Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Not Peer Reviewed

The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

of Watling-street.

Actus Primus.

Enter the Lady Widdow-Plus, her two Daughters, Frank
and Moll, her husbands Brother an old Knight Sir
Godfrey, with her Son and Heir Master Edmond, all
in mourning apparell, Edmond in a Cypresse Hat.
5The Widow wringing her hands, and bursting out into
passion, as newly come from the Buriall of her hus-

0H, that ever I was born, that ever I was born!
10Sir Godfrey. Nay good sister, dear sister,
sweet sister, be of good comfort, shew your
self a woman, now or never.
Wid. Oh, I have lost the dearest man, I have buried
the sweetest husband that ever lay by woman.
15Sir God. Nay give him his due, he was indeed an ho-
nest, virtuous, discreet wise man,---he was my Brother,
as right, as right.
Wid. O, I shall never forget him, never forget him,
he was a man so well given to a woman---oh!
20Sir God. Nay, but kind sister, I could weep as much
as any woman, but alass, our teares cannot call him again:
me thinks you are well read, sister, and know that death
is as common as Homo, a common name to all men;---a
man shall be taken when he's making water,---nay,
25did not the learned Parson Master Pigman tell us e'ne
now, that all Flesh is frail, we are born to die, Man has
but a time: with such like deep and profound perswasi-
ons, as he is a rare fellow you know, and an excellent
Reader: and for example, (as there are examples abun-
30dance) did not Sir Humphrey Bubble die tother day,
there's a lusty Widow, why she cri'd not above half an
hour---for shame, for shame: then followed him old Ma-
ster Fulsome the Usurer, there's a wise Widow, why she
cry'd ne're a whit at all.
35Wid. O ranck not me with those wicked women, I
had a husband out-shin'd 'em all.
Sir God. I that he did, ifaith, he out-shin'd 'em all.
Wid. Dost thou stand there and see us all weep, and
not once shed a tear for thy fathers death? oh thou un-
40gracious son and heir thou?
Edm. Troth, Mother, I should not weep I'me sure;
I am past a Child I hope, to make all my old School-fel-
lowes laugh at me; I should be mockt, so I should; pray
let one of my sisters weep for me, I'le laugh as much for
45her another time?
Wid. O thou past-Grace thou, out of my sight, thou
gracelesse Imp, thou grievest me more then the death of
thy Father: oh thou stubborn onely Son: hadst thou such
an honest man to thy Father---that would deceive all the
50world to get riches for thee, and canst thou not afford a
little salt water? he that so wisely did quite overthrow
the right heir of those Lands, which now you respect not:
up every morning betwixt four and five, so duely at West-
minster-Hall every Tearm-time, with all his Cards and
55Writings, for thee, thou wicked Absalon---oh dear hus-
Edm. Weep, quotha? I protest I am glad he's Chur-
ched? for now he's gone I shall spend in quiet.
Fran.Dear Mother, pray cease, half your teares suffice,
60'Tis time for you to take truce with your eyes,
Let me weep now?
Wid. O such a dear Knight, such a sweet Husband have
I lost, have I lost?----if blessed be the Coarse the rain
rains upon, he had it, pouring down?
65Sir. God. Sister, be of good cheer, we are all mortall
our selves, I come upon you freshly, I ne're speak without
comfort, hear me what I shall say;---my brother has left
you wealthy, y'are rich.
Wid. Oh!
70Sir God. I say y'are rich: you are also fair.
Wid. Oh!
Sir God. Go to, y'are fair, you cannot smother it,
beauty will come to light; nor are your yeares so far en-
ter'd with you, but that you will be sought after, and
75may very well answer another husband; the world is
full of fine Gallants, choyce enow, sister,---for what
should we doe with all our Knights I pray? but to marry
rich Widowes, wealthy Citizens Widowes; lusty fair-
brow'd Ladies; go to, be of good comfort I say, leave
80snobbing and weeping---yet my Brother was a kind-
hearted man---I would not have the Elf see me now?
---come, pluck up a womans heart---here stands your
Daughters, who be well estated, and at maturity will also
be enquir'd after with good husbands, so all these teares
85shall be soon dried up, and a better world then ever
what, Woman? you must not weep still? he's dead, he's
buried---yet I cannot chuse but weep for him.
Wid. Marry again! no, let me be buried quick then!
And that same part of Quire whereon I tread
90To such intent, O may it be my grave:
And that the Priest may turn his wedding prayers,