[At the Goat Tavern]
BETTY and FRANCISCA enter,* with swords drawn; they make
fast the doors

700BettyNay, you perpetual puss, I’ll fetch him out of the very bowels of thee.

701FranciscaHe never came so deep himself* yet with all that he could do, and I scorn the threatening of a she-marmaset*.

702Nicholas   Within*   Why, Betty, Frank, you mankind carrions, you! I vow, open the door! Will you both kill one another, and cozen the hangman of his fees?

703BettyThou hadst been better have bit off the dugs of thy dam, thou pin-buttock jade, thou, than have snapped a bit of mine from me.

704FranciscaHere’s that shall stay your stomach better than the bit you snarl for. Thou greedy brach*, thou.

705Nicholas   Within*   Why, wenches, are ye wild? Break open the doors.

706BettyThat I could split that devilish tongue of thine!

707FranciscaI have as good a spite at as ill a member about thee*.

708NicholasHold, what’s the devil in ye?

709AnthonyAre ye so sharp-set, ye Amazonian trulls?*

710Betty*Let me but make one pass at her.

711FranciscaPray let me go, and let her come.

712NicholasCan no blunter tools* than these serve to take down your furies?

713BettyLet me come but within nails’ reach of her.

714FranciscaLet me but try the strength of my teeth upon her.

715NicholasAs Hector ’twixt the hosts of Greece and Troy,
        When Paris and the Spartan king should end
        Their nine years wars, held up his brazen lance
        In signal, that both armies should surcease
        And hear him speak. So, let me crave your audience:
        Dear Bettie, be advised, and Frank, forbear
        Thy thirst of sister’s blood, whilest I rip up
        The folly of your strife. Your cases both
        Have been laid open to me.* You contend
        For love of a lewd citizen, that sleights,
        Nay more, disdains, nay more, defies you both.
        Tony can tell, Mun Clotpoll also knows
        The words he spoke, that you were both poor whores,
        Not poor alone, but foul infectious harlots.
        And that he wears your marks** with pain and sorrow,
        Hopeless to claw them off. With constant purpose
        Never to see you more, unless to greet
        Your bumping buttocks with revengeful feet.

716BettyDid he say so?

717FranciscaAnd must we two fall out for such a slanderous villain?

718AnthonyNo, agree, agree.

719NicholasBuss and be friends. Buss, or I’ll baste ye both, I vow.

720BettyCome, sister, we’ll be in for ever now.

721FranciscaFor my part, sister, sure I was not out with you.

722BettyBut did he say he would kick us?

723AnthonyLo here, the man* that dares it not deny.

724CitizenBut do ye hear, gentlemen? I hope you will use me kindlier than so.

725NicholasThan how, Sir?

726CitizenThan to win all my money, and leave me at stake for the reckoning. Pray, do you pay the drawer for me, though I pay it you again.*

727AnthonyWhat is it, drawer?

728DrawerThe gentlewomen and he had fourteen shillings in before you came.

729Nicholas’Tis a plain case, your cloak must answer it at the bar, sir. Drawer, away with it*.Exit DRAWER with [CITIZEN’s] cloak.

730CitizenNay, but gentlemen –

731NicholasI vow, do but look after it, till we be gone, and these shall claw thine eyes out*.

732CitizenWell, sir, I hope this quarter will not be always lawless*.

733AnthonyDo you grumble, Master Cuffless*?

734NicholasI vow, you shall have cuffs*.

735BettyYes, that you shall.

736FranciscaCuts and slashes too before we part, sir.*

737CitizenYou will not murder me, will you?

738NicholasDamsels, forbear; and you, forbear your noise.* I vow, I’ll slit your whistle else. You shall give him due correction civilly*, and we will make him take it civilly. Sit you down, sir.

739CitizenWhat will you do with me?

740NicholasI vow, mum.

741ClotpollO, are ye here? Was it a brotherly trick, do ye think, to leave me to pay one reckoning twice? Or did I think never to be made a mouth more, after I had paid my swearing dinner, and am I now a greater mouth than e’er I was?

742NicholasMum, hold your tongue still in your mouth, lest I halifax* it with your teeth.

743Clotpoll   [Aside]   “Halifax my tongue”. And “listen to a business”.[Writes in his notebook]

744NicholasDo you know this man?

745ClotpollYes, the City mouth we had tother night.

746NicholasThese are the Sisters that his lavish tongue so lewdly did deprave.

747ClotpollI cry them heartily mercy. Are you of the sweet Sisterhood? I hope to know you all, all the pretty mumpers* in the bury* here, before I have done. ’Tis true, I protest, he spake words of you, that such flesh and blood could not bear. He could not have spoken worse of mutton of a groat a quarter*.

748BettyAnd were we so fond to fight for him?

749FranciscaBut now we’ll both be revenged upon the flesh of him.

750CitizenPray, let me speak with you.

751NicholasNo, they shall beat you first. And mark me well. Do thou but stir an hand or foot, or raise a voice that may be heard to the next room, we’ll cut thy weasand. Now, wenches, take your course.

752BettyNay, you slave, we’ll mark you for a sheepbiter*.

753FranciscaWe’ll teach you how to scandalize.

754BettyHave I given you that you cannot claw off, you mongrel?

755ClotpollRare, I protest*.


757NicholasThere, there!

758FranciscaWe’ll claw thine ears off rather.


760ClotpollO brave!

761CockbrainO outrage, most insufferable, all this goes into my black book.

762NicholasTo him Bettie, at him Frank; there, whores, there.

763AnthonyFie, fie, forbear, enough, too much in conscience.

764CockbrainThat young man has some pity yet.

765AnthonyI swear you shall no more.

766CockbrainAlas, good gentlemen, it is enough –

767NicholasI vow, do you prate? You shall have as much. Come, take the chair, sir, the braches* shall bait him too.

768CockbrainO, good gentlemen!

769NicholasI vow, they shall. To him and claw him, I’ll clapperclaw* your sides else.

770CockbrainO me! What mean you?
[BETTY and FRANCISCA attack COCKBRAIN; COCKBRAIN’s false beard and wig come off]

771BettyHeyday! His beard comes off.

772AnthonyAnd his head too.* What rotten scab* is this?

773ClotpollI protest, they have pulled my pieced brother* in pieces here.

774NicholasI vow, some disguised villain, and but for doing the state so good service*, we would hang him presently without examination.

775Anthony   [Aside]   I know him. And you shall not touch him. Best is, he knows nor me. Good heaven, what braintrick has possessed him?*

776NicholasI vow, what canst thou be?

777AnthonyCome, ’tis an honest fellow, that is only ashamed to run so base a course for his living in his own face*. Poor man, I warrant his fear threatens his breeches shrewdly. But let’s away, and quickly, our stay is dangerous. Come, we forgot Mick Crosswill and the wenches.

778NicholasCome all away, then. Sirrah, thank this gentleman*, and pray for him at the end of your songs hereafter.

779ClotpollFarewell, friend piece. I’ll know you better now, before you have ’t* again.All exit except COCKBRAIN and CITIZEN

780CockbrainWhat monsters in mankind? What hell-hounds are they?*
        Only as Ovid feigned among the Getes.
        A friend at need, I with a friend was blessed,
        Whom I may gratify, and plague the rest.
How is it with you, sir?

781CitizenO, I am very sore.

782CockbrainIndeed, you are sorely handled. This may warn you out of such caterwaling company. You look like one more civil. And in hope you will be so, I’ll bring you to a barber.

783CitizenAlas, my cloak.

784CockbrainI’ll help you to that too, so you with me,
        Will in an honest plot assistant be.

785CitizenO Sir, in any thing, and thank you too, Sir.COCKBRAIN and CITIZEN exit together
[At the Paris Tavern]
Enter MIHIL, GABRIEL*, and BOY, with wine*, &c.

786MihilA Paris il’y’a bien venu*. Here’s no bush at this door*, but good wine rides post upon, I mean, the sign-post. Boy, get you down, and if Nick Rooksbill or any of his company ask for me, bring ’em up, d’ ye* hear?

787BoyI will, I will, sir.BOY exits

788MihilYou are welcome to Paris, brother Gabriel.

789GabrielIt is nevertheless a tavern, brother Mihil, and you promised and covenanted with me at the last house of noise and noisomeness, that you would not lead me to any more taverns.

790MihilLead you, brother? Men use to be led from taverns sometimes. You saw I did not lead you nor bring you to any that was more a tavern than the last, nor so much neither; for here is no bush you saw.

791Gabriel’Twas that betrayed and entrapped me. But let us yet forsake it.

792MihilPray, let us drink first, brother. By your leave, here’s to you.
[He drinks a toast]

793GabrielOne glassfull more is the most that I can bear. My head is very full, and laboureth with that I have had already.[GABRIEL drinks a toast]

794MihilThere, sir.   [Aside]   I’ll undertake one good fellow, that has but just as much religion as will serve an honest man’s turn, will bear more wine than ten of these giddy-brained Puritans, their heads are so full of whimsies.

795Gabriel’Tis mighty heady, mighty heady, and truly I cannot but think that the over-much abuse of these outlandish liquors have bred so many errors in the Romish church*.

796MihilIndeed, brother, there is too much abuse made of such good creatures. Wine in itself is good, you will grant, though the excess be nought; and taverns are not contemptible, so the company be good.

797GabrielIt is most true, we find that holy men have gone to taverns, and made good use of ’em upon their peregrinations*.

798MihilAnd cannot men be content to take now and then a cup, and discourse of good things by the way? As thus: brother, here’s a remembrance (if she be living, and have not lost her honour) to our cousin Dorcas.
[They drink another toast]

799GabrielO, that kinswoman of ours. She was the dearest loss that e’er fell from our house.

800MihilPledge her, good brother.

801GabrielI do –
[GABRIEL drinks another toast]

802Mihil   [Aside]   I hope ’twill maudlenize* him.

803GabrielBut have you never seen that miscreant that wronged her, since he did that same? They say you knew him.

804MihilAlas, suppose I had, what could be done? She’s lost, we see. What good could she receive by any course against him?*

805GabrielIt had been good to have humbled him, though, into the knowledge of his transgression. And of himself for his soul’s good, either by course of law, or else in case of necessity, where the law promiseth no release, by your own right hand you might have smote him, smote him with great force, yea, smote him unto the earth, until he had prayed that the evil might be taken from him.

806Mihil   [Aside to the audience]   This is their way of loving enemies, to beat ’em into goodness.   [Aloud]   Well, brother, I may meet with him again, and then I know what to do.   [Aside]   If he knew him as I do now, what a religious combat were here like to be at Nick’s coming?
BOY enters

807BoySir, here’s a gentlewoman asks for Master Rooksbill.

808MihilThe travelled gallant, is’t not?

809BoyYes, sir, and the old black party*, her landlady with her. But they ask for nobody but him, sir.

810MihilSay he is here by all means, and bring ’em up.BOY exits

811GabrielWomen! Pray, brother, let’s avoid the place, let us fly it. What should we do with women in a tavern?

812MihilNo harm, assure yourself. Cannot we govern ourselves?
DORCAS and MARGERY enter; [they] start back.

Nay, lady, stay, he will be here presently that you look for.

813GabrielI will not glance an eye toward temptation.

814Mihil   [Aside]   I am amazed. Sure, I have seen this face, howe’er your habit and the course of time may give’t another seeming.

815Dorcas   [Aside]   Good angels, help my thoughts and memory. It is my kinsman Mihil. What’s the other that hides his face so?

816Mihil   [To DORCAS]   Do you turn away?

817Dorcas   [Aside]   It is my cousin Gabriel*, strangely altered.

818Mihil   [To MARGERY]   Come hither you. I’ll make a little bold with you, thou that hast been a concealer of more sins in women’s actions than thou hast grizzled hairs.

819Dorcas   [Aside]   Sure, I will speak to him. He always loved me.

820Mihil   [To MARGERY]   Reveal a truth to me on my demand, now instantly, without premeditation. I’ll cut thy tongue out else*.

821MargeryWhat’s here to do? Do you think I am a devil that you make such conjurations over me?

822MihilI think thou art as true a servant of his as any bawd can be. But lie now if thou darest. How long have you known that gentlewoman*? And what do you know by her?

823Dorcas   [To GABRIEL]   Sir.

824MargeryHere’s a stir about nothing. I know nothing by her, not I. Nor whether she has anything or nothing*, that a woman should have by the report of knowledge of man, woman or beast, not I. She came to me but this morning, with a purpose to set me up in my new house as I hoped. But she has taken a course to make it honestly spoken of already, to my utter undoing; but she never comes within my doors again, as I hope to thrive by my trade hereafter.

825DorcasPray, look upon me, sir.

826MihilWas she so resolutely bent, and so soon altered?

827MargeryUpon the very first sight of the very first man that came into my house, the very first hour of my setting up in it.

828MihilWhat man was that?

829MargeryA shame take him, your roaring friend, Nick. I think she is enamoured of him or of something she guesses he has; and would fain play the honest woman with him, that never played honest man with woman in his life.

830Mihil   [Aside]   ’Tis she, and ’tis most wonderful.

831DorcasIf you knew who I were, you would not be so strange to me.

832MargeryAnd here she comes me a-hunting after him, like a fondling, whilst half a dozen pieces might ha’ been gotten at home by this time, and she have had the halves of it in her purse by this time; if she would have done, as I thought, she would have done by this time.

833MihilAlas, poor Howlet*.

834MargeryI sent whooping after the best guests* that haunt my house, to have taken the first fruits of her conversation, and she would not see a man of ’em, to my undoing.

835MihilWell, leave thy hooting, Madge. And hold thy peace, thou shalt get* by it.

836MargeryYes, I shall get a good name shortly, and this gear hold, and turn beggar, I shall.

837DorcasPray, sir, but one word.

838MihilSpeak to her, brother, ’tis our cousin Dorcas.

839GabrielWill you abuse me too? Is she not lost?

840MihilAnd will you not give her leave to be found again? His wine and her sudden apprehension* work* on him at once. Cousin, I’ll speak to you, though I confess the miracle of our meeting thus amazes me.

841DorcasO, cousins both: as ye are gentlemen,*
        And of that noble stock whose mere remembrance,
        When I* was given up, and at the brink
        Of desperate folly, struck* that reverend fear
        Into my soul, that hath preserved my honour
        From further falling, lend me now your aid,
        To vindicate that honour by that man,
        That threw me in the way of loss and ruin.

842MihilAll shall be well, good cousin, you shall have both hands and hearts to re-estate you in him. So that in fact you have not wronged that honour*, since he forsook you?

843DorcasOn my soul, I have not.

844MihilInfants* then shall be pardoned. Brother, speak*.

845DorcasYou were wont still to be my loving’st cousin.

846GabrielWhat a strange dream has wine wrought in my head.

847MihilI hope it will work out his superfluous zeal and render him civil Christian again.*

848DorcasIt is no dream, good cousin, you are awake.*
        And I, that Dorcas for whom you have wished
        Affinity of blood might be dispensed with,
        And you to be my choice. So well you loved me.

849GabrielAnd will above my life affect you still.*
        But you must leave these gauds and profane dressings.

850MargeryBawds, did he say? How comes he to know me, trow?

851DorcasHow came my cousin Gabriel thus translated
        Out of gay clothes, long hair, and lofty spirit,
        Stout and brave action, manly carriage,
        Into so strict a reformation?
        Where is the martial humour he was wont so to affect?

852MihilHis purity and your disgrace fell on you both about a time, i’faith*.

853GabrielDo you swear by your FAITH?*

854MihilHe’s falling back again. Boy!* Some more wine! You will drink with our cousin, brother, will you not?
[Enter BOY]

855BoyWhat wine is’t, gentlemen?

856GabrielYes, in a cup of sincere love.

857BoyWhat other wine you please, gentlemen, we have none such i’ th’ house*.

858MihilOf the same we had, sir.

859DorcasCall not for wine for us, cousin.

860MargeryAssuredly, we are no profane wine-bibbers, not we.

861GabrielModest, and well-spoken verily, she should be a sister or a matron.
[MARGERY and GABRIEL converse apart with seriousness and piety]*

862MihilYes, yes, we’ll all drink for the good o’ th’ house. ’Tis upon putting down, they say, and more o’th neighbours*. But, cousin, he knew you not today?

863DorcasNo, nor dreams of me.

864MihilAnd the old one knows nothing, does she?

865DorcasNo, by no means.

866MihilShe can bewray nothing then. My brother knows not him. I only do for his fair sister’s sake, of which you may hear more hereafter; in the mean*, bear your self fair and free, as if you knew him not, and I’ll work him to your end, never fear it.

867DorcasYou are a noble spokesman.

868Margery   [Aloud]   Truly, you speak most edifyingly.
Enter BOY with [more] wine

869MihilWell said. Give it to my brother. Drink to our cousin, brother.

870GabrielI will, and to that virtuous matron, whose care of her, I hope, tends unto good edification.   [Drinks]   Truly, the wine is good, and I was something thirsty.

871MargeryBest drink again then, sir.

872GabrielI will follow your motherly advice.Drinks.

873Mihil’Twill work anon, I hope.

874GabrielAnd you have travelled, cousin. I may suppose you brought this well-disposed gentlewoman from Amsterdam* with you. And this unto your welcome, hoping I shall be informed by you how the two zealous brethren thrive there that broke in St. Helen’s*.

875MargeryOf that or anything, sir. Pray, drink again, sir.*

876MihilYou jade you, hold your tongue.

877NicholasO, are ye here, gallants? I made all the haste I could, but was stayed, I vow, by the bravest sport, baiting of a fellow or two with our pussy-cats here. I could e’en find in my heart to marry ’em both for their valours.

878Dorcas   [Aside to MIHIL]   Those words are daggers.

879Mihil   [Aside to DORCAS]   I pray, dissemble your passion.

880NicholasWhat? Are you acquainted already, Mich?* Did I not tell thee she was a brave madona?

881MihilHow long have you had acquaintance* with her, Nick?

882NicholasNever saw her before this morning, I, standing upon her balcony.

883GabrielTruly, cousin, I think ’twas you that I saw today too, standing upon a balcony.

884NicholasYou spell very modestly, sir. Your brother, I take it. But did you call her cousin, sir?*

885GabrielYes, sir, she is my cousin.

886Mihil   [Aside]   ’Twill out too soon.   [Aloud]   Why, Nick, thou knowest these kind of creatures call and are called cousins commonly*.

887NicholasYes, in their tribe. But I thought he had been too holy for them. But Dammy –

888GabrielO, fearfully profane!

889NicholasYou said you had a story to relate, of dire misfortune, and of unquoth hearing. I come to hear your story. What stop you your ears at, sir?

890GabrielI dare not speak it but in thy reproof. Thou swearest G O D, D A M N* thee, as I take it.

891NicholasI vow thou liest, I called her Dammy, because her name is Damyris.

892GabrielI say thou liest, her name is Dorcas, which was the name of an holy woman*.[GABRIEL draws his sword]*

893NicholasShall we have things and things*? I vow![NICHOLAS] draw[s his sword]

894ClotpollAnd I protest![CLOTPOLL] draw[s his sword]

895Mihil   [Aside]   This will spoil all.   [Aloud]   Brother, I pray forbear.

896GabrielI may not forbear, I am moved for to smite him; yea, with often stripes to smite him; my zealous wrath is kindled, and he shall fly before me.

897DorcasLet me entreat you, sir.[MIHIL [restrains] GABRIEL*]

898Betty and FranciscaWhat fury’s this?

899NicholasGreat damboys* shrink, and give a little ground*.[NICHOLAS, ANTHONY, BETTY, and FRANCISCA] exit

900GabrielI will pursue him in mine indignation.*

901DorcasO me!

902GabrielAnd beat him into potsherds*.

903MargeryNow he has banged the pitcher*, he may do anything.

904MihilPray, brother, be persuaded.

905ClotpollA Brother to be so controlled?*

906MihilYou, sir, put up your steel-stick*.

907ClotpollI desire but to know first if he be a Brother.

908MihilYes, marry is he, sir.

909ClotpollSir, I am satisfied. So let him live.*[Sheathes his sword][CLOTPOLL exits]*

910GabrielPray give me leave to ask you, do these men take part with the brethren?

911MihilYes, and are brothers a little disguised, but for some ends.

912GabrielSome state-occasions?

913MihilMere intelligencers, to collect up such and such observations, for a great Separatist that is now writing a book against playing at barlibreak, moulding of cocklebread*, and such like profane exercises*.

914GabrielTruly, such exercises are profane exercises that bear the denomination of good things ordained for man’s use, as barley, cockles, and bread. Are such things to be made sports and play-games? I pray you, let me see these brethren again, to make my atonement with them. And are those sisters too, that were with them?

915MihilO, most notorious ones, and are as equally disguised to be as rank spies as the other. S’lid, man, and they should be taken for such as they are, they would be cut off presently. They came in this mad humour to be merry with you for my sake.

916GabrielPray let ’em come again, I shall not be well until I have rendered satisfaction*.

917MihilYou must do as they do then, or they will think you are a spy upon them.

918GabrielI will be as merry as they. Let wine be given unto us.

919MihilMore wine, boy, and bid ’em all come in.Exit BOY

920DorcasAlas, cousin, let him drink no more.

921MihilFear nothing, cousin, it shall be for his good and yours, as I will order it.
enter, and DRAWER with [more] wine

922MihilAll welcome, not any repetition, but begin anew*.

923GabrielI will begin it, two glasses: it shall be a faithful salutation to all the brothers and sisters of –

924ClotpollThe Blade and the Scabbard.[Drinks a toast]

925NicholasIt shall go round.
[GABRIEL drinks another toast]

926AnthonyI’ll swear you do not well to let him drink so.

927MihilWell said, civil roarer*.

928GabrielLet it go round, go to, you are a wag. I know what you mean by the blade and the scabbard.

929ClotpollWho could have thought this had been such a Brother?

930GabrielNay, who could have thought you had been of the brethren?

931NicholasBrethren, sir? We are the Brothers.

932GabrielYea, the disguised ones.

933NicholasHow? Disguised ones?

934MihilDo not cross him again. If thou dost, and I do not maul thee! Yes, brother, these are virtuous men howe’er they seem.

935NicholasI vow, I have so much virtue* as to rebuke thee for lying. But we are Brethren, sir, and as factious as you, though we differ in the grounds; for you, sir, defy Orders*, and so do we; you of the Church, we of the civil magistrate; many of us speak i’th’ nose, as you do; you out of humility of spirit, we by the wantonness of the flesh*; now in devotion we go beyond you, for you will not kneel to a ghostly father, and we do to a carnal mistress.

936MihilI’ll stop your mouth, you said you came to be merry.

937NicholasYes, I vow, and brought fiddlers along, but they must play i’ th’ next room*, for here’s one breaks all the fiddles that come in his reach. Come, sir, will you drink, dance, and do as we do?

938GabrielI’ll drink, I’ll dance, I’ll kiss, or do anything, any living thing with any of you, that is brother or sister. Sweetheart, let me feel thy coney*.

939Mihil   [Aside]   Aye, now he’s in.   [Aloud]   Play, fiddlers.*
[Fiddlers heard offstage.] [GABRIEL, MARGERY, BETTY, AND FRANCISCA] dance*

All bravely perform’d, admirably well done, &c.*

940NicholasI vow, thou art a Brother after my own heart.To GABRIEL*.

941Betty, Francisca, and Margery*We cannot commend you enough, sir.

942GabrielThis done in civil sort among ourselves, I hope, will prove no scandal to a brother.

943Nicholas’Twill prove an honour to our faction.

944GabrielI thirst to do it honour.

945ClotpollGive him some wine, he thirsts.

946MihilThou little dapper thing*, thou, hold thy peace.

947AnthonyThou seest he can scarce stand.

948GabrielNo, my religious brethren, no more wine.*
        Enough’s a feast, and little doth suffice.
        I thirst to do some honour to our cause.
        To lead forth legions to fight a battle
        ’Gainst our malignant adversaries.

950GabrielSuch an employment now would make me famous, for my sufficiency of art in arms*.

951NicholasI vow, this man has hidden things in him.

952MihilHe had* as brave a warlike spirit, man, before his precise humour tainted it*, as ever breath’d in Hector.

953NicholasI vow, then, a good, orderly diet of nothing but sack for a week together would revive it in him, and bring it to good again.

954MihilI hope ’tis done already.

955AnthonyHow do you, sir?

956GabrielI fear some Jesuitical*, fumes have invaded my brainpan. All, methinks, goes whirly, whirly, whirly.

957AnthonyBest lie down upon a bed. Drawer!

958GabrielSoldiers must not be curious*. A bench or anything.

959DrawerThe gentleman may have a bed here, an’t please you. But, sir, there’s an old angry gentleman below, that asks for you, and by all description for that mortified* gentleman. And will by all means press into your room here.

960MihilIt is my father.

961Dorcas   [Aside to MIHIL]   O me! What shall I do?

962Margery, Betty, and FranciscaWe shall all be clapped up*.

963Mihil   [Aside to DORCAS]   Fear nothing, veil your face a little.   [Aloud]   Who is with him?

964DrawerNobody but his old servingman, that it seems discovered you. You may put this gentleman into this inner room, and keep the key yourself. I know not what charge* he has about him.

965MihilAdmirable honest fellow.

966DrawerAnd you may tell your father he is gone, for he is gone, you see*.

967NicholasI vow, a wit.

968DrawerNow, if you’ll be civil*, I may bring him up to you; if not, because he is your father, we’ll thrust him out of doors, an’t please you.

969MihilNotable rascal. Well, sir, let him up. I know how to fit him.

970Dorcas   [Aside to MIHIL]   But this delays my business, cousin, and will, I fear, frustrate my hopes.

971Mihil   [Aside to DORCAS]   Nor hinder anything. I’ll warrant thee, he’s thine.   [Aloud]   Play, fiddlers, t’other dance.

973ClotpollWill you? I protest!

974AnthonyYou are not wild?*

975MargeryCome, wenches, if he venture in his father’s sight, shame take us and we blush.[Fiddlers heard playing offstage] [They] Dance.

976Crosswill*   [Aside to BELT]   And I had not sold all my land to live upon my money in town here, out of danger of the statute, I would give thee a copyhold* for this discovery.

977Belt   [Aside to CROSSWILL]   I thank your worship, and truly ’tis a goodly sight, methinks, an’t please your worship.

978CrosswillI’m glad it likes you. Heigh, excellent good again. Heigh, heigh, what an happiness may fathers boast, that can bring their children up to this.    Dance ends*   I cry ye mercy, gentlemen all, ha! I am sorry I interrupted your serious, private occasions.

979NicholasWould you speak with any here, sir?

980MihilIt is my father, gentlemen.

981CrosswillThy father? Hold thy peace! Dar’st thou use thy father thus? To spend thy time thus? Ha! Is this place fit for the son of a gentleman of quality? Ha! Why dost not answer me, does this company sort with thy reputation? Ha!

982MihilSir, the company –

983CrosswillHold thy peace, I say. Or are these exercises allowable for a gentleman, that ever said or heard grace at his father’s table? Answer me that.

984MihilAn’t please you, sir.

985CrosswillHold thy peace when I bid thee.

986NicholasThe company, sir, offends not you, I hope. You see the worst of us.

987CrosswillIn good time, sir. You are the distracted gentlemen, I take it, that asked him if he would moot tonight? Is this your mooting? Do you put cases to your wenches, or they to you?

988NicholasI vow, thy father talks too much.

989CrosswillWhich are the better lawyers? Ha!

990MargeryBut that* you are his father, sir, and an old man, and he an honest young gentleman, and our friend, we would tell you.

991CrosswillI thank you for him, yes truly, heartily; and for your good opinion of him, heartily. Pray keep him amongst you while you have him, for I’ll ha’ no more to say to him, I. Is your invectives against drinking, wenching, and the abomination of the times come to this? Is this your spending of time more precious than money? Is it you that knows not what to do with money but to buy books and were drawn with such unwillingness to a tavern? Ha! You shall graze upon Littleton’s Commons*, or eat nothing but books, an’t please you, for any exhibition thou ever get’st from me – And in that faith thou hast lost a father.   [To BELT]   Come, sir, you have brought me to a goodly sight here; would any villain but thyself have showed his master light to see so much woe? Thy coxcomb shall yet pay for’t.

992BeltOh sir, oh!

993CrosswillThis was your trim sight, was it?

995CrosswillBut well remembered. Pray, where’s your brother? My son, I would say, for I know no brother or father thou hast. Where is Gabriel?

996MihilHe is not here, sir.

997CrosswillDid you not tell me, sirrah, he was here?

998BeltI told you then too much. I feel it here*.

999Mihil*He was here, sir, but he is gone, sir.

1000CrosswillSo, so, he’s lost. He must be cried*, or we shall never find him.

1001MihilI’ll warrant you, I’ll find him yet tonight, sir. Pray, gentlemen, pay you the reckoning. I’ll wait upon my father home.

1002CrosswillWas that spoke like a son of mine? Must others pay your reckoning, and I in place? Take that, and do not make me mad.   [CROSSWILL gives MIHIL money]   And why should you home with me, I pray, sir?

1003MihilBecause, sir, it grows dark, and ’tis the worst way as it is about the town, so many odd holes* a man may slip into. Pray take me with you, sir.

1004CrosswillPray take no care for me, sir, and let the way be as it is. Do not think me worse at it in the dark than yourself, I beseech you.* But you talked of the reckoning: pray let not the want of money for that hinder the search of your brother.   [CROSSWILL gives MIHIL more money]   There’s towards your pains for that; and so for a farewell to you and your friends here; till I hear thou keepest better company, let me hear no more of thee.CROSSWILL and BELT exit

1005MihilThere was no way to get this money and be rid of him, but to offer him my service. He would have driven me out before him else. But come, let’s see my brother that went to sleep in so warlike a passion. I hope he’ll wake in a better.

1006NicholasMun Clotpoll, thou art dull.

1007ClotpollNo, I protest, but struck with admiration at the old blade’s humour.

1008NicholasCome, Dammy and the rest, be merry. I vow, we’ll sup together, and so at last hear all thy dismal story.

1009Mihil*   [Aside]   I mean he shall, and such an audit* make,
        As shall restore her honour from the stake.All exit

Edited by Michael Leslie