Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Ben Jonson
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Everyman In His Humor (Modern)

Every Man In His Humor
Enter Lorenzo di Pazzi Sr. [and] Musco.
Lorenzo Sr. Now trust me, here's a goodly day toward.
5Call up my son Lorenzo. Bid him rise;
Tell him I have some business to employ him in.
Musco I will, sir, presently.
Lorenzo Sr. But hear you, sirrah:
If he be at study, disturb him not.
10Musco Very good, sir.
Exit Musco.
Lorenzo Sr. How happy would I estimate myself
Could I by any mean retire my son
From one vain course of study he affects!
He is a scholar, if a man may trust
15The liberal voice of double-tongued report,
Of dear account in all our academies.
Yet this position must not breed in me
A fast opinion that he cannot err.
Myself was once a student and, indeed,
20Fed with the self-same humor he is now,
Dreaming on naught but idle poetry;
But since, experience hath awaked my spirits,
And reason taught them how to comprehend
The sovereign use of study.
Enter Stephano.
What news with you, that you are here so early?
Stephano Nothing but e'en come to see how you do, uncle.
Lorenzo Sr. That's kindly done. You are welcome, cousin.
30Stephano Ay, I know that, sir; I would not have come else. How doth my cousin, uncle?
Lorenzo Sr. Oh, well, well. Go in and see. I doubt he's scarce stirring yet.
Stephano Uncle, afore I go in, can you tell me an he have e'er a book of the sciences of hawking and hunting? I would fain borrow it.
35Lorenzo Sr. Why, I hope you will not a-hawking now, will you?
Stephano No, wusse, but I'll practice against next year. I have bought me a hawk and bells and all; I lack nothing but a book to keep it by.
Lorenzo Sr. Oh, most ridiculous!
40Stephano Nay, look you now, you are angry, uncle. Why, you know, an a man have not skill in hawking and hunting nowadays, I'll not give a rush for him. He is for no gentleman's company; and, by God's will, I scorn it, I, so I do, to be a consort for every humdrum. Hang them, scroyles! There's nothing in them in the world. What do you talk 45on it? A gentleman must show himself like a gentleman. Uncle, I pray you be not angry. I know what I have to do, I trow; I am no novice.
Lorenzo Sr. Go to, you are a prodigal and self-willed fool.
Nay, never look at me; it's I that speak.
Take't as you will, I'll not flatter you.
50What, have you not means enough to waste
That which your friends have left you, but you must
Go cast away your money on a buzzard,
And know not how to keep it when you have done?
Oh, it's brave! This will make you a gentleman!
55Well, cousin, well, I see you are e'en past hope
Of all reclaim. Ay, so, now you are told on it,
You look another way.
Stephano What would you have me do, trow?
Lorenzo Sr. What would I have you do? Marry,
60Learn to be wise and practice how to thrive,
That I would have you do, and not to spend
Your crowns on everyone that humors you.
I would not have you to intrude yourself
In every gentleman's society
65Till their affections or your own desert
Do worthily invite you to the place;
For he that's so respectless in his course
Oft sells his reputation vile and cheap.
Let not your carriage and behavior taste
70Of affectation, lest, while you pretend
To make a blaze of gentry to the world,
A little puff of scorn extinguish it
And you be left like an unsavory snuff
Whose property is only to offend.
75Cousin, lay by such superficial forms,
And entertain a perfect real substance.
Stand not so much on your gentility,
But moderate your expenses now at first
As you may keep the same proportion still.
80Bear a low sail.
Enter a Servingman.
Soft, who's this comes here?
Servingman Gentlemen, God save you.
Stephano Welcome, good friend. We do not stand much upon our gentility, 85yet I can assure you mine uncle is a man of a thousand pound land a year. He hath but one son in the world; I am his next heir, as simple as I stand here, if my cousin die. I have a fair living of mine own, too, beside.
Servingman In good time, sir.
90Stephano "In good time, sir"? You do not flout, do you?
Servingman Not I, sir.
Stephano An you should, here be them can perceive it, and that quickly too. Go to. And they can give it again soundly, an need be.
Servingman Why, sir, let this satisfy you. Good faith, I had no such intent.
95Stephano By God, an I thought you had, sir, I would talk with you.
Servingman So you may, sir, and at your pleasure.
Stephano And so I would, sir, an you were out of mine uncle's ground, I can tell you.
Lorenzo Sr. Why, how now, cousin, will this ne'er be left?
Stephano Whoreson base fellow! By God's lid, an 'twere not for shame, I would --
100Lorenzo Sr. What would you do? You peremptory ass,
An you'll not be quiet, get you hence!
You see the gentleman contains himself
In modest limits, giving no reply
To your unseasoned, rude comparatives;
105Yet you'll demean yourself without respect
Either of duty or humanity.
Go, get you in! 'Fore God, I am ashamed
Thou hast a kinsman's interest in me.
Exit Stephano.
Servingman I pray you, sir, is this Pazzi house?
110Lorenzo Sr. Yes, marry, is it, sir.
Servingman I should inquire for a gentleman here, one Signor Lorenzo di Pazzi. Do you know any such, sir, I pray you?
Lorenzo Sr. Yes, sir, or else I should forget myself.
Servingman I cry you mercy, sir. I was requested by a gentleman of Florence, having some occasion to ride this way, to deliver you this letter.
[He gives a letter.]
Lorenzo Sr. To me, sir? What do you mean? I pray you, remember your court'sy. [He reads.] "To his dear and most elected friend, Signor Lorenzo di Pazzi." [To the Servingman] What might the gentleman's name be, sir, that sent it? Nay, pray you, be covered.
Servingman Signor Prospero.
120Lorenzo Sr. Signor Prospero? A young gentleman of the family of Strozzi, is he not?
Servingman Ay, sir, the same. Signor Thorello, the rich Florentine merchant, married his sister.
Lorenzo Sr. You say very true.
[Enter Musco.
Musco Sir?
125Lorenzo Sr. Make this gentleman drink here.
[To the Servingman] I pray you, go in, sir, an't please you. Exeunt [Servingman and Musco].
Now, without doubt, this letter's to my son.
Well, all is one; I'll be so bold as read it,
Be it for the style's sake and the phrase --
130Both which, I do presume, are excellent,
And greatly varied from the vulgar form,
If Prospero's invention gave them life.
How now? What stuff is here?
135[He reads.] "Sirrah Lorenzo, I muse we cannot see thee at Florence. 'Sblood, I doubt Apollo hath got thee to be his ingle, that thou commest not abroad to visit thine old friends. Well, take heed of him Apollo; he may do somewhat for his household servants or so, but for his retainers, I am sure I have known some of them that have followed him three, four, five year together, scorning the world with their bare heels, and at length been glad for a shift -- though no clean shift -- to lie a whole winter in half a sheet, cursing Charles' Wain and the rest of the stars intolerably. But quis contra divos? Well, sirrah, sweet villain, come and see me. But spend one minute in my company and 'tis enough. I think I have a world of good jests for thee. Oh, sirrah, I can show thee two of the most perfect, rare, and absolute true gulls that ever thou saw'st, if thou wilt come. 'Sblood, invent some famous, memorable lie or other to 140flap thy father in the mouth withal. Thou hast been father of a thousand in thy days; thou couldst be no poet else. Any scurvy, roguish excuse will serve; say thou com'st but to fetch wool for thine inkhorn. And then, too, thy father will say thy wits are a-woolgathering. But it's no matter; the worse, the better. Anything is good enough for the old man. Sirrah, how if thy 145father should see this now? What would he think of me? Well, however I write to thee, I reverence him in my soul for the general good all Florence delivers of him. Lorenzo, I conjure thee -- by what, let me see -- by the depth of our love, by all the strange sights we have seen in our days (ay, or nights either), to come to me to Florence 150this day. Go to, you shall come, and let your muses go spin for once. If thou wilt not, 'sheart, what's your god's name? Apollo? Ay. -- Apollo, if this melancholy rogue Lorenzo here do not come, grant that he do turn fool presently, and never hereafter be able to make a good jest or a blank verse, but live in more penury of wit and invention than either the Hall Beadle or Poet Nuntius."
155Well, it is the strangest letter that ever I read.
Is this the man my son so oft hath praised
To be the happiest and most precious wit
That ever was familiar with art?
Now, by Our Lady's blessed Son, I swear
160I rather think him most infortunate
In the possession of such holy gifts,
Being the master of so loose a spirit.
Why, what unhallowed ruffian would have writ
With so profane a pen unto his friend?
165The modest paper e'en looks pale for grief
To feel her virgin cheek defiled and stained
With such a black and criminal inscription.
Well, I had thought my son could not have strayed
So far from judgment as to mart himself
170Thus cheaply in the open trade of scorn,
To jeering folly and fantastic humor.
But now I see opinion is a fool,
And hath abused my senses.
[Enter Musco.
175Musco Sir?
Lorenzo Sr. What, is the fellow gone that brought this letter?
Musco Yes, sir, a pretty while since.
Lorenzo Sr. And where's Lorenzo?
Musco In his chamber, sir.
180Lorenzo Sr. He spake not with the fellow, did he?
Musco No, sir, he saw him not.
Lorenzo Sr. [Handing him the letter] Then, Musco, take this letter and deliver it
Unto Lorenzo; but, sirrah, on your life,
Take you no knowledge I have opened it.
185Musco Oh, Lord, sir, that were a jest indeed!
Exit Musco.
Lorenzo Sr. I am resolved I will not cross his journey.
Nor will I practice any violent mean
To stay the hot and lusty course of youth;
For youth restrained straight grows impatient,
190And in condition like an eager dog,
Who, ne'er so little from his game withheld,
Turns head and leaps up at his master's throat.
Therefore I'll study by some milder drift
To call my son unto a happier shrift.
[Enter Lorenzo Jr. [holding the letter] with Musco.
Musco Yes, sir, on my word, he opened it and read the contents.
Lorenzo Jr. It scarce contents me that he did so. But Musco, didst thou observe his countenance in the reading of it, whether he were angry 200or pleased?
Musco Why, sir, I saw him not read it.
Lorenzo Jr. No? How knowest thou then that he opened it?
Musco Marry, sir, because he charged me on my life to tell nobody that he opened it, which, unless he had done, he would never fear 205to have it revealed.
Lorenzo Jr. That's true. Well, Musco, hie thee in again,
Lest thy protracted absence do lend light
To dark suspicion. Musco, be assured
I'll not forget this thy respective love.
[Enter Stephano. [Lorenzo Jr., busy with the letter from Prospero, does not notice Stephano].
Stephano Oh, Musco, didst thou not see a fellow here in a what-sha'-call-'em doublet? He brought mine uncle a letter even now.
Musco Yes, sir, what of him?
Stephano Where is he, canst thou tell?
Musco Why, he is gone.
215Stephano Gone? Which way? When went he? How long since?
Musco It's almost half an hour ago since he rid hence.
Stephano Whoreson Scanderbag rogue! Oh, that I had a horse! By God's lid, I'd fetch him back again, with heave and ho.
Musco Why, you may have my master's bay gelding, an you will.
Stephano But I have no boots, that's the spite on it.
220Musco Then it's no boot to follow him. Let him go and hang, sir.
Stephano Ay, by my troth. Musco, I pray thee, help to truss me a little. Nothing angers me but I have waited such a while for him, all unlaced and untrussed yonder, and now to see he is gone the other way!
Musco [Helping Stephano with his clothing] Nay, I pray you, stand still, sir.
225Stephano I will, I will. Oh, how it vexes me!
Musco Tut, never vex yourself with the thought of such a base follow as he.
Stephano Nay, to see he stood upon points with me, too!
Musco Like enough so. That was because he saw you had so few at your hose.
Stephano What, hast thou done? God-a-mercy, good Musco.
230Musco I mar'l, sir, you wear such ill-favored coarse stockings, having so good a leg as you have.
Stephano Foh! The stockings be good enough for this time of the year, but I'll have a pair of silk ere it be long. I think my leg would show well in a silk hose.
Musco Ay, afore God would it, rarely well.
235Stephano In sadness, I think it would. I have a reasonable good leg.
Musco You have an excellent good leg, sir. I pray you pardon me, I have a little haste in, sir.
Stephano A thousand thanks, good Musco.
Exit [Musco].
[Lorenzo Jr. laughs over his letter.]
[Aside] What? I hope he laughs not at me. An he do --
240Lorenzo Jr. [unaware still of Stephano] Here is a style, indeed, for a man's senses to leap over ere they come at it. Why, it is able to break the shins of any old man's patience in the world. My father read this with patience? Then will I be made an eunuch and learn to sing ballads. I do not deny but my father may have as much 245patience as any other man, for he uses to take physic, and oft taking physic makes a man a very patient creature. But, Signor Prospero, had your swaggering epistle here arrived in my father's hands at such an hour of his patience -- I mean, when he had ta'en physic -- it is to be doubted whether I should have read "sweet villain" here. [Noticing Stephano, but not speaking to him] 250But what? My wise cousin! Nay, then, I'll furnish our feast with one gull more toward a mess. He writes to me of two, and here's one: that's three, i'faith. Oh, for a fourth! Now, Fortune, or never, Fortune!
Oh, now I see who he laughed at: he laughed at somebody in that letter. By this good light, an he had laughed at me, I would have told mine uncle.
255Lorenzo Jr. [Aloud] Cousin Stephano! Good morrow, good cousin. How fare you?
Stephano The better for your asking, I will assure you. I have been all about to seek you; since I came, I saw mine uncle. And, i'faith, how have you done this great while? Good Lord, by my troth, I am glad you are well, cousin.
260Lorenzo Jr. And I am glad at your coming, I protest to you, for I am sent for by a private gentleman, my most special dear friend, to come to him to Florence this morning; and you shall go with me, cousin, if it please you, not else. I will enjoin you no further than stands with your own consent and the condition of a friend.
265Stephano Why, cousin, you shall command me an 'twere twice so far as Florence, to do you good. What, do you think I will not go with you? I protest --
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, nay, you shall not protest.
Stephano By God, but I will, sir, by your leave; I'll protest more to my friend than I'll speak of at this time.
270Lorenzo Jr. You speak very well, sir.
Stephano Nay, not so, neither; but I speak to serve my turn.
Lorenzo Jr. Your turn? Why, cousin, a gentleman of so fair sort as you are, of so true carriage, so special good parts, of so dear and choice estimation, one whose lowest condition bears the stamp of a great spirit? 275Nay, more, a man so graced, gilded, or rather, to use a more fit metaphor, tinfoiled by nature -- not that you have a leaden constitution, coz, although perhaps a little inclining to that temper and so the more apt to melt with pity when you fall into the fire of rage -- but for your luster only, which reflects as bright to the world as an old alewife's pewter again' a good time. And will you now, with nice modesty, hide such real ornaments as these, and shadow their glory as a milliner's wife doth her wrought stomacher with a smoky lawn or a black cypress? Come, come, for shame, do not wrong the quality of your desert in so poor a kind, but let the idea of what you are be portrayed in your aspect, that men may read in your looks: "Here within this place is to be seen the most admirable, rare, and accomplished work of nature." Cousin, what think you of this?
285Stephano Marry, I do think of it, and I will be more melancholy and gentleman-like than I have been, I do ensure you.
Lorenzo Jr. Why, this is well.
Now, if I can but hold up this humor in him as it is begun, cazzo for Florence! Match him an she can! -- Come, cousin.
Stephano I'll follow you.
290Lorenzo Jr. Follow me? You must go before.
Stephano Must I? Nay then, I pray you show me, good cousin.
[Enter Signor Matheo.
295Matheo I think this be the house. [He knocks.] What ho!
To him, Cob [answering the door].
Cob Who's there? Oh, Signor Matheo! God give you good morrow, sir.
Matheo What, Cob? How dost thou, good Cob? Dost thou inhabit here, Cob?
Cob Ay, sir, I and my lineage have kept a poor house in our days.
300Matheo. Thy lineage, Monsieur Cob? What lineage, what lineage?
Cob Why, sir, an ancient lineage and a princely. Mine ance'try came from a king's loins, no worse man; and yet no man neither, but Herring, the king of fish, one of the monarchs of the world, I assure you. I do fetch my pedigree and name from the first red herring that was 305eaten in Adam and Eve's kitchen. His cob was my great, great, mighty-great grandfather.
Matheo Why mighty? Why mighty?
Cob Oh, it's a mighty while ago, sir, and it was a mighty great cob.
Matheo How knowest thou that?
Cob How know I? Why, his ghost comes to me every night.
310Matheo Oh, unsavory jest! The ghost of a herring cob!
Cob Ay, why not the ghost of a herring cob as well as the ghost of Rashero Bacono? They were both broiled on the coals. You are a scholar; upsolve me that, now.
Matheo Oh, rude ignorance! Cob, canst thou show me of a gentleman, one Signor Bobadilla, where his lodging is?
315Cob Oh, my guest, sir, you mean?
Matheo Thy guest? Alas! Ha, ha!
Cob Why do you laugh, sir? Do you not mean Signor Bobadilla?
Matheo Cob, I pray thee, advise thyself well; do not wrong the gentleman and thyself too. I dare be sworn he scorns thy house, he. He 320lodge in such a base, obscure place as thy house? Tut, I know his disposition so well, he would not lie in thy bed if thou'dst give it him.
Cob I will not give it him. Mass, I thought somewhat was in it; we could not get him to bed all night. Well, sir, though he lie not on my bed, he lies on my bench. An't please you 325to go up, sir, you shall find him with two cushions under his head and his cloak wrapped about him as though he had neither won nor lost, and yet I warrant he ne'er cast better in his life than he hath done tonight.
Matheo Why, was he drunk?
Cob Drunk, sir? You hear me not say so. Perhaps he swallowed 330a tavern token or some such device, sir. I have nothing to do withal; I deal with water and not with wine.
[Calling offstage]
Give me my tankard there, ho! -- God be with you, sir. It's six o'clock; I should have carried two turns by this.
[Calling offstage]
What ho! My stopple, come!
Matheo Lie in a waterbearer's house, a gentleman of his note? Well, I'll tell him my mind.
[Tib appears at the door with a tankard and stopper for Cob.]
Cob What, Tib, show this gentleman up to Signor Bobadilla.
Exit [Matheo with Tib].
Oh, an my house were the Brazen Head now! Faith, it would e'en cry, 'Mo fools yet!' You should have some now would take him to 340be a gentleman at the least. Alas, God help the simple! His father's an honest man, a good fishmonger, and so forth, and now doth he creep and wriggle into acquaintance with all the brave gallants about the town, such as my guest is -- oh, my guest is a fine man! -- and they flout him invincibly. He useth every day to a merchant's house where I serve water, 345one Master Thorello's, and here's the jest: he is in love with my master's sister, and calls her 'mistress'. And there he sits a whole afternoon sometimes, reading of these same abominable, vile -- a pox on them, I cannot abide them! -- rascally verses, poetry, poetry, and speaking of interludes. 'Twill make a man burst to hear him. And the wenches, they do so jeer and tee-hee at him! 350Well, should they do as much to me, I'd forswear them all, by the life of Pharaoh. There's an oath! How many waterbearers shall you hear swear such an oath? Oh, I have a guest, he teacheth me, he doth swear the best of any man christened: "By Phoebus," "By the life of Pharaoh," "By the body of me," "As I am a gentleman and a soldier" -- such dainty oaths! And withal he doth take this same filthy, roguish tobacco, the finest and cleanliest. It 355would do a man good to see the fume come forth at his nostrils. Well, he owes me forty shillings my wife lent him out of her purse by sixpence a time, besides his lodging. I would I had it. I shall have it, he saith, next action. Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care will kill a cat, uptails all, and a pox on the hangman! Exit.
Bobadilla discovers himself on a bench.
360Bobadilla Hostess! Hostess!
To him, Tib.
Tib What say you, sir?
Bobadilla A cup of your small beer, sweet hostess.
Tib Sir, there's a gentleman below would speak with you.
365Bobadilla A gentleman! Godso, I am not within.
Tib My husband told him you were, sir.
Bobadilla What a plague! What meant he?
Signor Bobadilla!
Bobadilla [Calling] Who's there? -- Take away the basin, good hostess. -- Come up, sir!
[Calling down as though to Matheo]
He would desire you to come up, sir.
[Enter Matheo [with a book].
You come into a cleanly house here.
Matheo [To Bobadilla] God save you sir, God save you.
Bobadilla Signor Matheo, is't you, sir? Please you sit down.
375Matheo I thank you, good signor; you may see I am somewhat audacious.
Bobadilla Not so, signor. I was requested to supper yesternight by a sort of gallants, where you were wished for and drunk to, I assure you.
Matheo Vouchsafe me by whom, good signor.
Bobadilla Marry, by Signor Prospero and others. -- Why, hostess, a stool here for this gentleman.
380Matheo No haste, sir, it is very well.
Bobadilla Body of me, it was so late ere we parted last night I can scarce open mine eyes yet; I was but new risen as you came. How passes the day abroad, sir? You can tell.
Matheo Faith, some half hour to seven. Now trust me, you have an exceeding fine lodging here, very neat and private.
385Bobadilla Ay, sir, sit down, I pray you. [Exit Tib.]
Signor Matheo, in any case possess no gentleman of your acquaintance with notice of my lodging.
Matheo Who, I, sir? No.
Bobadilla Not that I need to care who know it, but in regard I would not be so popular and general, as some be.
Matheo True, signor, I conceive you.
390Bobadilla For do you see, sir, by the heart of myself, except it be to some peculiar and choice spirits to whom I am extraordinarily engaged, as yourself or so, I would not extend thus far.
Matheo Oh, Lord, sir! I resolve so.
Bobadilla What new book have you there? What, "Go by, Hieronimo!"?
395Matheo Ay, did you ever see it acted? Is't not well penned?
Bobadilla Well penned? I would fain see all the poets of our time pen such another play as that was. They'll prate and swagger and keep a stir of art and devices, when, by Godso, they are the most shallow, pitiful fellows that live upon the face of the earth again.
400Matheo Indeed, here are a number of fine speeches in this book: "O eyes, no eyes, but fountains fraught with tears!" There's a conceit! "Fountains fraught with tears!" "O life, no life, but lively form of death!" Is't not excellent? "O world, no world, but mass of public wrongs!" Oh, God's me! "Confused and filled with murder and misdeeds." Is't not simply the best that ever you heard? Ha? How do you like it?
Bobadilla 'Tis good.
Matheo [Reciting] To thee, the purest object to my sense,
405The most refind essence heaven covers,
Send I these lines, wherein I do commence
The happy state of true deserving lovers.
If they prove rough, unpolished, harsh, and rude,
Haste made that waste -- thus mildly I conclude.
[Bobadilla dresses during this recital.]
Bobadilla Nay, proceed, proceed. Where's this? Where's this?
Matheo This, sir? A toy of mine own in my nonage. But when will you come and see my study? Good faith, I can show you some very good things I have done of late. -- That boot becomes your 415leg passing well, sir, methinks.
Bobadilla So so. It's a fashion gentlemen use.
Matheo Mass, sir, and, now you speak of the fashion, Signor Prospero's elder brother and I are fallen out exceedingly. This other day I happened to enter into some discourse of a hanger, which, I assure you, both for fashion 420and workmanship was most beautiful and gentleman-like; yet he condemned it for the most pied and ridiculous that ever he saw.
Bobadilla Signor Giuliano, was it not? The elder brother?
Matheo Ay, sir, he.
Bobadilla Hang him, rook. He? Why, he has no more judgment than 425a malt-horse. By Saint George, I hold him the most peremptory, absurd clown -- one o'them -- in Christendom. I protest to you, as I am a gentleman and a soldier, I ne'er talked with the like of him. He has not so much as a good word in his belly. All iron, iron-- a good commodity for a smith to make hobnails on.
430Matheo Ay, and he thinks to carry it away with his manhood still where he comes. He brags he will give me the bastinado, as I hear.
Bobadilla How, the bastinado? How came he by that word, trow?
Matheo Nay, indeed, he said "cudgel" me. I termed it so for the more grace.
Bobadilla That may be, for I was sure it was none of his word. But when? When said he so?
435Matheo Faith, yesterday, they say. A young gallant, a friend of mine, told me so.
Bobadilla By the life of Pharaoh, an 'twere my case now, I should send him a challenge presently. The bastinado? Come hither, you shall challenge him. I'll show you a trick or two. You shall kill him at pleasure; the first, stoccado, if you will, by this air.
440Matheo Indeed, you have absolute knowledge in the mystery, I have heard, sir.
Bobadilla Of whom? Of whom, I pray?
Matheo Faith, I have heard it spoken of divers that you have very rare skill, sir.
Bobadilla By heaven, no, not I, no skill in the earth; some small science -- know my time, distance, or so. I have professed it more 445for noblemen and gentlemen's use than mine own practice, I assure you. [Calling offstage] Hostess, lend us another bedstaff here quickly. [He demonstrates fencing maneuvers with a bedstaff.] Look you, sir, exalt not your point above this state at any hand, and let your poniard maintain your defense thus.
[Tib enters with another bedstaff for Matheo.]
450Give it the gentleman. [Tib does so, and exit.]
So, sir, come on. [They fence.] Oh, twine your body more about, that you may come to a more sweet, comely, gentleman-like guard. [They fence again.] So, indifferent. Hollow your body more, sir, thus. [He demonstrates.] Now stand fast on your left leg. Note your distance; keep your due proportion of time. [Matheo tries.] 455Oh, you disorder your point most vilely!
Matheo [Trying again] How is the bearing of it now, sir?
Bobadilla Oh, out of measure ill. A well experienced man would pass upon you at pleasure.
Matheo How mean you, "pass upon" me?
Bobadilla Why, thus, sir. Make a thrust at me; come in upon 460my time; control your point, and make a full career at the body. The best-practiced gentlemen of the time term it the passado -- a most desperate thrust, believe it.
Matheo Well, come, sir.
[They fence again.]
Bobadilla Why, you do not manage your weapons with that facility and grace that you should do. I have no spirit to play with you; your 465dearth of judgment makes you seem tedious.
Matheo But one veny, sir.
Bobadilla Fie, "veny"! Most gross denomination as ever I heard! Oh, the stoccado, while you live, signor, note that. Come, put on your cloak, and we'll go to some private place where you are acquainted, some tavern or so, 470and we'll send for one of these fencers, where he shall breathe you at my direction, and then I'll teach you that trick you shall kill him with it at the first, if you please. Why, I'll learn you, by the true judgment of the eye, hand, and foot, to control any man's point in the world. Should your adversary confront you with a pistol, 'twere nothing; you should, by 475the same rule, control the bullet, most certain, by Phoebus, unless it were hail-shot. What money have you about you, sir?
Matheo Faith, I have not past two shillings or so.
Bobadilla 'Tis somewhat with the least. But come. When we have done, we'll call up Signor Prospero. Perhaps we shall meet with Corydon his brother there.
[Enter Thorello, Giuliano, [and] Piso.
Thorello Piso, come hither. There lies a note within upon my desk; here, take my key. It's no matter, neither. Where's the boy?
Piso Within, sir, in the warehouse
Thorello Let him tell over that Spanish gold and weigh it. And do you see the delivery of those wares to Signor Bentivole. I'll be there 485myself at the receipt of the money anon.
Piso Very good, sir.
Exit Piso.
Thorello Brother, did you see that same fellow there?
Giuliano Ay, what of him?
Thorello He is e'en the honestest faithful servant that is this day 490in Florence -- I speak a proud word now -- and one that I durst trust my life into his hands, I have so strong opinion of his love, if need were.
Giuliano God send me never such need! But you said you had somewhat to tell me. What is't?
Thorello Faith, brother, I am loath to utter it,
495As fearing to abuse your patience,
But that I know your judgment more direct,
Able to sway the nearest of affection --
Giuliano Come, come, what needs this circumstance?
Thorello I will not say what honor I ascribe
500Unto your friendship, nor in what dear state
I hold your love; let my continued zeal,
The constant and religious regard
That I have ever carried to your name,
My carriage with your sister, all contest
505How much I stand affected to your house.
Giuliano You are too tedious. Come to the matter, come to the matter.
Thorello Then, without further ceremony, thus:
My brother Prospero, I know not how,
Of late is much declined from what he was
510And greatly altered in his disposition.
When he came first to lodge here in my house,
Ne'er trust me if I was not proud of him.
Methought he bare himself with such observance,
So true election, and so fair a form,
515And -- what was chief -- it showed not borrowed in him,
But all he did became him as his own,
And seemed as perfect, proper, and innate
Unto the mind as color to the blood.
But now his course is so irregular,
520So loose affected and deprived of grace,
And he himself withal so far fall'n off
From his first place, that scarce no note remains
To tell men's judgments where he lately stood.
He's grown a stranger to all due respect,
525Forgetful of his friends, and, not content
To stale himself in all societies,
He makes my house as common as a mart,
A theater, a public receptacle
For giddy humor and diseasd riot.
530And there, as in a tavern or a stews,
He and his wild associates spend their hours
In repetition of lascivious jests,
Swear, leap, and dance, and revel night by night,
Control my servants, and indeed what not?
535Giuliano Faith, I know not what I should say to him. So God save me, I am e'en at my wit's end. I have told him enough, one would think, if that would serve. Well, he knows what to trust to for me. Let him spend, and spend, and domineer till his heart ache. An he get a penny more of me, I'll give him this ear.
540Thorello Nay, good brother, have patience.
Giuliano 'Sblood, he mads me! I could eat my very flesh for anger. I mar'l you will not tell him of it, how he disquiets your house.
Thorello Oh, there are divers reasons to dissuade me.
But, would yourself vouchsafe to travail in it,
545Though but with plain and easy circumstance,
It would both come much better to his sense
And savor less of grief and discontent.
You are his elder brother, and that title
Confirms and warrants your authority,
550Which, seconded by your aspect, will breed
A kind of duty in him and regard;
Whereas if I should intimate the least,
It would but add contempt to his neglect,
Heap worse on ill, rear a huge pile of hate,
555That in the building would come tott'ring down
And in her ruins bury all our love.
Nay, more than this, brother: if I should speak,
He would be ready in the heat of passion
To fill the ears of his familiars
560With oft reporting to them what disgrace
And gross disparagement I had proposed him;
And then would they straight back him in opinion,
Make some loose comment upon every word,
And out of their distracted fantasies
565Contrive some slander that should dwell with me.
And what would that be, think you? Marry, this:
They would give out, because my wife is fair,
Myself but lately married, and my sister
Here sojourning a virgin in my house,
570That I were jealous. Nay, as sure as death,
Thus they would say; and how that I had wronged
My brother purposely, thereby to find
An apt pretext to banish them my house.
Giuliano Mass, perhaps so.
575Thorello Brother, they would, believe it. So should I,
Like one of these penurious quacksalvers,
But try experiments upon myself,
Open the gates unto mine own disgrace,
Lend bare-ribbed Envy opportunity
580To stab my reputation and good name.
[Enter Bobadilla and Matheo.
Matheo [To Bobadilla] I will speak to him.
[To Matheo]
Speak to him? Away, by the life of Pharaoh! You shall not, you shall not do him that grace.
[To Thorello]
The time 585of day to you, gentleman. Is Signor Prospero stirring?
Giuliano How then? What should he do?
[Ignoring Giuliano]
Signor Thorello, is he within, sir?
Thorello He came not to his lodging tonight, sir, I assure you.
[To Bobadilla]
Why, do you hear? You!
590Bobadilla This gentleman hath satisfied me. I'll talk to no scavenger. [He starts to leave.]
Giuliano How, "scavenger"? Stay, sir, stay!
Exeunt [Bobadilla and Matheo].
Thorello [Restraining him] Nay, brother Giuliano.
Giuliano 'Sblood, stand you away, an you love me!
595Thorello You shall not follow him now, I pray you. Good faith, you shall not.
Giuliano Ha! "Scavenger"? Well, go to. I say little, but by this good day - God forgive me I should swear -- if I put it up so, say I am the rankest -- that ever pissed! 'Sblood, an I swallow this, I'll ne'er draw my sword in the sight of man again 600while I live. I'll sit in a barn with Madge Owlet first. "Scavenger"? Heart, and I'll go near to fill that huge tumbrel slop of yours with somewhat, an I have good luck; your Gargantua breech cannot carry it away so.
Thorello Oh, do not fret yourself thus! Never think on't.
Giuliano These are my brother's consorts, these! These are his cumrades, his 605walking mates! He's a gallant, a cavaliero too, right hangman cut! God let me not live an I could not find in my heart to swinge the whole nest of them, one after another, and begin with him first. I am grieved it should be said he is my brother, and take these courses. Well, he shall hear on't, and that tightly too, an I live, i'faith.
610Thorello But brother, let your apprehension then
Run in an easy current, not transported
With heady rashness or devouring choler,
And rather carry a persuading spirit,
Whose powers will pierce more gently and allure
615Th'imperfect thoughts you labor to reclaim
To a more sudden and resolved assent.
Giuliano Ay, ay, let me alone for that, I warrant you.
Bell rings.
Thorello How now? Oh, the bell rings to breakfast.
Brother Giuliano, I pray you, go in and bear my wife company. 620I'll but give order to my servants for the dispatch of some business, and come to you presently.
Exit Giuliano.
[Enter Cob [with a tankard].
What, Cob? Our maids will have you by the back, i'faith, for coming so late this morning.
Cob Perhaps so, sir. Take heed somebody have not them by the belly for walking so late in the evening. Exit.
625Thorello Now, in good faith, my mind is somewhat eased,
Though not reposed in that security
As I could wish. Well, I must be content.
Howe'er I set a face on't to the world,
Would I had lost this finger at a venture,
630So Prospero had ne'er lodged in my house!
Why, 't cannot be, where there is such resort
Of wanton gallants and young revelers,
That any woman should be honest long.
Is't like that factious beauty will preserve
635The sovereign state of chastity unscarred
When such strong motives muster and make head
Against her single peace? No, no. Beware
When mutual pleasure sways the appetite,
And spirits of one kind and quality
640Do meet to parley in the pride of blood.
Well, to be plain, if I but thought the time
Had answered their affections, all the world
Should not persuade me but I were a cuckold.
Marry, I hope they have not got that start;
645For opportunity hath balked them yet,
And shall do still, while I have eyes and ears
To attend the imposition of my heart.
My presence shall be as an iron bar
'Twixt the conspiring motions of desire.
650Yea, every look or glance mine eye objects
Shall check occasion, as one doth his slave
When he forgets the limits of prescription.
[Enter Bianca with Hesperida.
Bianca Sister Hesperida, I pray you, fetch down the rose-water above in the closet. Exit Hesperida.
655[To Thorello] Sweetheart, will you come in to breakfast?
An she have overheard me now!
Bianca I pray thee, good muss, we stay for you.
Thorello [Aside] By Christ, I would not for a thousand
660Bianca What ail you, sweetheart? Are you not well? Speak, good muss.
Thorello Troth, my head aches extremely on a sudden.
[Feeling his forehead]
O Jesu!
Thorello How now? What?
Bianca Good lord, how it burns! Muss, keep you warm. Good truth, 665it is this new disease; there's a number are troubled withal. For God's sake, sweetheart, come in out of the air.
Thorello [Aside] How simple and how subtle are her answers!
"A new disease, and many troubled with it."
Why, true, she heard me, all the world to nothing.
670Bianca I pray thee, good sweetheart, come in. The air will do you harm, in troth.
Thorello I'll come to you presently. It will away, I hope.
Bianca Pray God it do.
Thorello A new disease? I know not new or old,
But it may well be called poor mortals' plague,
675For like a pestilence it doth infect
The houses of the brain. First it begins
Solely to work upon the fantasy,
Filling her seat with such pestiferous air
As soon corrupts the judgment, and from thence
680Sends like contagion to the memory --
Still each of other catching the infection,
Which, as a searching vapor, spreads itself
Confusedly through every sensive part
Till not a thought or motion in the mind
685Be free from the black poison of suspect.
Ah, but what error is it to know this,
And want the free election of the soul
In such extremes! Well, I will once more strive,
Even in despite of hell, myself to be,
690And shake this fever off that thus shakes me.
[Enter Musco disguised like a soldier.
Musco 'Sblood, I cannot choose but laugh to see myself translated thus, from a poor creature to a creator; for now must I create an intolerable 695sort of lies, or else my profession loses his grace. And yet the lie to a man of my coat is as ominous as the fico. Oh, sir, it holds for good policy to have that outwardly in vilest estimation that inwardly is most dear to us. So much for my borrowed shape. Well, the truth is my master intends to follow his son dryfoot to Florence this morning. Now 700I, knowing of this conspiracy, and the rather to insinuate with my young master -- for so must we that are blue-waiters or men of service do, or else perhaps we may wear motley at the year's end, and who wears motley you know -- I have got me afore in this disguise, determining here to lie in ambuscado and intercept him in the mid way. If I can but 705get his cloak, his purse, his hat -- nay, anything so I can stay his journey, rex regum, I am made forever, i'faith. Well, now must I practice to get the true garb of one of these lance-knights. [He assumes a military posture.] My arm here and my -- Godso, young master and his cousin [He stands aside.]
[Enter Lorenzo Jr. and Stephano.
710Lorenzo Jr. [To Stephano] So, sir, and how then?
Stephano God's foot, I have lost my purse, I think.
Lorenzo Jr. How, lost your purse? Where? When had you it?
Stephano I cannot tell. Stay!
'Slid, I am afeard they will know me. Would I could get by them!
715Lorenzo Jr. What, have you it?
Stephano No, I think I was bewitched, I.
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, do not weep. A pox on it! Hang it, let it go.
[Finding the purse]
Oh, it's here. Nay, an it had been lost, I had not cared but for a jet ring Marina sent me.
720Lorenzo Jr. A jet ring? Oh, the posy, the posy?
Stephano Fine, i'faith:
Though fancy sleep,
My love is deep --
meaning that though I did not fancy her, yet she loved me dearly.
725Lorenzo Jr. Most excellent!
Stephano And then I sent her another, and my posy was
The deeper the sweeter,
I'll be judged, by Saint Peter.
Lorenzo Jr. How, "by Saint Peter"? I do not conceive that.
730Stephano Marry, "Saint Peter," to make up the meter.
Lorenzo Jr. Well, you are beholding to that saint; he helped you at your need. Thank him, thank him.
I will venture, come what will.
[Coming forward]
Gentlemen, please you change a few crowns for a very excellent good blade here?
[He presents his sword.]
I am a poor gentleman, a soldier, one that in the better 735state of my fortunes scorned so mean a refuge, but now it's the humor of necessity to have it so. You seem to be gentlemen well affected to martial men, else I should rather die with silence than live with shame. Howe'er, vouchsafe to remember it is my want speaks, not myself. This condition agrees not with my spirit.
Lorenzo Jr. Where hast thou served?
740Musco May it please you, signor, in all the provinces of Bohemia, Hungaria, Dalmatia, Poland -- where not? I have been a poor servitor by sea and land any time this fourteen years, and followed the fortunes of the best commanders in Christendom. I was twice shot at the taking of Aleppo, once at the relief of Vienna. I have been at America in the galleys thrice, where 745I was most dangerously shot in the head, through both the thighs; and yet, being thus maimed, I am void of maintenance, nothing left me but my scars, the noted marks of my resolution.
[Examining Musco's sword]
How will you sell this rapier, friend?
Musco Faith, signor, I refer it to your own judgment. You are a gentleman; give me what you please.
Stephano True, I am a gentleman, I know that. But what though? I pray you say what would you ask.
750Musco I assure you, the blade may become the side of the best prince in Europe.
Lorenzo Jr. Ay, with a velvet scabbard!
Stephano Nay, an't be mine it shall have a velvet scabbard, that is flat. I'd not wear it as 'tis an you would give me an angel.
Musco At your pleasure, signor. Nay, it's a most pure Toledo.
755Stephano I had rather it were a Spaniard. But tell me, what shall I give you for it? An it had a silver hilt --
Lorenzo Jr. Come, come, you shall not buy it.
[To Musco, offering him a coin]
Hold, there's a shilling, friend. Take thy rapier.
Stephano Why, but I will buy it now because you say so. What, shall I go without a rapier?
Lorenzo Jr. You may buy one in the city.
760Stephano Tut, I'll buy this, so I will. -- Tell me your lowest price.
Lorenzo Jr. You shall not, I say.
Stephano By God's lid, but I will, though I give more than 'tis worth.
Lorenzo Jr. Come away. You are a fool.
Stephano Friend, I'll have it for that word.
[To Musco]
Follow me.
765Musco At your service, signor.
[Enter Lorenzo Sr.
Lorenzo Sr. My laboring spirit, being late oppressed
With my son's folly, can embrace no rest
770Till it hath plotted by advice and skill
How to reduce him from affected will
To reason's manage -- which while I intend,
My troubled soul begins to apprehend
A farther secret, and to meditate
775Upon the difference of man's estate,
Where is deciphered, to true judgment's eye,
A deep, concealed, and precious mystery.
Yet can I not but worthily admire
At Nature's art, who, when she did inspire
780This heat of life, placed Reason as a king
Here in the head to have the marshaling
Of our affections, and with sovereignty
To sway the state of our weak empery.
But, as in divers commonwealths we see
785The form of government to disagree,
Even so in man: who searcheth soon shall find
As much or more variety of mind.
Some men's affections, like a sullen wife,
Is with her husband, Reason, still at strife.
790Others, like proud arch-traitors that rebel
Against their sovereign, practice to expel
Their liege lord, Reason, and not shame to tread
Upon his holy and anointed head.
But as that land or nation best doth thrive
795Which to smooth-fronted Peace is most proclive,
So doth that mind whose fair affections, ranged
By Reason's rules, stand constant and unchanged.
Else, if the power of Reason be not such,
Why do we attribute to him so much?
800Or why are we obsequious to his law
If he want spirit our affects to awe?
Oh, no, I argue weakly; he is strong,
Albeit my son have done him too much wrong.
[Enter Musco [disguised still as a soldier].
805Musco [Aside] My master! Nay, faith, have at you. I am fleshed, now I have sped so well. -- Gentleman, I beseech you, respect the estate of a poor soldier. I am ashamed of this base course of life, God's my comfort, but extremity provokes me to't. What remedy?
Lorenzo Sr. I have not for you now.
810Musco By the faith I bear unto God, gentleman, it is no ordinary custom, but only to preserve manhood. I protest to you, a man I have been, a man I may be, by your sweet bounty.
Lorenzo Sr. I pray thee, good friend, be satisfied.
Musco Good signor, by Jesu, you may do the part of a 815kind gentleman in lending a poor soldier the price of two cans of beer, a matter of small value. The King of heaven shall pay you, and I shall rest thankful, sweet signor.
Lorenzo Sr. Nay, an you be so importunate --
Musco Oh, Lord, sir, need will have his course. I was not 820made to this vile use. Well, the edge of the enemy could not have abated me so much.
[He weeps.]
It's hard when a man hath served in his prince's cause and be thus. Signor, let me derive a small piece of silver from you. It shall not be given in the course of time. By this good ground, I was fain to pawn my rapier last night for a 825poor supper; I am a pagan else, sweet signor.
Lorenzo Sr. Believe me, I am rapt with admiration
To think a man of thy exterior presence
Should in the constitution of the mind
Be so degenerate, infirm, and base.
830Art thou a man? And sham'st thou not to beg?
To practice such a servile kind of life?
Why, were thy education ne'er so mean,
Having thy limbs, a thousand fairer courses
Offer themselves to thy election.
835Nay, there the wars might still supply thy wants,
Or service of some virtuous gentleman,
Or honest labor. Nay, what can I name
But would become thee better than to beg?
But men of your condition feed on sloth,
840As doth the scarab on the dung she breeds in,
Not caring how the temper of your spirits
Is eaten with the rust of idleness.
Now, afore God, whate'er he be that should
Relieve a person of thy quality
845While you insist in this loose, desperate course,
I would esteem the sin not thine, but his.
Musco Faith, signor, I would gladly find some other course, if so --
Lorenzo Sr. Ay, you'd gladly find it, but you will not seek it.
Musco Alas, sir, where should a man seek? In the wars there's 850no ascent by desert in these days, but -- and for service, would it were as soon purchased as wished for, God's my comfort! I know what I would say --
Lorenzo Sr. What's thy name?
Musco Please you: Portensio.
855Lorenzo Sr. Portensio?
Say that a man should entertain thee now;
Would thou be honest, humble, just, and true?
Musco Signor, by the place and honor of a soldier --
Lorenzo Sr. Nay, nay, I like not these affected oaths.
860Speak plainly, man: what think'st thou of my words?
Musco Nothing, signor, but wish my fortunes were as happy as my service should be honest.
Lorenzo Sr. Well, follow me. I'll prove thee, if thy deeds
Will carry a proportion to thy words.
Musco Yes, sir, straight. I'll but garter my hose.
Exit Lorenzo Sr.
865Oh, that my belly were hooped now! For I am ready to burst with laughing. 'Slid, was there ever seen a fox in years to betray himself thus? Now shall I be possessed of all his determinations, and, consequently, my young master. Well, he is resolved to prove my honesty. Faith, and I am resolved to prove his patience. Oh, I shall abuse him intolerably! This small piece 870of service will bring him clean out of love with the soldier forever. It's no matter. Let the world think me a bad counterfeit if I cannot give him the slip in an instant. Why, this is better than to have stayed his journey, by half. Well, I'll follow him. Oh, how I long to be employed! Exit.
[Enter Prospero, Bobadilla, and Matheo.
Matheo [To Prospero] Yes, faith, sir, we were at your lodging to seek you too.
Prospero Oh, I came not there tonight.
Bobadilla Your brother delivered us as much.
Prospero Who, Giuliano?
880Bobadilla Giuliano. Signor Prospero, I know not in what kind you value me, but let me tell you this: as sure as God, I do hold it so much out of mine honor and reputation if I should but cast the least regard upon such a dunghill of flesh. I protest to you, as I have a soul to be saved, I ne'er saw any gentlemanlike part in 885him. An there were no more men living upon the face of the earth, I should not fancy him, by Phoebus.
Matheo Troth, nor I. He is of a rustical cut -- I know not how. He doth not carry himself like a gentleman.
Prospero Oh, Signor Matheo, that's a grace peculiar but to a few. Quos aequus amavit Jupiter.
890Matheo I understand you, sir.
[Enter Lorenzo Jr. and Stephano.
Prospero No question you do, sir. -- Lorenzo! Now, on my soul, welcome! How dost thou, sweet rascal, my genius? 'Sblood, I shall love Apollo and the mad Thespian girls the better while I live, for this. My dear villain, 895now I see there's some spirit in thee. [Prospero and Lorenzo Jr. talk privately apart.] Sirrah, these be the two [Indicating Bobadilla and Matheo] I writ to thee of. Nay, what a drowsy humor is this now? Why dost thou not speak?
Lorenzo Jr. Oh, you are a fine gallant. You sent me a rare letter.
Prospero Why, was't not rare?
900Lorenzo Jr. Yes, I'll be sworn I was ne'er guilty of reading the like. Match it in all Pliny's Familiar Epistles, and I'll have my judgment burned in the ear for a rogue. Make much of thy vein, for it is inimitable. But I mar'l what camel it was that had the carriage of it? For doubtless he was no ordinary beast that brought it.
905Prospero Why?
Lorenzo Jr. "Why?" sayest thou? Why, dost thou think that any reasonable creature, especially in the morning -- the sober time of the day too -- would have ta'en my father for me?
Prospero 'Sblood, you jest, I hope.
910Lorenzo Jr. Indeed, the best use we can turn it to is to make a jest on't now. But I'll assure you, my father had the proving of your copy some hour before I saw it.
Prospero What a dull slave was this! But sirrah, what said he to it, i'faith?
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, I know not what he said. But I have a shrewd guess what he thought.
915Prospero What? What?
Lorenzo Jr. Marry, that thou art a damned, dissolute villain, and I some grain or two better in keeping thee company.
Prospero Tut, that thought is like the moon in the last quarter; 'twill change shortly. But, sirrah, I pray thee be acquainted with my two zanies here. Thou wilt take exceeding pleasure in them if thou hear'st them once. But
920[Indicating Stephano] what strange piece of silence is this? The sign of the Dumb Man?
Lorenzo Jr. Oh, sir, a kinsman of mine, one that may make our music the fuller, an he please. He hath his humor, sir.
Prospero Oh, what is't? What is't?
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, I'll neither do thy judgment nor his folly that 925wrong as to prepare thy apprehension; I'll leave him to the mercy of the time. If you can take him, so.
[Prospero and Lorenzo Jr. join the others.]
Prospero Well, Signor Bobadilla, Signor Matheo, I pray you, know this gentleman here; he is a friend of mine and one that will well deserve your 930affection. [To Stephano] I know not your name, signor, but I shall be glad of any good occasion to be more familiar with you.
Stephano My name is Signor Stephano, sir. I am this gentleman's cousin, sir; his father is mine uncle, sir. I am somewhat melancholy, but you shall command me, sir, in whatsoever is incident to a gentleman.
[To Lorenzo Jr.]
Signor, I must tell you this: I am no general man. Embrace it as a most high favor, for, by the host of Egypt, but that I conceive you to be a gentleman of some parts -- I love few words. You have wit; imagine.
Stephano Ay, truly, sir, I am mightily given to melancholy.
940Matheo Oh, Lord, sir, it's your only best humor, sir. Your true melancholy breeds your perfect fine wit, sir. I am melancholy myself divers times, sir, and then do I no more but take your pen and paper presently, and write you your half-score or your dozen of sonnets at a sitting.
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
Mass, then he utters them by the gross.
945Stephano [To Matheo] Truly, sir, and I love such things out of measure.
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
I'faith, as well as in measure.
Matheo [To Stephano] Why, I pray you, signor, make use of my study. It's at your service.
Stephano I thank you, sir; I shall be bold, I warrant you. Have you a close stool there?
Matheo Faith, sir, I have some papers there, toys of mine own 950doing at idle hours, that you'll say there's some sparks of wit in them when you shall see them.
[Aside to Lorenzo Jr.]
Would they were kindled once and a good fire made! I might see self-love burned for her heresy.
Stephano [To Lorenzo Jr.] Cousin, is it well? Am I melancholy enough?
955Lorenzo Jr. Oh, ay, excellent.
Prospero Signor Bobadilla, why muse you so?
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
He is melancholy too.
Bobadilla Faith, sir, I was thinking of a most honorable piece of service was performed, tomorrow being Saint Mark's day, shall be some ten years.
960Lorenzo Jr. In what place was that service, I pray you, sir?
Bobadilla Why, at the beleag'ring of Ghibeletto, where, in less than two hours, seven hundred resolute gentlemen as any were in Europe lost their lives upon the breach. I'll tell you, gentlemen, it was the first but the best leaguer that ever I beheld with these eyes, except the taking in of Tortosa last 965year by the Genoese; but that of all other was the most fatal and dangerous exploit that ever I was ranged in since I first bore arms before the face of the enemy, as I am a gentleman and a soldier.
'So, I had as lief as an angel I could swear as well as that gentleman!
970Lorenzo Jr. [To Bobadilla] Then you were a servitor at both, it seems.
Bobadilla Oh, Lord, sir! By Phaethon, I was the first man that entered the breach, and, had I not effected it with resolution, I had been slain if I had had a million of lives.
Lorenzo Jr. Indeed, sir?
975Stephano Nay, an you heard him discourse, you would say so. How like you him?
[To Lorenzo Jr.]
I assure you, upon my salvation, 'tis true, and yourself shall confess.
Prospero [Aside] You must bring him to the rack first.
Bobadilla Observe me judicially, sweet signor. They had planted me a demi-culverin just in the mouth of the breach. Now, sir, as we were to ascend, 980their master gunner -- a man of no mean skill and courage, you must think -- confronts me with his linstock ready to give fire. I, spying his intendment, discharged my petronel in his bosom, and with this instrument
[Pointing to his weapon]
, my poor rapier, ran violently upon the Moors that guarded the ordnance and put them pell-mell to the sword.
985Prospero To the sword? To the rapier, signor.
Lorenzo Jr.
[To Prospero]
Oh, it was a good figure observed, sir. -- But did you all this, signor, without hurting your blade?
Bobadilla Without any impeach on the earth. You shall perceive, sir. It is the most fortunate weapon that ever rid on a poor gentleman's thigh. Shall 990I tell you, sir? You talk of Morglay, Excalibur, Durindana, or so; tut, I lend no credit to that is reported of them. I know the virtue of mine own, and therefore I dare the boldlier maintain it.
Stephano I mar'l whether it be a Toledo or no?
Bobadilla A most perfect Toledo, I assure you, signor.
995Stephano I have a countryman of his here.
Matheo Pray you, let's see, sir.
[He examines Stephano's weapon.]
Yes, faith, it is.
Bobadilla This a Toledo? Pish!
Stephano Why do you "pish," signor?
Bobadilla A Fleming, by Phoebus. I'll buy them for a guilder apiece, 1000and I'll have a thousand of them.
Lorenzo Jr.
[To Stephano]
How say you, cousin? I told you thus much.
Prospero Where bought you it, signor?
Stephano Of a scurvy rogue soldier, a pox of God on him! He swore it was a Toledo.
Bobadilla A provant rapier, no better.
1005Matheo Mass, I think it be, indeed.
Lorenzo Jr. Tut, now it's too late to look on it.
[To Stephano]
Put it up, put it up.
Stephano Well, I will not put it up, but, by God's foot, an e'er I meet him --
Prospero Oh, it is past remedy now, sir. You must have patience.
1010Stephano Whoreson, coney-catching rascal! Oh, I could eat the very hilts for anger!
Lorenzo Jr. A sign you have a good ostrich stomach, cousin.
Stephano A stomach? Would I had him here! You should see an I had a stomach.
Prospero It's better as 'tis. -- Come, gentlemen, shall we go?
[Enter Musco [disguised still as a soldier].
1015Lorenzo Jr. A miracle, cousin. Look here, look here!
[To Musco]
Oh, God's lid, by your leave, do you know me, sir?
Musco Ay, sir. I know you by sight.
Stephano You sold me a rapier, did you not?
Musco Yes, marry, did I, sir.
1020Stephano You said it was a Toledo, ha?
Musco True, I did so.
Stephano But it is none.
Musco No, sir, I confess it, it is none.
Stephano Gentlemen, bear witness he has confessed it. -- By God's lid, an you had not confessed it --
1025Lorenzo Jr. Oh, cousin, forbear, forbear.
Stephano Nay, I have done, cousin.
Prospero Why, you have done like a gentleman. He has confessed it; what would you more?
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
Sirrah, how dost thou like him?
Prospero [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] Oh, it's a precious good fool! Make 1030much on him. I can compare him to nothing more happily than a barber's virginals, for everyone may play upon him.
[To Lorenzo Jr.]
Gentleman, shall I entreat a word with you?
Lorenzo Jr. With all my heart, sir. You have not another Toledo to sell, have ye?
Musco You are pleasant.
[They talk privately.]
Your name is Signor Lorenzo, as I take it?
1035Lorenzo Jr. You are in the right. -- 'Sblood, he means to catechize me, I think.
Musco No, sir, I leave that to the curate. I am none of that coat.
Lorenzo Jr. And yet of as bare a coat. Well, say, sir.
Musco Faith, signor, I am but servant to god Mars extraordinary, and 1040indeed -- this brass varnish being washed off and three or four other tricks sublated -- I appear yours in reversion, after the decease of your good father -- Musco!
[He lets Lorenzo Jr. see that he is really Mosco.]
Lorenzo Jr. Musco! 'Sblood, what wind hath blown thee hither in this shape?
Musco Your easterly wind, sir -- the same that blew your father hither.
1045Lorenzo Jr. My father?
Musco Nay, never start, it's true. He is come to town of purpose to seek you.
Lorenzo Jr.
[To Prospero, who joins them]
Sirrah Prospero, what shall we do, sirrah? My father is come to the city.
Prospero Thy father? Where is he?
Musco At a gentleman's house, yonder by Saint Anthony's, where he but stays my return, and then --
1050Prospero Who's this? Musco?
Musco The same, sir.
Prospero Why, how com'st thou transmuted thus?
Musco Faith, a device, a device. Nay, for the love of God, stand not here, gentlemen; house yourselves and I'll tell you all.
Lorenzo Jr. But art thou sure he will stay thy return?
1055Musco Do I live, sir? What a question is that?
Prospero Well, we'll prorogue his expectation a little. Musco, thou shalt go with us.
[Calling to the others]
Come on, gentlemen. [To Lorenzo Jr.] Nay, I pray thee, good rascal, droop not; 'sheart, an our wits be so gouty that one old, plodding brain can outstrip us all, Lord, I beseech thee, may they 1060lie and starve in some miserable spital, where they may never see the face of any true spirit again, but be perpetually haunted with some churchyard hobgoblin in saecula saeculorum.
Musco Amen, amen!
[Enter Thorello and Piso.
1065Piso He will expect you, sir, within this half hour.
Why, what's o'clock?
Thorello Hath he the money ready, can you tell?
Piso Yes, sir. Baptista brought it yesternight.
1070Thorello Oh, that's well. Fetch me my cloak. Exit Piso.
Stay, let me see: an hour to go and come,
Ay, that will be the least; and then 'twill be
An hour before I can dispatch with him,
Or very near. Well, I will say two hours.
1075Two hours? Ha? Things never dreamt of yet
May be contrived, ay, and effected too,
In two hours' absence. Well, I will not go.
Two hours. No, fleering Opportunity,
I will not give your treachery that scope.
1080Who will not judge him worthy to be robbed
That sets his doors wide open to a thief
And shows the felon where his treasure lies?
Again, what earthy spirit but will attempt
To taste the fruit of Beauty's golden tree,
1085When leaden sleep seels up the dragon's eyes?
Oh, Beauty is a project of some power,
Chiefly when Opportunity attends her.
She will infuse true motion in a stone,
Put glowing fire in an icy soul,
1090Stuff peasants' bosoms with proud Caesar's spleen,
Pour rich device into an empty brain,
Bring youth to Folly's gate, there train him in,
And after all extenuate his sin.
Well, I will not go; I am resolved for that.
[Enter Piso [with Thorello's cloak].
Go carry it again. Yet stay! Yet do, too!
I will defer it till some other time.
Piso Sir, Signor Platano will meet you there with the bond.
Thorello That's true. By Jesu, I had clean forgot it;
1100I must go. What's o'clock?
Thorello [Aside] Heart, then will Prospero presently be here too,
With one or other of his loose consorts.
I am a Jew if I know what to say,
1105What course to take, or which way to resolve.
My brain, methinks, is like an hourglass,
And my imaginations, like the sands,
Run dribbling forth to fill the mouth of Time,
Still changed with turning in the ventricle.
1110What were I best to do? It shall be so.
Nay, I dare build upon his secrecy. --
Piso Sir?
Thorello [Aside] Yet, now I have bethought me, too, I will not. --
1115Is Cob within?
Piso I think he be, sir.
Thorello [Aside] But he'll prate too; there's no talk of him.
No, there were no course upon the earth to this,
If I durst trust him; tut, I were secure.
1120But there's the question now: if he should prove
Rimarum plenus, then, 'sblood, I were rooked.
The state that he hath stood in till this present
Doth promise no such change. What should I fear, then?
Well, come what will, I'll tempt my fortune once. --
1125Piso, thou mayst deceive me, but I think
Thou lov'st me, Piso.
Piso Sir, if a servant's zeal and humble duty
May be termed love, you are possessed of it.
Thorello I have a matter to impart to thee,
1130But thou must be secret, Piso.
Sir, for that --
Thorello Nay, hear me, man. Think I esteem thee well
To let thee in thus to my private thoughts.
Piso, it is a thing sits nearer to my crest
1135Than thou art ware of. If thou shouldst reveal it --
Piso Reveal it, sir?
Thorello Nay, I do not think thou wouldst,
But if thou shouldst --
1140Disclaim in me forever if I do.
Thorello [Aside] He will not swear. He has some meaning,
Else, being urged so much, how should he choose
But lend an oath to all this protestation?
1145He is no puritan, that I am certain of.
What should I think of it? Urge him again,
And in some other form? I will do so. --
Well, Piso, thou hast sworn not to disclose.
Ay, you did swear?
1150Piso Not yet, sir, but I will,
So please you.
Thorello Nay, I dare take thy word.
But if thou wilt swear, do as you think good;
I am resolved without such circumstance.
1155Piso By my soul's safety, sir, I here protest,
My tongue shall ne'er take knowledge of a word
Delivered me in compass of your trust.
Thorello Enough, enough, these ceremonies need not.
I know thy faith to be as firm as brass.
1160Piso, come hither; nay, we must be close
In managing these actions. So it is --
[Aside] Now he has sworn, I dare the safelier speak --
I have of late by divers observations --
[Aside] But whether his oath be lawful, yea or no, ha?
1165I will ask counsel ere I do proceed. --
Piso, it will be now too long to stay.
We'll spy some fitter time soon, or tomorrow.
Piso At your pleasure, sir.
Thorello I pray you, search the books 'gainst I return
1170For the receipts 'twixt me and Platano.
Piso I will, sir.
Thorello And hear you: if my brother Prospero
Chance to bring hither any gentlemen
Ere I come back, let one straight bring me word.
1175Piso Very well, sir.
Thorello Forget it not, nor be not you out of the way.
Piso I will not, sir.
Thorello Or whether he come or no, if any other,
Stranger or else, fail not to send me word.
1180Piso Yes, sir.
Thorello Have care, I pray you, and remember it.
Piso I warrant you, sir.
Thorello But Piso, this is not the secret I told thee of.
Piso No, sir, I suppose so.
1185Thorello Nay, believe me, it is not.
Piso I do believe you, sir.
Thorello By heaven, it is not; that's enough.
Marry, I would not thou shouldst utter it
To any creature living; yet I care not.
1190Well, I must hence. Piso, conceive thus much:
No ordinary person could have drawn
So deep a secret from me. I mean not this,
But that I have to tell thee; this is nothing, this.
Piso, remember, silence buried here.
1195[Aside] No greater hell than to be slave to fear.
Exit Thorello.
Piso "Piso, remember, silence buried here"?
Whence should this flow of passion, trow, take head? Ha?
Faith, I'll dream no longer of this running humor,
1200For fear I sink. The violence of the stream
Already hath transported me so far
That I can feel no ground at all. But soft --
[Enter Cob [not seeing Piso at first].
Oh, it's our waterbearer. Somewhat has crossed him now.
1205Cob Fasting days. What tell you me of your fasting days? Would they were all on a light fire for me! They say the world shall be consumed with fire and brimstone in the latter day, but I would we had these Ember weeks and these villainous Fridays burnt in the meantime, and then --
Piso Why, how now, Cob, what moves thee to this choler, ha?
1210Cob Collar, sir? 'Swounds, I scorn your collar. I, sir, am no collier's horse, sir; never ride me with your collar. An you do, I'll show you a jade's trick.
Piso Oh, you'll slip your head out of the collar. Why, Cob, you mistake me.
Cob Nay, I have my rheum, and I be angry as well as another, sir.
1215Piso Thy "rheum"? Thy humor, man; thou mistakest.
Cob "Humor"? Mack, I think it be so, indeed. What is this "humor"? It's some rare thing, I warrant.
Piso Marry, I'll tell thee what it is, as 'tis generally received in these days: it is a monster bred in a man by self-love and affectation, and fed by folly.
1220Cob How? Must it be fed?
Piso Oh, ay, humor is nothing if it be not fed. Why, didst thou never hear of that? It's a common phrase, "Feed my humor."
Cob I'll none on it. Humor, avaunt! I know you not; be gone. Let who will make hungry meals for you; it shall not be I. Feed you, quoth he? 'Sblood, I have much ado to feed myself, especially on 1225these lean rascal days too. An't had been any other day but a fasting day -- a plague on them all, for me! By this light, one might have done God good service and have drowned them all in the flood two or three hundred thousand years ago. Oh, I do stomach them hugely! I have a maw, now, an 'twere for Sir Bevis's horse.
1230Piso Nay, but I pray thee, Cob, what makes thee so out of love with fasting days?
Cob Marry, that that will make any man out of love with them, I think: their bad conditions, an you will needs know. First, they are of a Flemish breed, I am sure on't, for they raven up more butter than all the days of the week beside. Next, they stink of fish miserably. 1235Thirdly, they'll keep a man devoutly hungry all day, and at night send him supperless to bed.
Piso Indeed, these are faults, Cob.
Cob Nay, an this were all, 'twere something. But they are the only known enemies to my generation. A fasting day no sooner comes but my lineage goes to rack. Poor cobs, they smoke for it; they melt in passion. 1240And your maids too know this, and yet would have me turn Hannibal and eat my own fish and blood!
([He] pulls out a red herring [and addresses it].)
My princely coz, fear nothing. I have not the heart to devour you, an I might be made as rich as Golias. Oh, that I had room for my tears! I could weep salt water enough now to preserve the lives 1245of ten thousand of my kin. But I may curse none but these filthy almanacs, for, an 'twere not for them, these days of persecution would ne'er be known. I'll be hanged an some fishmonger's son do not make on them, and puts in more fasting days than he should do because he would utter his father's dried stockfish.
Piso 'Soul , peace! Thou'lt be beaten like a stockfish else. [He 1250sees a group approaching.] Here is Signor Matheo. Now must I look out for a messenger to my master.
Exeunt Cob and Piso.
[Enter Matheo, Prospero, Lorenzo Jr., Bobadilla, Stephano, [and] Musco. [Prospero, Lorenzo Jr., and Musco talk among themselves. The rest prepare to smoke pipes.]
Prospero Beshrew me, but it was an absolute good jest, and exceedingly well carried.
1255Lorenzo Jr. Ay, and our ignorance maintained it as well, did it not?
Prospero Yes, faith; but was't possible thou shouldst not know him?
Lorenzo Jr. 'Fore God, not I, an I might have been joined patent with one of the Nine Worthies for knowing him. 'Sblood, man, he had so writhen himself into the habit of one of your poor desperviews, your decayed, 1260ruinous, worm-eaten gentlemen of the round, such as have vowed to sit on the skirts of the city (let your provost and his half-dozen of halberdiers do what they can), and have translated begging out of the old hackney pace to a fine, easy amble, and made it run as smooth off the tongue as a shove-groat shilling. Into the likeness of one of these lean Pirgos had he molded 1265himself so perfectly, observing every trick of their action -- as varying the accent, swearing with an emphasis, indeed all with so special and exquisite a grace -- that, hadst thou seen him, thou wouldst have sworn he might have been the Tamburlaine or the Agamemnon of the rout.
Prospero Why, Musco, who would have thought thou hadst been such a gallant?
1270Lorenzo Jr. I cannot tell; but unless a man had juggled begging all his lifetime and been a weaver of phrases from his infancy for the appareling of it, I think the world cannot produce his rival.
[To Musco]
Where got'st thou this coat, I mar'l?
Musco Faith, sir, I had it of one of the devil's near kinsmen: a broker.
1275Prospero That cannot be, if the proverb hold, "A crafty knave needs no broker."
Musco True, sir, but I need a broker, ergo no crafty knave.
Prospero Well put off, well put off.
Lorenzo Jr. Tut, he has more of these shifts.
Musco And yet, where I have one, the broker has ten, sir.
[Enter Piso.
Piso [Calling] Francisco! Martino! -- Ne'er a one to be found now. What a spite's this!
Prospero How now, Piso? Is my brother within?
Piso No, sir, my master went forth e'en now, but Signor Giuliano is within.
Cob! What, Cob! -- Is he gone too?
Prospero Whither went thy master, Piso, canst thou tell?
1285Piso I know not; to Doctor Clement's, I think, sir.
Exit Piso.
Lorenzo Jr. Doctor Clement -- what's he? I have heard much speech of him.
Prospero Why, dost thou not know him? He is the gonfaloniere of the state here, an excellent rare civilian and a great scholar, but the only mad, merry old fellow in Europe. I showed him you the other day.
1290Lorenzo Jr. Oh, I remember him now. Good faith, and he hath a very strange presence, methinks. It shows as if he stood out of the rank from other men. I have heard many of his jests in Padua. They say he will commit a man for taking the wall of his horse.
Prospero Ay, or wearing his cloak of one shoulder, or anything, indeed, if it come in the way of his humor.
[Enter Piso.
Piso [Calling] Gasper, Martino, Cob! -- 'Sheart, where should they be, trow?
[To Piso]
Signor Thorello's man, I pray thee, vouchsafe us the lighting of this match.
[He hands lighting material to Piso.]
Piso A pox on your match! No time but now to "vouchsafe"? [Calling] Francisco! Cob! Exit.
[Taking out a tobacco box]
Body of me, here's the remainder of seven pound since yesterday was sevennight. It's your right Trinidado. Did you never take any, signor?
Stephano No, truly, sir, but I'll learn to take it now, since you commend it so.
Bobadilla Signor, believe me, upon my relation, for what I tell you 1305the world shall not improve. I have been in the Indies, where this herb grows, where neither myself nor a dozen gentlemen more, of my knowledge, have received the taste of any other nutriment in the world for the space of one-and-twenty weeks but tobacco only. Therefore, it cannot be but 'tis most divine. Further, take it in the nature, in the true kind so, it makes an antidote that, 1310had you taken the most deadly poisonous simple in all Florence, it should expel it and clarify you with as much ease as I speak. And for your green wound, your balsamum and your -- are all mere gulleries and trash to it, especially your Trinidado. Your Nicotian is good, too. I could say what I know of the virtue of it for the exposing of rheums, raw humors, crudities, 1315obstructions, with a thousand of this kind, but I profess myself no quacksalver. Only thus much, by Hercules: I do hold it and will affirm it before any prince in Europe to be the most sovereign and precious herb that ever the earth tendered to the use of man.
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
Oh, this speech would have done rare in a pothecary's mouth!
[Enter Piso and Cob.
1320Piso [To Cob] Ay, close by Saint Anthony's, Doctor Clement's.
Cob Oh, oh!
[To Piso]
Where's the match I gave thee?
Piso 'Sblood, would his match, and he, and pipe, and all were at Sancto Domingo! Exit.
Cob By God's deynes, I mar'l what pleasure or felicity they have 1325in taking this roguish tobacco. It's good for nothing but to choke a man and fill him full of smoke and embers. There were four died out of one house last week with taking of it, and two more the bell went for yesternight. One of them, they say, will ne'er scape it; he voided a bushel of soot yesterday, upward and downward. By the stocks, an there were no 1330wiser men than I, I'd have it present death, man or woman, that should but deal with a tobacco pipe. Why, it will stifle them all in th'end, as many as use it; it's little better than ratsbane.
[Bobadilla cudgels Cob.]
[Enter Piso.
1335ALL Oh, good signor, hold, hold!
Bobadilla You base cullion, you!
[Bobadilla is restrained.]
Piso [Handing the lighted flammable material back to Bobadilla] Sir, here's your match. [To Cob] Come, thou must needs be talking, too.
1340Cob Nay, he will not meddle with his match, I warrant you. Well, it shall be a dear beating, an I live.
[Threatening Cob]
Do you prate?
Lorenzo Jr. [To Bobadilla] Nay, good signor, will you regard the humor of a fool? [To Cob] Away, knave!
Prospero Piso, get him away.
Exit Piso and Cob.
Bobadilla A whoreson, filthy slave, a turd, an excrement! Body of Caesar, 1345but that I scorn to let forth so mean a spirit, I'd have stabbed him to the earth.
Prospero Marry, God forbid, sir.
Bobadilla By this fair heaven, I would have done it.
[To himself]
Oh, he swears admirably! "By this fair heaven," "Body of Caesar" -- I shall 1350never do it, sure. "Upon my salvation" -- no, I have not the right grace.
[The gentlemen smoke.]
Matheo [Offering tobacco to Lorenzo Jr.] Signor, will you any? By this air, the most divine tobacco as ever I drunk.
Lorenzo Jr. I thank you, sir.
[To himself]
Oh, this gentleman doth it rarely too, but nothing 1355like the other.
[He practices fencing at a post.]
"By this air!" "As I am a gentleman!" "By Phoebus!"
Exeunt Bobadilla and Matheo.
Musco [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] Master, glance, glance! -- Signor Prospero!
Stephano As I have a soul to be saved, I do protest --
Prospero [Aside] That you are a fool.
1360Lorenzo Jr.
[To Stephano]
Cousin, will you any tobacco?
Stephano [Taking tobacco] Ay, sir, upon my salvation.
Lorenzo Jr. How now, cousin?
Stephano I protest, as I am a gentleman, but no soldier, indeed.
Prospero No, signor? As I remember, you served on a great horse last general muster.
1365Stephano Ay, sir, that's true. -- Cousin, may I swear "as I am a soldier" by that?
Lorenzo Jr. Oh, yes, that you may.
Stephano Then, as I am a gentleman and a soldier, it is divine tobacco.
Prospero But soft, where's Signor Matheo? Gone?
Musco No, sir, they went in here.
1370Prospero Oh, let's follow them. Signor Matheo is gone to salute his mistress.
[To Lorenzo Jr.]
Sirrah, now thou shalt hear some of his verses, for he never comes hither without some shreds of poetry. -- Come, Signor Stephano, Musco.
Stephano Musco? Where? Is this Musco?
Lorenzo Jr. Ay, but peace, cousin, no words of it at any hand.
1375Stephano Not I, by this fair heaven, as I have a soul to be saved, by Phoebus.
[Aside to Lorenzo Jr.]
Oh, rare! Your cousin's discourse is simply suited, all in oaths.
Lorenzo Jr. [Aside to Prospero] Ay, he lacks nothing but a little light stuff to draw them out withal, and he were rarely fitted to the time.
[Enter Thorello with Cob.
Thorello Ha! How many are there, sayest thou?
Cob Marry, sir, your brother, Signor Prospero.
Thorello Tut, beside him: what strangers are there, man?
1385Cob Strangers? Let me see: one, two -- mass, I know not well, there's so many.
Thorello How? So many?
Cob Ay, there's some five or six of them at the most.
Thorello [Aside] A swarm, a swarm!
Spite of the devil, how they sting my heart! --
1390How long hast thou been coming hither, Cob?
Cob But a little while, sir.
Thorello Didst thou come running?
Cob No, sir.
Thorello Tut, then, I am familiar with thy haste.
1395[Aside] Bane to my fortunes! What meant I to marry?
I that before was ranked in such content,
My mind attired in smooth, silken peace,
Being free master of mine own free thoughts,
And now become a slave? What, never sigh;
1400Be of good cheer, man, for thou art a cuckold.
'Tis done, 'tis done. Nay, when such flowing store,
Plenty itself, falls in my wife's lap,
The cornucopiae will be mine, I know. -- But Cob,
What entertainment had they? I am sure
1405My sister and my wife would bid them welcome, ha?
Cob Like enough, yet I heard not a word of welcome.
Thorello [Aside] No, their lips were sealed with kisses, and the voice,
Drowned in a flood of joy at their arrival,
Had lost her motion, state, and faculty. --
1410Cob, which of them was't that first kissed my wife?
My sister, I should say. My wife! Alas,
I fear not her. Ha? Who was it, say'st thou?
Cob By my troth, sir, will you have the truth of it?
Thorello Oh, ay, good Cob, I pray thee.
1415Cob God's my judge, I saw nobody to be kissed, unless they would have kissed the post in the middle of the warehouse. For there I left them all at their tobacco -- with a pox!
Thorello How? Were they not gone in, then, ere thou cam'st?
Cob Oh, no, sir.
1420Thorello Spite of the devil! What do I stay here, then?
Cob, follow me.
Exit Thorello.
Cob Nay, soft and fair! I have eggs on the spit; I cannot go yet, sir. Now am I for some divers reasons hammering, hammering revenge. Oh, for three or four gallons of vinegar to sharpen my wits! Revenge, vinegar 1425revenge, russet revenge! Nay, an he had not lain in my house, 'twould never have grieved me. But being my guest -- one that, I'll be sworn, my wife has lent him her smock off her back while his own shirt ha' been at washing, pawned her neckerchers for clean bands for him, sold almost all my platters to buy him tobacco -- and yet to see an ingratitude wretch strike his host! Well, I hope to raise up an host of Furies for't. Here comes Master Doctor.
[Enter DOCTOR Clement, Lorenzo Sr., [and] Peto.
Clement What, 's Signor Thorello gone?
Peto Ay, sir.
Clement Heart of me, what made him leave us so abruptly?
[Seeing 1435Cob]
How now, sirrah, what make you here? What would you have, ha?
Cob An't please Your Worship, I am a poor neighbor of Your Worship's.
Clement A neighbor of mine, knave?
Cob Ay, sir, at the sign of the water-tankard, hard by the Green Lattice. I have paid scot and lot there any time this eighteen years.
1440Clement What, at the Green Lattice?
Cob No, sir, to the parish. Marry, I have seldom scaped scot-free at the Lattice.
Clement So. But what business hath my neighbor?
Cob An't like Your Worship, I am come to crave the peace of Your Worship.
1445Clement Of me, knave?. Peace of me, knave? Did I e'er hurt thee? Did I ever threaten thee? Or wrong thee? Ha?
Cob No, God's my comfort, I mean Your Worship's warrant for one that hath wronged me, sir. His arms are at too much liberty. I would fain have them bound to a treaty of peace, an I could by any 1450means compass it.
Lorenzo Sr. Why, dost thou go in danger of thy life for him?
Cob No, sir, but I go in danger of my death every hour by his means. An I die within a twelvemonth and a day, I may swear by the laws of the land that he killed me.
1455Clement How, how, knave? Swear he killed thee? What pretext, what color hast thou for that?
Cob Marry, sir, both black and blue -- color enough, I warrant you. I have it here to show Your Worship.
[He shows his bruises.]
Clement What is he that gave you this, sirrah?
Cob A gentleman in the city, sir.
1460Clement A gentleman? What call you him?
Cob Signor Bobadilla.
Clement Good. But wherefore did he beat you, sirrah? How began the quarrel 'twixt you, ha? Speak truly, knave, I advise you.
Cob Marry, sir, because I spake against their vagrant tobacco as I came by them; for nothing else.
Clement Ha? You speak against tobacco? -- Peto, his name.
1465Peto What's your name, sirrah?
Cob Oliver Cob, sir. Set Oliver Cob, sir.
[To Peto]
Tell Oliver Cob he shall go to the jail.
Peto Oliver Cob, Master Doctor says you shall go to the jail.
Cob Oh, I beseech Your Worship, for God's love, dear Master Doctor!
1470Clement Nay, God's precious, an such drunken knaves as you are come to dispute of tobacco once, I have done. -- Away with him!
Cob Oh, good Master Doctor!
[To Lorenzo Sr.]
Sweet gentleman!
Lorenzo Sr. Sweet Oliver, would I could do thee any good. -- Master Doctor, let me entreat, sir.
Clement What? A tankard-bearer, a threadbare rascal, a beggar, a slave that 1475never drunk out of better than pisspot metal in his life? And he to deprave and abuse the virtue of an herb so generally received in the courts of princes, the chambers of nobles, the bowers of sweet ladies, the cabins of soldiers? Peto, away with him, by God's passion. I say, go to.
Cob Dear Master Doctor!
1480Lorenzo Sr. Alas, poor Oliver!
Clement Peto, ay, and make him a warrant. -- He shall not go; I but fear the knave.
Cob Oh, divine doctor! Thanks, noble doctor, most dainty doctor, delicious doctor!
Exeunt Peto with Cob.
Clement Signor Lorenzo, God's pity, man, be merry, be merry, leave these dumps.
Lorenzo Sr. Troth, would I could, sir; but enforcd mirth,
1485In my weak judgment, has no happy birth.
The mind, being once a prisoner unto cares,
The more it dreams on joy, the worse it fares.
A smiling look is to a heavy soul
As a gilt bias to a leaden bowl,
1490Which in itself appears most vile, being spent
To no true use, but only for ostent.
Clement Nay, but good signor, hear me a word, hear me a word. Your cares are nothing; they are like my cap, soon put on and as soon put off. What, your son is old enough to govern himself; let 1495him run his course. It's the only way to make him a staid man. If he were an unthrift, a ruffian, a drunkard, or a licentious liver, then you had reason, you had reason to take care; but being none of these, God's passion, an I had twice so many cares as you have, I'd drown them all in a cup of sack. Come, come. I muse your parcel of a soldier returns not all this while.
[Enter Giuliano with Bianca.
Giuliano Well, sister, I tell you true, and you'll find it so in the end.
Bianca Alas, brother, what would you have me to do? I cannot 1505help it; you see, my brother Prospero, he brings them in here; they are his friends.
Giuliano His friends? His fiends! 'Sblood, they do nothing but haunt him up and down like a sort of unlucky sprites and tempt him to all manner of villainy that can be thought of. Well, by this light, a little 1510thing would make me play the devil with some of them. An 'twere not more for your husband's sake than anything else, I'd make the house too hot for them. They should say and swear hell were broken loose ere they went. But, by God's bread, 'tis nobody's fault but yours. For, an you had done as you might have done, they should have been damned ere they should have come in, e'er a one of them!
1515Bianca God's my life, did you ever hear the like? What a strange man is this! Could I keep out all them, think you? I should put myself against half a dozen men, should I? Good faith, you'd mad the patient'st body in the world to hear you talk so, without any sense or reason.
[Enter Matheo [holding papers], with Hesperida [and] Bobadilla, [followed at a distance by] Stephano, Lorenzo Jr., Prospero, [and] Musco.
1520Hesperida [To Matheo] Servant, in troth, you are too prodigal
Of your wit's treasure, thus to pour it forth
Upon so mean a subject as my worth.
Matheo You say well, you say well.
Giuliano Hoyday, here is stuff!
1525Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
Oh, now stand close. Pray God she can get him to read it.
Prospero [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] Tut, fear not. I warrant thee, he will do it of himself with much impudency.
[Indicating Matheo's papers]
Servant, what is that same, I pray you?
Matheo Marry, an elegy, an elegy, an odd toy.
Giuliano Ay, to mock an ape withal. O Jesu!
1530Bianca Sister, I pray you, let's hear it.
Matheo Mistress, I'll read it, if you please.
Hesperida I pray you do, servant.
Giuliano Oh, here's no foppery! 'Sblood, it frets me to the gall to think on it.
Prospero [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] Oh, ay, it is his condition. Peace, we are fairly rid of him.
1535Matheo Faith, I did it in an humor. I know not how it is, but, please you, come near, signor. This gentleman
[indicating Stephano]
hath judgment; he knows how to censure of a -- .
[To Stephano]
I pray you, sir, you can judge.
Stephano Not I, sir -- as I have a soul to be saved; as I am a gentleman.
1540Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
Nay, it's well, so long as he doth not forswear himself.
Bobadilla [To Matheo] Signor, you abuse the excellency of your mistress and her fair sister. Fie, while you live, avoid this prolixity.
Matheo I shall, sir. Well, incipere dulce.
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
How? "Insipere dulce"? "A sweet thing to be a fool," indeed.
Prospero [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] What, do you take "incipere" in that sense?
1545Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
You do not, you? 'Sblood, this was your villainy, to gull him with a mot.
Prospero [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] Oh, the benchers' phrase: pauca verba, pauca verba.
Matheo [Reads]
Rare creature, let me speak without offense.
1550Would God my rude words had the influence
To rule thy thoughts, as thy fair looks do mine!
Then shouldst thou be his prisoner who is thine.
Lorenzo Jr.
[Aside to Prospero]
'Sheart, this is in Hero and Leander!
1555Prospero [Aside to Lorenzo Jr.] Oh, ay, peace. We shall have more of this.
Matheo [Reciting]
Be not unkind and fair. Misshapen stuff
Is of behavior boisterous and rough --
[To Stephano]
How like you that, signor?
[Stephano shakes his head vigorously up and down.]
Lorenzo Jr. [Aside to Prospero] 'Sblood, he shakes his head like a bottle, to feel an there be any brain in it.
Matheo But observe the catastrophe now:
And I in duty will exceed all other
As you in beauty do excel Love's mother.
[He presents the verses to Hesperida.]
1570Lorenzo Jr. [Aside to Prospero] Well, I'll have him free of the brokers, for he utters nothing but stol'n remnants.
[Aside to Lorenzo Jr.]
Nay, good critic, forbear.
Lorenzo Jr. [Aside to Prospero] A pox on him, hang him,
filching rogue! Steal from the dead? It's worse than sacrilege.
[To Hesperida]
Sister, what have you here? Verses? I pray you, let's see.
[Prospero takes the verses from Hesperida and examines them.]
Bianca Do you let them go so lightly, sister?
Hesperida Yes, faith, when they come lightly.
Bianca Ay, but if your servant should hear you, he would take it heavily.
1580Hesperida No matter. He is able to bear.
Bianca So are asses.
Hesperida So is he.
Prospero Signor Matheo, who made these verses? They are excellent good.
Matheo Oh, God, sir, it's your pleasure to say so, sir. Faith, I made them extempore this morning.
1585Prospero How, extempore?
Matheo I would I might be damned else. Ask Signor Bobadilla. He saw me write them at the -- pox on it! -- the Miter yonder.
[Aside to Prospero and Lorenzo Jr.]
Well, an the Pope knew he cursed the miter, it were enough to have him excommunicated all the taverns 1590in the town.
Stephano [To Lorenzo Jr.] Cousin, how do you like this gentleman's verses?
Lorenzo Jr. Oh, admirable! The best that ever I heard.
Stephano By this fair heavens, they are admirable, the best that ever I heard.
[Enter Giuliano.
1595Giuliano [To himself] I am vexed. I can hold never a bone of me still! 'Sblood, I think they mean to build a tabernacle here. Well!
[To Hesperida]
Sister, you have a simple servant here, that crowns your beauty with such encomions and devices. You may see what it is to be the mistress of a wit that can make your perfections so transparent that 1600every blear eye may look through them and see him drowned over head and ears in the deep well of desire. -- Sister Bianca, I marvel you get you not a servant that can rhyme and do tricks, too.
Giuliano [To himself] Oh, monster! Impudence itself! Tricks?
[To Prospero]
Tricks, brother? What tricks?
1605Hesperida Nay, speak, I pray you, what tricks?
Bianca Ay, never spare anybody here, but say, what tricks?
Hesperida Passion of my heart! "Do tricks"?
Prospero 'Sblood, here's a trick, vied and revied. Why, you monkeys, you, what a caterwauling do you keep! Has he not given you rhymes and verses 1610and tricks?
[To himself]
Oh, see the devil!
Prospero [To Hesperida] Nay, you lamp of virginity, that take it in snuff so, come and cherish this tame poetical fury in your "servant"; you'll be begged else shortly for a concealment. Go to, reward his muse. You cannot 1615give him less than a shilling, in conscience, for the book he had it out of cost him a teston at the least. -- How now, gallants, Lorenzo, Signor Bobadilla? What, all sons of silence? No spirit?
Come, you might practice your ruffian tricks somewhere else and not here, iwis. This is no tavern, nor no place for such exploits.
1620Prospero 'Sheart, how now?
Giuliano Nay, boy, never look askance at me for the matter. I'll tell you of it, by God's bread! Ay, and you and your companions, mend yourselves when I have done.
Prospero My companions?
1625Giuliano Ay, your companions, sir, so I say. 'Sblood, I am not afraid of you nor them neither. You must have your poets and your cavaliers and your fools follow you up and down the city, and here they must come to domineer and swagger?
[To Matheo]
Sirrah, you ballad-singer, and Slops, your fellow there, get you out! Get you out or, by the will of God, I'll 1630cut off your ears! Go to.
Prospero [To Matheo and Bobadilla, as they move away] 'Sblood, stay. Let's see what he dare do. [To Giuliano] Cut off his ears? You are an ass. Touch any man here and, by the Lord, I'll run my rapier to the hilts in thee.
1635Giuliano Yea, that would I fain see, boy.
They all draw. The women make a great cry.
Bianca Oh, Jesu! Piso, Matheo, murder!
Hesperida Help, help, Piso!
[Enter Piso and some more of the house to part them.
1640Lorenzo Jr. Gentlemen! Prospero! Forbear, I pray you.
[To Giuliano]
Well, sirrah, you Holofernes: by my hand, I will pink thy flesh full of holes with my rapier for this, I will, by this good heaven!
They offer to fight again and are parted.
1645Nay, let him come, let him come, gentlemen; by the body of Saint George, I'll not kill him.
Piso Hold, hold! Forbear.
[To Bobadilla]
You whoreson bragging coistrel!
[Enter Thorello.
Thorello Why, how now? What's the matter? What stir is here?
1650Whence springs this quarrel? Piso! Where is he? --
Put up your weapons and put off this rage.
My wife and sister, they are cause of this. --
What, Piso! -- Where is this knave?
Piso Here, sir.
[To Lorenzo Jr.. and the others]
Come, let's go. This is one of my brother's ancient humors, this.
Stephano I am glad nobody was hurt by this ancient humor.
Exeunt Prospero, Lorenzo Jr., Musco, Stephano, Bobadilla, [and] Matheo.
Thorello Why, how now, brother, who enforced this brawl?
Giuliano A sort of lewd rakehells, that care neither for God nor 1660the devil. And they must come here to read ballads and roguery and trash! I'll mar the knot of them ere I sleep, perhaps, especially Signor Pythagoras, he that's all manner of shapes, and Songs and Sonnets, his fellow there.
Hesperida Brother, indeed, you are too violent,
Too sudden in your courses; and you know
1665My brother Prospero's temper will not bear
Any reproof, chiefly in such a presence
Where every slight disgrace he should receive
Would wound him in opinion and respect.
Giuliano Respect? What talk you of respect 'mongst such as had neither 1670spark of manhood nor good manners? By God, I am ashamed to hear you. Respect?
Hesperida Yes, there was one, a civil gentleman,
And very worthily demeaned himself.
Thorello Oh, that was some love of yours, sister.
1675Hesperida A love of mine? In faith, I would he were
No other's love but mine.
Bianca Indeed, he seemed to be a gentleman of an exceeding fair disposition and of very excellent good parts.
Exit Hesperida [and] Bianca.
Thorello [Aside] Her love, by Jesu! My wife's minion!
"Fair disposition"? "Excellent good parts"?
1680'Sheart , these phrases are intolerable.
"Good parts"? How should she know his parts? Well, well,
It is too plain, too clear. -- Piso, come hither.
What, are they gone?
Ay, sir, they went in.
1685Thorello Are any of the gallants within?
Piso No, sir, they are all gone.
Thorello Art thou sure of it?
Piso Ay, sir, I can assure you.
Thorello Piso, what gentleman was that they praised so?
1690Piso One they call him Signor Lorenzo, a fair young gentleman, sir.
Thorello [Aside] Ay, I thought so; my mind gave me as much.
'Sblood, I'll be hanged if they have not hid him in the
Somewhere! I'll go search. -- Piso, go with me.
1695Be true to me and thou shalt find me bountiful.
[Enter Cob.
Cob [Knocking] What, Tib! Tib, I say!
How now, what cuckold is that knocks so hard?
To him, Tib.
Oh, husband, is't you? What's the news?
Cob Nay, you have stunned me, i'faith! You have given me a knock on the forehead will stick by me. Cuckold? 'Swounds, cuckold?
Tib Away, you fool! Did I know it was you that knocked? Come, come, you may call me as bad when you list.
Cob May I? 'Swounds, Tib, you are a whore.
1705Tib 'Sheart, you lie in your throat.
Cob How, the lie? And in my throat too? Do you long to be stabbed, ha?
Tib Why, you are no soldier.
Cob Mass, that's true. When was Bobadilla here? That rogue, that slave, that fencing Burgullian! I'll tickle him, i'faith.
Tib Why, what's the matter?
1710Cob Oh, he hath basted me rarely, sumptuously! But I have it here will sauce him. Oh, the doctor, the honestest old Trojan in all Italy! I do honor the very flea of his dog. A plague on him, he put me once in a villainous, filthy fear. Marry, it vanished away like the smoke of tobacco, but I was smoked soundly first, I thank the devil and 1715his good angel, my guest. Well, wife, or Tib, which you will, get you in and lock the door, I charge you, let no body in to you -- not Bobadilla himself, nor the devil in his likeness. You are a woman; you have flesh and blood enough in you; therefore, be not tempted; keep the door shut upon all comers.
Tib I warrant you, there shall no body enter here without my consent.
1720Cob Nor with your consent, sweet Tib; and so I leave you.
Tib It's more than you know, whether you leave me so.
Cob How?
Tib Why, sweet.
Cob Tut, sweet or sour, thou art a flower.
1725Keep close thy door. I ask no more.
[Enter Lorenzo Jr., Prospero, Stephano, [and] Musco [disguised still as a soldier. Lorenzo Jr., Prospero, and Musco confer where Stephano cannot hear them.]
Lorenzo Jr. Well, Musco, perform this business happily and thou makest a conquest of my love forever.
[To Musco]
I'faith, now let thy spirits put on their best habit. But, at any hand, remember thy message to my brother, for there's no other means to start him.
Musco I warrant you, sir, fear nothing. I have a nimble soul that hath waked all my imaginative forces by this time and put them in true motion. What you have possessed me withal, I'll discharge it amply, sir. Make no question.
1735Prospero That's well said, Musco.
Exit Musco.
[To Lorenzo Jr.] Faith, sirrah, how dost thou approve my wit in this device?
Lorenzo Jr. Troth, well, howsoever, but excellent if it take.
Prospero Take, man? Why, it cannot choose but take, if the circumstances miscarry not. But tell me zealously: dost thou affect my sister Hesperida, as thou pretendest?
1740Lorenzo Jr. Prospero, by Jesu!
Prospero Come, do not protest, I believe thee. I'faith, she is a virgin of good ornament and much modesty. Unless I conceived very worthily of her, thou shouldst not have her.
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, I think it a question whether I shall have her, for all that.
1745Prospero 'Sblood, thou shalt have her, by this light thou shalt.
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, do not swear.
Prospero By Saint Mark, thou shalt have her. I'll go fetch her presently. Point but where to meet, and, by this hand, I'll bring her.
Lorenzo Jr. Hold, hold. What, all policy dead? No prevention of mischiefs stirring?
1750Prospero Why, by -- what shall I swear by? Thou shalt have her, by my soul.
Lorenzo Jr. I pray thee, have patience. I am satisfied. Prospero, omit no offered occasion that may make my desires complete, I beseech thee.
Prospero I warrant thee.
[Enter Lorenzo Sr. [and] Peto, meeting Musco [still disguised as a soldier].
Peto Was your man a soldier, sir?
Lorenzo Sr. Ay, a knave. I took him up begging upon the way, this morning as I was coming to the city.
[He sees Musco.]
Oh, here he is. -- Come on, you make fair speed.
1760Why, where on God's name have you been so long?
Musco Marry, God's my comfort, where I thought I should have had little comfort of Your Worship's service.
Lorenzo Sr. How so?
Musco Oh, God, sir! Your coming to the city, and your entertainment of me, and your sending me to watch -- indeed, all the circumstances are 1765as open to your son as to yourself.
Lorenzo Sr. How should that be? Unless that villain Musco
Have told him of the letter and discovered
All that I strictly charged him to conceal? 'Tis so.
Musco I'faith, you have hit it; 'tis so, indeed.
1770Lorenzo Sr. But how should he know thee to be my man?
Musco Nay, sir, I cannot tell, unless it were by the black art. Is not your son a scholar, sir?
Lorenzo Sr. Yes, but I hope his soul is not allied
To such a devilish practice. If it were,
I had just cause to weep my part in him
1775And curse the time of his creation.
But where didst thou find them, Portensio?
Musco Nay, sir, rather you should ask where they found me, for I'll be sworn I was going along in the street, thinking nothing, when of a sudden one calls, "Signor Lorenzo's man!" Another, he cries, "Soldier!" And thus half a dozen 1780of them, till they had got me within doors, where I no sooner came but out flies their rapiers and, all bent against my breast, they swore some two or three hundred oaths, and all to tell me I was but a dead man if I did not confess where you were, and how I was employed, and about what. Which, when they could not get out of me -- 1785as God's my judge, they should have killed me first -- they locked me up into a room in the top of a house, where by great miracle, having a light heart, I slid down by a bottom of packthread into the street and so scaped. But master, thus much I can assure you, for I heard it while I was locked up: there were a great many merchants and 1790rich citizens' wives with them at a banquet, and your son, Signor Lorenzo, has pointed one of them to meet anon at one Cob's house, a waterbearer's, that dwells by the wall. Now there you shall be sure to take him, for fail he will not.
Lorenzo Sr. Nor will I fail to break this match, I doubt not.
Well, go thou along with Master Doctor's man,
1795And stay there for me. At one Cob's house, say'st thou?
Musco Ay, sir, there you shall have him.
Exit [Lorenzo Sr.].
[Aside] When, can you tell? Much wench or much son! 'Sblood, when he has stayed there three or four hours, travailing with the expectation of 1800somewhat, and at the length be delivered of nothing -- oh, the sport that I should then take to look on him if I durst! But now I mean to appear no more afore him in this shape; I have another trick to act yet. Oh, that I were so happy as to light upon an ounce now of this doctor's clerk! [To Peto] God save you, sir.
1805Peto I thank you, good sir.
Musco I have made you stay somewhat long, sir.
Peto Not a whit, sir. I pray you, what, sir, do you mean? You have been lately in the wars, sir, it seems.
Musco Ay, marry, have I, sir.
Peto Troth, sir, I would be glad to bestow a pottle of wine of you, if it please you to accept it --
1810Musco Oh, Lord, sir!
Peto But to hear the manner of your services and your devices in the wars. They say they be very strange, and not like those a man reads in the Roman histories.
Musco Oh, God, no, sir. Why, at any time when it please 1815you I shall be ready to discourse to you what I know. [Aside] And more too, somewhat.
Peto No better time than now, sir. We'll go to the Mermaid. There we shall have a cup of neat wine. I pray you, sir, let me request you.
1820Musco I'll follow you, sir. [Aside] He is mine own, i'faith.
[Enter Bobadilla, Lorenzo Jr., Matheo, [and] Stephano.
Matheo [To Lorenzo Jr.] Signor, did you ever see the like clown of him where we were today, Signor Prospero's brother? I think the whole earth 1825cannot show his like, by Jesu.
Lorenzo Jr. We were now speaking of him. Signor Bobadilla tells me he is fallen foul of you two.
Matheo Oh, ay, sir, he threatened me with the bastinado.
Bobadilla Ay, but I think I taught you a trick this morning for that. You shall kill him, without all question, if you be so minded.
1830Matheo Indeed, it is a most excellent trick.
[He practices fencing.]
Bobadilla Oh, you do not give spirit enough to your motion. You are too dull, too tardy. Oh, it must be done like lightning. Hay![He demonstrates.]
Matheo Oh, rare!
1835Bobadilla Tut, 'tis nothing, an't be not done in a -- .
Lorenzo Jr. Signor, did you never play with any of our masters here?
Matheo Oh, good sir!
Bobadilla Nay, for a more instance of their preposterous humor, there came three or four of them to me at a gentleman's house, where it was 1840my chance to be resident at that time, to entreat my presence at their schools, and withal so much importuned me that -- I protest to you, as I am a gentleman -- I was ashamed of their rude demeanor out of all measure. Well, I told them that to come to a public school, they should pardon me, it was opposite to my humor; but if so they would 1845attend me at my lodging, I protested to do them what right or favor I could, as I was a gentleman, et cetera.
Lorenzo Jr. So, sir, then you tried their skill?
Bobadilla Alas, soon tried! You shall hear, sir. Within two or three days after, they came, and, by Jesu, good signor, believe me, I graced them 1850exceedingly, showed them some two or three tricks of prevention hath got them since admirable credit. They cannot deny this. And yet now they hate me; and why? Because I am excellent, and for no other reason on the earth.
Lorenzo Jr. This is strange and vile as ever I heard.
Bobadilla I will tell you, sir. Upon my first coming to the 1855city they assaulted me, some three, four, five, six of them together, as I have walked alone in divers places of the city, as upon the Exchange, at my lodging, and at my ordinary, where I have driven them afore me the whole length of a street in the open view of all our gallants, pitying to hurt them, believe me. Yet all this lenity will not depress their spleen; 1860they will be doing with the pismire, raising a hill a man may spurn abroad with his foot at pleasure. By my soul, I could have slain them all, but I delight not in murder. I am loath to bear any other but a bastinado for them, and yet I hold it good policy not to go disarmed, for, though I be skillful, I may be suppressed with multitudes.
1865Lorenzo Jr. Ay, by Jesu, may you, sir, and in my conceit our whole nation should sustain the loss by it, if it were so.
Bobadilla Alas, no. What's a peculiar man to a nation? Not seen.
Lorenzo Jr. Ay, but your skill, sir.
Bobadilla Indeed, that might be some loss, but who respects it? I 1870will tell you, signor, in private: I am a gentleman and live here obscure and to myself. But were I known to the duke, observe me, I would undertake, upon my head and life, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one half -- nay, three parts -- of his yearly charges in holding 1875wars generally against all his enemies. And how will I do it, think you?
Lorenzo Jr. Nay, I know not, nor can I conceive.
Bobadilla Marry, thus: I would select nineteen more to myself throughout the land; gentlemen they should be of good spirit, strong and able constitution. I would choose them by an instinct, a trick that I have. And I would teach 1880these nineteen the special tricks -- as your punto, your reverso, your stoccato, your imbroccato, your passado, your montanto -- till they could all play very near or altogether as well as myself. This done, say the enemy were forty thousand strong: we twenty would come into the field the tenth of March or thereabouts and would challenge twenty of the enemy. They could not in their honor refuse the 1885combat. Well, we would kill them; challenge twenty more, kill them; twenty more, kill them; twenty more, kill them too. And thus would we kill every man his twenty a day, that's twenty score; twenty score, that's two hundred; two hundred a day, five days a thousand. Forty thousand -- forty times five, five times forty -- two hundred days kills them all, by computation. And this will I venture my life to perform, provided there by no treason practiced upon us.
1890Lorenzo Jr. Why, are you so sure of your hand at all times?
Bobadilla Tut, never mistrust, upon my soul.
Lorenzo Jr. Mass, I would not stand in Signor Giuliano's state, then, an you meet him, for the wealth of Florence.
Bobadilla Why, signor, by Jesu, if he were here now, I would not draw my weapon on him. Let this gentleman do his mind, but I 1895will bastinado him, by heaven, an ever I meet him.
Matheo Faith, and I'll have a fling at him.
[Enter Giuliano [not seeing them].
Lorenzo Jr. Look, yonder he goes, I think.
[To himself]
'Sblood, what luck have I! I cannot meet with these bragging rascals.
And goes out again.
1900Bobadilla It's not he, is it?
Lorenzo Jr. Yes, faith, it is he.
Matheo I'll be hanged, then, if that were he.
Lorenzo Jr. Before God, it was he. You make me swear.
Stephano Upon my salvation, it was he.
1905Bobadilla Well, had I thought it had been he, he could not have gone so. But I cannot be induced to believe it was he yet.
[Enter Giuliano.
Giuliano [To Bobadilla] Oh, gallant, have I found you? Draw. To your tools! Draw! Or, by God's will, I'll thrash you.
Bobadilla Signor, hear me!
1910Giuliano Draw your weapons, then.
Bobadilla Signor, I never thought on it till now: body of Saint George, I have a warrant of the peace served on me even now as I came along, by a waterbearer. This gentleman saw it -- Signor Matheo.
Matheo runs away.
Giuliano The peace? 'Sblood, you will not draw?
He beats him and disarms him.
Lorenzo Jr. Hold, signor, hold! Under thy favor, forbear!
[To Bobadilla]
Prate again as you like this, you whoreson cowardly rascal! You'll control the point, you? Your consort, he is gone? Had he stayed, he had shared with you, in faith.
Exit Giuliano [leaving his cloak] behind him 1920in his haste].
Bobadilla Well, gentlemen, bear witness I was bound to the peace, by Jesu.
Lorenzo Jr. Why, and though you were, sir, the law allows you to defend yourself. That's but a poor excuse.
Bobadilla I cannot tell. I never sustained the like disgrace, by heaven. Sure I was struck with a planet then, for I had no power to 1925touch my weapon.
Lorenzo Jr. Ay, like enough. I have heard of many that have been beaten under a planet. Go, get you to the surgeon's. 'Sblood, an these be your tricks, your passados and your montantos, I'll none of them.
Exit [Bobadilla].
1930Oh, God, that this age should bring forth such creatures! -- Come, cousin.
[Taking up Giuliano's cloak]
Mass, I'll have this cloak.
Lorenzo Jr. God's will, it's Giuliano's.
Stephano Nay, but 'tis mine now; another might have ta'en it up as well as I. I'll wear it, so I will.
Lorenzo Jr. How an he see it? He'll challenge it, assure yourself.
1935Stephano Ay, but he shall not have it. I'll say I bought it.
Lorenzo Jr. Advise you, cousin, take heed he give not you as much.
[Enter Thorello, Prospero, Bianca, [and] Hesperida.
Thorello Now trust me, Prospero, you were much to blame
1940T'incense your brother and disturb the peace
Of my poor house; for there be sentinels
That every minute watch to give alarums
Of civil war, without adjection
Of your assistance and occasion.
1945Prospero No harm done, brother, I warrant you. Since there is no harm done, anger costs a man nothing, and a tall man is never his own man till he be angry. To keep his valor in obscurity is to keep himself, as it were, in a cloakbag. What's a musician unless he play? What's a tall man unless he fight? For, indeed, all this my brother stands 1950upon absolutely, and that made me fall in with him so resolutely.
Bianca Ay, but what harm might have come of it!
Prospero Might? So might the good warm clothes your husband wears be poisoned, for anything he knows, or the wholesome wine he drunk even now at the table.
1955Thorello Now, God forbid! [Aside] Oh, me, now I remember:
My wife drunk to me last and changed the cup,
And bade me wear this cursd suit today.
See if God suffer murder undiscovered! --
I feel me ill. Give me some mithridate;
1960Some mithridate and oil, good sister, fetch me.
Oh, I am sick at heart! I burn, I burn.
If you will save my life, go fetch it me.
Prospero Oh, strange humor! My very breath hath poisoned him.
Hesperida [To Thorello] Good brother, be content. What do you mean?
1965The strength of these extreme conceits will kill you.
Bianca Beshrew your heart-blood, brother Prospero,
For putting such a toy into his head!
Prospero Is a fit simile a toy? Will he be poisoned with a simile? -- Brother Thorello, what a strange and vain imagination is this! For 1970shame, be wiser. Of my soul, there's no such matter.
Thorello Am I not sick? How am I then not poisoned?
Am I not poisoned? How am I then so sick?
Bianca If you be sick, your own thoughts make you sick.
Prospero His jealousy is the poison he hath taken.
[Enter Musco like [Peto] the Doctor's man.
Musco Signor Thorello, my master, Doctor Clement, salutes you and desires to speak with you with all speed possible.
Thorello No time but now? Well, I'll wait upon His Worship. -- Piso! Cob! [Aside] I'll seek them out and set them sentinels till I return. -- Piso! Cob! Piso!
1980Prospero [Privately to Musco] Musco, this is rare. But how got'st thou this apparel of the Doctor's man?
Musco Marry, sir, my youth would needs bestow the wine of me to hear some martial discourse, where I so marshalled him that I made him monstrous drunk. And because too much heat was the cause of his distemper, I stripped him stark naked, as he lay along asleep, and borrowed his suit to 1985deliver this counterfeit message in, leaving a rusty armor and an old brown bill to watch him till my return -- which shall be when I have pawned his apparel and spent the money, perhaps.
Prospero Well, thou art a mad knave, Musco. His absence will be a good subject for more mirth. I pray thee, return to thy young master 1990Lorenzo and will him to meet me and Hesperida at the Friary presently; for here, tell him, the house is so stirred with jealousy that there is no room for love to stand upright in. But I'll use such means she shall come thither, and that, I think, will meet best with his desires. Hie thee, good Musco.
Musco I go, sir.
[Enter Thorello [unaware of the presence of Bianca and Prospero].
Thorello Ho, Piso! Cob! Where are these villains, trow?
To him, Piso. [They talk privately.]
Oh, art thou there? Piso, hark thee here;
Mark what I say to thee. I must go forth.
2000Be careful of thy promise. Keep good watch;
Note every gallant, and observe him well,
That enters in my absence to thy mistress.
If she would show him rooms, the jest is stale.
Follow them, Piso, or else hang on him,
2005And let him not go after. Mark their looks;
Note if she offer but to see his band
Or any other amorous toy about him.
But praise his leg or foot, or if she say
The day is hot, and bid him feel her hand,
2010How hot it is -- oh, that's a monstrous thing!
Note me all this, sweet Piso; mark their sighs,
And if they do but whisper, break them off.
I'll bear thee out in it. Wilt thou do this?
Wilt thou be true, sweet Piso?
2015Piso Most true, sir.
Thorello Thanks, gentle Piso. Where is Cob, now? -- Cob!
Exit Thorello.
Bianca He's ever calling for Cob. I wonder how he employs Cob so.
Prospero Indeed, sister, to ask how he employs Cob is a necessary 2020question for you that are his wife and a thing not very easy for you to be satisfied in. But this I'll assure you: Cob's wife is an excellent bawd, indeed, and oftentimes your husband haunts her house -- marry, to what end I cannot altogether accuse him. Imagine you what you think convenient. But I have known fair hides have foul hearts ere now, I can tell you.
2025Bianca Never said you truer than that, brother. -- Piso, fetch your cloak and go with me; I'll after him presently. I would to Christ I could take him there, i'faith!
Exeunt Piso and Bianca.
Prospero So, let them go. This may make sport anon. -- Now, my fair sister Hesperida: ah, that you knew how happy a thing it were 2030to be fair and beautiful!
Hesperida That toucheth not me, brother.
Prospero That's true; that's even the fault of it. For, indeed, beauty stands a woman in no stead unless it procure her touching. But sister, whether it touch you or no, it touches your beauties, and I am sure they 2035will abide the touch. An they do not, a plague of all ceruse, say I! And it touches me too in part, though not in the --. Well, there's a dear and respected friend of mine, sister, stands very strongly affected towards you, and hath vowed to inflame whole bonfires of zeal in his heart in honor of your perfections. I have already engaged my promise to bring you where 2040you shall hear him confirm much more than I am able to lay down for him. Signor Lorenzo is the man. What say you, sister? Shall I entreat so much favor of you for my friend as to direct and attend you to his meeting? Upon my soul, he loves you extremely. Approve it, sweet Hesperida, will you?
Hesperida Faith, I had very little confidence in mine own constancy if 2045I durst not meet a man. But brother Prospero, this motion of yours savors of an old knight-adventurer's servant, methinks.
Prospero What's that, sister?
Hesperida Marry, of the squire.
Prospero No matter, Hesperida, if it did. I would be such an one for my friend. But say, will you go?
2050Hesperida Brother, I will, and bless my happy stars.
[Enter Clement and Thorello.
Clement Why, what villainy is this? My man gone on a false message, and run away when he has done? Why, what trick is there in it, trow?
[A clock strikes:] 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Thorello How? Is my wife gone forth? Where is she, sister?
Hesperida She's gone abroad with Piso.
Thorello Abroad with Piso? Oh, that villain dors me!
He hath discovered all unto my wife.
2060Beast that I was to trust him! Whither went she?
Hesperida I know not, sir.
Prospero I'll tell you, brother, whither I suspect she's gone.
Thorello Whither, for God's sake?
Prospero To Cob's house, I believe; but keep my counsel.
2065Thorello I will, I will. To Cob's house? Doth she haunt Cob's?
She's gone o'purpose now to cuckold me
With that lewd rascal, who, to win her favor,
Hath told her all.
Clement [To Hesperida] But did you, mistress, see my man bring him a message?
2070Prospero That we did, Master Doctor.
Clement And whither went the knave?
Prospero To the tavern, I think, sir.
Clement What, did Thorello give him anything to spend for the message he brought him? If he did, I should commend my man's wit exceedingly if 2075he would make himself drunk with the joy of it. Farewell, lady. Keep good rule, you two, I beseech you now. By God's marry, my man makes me laugh!
Prospero What a mad doctor this is! Come, sister, let's away.
[Enter Matheo and Bobadilla.
2080Matheo I wonder, signor, what they will say of my going away, ha?
Bobadilla Why, what should they say, but as of a discreet gentleman, quick, wary, respectful of nature's fair lineaments, and that's all?
Matheo Why, so, but what can they say of your beating?
Bobadilla A rude part, a touch with soft wood, a kind of 2085gross battery used, laid on strongly, borne most patiently, and that's all.
Matheo Ay, but would any man have offered it in Venice?
Bobadilla Tut, I assure you, no. You shall have there your nobilis, your gentilezza, come in bravely upon your reverse, stand you close, stand you firm, stand you fair, save your retricato with his left leg, come to the assalto 2090with the right, thrust with brave steel, defy your base wood. But wherefore do I awake this remembrance? I was bewitched, by Jesu! But I will be revenged.
Matheo Do you hear? Is't not best to get a warrant, and have him arrested and brought before Doctor Clement?
Bobadilla It were not amiss. Would we had it!
[Enter Musco [disguised as Peto, the Doctor's clerk].
2095Matheo Why, here comes his man. Let's speak to him.
Bobadilla Agreed. Do you speak.
[To Musco]
God save you, sir.
Musco With all my heart, sir.
Matheo Sir, there is one Giuliano hath abused this gentleman and me, 2100and we determine to make our amends by law. Now, if you would do us the favor to procure us a warrant for his arrest of your master, you shall be well considered, I assure, i'faith, sir.
Musco Sir, you know my service is my living. Such favors as these gotten of my master is his only preferment, and therefore you must consider 2105me as I may make benefit of my place.
Matheo How is that?
Musco Faith, sir, the thing is extraordinary, and the gentleman may be of great account. Yet, be what he will, if you will lay me down five crowns in my hand, you shall have it; otherwise, not.
[Matheo and Bobadilla talk privately.]
Matheo How shall we do, signor? You have no money?
Bobadilla Not a cross, by Jesu.
Matheo Nor I, before God, but two pence, left of my two shillings in the morning for wine and cakes. Let's give him some pawn.
2115Bobadilla Pawn? We have none to the value of his demand.
Matheo Oh, Lord, man, I'll pawn this jewel in my ear, and you may pawn your silk stockings, and pull up your boots. They will ne'er be missed.
Bobadilla Well, an there be no remedy, I'll step aside and put them off.
[He removes his stockings. Matheo removes his earring.]
Matheo [To Musco] Do you hear, sir? We have no store of money at this time, but you shall have good pawns -- look you, sir, this jewel and this gentleman's silk stockings -- because we would have it dispatched ere we went to our chambers.
2125Musco I am content, sir. I will get you the warrant presently. What's his name, say you? Giuliano?
Matheo Ay, ay, Giuliano.
Musco What manner of man is he?
Matheo A tall, big man, sir. He goes in a cloak most commonly of silk russet, laid about with russet lace.
Musco 'Tis very good, sir.
2130Matheo Here, sir, here's my jewel.
Bobadilla And here are stockings.
[They present their pawn.]
Musco Well, gentlemen, I'll procure this warrant presently and appoint you a varlet of the city to serve it. If you'll be upon the Rialto anon, 2135the varlet shall meet you there.
Matheo Very good, sir. I wish no better.
Exeunt Bobadilla and Matheo.
Musco This is rare! Now will I go pawn this cloak of the Doctor's man at the broker's for a varlet's suit, and be the varlet 2140myself, and get either more pawns or more money of Giuliano for my arrest.
[Enter Lorenzo Sr.
Lorenzo Sr. Oh, here it is. I am glad I have found it now.
2145[He knocks.] Ho! Who is within here?
[Enter Tib [opening the door slightly].
Tib I am within, sir. What's your pleasure?
Lorenzo Sr. To know who is within besides yourself.
Tib Why, sir, you are no constable, I hope?
2150Lorenzo Sr. Oh, fear you the constable? Then I doubt not
You have some guests within deserve that fear.
I'll fetch him straight.
Lorenzo Sr. Go to. Tell me, is not the young Lorenzo here?
2155Tib Young Lorenzo? I saw none such, sir, of mine honesty.
Lorenzo Sr. Go to, your honesty flies too lightly from you.
There's no way but fetch the constable.
Tib The constable? The man is mad, I think.
Claps to the door. [Lorenzo Sr. starts to leave.]
[Enter Piso and Bianca. [Lorenzo Sr. stands aside, unseen by them.]
Piso Ho! Who keeps house here?
Lorenzo Sr. [Aside] Oh, this is the female copesmate of my son.
Now shall I meet him straight.
Ho, good wife!
Tib [Within] Why, what's the matter with you?
Bianca Why, woman, grieves it you to ope your door?
Belike you get something to keep it shut.
[Enter Tib.
2170Tib What mean these questions, pray ye?
Bianca So strange you make it?
Is not Thorello, my tried husband, here?
Lorenzo Sr. [Aside] Her husband?
Tib I hope he needs not to be tried here.
2175Bianca No, dame, he doth it not for need, but pleasure.
Tib Neither for need nor pleasure is he here.
Lorenzo Sr. [Aside] This is but a device to balk me withal. Soft, who's this?
[Enter Thorello. [Bianca runs to him.]
Bianca Oh, sir, have I forestalled your honest market?
2180Found your close walks? You stand amazed now, do you?
I'faith, I am glad I have smoked you yet at last.
What's your jewel, trow? In, come, let's see her.
[To Tib] Fetch forth your huswife, dame! [To Thorello] If she be fairer,
In any honest judgment, than myself,
2185I'll be content with it. But she is change,
She feeds you fat, she soothes your appetite,
And you are well? Your wife, an honest woman,
Is meat twice sod to you, sir? Ah, you treacher!
Lorenzo Sr. [Aside] She cannot counterfeit this palpably.
2190Thorello [To Bianca] Out on thee, more than strumpet's
Steal'st thou thus to thy haunts? And have I taken
Thy bawd and thee and thy companion,
[Pointing to Lorenzo Sr.]
2195This hoary-headed lecher, this old goat,
Close at your villainy? And wouldst thou 'scuse it
With this stale harlot's jest, accusing me?
[To Lorenzo Sr.] Oh, old incontinent, dost thou not shame,
When all thy powers' inchastity is spent,
2200To have a mind so hot, and to entice
And feed the enticements of a lustful woman?
Bianca Out! I defy thee, I, dissembling wretch!
Thorello Defy me, strumpet?
[He points to Piso.]
Ask thy pander here.
Can he deny it? [He points to Lorenzo Sr.] Or that wicked elder?
2205Lorenzo Sr.
Why, hear you, signor --
Thy guilty conscience will discover thee.
Lorenzo Sr. What lunacy is this that haunts this man?
[Enter Giuliano.
2210Giuliano Oh, sister, did you see my cloak?
Bianca Not I, I see none.
Giuliano God's life, I have lost it, then. Saw you Hesperida?
Thorello Hesperida? Is she not at home?
Giuliano No, she is gone abroad, and nobody can tell me of it at home.
2215Thorello O heaven! Abroad? What, light? A harlot too?
Why, why? Hark you, hath she, hath she not a brother,
A brother's house to keep, to look unto,
But she must fling abroad? My wife hath spoiled her.
She takes right after her; she does, she does.
2220[To Tib] Well, you goody bawd and --
[Enter Cob [unobserved at first by the others].
That make your husband such a hoddy-doddy!
[To Piso and Lorenzo Sr.] And you, young apple-squire, and old cuckold-maker,
I'll have you every one before the Doctor.
2225Nay, you shall answer it. I charge you, go.
Lorenzo Sr. Marry, with all my heart; I'll go willingly.
How have I wronged myself in coming here!
[To Thorello]
Go with thee? I'll go with thee to thy shame, I warrant thee.
Cob Why, what's the matter? What's here to do?
2230Thorello [Seeing Cob] What, Cob, art thou here? Oh, I am abused,
And in thy house. Was never man so wronged!
Cob 'Slid, in my house? Who wronged you in my house?
Thorello Marry, young-lust-in-old and old-in-young, here.
Thy wife's their bawd; here have I taken them.
[To Tib]
Do you hear? Did I not charge you keep your doors shut here, and do you let them lie open for all comers?
(Cob beats his wife.) [She fights back.]
Do you scratch?
Lorenzo Sr. Friend, have patience. If she have done wrong in this, let her answer it before the magistrate.
[To Tib]
Ay, come, you shall go afore the Doctor.
2240Tib Nay, I will go. I'll see an you may be allowed to beat your poor wife thus at every cuckoldly knave's pleasure. The devil and the pox take you all for me! Why do you not go now?
Thorello A bitter quean. Come, we'll have you tamed.
[Enter Musco alone [wearing the gown and carrying the mace of a "varlet" or arresting officer].
Musco Well, of all my disguises yet, now am I most like myself, being in this varlet's suit. A man of my present profession never counterfeits till he lay hold upon a debtor and says he 'rests him, for then he brings him to all manner of unrest. A kind of little kings we 2250are, bearing the diminutive of a mace made like a young artichoke that always carries pepper and salt in itself. Well, I know not what danger I undergo by this exploit. Pray God I come well off.
[Enter Bobadilla and Matheo.
Matheo See, I think yonder is the varlet.
2255Bobadilla Let's go in quest of him.
[To Musco]
God save you, friend. Are not you here by the appointment of Doctor Clement's man?
Musco Yes, an please you, sir. He told me two gentlemen had willed him to procure an arrest upon one Signor Giuliano by a warrant from his master, which I have about me.
2260Matheo It is honestly done of you both. And see where he comes you must arrest. Upon him, for God's sake, before he be ware!
[Enter Stephano [wearing Giuliano's cloak].
Bobadilla Bear back, Matheo!
Musco Signor Giuliano, I arrest you, sir, in the duke's name.
2265Stephano Signor Giuliano? Am I Signor Giuliano? I am one Signor Stephano, I tell you, and you do not well, by God's lid, to arrest me, I tell you truly. I am not in your master's books, I would you should well know. Ay, and a plague of God on you for making me afraid thus!
Musco Why, how are you deceived, gentlemen!
2270Bobadilla He wears such a cloak, and that deceived us. But see, here 'a comes. Officer, this is he.
[Enter Giuliano.
Giuliano [To Stephano] Why, how now, Signor Gull, are you turned filcher of late? Come, deliver my cloak.
Stephano Your cloak, sir? I bought it even now in the market.
Musco Signor Giuliano, I must arrest you, sir.
2275Giuliano Arrest me, sir? At whose suit?
Musco At these two gentlemen's.
Giuliano I obey thee, varlet; but for these villains --
Musco Keep the peace, I charge you, sir, in the duke's name, sir.
Giuliano What's the matter, varlet?
2280Musco You must go before Master Doctor Clement, sir, to answer what these gentlemen will object against you. Hark you, sir, I will use you kindly.
[To Giuliano]
We'll be even with you, sir. -- Come, Signor Bobadilla, we'll go before and prepare the Doctor. -- Varlet, look to him.
Bobadilla The varlet is a tall man, by Jesu.
2285Giuliano Away, you rascals!
Exeunt Bobadilla and Matheo.
[To Stephano] Signor, I shall have my cloak.
Stephano Your cloak? I say once again I bought it, and I'll keep it.
Giuliano You will keep it?
Stephano Ay, that I will.
[To Musco]
Varlet, stay! Here's thy fee. Arrest him.
[He gives Musco money.]
Musco Signor Stephano, I arrest you.
Stephano Arrest me? There, take your cloak; I'll none of it.
Giuliano Nay, that shall not serve your turn. -- Varlet, bring him away. I'll go with thee now to the Doctor's. And carry him along.
2295Stephano Why, is not here your cloak? What would you have?
Giuliano I care not for that.
Musco I pray you, sir.
Giuliano Never talk of it. I will have him answer it.
Musco Well, sir, then I'll leave you. I'll take this gentleman's word for his appearance, as I have done yours.
2300Giuliano Tut, I'll have no words taken. Bring him along to answer it.
Musco Good sir, I pity the gentleman's case. Here's your money again.
Giuliano God's bread, tell not me of my money. Bring him away, I say.
Musco I warrant you, he will go with you of himself.
Giuliano Yet more ado?
2305Musco [Aside] I have made a fair mash of it.
Stephano Must I go?
[Enter DOCTOR Clement, Thorello, Lorenzo Sr., Bianca, Piso, Tib, [and] a Servant or two of the Doctor's.
Clement Nay, but stay, stay. Give me leave. [To a Servant] My 2310chair, sirrah. -- You, Signor Lorenzo, say you went thither to meet your son?
Lorenzo Sr. Ay, sir.
Clement But who directed you thither?
Lorenzo Sr. That did my man, sir.
Clement Where is he?
2315Lorenzo Sr. Nay, I know not now. I left him with your clerk, and appointed him to stay here for me.
Clement About what time was this?
Lorenzo Sr. Marry, between one and two, as I take it.
Clement So, what time came my man with the message for you, Signor Thorello?
Thorello After two, sir.
2320Clement Very good. -- But lady, how that you were at Cob's, ha?
Bianca An please you, sir, I'll tell you. My brother Prospero told me that Cob's house was a suspected place.
Clement So it appears, methinks. But on.
Bianca And that my husband used thither daily.
Clement No matter, so he use himself well.
2325Bianca True, sir, but you know what grows by such haunts oftentimes.
Clement Ay, rank fruits of a jealous brain, lady. But did you find your husband there in that case, as you suspected?
Thorello I found her there, sir.
Clement Did you so? That alters the case. Who gave you knowledge of your wife's being there?
Thorello Marry, that did my brother Prospero.
2330Clement How? Prospero first tell her, then tell you after? Where is Prospero?
Thorello Gone with my sister, sir, I know not whither.
Clement Why, this is a mere trick, a device. You are gulled in this most grossly.
[To Tib]
Alas, poor wench, wert thou beaten for this?
[Enter [a Servant], one of the Doctor's men.
2335How now, sirrah, what's the matter?
Servant Sir, there's a gentleman in the court without desires to speak with Your Worship.
Clement A gentleman? What's he?
Servant A soldier, sir, he saith.
Clement A soldier? Fetch me my armor, my sword quickly! A soldier 2340speak with me? Why, when, knaves?
[He is brought armor, and arms himself.]
Come on, come on, hold my cap there, so; give me my gorget, my sword.
[To Lorenzo Sr., Thorello, and Bianca]
Stand by. I will end your matters anon.
[To the Servant]
Let the soldier enter.
[The Servant goes to the door.]
[Enter Bobadilla and Matheo.
2345Now, sir, what have you to say to me?
Bobadilla By Your Worship's favor --
[To Matheo]
Nay, keep out, sir, I know not your pretense.
[To Bobadilla]
You send me word, sir, you are a soldier. Why, sir, you shall be answered here; here be them have been amongst soldiers. Sir, your pleasure.
2350Bobadilla Faith, sir, so it is: This gentleman and myself have been most violently wronged by one Signor Giuliano, a gallant of the city here. And for my own part, I protest, being a man in no sort given to this filthy humor of quarreling, he hath assaulted me in the way of my peace, despoiled me of mine honor, disarmed me of my weapons, and beaten me 2355in the open streets, when I not so much as once offered to resist him.
Clement Oh, God's precious! Is this the soldier?
[To the Servant]
Here, take my armor quickly; 'twill make him swoon, I fear. He is not fit to look on't that will put up a blow.
Matheo An't please Your Worship, he was bound to the peace.
2360Clement Why, an he were, sir, his hands were not bound, were they?
[Enter [a] Servant.
Servant There is one of the varlets of the city has brought two gentlemen here upon arrest, sir.
Clement Bid him come in. Set by the picture.
[Bobadilla is led aside; the Servant goes to the door.]
[Enter Musco [disguised as an arresting officer] with Giuliano and Stephano.
Now, sir, what? Signor Giuliano? Is't you that are arrested at Signor Freshwater's suit here?
Giuliano I'faith, Master Doctor, and here's another brought at my suit.
[To Stephano]
What are you, sir?
Stephano A gentleman, sir. [Seeing Lorenzo Sr.] Oh, uncle!
2370Clement Uncle? Who, Lorenzo?
Lorenzo Sr. Ay, sir.
Stephano God's my witness, uncle, I am wronged here monstrously! He chargeth me with stealing of his cloak, and would I might never stir if I did not find it in the street by chance.
2375Giuliano Oh, did you find it, now? You said you bought it erewhile.
Stephano And you said I stole it. Nay, now my uncle is here I care not.
Clement Well, let this breathe a while.
[To Bobadilla]
You that have cause to complain there, stand forth. Had you a warrant for this arrest?
Bobadilla Ay, an't please Your Worship.
2380Clement Nay, do not speak in passion so. Where had you it?
Bobadilla Of your clerk, sir.
Clement That's well, an my clerk can make warrants and my hand not at them! Where is the warrant? --Varlet, have you it?
Musco No, sir, Your Worship's man bid me do it for these gentlemen, and he would be my discharge.
Clement Why, Signor Giuliano, are you such a novice to be arrested and never see the warrant?
2385Giuliano Why, sir, he did not arrest me.
Clement No? How then?
Giuliano Marry, sir, he came to me and said he must arrest me and he would use me kindly, and so forth.
Clement Oh, God's pity, was it so, sir? He must arrest you?
[To a Servant] Give me my long-sword there. Help me off, so. -- Come 2390on, sir varlet. [Musco kneels as Doctor Clement flourishes over him with his long-sword.] I must cut off your legs, sirrah. Nay, stand up; I'll use you kindly. I must cut off your legs, I say.
Musco Oh, good sir, I beseech you! Nay, good Master Doctor. Oh, good sir!
Clement I must do it; there is no remedy. I must cut 2395off your legs, sirrah; I must cut off your ears, you rascal, I must do it. I must cut off your nose; I must cut off your head.
Musco Oh, for God sake, good Master Doctor!
Clement Well, rise.
[Musco rises.]
How dost thou now? Dost thou feel thyself well? Hast thou no harm?
Musco No, I thank God, sir, and Your good Worship.
2400Clement Why, so. I said I must cut off thy legs, and I must cut off thy arms, and I must cut off thy head, but I did not do it. So you said you must arrest this gentleman, but you did not arrest him. You knave, you slave, you rogue! Do you say you "must" arrest?
[To a Servant]
Sirrah, away with him to the jail!
[To 2405Musco]
I'll teach you a trick for your "must."
Brainworm Good Master Doctor, I beseech you, be good to me.
Clement Marry o' God! Away with him, I say!
Brainworm [Aside] Nay, 'sblood, before I go to prison, I'll put on my old brazen face and disclaim in my vocation. I'll discover, that's flat. 2410An I be committed, it shall be for the committing of more villainies than this. Hang me an I lose the least grain of my fame!
Clement Why, when, knave? By God's marry, I'll clap thee by the heels, too.
[Servants seize Musco.]
Brainworm Hold, hold, I pray you!
2415Clement What's the matter?
[To the Servants]
Stay there.
Brainworm Faith, sir, afore I go to this house of bondage, I have a case to unfold to Your Worship. Which, that it may appear the more plain unto Your Worship's view, I do thus first of all uncase [Removing his disguise] and appear in mine own proper nature: servant to this gentleman [Pointing 2420to Knowell Sr.] and known by the name of Musco.
Lorenzo Sr. Ha? Musco!
Stephano Oh, uncle, Musco has been with my cousin and I all this day.
Clement Did not I tell you there was some device?
Musco Nay, good Master Doctor, since I have laid myself thus open 2425to Your Worship, now stand strong for me till the progress of my tale be ended. And then if my wit do not deserve your countenance, 'slight, throw it on a dog and let me go hang myself.
Clement Body of me, a merry knave! Give me a bowl of sack.
[A Servant brings him drink.]
Signor Lorenzo, I bespeak your patience in particular, 2430marry, your ears in general.
[He offers a toast to Musco.]
Here, knave, Doctor Clement drinks to thee.
Musco I pledge, Master Doctor, an 'twere a sea, to the bottom.
Clement Fill his bowl for that, fill his bowl.
[Musco's cup is filled.]
So, now speak freely.
Musco [Drinking] Indeed, this is it will make a man speak freely. 2435But to the point: know then that I, Musco, being somewhat more trusted of my master than reason required, and knowing his intent to Florence, did assume the habit of a poor soldier in wants. And, minding by some means to intercept his journey in the midway, 'twixt the grange and the city I encountered him. Where, begging of him in the most accomplished and true garb, as they term 2440it, contrary to all expectation he reclaimed me from that bad course of life, entertained me into his service, employed me in his business, possessed me with his secrets -- which I no sooner had received but, seeking my young master and finding him at this gentleman's house [Pointing to Prospero], I revealed all most amply. This done, by the device of Signor Prospero and him together I returned (as 2445the raven did to the ark) to mine old master again, told him he should find his son, in what manner he knows, at one Cob's house -- where indeed he never meant to come. Now my master, he, to maintain the jest, went thither and left me with Your Worship's clerk, who, being of a most fine, supple disposition (as most of your clerks are), proffers me the wine 2450which I had the grace to accept very easily, and to the tavern we went. There, after much ceremony, I made him drunk in kindness, stripped him to his shirt, and, leaving him in that cool vein, departed frolic, courtier-like, having obtained a suit. Which suit fitting me exceedingly well, I put on, and, usurping your man's phrase and action, carried a message to Signor Thorello in your name. Which 2455message was merely devised but to procure his absence while Signor Prospero might make a conveyance of Hesperida to my master.
Clement Stay. Fill me the bowl again.
[His wine is replenished.]
Here. 'Twere pity of his life would not cherish such a spirit!
[To Musco]
I drink to thee.
[They drink.]
Fill him wine.
[To Thorello]
Why, now do you perceive the trick of it?
2460Thorello Ay, I perceive well we were all abused.
Lorenzo Sr. Well, what remedy?
Clement Where is Lorenzo and Prospero? Canst thou tell?
Musco Ay, sir, they are at supper at the Mermaid, where I left your man.
[To a Servant]
Sirrah, go warn them hither presently before me, 2465and, if the hour of your fellow's resurrection be come, bring him too.
Exit Servant.
[To Musco] But forward, forward. When thou hadst been at Thorello's --
Musco Marry, sir, coming along the street, these two gentlemen [Pointing to Bobadilla and Matheo] meet me, and, very strongly supposing me to be Your Worship's 2470scribe, entreated me to procure them a warrant for the arrest of Signor Giuliano. I promised them upon some pair of silk stockings or a jewel or so to do it, and to get a varlet of the city to serve it; which varlet I appointed should meet them upon the Rialto at such an hour. They no sooner gone but I, in a mere hope of more gain by 2475Signor Giuliano, went to one of Satan's old ingles, a broker, and there pawned your man's livery for a varlet's suit, which, here with myself, I offer unto Your Worship's consideration.
Clement Well, give me thy hand. Proh superi! Ingenium magnum quis nosset Homerum, Ilias aeternum si latuisset opus ? I admire thee, I honor thee, and, if thy master or any man here be angry with thee, I shall 2480suspect his wit while I know him for it. -- Do you hear, Signor Thorello, Signor Lorenzo, and the rest of my good friends? I pray you, let me have peace when they come. I have sent for the two gallants and Hesperida. God's marry, I must have you friends.
[A noise is heard.]
How now? What noise is there?
[Enter [a] Servant, then Peto [in armor].
2485Servant Sir, it is Peto is come home.
Clement Peto? Bring him hither, bring him hither.
[Peto is brought forward.]
What, how now, Signor Drunkard, in arms against me, ha? Your reason, your reason for this?
Peto I beseech Your Worship to pardon me.
[To the Servant]
Well, sirrah, tell him I do pardon him.
Peto Truly, sir, I did happen into bad company by chance, and they cast me in a sleep and stripped me of all my clothes.
Clement Tut, this is not to the purpose. Touching your armor: what might your armor signify?
Peto Marry, sir, it hung in the room where they stripped me, 2495and I borrowed it of one of the drawers now in the evening to come home in, because I was loath to come through the street in my shirt.
[Enter Lorenzo Jr., Prospero, [and] Hesperida.
Clement [To the Servant] Well, disarm him. But it's no matter; let him stand by. [Peto is led to one side.] Who be these? -- Oh, 2500young gallants, welcome, welcome, and you, lady. Nay, never scatter such amazed looks amongst us. Qui nil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
Prospero Faith, Master Doctor, that's even I; my hopes are small and my despair shall be as little. -- Brother, sister, brother: what, cloudy, cloudy? "And will no sunshine on these looks appear?" Well, since there is such a tempest toward, I'll be the porpoise; I'll dance.
2505[To Hesperida] Wench, be of good cheer; thou hast a cloak for the rain yet. Where is he? [To Lorenzo Jr.] 'Sheart, how now, the picture of the Prodigal? Go to, I'll have the calf dressed for you at my charges.
Lorenzo Sr. Well, son Lorenzo, this day's work of yours hath much deceived my hopes, troubled my peace, and stretched my patience further than became the 2510spirit of duty.
Clement Nay, God's pity, Signor Lorenzo, you shall urge it no more. Come, since you are here, I'll have the disposing of all. But first, Signor Giuliano, at my request take your cloak again.
[Taking his cloak]
Well, sir, I am content.
2515Clement Stay, now let me see. Oh, Signor Snow-Liver, I had almost forgotten him. And your Genius there, what, doth he suffer for a good conscience too? Doth he bear his cross with patience?
Musco Nay, they have scarce one cross between them both to bear.
Clement Why, dost thou know him? What is he? What is he?
2520Musco Marry, search his pockets, sir, and they'll show you he is an author, sir.
Clement Dic mihi, Musa, virum. Are you an author, sir? Give me leave a little. Come on, sir. I'll make verses with you now in honor of the gods and the goddesses for what you dare, extempore. And now I begin:
Mount thee, my Phlegon muse, and testify
How Saturn, sitting in an ebon cloud,
Disrobed his podex, white as ivory,
And through the welkin thundered all aloud.
2530There's for you, sir.
Prospero Oh, he writes not in that height of style.
Clement No? We'll come a step or two lower, then:
From Catadupa and the banks of Nile,
2535Where only breeds your monstrous crocodile,
Now are we purposed for to fetch our style.
Prospero Oh, too far-fetched for him still, Master Doctor.
Clement Ay, say you so? Let's entreat a sight of his vein, then.
[To Matheo]
Signor, Master Doctor desires to see a sight of your vein. Nay, you must not deny him.
[They search Matheo's pockets.]
Clement What, all this verse? Body of me, he carries a whole realm, a commonwealth of paper, in his hose! Let's see some of his subjects.
[He reads] Unto the boundless ocean of thy beauty
2545Runs this poor river, charged with streams of zeal,
Returning thee the tribute of my duty,
Which here my youth, my plaints, my love reveal.
Good! Is this your own invention?
2550Matheo No, sir, I translated that out of a book called Delia.
Clement Oh, but I would see some of your own, some of your own.
Matheo Sir, here's the beginning of a sonnet I made to my mistress.
Clement That, that.
[He examines the dedication]
Who? "To Madonna Hesperida." Is she your mistress?
Prospero It pleaseth him to call her so, sir.
2555Clement [Reads] "In summertime, when Phoebus' golden rays" --
You translated this too, did you not?
Prospero No, this is invention. He found it in a ballad.
Matheo Faith, sir, I had most of the conceit of it out of a ballad, indeed.
Clement Conceit?
[To a Servant]
Fetch me a couple of torches, sirrah, I may see the conceit. Quickly; it's very dark.
2560Giuliano Call you this poetry?
Lorenzo Jr. Poetry? Nay, then call blasphemy religion,
Call devils angels, and sin piety;
Let all things be preposterously transchanged.
Lorenzo Sr. Why, how now, son? What, are you startled now?
2565Hath the breeze pricked you? Ha! Go to. You see
How abjectly your poetry is ranked
In general opinion.
Lorenzo Jr. Opinion? Oh, God, let gross opinion
Sink and be damned as deep as Barathrum!
2570If it may stand with your most wished content,
I can refel opinion and approve
The state of poesy, such as it is,
Blessd, eternal, and most true divine.
Indeed, if you will look on poesy
2575As she appears in many -- poor and lame,
Patched up in remnants and old worn rags,
Half-starved for want of her peculiar food,
Sacred invention -- then I must confirm
Both your conceit and censure of her merit.
2580But view her in her glorious ornaments,
Attird in the majesty of art,
Set high in spirit with the precious taste
Of sweet philosophy, and, which is most,
Crowned with the rich traditions of a soul
2585That hates to have her dignity profaned
With any relish of an earthly thought:
Oh, then, how proud a presence doth she bear!
Then is she like herself, fit to be seen
Of none but grave and consecrated eyes.
2590Nor is it any blemish to her fame
That such lean, ignorant, and blasted wits,
Such brainless gulls, should utter their stol'n wares
With such applauses in our vulgar ears,
Or that their slubbered lines have current pass
2595From the fat judgments of the multitude,
But that this barren and infected age
Should set no difference 'twixt these empty spirits
And a true poet -- than which reverend name
Nothing can more adorn humanity.
[Enter [ServantS] with torches.
Clement Ay, Lorenzo, but election is now governed altogether by the influence of humor, which, instead of those holy flames that should direct and light the soul to eternity, hurls forth nothing but smoke and congested vapors that stifle her up and bereave her of all sight and motion. But she must have store 2605of hellebore given her to purge these gross obstructions. [To the Servants] Oh, that's well said! Give me thy torch; come, lay this stuff together. So, give fire. [They burn Matheo's verses.] There, see, see, how our poet's glory shines brighter and brighter! Still, still it increaseth! Oh, now it's at the highest, and now it declines as fast. You may see, gallants, Sic transit gloria mundi. [To Bobadilla 2610and Matheo] Well, now, my two Signor Outsides, stand forth and lend me your large ears to a sentence, to a sentence. First, you, signor, shall this night to the cage, and so shall you, sir. [To Matheo] From thence tomorrow morning, you, signor, shall be carried to the market cross and be there bound; [To Bobadilla] and so shall you, sir, in a large motley coat with a rod 2615at your girdle. [To Matheo] And you in an old suit of sackcloth and the ashes of your papers -- save the ashes, sirrah -- shall mourn all day; and at night both together sing some ballad of repentance very piteously, which you shall make to the tune of "Who list to lead and a soldier's life." [To Peto] Sirrah billman, embrace you this torch and light the gentlemen to their lodgings, and, because we tender their 2620safety, you shall watch them tonight; you are provided for the purpose. Away, and look to your charge with open eye, sirrah.
Bobadilla Well, I am armed in soul against the worst of fortune.
Matheo Faith, so should I be, an I had slept on it.
Peto I am armed too, but I am not like to sleep on it.
Musco [Aside] Oh, how this pleaseth me!
Exeunt [Bobadilla, Matheo, and Peto].
Clement Now, Signor Thorello, Giuliano, Prospero, Bianca.
Stephano And not me, sir?
Clement Yes, and you, sir. I had lost a sheep an he had not bleated. I must have you all friends.
[To Prospero and Bianca]
But 2630first, a word with you, young gallant, and you, lady.
Giuliano Well, brother Prospero, by this good light that shines here, I am loath to kindle fresh coals, but, an you had come in my walk within these two hours, I had given you that you should not have clawn off again in haste. By Jesus, I had done it; I am the arrant'st 2635rogue that ever breathed else! But now, beshrew my heart if I bear you any malice in the earth.
Prospero Faith, I did it but to hold up a jest and help my sister to a husband. But brother Thorello, and sister, you have a spice of the yealous yet, both of you -- in your hose, I mean. 2640Come, do not dwell upon your anger so much. Let's all be smooth-foreheaded once again.
Thorello He plays upon my forehead, brother Giuliano. I pray you, tell me one thing I shall ask you: is my forehead anything rougher than it was wont to be?
Giuliano Rougher? Your forehead is smooth enough, man.
2645Thorello [Aside] Why should he then say 'Be smooth-foreheaded'
Unless he jested at the smoothness of it?
And that may be, for horn is very smooth;
So are my brows. By Jesu, smooth as horn!
[To Prospero]
Brother, had he no haunt thither, in good faith?
2650Prospero No, upon my soul.
[To Thorello]
Nay then, sweetheart, nay, I pray thee, be not angry. Good faith, I'll never suspect thee any more. Nay, kiss me, sweet muss.
Thorello Tell me, Bianca, do not you play the woman with me?
Bianca What's that, sweetheart?
2655Thorello Dissemble.
Bianca Dissemble?
Thorello Nay, do not turn away. But say, i'faith, was it not a match appointed 'twixt this old gentleman
[Pointing to Lorenzo Sr.]
and you?
Bianca A match?
2660Thorello Nay, if it were not, I do not care. Do not weep, I pray thee, sweet Bianca. Nay, so, now. By Jesus, I am not jealous, but resolved I have the faithfull'st wife in Italy!
For this I find: where jealousy is fed,
Horns in the mind are worse than on the head.
2665See what a drove of horns fly in the air,
Winged with my cleansd and my credulous breath!
Watch them, suspicious eyes, watch where they fall:
See, see, on heads that think they have none at all!
Oh, what a plen'uous world of this will come!
2670When air rains horns, all men be sure of some.
Clement Why, that's well. Come, then, what say you? Are all agreed? Doth none stand out?
Prospero None but this gentleman
[Pointing to Lorenzo Sr.]
, to whom in my own person I owe all duty and affection, but most seriously entreat pardon for whatsoever hath passed in these occurrents that might be contrary to his most desired content.
2675Lorenzo Sr. Faith, sir, it is a virtue that pursues
Any save rude and uncomposd spirits
To make a fair construction, and indeed
Not to stand off when such respective means
Invite a general content in all.
2680Clement Well, then, I conjure you all here to put off all discontentment. First you, Signor Lorenzo, your cares;
[To Thorello and Bianca]
you and you, your jealousy;
[To Giuliano]
you, your anger;
[To Prospero]
and you, your wit, sir. And for a peace-offering, here's one willing to be sacrificed upon this altar. Say, do you approve my motion?
2685Prospero We do. I'll be mouth for all.
Clement Why, then, I wish them all joy. And now, to make our evening happiness more full, this night you shall be all my guests, where we'll enjoy the very spirit of mirth and carouse to the health of this heroic spirit [Indicating Musco], whom to honor the more I do invest in my 2690own robes, desiring you two, Giuliano and Prospero, to be his supporters; the train to follow. Myself will lead, ushered by my page here, with this honorable verse: Claudite iam rivos, pueri, sat prata biberunt.
[Exeunt in procession.]