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  • Title: The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Thomas Middleton, William Shakespeare
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    The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

    The PURITAN: or, The WIDOW
    of Watling-street.

    Actus Primus.

    Enter the Lady Widdow-Plus, her two Daughters, Frank
    and Moll, her husbands Brother an old Knight Sir
    Godfrey, with her Son and Heir Master Edmond, all
    in mourning apparell, Edmond in a Cypresse Hat.
    5The Widow wringing her hands, and bursting out into
    passion, as newly come from the Buriall of her hus-

    0H, that ever I was born, that ever I was born!
    10Sir Godfrey. Nay good sister, dear sister,
    sweet sister, be of good comfort, shew your
    self a woman, now or never.
    Wid. Oh, I have lost the dearest man, I have buried
    the sweetest husband that ever lay by woman.
    15Sir God. Nay give him his due, he was indeed an ho-
    nest, virtuous, discreet wise man,---he was my Brother,
    as right, as right.
    Wid. O, I shall never forget him, never forget him,
    he was a man so well given to a woman---oh!
    20Sir God. Nay, but kind sister, I could weep as much
    as any woman, but alass, our teares cannot call him again:
    me thinks you are well read, sister, and know that death
    is as common as Homo, a common name to all men;---a
    man shall be taken when he's making water,---nay,
    25did not the learned Parson Master Pigman tell us e'ne
    now, that all Flesh is frail, we are born to die, Man has
    but a time: with such like deep and profound perswasi-
    ons, as he is a rare fellow you know, and an excellent
    Reader: and for example, (as there are examples abun-
    30dance) did not Sir Humphrey Bubble die tother day,
    there's a lusty Widow, why she cri'd not above half an
    hour---for shame, for shame: then followed him old Ma-
    ster Fulsome the Usurer, there's a wise Widow, why she
    cry'd ne're a whit at all.
    35Wid. O ranck not me with those wicked women, I
    had a husband out-shin'd 'em all.
    Sir God. I that he did, ifaith, he out-shin'd 'em all.
    Wid. Dost thou stand there and see us all weep, and
    not once shed a tear for thy fathers death? oh thou un-
    40gracious son and heir thou?
    Edm. Troth, Mother, I should not weep I'me sure;
    I am past a Child I hope, to make all my old School-fel-
    lowes laugh at me; I should be mockt, so I should; pray
    let one of my sisters weep for me, I'le laugh as much for
    45her another time?
    Wid. O thou past-Grace thou, out of my sight, thou
    gracelesse Imp, thou grievest me more then the death of
    thy Father: oh thou stubborn onely Son: hadst thou such
    an honest man to thy Father---that would deceive all the
    50world to get riches for thee, and canst thou not afford a
    little salt water? he that so wisely did quite overthrow
    the right heir of those Lands, which now you respect not:
    up every morning betwixt four and five, so duely at West-
    minster-Hall every Tearm-time, with all his Cards and
    55Writings, for thee, thou wicked Absalon---oh dear hus-
    Edm. Weep, quotha? I protest I am glad he's Chur-
    ched? for now he's gone I shall spend in quiet.
    Fran.Dear Mother, pray cease, half your teares suffice,
    60'Tis time for you to take truce with your eyes,
    Let me weep now?
    Wid. O such a dear Knight, such a sweet Husband have
    I lost, have I lost?----if blessed be the Coarse the rain
    rains upon, he had it, pouring down?
    65Sir. God. Sister, be of good cheer, we are all mortall
    our selves, I come upon you freshly, I ne're speak without
    comfort, hear me what I shall say;---my brother has left
    you wealthy, y'are rich.
    Wid. Oh!
    70Sir God. I say y'are rich: you are also fair.
    Wid. Oh!
    Sir God. Go to, y'are fair, you cannot smother it,
    beauty will come to light; nor are your yeares so far en-
    ter'd with you, but that you will be sought after, and
    75may very well answer another husband; the world is
    full of fine Gallants, choyce enow, sister,---for what
    should we doe with all our Knights I pray? but to marry
    rich Widowes, wealthy Citizens Widowes; lusty fair-
    brow'd Ladies; go to, be of good comfort I say, leave
    80snobbing and weeping---yet my Brother was a kind-
    hearted man---I would not have the Elf see me now?
    ---come, pluck up a womans heart---here stands your
    Daughters, who be well estated, and at maturity will also
    be enquir'd after with good husbands, so all these teares
    85shall be soon dried up, and a better world then ever
    what, Woman? you must not weep still? he's dead, he's
    buried---yet I cannot chuse but weep for him.
    Wid. Marry again! no, let me be buried quick then!
    And that same part of Quire whereon I tread
    90To such intent, O may it be my grave:
    And that the Priest may turn his wedding prayers,