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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter the Coffin of the Corporal, the souldier bound,
    and led by Officers, the Sheriff there,
    Frail. Oh here they come, here they come!
    2065Pye. Now must I close secretly with the Souldier,
    prevent his impatience, or else all's discovered.
    Wid. O lamentable seeing, these were those Brothers,
    that fought and bled before our door.
    Sir Godf. What they were not, Sister?
    2070Skirm. George, look to't, I'le peach at Tiburn else.
    Pye. Mum,---Gentles all, vouchsafe me audience, and
    you especially Master Sheriff:
    Yon man is bound to execution,
    Because he wounded this that now lies coffin'd?
    2075Sher. True, true, he shall have the law,---and I know
    the law.
    Pye. But under favour, Master Sheriff, if this man had
    been cured and safe agen, he should have been releas'd
    2080Sher. Why, make you question of that, Sir?
    Pye. Then I release him freely, and will take upon me
    the death that he should die, if within a little season, I do
    not cure him to his proper health again.
    Sher. How sir? recover a dead man?
    2085That were most strange of all.
    Frank comes to him.
    Frank. Sweet sir, I love you dearly, and could wish
    my best part yours,--oh do not undertake such an impos-
    sible venture.
    Pye. Love you me; then for your sweet sake I'le do't:
    2090Let me entreat the corps to be set down.
    Sher. Bearers set down the Coffin,---this is wonderfull,
    and worthy Stoes Chronicle.
    Pye. I pray bestow the freedome of the aire upon our
    wholsome Art,---Masse his cheeks begin to receive natu-
    2095ral warmth: nay good Corporal wake betime, or I shall
    have a longer sleep then you,--'Sfoot if he should prove
    dead indeed now, he were fully reveng'd upon me for
    making a property on him, yet I had rather run upon
    the Ropes, then have the Rope like a Tetter run upon me,
    2100oh---he stirs---he stirs agen---look Gentlemen, he reco-
    vers, he starts, he rises.
    Sher. Oh, oh, defend us---out alas.
    Pye. Nay pray be still; you'll make him more giddy
    else,--he knows no body yet.
    2105Cor. Zowns: where am I? cover'd with snow? I marvail?
    Pye. Nay, I knew he would swear the first thing he
    did, as soon as he came to life again.
    Corp. 'Sfoot Hostesse---some hot porridge,---oh, oh,
    lay on a dozen of Fagots in the Moon Parler, there.
    2110Pye. Lady, you must needs take a little pitty of him
    ifaith, and send him into your Kitchin fire.
    Wid. Oh, with all my heart sir, Nicholas and Frail-
    , help to bear him in.
    Nic. Bear him in, quatha, pray call out the Maids, I
    2115shall nere have the heart to do't indeed la.
    Frail. Nor I neither, I cannot abide to handle a Ghost
    of all men.
    Cor. 'Sloud, let me see, where was I drunk last night, hah
    Wid. Oh, shall I bid you once agen take him away.
    2120Frai. Why, we're as fearfull as you I warrant you--oh--
    Wid. Away villains, bid the maids make him a Caw-
    dle presently to settle his brain--or a posset of Sack,
    quickly, quickly.
    Exeunt, pushing in the corps.
    Sher. Sir, what so ere you are, I do more then admire
    Wid. O I, if you knew all, Master Sheriff, as you shall
    do, you would say then, that here were two of the rarest
    men within the walls of Christendome.
    Sher. Two of 'em, O wonderfull: Officers I discharge
    2130you, set him free, all's in tune.
    Sir God. I, and a banquet ready by this time, Master
    Sheriffe, to which I most cheerfully invite you, and your
    late prisoner there: see you this goodly Chain, sir, mum,
    no more words, 'twas lost and is found again; come, my
    2135inestimable Bullies, we'll talk of your noble Acts in
    sparkling Charnico, and instead of a Jester, we'll ha the
    Ghost ith' white sheet sit at upper end oth' Table.
    Sheriffe. Exlent merry man ifaith.
    Franck. Well, seeing I am enjoyn'd to love and mar-
    2140My foolish vow thus I casheere to aire
    Which first begot it,--now love play thy part;
    The Schollar reads his lecture in my heart.
    Actus Quintus.