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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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

    The Puritan Widow.
    1490Pye. Why every fool knowes that Captain: nay then
    I'le not cog with you, Captain, if you'll stay and hang
    the next Sessions you may.
    Cap. No, by my faith, George, come, come, let's to
    1495Pye. But if you look to be released, as my wits have
    took pain to work it, and all means wrought to farther it,
    besides to put Crowns in your purse, to make you a man
    of better hopes, and whereas before you were a Captain
    or poor Souldier, to make you now a Commander of rich
    1500fooles, (which is truly the onely best purchase peace can
    allow you) safer then High-wayes, Heath, or Cony-groves,
    and yet a far better booty; for your greatest thieves are
    never hang'd, never hang'd; for why? they're wise, and
    cheat within doores; and we geld fooles of more money
    1505in one night, then your false-tail'd Gelding will purchase
    in a twelve-moneths running, which confirmes the old
    Bedlams saying, he's wisest, that keeps himself warmest,
    that is, he that robs by a good fire.
    Capt. Well opened ifaith, George, thou hast pull'd
    1510that saying out of the husk.
    Pye. Captain Idle, 'Tis no time now to delude or de-
    lay, the old Knight will be here suddenly, I'le perfect
    you, direct you, tell you the trick on't: 'tis nothing.
    Capt. 'Sfoot, George, I know not what to say to't,
    1515conjure? I shall be hang'd ere I conjure.
    Pye. Nay, tell not me of that, Captain, you'll ne're
    conjure after you're hang'd, I warrant you, look you, sir,
    a parlous matter, sure, first to spread your circle upon the
    ground, then with a little conjuring ceremony, as I'le
    1520have an Hackney-mans wand silver'd o're a purpose for
    you, then arriving in the circle, with a huge word, and a
    great trample, as for instance: have you never seen a stal-
    king, stamping Player, that will raise a tempest with his
    tongue, and thunder with his heeles?
    1525Cap. O yes, yes, yes; often, often.
    Pye. Why be like such a one? for any thing will blear
    the old Knights eyes: for you must note, that he'll ne're
    dare to venture into the room, onely perhaps peep fear-
    fully through the Key-hole, to see how the Play goes for-
    Capt. Well, I may go about it when I will, but mark
    the end on't, I shall but shame my self ifaith, George,
    speak big words, and stamp and stare, and he look in at
    Key-hole, why the very thought of that would make me
    1535laugh out-right, and spoile all: nay I'le tell thee, George,
    when I apprehend a thing once, I am of such a laxative
    laughter, that if the Devil himself stood by, I should
    laugh in his face.
    Pye. Puh, that's but the babe of a man, and may easi-
    1540ly be husht, as to think upon some disaster, some sad mis-
    fortune, as the death of thy Father ith' Countrey.
    Cap. 'Sfoot, that would be the more to drive me into
    such an extasie, that I should lin laughing.
    Pye. Why then think upon going to hanging else.
    1545Cap. Masse that's well remembred, now I'le doe well,
    I warrant thee, ne're fear me now: but how shall I doe,
    George, for boysterous words, and horrible names?
    Pye. Puh, any fustian invocations, Captain, will serve
    as well as the best, so you rant them out well, or you may
    1550go to a Pothecaries shop, and take all the words from the
    Cap. Troth, and you say true, George, there's strange
    words enow to raise a hundred Quack-salvers, though
    they be ne're so poor when they begin? but here lies the
    1555fear on't, how in this false conjuration, a true Devil
    should pop up indeed.
    Pye. A true Devil, Captain? why there was ne're such
    a one, nay faith he that has this place, is as false a Knave
    as our last Church-warden.
    1560Cap. Then h'as false enough a conscience ifaith, George.

    The Cry at Marshalsea.

    Cry prisoners. Good Gentlemen over the way, send
    your relief:
    Good Gentlemen over the way,---Good sir Godfrey?
    1565Pye. He's come, he's come.
    Nich. Master, that's my Kinsman yonder in the Buff-
    Jerkin---Kinsman, that's my Master yonder ith' Taffa-
    ty Hat---pray salute him intirely?

    They salute: and Pye-boord salutes Master Edmond.

    1570Sir God. Now my friend.
    Pye. May I partake your name, sir?
    Edm. My name is Master Edmond.
    Pye. Master Edmond,---are you not a Welsh-man, sir?
    Edm. A Welsh-man? why?
    1575Pye. Because Master is your Christen name, and Ed-
    mond your sir-name.
    Edm. O no: I have more names at home, Master
    Edmond Plus is my full name at length.
    Pye. O cry you mercy sir?
    1580Cap. I understand that you are my Kinsmans good
    Master, and in regard of that, the best of my skill is at
    your service: but had you fortun'd a meer stranger, and
    made no meanes to me by acquaintance, I should have
    utterly denyed to have been the man; both by reason of
    1585the Act of Parliament against Conjurers and Witches,
    as also, because I would not have my Art vulgar, trite,
    and common.
    Sir God. I much commend your care there, good
    Captain Conjurer, and that I will be sure to have it pri-
    1590vate enough, you shall do't in my Sisters house,---mine
    own house I may call it, for both our charges therein are
    Capt. Very good, sir,---what may I call your losse, sir?
    Sir God. O you may call't a great losse, a grievous
    1595losse, sir, as goodly a Chain of Gold, though I say it, that
    wore it: how sayest thou, Nicholas?
    Nich. O 'twas as delicious a Chain a Gold, Kinsman
    you know,---
    Sir God. You know? did you know't, Captain?
    1600Cap. Trust a fool with secrets?---Sir he may say I
    know: his meaning is, because my Art is such, that by it
    I may gather a knowledge of all things.---
    Sir God. I very true.
    Capt. A pax of all fooles---the excuse stuck upon my
    1605tongue like Ship-pitch uoon a Mariners Gown, not to
    come off in haste---ber-lady, Knight, to lose such a fair
    Chain a Gold, were a foule losse: Well, I can put you in
    this good comfort on't, if it be between heaven and earth,
    Knight, I'le ha't for you?
    1610Sir God. A wonderfull Conjurer,---O I, 'tis between
    heaven and earth I warrant you, it cannot go out of the
    Realm,---I know 'tis somewhere about the earth.
    Cap. I, nigher the earth then thou wot'st on.
    Sir God. For first my Chain was rich, and no rich
    1615thing shall enter into heaven, you know.
    Nich. And as for the Devil, Master, he has no need
    on't, for you know he has a great Chain of his own.
    Sir God.