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  • Title: Everyman In His Humor (Modern)
  • Editor: David Bevington

  • Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Ben Jonson
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Everyman In His Humor (Modern)

    [Enter Musco disguised like a soldier.
    '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?
    God's foot, I have lost my purse, I think.
    Lorenzo Jr.
    How, lost your purse? Where? When had you it?
    I cannot tell. Stay!
    [Aside] 'Slid, I am afeard they will know me. Would I could get by them!
    715Lorenzo Jr.
    What, have you it?
    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?
    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!
    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.
    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.
    [Aside] 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?
    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?
    Faith, signor, I refer it to your own judgment. You are a gentleman; give me what you please.
    True, I am a gentleman, I know that. But what though? I pray you say what would you ask.
    I assure you, the blade may become the side of the best prince in Europe.
    Lorenzo Jr.
    Ay, with a velvet scabbard!
    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.
    At your pleasure, signor. Nay, it's a most pure Toledo.
    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.
    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.
    Tut, I'll buy this, so I will. -- Tell me your lowest price.
    Lorenzo Jr.
    You shall not, I say.
    By God's lid, but I will, though I give more than 'tis worth.
    Lorenzo Jr.
    Come away. You are a fool.
    Friend, I'll have it for that word.
    [To Musco] Follow me.
    At your service, signor.