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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 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.