Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
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The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

The Puritan Widow.
480Slave slaver out our purpose to his Master, for would I
were but as sure on't, as I am sure he will deny to do't.
Nic. I would be heartily glad, Cousin, if any of my
friendships, as they say, might--stand, ah--
Pye. Why, you see he offers his friendship foolishly to
485you already.
Cap. I, that's the hell on't, I would he would offer it
Nic. Verily, and indeed-la, Cousin--
Cap.I have took note of thy fleers a good while, if
490thou art minded to do me good? as thou gap'st upon me
comfortably, and giv'st me charitable faces; which indeed
is but a fashion in you all that are Puritans, wilt soon at
night steal me thy Master's Chain?
Nic.Oh, I shall sowne!
495Pye. Corporal, he starts already!
Cap. I know it to be worth three hundred Crowns,
and with the half of that, I can buy my life at a Bro-
kers, at second hand, which now lies in pawn to the
Law, if this thou refuse to do, being
easie and nothing
500dangerous, in that thou art held in good opinion of thy
Master; why 'tis a palpable Argument thou hold'st my
life at no price, and these thy broken and unjoynted
offers, are but only created in thy lip, now born, and
now buried, foolish breath only: what, woult do't? shall I
505look for happinesse in thy answer?
Nich. Steal my Master's Chain quoth he? no, it shall
nere be said, that Nicholas Saint Tantlings committed
Cap. Nay, I told you as much, did I not? though he
510be a Puritan, yet he will be a true man.
Nic. Why Cousin, you know 'tis written, Thou shalt
not steal.
Cap. Why, and fool, thou shalt love thy Neighbour,
and help him in extremities.
515Nic. Mass I think it be indeed; in what Chapter's
that, Cousin?
Capt. Why in the first of Charity, the second verse.
Nic. The first of Charity, quath a, that's a good
jest, there no such Chapter in my book!
520Cap. No, I know twas torn out of thy Book, and that
makes so little in thy heart.
Pye. Come, let me tell you, y'are too unkind a Kins-
man ifaith; the Captain loving you so dearly, I, like the
Pomwater of his eye, & you to be so uncomfortable, fie, fie.
525Nic. Pray do not wish me to be hang'd, any thing else
that I can do; had it been to rob, I would ha don't, but I
must not Steal, that's the word, the literal, Thou shalt
not steal; and would you wish me to steal then?
Pye. No faith, that were too much, to speak truth;
530why wilt thou Nim it from him?
Nic. That I will.
Pye. Why enough, Bully; he will be content with that,
or he shall ha none; let me alone with him now, Cap-
tain, I ha dealt with your Kinsman in a corner; a good,
535--kind-natur'd fellow, me thinks: go to, you shall not
have all your own asking, you shall bate somewhat on't,
he is not contented absolutely, as you would say, to steal
the Chain from him, but to do you a pleasure, he will nim
it from him.
540Nic. I, that I will, Cousin.
Cap. Well, seeing he will do no more, as far as I see,
I must be contented with that.
Cor. Here's no notable gullery?
Pye. Nay, I'le come nearer to you, Gentleman, because
545we'll have only but a help and a mirth on't, the Knight
shall not lose his Chain neither, but be only laid out of
the way some one or two dayes.
Nic. I, that would be good indeed, Kinsman.
Pye. For I have a farder reach, to profit us better, by
550the missing on't only, then if we had it out-right, as my
discourse shall make it known to you;--when thou hast
the Chain, do but convey it out at a back-door into the
Garden, and there hang it close in the Rosemary banck,
but for a small season; and by that harmlesse device, I
555know how to wind Captain Idle out of prison, the Knight
thy Master shall get his pardon, and release him, and he
satisfie thy Master with his own Chain, and wondrous
thanks on both hands.
Nic. That were rare indeed la, pray let me know how.
560Pye. Nay, 'tis very necessary thou should'st know,
because thou must be employ'd as an Actor?
Nic. An Actor? O no, that's a Player? and our Par-
son rails against Players mightily I can tell you, because
they brought him drunk upo'th'Stage once,--as he will be
565horribly drunk.
Cor. Mass I cannot blame him then, poor Church-spout.
Pye. Why as an Intermedler then?
Nic. I, that, that.
Pye. Give me audience then; when the old Knight thy
570Master has rag'd his fill for the loss of the Chain, tell him
thou hast a Kinsman in prison, of such exquisite Art, that
the Devil himself is French Lackey to him, and runs
bare-headed by his horse-----belly (when he has
one:) whom he will cause, with most Irish dexteri-
575ty to fetch his Chain, though 'twere hid under a mine
of Sea-coal, and ne're make Spade or Pick-axe his
instruments; tell him but this, with farder instructions
thou shalt receive from me, and thou show'st thy self a
Kinsman indeed.
580Cor. A dainty Bully.
Skir. An honest--Book-keeper.
Cap. And my three times thrice honey-Cousin.
Nic. Nay, grace of God I'le rob him on't suddenly,
and hang it in the Rosemary banck, but I bear that mind,
585Cousin, I would not Steal any thing, me thinks, for mine
own Father.
Skir. He bears a good mind in that, Captain.
Py. Why well said, he begins to be an honest fellow, faith.
Cor. In troth he does.
590Nic. You see, Cousin, I am willing to do you any kind-
ness, alwayes saving my self harmless.
Exit Nicholas.
Captain. Why I thank thee, fare thee well, I shall re-
quite it..
Cor. 'Twill be good for thee, Captain, that thou hast
595such an egregious Asse to thy Cousin.
Cap. I, is not that a fine fool, Corporal?
But George, thou talk'st of Art and Conjuring,
How shall that be?
Pyb. Puh, be't not in your care,
600Leave that to me and my directions;
Well, Captain, doubt not thy delivery now,
E'en with the vantage, man, to gain by Prison,
As my thoughts prompt me: hold on brain and plot,
I aim at many cunning far events,
605All which I doubt not to hit at length,
I'le to the Widow with a quaint assault,
Captain be merry.
Cap. Who I? Kerry merry Buffe-Jerkin.
Pye. Oh, I am happy in more slights, and one will
610knit strong in another, --Corporal Oath.
Cor. Hoh Bully!
Pye. And