The Actors’ Names.*

ROOKSBILL*a great builder in Covent Garden
CROSSWILL*a Country Gentleman, lodger in his Buildings
COCKBRAIN*a Justice of Peace, the Weeder of the Garden
NICHOLAS*A young gentleman, Rooksbill’s son
GABRIELA young gentleman, Crosswill’s elder son
MIHIL*A young gentleman, Cross[will’s] younger son
ANTHONYA young gentleman, Cockbrain’s son
MUN Clotpoll*a foolish gull
DRIBLOW*Captain of the Philoblathici*
BELT*Crosswill’s servant
RALPH*Dorcas’ servant
A Citizen
A Parson
A Tailor
A Shoemaker
A Vintner
A Drawer
PIGDamaris’ servant
[A Boy]
LUCYRooksbill’s daughter
KATHERINECrosswill’s daughter
DORCAS, alias Damaris*Crosswill’s niece
MARGERY Howlet*a bawd
Two punks
A Laundress

A Prologue.

2PrologueHe that could never boast, nor seek the way,
        To prepare friends to magnify his play,
        Nor rail at’s auditory for unjust,
        If they not liked it, nor was so mistrust-
        ful ever in himself, that he besought
        Preapprobation though they liked it not;
        Nor ever had the luck to have his name
        Clapped up above his* merit, nor the shame
        To be cried down below it: he this night
        Your fair and free attention does invite.
        Only he prays no prejudice be brought
        By any that before-hand wish it nought;
        And that ye all be pleased to hear and see,
        With candour suiting his integrity.
        That for the writer; something we must say
        Now in defence of us, and of the play.
        We shall present no scandal or abuse,
        To virtue or to honour; nor traduce
        Person of worth; nor point at the disgrace
        Of any one residing in the place
        On which our scene is laid, nor any action show,
        Of thing has there been done, for ought we know.
        Though it be probable that such have been.
        But if some vicious persons be brought in,
        As no new buildings, nor the strongest hold
        Can keep out rats and vermin bad and bold,
        Let not the sight of such be ill endured;
        All sores are seen and searched before th’* are cured.
        As ruffian, bawd, and the licentious crew,
        Too apt to pester situations new.

Another Prologue*.

3Prologue’Tis not amiss ere we begin our play,
        T’entreat you, that you take the same survey
        Into your fancy, as our poet took,
        Of Covent Garden, when he wrote his book,
        Some ten years since, when it was grown with weeds,
        Not set, as now it is, with noble seeds,
        Which make the garden glorious. And much
        Our poet craves and hopes you will not grutch*
        It him, that since so happily his pen
        Foretold its fair improvement, and that men
        Of worth and honour should renown the place,
        The play may still retain its former grace.
[In one of the streets being built around the Piazza of Covent Garden, outside a house with a balcony]

4CockbrainAye, marry, sir! This is something like! These appear like buildings! Here’s architecture* expressed* indeed! It is a most sightly situation, and fit for gentry and nobility.*

5RooksbillWhen it is all finished, doubtless it will be handsome.

6CockbrainIt will be glorious! And yond magnificent piece*, the Piazzo, will excel that at Venice*, by hearsay – I ne’er travelled**. A hearty blessing on their brains, honours, and wealths, that are projectors*, furtherers, and performers of such great works. And now I come to you, Master Rooksbill: I like your row of houses most incomparably. Your money never shone so on your counting-boards* as in those structures.

7RooksbillI have piled up a leash* of thousand pounds in walls and windows there.

8CockbrainIt will all come again with large increase*. And better is your money thus let out on red and white, than upon black and white*, I say. You cannot think how I am taken with that row! How even and straight they are!* And so are all indeed. The surveyor*, what e’er he was*, has manifested himself the master of his great art. How he has wedded strength to beauty; state to uniformity; commodiousness with perspicuity! All, all as ’t should be!

9RooksbillIf all were as well tenanted and inhabited by worthy persons.*

10CockbrainPhew; that will follow. What new plantation* was ever peopled with the better sort at first? Nay, commonly the lewdest blades and naughty-packs are either necessitated to ’em, or else do prove the most forward venturers.* Is not lime and hair* the first in all your foundations*? Do we not soil or dung our lands, before we sow or plant anything that’s good in ’em? And do not weeds creep up first in all gardens? And why not then in this? Which never was a garden until now; and which will be the garden of gardens*, I foresee ’t. And for the weeds in it, let me alone for the weeding of them out. And so as my reverend ancestor Justice Adam Overdo* was wont to say, “In Heaven’s name and the King’s”, and for the good of the commonwealth*, I will go about it*.

11RooksbillI would a few more of the worshipful hereabouts*, whether they be in commission* or not*, were as well minded that way as you are, sir; we should then have all sweet and clean, and that quickly too.

12CockbrainI have thought upon a way for’t, Master Rooksbill, and I will pursue it; viz., to find out all the enormities*, yet be myself unspied, whereby I will tread out the spark of impiety, whilst it is yet a spark and not a flame; and break the egg of a mischief, whilst it is yet an egg and not a cockatrice. Then doubt not of worthy tenants for your houses, Master Rooksbill*.

13RooksbillI hope, sir, your best furtherance.

14CockbrainI had a letter but last night from a worthy friend, a West Country gentleman*, that is now coming up with his family to live in town* here; and [his]* desire is to inhabit in these buildings. He was to lie at Hammersmith* last night and requested an early meeting of me this morning here, to assist him in the taking of a house. It is my business hither; for he could never do ’t himself. He has the oddest, touchy, wrangling humour – but in a harmless way, for he hurts nobody, and pleases himself in it. His children have all the trouble of it, that do anger him in obeying him sometimes. You will know him anon. I mean, he shall be your tenant. And luckily he comes.

15Crosswill   (to GABRIEL and KATHERINE)*   It is not enough you tell me of obedience. Or that you are obedient. But I will be obeyed in my own way. Do you see* –?

16CockbrainMy noble friend Master Crosswill, right happily met.

17CrosswillYour troublesome friend, Master Cockbrain.

18CockbrainNo trouble at all, sir, though I have prevented yours in finding a fit house for you.

19CrosswillYou ha’ not, ha’ you, ha?*

20CockbrainActum est*, Master Crosswill. But civility pardon me, is not this your daughter?[COCKBRAIN and KATHERINE] kiss [in greeting].*

21CrosswillAll the she-things I have; and would I were well rid of her too.*

22CockbrainSweet Mistress Katherine, welcome – Master Gabriel, I take it?

23GabrielGabriel Crosswill is my name.

24CockbrainBut where’s your younger son*, Mihil? There’s a spark!*

25CrosswillA spark? A dunce I fear by this time, like his brother Sheepshead there.

26GabrielGabriel is my proper name.

27CrosswillI have not seen him this twelve-month, since I chambered him a student here in town.*

28CockbrainIn town, and I not know it?

29CrosswillHe knows not yet of my coming neither, nor shall not till I steal upon him;* and if I find him mopish like his brother, I know what I will do.

30CockbrainHave you not heard from him lately?

31CrosswillYes, often by his letters; less I could read, more comfort in ’em.* I fear he’s turned precisian, for all his epistles end with “Amen”; and the matter of ’em is such as if he could teach me to ask him blessing.

32RooksbillA comfortable hearing of a young man.

33CrosswillIs it so, sir? But I’ll new mould him if it be so – I’ll tell you, Master Cockbrain: never was such a father so crossed in his children. They will not obey me in my way. I grant, they do things that other fathers would rejoice at. But I will be obeyed in my own way, d’ ye see? Here’s my eldest son. Mark how he stands, as if he had learned a posture* at Knightsbridge spittle* as we came along while-ere. He was not only born without wit, but with an obstinate resolution never to have any. I mean, such wit as might become a gentleman.

34CockbrainWas that resolution born in him, think you?*

35CrosswillIt could never grow up in him still as it does else. When I would have him take his horse, and follow the dogs, and associate [with] gentlemen*, in hawking, hunting, or suchlike exercises, he’ll run you a-foot five mile another way, to meet the brethren of the separation,* at such exercises* as I never sent him to, I am sure*, on worky days. And whereas most gentlemen run into other men’s books*, in hands that they care not who reads, he has a book of his own short-writing* in his pocket, of such stuff as is fit for no man’s reading indeed but his own.

36GabrielSurely, sir –

37CrosswillSure, you are an ass. Hold your tongue.

38GabrielYou are my father.

39Rooksbill   [Aside]   What comfort should I have, were my son such?

40CrosswillAnd he has done nothing* but hanged the head, as you see now, ever since holiday sports were cried up in the country.* And but for that, and to talk with some of the silenced pastors* here in town* about it, I should not have drawn him up.

41RooksbillI would I could change a son w’ you, sir.

42CrosswillWhat kind of thing is thy son, ha? Dost thou look like one that could have a son fit for me to father, ha? And yet the best take both, and ’t please you at all adventures, ha!

43RooksbillI am sure there cannot be a worse or more debauched reprobate than mine is, living.

44CrosswillAnd is the devil too good a master for him, think’st thou, ha? Wherein can I deserve so ill at thy hands, fellow, whate’er thou art, that thou should’st wish me cumbered with a worse burden, when thou hearest me complain of this, ha? What is this fellow* that you dare know him, friend Cockbrain? I will not dwell within three parishes of him.

45Rooksbill   [Aside to COCKBRAIN]   My tenant! Bless me from him! I had rather all my rents were bawdy houses*.

46Cockbrain   [Aside to ROOKSBILL]   Think nothing of his words, he’ll forget all instantly. The best natured man living.

47CrosswillDost thou stand like a son now that hears his father abused, ha?

48GabrielI am praying for the conversion of the young man he speaks of.

49CockbrainWell said, Master Gabriel.

50CrosswillBut by the way, where’s your son, Anthony? Have you not heard of him yet?

51CockbrainNever since he forsook me, on the discontent he took in that he might not marry your daughter there. And where he lives, or whether he lives or not, I know not. I hope your daughter is a comfort to you.

52CrosswillYes, in keeping her chamber whole weeks together, sullenning upon her samplery breech-work*, when I was in hope she would have made me a grandfather ere now*. But she has a humour, forsooth, since we put your son by her*, to make me a matchbroker, her marriage-maker*; when I tell you, friend, there has been so many untoward matches of parents’ making*, that I have sworn she shall make her own choice, though it be of one I hate. Make me her match-maker! Must I obey her, or she me, ha?

53CockbrainI wish, with tears, my son had had her now*.

54KatherineWherein, sir, – under correction – do I disobey you?

55CrosswillIn that very word, under correction, thou disobey’st me. Are you to be under correction at these years,* ha? If I ha’ not already taught you manners beyond the help of correction, go, seek a wiser father to mend ’em.

56KatherineYet give me leave, dear sir, in my excuse –

57CrosswillLeave out correction, then.

58KatherineIf I were forward as many maidens are,
        To wish a husband, must I not be sought?
        I never was a gadder;* and my mother,
        Before she died, adjured me to be none.
        I hope you’ll give me leave to keep your house.*

59CrosswillLa, there again! How subtly she seeks dominion over me! No, housewife, no; you keep no house of mine. I’ll nestle you no longer under my wing. Are you not fledge*? I’ll have you fly out, I,* as other men’s daughters do; and keep a house of your own if you can find it.

60GabrielWe had a kinswoman flew* out too lately, I take it.*

61CrosswillWhat tell’st thou me of her, wise-acres?* Can they not fly out a little, but they must turn arrant whores*, ha?* Tell me of your kinswoman? ’Tis true, she was my niece;* she went to ’t* a little afore her time. Some two years since, and so fled from religion; and is turned Turk, we fear.* And what of that in your precisianical wisdom? I have such children as no man has. But, as I was saying, would ye top me, huswife, ha? Look you, now I chide her, she says nothing. Is this obedience, ha?

62KatherinePerhaps I might unfortunately cast my affection on a man that would refuse me.*

63CrosswillThat man I would desire to know. Show me that man. See if I swinge* him not [who] dares* slight my daughter.

64Cockbrain   [Aside]   Still the old humour, self-willed, cross, and touchy; but suddenly reconciled.   [Aloud to CROSSWILL]   Come, Master Crosswill, to the business.

65CrosswillOh, you told me of a house you had found for me.

66CockbrainYes, sir. And here’s the landlord.

67CrosswillDoes he look or go like one could let a house worthy of me?*

68CockbrainSir, we have able builders here, that will not carry least show of their buildings on their backs.* This is a rich, sufficient man, I assure you, and my friend.

69CrosswillI cry him heartily mercy, and embrace him. And now I note you better, you look like Thrift* itself.
DORCAS enters above upon a balcony.* GABRIEL
gazes at her. DORCAS is habited like a courtesan of Venice

I cannot think you will throw away your houses at a cast.* You have a son, perhaps, that may, by the commendations you gave of him. Let’s see your house.

70CockbrainCome away, Master Gabriel.

71CrosswillCome, sir, what do you gape and shake the head at there? I’ll lay my life he has spied the little cross upon the new church yond, and is at defiance with it.* Sirrah, I will make you honour the first syllable of my name*. My name is Will Crosswill, and I will have my humour. Let those that talk of me for it speak their pleasure, I will do mine.

72GabrielI shall obey you, sir.

73CrosswillNow you are in the right. You shall indeed. I’ll make your heart ache else, d’ ye see?*

74GabrielBut truly, I was looking at that image*, that painted idolatrous image yonder, as I take it.

75Cockbrain   [Aside.]   O heresy!*   [Aloud to the others]   It is some lady or gentlewoman standing upon her balcony.

76BeltHer belle coney? Where is it? I can spy from her foot to her face, yet I can see no belle coney she has.*

77CockbrainWhat a knave’s this? That’s the balcony she stands on, that which jets* out so on the forepart of the house. Every house here has one of ’em.

78Belt’Tis very good; I like the jetting out of the forepart very well; it is a gallant fashion* indeed.

79Cockbrain   [Aside]   I guess what she is, what e’er I have said. O Justice, look to thine office.

80CrosswillCome now, to this house, and then to my son Mihil, the spark you spoke of. And if I find him cross too, I’ll cross him. Let him look to ’t. D’ ye see?

81CockbrainI’ll see you housed; and then about my project*, which is for weeding of this hopeful garden.*[Exit all] [except GABRIEL and DORCAS].
GABRIEL stays last, looking up at her. [Then GABRIEL exits.]

82[Dorcas]*Why should not we in England use that freedom
        The famous courtesans have in Italy?
        We have the art, and know the theory
        To allure and catch the wandering eyes of lovers*;
        Yea, and their hearts too. But* our stricter laws
        Forbid* the public practice. Our desires
        Are high as theirs: our wills as apt and forward;
        Our wits as ripe, our beauties more attractive;
        Or travellers are shrewd liars. Where’s the let?
        Only in bashful, coward custom, that
        Stoops i’ the shoulders, and submits the neck
        To bondage of authority, to these laws
        That men of feeble age and weaker eye-sight
        Have framed to bar their sons from youthful pleasures.
        Possets and caudles* on their queasy stomachs,
        Whilst I fly out* in brave* rebellion;
        And offer, at the least, to break these shackles
        That hold our legs together; and begin
        A fashion which, pursued by Cyprian dames,*
        May persuade justice to allow our games.*
        Who knows? I’ll try. Francisca, bring my lute.*
Francisca enters with a lute.
[Exit Francisca]
While [DORCAS] is tuning her lute, NICHOLAS
Rooksbill, ANTHONY in a false beard,
and CLOTPOLL enter [below].

83ClotpollTroth, I have a great mind to be one of the Philoblathici, a Brother of the Blade and Battoon, as you translate it, now ye have beat it into my head. But I fear I shall never come on and off handsomely. I have mettle* enough, methinks, but I know not how, methinks, to put it out.

84NicholasWe’ll help you out with it, and set it flying for you, never doubt it.

85ClotpollObotts, you mean my money metal, I mean my valour mettle, I.

86AnthonyPeace, hark.

87ClotpollT’other flies fast enough already.

88NicholasPox on ye, peace.
[DORCAS sings]*

89NicholasO most melodious.

90ClotpollMost odious, did you say? It is methinks most odoriferous.

91AnthonyWhat new devise can this be? Look![DORCAS exits from the balcony.]

92NicholasShe is vanished. Is ’t not the mountebank’s wife* that was here; and now come again to play some new merry tricks* by herself?

93ClotpollA botts* on ’t, I never saw that mountebank; they say, he brought the first resort into this new plantation, and sowed so much seed of knavery and cozenage here, that ’tis fear’d ’twill never out.*

94NicholasNay, but this creature: what can she be?

95ClotpollAnd then again, he drew such flocks of idle people to him, that the players, they say, cursed him abominably.*

96AnthonyThou ever talk’st of the wrong matter.*

97ClotpollCry mercy, Brothers of the Blade and Battoon. Do you think if I give my endeavour to it, I shall ever learn to roar and carry it as you do, that have it naturally, as you say?

98NicholasYes, as we’ll beat it into you. But this woman, this musical woman, that set herself out to show so, I would be satisfied in her.

99ClotpollAnd she be as able as she seems, she has in her to satisfy you*, and you were a Brother of ten Blades, and ten Battoons.

100NicholasI vow* – peace. I’ll battoon thy teeth into thy tongue else. She bears a stately presence.* Thou never saw’st her before, didst thou, Tony?

101AnthonyNo; but I heard an inkling at the Paris Tavern* last night of a she-gallant that had travelled France and Italy; and that she would –

102Clotpoll   [Aside to himself,writing in his notebook]*    Battoon thy teeth into thy tongue*”.

103Anthony– plant some of her foreign collections, the fruits of her travels, in this garden here, to try how they would grow or thrive on English earth.

104NicholasYoung Pig was speaking of such a one to me, and that she was a mumper.

105ClotpollWhat’s that, a Sister of the Scabbard,* Brother of the Blade?

106NicholasCome, come; we’ll in, we’ll in; ’tis one of our father’s buildings; I’ll see the inhabitants.* Some money, Clotpoll, furnish, I say, and quickly – I vow –

107ClotpollYou shall, you shall.

108NicholasWhat shall I?

109ClotpollVow twice before you have it.

110NicholasI vow, and I vow again, I’ll coin* thy brains –[NICHOLAS threatens to strike CLOTPOLL]

111ClotpollHold, hold, take your poll money   [CLOTPOLL gives NICHOLAS money]   *; I thought I would have my will;    [Aside to himself, writing in his notebook*]   and the word I look for, “I’ll coin thy brains. I do not love to give my money for nothing. I have a volume of words here, the worst of ’em is as good as a blow; and then I save my crown* whole half a dozen times a day, by half a crown a time. There’s half in half saved by that.

112NicholasCome, let’s appear civil*, till we have our entrance, and then as occasion serves – [They] knock.

113[Francisca]*Who would you speak withal?

114NicholasYour mistress, little one.

115FranciscaDo you know her, sir?

116NicholasNo; but I would know her*, that’s the business: I mean the musical gentlewoman that was fiddling, and so many in the what-do-’e-call-’t e’en now.*

117FranciscaWhat-do-call her, sir, I pray?

118NicholasWhat-do-call her? ’Tis not come to that yet, prithee let me see and speak with her first.

119FranciscaYou are disposed, I think.

120NicholasWhat should we do here else?

121FranciscaYou won’t thrust in upon a body whether one will or no?*

122Anthony, NicholasAway, you monkey*.[NICHOLAS and ANTHONY exit,
forcing their way past FRANCISCA]

123FranciscaO me, what do you mean?

124ClotpollO my brave Philoblathici![All exit]
[Inside the house]
Enter DORCAS, alias Damyris, [MARGERY]

125[Dorcas]What’s the matter, the girl cries out so?

126MargeryI know not. I fear some rude company, some of the wild crew, are broke into the house.
[FRANCISCA and NICHOLAS heard offstage*]

127FranciscaWhither would you go? You won’t rob the house, will ye?

128NicholasWill ye be quiet, whiskin?

129MargeryOh me, ’tis so: hell’s broke loose*. This comes of your new fingle-fangle fashion, your preposterous Italian way, forsooth.* Would I could have kept my old ways of pots and pipes, and my strong-water course for customers. The very first twang of your fiddle guts has broke all, and conjured a legion of devils among us.

130NicholasNay, there’s but a leash* of us. How now? Who have we here? Are these the far travelled ladies? O thou party purple, or rather parboiled bawd.*

131Margery   [To DORCAS]   What shall I do?

132[DORCAS]   [To MARGERY]   Out, alas! Sure they are devils indeed.

133NicholasArt thou travelled 'cross the seas from the Bankside hither, old Countess of Codpiece Row*?

134Clotpoll   [Aside to himself, writing in his notebook*]   “Party purple and parboiled bawd –”

135AnthonyAnd is this the damsel that has been in France and Italy?

136Clotpoll   [Aside to himself, writing in his notebook]   “Codpiece Row”.

137MargeryPeace, ye roaring scabs. I’ll be sworn she supped at Paris Tavern last night, and lay not long ago at the Venice by Whitefriars Dock.*

138NicholasPrithee, what is she, Madge?

139MargeryA civil gentlewoman you see she is.

140NicholasShe has none of the best faces.* But is she warrantable?* I have not had a civil night these three months.

141[Margery]Nor none are like to have here, I assure you.

142NicholasOh, Madge, how I do long thy thing to ding diddle ding!

143MargeryOh, Nick, I am not in the humour; no more is she to be o’ the merry pin now. I am sure her case is too lamentable. But if you will all sit down, I’ll give you a bottle of wine, and we’ll relate her story to you, so you will be civil.

144NicholasWell, for once I care not if we be.
A table, bottle, light*, and tobacco pipes [brought on]*

Let us set to’t, then; sit down, Brother Tony, sit down, gentlewoman, we shall know your name anon. I hope it will fall in your story; sit down, Clotpoll.

145ClotpollYou will call me Brother Clotpoll too when I have taken my oath, and paid my entrance into the fraternity* of the Blade and the Battoon.

146Nicholas’Tis like we shall. Now Lady of the Stygian Lake*, thou black infernal Madge, begin the dismal story, whilst I begin the bottle.

147MargeryThis gentlewoman, whose name is Damyris –

148NicholasDamyris? Stay. Her nick-name then is Dammy,* so we may call her when we grow familiar. And to begin that familiarity, Dammy, here’s to you –Drinks a toast

149[Dorcas]And what’s your nick-name, I pray, sir?

150NicholasNick.* Only Nick; Madge there knows it.

151[Dorcas]Then I believe your name is Nicholas.

152NicholasI vow – witty. Yes, Dammy, and my surname is Rooksbill, and so is my father’s too. And what do you make o’ that?

153[Dorcas]Nothing, not I, sir.   [Aside]   Sure, this is he.

154NicholasAnd I would he were nothing, so I had all he has. I must have t’other glass to wash him out of my mouth, he furs it worse than Mundungus tobacco.* Here, old Madge   [Drinks a toast*]   and to all the birds that shall wonder at thy owletship*, when thou rid’st in an ivy-bush called a cart.*

155MargeryWell, mad Nick, I’ll pledge thee in hope to see as many flutter about the tree that thou shalt climb backwards.*[Drinks a toast]

156NicholasA pox! Thou wilt be stifled with offal and carrot leaves before that day.*

157[Dorcas]Fie, fie, what talk’s this?   [Aside]   ’Tis he, I am confident.

158MargeryThese are our ordinary compliments, we wish no harm.

159NicholasNo, Dammy, I vow, not I to any breathing.

160MargeryBut your father, Nick – is he that Rooksbill – ?

161Nicholas“But my father”! Pox rot ye, why do ye put me in mind of him again? He sticks i’ my throat, now I’ll wash him a little further – Here, Brother Tony –[Drinks a toast]

162AnthonyGramercy,* Brother Nick.[Drinks a toast]

163ClotpollAnd to all the Brothers that are, and are to be of the Blade and the Battoon.

164NicholasThere said you well, Clotpoll. Here ’tis –Drink[s a toast]
[MARGERY] sets away the bottle.*

165MargeryI would but have asked you whether your father were that Rooksbill that is called the great builder.

166NicholasYes, marry, is it he, forsooth. He has built I know not how many houses hereabout, though he goes, Dammy, as if he were not worth a groat; and all his clothes I vow are not worth this hilt*, except those he wears, and prays for fair weather in, on my Lord Mayor’s Day;* and you are his tenant, though perhaps you know it not,* and may be mine; therefore use me well. For this house and the rest I hope will be mine, as well as I can hope he is mortal, of which I must confess I have been in some doubt, though now I hope again he will be the first shall lay his bones i’ the new church, though the churchyard be too good for him before ’tis consecrated.* So give me the t’other cup, for now he offends my stomach. Here’s to thee now, Clotpoll.[Drinks a toast]

167ClotpollAnd to all the Sisters of the Scabbard, Brother in Election.   [Drinks a toast]       [Aside to MARGERY and ANTHONY]   D’ ye hear, pray talk of his father no more, for the next brings him to the belly-work, and then he’ll drink him quite through him.

168MargeryAnd so we shall have a foul house.

169AnthonyNo, he shall stick there.   [To DORCAS]   Now to the story, gentlewoman, ’twas that we sat for.

170NicholasAye, to the story. I vow I had almost forgot it, and I am the worst at sack in a morning. Dear Dammy, to the story.

171[Dorcas]Good sir, my heart’s too full to utter ’t.

172NicholasTroth, and my head’s too full to hear it. But I’ll go out and quarrel with somebody to settle my brains, then go down to Mick Crosswill to put him in mind of our meeting today; then if you will meet me at the Goat* at dinner*, we’ll have it all at large.

173[Dorcas]Will you be there indeed, sir? I would speak with you seriously.

174NicholasDammy, if I be not, may my father outlive me.

175AnthonyWe both here promise you he shall be there by noon.

176Clotpoll’Lady, ’tis sworn by Blade and by Battoon.

177NicholasThis will be the bravest discovery for Mihil*, the new Italian Bona Roba* Catsoe.*NICHOLAS, ANTHONY, and CLOTPOLL exit*

178MargeryWhy so sad on the sudden, niece*?

179[Dorcas]But do you think he’ll come as he has promised?

180MargeryHe never breaks a promise with any of us, though he fail all the honest part o’ the world.* But I trust you are not taken with the ruffian. You’ll ne’er get penny by him.

181[Dorcas]I prithee, peace, I care not.

182RalphBut mistress*, there is a gallant now below, a jingle boy* indeed, that has his pockets full of crowns that chide for vent. Shall I call him up to you?

183[Dorcas]I will see no man.

184MargeryHow’s that? I hope you jest.

185[Dorcas]Indeed, I hope you jest.

186MargeryYou will not hinder the house, I hope. Marry! This were a humour and ’t would last. Go fetch him up.

187[Dorcas]I’ll fly then out* at window.   [Draws a knife]   Nay, by this steel* ’tis true.

188MargeryWhat’s the matter? Have I got a mad woman into the house? What, do you go about to break me the first day of your coming, before you have hanselled* a couch or a bedside in ’t? Were you but now all o’ th’ heigh to set yourself out for a sign with your fiddle cum twang,* and promise such wonders*, forsooth, and will not now be seen? Pray, what’s the riddle?

189[Dorcas]I’ll tell thee all anon. Prithee, excuse me. I know thy share* of his sin’s bounty* would not come to thus much: take it, I give it thee. And prithee, let me be honest till I have a mind to be otherwise, and I’ll hinder thee nothing.

190MargeryWell, I’ll dismiss the gallant, and send you, sirrah, for another wench. I’ll have Bess Bufflehead again. This kicksy, wincy* giddibrain will spoil all. I’ll no more Italian tricks –[MARGERY and RALPH exit.]*

191[Dorcas]Thus some have by the frenzy of despair
        Fumously run into the sea to throw
        Their wretched bodies, but when come near
        They saw the billows rise, heard Boreas’ blow,
        And horrid death appearing on the main,*
        A sudden fear hath sent them back again.[Exit DORCAS]

Edited by Michael Leslie