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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    the good Lord Cobham.
    Kate. Ifaith neam Club, Ise wot nere what to do, Ise
    be so slouted and so shouted at: but by th'Mess Ise cry.
    2315Enter Priest and Doll.

    Priest. Come Doll, come, be merry wench.
    Farewell Kent, we are not for thee.
    Be lusty my Lasse, come for Lancashire,
    We must nip the Boung for these Crowns.
    2320Doll. Why is all the gold spent alerady, that you had
    the other day.
    Priest. Gone Doll, gone; flown, spent, vanished,
    the Devil, drink, and dice, has devoured all.
    Doll. You might have left me in Kent till you had
    2325been better provided.
    Priest. No, Doll, no, Kent's too hot, Doll, Kent's
    too hot: the weathercock of Wrotham will crow no lon-
    ger, we have pluckt him, he has lost his feathers, I have
    prun'd him bare, left him thrice, is moulted, is moulted
    Doll. I might have gone to service again, old M. Har-
    pool told me he would provide me a Mistris.
    Priest. Peace, Doll, peace; come mad wench, I'le
    make thee an honest woman, we'll into Lancashire to
    2335our friends, the troth is, I'le marry thee, we want but a
    little money, and money we will have I warrant thee:
    stay, who comes here? some Irish villain me thinks that
    has slain a man, and now he is rifling on him, stand close,
    Doll, we'll see the end.

    2340Enter the Irishman with his dead Master,
    and rifles him.

    Irish. Alas poe Master, Sir Rishard Lee, be S. Patrick
    is rob and cut thy trote, for de shain, and dy mony, and
    dy gold ring, be me truly is love de well, but now dow
    2345be kill de, be shitten kanave.
    Priest. Stand, sirra, what art thou?
    Irish. Be S. Patrick Mester, is poor Irisman, is a
    Priest. Sirra, sirra, y'are a damn'd rogue, you have
    2350kill'd a man here, and rifled him of all that he has:
    sbloud you rogue deliver, or I'le not leave you so much as
    a hair above your shoulders, you whorson Iris dog.
    Robs him.
    Irish. We's me S. Patrick, Ise kill my Mester for
    2355shain and his ring, and now's be rob of all, me's undo.
    Priest. Avant you Rascal, go sirra, be walking: come
    Doll, the devil laughs when one thief robs another: come
    wench, we'll to S. Albans, and revel in our bower, my
    brave girle.
    2360Doll. O thou art old Sir John when all's done ifaith.

    Enter the host of the house with the Irishman.

    Irish. Be me tro Mester is poor Irisman, is want lud-
    ging, is have no mony, is starve and cold, good Mester
    give her some meat, is famise and tye.
    2365Host. Faith fellow I have no lodging, but what I keep
    for my Guesse: as for meat, thou shalt have as much as
    there is, and if thou wilt lie in the barn, there's fair straw,
    and room enough.
    Irish. Is tank my Mester hertily.
    2370Host. Ho, Robin.
    Rob. Who calls?
    Host. Shew this poor Irishman to the barn, go sirra.
    Enter Carrier and Kate.

    Club. Who's within here? who looks to the horses?
    2375Uds hat, here's fine work, the Hens in the manger, and
    the Hogs in the litter, a bots found you all, here's a house
    well lookt too ifaith.
    Kate. Mas Goff Club, Ise very cawd.
    Club. Get in Kate, get into fire and warme thee.
    2380John Ostler?
    Host. What, Gaffer Club, welcome to S. Albans,
    How do's all our friends in Lancashire?
    Club. Well, God a mercy John, how do's Tom?
    where is he?
    2385Ost. Tom's gone from hence, he's at the three Horse-
    loves at stony-Stratford: how do's old Dick Dun.
    Club. Uds hat, old Dun is moyr'd in a slough in
    Brick hill-lane: a plague found it, yonders such abomi-
    nation weather as was never seen.
    2390Ost. Uds hat Thief, have one halfe peck of pease and
    oats more for that, as I am John Ostler, he has bin ever
    as good a jade as ever travelled.
    Club. Faith well said old Jack, thou art the old lad still.
    Ost. Come Gaffer Club, unload, unload, and get to
    Enter Cobham and his Lady disguised.

    Cob. Come Madam, happily escapt, here let us sit,
    This place is far remote from any path,
    And here a while our weary limbs may rest,
    2400To take refreshing, free from the pursuit
    Of envious Rochester.
    La. But where, my Lord, shall we find rest for our
    disquiet minds?
    There dwell untamed thoughts that hardly stoop
    2405to such abasement of disdained rags:
    We were not wont to travel thus by night,
    Especially on foot.
    Cob. No matter, love, extremities admit no better choice:
    And were it not for thee, say froward time
    2410Impos'd a greater task, I would esteem it
    As lightly as the wind that blows upon us,
    But in thy sufferance I am doubly taskt,
    Thou wast not wont to have the earth thy stool,
    Nor the moist dewy grasse thy pillow, nor
    2415Thy chamber to be the wide Horizon.
    La. How can it seem a trouble, having you
    A partner with me, in the worst I feel?
    No gentle Lord, your presence would give ease
    To death it self, should he now seize upon me:
    2420Here's bread and cheese and a bottle.
    Behold what my fore-sight hath undertane
    For fear we faint, they are but homely Cates,
    Yet sawc'd with hunger, they may seem as sweet
    As greater dainties we were wont to taste.
    2425Cob. Praise be to him, whose plenty sends both this
    And all things else our mortal bodies need:
    Nor scorn we this poor feeding, nor the state
    We now are in, for what is it on earth,
    Nay under heaven, continues at a stay?
    2430Ebbs not the Sea, when it hath overflown?
    Follows not darknesse when the day is gone?
    And see we not sometime the eye of heaven
    Dim'd with ore-flying clouds? There's not that work
    Of carefull Nature, or of cunning Art,
    2435(How strong, how beauteous, or how rich it be)
    But falls in time to ruine: here, gentle Madam,