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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 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!