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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 DOCTOR Clement, Thorello, Lorenzo Sr., Bianca, Piso, Tib, [and] a Servant or two of the Doctor's.
    Nay, but stay, stay. Give me leave. [To a Servant] My 2310chair, sirrah. -- You, Signor Lorenzo, say you went thither to meet your son?
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Ay, sir.
    But who directed you thither?
    Lorenzo Sr.
    That did my man, sir.
    Where is he?
    2315Lorenzo Sr.
    Nay, I know not now. I left him with your clerk, and appointed him to stay here for me.
    About what time was this?
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Marry, between one and two, as I take it.
    So, what time came my man with the message for you, Signor Thorello?
    After two, sir.
    Very good. -- But lady, how that you were at Cob's, ha?
    An please you, sir, I'll tell you. My brother Prospero told me that Cob's house was a suspected place.
    So it appears, methinks. But on.
    And that my husband used thither daily.
    No matter, so he use himself well.
    True, sir, but you know what grows by such haunts oftentimes.
    Ay, rank fruits of a jealous brain, lady. But did you find your husband there in that case, as you suspected?
    I found her there, sir.
    Did you so? That alters the case. Who gave you knowledge of your wife's being there?
    Marry, that did my brother Prospero.
    How? Prospero first tell her, then tell you after? Where is Prospero?
    Gone with my sister, sir, I know not whither.
    Why, this is a mere trick, a device. You are gulled in this most grossly.
    [To Tib] Alas, poor wench, wert thou beaten for this?
    [Enter [a Servant], one of the Doctor's men.
    2335How now, sirrah, what's the matter?
    Sir, there's a gentleman in the court without desires to speak with Your Worship.
    A gentleman? What's he?
    A soldier, sir, he saith.
    A soldier? Fetch me my armor, my sword quickly! A soldier 2340speak with me? Why, when, knaves?
    [He is brought armor, and arms himself.] Come on, come on, hold my cap there, so; give me my gorget, my sword. [To Lorenzo Sr., Thorello, and Bianca] Stand by. I will end your matters anon. [To the Servant] Let the soldier enter. [The Servant goes to the door.]
    [Enter Bobadilla and Matheo.
    2345Now, sir, what have you to say to me?
    By Your Worship's favor --
    [To Matheo] Nay, keep out, sir, I know not your pretense. [To Bobadilla] You send me word, sir, you are a soldier. Why, sir, you shall be answered here; here be them have been amongst soldiers. Sir, your pleasure.
    Faith, sir, so it is: This gentleman and myself have been most violently wronged by one Signor Giuliano, a gallant of the city here. And for my own part, I protest, being a man in no sort given to this filthy humor of quarreling, he hath assaulted me in the way of my peace, despoiled me of mine honor, disarmed me of my weapons, and beaten me 2355in the open streets, when I not so much as once offered to resist him.
    Oh, God's precious! Is this the soldier?
    [To the Servant] Here, take my armor quickly; 'twill make him swoon, I fear. He is not fit to look on't that will put up a blow.
    An't please Your Worship, he was bound to the peace.
    Why, an he were, sir, his hands were not bound, were they?
    [Enter [a] Servant.
    There is one of the varlets of the city has brought two gentlemen here upon arrest, sir.
    Bid him come in. Set by the picture.
    [Bobadilla is led aside; the Servant goes to the door.]
    2365[Enter Musco [disguised as an arresting officer] with Giuliano and Stephano.
    Now, sir, what? Signor Giuliano? Is't you that are arrested at Signor Freshwater's suit here?
    I'faith, Master Doctor, and here's another brought at my suit.
    [To Stephano] What are you, sir?
    A gentleman, sir. [Seeing Lorenzo Sr.] Oh, uncle!
    Uncle? Who, Lorenzo?
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Ay, sir.
    God's my witness, uncle, I am wronged here monstrously! He chargeth me with stealing of his cloak, and would I might never stir if I did not find it in the street by chance.
    Oh, did you find it, now? You said you bought it erewhile.
    And you said I stole it. Nay, now my uncle is here I care not.
    Well, let this breathe a while.
    [To Bobadilla] You that have cause to complain there, stand forth. Had you a warrant for this arrest?
    Ay, an't please Your Worship.
    Nay, do not speak in passion so. Where had you it?
    Of your clerk, sir.
    That's well, an my clerk can make warrants and my hand not at them! Where is the warrant? --Varlet, have you it?
    No, sir, Your Worship's man bid me do it for these gentlemen, and he would be my discharge.
    Why, Signor Giuliano, are you such a novice to be arrested and never see the warrant?
    Why, sir, he did not arrest me.
    No? How then?
    Marry, sir, he came to me and said he must arrest me and he would use me kindly, and so forth.
    Oh, God's pity, was it so, sir? He must arrest you?
    [To a Servant] Give me my long-sword there. Help me off, so. -- Come 2390on, sir varlet. [Musco kneels as Doctor Clement flourishes over him with his long-sword.] I must cut off your legs, sirrah. Nay, stand up; I'll use you kindly. I must cut off your legs, I say.
    Oh, good sir, I beseech you! Nay, good Master Doctor. Oh, good sir!
    I must do it; there is no remedy. I must cut 2395off your legs, sirrah; I must cut off your ears, you rascal, I must do it. I must cut off your nose; I must cut off your head.
    Oh, for God sake, good Master Doctor!
    Well, rise.
    [Musco rises.] How dost thou now? Dost thou feel thyself well? Hast thou no harm?
    No, I thank God, sir, and Your good Worship.
    Why, so. I said I must cut off thy legs, and I must cut off thy arms, and I must cut off thy head, but I did not do it. So you said you must arrest this gentleman, but you did not arrest him. You knave, you slave, you rogue! Do you say you "must" arrest?
    [To a Servant] Sirrah, away with him to the jail! [To 2405Musco] I'll teach you a trick for your "must."
    Good Master Doctor, I beseech you, be good to me.
    Marry o' God! Away with him, I say!
    [Aside] Nay, 'sblood, before I go to prison, I'll put on my old brazen face and disclaim in my vocation. I'll discover, that's flat. 2410An I be committed, it shall be for the committing of more villainies than this. Hang me an I lose the least grain of my fame!
    Why, when, knave? By God's marry, I'll clap thee by the heels, too.
    [Servants seize Musco.]
    Hold, hold, I pray you!
    What's the matter?
    [To the Servants] Stay there.
    Faith, sir, afore I go to this house of bondage, I have a case to unfold to Your Worship. Which, that it may appear the more plain unto Your Worship's view, I do thus first of all uncase [Removing his disguise] and appear in mine own proper nature: servant to this gentleman [Pointing 2420to Knowell Sr.] and known by the name of Musco.
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Ha? Musco!
    Oh, uncle, Musco has been with my cousin and I all this day.
    Did not I tell you there was some device?
    Nay, good Master Doctor, since I have laid myself thus open 2425to Your Worship, now stand strong for me till the progress of my tale be ended. And then if my wit do not deserve your countenance, 'slight, throw it on a dog and let me go hang myself.
    Body of me, a merry knave! Give me a bowl of sack.
    [A Servant brings him drink.] Signor Lorenzo, I bespeak your patience in particular, 2430marry, your ears in general. [He offers a toast to Musco.] Here, knave, Doctor Clement drinks to thee.
    I pledge, Master Doctor, an 'twere a sea, to the bottom.
    Fill his bowl for that, fill his bowl.
    [Musco's cup is filled.] So, now speak freely.
    [Drinking] Indeed, this is it will make a man speak freely. 2435But to the point: know then that I, Musco, being somewhat more trusted of my master than reason required, and knowing his intent to Florence, did assume the habit of a poor soldier in wants. And, minding by some means to intercept his journey in the midway, 'twixt the grange and the city I encountered him. Where, begging of him in the most accomplished and true garb, as they term 2440it, contrary to all expectation he reclaimed me from that bad course of life, entertained me into his service, employed me in his business, possessed me with his secrets -- which I no sooner had received but, seeking my young master and finding him at this gentleman's house [Pointing to Prospero], I revealed all most amply. This done, by the device of Signor Prospero and him together I returned (as 2445the raven did to the ark) to mine old master again, told him he should find his son, in what manner he knows, at one Cob's house -- where indeed he never meant to come. Now my master, he, to maintain the jest, went thither and left me with Your Worship's clerk, who, being of a most fine, supple disposition (as most of your clerks are), proffers me the wine 2450which I had the grace to accept very easily, and to the tavern we went. There, after much ceremony, I made him drunk in kindness, stripped him to his shirt, and, leaving him in that cool vein, departed frolic, courtier-like, having obtained a suit. Which suit fitting me exceedingly well, I put on, and, usurping your man's phrase and action, carried a message to Signor Thorello in your name. Which 2455message was merely devised but to procure his absence while Signor Prospero might make a conveyance of Hesperida to my master.
    Stay. Fill me the bowl again.
    [His wine is replenished.] Here. 'Twere pity of his life would not cherish such a spirit! [To Musco] I drink to thee. [They drink.] Fill him wine. [To Thorello] Why, now do you perceive the trick of it?
    Ay, I perceive well we were all abused.
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Well, what remedy?
    Where is Lorenzo and Prospero? Canst thou tell?
    Ay, sir, they are at supper at the Mermaid, where I left your man.
    [To a Servant] Sirrah, go warn them hither presently before me, 2465and, if the hour of your fellow's resurrection be come, bring him too.
    Exit Servant.
    [To Musco] But forward, forward. When thou hadst been at Thorello's --
    Marry, sir, coming along the street, these two gentlemen [Pointing to Bobadilla and Matheo] meet me, and, very strongly supposing me to be Your Worship's 2470scribe, entreated me to procure them a warrant for the arrest of Signor Giuliano. I promised them upon some pair of silk stockings or a jewel or so to do it, and to get a varlet of the city to serve it; which varlet I appointed should meet them upon the Rialto at such an hour. They no sooner gone but I, in a mere hope of more gain by 2475Signor Giuliano, went to one of Satan's old ingles, a broker, and there pawned your man's livery for a varlet's suit, which, here with myself, I offer unto Your Worship's consideration.
    Well, give me thy hand. Proh superi! Ingenium magnum quis nosset Homerum, Ilias aeternum si latuisset opus ? I admire thee, I honor thee, and, if thy master or any man here be angry with thee, I shall 2480suspect his wit while I know him for it. -- Do you hear, Signor Thorello, Signor Lorenzo, and the rest of my good friends? I pray you, let me have peace when they come. I have sent for the two gallants and Hesperida. God's marry, I must have you friends.
    [A noise is heard.] How now? What noise is there?
    [Enter [a] Servant, then Peto [in armor].
    Sir, it is Peto is come home.
    Peto? Bring him hither, bring him hither.
    [Peto is brought forward.] What, how now, Signor Drunkard, in arms against me, ha? Your reason, your reason for this?
    I beseech Your Worship to pardon me.
    [To the Servant] Well, sirrah, tell him I do pardon him.
    Truly, sir, I did happen into bad company by chance, and they cast me in a sleep and stripped me of all my clothes.
    Tut, this is not to the purpose. Touching your armor: what might your armor signify?
    Marry, sir, it hung in the room where they stripped me, 2495and I borrowed it of one of the drawers now in the evening to come home in, because I was loath to come through the street in my shirt.
    [Enter Lorenzo Jr., Prospero, [and] Hesperida.
    [To the Servant] Well, disarm him. But it's no matter; let him stand by. [Peto is led to one side.] Who be these? -- Oh, 2500young gallants, welcome, welcome, and you, lady. Nay, never scatter such amazed looks amongst us. Qui nil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Faith, Master Doctor, that's even I; my hopes are small and my despair shall be as little. -- Brother, sister, brother: what, cloudy, cloudy? "And will no sunshine on these looks appear?" Well, since there is such a tempest toward, I'll be the porpoise; I'll dance.
    2505[To Hesperida] Wench, be of good cheer; thou hast a cloak for the rain yet. Where is he? [To Lorenzo Jr.] 'Sheart, how now, the picture of the Prodigal? Go to, I'll have the calf dressed for you at my charges.
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Well, son Lorenzo, this day's work of yours hath much deceived my hopes, troubled my peace, and stretched my patience further than became the 2510spirit of duty.
    Nay, God's pity, Signor Lorenzo, you shall urge it no more. Come, since you are here, I'll have the disposing of all. But first, Signor Giuliano, at my request take your cloak again.
    [Taking his cloak] Well, sir, I am content.
    Stay, now let me see. Oh, Signor Snow-Liver, I had almost forgotten him. And your Genius there, what, doth he suffer for a good conscience too? Doth he bear his cross with patience?
    Nay, they have scarce one cross between them both to bear.
    Why, dost thou know him? What is he? What is he?
    Marry, search his pockets, sir, and they'll show you he is an author, sir.
    Dic mihi, Musa, virum. Are you an author, sir? Give me leave a little. Come on, sir. I'll make verses with you now in honor of the gods and the goddesses for what you dare, extempore. And now I begin:
    Mount thee, my Phlegon muse, and testify
    How Saturn, sitting in an ebon cloud,
    Disrobed his podex, white as ivory,
    And through the welkin thundered all aloud.
    2530There's for you, sir.
    Oh, he writes not in that height of style.
    No? We'll come a step or two lower, then:
    From Catadupa and the banks of Nile,
    2535Where only breeds your monstrous crocodile,
    Now are we purposed for to fetch our style.
    Oh, too far-fetched for him still, Master Doctor.
    Ay, say you so? Let's entreat a sight of his vein, then.
    [To Matheo] Signor, Master Doctor desires to see a sight of your vein. Nay, you must not deny him.
    2540[They search Matheo's pockets.]
    What, all this verse? Body of me, he carries a whole realm, a commonwealth of paper, in his hose! Let's see some of his subjects.
    [He reads] Unto the boundless ocean of thy beauty
    2545Runs this poor river, charged with streams of zeal,
    Returning thee the tribute of my duty,
    Which here my youth, my plaints, my love reveal.
    Good! Is this your own invention?
    No, sir, I translated that out of a book called Delia.
    Oh, but I would see some of your own, some of your own.
    Sir, here's the beginning of a sonnet I made to my mistress.
    That, that.
    [He examines the dedication] Who? "To Madonna Hesperida." Is she your mistress?
    It pleaseth him to call her so, sir.
    [Reads] "In summertime, when Phoebus' golden rays" --
    You translated this too, did you not?
    No, this is invention. He found it in a ballad.
    Faith, sir, I had most of the conceit of it out of a ballad, indeed.
    [To a Servant] Fetch me a couple of torches, sirrah, I may see the conceit. Quickly; it's very dark.
    Call you this poetry?
    Lorenzo Jr.
    Poetry? Nay, then call blasphemy religion,
    Call devils angels, and sin piety;
    Let all things be preposterously transchanged.
    Lorenzo Sr.
    Why, how now, son? What, are you startled now?
    2565Hath the breeze pricked you? Ha! Go to. You see
    How abjectly your poetry is ranked
    In general opinion.
    Lorenzo Jr.
    Opinion? Oh, God, let gross opinion
    Sink and be damned as deep as Barathrum!
    2570If it may stand with your most wished content,
    I can refel opinion and approve
    The state of poesy, such as it is,
    Blessd, eternal, and most true divine.
    Indeed, if you will look on poesy
    2575As she appears in many -- poor and lame,
    Patched up in remnants and old worn rags,
    Half-starved for want of her peculiar food,
    Sacred invention -- then I must confirm
    Both your conceit and censure of her merit.
    2580But view her in her glorious ornaments,
    Attird in the majesty of art,
    Set high in spirit with the precious taste
    Of sweet philosophy, and, which is most,
    Crowned with the rich traditions of a soul
    2585That hates to have her dignity profaned
    With any relish of an earthly thought:
    Oh, then, how proud a presence doth she bear!
    Then is she like herself, fit to be seen
    Of none but grave and consecrated eyes.
    2590Nor is it any blemish to her fame
    That such lean, ignorant, and blasted wits,
    Such brainless gulls, should utter their stol'n wares
    With such applauses in our vulgar ears,
    Or that their slubbered lines have current pass
    2595From the fat judgments of the multitude,
    But that this barren and infected age
    Should set no difference 'twixt these empty spirits
    And a true poet -- than which reverend name
    Nothing can more adorn humanity.
    2600[Enter [ServantS] with torches.
    Ay, Lorenzo, but election is now governed altogether by the influence of humor, which, instead of those holy flames that should direct and light the soul to eternity, hurls forth nothing but smoke and congested vapors that stifle her up and bereave her of all sight and motion. But she must have store 2605of hellebore given her to purge these gross obstructions. [To the Servants] Oh, that's well said! Give me thy torch; come, lay this stuff together. So, give fire. [They burn Matheo's verses.] There, see, see, how our poet's glory shines brighter and brighter! Still, still it increaseth! Oh, now it's at the highest, and now it declines as fast. You may see, gallants, Sic transit gloria mundi. [To Bobadilla 2610and Matheo] Well, now, my two Signor Outsides, stand forth and lend me your large ears to a sentence, to a sentence. First, you, signor, shall this night to the cage, and so shall you, sir. [To Matheo] From thence tomorrow morning, you, signor, shall be carried to the market cross and be there bound; [To Bobadilla] and so shall you, sir, in a large motley coat with a rod 2615at your girdle. [To Matheo] And you in an old suit of sackcloth and the ashes of your papers -- save the ashes, sirrah -- shall mourn all day; and at night both together sing some ballad of repentance very piteously, which you shall make to the tune of "Who list to lead and a soldier's life." [To Peto] Sirrah billman, embrace you this torch and light the gentlemen to their lodgings, and, because we tender their 2620safety, you shall watch them tonight; you are provided for the purpose. Away, and look to your charge with open eye, sirrah.
    Well, I am armed in soul against the worst of fortune.
    Faith, so should I be, an I had slept on it.
    I am armed too, but I am not like to sleep on it.
    [Aside] Oh, how this pleaseth me!
    2625 Exeunt [Bobadilla, Matheo, and Peto].
    Now, Signor Thorello, Giuliano, Prospero, Bianca.
    And not me, sir?
    Yes, and you, sir. I had lost a sheep an he had not bleated. I must have you all friends.
    [To Prospero and Bianca] But 2630first, a word with you, young gallant, and you, lady.
    Well, brother Prospero, by this good light that shines here, I am loath to kindle fresh coals, but, an you had come in my walk within these two hours, I had given you that you should not have clawn off again in haste. By Jesus, I had done it; I am the arrant'st 2635rogue that ever breathed else! But now, beshrew my heart if I bear you any malice in the earth.
    Faith, I did it but to hold up a jest and help my sister to a husband. But brother Thorello, and sister, you have a spice of the yealous yet, both of you -- in your hose, I mean. 2640Come, do not dwell upon your anger so much. Let's all be smooth-foreheaded once again.
    He plays upon my forehead, brother Giuliano. I pray you, tell me one thing I shall ask you: is my forehead anything rougher than it was wont to be?
    Rougher? Your forehead is smooth enough, man.
    [Aside] Why should he then say 'Be smooth-foreheaded'
    Unless he jested at the smoothness of it?
    And that may be, for horn is very smooth;
    So are my brows. By Jesu, smooth as horn!
    [To Prospero] Brother, had he no haunt thither, in good faith?
    No, upon my soul.
    [To Thorello] Nay then, sweetheart, nay, I pray thee, be not angry. Good faith, I'll never suspect thee any more. Nay, kiss me, sweet muss.
    Tell me, Bianca, do not you play the woman with me?
    What's that, sweetheart?
    Nay, do not turn away. But say, i'faith, was it not a match appointed 'twixt this old gentleman
    [Pointing to Lorenzo Sr.] and you?
    A match?
    Nay, if it were not, I do not care. Do not weep, I pray thee, sweet Bianca. Nay, so, now. By Jesus, I am not jealous, but resolved I have the faithfull'st wife in Italy!
    For this I find: where jealousy is fed,
    Horns in the mind are worse than on the head.
    2665See what a drove of horns fly in the air,
    Winged with my cleansd and my credulous breath!
    Watch them, suspicious eyes, watch where they fall:
    See, see, on heads that think they have none at all!
    Oh, what a plen'uous world of this will come!
    2670When air rains horns, all men be sure of some.
    Why, that's well. Come, then, what say you? Are all agreed? Doth none stand out?
    None but this gentleman
    [Pointing to Lorenzo Sr.], to whom in my own person I owe all duty and affection, but most seriously entreat pardon for whatsoever hath passed in these occurrents that might be contrary to his most desired content.
    2675Lorenzo Sr.
    Faith, sir, it is a virtue that pursues
    Any save rude and uncomposd spirits
    To make a fair construction, and indeed
    Not to stand off when such respective means
    Invite a general content in all.
    Well, then, I conjure you all here to put off all discontentment. First you, Signor Lorenzo, your cares;
    [To Thorello and Bianca] you and you, your jealousy; [To Giuliano] you, your anger; [To Prospero] and you, your wit, sir. And for a peace-offering, here's one willing to be sacrificed upon this altar. Say, do you approve my motion?
    We do. I'll be mouth for all.
    Why, then, I wish them all joy. And now, to make our evening happiness more full, this night you shall be all my guests, where we'll enjoy the very spirit of mirth and carouse to the health of this heroic spirit [Indicating Musco], whom to honor the more I do invest in my 2690own robes, desiring you two, Giuliano and Prospero, to be his supporters; the train to follow. Myself will lead, ushered by my page here, with this honorable verse: Claudite iam rivos, pueri, sat prata biberunt.
    [Exeunt in procession.]