Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The History of Sir John Oldcastle (Folio 3, 1664)
  • Editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Authors: Anonymous, Michael Drayton, Richard Hathway, Antony Munday, William Shakespeare, Robert Wilson
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The History of Sir John Oldcastle (Folio 3, 1664)

    Enter the Sumner.
    Sum. I have the Law to warrant what I do, and though
    the Lord Cobham be a Nobleman, that dispenses not with
    540Law, I dare serve a Process were he five Noble men,
    though we Sumners make sometimes a mad slip in a cor-
    ner with a pretty wench, a Sumner must not go alwaies
    by seeing: a man may be content to hide his eyes where
    he may feel his profit. Well, this is Lord Cobham's house,
    545if I cannot speak with him, I'le clap my citation upon's
    door, so my Lord of Rochester bad me; but me thinks
    here comes one of his men.
    Har. Welcome good fellow, welcome, who would'st
    thou speak with?
    550Sum. With my Lord Cobham I would speak; if thou
    be one of his men.
    Har Yes, I am one of his men, but thou can'st not
    speak with my Lord.
    Sum. May I send to him then?
    555Har. I'le tell thee that, when I know thy errand,
    Sum. I will not tell my errand to thee.
    Har. Then keep it to thy self, and walk like a knave
    as thou camest.
    Sum. I'tell thee, my Lord keeps no knaves, sirrah.
    560Har. Then thou servest him not, I believe. What
    Lord is thy Master?
    Sum. My Lord of Rochester.
    Har. In good time: and what would'st thou have
    with my Lord Cobham?
    565Sum. I come by vertue of a Process, to scite him to
    appear before my Lord in the Court at Rochester.
    Har. aside. Well, God grant me patience, I could eat
    this Counger. My Lord is not at home, therefore it
    were good Sumner, you carried your Process back.
    570Sum. Why, if he will not be spoken withall, then will
    I leave it here, and see that he take knowledge of it.
    Hnr. Zounds you slave, do you set up your bills here;
    go too, take it down again. Do'st thou know what thou
    do'st? Do'st thou know on whom thou servest a Process?
    575Sum. Yes marry do I, on Sir John Oldcastle, Lord
    Har.I am glad thou knowest him yet; and sirrah,
    do'st not know that the Lord Cobham is a brave Lord,
    that keeps good Beef and Beer in his house, and every
    580day feeds a hundred poor people at's Gate, and keeps a
    hundred tall fellows?
    Sum. What's that to my Process?
    Har. Marry this, sir, is this process parchment?
    Sum. Yes marry is it.
    585Har. And this Seal wax?
    Sum. It is so.
    Har. If this be parchment, and this wax, eat you this
    parchment and this wax, or I will make parchment of
    your skin, and beat your brains into wax. Sirrah, Sumner,
    590dispatch, devour sirrah, devour.
    Sum. I am my Lord of Rochester's Sumner, I came to
    to do my office, and thou shalt answer it.
    Har.Sirrah, no railing; but betake your self to your
    teeth, thou shalt eat no worse then thou bring'st with thee,
    595thou bring'st it for my Lord, and wilt thou bring my
    Lord worse then thou wilt eat thy self?
    Sum. Sir, I brought it not my Lord to eat.
    Har. O do you sir me now; all's one for that, I'le
    make you eat it, for bringing it.
    600Sum. I cannot eat it.
    Har. Can you not? sbloud I'le beat you till you have
    a stomack.
    Beats him.
    Sum. O hold, hold, good M. Servingman, I will eat it.
    Har. Be champing, be chawing, sir, or I'le chaw you,
    605you rogue, the purest of the honey.
    Sum. Tough wax is the purest hony.
    Har. O Lord, sir, oh, oh,
    Feed, feed, 'tis wholsome, Rogue, wholsome.
    Cannot you like an honest Sumner, walk with the Devil
    610your brother, to fetch in your Bailiff's rents; but you
    must come to a Noble mans house with processe? If thy
    Seal were as broad as the Lead that covers Rochester
    Church, thou should'st eat it.
    Sum. O, I am almost choaked, I am almost choaked.
    615Har. Who's within there? will you shame my Lord,
    is there no beer in the house? Butler I say.
    But. Here, here.
    Ent. Butler.
    Har.Give him beer.
    He drinks.
    There: tough old sheepskins, bare dry meat.
    620Sum. O sir, let me go no further, I'le eat my word.
    Har. Yea marry sir, I mean ye shall eat more then
    your own word, for I'le make you eat all the words in the
    Process. Why you drab-monger, cannot the secrets of all
    the wenches in a Shire serve your turn, but you must come
    625hither with a citation with a pox? I'le cite you.
    A cup of Sack for the Sumner.
    But. Here, sir, here.
    Har. Here, slave, I drink to thee.
    Sum. I thank you, sir.
    630Har. Now if thou find'st thy stomack well, because
    thou shalt see my Lord keeps meat in's house, if thou wilt
    go in, thou shalt have a piece of beef to thy break-fast.
    Sum. No I am very well, good M. Servingman, I
    thank you, very well, sir.
    635Har. I am glad on't, then be walking towards Roche-
    ster to keep your stomack warme. And Sumner, If I do
    know you disturb a good wench within this Diocesse, if
    I do not make thee eat her petticoat, if there were four
    yards of Kentish cloth in't, I am a villain.
    640Sum. God be w'ye, M. Servingman.
    Har. Farewell, Sumner
    Enter Constable.
    Con. Save you, M. Harpool.
    Har.Welcome Constable, welcome Constable, what
    news with thee?
    645Con. And't please you, M. Harpool, I am to make hue
    and cry for a fellow with one eye, that has rob'd two
    Clothiers, and am to crave your hindrance to search all
    suspected places; and they say there was a woman in the
    650Har. Hast thou been at the Ale-house? hast thou
    sought there?
    Con. I durst not search in my Lord Cobham's liberty,
    except I had some of his servants for my warrant.
    Har An honest Constable, call forth him that keeps
    655the Ale-house there.
    Con. Ho, who's within there?
    Ale-m. Who calls there? Oh is't you, M. Constable,
    and M. Harpool? y'are welcome with all my heart, what
    make you here so early this morning?
    660Har. Sirra, what strangers do you lodge? there is a
    robbery done this morning, and we are to search for all
    suspected persons.
    Ale man. Gods bores, I am sorry for't. Ifaith, sir, I
    lodge no body but a good honest Priest, call'd Sir John
    665a Wrotham, and a handsome woman that is his Neece,
    that he saies has some suit in law for, and as they go up
    and down to London, sometimes they lye at my house.
    Har.What, is she here in thy house now?
    Ale-m. She is, sir: I promise you, sir, he is a quiet
    670man, and because he will not trouble too many rooms, he
    makes the woman lye every night at his beds feet.
    Har. Bring her forth, Constable, bring her forth, let's
    see her, let's see her.
    Ale-m. Dorothy, you must come down to M. Con-
    675Dol. Anon forsooth.
    She enters.
    Har. Welcome, sweet Lasse, welcome.
    Dol. I thank you, good sir, and M. Constable also.
    Har. A plump girle by the Masse, a plump girle: ha,
    Dol, ha. Wilt thou forsake the Priest, and go with me
    Con.A well said M. Harpool, you are a merry old
    man ifaith; you will never be old now by the mack, a
    pretty wench indeed.
    Har. Ye old mad merry Constable, art thou advis'd
    685of that? Ha, well said Doll, fill some Ale here.
    Doll aside. Oh if I wist this old Priest would not stick
    to me, by Jove I would ingle this old serving-man.
    Har. Oh you old mad colt, ifaith I'le ferk you: fill
    all the pots in the house there.
    690Con. Oh well said M. Harpool, you are heart of oak
    when all's done.
    Harp. Ha Dol, thou hast a sweet pair of lips by the
    Dol. Truly you are a most sweet old man, as ever I
    695saw; by my troth, you have a face able to make any wo-
    man in love with you.
    Har. Fill, sweet Doll, I'le drink to thee.
    Doll. I pledge you, sir, and thank you therefore, and
    I pray you let it come.
    700Harp. Imbracing her. Doll, canst thou love me? a
    mad merry Lasse, would to God I had never seen thee.
    Dol. I warrant you, you will not out of my thoughts
    this twelvemonth, truly you are as full of favour, as any
    man may be. Ah these sweet gray locks, by my troth,
    705they are most lovely.
    Con. Cuds bores, M. Harpool, I'le have one buss too.
    Har. No licking for you, Constable, hand off, hand off.
    Con. Berlady I love kissing as well as you.
    Dol. Oh you are an odde boy, you have a wanton eye
    710of your own: ah you sweet sugar-lipt wanton, you will
    win as many womens hearts as come in your company.
    Enter Priest.
    Priest. Doll, come hither.
    Har. Priest, she shall not.
    715Dol. I'le come anon, sweet love.
    Priest. Hand off, old fornicator.
    Har. Vicar, I'le sit here in spight of thee, is this stuff
    for a Priest to carry up and down with him?
    Priest. Sirra, do'st thou not know that a good fellow
    720parson may have a chappel of ease, where his parish
    Church is far off?
    Har. You whorson ston'd Vicar.
    Priest. You old stale Ruffin, you Lion of Cotsoll.
    Har. Zounds, Vicar, I'le geld you.
    Flies upon him.
    725Con. Keep the Kings peace.
    Dol. Murder, murder, murder.
    Ale-m. Hold, as you are men, hold; for Gods sake be
    quiet: put up your weapons, you draw not in my house.
    Har. You whorson bawdy Priest.
    730Priest. You old mutton-monger.
    Con. Hold, Sir John, hold.
    Dol. I pray thee, sweet heart, be quiet, I was but sit-
    ting to drink a pot of Ale with him, even as kind a man
    as ever I met with.
    735Har. Thou art a Thief, I warrant thee.
    Priest. Then I am but as thou hast been in thy dayes,
    let's not be ashamed of our Trade, the King has been a
    Thief himself.
    Dol. Come, be quiet, hast thou sped?
    740Pri. I have wench, here be crowns ifaith.
    Dol. Come, let's be all friends then.
    Con. Well said Mistris Dorothy.
    Har. Thou art the maddest Priest that ever I met with.
    Pri.Give me thy hand, thou art as good a fellow:
    745I am a singer, a drinker, a bencher, a wencher; I can say
    a Masse, and kisse a Lasse: Faith, I have a Parsonage,
    and because I would not be at too much charges, this
    wench serveth me for a Sexton.
    Harp. Well said mad Priest, we'll in and be friends.