicate changes in tone and to differentiate between characters. Gabriel (and his father Crosswill) use a quiet, meditative, iambic rhythm as they begin to reconcile; Captain Driblow and the remaining 'roaring boys' bolster their self-image as robust, daring men with rougher heroic rhythms, even as they surrender their weapons and retreat. [go to text]

n1077   turn Probably in effect a contraction of 'return' (see OED turn v 21). He does not think he can or will live with her. [go to text]

n1078   no starting No escaping. Mihil, now married to Lucy who has hitherto been supporting Nick, controls access to funds - the blackmail has been reversed. [go to text]

n3866   has a fist over me The meaning is clear, here, though no exactly corresponding uses of this phrase have been found: Mihil is blackmailing Nick into this marriage because he has the power to reduce him to penury. [go to text]

n1080   to the Common The common sexual property of prostitution. Nick is saying that, were it not for the financial hold Mihil has over him, he would let Dorcas go down the route of prostitution. Samuel Pepys on one occasion calls Covent Garden 'Common-garden' (Diary, 9 p. 151). [go to text]

n1081   warned me on a business The Captain has been told that he is needed at the tavern on an unspecified matter of business. [go to text]

n8827   Some treachery upon the Brotherhood, perhaps. Fool though he is, Clotpoll correctly senses the danger here; Nicholas's confidence, expressed in the next line, is misplaced. [go to text]

n3867   I would but see the carcass of authority prance in our quarter, and we not cut his legs off Otherwise subdued in the scene so far, the entrance of Captain Driblow and Clotpoll produces a final show of braggadocchio from Nick, who shows off with blood-curdling threats to those who seek to curb the riotous behaviour of the gang of young men. Anthony's entrance with the clergyman to perform Nick's marriage with Dorcas immediately deflates him. [go to text]

n1082   Enter ANTHONY, PARSON[, KATHERINE, and MARGERY] In Octavo of 1653 the stage direction appears after this speech, but it has here been moved up a line. [go to text]

n1083   reckoning Nick uses the tavern speech of settling of accounts, but with heavy irony. The irony goes further than they know, however, since Cockbrain is at the door hoping to bring all the mischief-makers to a reckoning with the law. [go to text]

gg3142   render restore (OED v. I 3) [go to text]

n1084   parts to play The play has constantly drawn audience attention to its own theatricality and the characters’ persistent 'playing' and disguise. Here, the prostitutes have their own roles, their parts; but their roles involve them 'playing upon' Gabriel. [go to text]

n3353   The Medea. In classical mythology, Medea gave Aeson a magic potion to rejuvenate him. [go to text]

n1085   Must that renew his youthful spirit in him? Close to iambic pentameter, and set as such in 1659. [go to text]

gg3143   screw to produce or attain with effort (OED v. 7) [go to text]

n3285   A bed [brought on] with GABRIEL on it, BETTY and FRANCISCA [accompanying] 1659: A Bed put forth, Gabriel on it, Bettie and Frank. [go to text]

n3157   Drum and trumpet [heard sounding] an alarm. The 1659 text sets 'Drum and Trumpet. An Alarm.' as part of Nick's speech, not recognizing that it is a Stage Direction. [go to text]

n1086   Surprised by th’ enemy, whilest we have played the sluggard in our tents! Gabriel’s return to martial pursuits may be a joke about Charles I’s enthusiasm for citizen militias. Cp. Jonson’s contemporary satire in The New Inn. [go to text]

gg1261   fitters tatters [go to text]

gg904   pate head [go to text]

n1088   Noble Commander, hold thy furious hand, The use of bombastic iambic pentameter again suits the pretense of military action. [go to text]

n1089   country Amazons, that pulled up the enclosures to lie all in Common As before, the joke plays on 'common' as a term for prostitution; but Clotpoll is also referring to the 'Rising in the West' (1628-31) against enclosures in the Forest of Dean. There, some of the leaders of the disturbances adopted the persona of 'Lady Skimmington', adding transgressive gender reversal to their other challenges to the authorities. (See Underdown, Revel, Riot, and Rebellion, pp. 110-111.)
If this association is correct, Clotpoll's 'my country Amazons' identifies him as coming from the West of England like Crosswill, forming another connection between them.
[go to text]

n3158   Upon their march, Captain, and we your officers The 1659 text sets this speech as prose but capitalizes 'But' as though the start of a line of verse. The first line is 12 syllables ('Captain' making the extra foot of an Alexandrine), the second a regular iambic pentameter. McClure also sets this as verse. [go to text]

gg2798   ancient a corruption of ensign: a low-rank commissioned officer, one who carried the ensign [go to text]

n3868   letter-carriers An official who carries letters or messages. Gabriel is contrasting those who hold military rank but perform no combat duties with those whose titles denote actual fighting. [go to text]

gg2786   flanker either a fortification protecting the flank; a cannon placed to do so; or a soldier stationed on the flank [go to text]

gg2787   ravelin in fortifications, an outwork consisting of two faces which form a salient angle, constructed beyond the main ditch and in front of the curtain (OED) [go to text]

gg2788   petard a small bomb made of a metal or wooden box filled with powder, used to blow in a door, gate, etc., or to make a hole in a wall (OED 1a) [go to text]

gg2789   curtain the plain wall of a fortified place; the part of the wall which connects two bastions, towers, gates, or similar structures (OED 4a) [go to text]

gg3144   bulwark a fortification [go to text]

gg2790   bastile a tower or bastion of a castle; a fortified tower; a small fortress (OED 1) [go to text]

gg2791   counterscarp the outer wall or slope of the ditch, which supports the covered way; sometimes extended to include the covered way and glacis (OED 1) [go to text]

gg2792   casemate a vaulted chamber built in the thickness of the ramparts of a fortress, with embrasures for the defence of the place; 'a bomb-proof vault, generally under the ramparts of a fortress, used as a barrack, or a battery, or for both purposes' (Stocqueler 1853; OED 1) [go to text]

gg2793   gabion a wicker basket, of cylindrical form, usually open at both ends, intended to be filled with earth, for use in fortification and engineering (OED 1) [go to text]

n1091   least 1659: left. The compositor appears to have misread. [go to text]

n3869   fresh-water captains Again, Gabriel contrasts those holding the naval title of captain but who have never been to sea with those who have actually commanded a ship in salt water. Of course, his own martial quality is all in words and the make-believe of militia training. [go to text]

n1092   I knew men of abilities should at last be put in action. The common complaint of the men of action, that policy was not warlike enough [go to text]

gg3145   militaster a soldier without military skill or knowledge (OED cites only Brome's uses, here and in The Antipodes) [go to text]

gg3146   ordnance artillery for discharging missiles (OED n. 2) [go to text]

gg3147   battery-discoverer one who detects the placement of an opposing force's ordnance [go to text]

gg2793   gabions a wicker basket, of cylindrical form, usually open at both ends, intended to be filled with earth, for use in fortification and engineering (OED 1) [go to text]

gg2794   pallisado a variant of pallisade; originally, a fence made of wooden pales or stakes fixed in the ground, forming an enclosure or defence; subsequently also, a fence made of metal railings (OED: 1a) [go to text]

gg3148   saultable assaultable, capable of being attacked (OED saultable a, 1) [go to text]

gg3149   targeteers a footsoldier armed with a target or light, round shield [go to text]

gg3150   breach a gap in fortifications made by an opposing force's battery [go to text]

n3870   Captain My-Lord’s-Man, or Sergeant-Major My-Lady’s Kinsman Again, Gabriel disdainfully contrasts himself, a fantasy soldier, with those who have obtained their rank and command through nepotism or favouritism. [go to text]

gg3151   expedition? a sending or setting forth with martial intentions; a warlike enterprise (OED n. 2) [go to text]

gg3152   shot (collect. sing.) soldiers armed with muskets or other firearms (rarely with bows); small shot: troops furnished with small arms as distinguished from artillerymen (OED n. III 21a) [go to text]

gg2795   bessognes a variant of bisogne: 'bisongne, a filthie knaue, or clowne; a raskall, bisonian, base humoured scoundrell’ (Cotgrave; the OED cites this line) [go to text]

gg3153   carriages military transport vehicles, as in 'gun-carriage' [go to text]

n2225   Sound drum and trumpet. 1659: 'Drum and Trumpet. An Alarm' set as part of Nick's speech. [go to text]

gg3154   Qui va la French: a military challenge: who goes there? [go to text]

gg3155   ambuscado an ambush or a force waiting to ambush (OED's etymology: an affected refashioning of 'ambuscade' after the Spanish) [go to text]

gg2190   Fair healthy, free from corruption [go to text]

gg3156   coming off a coming off the field of action; a finish-up, a conclusion; an issue (OED 1) [go to text]

n1093   bravely performed In keeping with the theatricality, Gabriel compliments the performance of military manoeuvres. [go to text]

n3888   rifling Literally, Clotpoll is continuing the military terminology. But the audience probably also hears 'rifling' in the sense of stealing or plundering, alluding to the petty criminality of the gang. [go to text]

gg2807   rifling two possible meanings: to shoot with a rifle (OED rifle v3, 2a); or to affect strongly or injuriously; to break or strip off (OED Rifle v2, 5); the first sense, 'to shoot with a rifle' is not recorded before the nineteenth century [go to text]

gg3157   ail something am somewhat unwell [go to text]

gg2796   caitiff (expressing contempt, and often involving strong moral disapprobation) a base, mean, despicable 'wretch', a villain (OED 3), often also implying misery and wickedness [go to text]

n1094   I am but a dead man else Rooksbill sees them armed and fears the worst from his alienated son, Nick. [go to text]

n1095   Go and dispatch Effect the marriage of Nick and Dorcas. But the choice of word 'dispatch' is both in keeping with the military activities of the scene and ominous. [go to text]

n3871   I rather thought I should have found you, sir, Set as prose in the original, Crosswill adopts iambic pentameter rhythm here. The change perhaps reflects a paternal relief at his elder son's recovery. Gabriel will respond in iambic pentameter too, perhaps signalling the rapprochement. [go to text]

n3872   What Babel was a-building in my brains? As he recovers, Gabriel expresses astonishment at the torrent of words he realises he has just uttered, and at their foolishness. [go to text]

gg3158   Babel the Biblical Tower of Babel, as a result of the destruction of which the original, common Adamic language fractured into myriads of different tongues; and hence figuratively confused sounds [go to text]

n3873   a thousand vain imaginations, As in Crosswill's soliloquy opening this act, madness is represented by the accumulation of light rubbish blown into the hair or brain.
As Gabriel recovers, his diction becomes strikingly more Latinate and elevated.
[go to text]

n3874   those women The prostitutes Betty and Frank (Francisca) who accompanied Gabriel on to the stage, encouraging and participating in his performance of martial bravado. [go to text]

n3875   properties The women are represented figuratively as 'props': OED n. 5. Theatre and Film. Any portable object (now usually other than an article of costume) used in a play, film, etc., as required by the action; a prop.
Mihil's diction again emphasises the theatricality of the events staged in the play, contributing to intensifying audience awareness of the play as drama.
[go to text]

n3876   new motion to this mortified condition Mihil suggests that in his Puritan state, Gabriel was figuratively dead; he has been brought back to life through intoxication and the performance of militia activity. But 'motion' also means theatrical performance (particularly puppetry) in this period. [go to text]

gg3159   mortified insensible or impervious [go to text]

n3877   as if they stood indifferently affected to Bedlam and Bridewell unsure as to whether they are insane (Bedlam) or criminal (Bridewell) [go to text]

gg3160   Bedlam the popular term for the Bethlehem Hospital, where the insane were incarcerated; hence a term for chaos and lack of order [go to text]

n3865   Bridewell Bridewell, originally a royal palace, was given by Edward VI to the City of London as a 'hospital' or place of refuge. It became known especially as a prison for prostitutes (and, because they were concentrated there, a red light district). Prostitutes were sometimes called 'Bridewell birds' in this period. The term 'Bridewell' was increasingly used figuratively to mean prison in general, like Clink, originally the prison in Southwark; but here Madge probably means she hopes to avoid detention in the original Bridewell. [go to text]

n1096   Know we are men that dare forbear the place. Clotpoll’s paradoxical assertion that it takes real courage to run away is in keeping with the ironic and mock-heroic depiction of the Philoblathici. [go to text]

gg261   bill-men soldiers armed with bills, which are weapons varying from ‘a simple concave blade with a long wooden handle, to a kind of concave axe with a spike at the back and its shaft terminating in a spear-head’ (OED bill n1, 2) [go to text]

n1098   Blue Gown College Blue gowns were the recognised costume of a licensed beggar. However, in Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker’s The Honest Whore (1604) the whores are accompanied by a beadle in a blue gown. [go to text]

n4599   Wheels and whips! Frank imagines being subject to 'carting' as a punishment. [go to text]

n2174   There’s no escaping forth. And gentlemen, it will but breed more scandal on my house, and the whole plantation here, if now you make rebellious uproar. Yield your weapons, and welcome justice but like subjects new, and peace will follow. Once more, this speech echoes iambic pentameter rhythm. [go to text]

n3878   plantation The Vintner describes the Covent Garden development as a plantation because it is on hitherto scarcely populated land, outside both the City of London and the royal district of Westminster. Brome has him return to the diction used in the play's first scene. [go to text]

gg3161   plantation a settlement, a colony, often in an overseas territory [go to text]

n3286   Exit [Captain DRIBLOW and CLOTPOLL] 1659: Exeunt. Driblow and Clotpoll appear to leave the stage, yet Cockbrain appears to refer to Driblow as present when he comes on to the stage a few lines later. According to the Stage Direction, he enters accompanied by the Citizen, the Watch, and Madge; in this edition they are joined by Driblow and Clotpoll. [go to text]

n3159   Exit [VINTNER] 1659: Exeunt. But, as McClure notes, only the Vintner seems to exit here. [go to text]

n3879   troth A truncation of troth-plight, the swearing of a marriage oath. [go to text]

n1100   Scene Metatheatrical references have been scattered throughout the play, but are becoming more frequent and obvious towards the end. [go to text]

n3160   Down, brother Nicholas. 1659 sets this as a Stage Direction, but it is clearly part of Mihil's speech. [go to text]

n2228   Enter COCKBRAIN, CITIZEN[, members of the] Watch, MARGERY[, DRIBLOW, and CLOTPOLL]. 1659:'Enter Cockbrain, Cit. Watch. Madge' [go to text]

n4268   Watch The members of the Watch are not included in the cast list. They must be carrying their typical weapons, 'bills'. [go to text]

n1101   old ruffian The Captain. [go to text]

n1102   there’s one Clotpoll or Nick. [go to text]

gg3162   straggling wandering, straying, often used of vagrants or vagabonds [go to text]

gg3163   round customary circuit, walk, or course; the beat or course traversed by a watchman, constable (OED n1. 15) [go to text]

n3891   Howlet Madge's soubriquet, 'little owl', is used as her surname. [go to text]

gg3164   shift an expedient, an ingenious device for effecting some purpose (OED n. III 3a) [go to text]

n1103   Circe Cockbrain labels Madge as the bewitcher and perverter of youth, an undercurrent throughout much of the play, associating her with the enchantress Circe (best known from Homer's Odyssey), who turned her victims into swine. [go to text]

n3890   Circe ] Circes [go to text]

gg3165   cluster a number of persons, animals, or things gathered or situated close together; an assemblage, group, swarm, crowd (OED n. 3a) [go to text]

n1104   That’s my son now Rooksbill claims Mihil, his new son-in-law [go to text]

gg3116   ging (disdainful) 'a company of armed men, a troop, army, host', in keeping with the military performance (OED 1); [go to text]

gg3166   commitment being sent to prison [go to text]

n1106   indifferent men Crosswill is drawing on the theological category of adiaphora, things indifferent, not essential to faith. So here, Crosswill wants his sons to be moderate in hair-length, ecclesiastical allegiance, and conduct. [go to text]

n1107   [MIHIL removes his short–haired wig] Mihil must have been wearing a wig, to disguise his long hair, and he removes it here. Gabriel’s next speech, while he may not be wearing a real wig, suggests that putting on a costume and putting on a character are the same. [go to text]

n4600   former formal habit Gabriel may here reveal that his long hair has been concealed all along beneath a short-haired wig. [go to text]

n3880   these half footballs than in whole pudding-bags With his short-haired wig Mihil's head had looked like half a football. Also, the structure of such a wig would have resembled a half-ball. Crosswill's indulgent criticism is that he had contrived more deception as a half sphere than could have been contained in a whole one. Crosswill's plural ('footballs') may give credence to the idea that Gabriel has also removed a wig. [go to text]

gg3167   pudding-bags a bag or mould in which a pudding is boiled; figuratively (and in extended use), anything reminiscent of this in form or function (OED n. 1) [go to text]

gg3168   slake to slacken or diminish [go to text]

gg2010   swinge (v) beat [go to text]

gg3169   swaddle to bind together; but also to beat soundly (OED 3) [go to text]

n1108   Sir, the parties have given me satisfaction, and I am content they be released. A metatheatrical statement for the audience at the end of a satisfactory comedy. [go to text]

gg2405   precinct area of government, parish [go to text]

n3892   Epilogue There are two epilogues printed in the original, matching the two prologues. Both the second prologue and the second epilogue are likely to have been recited as part of a revival of the play in 1641. [go to text]

n3893   ’Tis not the poet’s art, nor all that we This poor piece of verse (ironically beginning with a reference to the poet's art) is hard to follow. The second line seems particularly impenetrable. The general meaning is clear, however: only the approval of the audience can confirm the quailty of a play. [go to text]

n3894   that poets can divine As confirmation that poets can be prophetic. The epilogue is playing with the long tradition of associating poetry and prophesy, the bard as having special access to divine knowledge. In this context, the banishment of rowdy elements from Covent Garden at the end of this play is seen as having been fulfilled in reality by the time of the play's revival. [go to text]