173PhilomelHere in this gallery,* gentlemen, you may at your pleasure, until my lady comes, walk or sit.

174Court-witOr lie down if you please.

175PhilomelIf you so, wrong not my lady’s couch with your spurs, I pray: take heed you leave not a rowel there.

176Swain-witIf one should, your lady has no lord to call her honour to question, whose knighthood it belonged unto.

177PhilomelYou have a good country wit, sir.

178Swain-witMy name is Swain-wit; and for all you twit me with the country, I am a gentleman tho’.*

179PhilomelI honour you the more, sir, for I am a country maid myself.

180Swain-witThou art a baggage, and a bold one: I am deceived else. I would be further acquainted with you tho’.
[SWAIN-WIT and PHILOMEL] kiss, [pro]long[edly].

181[Cit-wit]Have you done now? You will have time enough for further and better acquaintance.

182Swain-wit   [To PHILOMEL]*   Thou art a jackanapes of the basest tricks that ever I saw, for a half-penny.   [To CIT-WIT]   She’s your choice, is she? Could not you let be tho’? I ha’ been acquainted with thee but two days, and forgi’ me for swearing, I ha’ found thee beating ripe a score o’ times at least. Take heed I begin not now, and handsel your lady’s house, that is so much talked on, and your gentlewoman’s presence here, with a fist about your ears.

183Court-witNot for a thousand pound.

184Swain-witThat’s a great deal of money. I could find i’my heart to do’t tho’.

185Court-wit‘Slife! we are all undone then.

186Swain-witHe sets my teeth on edge to look upon him. He looks so like a wilding crab, good neither for drink nor sauce.

187PhilomelWhy would you press him then?

188Swain-witThou hast a verjuice wit.

189PhilomelFor my poor sake forbear, sir.

190Swain-witLet him stand further, then, and look o’ to* side.

191Cit-witWell, sir, this is no cause nor place to fight in, when–

192Swain-witWhat says he?

193PhilomelNothing: you hear he whistles tother way.

194Swain-wit‘Tother way’? What, backwards?

195PhilomelWhat new guest ha’ you brought here, Mr. Court-wit, for my lady to laugh at?

196Court-witOne for that purpose, Phil: you ha’ spoke the man. But what company has my patroness, that she is yet busy?

197Swain-witAye, that! If she be long busy I will not stay, and she were ten great Ladies, or one as big as twenty, for all she is your patroness. Must we wait out of our wits, because Chalivere ran mad for her?

198PhilomelHa’ you heard o’ that, sir?

199Swain-witMy cousin Court-wit’s question was: who’s with her?

200PhilomelO sweet Mr. Court-wit, when will you bring the fine civil gentleman that maintains himself so gallantly by picture-drawing?

201Swain-witHere’s a new business!   [starting to leave]   Fare ye well, pray tell your Lady I came not from Penzance to grow here.

202Philomel   [to SWAIN-WIT]   Nay, sweet sir, stay! There is, sir, with my Lady none but the grave and witty talking knight. Some call him the metropolitan wit of Court,* he that loves ladies’ society so much, and yet has vowed virginity.

203Court-witAs much as in man lies, Phil. He is a perpetual vowed bachelor indeed, and as constant to his vow as to his fashion in apparel, which is ever the same: Sir Raphael Winter-plum.*

204Cit-witThat old withered piece! I know him.

205Swain-witThou wilt bear up again.

206Cit-witHe has licked up a living with his tongue, makes all great tables his own, and eats for his talk. He may be conversant with women, for (they say) he gelt himself beyond sea for spite one did him* and now preaches chastity to ladies and love to their husbands. He’s a lay-gospeller among the married sort and an especial pedant to the youth o’ Court.

207Court-witFie, thou speakest too much!

208Swain-wit   [to CIT-WIT]   There’s another humour I could beat thee for with all my heart: thou wilt speak outrageously of all men behind their backs and darst not answer ‘Baaa– ’to the face of a sheep. Oh, I could pommel thee!

209Cit-witThis is not yet a cause to fight for, when —

210PhilomelBut will not that fine gentleman, Mr. Dainty, come, Mr. Court-wit?

211Court-witI expect him presently.

212PhilomelI’ll see if their conference be ended, or break it if I can, and hasten my lady to you.Exit [PHILOMEL].

213Swain-witThis wench has a dainty wit.

214Court-witShe may, living with the prime lady-wit in town.

215Swain-witBut what Dainty is that she talks on so affectionately?

216Court-witTroth, a gentleman that lives at a good rate: very civil in conversation, keeps good company; yet none of his acquaintance that I am acquainted with knows his beginning or his present means.

217Swain-witA gentleman born.

218Court-witI know no more but by his port and fashion. You saw him with me last night.

219Swain-witForgi’ me for swearing! Is’t he?

220Court-witHe was at the play with us too: do you not remember that?

221Swain-witYes, that I was at the play, by sure token and a sad one.*

222Cit-witI’ll show you somewhat of him. A ’gentleman born’, did you ask?

223Swain-witNow he bears up again.

224Cit-witHe cannot be a gentleman by birth or place. A fine-handed, and a fine-headed, fellow he is, and pretends great skill and practice too in picture-drawing, watchmaking, and such like finger-works, which he says he uses as a gentleman’s exercise, not as a trade to live upon, when either he does live on’t; or else he has some more secret way, as perhaps pimping or pursing for aught I know.

225Swain-witThere he is again!   [to CIT-WIT]   Art thou bound in conscience to wrong all men in their absence, till I beat thee into better manners?

226Court-witHold, hold! I prithee hold.

227Cit-witYet still the cause is insufficient, when —

228Court-witHere comes the gentleman.

229Cit-witIs he come? Noble Mr. Dainty — the welcomest in the world! I protest I suffered by your absence.

230DaintyYou do me too much honour, Mr. Cit-wit.

231Cit-witO sir, your humble servant.

232Swain-witHa, ha! Forgi’ me for swearing: what a spaniel’s this?

233DaintyGentlemen, you are well found! I was a little stayed by the way upon receipt of monies. Ha’ you seen the lady yet?

234Court-witShe’s yet a little busy. We shall all instantly take the opportunity together.

235DaintyBut gentlemen, you that have better knowledge of this lady, inform, if you please, why are we summoned hither.

236Court-witThou speakest as if thou hadst guilt upon thee: fear nothing, man.

237Swain-witAye, that’s the thing that I would understand too. And why me of any man? They say indeed she is a humorous lady, and loves to busy herself. But what are we to her? Are there not greater men and lords enough for her to fool away the time with, but we must dance attendance on her humours?

238Cit-witI protest, Mr. Swain-wit, I admire your ingenuity.

239Swain-witYou will be meddling still.

240Cit-wit’Tis to your question, sir, which I will answer.

241Swain-witAye, there’s another of your cockscombly tricks, to answer any question, that’s asked another man, out with tho’!

242Cit-witThis lady, sir, this humorous witty lady is a wit-sponge, that sucks up wit from some, and holds as her own, until she squeeze it out on others. She will make use of ours, or any coarser wits, and search ’em out to sift ’em. She will collect from market-folks and hold conferences with the poor tradespeople that cry their wares about the streets. She will rake wit out of a dunghill rag woman.*

243Swain-witSo there he is again!   [To CIT-WIT]   Darest thou abuse a noble lady, in her own house too? I dare not now but beat thee.

244Court-wit   [To SWAIN-WIT]   Forbear, good cousin.

245Cit-witStill, still, the cause is naught, when —

246DaintyOdso! The lady’s coming,* I think.

247PhilomelGentlemen, my lady cannot yet be rid of the tedious talking knight, but she will cast him presently. He is now following her into this room: pray pass into the next, my lady’s music room. There you shall find a collation of good tobacco and sack and one to attend you. You know the fashions of the house, Mr. Court-wit.

248Court-witCome away, gentlemen.Exit [COURT-WIT, SWAIN-WIT, CIT-WIT and
DAINTY through one stage door].

249PhilomelI could even love and look upon that sweet Mr. Dainty a whole hour, methinks.
Enter STRANGELOVE and RAPHAEL [through the other stage door].*

250StrangeloveGo your ways down, maid, and if any ask for Sir Raphael here, say that I hope he will ha’ done anon.[PHILOMEL exits.]*

251RaphaelYou would be rid of me; but pardon me, Madam, I must hold your glass to you.

252StrangeloveThat’s a poor chambermaid’s office and ill becomes your gravity, Sir Raphael.

253RaphaelI’ll open, then, the book to you of your errors.

254StrangeloveNow you speak scholar-like, and yourself. But have we spent all this while in by- and idle talk,* and have that volume to be opened yet? Pray read me for the first lesson for this morning’s exercise, and my edification, the last chapter of my book of errors as you call it.

255RaphaelYou are a mocker of instruction and good counsel.

256StrangeloveBegins it so? whom is that spoken to?*

257RaphaelI speak to only you, to conjure (if I can) that spirit of scorn out of you, which you have taken in, and long affected for a humour, your singular own humour, till it is grown so familiar, so inherent in you, that you have won the title of the humorous lady by’t and drawn a scorn upon yourself.

258StrangeloveWhy then, all’s paid and welcome, good Sir Raphael.*

259RaphaelI am not gone so, nor is all so paid;
        For there’s a greater reckoning yet of railings,
        Revilings,* curses by the many that
        You've scorned and slighted, shot at you in hot volleys.*

260StrangeloveThey hit me not. I am sure I do not feel ’em.

261RaphaelYou may in time be sensible of their suff’rings,
        Whom you have violently and wilfully abused
        With scorn and pride, if you call to mind the cause,
        Bred merely out of humour: ’cause you would have it so.

262StrangeloveYou come too near me, sir: ’cause I ‘would have it so’?*

263RaphaelCan it be otherwise? Has it not ever been
        Your practice, since your time of widowhood
        To catch all men’s affections? ’Tis indeed
        An honour to a lady to have many suitors;
        But to lay bait for ’em only to delude ’em
        Is impiously dishonourable.

264StrangeloveHave I done so?

265RaphaelYes, and have gloried in it for your humour
        To lead men into brakes with foolish fire.*

266StrangeloveIf they will follow it, I cannot help it.

267RaphaelYou might, though, have prevented the mishaps
        Of many, by a fair and free resistance
        In the beginnings of their suits of courtships,
        And not to set yourself at gaze to draw them on,
        And then allure them with assurèd hopes
        Of love and favour till you have wound their follies
        Into the reach of your disdain, and then
        To torture ’em, or having ta’en ’em captives
        To slave and sell ’em to the world’s derision.

268StrangeloveOh, Sir Raphael!

269Raphael   [Aside]   She feels compunction!
        I will pursue it to the quick.

270StrangeloveOn, good Sir Raphael!

271RaphaelConsider then, good Madam, since I know,
        And your own conscience knows, that you have made
        A secret vow from your late husband’s death
        Never to marry, how better and more glorious
        It would be for your honour to declare
        Your constant purpose to a single life,
        Than to fall into the transgression
        Of robbing men so of their wits and reason,
        And all by wilful humour, as this late
        Unhappy accident of madness in
        The hopeful knight, Sir Ferdinando, cries
        Loudly to your disgrace, and the world’s sorrow.

272StrangeloveHalf the world’s sorrow is mine own
        For that sad accident: I would I could redeem’t
        With half my health or life. But let me tell you
        (Now you have justly chidden me) that you
        Have a fault too.

273RaphaelWhat is’t in your construction?

274StrangeloveAs I concealed my vow of single living,
        And gave men leave to court me, by which means
        I won them into hopes, and robbed their wits,
        You in declaring to the court and city
        Your vow of chastity and single life,
        Yet daily, nightly, hourly frequenting
        The company of ladies with your sweet,
        No less than grave, discourse and conversation,
        Have robbed (nay, I may say deflowered) more ladies
        Of chaste and honourable thoughts, than all
        The cavalry of court.

275RaphaelWho, I, Madam?

276StrangeloveEven you, Sir Raphael (if unchaste desires
        Must be held sinful)! I know some of them,
        And one (I fear) too well, that have been subject
        Unto the breach of any vow for you;
        Yet you do* vow a single and chaste life,
        And publish your intent!

277Raphael’Tis with intent,
        And a religious purpose to decline,
        And divert woman’s fond affections from me.

278StrangeloveOh, but forbidden things are women’s longings!
        You have read, you have read, Sir Raphael, you have read.*
[STRANGELOVE] falls on[to] her couch.

279[Raphael]*And traveled too, yet never could discover
        Such an example.

280StrangelovePray sit down by me.

281RaphaelGood thoughts possess you, Madam. I must hence.*

282StrangeloveI’ll not be tedious to you. One word, I pray, sir?

283Raphael   [Aside]   Virtue, be thou my armour.   [To STRANGELOVE]   Briefly, then,
        Let me intreat you, Madam.

284StrangelovePray refuse not
        To sit down by me.

285Raphael   [Aside]   Sanctity protect me.
[RAPHAEL] sit[s].

286StrangeloveSir, you are famous, and cried up by all
        For your great wisdom, moral and divine:
        You are the Ipse dixit* of the Court,
        As I have heard you styled by men of learning,
        The Court Philosopher——

287RaphaelMadam, to the point.

288StrangeloveWhat is our strength, and what is not our frailty?

289Raphael   [Aside]   Where is she wandering now?   [To STRANGELOVE]   Be plainer, Madam.*

290StrangeloveDo not my blushes, which I hope you pardon,
        Deliver you a message from my heart?
        Which I want words to utter? Oh, these vows!
        These rash and ill-made vows! Does not your judgement
        Read something on this face? Pray look upon me.

291RaphaelI am no good interpreter of looks.

292StrangeloveI dare not speak till you have first removed
        A weighty scruple, which doth much perplex me.

293RaphaelYou must first speak it, Madam.

294StrangeloveWhether these vows
        (I mean your own, and mine, for single life)
        May safely be dispensed with, or absolved,
        And we become a lawful pair in marriage?
        Pray, sir, resolve and bless me in a match.

295RaphaelMadam, I’ll pray for you.   [RAPHAEL] starts up.   

296StrangeloveYou will first kill me
        With your disdain, and then you’ll pray for me!
        Is that your charity?

297RaphaelI dare not hear you.

298StrangeloveLeave me not so.

299RaphaelWho waits upon my Lady here?Exit [RAPHAEL].

300StrangeloveI had no other way to shift him. Would he would make
        An errand now to Rome to quit my scruple*
        And rid the court of an officious fool.
        Women sometimes have sent wise men to school.

        Is the knight gone?

301PhilomelAnd blessing of himself,
        As witchcraft were i’th’ house.

302StrangeloveBut where’s my favourite Court-wit? Has he brought his country kinsman and the rest?

303PhilomelThey are all in your wit-office, Madam, as you call the room, passing the time among the pipes and bottles, and singing catches. Here you may hear ’em, Madam.*
A catch [is heard being sung offstage].

304StrangeloveMarry, this takes past all Sir Raphael’s lectures,
        Go call ’em down.   Exit PHIL[OMEL].   This madman* troubles me:
        Would he were right again or I quit of the scandal.

        O Gentlemen! You're welcome,
        And   [To SWAIN-WIT]   chiefly you that are the only stranger!
        I ha’ been so troubled with an overtalking sir, that he
        Has wound me into melancholy —

305Swain-witI wish you mirth, Madam. I come not as one o’ your fools to make you any tho’*
[SWAIN-WIT] offer[s] to go away.

306StrangeloveBe not so brief with me, let me intreat you tho’.*

307Swain-witForgi’me for swearing: do you mock me tho’?

308StrangeloveMistake me not, sweet sir —

309Swain-wit‘Sweet’ with a mischief! How sweet am I? I come not as a suitor to your great ladyship. I am a gentleman of two hundred a year* tho’.

310StrangeloveNot as a suitor to me, sir?

311Swain-witNo, you are too great for me. Nor to your mopsy without, though she be snout-fair and has some wit: she’s too little for me. I understand degree and quality, respect and difference, and am scholar enough to know my unde and my quare.*

312StrangeloveYou ga’ me his true character. You are a complete gentleman, sir — if I mistake not, the kinsman of my favourite here, who has given me an ample relation of your worth and virtue.

313Court-witYes, patroness, ’tis he, who though not throughly versed or conversant i’th’ court or city garb, he understands both men and manners.

314Swain-witPrattle for yourself, sir.

315StrangeloveBut to the business, gentlemen.

316Swain-witAye, that I would fain know if it be any.

317StrangeloveYou have heard, I doubt not, of a disastrous blot lately cast upon my fame, out of my own freeness.

318Cit-witConcerning the mad courtier, Madam, when ’tis as likely that his tailor made him mad as you, for not hitting the fashion right in his last rich suit. But ’tis most like he fell from a reasonable man by over-studying himself what lord he should be at the next creation, whether of gleek or cribbage, in-and-in or hazard.*

319Swain-witHark how this shotten-headed coxcombprates! And how he, that can endure beating, dares speak anything, or abuse all men!   [to CIT-WIT]   Canst not give the lady leave to speak tho’?

320StrangeloveSince there is an aspersion laid upon my freeness in giving entertainment unto persons of great and noble quality, the world deeming it to be done by me merely for ostentation, to cry my own humour up, by drawing them into love-knots, and then to slight or scorn them, my resolution is from henceforth to exclude those great resorts, and friendly and freely be merry within ourselves. I have four thousand a year to spend,* and will be housewife good enough to keep in compass. I will not entertain a servant, friend or guest above your rank or fortunes —

321Swain-witWhy —forgi’ me for swearing — what do you think of us?

322StrangeloveI think you gentlemen of worth and quality, and therefore welcome. I think you able to maintain yourselves middlesized gent[lemen].*

323Cit-witI am Middlesex indeed: born i’ th’ City. *

324Swain-wit   [to CIT-WIT]   Give the lady leave to speak tho’.

325StrangeloveI’ll give access to none that the censorious world shall dare to judge a suitor to me, or to find favour further than meat and wine.*

326Swain-witYes, faith, a little money too, and make’s your fiddlers.*

327Cit-wit   [to SWAIN-WIT]   Pray give the Lady leave to speak tho’.   [Aside]   Whew!*

328StrangeloveMaugre the greatness of my former visitants
        I give you my election for the chiefs
        Of my familiar society.
        I may perhaps call in, at least admit,
        People of meaner garb, without (I hope)
        Your grudge or envy; but they shall be men
        Of science, art, and action.*

329Swain-witOf action, Madam? who do you mean? the players?

330StrangeloveWhy not? I love their quality and them, and mean to have the use of some of ’em shortly, besides musicians (poets in the first place) and painters: in which last-mentioned art   [to DAINTY]    I hear you are excellent, though all this while so silent.**

331DaintyI boast no skill or practice, Madam, but I have drawn some pieces* that have been worth my pains in my rewards.

332StrangeloveI must commend their ingenuity for whom you took those pains. But (where I left) I must make use of wits, of arts, and actions.

333Swain-witHere in your house, Madam, I would be glad to see the actors, but I saw ’em at their own too lately, for I lost my purse there. No matter, let it go. There was fifteen pound in’t tho!

334Cit-wit’Sprecious! How now! My fob has been fobbed* today of six pieces, and a dozen shillings at least. Nothing but a bowed groat left, as I hope for my grannam’s blessing.

335Court-witSure, you have been in some ill company.

336Cit-witPox of ill company, I say! My watch is gone out of my pocket too o’th’ right side.

337DaintyYou rose o’ the wrong side today, it seems. Were you in no crowd or quarrel?

338Cit-witI never was in any quarrel i’my life. I always run from ’em.

339Court-wit   [Aside]   I dare swear thou dost.

340Cit-witI only stood today at the coranto-shop* to read the last great news; and I was hooped in, I remember, by some that seemed to wonder as much as I.

341DaintyThen certainly there was a cutpurse amongst ’em.

342Cit-witI’ll go to honest Moll* about it presently.

343Swain-witBut first stay and hear my Lady tho’.

344Court-witAye, Madam, you were speaking of the use you would make of poet, painter, music, actor and the like.

345StrangeloveTrue, favourite. For a masque that I intend to have shortly, you shall perform the poetical part, your servant Cit-wit the musical, and   [to DAINTY]   by your skill and directions, the painter’s office for the scenes. Dancers and speakers I have in store.

346Swain-witI must be something too tho’, must I not, Madam?

347StrangeloveMarry and thank you too, sir.

Now, your news.

348PhilomelSir Andrew Mendicant desires to see you, Madam.

349StrangeloveYou should have told him I would not be seen by him.

350PhilomelI told him you were busy. But he says he is to speak with you upon a weighty business from the court.

351Strangelove ’Tis the court-beggar.   [To COURT-WIT]   You know him, favourite. Go not away: I’ll bring him in amongst you, and (as you love me) put some ridiculous projects to him.*Exit [STRANGELOVE].

352DaintyWhat’s that Sir Andrew Mendicant? Do you know him well?

353Court-witThou askest still a question like a guilty person, with a look resembling fear upon thy face.

354DaintyMy countenance is to blame, then, not my conscience.

355Cit-witI’ll tell you what he is.

356Swain-witStill answering others’ questions?

357Cit-witHe is a knight that hankers about the Court, ambitious to make himself a lord by begging. His brain is all projects, and his soul nothing but court-suits. He has begun more knavish suits at Court than ever the king’s tailor honestly finished, but never thrived by any, so that now he’s almost fallen from a palace beggar to a spittle one. His business to my Lady now can be nothing but to borrow money to buy a pair of wheels to set some project a-going to Court for a monopoly.

358Swain-witThou wert in haste e’en now to look after thy money; but and thy life lay on’t, thou must stay to abuse a man behind his back, who is a noble gentleman, thou knowst, and I have heard. Yet (speak in thy conscience) wouldst thou not be beaten now?

359Court-witForbear: they come.

360StrangeloveSir, since it is requested by those great ones
        Whose power cannot command me in this case
        (For ’tis my charity and not my duty),
        I am content that the mad Ferdinand
        Shall sojourn in my house for his recovery.

361MendicantTis thought you were the groundwork of his frenzy
        The doctors therefore moved their honours to it
        For that your frequent presence may be helpful
        Towards his care.

362StrangeloveHe shall have it, then,
        Towards the expiation of the crime
        They charge me with. But in case, Sir Andrew,
        He should be cured by this means, I should then
        Cross you in fortune and your future hopes
        Of his estate, which you have begged, you say,
        If he recover not.

363MendicantI must leave that to fortune, Madam.

364StrangeloveWill you be please, sir, to take notice of
        These gentlemen, my friends.
[MENDICANT bows to them, and they to him.]*

        They may be useful,
        For they have all projective brains, I tell you.

365MendicantPray, of what nature are your projects, gentlemen?

366Court-witSir, my affection leans much to poetry, especially the dramatic.

367MendicantWriting of strange plays?

368Court-witI am glad I speak, sir, to your understanding. And my* project is that no plays may be admitted to the stage, but of their making who profess or endeavour to live by the quality, that no courtiers, divines, students-at-law, lawyers’ clerks, tradesmen or prentices* be allowed to write ’em, nor the works of any lay-poet whatsoever to be received to the stage, though freely given unto the actors, nay though any such poet should give a sum of money with his play, as with an apprentice, unless the author do also become bound that it shall do true and faithful service for a whole term.*

369MendicantHere’s a trim business towards, and as idle as the players going to law with their poets!*

370Court-witI have another, sir, to procure a patent for myself to have the only privilege to give instructions to all the actors in the city (especially the younger sort), the better to enable them to speak their parts emphatically and to the life.*

371MendicantYou were best take heed in time, then, that you well preserve your own voice, for fear you do a spoil among ’em in teaching ’em to utter in unsavoury tunes. Do I come hither to be mocked?

372Swain-witWill you hear mine tho’?* I am a country gentleman, young, healthful and lusty. I hear complaints of barrenness in the city and of men that cannot get their wives with child. Get me but a patent for’t, I’ll undertake by myself and deputies (provided that the woman be sound and handsome) to make them multiply, and upon reasonable conditions: we will deal with the rich for money, and the poor for charity.

373MendicantThis is foolisher than tother. Do you abuse me, gentlemen?

374Swain-witIs that a wise man’s question? You cannot tell tho’.*

375Cit-witWe have our projects too, sir.

376Mendicant   [to DAINTY]   I would have yours first: you seem a civil and substantial gentleman.

377DaintyIn more private if you please, sir.
[drawing MENDICANT away from the others in order to steal his purse]

378Mendicant   [Aside]   I like well his reservedness.

379DaintySir, I am a picture-drawer, limner, or painter (if you please) and would gladly purchase authority, by myself and deputies, for the painting of all the king’s- and queen’s-head signs* for taverns, inns, ale-houses, and all houses and shops of trade throughout the kingdom upon this ground:* that they draw and hang up their royal images for signs in so hideous manner that men bless themselves to see’t.

380MendicantAye, marry, this hangs upon some ground.* But are you an exquisite workman in that art, sir?

381DaintyI am an artist in that mystery, sir, and have drawn some of His Majesty’s pictures, by copy only but so to the life that gentlemen have kneeled to ’em for suits and knighthoods.

382MendicantIndeed, sir!

383DaintyYes, sir, and great lords I have pictured so powerfully, their own followers suddenly rushing into the room have started back and solemnly stood bare to ’em as they hung o’ the walls.

384MendicantIs’t possible?!

385DaintyI drew a stern judge and a civil lawyer so to the life that after their corpses were in the grave, a man durst not look upon their pictures without a bribe, or double fee in’s hand.

386MendicantI do admire you!

387DaintyI ha’ drawn ladies, too, with that alluring beauty, that men have loved their dead pictures for their painted looks, more than their living persons for all their virtues.

388MendicantThou boy! In troth, you abuse me most merrily, gentlemen. *
[MENDICANT makes to leave but is prevented.]

389StrangeloveAn excellent fellow: I like him for that fancy more than all the rest.

390Cit-witPray hear my project too, sir?

391StrangeloveYes, good sir Andrew, you shall not part so abruptly.

392Cit-witMine is a good commonwealth’s business against the common plague, that reigns i’ th’ City, of pickpockets and cutpurses. I myself ha’ been robbed today, and am going to a good member that deals in private for the recoveries of such goods, one that shall undertake, if you’ll but get a patent, for a cutpurse-hall, or office, to help all men to their own again, allowing but the tithes of their losses, and freeing the offending parties.*

393MendicantFie, fie! Here’s tithing indeed.

394Cit-witProvided that notice be brought to the office within four and twenty hours after any such loss.

395MendicantEnough, enough.

396Cit-witWe may by the same course secure the counties too, and make the hangman hang himself.*

397MendicantLet every man be wise enough to look to his purse, and there will be no cutpurses, nor need of your patent.

398Swain-witAs wise a man as you may lose his purse tho’, as I ha’ done myself in a crowd.

399MendicantHe puts me in mind of a crowd I was in once today of company I liked not— Ha!!!—   [Aside]   Fore heaven,’tis gone, and I dare not discover it for being laughed at!

400Court-witIt seems none of your projects will pass with you, Sir Andrew.

401StrangeloveCome, sir, they are but (as you said) merry with you.

402MendicantBe you merry with them, good Madam, you know the serious work I came about – in which I suddenly shall presume to give you a revisit.

403StrangelovePray do, Sir Andrew, bring your madman. My garden lodgings shall be his Bedlam. Come, gentlemen, ’tis dinner-time.

404Court-witWe are your waiters, Madam.[All exit.]*

Edited by Marion O'Connor