[A room in ROOKSBILL’s house]*
CROSSWILL enters alone.

1010CrosswillWhat has this coxscomb Cockbrain writ me here? 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 authority* 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 imagination. But good Master Crosswill, by your favour now, what reason have you to slight or wrangle at this man? 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 Limbo*. 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.
Enter BELT

1011[Belt]*   [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.[CROSSWILL beats BELT]

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 passed and was beyond the line of religion before he was aware; and as he passed it under the torrid Zone of Zeal, the calenture 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 timorsome.

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 round 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 cut*.

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 pillory, and bragged in the publication of his ears? Not an hair left to hide them*.

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 brother*.

1032CrosswillWhat will this come to?

1033MihilHere is a widow*, 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]*What’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 give her.*

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 hand* 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?*

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 charge.*

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 wicket*.

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.* 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 book* 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 Bridewell*, I care not.*[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 hand, or I will swinge 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 below, 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 John here, "I, Mihil, take thee, Lucy,” &c. As learning shall enable him to proceed without book*.

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]*

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 brother*.

1079Crosswill   [Aside]   That very word brother out of his mouth has turned my stomach*. 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.*

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]*

1089CrosswillBut you, sir, Master Bridegroom.

1090MihilI’ll only gratify 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-water* again in Codpiece Row*, for here will be no dwelling for thee, I see that. Now, brother* 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,* and left thy brother in danger? Ha!

1102MihilHe’s well attended, sir, and looked unto.*
        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 aquavitae fearfully.

1108MihilI’ll tell thee as we go. Kiss.*All 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 turn* 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 starting*. That Mihil has a fist over me*. I vow, and thou wert not his kinswoman, thou should to the Common* 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 business* hither.

1119NicholasI smell some trick.

1120ClotpollSome treachery upon the Brotherhood, perhaps.*

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 off*.   Enter ANTHONY, PARSON[, KATHERINE, and MARGERY]   *Welcome, Tony. What, hast thou brought the word here to pass for the reckoning*?

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 render 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 play* 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.*

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

1136NicholasNo, sack will do better. When he wakes he will be very dry, then a quart-draught of good Canary will so screw 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]*

1137GabrielO, some small drink.

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

1139GabrielSurprised by th’ enemy, whilest we have played the sluggard in our tents!*[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 fitters.

1145ClotpollMy pate bleeds for’t, I protest.

1146GabrielI’ll make you know command.

1147AnthonyNoble Commander, hold thy furious hand,*
        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 Common*.

1150GabrielIs the enemy i’th’ field?

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

1152GabrielYou are my lieutenant, you my ancient, and you two my sergeants; and you must know the commander you serve under to be none of those letter-carriers* that know not so much as the terms of discipline, what a flanker is, nor a ravelin is. Nor a petard is. Nor a curtain is. Nor a bulwark is. Nor a bastile is. Nor a counterscarp is. Nor a casemate is. A gabion is. Nor any least* word of fortification. How can such fresh-water captains* 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.*
        Valiant men and wise,
        Are only fit for weighty enterprise.

1156All.O noble Colonel.

1157GabrielWhat would an upstart militaster 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 ordnance planted here, my cavalry mounted here, my battery-discoverer on such a point, my trenches cut thus, my mine carried thus, my gabions raised thus. Here my parapet, there my pallisado o’th’ top of that. The enemy made saultable six hundred paces there. And I draw out my musketeers to flank ’em in their trenches here, while my pikes and targeteers advance to the breach there. What would Captain My-Lord’s-Man, or Sergeant-Major My-Lady’s Kinsman*, sent in by honourable favour, do or say in such an expedition?

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 shot, 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 bessognes that lie hid in the carriages. O, the renowned life of a worthy commander!

1161NicholasSound drum and trumpet.*

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 la? An ambuscado 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. Fair, fair i’ th’ coming off. So, ’twas bravely performed*.

1166ClotpollMust we not fall to rifling* now, Colonel?

1167MihilPart fair on all sides, gentlemen.

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

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

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

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 dispatch* 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,*
        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 Babel was a-building in my brains?*
        But now it turns, and I can recollect
        The knowledge of a father, brother, sister,
        And that a thousand vain imaginations,*
        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 women* that appear like furies be in this action?

1182MihilThey were but used as properties* to give new motion to this mortified condition*.

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 Bedlam and Bridewell**?

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

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-men have ta’en us by surprise. They are i’ th’ house.

1189BettyO me! The Blue Gown College*!

1190FranciscaWheels and whips!* 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 plantation* here, if now you make rebellious uproar. Yield your weapons, and welcome justice but like subjects new, and peace will follow.*

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]*

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

   [To ANTHONY]   What, are they married?

1200AnthonyYes, as fast as troth* 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
        Scene*, these may be reconciled. Down, brother Nicholas.*

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] Watch*, MARGERY[, DRIBLOW, and CLOTPOLL].*

1208CitizenHere they are altogether, sir.

1209CockbrainLay hands on all. First on that old ruffian*, the incendiary, that sets the youthful bloods on fire here with his infernal discipline. Next, take his sons, there’s one*, 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 straggling in my round e’en now.

1210RooksbillMy tenant, I take it, Mistress Margery Howlet*.

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

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

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

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

1215RooksbillThat’s my son now*, 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 ging too? How will you ’scape commitment?

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 men* in time, sir, by that time their hair may grow, or be reduced to an indifferent length.

1222Mihil   [MIHIL removes his short–haired wig]*   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 habit* 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-bags*. 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 slake 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 swinge 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 swaddle 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.*

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 precinct.

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 we*
        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 divine*,
        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